The Instigator
brett.winstead
Pro (for)
Winning
8 Points
The Contender
TheHighwayman
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

All organized religions have one thing in common that destroys them

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
brett.winstead
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/5/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,370 times Debate No: 40026
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (19)
Votes (2)

 

brett.winstead

Pro

This debate is about all of the worlds major religions. It is actually about the ones that have a real hard-core decree of right, wrong and what is required of mankind in order to be right in the eyes of that religion's God and/or to achieve eternal life and/or avoid damnation. It is not at all about philosophical ideas like Buddhism that are more about advice for living in this life but do not offer consequences for the next one.

I am going to argue for the idea that none of the following prophets can be trusted:
1. Moses
2. Any old testament prophet or writer of the books in the Bible.
3. Any new testament disciple or writer (especially Paul) of the NT books
4. Jesus
5. Muhammed
6. Joseph Smith
7. Brigham Young
8. Jim Jones
9. Popes
10. Just pick any leader of any organized religions past or present that has claims to speak for God.

I am going to argue that they ALL have one seriously disturbing thing in common. I don't want to say what that is until someone accepts. All I ask is that you too believe in some organized religious and you too claim to have faith and you believe you are living the right life as best you can in God's eyes.
TheHighwayman

Con

This is a really large topic, so can we please keep it to these people:
-Biblical People
-Muhammed
-Popes
If you would like to bring anyone else into this debate though go ahead.

So please give your reasons why these people cannot be trusted.
Debate Round No. 1
brett.winstead

Pro

I would be interested to know where you stand on religion and faith? You did not say and the criteria for accepting the debate was to have a type of faith in a major world religion.

Anyway, since the beginning of time, every religion that has a message has one thing in common. A person steps up to the plate and says "God told me to tell you." I will call this from now on by the acronym. GTMTTY. The Bible has spawned many religions itself but let's stick to the 3 big ones, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. If Noah's family had asked him why they should build an ark, Noah simply said GTMTTY. When Moses came down from Mt. Sinai with the commandments and numerous laws, he said GTMTTY. When every Old Testament prophet came forth with a warning or message from God, he started with GTMTTY. When Jesus said he was sent by God and the son of God, his message was GTMTTY. As the Bible reports how the church unfolded, Paul came along and had a completely different message about the law and its importance. How do we know that Paul was hearing from God? He said GTMTTY.

In the 4th century, the Roman Catholic church emerged with its Popes claiming all authority of truth. How do we know Popes were speaking for God? They said GTMTTY.

The 19th century spawned other Bible based prophets like Charles Russell (Jehovah's Witnesses) and Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. They all said (altogether now) GTMTTY.

Jim Jones got a large following in the 1970s who convinced over 900 people to kill themselves. How did he get their attention in the first place? By saying GTMTTY.

There is no getting around it. If someone says we know Jesus rose from the dead, that begs the question "how do we know this." Someone might say:

"The Bible says so and we know the Bible is the word of God because it says so. Men of God were moved by the Holy Spirit and they wrote down what God led them to write."

This is a case of God Told Me To Write This. How do we, as imperfect, finite and faulty human beings, have any way to know what God told anyone to tell us? We don't.

Now, I have pointed out the obvious that many men throughout history have said GTMTTY. Many of these men have royally contradicted the other men who have said GTMTTY. If I came to you right now with a message of GTMTTY, would you believe me? What if I said something really interesting and smart that made perfect sense accompanied with GTMTTY? Believe me then? However, what if I told you that you need to go and kill one of your neighbors along with GTMTTY. Believe me then? The fact is that you do not know and you cannot know unless God himself tells you the message.

If you were God and you had a perfect message to mankind about righteous living and what it takes to receive eternal life, what makes more sense:

1. You send a prophet, one at a time to convey this message.
2. You reveal to each man, woman and child who ever lived supernaturally in an unmistakeable way so that the message would be completely impossible to misinterpret. No one could possibly claim ignorance or unbelief because it would be plainer than 2 + 2 =4. It would be more obvious than fire being hot or ice being cold. There would not be different religions preaching different messages. There would be no learning process at all. Everyone would know everything there was to know about God and the only responsibility left would be to obey it. Belief would not even be an issue. God could regularly write his message across the sky in every language just to remind everyone that the message was actually coming from him.

