The Instigator
Con (against)
4 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
8 Points

Atheism Vs Christianity

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/7/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,315 times Debate No: 33411
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (2)




Make your arguments in this round!


"We find collected in this book [The Bible] the superstitious beliefs of the ancient inhabitants of Palestine, with indistinct echoes of Indian and Persian fables, mistaken imitation of Egyptian theories and customs, historical chronicles as dry as they are unreliable and miscellaneous poems, amatory, human and Jewish-national, which is rarely distinguished by beauties of the highest order but frequently by superfluity of expression, coarseness, bad taste, and genuine Oriental sensuality."

~Max Nordau (1849-1923)

Contention 1: Contradictions

A contradiction is defined as two or more propositions that are logically incompatible with each other. There are many contradictions in the Bible. I will list only two here.


According to the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus was born during the reign of Herod the Great. However, Luke 2 states that Jesus was born when Qurinnius was Governor of Syria and was born during a census. This is impossible as Herod the Great died in 4 BCE and the census took place during 6 CE, about 10 years after Herod died


There are multiple other problems with the story of Christ’s birth as well. Here is the chronology given by both:

Matthew's Chronology









Luke's Chronology












After Jesus was born in Bethlehem (at least according to Matthew), Herod is duped by the wise men and slaughters all the babies in Bethlehem 2 years of age and under (this shows that the timing between Jesus’ birth and now is probably about 2 years). Therefore, Mary and Joseph escape to Egypt to flee Herod’s wrath.

However, Luke’s Chronology is incompatible. After Jesus is born, he is taken to the High Priest in Jerusalem and is circumcised, he leaves Bethlehem and goes to Nazareth. This whole process takes about 40 days, not enough time to go from Nazareth – Bethlehem – Jerusalem – Egypt – Nazareth.

Contention 2: Failed Prophecies

According Deuteronomy 18:21-22, if a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord and that prophecy fails then he is obviously a false prophet. There are prophecies within the Bible that have failed.


Failed Prophecy on Tyre

Ezekiel 26:7-14, “For thus says the Lord: "Behold I will bring upon Tyre from the north Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, king of kings, with horses and chariots, and with horsemen and a hosts of many soldiers. He will slay with the sword your daughters on the mainland; he will set up a seige wall against you. He will direct the shock of his battering rams against your walls, and with his axes he will break down your towers...With the hoofs os his horses he will trample all your streets; he will slay your people with the sword and your mighty pillar will fall to the ground...they will break down your walls and destroy your pleasant houses... I will make you a bare shall never be rebuilt, for I have spoken," says the Lord God.”

The whole passage prophesied the attack and destruction of Tyre by Nebuchadnezzar. However, none of this happened. After a long siege of 13 years, Nebuchadnezzar lifted his siege and compromised with the people of Tyre. Thus, king Nebuchadnezzar did not destroy Tyre as Ezekiel said that it would.4

Ezekiel later admitted his error:

Ezekiel 29:17-20, ...the Lord God came to me: “Son of man, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon made his army labour hard against Tyre; every head was made bald and every shoulder was rubbed bare; yet neither he nor his army got anything from Tyre to pay for the labour that he had performed against it...”

I rest my case. Over to con. Note, due to the lack of time I may add more contentions in the next round if you don’t mind.

Debate Round No. 1


Proof of Christ

In additon to the crucifixion, there are numerous reasons to believe that the tomb was indeed empty on that Easter morning. This evidence can be summarized by the acronym JET: J - Jerusalem Factor, E - Enemy Testimony, and T - Testimony of Women. First, the disciples preached the gospel in Jerusalem in the midst of opposition. It would have been virtually impossible for Christianity to survive and expand in Jerusalem if the body of Jesus was still in the tomb. All the opponents of Jesus would have had to do was produce the body of Jesus and squelch this Christian movement.

Second, early enemies of Christianity never disputed that the tomb was empty. Instead, they argued that the disciples stole the body (Matt. 28:12-13; Justin Martyr, Trypho 108; Tertullian, De Spectaculis 30).

