The Instigator
tower
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
drafterman
Con (against)
Winning
7 Points

Belief in the Old Testament precludes belief in the New Testament or Koran

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
drafterman
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/24/2011 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,562 times Debate No: 18965
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (3)
Votes (2)

 

tower

Pro

I posted a similar debate a while back, but I unfortunately didn't have time to finish it.

My premise is simple; if you believe in the Old Testament's divinity, ala traditional Christianity or Islam, and that what it says is true, (at least) superficially understandable, and flawless (in the sense a perfect God wrote it) then any subsequent additions that change the message of the text, like the New Testament and the Koran, are incompatible with the Old Testament, and because they acknowledge the veracity of it, invalidate themselves.

I have two basic proofs:
1) When God introduced the system of commandments on Mount Sinai, he spoke to the entire Jewish nation of 1.2 million people [3]. This is described in Exodus [1], and more extensively in Deuteronomy [2]. This presumably was so no one could possibly claim that they were being fooled by a charlatan. Either way, it certainly had that effect and, more importantly, set up a standard for divine revelation. If God spoke to you (or your grandfather, who told you about it), then a new "prophet" contradicting what God said is regarded with suspicion, regardless of how impressive he seems. Namely, if God changed His mind, why wouldn't He tell you like last time? Essentially, God set it up so no mortal man (or being bearing the appearance of one) can change the original commandments. This argument also has the added advantage of being valid even if one claims the Bible is inaccurate, since claiming that 1.2 million people saw God would be pretty hard to do if you couldn't't produce them (or their millions of descendants) to back you up. This pretty much verifies this particular set of passages (and possibly the whole Pentateuch).

2) The Old Testament predicts the coming of Jesus, Mohammad, and the like. In fact, it says that great people rise, perform miracles and wonders, and give signs to prove they are messengers of God. It says they will amass great followings. And then it says that if they change or defy any of the commandments, you should stone them. In fact, in one of the best examples [4], the Bible specifically says that they will be able to do all these things because God wants to test your faith. In fact, it even states that if he is similar to Moses himself (whom the Bible says was the greatest man to ever live [5]), he might still say things God hadn't commanded [6] (like a reversal of the Law, which is illegal), thus establishing no one is so great that they can be considered a greater authority than the Pentateuch. So, strangely for an omnipotent being who knows the future, God pretty much painted Himself into a corner. By telling everyone not to believe the people He was going to send, He ensured that people like Jesus or Mohammad would be rejected by anyone educated in His work, as indeed happened. This is not the nature of any caring or just God, or, indeed, consistent with any of God's apparent goals.

I eagerly await my opponent's response.

[1] http://www.biblegateway.com...
http://www.biblegateway.com...
[2] http://www.biblegateway.com...
[3] http://www.biblegateway.com... (multiply by two for women, and by two again for people outside the age bracket)
[4] http://www.biblegateway.com...
[5]http://www.biblegateway.com...
[6]http://www.biblegateway.com...
drafterman

Con

Thank you to my opponent for posting this debate. I, myself, am an atheist, so I think it'll be interesting to play this side of the fence for once.

Before starting, I'd like to make a clarification. That the New Testament may be incompatible with the Old Testament does not, itself, preclude belief in both, as people may hold contradictory beliefs. I will be addressing the proofs presented by pro and the alleged inconsistencies and incompatibilities and eschewing the topic of whether this, itself, precludes belief in them.

Proof #1 - Rebuttal

The population of the Israelites notwithstanding, the verses cited by Pro clearly indicate that the Lord did not speak to the entire Jewish nation. Rather he spoke to Moses, and Moses acted as a go-between. The verses that illustrate this point are:


Then Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him from the mountain and said, “This is what you are to say to the descendants of Jacob and what you are to tell the people of Israel - Exodus 19:3


So Moses went back and summoned the elders of the people and set before them all the words the LORD had commanded him to speak. The people all responded together, “We will do everything the LORD has said.” So Moses brought their answer back to the LORD. - Exodus 19:7 & 8

The LORD descended to the top of Mount Sinai and called Moses to the top of the mountain. So Moses went up and the LORD said to him, “Go down and warn the people so they do not force their way through to see the LORD and many of them perish. Even the priests, who approach the LORD, must consecrate themselves, or the LORD will break out against them.”


