Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
« Reply #15 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.

"What never claimed objectivity cannot be destroyed by subjectivism. The impulse to scratch when I itch or to pull to pieces when I am inquisitive is immune from the solvent which is fatal to my justice, or honour, or care for posterity.
When all that says ‘It is good' has been debunked, what says

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Archsage

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Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
« Reply #16 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.
“It is of dangerous consequence to represent to man how near he is to the level of beasts, without showing him at the same time his greatness. It is likewise dangerous to let him see his greatness without his meanness..."  –Blaise Pascal

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pinkey

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Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
« Reply #17 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).
"[A]ll such persons as I am speaking of, who profess themselves to be atheists not upon any present interest or lust but purely upon the principles of reason and philosophy, are bound by these principles to aknowledge that all mocking and scoffing at religion, all jesting and turning arguments of re

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Archsage

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Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
« Reply #18 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.
“It is of dangerous consequence to represent to man how near he is to the level of beasts, without showing him at the same time his greatness. It is likewise dangerous to let him see his greatness without his meanness..."  –Blaise Pascal

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Thinking

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Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
« Reply #19 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.
You're stupid if you can't learn, ignorant if you won't, called an idiot when you think you are by those who think they have, and dead before you do.

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Archsage

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Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
« Reply #20 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?
“It is of dangerous consequence to represent to man how near he is to the level of beasts, without showing him at the same time his greatness. It is likewise dangerous to let him see his greatness without his meanness..."  –Blaise Pascal

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Archsage

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Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
« Reply #21 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.
“It is of dangerous consequence to represent to man how near he is to the level of beasts, without showing him at the same time his greatness. It is likewise dangerous to let him see his greatness without his meanness..."  –Blaise Pascal

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hatsoff

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Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
« Reply #22 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.

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Archsage

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Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
« Reply #23 on: December 23, 2011, 04:30:34 pm »
Hatsoff, I like the way you did that!
“It is of dangerous consequence to represent to man how near he is to the level of beasts, without showing him at the same time his greatness. It is likewise dangerous to let him see his greatness without his meanness..."  –Blaise Pascal

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Msheekha

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Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
« Reply #24 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.
The Assyrian Church of the East, the Church of martyrs.

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keith eure

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Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
« Reply #25 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.

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Archsage

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Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
« Reply #26 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.
“It is of dangerous consequence to represent to man how near he is to the level of beasts, without showing him at the same time his greatness. It is likewise dangerous to let him see his greatness without his meanness..."  –Blaise Pascal

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Jared Baker

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Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
« Reply #27 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."
"I begin with the principle that all men are bores. Surely no one will prove himself so great a bore as to contradict me in this." - Søren Kierkegaard
"As soon as man began considering himself the source of the highest meaning in the world and the measure of everything, the world began to lose its

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Archsage

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Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
« Reply #28 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).
“It is of dangerous consequence to represent to man how near he is to the level of beasts, without showing him at the same time his greatness. It is likewise dangerous to let him see his greatness without his meanness..."  –Blaise Pascal

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bdsimon

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Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
« Reply #29 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.
Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.