The Instigator
adontimasu
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
acvavra
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Annihilationism is sound doctrine in Christianity

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/14/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,899 times Debate No: 25135
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (10)
Votes (0)

 

adontimasu

Pro

Before I begin, I am only referring to the Christian idea of the lake of fire: therefore Islamic theology and Jewish theology in regards to Sheol, Gehenna, or Jahannam will not be discussed in this topic. The primary focus will be on the Book of Revelations. The lake of fire is a Christian doctrine discussed almost exclusively found in the Book of Revelations. Two very important concepts are needed before we actually begin discussion: firstly, that the lake of fire is known as the second death (Rev. 21:8, Rev. 20:14-15); secondly that those who are not found in the Book of Life, of which one's good faith and works is recorded, are sentenced to this lake of fire. (Rev. 20:12-15)

Furthermore, a definition for our singular term is required: annihilationism is "the theological doctrine that the wicked will cease to exist after this life" (1) Anybody who holds an opinion on this matter, please feel free to respond to this challenge. I thank my opponent in advance for helping me increase and challenge my theological knowledge.

(1) http://www.merriam-webster.com...
acvavra

Con

I accept.
Revelation 20:15 says, "And whosoever was not found in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." Thus, the wicked(those not in the book of life) go to the lake of fire. Now the question becomes, "Will the wicked burn in this lake of fire forever." The answer: yes. Rev 14:11 says, "And the smoke of THEIR TORMENT ascendeth up FOREVER AND EVER." Thus, they are not annihilated.

Jesus tells the goat nations in Matthew 25:46, "And these shall go away into EVERLASTING PUNISHMENT." The Wicked are never annihilated. Thats not even implied in the Scriptures. Observe all these references on Hell:

Matthew 8:12- the wicked go into outer darkness where there's weeping and gnashing of teeth. They are not annihilated.
Matthew 22:13-same thing again
Matthew 25:30-same thing again

God never just destroys these souls and puts an end to them. They are ALWAYS tormented.

Mark 9:43,45-go into Hell, into the FIRE THAT NEVER SHALL BE QUENCHED.

Further, Jesus Christ makes it perfectly clear that the wicked are not annihilated. He tells the story of a rich man and a beggar who died. The beggar does to Paradise, and the rich man to Hell. Luke 16:23 says, "And in Hell he lift up his eyes being in torments." Verse 24 says, "send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, AND COOL MY TONGUE; FOR I AM TORMENTED IN THIS FLAME."

The Bible is clear that the Wicked are not annihilated, but burn in agony forever.
Debate Round No. 1
adontimasu

Pro

I would like to thank my opponent for his quick response in regards to this discussion. This is my first debate, so hopefully this goes over well.

First Rebuttal:
My opponent brings up Revelation 14:11, and uses this as justification for why all of the unrighteous will be tormented forever in the lake of fire. That is all well and good given what he had given, however, it appears that he may be mistaken on the "who." Revelation 14:9-11 gives a much fuller context:

"A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: ‘If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives its mark on their forehead or on their hand, they, too, will drink the wine of God's fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. They will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name.'" (Revelation 14:9-11)

Therefore, it appears that only those who worship Satan will be tormented forever. There appears to be no justifiable reason from this verse alone, however, that would make someone believe that it states that ALL people are burned forever.

Second Rebuttal:
My opponent brings up Matthew 25:46. A fair point, however, I will attempt to prove in my points that, by eternal, Jesus means that the effects are eternal: that is to say, the soul dies for all eternity. As for the place of darkness that is a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth, this simply describes that the annihilation of the soul is a painful procedure. As for Mark 9:43-45, the fires never go out. That tells us nothing about whether or not this fire is tormenting anybody; simply that it never goes out. Furthermore, take note of Matthew 13:42: "And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth." I simply find it interesting that Jesus refers to Hell as "a furnace of fire." Circumstantial, I'm aware, but still, interesting.

Third Rebuttal:
My opponent brings up Luke 16:23-24. I submit that this does not prove that this torment is eternal. Submit this verse, in NIV, for a moment: "And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame." (Luke 16:24) Now, let's take a look at Revelation. "And death and HELL were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." (Revelation 20:14-15).
Let's think about that for a moment. If Hell is thrown into the lake of fire, that means two things: Hell is separate from the lake of fire, and, if my opponent is correct, Hell is tormented for all time . . . but wait. That doesn't make any logical sense. However, if the lake of fire were a place of annihilation, then this would mean that Hell is destroyed along with the wicked, meaning that Hell has no purpose, which makes perfect sense.

