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General Discussion => Community Debates Forum => Topic started by: Archsage on December 22, 2011, 10:34:15 am

Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Archsage on December 22, 2011, 10:34:15 am
Depthcharge has keenly asked for the Michael Sparkling debate thread to remain as professional as possible. Because of that, This thread is made for us to discuss, informally, the happenings of the debate between the two.

Link to The Now Complete Debate

Michael (P) vs Sparkling (N) "The Christian God Exists"

After their opening, rebuttal, and concluding statements are both done, I'll try to organize a formal Q&A session where we can ask each of the debaters particular question relating to the Debate topic or the subjects raised in their responses.

So keep all your debate comments in here, and leave the actual debate thread for Michael and Sparkling.

Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Archsage on December 22, 2011, 10:43:01 am
I thought that Michael's opening response was pretty darn strong. I don't believe, however, that his arguments for Jesus being Lord (and not a Liar or Lunatic -- CS Lewis's Trilemma) were as sound as his TCA. He also did not address the, albeit silly, option of Jesus being merely Legend. But with the word limit, I can understand why it was so.

I'm curious to see how Sparkling will respond. He said he wasn't planning on using up the 3k words available, and he said he wasn't claiming any specific stance on his own. So Sparkling has put on the burden of rejecting Michaels TCA, Jesus's claims to Deity, and the actions of first century Christians.
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Saibomb on December 22, 2011, 11:59:51 am

Let's start with Islam. Word comes to a dude named Mohammad about God, and this new movement in the middle east. He shuts himself in a cave for six weeks, eating.... roots, dirt, mushrooms? When he comes out, he says and angel spoke to him! And gave him the word of God!

Nice, but I'd like to see some kind of second or third witness please. Oh yeah, one dude, and mushrooms.

LOL this killed me.
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: LNC on December 22, 2011, 01:57:35 pm
Nice opening, Michael.  Very prosaic, but containing a very tight argument.  

LNC
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Lion IRC on December 22, 2011, 06:49:17 pm

"When nothing happens, nothing happens". ie. God standing still?


Pawn to E4? E5?


Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Jack on December 22, 2011, 07:56:36 pm
The most entertaining version of some of the worst arguments for theism I've heard, which wasn't a parody.

The challenge for sparkling will be not to look a lot more boring in contrast. This will be all the more difficult since the rebuttals to these kinds of arguments are so numerous and well known.

Also, in setting up such typical arguments like the TCA and Lewis' trilemma, it seems almost inevitable that regardless of which particular well-heard response is made, the theists will go "oh goodness, you're not trying that old canard are you?"

The biggest problem I have, and most atheists have I think, is the step from "the universe has a cause" to "the cause was a mind." In particular, the dichotomies set up by Michael don't seem like dichotomies to me. Also, the universe creating competition went straight over my head. This entire section of the argument seems like question begging extraordinaire.
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: depthcharge623 on December 22, 2011, 08:47:59 pm
If you admit that it went over your head, why exactly do you think you're in a position to criticize it?  I usually don't criticize the arguments I don't understand.
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Msheekha on December 22, 2011, 10:47:11 pm
May God bless you Michael and continue to do so brother.
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Michael S on December 22, 2011, 11:16:50 pm
I usually believe that debaters should stay out of the discussion thread until post debate, but there's a few things here that I wanted to comment on. I'll make a point of trying to refrain from talking about future posts in the debate, or strategies etc, and stick to what I consider to be good form / poor form.

noseeum wrote: The most entertaining version of some of the worst arguments for theism I've heard, which wasn't a parody.


Thanks! I... I think.

noseeum wrote: The challenge for sparkling will be not to look a lot more boring in contrast. This will be all the more difficult since the rebuttals to these kinds of arguments are so numerous and well known.


I'd actually caution Sparkling against trying to be funny and entertaining, unless he is that way naturally. Pretty much everyone on this forum knows I don't take myself seriously, so I can get away with it.

Trying to mimic another dudes style can be disastrous at the best of times, let alone when you're trying to win a debate. At this point, I'd just say 'Speak from the heart, speak intelligently, and be yourself'.

noseeum wrote: Also, in setting up such typical arguments like the TCA and Lewis' trilemma, it seems almost inevitable that regardless of which particular well-heard response is made, the theists will go "oh goodness, you're not trying that old canard are you?"


This. This is the comment that I really had to respond to. To simply dismiss an argument with 'Oh this one again, we've all heard it before, it's not convincing', but then refrain from engaging with the argument to show why it's flawed is not only intellectually lazy, but it's a little dishonest and suicide in a debate.

I'm not sure why you'd attribute to some of the theists in this forum, and especially to the theist in this debate.

Honestly, I always keep this tucked up my sleeve to pull out when an atheist tries this line on me "Oh, more theist tripe that could be pulled apart by a six year old", so that I can respond with "Well then, it should be easy for you to pull it apart now, shouldn't it?"

Also, the TCA is designed as a subtly different argument from the usual first cause or Kalam arguments, specifically to demonstrate why the responses to the usual theist arguments fail. Something I plan to demonstrate if Sparkling pulls out the usual atheist responses.

noseeum wrote: The biggest problem I have, and most atheists have I think, is the step from "the universe has a cause" to "the cause was a mind." In particular, the dichotomies set up by Michael don't seem like dichotomies to me.


Happy to engage on this with you post debate, but for now, I'll leave that for Sparkling to demonstrate, rather than helping or hindering his case outside of the arena.

noseeum wrote:  Also, the universe creating competition went straight over my head. This entire section of the argument seems like question begging extraordinaire.


I appreciate your honesty here. More than happy to go through it with you after the debate is over.

Also, this reminds me (addressed to everyone, and especially Sparkling), what kind of time limit are we putting on responses? That's one thing we didn't agree on before the debate started.
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Archsage on December 23, 2011, 12:09:48 am
Yes, a time limit... Where is that Sparkling? Probably enjoying the festivities of the season.

   

    But I'd suggest that a time limit for the rebuttal section be thought up, at least. I personally was thinking 12 hours. It sounds long, but it accounts for differing time zones.

   

   I'd also suggest that for future debates the opening arguments be no more than 24 hours apart from each other.

   

   Conclusions can be much shorter, as they are more focused on wrapping things up, not really about rebutting your opponet. Is a 6 hour limit good here?

   

   Of course, the positive is to always go first.

   

   So it would be 24/12/12/6 hours? Over the course of 3 days (the remainder of the last day being for formal q&a)?
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Archsage on December 23, 2011, 12:18:15 am
To restate my proposal, future debates would go likee this:

   

   (1) Positive makes Opening Argument by specified Debate Date

   

   (2) Negative must post Opening Argument within 24 hours of (1)

   

   (3) Positive must post rebuttal 1 within 12 hours of (2)

   

   (4) Negative must post rebuttal 1 within 12 hours of (3)

   

   (5) Positive must post rebuttal 2 within 12 hours of (4)

   

   (6) Negative must post rebuttal 2 within 12 hours of (5)

   

   (7) Positive must post conclusion within 6 hours of (6)

   

   (8) Negative must post conclusion within 6 hours of (7)

   

   Is this format good? And I'm still thinking of how to run the formal Q&A section. Anyone have any ideas?
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Michael S on December 23, 2011, 12:33:21 am
Hah. I was thinking a week. This is much more exciting!
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Archsage on December 23, 2011, 12:48:03 am
Perhaps for Sparkling's opening statement we could wait that long.

   

   But I think future debates should be more like events, and they should demand focus on the debaters. By making the time limit streamlined like this, it limits the entire debate to a maximum of 3 days, and makes it much more interesting to read. and look forward to. It is also a more definitive time period, putting actual pressure on participants to make their case.

   

   I was thinking about the Q&A, and I thought that the questions should be screened. But it should be done so by at least two people, to prevent bias. For example, in this debate now we would have two screeners for each side. Since I'm a Christian Theist I would screen Questions aimed towards the Negative side (for the atheist, Sparkling), and an atheist would be my partner, screening questions that are addressed to the Positive side (for you, the Theist). That way we'll cut through crud *and* prevent bias.

   

   Q&A's should be pm'd to the respective screeners from the start of the debate to sometime after the last conclusion (i'm not sure how long the Q&A will start after the last conclusion yet...). It would be the screeners job to prepare the best, and appropriate non-repeating list of questions to be asked to each speaker.

   

   Anyone have any suggestions or ideas to add?
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: bdsimon on December 23, 2011, 05:17:52 am
Anyone have any suggestions or ideas to add?

