The Instigator
Clockwork
Pro (for)
Losing
58 Points
The Contender
InquireTruth
Con (against)
Winning
63 Points

Biblical descriptions of the nature of the Christian God and free will are contradictory.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/11/2009 Category: Religion
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 4,366 times Debate No: 9203
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (33)
Votes (20)

 

Clockwork

Pro

I'm thinking of running this as a stock Parli case, so I thought I'd give it a test run.

The proposition for offer is that the concepts of the nature of God and the mechanics of free will as described in the Bible are contradictory. The existence of God or free will are considered opposing premises and are not up for dispute themselves; rather, Con must prove that the two are logically compatible.

God is classically described as an all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-loving being that created everything and who reigns over all.

Free will is the concept that the actions of members of humanity are expressions of personal choice as opposed to results of some form of predestination.

My syllogism is as follows:

Premise 1. The Christian God exists.

Premise 2. Free will exists.

1. The Christian God created humans which are free-willing and capable of doing evil, and who have done and continue to do evil. (1)

2. The Christian God maintains a dominion wherein everything is made to be the absolute best it can ever possibly be. (Conclusion from the definition of God)

2a. Logical reasoning would lead us to believe that Premise 1 and Point 1 are at odds with Point 2. This contradiction is addressed, albeit poorly in relevance to the gravity of the issue, in the Book of Job. Job asks God why terrible things happen to him and to those around him, and God essentially says "I'd tell you, but you just wouldn't get it". (2) Since the omnipotence and benevolence of God are stressed alongside this statement within Scripture, assuming that these three points are valid leads us to the conclusion that what we observe as evil is actually a factor into the greatest goodness possible.

3. With the world being constantly maintained to provide the best results, even actions which we deem evil work to maintain the divinely guided path towards the ultimate good.

4. If our actions are guided by God to bring about perfection, then free will cannot exist.

The conclusion reached is that either God or free will do not exist or are otherwise inadequately defined in Scripture.

I await my opponent's response.

(1) Gen 4:7, 6:5
(2) Actually, his words were related to the reader by Job:
-"God's voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding." (Job 37:5)
"Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know" (Job 42:3)
InquireTruth

Con

=============
Introduction:
=============

I would like to thank Clockwork for instigating this debate. I hope we can keep this wholesome and entertaining.

"God is classically described as an all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-loving being that created everything and who reigns over all."

As a brief note, my opponent should remember that tradition =/= the Bible. Since my opponent is arguing against the God of the Bible, he must provide biblical definitions, not classical ones.

=============
The Syllogism Refuted:
=============

**Premise based on assumption**

Premise (1) and (2), in accordance with the parameters of this debate, will not be disputed. My opponent labels his syllogism incorrectly, as his next point constitutes a premise and should therefore be labeled (3) not (1). I will refer to the premise "The Christian God created humans which are free-willing and capable of doing evil, and who have done and continue to do evil," as (3), and will number the following premises accordingly.

I accept the first three premises as accurate representations of the Biblical God.

My opponent's premise (4) is a non sequitur. He incorrectly assumes that "the Christian God maintains a dominion wherein everything is made to be the absolute best it can ever possibly be," by suggesting it logically follows from the attributes ascribed to God. This is far too presumptuous to be accepted as a sound premise. How does he know the intentions of an omni-excellent God?

**Why God's response to Job was probably true**

Contention: Limited Perspective

My opponent does not possess the necessary knowledge to determine evil. Take for example a man who slowly awakes to find woman cutting his stomach. The man will rightly fuss that such an action is evil! But say he finds out that the woman is a doctor who is trying to remove a malignant mass that will ultimately kill him. Will he not then realize that what he perceived to be evil was not evil at all? Job could not control the events happening in his life, nor did he have proper perspective to label them as evil. However, for those who have read the entirety of Job, Job had the ability to respond to the situation. Free will is clearly seen in the story, and omnibenevolence cannot be refuted by it. What is left then?

**Premise (4) is built on sand**

"With the world being constantly maintained to provide the best results, even actions which we deem evil work to maintain the divinely guided path towards the ultimate good."

