The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
17 Points

Catholic Christianity's beliefs are false

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/24/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,752 times Debate No: 27471
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (3)




I don't really think definitions are necessary.

A couple of arguments to start off with:

1. Catholic beliefs are absurd. For example, the concept of believing a man was born of a virgin is unrealistic.

2. Pretty much every Catholic response to an Atheist argument as as well questionable. For example, "evil in the world comes from Satan from when evil triumphed over good." To that I'd say prove it.

3. I don't believe in your god for the same reasons you don't believe in other religion's gods (I'll elaborate in response).

4. Overwhelming evidence that Jesus didn't exist (tell me why you think he exists...).

5. It's unfair to say that every time the Bible doesn't make sense it's allegorical and every time it does make sense it's true. That is like saying the Bibld ix the word of god except when it's not.

6. Nobody deserves to go to hell for eternity (not even Hitler), especially for making human mistakes... because we are only human beings.

7. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence... which of course there isn't any of.

8. Christians can't prove the Bible is allegorical, but just take it as that because literally it doesn't make sense.

9. You can't disprove anything there isn't proof of. So don't say you can't disprove god... you also can't disprove invisible smurfs but I souldn't believe in it.

10. There is evil in the world (tell me where evil came from).

11. All these beliefs come from a book that's history is very questionable.

I'll consider your responses and reply honestly.


1) While it can't be denied that being born of a virgin is prima facie implausible, that doesn't make it impossible or an absurd notion. Obviously if we're just speaking of virgins naturally popping out babies, that would be absurd. However, this is a misrepresentation of Catholicism and hence moot. Catholicism posits divine intervention, a miracle, as the explanation for a virgin birth. One can certainly disbelieve in God, but it's not apparent why Pro thinks the idea is itself prima facie "unrealistic".

2) This strawmans possible Catholic defense. In Pro's own example of the problem of evil, this isn't the only response. There's also the free will defense, the epistemic limitations defense[1], the moral argument[2], etc. Some Catholics may present unconvincing defenses of Catholic faith. That doesn't necessitate that Catholic faith is itself false.

3) I'll ask Pro for elaboration on this point before I attempt to refute it.

4) It's likely that Jesus did in fact exist. Far from only being mentioned in the New Testament, the life and actions of Jesus were cataloged by various writers of the time. For example, Tacitus, in his historical work Annals, mentions Christ (spelled Christus) and alludes to him being put to death by the Roman government.

"But not all the relief that could come from man, not all the bounties that the prince could bestow, nor all the atonements which could be presented to the gods, availed to relieve Nero from the infamy of being believed to have ordered the conflagration, the fire of Rome. Hence to suppress the rumor, he falsely charged with the guilt, and punished Christians, who were hated for their enormities. Christus, the founder of the name, was put to death by Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea in the reign of Tiberius: but the pernicious superstition, repressed for a time broke out again, not only through Judea, where the mischief originated, but through the city of Rome also, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their center and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind."[3]

5) This isn't an argument I intent to forward in this debate, nor is it a necessary component of Catholicism. All Pro is describing is the faults of a certain approach to Christian apologetics, an approach that is hardly universal.

6) This is an unsupported claim by Pro. Why doesn't anyone deserve to go to Hell?

7) Conjecture by Pro. Just saying there's no evidence doesn't make it true. Claims require argument and Pro hasn't provided one.

8) You can't prove anything is allegorical. That doesn't mean allegories don't clearly exist. Furthermore the flawed interpretation of Biblical tales by early Christians doesn't prove anything other than that humans are fallible.

9) I have no intention of providing any sort of negative argument for Catholicism. Therefore this point is irrelevant to this debate.

10) There are various defenses of the existence of what we deem "evil". One theory draws on our own epistemic limitations. We don't know why everything is the way it is. That doesn't mean though that there isn't a good explanation. Another explanation draws on the incoherent presuppositions necessary to even forward the problem of evil. Atheists in forwards to POE presuppose a moral standard of behavior. But where is this moral standard drawn from? The moral argument posits that God is the only explanation for objective morality. That means that any moral criticism of God falls in on itself.


[1] (Sec. 5.1)
[2] (Sec. 2.6)
[3] The Annals, Tacitus. Book 15, Chapter 44. Available online: (
Debate Round No. 1


1. Being born of a virgin is for sure absurd/unrealistic (I'm saying it's too hard to believe in), especially how she was impregnated by the undefinable "Holy Spirit" which has no proof that it even exists. I'm aware Catholics believe it's a miracle, but why believe in a miracle without sufficient evidence other than it being in a questionable book.