Moses said to the LORD, “The people cannot come up Mount Sinai, because you yourself warned us, ‘Put limits around the mountain and set it apart as holy.’” - Exodus


The LORD replied, “Go down and bring Aaron up with you. But the priests and the people must not force their way through to come up to the LORD, or he will break out against them.” - Exodus 19:20-24


When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance and said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.” - Exodus 20:18 & 19



Now, there are verses that seamingly imply that God did speak directly with the people:


The LORD said to Moses, “I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, so that the people will hear me speaking with you and will always put their trust in you.” - Exodus 19:9


On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast. Everyone in the camp trembled. Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the LORD descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, and the whole mountainrembled violently. s the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and the voice of God answered him. - Exodus 19:16-19


The LORD spoke to you face to face out of the fire on the mountain. - Deuteronomy 5:4


However, the context of these verses indicate that we should not interpret this as literally as it may seem. In the first verse, God did not speak in words. Rather the noises of the storm, and the trumpet blast, were interprted as the voice of God. Indeed, though it is said that the "voice of God answered" Moses, there is no indication of what he said. Furthermore, an addendum to the second verse is Moses acknowledging that the people were afraid to approach God, making it necessary for Moses to intervene.


In all of the verses, the only actual dialogue is between God and Moses or Moses and the Israelites. There is no explicit dialogue between God and the Israelites. Given the fact that the commandements are explicitly given twice (once from God to Moses, and again from Moses to the Israelites) and the fact that Moses had to continuously trek up the mountain to relay God's wishes, indicates that God was not in direct communication with the people. This undercuts the notion that God clearly revealed himself (especially since he appeared as a natural phenomenon) to ensure that he would be taken seriously.

The illustrate this point, consider that, once Moses disappeared, the people couldn't wait and decided to make their own gods for themselves (1). So how can we put any significance onto this revelation when, when out-of-side, people failed to continue to take it seriously?

Proof #2

The verses cited only warn against prophets whose predictions come false, or who contradict God's word:


That prophet or dreamer must be put to death for inciting rebellion against the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery. That prophet or dreamer tried to turn you from the way the LORD your God commanded you to follow. You must purge the evil from among you. - Deuteronomy 13:5


You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD?” If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed. - Deuteronomy 18:21 & 22


It should be noted that the context of the first verse is to warn against anyone attempting to incite worship of other Gods and the context of the second is to explicitly prepare the people for the coming of the prophet, and was offerring advice as to how to prevent them from accepting false prophets while waiting for the true one.

Summary

Based upon the proofs provided, there is nothing to forbid the validity of future additions to the Bible. If anything, the first Proof establishes the manner in which God would reveal himself to people: through mortal third-parties, ambiguously, and under the cover of natural phenomenon. The second proof places limitations or warnings regarding prophets, but does not forbid them outright.

[1] http://www.biblegateway.com...
Debate Round No. 1
tower

Pro

I thank my opponents for taking this debate. I appreciate his desire to avoid semantic argument, so I will clarify what I mean by belief in the comments for his benefit. I apologize for linking to chapters instead of verses; it was understandably confusing. I agree with my opponents interpretations (although I retain the right to later argue) unless I address that verse.

Proof #1
Chapter 19 is the dialogue between Moses and God and Moses and Israel in the run up to the Ten Commandments. I freely admit God only spoken to Moses; however, this proves God intentions (which were never stated not to have been fulfilled). Namely:
9 The LORD said to Moses, "I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, so that the people will hear me speaking with you and will always put their trust in you."

