The Instigator
HmblySkTrth
Pro (for)
Losing
10 Points
The Contender
daley
Con (against)
Winning
23 Points

Christian belief in eternal torment is indefensible.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/1/2011 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 5,970 times Debate No: 17360
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (90)
Votes (6)

 

HmblySkTrth

Pro

You must be a Christian and you believe in eternal torment (doesn't matter if it is physical torment or psychological torment) for those who do not accept Christianity. Since God created hell and created humans, knowing most would reject, then God must bear some responsibility for following through with the plan.
daley

Con

The Bible's doctrine of eternal torment is clearly mentioned in Luke 16:19-31; Revelation 20:10 and many other passages. God, as our Creator, has the right to decide what punishment to dish out to his creations, and he also has the right to decide what is fair and what is not.
Debate Round No. 1
HmblySkTrth

Pro

Thank you for responding. Okay, I need to clarify some things! I apologize for not explaining more details from the start. This is my first debate here.

This is not about whether the Christian Bible supports eternal torment. Quoting the Bible will not prove your position, except to those who already agree with you. There is no point in having a debate if you simply say God is correct no matter what God does.

My goal is to convince the Christian that this belief is flawed. I start with the assumption that Christian doctrine of eternal torment is true, then follow the "logic" of it and show how it fails.

Your goal should be to convince the skeptic that this is true and just. You must show it is reasonable, instead of just preaching your beliefs and saying God can do whatever God wants.

I understand if you are no longer interested in this debate. I can cancel this and rewrite my original position to clarify for a future debate with someone else.

If you wish to continue, then let me give a starting point for my position.

1. God already knew most would reject.
2. God chose to create us anyway.
3. Therefore, God followed through with a plan that results in billions of people ending up in eternal torment.

This is absurd cruelty. And frankly, I don't even feel I need to explain why because it is self-evident. I seriously question how anyone can accept this. It is my firm conviction that people who accept this are:

A. In denial because they have not considered how repulsive this is, or
B. Do not love as Jesus commanded. Jesus said to love your enemies, so anyone who believes this should have trouble sleeping at night, to say the least!

One common attempt to sidestep this problem is to say humans choose hell. While I can acknowledge that humans do bear SOME responsibility, they do NOT bear ALL the responsibility. Humans did NOT create hell, nor did humans choose to be born in the first place. And furthermore, God's insistence that all non Christians remain conscious throughout eternity, rather than be wiped out of existence, is indefensible.

And this does not take into account the fact that evidence for God is inconclusive at best. Not only that, but even if there were evidence for God it would not mean Christianity is the correct version of God. Granted, evidence for God is outside the scope of this debate, but many intelligent, sincere truth seekers do not believe in God. Certainly others do believe in Christianity, which shows my original contention that evidence is inconclusive. I agree with the common saying that God can neither be proved nor disproved. Thus, I am agnostic. (do not waste time quoting Romans 1!)

According to your belief, most are headed to hell (Mathew 7:13-14). So, either the way to salvation is too difficult, or humans are flawed. If the way to salvation is too difficult, God must bear some responsibility. Or, if humans are flawed, then the creator of humans (God) must bear some responsibility. Please acknowledge the problems of your belief system.

Let me know if you wish to continue this debate, now that you understand the format. Or you can withdraw and I will delete this debate and rewrite it with more clarity from the start so someone else can debate this topic.

Thanks
daley

Con

"1. God already knew most would reject.
2. God chose to create us anyway."

I aggre with these premises.

"3. Therefore, God followed through with a plan that results in billions of people ending up in eternal torment."

God "knowing" that most would reject is not what caused them to reject, so God doesn't bear responsibility for them rejecting the message. Past experience might teach you that a person will act unwisely because it is their habit, but your "knowledge" of this doesn't cause you to bear blame for their actions. I am suggesting, that God's foreknowlege of how we will choose to use our free will doesn't imbue him with any blame for our actions. If I know that you are going to loose this debate, is it might fault that you lost? Conversely, if I know you will win, is it my fault that you win? If we know the sun will rise tomorrow, is it our fault that it does? No! Knowlege of the future doesn't imbue the knower with responsibility for the actions taken by the entities it has this knowlege of.

God creating us is not what caused any of us to reject Christianity. Simply having conscious existence doesn't cause anyone to reject Christianity, so God is not to blame here either. A man's parents gave him birth, the man rejects atheism, should his parents be blamed for his rejecting atheism later in life just because they gave him birth? If my opponent is going to blame God for the actions of free moral agrents just because he gave them life, he must blame all parents for the actions of their children because they gave these human life too, for his logic to be consitent.

The Christian teaching is that God made man with free will, and man choose to use that free will to disobey him. So God never made man in an imperfect state; but gave man a perfect start. Also, God does not create of physical bodies, for if he did, he would be the author of evey baby borned deformed. Rahter, it is our spirits and souls he creates, while our bodies come from the natural process of sperm and egg developing into the human body.

The word "plan" is used in point #3. The word "plan" would make it sound like God planed (orchestrated) man's sin, which is incorrect. God didn't plan a world where any were unbelievers. Rather, God's purpose (plan) was for all to obey him and live forever in good conditions; but when humans used their freewill to turn against God and reject his original plan, God then revealed his plan of redemption in which those who were willing would accept the truth and live in happiness forever. He didn't plan who or how many would accept, for that is a free choice; it just so happens that only few would accept it.

"This is absurd cruelty. And frankly, I don't even feel I need to explain why because it is self-evident."