Ask yourself what would make more sense. Now, ask yourself this: If God were NOT speaking to you and me through "prophets," but there were many who claim he did, what do you think the expected result might be? Do you think it might be close to what we have now? Yes or no.

Some might say "But God does things His way." How do you know that? Did someone say to you GTMTTY.
TheHighwayman

Con

Your argument is very compelling.
I can argue for the Bible because I am Catholic.

Each of the 72 books of the Bible have been inspired by God.
The Catholic church did not just randomly choose 72 manuscripts, they in fact research thousands of manuscripts and said these 72 books were inspired by God.

Lets take the four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. These are not the only four manuscripts that write about Jesus' life. Most of these manuscripts are eyewitness accounts of Jesus' miracles and his life.
Now the four writers of the Gospels did not just sit down one day and began writing about Jesus with God in the background telling them what to write. Each of the four writers did there research own research, into to Jesus' life and, based off of that research wrote the Gospels. Their sources include the Apostles, one of the Gospel writers was actually a good friend of St. Peter. Furthermore, when the Catholic Church formed. The Church then took all these manuscripts, did there own research and put together the 72 books of the Bible, and this research has not stop, it continues today.
Now where does God come into this equation? Each of the writers were inspired by God in their writing and in their research and so was the Popes and the Church when they did there own research into the 72 books of the Bible.

Now the Old Testament is a little more complicated because of the fact it is larger than the New Testament, have a lot more genres of writings, and is much older than the New Testament. Anyway, all the Prophets, that existed, were all inspired by God. Also the writers of the Old Testament were all inspired by God to write about the Prophets or to write a story to teach a lesson. Even though some parts of the Old Testament are not true, for example, Jonah did not exist, all the books were written to teach a lesson and this lesson can be learned through reading the Bible contextually.

Now my opponent asked what makes more sense:
1. You send a prophet, one at a time to convey this message.
2. You reveal to each man, woman and child who ever lived supernaturally in an unmistakeable way so that the message would be completely impossible to misinterpret. No one could possibly claim ignorance or unbelief because it would be plainer than 2 + 2 =4. It would be more obvious than fire being hot or ice being cold. There would not be different religions preaching different messages. There would be no learning process at all. Everyone would know everything there was to know about God and the only responsibility left would be to obey it. Belief would not even be an issue. God could regularly write his message across the sky in every language just to remind everyone that the message was actually coming from him.

The problem with the second senario is that it does not allow human beings to have free will.

In conclusion, the Bible was written by humans for humans, not by God, but all the writers of the 72 books were inspired by God. The Prophets were also inspired by God and there is evidence to support this.
So no GTMTTY actually happens in the Bible.
What happens instead is humans researching and being inspired by God to write the Books of the Bible.

Thank You.
Debate Round No. 2
brett.winstead

Pro

I was worried that you had abandoned the debate! I will put your statements in bold to reply.

Each of the 72 books of the Bible have been inspired by God.

Since this debate is about every prophet in history who spoke for God saying "God told me to tell you" (GTMTTY), I fail to understand your first sentence. You are repeating what we already know people have told us. We have been told that the Bible is inspired by God as was the Koran and the book of Mormon and many other writings. The point is, how do we know this? We only know what someone has said. We have no proof at all of such amazing revelation. In fact, it is worse than lack of proof. There is no evidence whatsoever that any of these people heard from God.

The Catholic church did not just randomly choose 72 manuscripts, they in fact research thousands of manuscripts and said these 72 books were inspired by God.

Well sure, they said they were. The question is, how do you know they were? Did God tell you this like God was speaking to Jim Jones? If you do not know Jim Jones, Google him.

Now where does God come into this equation? Each of the writers were inspired by God in their writing and in their research and so was the Popes and the Church when they did there own research into the 72 books of the Bible.