2. The evil coming from Satan was an example. All the different defenses actually tell me people have all kinds of theories becuase they have no idea what they're talking about, but just want to be right. None of them have evidence, and if so, tell me! If people don't know what they are talking about when it comes to their religion, does it not give the vibe that the people might be overall wrong?

3. Think of it like this: You and I are sitting at a table with a huge stack of cards, each one representing a religion and what their beliefs are. I ask you all of your reasons why you think each religion is wrong. Eventually you would notice a lot of the arguments are reusable. Once we've gone through the stack there is one left- Catholicism. I'm sure almost all the arguments you said against other religions sould work well against Cahtolicism as well. I guess the moral is that Christianity is no better than anything else, but they are convinced they are right and others are wrong (at least most of them).

4. I don't know what to think about that quote because I've only heard that he was never documented despite all his "miracles" (would have been one of my arguments). Are you sure that is credible? Here are mine for him not existing: I think that Jesus was based on Joseph in the Old Testament- Please read this: ( ). Also, the born on December 25th, walk on water, born of a virgin things were unoriginal; there were other gods before Jesus that apparently did that, and are now considered myths.

5. So I take it you are a literalist. In fact, this is the approach I've heard from only reasonable Catholics, and all teachers at my Jesuit school. If you are a literalist, explain to me the two creation stories.

6. You can't be serious. I can easily say zero people in the world deserve to suffer FOREVER, regardless of what you did in your lifetime- especially if you masturbated once when you were a teenager (mortal sin) or you are a single mother that got a divorce because of a bad relationship. Please don't tell me you think people deserve to suffer for eternity, especially for making human mistakes.

7. Fair enough, then give me my extraordinary evidence that God even exists.

8. Yes, but you can't just assume it is supposed to be taken allegorically just because it doesn't make sense literally. And no, they don't "clearly" exist. Give me an example of when there is a "clear" allegory in the Bible, and how you know it's supposed to be an allegory. The allegorical/contextualist view very much exists today!

9. I've realized this wasn't worth including. It was intended as a response to people that say you can't disprove god, but you may say that. Disregard this.

10. The fact that there are various defenses tell me people aren't sure what to think, and that what they think has no evidence. I totally agree we don't have all the answers, that's the agnostic side of me. Religion isn't the only cause of good morals you know. And let's say it is, does that at all prove Catholics right? No, the debate is not about that.

11. Where is your response to this?


1) While tangible, physical evidence is obviously something we can't find in this instance owing to the historical time period in which the claim was made, there are other pieces of evidence that would seem to make the virgin birth at least a plausible event. First, the opposition form conservative religionists at the time suggests that any doctrine could be called into question. However, there's no record of the virgin birth aspect of Christianity ever being debated/denied by skeptics of Christianity.

Moreover, the seemingly unbridgeable gap as far as evidence of miracles isn't as large as one would think, taking the existence of God as a preliminary belief. See my point (7) for evidence of this point. If I can show that God probably exists, what would appear insurmountable (the existence of miracles) becomes at once plausible.

2) Pro is here arguing that multiple explanations proves that what is being defended must necessarily be wrong. But let's look at where this reasoning gets us. Evolution must be false as well given that the contents of the view have changed over the years, from Darwinism to the modern synthesis (neo-Darwinism)[1]. Pro's standard is clearly a fallacious one.

3) Pro is mistaken in thinking that every single proof of every single religion is exactly the same. Consider though that there are unique proofs offered for Catholic Christianity. Pro is again strawmanning.

4) The burden is on Pro to prove that my source isn't credible if he takes issue with it. Furthermore, there doesn't appear to be any reason a priori to ascribe skepticism towards his account since Tacitus wasn't even a Christian and thus doesn't appear to have had any dubious motives in his account of Jesus.

5) I'm not a literalist. I'm not even Catholic, I'm just defending Catholicism here for fun. Furthermore, my rebuttal doesn't even imply literalism. It is merely against the practice (by some Chrisitians) of arbitrarily picking and choosing which stories they think are allegorical and which are literal.

6) Pro didn't actually provide an argument here so I don't see much to actually refute.

7) Bleh, I suppose I'll go for the old modal cosmological argument.

