Deisim makes more sense then Christianity
Debate Rounds (5)
1) Site your sources
2) Round one is acceptance only
3) Forfeiting is a disqualification
I affirm that Christianity is more rational than Deism.
"Deism" = belief in the existence of a supreme creator being who does not intervene in the universe.
"Christianity" = a religion based on the person and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
ConserativeDemocrat forfeited this round.
I will go ahead and present my case anyways.
== Negating Deism ==
The defining characteristic of deism is the belief that God is an impersonal being. This is patently false because God was almost certainly involved in the development of life on Earth,and more importantly, the creation of the human race. According to famous evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould, evolution is a radically contingent process . In other words, any given evolutionary path is dependent on such a large number of random events (e.g. volcanic eruptions, continental drift, ice ages, asteroids, etc), that if someone were to "replay the tape" of Earth's evolutionary history, things would likely have turned out entirely differently. Consider the following:
"The formation of the Earth as a planet was a large stochastic process in which the rapid assembly of asteroidal-to-Mars-sized bodies was followed by a more extended period of growth through collisions of these objects, facilitated by the gravitational perturbations associated with Jupiter. The Earth's inventory of water and organic molecules may have come from diverse sources, not more than 10% roughly from comets, the rest from asteroidal precursors to chondritic bodies and possibly objects near Earth's orbit for which no representative class of meteorites exists today in laboratory collections. The final assembly of the Earth included a catastrophic impact with a Mars-sized body, ejecting mantle and crustal material to form the Moon, and also devolatilizing part of the Earth." 
Every single one of the aforementioned events had to occur in order for Earth to be suitable for the development of life. There are no specific numbers available on the individual probabilities of these events occurring, but it is safe to say that the combined probability of all of them happening "just by chance" is incredibly small. Even if the conditions on Earth were right for life, the probability of crude cells developing from organic compounds is still incredibly small. Sir Fred Hoyle calculated that probability to be about 1 in 10^40 . As the source states, there are some problems with the assumptions involved in coming up with that number, but it is nonetheless safe to say that the actual probability is still extremely small.
All in all, the probability that intelligent life would have ever evolved in the context of deism (i.e. through purely naturalistic means without any divine intervention) is infinitesimal; on the other hand, under Christianity, the fact that humans evolved is completely unsurprising -- God would have set things the way they were with the specific intention of bringing about the creation of human beings. Christianity provides an infinitely more likely context for the evolution of the human species than deism does; thus, the rational choice is to reject the deistic conception of an impersonal God in favor of the personal, theistic conception.
== Affirming Christianity ==
Firstly, I would like to clarify that, contrary to Pro's opinion, Christianity does not necessarily include "all the stuff in the bible and places like hell." The Bible should *not* be regarded as the ultimate authority on Christian doctrine. Christianity is defined as revolving primarily around the figure and teachings of Jesus Christ, rather than the Bible. There is simply no reason to believe that the Bible was divinely inspired in any way; it is a collection of stories which were written independently of each other by various people during various eras and passed down throughout the course of Hebrew history. The compilation of all those stories into the Bible was not a project endorsed by Jesus or any other divine authority -- it was carried out centuries after Jesus died by a random priest .
At best, the Bible can only be considered as a source of historical information; of course, that does mean that the Gospels can be considered an acceptable source for learning about Jesus's teachings and actions, but that is the maximum extent to which the Bible can really be considered "Christianity's book". In other words, my BoP in this debate does not encompass the Bible. I only need to show that the most essential and universally-accepted tenets of the Christian faith are true. To me, it boils down to three: 1) a personal creator God exists, 2) humans are inherently sinful (original sin), and 3) Jesus was crucified and resurrected. If we accept these three premises to be true, then there is really no reason to doubt the standard Christian narrative as a whole (i.e. Jesus being the Son of God, dying for our sins, opening the path to salvation, etc), as it is the only narrative which accounts for and creates a coherent context for all three premises.
It has already been demonstrated that a personal creator God exists, so I'll start with proving the doctrine of original sin to be true. That humans are inherently sinful is obvious. We clearly do violate the commandments of God and the teachings of Jesus: every human regularly engages in numerous acts of impiety, selfishness, promiscuity many other actions explicitly condemned by Christian doctrine. Children do not grow up and learn sinful behaviors -- they have to be disciplined and taught by their parents NOT to engage in those types of behaviors from a very young age; without that discipline, such behaviors seem natural to them, which is why people who were neglected as children often end up engaging in criminal behavior as adults. With all this in mind, denying the doctrine of original sin becomes ridiculous.
