The Instigator
Sardukar
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
SJM
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Cain was justified in his murder of Abel

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/31/2017 Category: Religion
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 880 times Debate No: 102850
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
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Sardukar

Pro

From Wikipedia

" And the human knew Eve his woman and she conceived and bore Cain, and she said, "I have got me a man with the Lord." And she bore as well his brother Abel, and Abel became a herder of sheep while Cain was a tiller of the soil. And it happened in the course of time that Cain brought from the fruit of the soil an offering to the Lord. And Abel too had brought from the choice firstlings of his flock, and the Lord regarded Abel and his offering but did not regard Cain and his offering. And Cain was very incensed, and his face fell. And the Lord said to Cain,

"Why are you incensed,
and why is your face fallen?
For whether you offer well,
or whether you do not,
at the tent flap sin crouches
and for you is its longing,
but you will rule over it."

And Cain said to Abel his brother, "Let us go out to the field," and when they were in the field Cain rose against Abel his brother and killed him. And the Lord said to Cain, "Where is Abel your brother? And he said, "I do not know: am I my brother's keeper?" And He said, "What have you done? Listen! your brother's blood cries out to me from the soil. And so, cursed shall you be by the soil that gaped with its mouth to take your brother's blood from your hand. If you till the soil, it will no longer give you strength. A restless wanderer shall you be on the earth." 13 And Cain said to the Lord, "My punishment is too great to bear. 14Now that You have driven me this day from the soil I must hide from Your presence, I shall be a restless wanderer on the earth and whoever finds me will kill me." And the Lord said to him, "Therefore whoever kills Cain shall suffer sevenfold vengeance." And the Lord set a mark upon Cain so that whoever found him would not slay him."

And Cain went out from the Lord's presence and dwelled in the land of Nod east of Eden. And Cain knew his wife and she conceived and bore Enoch. Then he became the builder of a city and he called the name of the city like his son's name, Enoch."

I removed the numbers cuz they were annoying me lol but the story is completely unchanged.

1st round is opening arguments for us, later rounds are whatever, this is my first time debating lol

My opening will now commence!

First Point, God had shown Cain that blood was more valuable than crops. God had never explained to Cain the reason for his disregarding this particular offering. From Cains view it must have seemed that God favored the profession of herder over that of farmer, of meat over vegetables and grain. The story makes a point of saying that Abel chose the best of his resources while Cain by comparison must have only chosen the middling of his. Yet when we look at Gods own word we see "For whether you offer well,or whether you do not," Showing that the wellness of the offering had little to no effect on the outcome, at least to Cains ears.

Second point. Murder could not be thought of as sin in that time. God said to Cain "at the tent flap sin crouches and for you is its longing, but you will rule over it." Remember that Cain had just seen his offering of crops ignored and his brothers sacrifice of a living creature celebrated. If, to Cains mind, farming was a sin but slaughter was not what precedent was there for murder beings thought of as a sin? There was none. So, again to Cains mind, if the spilling of blood was simply a part of religious life what sin could God have meant Cain to rule over? The sin of not spilling blood.

Third point. The better the sacrifice the more blessing is received. If crops were low quality sacrifices and animals were good sacrifices it stands to reason that the sacrifice of a human would be the best possible sacrifice because human beings are the highest possible physical life form. After the murder of Abel Cain was both blessed and cursed with a mark that made tilling soil impossible but also provided him a safeguard against murder from other people. He was free to travel the world instead of being locked down to a single farm.

Thanks lol.
SJM

Con

Ok so I"m assuming that rebuttal will come later and for now, we are just giving our case.

Note: The evidence has some parts cut out for the sake of length, however the message has not altered from the author's intent.

My case:

Cain was angry. He saw that God preferred his brother"s offering over his and was furious. This led him to feel jealous and he wanted to act violently. So, after taking his brother, Abel, out onto the field, he killed him. God questioned him and then punished Cain for what he did.

This is a classical story of envious killing. Cain could not restrain himself. We see a case of murder, and we know murder is bad.

My sole contention is, murder is never justified because of deontological principles.

Moral acts that we desire always resort to deontological calculations
Citation: Gaus 1 What is deontology? Part one: Orthodox views. Gerald F. Gaus Journal of Value Inquiry 35 (1):27-42 (2001)

This evidence encompasses what it means to live under a deontological framework, instead of a, "means justifies the ends" consequentialist one.

"what is right is that which we ought to aim at, or ought to desire.32 Although moral duty cannot be grounded on what we actually desire, it can be exemplified in terms of what we ought to desire. He replies: But by 'aiming at something X,' or 'having something X as our aim,' we mean having X as our purpose, and by 'having X as our purpose' we mean having the desire of X as our motive. A moral obligation is by its very nature a moral obligation to perform some activity."

