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Offline Inactive_1

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Debate Challenges
« on: December 22, 2009, 09:32:57 AM »
All challenges for new debates can be posted here. Once the participants are selected a moderator or myself will create the debate thread and commentary thread in a debate room.

Offline Deus ex Machina

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Re: Debate Challenges
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2009, 05:04:37 PM »
I'll offer a topic for debate -

"This House Believes that the innate capacity for understanding of right and wrong indicates a moral law-giver."

It's probably worth adding at this point that it's not necessary for participants in a debate to adhere to the views they promote in a debate - indeed, in debating classes, one is often assigned a debating topic and position irrespective of their personal opinions! So if anyone things they can put up a good argument on one side or the other, feel free to step up to the plate. :)
« Last Edit: December 23, 2009, 09:25:35 AM by Deus ex Machina »
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Offline matthew7812

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Re: Debate Challenges
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2009, 12:56:11 AM »
John wesley quote

"•The Bible must be the invention either of good men or angels, bad men or devils, or of God.
•It could not be the invention of good men or angels; for they neither would or could make a book, and tell lies all the time they were writing it, saying “Thus saith the Lord,” when it was their own invention.
•It could not be the invention of bad men or devils; for they would not make a book which commands all duty, forbids all sin, and condemns their souls to hell to all eternity.
•Therefore, I draw this conclusion that the Bible must be given by divine inspiration."

any takers on that?

Offline DisdainDavid

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Re: Debate Challenges
« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2009, 01:00:19 AM »
Matthew,

If I understand your quote correctly it appears you are wanting to argue that it is impossible for the bible to be the invention of people, and hence must be the work of a god?  We can focus the debate around the quote but a very blunt, this or that, position would probably be best and then you can work your argument up for/against it in the OP of the debate.
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Offline Levan

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Re: Debate Challenges
« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2009, 01:03:55 AM »
I would.

Offline DisdainDavid

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Re: Debate Challenges
« Reply #5 on: December 25, 2009, 01:05:10 AM »
I would.

Well, lets get some clarification on the specific subject and then we can set it up!
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It's a shame how you put your trust in theories that keep on changing. Bible has stayed the same for thousands of years [. . .]  -- Skylark889

Offline Levan

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Re: Debate Challenges
« Reply #6 on: December 25, 2009, 01:11:42 AM »
Eh... not much in particular.

I'd guess, from an agnostic atheist's stance, I'd want the argument to be "the above statement proves the divinity of the Bible" (I'd be arguing that the statement does not prove the divinity of the Bible).

Offline DisdainDavid

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Re: Debate Challenges
« Reply #7 on: December 25, 2009, 01:14:52 AM »
Eh... not much in particular.

I'd guess, from an agnostic atheist's stance, I'd want the argument to be "the above statement proves the divinity of the Bible" (I'd be arguing that the statement does not prove the divinity of the Bible).

Thats what I think as well.  Lets see what Matthew has to say.
I will stop to contribute in this thread until some one shows up and seem to have brain. -- Master

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Offline Levan

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Re: Debate Challenges
« Reply #8 on: December 25, 2009, 01:26:34 AM »
A problem I just remembered:

I'll be going to Japan tomorrow, and I don't know if I can get internet connection at my grandparents' house.

Though I'm pretty sure I'll be able to find a connection so I can reply, I don't know if I can reply right on time.

If everyone is fine with slightly late responses, I'll stay in. If not, someone else can take my place.

Offline Deus ex Machina

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Re: Debate Challenges
« Reply #9 on: December 25, 2009, 04:55:09 AM »
John wesley quote

"•The Bible must be the invention either of good men or angels, bad men or devils, or of God.
•It could not be the invention of good men or angels; for they neither would or could make a book, and tell lies all the time they were writing it, saying “Thus saith the Lord,” when it was their own invention.
•It could not be the invention of bad men or devils; for they would not make a book which commands all duty, forbids all sin, and condemns their souls to hell to all eternity.
•Therefore, I draw this conclusion that the Bible must be given by divine inspiration."

any takers on that?

It might be useful to summarise that in a suitably catchy title (something that would fit into the sentence "This House believes that...")
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Offline Levan

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Re: Debate Challenges
« Reply #10 on: December 25, 2009, 07:51:04 AM »
I recommend Angel, Devil or God.

Also, Matthew, I'm ready for the debate. Just post your approval/disapproval...

Offline Inactive_1

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Re: Debate Challenges
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2009, 08:12:43 PM »
I would like to see a debate between a Muslim and a Christian. I think it would be very educational to everyone.

