The Instigator
Dorb
Pro (for)
Losing
5 Points
The Contender
Kinesis
Con (against)
Winning
6 Points

A Reading of Genesis 2

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/22/2010 Category: Religion
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,083 times Debate No: 12396
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (3)

 

Dorb

Pro

In a previous debate, "A Reading of Genesis," I argued that a close reading of the KJV of the Book of Genesis would demonstrate that God existed with something else simultaneously before the creation of the world.

In that argument, I argued that language existed with God simultaneously. In this argument, I would like to present the same resolution that I did before, that God existed simultaneously with something else before the creation of the world, but this time, I will argue that God existed with something other than language.

Again, for the sake of this argument, we will assume that anything written in the King James version of Genesis is truth. Furthermore, no other sources will be allowed. Only a close reading of the words of Genesis can be brought to bear on this argument.

In Round 1, my opponent will accept the debate but offer no arguments. In Round 2 and 3, I will present my argument, and my opponent will have Round 2 and 3 to attempt to refute it.
Kinesis

Con

I accept the terms. Go ahead.
Debate Round No. 1
Dorb

Pro

Thanks Kinesis for taking this debate. I really look forward to seeing how you are going to refute it.

Before beginning my argument, I again provide for my readers the first passage of Genesis:

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, ‘Let there be light': and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good, and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day."

This passage, which describes a point, the "beginning," at which God creates the world, never states that God created "the beginning." Rather, because God is "in the beginning." God exists with something else, namely, the "beginning." For the sake of simplicity, we can call the "beginning" "time." As we see throughout all of Genesis, there is a clear progression of events, a dimension of time present. But God never creates "time," according to the precise words of Genesis. Therefore, before God created heaven and earth, God existed with "time."

To summarize:

God: creator of the heaven and earth at the "beginning."

Time: A dimension that God must have occupied for the "beginning" to exist.

If my opponent prefers not to call the "beginning" time, then I ask that he still recognize the argument being made. The specific argument in question is that God existed "in the beginning" before creating the world. Therefore, God existed with something.

My second argument is that some form of the word "good," interpreted however loosely readers want to, must have existed simultaneously with God before the start. Genesis states, "And God saw the light, that it was good, and God divided the light from the darkness." It is never states that God creates any kind of judgment, much less the particular category of "good." Therefore, I argue that the category or concept or idea or judgment or whatever you want to call it of "good" existed simultaneously with God before the heaven and the earth were created.
Kinesis

Con

My opponent has taken the position that Genesis implies that there was more than God before the universe. I shall refute his arguments.

:The Beginning:

Pro quotes the famous start of Genesis 'in the beginning', claiming that the beginning represents the dimension of time. Therefore, God existed with time before God created the world. However, this is simply a misunderstanding of what is meant by 'the beginning'.

It is clear by the context that 'beginning' means 'The act or process of bringing or being brought into being' In other words, far from implying that time existed before the beginning of the universe, it simply refers to the timeless event where God created everything, including time.

:Good:

'Good' according to Christianity is a property of God himself. When God says something is good, he is simply referring to a standard that is part of himself. He is not referring to standard that exists outside of him, but part of his own essential nature. In other words, when he says something is good, he is simply claiming that it is in accord with his own standards. Good is not something that exists simultaneously with God, but part of God and therefore not outside of him.

I would remind my opponent that pointing out that the bible does not say God created a particular thing is not the same as saying it says he didn't. Obviously, the bible would not document every single thing that God created - otherwise, Genesis would be millions of pages long! Instead, Genesis simply uses the words 'heaven and earth' as an umbrella term to refer to everything that makes up the universe, including time.

I have provided the interpretations of Genesis accepted by the vast majority of informed Christians today. It is up to my opponent to show how these interpretations are incorrect, and further to show why they must be interpreted in the way he thinks. Until then, the resolution is defeated.
Debate Round No. 2
Dorb

Pro

Good:

Con states, "I have provided the interpretations of Genesis accepted by the vast majority of informed Christians today." The specific argument that Con presents is that "good" is a property of "God." This argument is irrelevant to this debate. As I stated in R1, in this debate no other sources are allowed except the KJV of the Book of Genesis. Con has neglected and broken the rules I set forth in Round 1. I'm not sure if that means he should lose the debate, but it definitely reflects badly on his argument. Let me clarify: Any interpretation of the bible by another religion or any other source, any interpretation that uses or is done by anyone or anything other than Con, is an outside source, and in the case of a Christian interpretation, it interprets Genesis and "God" in the context of other biblical sources. As such, it has no bearing here. Con is allowed to find the exact passages in Genesis that lend support to this Christian interpretation, but merely stating that this is the Christian interpretation and that therefore it is correct, has no bearing on this debate. Con must prove his arguments using the actual words of Genesis, as they are the only source allowed.

The Beginning:

Con states that I am misinterpreting "the beginning." He states that "It is clear by the context that 'beginning' means 'The act or process of bringing or being brought into being' In other words, far from implying that time existed before the beginning of the universe, it simply refers to the timeless event where God created everything, including time." This is one possible interpretation, and it is not necessarily wrong. But it admits that there is at least a space in which God creates everything, a place "where God created everything," a spatial dimension. Con's words themselves suggest this as a necessary condition, and this spatial dimension is something other than God that exists simultaneously with him before creation of the universe. In reality, the "beginning" can only be interpreted in two ways: as either a temporal dimension or a spatial dimension, as a time or space that God occupies before the creation of the universe. So my opponent's claim that the "beginning" is timeless is a possible interpretation, but for it to be true, it requires that a spatial dimension exist. Therefore, it does not show that God did not exist with something else. Also, my opponent states that the "beginning" refers to a "timeless event." An event is nonetheless something that existed simultaneously with God before the creation of the universe, as an "event" requires either a spatial or temporal dimension. My opponent follows the word "event" with "where" because he does not want to admit there is a "temporal" one. That is fine, as long as he admits there is a "spatial" one.

