The Instigator
AllenJCavin
Con (against)
Losing
13 Points
The Contender
Kinesis
Pro (for)
Winning
20 Points

Christianity Offers Freedom of Choice and Freewill to all.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/7/2010 Category: Religion
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 5,408 times Debate No: 13093
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (54)
Votes (8)

 

AllenJCavin

Con

Okay... lets say, you were found guilty of... uh... lets say disobeying a law of some kind. Nothing really bad, violent or gruesome but you were found guilty. Now the penalty, for breaking that law, is that you will be tortured and then if you survive, be put to death.

Suppose, that I hear of your plight and I tell you, that I love you more than anything else in the universe; even more than even the life of my only child, that I will gladly give, in your place, to let them mutilate, torture and ultimately kill. To make it an even better offer, you can live in a palace for all eternity with riches beyond your wildest dreams with me in my perfect city in the afterlife.

All you have to do is believe, with all your heart, that I am your one true God. I will allow nor offer any proof whatsoever that I am who I say. I will send my "holy ghost" to comfort you and to help you understand the book, written by other mortal men, just like yourself, to be my "holy words" for you to use as a guide.

Oh, there is also an evil "devil" that will tempt you because I let him to help build your "faith" along the way. I will let him, at times, touch you with illness, troubles, trials and other evils all to help you become a stronger believer in me.

Oh, there is just one very last thing, IF you do not take my offer... then your soul belongs to the "devil" and you will be tortured, for all eternity, in a place I made for him and all his followers, that were not happy with my perfect city. You are free to choose either way you want and always remember I love you, so very, very much.

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:16-18 (King James Perversion)

That alone is the ULTIMATE PROOF for saying that "christianity" has NEVER been a whosoever will or that it's "god" gives anyone freewill. It is the same as the others that give you only the choice of servitude or eternal torment if you fail to choose what their truth is. Free will in religious context can only ever exist, when you have the CHOICE to make your own decision without being penalized when you do.
Kinesis

Pro

Thanks to my opponent for instigating this debate.

First, allow me to have a gander at the resolution. It states 'Christianity Offers Freedom of Choice and Freewill to all'. In other words, on the Christian worldview, freedom of choice and free will are part of the package. Now freedom of choice doesn't mean much without specifying the choice in question that is to be had or withheld. However, Con never really specifies which choice this is. Does he mean that we don't have the choice to go to heaven or hell? If so, he already concedes that this is not the case - he points out that if we fail to choose worship and belief in God we will go to hell. However, going to hell is part of the choice - it doesn't negate the fact that it is, indeed, a free choice.

Now, it is crucial to understand the resolution Cavin is presenting here. He is not questioning God's moral character - it is perfectly possible for me to concede that God is an evil, twisted, psychopath with a severe penchant for sadistic torture and ridiculous ultimatums (which are all fair enough propositions) and still win the debate - they have nothing at all to do with the resolution presented. As long as I can demonstrate that Christianity offers Free Will and Freedom of Choice I will have won.

1. Free will:

In short, Christianity does offer free will because of the soul. Defining free will is no easy task, but I think a fair definition is the ability to choose different courses of action under the same conditions - if you can only act in one particular way in any given situation, you do not have free will. You are constrained into one particular 'route' from birth to death. In Christianity, the soul provides this function - it is an immaterial part of you unconstrained by deterministic forces, and serves as the part of a person that makes moral (and possibly other) decisions.

2. Freedom of Choice:

Again, I'm not sure what kind of freedom of choice my opponent is referring to here. If it is between heaven and hell, he has already conceded the point. He has already stated that people can choose either to believe in Christ and salvation or not, albeit with the condition that you are totally and utterly screwed if you (freely) choose the latter option. If it is something different, he is free (heh) to inform me next round.
Debate Round No. 1
AllenJCavin

Con

18 He that believeth on him is not condemned:
but he that believeth not is condemned already,
because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
John 3:18*

1. Free will:
Christianity does NOT offer free will. You are forced to choose either slavery to a "god" or to be damned for ALL eternity. That is not freewill, that is a no win situation, If I gave you a gun, while holding a gun to your head, then said for you to kill your mother or your father, do you actually have freewill to chose what you WANT to do? No, that is a no win situation because you are required to kill or take a life. It is the same with "god's" "free will" you either become a slave or condemned to hell for all eternity. That is NOT free will, that is someone else's will FORCED on you.

