The Instigator
EvolvedConsciousness
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
TakingTheCake
Con (against)
Winning
12 Points

Christianity offers false hope to the weak minded.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
TakingTheCake
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/24/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 672 times Debate No: 59466
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
Votes (2)

 

EvolvedConsciousness

Pro

I have come to form the opinion that although christianity can be seen as having morally acceptable foundations by today's societal standards, it has bred from these foundations a following that is afraid to question its outdated teachings for fear of being cast into eternal damnation by a vengeful god. I am willing to debate the validity of christian teachings/history with anyone by staying open minded to any rebuttal and only attempting to refute my opponents opinions using logic and respect , not sarcasm and belittling.
TakingTheCake

Con

I'll probably lose this debate, but whatever. Anyway...

"Christianity offers false hope to the weak minded." Mmm. Well, that could be argued correctly, if all Christians were non-thinking, illogical people, with low IQ, I suppose. However, some of the greatest scientists, philosophers, and mathematicians in history have been Chrisitians (of various stripes), so that turns the basic argument right on its' head.

The idea that ALL Christians are promoting their understanding and teachings from the Bible out of FEAR of God, or a FEAR of hell, is also antithetical to the Christian Bible.

"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love." -I John 4:18

"I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me." -Proverbs 8:17

In other words, Christians who believe they are loved by God (often referred to as "saved") are not living in fear, but rather in love of God. Because of their love for their Creator, their Master, their Savior, they want to tell people of the gospel that hell does not have to be a final destination, because they themselves believe that they have been saved from it.

Granted there are many people who say they are "christian", and are not, but this is for God to sort out. As humans, we are not to judge other people's hearts.

"And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, "Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?" -Matthew 9:11

Finally, "afraid to question its outdated teachings", which are what, exactly? The Bible is full of teachings, of which some the Bible itself nullifies in the New Testament.
Debate Round No. 1
EvolvedConsciousness

Pro

First of all I would like to say thanks for debating this topic with me. I want to reiterate something I said in the comments section which is that I promise I am not just throwing out a hot-button issue like religion just to get people to argue with me. I genuinely respect those who are unshakable in their beliefs, not out of stubbornness but through an informed decision made without the influence of others. I also hope we can keep an underlying level of respect for each others viewpoints throughout this debate.

Side Note:
Never start a debate by assuming you'll lose! If you believe in the validity of what you are debating you can never truly lose!

To begin. I apologize for any confusion my vague and possibly abrasive title may have caused. It is important to note that in using the phrase "weak minded" I do not mean to insult the intelligence of members of the christian faith, I simply meant to describe the mental capacities of our ancient ancestors of the 1st Century. Hopefully we can both agree that intelligence and literacy have a direct correlation with technology and its availability to the masses. Not only does technology play a role in developing intelligence, but socioeconomic status and societal norms and traditions also play a key role as well. During the 1st Century technological conditions were such that literacy on a mass scale like we enjoy it today was unthinkable. This accompanied by the fact that formal education was generally only offered to the privileged classes can lead us to believe that the lower working class members of society were much more concerned with passing along trade skills to their progeny instead of analytical/abstract thought about the inner-workings of the cosmos. It is also important to note that because of such rampant illiteracy during this time the majority of the teachings that took place were done orally.

All of these factors can lead us to the conclusion that with such limited literacy, any oral teaching (regardless if it was religious in nature or not) that was done was passed on from one person to the next like a game of telephone (for lack of a better comparison). So isn't it only logical to conclude that with the transmission of teaching in this way that the biases and embellishments of the speaker would get transferred along with the information? It also cannot be ignored that during the era in which many of the greatest scientists of all time lived ( Galileo, Copernicus, Newton, Kepler, etc.) the choice to accept christianity was done out of self-preservation for fear of being sentenced to death for their scientific views of the cosmos. This concept of capital punishment sanctioned by the highest order of the christian religion is well documented throughout history.

Now to another topic I fear you may have misinterpreted. You seem to think that I believe that "promotion" of the bible is done out of fear of the consequences. The point I planned on making with that topic is that it is human nature to seek for answers and tangible truths. The old testament paints a vivid picture of a vengeful god who is quick to smite those who have done wrong, yet can be appeased through blood sacrifice or the mutilation of children as made apparent in Exodus 4:24-26..."At a lodging place on the way, the LORD met Moses and was about to kill him. But Zipporah took a flint knife, cut off her son's foreskin and touched Moses' feet with it. "Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me," she said. So the LORD let him alone". This also relates to your final point in which you argue that the New Testament nullifies many of those outdated teachings in the Old Testament. This would lead many logical people to the conclusion that scripture is flawed...which makes sense because man wrote scripture and he is inherently flawed. Now if you allow yourself to follow that train of thought deeper, who is to say that some of the other biblical events, records, teachings, etc. aren't misconstrued to the point of unrecognizable from their original intentions?