--

First Point:
As pointed out already, Hell is thrown into the lake of fire. This lake of fire is known as the second death: that is to say, where the soul dies a second time. I would ask my opponent to point out what he believes the second death is? The soul never dies, in accordance with his theological world view. The very definition of the second death, however, seems contradictory to this.

Second Point:
Revelations 20:15 mentions that those who are not found in the Book of Life are hurled into the lake of fire. The unrighteous are blotted out of this book. (Psalm 69:28, Exodus 32:33) To "blot" comes from the Hebrew word machah, meaning to wipe off [from existence and memory], or to abolish. (1)(2) So, those who are blotted out of the Book of Life - the unrighteous - are wiped from existence. However, those who are blotted from the Book are also thrown into the lake of fire, and therefore, this seems to mean that the lake of fire is used to destroy the unrighteous.

Third Point:
"And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works." (Revelation 20:13) Now, this verse, to me, seems to state that Hell is emptied, as well as shoel (the grave; those who are dead but were not wicked enough to be placed into Hell), and, afterwards, judgment is done. This moves on: "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." (Revelation 20:14-15) As I have already stated, Hell is thrown in the lake of fire, alongside those who are unrighteous. If Hell is emptied, how can torment be everlasting?

Fourth Point:
As I hope I have concluded well enough, the normal person is annihilated. This brings to question, however, what occurs to those whom worship Satan? These are tormented forever, as pointed out in a verse provided by our opponent. It appears as though the lake of fire and the lake of burning sulfur are two separate entities from one another; this, unless, those whom establish worship in Satan are tormented forever in the lake of burning sulfur, while the unrighteous are thrown in the lake of fire. I ask my opponent: what is your opinion on this idea, if we were to assume annihilationism for a brief period, as this is a fascinating concept in and of itself.

Conclusion:
Annihilationism is sound Christian doctrine that does not meet conflict with biblical teachings.

(1) http://www.fredsbibletalk.com...
(2) http://concordances.org...

--

On a fairly irrelevant topic, I am enjoying this debate. I am curious: do you know how to bold text? Is it the usually [] format, <>, or something else? Thank you!
acvavra

Con

Pro says, "Therefore, it appears that only those who worship Satan will be tormented forever." That sounds fine, but those who worship Satan go to the Lake of Fire and Rev 20:15 says that EVERYONE not in the Book of Life(the wicked) go to the Lake of Fire.

Pro said, "I will attempt to prove in my points that, by eternal, Jesus means that the effects are eternal: that is to say, the soul dies for all eternity." The problem is how can an eternal being(soul) be destroyed unless it eternally suffered? Thus, the Lake of Fire has to be the final destination for wicked souls. My opponent appears to admit this by saying, "the soul dies for all eternity." Correct, so how could it be annihilated? Further, what's the point of the fires of Hell never going out IF no one is to be tormented by them?

Now my opponent is correct that the Lake of Fire is separate from Hell, and that Hell is thrown into the Lake of Fire, but that just proves my point. The wicked go from burning in Hell to BURNING in the Lake of Fire. Hell is not destroyed, its merely cast into the Lake of Fire to BECOME EVEN HOTTER(Rev 20:14). The Bible DOES NOT say that the Lake of Fire annihilates anyone, its just as hot as, if not hotter than Hell. The prove for this is Revelation 21:8 which says, "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the LAKE WHICH BURNETH WITH FIRE AND BRIMSTONE." Why would it keep burning if the wicked just get annihilated?

Rebuttal to Pro's Points
The first death is the death of the body. The second death is the death of the soul, but it dies eternally, or as MY OPPONENT SAID, "the soul dies for all eternity."

The Lake of Fire does destroy the unrighteous, but it destroys them by eternal suffering or "everlasting punishment" as Matthew 25:46 says.

Hell is emptied, but the wicked are still punished forever in the Lake of Fire.

Pro says," It appears as though the lake of fire and the lake of burning sulfur are two separate entities from one another; this, unless, those whom establish worship in Satan are tormented forever in the lake of burning sulfur, while the unrighteous are thrown in the lake of fire. I ask my opponent: what is your opinion on this idea, if we were to assume annihilationism for a brief period, as this is a fascinating concept in and of itself."

The problem with such an interpretation is that Rev 21:8 is this Lake of buring sulphur that the "Wicked" go to. It's a lake burning with "brimstone" which produces sulphur. Thus, ALL the wicked go to this same Lake. I don't think there's any brief period of annihilationism at all based on such verses.

Conclusion:
Annihilationism is HERETICAL Christian doctrine that does conflict with biblical teachings.