Offline Narrow Mullen

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Re: Debate Challenges
« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2009, 02:46:55 AM »
I would like to see a debate between a Muslim and a Christian. I think it would be very educational to everyone.
That'd be pretty awesome! I know of a Muslim who I think may be willing, I'll see if I can get him onboard.
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Offline I am become relevant

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Re: Debate Challenges
« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2009, 02:52:12 AM »
I would like to see a debate between a Muslim and a Christian. I think it would be very educational to everyone.

For a year now I've been wanting to see a proper debate between a Muslim, a Christian, and an atheist all at the same time. It would be amazing if you could set this up. Even if only between a Muslim and a Christian. All such debates in my country are silly arguments that end up in fights, so people tend to avoid them like the plague.
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Offline HAL

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Re: Debate Challenges
« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2009, 10:49:30 AM »
faris vs Fran!  :D

Offline I am become relevant

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Re: Debate Challenges
« Reply #15 on: December 29, 2009, 03:01:40 PM »
I is back.

I'm a muslim.
No I won't email you a bomb if you tick me off, but only because I don't know how to.

Offline Levan

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Re: Debate Challenges
« Reply #16 on: December 30, 2009, 01:59:25 AM »
:(

I'm not going to be able to participate in the debate until January 8th or later. I can't seem to get internet access in Japan (except right now).

Just for your information...

Offline I am become relevant

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Re: Debate Challenges
« Reply #17 on: January 03, 2010, 12:50:38 PM »
Errr, could we try to  arrange the debate proposed above? I wouldn't mind participating, but me beliefs are not... very main stream Islam. I'm sure we can find a couple of people willing to debate their opinions on the forum.     
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Offline Hermes

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Re: Debate Challenges
« Reply #18 on: January 04, 2010, 07:23:39 PM »
A challenge to Majesty ...

[ by PM ]

Quote
Relaxed, and ready to go ...

Hopefully you are relaxed and ready to go as well.

If you are, post a response to the following new thread;

Debate Challenges
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?&topic=11385.0

I have a few ideas that we can discuss or debate as the mood currently moves you.



Here is what I am currently thinking ...

The WLC/Kalam debate you had with Kcrady boiled down to both you and him giving 'silver bullet' style philosophical arguments that intended to sink the other's argument but had very little to do with practical issues.  In the end, even if Kalam was conclusively proven, it does not prove that any specific deity exists.

Because of that, regardless of the outcome of a Kalam discussion, it leaves us without any direction.

What should we as individuals do?  Assuming Kalam was proven to show the specific type of deity WLC posited, we would still be stuck wondering if it is best to follow that deity or set of deities; is it Yahweh, Allah, some other unknown deity, some deity we are physically unable to identify because we are inadequate, or some deity that is not concerned with us mainly but is interested in a yet higher being than ourselves?  Or, is it best not to follow that deity at all?

We as individuals can't definitively say as we are not infinite ourselves, what concerns a Kalam-style deity would have with us may be no different from that of any other creature or even inanimate hunk of stone.  While I'm sure you will disagree, it should be clear that these details could be argued for years and still lead to nothing conclusive all people in the discussion can agree on.

So, I propose a question that is more practical;

* Is theism -- or a specific type of theism -- better for the members of a society than non-theism?

I will take the position that at best, theism does as much damage as it does good and has a net neutral impact on society.  I will grant that theisms may have provided a crude boot strapping effect to societies in the past and in less developed countries, but that those boosts to society come with some very high costs.  Costs that we no longer need to get a society going, or to make it's members more empathetic, more moral.

If you consider this question, or a variation of it, worthy of a conversation, discussion, or full debate, let me know.
Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons. --Michael Shermer

The history of religion is a long attempt to reconcile old custom with new reason, to find a sound theory for an absurd practice.  --Sir James George Frazer

Offline voodoo child

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Re: Debate Challenges
« Reply #19 on: January 04, 2010, 07:59:13 PM »
cant wait Hermes.  ;D
The classical man is just a bundle of routine, ideas and tradition. If you follow the classical pattern, you are understanding the routine, the tradition, the shadow, you are not understanding yourself. Truth has no path. Truth is living and therefore changing. Bruce lee

Offline Hermes

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Re: Debate Challenges
« Reply #20 on: January 05, 2010, 12:58:37 AM »
Don't.  I do not think he's going to show, but I could be mistaken.  I did extended a similar offer to someone else.  The other person seems to be hung up on the style of the forums over the content of the messages.  Being polite is all well and good, but being bluntly honest tends to blow away many fervent biases -- and there are enough of those on the Christian side to smother an Eskimo.
Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons. --Michael Shermer

The history of religion is a long attempt to reconcile old custom with new reason, to find a sound theory for an absurd practice.  --Sir James George Frazer

Offline HAL

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Re: Debate Challenges
« Reply #21 on: January 05, 2010, 09:52:05 AM »
The other person seems to be hung up on the style of the forums over the content of the messages.  Being polite is all well and good, but being bluntly honest tends to blow away many fervent biases -- and there are enough of those on the Christian side to smother an Eskimo.