Moving on to Jesus. The New Testament may have some contradictions between its various accounts of Jesus's life, but there is a majority consensus among historians that the books of the NT are generally reliable sources of historical information; they were all composed within several decades of Jesus's death by people who lived through the events being described, and many other historical documents from Greek and Roman times (which are readily accepted by secular historians as being mostly accurate) actually have less factors lending to their credibility than the NT does . There could, of course, be some parts of it which are exaggerated, but unless given significant reason to believe otherwise, we should accept that the major events which all the NT accounts agree on probably did occur as stated -- such as the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.
Moreover, a miracle like the resurrection was *necessary* for Christianity to survive Jesus's death. Jesus had spent all his life claiming that he was the Messiah -- the divine savior the Jews had been awaiting for centuries. However, Jesus was brutally crucified before he could even begin to fulfill that role; this should have made it blatantly clear that Jesus was NOT divine certainly NOT the Messiah. No follower of Jesus could still reasonably believe that Jesus was anything more than a false prophet. Christianity should have died out, yet Christianity continues to thrive two milennia later. The only reasonable explanation for why Christianity was able to retain its followers is that something happened which caused them to believe that Jesus was indeed divine and still capable of fulfilling the role of the Messiah. The miracle of the resurrection certainly fits this bill -- he appeared to all his followers after death and promised them a second coming in which he would fulfill the prophecy, effectively convincing them to continue having faith. Thus, there is good reason to believe that the resurrection did occur, regardless of the historicity of the NT.
Also, I am sorry for failing to post before. My page 404ed so I couldn't post. Here is my first argument
Part A: Questinable rationallity and valid ness of Christanity
1) All the contradictions in the Bible
The bible has so many contradictions. Here are a few examples:
-God does and does not dwell in temples
-God dwells in light and darkness
-God is and is not all powerful
-Jesus is and is not equal with God
-God is just and impartial and he is injust and partial.
These are just 5 out of 100s of contradictions. This invalidates the Bible as evidence, as it has so many contradictions in it. When the religion's holy book is filled with flaws, it makes Christianity irrational and makes less sense.
#2: Evidence for claims we consider inpossible
The bible has many claims that we can't replicate today, like people walking on water, having a huge flood destroy Earth, and people raising from the dead. Since there is no proof that any of these existed, then they likely did not happen. If the holy book has no proof for its claims, it loses credibility even more, making Christanity make even less sense.
#3: The stories in the bible are inpossible
I will focus on Noah's Ark. The story is that God wanted to destroy sin on Earth, so he sent a flood to destroy the sinning humans. However, he had Noah and his family build an ark and take 7 of each animal, 7 males and 7 females, with him. However, this is impossible for the following reasons:
-Noah could not of fit millions of animals in his Ark; there would be to little space
-Noah could not of gathered all the animals he needed in his lifetime
-The Ark's occupants would of frozen and ran out of oxygen as they were higher then Mt. Everest
-The animals would not of been able to get to where they are now, due to there being huge oceans and all their food gone.
-The Great Pyramids were build about 100 years after the flood. Noah's family could not of made that many offspring that quicky, or build many cultures in 100 years
With all of this, it is irrational to believe in a religion if it's stories are impossible
#4: Morals and the Christan God's qualities
God is supposedly all powerful, all knowing, and all benevolent. However, this brings up something that questions these qualities. Let's say a 5 year old has cancer. We all know this is so sad, as the kid won't be able to enjoy life and will die in pain young. So why won't God help the kid? Either he is willing, but can't, or can but not willing. If he is willing, but can't help, then he isn't all powerful. If he can, but doesn't want to help, then he isn't all benovelent. This means one of the qualities about God is false. Therefore, the Christian God does not exist, as one of the required qualities is not a real quality. This shows that if the God is false, then it is irational to believe in the Christan God.
Part B: Why deisim is rational.
Personally, I would consider myself agnostic, but if I were to believe in a god, it would be a non current religious God. This God is rationale for this reason.
- The chances of the universe existing like this and sustaining life are astronomically small. This means that it is rational to believe in a God, but not a religious God for the reasons listed in part A.