John Hick has pointed out the errant presupposition held by many propagators of the problem of evil (an assumption my opponent seems to hold) (1). They assume, like David Hume, that the purpose of an omni-excellent (this includes all three properties in question) God is to create a "hedonistic paradise." Hick's analogy of their thinking is a human with a caged pet. In any respect that the animal's cage falls short of the veterinarian's ideal, then it is immediately attributed to a lack of benevolence, limited means, or both. David Hume talks of an architect that builds a home and if the economy of the home led to any discomfort or misfortune (e.g. noise, darkness, fatigue or etc.) then we would not hesitate to blame the architect. And to argue that by changing a defect in the house would lead to more bad or less good would be in vain, as Hume said, "If the architect had had skill and good intentions, he might have formed such a plan of the whole, and might have adjusted the parts in such a manner, as would have remedied all or most of these inconveniences (2)."

My opponent's observation would only be a valid one if his assumption that an omni-excellent God would want to create a hedonistic paradise on earth. But an alternative understanding would see earth not as what Heaven ought to be – an environment for perfected finite beings – but rather as an environment for finite beings who are in the process of being perfected. John Hick says it best when he writes:

"For if our general conception of God's purpose is correct, the world is not intended to be a paradise, but rather the scene of a history in which human personality may be formed towards the pattern of Christ. Men are not to be thought of on the analogy of animal pets, whose life is to be made as agreeable as possible, but rather on the analogy of human children, who are to grow to adulthood in an environment whose primary and overriding purpose is not immediate pleasure but the realizing of the most valuable potentialities of human personality."

I certainly hope that my opponent does not suggests that a parent is a malevolent one if she wishes moral integrity, magnanimity, compassion, courage, humor, honesty, and the capacity for love as greater values than mere unalloyed pleasure. Certainly a parent will wish pleasure for their children, but is it morally deviant to see this NOT as the highest priority?

=============
Conclusion:
=============

My opponent hasn't actually offered anything substantive, though I'm sure he will in his upcoming round. He has merely stated that, because God works all things for good, that free will cannot actually exist. This is clearly a non sequitur and an unsupported one at that! Imagine a very large ship. The passenger's actions on board are expressions of personal choice. However, they have no control over the destination of the ship. This illustrates how one can have free will whilst still be led towards a certain destination.
Debate Round No. 1
Clockwork

Pro

I would firstly like to thank my opponent for accepting and for putting forth an interesting defense.

I also apologize to my opponent for the confusion regarding my syllogism's annotation due to my writing structure

QUESTION TO MY OPPONENT:

Why do you think that the Christian God wishes to be worshiped?

ON THE DEFINITION OF GOD

My opponent questions the link between traditional and biblical definitions of God. When I defined God "traditionally", I simply proposed a definition of God that you would receive from an average Christian, a definition that would almost seem to be common sense. Nonetheless, the Bible, being a book about God, has plenty of verses describing how awesome/powerful/loving/great/(insert adjective here) God is.

Omnipotence:

Re 19:6: - ...Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.

Mt 28:18 - And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth

Omniscience:

1Jo 3:20 - For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.

All-Encompassing Benevolence

Numbers 23:19 - God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?

Deuteronomy 4:31 - For the LORD your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your forefathers, which he confirmed to them by oath.

The "traditional" definition of God clearly gained that status by having deep roots in biblical doctrine.

REGARDING THE HUMAN PERSPECTIVE OF EVIL

My opponent states that humans do not hold the proper perspective to determine what is or isn't evil, a point that I hold no contest to; I did not mention the book of Job in my first round as a refutation of God's omnibenevolence, but simply pointed it out it's status as one of the Bible's only attempts to explain an omnipotent God in a world where evil is abound. And indeed evil is abound; while we may not know exactly what is evil, we do know that evil exists, through the Bible verses already mentioned.

However, this does bring up an interesting point: if we cannot know all differences in good and evil from our limited perspective, then by what means are we able to judge God as omnibenevolent? Are we to take God's word for it? With our limited perspective, God's claim to omnibenevolence is no more credible than my own.