Third, and perhaps the strongest evidence, the first witnesses to the empty tomb were women. Sadly, the testimony of women was not regarded highly in antiquity. The Jewish Talmud states, "“Any evidence which a woman [gives] is not valid (to offer), also they are not valid to offer. This is equivalent to saying that one who is Rabbinically accounted a robber is qualified to give the same evidence as a woman” (Talmud, Rosh Hashannah 1.8)." Furthermore, “Sooner let the words of the Law be burnt than delivered to women” (Talmud, Sotah 19a). However, in the Gospels, the apostles are the ones who are cowardly hiding from the Jews and the women bring them news of the empty tomb! If Christians were going to invent the empty tomb story, they most certainly would not have used women as the primary witnesses.


Luke uses when writing about Quirinius' governorship over Syria. In stating that Quirinius controlled the Syrian area, Luke doesn't use the official political title of "Governor" ("legatus"), but the broader term "hegemon" which is a ruling officer or procurator. This means that Quirinius may not have been the official governor of Judea, but he was in charge of the census because he was a more capable and trusted servant of Rome than the more inept Saturninus.


A lot of these contradictions are because of a misunderstanding of the intent of the writers. People are familiar with the notion that Matthew wrote to a Jewish audience, while Luke wrote to a gentile audience. Few people, however, take time to outline the Gospels themselves, but rather try to read them side-to-side and point out acontradicon. If they did, they would find out that Matthew wrote thematically and not chronologically, and Luke and Mark wrote far more chronologically than did Matthew. This is not some isolated fact. Rather, when looking at the problem of the healing of the centurion's slave Shaffer writes, "Every commentator consulted agreed that Matthew has not presented these stories in a strictly chronological order. Again, a look at any harmony will reveal this.

By simply taking any class on literature, you learn that writers carefully plan out what their message is and how they want to deliver their message. It is apparent that Matthew's approach to the book was to alternate Christ's discourses with pertinent narrative. Now it is easy to see why Matthew sometimes places events in Jesus' life out of chronological order.


The hole contradiction is based on the word "they"

The "they" in v. 12 refers back the "nations" in v. 3-5, and were represented by Alexander the Great, who did the things described in v. 12, thus fulfilling the prophecy. Skeptics, however, say that the they in v. 12 refers to the elements of Nebuchadnezzar's forces in verses 7 and 11. Nebuchadnezzar never did the things ascribed to "they," in verse 12 - he failed to take Tyre at all - so the prophecy, it is said, was not fulfilled.

A key here is that the "they" in v. 12 can only refer to the "nations" in v. 3. Let's see how this is so.

  • 3 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Tyrus, and will cause many nations to come up against thee, as the sea causeth his waves to come up.

    Note to begin with this verse -- the being who is in charge here, who "will" do things, is the Lord God, Adonai YHWH. YHWH is at the head of the efforts, and it is He who will "cause many nations" to come up. The use of Adonai (which means sovereign or controller) places YHWH at the head of the nations.

  • 4 And they shall destroy the walls of Tyrus, and break down her towers: I will also scrape her dust from her, and make her like the top of a rock.

    We see again the same pairing: they and I. The nations will scrape Tyre off, and destroy the walls, and break down the towers. ANY nations are eligible for this action.

  • 5 It shall be a place for the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD: and it shall become a spoil to the nations.

    Once again, the I/nations pairing is made.

  • 6 And her daughters which are in the field shall be slain by the sword; and they shall know that I am the LORD.
  • 7 For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will bring upon Tyrus Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, a king of kings, from the north, with horses, and with chariots, and with horsemen, and companies, and much people.

    Adonai YHWH now is said to bring on a specific attacker -- Nebuchadnezzar. In our view, this brings on the first of the nations against Tyre. Nebuchadnezzar comes WITH all these things. And now note how the pairing changes:

  • 8 He shall slay with the sword thy daughters in the field: and he shall make a fort against thee, and cast a mount against thee, and lift up the buckler against thee.