Again, you are not debating the problem with this. You are repeating what the problem is. They said GTMTTY. Why would so many different people have such a different message from God if God really did reveal things to them? Why do we have all of these different religions spawned by the very words of someone saying GTMTTY? Let's get serious. Do you have any idea how many millions of people have died through the years because of differences in whom they believed when someone supposedly said GTMTTY? It is still going on right now in the Middle East. There cannot be peace between Israel and the Muslim nations because Israelis believe just Moses and the other OT prophets while the Muslims believe Muhammed. Each said GTMTTY. Both reject the divinity of Jesus who also said GTMTTY. On a side note, there were more than 72 books that could have easily gone in the Bible but the Roman church voted for the 72. They do not even imply that God told them which books to put in.

Now the Old Testament is a little more complicated ...Anyway, all the Prophets, that existed, were all inspired by God.

Is it because they said so or because God told you this? Some prophets told the people that God said to invade certain cities and:

Slay utterly old and young, both maids and little children, and women.... (Ezekiel 9:6)

...slay both man and woman, infant and suckling (1 Samuel 15:3).


My friend, are you absolutely certain that a God, who claimed to be a God of love and righteousness really told them to kill babies and totally sweet 7 year olds? Think about your answer because I have another question for you later that will relate to this.

Now my opponent asked what makes more sense:

1. You send a prophet, one at a time to convey this message.
2. You reveal to each man, woman and child who ever lived supernaturally in an unmistakeable way so that the message would be completely impossible to misinterpret. No one could possibly claim ignorance or unbelief because it would be plainer than 2 + 2 =4. It would be more obvious than fire being hot or ice being cold. There would not be different religions preaching different messages. There would be no learning process at all. Everyone would know everything there was to know about God and the only responsibility left would be to obey it. Belief would not even be an issue. God could regularly write his message across the sky in every language just to remind everyone that the message was actually coming from him.

The problem with the second senario is that it does not allow human beings to have free will.


What? What does God's delivery method for mankind's instructions have to do with free will? Nothing. Free will is man's ability to make decisions about what he is told...to be able to make his own decisions. Are you suggesting that God should be so mysterious that we really should not know the plain truth? What if our laws of this land were like this? What if one day I got a ticket for driving a blue car when I had never heard of such a violation. The police officer tells me that it is not an actual written law but if it were, it would interfere with my decision to break it or not (free will). Does that make any sense?

I am saying that if God wants to talk to you and has a message for you and he is almighty and can do anything, he does not need a mediator. According to mankind's history of contradictory and destructive religions beliefs, a mediator or prophet is God's only method of contact with us and guess what? A mediator can lie and you have no way to know if and when he is telling you the truth. I would think that God would know that and skip the mediator method and focus on my skywriting plan. Better yet, just write his laws and requirements on the left and right side of our brains and be done with it. Wouldn't that be simple to do for an unlimited almighty God? We would not ever need to debate religion if everyone knew the truth as easy as everyone know fire is hot.

So no GTMTTY actually happens in the Bible.

You said the Bible is inspired but God did not do any GTMTTY? That is exactly what the Bible is in most of it! It is replete with "Thus says the Lord..." from the prophets over and over again. Have you read the Bible or have you just been told this? I have read all of it. Christianity views every word of it as the "word of God." So do Catholics.

Let me give you a demonstration of the fallacy of GTMTTY. Highwayman, God told me to tell you this and I am going to quote as it came from the mouth of God so this is from God to you:

"All written documents that pretend to be inspired by God are made up. All religions are wrong. I have decided to reveal the truth to you, Highwayman. My message to you in full will come later but I have one asssignment first for you to prove your loyalty to me. I want you to go and find a gun. I want you to go to the largest daycare center in your area on Wednesday morning and kill three children there including one under six months of age. It is a test of your faith. I want you to leave and go home and I will instruct you further. Thus says the Lord."

Now, I want to ask you a very serious question. Do you believe God told me to tell you this? Here is the problem with your answer. If you answer "Yes," you are about to go and commit murder just like the "Godly" Israelites supposedly did except they killed a lot more than three. If you answer "No, I don't believe God told you to tell me that", we have a problem. If you don't believe me, why do you believe other people could get away with GTMTTY? Why, when someone tells you something that is unspeakably horrible, is it wrong for YOU to do but when you read it in a book written thousands of years ago, it is okay? Did they really hear from God but I did not? How would you know? Did God reveal to you which of is being truthful?
TheHighwayman

Con

I am limiting this debate to Biblical Prophets and Popes.