In the original Hebrew:
וַיֹּ֨אמֶר יְהוָ֜ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֗ה הִנֵּ֨ה אָנֹכִ֜י בָּ֣א אֵלֶיךָ֮ בְּעַ֣ב הֶֽעָנָן֒ בַּעֲב֞וּר יִשְׁמַ֤ע הָעָם֙ בְּדַבְּרִ֣י עִמָּ֔ךְ וְגַם־בְּךָ֖ יַאֲמִ֣ינוּ לְעֹולָ֑ם וַיַּגֵּ֥ד מֹשֶׁ֛ה אֶת־דִּבְרֵ֥י הָעָ֖ם אֶל־יְהוָֽה

"אֵלֶיךָ֮" is the key here. In Hebrew grammar, it means "you" in the plural. God is telling Moses to tell the nation that He intends to come to all of them. Also, God instructs Moses:
11 and be ready by the third day, because on that day the LORD will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.

God clearly states His intentions to reveal Himself. In the next chapter, He does, and He says the Ten Commandments, which is the only time God spoke to everyone. The first verse, before stating the text of the commandments, is:
1 And God spoke all these words:

It does not say to whom He spoke. However, every other time God speaks in the Bible, who he speaks to is stated (or it is very clearly obvious). Here, He must have spoken to all in earshot of His Presence, or, as indentified in the previous chapter, the whole nation. However, I will concede this alone is not conclusive proof. The following is:
22 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Tell the Israelites this: ‘You have seen for yourselves that I have spoken to you from heaven'.
22 וַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהוָה֙ אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֔ה כֹּ֥ה תֹאמַ֖ר אֶל־בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל אַתֶּ֣ם רְאִיתֶ֔ם כִּ֚י מִן־הַשָּׁמַ֔יִם דִּבַּ֖רְתִּי עִמָּכֶֽם׃

Again, Hebrew grammar is the key. "אַתֶּ֣ם" means "you" in the plural, and "דִּבַּ֖רְתִּי עִמָּכֶֽם׃" means "I have spoken with you" in the plural. God clearly says he spoke with all of Israel.
In Deuteronomy 5, Moses recounts the event:
4 The LORD spoke to you face to face out of the fire on the mountain. 5 (At that time I stood between the LORD and you to declare to you the word of the LORD, because you were afraid of the fire and did not go up the mountain.) And he said:

This again would indicate God said it Himself, and Moses's parenthetical statement is what occurred after God spoke. However, again I will concede this is not conclusive. This is:
22 These are the commandments the LORD proclaimed in a loud voice to your whole assembly there on the mountain from out of the fire, the cloud and the deep darkness; and he added nothing more. Then he wrote them on two stone tablets and gave them to me.

This explicitly says that God Himself spoke the aforesaid commandments to the whole of Israel. The next paragraph explains why Moses inserted that parenthetical statement about being a go-between:
23 When you heard the voice out of the darkness, while the mountain was ablaze with fire, all the leaders of your tribes and your elders came to me. 24 And you said, "The LORD our God has shown us his glory and his majesty, and we have heard his voice from the fire…

Again, we are told that the entire nation heard Gods voice. The verse explains that only afterward, in terror, they requested Moses give the remaining commandments.
Still, whether God spoke is almost irrelevant. My opponent concedes that events of a supernatural or miraculous nature did take place in front of the entire nation. (He argues that God never spoke; rather the noises of the storm, and the trumpet blast, were interpreted His voice.) If this was the case, then any future revelation, like those of Jesus or Mohamed, should have also been accompanied by this, to prove indisputably that God supports the revelation. The primary point is that a standard was set up that was never duplicated,.
My opponent cites the Golden Calf incident to illustrate the revelation couldn't have been too serious. Suffice it to say that the people were still fallible. If my opponent thinks this is a real issue, he can ask me to address it further.

Proof #2
Deuteronomy 18 was to show that Moses warned that prophets will arise "like me", and it's still feasible they are false- no one is great enough to be given unconditional authority. The passage then explains how to identify a false prophet who uses prediction as proof.
The primary point is Deuteronomy 13. The verse says:
1 If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a sign or wonder, 2 and if the sign or wonder spoken of takes place…

The Bible acknowledges that Deuteronomy 18's solution of false prediction is not flawless; a prophet able to correctly predict signs or do wonders may still arise. The verse finishes:
… and the prophet says, "Let us follow other gods" (gods you have not known) "and let us worship them,"

The verse states what counts as following "other gods" later. It confirms it's possible a prophet with ostensibly divine powers would still try to lead the nation astray. The next verse tells Israel what to do and why:
3 you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul.