I would say that if you have future debates that there be a strict time limit for the opening. If you agree to the format of a debate then you should be prepared immediately for your opening statement- it is not a response to your opponent's statement and large delays allow you to treat it as such which gives a rather large advantage to the person going second.
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Lion IRC on December 23, 2011, 05:27:59 am

For the Q&A why not let the debaters pick which questions they want to answer? Then there's no element of bias.

And the suspense is killling me but I think forfeit after a week is fair.
There was a debate on rationalskepticism.org which lasted for 6 months!
Neither side stuck to the agreed 7 day deadline.
Time pressure is part of the contest.

Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: frank armstrong on December 23, 2011, 07:18:44 am

"With baited anticipation, they turn their attention to the mechanism, waiting to behold the wonders of this number crunching behemoth, and they find.... that button, still waiting to be pressed.

In case you missed the moral of this little fable, let me break it down for you, street style. A machine is incapable of self initiating a process, where as a mind isn't."

-This has always been the best argument IMO. Methinks Occham probably agreed.

Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Archsage on December 23, 2011, 07:41:54 am
Lion IRC wrote: For the Q&A why not let the debaters pick which questions they want to answer? Then there's no element of bias.


The problem with this is that a debater will have the opportunity of avoiding tough questions that might undermine their point. This is why I wanted screeners. They would get rid of the nonsense questions, but let the toughest questions be raised against the side that they disagree with. It would make the debate a bigger challenge and we'd ultimately get more out of the debate. Of course, the debater could just refuse to answer, but then it would look bad on him/her.

I wonder, though. How should the questions be presented? And what about questions addressed for both speakers?

As for the time line, I think for just this debate we can allow a 7-day limit, especially because of the season. But for future debates a more streamlined, swift pace would allow for more focused minds and serious commitment. Like Lion said, time pressure is part of the contest.

bdsimon wrote: I would say that if you have future debates that there be a strict time limit for the opening. If you agree to the format of a debate then you should be prepared immediately for your opening statement- it is not a response to your opponent's statement and large delays allow you to treat it as such which gives a rather large advantage to the person going second.


I was thinking about this, but I concluded that because the opening statements are very, very long, and because the second person's opening argument is usually tweaked keep in context the first person's opening, they'd need time to go over not only their 3k+ word opening, but the others as well. I didn't want them to feel pressured on the opening with time restrants.

Then again, we can really push the issue of each side actually having a stance, and demand the opening statements to be posted within an hour of each other, and then continue on with my proposed time limit from there. It would be 1/12/12/6.

But I don't think that's a good way to go. Because the nature of Negative's Opening Argument is to negate that of the Positive, it should counter the arguments raised in Positive's Opening Argument. So I think keeping the 24 hour limit is best. This isn't so the Negative would craft their entire argument in just 24 hours, but so they can tweak it to adress the Positive. It wouldn't be unfair, because they'd both have the same amount of time to make their opening argument initially, with the first Argument starting literarally whenever. But because the Negative must counter the positive and the openers are so long, they'd require extra time.

So I'm still for the 24/12/12/6. But I'm open for suggestions still, as well.
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: pinkey on December 23, 2011, 07:55:59 am
This is exciting!

I wouldn't mind debating a naturalist (on the rationality of Naturalism against Theism) these hollidays (before March) who has only been thinking seriously about these issues for roughly the same amount of time as me (around 2 years).
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Archsage on December 23, 2011, 08:53:41 am
(0) The topic title, Date of the Debate, who is Positive or Negative, the word limit, and time limit are all to be decided between the debaters and a mediator (to be chairman) before the debate. The debate structure would be the following, with N and T being decided by debaters and mediator before start of debate:

N = Opening Argument Word Limit
T = 2nd Opening Argument Time Limit
n / (2n/3) / (2n/3) / (n/3) for the word limit
t / (t/2) / (t/2) / (t/4) for the time limit

(1) Positive posts Opening Argument within the predesignated time for the start of the Debate, on the predesignated Debate date. *Mediator will also be accepting questions starting from now*
word limit: N
time limit: Due by Predesignated Debate Date

(2) Negative posts Opening Argument.
word limit: N
time limit: T after (1)

(3) Positive posts Rebuttal One.
word limit: 2N/3
time limit: T/2 after (2)

(4) Negative posts Rebuttal One
word limit: 2N/3
time limit T/2 after (3)

(5) Positive posts Rebuttal Two
word limit: 2N/3
time limit: T/2 after (4)

(6) Negative posts Rebuttal Two
word limit: 2N/3
time limit: T/2 after (5)

(7) Positive Posts Conclusion
word limit: N/3
time limit: T/4 after (6)

(8) Negative Posts Conclusion
word limit: N/3
time limit: T/4 after (7)

(9) Questioning period ends -- no more questions will be accepted by Mediator T/8 after (8).

This is what I have so far.
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Thinking on December 23, 2011, 01:09:10 pm
For the Q/A, how about letting each debater which question they want the opposing debater to answer? Michael would choose questions for Sparkling from a pool of questions, and vice versa.
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Archsage on December 23, 2011, 01:15:41 pm
Thinking wrote: For the Q/A, how about letting each debater which question they want the opposing debater to answer? Michael would choose questions for Sparkling from a pool of questions, and vice versa.

That's a really good idea. So I guess a mediator will collect all formal questions sent in by people throughout the debate, and then after the conclusions he/she will allow the Positive side to choose which question the Negative side answers, and vice versa.

The mediator here is only necessary as we'd rather not have the Debaters influenced by the questions asked during the debate, but we do want to allow readers to ask questions as they come into mind during the course of the debate.

So after the question gathering period is over, each debater can pick like, five reader-generated questions from the mediator for the other debater to answer. So there would be at most ten reader-generated questions in all during the Q&A Session. Sounds good to me.  

I'm going to edit my post#21 with your idea.

EDIT: Wait, the question of how to present the questions still stands. Should the questions be asked to each other one at a time? And what would the time limit be like?

I'm thinking that they each pick like 5 questions to ask the other, post all five questions at the same time to each other, and within a set time limit for the both of them (and a set word limit for each question), they are to answer all five questions.

For example, Michael and Sparkling will each choose 5 out of the pool of reader-generated questions that the Mediator holds, and posts them all at the same time for the other to answer. The questions cannot be edited by any of the debaters, and must retain the same diction and phrasing used by the reader herself. Then, the debaters must answer all five questions within the T/X time period (not sure how long yet), and each answer to each question should have a word limit, N/X.

It's like giving the other debater a quiz of 5 short-answer questions due in a relatively short period of time. Does that sound good?
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Archsage on December 23, 2011, 03:57:38 pm
Sparkling's opening response is up! I'm only four paragraphs in, but he doesn't say anything substantial yet (and seems to presuppose his view without proving it yet, in his "fables" comment). But I'll reserve any more comments until I finish reading the response.

Note, this discussion thread is for anyone except Michael and Sparkling, although because Michael responded to a post here I'd allow Sparkling to respond to one single post. (They can freely discuss on matters pertaining to the structure of future debates however, their feedback is sorely needed).

Now, if the rest of this debate is going based on the timeline that I presented, Michael would have until Saturday, December 24, 4:25am EST to post his 2k word limit rebuttal to Sparkling's Opener. If not, then we'll be waiting indefinitely. Anyway, as I said, my comments on Sparkling's opener are coming up.

*****
Now. If anyone has any questions that they'd like to ask either Sparkling or Michael, for the upcoming Q&A session (if they do agree to do one), please post them in this thread with a bold heading that says "formal debate question" and who it's addressed to. For example (and this is not a question that I'm actually asking):

Formal Debate Question for Michael
You mentioned what is commonly known as CS Lewis's Trilemma in your Opener. But you did not mention any of the claims that Jesus was a Legend. How would you reconcile your view in light of such claims?

What will happen then, is Michael and Sparkling will review this thread for questions, and choose up to five questions for their opponent to answer. Further details on the Q&A session will be provided later. As for now, anyone not participating in the debate can begin posting their questions. Remember to put that bold heading on your questions to distinguish it from regular comments in this thread.
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: hatsoff on December 23, 2011, 04:24:40 pm
A comment by sparkling about "carving away" the excess inspired me to outline the cases given in the statements.  Please keep in mind that by the symbol --> I only mean that one thing leads to another, and I do NOT mean to use it as a material implication.  Also keep in mind that I only covered the points that I personally took as being part of an argument or relevant to an argument.  So "my opponent must do X" -type comments are entirely omitted.