You are required to believe in a "god" by faith without evidence that this "god" exist.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Hebrews 11:1*
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God MUST believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Hebrews 11:6*
For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
Romans 1:17*
For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
Galatians 3:26*

So you are condemned already because "god" gives you the "free will" to either believe "god" exist without any proof that "god" does exist so you have to believe by faith that something exist that can NEVER be proven to exist or die and go to hell.

2. Choice
I order for FREE WILL to actually be FREE, IT has to offer you a CHOICE that you can accept without being doomed for making your decision. Your are not "free" when your only choices are between two negatives. This has nothing to do with someone choosing to be bad or "evil" this is about being free to choose how you want to LIVE your life, while not hurting any other individual.

* King James Perversion

Sorry if you are not following my original post, try reading it again...
Kinesis

Pro

Thanks to my opponent for the quick response.

It is clear at this point that my opponent and I are talking at cross purposes about free will - which is hardly my fault, since he has not provided a definition for free will or even indicated what he means by it. He repeatedly asserts that Christianity does not offer free will because of X or Y, but he does not say what he means by free will so the points are void of any force.

He appears to mean that Christianity does not offers free will because it also provides constraints - you cannot choose to not believe in God and go to heaven, you cannot choose to believe and worship God and go to hell, you cannot simply ask for evidence of Christianity and receive it etc. However, a moment's thought destroys this argument. If this were the case, free will could never exist - there are always constraints. Your choices will always be limited in all circumstances - does this mean there is no free will? Well, only if we're using a definition of free will that is impossible to apply to reality. I cannot choose to defy gravity and float into the air using thought power. Does that mean free will doesn't exist? Of course not.

It is clear from this that the answer to my opponent's questions are simple - if the terrible situation arose where you were forced to kill one of your parents or the other, your circumstances would be terribly limited. However, you would still have free will. Free will is not affected by this scenario, just as it is not affected by the choices Christianity lays out. My opponent continues to bash Christianity without actually upholding his resolution. My opponent can write all day long about how Christianity offers either slavery or torture, about how there's no evidence for any of it or how faith is a ridiculous concept. However, none of this is actually upholding the resolution.

I have provided a widely accepted definition of free will and shown how the resolution is affirmed. My opponent has ignored this, not posted his own definition or indicated what he really means and instead gone on a long rant against Christianity.
Debate Round No. 2
AllenJCavin

Con

I explained the reasoning of the topic with the following:

Okay... lets say, you were found guilty of... uh... lets say disobeying a law of some kind. Nothing really bad, violent or gruesome but you were found guilty. Now the penalty, for breaking that law, is that you will be tortured and then if you survive, be put to death. Suppose, that I hear of your plight and I tell you, that I love you more than anything else in the universe; even more than even the life of my only child, that I will gladly give, in your place, to let them mutilate, torture and ultimately kill. To make it an even better offer, you can live in a palace for all eternity with riches beyond your wildest dreams with me in my perfect city in the afterlife. All you have to do is believe, with all your heart, that I am your one true God. I will allow nor offer any proof whatsoever that I am who I say. I will send my "holy ghost" to comfort you and to help you understand the book, written by other mortal men, just like yourself, to be my "holy words" for you to use as a guide. Oh, there is also an evil "devil" that will tempt you because I let him to help build your "faith" along the way. I will let him, at times, touch you with illness, troubles, trials and other evils all to help you become a stronger believer in me. Oh, there is just one very last thing, IF you do not take my offer... then your soul belongs to the "devil" and you will be tortured, for all eternity, in a place I made for him and all his followers, that were not happy with my perfect city. You are free to choose either way you want and always remember I love you, so very, very much.