I do have to apologize again, I told myself I would not cite scripture to try and prove my point throughout this debate, but that example helped me with two of my points so I just couldn't resist. Also I wanted to acknowledge something you said at the end of your third- from- last paragraph, you mentioned that "as humans, we are not to judge other people's hearts". I'm not sure if this was quoted from another source but those words resonated with me because they speak to a fundamental truth that I believe all humans can adhere to. The truth I am referring to is that people need to look within themselves and find the inner strength to do good, not to appease anyone but out of a mutual love and respect for their fellow human.

I look forward to reading your rebuttal, and remember...If you whole-heartedly believe in something and you stay true to those convictions, there isn't a person on Earth that can bring negativity into your life.
TakingTheCake

Con

In regards to past societies that lacked certain education for the masses, technological discoveries, or traditions, I am under no illusions that mankind today is inherently more intelligent in a way that really matters at all. For instance, amazing biotechnology has allowed us to create maize and soy seed and crop with foreign genetic features that make it temporarily resistant to certain pests and herbicides. A humongous amount of investment, not only in money, but in brain power to create such products. But thousands of executives, scientists, and other "smart" folks in biotech companies the world over, with the blessing of other "smart" folks in government (FDA, EPA), have purposefully looked the other way from the dangers and potential dangers this kind of product has introduced to the environment and humans. For all their intelligence, status, wealth, and scientific discovery in the palm of their hands, they have not created something that is better than a previous generation, they have actually made a worse product and possibly (probably?) endangered humans and the environment. And it is all because of the simple common humans weaknesses like "the love of money is the root of all evil", and basic stupid pride. We have felt we have reached some pinnacle of achievement because we are so scientifically, technologically superior to our ancestors, but in the end, it was "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing". There is a vast gulf between knowledge and wisdom. We have taken in a great amount of knowledge in the sciences and negated the possibilities and advantages it could confer because we are still corrupted by our own demons.

Regarding oral traditions and the possible biases and embellishments added (to, I presume, the Bible), it is surprising to hear that for the many centuries that have passed since, another form of "copy and paste" has proven the Hebrew Bible we have today is quite accurate, when looked through the lens of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

"The well-preserved Isaiah scroll from Cave 1 illustrates the tender care with which these sacred texts were copied. Since about 1700 years separated Isaiah in the Masoretic Text (MT) from its original source, textual critics assumed that centuries of copying and recopying this book must have introduced scribal errors into the document that obscured the original message of the author. The Isaiah scrolls found at Qumran closed that gap to within 500 years of the original manuscript. Interestingly, when scholars compared the MT of Isaiah to the Isaiah scroll of Qumran, the correspondence was astounding. The texts from Qumran proved to be word-for-word identical to our standard Hebrew Bible in more than 95 percent of the text." -Garry K. Brantley, M.A., M.Div.

While the above quotes are not identifying orally passed down documents, the argument is the same: The old ways of passing on information to future generations could be accurate to a very high degree just because of the very fact that they are not technologically complex. Just imagine 2000 years from now, just how accurate will all the CD-ROMS, hard drives, magneto-optical discs, and NAND flash be for people to extract information from so they can learn about our times, traditions, discoveries, and beliefs? Considering the enormous complexity and quantity of 1s and 0s needing to be the right length and right order in order to produce even a small amount of tangible datum, and the complex devices (computers) needed to interpret that datum, I highly doubt our "more perfect" information storage methods will be any better than oral traditions or re-copied manuscripts we'd like to rag on. The whole issue about whether oral transmission is less accurate than written is actually debatable. The "phone conversation" idea is something of a ruse, because you are not invoking professionals or people dedicating their lives to remembering the details of a story.

Regarding choosing Christianity out of fear for life and limb, you mention Galileo. Let's see...

"It is often argued that Galileo"s scientific theories were being silenced because they were opposed to Church doctrine, but I believe that a closer examination of his argument reveals a different story. His arguments for the movement of the Earth were not scientifically valid, and thus the Church"s decisions against him cannot justifiably be viewed as anti-scientific."

In addition... "By deliberately ignoring the Tychonic system he avoided having to deal with the fact that there was no observational evidence by which he could definitively say that the Earth moves. Particularly important to note is the tidal argument. In Day 4 of the Dialogues, Galileo attempts to use the tides as 'proof' that the Earth moves, which is not only incorrect, but also in direct contradiction with his earlier arguments about relative motion. His logic is internally inconsistent and offers a new theory which has no more power to explain the observations than the current (Tychonic) paradigm. His argument for its advantages over a system that serious astronomers didn"t even use anymore is irrelevant, and so, scientifically, his theory was too weak to be accepted."

Finally, "...Galileo was a Christian. He responded from a distinctly Christian perspective to the secular professors who attacked his theory; in Letter to the Grand Duchess he invokes arguments by St Augustine and Thomas Aquinas regarding Biblical interpretation."

http://www.bethinking.org...

In regards to the Bible nullifying some of it's own teachings, such as, let's say, the killing of bulls or goats to atone for sins, this is something that could be given up by New Testament believers because those ceremonies and traditions were designed to demonstrate a spiritual truth about sin and sacrifice, as displayed in this verse...