Now the verse qualifies the lawful basis for rejection:
4 It is the LORD your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him.

That's how the New International Version Bible translates it. But the original Hebrew is:
אַחֲרֵ֨י יְהוָ֧ה אֱלֹהֵיכֶ֛ם תֵּלֵ֖כוּ וְאֹתֹ֣ו תִירָ֑אוּ וְאֶת־מִצְוֹתָ֤יו תִּשְׁמֹ֙רוּ֙ וּבְקֹלֹ֣ו תִשְׁמָ֔עוּ וְאֹתֹ֥ו תַעֲבֹ֖דוּ וּבֹ֥ו תִדְבָּקֽוּן׃

This translates literally as:
YHWH, your God, shall you follow and Him shall you fear; His commandments shall you keep and to His voice shall you listen; Him shall you serve and to Him shall you cleave.

Not to disparage the N.I.V Bible, but all Hebrew-speakers know that "וּבְקֹלֹ֣ו" means "and his voice". The verse reminds Israel they heard Gods voice and no prophet can subvert that. The next verse says:
5 That prophet or dreamer must be put to death for inciting rebellion against the LORD your God... That prophet or dreamer tried to turn you from the way the LORD your God commanded you to follow…

This verse says that the prophet is killed for turning the people away from the commandments. (Also, "inciting rebellion" is an inexact translation; "דִבֶּר־סָ֠רָה" is better translated as "fabrication".)
Perhaps the verse that starts this paragraph is the most explicit one (in most translations, it is the concluding verse of the chapter 13, but the Hebrew original has the paragraph break before, not after, this verse):
See that you do all I command you; do not add to it or take away from it.

This is a blanket statement. There aren't any exceptions stated, and the passage is dealing with false prophets who are trying to revoke commandments. It is very clear that God did not leave any room for subsequent prophets to alter things. Only prophets who conform to the commandments can be valid.

Summary
The revelation at Sinai was an extremely high standard because God spoke directly to Israel (or at the very least made his presence indisputably known to them). This has never been duplicated. Additionally, God set up his system of commandments so no one could ever change them; if anyone tried, they were to be killed. Thus, God, who knows the future, could not have sent Jesus or Mohamed with that mission.
drafterman

Con

Proof #1

My opponent states: "[W]hether God spoke is almost irrelevant." In such case, I will not waste time by addressing points which my opponent concedes are irrelevant. Instead, I will focus on other aspects, namely that the events that transpired set a standard to which other similar events should adhere to. In this case: prophets being accompanied by weather or other natural phenomenon. My opponent argues that since this was never duplicated, no prophets of the New Testament or Koran should be accepted.

However, we should also note that, for the purposes of this debate, we are accepting the contents of the Old Testament as true. "[I]f you believe in the Old Testament's divinity, ala traditional Christianity or Islam, and that what it says is true..."

Given that, it is a simple matter of enumerating prophets who were the recipient of divine revelation and then passed on God's word to others, and to determine if those circumstances matched the events at Mt. Sinai.

Gad:
"Before David got up the next morning, the word of the LORD had come to Gad the prophet, David’s seer: “Go and tell David, ‘This is what the LORD says: I am giving you three options. Choose one of them for me to carry out against you.’” - 2 Samuel 24:11 & 12

Now. God did act through natural phenomenon (plague) along with this revelation, but afterwards, in response to David's choice. This is not in line with the events of Mt. Sinai, where God revealed himself to the masses prior to revelation.

The Man of God:
"By the word of the LORD a man of God came from Judah to Bethel, as Jeroboam was standing by the altar to make an offering. By the word of the LORD he cried out against the altar: “Altar, altar! This is what the LORD says: ‘A son named Josiah will be born to the house of David. On you he will sacrifice the priests of the high places who make offerings here, and human bones will be burned on you.’”That same day the man of God gave a sign: “This is the sign the LORD has declared: The altar will be split apart and the ashes on it will be poured out.”