Answer to 1st, 3rd, 4th rebuttal:
There is a difference between GTMTTY being inspired by God. God did not tell the prophets/writers what to write and say. What he does instead is choose the prophet to deliver his message, inspire them, and they deliver the message in their own style.

Answer to 2nd rebuttal:
Catholic Church determined whether or not a manuscript or prophet was inspired by God in many ways. They use historical evidence, archeological evidence, eye witness accounts, and the text itself to determine. Also, the Catholic Church looks how the manuscripts relate to each other. If you take a look at the Bible, there are no conflicting between the Old Testament and the New Testament.

Answer to 3rd rebuttal:
My opponent has fallen into the common trap of not reading the Bible contextually. He has taken exerts from the Bible without looking at the overall meaning. Some parts of the Bible are stories made up. Like Jonah and Noah did not exist, also the creation story in Genesis is false. In order to truly understand the Bible, one must read in a contextual sense, because every book is in the Bible for a reason. In reality, people can skew the Bible to justify pretty much anything.

Answer to 5th:
God's delivery method has everything to do with free will. What God has done is given us a Book that tells us how to live a happy life. Now it up to us personally to choose whether or not to follow it. God wants us to love Him, and He knows that He cannot have that unless we make that choice ourselves to love Him.

Answer to 6th:
When the Bible says "Thus says the Lord" the Lord is actually talking that is only when it happens.

By the way, I have read the Bible, Koran, and Book of Mormon.
Good Luck to my opponent.
Debate Round No. 3
brett.winstead

Pro

I am limiting this debate to Biblical Prophets and Popes.

Somehow you have decided that this debate is about the Bible when it is not. It is about people, Bible characters included who have decided that they are prophets and that they said GTMTTY a message. You are not staying on the debate topic.

There is a difference between GTMTTY and being inspired by God. God did not tell the prophets/writers what to write and say. What he does instead is choose the prophet to deliver his message, inspire them, and they deliver the message in their own style.

Again, you are talking about what someone in the Bible said and are ignoring what I have repeatedly pointed out - that what self-proclaimed "prophets" say to us is often highly contradictory from other "prophets" to the point of spawning different religions completely, some that lead to murder and suicide and wars. It is already established what you believe about the Bible but that is not what this debate is about. Even in your own religion, Popes have contradicted Popes. See:

http://www.allvoices.com...

Catholic Church determined whether or not a manuscript or prophet was inspired by God in many ways.

That is odd because Judaism teaches that Moses was the main prophet and Islam teaches that Mohammed is and of course I could go on and on. How is it that YOU know that the Catholic church and her contradictory popes is the source of God's message to mankind? How do you know that?

They use historical evidence, archeological evidence,

Real history and real archeological evidence for that history in an old book has nothing to do with whether the prophets in that book ever heard from God. This debate is about how all these people said that GTMTTY.

eye witness accounts,

If I write a book that says Bob can flap his arms and fly in chapter one and later in the book, I write that Janet saw Bob flap his arms and fly, is that an eyewitness account? Would you say that Janet really saw Bob do that because it was written down? Using your definition of an eyewitness account letting the Bible tell you what is what because the Bible says what it says, you would have to believe that Bob can flap his arms and fly, correct? After all, if Janet saw him do it in chapter 7 and it says he could, then he evidently could by eyewitness evidence.

and the text itself to determine.

How? If the text says Paul heard from God, does that mean it true? Muslims say that their text is true. Which one is true - the one you believe because you believe or the one they believe for the same reason? Or do we have no clue?

If you take a look at the Bible, there are no conflicting between the Old Testament and the New Testament.

I am assuming you have been told that and have not actually examined the Bible with a magnifying glass because it is chock full of hundreds of errors from numerical to scientific (flat Earth strongly implied which is also what Catholicism used to teach) to doctrine. However, if the Bible were 100% perfect in math and history and spelling, that does not mean that the doctrine came from the mouth of God to prophets. They just said so. But again, this debate is not about the Bible but if you want to see a few contradictions, this site will keep you busy for the rest of your youth:

http://www.infidels.org...

