The Instigator
Jerry947
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
kasmic
Con (against)
Winning
6 Points

Does the Christian God Exist

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
kasmic
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/5/2016 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 767 times Debate No: 92366
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (41)
Votes (2)

 

Jerry947

Pro

This debate challenge is for Kasmic who indicated that he would want to debate me on the existence of the Christian God.

The resolution is "Does the Christian God Exist?"

-Pro argues that the Christian God does exist.

-Con argues that the Christian God does not exist.

Rules...

Round 1:
-Pro gives definitions and sets up debate
-Con accepts the debate (acceptance only).

Round 2:
-Pro gives opening argument
-Con gives opening argument...no rebuttals.

Round 3:
-Pro responds to what Con argued
-Con responds to what Pro argued

Round 4:
-Both debaters conclude their arguments and finish responding to what each other wrote.

Definitions:

Christian God-The God described by the Bible.

Exist-have objective reality or being (https://www.google.com...).
kasmic

Con

I accept, good luck!
Debate Round No. 1
Jerry947

Pro

1. The Existence of Jesus:

Almost all scholars in our age believe that Jesus was a real person (http://www.is-there-a-god.info...). There are many ancient historians (http://www.gotquestions.org...) that have written about him and we even have writings from the people that knew Jesus (The New Testament). You should have no doubt that Jesus was a real person. The famous historian Josephus for example stated that "Jesus was a wise teacher who was crucified by Pontius Pilate" In other words, we also have proof that Jesus was crucified. The Bible affirms all of this and even explains why Jesus' body went missing from the empty tomb. More on that later...

Jesus claimed to be God and his friends and his brothers claimed that he was God. Josephus tells us that Jesus was a good teacher. But it is a mistake to believe that Jesus was only a good teacher. C.S. Lewis stated that "is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic - on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg; or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the son of God: or else a madman or something worse." People of the time period indicate that Jesus was a good person and a good teacher...but you can't be these things if you are insane.

Lets go back to the empty tomb. The historian Luke states (chapter 24) that the tomb was found empty by women. How did this happen? The best explanation(http://www.reasonablefaith.org...) is that Jesus was who he said he was and did in fact rise from the dead. People might claim that Jesus never died but this is silly considering that we know he was crucified and that he was buried. No one could survive that process. Others claim that the body never went missing which is ridiculous considering the Romans and the Jews could have merely shown Christians the body and then their faith would be destroyed. And on top of that, there are people such as the New Testament writers that claim they along with 500 other people saw Jesus after his death. Even the brothers of Jesus (who previously disbelieved in the deity of their brother) came to believe that Jesus was God. Think about that for a moment...what would it take for you to believe that your brother (if you have one) was God? Would it take a resurrection? Nevertheless they became Christians.

Here are the specific sources that mention Jesus outside of the Bible...

Tacitus wrote that "Nero fastened the guilt ... on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of ... Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome...."

Pliny wrote that "They were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light, when they sang in alternate verses a hymn to Christ, as to a god, and bound themselves by a solemn oath, not to any wicked deeds, but never to commit any fraud, theft or adultery, never to falsify their word, nor deny a trust when they should be called upon to deliver it up; after which it was their custom to separate, and then reassemble to partake of food " but food of an ordinary and innocent kind."

The Babylonian Talmud says "On the eve of the Passover Yeshu was hanged. For forty days before the execution took place, a herald ... cried, "He is going forth to be stoned because he has practiced sorcery and enticed Israel to apostasy."

Lucian wrote that "The Christians ... worship a man to this day " the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account.... [It] was impressed on them by their original lawgiver that they are all brothers, from the moment that they are converted, and deny the gods of Greece, and worship the crucified sage, and live after his laws."

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

2. New Testament Sources

Again, the eye witnesses who wrote the four gospels (written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) also wrote that Jesus was killed on the cross and was missing three days later.