When King Jeroboam heard what the man of God cried out against the altar at Bethel, he stretched out his hand from the altar and said, “Seize him!” But the hand he stretched out toward the man shriveled up, so that he could not pull it back. Also, the altar was split apart and its ashes poured out according to the sign given by the man of God by the word of the LORD.

Then the king said to the man of God, “Intercede with the LORD your God and pray for me that my hand may be restored.” So the man of God interceded with the LORD, and the king’s hand was restored and became as it was before." - 1 Kings 13:1-6

Again, unusual events that come after the revelation, validating it.

Now, it would be inappropriate to go through all the prophets as several dozen are recognized in the Old Testament alone (1).

Now, to develop a true standard would involve examining the circumstances revolving around all of the accepted prophets and seeing what common elements are among them. I believe such is outside the scope of this argument. As we can see above, all that is truly necessary is that god speak to/through this individual. In short, if there is a standard for identifying or accepting prophets. It is pretty loose. Nothing so strict as to outright deny the possible validity of the New Testament or Koran.

Proof #2

It is not enough to simply enumerate the conditions on which a prophet should be identified as false and rejected (and put to death) but we must determine whether or not the prophets of the New Testament or Koran violate those principles. In short, based on what you've provided above, a false prophet:
  • Makes a prediction that is false (though true predictions are not guarantees of validity)
  • Encourages worship of other gods.
  • Otherwise incites rebellion against god and/or his commandments.
Regarding the last statement: "See that you do all I command you; do not add to it or take away from it." While it is indeed a blanket statement, we should also consider the speaker, and the context and scope in which it was spoken. It was not a statement spoke to or about prophets, but to the people as a warning when they encounter other gods worshipped in other ways. It cannot be taken in a strictly literal and universal manner, or the Old Testament would have ended right then and there. Also consider that many accepted Old Testament prophets after Moses gave commands ostensibly from god. A strict interpretation would then rule them out as prophets, but we can't do that as we are treating the Old Testament as true for this argument.

In any event, how does either Jesus or Mohammed violate the principles outlined above? Did they make false predictions? Did they encourage the worship of other gods? Did they incite rebellion against god? It would seem that you have a burden to demonstrate this.

Summary

I commend my opponent for the level of effort and research he has put into his proofs. However, at the end I see that they only established conditions and limitations on future prophets, that that any future prophet is necessarily false. Having established these conditions, I assert that this is only half the argument. It must be further demonstrated that the prophets of the New Testament or Koran violate those principles.

[1] http://www.jewfaq.org...
Debate Round No. 2
tower

Pro

I apologize if this seems rushed; my brother is getting married, and I am extremely busy.

Proof #1

When I stated that "whether or not God spoke is almost irrelevant", I did not mean that a lack of that meant there was only natural phenomena. I meant to say that God's presence and approval were apparent to the whole nation, and that is an unparalleled standard in my opinion. Nonetheless, if God's voice is integral to establish a non duplicated standard in my opponents eyes, I still stand by those proofs, and my opponent must refute them.

Even so, I will address his points.

My opponent claims that supernatural events happened around other prophets in Old Testament, and that the standard of revelation should be measured with them. There are two issues with this, which miss the point of my original argument.

1)The fact that subsequent prophets may not have had the same standard of revelation is irrelevant. Prophets don't need miracles to prove themselves. The bible says they can merely correctly predict the future, or something similar. In fact, they can be merely confirmed by a different confirmed prophet. The issue is that no subsequent prophet attempted to change the commandments, because only something with that original standard can do that. In other words, a perfectly valid prophet can still not have the authority to change the commandments. Just because the people accepted them does not mean they are standard to judge Jesus and Mohamed, who changed the commandments. The point is that just because those prophets gave commands or messages, does not mean they gave commandments.