If giving people free choice and then punishing them for using that freedom in an evil way, then the entire justice system in all the earth is cruel for putting people through the horrors of life in prison for using their free will to commit heinous crimes. This reasoning is flawed. My oppoent seems to think that a doctrine cannot be true if it "appears" to be cruel "to him," and yet, what is cruelty? Wikipedia defines it this way: "Cruelty can be described as indifference to suffering, and even positive pleasure in inflicting it." Now, the Bible says that God does not even delight in the death of the wicked, so God doesn't enjoy punishing them anymore than parents enjoy punishing their children. (Eze 33:11) Is God "indifferent" to suffering? No. He's not. If he were, he would not put in place a means by which people can be saved from sin and gain life in paradise free from suffering, but those who refuse to take hold of this opportunity will indeed suffer. This doesn't mean God is indifferent. For example; if you see a man locked up in a cell with poor bathroom facilities, no entertainment, no freedom, and you find out that this man is a serial killer and rapist doing time in prison, would you help him out? Chances are, you're not going to help this man get out, but does it make you indifferent to suffering? No; it makes you just. Justice is being served. Watching the wicked suffer hurst God, but justice has to be served. They have sinned against an eternal God, and the consequence os sin are eternal.

"It is my firm conviction that people who accept this are:
A. In denial because they have not considered how repulsive this is, or
B. Do not love as Jesus commanded. Jesus said to love your enemies, so anyone who believes this should have trouble sleeping at night, to say the least!"

Loving their kids doesn't mean parents shouldn't punish them. God loves us, but that doesn't conflict with his giving just punishment for our sins.

"Humans did NOT create hell, nor did humans choose to be born in the first place."

Agreed.

"God's insistence that all non Christians remain conscious throughout eternity, rather than be wiped out of existence, is indefensible."

Gpd created us to live forever, why should he change his plans now to spare wayward people who chose that suffering for themselves anyway?

"And this does not take into account the fact that evidence for God is inconclusive at best. Not only that, but even if there were evidence for God it would not mean Christianity is the correct version of God. Granted, evidence for God is outside the scope of this debate, but many intelligent, sincere truth seekers do not believe in God. Certainly others do believe in Christianity, which shows my original contention that evidence is inconclusive."

Many sincere seekers of truth believe that 9/11 was a conspiracy, and that man never landed on the moon, and that reptillian aliens are ruling the world. Many sincere seekers of truth also believe in God, the devil, and the tooth fairy. Hailey (after whom Hailey's Comet is named) believed the hollow earth theory. So persons belief or lack of belief in a thing is no evidence for or against it. Truth isn't decided by vote, so this argument is flawed. The evidence for God is actually very weighty, and just because some don't accept it doesn't mean it is lacking in any respect. It is just as clear as the planes that crashed into the twin towers. In fact, it is so clear, that the majority of the world's population bleieve in God or at least in the supernatural. There certainly are more theists than atheists on earth. The evidence for God includes such things as (1) the existence of absolute moral values, (2) inference to the best explanation for the orgin of information in the cell and DNA, (3) the fine-tuning of the constants of the universe, etc. But God's existence isn't the topic of this debate.

"I agree with the common saying that God can neither be proved nor disproved."

To whom? God cannot be proved to them whose heart and mind are closed to the evidence, but it convinces many others. What is proof anyway?

"According to your belief, most are headed to hell (Mathew 7:13-14). So, either the way to salvation is too difficult, or humans are flawed. If the way to salvation is too difficult, God must bear some responsibility. Or, if humans are flawed, then the creator of humans (God) must bear some responsibility."

Neither! The way of sin is easier to follow, that doesn't mean the road to salvation is too difficult. Those who get saved face the same problems as those who don't, and all are human beings, so if these can accept the way of salvation so can all others. What it means is that people find the instant gratification of sins more appealing that having to wait until the resurrection in the next life to enjoy the full benefits of salvation. Why? Becasue humans are flawed as my opponent says, but no fault of God's. Our human ancestors used their free will to become sinners, and since then we are born with sinful bodies. God didn't make it this way, so he's not to blame. He provided a remedy that will one day permanently fix this problem.
Debate Round No. 2
HmblySkTrth

Pro

"God "knowing" that most would reject is not what caused them to reject, so God doesn't bear responsibility . . ."

Okay, let me try to make it clearer. How many people would end up in hell if God had not created humans and created hell? ZERO!

Let me give you a story to show the problem. Suppose when my children were young, I gave them a loaded gun to play with, and one was killed. My defense would be, "I am not the one who pulled the trigger, so I am not responsible."

Is that legitimate? You would be appalled by my response. I knew the danger, yet went ahead with it.

God knew the plan would fail for most of humanity, yet went ahead with it. You can say this was not God's plan, but God knew it would happen. God should have destroyed Adam and Eve before they reproduced billions of offspring, where most are destined to eternal torment. In fact, God should have destroyed Eve in front of Adam so he did not follow her into sin.

God's "perfect plan" is an utter failure and should have been stopped long ago. Every minute God delays the return of Jesus results in more people headed to eternal torment. Stop the avalanche!

You can ramble on, and on, and on . . . about human responsibility, but this is a waste of space because I already agreed that humans bear SOME responsibility. According to you, God is omnipotent yet not responsible for anything that goes wrong. Don't you see the obvious problem with that?

And trying to compare human parents responsibility about their children's actions to God's responsibility is also faulty. Human parents have limitations, while God is omnipotent. If you want to use "logic" to compare, then humans have limited responsibility while God has unlimited responsibility.

You spend a great deal of time comparing God's punishment to our justice system, and to parents disciplining children. Wow, talk about comparing apples and oranges! How does our legal system keep people conscious throughout eternity for the sole purpose of tormenting them endlessly? Why compare a spanking that hurts for a few minutes or grounding that results in temporary loss of privileges to eternal torment? When you are going to make a comparison, at least try to make them somewhat similar. Then again, maybe it is unfair of me to say this because NOTHING in our world compares to eternal torment.