REGARDING GOD'S ROLE IN HUMAN AFFAIRS

My opponent asserts that God does not wish to create a "hedonistic paradise" or any such state where humans are "forced" to be the best they could be; he instead suggests that an omnibenevolent being would prefer a world where finite human beings are perfected. The problem with this assumption is that if God wishes to help humans be perfecting in this world and live in that perfection in the next, He's doing a pretty bad job. With all of the hate and violence in this world, it's obvious that neither the hedonistic paradise or the assisted perfection lifestyle are being reached; your example of God's ideals for man would be valid if they were remotely realistic.

Thus far in this debate, here is the conclusion that is ultimately reached.

-An omnibenevolent being would wish to bring about the best state possible, whether it is a "hedonistic paradise" or a world that fosters "moral integrity, magnanimity, compassion, courage, humor, honesty, and the capacity for love".

-If that omnibenevolent being is further omnipotent, then it has the means to carry out the aforementioned benevolent state.

-If that omnipotent being did not work to create the benevolent state, it would contradict the notion of him being omnibenevolent- he would only be partially benevolent by fault of only maintaining a partially benevolent state.

-Thus, assuming that God is both omnipotent and omnibenevolent, he would by definition interfere in order to further his benevolent nature in creating the benevolent state.

-Such interference is a contradiction to free will. Regardless of what the state God is working towards happens to be, the fact that he is working towards some sort of state shows that free will and the Christian God cannot logically stand beside each other.

For now I return the debate into the hands of my opponent. Good luck.
InquireTruth

Con

============
Introduction:
============

Thanks to my opponent for his formidable round 2 response. It is not that I have qualms with the traditional definitions ascribed to God, it is that my opponent must be prepared to defend the Biblical warrant for such ascriptions – considering that such ascriptions are not universally accepted among the evangelical community.

*On Omnipotence, Revelation 19:6 and Matthew 28:18*

This ugly Latin word was never used by any of the biblical authors. The original Greek word for which the KJV translates omnipotence, is pantokrator, which literally means "ruler over all things." Not quite the omnipotence my opponent was shooting for.

The original Greek word employed in Matthew 28:18 is exousia. This would more appropriately translate as authority.

*On Omniscience and 1 John 3:20*

Taking this hyper-literally ignores the context. This is the only place in the entire bible that it ever uses the language that God knows everything. However, taken contextually, we see that it is referring to how God knows everything in terms of the contents of our hearts.

*On all-encompassing benevolence*

These verses say nothing of benevolence.

=============================
REGARDING THE HUMAN PERSPECTIVE OF EVIL
=============================

My point here is that since we can be wrong at any given moment regarding what we perceive to be evil, then how can we reasonably expect to make any sound judgments regarding evil in the world. Since my opponent's assertion is that evil abounds, he must substantiate this.

"Are we to take God's word for it?"

Yes.

=============================
REGARDING GOD'S ROLE IN HUMAN AFFAIRS
=============================

"The problem with this assumption is that if God wishes to help humans be perfecting in this world and live in that perfection in the next, He's doing a pretty bad job."

Since my opponent has suggested that a problem exists, then he must substantiate beyond the tenuous assertion that God is doing a bad job. By what standard does my opponent conclude that God is doing a bad job? Moreover, he missed the point. The point is that God wishes for such things, as quoted below, to actually exist. Since the existence of the below quoted is contingent on the existence of free will, it stands to reason that such an omni-excellent God would allow the existence evil.

"a world that fosters "moral integrity, magnanimity, compassion, courage, humor, honesty, and the capacity for love."

This world is not possible without the existence of free will. There can be no such thing as magnanimity if the opposite is not possible, nor compassion, courage, human, honesty and love without the possibility of their respective opposites. Since love is a distinction between nonLove, there must be such thing as nonLove.

This leads me to an important point: THERE ARE SOME THINGS EVEN AN OMNIPOTENT GOD CANNOT ACTUALIZE.

A world that contains free creatures is more valuable than a world that contains no freedom at all. It is indeed possible for God to create free creatures, but, as Plantinga points out, "He can't cause or determine them to do only what is right FREELY. To create creatures of moral good, therefore, He must create creatures capable of moral evil, and He can't give these creatures the freedom to perform evil and at the same time prevent them from doing so. (1)"

To put it more simply by way of syllogism:

P1: It is possible for said God (omnipotent, omniscient, and omni-benevolent) to create a being that has moral freedom.

