The Instigator
RightWingConspiracyGuy
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Marauder
Con (against)
Winning
13 Points

1.Salvation is wholly an act of God. 2. God chooses who is saved. 3.Saving grace is irrisistible

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Marauder
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/9/2011 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,700 times Debate No: 16307
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (17)
Votes (2)

 

RightWingConspiracyGuy

Pro

Marauder

Con

I thank my opponent for starting this debate and am glad to have him as a new member of this site. I look forward to learning of his debate skills first hand.


To start I would like to make it clear to all the readers (and my opponent), that the resolution we are debating is not my opponents first 3 contentions, as the resolution debate title implies we are. We agreed beforehand to debate a Methodist-Presbyterian difference in belief, Predestination Vs Free Will. So the resolution should be treated as “Predestination (pro) Vs Free Will (con)”


So vote based on how well pro argues for predestination and against free will compared to how well con argue for free will and against predestination.


I make this clarification because I do not have to necessarily deny the truth of all my opponents’ contentions just to argue against predestination. I could do that, or I could make augments that a contention does not confirm or deny predestination doctrine.


But before I can get started on that, my priority is to get my own case that is not offered in the straw man cases my opponent made to give rebuttal too ahead of time. I find the things I want to make sure get character space need to come first.


Contention 1: There is no such thing as sin without free will.


Sin is very often defined as ‘disobeying Gods will’. http://www.thefreedictionary.com... Under my Presbyterian friends understanding of Gods involvement in our choices, there is none made that is not out of the pre-ordained decision of God. Let’s take some famous choices in our nation’s history to compare the difference in the Methodist view on how a sin came to be, and the Presbyterian one.


President Bill Clinton goes out and cheats on his wife Hillary, or as its known in the bible, adultery. Why did this happen?


To me, Bill’s act of adultery was done ultimately because he chose to. This was not something for this individual that was inevitable, and ultimately when the temptation came to commit adultery, he could have overcome it through one means or another (i.e. reliance on God, prayer, discipline). But of course even if he was a disciplined student of God, it would also not be inevitable that he would not sin, the promises we can be free of sin but not temptation, and with temptation comes the possibility to give in. the responsibility for Bills actions ultimately lie on Bills shoulders.


To Pro however, Bill’s act of adultery was done ultimately because God planned for him to do so. Even though God quite clearly states in his revealed word to us adultery is a sin and he commands us to not do it, he, though his foreknowledge of everything and total unchallenged control of the world made Bill’s choice to cheat on his wife for him, through very complicated and mysterious processes of cause and effect that led Bill to the temptations to the act and the lack of spiritual defense from the temptation.


You see, because God caused Bill to cheat on Hillary that means it was Gods will for that to happen, if it was not he would not have caused any such thing. So Bills act of adultery is not a sin (breaking the will of god) because we know it was in fact Gods will that he do exactly as he ended up doing, because Bill could never have done any other way.


Sin cannot exist because everything ever done is by gods will, there are no choices ever made outside of his will that could possible disrupt it.


Contention 2: The problem of evil


In appoligetic debates one of the common cases athiest like to make is reffered to as the problem of evil. the accusative case is in short "how can there be a loving god that see's all the war, the famine, the cruelty, ect... and does nothing to stop it? why does he not stop all the evil being done?"


the christian response to this is classically that we live in a fallen creation, and because of free will man often choses to do evil, it is not god who wills any of our human cruelty to each other. It was man that brought death into the world, not God.


But Pro does not have ground to make such a defense for our god. to him god does not get excused from the evil actions of man because the final acts of our earthly wills were predetermened by God. So why does he not pro?


In fact the entire story of Genises falls appart in the doctrine of predestination. John Calvin himself said that he not only believed the fall of man was predestined, but that god planned out adams choice to disobey himself at his pleasure. Why would God though tell adam to not eat the fruit of a tree that he had planed for him to eat all along? if it was his will that adam should eat of the tree then he is either a sadistic liar, or he is inconsistant (crazy). Unsuprisingly virtually all the athiest I have every argued with on DDO have debated with the same perception of God predestinationist have of god.