There are graphic documentaries on television about war, starvation, disease, crime, child abuse, and other suffering. Many get very upset and cannot watch these disturbing programs. While these programs are disturbing, we can be comforted by the fact that all the suffering is TEMPORARY; it will end someday. Many Christians, who cannot even stomach watching these disturbing shows, believe and preach the doctrine of endless torment, which is far worse than any temporary hardship today. Is there a section of their brains they shutoff to keep them from connecting the dots?

"They have sinned against an eternal God, and the consequence os (sic) sin are eternal."

By that "logic" you could justify child abuse. When a small child rebels against a big strong parent, the child deserves to be hit extremely hard for rebelling against a strong person.

And it looks like you missed my point about the significance of evidence for or against God. You admitted that "sincere seekers of truth" have different beliefs. When people are sincere and do not believe in Christianity, how are they responsible for honestly rejecting what they do not believe to be true?

You can claim that the evidence is strong, but that is your bias showing through. You say, "God cannot be proved to them whose heart and mind are closed to the evidence, but it convinces many others." This is an unfair assertion that only non Christians are biased.

Many Christians say things like, "My life would be so empty if I did not have God." This is outright admission of a blatant bias. People hate to face the possibility that their existence will end someday, so they readily accept the promise of eternal life.

I was a Christian for many years, and wrote a lot about theology. Then I decided to write a book defending Christianity from the critics. After long and hard research, I realized I could not refute the critics, and saw that the most famous apologists did not respond well either. Sorry, don't even try to say the evidence for Christianity is conclusive. If the evidence were conclusive we would not call it FAITH.

"God didn't make it this way, so he's not to blame. He provided a remedy that will one day permanently fix this problem."

But most reject this fix. Not much of a remedy when the vast majority does not get fixed.

You say people have plenty of evidence, but they choose to reject it. You also say people prefer sin to Christianity. These are attempts to sidestep legitimate problems with your belief system. But you prefer to deny that there are any legitimate reasons to reject Christianity. This doesn't make real debate possible.

So far, you have done nothing but preach to the choir. Christians who already agree with you, and don't want to question their beliefs, will continue to agree with you. But non Christians, as well as Christians who have been wondering about these issues already, could not possibly be swayed by your presupposition that God must be right and we cannot question God.
daley

Con

"How many people would end up in hell if God had not created humans and created hell? ZERO!"

How many men would have sex with animals if women had not given birth to the babies who became men? ZERO! How many men would be serial killers if women had not given birth to them? ZERO! This is the kind of logic my opponent is using; that just because A is responsible for B's very existence, he is also responsible for everything that B does! This kind of logic leads to the conclusion that all parents are responsible for murder when their kids grow up to be killers. And if they are responsible for the actions of their offspring, should they not be jailed or hanged along with them when justices catches up with these offspring? Anyone can see this reasoning is flawed. God is no more responsible for the way we use our free will then parents are when their adult offspring commit heineous crimes. We are all responsible for our own actions, not those of others, and God is no different! To believe my opponents argument, we would have to believe that a company which manufactures or sells salt, is responsible for a woman's blindness because somebody threw salt in her eye. The rational would be that she wouldn't get salt in her eye if companies didn't make or sell salt. Its like blaming your mother eveytime you get drunk, just because if she didn't give birth to you you owuld exist in order to be drunk. This is nothing more than an attempt at shifting the blame instead of taking responsibility for one's own actions.

"Let me give you a story to show the problem. Suppose when my children were young, I gave them a loaded gun to play with, and one was killed. My defense would be, "I am not the one who pulled the trigger, so I am not responsible."
Is that legitimate? You would be appalled by my response. I knew the danger, yet went ahead with it."

This reasoning again is flawed because it does not accurately respresent the situation under discussion at all. Minors without the proper nowledge or ability to make an informed decision about spiritual matters will not automatically go to hell. And while a human being can pull a trigger by accident due to being a child, he cannot reject salvation by accident. The argument is also unreasonable. A woman knows the risk of having a child, that there is always the chance the chance he'll turn out to be a rapist, yet she gave him life anyway; is she to blame for how he uses his life when he grows up? No! And no court should lock up a woman for the crimes of her son. God isn't to blame for how free agents use free will.

"God should have destroyed Adam and Eve before they reproduced billions of offspring, where most are destined to eternal torment. In fact, God should have destroyed Eve in front of Adam so he did not follow her into sin."

(1) To destroy Adam and Eve would be an admission that Satan had tharted his plans and he had to start over from scratch, which would mean a created being was able to outsmart God; the angels of heaven would be unable to have confidence in him as an all-wise God, would would lead to more rebellion. (2) Destroying Eve would not guarantee Adam's faithfulness. God has destroyed many evildoers in the Old Testament in front of witnesses, and this didn't prevent the witnesses from following a sinful course. After destroying Pharoah's army in the sea, the Israelites who saw it still rebelled afterwards in the wilderness. After the flood of Noah's day, rebellion began afresh. Destroying people and starting over doesn't mean the new folks won't rebel.

"Human parents have limitations, while God is omnipotent. If you want to use "logic" to compare, then humans have limited responsibility while God has unlimited responsibility."

God has no responsibility to stop people from using their free will as they see fit, and I challeng my opponent to show us, on what basis does he argue that God is obligated to stop suffering? God doesn't have to save anyone, that why Christians teach that it is a free gift. We are born in sin and never did anything to deserve eternal life in paradise or heaven.

"There are graphic documentaries on television about war, starvation, disease, crime, child abuse, and other suffering. Many get very upset and cannot watch these disturbing programs. While these programs are disturbing, we can be comforted by the fact that all the suffering is TEMPORARY; it will end someday. Many Christians, who cannot even stomach watching these disturbing shows, believe and preach the doctrine of endless torment, which is far worse than any temporary hardship today. Is there a section of their brains they shutoff to keep them from connecting the dots?"

