Group Study: The Existence of God

This is the beginning of a 2-part series (within each part there will be separate for/against threads). Here are the topics:

  • 1.A) Give me your best argument FOR the existence of god.
  • 1.B) Refute/Give me your best argument AGAINST the existence of god.
  • 2.A) Assuming god exists, give me your best argument that Christianity IS true.
  • 2.B) Assuming god exists, refute/give me your best argument that Christianity IS NOT true.

All of the content provided below (other than the basic outline) has been provided by members of a private Facebook group, and does not necessarily reflect the views of myself, the owner of this blog. I am merely a neutral agent that worked on compiling and editing people’s responses in order to clearly communicate the arguments. Thanks to everyone who are playing along!

1.A) Best argument FOR the existence of god

Facebook discussion part 1.A (you must be a member of the group to view the discussion): See Thread

  1. The concept of God exists.
    1. “The concept of God is used as a method to keep rich and powerful people rich and powerful and everyone else enslaved.”
  2. God is the first cause.
    1. “Everything has a cause, and if you follow the causal chain, you must arrive at some ‘first cause’, which is god. To further flesh out with a logical proof, Everything has a cause. There must be a first cause. Given the rigidity of the laws of nature the first cause must be transcendent by definition. God is transcendent. God was the first cause.”
  3. The extreme improbability of the Universe’s fine tuning to support life suggests a divine creator.
    1. God exists because the universe is fine tuned to support life.The number of dimensions, the fundamental constants and all the densities make it just right to be within of a narrow window that enables stable orbits, long living stars, non-decaying neutrons locked inside helium that speed up the production of heavy elements which are used to build stars and intelligent observers. Then, for abiogenesis to kickstart, you have to have the right temperature, a heavy planet with atmosphere, water, air, the moon, stable orbit etc. and a lot of luck mixing the molecules. Of course this may very well be explained by a cosmological anthropic* principle (AP). The anthropic principle is a part-philosophical, part-scientific explanation to the question of why are we even here—the conditions to support our life are so fragile, and yet they are so perfect. The answer is, because if they weren’t, we wouldn’t be around to ask this question. Similarly, if you assume there are many many universes, this explains why it’s ours that is so fine tuned. In worse tuned ones there are no observers to ask this question.However, overuse of AP to explain away everything is considered as lazy and just another quick fix like “god of the gaps” fallacy. Some purists reject it and hope for some deep underlying reason for fine tuning.*anthropic: of or relating to human beings or the period of their existence on earth.
  4. We don’t know how ____ came into being, therefore God must have done it.

1.B) Refutations/Best argument AGAINST the existence of god

Facebook discussion part 1.B (you must be a member of the group to view the discussion): See Thread

  1. The concept of God exists.
    1. Saying a “concept exists” is not evidence of something existing outside of the mind.
  2. God is the first cause.
    1. If everything has a cause, then logically you will have to include god in that too. That is, something needs to have caused god. No special pleading allowed.
    2. Many parts of the proof, “everything has a cause” or “there must be a first cause” must be proven to be true. If you can’t prove it to be true, then you are using the argument from ignorance.
    3. “You say ‘the first cause must be transcendent by definition’. As we study the universe, we find a examples of less complex things leading to more complex things. Saying that any first cause has to break the laws of physics is unsupported and readily dismissed.”
    4. “Baldly asserting that ‘God is the first cause’ is foolhardy. You don’t get to say what it is before we find it. Your proposed explanation doesn’t stand until we find out what the real answer is.”
    5. “God as the ‘first cause’—for instance, the big bang—is not  an area that god is ‘safe’ in his gap of knowledge. This space is called the singularity. Science continues to push this god of the gaps further and further away, in space, time, and common sense.”
  3. The extreme improbability of the Universe’s fine tuning to support life suggests a divine creator.
    1. “Life developed because of the conditions, the conditions did not get made to fit life. In other words, this argument is backwards. It’s not as if the puddle said ‘there must be a god because this hole was perfectly designed to hold me, in shape and volume, no other hole exists that would fit me so well’.”
    2. “99.999999999999999999999999999999999999% of the universe cannot support life. I don’t understand how one can interpret that as being fine-tuned to support it.”
  4. We don’t know how ____ came into being, therefore God must have done it.
    1. “Phenomenons once attributed to the actions of a god, are repeatedly understood and demystified. For example, now we know how lightning works—Zeus is no longer needed as an explanation. The same goes for any natural phenomenon such as rain, rainbows, earthquakes, and springtime. However, theists of all stripes still use this argument today to explain life and existence. Every time we have been able to study a natural phenomenon closely to understand its mechanisms, we find the real explanation—and it has never, EVER, been a god. There is simply no reason to think that our existence is any different. “
  5. Argument against: Evolution.
    1. The Theory of Evolution plainly shows that a god did not create beings out of thin air, and that a supernatural element is not necessary to design earth’s incredible variety of species. While you can never prove something doesn’t exist, you can prove god is unnecessary.
  6. Argument against: God’s Silence.
    1. “God does not reveal himself in times when sects are slaughtering each other in his name, over details of his plan for them. Therefore he does not exist (or doesn’t care).”
  7. Argument against: Why is so important for a god to exist?
    1.  “There’s simply no good reason to believe it is so. There’s no reason to believe that any god put forward by any religion, culture, or nutjob exists, and the Christian one isn’t special in that regard.”

This discussion for the topics below has not officially begun, but there is understandably some “spillover”. In order to give credit to these arguments in the meantime, I’ll put them here in a holding pen.


2.A) Assuming god exists, Best argument that Christianity IS true.


2.B) Assuming god exists, Best argument that Christianity IS NOT true.

  1. The Bible tells us that “God is good”, and yet the Bible paints God in an unflattering light.
    1. “God doesn’t exist. If he did, the scriptures clearly tell us he is a devil by his evil actions—which is in direct conflict with the definition of ‘God’.”
    2. “The god in the bible requires that humans follow his commandments. If they happen to follow the wrong religion or don’t know god, they will damn themselves through no fault of their own. If god really was ‘good and just’, he would not allow this to happen. This simple argument alone irrevocably annihilates all religious belief at a stroke.”
    3. “Christianity claims to be the moral authority while presenting an immoral framework.”
  2. Christianity makes claims that do not adhere to the laws of physics.
    1. Jesus’ miracles, and rising from the dead.
  3. Argument against: Lack of Independent Sources.
    1. Christianity is not well-documented by independent sources, outside of those indoctrinated into the ideology.

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