Archsage

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Welcome to the official Question and Answer Session of the Michael v Sparkling Debate. Remember, the Debate Topic is: "The Christian God Exists".

Now, in this session, readers will post questions addressed to either debater, or both, and the debaters will choose up to five questions for the other to answer. This will be done until 10 questions are asked and answered. Now, a debater can answer a question on his own, however only after the official debate Q&A period is over.

As far as question structure goes, a reader must post his/her question with a bold heading stating who the question is addressed to. The question itself must be clear and concise, and I'll allow a sentence or two for establishing context.  Here is an example:

For Sparkling
Your debate focused much on attacking Michael's arguments for the affirmative, which is fine. But do you have any reason to believe that the Christian God does not exist?

See, there is a bold address, and a question, which is preceded by a sentence explaining the context for that question. Now, remember all you readers can post is a question. You CANNOT post any comments here. Any comments that you want to have can go in the discussion thread. Just like a formal verbal debate, we don't want to have any back and forth bickering going on in here. And no, neither of the the debaters can post their own questions to ask, and neither can I.

With that said, please start submitting your questions!
“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

1

Msheekha

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Q&A Session: Michael v Sparkling Debate -- The Christian God Exists
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2011, 08:13:33 pm »
For Sparkling

   

   You make an assertion that the Bible was edited over two centuries with absolute certainty and no proof. How do you explain the same scriptures being distributed in Asia and north Africa in the aramaic and coptic language during the same period that affirm the majority of the Greek text. Consider that no theological doctrines are altered in any of the errors that exist between them.
The Assyrian Church of the East, the Church of martyrs.

2

SueDoeNimm

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Q&A Session: Michael v Sparkling Debate -- The Christian God Exists
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2011, 11:54:44 pm »

For Michael:


Your argument includes the proposal of an unembodied mind.  Considering that billions of embodied minds are known to exist and no unembodied mind has ever been shown to exist why should your proposition be given serious consideration?
Before deconversion: Chop wood, carry water.  After deconversion: Chop wood, carry water.

3

SueDoeNimm

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Q&A Session: Michael v Sparkling Debate -- The Christian God Exists
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2011, 12:47:01 am »

For Michael:

I found your characterization of the hypothetical unconscious cause as 'mechanism' as being pejorative and question begging.

Wouldn't it be more appropriate to simply refer to it as the 'unconscious cause' rather than the loaded term 'mechanism'?
Before deconversion: Chop wood, carry water.  After deconversion: Chop wood, carry water.

4

SueDoeNimm

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Q&A Session: Michael v Sparkling Debate -- The Christian God Exists
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2011, 01:18:53 am »

For Michael:

You imply the the faith even to fatality of some early disciples confirms the veracity of their belief.  ("The disciples clearly believed they saw him, and many went to their deaths...")

Does the faith even to fatality of the 9/11 hijackers confirm the veracity of their belief?

Before deconversion: Chop wood, carry water.  After deconversion: Chop wood, carry water.

5

cutz22

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Q&A Session: Michael v Sparkling Debate -- The Christian God Exists
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2011, 10:09:57 am »
For Sparkling

Do you have any actual objections to Michael's argument?

6

Saibomb

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Q&A Session: Michael v Sparkling Debate -- The Christian God Exists
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2011, 11:24:12 am »
For Michael

You said Jesus had to be either Lord, Liar, or Lunatic. But, couldn't we say the things that were said about him are untrue - or at least exaggerated? In this case, he wouldn't be any of those things you mentioned. In general, there are many possibilities so I'm just wondering why you have limited them to only three.