2)Even if the bible did claim similar miracles to the prophets, or Jesus or Mohamed or anyone else, it still would not be a sufficient standard. The point is not that miracles took place; it's that miracles took place in front of the entire nation. This was so no one could doubt their validity. As I've stated, it is impossible to create a lie of that nature. If God delivered his commandments in a way that no one could doubt, then clearly, He would want- and need- to do so again. He would do it to only the people present in king's courts, or any small crowd, or individual.

In short, God set up a standard for giving commandments- by showing his approval in front of the whole nation- that has never been duplicated. If new commandment was to be given, or the old ones revoked, a similar event would need to take place, which never happened.

Proof #2

"See that you do all I command you; do not add to it or take away from it." This verse bears no exceptions. Not to prophets, who are bound to each and every law just as much as the rest of the Israel. Note, also, that commands and commandments are not the same thing. A commandment is a rule. "Don't murder", "Honor your mother and father" etc. A command is specific instruction. "Appoint Saul king over Israel" "go to war with the Philistines" etc. Any prophet who gives a commandment is in violation of this, and no Old Testament prophet did. Moses himself only finished telling over the commandments because the people were too frightened by God and asked him to. And I don't see how this verse should literally end the bible; it is in infinitive tense ("all I command you) not past (commanded).

As far as Jesus and Mohammad go, the both violated this verse, and the verses about rebelling against the commandments [1] [2]. This being the case, they invalidated anything they might say. The nature of the system of commandments is that its irrevocable by any mortal man (or someone bearing the appearance of one.)

[1]http://www.trusting-in-jesus.com...

[2]http://en.wikipedia.org...
drafterman

Con

Proof #1

When my opponent said "whether or not God spoke is almost irrelevent" I interpreted that to mean "whether or not God spoke is almost irrelevent." That is, whether or not God spoke has no bearing on your conclusion, it isn't a factor. To state this, then subsequently suggest that it is "integrel" is to do a complete reversal. Perhaps this was merely an instance of a poor choice of words.

The contradictions don't end there:

In the first post my opponent stated: "[God speaking to the entire Jewish nation] presumably was so no one could possibly claim that they were being fooled by a charlatan. Either way, it certainly had that effect and, more importantly, set up a standard for divine revelation."

However, now my opponent says: "Prophets don't need miracles to prove themselves. The bible says they can merely correctly predict the future, or something similar. In fact, they can be merely confirmed by a different confirmed prophet" and that the standard in the first post wasn't about divine revelation in general, but "a standard for giving commandments"

Unfortunately, while my opponent rightfully suggests that it is my responsibility to refute his arguments, I can only refute arguments which remain consistent from round to round. I would suggest that providing such conflicting information constitutes self-refutation.

Proof #2

My opponent a clear and helpful distinction between commands and commandements. However, I think it is also important to distinguish between commandements in general and The Ten Commandments. In the link posted regarding Jesus' commandements, it is stated:

"The commandments of Jesus must not be confused with the Old Testament Law. Jesus's New Testament Commandments are not to be obeyed/observed as a way to reach Heaven, but as an act of obedience, love, and reverence for our Saviour, and because He said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments " (John 14:15, KJV)."

Thus Jesus' "commandments" are distinguished and separate from the Old Testament commandments. He was not trying to add or take away from these, nor creating rules on which salvation was contingent.

Furthermore, to suggest that any such rule is in violation is to depict the Old Testament as self-refuting. Given the general definition of "commandement" there are hundreds of such statements in the Old Testament:

http://en.wikipedia.org...

So the question because, why are those statements in the link allowable, but not those made by Jesus or Mohammed?
Debate Round No. 3
tower

Pro

Proof #1

Interestingly, my opponent interpreted "whether or not God spoke is almost irrelevant" to mean "whether or not God spoke has no bearing on my conclusion, it isn't a factor". I suppose the explanation I gave of this statement in the same paragraph I originally wrote it bears no relevance. Perhaps my opponent inadvertently ignored it. If that's the case, I'll restate it here, for his convenience.

"My opponent concedes that events of a supernatural or miraculous nature did take place… The primary point is that a standard was set up that was never duplicated."