The fact that these scenes on TV are hard for some to look at doesn't make them any less real, thus, we have no reason to conclude that something worse doesn't exist in hell. Also, many people also enjoy watching scenes of violence and they call it antertainment. Some of the kung-fu movies today are very brutal, and many of these foks are Christians. So we can't settle the issue by comparing what Christians watch on TV. Also, the same Christians who can't stomah brutal scenes, would do worse to someone who hurts someone they love. Its human nature to want justice. Even in Old Testament times God commanded Israel to slaughter women and children, why not hell?

"By that "logic" you could justify child abuse."

The reason why the consequence of sin is eternal is because our spirits were designed to live forever. So have to spend etertiny somewhere. Also, the abuse of children is only wrong because they are children, but adults are legally responsible to bear harsh penalties, and in some cases even torture! It all depends on the situation.

"When people are sincere and do not believe in Christianity, how are they responsible for honestly rejecting what they do not believe to be true?"

I beleive some sincere seekers who reject Christianity will get to heaven by God's mercy, others will not. It all depends on the situation.

"This is an unfair assertion that only non Christians are biased."

I never said that only non-Christians are biased, and if you don't think the evidence for God is good, then I'll post you an argument for his existence not even you can refute, up for it?

"But most reject this fix. Not much of a remedy when the vast majority does not get fixed."

A good doctor doesn't force a treatment on his patients. When was the last time the doctors forced you to take meds? So you're blaming God for allowing you to choose how to live your life?

"But you prefer to deny that there are any legitimate reasons to reject Christianity."

You argue that just because many reject a thing that their reasons are always legitimate? Many reject that man landed on the moon, does it make their reason legitimate? Some do have legitimate reasons for rejecting the truth, and God mercifully forgives. When Jesus was dying on the cross he told God to forgive the Romans who killed him out of ignorance; but many don't have legitimate reasons, and they will go to hell. (Luke 23:34)

"So far, you have done nothing but preach to the choir. Christians who already agree with you, and don't want to question their beliefs, will continue to agree with you. But non Christians, as well as Christians who have been wondering about these issues already, could not possibly be swayed by your presupposition that God must be right and we cannot question God"

I never said we can't question God, Abraham did; but when you get answers, you should take them seriously.
Debate Round No. 3
HmblySkTrth

Pro

"How many men would have sex with animals if women had not given birth to the babies who became men? ZERO! How many men would be serial killers if women had not given birth to them? ZERO! . . . "

It doesn't matter how long you rant or how many examples you use, because parents are limited and do not know how their children will turn out. God DOES KNOW that billions will reject and end up in hell, yet continues on with the plan. Also, parents do not choose to make their children eternally conscious. God insists all will have an eternal existence, even though most will be in endless misery.

You need to quit making comparisons between finite and infinite. For example, in your previous post, you compared our justice system and disciplining children to eternal torment in hell. You avoided that in your last post because I pointed out the obvious problem. But I also pointed out that making parents (limited in power and limited in knowledge) as responsible as God (omnipotent and omniscient) is wrong. Yet, you continue doing this. Again, don't compare apples and oranges! Or maybe "apples and oranges" is a bad analogy. Perhaps I should say don't compare a grain of sand to the universe.

"This is nothing more than an attempt at shifting the blame instead of taking responsibility for one's own actions."

Are you not paying attention? I have stated more than once that humans bear responsibility. I never claimed that humans are innocent. But to continue talking AD NAUSEUM about human responsibility is nothing more than sidestepping God's role in this. God is the ONLY one CAPABLE of stopping this great tragedy, yet God REFUSES. Since humans are a pathetic race where so few obtain salvation, then it made no sense to create us in the first place. God should have created a better race.

When I discuss children, this sets off another long response. We are like children compared to God. And yes, we can reject salvation because of our upbringing and culture. You say God will not punish those who don't know. I assume you are referring to Romans 2:12-16, specifically verse 14:

"Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law."

According to that passage I am saved, because I follow my conscience. I reject Christianity because I find it lacking in evidence, not because I want to "live in sin." My morals and lifestyle agree with most of Christian beliefs, with minor variations.

However, there is a problem with this because many people would be saved by these standards. This conflicts with Matthew 7:13-14, which states that most are headed to destruction.

"(1) To destroy Adam and Eve would be an admission that Satan had tharted (sic) his plans . . ."

Face it: the plan failed! If the vast majority of humanity going to hell is not failure, then what is? What could be worse? Does EVERYONE have to reject God's plan before we call it a failure? I do not know how to make this any clearer.

"God has no responsibility to stop people from using their free will as they see fit, and I challeng (sic) my opponent to show us, on what basis does he argue that God is obligated to stop suffering?"

The real question of this debate is not whether God should stop the suffering. The crucial question is whether or not God should torment non-Christians endlessly. But I will respond briefly to this. As I stated above, "God is the ONLY one CAPABLE of stopping this great tragedy, yet God REFUSES." God's refusal to stop the tragedy contradicts Scripture saying that God does not want any to perish.

A similar problem is that the Bible portrays Satan as the deceiver who leads many astray. If God really did not want any to perish, God would destroy Satan to keep him from causing more people to go to hell.

Another point that you totally missed was how Christians can get so upset over documentaries of TEMPORARY suffering they cannot even watch, yet they accept eternal torment. I was trying to show that people don't realize how repulsive hell would be.

I HOPE this is denial. Because if it is not denial, then it is lack of love. People who truly love, as Jesus commanded, would be in serious depression if they considered that billions of people will suffer day after day . . . year after year . . . century after century . . . millennium after millennium . . . with no end in sight.

If this does not cause you serious depression, then you need to ask yourself if you truly love as Jesus commanded. Many Christians seem happy about going to heaven, even though they believe that billions of others will suffer endless torment. Anyone with this attitude sounds like a sociopath!