Citation: Gaus 1 What is deontology? Part one: Orthodox views. Gerald F. Gaus Journal of Value Inquiry 35 (1):27-42 (2001)

"The sense that we ought to do a certain thing arises in our unreflective consciousness, being an activity of moral thinking occasioned by the various situations in which we find ourselves. That an act is prima facie right, is self-evident; in the sense that when we have reached sufficient maturity and have given sufficient attention to the proposition it is evident without proof, or of evidence beyond itself. It is self-evident just as a mathematical axiom"

Having established which moral framework we"re using, murder would clearly fall into one of the moral wrongs. We shouldn't use the results of an action to justify the means.
Debate Round No. 1
Sardukar

Pro

My rebuttal begins now!

Your recollection of the story leaves out a key part. God had spoken to Cain both before and after the murder of Abel, not just after. Who can really say weather Cain was furious at his brother or the unfairness of the situation he was placed in? Perhaps he was furious at himself for seeming to disappoint God. Perhaps he was furious he was not a shepherd. The text does not say why Cain was furious, even God asks Cain what the problem is. Jealousy being the sole attribute of Cains action is conjecture at best.

What we do know for certain is that after God had spoken to Cain the murder of Abel happened. I see no proof in the text that God had ever told Cain not to harm Abel, only that sin crouch's at Cains tent. Because God was not clear of which sin, it was impossible for Cain to determine a proper moral course of action.

When we look at what just took place, God favoring blood over crops in terms of sacrifice and then right after, God reprimanding Cain, it's only rational to assume that Cain thought the sin God spoke of was not offering blood. Seeing how remarkable Abel's offering of one of his flock was Cain decided he would follow Gods law and murder his brother to please God. Violence has already been condoned by God.

I would also point out that in this time before Moses no formal laws exist for mankind. While Adam and Eve both know good and evil due to their eating of the fruit, the same cannot be said for their children who were born outside of Eden.

With that being said lets look at murder itself. Actually lets look at what deontological is about first.

From Wikipedia lol,

"Deontology argues that decisions should be made considering the factors of one's duties and one's rights."

I assume you would argue that Cain's duty to make a pleasing sacrifice to God is of less importance then Abel's right to live a natural life. Yet we see time and time again in the bible that human life is always of less importance then duty to Gods will.

Weather it is a father told to sacrifice his only son because God desires it or weather it's every first born of Egypt that has to die because their ruler would not obey God it is taught in the bible that duty trumps rights.

Cain had a duty to rectify his mistake and he acted in good faith. He sacrificed his own brother, no higher sacrifice could be made given the evidence.

It stands to reason that Cain had a poor understanding of how offerings are supposed to work yet did what he thought was required of him due to the vagueness of Gods commands.
SJM

Con

Rebuttal:

I'm going to speak a very common trait among novice debaters which is the tendency to believe that debates are won purely by absolute truths, and not through probability. For example, a novice debater would see video footage of a crime and mention that it could be the government in on some conspiracy theory making fake videos. While this theory is possible, it's not as probable as the opposition, which is that the person is guilty.

In the context of this debate, my opponent is making huge leaps in logic as in assuming that Cain wasn't jealous of Abel pleasing God more. The evidence shows us that they both offered gifts, God preferred Abel's offering over Cain's, the text says Cain was angry. Cain then goes onto kill his brother. If this doesn't show that Cain's jealousy is the best possible explanation, then you're making a stretch and should provide a more probable explanation.

As for Cain not knowing murder was bad, my opponent excuses this with speculation that this murder was actually a sacrifice. If this is the case then why did he not tell God what happened when God had asked him? He has nothing to hide. If this is the case then why didn't Cain bring it up at all? Nothing hints at this being a sacrifice. My opponents reasoning is as follows, God likes sacrificing flocks therefore he must like sacrificing human. The precedent isn't you get to sacrifice everything, the precedent is you can sacrifice sheep. My opponent made the precedent too general in order to encompass his argument. It's not blood over crops, it's flock over fruit of the soil. On the contrary to this speculation,

This shows us that Cain is well aware that killing is bad things when pertaining to humans. He tells god that this punishment is too much to bear, and mentions he"s afraid to be killed.
"BibleGateway." Genesis 4 - - Bible Gateway. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 June 2017.

"13 Cain said to the Lord, "My punishment is more than I can bear.14 Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me."

Cain is well aware of what bad, murder entails.

My case:

My opponent states

"I assume you would argue that Cain's duty to make a pleasing sacrifice to God is of less importance then Abel's right to live a natural life. Yet we see time and time again in the bible that human life is always of less importance then duty to Gods will."

There are many problems. One, this mischaracterizes the analysis because killing humans is not God's will and Cain was well ware for the reasons mentioned. Second, if this was hypothetically true, then both the sacrifice and right to live would be God's will and we enter a state of paralysis. The reason for Cain viewing the right to live as God's will, is because he's aware that God created people for living, he could of easily not created life for humans.