P2: If it is possible for said God to create morally free beings, then it is possible for said God to create a being who freely chooses to act evilly.

C: It is possible therefore, for said God to create a being who then freely chooses to act evilly.

This can account for evil acts. And with God, we can rightly call them evil as there is an objective standard by which to do so.

Moreover, and with contention 1, God cannot force a free action – it is a logical contradiction. Stepping into modal logic here, let's take Bob as an example. Bob has a choice to beat up Larry. If the decision is a free one, then there must be a possible world where Bob beats Larry and also a possible world where Bob does not beat Larry. Now one of these worlds even God cannot actualize. Which world becomes reality depends on the free action of Bob, not God.

============
Direct Responses:
============

"Thus, assuming that God is both omnipotent and omnibenevolent, he would by definition interfere in order to further his benevolent nature in creating the benevolent state."

God would not interfere given that he has created beings with moral freedom. Unless my opponent can create a necessary premise that requires an omnipotent and omnibenevolent God to interfere, then this point stands as an ipse-dixit (unsubstantiated assertion).

"Such interference is a contradiction to free will. Regardless of what the state God is working towards happens to be, the fact that he is working towards some sort of state shows that free will and the Christian God cannot logically stand beside each other."

Forced benevolence on his creation is contra omnibenevolence, insofar as actions are only actually good if they are chosen. It is, therefore, reasonable that said God would not interfere given that his doing so would hinder any ability for a human to legitimately actualize moral integrity, magnanimity, compassion, courage, humor, honesty, and the capacity for love.

============
Conclusion:
============

My opponent has failed in creating a third and essential proposition between freewill (F) and omnibenevolence (B) that shows a necessary contradiction. Since no contradiction has been shown as true, or necessarily true, my opponent's burden remains unfulfilled. I look forward to his response.

Sources:
1. http://philofreligion.homestead.com...
Debate Round No. 2
Clockwork

Pro

My thanks to my opponent for a good debate.

I would like to remind any potential judges that new arguments posed by the Contender in the final round are to be considered invalid by fault of my inability to respond; though such an instance should be unlikely considering the ability of my opponent.

REGARDING BIBLICAL SEMANTICS

My opponent continues to object to the biblical descriptions of God, even though he never uses these objections anywhere in his case, and even uses claims to the contrary (omnipotence, omnibenevolence) as advocating points in his defense. Even though he has failed to tie this into any arguing point and cannot do so in his R3, I will briefly address his points. Note that these points are meant to be brief; I daresay we should leave most of the debating to the main issue at hand, especially when my opponent uses the exact opposite of these assertions to prove his own case.

OMNIPOTENCE

The KJB and the original Greek Bible are both Bibles, and both can be sources as biblical descriptions. Nonetheless, for my syllogism to be valid, God's omnipotence only need extend to the point where he could eliminate evil, which is proven by the verses provided.

OMNISCIENCE

This can pass; my case is not harmed and my opponent's case is not helped by God's omniscience (or lack thereof); however, we do know that God knows that evil exists, as already stated.

BENEVOLENCE

Many bible verses require a bit more "reading between the lines", as they say; while the authors might have felt like writing down "God all-loving and all-powerful", it doesn't make for good reading. They instead prefer to use more colorful lines like:

1 John 4:8
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

1 John 4:16
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. -

Again, just like omnipotence, God does not necessarily have to be explicitly all-loving; he simply must be caring enough to want the best for his creations, as shown by both your case and mine.

"EVIL ABOUNDS"

My opponent again asserts in his R2 that we cannot criticize God for allowing evil because we cannot determine what is and what isn't evil. However, in the case of an omnipotent and benevolent being, such benevolence is negated by the mere existence of evil (explained later) as opposed to specific, designated acts which we know to be evil. Though we may not know exactly what is evil, we do know that evil exists, as quoted from the bible and conceded by my opponent in R1:

"The Christian God created humans which are free-willing and capable of doing evil, and who have done and continue to do evil."