Anyway, here they are:

Michael's OP
(1)  When nothing happens, nothing happens
(2)  Can't traverse an infinity
(3)  (2) --> universe began to exist
(4)  (1) and (3) --->universe has a cause.
(5)  scientists agree with (4)
(6)  unconscious mechanisms cannot self-initiate --> the cause is conscious
(7)  if it's arbitrary for the cause to be conscious then it's also arbitrary for the cause to be unconscious (??? not sure about this one)
(8)  conscious creator of the universe --> theism
(9)  polytheism is a arbitrary --> (Abrahamic) monotheism
(10)  Muhammad ate mushrooms --> Christianity or Judaism
(11)  status of Jesus deciding factor
(12)  fourth gospel --> Jesus claimed to be God/messiah
(13)  Jesus claimed to be God/messiah --> Lewis trilemma
(14)  empty tomb was public & guarded
(15)  culture didn't believe in bodily resurrection but reported sightings
(16)  witnesses to resurrection became martyrs
(17)  NT transmitted faithfully
(18)  all the above --> Christianity probably true

Sparkling's OP
(1)  scientists doubt god's existence
(2)  Biblical stories appear invented
(3)  Biblical authors are unknown
(4)  hand-copying and unqualified scribes --> text transmission untrustworthy
(5)  we do not know the origin of the universe
(6)  scientists suggest universe may not have a beginning
(7)  scientists suggest time has no meaning apart from the universe
(8)  (7) --> "beginning of the universe" is meaningless
(9)  scientists suggest branes collisions caused the universe
(10)  up to this point is sufficient to rebut arguments
(11)  argument begs the question
(12)  assumption that conscious creator is interested in life is unwarranted
(13)  only considered three out of thousands of possible gods
(14)  WLC thinks trilemma is unsound
(15)  Jesus could have been mistaken (??? about his divinity?)
(16)  his followers could have deified him
(17)  common for myths to develop --> (16) more likely
(18)  modern text of Bible has inconsistencies and mistranslations

So there you have it.
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Archsage on December 23, 2011, 04:30:34 pm
Hatsoff, I like the way you did that!
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Msheekha on December 23, 2011, 04:45:49 pm
I think much of what sparkling has stated concerning the bible stems purely from ignorance. So much of what he wrote can be easily refuted by Michael, it is open slather.
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: keith eure on December 23, 2011, 04:45:58 pm
Sparklings reply was typical and terrible.  He used a fallacious appeal to authority by suggesting that hawking, mitchio kaku and others are so inteligent how could they be wrong nonsense.  This argument could easily be flipped to suggest how dare soarkling be so arrogant to suggest he and the other 3 percent of the globe that are atheists have more insight than i dunno Isaac newton, Rene Descartes, francis bacon etc etc etc.  Furthermore he did the usual cowardly atheist tactic of refusing to define his position so he can create an indefensible stance.  Than he overlooked michael's use of ochams razor to eliminate polytheism( oddly enough atheists use ochams razor only when it works for them).  He also dishonestly down played the great textural support for the manuscripts of the bible.  Furthermore he resorted to the usual ignore all notions of causality we experience in life and rely on an argument from ignorance to resort to agnosticism with respect to the beginning of the cosmos.  He and every honestperson knows the current leading model in cosmology suggests an absolute beginning of physical reality, so he sneakily tryed to portray a lightly regardedtheory as prominent to avoid the truth of the matter.  What more can I say a big blob of disingenuous sophistry to preserve a belief ultimately rootedin emotion.
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Archsage on December 23, 2011, 04:54:49 pm
I was just utterly disappointed with Sparkling's handling of Michael's TCA. Because he didn't. He did nothing substantial to show that the Universe could have existed infinitely within the past. Nothing!. In at least that aspect, Sparkling's opener failed him.
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Jared Baker on December 23, 2011, 06:54:53 pm
If sparkling presented any arguments for atheism in that condescending rant, I must have missed them. He makes quite a few bold assertions and appeals to scientific consensus (although not all of the scientists he claims for his side, such as Einstein, agree with him), and he seems to imply that any cosmological argument in favor of Christian theism is an attack on the rationality of agnostic and atheistic physicists. He presented no substantive objections to Michael's TCA, and his attitude is juvenile and narcissistic: "Ha! You failed to convince me, just as I suspected. Q.E.D., you lose. Try again, pathetic theist."
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Archsage on December 23, 2011, 07:00:08 pm
Jared wrote: He presented no substantive objections to Michael's TCA, and his attitude is juvenile and narcissistic: "Ha! You failed to convince me, just as I suspected. Q.E.D., you lose. Try again, pathetic theist."

That doesn't sound at all narcissistic (he wasn't aggrandizing himself), but he does sound very juvenile and plain rude. Which is how Sparkling came off throughout his entire debate.

As in, while Michael has that strange humor about him, Sparkling has that strange rudeness about him. I used to think that's just how atheists were. But I know too many atheists who aren't like that. It's disappointing that Sparkling's demeanor is like that. But that wouldn't even matter if he had any substantial counter-arguments.

I mean, I can let him go with not supporting his own stance and maintaining that harsh tone. But he didn't even adequetly combat Michael's opener! But the debate is far from over. Sparkling might really shine during the rebuttal period, and each debater gets two.

But I'm looking forward to see how Michael responds to Sparkling's Opener. If they're following the timeline, then Michael should respond within the next 8 and a half hours. (by 4:25am EST).
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: bdsimon on December 23, 2011, 09:02:41 pm
It is obvious with Michael's rebuttal that one person is taking this debate seriously. Very well done.
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Archsage on December 23, 2011, 09:16:58 pm
Michael's first rebuttal was thorough and sound. Although I thought he misunderstood the "Jesus was mistaken" quote, which isn't to say that Jesus thought something of himself that isn't true, but that his disciples lacked understanding in what Jesus was trying to say. But let's see if Sparkling raises that kind of objection.

   

   Anyway, I wish I knew what time zone Sparkling is in... As of now, his first rebuttal is due sometime before 12/24 8:52am EST.

   

   If there are any time zone issues just say so! Don't be a no show, and let's not have this debate last for too long. (The same goes for you Michael, although you've been exceptional when it comes to the time limit thus far).
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Jared Baker on December 23, 2011, 09:44:15 pm
Archsage wrote:
Quote from: Jared
He presented no substantive objections to Michael's TCA, and his attitude is juvenile and narcissistic: "Ha! You failed to convince me, just as I suspected. Q.E.D., you lose. Try again, pathetic theist."

That doesn't sound at all narcissistic (he wasn't aggrandizing himself), but he does sound very juvenile and plain rude. Which is how Sparkling came off throughout his entire debate.


I don't find his rudeness narcissistic, but rather his supercilious attitude and egocentrism. sparkling seems to think Michael's role in this debate is to present him with indubitable arguments, and his own role is to adjudicate and critique Michael's effort.
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Saibomb on December 23, 2011, 11:39:40 pm
Interesting debate so far, just one thing: The writings about Jesus could have been untrue, therefore it cannot be claimed that he was Lord, Liar, or Lunatic. There are other options. Dr. Craig rightly dismissed it.
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: keith eure on December 24, 2011, 03:08:54 am
Michael addresed all the points I expected him to in his reply in fantastic fashion.  Sparkling essentially threw Michael a softball with his opening speech and Michael knocked it out of the park roid era style.  Pardon my sports talk, lol.  Michael did an excellent job.  I think it's fairly obvious from the tired old long debunked rhetoric that sparkling employed in his opening that he hasn't spent

   any real time questioning his beliefs and just pretty much finds authorities that agree with what he desires and blindly takes every thing they say at face value.  If he had really studied the topic thoroughly including the theistic side he would of realized how silly his comments sounded.  Hopefully this experience with Michael will push him to challenge his own beliefs and actually make an effort to read theistic scholars to learn a little about what he is so passionately against.
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: belorg on December 24, 2011, 04:11:20 am

Archsage wrote:  

Michael's first rebuttal was thorough and sound. Although I thought he misunderstood the "Jesus was mistaken" quote, which isn't to say that Jesus thought something of himself that isn't true, but that his disciples lacked understanding in what Jesus was trying to say. But let's see if Sparkling raises that kind of objection.


'Jesus was mistaken' can be interpreted as 'Someone misunderstood Jeus' or as 'Jesus thought something of himself that isn't true' and neither of those interpretations necessarily entails Jesus being a lunatic, unless everybody here (and elsewhere) who has ever made a mistake is in fact a lunatic.