Furthermore, I reread my previous response, certain I had inadvertently used the world integral in relation to my own argument. Unfortunately, I could not find it. Perhaps my opponent misread it. In any case, I certainly never would make the argument it Gods voice is integral. I did however, point out that if I was wrong about my point that it wasn't (which is not to say I was, because my opponent never even addressed my arguments as to why my proof was valid without Gods voice, preferring to discuss irrelevant prophets who never tried changed the law), my arguments still stand. This is the statement I did make:

"…God's presence and approval were apparent to the whole nation, and that is an unparalleled standard in my opinion. Nonetheless, if God's voice is integral to establish a non duplicated standard in my opponents eyes, I still stand by those proofs, and my opponent must refute them."


In other words, the point of the argument was (as I originally said) "that a standard was set up that was never duplicated". God's voice is "irrelevant" in that "supernatural or miraculous nature did take place" and such a standard did exist regardless, not in that Gods voice does not improve that standard, and can't still be used as proof if necessary. If such a standard was duplicated by Jesus or Mohamed, I'd love to know it. They never did duplicate it, and my opponent never even tries to claim they did. Thus, that argument still stands.

My opponent tried to establish a lesser standard for divine revelation by using other Old Testament prophets. When I pointed out they did not attempt to give commandments, he accused me of changing my arguments from Sinai establishing a standard for divine revelation in general to establishing a standard for giving commandments, and states he can't argue with me if I change my arguments. (As an aside, part of the point of debating is so each side can modify and refine their arguments. My opponent must respond to any new or changed argument too. Just because it's new doesn't mean it's not true.) I find this strange, as I stated I'm my original argument- in the very same paragraph that I first mentioned it- exactly what kind of divine revelation I was referring to:

"If God spoke to you (or your grandfather, who told you about it), then a new "prophet" contradicting what God said is regarded with suspicion, regardless of how impressive he seems. Namely, if God changed His mind, why wouldn't He tell you like last time? Essentially, God set it up so no mortal man (or being bearing the appearance of one) can change the original commandments."


I did not write no one could come as a later prophet. I wrote no one could contradict this. In fact, I did ever say the standard was prophecy. Divine revelation means something revealed by God. Standard for divine revelation means a set of circumstances must that accompanies something revealed by god. In this case, its "no mortal man can change the original commandments." As long as the prophet is doing that, he is fulfilling the standard.

Regardless of whether I contradicted myself in semantics, the base argument is still true and stands unrefuted. If my opponent wants a clear version of it here it is: At Sinai, God revealed Himself in a way that was never duplicated, so He could give people commandments. If He were to ever do that again, the events would have to be duplicated, so that the new commandments (especially any changing those of old) were incontrovertible, and so that no one could disobey them, and claim that the old ones had greater authority and were irrevocable because God himself gave them.

Using semantic contradictions that don't undermine the logic of my arguments as a strawman excuse to stop debating is not a valid argument.

Proof #2

I assume that because my opponent doesn't address the Koran, he concedes it violates the commandment not to add or subtract commandments.

As far as Jesus is concerned, it really is irrelevant what type of commandments he gave. A universal theme amongst all types of Christians is that the commandments of the Old Testament were overturned by Jesus. [1][2]That is entirely forbidden. "See that you do all I command you; do not add to it or take away from it." This does not say "except for acts of obedience, love, and reverence for our Savior."

Interestingly, my opponent's link to the list of commandments proves my point. I never asserted that my argument only applies to the Ten Commandments- in fact, they apply to every last one listed. Notice that every one of them was either given by God or by Moses, to whom God spoke in front of the entire nation, thus confirming him as a valid conveyer of God's commandments. Even if Moses was lying- which he couldn't have been, since God Himself confirmed him in front of the whole nation- God still puts himself into the same conundrum; He is confirming a prophet who eventually will ensure no one believes in His change of the commandments. Obviously, this is not Gods Modus Operandi either. Additionally, He would not personally confirm anyone who would eventually lie- thus Moses had a level of absolute believability that no other human has ever received. So every one of Moses's given commandments have the status of God giving them Himself (as was originally intended; see Exodus 20), and are thus irrevocable, making anyone who attempts to do so invalidate themselves.