Hey, at least they won't get banned for stating their position.  :shrug
« Last Edit: January 05, 2010, 09:58:47 AM by HAL »

Offline Hermes

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Re: Debate Challenges
« Reply #22 on: January 05, 2010, 12:35:31 PM »
Hey, at least they won't get banned for stating their position.  :shrug

What?  Are you saying that Christians on pro-Christianity forums ban non-Christians or Christians that don't toe the party line?  Inconceivable!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D58LpHBnvsI[/youtube]
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The history of religion is a long attempt to reconcile old custom with new reason, to find a sound theory for an absurd practice.  --Sir James George Frazer

Offline Majesty

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Re: Debate Challenges
« Reply #23 on: January 05, 2010, 01:39:12 PM »
A challenge to Majesty ...

What is  the  challenge?


In the end, even if Kalam was conclusively proven, it does not prove that any specific deity exists.

Well  i  think  this  is  irrelevant  my  friend.  The  kalam  argument (if true)  gives  us  reasons  to  believe  that  some  type  of  deity  exist,  and  to  carry  on  life  thinking  that  a  particularly deity  doesn't  exist  is  to  be  in  denial  of  the  both  scientific  and  philosophical  evidence  that  supports  it.  (Personally  i  believe  the  Christian  God  is  behind  it  all,  and  the  evidence  for  that  starts  with  the  life,  death, and  ressurrection  of  Jesus Christ).  Now  you  can  be  in  disagreement  with  the  arguments  all  day long,  but  unless  you  can  refute  it  in  some  way  to  make  it  not  true,  i  think  its  safe  to  say  that  the  arguments  stand.  I  havent  seen  anyone  on  here,  including my opponent  give  any  type  of  refutations  to  the  evidence  supporting  the  premises  of  the  arguments.  In  fact,  im  still  waiting  to  see  some  type  of  refutation.  If  i  held  my  breath  while  waiting  i  would  of  been dead  about  3  weeks  ago.

Because of that, regardless of the outcome of a Kalam discussion, it leaves us without any direction.

You  would  have  a  direction.  The  direction  would  be  "ok,  since  i  believe  the  kalam  is  more  plausible  than  its  negations,  where  do  i  go  from  here?"  Accepting  the  kalam  is  the  first  direction/step  in  the  journey  of  which  God  is behind  door  #1.

What should we as individuals do?  Assuming Kalam was proven to show the specific type of deity WLC posited, we would still be stuck wondering if it is best to follow that deity or set of deities; is it Yahweh, Allah, some other unknown deity, some deity we are physically unable to identify because we are inadequate, or some deity that is not concerned with us mainly but is interested in a yet higher being than ourselves?  Or, is it best not to follow that deity at all?

WLC's  arguments  build  a  cumulative  case  for  Christianity.  The  arguments  invovling  Jesus Christ  is  evidence  supporting  Christianity. 

So, I propose a question that is more practical;

* Is theism -- or a specific type of theism -- better for the members of a society than non-theism?

Depends  on  what  you  mean  by  "better".  I  will  say  yes,  that  theism  is  better  because  of  what  Christianity  has  to  offer.  We  can  discuss  that  if  you like.

I will take the position that at best, theism does as much damage as it does good and has a net neutral impact on society.  I will grant that theisms may have provided a crude boot strapping effect to societies in the past and in less developed countries, but that those boosts to society come with some very high costs.  Costs that we no longer need to get a society going, or to make it's members more empathetic, more moral.

If you consider this question, or a variation of it, worthy of a conversation, discussion, or full debate, let me know.

Tell me  EXACTLY  what  we  will  be  debating  and  i  will  be  more  than  happy  to  accept  your  challenge  to  a  debate

Offline GetMeThere

Re: Debate Challenges
« Reply #24 on: January 05, 2010, 03:21:57 PM »
A challenge to Majesty ...

What is  the  challenge?