My opponent has fallen into the common trap of not reading the Bible contextually. He has taken exerts from the Bible without looking at the overall meaning.

Do you mean when I pointed out:

"Slay utterly old and young, both maids and little children, and women.... "(Ezekiel 9:6)

"...slay both man and woman, infant and suckling" (1 Samuel 15:3).

Can you talk about how I took those out of context? Christians absolutely adore that "out of context" phrase to excuse the most atrocious events in the Old Testament. No offense but it is nauseating, my friend. I guess when God threateted to kill even the righteous, that is out of context? Or when God arranged for David to have extra wives, that is out of context? I guess when God rewards a man who rapes a single available woman her hand in marriage, that is also out of context? When God ordered mass murder to people who had no idea what his law was, that is out of context? You really should dive deep into the OT and learn who the Bible God really was. You would not want him as your our neighbor three blocks away, must less the object of your affection. This is what the prophets said that God told them to do. I notice you avoided answering my question on hearing from God and murdering children today. That is because no matter how one answers that, they are backed into a corner.

God's delivery method has everything to do with free will.

Whose free will are you referring to? Ours or Gods?

What God has done is given us a Book

Which book is that and how do you know which book it is? Every time I have asked you that, you have avoided the answer. There is archeology in many religious books. There are real cities in them too. That proves nothing. If I write a book full of facts, does that make me inspired by God?

When the Bible says "Thus says the Lord" the Lord is actually talking that is only when it happens.

My friend, that is IMPOSSIBLE for you to know unless God himself told you.
TheHighwayman

Con

TheHighwayman forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
brett.winstead

Pro

To be continued...hopefully.
TheHighwayman

Con

TheHighwayman forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
19 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by TetsuRiken 3 years ago
TetsuRiken
What's the point of religion seriously it has no true point really and before anyone gets on my case I did follow the bible until about a year ago that's when I realized that religion doesn't do any thing.
Posted by TheHighwayman 3 years ago
TheHighwayman
I will post my rebuttal tomorrow
Posted by TheHighwayman 3 years ago
TheHighwayman
Btw I am writing my case write now.
Posted by brett.winstead 3 years ago
brett.winstead
The "apply in comments" rule? Do you mean asking people if they qualify for the debate before accepting them? Can I control that?
Posted by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
Probably no reason to delay, but I suggest in future using the "apply in comments" rule. It may be a pain, but it makes sure the other person logins at least one more time.
Posted by brett.winstead 3 years ago
brett.winstead
Thanks, RAg, but it does not look like he is going to debate. He is only 15 and probably decided it was not worth it. I am going to try again as soon as this times out.
Posted by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
It is a very well articulated argument, I look forward to seeing if con can counter it.
Posted by brett.winstead 3 years ago
brett.winstead
If I could only remember to block all teenagers from my debates. I just cannot seem to do it.
Posted by brett.winstead 3 years ago
brett.winstead
IslamAhmadiyya, I am afraid you have fallen for the same line that your "prophet" has told you. GTMTTY. You seem to think that if someone dies for what they believe in, that makes their belief so. You fail to recognize that many, many people have died for what they believe in who completely contradict one another! How can you possibly not recognize that? That is why you are a Muslim and not a Jew, Christian, Catholic or Mormon. You believe one message came from God but the others did not. The fact is that you think it makes sense for God to talk to lone individuals and inspire them to write "scriptures" for the masses when God has never told that that is how he operates. If God did tell you that, then we have a different argument but we both know he has not. Believing in something and dying for it has happened many times. Remember the Jim Jones and Heaven's Gate suicides? They all died for what they believed in. Did that make it true? You are simply choosing which man you hope told the truth when he said GTMTTY.
Posted by IslamAhmadiyya 3 years ago
IslamAhmadiyya
If you made it this far, thanks for reading it all.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
brett.winsteadTheHighwaymanTied
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: ff
Vote Placed by wiploc 3 years ago
wiploc
brett.winsteadTheHighwaymanTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: FF