Also, my point about how murder can never be justified wasn't refuted considering my opponent seems to not understand demonology frameworks. Deontology essentially says that acts are either good or bad on their own merit and that they aren't justified on the outcome of the act. Deonotoloy was conceded by my opponent, therefore that;s what we are using to evaluate this round. My opponent agrees that murder is bad, thus the act is bad and not justified. So, saying murder was justified, means that my opponent has used other moral evaluations aside from deontology. My opponent loses here.

In conclusion, unsuccessful rebuttal towards my case considering they were misunderstandings of my case, and confusion towards God's will and duty. As for my rebuttal towards my opponent's case, it demonstrates the comparative probability between my case and my opponent's. Both are possible, but when evaluating who won this debate, the most convincing debater wins. My opponent seems to rely on things not explicitly said to make his case, however they are implied and thus, the best explanation.
Debate Round No. 2
Sardukar

Pro

Arguing done, closing will now be unleashed!

God has very rarely given specific instructions to mankind. Many signs, portents, visions but not a whole lot in the way of concrete rules and regulations lol. This is even after prophets such as Moses and Jesus tried to codify a structure of behavior for our benefit. To this day people around the world continue to search for the true meaning of religious texts. If you think the will of God is easy to decipher just look at the split in Christianity between Catholicism and Protestantism or the many Islamic sects. Even Jewish Rabbis to this day continually go over the words of God to derive new revelations that will strengthen the faith.

Yet so much can be lost in translation from the divine to the mundane. That is the real lesson of the tragic death of innocent Abel and the demonization of simple Cain. God left no clear instructions on what constituted a worthy sacrifice a farmer could make that would equal the first of a healthy flock. God only demonstrated a lust of blood as Cain saw it and as history would show God does have a lust for blood.

Many years after Cains death when large amounts of people inhabited the world, God would wipe almost all of them out with a great flood. Years after that many murders would be committed at Gods explicit command upon human beings.

Cain, a simple farmer, being expected to interpret the words of a divine being perfectly and without error is something even our best scholars of today have trouble achieving, some would argue the majority of them never even get close.

It is also to be noted after this incident Cain was never recorded as murdering anyone ever again despite the considerable power of his mark. He was never recorded as abusing his position as unable to be murdered without seven fold retribution coming down upon the perpetrator. Sounds like a man of considerable restraint to me. It almost seems as if he was pushed by forces outside of his control and if so those forces are to be blamed, not Cain.

Thanks lol.
SJM

Con

Wait what, closing arguments does not mean you drop every single one of my arguments. GG debate over, opponent ignored everything. Extend everything.

In conclusion, extend

"My sole contention is, murder is never justified because of deontological principles.

Moral acts that we desire always resort to deontological calculations
Citation: Gaus 1 What is deontology? Part one: Orthodox views. Gerald F. Gaus Journal of Value Inquiry 35 (1):27-42 (2001)

This evidence encompasses what it means to live under a deontological framework, instead of a, "means justifies the ends" consequentialist one.

"what is right is that which we ought to aim at, or ought to desire.32 Although moral duty cannot be grounded on what we actually desire, it can be exemplified in terms of what we ought to desire. He replies: But by 'aiming at something X,' or 'having something X as our aim,' we mean having X as our purpose, and by 'having X as our purpose' we mean having the desire of X as our motive. A moral obligation is by its very nature a moral obligation to perform some activity."

Citation: Gaus 1 What is deontology? Part one: Orthodox views. Gerald F. Gaus Journal of Value Inquiry 35 (1):27-42 (2001)

"The sense that we ought to do a certain thing arises in our unreflective consciousness, being an activity of moral thinking occasioned by the various situations in which we find ourselves. That an act is prima facie right, is self-evident; in the sense that when we have reached sufficient maturity and have given sufficient attention to the proposition it is evident without proof, or of evidence beyond itself. It is self-evident just as a mathematical axiom"

Having established which moral framework we"re using, murder would clearly fall into one of the moral wrongs. We shouldn't use the results of an action to justify the means."

Also all my arguments against my opponent's case.

I copied and pasted everything because it was conceded. What my opponent did in his last speech is repeat everything, just with different words. It didn't talk about how the arguments interacted in the round, but instead just filled it with rhetoric.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Sardukar 1 year ago
Sardukar
Only a Sith deals in absolutes xD.
Posted by Sardukar 1 year ago
Sardukar
Only a Sith deals in absolutes xD.
Posted by backwardseden 1 year ago
backwardseden
No. Absolutely not was Cain justified in murdering his brother. Period. There is no justification for any murder, not ever unless harm is caused to a child and that child happens to be a family member. Otherwise murder is never justified. War is silly. It is stupid. But then again, guess who brought it on? god nonetheless. And where oh where did Cain get this idea in his head to murder his brother in the first place? Did it just POOF pop up in his good ole noggin? Nah, that's too easy. god put it there. That's a far better bet.
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