Apart from that, I do not really see which sustantial counter-arguments  exactly Sparkling is supposed to make against Michael's opnening statement, considering  Sparkling's position seems to be that Michael did not really present any substantial argument himself.
Jared wrote: He presented no substantive objections to Michael's TCA


The fact simply is that Michael cannot prove that an infinite past is impossible, to my knowledge nobody so far has been able to prove that. So Sparkling does not have to offer sustantial objection sto that part of Michael's argument, because the burden here is clearly on Michael.
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: sparkling on December 24, 2011, 04:22:52 am
Archsage wrote: Michael's first rebuttal was thorough and sound. Although I thought he misunderstood the "Jesus was mistaken" quote, which isn't to say that Jesus thought something of himself that isn't true, but that his disciples lacked understanding in what Jesus was trying to say. But let's see if Sparkling raises that kind of objection.

   

   Anyway, I wish I knew what time zone Sparkling is in... As of now, his first rebuttal is due sometime before 12/24 8:52am EST.

   

   If there are any time zone issues just say so! Don't be a no show, and let's not have this debate last for too long. (The same goes for you Michael, although you've been exceptional when it comes to the time limit thus far).

   

   Yeah I'm in london, just reading through michaels response now. Its christmas eve here, busy today but I'll try my best not to keep you all waiting.

   Cheers

   Sparkling

   
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Archsage on December 24, 2011, 06:45:19 am
sparkling wrote:
Quote from: Archsage
Anyway, I wish I knew what time zone Sparkling is in... As of now, his first rebuttal is due sometime before 12/24 8:52am EST.

   

   If there are any time zone issues just say so! Don't be a no show, and let's not have this debate last for too long. (The same goes for you Michael, although you've been exceptional when it comes to the time limit thus far).

   

   Yeah I'm in london, just reading through michaels response now. Its christmas eve here, busy today but I'll try my best not to keep you all waiting.

   Cheers

   Sparkling

   

   

   

   Okay, that's no problem at all then. Where you are (London), you have until 12/24 1:52pm to post a reply. That about a little more than an hour from now. If need a grace hour or two then just take it. It's holiday season so we should be lenient.
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Archsage on December 24, 2011, 06:57:38 am
belorg wrote:

Quote from: Archsage

Michael's first rebuttal was thorough and sound. Although I thought he misunderstood the "Jesus was mistaken" quote, which isn't to say that Jesus thought something of himself that isn't true, but that his disciples lacked understanding in what Jesus was trying to say. But let's see if Sparkling raises that kind of objection.


'Jesus was mistaken' can be interpreted as 'Someone misunderstood Jeus' or as 'Jesus thought something of himself that isn't true' and neither of those interpretations necessarily entails Jesus being a lunatic, unless everybody here (and elsewhere) who has ever made a mistake is in fact a lunatic.

   

   Exactly, which is why I say Lewis's Trilemma fails because it is not a trichotomy. There is, in fact a fourth option. Jesus is either Lord, Lunatic, Liar or Legend. (chose the term "legend" in keeping with the L's).

   

   All Michael has to do, though, is disprove that Jesus is Legend. Then it would follow that He must be Lord, after debunking both Liar and Loon as well.

   

   It's not that Lewis's Trilemma is illogical -- it's logically sound. But its first premise was wrong. He overlooked the option that the Jesus that the Scriptures speak about isn't the actual Jesus. While I personally think that its rubbish, it still is an option. Now Lewis's quad-lemma or tetra-lemma or whatever you call it would be perfect!
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: belorg on December 24, 2011, 07:37:36 am
Archsage wrote: Exactly, which is why I say Lewis's Trilemma fails because it is not a trichotomy. There is, in fact a fourth option. Jesus is either Lord, Lunatic, Liar or Legend. (chose the term "legend" in keeping with the L's).


There are in act, at least five options. Lord, Liar, Lunatic, Legend or Simply Wrong on some accounts (can't find an L-word for this).
And ther's of course combinations. He could have been wrong on some accounts and also lying sometimes, maybe even for good reasons, and on top of that part of what he meant could have been mistaken by his followers and/or misinterpreted by whoever wrote down what he allegedly said. I think, judging from what we see of most religious leaders nowadays, this is not only possible, but even extremely likely.
So, maybe Michael's task is not as easy as you think it is, and anyway, Michael hasn't disproved that Jesus is (partly)legend (in fact, nobody has been able to do that, let alone that he has disproved he was a Loon or a Liar.
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: cutz22 on December 24, 2011, 08:36:42 am
I don't even understand what it would mean to be a "true trilemma". A true dichotomy is A or not-A, which obviously covers all the options. But how could a trilemma ever cover all the options?
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: hatsoff on December 24, 2011, 08:43:43 am
cutz22 wrote: I don't even understand what it would mean to be a "true trilemma". A true dichotomy is A or not-A, which obviously covers all the options. But how could a trilemma ever cover all the options?


Consider A, B&~A and ~(A or B).
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: cutz22 on December 24, 2011, 09:42:43 am
(A) I am sitting.
(B) I am eating an apple.

So the trilemma is,

(T) Either I am sitting, or I am eating an apple and not sitting, or I am not eating an apple or I am not sitting.

What about A&B, I am eating an apple and I am sitting?

Or what about just B, I am eating an apple. That leaves it ambiguous whether or not I am also sitting.
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Archsage on December 24, 2011, 09:58:08 am
cutz, say that there are 3 crayons in a box, and the person must pick one, but cannot pick more than one. He can either pick crayon1, crayon2 or crayon3. So what crayon is picked?  That's what we are talking about.

A "trilemma" is an XOR (either or) statement concerning three variables. The logic behind it is sound. The problem with Lewis's point isn't that his logic is wrong. It's just not a trilemma. There are other options.

Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: cutz22 on December 24, 2011, 11:21:48 am
That depends on contingent restrictions that the person must choose only one crayon and must choose only out of that box and that the box has only 3 crayons. These restrictions don't apply to Lewis's Trilemma. What I'm looking for is some universal logical form of argument that is the "true trichotomy", just as A or not-A is the true dichotomy.
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Archsage on December 24, 2011, 11:27:25 am
It's a trilemma. A Trichotomy is a made up term trying to represent that, of which there are only three logical choices. Where a Dichotomy has only two choices:

A and B (where B is ~A)

A Trichotomy would have three choices

A and B and C (where A is ~B and ~C, B is ~C and ~A , and C is ~A and ~B)

You could not have ~A AND ~B AND ~C because ~A AND ~B IS C. You'd be contradicting yourself. You could not have A AND B AND C because A AND B IS ~C, so you'd be contradicting yourself there too.
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Archsage on December 24, 2011, 12:14:32 pm
choux wrote: A timeless God cannot move or do anything. A timeless God could not have created the universe.

What do you mean by "move"? God is outside of space. There is no "move", because there is no "here", nor "there".

But at any rate, you've proven the point. The very moment that first action is done, time exists. That because God is a mind that is capable of acting upon will, He can will something into actuality. A mere non-concsious entity could not do that, if it were timeless. They would be "frozen" in non-time.
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Archsage on December 24, 2011, 12:21:06 pm
Sparkling's first rebuttal is up. I just read through the first paragraph where Sparkling faults Michael for having his rebuttal -- be a rebuttal? Lol. Anyway, I'll get around to reading the rest of it soon.

Sparkling's post was about 4 hours late. But given the season that's acceptable. Nonetheless, Michael's next post (Rebuttal 2) is due within 12 hours of Sparkling's post. That is, by Christmas Day 12:44am (New York), Christmas Day 4:44pm (Sydney), and Christmas Day 5:44am (London).
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: sparkling on December 24, 2011, 12:26:20 pm
Archsage wrote: Sparkling's first rebuttal is up. I just read through the first paragraph where Sparkling faults Michael for having his rebuttal -- be a rebuttal? Lol. Anyway, I'll get around to reading the rest of it soon.

Sparkling's post was about 4 hours late. But given the season that's acceptable. Nonetheless, Michael's next post (Rebuttal 2) is due within 12 hours of Sparkling's post. That is, by Christmas Day 12:44am (New York), Christmas Day 4:44pm (Sydney), and Christmas Day 5:44am (London).

C'mon man, you can't expect him to post on christmas day. Relax dude.
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Archsage on December 24, 2011, 12:34:19 pm
His will becomes frozen and locked down as He cannot interact with His creatures. Causality very well could be temporal.

When we say that God is timeless we mean that Time means literally nothing to Him. That there is no long or short, old or young in regards to God. When acting in a temporal world, God acts in a temporal world, yes. But that isn't to say that God Himself is not Timeless, lol. From our point of view God is temporal, only because we look at the things God has done, and not God Himself.

Just like, God, despite being non-spacial, can do something in a particular space, God, despite being non-temporal, can do something within a particular time. There is no contradiction here.