But lets establish that the New Testament is a reliable source.

a. There are precisely 5,686 New Testament documents (written in Greek) that we now have that are believed to have been written by the end of the first century. We even have a document written by John that was composed 29 years after the death of Jesus. And according to scholars, when these documents are compared to each other, and checked for accuracy, they are 99.5% accurate. This is really significant when speaking of ancient documents. There is really no doubt that we have the original information from the original documents. That said, we only have seven copies of Plato"s Tetralogies and they were composed over 1,000 years after his death and scholars still accept the documents as valid. There is also the fact that there are also over 19,000 New Testament documents that were written in Latin and in other languages. Therefore it is reasonable to say that we have the exact words that the people of the time period wrote about Jesus.

b. People that the Bible mentioned have been proven to have existed: http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org...

John the Baptist for example was mentioned by the historian Josephus. And James, the brother of Jesus has also been confirmed outside of the Bible. The link at the bottom of this paragraph lists more people that have been confirmed outside of the Bible (including King Herod). Therefore, since the New Testament has many people that have been confirmed to have existed, we can conclude that the documents are historically accurate.
Link: http://www.ucg.org...
https://carm.org...

c. Events in the Bible have been confirmed to have happened: http://www.christiananswers.net...

The crucifixion of Jesus is an example of a real event recorded by Josephus (https://carm.org...). Then there is the fact the the New Testament mentions many Jewish events that still took place such as passover. All of these events are things that we know happened.

And the Bible has been supported by archaeological findings: https://carm.org...

Luke, for example, mentioned "thirty-two countries, fifty-four cities and nine islands without an error" (http://www.everystudent.com...). Then of course there is the Sea of Galilee, Capernaum, Bethsaida, and etc..that have all been confirmed to have existed (https://www.youtube.com...). The point is that the Bible mentions real places which shows that it is historically reliable.

So the Bible is a reliable source. The gospel writer Luke has around 80 confirmed facts proven in the book of Acts and I just could go on and on (John has 59).

Therefore the information is accurate because it was written by real people who wrote about real people, real places, and about real events that took place. For example, when a person reads the gospel of Matthew, they are reading an eyewitness account of the events that took place. And because the document mentions real people, real places, real events, and details only an eyewitness would know...the source is reliable. There is no good reason to deny the reliability of the New Testament.

Then there is the embarrassment factor. A good indicator of a source's reliability is that it mentions things that happened that were embarrassing. For example, the crucifixion of Jesus was something that was incredibly embarrassing for the early Christians and yet the gospel writers included it in their writings. These people worshiped Jesus as their God and it was horrible to see him murdered butt naked on a cross like some kind of criminal. Then there is the fact that the historian Luke records women discovering the empty tomb. Back then, the testimony of a women was not highly valued. It was embarrassing for Jesus" tomb to be discovered by women. Therefore the New Testament is reliable due to the embarrassing events that it mentions.

In conclusion, it is reasonable to say that the New Testament is a reliable source because we know we have the original words of the author's, real people are mentioned, real places are mentioned, and because real events have been included in the New Testament.

3. Gospels show that Jesus raised from the dead proving that Jesus is God

Matthew-https://www.biblegateway.com...

Mark-https://www.biblegateway.com...

Luke-https://www.biblegateway.com...

John-https://www.biblegateway.com...

Paul also has something to say about it-https://www.biblegateway.com...

Since the existence of Jesus is a fact, since he clearly was crucified, and since his tomb was found empty, and since people of the time period say that he rose from the dead, Jesus is the Christian God and he most definitely exists.
kasmic

Con

First I would like to thank Jerry947 for setting up this debate and being willing to discuss such a controversial topic. Per the rules laid out in the opening round I will present the case against the existence of the Christian God.