To which my opponent responded:

"I accept the first three premises as accurate representations of the Biblical God."

Evil does exist and continues to exist, and such evil is allowed by God to occur. Exactly why he does so has lead us to the rest of the argument.

REGARDING FREE-CHOSEN ACTIONS

My opponent asserts that only free chosen actions are evil or good but fails to provide any sort of evidence, logical or otherwise. I cannot respond to this point by fault of having nothing substantial to negate; my opponent has not asserted any reason why this is true, and I thus cannot refute his lack of an argument on this point.

THE FREE WILL CONTRADICTION

To quote my opponent, "THERE ARE SOME THINGS EVEN AN OMNIPOTENT GOD CANNOT ACTUALIZE." This is true; God could not create a square circle or something inherently contradictory to itself, simply by fault of the fact that such a thing cannot exist. This presents us with a problem: could a being exist that is both all-loving and malicious?

The obvious answer is no; if a being is malicious is by definition cannot be all-loving. We know thus far that evil exists and that God allows it to exist, but that God does not choose himself for such evil to occur. However, we must realize that passively propagating evil is still a malicious act.

Say that bioterrorists spark an epidemic that has a one-in-three chance of killing any person who comes into contact with it, and unleash this upon the world. The terrorists have no definite control over whether or not their disease will kill any single individual; however, the odds show that many people will probably be killed. Would unleashing such a disease be evil?

Say that I am babysitting a toddler; while watching him, the toddler climbs up to a windowsill and, leaning over, begins to wobble, obviously about to fall to his demise two stories below. Of course, the toddler did wander to the windowsill himself, and there still exists a chance that he may correct his balance; however, would it be considered a morally acceptable act to watch the toddler possibly fall to his death?

My opponent insists that evil cannot be to the fault of God's lack of omnibenevolence because God is not the one choosing to do evil; the evil is beyond his control. Such reasoning would lead us to believe that a roll of the dice would be enough to make an immoral action permissible; however, such reasoning obviously fails.

My opponent's syllogism as stated at the end of his R2 is flawed from the initial premise: an omnibenevolent God could not create morally autonomous beings, as by doing such, God would be an accessory to the evil that would almost inevitably result. Both passive and active propagation of evil are still evil actions and are thus contradictory to omnibenevolence, and thus the creation of almost inevitable possibility or evil is indeed almost as bad as carrying out the evil by oneself. The Christian God simply cannot logically stand beside the constants that exist in this world.
InquireTruth

Con

===========
Introduction:
===========

Highest accolades to my opponent for a great debate! He can rest assured that I will not use this round for making any new arguments. I will, however, reiterate what has already been said and offer my analysis as to why I believe I am the victor in this debate.

========================
Regarding Biblical Descriptions
========================

My opponent is correct in discerning that this not a central point of my argument – indeed, it is not at all part of my argument. Since my opponent suggested that he was going to perhaps formerly present this case, I thought it important for him to know that traditional ascriptions =/= biblical descriptions. As a Bible student myself, now in my seminary years, I can authoritatively assert that the aforesaid traditional ascriptions are far from being universally accepted. Moreover, my opponent's assertion that the KJV and the original Greek are both Bibles is, in fact, inaccurate. The KJV is a translation OF the Bible, while the original Greek is, for all intents and purposes, THE Bible.

For the purpose of this debate I have assumed the accuracy of the traditional ascriptions (and I must admit, they quite nearly mirror my own beliefs) and have only brought them up as a tangential reminder for my opponent's future attempts.

==============
Evil Abounds
==============

Here my opponent sets up a syllogism that lacks a necessary third proposition. We have agreed that (E) evil exists and that an (B) omni-excellent God exists. However, when these two premises are jointly asserted, there is no necessary or apparent contradiction. My opponent was tasked with the arduous burden of creating a third, necessarily true proposition, that when asserted alongside E & B, creates an insurmountable contradiction.

In this subsection of the debate, we have determined that evil exists, though we have no ability to know or determine what is evil (this point is used more for what is referred to as "natural" evils, or evil that is, supposedly, not the result of free action).