Now, all of this is off-topic unless the debaters really bring it up.
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Archsage on December 24, 2011, 12:38:57 pm
sparkling wrote:
Quote from: Archsage
Sparkling's first rebuttal is up. I just read through the first paragraph where Sparkling faults Michael for having his rebuttal -- be a rebuttal? Lol. Anyway, I'll get around to reading the rest of it soon.

Sparkling's post was about 4 hours late. But given the season that's acceptable. Nonetheless, Michael's next post (Rebuttal 2) is due within 12 hours of Sparkling's post. That is, by Christmas Day 12:44am (New York), Christmas Day 4:44pm (Sydney), and Christmas Day 5:44am (London).

C'mon man, you can't expect him to post on christmas day. Relax dude.

Lol you're right!

That's why I'm being very lax with the enforcement of the deadline. I'd still like to have the deadline known, however, mostly for the sake of future debates. But yeah, I'm not going to disqualify him or anything, if he doesn't post on Christmas day. And the same goes for you.

But post if you can. This is the first debate. It paves the way for future ones. Can't have this one "go to the dogs", as some people say.
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Jared Baker on December 24, 2011, 12:55:44 pm
Where did sparkling get the ridiculous notion that Michael is arguing that the existence [of the Christian conception] of God is absolutely certain? I doubt any of the philosophically inclined Christians here would make such a claim.
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Archsage on December 24, 2011, 01:01:06 pm
Choux I don't see what you're seeing, then. In no way does this mean that the TCA fails.

Because the Cause *must* come first before the Effect (else it wouldn't be an effect). And an infinite regression of time is erroneous (as being illogical). Meaning that the first Cause would be where time begins. That is perfectly consistent with the TCA (and if I may go further) Genesis 1:1.
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Archsage on December 24, 2011, 01:39:01 pm
a) If X creates Y, then X must exist temporally prior to Y

Ok. So if Y is the Universe, it's X would be God's Will for Creation. And if Y was God's Will for Creation then it's X would be God Himself. God Himself has no X. So God Existed before creation of the Universe.

Now, if God did not do Y(will the creation of the Universe), then there would be no cause or effect. We could not say that Time exists. What this means is that Time cannot be said to exist before or even simultaneously with X. In order to know the existence of Time, we need a Y for some X.  

But because of Y, we know that time exists. Until Y begins, there is no Time.
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Archsage on December 24, 2011, 02:06:42 pm
Choux, let's look at units of time as a sequence of events. Each event (t) has a before and an after (if Time exists). If Time does not exist, then the even does not have a before and after.

So when does time start? Time must start when the terms "before" and "after" have actuality in meaning. If there was just God, there would be no time, as there is no before and after. That, is timelessness. Now, God wills creation. That, that is where time begins. Not in the effect, but in the cause.

You see, you've been saying there is an X that leads to a Y. But I don't believe that is accurate. There is a Source, S, of which a Cause X, leads to an Effect, Y. See, you saw time like this:

 --------                 --------
|           |  ------>  |           |
 --------                 --------
 Cause                    Effect

But I believe this is erroneous. Time is more accurately shown as the following:

 --------                 --------
|           |  ------>  |           |
 --------                 --------
 Source    Cause     Effect

The source alone does not call for Time. It isn't until the Cause that Time can said to begin. In that God would be the Source, and the Cause His Will, and the Effect is the Universe. God isn't a cause for Universes to exist -- it does not follow that God exists, therefore the Universe exists. But He is the source of that cause.

Time, then, starts with the First Cause, but not with the Source of that First Cause.
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Archsage on December 24, 2011, 02:16:24 pm
So the decision is the Cause, and the creation is the Effect.
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Archsage on December 24, 2011, 02:31:39 pm
You said "you cause your arm to move". That's nice and all, but is very vague. What is the cause and what is the effect?

Well the effect is your arm moving. The cause is what? You? No, as that would mean that as long as "you" exist, the effect would naturally flow out of it -- your arm would not stop moving. Rather, the cause is your choice to move. You, yourself, is the source of that choice. And nothing but you, yourself, will lead to that happening.

You are the source, the choice is the cause and the movement is the effect. This is true with all volition.
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Archsage on December 24, 2011, 02:47:02 pm
Choux wrote: Are you saying that God's choice is a seperate thing from Himself?

Yes, God's choice is not God. God's choice comes from God.

If something is like an abstract object it doesn't change or move. It's timeless and frozen. Since this is the case a timeless God cannot be personal.

God is not "like an abstract object". Moreover, God being "timeless" is to say that He is unaffected by Time. That there is no long or short, or before or after in regards to God. To Him there is only the perpetual Now. You are mixing up the concept of God's Timelessness to the issue of First Cause. They are two different things.

For in order to freely choose to create God would have to make a decision. This involves motion.

exactly, and that is where Time begins. For where there is motion and change, there is time. If there is no change or motion, there is no Time. Which means that before the Cause (God's decision) was only the Source, God Himself. The Source alone was not in a temporal state. Only until the cause existed did Time become actual.

Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: LNC on December 24, 2011, 02:50:47 pm
I'm really not sure what Sparkling's tactic is in this debate.  If he is about trying to implant doubt in the mind of the reader, which appears to be his only point, then he has still a long way to go.  He provides no real evidence for his case, other than that some scientists hold the view that the universe may not have had a beginning - so, what?  He then attacks Michael's (and other theists') certainty. But, I don't remember Michael or any other theist arguing that we are certain of anything as certainty is merely a psychological state that doesn't necessarily have anything to do with evidence.  I've met some people who are certain about their views, but wrong about them.  This is a bad tactic on Sparkling's part.

He also really didn't reply as to why Sagen's statement regarding extraordinary claims requiring extraordinary evidence is valid.  I don't think it is.  Claims, extraordinary or not, require adequate evidence.  

I really didn't think, after reading Sparkling's first rebuttal, that he spent much time giving more than a cursory read of Micheal's rebuttal.

LNC
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Archsage on December 24, 2011, 03:01:51 pm
Choux wrote: So, God's will is a seperate entity from God. This makes no sense. I thought God was made up of mind, will, and emotions.

What in the... God's not "made up" of anything, bro.

If God is outside time then He is just an abstraction.

I plainly disagree with this.

For without time there is no motion. Therefore God cannot move because He is timeless. If He doesn't move then He doesn't make decisions. If He doesn't make decisions then He's no longer personal.

Forget about Motion. Motion is about spacial entities traversing the spacial dimension. Now, without using that term, what are you trying to say?


Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Archsage on December 24, 2011, 03:20:33 pm
So, on your view God doesn't have mind, will, and emotions.

No. On my view, God is not His choice, and God is not His Will.

How can God freely choose to do something when He's not in space and time?

Remember what you said before? That for each Y there is an X, and that X is either simultaneous with Time or else within Time itself? That choice of God is that X. You don't need time to will something. But in order to Start willing something, time must at least begin right at that Start.

A non-personal entity could not do that. But a personal entity can will things.


Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Archsage on December 24, 2011, 03:43:54 pm
This isn't going anywhere.
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: depthcharge623 on December 24, 2011, 03:44:41 pm
I liked this comment by Michael:

Hrmm.... perhaps a 'logical fallacy' drinking game. Perhaps not, come to think of it, my liver is not up to that. Ah well, onwards and upwards!

I think this is a great idea.  Anyone want to get together to stream WLCs next debate with a few adult beverages?  A drink every time either party commits a logical fallacy haha.
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: SueDoeNimm on December 24, 2011, 04:41:08 pm

Some comments on Michael's opening statement:

[Edited to be more of commentary and less of a reply.]

Michael wrote:
.........

But  hang on, time is going forwards, and so we must pass all the previous  't's before this one. So before we can hit up time 't', we must hit up  time 't' -1. And before that 't' -2. Start counting folks, cause for  every number you can think of, I can think of one higher.

 

And  the wisdom of old mate Aristotle begins to make sense. If the universe  stretches back into infinity, then the passage of time could not have  traversed all those 't's before this current 't', and we wouldn't be  having this conversation now, now would we?

 

So,  the universe began, at some point.

Strictly  speaking this is an argument for time having a beginning, not the  universe having a beginning.  If the author is going to admit timelessness  then the universe could have existed in a timeless state before time  began.  Space could exist in a timeless state.  Energy could exist in a  timeless state.
   
(To say that time has a beginning and the universe has time therefore  the universe has a beginning is the fallacy of composition.)
 

On that, most scientists agree,

 

No, this is basically a straw man.  It is an out of date view that some theists latched on to when the big bang idea was new.  If one asks cosmologists they will say that any talk about before the big bang is hypothetical at this time.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Bang#Speculative_physics_beyond_Big_Bang_theory
 

 

........