Rebuttals:


C1: Salvation is wholey act of God.


I do not contend that salvation is of Gods merits and not my own. the stance that I can accapt or reject a free dounut offered to me is not the same as saying I in some way paid the fee requried to aquire that said dounut. Salvation is a free gift, paid for in full by christ on the cross offered to all as a gift we do not deserve. For some reason that is beyond me, predestinationist consider the choice of that accaptance of the free gift of salvation part of the fee for getting it. as if accaptance was something that made us earn salvation. they like athiest, put so much stock in the process of cause and effect to the point that they deify it to be greater than god himself.


C2-C5:


I rope the other contenions together because they basically take the same response to oppose. with the exception of the C5 they are all simply scripture quotes, and scripture in a christian debate is not something that can just be argued away as wrong in some way, I accapt I must either explain the scriptures meaning to be different via context of passage or accuracy of its translation.


I could get in scripture battle and quote many free will supportive sets of scripture such as http://www.biblegateway.com... http://www.biblegateway.com... http://www.biblegateway.com... http://www.biblegateway.com... http://www.biblegateway.com... this one quite possible too depending on your stance apocrapha (as far as I know I dont think presbiterians differ with methodist that they are scripture too, correct me if I'm wrong on that though) http://www.biblegateway.com...


But I think I can sum up the next few rounds if I got in such a battle. I put wooden litteralism on mine and you wooden litteralism on yours. I say yours is not warrented to be taken in a ridged sense and vise versa. Instead I hope to focus on which side makes more logical coherent since as a whole, thus my above contentions.


simalar problems with trying to argue over the translation or mistranslations. I am faily certain that niether of us are educated in attic greek or kione greek, or even the full relevance knowing them both have on translating the bible. http://www.translation-services-usa.com...


basically all the links pro gave for his alternate translations listed the regular ones as possible too, so I see no reason to credit to the alternatives that the experts rejected based on the blueletterbible links. interestingly I find that there are zero translators that do translate the 'tis' in the 2 peter passage as "some", they all in there advanced knowledge of greek, historical context, ect... chose to translate 'tis' as "any". the differnce between any and some is kind of pronounced, you would think if that was just a mistake one of them would have transated it correctly. http://www.biblegateway.com...


Debate Round No. 1
RightWingConspiracyGuy

Pro

I would like to thank my opponent once more for accepting this very important theological debate, and wish him the best of luck. And with that, I will address my opponent’s negative case and then move on to defending my own affirmative case.

NEGATIVE CASE

Marauder: “The resolution we are debating is not my opponents first 3 contentions. We agreed beforehand to debate a Methodist-Presbyterian difference in belief, Predestination Vs Free Will. So the resolution should be treated as ‘Predestination (pro) Vs Free Will (con).’ I do not have to necessarily deny the truth of all my opponents’ contentions just to argue against predestination. I could do that, or I could make augments that a contention does not confirm or deny predestination doctrine.”

FACT: I’m afraid that is not the case. It is true that this debate will probably come down to the competing positions of predestination and free will, but that is because of how the Resolution is framed. It certainly doesn’t mean that we can ignore the Resolution and instead debate something else as my opponent suggests. We must always remember that this debate is about the Resolution. If it were not, what point would there be to even have one? And so my opponent does indeed have to deny the truth of my contentions, especially the first three, because if I win those, I have won the debate.

Marauder:

“Contention 1: There is no such thing as sin without free will.”

FACT: This assumes that someone can only be held responsible for an offense which they willfully committed. This is not the case, although this idea is unfortunately becoming increasingly popular. If it were true, a man who ran over an old woman crossing the street because he was focusing on the billboard for an adult movie store rather than the fact the light was red would be guilty of no crime. After all, he certainly didn’t intend to run over the woman. And so, despite the Biblical fact that God ordains and knows all of our actions beforehand (“the very hairs of your head are numbered”), if you murder someone, you have still violated God’s moral commandment’s and have thus sinned.