The “Christian God”


Before I begin, I want to re-emphasize that we are addressing what is known as the God of Christianity. Of course, I understand Christianity is fragmented when it comes to doctrine and beliefs. However, notwithstanding the difference in doctrine between Christian denominations, it seems reasonable to say that on balance, Christians believe in what is known as the Tri-Omni God. That is to say, they believe in a God that is Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Omnibenevolent. For the sake of clarity, I will briefly expand on what seems to be intended by these attributes

Omnipotent is a reference to power. That is to say, one that is omnipotent is all powerful. For instance, Christians often refer to their God as the “Almighty.“ Indeed, Mathew 19:26 reads “With God, all things are possible.”(1)Demonstrations of this supposed power include; healing the sick, causing a virgin birth, destruction, great floods, raising the dead, and creating the earth itself. C.S. Lewis, perhaps one of the most well know Christian Apologetics, stated the following. “His Omnipotence means power to do all that is intrinsically possible, not to do the intrinsically impossible. You may attribute miracles to him, but not nonsense. This is no limit to his power.”(2) In summary, God is said to have unlimited power.

This brings us to the second attribute of God; Omniscience. This is a reference to the knowledge of God. One that is omniscient, knows all. Christians tend to refer to God as the “Seat of all Knowledge.” In fact, this is one of the standard arguments giving for prayer or scripture study. As the oft quoted proverb states; “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him and he will direct thy paths.”(3)

We now arrive at the final attribute of the tri-omni God; Omni benevolence. This is the belief that God is morally perfect, the ultimate good. The New Testament states “He that loveth not, knoweth not God; for God is love.”(4)

Thus, in this debate, my opponent must defend a God as defined by these three attributes. Again, they are Omnipotence, Omniscience, and omnibeneovolence.

The Problem of Evil

"is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then, he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then, he is malevolent. Is God, both able and willing? Then, whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then, why call him God?" (Epicurus, the Greek philosopher)

I imagine most have been exposed at one time or another to the Problem of evil. The quote from Epicurus is perhaps its original form. Here I will demonstrate that Evil exists, and that because of this reality, God as defined in Christianity does not exist.

I imagine that all who observe the world we live in notice the reality of Evil. For example, there exists a multiplicity of instances of intense suffering. Often this happens to the innocent, or at the very least, the undeserving of the suffering to which they are subjected. Sam Harris put it this way. "Nine million children die every year before they reach the age of five. Picture an Asian tsunami of the sort we saw in 2004 that killed a quarter of a million people; one of those every ten days killing children only under five. That"s twenty four thousand a day, one thousand and hour, seventeen or so a minute" Any God who would allow children by the millions to suffer and die in this way and their parents to grieve in this way either can do nothing to help them, or does not care to. He is therefore either impotent or evil." (5)

Remember, this is not a comprehensive account of evil that exists. It is merely the tip of the iceberg. Imagine all of the other people that suffer evil through no fault of their own. Consider the sentient animals that can and often do suffer. While many may argue the semantics of evil or what evil consists of, it seems clear that the intense suffering of the innocent is evil. Thus, it seems to me clear; Evil indisputably exists.

The Logical problem

The following is taken from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

"P1) If God exists, then God is omnipotent, omniscient, and morally perfect.

P2) If God is omnipotent, then God has the power to eliminate all evil.

P3) If God is omniscient, then God knows when evil exists.

P4) If God is morally perfect, then God has the desire to eliminate all evil.

P5) Evil exists.

P6) If evil exists and God exists, then either God doesn’t have the power to eliminate all evil, or doesn’t know when evil exists, or doesn’t have the desire to eliminate all evil.

C) Therefore, God doesn’t exist.(6)"


Conclusion


The God as defined in Christianity does not exist. This is clearly demonstrated through the problem of evil. Even outside the scope of this essay, we see that if a God did exist, he or she is "either impotent, or evil" and would also not be worthy of worship.

Sources

(1) Bible
(2) C. S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain
(3) Bible Proverbs 3: 5-6
(4) Bible 1 John 4:8
(5) https://www.youtube.com...
(6) http://plato.stanford.edu...


Debate Round No. 2
Jerry947

Pro

My opponent starts off the debate by saying that "Christianity is fragmented when it comes to doctrine and beliefs." That isn't really true. But I will not go into that much since that isn't what the debate is about. That said, Christians pretty much all agree on basic doctrine and beliefs. We do disagree with each other on some matters but they usually aren't too significant.

