So far, if we count the number of questions asked, Lukvance is fully in control of, and has led, the debate. The rule to the effect of “give “yes/no” answers
was key to Lukvance’s winning. Very few questions can be answered by “yes/no” but a failure to do that could be met by invoking the rule and even losing the debate could be blamed on non-adherence to that rule.
For example if I say, “Should you kill people? Answer yes or no.” I cannot really want an answer because I have imposed an irrational term on the debate: you cannot answer “yes/no.”
We see that in http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,26804.msg615129.html#msg615129
Lukvance uses this rule to advantage. "Remember the rule about yes or no questions? Now is the time to apply it : )"
The next technique that Lukvance has pulled is failing to define what “to exist” means. Now this may be a linguistic failing
: the careless use of language is a common trait in those propounding religious and political ideas, and this debate seems to be no exception.
The definition of exist
should have been established and agreed at the very beginning.
No distinction has been made between
1. “to exist” = to have a material existence, and
2. “to exist” = to have an existence only as a concept.
3. “to exist” = both of the above.
Additionally, none of the above indicate whether the thing deemed to “exist” can or does have an effect on other things (a) with a material existence and/or (b) that have an existence only as a concept
. It is obvious that “something that does not have a material
existence” can affect your life. To deny it would be wrong. Here, Lukvance has very cleverly used definition 2 above.
In Lukvance’s post http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,26804.msg615525.html#msg615525
I see that Lukvance seems to have taken the 3rd definition.
Arg. We are back at the definition of existence. I wanted to get past that quickly because of all the comments saying I was stalling. It comes back biting me in the a**. Grr
I cannot say for certain, but I suspect that Lukvance wants “to get past that quickly”
so as to win the debate: and he will.
I do not think that anyone in their right mind would deny that gods exist as a concept, but no atheist and very, very few Christians would agree that God has a material existence.
Given the wording of the title of the proposition for debate, it seems to me that Lukvance cannot lose: all he has to do is to show that the concept
of God’s existence has an effect on some people – it would be lunacy not to agree.
On the other hand, he is bound to lose if he thinks that he can show that “the concept of God” and “God” are the same thing: they are not.
(There is, within the debate, some question of whether miracles exist – this suffers from the same problems of definition: the concept of a miracle exists, a miracle itself does not.)