"I never said that only non-Christians are biased, and if you don't think the evidence for God is good, then I'll post you an argument for his existence not even you can refute, up for it?"

If you have irrefutable proof of God, then why are you here? Why aren't you getting your Nobel Prize? Perhaps your "proof" isn't as powerful as you think it is.

Then again, this may be just semantics. An argument that cannot be refuted (yet) does not mean it must be true; it only means it has not been totally discredited. Many arguments on many subjects have not been refuted, but they are not absolute proof.

As I said, the core of this debate is why God insists on tormenting people endlessly for making wrong choices. The punishment does not fit the crime. This seems so self-evident, yet people refuse to admit it.

One major goal of punishment is to correct behavior, like parents disciplining children. Another important goal is to keep society safe, like locking dangerous criminals in prison. These two goals should be the primary focus of punishment, while retaliation should be a DISTANT third.

Obviously, the only goal of hell is retaliation, since it is too late to accomplish anything else. And when temporary disobedience leads to eternal torment, you have serious burden to justify this punishment.

So far, this is all I have seen in your attempt to justify eternal torment for temporary disobedience:
1. You said the Bible says so and God has the right to decide (Round 1).
2. You compared judicial system and parents disciplining children to the punishment of hell (Round 2).
3. You said that a sin against an eternal God has eternal consequences (Round 2).
4. You said God created us with a plan that we would live forever (Round 2 and 3).

I said at the beginning that our debate isn't about what the Bible says, so the first point is not valid. I also said the second point was absurd because you cannot compare temporary punishments of this life to eternal torment, and you did not bring that up in the last round.

The third point has problems because we are limited and not even capable of causing eternal consequences, yet held eternally accountable in endless torment. And the fourth one does not make sense because it is obvious that the plan is a failure by any rational standards.

Are there any other points where you would like to make to refute the thesis of this debate? You must respond in your next reply, because I will not be able to respond after your final reply. Thanks
daley

Con

We build prisons knowing full well that crime will continue, that people will break the law, so are we to blame when criminals are jailed? No, neither is God to blame for jailing wrongdoers in hell. He again argues that God is not limited like us, therefore, he knew who would do what and has a responsibility not to create those persons so that no one ends up in hell; but who is he to say that God has such respondibility? Where does that responsibility come from? Pro is giving God responsibilities he doesn't have. God does not have to make a world where we don't suffer the consequences of our actions.

He makes the point that God should have destroyed the Devil so that he couldn't tempt people to sin and go to hell, but how does he know they would not sin without the Devil to tempt them? Who tempted the Devil to make him sin? No one; he sinned off his own free will. The only way to guarantee that no one would disobey God would be to create us without free will, or not create anyone at all; but if God prefers to have some people serve him, and others who don't in hell, over having no people in a relaitonship with him at all, who is to say God is wrong? My opponent is acting as though he has equal or more say than God in deciding what is right and wrong.

He says that only God can stop this tragedy and yet he refuses; my question to him is this, why should God be obligated to help? My point is that he isn't! God doesn't owe us anything. And as for the punishment fitting the crime, how does one determine if the punishment fits the crime? I would love to hear Pro's criteria. But its really his opinion against God's, and since God created and therefore owns us, he has the right to do what he wants. He goes on and on about how cruel hell is; death too is cruel, yet we execute criminals. He claims that since so few will inherit salvation it didn't make sense to create us in the first place. But it doesn't need to make sense to him for God to have the right to create us. In fact, God wants the earth filled with people serving him, and even if only twenty people are left after Jesus destroys the wicked across the earth, and these twenty folks repopulate the earth to the brim and they all become good Christians, its up to God to decide if it was worth it to him; not up to Pro. Weather an action was worth it is a very subjective thing, and only the being who is performing it and is trying to gain something from it can decide if it was worth it. The ones God drowned in the flood of Noah's day might not think it was worth it, looses usually complain, but Noah and his family sure knew it was.

Correction, I didn't say God will not punish those who don't know; nor did I refer to Romans 2:12-16. My point was that God is not going to send to hell everyone who doesn't know, just because they don't know. Some are justified for not knowing, and others are not. God will decide which ones to excuse, but contrary to your assumption, that is not the majority and hence does not contradict Matthew 7:13-14.

Pro is also incorrect that God's plan has failed. God told Adam and Eve to populate the earth, and subdue it, and have in dominion all the animals, and that time is still coming. The righteous who remain when it all goes down will still fulfill this mandate. God will have a world filled with people truely loving and serving him. Not until the battle is over can Pro say that God has failed. Just because God's plan is taking a long time doesn't mean it has failed. Further, he reasons that the majority of humans who have lived have lived are gone to hell, but what about the many more that will yet serve him when there is no more sin and death?

God's refusal to stop suffering doesn't contradict hisdesire that none should perish. God doesn't want to punish us, but when we err, as a loving father, he has to. God would prefer not to send anyone to hell, but if we choose it for ourselves he is not to blame. He argues that only a person who lacks love could send someone to hell. That's like saying only a person who lacks love can approve of the death penalty. Pro thinks the punishment in hell is too severe. Just because he thinks so means that God doesn't have the right? So if your pet dog thought that tying him outside in the cold was too severe a punishment for chasing the neighbor's cat, that would make you wrong? I don't see the logic in a finite being telling an infinite being what is just and what isn't.

He says that Christians who are happy about going to heaven while knowing that many others are tormented in hell sound like sociopaths. But who says they don't care? I'm sure even God hurts when he has to put to death the wicked, let alone send them to hell, just as any parent hurts when they have to severely discipline a child. But just because you don't like doing it doesn't mean you're not going to do it. We have been warned about hell, so if we choose to ignore that warning, to bad.