Now lets address my opponent's argument:

They first use an emotional argument that shows that millions of children suffering. This does absolutely nothing to show that the Christian God doesn't exist. It seems that my opponent is trying to show that the coexistence of God and suffering is impossible yet hasn't supported that notion at all. So my opponent will need to do more than to cite a statistic to prove their point.

Now lets address the main argument:

"P1) If God exists, then God is omnipotent, omniscient, and morally perfect.

Fair enough, I would agree with that. My opponent already has agreed that God couldn't do the logically impossible in his definitions of those three words. So I have no problem with this premise.

P2) If God is omnipotent, then God has the power to eliminate all evil.

This premise has a major assumption by my opponent. He is assuming that if God is all powerful, then he can create any world that he wants to. The problem is that this can't be possible if God wants his people to have free will. You can't force someone to do something freely. God being all powerful doesn't mean he can do what is logically impossible like my opponent has already agreed. And in a world where people have free will, it is possible for people to not do what God desires.

P3) If God is omniscient, then God knows when evil exists.

Okay.

P4) If God is morally perfect, then God has the desire to eliminate all evil.

Another assumption my opponent is making is that if God is all loving, then he prefers a world without any suffering. My opponent has to start supporting their premises. It seems obvious that a God could have good reasons for allowing suffering in the world. Even humans allow suffering for the greater good. That is why parents send there kids to the doctor even though they might suffer.

And keep in mind, all I have to do to disprove this argument is to show that suffering and God can possibly coexist. This is simple. I agree with William Lane Craig when he wrote that "God could not have created another world with as much good as, but less suffering than, this world, and God has good reasons [human freedom] for permitting the suffering that exists."

If that statement is even possibly true, it shows that suffering and God can coexist. So my opponent is going to have to try really hard to prove his argument.

And besides, the Christian God does plan on ending suffering as the Bible says. But I don't really have to go down that road because it is my opponent's job to show that God and suffering cannot coexist.

P5) Evil exists.

I agree.

P6) If evil exists and God exists, then either God doesn"t have the power to eliminate all evil, or doesn"t know when evil exists, or doesn"t have the desire to eliminate all evil.

Bare Assertion.

C) Therefore, God doesn"t exist.(6)"

Another bare assertion.

Thanks to my opponent for their arguments and I look forward to what they have to say.

Source: Used William Lane Craig's book called "On Guard."
kasmic

Con

I want to thank Pro for his arguments. I find debate on the subject of God to be fascinating, especially from the side of the theist. As Christopher Hitchens said… “Well, why do I say charming? Because I think it's rather sweet that people of faith also think they ought to have some evidence. “

Summary of Pro’s argument

Pro argues that Jesus existed, that the New Testament is a reliable source for history and thus as it claims Jesus was raised from the Dead that Jesus is God. It should be apparent already that even if you grant a miracle, like resurrection, it does not lead to proving one is God. This is a non-sequitur. Also of note, even if it is found that Jesus existed historically, it does not follow that this means the Christian God exists. More on this later, I will address Pro’s argument in depth.

1: The Existence of Jesus

Pro states that almost all scholars in our age believe that Jesus was a real person who claimed to be God. He quotes C.S. Lewis who argued erroneously that Jesus could not have been a good person; rather he is either God or Crazy. Pro goes even further, claiming that you can’t be a good person or a good teacher if you are insane.

Consider if you would Sir Isaac Newton. Famous scientist, helped society begin to understand physics. He believed in Alchemy. This demonstrates that a great scientist is capable of subscribing to falsehoods. Likewise, consider Mahatma Gandhi. Often he is referred to as a moral leader. There is evidence that he was a pedophile. Furthermore, consider Martin Luther King Jr. Certainly a significant figure in civil rights and a moral leader, also a Christian. We know now he often committed adultery. My point being as follows; It is reasonable to say Jesus taught moral things as a good man and also taught nonsense or was imperfect. The simple idea of Jesus as a historical figure does not prove divinity in anyway. I am willing to concede that a man named Jesus lived, though this does little to help pro.

