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The Theist/ Atheist Debate Proposal

09 November 2012, 15:15

“Show me proof that GOD exists” is often asked by Non-theists and agnostics. This demand/ challenge has resulted in an observable position of belief that this question defeats the worldview that GOD exists.

Now before a refutation of this pseudo-victory position is made, there are a few serious issues that need to be raised.

1.       The issue of sceptism – Most Christians will encourage people seeking evidence to do so with sceptisism. However, we have responses that the evidence will be influenced with the bias to the held worldview. One needs to seriously ask whether there is any value to provide evidence to those that have prematurely adopted the position to not accept the evidence irrespective of how convincing such evidence is.

2.       The issue of Consistency – it has been observed that those seeking this evidence place conditions on the evidence that is not consistent to the evidence that they would accept as evident in the explanation of their worldview.

3.       The issue of incoherence – when evidence is provided people who hold this worldview provide responds to the evidence that lacks coherence/ logic.

4.       The issue of limitation – believing that evidence becomes inadmissible if such evidence does not conform to scientific laws. The consequence of this limitation is that if science cannot explain it, then it cannot be accepted.

5.       The issue of improvisation/ modification – There has been observations that one argument fails, an appeal is made to an alternate explanation to rescue the failed argument. However, the problem with this is that the alternate explanation brings with it new problems. This can also be combined with the issue of consistency. One example is “The Big Bang Theory” (Finite beginning) versus and The Big Bounce (Infinite Universe).

6.       The issue of confusion – Observations of confusing claims as fact and ridicule as refutation.

7.       The issue of posting links as a fact – it is common knowledge that for every atheist argument available on the internet, there is a counter argument for it and vice versa. However, there is a demonstrated attitude that the contents of the posted link confirm the argument as truth.

It must be noted that some theists also contribute to some of the above issues.

The reason for labelling the above issues as serious is that while good and important questions are asked, the answers become diluted and the focus of the real debate is lost.  Thus rendering the debate undebatable unsatisfactory.

While the intention of not making this article to be personal, I think that one of the participants, Meme man, in his article tried to rationally appeal to both sides to refrain from posting comments that has no value to the debate at hand. He even went as far as trying to seek an agreement for rules that could have possibly resulted in an intellectual debate. However, this proved futile.

Having said that, both sides must admit that there are gaps in their worldview that cannot be explained presently. The best we can do is tried to offer explanations and then determine which constitutes the best explanation for our worldview.

This brings us to the point where were we must present our worldview and argue wether this constitutes the best explanation.

For fear of posting an article that becomes too long and laborious to read, the presentation of the Christian worldview will follow in the next article. In the meantime, I suggest the non- theist start to develop their worldview.

I also suggest that we try to formulate some structure in this process and I propose the following:

1.       I would develop and post my best explanation of my worldview and that is GOD exists (Opening Argument).

2.       This will be followed by a non-theist posting their best explanation for their worldview (Opening Argument).

3.       I offer my first rebuttal to the non-theist’s opening argument as a follow up article.

4.       The Non-theist offers his/ her rebuttal to my opening statement as article following my first rebuttal.

5.       I offer a second rebuttal to the article as described in point 4.

6.       The non-theist offers his/ her second rebuttal to the article as described in point 3.

7.       I post my closing argument.

8.       The non-theist posts his/ her closing statement.

I would also like to suggest the following:

1.       That we i.e. the authors of the articles refrain from commenting on our articles and allow others to post their comments. This will eliminate us from having side debates that may prevent us from being focused.

2.       That we choose questions (preferably 5) from those posting them and pose them to each other in the form of the article.

3.       That we go about this debate in a civil and rational manner.

Now I understand this proposal, if accepted can be a drawn out process but I am confident that we would cover more ground in this way.

I am confident that a non-theist will accept this challenge.

NB: I am happy to consider and proposed amendment to my proposal.

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