Now  then, we have two possibilities. A conscious cause, existing outside of  time and space, which I shall refer to as a 'mind', and an unconscious  cause, existing outside of time and space, which I shall refer to as a  'mechanism'. Ten points for guessing what that is.... Bingo, another  dichotomy!

 

A conscious mind outside of time?  What a leap. The only minds that have ever been  shown to exist have been in living physical bodies on Earth in the later part of Earth's history.  Positing a mind outside of a body much less outside of time is some mighty special pleading.

The use of the term 'mechanism' without further elaboration is question begging.  Could the laws of nature be 'mechanism' or part of 'mechanism'?  Are Newtonian mechanics 'mechanism'?

Other possibilities have been neglected.  It could be that multiple causes are required.  It could be that a committee of minds caused the universe.  It could be that conscious and
unconscious causes are required to act together.  It could be that a series of three causes in sequence are necessary.  So what has been raised is not a dichotomy but a false dichotomy.
 

 

 

.......

 

So,  conscious or unconscious, mind or mechanism, that is the question. At  this point, we have to play a game of probability, or perhaps try  applying our understanding of logic to something outside our universe.  Well, I don't know any other system, so let's forge ahead regardless.

   

So the author is applying a type of logic where he doesn't have reason that it would apply.   His forging ahead may be properly disregarded.
 

   

 

Let's  look at the options now: Behind door number one, we have a universe  creating machine. For every time you press the big red button on top,

   

So now 'mechanism' has a red button.  The author's use of the term 'mechanism' was and is a straw man and question begging.
 

   

.....

So,  just for kicks and giggles, let's say the two decide to have a  competition to create a universe. It doesn't matter how many they make,  or how long they spend (because time, outside of time? Forgeddaboutit!)

     

Fuhgeddaboudit is right.  This is a looney tunes scenario.  The author insists on certain rules and then demands they be selectively ignored.
 

     

.......

With  baited anticipation, they turn their attention to the mechanism,  waiting to behold the wonders of this number crunching behemoth, and  they find.... that button, still waiting to be pressed.

 

In  case you missed the moral of this little fable, let me break it down  for you, street style. A machine is incapable of self initiating a  process, where as a mind isn't.

     

No, the moral of this fable is that when one uses special pleading, question begging, straw men, and false dichotomies one ends up with simply a fable.  

Who says the unconscious cause has to have a button on it?  If one can have a bodyless mind that wills outside of time one can have buttonless unconscious cause that is autonomous and outside of time.

 

     

.......

But  which God is it? Yahweh? Allah? Vishnu, or one of the Polynesian  microgods? I've got thirteen hundred words left, so let's break it down  as quick as we can.

 

Let's  do away with all the pantheons and tribal gods straight away, with a  quick flick of a razor by a little monk by the name of William of  Ockham.

Man, the author just shaved off his God.  God is a tribal god no different than any of the others.  The bare-faced assertion that God escapes Ockham's razor is incredible special pleading and question begging.  (So God created the universe so he could have us cut off parts of men's penises?  The God hypothesis is
    parsimonious?  It is not tribal?)

........

So  let's, for simplicity sake, say we're left with the three big  monotheistic religions,

For fallacy sake, more like it.  For no rational reason the author has excluded alternatives.

.........

Well,  it was one actually, and no prizes for guessing who. Jesus said it  firstly in the temple, and people began to pick up rocks to stone him  for blasphemy. The second time was after his arrest, when he was  speaking to the Sanhedrin. He said "I AM", they said "I see what you did  there, kthnxbai, now you die" (I mentioned that to some Jehovah  Witnesses, by the by, they agreed with what I said without realising the  implications, they ran out the door about forty seconds later).

 

So  the dude obviously thought he was,

This reminds me of the Woody Allen joke:
A: My brother thinks he is a chicken.
B: Why don't you take him to a psychiatrist?
A: We need the eggs.

 

 

so let's do away with any 'just a  great teacher' nonsense before it begins. But what if he was just a  liar, or a lunatic?

 

False dichotomy.  The author has left out 'legend' among other possibilities.

 

 

.......

Well,  if we tally the number of manuscripts found, and then factor in the  year difference between when the manuscripts were dated, and when the  originals would have been written, we have a fairly high standard of  verification here.

 

We have acurate manuscripts of Shakespeare's plays.  Does that mean Romeo and Juliet were real?

 

   

.............

So  if Mr Sparkling wishes to have readers of this debate entertain the  notion that the case for the Christian God is simply not there, then he  will have to do any number of the following:

 

Firstly,  he must undermine the case for theism in general. If he can do this,  then he can relegate the problem of the historical resurrection to  future sciences, by claiming no reason to accept the supernatural as an  explanation in a purely naturalistic universe.

 

Because  the case for theism is based on a dichotomy, he will need to  demonstrate not only why the case for a conscious mind as a creator  fails, but then demonstrate why it is more likely that an unconscious  mechanism, unassisted or activated, self initiated the process that  begun the universe and time and space as we know it.

   

Done.  The case made for theism fails from multiple faults.
 

   

 

Sparkling  might protest that he simply needs to show why my argument fails, but  because my argument is based upon the reasoning that an unconscious  mechanism is incapable of self initiating (essentially a claim towards a  negative), in order to show how my argument fails, then he must show  how that claim towards a negative is illogical, by building a positive  case.

   

Or he could demand actual reasoning rather than just an assertion that an unconscious mechanism is incapable of self initiating.
 

     

 

............

 

On  the occasion that Sparkling fails to undermine the causational  argument, and therefore concedes theism as a probably explanation for  life as we know it, he will then need to demonstrate that my argument  for Christianity, based on a process of elimination of the other  monotheistic religions, fails.

     

The "process of elimination" was nothing but a hand wave.
 

Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: depthcharge623 on December 24, 2011, 04:51:53 pm
Sue,

Let's not focus so much on the specific arguments.  This is a debate after all, and we should let the debaters speak for themselves.
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Archsage on December 24, 2011, 09:25:26 pm
Michael's Second rebuttal is up, meaning that Sparkling's reply should roll in at around 12/25 9:34am (New York), 12/25 2:34pm (London), 12/26 1:34am (Sydney).
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Saibomb on December 24, 2011, 11:17:25 pm
Archsage you would be a really great event organizer or a manager of some company or something. You ooz responsibility.
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Archsage on December 25, 2011, 05:47:18 am
saibomb wrote: Archsage you would be a really great event organizer or a manager of some company or something. You ooz responsibility. 

   

   Thank you! But I won't pretend that I'm not a little bit overwhelmed, ha.
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: frank armstrong on December 25, 2011, 09:50:38 am
[Originally posted by Sparkling]...Hawking see a problem with words like “cause” and “beginning” because, as far as we know, the very laws of cause and effect only came into existence with the big bang


If I understand correctly, it's theorized that outside of the big bang (or prior to the big bang, for lack of a better term) there possibly were no natural laws as we currently know them, such as cause and effect, according to the atheist.


...soooo, prior to the big bang there could have existed all numbers of crazy, unnatural, currently illogical things (according to the present natural laws) like an omnipowerful, trinitarian Flying Spaghetti Monster who speak things into creation ex nihilo?  A very interesting development!

Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: cutz22 on December 25, 2011, 10:00:16 am
I can't resist but making a comment on this part here:

Michael wrote: "When nothing happens, nothing happens".

It's simple, it's self proving, it's a tautology, it's yours now for twenty nine ninety five if you call in the next ten minutes.

Simply put, if there's been no action, there's been no cause. And, if we spin that on its head, if there's no cause, there's no action. Thus, we can say that if something changes, begins, or ends, there's been a cause for that change because, if nothing happens, nothing happens.

If there's been no action, there's been no cause really isn't an accurate rephrasing of the original tautology and is equivocating on the word "cause". In the restatement, by "cause" it is really meant "effect". When nothing happens, nothing happens means that when nothing happens, no effect happens. Also, an action isn't the only type of thing that can happen, so we may change "action" to "event". Now the proper restatement is, "if there's been no event, then there's been no effect".

Now when you "spin that on its head", what you did was take the converse, when what you should have taken is the contrapositive. The truth of the original proposition only guarantees the truth of its contrapositive, not its converse. So taking the contrapositive of the new proposition we get:

"If there's been an effect, then there's been an event."

And that is just obviously trivially true. Because the effect is itself an event. What this shows is that you can't get anything out of a tautology that you didn't put in yourself. And even if you had just taken the contrapositive of the original formulation you had, you get:

"If there's been a cause, then there's been an action."

Again trivially true. And so I don't think you established the causal premise of your argument.

Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Archsage on December 25, 2011, 11:39:19 am
Oh cutz! I attempted to explain the "trichotomy" to you in post #48. I wanted to know, was that helpful at all to you, or did I not make sense?
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Michael S on December 25, 2011, 11:14:08 pm
Alright, I'm done with the debate proper. As soon as Sparkling makes his closing remarks, I'll have my housemate sign up for an account to read through the debate and then elect who he believes best fulfilled their obligations in the debate.

As he is someone who identifies somewhere between agnostic and atheist, I'm actually a little nervous to see what he says!

Anyway, I'll back out of the discussion thread until after Sparkling and my housemate have done their bit, and then I imagine we'll move on to some Q&A.

Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Saibomb on December 25, 2011, 11:36:38 pm
Michael won. I actually don't think some of his arguments were that great but sparkling failed to really address his arguments in a significant manner and typically resorted to emotional appeals.
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Saibomb on December 26, 2011, 12:09:10 am
I would base my beliefs off which belief (out of various possible beliefs) is the most probable. I could have several beliefs I'm evaluating that are quite probable, but I would only choose to believe the most probable. The same can be said of a set of beliefs which have a low probability. You still have to choose which is the most probable out of all of them - that is, unless the probability of the most probable belief is so low that it is better to be agnostic about the issue.
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Rostos on December 26, 2011, 01:13:58 am
choux wrote:

Also, If God is timeless and doesn't change then He cannot change and take on human flesh and enter time. Neither can he change again by leaving this spacetime world back into a timeless spaceless existence with a physical body.

So your putting limitations on God?

Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Archsage on December 26, 2011, 06:59:07 am
The debate is just about to over and the Q&A session will begin. (I won't even bother putting up the time for Sparkling's Conlusion as I don't believe it would be followed -- for future debates I'm going to be much more strict).

   

   As this thread is 6+ pages long, I'm going to make a new thread just for the Q&A. There readers will just post questions, no comments, and each debater will pick questions for the other to answer. This thread will still be used for discussion, not the Q&A thread. More details will be in the Q&A thread coming in as soon as Sparkling posts his conclusion.

   

   So start preparing your questions.
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: cutz22 on December 26, 2011, 09:33:18 am
Archsage wrote: It's a trilemma. A Trichotomy is a made up term trying to represent that, of which there are only three logical choices. Where a Dichotomy has only two choices:

A and B (where B is ~A)

A Trichotomy would have three choices

A and B and C (where A is ~B and ~C, B is ~C and ~A , and C is ~A and ~B)

You could not have ~A AND ~B AND ~C because ~A AND ~B IS C. You'd be contradicting yourself. You could not have A AND B AND C because A AND B IS ~C, so you'd be contradicting yourself there too.

I'm not sure there are any real propositions that fulfill that relationship.
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Archsage on December 26, 2011, 12:47:11 pm
cutz22 wrote:
Quote from: Archsage
It's a trilemma. A Trichotomy is a made up term trying to represent that, of which there are only three logical choices. Where a Dichotomy has only two choices:

A and B (where B is ~A)

A Trichotomy would have three choices

A and B and C (where A is ~B and ~C, B is ~C and ~A , and C is ~A and ~B)

You could not have ~A AND ~B AND ~C because ~A AND ~B IS C. You'd be contradicting yourself. You could not have A AND B AND C because A AND B IS ~C, so you'd be contradicting yourself there too.
------
I'm not sure there are any real propositions that fulfill that relationship.

Yes, there are. Any XOR relationship between three variables would create a trichotomy.

For example, people can logically be Agnostic, Theistic or Atheistic (when it comes to the Theological Question, 'Does God Exist?'). That is an XOR (either or) relationship between three variables.

NOTE: The bulk of the debate is over, with both particpants stating their concluding remarks. You guys should head over to the Q&A Session thread, and make your concerns known to the debaters directly.

Link to the Q&A Session
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Kevron on December 26, 2011, 01:31:22 pm
choux there is no evidence for any world view that is beyond reasonable doubt, do not fall for the skeptics trap, they'd like you to think that you need to have this kind of evidence to believe in god, but all you need is a personal relationship with him that is the most important
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: SueDoeNimm on December 26, 2011, 01:48:42 pm
Archsage wrote: The debate is just about to over and the Q&A session will begin. (I won't even bother putting up the time for Sparkling's Conlusion as I don't believe it would be followed -- for future debates I'm going to be much more strict).

As this thread is 6+ pages long, I'm going to make a new thread just for the Q&A. There readers will just post questions, no comments, and each debater will pick questions for the other to answer. This thread will still be used for discussion, not the Q&A thread. More details will be in the Q&A thread coming in as soon as Sparkling posts his conclusion.

So start preparing your questions.


This has been fun so far.  My compliments to Michael, Sparking, and Archsage for their efforts and their discipline.  I'm looking forward to the Q&A.
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: sparkling on December 27, 2011, 06:51:06 am
I don't get it, why can't the debaters themselves ask the questions?
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Archsage on December 27, 2011, 07:28:29 am
sparkling wrote: I don't get it, why can't the debaters themselves ask the questions? 

   

   Three reasons. The main one is that regular formal debates do not do that. Secondly, it would just be a mere continuation of the regular debate if you are asking each other questions (a debater should have asked the other questions during the debate). Thirdly, and I think most importantly, it is good to allow direct reader interaction within the debate.
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: sparkling on December 27, 2011, 07:34:56 am
Archsage wrote:
Quote from: sparkling
I don't get it, why can't the debaters themselves ask the questions?


Three reasons. The main one is that regular formal debates do not do that. Secondly, it would just be a mere continuation of the regular debate if you are asking each other questions (a debater should have asked the other questions during the debate). Thirdly, and I think most importantly, it is good to allow direct reader interaction within the debate.

Ok so Michael and I will select 5 questions from the pool to ask each other. How are you going to decide who "won" the debate?
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Archsage on December 27, 2011, 08:42:47 am
sparkling wrote:
Quote from: Archsage
Quote from: sparkling
I don't get it, why can't the debaters themselves ask the questions? 


Three reasons. The main one is that regular formal debates do not do that. Secondly, it would just be a mere continuation of the regular debate if you are asking each other questions (a debater should have asked the other questions during the debate). Thirdly, and I think most importantly, it is good to allow direct reader interaction within the debate.

Ok so Michael and I will select 5 questions from the pool to ask each other. How are you going to decide who "won" the debate? 

   

   That's an excellent question. As you should know, I certainly cannot be the debate judge (as I'm already the moderator and severely biased). Nor am I particularly keen on allowing any avid poster in here become debate judge for the same reason that I won't allow myself to become debate judge. So now we have a big problem.

   

   Right now, Im looking into a third party, someone who doesn't go to this site, and who is currently agnostic on the issue to become debate judge. That's how it's going to be I suppose, but I have until the end of the Q&A session for an official announcement.

   

   But I'm wide open for suggestions, either for someone you think might be a good judge (as I might have up to three judges, if not just one), or if you think a different structure would be more efficient. As for the judge, remember that he/she isn't to state who was more persuasive, but who was able to create their own points and defeat the other's points most adequately, within reason, and it must be done in a clear, somewhat proffesional manner, including a review of both sides involved.
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: SueDoeNimm on December 27, 2011, 12:03:04 pm
Archsage wrote:
Quote from: sparkling

Ok so Michael and I will select 5 questions from the pool to ask each other. How are you going to decide who "won" the debate?


That's an excellent question. As you should know, I certainly cannot be the debate judge (as I'm already the moderator and severely biased). Nor am I particularly keen on allowing any avid poster in here become debate judge for the same reason that I won't allow myself to become debate judge. So now we have a big problem.

Right now, Im looking into a third party, someone who doesn't go to this site, and who is currently agnostic on the issue to become debate judge. That's how it's going to be I suppose, but I have until the end of the Q&A session for an official announcement.

But I'm wide open for suggestions, either for someone you think might be a good judge (as I might have up to three judges, if not just one), or if you think a different structure would be more efficient. As for the judge, remember that he/she isn't to state who was more persuasive, but who was able to create their own points and defeat the other's points most adequately, within reason, and it must be done in a clear, somewhat proffesional manner, including a review of both sides involved.


I agree with all you say.

I hope you are able to find independent judges.

And of course we spectators will be making comments and critiques (with varying degrees of impartiality).