In part one, you state that deism involves a God that does not intervene in the Universe. To you, that also means that the God in question did not create the human race. This could be true, but the God could of created the universe and fixed it so life would eventually occur over time. This way, those low odds for life occurring naturally would be at near 100% because of the God.
You also state that the bible should not be the prime thing used in Christanity. I agree with this, but Jesus taught we should follow the bible, so my points above are still valid. Even if you deny this, Jesus still taught things that we consider horrible today. For example, Jesus taught that we should kill children who curse their parents. If Christrianity teaches we should follow the teachings of Jesus, Christians should be killing their teens. However, we know this is irrational. You also state that because we do bad things, "sin" that prove the Christian God. How? I also question the validness of the bible considering all the contradictions. I wouldn't believe a book if on one page it says eating grapes are good but on the next chapter it says they can give you cancer. The resurrection point you made is good, but we seriously believe that since someone's body was missing from an unguarded tomb, he came back to life? You also state that there is no reason to believe that the bible was divinely inspired. But the bible states the word of your God, it states that God wrote it,and is also where you get your teachings of Jesus.
I am sorry if I missed anything, or misspelled anything, but I am on my phone.
My note. I am not insulting you, nor can I say for sure whether your God does or does not exist. I am not attacking your beliefs
I look foward to reading your first arguments. Good Luck!
However, what Pro is forgetting is that God is also omniscient -- he has infinitely greater knowledge of reality than we do. With our incredibly narrow perspectives, we might see X happen and believe it to be an 'evil' that should have been prevented, but God would be able to see the "bigger picture", in which X results in a greater good; this is especially true considering that as mortals, we have no insight whatsoever into what occurs during the afterlife (which would necessarily be part of the "bigger picture"). For us to claim that an omniscient God's actions are not omnibenevolent based on our woefully limited knowledge of reality is even more absurd than a highschool drop-out dismissing the academic research of a world-renowned scientist on the basis that he personally disagrees with the results. Pro's argument does not demonstrate that the Christian account of God is false.
== Negating Deism ==
It is true that God *could* have merely fine-tuned the universe during its creation in a way to ensure that life would have evolved on its own later on, but that makes very little sense -- why bother creating intelligent life just to leave it to its own devices and never interact with it? The characteristic which fundamentally distinguishes humans from everything else in existence is their capacity to explore and understand the universe, and more pertinently, their capacity to search for and understand God. Given that, it is thoroughly implausible for God to have created such beings for a purpose which does not involve some level of interaction with them.
Furthermore, I would like to introduce a second line of evidence in favor of a personal God -- billions of theists around the world have reported having "transcendental spiritual experiences" (i.e. direct interactions with the divine). Such instances of contact with God have been well-established throughout human history and continue to remain so in the present . The sheer number of such reports makes it highly likely that many of them are legitimate, thus leading us to conclude that God does involve himself in human affairs.
== Affirming Christianity ==
Firstly, in order to address Pro's response to my justification of original sin, I refer him to the second paragraph of "Affirming Christianity" from last round, in which I explained my framework for this section. Aside from that, Pro only really contests the third premise, arguing that the contradictions between the Gospels invalidate them as reliable historical sources. However, as was mentioned in Source 5 from last round, discrepancies between independent accounts of the same event were quite common in historical documents from the Classical Era, so that alone is not sufficient reason to discard the historical accuracy of the Gospel accounts. In fact, the presence of contradictions actually lends historical credibility to the Gospels by debunking the hypothesis (put forth by some skeptics) that the writers of the Gospels collaborated to manufacture the story of the resurrection -- such a collaborative effort would likely have been internally consistent.
Aside from that, Pro says something about an empty tomb, but I never actually made any argument regarding one. More importantly, Pro neglects to respond to my argument that a miracle like the resurrection would have been *necessary* for Christianity to survive Jesus's death. Thus, we conclude that Jesus most likely *was* resurrected, and by extension, via my framework, Christianity is probably true.
 The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology ~ (Kindle Locations 13933-13940)
1) Christinaties literal teachings should define that religion. If you deny a story like Noah's ark, then the reserection makes zero sense either. People back then had very little idea about what was happening, so they believed in religious Gods. As for how Christianity grew, some people believed that Jesus was the savior. How do we know? Also, where is the proof for any of this. Jesus taught that the bible was the word of God, and we should listen to God. Therefore, if you believe we should follow the teachings of Jesus, then we should follow the bible.