To make this clearer, I am going to analyze the opening of Genesis almost word by word to show how "the beginning" is either a spatial or temporal dimension that God occupies before he creates the universe. Before doing this, I'd like to separate the opening into two phrases: the first is "In the beginning," and the second is "God created the heaven and the earth." The second is simple, so it will not be necessary to analyze; I will only look at the first phrase.

The first word, "In," is a preposition. A preposition, in case anyone does not know, helps link nouns, pronouns, or phrases to other words or phrases. This linking indicates either the temporal or spatial or logical relationship of the word or phrase that the preposition introduces to the rest of the sentence. In the particular case of the preposition "in," it can be interpreted to designate both a spatial or temporal relationship. An example: you are "in" something. It creates a spatial relationship between two things, one which is "in" the other. The next word is "the," which, as an article, can be skipped without comment. The final word of the first phrase is "beginning." This is the word that the preposition "in" introduces, and it is the word that the preposition will link to the rest of the sentence in either a temporal or spatial relationship. In other words, the word "beginning" is the object of the preposition. This means that the rest of the sentence is put in either a spatial or temporal relationship to the word "beginning." It also means that the word "beginning" is a noun, as a verb cannot be the object of a preposition.

With all this in mind, we are now ready to look at the two phrases of the opening of Genesis together. We can see that the rest of the sentence is in either a spatial or temporal relationship to the word "beginning." This means that either a "beginning" of space exists that the rest of the sentence occupies, or a "beginning" time exists in which the rest of the sentence occurs. Either way, the prepositional phrase "in the beginning" shows that some dimension must have existed. If no dimension existed, the rest of the sentence could not be placed in either a spatial or temporal relationship to the "beginning." Furthermore, this dimension necessarily exists prior to the action of the rest of the sentence, the action being designated by the verb "created." Therefore, some dimension, either spatial or temporal, existed prior to God's creation of the heaven and the earth.

Finally, although I do not see how, it might be argued that, because "in" is a preposition, that it creates a logical relationship and not a spatial or temporal one. I do not think the word "in" can be used to designate a "logical relationship." Supposing Con does argue convincingly that this is the case, Con would still have to admit that logical relationships existed before the creation of the universe. In other words, God would be in a logical relationship to the "beginning." Either a logical relationship must exist prior to creation, or some spatial or temporal dimension. The resolution is affirmed.

Thank you. Vote Pro
Kinesis

Con

Kinesis forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Kinesis 6 years ago
Kinesis
:The word 'in':

Pro claims that the word 'in' requires there to be a spacial or temporal relationship between God and the creation of the universe.

Firstly, there are an absolute plethora of definitions for the word 'in', most of which Pro ignores. His rules prevent me from listing any of them, but suffice to say that its use as a preposition is one in many, many others.

Regardless, assuming that it is a preposition, I can find no reputable source that agrees with Pro's claim that it must indicate a spacial or temporal dimension. It has many uses as a preposition, many of which have nothing to do with space or time.

Indeed, the most logical use I can deduce is the use of it to 'limit the scope' of a particular thing. The word 'in' is simply being used here to indicate that we are describing the beginning and subsequent development of the universe by the work of God, instead of something else. The word is merely being used to show that the rest of the sentence is referring to 'the beginning'. So the word in does not necessitate a spacial or temporal relationship.
Posted by Kinesis 6 years ago
Kinesis
Round 3:

I apologise sincerely for accidentally forfeiting. This is my third round.

:Good:

Pro attempts to disregard my entire argument with a throwaway comment at the end. A 'source' in a debate is not a vague pronunciation that most informed Christians would agree with me, it is a reference to evidence or statistics which support my case. That Pro would use this to disregard the part of my round that he could not refute is smart, but also dishonest and inadequate.

The argument about God's goodness stands, since Pro has done nothing but ignore it in favour of claiming foul for an imaginary violation.

:The Beginning:

Using a series of elaborate word games, Pro attempts to show a number of things. I shall respond to each point.

1. Pro uses a cut quote to try and show that I admitted that a spacial dimension existed before the universe. If readers will care to look at the quote, I was simply referring to the *event* where God created the universe, not the pre-existing dimension where God created it. This is simply quote mining.

2. Pro continues with a series of unsupported assertions. He claims that an event requires a spacial or temporal dimension to happen, a claim he does not even bother to support - in reality, God, being omnipotent, could create dimensions from nothing. There is nothing logically contradictory about that, and so it falls under the remit of omnipotence.

3. Pro claims that the 'event' must have existed with God before the universe. This is a meaningless claim. The event was the a-temporal, a-spacial creation of the universe - the event was beginning of the universe; it is logically contradictory to claim that it existed before itself.

(Continued in next post)
Posted by Kinesis 6 years ago
Kinesis
Dammit, I've lost everything I wrote for the last round as well. This blows.
Posted by Kinesis 6 years ago
Kinesis
Oh no! I had no idea the time limit was coming up. Hang on, I'll post my last round in the comments.
Posted by Dorb 6 years ago
Dorb
Why did you forfeit?
Posted by Kinesis 6 years ago
Kinesis
O.o

Wish I'd taken English Lit now. I'm going to have to do some research...
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Atheism 6 years ago
Atheism
DorbKinesisTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by jat93 6 years ago
jat93
DorbKinesisTied
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Vote Placed by I-am-a-panda 6 years ago
I-am-a-panda
DorbKinesisTied
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Total points awarded:50