"If you have irrefutable proof of God, then why are you here? Why aren't you getting your Nobel Prize? Perhaps your "proof" isn't as powerful as you think it is."

William Shakespear's works were not recognized as great in his lifetime; but after he died people began to understand. It's not the amount of people who agree with you, or even if the scientific community agrees with you, that makeks you right. Truth isn't decided by majority vote. I could use a similar argument and say that millions of people beieve in hell, so your arguments are not so convincing either. What if the Christians came up with their own Nobel Prize? What then?

The Bible tells us that those who are delivered into Hell will be tormented, and the degree to which they will suffer is described in dramatic, illustrative language. But the scripture never describes Hell as a place where God or His angels are actively "torturing" the souls of the rebellious. "Torture" is the sadistic activity that is often perpetrated for the mere joy of it. "Torment" results from a choice on the part of the person who finds him or herself suffering the consequences. One can be in torment over a decision that he or she made in the past, without being actively tortured by anyone.

If someone embezzles $5.00 a week from their employer's cash register, they will have stolen $260.00 over the course of a year. If they're caught at the end of this time, they would still only be guilty of a misdemeanor in the State of California (based on the total amount of loss). Although the crime took a year to commit, the perpetrator wouldn't spend much (if any) time in jail. On the other hand, a murder can take place in the blink of an eye and the resulting punishment will be life in prison (or perhaps the death penalty). The duration of the crime clearly has little or nothing to do with the duration of the penalty.

If your sister catches you lying about your income last year, you might lose her respect. If the IRS catches you lying about your income last year, the resulting punishment will be far more painful. What's the difference here? It certainly isn't the crime. Instead, we recognize that the greater the source of the code, rule or law, the greater the punishment for those who violate the code, rule or law. If God is the Highest Authority, we should expect that violations of His "laws" would result in significant punishment(s).

It is not the fact that you kicked your dog in 1992. It's not the fact that you had evil thoughts about your teacher in 1983. The crime that earns us a place in Hell is our rejection of the true and living eternal God. This rejection of God's forgiveness is not finite. People who reject Jesus have rejected Him completely. They have rejected him as an ultimate, final mortal decision. God has the right (and obligation) to judge them with an appropriate punishment. To argue that God's punishment does not fit our crime is to underestimate our crime.
Debate Round No. 4
HmblySkTrth

Pro

Well, that sure was a fast reply! Too fast. That was disappointing.

Round 1 was just introduction, so that didn't count. At the beginning of Round 2, I clearly explained the guidelines of this debate:

"This is not about whether the Christian Bible supports eternal torment. Quoting the Bible will not prove your position, except to those who already agree with you. There is no point in having a debate if you simply say God is correct no matter what God does."

The rules, which you implicitly agreed to by continuing the debate, were straightforward. Since you weren't following these rules, I reminded you again in Round 3:

"So far, you have done nothing but preach to the choir. Christians who already agree with you, and don't want to question their beliefs, will continue to agree with you. But non Christians, as well as Christians who have been wondering about these issues already, could not possibly be swayed by your presupposition that God must be right and we cannot question God."

You can believe your interpretation of the Bible is absolute truth, but by continuing the debate after I clearly stated the rules, you agreed that these tenets of your belief could not be used as evidence:

1. Christian Bible is the inspired Word of God and says hell is eternal torment.
2. We cannot question God because God is perfect.
3. We cannot question God's plan because it is perfect.
4. If we think we see a problem, we are mistaken because God cannot be wrong.

Obviously, if the above presuppositions are correct, then I am wrong and there is no point in debating. But your responses throughout the debate include these assumptions as "proof."

Now I would like to ask you, and the readers, to review Rounds 1-4 and ignore any of your points that use these presuppositions.

Not much left, is there?

Why did you agree to this debate then refuse to follow the rules? We are now in the final round and we have scarcely had any legitimate debate! This is my last reply, and I have very little to respond to, other than your long tirades where you repeatedly violated the rules.

To briefly summarize, my case focused on two main points:

1. God's plan was faulty.
You went on and on about how humans are at fault, even though I agreed that humans bear some responsibility. You also repeatedly said that we should blame parents, even though parents are neither omniscient nor omnipotent. These are both ways to avoid any discussion about God's role in this. But your main response was repeatedly saying that God makes all the decisions and we cannot set expectations on God or give God responsibility, violating the rules of the debate.

2. Eternal Torment is excessive and does not fit the crime.
You tried to compare our judicial system and parents disciplining children to eternal torment, and I pointed out the absurdity of it by saying you were "comparing apples and oranges." Then I was more explicit and said, "Don't compare a grain of sand to the universe." Granted, we can use examples in our judicial system about determining guilt or innocence and the penalty for a crime. However, comparing eternal torment to any punishment in our judicial system - including the death penalty - is beyond absurd. Surely you understand that! But again, your main focus violated the rules of the debate (God can do whatever God wants, God's plan was for everyone to live eternally, only God can determine what is just, etc.)

By the way, you did make a couple points in Round 4 that I need to respond to:

"On the other hand, a murder can take place in the blink of an eye and the resulting punishment will be life in prison (or perhaps the death penalty). The duration of the crime clearly has little or nothing to do with the duration of the penalty."

Yes, it is the consequence that counts, rather than the duration of the crime. And murderers should get the death penalty. But this does not justify eternal torment.

Also, in previous rounds you made the point that a sin against an eternal being has eternal consequences. While I wasn't impressed with this line of reasoning, you elaborated more in the last round:

"If your sister catches you lying about your income last year, you might lose her respect. If the IRS catches you lying about your income last year, the resulting punishment will be far more painful. What's the difference here? It certainly isn't the crime. Instead, we recognize that the greater the source of the code, rule or law, the greater the punishment for those who violate the code, rule or law. If God is the Highest Authority, we should expect that violations of His "laws" would result in significant punishment(s)."