Marauder:

“Contention 2: The problem of evil”

FACT: The problem of evil does not simply go away if you accept the unbiblical position of salvation based of man’s own choice. Even the free will position, as far as I know, accepts the omnipotence and benevolence of God (although one wonders how all-powerful he can be if he can’t even determine what his own creations will do), and thus the question still stands: how can an admittedly omnipotent and benevolent God allow evil in the world? This is not an argument solely against the Calvinist doctrine of predestination, but against Christianity itself. However, I will answer it based on the doctrine of predestination anyway, despite the fact that this is a difficult and complex question, and I can by no means do complete justice to it in the incredibly short space we have here. God allows evil in the world because it brings more glory to Him to do so than if he simply created us a perfect, sinless race. For example, which man would deserve more honor and glory, one who was phenomenally rich and successful by birth, never knowing or being capable of anything less, or one who rose to the same status from a life of poverty in the projects, by his own blood, sweat, and tears? Obviously, the latter man would receive more respect. Similarly, God is better glorified by the unfortunate reality of evil and the struggle against it in this world. I’m sure this explanation is unsatisfactory to some people, and my opponent is welcome to offer an alternative one, but remember that this debate is about the Resolution, NOT the problem of evil. Also remember that the problem of evil applies to any system of belief that contains any sort of omnipotent deity, not just the doctrine of predestination.

AFFIRMATIVE CASE

Marauder:

“C1: Salvation is wholey (sic) act of God.

I do not contend that salvation is of Gods merits and not my own. the stance that I can accept (sic) or reject a free dounut (sic) offered to me is not the same as saying I in some way paid the fee required (sic) to aquire (sic) that said dounut (sic). Salvation is a free gift, paid for in full by christ on the cross offered to all as a gift we do not deserve. For some reason that is beyond me, predestinationist consider the choice of that acceptance (sic) of the free gift of salvation part of the fee for getting it. as if acceptance (sic) was something that made us earn salvation. they like atheist (sic), put so much stock in the process of cause and effect to the point that they deify it to be greater than god himself.”

FACT: This is a position that I have encountered all too often in debates such as these. My opponent begins by saying that he admits salvation is of only God’s merits, and then turns right around and says salvation is dependent upon man’s merits (the free choice of salvation). The inconsistency here is glaring. You can’t have it both ways. Another common mistake committed here is my opponent’s donut analogy. It is overly simplistic to compare the metaphysics of the Almighty to free donuts. If a random mortal man offers you a donut, sure you can refuse it. But we are not talking about a man in a donut shop. We are talking about God, the all-powerful, all-knowing eternal being that created the universe and holds it together with his supreme will. And if He wants you to accept salvation (or a donut), then you are going to accept it.

Marauder:

C2-C5:

I rope the other contentions (sic) together because they basically take the same response to oppose. with the exception of the C5 they are all simply scripture quotes, and scripture in a christian debate is not something that can just be argued away as wrong in some way, I accept (sic) I must either explain the scriptures meaning to be different via context of passage or accuracy of its translation.

FACT: My opponent says that he accepts his obligation to offer an alternative interpretation of the myriad Scriptural warrants I offered for my position or to argue that the translation I used was faulty. However, he has done no such thing. However, I will defend my case against these wholly unsubstantiated attacks nonetheless. The translation I used was the New King James Version, which is pretty much universally accepted as accurate and used by Christians all over the world. And even if my opponent could somehow prove the NKJV to be unreliable, virtually every other translation of the Bible translates the verses I cited in almost the exact same way. Secondly, the verses I cited are pretty self-explanatory (You did not choose Me, I chose you, etc.). I don’t see how there’s any other way they could be interpreted. But if there is, it is my opponent’s obligation to offer it. He has done nothing of the sort.