Thus, the logic of my argument still stands.

[1] http://ask.metafilter.com...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
drafterman

Con

Proof #1

My primary point of contention is this:

"When I pointed out they did not attempt to give commandments, he accused me of changing my arguments from Sinai establishing a standard for divine revelation in general to establishing a standard for giving commandments, and states he can't argue with me if I change my arguments. (As an aside, part of the point of debating is so each side can modify and refine their arguments. My opponent must respond to any new or changed argument too. Just because it's new doesn't mean it's not true.)"

The problem is, you are not treating it as a new or changed argument. In fact, you continue to asser the same conclusion, that it is a standard yet to be duplicated, and have attempted to provide examples in support of this interpretation. I'll note that simply providing a specific example doesn't necessarily limit the argument to that example, just that it is an example of the concept you are trying to convey.

Secondly, the point about God's voice being irrelevant is important as the use of God's voice to speak clearly to 1.2 million people as a standard is harder to meet than if we remove that as a crucial element.

Proof #2

Yes, as I cannot speak intelligently about the Koran, I'll concede it.

Before getting into Jesus, I'll note that my opponent has specifically distinguished between a command and a commandment and that the Moses quote refers to commands. I'll ask how he resolves this as he gives a pass to the commands issued by later prophets on the basis that they are not commandments when the quote here explicitly refers to commands. What does the original Hebrew say?

As far as Jesus is concerned, people's interpretations are irrelevant unless such an interpretation is necessary, which my opponent would need to demonstrate. That certain people believe that Jesus overturned the original commandements does not prove that Jesus did, in fact, overturn those commandments.

Summary

Thus far my opponent's argument ammounts to telling us the mind of God with regards to standards set for divine revelation or commandements (depending on which round it is) and that this requires a distinction between a command and a commandement (it doesn't apply to commands given by future prophets, only to commandements despite the fact that Moses said command in the quote my opponent has used to illustrate his argument) and the assertion that by merely calling his own proclaimations commandements and that people today choose to interpret them as overturning the Old Testament commandements, that Jesus has violated this standard and, thus, the New Testament cannot logically follow the Old.

Even if I conceded the standard, there are still a lot of gaps to cover. First, simply calling something a commandement doesn't make it one. Simply establishing a commandement doesn't necessarily make it an addition to any previous list of commandments. Simply believing something to be an alteration (addition or substraction) doesn't make it the case. All of these must be demonstrated in order to demonstrate my opponent's argument.
Debate Round No. 4
tower

Pro

tower forfeited this round.
drafterman

Con

Nothing more to add.
Debate Round No. 5
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by tower 5 years ago
tower
Had a chance to review my post, noticed a few typos. Hope it doesn't cause any confusion. If you are confused, let me know, and I will clarify.
Posted by tower 5 years ago
tower
Drafterman,
I very much appreciate you not taking me to task for a semantic error. Its good to debate someone interested in real dialogue and is not willig to take advantage for an easy win. Anyway, heres what I meant. If you have any issues with it, address me in the comments.

I did not mean belief in the religious sense of blind faith; clearly, one can have faith in anything one chooses to, however irrational. I meant it in the scientific sense, of the highest level of knowledge of something that is not (immediately) susceptible to a rigorous test (similar to the way most historical events are known, as it is impossible to rigorously test whether most things happened.) That said, if one is confident that the Old Testament is a valid and accurate historical recording of events and of God's message, then the New Testament or the Koran cannot also be perfectly accurate in those things.
Posted by iPwnuNOW 5 years ago
iPwnuNOW
im still searching for a religion so this may not be the best debate
although i did take a class on the Old Testament
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by wiploc 5 years ago
wiploc
towerdraftermanTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Wow, impressive and educational. Pro did the best he could, but Con had him backpedaling.
Vote Placed by airmax1227 5 years ago
airmax1227
towerdraftermanTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Very interesting debate.. I especially liked Pro's use of the Hebrew text.. A shame Pro FF'd the final round.