First of all, the penalty would be the same if the IRS catches you or your sister turns you in. If your sister doesn't report you, then you don't pay the penalty. And if you commit a crime in front of a police officer, the penalty isn't any worse than if a civilian reports you to the police.

And as far as the penalty for a crime, the CONSEQUENCE of the crime should determine the punishment. The example you used above was that a murder can take place in the blink of an eye and still be devastating. Agreed.

And the consequence of a crime is determined by the VULNERABILITY of the victim. Even though stealing $100 from a homeless person and stealing $100 from a millionaire would result in the same penalty, it is obvious that the homeless person would suffer more from this crime than the millionaire.

A better example, recognized by our court system, is child abuse. While it is bad to hit an adult, it is worse to hit a child! And while it is terrible to rape a woman, isn't it even worse to rape a young girl?

Crimes against children are worse because children are more vulnerable. The seriousness of a crime depends on the consequence to the victim.

We can hurt any human if we have the right weapon. But can we really hurt God? God could be sad that some reject, but billions of others accept God's plan, so God will be okay. Eternal torment for a crime against an invincible God, that cannot be harmed, does not make sense.

A true test of character is how we treat the vulnerable. Treating a defenseless child kindly is good moral character, while treating a well conditioned marshal arts expert kindly could be nothing more than self preservation. And following Biblical laws for no other reason than to receive eternal life in paradise and/or avoid eternal torment hell is morally bankrupt, yet many have this self centered attitude.

Throughout this debate, you have insisted that God is not responsible to do anything. You ask why God should stop suffering, or intervene. You repeatedly say that God is not obligated to help in any way. You do not consider a plan, where the majority of people - countless billions - suffer eternal torment, a failure.

My reasoning was based on the premise that God DOES exist and IS loving and merciful. You have not demonstrated this nor have you demonstrated that eternal torment is just. Your ONLY response is, "God can do whatever God wants." You can believe that, but in a debate where you are defending the actions of God, that is NOT good enough! It is nothing more than the common mantra:

God said it.
I believe it.
That settles it!

Again I ask: why did you agree to this debate if you were not going to follow the rules?

Regarding my two main contentions (1 God's plan was faulty, and 2 Eternal torment is excessive), do you believe that you refuted either of them, WITHOUT using invalid presuppositions? I hope you realize that you have done no such thing!
daley

Con

"There is no point in having a debate if you simply say God is correct no matter what God does."

You are arguing that God has no right to put people in hell for eternity because its not just, it doesn't seem fair "to you," but my argument is, if indeed God does exist and is the Creator of the universe, does he not have the right to decide what justice is? It it seems fair "to him" who are you to overrule his decision? How does one determine that a punishment is fair anyway? The universe is God's property, and all things in it; and if I choose to smash my car to bits in my back yard, its mine to do as I please. So if even if God's sole purpose for creating us was to send us to hell (it isn't, but what if it was?), its his choice! I am asking you to justify your argument that the Creator does not have the right to decide what to do with his creation. And why should God be bound by "human standards" of justice3 anyway, if indeed he crteated humans? Does not his say so overrule ours?

1. God's plan was faulty.
God's plan was for those who obey him to enjoy eternal life in good conditions, and those who don't to suffer punishment, that was always God's plan from the beginning. God told Adam what would happen if he ate the tree. By giving man free will God showed that his plan was not to have mindless robots who are forced to obey him, but only those who truely willingly obey from the heart to enter eternal life in good conditions. Just because some or even most don't make it does not mean God's plan was faulty. No matter how many go to hell, God will still have a world of people who are righteous and serving him. Those who survive armegeddon will repopulate this earth. In the new heavens and earth only righteous people will dwell, and there will be peace in heaven and earth; hence, God's plan reaches fulfillment, not failure. So it is wrong to say God's plan has failed. To illustrate, imagine your purpose is to have a beautiful garden, clean and free of corruption, but weeds keep popping up. Some of these weeds and even wild vines choke off most of your lovely plants. But one day you get rid of the weeds and vines, and they never come back again, and your garden once again flourishes to the full. No matter how much of your garden was lost; your original purpose for the garden is fulfilled, hence, no failure. God's plan could only be a failure if he never gets what he wants, but he will.

2. Eternal Torment is excessive and does not fit the crime.
"God's plan was for everyone to live eternally."

No, it wasn't. God's plan was everyone who is obedient to him to live eternally, and they will. My opponent misunderstood God's plan to begin with. The same way a judge has the right to decide a sentence, how much more so the Creator? We are designed to live forever, so logically, the only punishment one can bear for eternity, is eternal separation from God. A holy God cannot simply overlook sin. Its outside his nature to do that.

"it is the consequence that counts, rather than the duration of the crime. And murderers should get the death penalty. But this does not justify eternal torment."

When you kill someone, that person will be dead forever (assuming Christian doctrines of resurrection, etc, are wrong). So even the death penalty is an eternal punishment. So how can my opponent cry out against eternal torment but uphold eternal unconsciousness? And what's ironic, is that when you kill someone (assuming Christian teachings about the soul are incorrect), that person is no longer conscious to regret their crime. It seems like a mere sleep is the punishment for heinous crimes, whereas eternal torment keeps that person conscious and in regret of what they did.

"the penalty would be the same if the IRS catches you or your sister turns you in. If your sister doesn't report you, then you don't pay the penalty. And if you commit a crime in front of a police officer, the penalty isn't any worse than if a civilian reports you to the police."

Your sister would probably just scold you, the IRS would get you locked up by legal means. If you cursed your neighbour, there is little he could do. He might curse you back. If you curse a judge in court, you could get thrown in a cell. If you curse God, you could suffer a worse punishment.