In conclusion, my opponent has failed to meet even the obligations he laid out for himself, as well as failing to address my several Scriptural warrants in any way at all. In short, I have more than met my obligations, and my opponent has failed to meet his, and so the Resolution stands affirmed.

I thank my opponent and look forward to his reply.

Marauder

Con

“We must always remember that this debate is about the Resolution. If it were not, what point would there be to even have one?”
If I wanted anyone to forget the importance of the resolution, I would not have clarified what it should be. But lets consider this interesting question “what point would there be to even have one?”
What was the point behind this debate? I quote my opponent himself when he said “I want to debate you on something we actually disagree on” Now my opponent can accept the FACT that C1 does not fit that criteria and we can move on, OR he can waist character space on fighting for his “resolution” over my actual Resolution. I call mine a REAL resolution because it in fact is the real resolution that Pro’s list of contentions are implied to be CONTENTIONS too.
I suggest Pro just let this one go, as the point is relatively moot considering we are going to argue your C1’s either way. So while that’s on our minds…
C1: My opponent completely misses the point of my donut analogy. If your looking toward an analogy to fit every describable aspect of the almighty god then you might as well never have conversations or debates about him as none will ever perfectly do. The point was not to say God is a donut maker of some kind, I use donuts to bring to mind a story that many have probably heard in Sunday school or children’s time at one point or another to explain salvation. About it being paid for us weather we take it or not. If Pro or any readers are unfamiliar with it, it can be read in full here. http://stories-etc.com... Now it’s clear to us that when you take a donut that you did not pay for yourself, that very act of taking it is not what any sane person would say was part of the ‘merits’ that ‘earned’ you that donut. So this answers Pro’s refutation that I have ‘turned it around’ and said that man earns his salvation, as I have shown choice, acceptance, compliance, lack of resistance… its not a ‘merit’, its not ‘currency’ that can pay a debt you owe.
Omnipotence:
Pro said in his C1 response that because God is the almighty Omnipotent god that this would negate your feasible choice in ‘accepting’ the donut. This is not true. If Pro really is going to consider God not being much of a God or Omnipotent at all if Omnipotence does not mean he can override our wills because that entails something he cannot do then he must open up to accepting all the ridiculous arguments like “can God make a round square” “a stick with one end” or “a burrito so hot that even he could not eat it” or more commonly put “a stone that he cannot move”. These are all inherently contradictory concepts and so God cannot in fact make any of them, but he is not less omnipotent for it though obviously. I can detail why if to Pro its not obvious but that’s not the focus of this debate.
Among other things I bet even Pro would not contend against that God ‘cannot do’ is God cannot commit evil even though he is Omnipotent, Omnipresent, ect. But that certainly makes him no less a God and it’s clearly to those that ever go to church a big reason that causes worship of him. Why can’t he commit evil though? To quote Rev. Brian Wyke “Ultimately Gods love limits God”. It’s a character thing, unlike Pantheist, we Christians believe God to have a definitive character, shown to us in Jesus. And if we can safely say anything of Gods character its that he is all righteous and he is love itself. God out of his perfect love must not override our free wills. He made us in his image to love him and be loved by him. This love cannot come from us robotically, but freely if it is to be anything worth calling love. So he cannot force us in his omnipotence to take salvation because the omnipotent cannot do the irrational and pursing a pure puppets love is irrational.
Problem of Evil:
Back to the PoE, taking in all I just explained about Omnipotence, you can see how Free Will easily explains it, god being omnipotent and everything. Man is what brings evil into this world not god, and the fact that it is not stopped by god it out of his love for us that he overrides no ones will but rather has us suffer the consequences of our actions. But without Free Will from God all mans actions of evil are now not reflections of our character or even Satan’s but of Gods
Pro says God made Adam sin to bring Glory to himself as an answer to this. Well actually he did not reference Genesis at all in his response but it all goes back to that story. How does God clearly LYING to Adam about it being his will that he not eat of that tree bring glory to himself? This depiction of the story associates Gods character with the things that are unholy like dishonesty rather than holy things.
This is a point that went over my opponents head with the contention that sin cannot exist without free will. He went on to make a case about how negligent homicide is the same as murder and this is false, event he bible has different measures to be taken for accidental deaths in the OT, but that part of Pro’s rebuttal would only matter if my point was about man when I say there can be no sin. But my point was about God. Sin is doing what is apart from God’s will. This cannot happen in a Presbyterian view, saying that anything happens apart from Gods will is challenging if he is omnipotent and on the throne somehow. All things that happen are by his will, so man cannot sin, even that accident that killed the old lady was arranged by God before creation

