The God Debate

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.

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13 thoughts on “The God Debate

    1. Asserting that something is real doesn’t make it real. Even if you really, really, really believe it. That is not sufficient. Any relationship I have or have had in my life was with someone who was real and demonstrably so. I never once had to question that those who wanted to have a relationship with me were making that effort and made me aware of it. If God is real and wants a relationship with me, why wouldn’t he let me know? Why would he have to have someone else first try to get me to believe he exists despite no evidence of that and then try to get me to believe that even though I cannot observe him in any way, that he loves me? It’s absurd.

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  1. Some good points. I think debates can be healthy ways to share knowledge with other people. But, it has to be a two-sided thing. Many things which I think should be universally agreed on, often aren’t unfortunately. Plus, I think we all have blind spots from time to time, in that we believe things which have been objectively demonstrated to be false, but we are somehow convinced it’s real.

    Most debates I see just become one-sided shouting matches though, and aren’t productive at all, I’m guessing that when someone feels attacked, they become less open to whatever you’ve said, and just attack you back. This often happens when debating religious people about their religion; if you’re debating their beliefs, it can become a big deal for them, since you’re essentially challenging their existence. But hey, if Christians like to throw some barbs at me because of my beliefs, well… 😉

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    1. I agree. Not only do debates need to be two sided, but relationships need to have both parties involved. If God loves me as I was told he does, he has a funny way of showing it. He has hidden from me forever, despite my sincere devotion and he has ignored my every prayer. I now see that my belief was unfounded, but in the moment, I was very convinced it was justified.

      I have found that most debates, as you mentioned, are shouting matches. And usually the one who shouts the loudest is the one who knows they are losing the debate. Which is why any time I have debated with believers, they tend to get rude, dismissive and just preach their message over and over rather than address the topic at hand.

      I wish I had more knowledge about many things, but I do the best with what I do know. I do try to learn more and more all the time rather than have someone tell me what I should know as I was taught when I was a believer. It was “the Bible is true and that is all you need to know.” I come across many people who live that way and it can be frustrating because they cannot see past that book for anything. The subject of debate could be evolution, abortion, murder, slavery or any other topic you can think of. Looking to the Bible to answer all of these questions is not a reasonable way to go about that UNTIL there is a way to prove that the Bible is true and accurate. Assuming it is true and from God is not the same as being able to demonstrate that it is.

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      1. I wish I had more knowledge about many things too, but not having to put your faith in a nonsensical Bible anymore has been liberating for me.

        Yes and that’s why I often don’t debate believers. They often have some unchanged agenda or they get angry and rude at you for no reason. Some are quite reasonable, but the debate goes nowhere still. I think if someone has decided that the Bible is their main reference of truth, you can’t debate them out of it, they have to somehow come to that realisation themselves. You do hope that they think about some of what you said though, even if they don’t take it in initially.

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      2. Speaking from experience, I think a lot of (most?) Christians will defend the Bible at all costs and argue until they’re blue in the face about it’s veracity…even if they haven’t read it or have doubts. They would rather defend belief instead of worrying about whether or not it is true and worth believing in the first place. I was scared to look into my doubts for a very long time. But after awhile, they were too numerous to ignore.

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  2. Debating beliefs on the merry go round goes to nowheresville while clever wording wins high praise for eloquent babble-grasping at invisible straws. Placing value in a strong belief is in second place. Did I mention belief is lazy and worthless discholarship?

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    1. Agreed. Clever wording proves nothing when it comes to the existence of a god. Fancy wordsmithing does not cover up the complete lack of evidence. You cannot speak a god into existence. That’s not how reality works. You can believe in something with all of your heart but without evidence your belief is unreasonable and unjustified. Saying “I know God is real because I have faith in the Bible” is the same as saying “I believe witches are real because I once read Hansel and Gretel.” Faith without evidence is the same as gullibility based on wishful thinking. “I want it to be true so it is true.”

      I strongly believed in God once. I believed so strongly that it created a rift in my family. I put my god above my loved ones because I trusted in the writings in the Bible. I trusted that the words in that book made sense even when they didn’t and that they were written just for me. I was taught that the Bible speaks to each of us in a very personal way that draws us closer to God. I believed all of that based on nothing. There was no evidence that a god was involved then and there is no evidence now. I accepted the Bible was true based on blind faith. We all did. All of us believers believed it based on what we were told about it. It was not based on evidence at all because no such evidence exists. Someone told us it was true and we trusted and believed. That’s not proof. That’s not something that is remotely testable. That’s “just believe because I said so.” And that’s not good enough.

      Liked by 4 people

    1. I know that believers like to argue that there is evidence all around and that God does in fact want a relationship with us. There is absolutely no evidence of that. Zero. That’s a personal belief. A hope. A wish… It is not an argument.

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