Sources

http://www.biblegateway.com...
http://www.biblestudytools.com...
Debate Round No. 2
adontimasu

Pro

Con’s points are good, I will give him that. However, I believe he does not understand what I mean when I say that the soul will die eternally. I do not mean that the soul will take an eternity to fully die; simply that it will die and remain dead for all eternity. I apologize to both Con and anybody reading if they mistook when I meant. Con further asks why it would keep burning if the wicked just get annihilated. That is an excellent question. A question, however, that is not addressed and, I feel, is irrelevant. Why or why not the lake of fire burns indefinitely is not relevant to whether or not annihilation theory is supported doctrine, except on a circumstantial level, if even that. Furthermore, there is no reason to assume that Hell is thrown into the lake of fire to make it hotter. In fact, as far as I am aware, the Bible does not directly state the purpose of the lake of fire – I believe that it implies annihilationism, as I believe I have and will continue to support, and my opponent believes that it will torment souls forever.



Rebuttal 1:


My opponent is basing this argument off of a faulty understanding of what I mean. He states that the soul is “destroyed,” in that it tortures them forever and ever. I submit that this line of thinking is faulty. In fact, I will use the verse that my opponent presented as my reasoning behind this. If this punishment is everlasting, how can the soul be destroyed? This is illogical: if eternity, by its very nature, cannot end, how can the soul ever possibly be destroyed? He states that this is “everlasting punishment.” Well, obviously. If the soul is annihilated, and destroyed, as Con has already admitted occurs in the lake of fire, than their soul is forever dead, and cannot be lifted into Heaven, or Paradise on Earth (depending on your specific denomination). Think of it this way: if someone states that they will kill you by continually poking you with an object that they admit will never kill you for all eternity, how does this result in death, the “someone” in this equation being God, and the object being used to poke being the Lake of Fire?



Rebuttal 2:


I have pointed out three rebuttals that I have made in my R1 post. These rebuttals were not denied, and therefore I will assume that Con’s assumptions are faulty to his own indirect admission. With this in like, I would like to say that, in light of this, this assumption begs the question, a logical fallacy by which an argument is produced which proves the point of the arguer by assuming that their original hypothesis is already true. [1] I state that this is case for my opponent because he has not provided any new justification for this position, and has not denied any of the rebuttals I had provided last round, thereby making his entire thesis groundless.



Rebuttal 3:


I would like my opponent to provide a source which states that burning brimstone produces sulfur. Not because I necessarily disagree with the point, but because I genuinely do not know whether or not that is true, and I would rather not accept or deny this claim without proper reason to.



Point 1:


I have tried to remain on a relatively theological level with my points, however this particular point will be a tad different: I submit that a God who torments the souls of the unrighteous for all eternity is a malevolent deity, which is a logical contradiction from the generally accepted attribute of God as being omnibenevolent. I make this argument through the Problem of Hell [2]:



  1. An omniperfect God would not damn anyone to hell without having a morally sufficient reason (that is, a very good reason based on moral considerations) to do so.

  2. (2) It is not possible for God to have a morally sufficient reason to damn anyone.

  3. (3) Therefore, it is not possible for God to damn anyone to hell.



Point 2:


My opponent has not addressed my second point in the first round. I continue to support this point, and await a rebuttal for it, if any.



--



[1]: http://www.fallacyfiles.org...


[2]: Adams, Marilyn M. (1993) ‘The Problem of Hell: A Problem of Evil for Christians’, in E. Stump (ed.)Reasoned Faith, A Festschrift for Norman Kretzmann, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 301–27.

acvavra

Con

My opponent forgot to include an argument. Here it is:

I had forgotten to add a part in my first point on how this does not apply to annihilationism. I will restate it in round 3 (hopefully I'll remember), but I will state it here as well: I disagree with the argument all and full on its own, however I agree that the traditional idea of Hell has a problem that is very similar to this argument. Firstly, eternal torment for finite acts on earth is not proportional, which contradicts the attributes of God being a fair and righteous judge. (Psalm 7:11) This does not apply to annihilationism, as finite acts are punished with death. This is similar to the death penalty, of which I am aware most of the people on this debate forum (including Con) are for. [3][4]

The problem with saying eternal torment is not proportional is that you sin against an eternal being. If you sinned against me, you could pay for it here in prison, or until I died. But what are you going to do when you sin against an ETERNAL BEING? Why you would have to pay for it, FOREVER! That would be the only way to pay for sins against an eternal being.