C2-C5:

Yes, I said scripture needs dealt with via interpretation or translation explanations. I then went on summarize the futility in getting into such a scripture battle though, at least its degree of futility to this debate. From experience I know how arguments would go for all the scripture on both our parts in some respect or another. About anything you quote whatever argument I use will be ‘you are using rigid wooden interpretation where its not warranted” when you boil it down. And vise versa http://www.debate.org...

Also I know from experience that just confining ourselves to debate using 3 scriptures can take up all 8,000 characters fast. http://www.debate.org...

So in an effort to make the most use of my character space again I state I plan to focus on the overall logic of the position rather than eat up character space with a scripture battle over differing in opinion on what scripture to take at its plainest meaning with wooded rigidness, and what to take more symbolic, expressive, hyperbolic, poetic, or other. To show that I could respectfully go the distance of such a scripture battle I listed a montage of my own set of verses I could start with that clearly can only be read understanding Free Will to exist (in the sense we Wesleyans think of Free Will)

But I find arguing over how to read scripture is never that persuasive and I think I know why. Part of our faith in the book is in its truthfulness beyond our comprehension. When I say that I mean that if seeming problems are found in it passages we still have faith in our belief because we are humble enough to say we do not know the bible perfectly, “surely if I studied into it I would find an answer to this seeming problem”

And the studying does need done, and if the amount of scriptures that I would debate or rather ‘help you study into more’ were restricted for this debate I would get into it. But the best use of my character space is not getting into that, even had I not made the arguments I have been making and from the start of this debate focused only one the passages RWCG quoted I would not have room to address them all.

The best use of my character space in a debate like this will be to focus on the logic of predestination theology (and free will theology)

I await Pro's response



Debate Round No. 2
RightWingConspiracyGuy

Pro

RightWingConspiracyGuy forfeited this round.
Marauder

Con

My opponent has forfieted for some reason.

all arguments extend.
Debate Round No. 3
RightWingConspiracyGuy

Pro

RightWingConspiracyGuy forfeited this round.
Marauder

Con



Let me close of by quoting the debater in the video on this subject, We should not ask "How does a sovereign god express his love?" but rather we should ask "How does a all perfect loving god express his sovereignty?"

You ask it the first way and there's an emphasis on the omnipotence of God being the character defining attribute about him. You ask it the second way, and the emphasis is on his love defining his character. And the character of god is everything that matters in this debate, or many theological debates. 'does god infringe on the laws of physics?' for example. If your going to determine if a supernatural intervention upon the laws of nature is possible, you have to support that God is of a character who would brake those laws that he himself made, or at least on special occasion he would.
In this debate his character needs to be looked to if we are to say he would be of the sort to punish us for our disbelief which we were never elected to have the faith to begin with, or if he would punish us as a result of actions that were not ultimately set in stone by him before we ever thought to do them, but rather actions that we did on our own against his will.
Is it within the character of God to limit his sovereignty for the sake of love, or is it within his character to limit his love for the sake of sovereignty?

The answer should be clear, for all who know just a fraction about what the bible teaches about our god. The god who is love itself, a love that went on the cross to die for us while we did not deserve such a sacrifice. Omnipotence defines the extent of Gods ability but it does not relate to his character, and only by his character does he act. God may be able to do anything but he will not just do anything for his very character prevents him from taking certain actions. Actions that are evil for example.