So, I propose a question that is more practical;

* Is theism -- or a specific type of theism -- better for the members of a society than non-theism?

Tell me  EXACTLY  what  we  will  be  debating  and  i  will  be  more  than  happy  to  accept  your  challenge  to  a  debate

Majesty,

I've suggested to you before that debates aren't your forte--you're simply not up to it. You show that here by not even PERCEIVING what the debate topic is (and you had the same problem with the debate I proposed). Apparently you were not helped even when Hermes marked the topic with an asterisk. To help you, I've made it bold...


Offline Narrow Mullen

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Re: Debate Challenges
« Reply #25 on: January 05, 2010, 04:46:16 PM »
Quote
Well  i  think  this  is  irrelevant  my  friend.  The  kalam  argument (if true)  gives  us  reasons  to  believe  that  some  type  of  deity  exist,  and  to  carry  on  life  thinking  that  a  particularly deity  doesn't  exist  is  to  be  in  denial  of  the  both  scientific  and  philosophical  evidence  that  supports  it.  (Personally  i  believe  the  Christian  God  is  behind  it  all,  and  the  evidence  for  that  starts  with  the  life,  death, and  ressurrection  of  Jesus Christ).  Now  you  can  be  in  disagreement  with  the  arguments  all  day long,  but  unless  you  can  refute  it  in  some  way  to  make  it  not  true,  i  think  its  safe  to  say  that  the  arguments  stand.  I  havent  seen  anyone  on  here,  including my opponent  give  any  type  of  refutations  to  the  evidence  supporting  the  premises  of  the  arguments.  In  fact,  im  still  waiting  to  see  some  type  of  refutation.  If  i  held  my  breath  while  waiting  i  would  of  been dead  about  3  weeks  ago.
I haven't been paying attention to your debate about the kalam argument.

I looked it up:

1.Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
2.The universe began to exist.
3.Therefore, the universe has a cause.

Wikipedia has quite a few good points against this.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalam_argument#Objections_and_Criticism

Boom, refuted.
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Offline Emily

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Re: Debate Challenges
« Reply #26 on: January 05, 2010, 05:07:20 PM »


* Is theism -- or a specific type of theism -- better for the members of a society than non-theism?

I will take the position that at best, theism does as much damage as it does good and has a net neutral impact on society.  I will grant that theisms may have provided a crude boot strapping effect to societies in the past and in less developed countries, but that those boosts to society come with some very high costs.  Costs that we no longer need to get a society going, or to make it's members more empathetic, more moral.


I like this topic.  It seems like it will have more original thought than the other debate had. The kalam debate seemed to just be a regurgitation of what WLC had to say. (I mean, I know that is what the debate was about but this topic seems more original)
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Offline Hermes

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Re: Debate Challenges
« Reply #27 on: January 05, 2010, 09:05:31 PM »
Majesty, sorry for the delay.  I wrote up something earlier and had to put it aside just before I completed it.

So, I propose a question that is more practical;

* Is theism -- or a specific type of theism -- better for the members of a society than non-theism?

[ ... SNIP! ... ]

Tell me  EXACTLY  what  we  will  be  debating  and  i  will  be  more  than  happy  to  accept  your  challenge  to  a  debate

Better.  In the common usage of the word.  You know; happier, healthier, longer lives, better pay, higher education, fewer crimes, ... .  Better.

If you want to go over the details on what specific 'better' categories you want to limit the conversation to or expand the conversation to cover, I'd be glad to.[1]  Otherwise, I'll consider 'better' to be a loose category that we can agree on a case by case basis.  Let's go with the rule that any 'better' category is first proposed before it is used and that reasons must be given for why it is being proposed.  If the other person in the debate rejects that new 'better' category, they have to say why or ask for more details from the person proposing the new category.

For starters, I recommend the following as allowable but not required 'better' categories;[2]

* Marriage and divorce rates (first better, second worse)
* Crime (various categories including rape, murder, violent assaults, theft (including white collar)) (lower is better)
* Infant mortality rates (lower is better)
* Abortion rates (lower is better)
* Life expectancy rates (higher is better)
* STD rates (lower is better)
* Education level (more years formal education is better)
* Literacy levels (higher is better)
* Pay rates (based on buying power, not just raw pay) (higher is better)
* Employment rates (higher is better)
* Happiness (more is better)

I realize that each of the above basic categories have specific issues.  For example, often divorce is a good thing for the specific individuals involved, yet I think we can agree that divorce is something to avoid in general.  As such, lower divorce rates are considered 'better'.



As I can see that there may be a variety of ways to frame the basic question, I'll be precise on what the scope is.