Pro said, "Con further asks why it would keep burning if the wicked just get annihilated. That is an excellent question. A question, however, that is not addressed and, I feel, is irrelevant. Why or why not the lake of fire burns indefinitely is not relevant to whether or not annihilation theory is supported doctrine, except on a circumstantial level, if even that. Furthermore, there is no reason to assume that Hell is thrown into the lake of fire to make it hotter. In fact, as far as I am aware, the Bible does not directly state the purpose of the lake of fire – I believe that it implies annihilationism, as I believe I have and will continue to support, and my opponent believes that it will torment souls forever."

The question about the Lake of Fire burning is completely relevant if the wicked are annihilated. It calls into question the whole purpose of the Lake of Fire if the wicked are annihilated. It makes perfect sense to throw Hell into the Lake of Fire, for it allows for one destination for the wicked instead of two. The direct purpose of the Lake of Fire is for the Devil and those who worship him. Consider Rev 14:9-11 which says:

"A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: ‘If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives its mark on their forehead or on their hand, they, too, will drink the wine of God's fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. They will be tormented WITH BURNING SULFUR in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever."

Notice the burning sulfur is the Lake of Fire, for its filled with brimstone which causes sulfur. If the Devil is cast into it FOREVER, then the rest of the wicked must burn forever, for they are also cast into it(Rev 20:15). Furthermore Rev 19:20 TELLS YOU THE DEVIL GOES TO THE LAKE OF FIRE. Observe:

"And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone."

And if the Devil burns forever in the Lake of Fire which my opponent ADMITTED TO, then the wicked must also burn forever in the Lake of Fire(Rev 20:15).

Thus, they are not annihilated.

Rebuttal to Pro's Rebuttals
If this punishment is everlasting, how can the soul be destroyed? This is illogical: if eternity, by its very nature, cannot end, how can the soul ever possibly be destroyed?

Answer: Its a spiritual death. Its not a physical destruction

Pro said, "I would like my opponent to provide a source which states that burning brimstone produces sulfur. Not because I necessarily disagree with the point, but because I genuinely do not know whether or not that is true, and I would rather not accept or deny this claim without proper reason to."

Answer: Brimstone starts out in the molten rock under the earth's surface. It spews out in the lava of volcanoes and often comes to the surface of the earth from volcanoes and hot springs. Sulfur deposits have been found on the Italian island of Sicily where it lay near the surface of the earth and also Louisiana (USA) deep underground near the Gulf of Mexico.
http://www.biblicalscholarship.com...

Rebuttal to Pro's point 1
God is balanced. He is loving but he's also Holy and just. He cannot allow ANY sin in His presence. If he did, He would no longer be Holy. Thus, souls tainted with sin(blood of Christ has not washed them) must be separated from God(Romans 3:23). Hell is the place to go, in order to pay make an eternal being, thus the payment is forever.

Rebuttal to Pro's point 2
I answered it. The wicked are blotted out of the Book of Life. They burn in the Lake of Fire(Rev 20:15) along with the Devil(Rev 19:20). Thus, none of the wicked are annihilated.

I have thoroughly answered my opponent and presented my case. Vote Con!
Debate Round No. 3
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by adontimasu 5 years ago
adontimasu
Good debate.
Best of luck, mate.
Posted by adontimasu 5 years ago
adontimasu
Nevermind - I just remembered that there are only three rounds. xD - If you would please, can you copy and paste this into your argument when or if you address it? Thank you, mate! :)
Posted by adontimasu 5 years ago
adontimasu
I had forgotten to add a part in my first point on how this does not apply to annihilationism. I will restate it in round 3 (hopefully I'll remember), but I will state it here as well: I disagree with the argument all and full on its own, however I agree that the traditional idea of Hell has a problem that is very similar to this argument. Firstly, eternal torment for finite acts on earth is not proportional, which contradicts the attributes of God being a fair and righteous judge. (Psalm 7:11) This does not apply to annihilationism, as finite acts are punished with death. This is similar to the death penalty, of which I am aware most of the people on this debate forum (including Con) are for. [3][4]

[3] http://www.debate.org...
[4] http://www.debate.org... - "The BIG Issues"

--

I will give myself a reminder to add this point in my round 3 rebuttal / point section. Unless, of course, you would like to quote this for your argument. :P
Posted by adontimasu 5 years ago
adontimasu
Thanks. :)
Posted by acvavra 5 years ago
acvavra
When you go to post your argument, hit rich text and bold will pop up.
Posted by adontimasu 5 years ago
adontimasu
Thanks! :)
Posted by acvavra 5 years ago
acvavra
Your doing good for your first debate.
Posted by adontimasu 5 years ago
adontimasu
Wonderful. I hope this will be an interesting discussion. :)
Posted by acvavra 5 years ago
acvavra
I will do this for you, stubs.
Posted by stubs 5 years ago
stubs
Dang I would take this if I wasn't so busy right now
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