If you do not contest that God made us to be loved by him and to love him, then you cannot contest that his love would limit him from determining our love for him for us. that is not how love worth creating works. It is something that was made to be freely given, any love not given freely is not worthy of our god to have.

In conclusion
1) my opponent forfeited the last two rounds, in effect not refuting any of my arguments
2) these arguments he failed to refute include...
a) sin cannot exist without free will from god
b)the problem of evil negates views of god that do not allow for free will, the entire story of genesis falls apart with the Calvinist view on elected salvation
c) omnipotence is not challenged by Gods restraint on his own actions and
d) any differences in our understanding of scripture can be explained away easily, but with the simple logic behind how a god with a character like ours has would do things cannot be refuted.

How does the God that is love itself express his sovereignty?

Vote Con, if for any reason, vote con at the very least because my opponent forfeited, leaving all my arguments un-refuted.
Debate Round No. 4
17 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by RightWingConspiracyGuy 5 years ago
RightWingConspiracyGuy
I am extremely sorry for forfeiting these debate rounds, and, although I still hold that my position is clearly the Biblical one, I fully expect and deserve to lose this debate for this reason. I would also like to apologize to my opponent and the audience for disrespecting you in this way. Finally, thank you, Marauder for accepting this debate, and hope that we can debate again in the future despite my disrespect to him in this case.
Posted by Marauder 5 years ago
Marauder
though the focus of my point about sin not existing does not need me to address man sinning by accidentally killing the old lady, I still want to. The case you described it completely matters that it was an accident, and any court of law would find it that way. if there is willful premeditated intent its a 1st degree murder, if it was an accident from reckless driving then its negligent homicide, but not a murder case.
If willfull intent was not considered to matter in terms of responsibility then all choas could break lose on what you hold people responsible to. yesterday it rained on the hay I just tettered to dry out, causing a huge waist in diesel fuel to me, and it lowered the quality the hay will finally cure at when bailed finally. So I hold you responsible, how dare you let it rain on my hay!?
"But I did not make it rain on your hay" you might defend. but this does not matter by your rules. willful intention of the event does not matter, it does not matter that the rain was beyond your control, meaning you had nothing to truly due with it.
Likewise, with the man that ran over the old lady, whether it was on purpose or an accident, the homicide was as beyond his control as the rain is beyond yours and mine. I cant hold you accountable to the weather and you cant hold him accountable to the homicide.
Posted by Marauder 5 years ago
Marauder
I keep finding I have this compulsive habit to want to type "my opponent..." but have to mentally remind myself to backspace that and go "...Pro.." for character space sake. "my opponent" sounds better and more formal, but "Pro" is simply shorter.
Posted by RightWingConspiracyGuy 5 years ago
RightWingConspiracyGuy
Absolutely.
Posted by DAN123 5 years ago
DAN123
A presbyterian and a methodist?
Posted by Marauder 5 years ago
Marauder
Wesleyn-Arminian's forever!
Posted by RightWingConspiracyGuy 5 years ago
RightWingConspiracyGuy
Calvinist forever!
Posted by Thaddeus 5 years ago
Thaddeus
God chose me :)
Posted by DAN123 5 years ago
DAN123
It seems to me that RWCG is a calvinist.
Posted by Marauder 5 years ago
Marauder
would you be up for debate on Civil unions, you con, me pro? pretty sure that's another topic we disagree on from looking at your big issues. I'm against gay marriage, but a lot of my arguments I often make against it often end up backed up by pointing to civil unions as an alternative made distinct from marriage. one union is from the state, a legal contract, a tax claim thing. the other is a spiritual union that god puts together.

in short on is of faith and the other secular.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by darkhearth 5 years ago
darkhearth
RightWingConspiracyGuyMarauderTied
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Reasons for voting decision: pro forfieted automatically giving con the conduct point and argument.
Vote Placed by ApostateAbe 5 years ago
ApostateAbe
RightWingConspiracyGuyMarauderTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: forfeit