"For the law [old testament] having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins." -Hebrews 10

So, with Hebrews informing us that the Old Testament believers were required to sacrifice bulls and goats so as to REMIND them continually of their sins and need for a sacrifice (Savior) to atone for sin, but did NOT mean that those blood sacrifices ACTUALLY atoned for their sins. In addition, it was NEVER possible that killing an animal would actually pay for the sins of a person. Only the sacrifice of Jesus could do that. He was the bull. He was the goat. The blood sacrifices were just spiritual pictures, and so in the New Testament era, since Christ had already done the real sacrifice, killing bulls and goats was no longer required.
Debate Round No. 2
EvolvedConsciousness

Pro

EvolvedConsciousness forfeited this round.
TakingTheCake

Con

I'm not sure why there has a been a forfeiture in this 3rd round by EvolvedConsciousness, but I'd like to take a moment to clarify my quotes about Galileo, using the same source.

"After several years spent as a public advocate for the Copernican theory, Galileo wrote in his famous Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina in 1615 that his theories had 'stirred up against me no small number of professors', and that these academics had agitated strongly for ecclesiastical support in their cause. This letter is also an excellent illustration of some personal aspects of Galileo. He was monumentally arrogant, belligerent and abrasive towards any who opposed him."

"...and Galileo was called before the ecclesiastical court. He was condemned by the Catholic Church as 'suspected of heresy' – about the strongest charge that could be brought, since Copernicanism had never been declared heretical – and was then whipped tortured killed burned housed with a personal valet in a luxurious apartment overlooking the Vatican gardens. He spent the remainder of his life in comfort (albeit technically under house arrest), working on his final masterpiece, Discourses and Mathematical Demonstrations Relating to Two New Sciences."

"Although today we view Galileo’s theories as an obvious improvement over the Aristotelian model of a geocentric solar system, it is important to reiterate that this was not provable by Galileo’s own evidence. His observations of the moons of Jupiter and the craters of the moon suggested problems with the pure geocentric model, but he certainly could not prove his case. In fact, an objection could have been made on purely scientific grounds that the heliocentric model offered insufficient improvement in explanatory power to justifiably replace the reigning paradigm."

"I make no excuses for the Pope’s abuse of his position to silence a critic, but the church’s treatment of Galileo was remarkably restrained by the standards of 17th century Europe."

I should also clarify in regards to the Bible "nullifying" laws or ceremonies of the Old Testament, that "nullify" is probably the wrong word. More like "fulfilled". In laws or ceremonies relating to sacrifices to be made, Christ essentially fulfilled those for His people, forevermore.
Debate Round No. 3
EvolvedConsciousness

Pro

EvolvedConsciousness forfeited this round.
TakingTheCake

Con

TakingTheCake forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by TakingTheCake 3 years ago
TakingTheCake
Evolved, perhaps you misunderstand the message of the Bible. It is not necessary for a sinner to say "sorry" for a lifetime of wrongdoings. Gods saves whom He pleases, humans do not save themselves. Remember, the Bible says we are "DEAD in sins".
Posted by EvolvedConsciousness 3 years ago
EvolvedConsciousness
That is a great thought, and one that I have considered many times. Let me preface by assuring you I'm not one of those people who tosses out a hot-button issue like religion just to get people to argue with him. Like the majority of the world I was born into a belief system (christianity) and for a while that was all i knew to be true, but as I got older I started to realize that the religious beliefs being instilled in me were at constant conflict with the scientific/logical way I perceived the world around me and I ultimately began my search to make sense of it all. That being said, I can truly understand why some people adhere to the "ignorance is bliss" mentality because like you said a person can't really be disappointed if their dead. Why deliberately seek out to rain on someones parade? The short answer (if that's even possible at this point haha) is that on my journey for knowledge and understanding I have come to believe that a person won't be free to explore the depths of their conscious/unconscious mind and open the untapped potential of that mind until they have rid themselves of all illusion offered by some of the major religions. I believe that every person is born with the capacity for good and bad, and that we must take it upon ourselves to decide which one of those gets nurtured instead of deflecting that responsibility and attributing our decisions to a pre-determined destiny. I perceive false hope as a negative thing because I believe that at its very core, the hope in an afterlife that can be achieved by just saying sorry for a lifetime of wrongdoings inhibits a persons ability to think logically.

I apologize for rambling but I felt it was necessary to give you all the details instead of a half-assed answer.
Posted by AlexanderOc 3 years ago
AlexanderOc
After all, you can't really be dissapointed if you're dead.
Posted by AlexanderOc 3 years ago
AlexanderOc
Why is false hope a negative thing?
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by lannan13 3 years ago
lannan13
EvolvedConsciousnessTakingTheCakeTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 3 years ago
dsjpk5
EvolvedConsciousnessTakingTheCakeTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro ff, didn't really offer any arguments, had no sources.