It is also stated by pro that the best explanation for the historically verified empty tomb is a resurrection of the dead. Added to this is the claim that 500 people saw Jesus after his death. Let’s follow this logic, Muhammad had eyewitnesses to his miracles. (5) Same with Jim Jones. (6) There are even eyewitnesses to Sri Sathya Sai Baba performing resurrections.(7) Is pro as convinced of these accounts as the one’s he has provided? If not, why not? If eyewitness are all that is needed to verify a resurrection, then there have been many and the resurrection of Jesus is a dime a dozen.(8) Furthermore, if resurrection is all it takes to prove one is God, it would seem Pro would have to believe there is more than one God. This creates a huge problem as the “Christian God” leaves no room for other God’s. Thus, either we have many God’s and the Christian God is a liar which supposedly he cannot be, or eyewitnesses to a resurrection do not a God make. Either way, the Christian God does not exist.

2: New Testament Sources


Pro claims that “according to scholars” the gospels are 99.5% accurate, though he does not post a source to back this up. Pro argues that people mentioned in the Bible have been proven to exist and that many events in the Bible happened. Just as a point of reference, Tom Clancy writes novels that often deal with real weapons, locations, and plausible events. Perhaps, enough so to make his books 99.5% accurate, does this mean his books are facts?

Pro also argues an embarrassment factor. He states “Therefore the New Testament is reliable due to the embarrassing events that it mentions.” This is another non-sequitur. Something being absurd or embarrassing does not have any bearing on it being true.

Pro says “the information is accurate because it was written by real people who wrote about real people, real places, and about real events that took place. For example, when a person reads the gospel of Matthew, they are reading an eyewitness account of the events that took place…”

Speaking of things that virtually all scholars agree on… the gospels were written well after the supposed resurrection not to mention, we don’t know who the authors are. This is especially amusing as pro refers to authors of the gospels as “eye witnesses” naming Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, not one of which is verified to be the authors of those gospels. (1,2,3,4) Pro’s eyewitness that he lists were not eyewitnesses.

3: Gospels show that Jesus raised from the dead thus proving that Jesus is God.

At last we have arrived to the final portion of Pro’s argument. I feel by this point I have already shown this not to be the case. Eyewitness support of miracles is not unique to Christians, nor do they prove divinity.

Conclusion

Pro’s argument is that Jesus existed was resurrected as verified by eyewitness, and therefore he is the Christian God and exists.

It should be clear that the appeal to eyewitness is weak at best. Pro’s argument is negated in so much as either you accept his argument and accept that there are many God’s thus disproving the Christian God specifically as it is said he cannot lie, or you reject pro’s argument and understand that a miracle claim does not a God make. Either way, Vote Con!

(1) https://en.wikipedia.org...

(2) https://en.wikipedia.org...
(3) https://en.wikipedia.org...
(4) https://en.wikipedia.org...
(5) http://www.islamreligion.com...
(6) http://jonestown.sdsu.edu...
(7) http://www.saibaba.ws...
(8) https://en.wikipedia.org...

Debate Round No. 3
Jerry947

Pro

My opponent states that " It should be apparent already that even if you grant a miracle, like resurrection, it does not lead to proving one is God."

To the contrary, if a man performs miracles, heals people, casts out demons, and then raises himself from the dead, that proves that the man is God. My opponent's logic does not make sense at all.

My opponent then claims that "This is a non-sequitur. Also of note, even if it is found that Jesus existed historically, it does not follow that this means the Christian God exists."

I don't disagree with that. Notice how I will never claim that since Jesus existed, therefore he is God. But many people deny the existence of Jesus so I like to get that out of the way before moving on to my main arguments.

1. The Existence of Jesus

My opponent brings up Isaac Newton. While the man did believe in Alchemy, he wasn't insane and he didn't claim that he was right. In other words, he wasn't trying to deceive people. However, a man cannot be a liar and a good person at the same time. Or a man cannot be a lunatic and a moral person at the same time. Therefore Jesus had to be sane and a good person in order for us to accept his claims. Since the people of the time period say that Jesus was a good teacher (Josephus), we can conclude that he wasn't a liar. But we also can conclude that he wasn't insane since he was a good teacher.

