A debate is described as “a formal discussion on a particular topic in a public meeting or legislative assembly, in which opposing arguments are put forward.” So when we think of debates, we think of two opponents on opposite ends of the spectrum arguing over something. We see debates between politicians who disagree with just about everything. We see students debating other students regarding different topics ranging from social issues to environmental issues to just about anything else. And we regularly see believers debating nonbelievers. Why do we have debates at all? We have them because there is often information in question. One side sees this and the other sees that. The thing being argued over is not accepted by everyone, otherwise a debate would be unnecessary.
If people have a disagreement, it is mostly because the topic is less than 100% agreed upon. People only debate when the evidence for their position is not universally accepted. People do not debate the existence of the sun, for example. It is observed by all. Now, people may certainly disagree about why the sun exists, what it is made of, how big it is, how far away from us it is and whether or not it is a deity, and if so, what kind of relationship we have with the sun. All of these things have been debated since people first started looking up into the sky. One thing that is not debated, as I mentioned already, is the existence of the sun. It is obviously there. It is universally accepted to exist. The sun can be interpreted to be different things or mean different things to different people, but it is still there.
Now think of God. God is also the subject of endless debate. We have argued about the existence of God since we first started observing the world we live in. We can compare God to the sun in a way. People, as with the sun, argue about why God exists, what God is made of, how big God is, how far away he is from us and what kind of relationship he has with us. But, unlike the sun, we cannot agree upon whether God exists or not. God is not obvious to all of us. God’s existence is not universally accepted. To me, that’s a huge problem if you are advocating belief in a god.
If God is not observable by all people, not by our five sense or by any other means, then for what reason should we believe? Faith? Faith in what exactly? It is certainly not faith in God’s actions and his involvement with us here. We’ve already established that not everyone thinks that is happening. Faith in the Bible? The Bible is a book, not evidence of personal involvement from a god. The Bible is a collection of someone else’s words. Why should we believe them on faith alone when our experiences here on earth directly contradict what is being portrayed in the Bible? The words of the Bible do not reflect our reality. That’s a tough sell for me. If the books written about God don’t convince us that he exists and our existence here on earth does not convince us that he exists, what will? Detailed history with corroborating evidence and personal experience will get most people to agree that something exists or has existed. When these methods fail, yet people still believe, how do you justify that? Can you believe based on feelings? Everybody feels a little differently than everybody else, so are feelings reliable for determining what is real and what is not?
The physical evidence for God does not exist. The historical evidence for God does not exist. You can quote the Bible until you are blue in the face, but without another source corroborating the stories within, it is just a book and not actual history. Prayers are unanswered and the supernatural realm exists nowhere beyond our minds. There is nothing beyond feelings that you can really point to for belief. You can say it’s the Bible being used as a history book or a science book that made you believe, and not your feelings. But when the Bible’s history and science are shown time and time again to be inaccurate, it is your feelings that get you to ignore those facts and believe anyway. Feelings tend to override sound science and actual fact.
Look, if God’s existence is up for debate, he does not exist. If something is real, if it exists, then belief is not needed. Faith becomes unnecessary to believe that something exists when you have the facts on your side. If God was real, we would certainly all know it. The fact that we don’t and have argued about it for thousands of years tells us that he either is not real at all, or is so undetectable that no one could ever know. If he is not real or we can never know, what’s the difference? If God wanted us to know, we would. We don’t all know, therefore a relationship with God is not possible. There is no debate.