  1. A contingent being (a being such that if it exists it could have not-existed or could cease to) exists.
  2. This contingent being has a cause of or explanation for its existence.
  3. The cause of or explanation for its existence is something other than the contingent being itself.
  4. What causes or explains the existence of this contingent being must either be solely other contingent beings or include a non-contingent (necessary) being.
  5. Contingent beings alone cannot provide an adequate causal account or explanation for the existence of a contingent being.
  6. Therefore, what causes or explains the existence of this contingent being must include a non-contingent (necessary) being.
  7. Therefore, a necessary being (a being such that if it exists cannot not-exist) exists.[2]

8) Pro is mistaken on the meaning of my rebuttal. I wasn't saying allegories in the Bible clearly exist. I'm saying that it's extremely hard to verify that *anything* is allegorical without direct authorial confirmation. However, even without direct authorial confirmation we can still say that some things are probably allegorical as opposed to literal. And again, just showing that some Christian's methodology is off is insufficient as an attempt to disprove the actual ideas they hold. See genetic fallacy[3].

9) Pro concedes this point.

10) See full refutation of this argument in point (2).

11) Again, this commit the genetic fallacy[2]. Pro is attacking the origin of Catholic ideas, not the content of the ideas themselves.


[2] Sec. 3.1)
Debate Round No. 2


1. You saying there's no record of the virgin birth being debated doesn't tell me anything. When you said "the opposition form conservative religionists at the time suggests that any doctrine could be called into question." are you trying to say it didn't happen, but it never said it for sure happened? It's still a Catholic belief that it occurred, and I'm arguing against Catholic beliefs.

2. Haha, well, I didn't say it "must necessarily be wrong", I said it "gives off the vibe" that they might be wrong. I'm just trying to see the other perspective where different explanations (without any of them having support) makes them look wrong. Also, the difference between separate types of evolution and separate answers of where evil comes from is that each theory within evolution (Darwinism) is a theory based off the facts that invented the theory of evolution itself. Where evil comes from is not based on facts, but unsupported beliefs.

3. You're wrong here completely. I don't think every religion has the same beliefs, I just think that, for example, arguments against one god existing works against just about every other god existing. Where did you get me thinking every religion is the same?

4. I don't feeling like looking to see if it's credible to be honest. I've heard most people say (even some Christians) that he wasn't documented by anyone, and now you're saying this. Someone is obviously wrong, though I'm not sure who. Anyways, I didn't get any refutation on the Jesus-Joseph parallels and how these beliefs of Jesus walking on water and born on December 25th being unoriginal. Is this because you didn't have an argument back or you forgot? There seems to be evidence that he did exist and evidence that he didn't, so we might just end up disagreeing on which is better. PS- I know this is besides the debate, but I noticed you are an atheist, so you don't believe in Jesus, right?

5. Every adult Christian I know (nearly everyone I know is Catholic) takes the approach of thr Bible often being allegorical. My religion teacher (hardcore Catholic), all the parents in the area, etc. So I guess what I'm saying is it is universal. My religion teacher actually once told me that all Catholic Christians take this approach (called "contextualist").

6. Come on. The argument is: why do Catholics say god is good if he sends people to hell for making human mistakes. Plus, according to the rules of mortal sin, 90 something percent of people are going to hell. I thought the argument was pretty obvious when I said nobody deserves to go to hell, which is pretty clear if you ask me.

7. This isn't at all extraordinary evidence that the Catholic god exists.

8. You're right, sometimes it is hard. This doesn't mean you should just assume that it's allegory because it doesn't make sense any other way. The Bible would be an example of when it is hard to say whether or not it's allegorical, as oppose to when it's easier to see. Again, I was taught this is one of two types of Christianity (other being literalist) by the most devout of Christians- my religion teacher.

9. Yeah.

10. Refutation as well in #2.

11. I never stated that I would only argue the content. Arguing the origin does just as well to prove Catholicism isn't probable.


1. You misinterpret my argument. First, in the event that a new potentially-mass appealing religion if formed, we generally can expect to see oppositions from religious authorities who may be threatened by that religion. For instance, when Christianity began it threatened to displace established religions such as Judaism and the State Church of the Roman Empire. However, we see no record of the virgin birth (one of the central justifying pillar of the religion at that point) being contested. This in conjunction with the previous establishment of God makes the virgin birth at the very least prima facie plausible. Pro however hasn't responded to either of these points.

2. Pro has no response to my point here. He merely retracts back to the claim that differing interpretations simply give off a "vibe" that Catholic Christianity could be wrong. Vibes are not arguments.