So we can summarize our progress thusly:
1.Evil Exists
2.An Omni-excellent God exists

========================
REGARDING FREE-CHOSEN ACTIONS
========================

"My opponent asserts that only free chosen actions are evil or good but fails to provide any sort of evidence, logical or otherwise. I cannot respond to this point by fault of having nothing substantial to negate; my opponent has not asserted any reason why this is true, and I thus cannot refute his lack of an argument on this point."

My opponent, with due respect, may have forgotten a very important point. My contentions need not be plausible or even true; they need only be possible for my opponent to fail in fulfilling his burden. My opponent has made the absolute claim that God and freewill cannot exist simultaneously– he asserts that there is a necessary and explicit contradiction. If I can, at bare minimum, show that it is POSSIBLE for there to be no explicit contradiction then my burden is fulfilled and my opponent fails – for my opponent cannot say that what possibly can be, cannot be.

Furthermore, if I force someone to love me, can that reasonably be called love? Inherent in the definition of love is the necessary stipulation of free will. Any action, not freely chosen, is forced or determined. Love not chosen is not love at all. The ONLY way for love to be possible is for nonLove to also be possible.

The logic was quite clear; it is too bad my opponent saw it unnecessary to refute it.

We can now summarize our progress thusly:

1.Evil Exists
2.Free will Exists
3.An Omni-Excellent God exists

My opponent has yet to provide a proposition that makes these three premises, when jointly asserted, necessarily contradictory.

======================
The Free Will Contradiction
======================

Here we are, at the meat of the issue. My opponent correctly asserts that a being cannot be both all-loving and malicious. Such a proposition can be granted. He then asserts that passively propagating evil is malicious.

But here we are at an impasse. My opponent has not shown – off-mark analogies notwithstanding – that God is passively propagating evil nor that what he defines as passively propagating evil is necessarily malicious.

As long as it is possible that a world that contains free creatures is more valuable than a world that contains no freedom at all, then my opponent's point cannot stand. He likens it to bioterrorism; the very fact that there will be casualties makes it evil. But this a disanalogy. This makes anything, where failure is possible, inherently evil. Since nothing GOOD can come from bioterrorism, there is no point in comparing it to God given free will. Since more good is possible with free will – insofar as good is impossible without it, it stands to reason that the allowance of free will is, well, good.

Of course, my opponent's analogies also fail because he is, again, presupposing a metric of morality that was neither proven nor distinguished in this debate. He cannot merely make a plea to emotion by creating an analogy and saying, "SEE, ain't that evil!" Unfortunately for my opponent, it ain't evil till he proves it as such.

God could very well have a morally sufficient reason for NOT intervening. The first one being that interference would negate free will and thus make are good actions forced ones – insofar as we would not be capable of bad action due to constant divine impediment. Also, and secondly, our failures could be to foster the growth of our souls. This life was never meant to be a perfect one, but one for growth towards something better.

"Both passive and active propagation of evil are still evil actions and are thus contradictory to omnibenevolence,"

My opponent has, quite humorously, tried to make God morally at fault for the mere creation of beings capable of acts that displease him. Will he has soon indict the mother of a murderer for the action of birthing such a loathsome scoundrel? Shall we throw into prison all the car makers responsible for the death of millions of people via drunk-driving? Shall we not also throw stones at those loathsome road makers that made it possible for the cars to crash at all – certainly they KNEW there would be accidence! Or is it a morally sufficient reason to create something that causes more good than bad? If it is not, then out with modern medicine, cars. Science, technology, and all – for all things are accessories to evil!

==========
Conclusion:
==========

My opponent is without a syllogism or an argument to stand. He entered into this debate with an unfulfilled burden, and has ended this debate with a heavier one still! He has created no necessary contradictions. He has given me nothing to ACTUALLY refute.

The final progress can be summarized thusly:
1. Evil Exists
2. Free Will Exists
3. Omni-excellent God exists
4. It is possible for God to have a morally sufficient reason for not intervening (in fact there is good logical reasons for believing this to be true)
Debate Round No. 3
33 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Clockwork 7 years ago
Clockwork
I do find it odd that both myself and my opponent are receiving votes almost exclusively in 7-point blocks; I would think that S/G at the very least would be a tie.
Posted by Clockwork 7 years ago
Clockwork
Your car maker analogy fails because it fails to address the conflicts between human and divine natures. A more appropriate analogy would go like this.