    Note that now the pairing I/they is not used, but it is now he -- Nebuchadnezzar, as all would agree -- who is "in charge" of the scene. And of course "he" personifies his own army here, and those things with him (horses, etc) -- obviously Nebuchadnezzar did not do all of these things himself.

  • 9 And he shall set engines of war against thy walls, and with his axes he shall break down thy towers.

    The "he" continues, and the subsuming "his" (with reference to the axes).

  • 10 By reason of the abundance of his horses their dust shall cover thee: thy walls shall shake at the noise of the horsemen, and of the wheels, and of the chariots, when he shall enter into thy gates, as men enter into a city wherein is made a breach.

    In one more case Nebuchadnezzar's forces are personified under himself; the horses are "his" and the horsemen, wheels and chariots are sumbsumed under the heading of when "he" enters.

  • 11 With the hoofs of his horses shall he tread down all thy streets: he shall slay thy people by the sword, and thy strong garrisons shall go down to the ground.

    And yet again: HIS horses, HE shall slay. But now note the change in the next verses:

  • 12 And they shall make a spoil of thy riches, and make a prey of thy merchandise: and they shall break down thy walls, and destroy thy pleasant houses: and they shall lay thy stones and thy timber and thy dust in the midst of the water.

    We return to "they" for the first time since v. 4. And:

  • 13 And I will cause the noise of thy songs to cease; and the sound of thy harps shall be no more heard.

    We return also to "I": Adonai YHWH. And it continues:

  • 14 And I will make thee like the top of a rock: thou shalt be a place to spread nets upon; thou shalt be built no more: for I the LORD have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD.

This oracle clearly offers two pairings: the I/they of Adonai YHWH the sovereign, leading the nations; the he/personified-possession army of Nebuchadnezzar, who though still under Adonai YHWH's sovereign control, is given credit for being able to "will" do things on his own, with his army under him and subsumed under his identity. The oracle therefore indicates that Nebuchadnezzar will do specific actions, and that "nations" will perform certain actions. Nebuchadnezzar brings one of those nations, but the language tells us that the actions of 3-5 and 12-14 may be performed by any nations God brings against Tyre and need not be actions of Nebuchadnezzar.



In this round, I wish to continue with my opening statements. I will begin defending my opening statements in the next round. Moreover, I request that my opponent give evidence for Christianity.

I wrote an article for the Secular Web entitled "Evidence for Atheism" which can be viewed at would like to use some of these same arguments now to give evidence for atheism.

A challenge often presented to Atheists by fundamentalist Christians and various Theists is that Atheists have no proof there is no God, therefore Atheism is just another faith.[1] Although Atheists do not have the Burden of Proof, we can still put forth different types of reasoning to give a philosophical justification for an Atheological worldview. There are two main categories of evidence that can be used. I will divide my arguments into different sections for these categories. The first is called evidential arguments. These are arguments that some facts about the world are cited as evidence against God's existence; for example, the large amount of suffering in the world, or the argument from Biblical defects. These arguments carry the probabilistic conclusion that God does not exist; in other words, on balance of probability it is more likely than not that God does not exist. Therefore, these arguments do not carry conclusive evidence that there is absolutely no God. The second is called logical evidence against God's existence. These are philosophical evidence which cites that either a) The proposition that God exists is logically incoherent in some way, or, b) the concept of God is incoherent in some way. This type of evidence purports to conclusively demonstrate the fact of Atheism based on logical incompatibility with the cited contingent facts about the world and the proposition that God exists.

What is God?

Before one can make a rational conclusion on whether or not God exists, we must first create a coherent definition of God (this is called “ignosticism”). Consider the following dialogue:

Person 1: “A Blorb Exists.”
Person 2: “Prove it.”
Person 1: “The universe must have had a cause and that cause was the blorb.”