I like the debates where they poll the audience before and after.  It is too late to do that now and I think we know how the numbers would come out.  There would be no great shift in opinion.  
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: keith eure on December 27, 2011, 01:10:42 pm
Sue-  your question about faith till death the such proving the veracity of said belief is a faulty comparison.  I don't believe you understood the point Michael was making.  The disciples who died for what they were proclaiming had an oppirtunity to witness the truth or falsehood of their claims through their relationship with Jesus.  His divinity was vindicated through the resurrection.  They were the witnesses to this event, so for them to die proclaiming this given the fact that they had the oppirtunity to validate the claim first hand would be pure insanity.  Islamic terrorists performing suicide missions is quite different consisting they have not claimed to have any direct falsifiable experience vindicating their belief.
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: SueDoeNimm on December 27, 2011, 02:22:56 pm


Hopefully Michael and sparkling will avert their eyes so that this post doesn't influence their debate.  Or maybe this will be irrelevant to them.

Kam86 wrote: Sue-  your question about faith till death the such proving the veracity of said belief is a faulty comparison.  I don't believe you understood the point Michael was making.  The disciples who died for what they were proclaiming had an oppirtunity to witness the truth or falsehood of their claims through their relationship with Jesus.  His divinity was vindicated through the resurrection.  They were the witnesses to this event, so for them to die proclaiming this given the fact that they had the oppirtunity to validate the claim first hand would be pure insanity.

I have real difficulty parsing that sentence.

Islamic terrorists performing suicide missions is quite different consisting they have not claimed to have any direct falsifiable experience vindicating their belief.


Maybe I misunderstood Michael's point but I am definitely having difficulty understanding yours.

Did the disciples claim they had direct falsifiable experience?  What is direct falsifiable experience?  How do you know the hijackers didn't have direct falsifiable experience?

Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Jack on January 04, 2012, 01:20:02 am
Well I have quickly read through the debate and thought I'd offer my comments. I missed the Q&A session, but I think they covered enough material that I don't need to add to it anyway.

I have to say I'm slightly disappointed by the debate. Sparkling didn't really get into the substance of Michael's arguments in my opinion. The result of this is Michael wasn't really challenged and didn't really get very interesting (creative writing aside). So the whole thing was a bit shallow and somewhat of a young disappointment.

Obviously, as a non-believer, I think Sparkling has roughly the right idea and was consistent in applying the approach of scepticism. There were a couple of times Sparkling resorted to using weasel words such as "proof" and "certainty." Michael was shooting a long way short of proof or certainty in the debate, stating as the conclusion of his argument "we have a case for" theism. So I think they missed each other on exactly what it was the other was trying to show.

Michael suffered a little bit from insistently flowery language, which makes his points a little but like a single peppercorn in a bowl of tomato soup - difficult to detect and impossible to enjoy. It's not that we can't enjoy the lovely tomato soup, but some of us want a little bit of something extra.

Ultimately, I think Michael won most of the points and would probably be declared the winner. I want to get my teeth into universe machine experiment next and see if I can't convert him to atheism or vice versa
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Archsage on January 09, 2012, 08:33:41 am
The debate is now over, and we are working on the final review from the judge. You guys can head on over to the official Debate Thread where Michael answers the five questions posed to him. Sparkling's absence disqualified him from participation within the Q&A Session however, so there aren't any answers from him.

Debate Thread

Overall I think Michael adequately answered the questions, his point is pretty much cleared up. You guys can continue to ask him questions now, whether in here or elsewhere on the forums. He and Sparkling are allowed to answer whatever question or concern they want (however it is no longer part of the debate because the debate is technically over, at least on Michael and Sparkling's part).

Thank you all for your avid interest (an 8-page thread on discussing the debate seems pretty good!), and we'll be sure to have the official debate review by a relatively non-bias judge as soon as possible.

Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: depthcharge623 on January 09, 2012, 09:43:34 am

Noseeum wrote:  

Well I have quickly read through the debate and thought I'd offer my comments. I missed the Q&A session, but I think they covered enough material that I don't need to add to it anyway.


I have to say I'm slightly disappointed by the debate. Sparkling didn't really get into the substance of Michael's arguments in my opinion. The result of this is Michael wasn't really challenged and didn't really get very interesting (creative writing aside). So the whole thing was a bit shallow and somewhat of a young disappointment.

Obviously, as a non-believer, I think Sparkling has roughly the right idea and was consistent in applying the approach of scepticism. There were a couple of times Sparkling resorted to using weasel words such as "proof" and "certainty." Michael was shooting a long way short of proof or certainty in the debate, stating as the conclusion of his argument "we have a case for" theism. So I think they missed each other on exactly what it was the other was trying to show.

Michael suffered a little bit from insistently flowery language, which makes his points a little but like a single peppercorn in a bowl of tomato soup - difficult to detect and impossible to enjoy. It's not that we can't enjoy the lovely tomato soup, but some of us want a little bit of something extra.

Ultimately, I think Michael won most of the points and would probably be declared the winner. I want to get my teeth into universe machine experiment next and see if I can't convert him to atheism or vice versa


I tend to agree with most of what you say.  However, it should be worth noting that this debate was mostly just an attempt to shut Sparkling up since he was trolling so hard core.  In that respect, it was obviously a success.  

But for those of us that actually care about the debate, proper, it was a bit disappointing.  With nobody to challenge Michael's arguments, it was indeed superficial.
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Jack on January 09, 2012, 04:13:32 pm
depthcharge623 wrote:

I tend to agree with most of what you say.  However, it should be worth noting that this debate was mostly just an attempt to shut Sparkling up since he was trolling so hard core.  In that respect, it was obviously a success.  
Yes that's true. Lesson learnt I hope.
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Michael S on January 09, 2012, 04:19:18 pm
Bingo. The full TCA is a forty point argument that deals not in time, but causality and action/reaction. But, even without the word limit, it didn't seem worth it to bring out the whole shtick, when the dude wasn't even going to formally engage the watered down version.
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Jack on January 09, 2012, 04:25:19 pm
I hope Sparkling hasn't been scared away completely though. I'm sure we'd all prefer he stayed, but exercised a bit more humility. Am I right?
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Michael S on January 09, 2012, 04:38:30 pm
That's always the desired goal. We can only see what happens from here, though.
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: above on January 09, 2012, 06:25:38 pm

I tried the links and none of them work.

Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Archsage on January 09, 2012, 06:50:15 pm
above wrote:

I tried the links and none of them work.



Hmm? Which links?
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: above on January 09, 2012, 07:09:30 pm

The links on page 1 to read the debate and you link on post #107

Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Archsage on January 09, 2012, 07:18:03 pm
above wrote:

The links on page 1 to read the debate and you link on post #107



I don't know what to tell you, the links work just fine for me. But if you still have the problem, you can search for the actual thread using the forums "search this forum" option, whenever you are in the Choose Your Own Topic page.

Just go to the Choose Your Own Topic forum, and where it says "search this forum", just enter the terms "Michael" and "Sparkling". The debate thread will be one of the few links that come up.  

Sorry for that inconvenience, though.
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: above on January 09, 2012, 07:49:06 pm
Not a problem at all.

I kept getting a #503 error. Now it seems to work fine. Thanks!
Title: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: Michael S on January 10, 2012, 06:24:20 pm
The forum sometimes does that, above. I usually just wait a few minutes, then refresh the page.

   

   And with that done, I'm looking forward to being able to pull apart the mind vs machine thought experiment in some detail.
Title: Re: Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
Post by: researchertony on February 21, 2016, 08:02:11 am
In the God (intelligent mind) verse machine illustration, it should be noted that from a human stand point, both are the same.

It is like saying God made the universe, verses God made a bread making machine, which then made the universe. So now let's debate which made the universe (1) an intelligence or (2) a non-intelligent bread making machine (which God created, to do the work for him).

We have bigger Issues to debate here.
You cannot compare man and machine or say man verses machine. Simply because technology comes in different levels, and biology is the highest level of machinery we yet know of.

As for God, there is nothing to compare him too. He is truly alive, without DNA programming, without molecular cellular machinery and the like. Is not made of matter, which he himself brought into existence.
And is not living in a 3D universe he himself invented and caused to come to be.

At best we can say what he is not. Not a holy cow. Not a man. Not physical in any way. Not even words of man can compare him, or define him. His existence and nature is beyond the human experience and can never be defined in human earthly words. That should be rule (#1) that is to be expected. That is the first logical truth that must be accepted.

What time was it 5 minutes before the big bang of creation? God does keep time. The artificial time he created was for our existence, our foundation for living, not for him but for us.

Every creation that exists is a mechanical "CREATION". Even space -time is made of parts, and being made is artificial existence.

God is not made, is therefore not artificial, and has no parts as we see it. We do not know what life is because we have never seen it before. God is true "life". And that we cannot understand for everything around us and everything studied is artificial and has parts, machinery of some kind. All is automated in some way.

We living in a mechanical universe (a bread making machine- illustration).
The argument must all go back to the non-physical God who created that automation.