Yahweh Motor Corps decides to design a car. They have unlimited resources to reach unlimited ends with this car's operation. Yahweh Corps could design a car that would disallow drunks from driving and eliminate all car accidents. Instead of building that car, however, the company chooses to design a car that will allow drunks and reckless drivers to harm themselves and others, because the CEO thinks that people will feel better satisfied by crashing into innocent people, if that is what they please. I'm not "casuistry where casuistry is not" because God is the First cause; all other causes originate from Him.

Your entire argument rests upon the claims that the good in this world outweighs the evil and that a non-neutral state requires free choice, both of which are unsubstantiated. The second point in particular is erroneous in claiming that good must be mitigated by the possibility of an opposite in order for either to have a distinction. My living room wall is painted blue, but I would be hard-pressed to find a paint colored "non-blue". I could, however, find colors that aren't blue; likewise, God could uphold states of moral neutrality or of varying degrees of goodness. You logically can't require every description in existence to be polarized, and the polarization of good and evil still stands as a popular topic in philosophy today; your claim on this regard is by no means universally accepted.
Posted by InquireTruth 7 years ago
InquireTruth
"You put forth opposition to my points by stating that no good is possible without the opposite possibility for evil; because you made this claim, your burden was to back it up logically."

I did back it up logically… Perhaps you missed it. Good is, by definition, a distinction. But if evil does not exist, what is it a distinction from…?

"you have grossly misconstrued my bioterrorism argument"

So the logic inherent in your argument does not also indict the road maker for car accidents – making him responsible for any deaths caused by his creation? Just because you do not like the outcome of your logic does not mean you can feign casuistry where casuistry is not.

"I cannot be expected to anticipate and respond to all logical arguments possible."

That's good, because I only gave 1 logically possible argument. It seems you did not even anticipate that.

"yet failed to fully refute my opposition to your arguments' validity."

If there was a substantive refutation, please reiterate.

"would you mind doing so here?"

Irrelevant. This is neither important to the point nor necessary for me to know.
Posted by Clockwork 7 years ago
Clockwork
Firstly, as I have already stated, you have grossly misconstrued my bioterrorism argument; the point was not a matter of evil but one of responsibility. Even though the diseases unleashed by our hypothetical terrorists are not guaranteed to kill anyone, it would be ridiculous to suggest that they would not be responsible for any deaths that arise from the disease. Likewise, when God initiates an action (free will) that had two possible outcomes of either relative good or relative evil, He is consequently responsible for both the good and the evil that come about as a result of His actions.

Secondly, this debate revolves around both biblical verse and the logical consequences of said verses; however, the use of the former solidly bases arguing points in relevance to the resolution, while constructing your case wholly upon your own reasoning leaves your arguments much less solid by fault of their lack of canonical foundation.

Lastly and perhaps more importantly, I will once again quote my earlier posts in that your arguments boil down to a simple "I disagree with PRO, so vote CON". My burden involves upholding two agents (God and free will) to be contradictory; however, I cannot be expected to anticipate and respond to all logical arguments possible.

Instead, CON must present specific opposition to the contradiction as stated by PRO, to which PRO responds in the next round, etc. This exchange of ideas is what we usually label a "debate". You put forth opposition to my points by stating that no good is possible without the opposite possibility for evil; because you made this claim, your burden was to back it up logically or biblically. You field to do so. Instead, in the third round you stated that your arguments only need be remotely possible yet failed to fully refute my opposition to your arguments' validity.

By the way, since you failed to answer the question I asked at the beginning of R2, would you mind doing so here?
Posted by InquireTruth 7 years ago
InquireTruth
"healthcare MIGHT not be practical in such a situation. After all, my opponent can't prove beyond all doubt that the situation wouldn't happen, right?"