Societies as a whole, not as individuals
As I stated earlier, the debate covers societies.[3]  This is not a cheerleading exercise where we each promote 'the best heroes' or 'the worst villians' and then compare our bias-reinforced favorite choices.  What is 'best' in individuals varies on who does that evaluation.

Unlike individuals, the general 'health' of societies on specific issues should be discoverable and unambiguous, and will also tell us more about how the basic question applies.

Pre-capita health of societies
Going with the idea of societies as a whole, a pre-capita average is a good measure.  As an example, if Flippenstan has a lower infant mortality rate and higher education level than Burgenstan -- (0.03% vs. 4% and 99% vs. 9% grade school graduation rate), it would rank higher (better) for those two categories.

Cross-society comparisons - national and regional
I recommend we limit comparisons of whole societies to chunks that are either whole countries or are clearly defined unambiguous regions (such as states in the United States).

Western democracies only
If we limit the discussion to 'Western democracies' -- democratic societies that have private property and private business ownership rights -- we can see how free people make a difference to the societies they are in.  We also eliminate any apples to hand grenade differences found when comparing closed dictatorial societies like North Korea and open societies like South Korea.

Note that geographically eastern nations such as Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, ... are included in this category.  China, even though they have introduced limited private ownership and democracy, still have substantial limitations on those and as such are not included.  Note that all countries have some governmental or quasi-governmental companies and government protected monopolies.  Because of that, a country should not be eliminated because of those specific monopolies if the market is otherwise free and open.

Compare as many similar societies to other similar societies when possible
There are geographic and other advantages and disadvantages that some countries and regions have that others do not.  These should be accounted for and identified when possible.

Avoid cherry picking in general
Using the previous example of Flippenstan and Burgenstan, it is likely that Flippen does rank lower than Burgen in some categories.  Yet if many countries or societies are included in our evaluation, a trend of 'better societies' apply to the question should be clear.  In that context, the societies that Flippen and Burgen represent can be shown to be in general 'better' or 'worse' than other societies.  There may be a correlation between societies that are theistic or non-theistic and societies that are in general 'better' or 'worse'.
 1. Note that specific categories such as "more theistic" or "more non-theistic" can not be asserted as "better" as they are what we're discussing.
 2. Depending on if they are reported at all for a society and done in a way that can be compared from society to society.  If this is not the case for any of these, then the category can not be used between those differing societies.
 3. This does not eliminate any discussion of subgroups, though.  If a subgroup is brought up, the argument for why that subgroups -- either flourishing or suffering -- pulls a specific society up or down.  Like all other parts of this discussion, this can not be done on a whim or by personal preference and must be unambiguous.
Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons. --Michael Shermer

The history of religion is a long attempt to reconcile old custom with new reason, to find a sound theory for an absurd practice.  --Sir James George Frazer

Offline Deus ex Machina

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Re: Debate Challenges
« Reply #28 on: January 06, 2010, 04:33:03 AM »
Well  i  think  this  is  irrelevant  my  friend.  The  kalam  argument (if true)  gives  us  reasons  to  believe  that  some  type  of  deity  exist,  and  to  carry  on  life  thinking  that  a  particularly deity  doesn't  exist  is  to  be  in  denial  of  the  both  scientific  and  philosophical  evidence  that  supports  it.  (Personally  i  believe  the  Christian  God  is  behind  it  all,  and  the  evidence  for  that  starts  with  the  life,  death, and  ressurrection  of  Jesus Christ).  Now  you  can  be  in  disagreement  with  the  arguments  all  day long,  but  unless  you  can  refute  it  in  some  way  to  make  it  not  true,  i  think  its  safe  to  say  that  the  arguments  stand.  I  havent  seen  anyone  on  here,  including my opponent  give  any  type  of  refutations  to  the  evidence  supporting  the  premises  of  the  arguments.  In  fact,  im  still  waiting  to  see  some  type  of  refutation.  If  i  held  my  breath  while  waiting  i  would  of  been dead  about  3  weeks  ago.

Your own utter intellectual dishonesty in refusing to acknowledge the many refutations of your argument is neither here nor there. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. Further, you fail to understand the terms of argument. It is up to the proponent of a claim - and your argument amounted to a claim - to ensure that (a) it rests on sound premises and (b) the conclusion follows logically from the premises. That you choose to wave away objections because you don't like them is irrelevant. The objections stand; your argument therefore fails.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2010, 04:35:25 AM by Deus ex Machina »
No day in which you learn something is wasted.