"the CONSEQUENCE of the crime should determine the punishment."

The consequence of sin is eternal separation from God, that's a big consequence, and the punishment is that anyone who makes that bed can lie in it! You separate yourself from God forever, you can stay in that eternal separation forever. And it will be tormenting for you to see others making it to paradise and you outside of God's love and care.

"the consequence of a crime is determined by the VULNERABILITY of the victim. Even though stealing $100 from a homeless person and stealing $100 from a millionaire would result in the same penalty, it is obvious that the homeless person would suffer more from this crime than the millionaire. A better example, recognized by our court system, is child abuse. While it is bad to hit an adult, it is worse to hit a child! And while it is terrible to rape a woman, isn't it even worse to rape a young girl?"

First my opponent gives an example from the human justice system, then he gives a so-called "better" one because the first was somehow faulty. In the first, stealing from both the rich and poor has the same punishment. His own example didn't agree with his contention that the punishment should vary according to the vulnerability of the victim; so he gives one on child abuse. This illustrates the folly in depending on this crooked human justice system to tell uswhat true justice should look like. It also shows the folly in imagining that mere man can be more jsut than God.

God created our sprits/souls to survive the death of the body. God designed us to live forever. So we "must" spend eternity somewhere. Now, why should God have to redesign us to accomodate law breakers? He shouldn't! He's not obligated to! Such disobedient ones must either spend eternity in good conditions, or bad conditions; in peace and good health, or in torment and pain, be it physical or psychological. So eternal torment is merely a case in lying in the bed they make. I hope my opponent understands that.
Debate Round No. 5
90 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by izbo10 5 years ago
izbo10
considering interviews I have heard from Waters, as far as the actual lyrical content he wouldn't seem to have a problem, the only problem he may have is the use, but again based on interviews he wouldn't seem to have a problem.
Posted by Rusty 5 years ago
Rusty
"it means they are far less likely to take offense to this version."

If that's true, unfortunately for you, you didn't say "probably."

You said:

"So they would have no problem with this version."
Posted by izbo10 5 years ago
izbo10
it means they are far less likely to take offense to this version.
Posted by Rusty 5 years ago
Rusty
I promised myself that I wouldn't engage with you, but so be it.

"you do realize david gilmour is atheist, and by no means does roger waters agree with christianity. So they would have no problem with this version.

Just because someone holds a certain position does not mean that they automatically have no problem with anything created by someone who also holds that position. For example, I'm sure there are Christians who don't enjoy the "Christian Ladies" cover of "Single Ladies", simply because "holding the same belief system" isn't the only criteria for preference to most people.
Posted by izbo10 5 years ago
izbo10
Didn't realize this but the list also puts good ole Nick Mason as atheist.
Posted by izbo10 5 years ago
izbo10
oh and note the man who put together live aid and happens to be the actor in the video you posted, Bob Geldof also atheist, interesting huh?
Posted by izbo10 5 years ago
izbo10
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Notice Waters, Gilmour, and Roy Harper from Have a Cigar on that list.
Posted by izbo10 5 years ago
izbo10
night night thanks for playing, floyd is my favorite band. Not defiled.
Posted by izbo10 5 years ago
izbo10
"I'm an atheist, and I don't have any belief in an afterlife. You could say that I'm resigned to the fact that this wonderful life that we get here is it. And having hit 60, it's a good time to get resigned to these things and not be too nervous or upset - and enjoy what great times one can have." David Gilmour

"All grocery stores used to be closed on Sunday, ... There's the sane world and the insane world - I choose to live in the sane world."

David Gilmour

By the cold and religious we were taken in hand -- shown how to feel good; and told to feel bad.
-- Roger Waters, The Final Cu
Posted by izbo10 5 years ago
izbo10
you do realize david gilmour is atheist, and by no means does roger waters agree with christianity. So they would have no problem with this version.
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by ScottyDouglas 4 years ago
ScottyDouglas
HmblySkTrthdaleyTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Con was alot more respectful. Pro made some harsh comments. Con also negated Pro's reolution very well.
Vote Placed by Double_R 5 years ago
Double_R
HmblySkTrthdaleyTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro had my vote early on, but constant focus on attacking Con inappropriately distracted himself and the reader from his argument. Meanwhile Con argued his contentions very well. I was going to give Con a 1:0 victory, but instead grant Con 6:0 as a direct counter to Izbo's vote bomb as his vote is clearly based on his own personal opinion and not the merits of the debate. Izbo has no business voting.
Vote Placed by GMDebater 5 years ago
GMDebater
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Reasons for voting decision: con negates sucesfully. Conduct goes to con due to some inapropriate coments. I noticed run on sentences from con so pro get's s/g. HOWEVER, pro used a lot of straw men and arguments easily negated from pro. 4:1 con
Vote Placed by izbo10 5 years ago
izbo10
HmblySkTrthdaleyTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct, defending eternal holocaust loses that right away, Pro made clear good points, con tried to dance around.
Vote Placed by medic0506 5 years ago
medic0506
HmblySkTrthdaleyTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro loses conduct points for making several comments that are inappropriate for a debate. Con wins the arguments because pro failed to affirm the resolution. Con showed it to be defensible. Pro starts with the assumption that God is creator, therefore con's argument that He has the right to decide what is just for His creation was not refuted.
Vote Placed by ApostateAbe 5 years ago
ApostateAbe
HmblySkTrthdaleyTied
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Total points awarded:43 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro flubbed the resolution, and, after clarifying it, he laid a heavy burden on Con. Pro required Con to prove that the belief in eternal torment to be both true and just--both empirical and moral dimensions. Eternal torment is a tough thing to defend to begin with, but Pro made it a debate that Con could not possibly win. Con loses, but Pro bears the shame.