3. The argument employed here suggests that the reasoning behind the various religions are the same. However, since there are different supporting points in defense of different religions, this point falls apart. On Pro's point that arguments against one God are arguments against another, while this is true, it doesn't mean much since Pro hasn't actually forwarded an argument against God, just individual Catholic tenets.

4. There was no refutation of the Joseph-Jesus parallels because (1) Pro didn't make an argument, he just posted a link and (2) I already provided documentary evidence for the independent existence of Jesus which Pro has yet to bring an argument against.

Side note: I'm an atheist yes but that doesn't mean I don't think Jesus existed.

5. Pro's bringing personal anecdotes into the debate now. That's not a coherent argument against Catholic Christianity. At best it's an argument against the methods of justification the people referenced used in religious debates.

6. Pro claims his argument is pretty obvious but I have yet to see it. All he's doing is repeating and repeating Catholic beliefs regarding hell and expecting everyone to have the same knee-jerk reactions as him. This isn't an argument though.

7. Again, Pro hasn't given an argument. He's simply saying my evidence wasn't enough? Why? We'll never know because Pro didn't grace us with a reason.

8. Again with the personal anecdotes. See refutation of Point 5.

10. Pro's right. This point is basically the same as Point 2. See above for full refutation.

11. Pro is basically just ignoring the fact that I showed the entire base of his argument to be fallacious. Just ignoring that and saying your argument still works just because doesn't prove anything. Take an example. If I said the sky wasn't blue because Jimmy has a dumb reason for thinking it so, that would be commuting the genetic fallacy. It's a fallacy because I'm not actually arguing against the content of the belief itself, just someone's reason for holding them. Pro's simple ignorance of the fallacy doesn't make his argument any more valid.
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by devient.genie 5 years ago
Phenomological 7:2--A philosophy or method of inquiry based on the premise that reality consists of objects and events as they are perceived or understood in human consciousness and not of anything independent of human consciousness. Translation: Everything boils down to "how you feel", "what you feel". However nature doesnt care how you feel, it is indifferent to human emotion. Thats why Science studies biology NOT phenomenology :)

STUDS 7:58--"Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty " a beauty cold and austere, like that of sculpture, without appeal to any part of our weaker nature, without the gorgeous trappings of painting or music, yet sublimely pure, and capable of a stern perfection such as only the greatest art can show,"--Bertrand Russell, He couldnt be more right :)

DevientGenie 2:7--For those who are smarty pants, the Genie is not deviant, the second 'e' is testament to that fact. He is merely splashing a glass of ice water on the world :)

Brainiacs 11:4--Hey religious kids, did you realize that singling out and calling the morons (second 'm' left out for flavor), catholics, jehovahs witness, islam, shamans, jewish or any other belief, calling them ridiculous or a cult while youre embracing another religion, is like someone calling charles manson despicable while writing love letters to jerry sandusky :)

BigKids 8:23--Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism, affirms our responsibility to lead ethical lives of value to self and humanity because we want to, that doesnt sound too difficult right? :)
Posted by Nidhogg 5 years ago
Oh, and point #6 is HILARIOUS.
Posted by Nidhogg 5 years ago
I would accept, but I'm Methodist
Posted by philochristos 5 years ago
You should call this "Christian's beliefs are false," since the objections you raise are not peculiar to Catholicism.
Posted by Nur-Ab-Sal 5 years ago
Why is this directed solely at Catholics?
Posted by CriticalThinkingMachine 5 years ago
You can't honestly expect your opponent to properly address all these points in an 8,000 character max, 3 round debate, nor can you expect yourself to be able to properly address rebuttals. You'd need at least 40,000 characters in my opinion and a five round debate to do that kind of thing. I would pick no more than two or three points to debate, otherwise you are not likely to get an opponent.

Also, some of your points are against a more general theistic conception of God while others are against a more specific Catholic conception. You need to pick one and stick with it, otherwise the debate will seem incoherent and hard to follow.

These same points apply to your other instigated debate.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by BA_BA_BA 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: pro is unsensitive and has poor arguments
Vote Placed by rross 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: I just did this same debate, but con here is so. much. better.
Vote Placed by AlwaysMoreThanYou 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Hurr hurr hurr. Sources to Con for sources. Arguments to Con because Pro didn't really prove anything false, and Con was right about his usage of the genetic fallacy. Easy win for Con.