7

FNB - Former non-believer

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Q&A Session: Michael v Sparkling Debate -- The Christian God Exists
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2011, 01:21:15 pm »
For Sparkling

Michael gave a philosophical argument in his first post as to why there must have been an absolute beginning to time, which, since it only uses logical and not scientific premises, is independent of his scientific evidence. Can you please identify how this argument is invalid, or, if you are OK with an absolute beginning to the universe, what extraordinary evidence do you have to make the extraordinary claim that something can begin to exist without a cause... or if you admit it has a cause, how an unconscious object in a changeless timeless state can cause the universe to exist without a prior cause? (which is also an extraordinary claim which, under your own criteria, would require extraordinary evidence)

8

FNB - Former non-believer

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Q&A Session: Michael v Sparkling Debate -- The Christian God Exists
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2011, 01:32:36 pm »
For Sparkling

Keeping in mind that to disprove the Christian God, you are arguing that a being which literally knows everything could not have reasons you are unaware of for making the world as it is, can you give a logically valid, rational argument proceeding from reasonable premesis to the conclusion that the Christian God does not exist; if not, could you give an argument like that to show that one is not rational in accepting the Christian God? (which could be by argument or apart from it as a properly basic belief)

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Q&A Session: Michael v Sparkling Debate -- The Christian God Exists
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2011, 03:09:47 pm »
For Sparkling

You say that it's "uncertain as to whether laws of cause and effect existed pre big bang", thus intimating that the theist's cosmological argument might be mistaken in requiring a supernatural mind, and that a wholly natural, mindless cause might suffice for the effect of everything we see today.

My question is, if we assume for argument's sake that pre-big bang the laws of cause and effect did not exist, and likewise assumed that other current laws of nature and logic were nonexisting, don't atheists like yourself have to then drop all arguments against the existence of God that appeal to logic and currently existing natural laws?  In essence, aren't you trying to have it both ways?
"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

10

FNB - Former non-believer

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Q&A Session: Michael v Sparkling Debate -- The Christian God Exists
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2011, 03:54:13 pm »
For Sparkling

You main point against Michael's cosmological argument seemed to be that there is scientific debate about many other theories that either do not posit a supernatural causes to explain the cosmological evidence, or do not necessitate supernatural causes. However, since science is by definition not allowed to posit supernatural causes, and, it seems to me, that for that very reason they avoid theories that would necessitate supernatural causes, why isn't it circular to appeal to the fact that many scientific theories are debated that either do not posit supernatural causes or do not necessitate supernatural causes?

psst… I edited this to make it better as of Dec. 29th.

11

Archsage

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Q&A Session: Michael v Sparkling Debate -- The Christian God Exists
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2011, 01:29:59 pm »
I'll wait for a few more questions to be asked until to officially start the Q&A session (sorry folks, post-Christmas family and work stuffs have been keeping me tied up a bit).
“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

12

FNB - Former non-believer

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Q&A Session: Michael v Sparkling Debate -- The Christian God Exists
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2011, 02:04:06 pm »
For Sparkling

You ridicule Michael by saying that the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament were 'edited over and over for a milennia,' but you don't seem to recognize that there is more certainty about the biblical text and more manuscript evidence used to deduce what the original text was, as well as earlier copies than, any other text in ancient history. Could you describe why you find this evidence, and the historical method used to evaluate this evidence, unsatisfactory to allow for Micheal's trilemma to be posited?

13

FNB - Former non-believer

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Q&A Session: Michael v Sparkling Debate -- The Christian God Exists
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2011, 02:23:51 pm »
For Sparkling

For Lewis' "lunatic, liar, or Lord" trilemma I have noticed two responses from you when you accept the trilemma (if I remember correctly): 1. Jesus could be mistaken, and 2. other people who are sane have claimed similar things. To the first: this seems ad-hoc, (it seems highly unlikely that anyone with half a brain would mistakenly think themselves the divine Son of God) why isn't it? To the second: Jesus seems to me to be one of the greatest moral teachers the world has ever seen (evidenced by his influence upon people like Ghandi and Martin Luther King), do you have an analogous case to bring up?

14

Lion IRC

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Q&A Session: Michael v Sparkling Debate -- The Christian God Exists
« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2011, 08:07:07 pm »

For Sparkling
Thank you for putting up a spirited counterpoint. I enjoyed reading both sides. Well done.
Of course quantity doesn’t always equate to quality but I note that your overall debate post word count was much lower than Michaels. (Approx. 3300 versus 7180)
Did you run out of time to present all your material or present it in the way you would have liked if perhaps you had more time? Or did you cover all the material you wanted to as best you could? (Obviously, there might be other explanations. Please elaborate as you wish.)

For Michael
Thank you also for an enjoyable debate. What is wrong with this picture?




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