The above tells you the context I used in stating that "Christianity Offers Freedom of Choice and Freewill to all." is actually a fallacy and NOT true. I then gave reference to scriptures that tell what "Christianities" claim freewill is.

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world;
but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned:
but he that believeth not is condemned already,
because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
John 3:16-18*

1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for,
the evidence of things not seen.
6 But without faith it is impossible to please him:
for he that cometh to God MUST believe that he is,
and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Hebrews 11:1,6*

Are you actually free to choose, if your choice is between serving your "god" or be tormented for all eternity. That is like saying "You can be free to serve me or a slow painful death" If you do not have an acceptable choice to choose then how can it be a choice? If you do not accept slavery then you are not experiencing freedom but having your option dictated to you.

If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am,
there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me,
him will my Father honour.
John 12:26*

For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant,
is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called,
being free, is Christ's servant.
I Corinthians 7:22*

No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one,
and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.
Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Luke 16:13*

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God,
that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God,
which is your reasonable service.
Romans 12:1*

Even in our society you have the choice to live by our laws, convicted for breaking our laws or if the laws seem unfair you can choose to work to change those laws that you think are unfair. That is what it will take for a religion to really offer freewill, to give you the ability to select a choice that gives you freedom to choose without automatic condemnation for your choice.

If I say I love you as long as you do what I say then I do not really love you.
If I say I will care for you but only as long as you do what I tell you then I do not really care for you.
If I say I will always keep you safe but only as long as you are in my favor then you are not really secure are you?
If I offer to give you eternal life but only as my slave then I am not really offering you life but eternal servitude.
If I offer you freedom but only what freedom means to me... are you really free?

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee,
Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
John 3:3*

If "god" demands that you accept "god" or else but does not allow you to just be born, live, love and die and then cease to exist, is "god" offering you freewill and a choice or just dictating that you accept only what "god" wants you to take?

So which is your "choice"?

And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God
and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:
Revelation 22:3*

or

And will this be what "god" forces your "eternity" to be?

And whosoever was not found written in the book of life
was cast into the lake of fire.
Revelation 20:15*

There is no freewill. In fact freewill is never used in the "bible" in saying that we have freewill, the only time freewill was used was in the Old Testament in reference to "freewill offerings" and in one other Old Testament scripture. BUT NEVER in the New Testament so the term freewill is not scripturally accurate. There is no choice, the "bible, god's word," dictates either accept and serve or face the anger of "god's" wrath and it's consequences.

* King James Perversion
Kinesis

Pro

At this point I'm unsure of what to say. Con has ignored virtually every point I have made and instead elected to write a long diatribe against Christianity. It should be clear to everyone that he has not succeeded (or even tried very hard) to negate the resolution. Instead, it appears his purpose here is solely to rant against particular Christian doctrines. As the instigator, he had to negate the resolution. He clearly has not.

Again, there is no basis for the claim that because X has bad consequences, free will is somehow negated. He has not attempted to define free will in the first two rounds, despite my attempts to coax the answer out of him. Free will is an extremely controversial subject, with many, many varying definitions and connotations. The fact that Con has not addressed this means everything he says is essentially meaningless. He conceded in the very first round that Christianity offers you the choice between heaven and hell, and since he has continually refused to clarify what he means, I assume that's what he meant when he wrote the resolution - I can't think of anything else. He has therefore failed to negate the first part of the resolution.

He has done nothing but repeatedly claim that because of the bad consequences that occur when someone chooses hell over heaven, free will is somehow negated. He has not substantiated this assertion, and so has failed to negate the second part of the resolution.

In his final round, he has attempted to define free will - I should ignore him, since it's clearly absurd to attempt to define keywords of the resolution in the final round, however, I will address them. First, he states that the scriptures say what free will is, then quotes some passages. However, having read through them, I can't understand why he thinks they shed any light on what the biblical understanding of free will is - or even why we should accept it. Later, he actually points out that the phrase free will is barely mentioned in the bible (what was the point of quoting scripture then?). He points out once again that bad consequences will occur if someone chooses hell, but doesn't say why this negates free will.