We can plug and chug any type of evidence for the existence of the blorb. However, we still cannot make a rational basis on the existence of the blorb until person 1 defines it. As W. T. Blackstone argues:

“Until the content of a belief is made clear, the appeal to accept the belief on faith is beside the point, for one would not know what one has accepted. The request for the meaning of a religious belief is logically prior to the question of accepting that belief on faith or the question of whether that belief constitutes knowledge.”[1]

Until Theists are able to agree upon the definition of “God” whether it be monotheism, monolatraism, polytheism, or pantheism, we are justified in rejecting that belief.

Not only does the definition of God needs to be coherent, it must be able to be falsified and cannot be ambiguous. Thus, we come to this formulation in formal logic:

  1. If God were to exist, then an agreement upon the definition of God would be able to be reached;
  2. However, there is no unified agreement on the definition of God. Even religions have disagreements within itself about what or whom God is;
  3. Therefore, God probably does not exist.

The standard definition of “God” is largely incoherent. According to the National Catholic Almanac, there are 22 attributes of “God”:

“[A]lmighty, eternal, holy, immortal, immense, immutable, incomprehensible, ineffable, infinite, invisible, just, loving, merciful, most high, most wise, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, patient, perfect, provident, supreme, true.

At least two of the above attributes (incomprehensible and ineffable) contradict the others. How can the other attributes of God be known if he can be neither understood nor described? If God has free-will, as some Christians believe that he does, then how can he know everything? These are some of the attributes of God that are logically incompatible; thus making the Theist God impossible. So “[t]hus the characteristics of God as supplied by Christian theologians (and other theologians) are nothing more than meaningless and contradictory concepts wrapped in theological garb.”

Over to Anti-Atheist
Debate Round No. 2


argument agianst God by definition is fail. God is a mind, consciousness. Thats clear and coherent. Why does something need to be falsifiable? Is the need for something to be falsifiable falsifiable? Nope. If we dont have good definition of god this doesnt mean he doesnt exist. Can you define what happened were your sitting 2372 years ago? You cant but does this mean it didn't exist? We didnt know and didnt define germs before we knew about them did they exist until we defined them?

None attributes of god listed look contradictory. Ineffable doesnt mean in all but just in parts. Like we cant understand someones mind but we can someones actions. Free will and all knowing is compatable because gods outside of time. Like If I go back in time and see you posted an argument it not mean you didnt choose to do it.


My opponnet did not respond to any of my arguments in the last round. I do not understand this sentence, It appears my opponent misunderstands what I mean by a definition of God, if I came up to you and said, "Believe in the blorb or you will burn in heck forever", you will be justified to reject this statement until I define my terms and explain what a blorb is and what a heck is. Until my opponent does so with God, Atheism is a justifiable position.

The definition of ineffable is "Inexpressible, used: (1) of God, meaning that His perfections are so great that it is impossible to express them in words". is all parts, not some parts.

My opponent's arguments are impossible to understand with his poor grammar. I ask that my opponent elaborates in the next round.
Debate Round No. 3


You didn't respond to my arguments against your arguments or my argument for christ.

Look if we can't define something that doesn't meant it doesn't exist. Like define what happened 2000 years ago where your sitting. You cant but we know exist. God is a mind clear good definition right there. If you cant define what blorb is that dont mean it doesn't exist.

Ineffable yea his perfections are are too great not everything!

I find I can understand my arguments.


DoubtingDave forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by DoubtingDave 5 years ago
Sorry the chart looks bad..
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by calculatedr1sk 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:34 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro FF'd last round, costing him conduct. Con was grammatically sloppy, so S&G goes to Pro. Pro's arguments about the definition of God almost seems to have scrambled Con's mind. If the definition of "God" remains so confused even among theists, how do the rest of us even know what we're supposed to be responding to? His back in time defense didn't make much sense, and I don't expect it to be featured in apologetics classes any time soon. Even so, I used the sources category to counter some of the arguments points given to Pro, because he failed to respond to Con's arguments about Christ.
Vote Placed by Muted 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:14 
Reasons for voting decision: Arguments go to Pro because Con drops Pro's arguments in the 3rd round. Conduct for that too, although I will give S/G to Con for Pro's Forfeit