The other point I would like to rebbut is the idea that the deistest's God not interacting with us is illogical. Well, you answered your own question. With my point about the little boy with cancer, you state that with our limited knowledge, we can not see why God did not save the child. That same point applies to my argument. With our limited knowledge, how could we understand why the God doesn't interact with us.
Finally, I see no reason why God could not save a little boy. You state that God is omnipresent, so he has a reason not to heal them. But then why does he never help anyone? Also, if God is omnipresent, then he also could of seen that we were going to sin when he created the universe, but he still did not change anything. God also knew about 9/11, the holocaust, and world war 2 but did nothing about it. How can saving millions of lives be a bad thing?
>> Re: The Bible
Pro asserts that Christianity should conform to a literal interpretation of the Bible on the basis of (1) some random statement comparing the resurrection to the story of Noah's Ark, and (2) the claim that Jesus advocated a literal interpretation of the Bible. The first point is a blatant non-sequitur and thus should be dismissed; I have put forth an empirical justification for believing in the resurrection which has nothing to do with Noah's Ark. The second point is literally impossible because the Bible didn't exist until *400 YEARS* after Jesus died. Pro has no ground to stand on here -- Christian theology is not governed by the Bible. Prefer my framework for affirming Christianity.
>> Re: Limited Knowledge
Pro concedes my reasoning that our limited knowledge refutes the problem of evil (PoE). However he then attempts to turn this logic against me, saying that our limited knowledge would also invalidate my ability to make the rebuttal I made last round about how God probably wouldn't create us without some intent of interacting with us. However, what Pro fails to recognize is that in the case of PoE, we have plenty of reasons (provided by Christian theology) to believe that there is a larger-scale explanation of 'evil' which is beyond our comprehension. On the other hand, with the personal/impersonal issue, we have *zero* reasons to believe that God would bother creating us without any intent of interaction (Pro hasn't provided one, anyways). For that reason, my rebuttal does not fall into the same trap as the PoE. The wildly improbable existence of human beings serves as evidence for a theistic God far more than it does a deistic one.
>> Dropped Arguments
Pro never responds to my evidence regarding transcendental spiritual experiences, so regardless of whether or not you buy Pro's turn on the limited knowledge rebuttal, there is still ample reason to believe that God is a personal being. More importantly, Pro completely drops both my arguments supporting the resurrection, thereby conceding that the resurrection occurred. This serves as even more reason to believe that God is invested in human affairs-- coming back from the dead is a scientific impossibility, so some sort of supernatural force needed to have been actively involved to make it happen. It is clear that deism is false.
With deism soundly refuted, and all three fundamental premises of Christianity affirmed, we can conclude that Christianity is definitively more rational than deism.
My opponent drops his entire case, instead just resorting to the claim that a literal interpretation of the Bible defines Christianity...
(1) Even if this is true, I still win the debate because Pro has dropped & conceded my refutation of deism, which essentially means that his BoP is completely unfulfilled (he can't possibly prove that deism is more rational than Christianity if deism is false). As long as I make some attempt at fulfilling my own BoP, which I have, I still come out ahead of him, and therefore I win.
(2) Pro's only justification for his claim is an ad populum fallacy, stating that because many Christians adhere to a literal biblical interpretation, Christianity as a whole should as well. However, the explanation I presented in Round 2 debunking the theological authority of the Bible is clearly superior to Pro's fallacious appeal, and therefore voters should prefer my framework for affirming Christianity.
(3) Just because I said Christians can get some historical information on the life and teachings of Jesus from the Bible doesn't mean in any way that I support a literal interpretation of the Bible... it just means that parts of the New Testament can be used for general religious guidance by Christians. That does not contradict anything I have said thus far.
== Conclusion ==
Pro basically concedes that Deism is false, and his only attempt at attacking Christianity fails because it is based on the mistaken belief that the literal Bible governs Christianity. Meanwhile, I have affirmed Christianity by proving all three of its fundamental premises (all of which were dropped & conceded by Pro).
This is a resounding Con win.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Wylted 1 year ago
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Reasons for voting decision: I'm penalizing pro for conduct, because he forfeited round 2. I may judge arguments later. After a quick reading it's pretty clear pro lost, I'm just too lazy to give proper RFD's for the other point categories at the moment.
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