I'm hoping that someone of your ability can see the disanalogy. This is an egregiously bad comparison. The resolution in this debate is that God and free will are contradictory. This is a statement of logic and therefore requires logical proof. Any logical contradiction requires there to be NO other logical possibility. Your analogy is false because it requires you to argue the plausibility of such and such, and it is not a statement of logic. If it was phrased, "there is no other logically possible healthcare plan," then all one is required to do is create a plan that is possible, not necessarily plausible.
Posted by InquireTruth 7 years ago
InquireTruth
"You made no reference to any sort of biblical passage in a debate revolving around biblical doctrines"

Did this debate revolve around biblical doctrines, or the logical compatibility of said doctrines?

"instead your "logic" revolved around points that the judges are presumably supposed to give up without a second thought."

For instance?

"Bioterrorism, baby killing and mass murder MIGHT not really be all that evil."

I never said it was NOT evil. However, if you are going to call it so, YOU must provide proof beyond the emotional plea.

"And all these mights seem to contradict common sense"

What seems more prima facie true? That free will is more valuable? Or that robotic, non sentient determinism is more valuable. Since I think common sense would suggest that the former is more valuable, it stands to reason that an omni-excellent God would create that which is more metaphysically valuable. Here we have that (1) free will is more metaphysically valuable, (2) an omni-excellent God would allow that which is more metaphysically valuable, (3) there are some things even an omnipotent God cannot actualize, (4) God cannot force free action, (5) God interfering would constitute a breach in free will and would thus be metaphysically less valuable, and lastly, conclusion: From 1,2,3,4, & 5, an omni excellent God would allow free will and would not interfere to prevent evil.
Posted by Clockwork 7 years ago
Clockwork
Unlikely, although I'm sure both myself and my opponent are fairly confident that we're both right, nothing's hurt by us forcefully sharing our ideas with each other. It's not like we have anything to lose.
Posted by unlikely 7 years ago
unlikely
oh to spend my days doing logic gymnastics in an imaginary universe
this isnt bible school refutations class

there is no christian god
now move on and enjoy the rest of your lives
Posted by Clockwork 7 years ago
Clockwork
You're correct about your burden to prove the topical agents compatible, but don't make the mistake of assigning the opposite burden to me. That particular burden was one of the parameters of the debate, and attempting to meet that parameter by no means equates to your having won this debate. You made no reference to any sort of biblical passage in a debate revolving around biblical doctrines; instead your "logic" revolved around points that the judges are presumably supposed to give up without a second thought.

Free will alongside the chance of eternal damnation and other evils MIGHT be better than predestinated utopia. Bioterrorism, baby killing and mass murder MIGHT not really be all that evil. God's allowance of His beloved creations to murder each other in His name, all while He has the power to stop it, MIGHT really be in our best interests. After we get through all of these chances, only then MIGHT your case be valid. And all these mights seem to contradict common sense, especially when the roll of the dice is a bet on one's eternal destiny (or lack thereof).

If I debated an opponent in a debate about healthcare, your logic supposes that a valid argument could involve my arguing that because aliens MIGHT invade earth tomorrow and bring forth the Apocalypse, healthcare MIGHT not be practical in such a situation. After all, my opponent can't prove beyond all doubt that the situation wouldn't happen, right?

If I were to do that in an actual debate, I'd be laughed off of the site. You have assumed a laughably minuscule burden that neither encourages the participants and judges to reach a conclusion nor satisfies most people's idea of a substantial debate.
Posted by InquireTruth 7 years ago
InquireTruth
"Con must prove that the two are logically compatible."

I'm sorry you feel that my reasoning is ridiculous. However, as cited above, my burden was to show that both free will and a biblical God are logically compatible. In order for you to show that free will and a biblical God are contradictory, you must cite a necessary proposition that shows an explicit contradiction. Since you neither cited nor defended a necessary proposition, you never showed a necessary contradiction. This means that (1) you never actually showed that free will and a biblical God are contradictory, and (2) that my cited propositions are possibly true and therefore show that free will and a biblical God are logically compatible.

My reasoning, by all logical accounts– your nonsensical parody notwithstanding – is completely sound. All my claims are based on logic and therefore require that they be shown to be (necessarily) logically impossible. Anything logically possible = logically compatible.
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