Second, he says religion will offer free will if it offers 'to give you the ability to select a choice that gives you freedom to choose without automatic condemnation for your choice'. This is a definition of free will found nowhere but in my opponent's head. He has retroactively invented this definition to give credence to his earlier rantings against Christianity as negating (part of) the resolution. This is clearly absurd, and without a source and considering when he presented the definition, it should simply be ignored as the desperate ploy it is.

In the end, Con has failed to negate the resolution, and instead has elected to rant against Christianity.
Debate Round No. 3
54 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by piymonk 6 years ago
piymonk
Allen's first two paragraphs sound like bribery to me.
Posted by AllenJCavin 6 years ago
AllenJCavin
The privilege of being in the States... but I digress...
Posted by J.Kenyon 6 years ago
J.Kenyon
You could vote for yourself, but that would be extremely poor conduct since Kinesis is from the UK. Only residents of North America can vote.
Posted by AllenJCavin 6 years ago
AllenJCavin
I noticed the voting screen and wondered if you were able to vote for yourself... seemed strange that it offered. So when it went through I changed it all to neutral...
Posted by Kinesis 6 years ago
Kinesis
'I should note that one cannot choose to believe something or not. I can choose to go to church, pray and read the Bible, but I cannot choose to believe in god if I don't. Belief is not a choice'

But one can choose to only read books, watch t.v. programs etc that only support Christianity and argue against other world views. If someone does nothing but go to church, read the bible, pray and block out other points of view, won't they eventually begin to believe by virtue of it being the only thing they're exposed to and is advocated to them? If they do this at an early stage in their life, they will almost certainly grow up a believer, and will have chosen the lifestyle that resulted in them becoming one.
Posted by J.Kenyon 6 years ago
J.Kenyon
PRO wins because CON failed to adequately respond to his argument regarding constrained decisions.
Posted by Danielle 6 years ago
Danielle
First of all, Con made some good points in critiquing Christianity though neither opponent properly defined or explained free will, which changes the entire context of the debate. Because of this, we have to use the definitions that WERE presented.

Pro described free will as the ability to choose different courses of action under the same conditions. Con contended that free will should refer to a choice which is not largely influenced by, say, eternal damnation and posits that this punishment largely determines one's "choice" to believe so the decision to believe is not free.

Pro responds, "Your choices will always be limited in all circumstances - does this mean there is no free will? Well, only if we're using a definition of free will that is impossible to apply to reality." From a philosophical perspective, this is painful to read because there is no free will (well, I'm a determinist) and there can indeed be no free will while applying legitimate terms to reality.

Nevertheless, Con never responded to Pro's question. Because of the way the debaters described free will, it becomes a pertinent argument and Pro does not answer whether or not one is not free simply because they're bound to consequences. If I eat 20 cheeseburgers and gain 10 pounds, that's a negative consequence but was my choice not free (by the standard they're using)? Of course 10 lbs is a little different from eternal damnation but hey :P

I should note that one cannot choose to believe something or not. I can choose to go to church, pray and read the Bible, but I cannot choose to believe in god if I don't. Belief is not a choice. Even though Christianity threatens me with eternal damnation, I cannot choose to believe in god no matter how hard I try. By that standard, technically the resolution is negated! Con wins by default, but based on the *presented arguments,* Pro wins. Neither debater is correct, but Pro wins in context.
Posted by J.Kenyon 6 years ago
J.Kenyon
(That was directed at Allen, btw)
Posted by J.Kenyon 6 years ago
J.Kenyon
"If it takes one this long to come up with something to say in return, they must be reading a few books..."

What's wrong with reading books? It's better than going into the debate having no clue what you're talking about. Not that I'm implying anything. /sarcasm
Posted by Kinesis 6 years ago
Kinesis
'If it takes one this long to come up with something to say in return, they must be reading a few books or looking for help from others... sorry but if you can carry on with others then you could have finished...'

Nah, I'm just playing Starcraft 2.
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