As for Gandhi, I don't think anything has been proven. But he never claimed to be God and it is also doubtful if he was even a good teacher. Martin Luther King Jr. was a flawed man but again, he never claimed to be God.

I now ask, "can my opponent name one person in history that claimed to be God and yet wasn't also insane or a liar?"

I doubt that they could. While it is true that people can teach truth even if they are imperfect, you can't be insane and still be a good teacher.

And then in response to my argument about the resurrection being the best explanation for the empty tomb, my opponent doesn't address my argument and instead brings up examples of other people that have supposedly done miracles and seems to think this disproves what I wrote. I will quickly address these other people...

Muhammad-He died and stayed dead (unlike Jesus), wanted to commit suicide when he thought he heard words from an angel (Quran 74:1-5), he claimed to be a man, married a nine year old girl, his only claimed miracle was the Qur'an (hardly a miracle by the way), he owned slaves, and etc...There is no way you can compare him to Jesus. That said, I realize that the Hadiths record him doing miracles, but these were written much later and are unreliable. Many Muslims do not accept the Hadiths in the first place...so there are ample reasons for rejecting the miracles of Muhammad. Especially since he refused to do them for people and just told them to go read the Qur'an.

Also, the link my opponent provided showed Allah doing miracles...but we have no reason to accept that Muhammad was inspired by God since he never proved his prophet-hood by doing any miracles himself.

Jim Jones-The source my opponent provided for this was very unclear about the facts...I don't really know what to say here. I can't find much evidence for his miracles and I can't find anyone that swears he could do them.

Sri Sthya Sai Baba-Apparently "The Indian Science and Rationalists" Association and various international documentaries have exposed his "miracles" as magicians" tricks and used slow motion photography to expose his materialization tricks" (http://www.equip.org...).

So while eye witnesses are helpful for proving things, you got to make sure that they weren't deceived. Jim Jones and Sri Sthya Sai Baba were clearly deceiving people. Jesus was called a good teacher. The disciples were not deceived...

My opponent then states that "Furthermore, if resurrection is all it takes to prove one is God, it would seem Pro would have to believe there is more than one God."

No, only one God has been raised from the dead and that is Jesus. I extend my arguments from the first round. If my opponent wants to try and prove that another man raised himself from the dead, then they may feel free to do so.

"This creates a huge problem as the 'Christian God' leaves no room for other God"s."

Not completely true, we Christians acknowledge that people believe in false gods. Even Satan is referred to the god of this world in 2 Corinthians 4:4. But only a true God could raise them-self from the dead.

"Thus, either we have many God"s and the Christian God is a liar which supposedly he cannot be, or eyewitnesses to a resurrection do not a God make. Either way, the Christian God does not exist."

Since Josephus and others said that Jesus was a good teacher, I think it is safe to say that he wasn't a liar. And unless my opponent can somehow discredit the eyewitnesses, my argument will remain safe.

2. New Testament Sources

a. I can't believe I didn't provide evidence for how the gospels are 99.5% accurate. I have a lot of this stuff memorized and I sometimes forget to put sources. Here is the sources: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com... and https://carm.org...

b. My opponent states that "Tom Clancy writes novels that often deal with real weapons, locations, and plausible events. Perhaps, enough so to make his books 99.5% accurate, does this mean his books are facts?"

That is a fair point. The problem is that Clancy never claimed his story was a fact. The gospels writers claimed to be witnesses and we know that Clancy made up some people and there is the fact that no other non-Clancy sources back up what he wrote. The Bible is composed of multiple sources. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John each wrote four separate documents that back each other up and other non-Biblical sources back up some of the things as well. You can't really compare Clancy to the gospel writers.

c. The embarrassing factor makes the story more likely to be true. I don't know how this is a non-sequitur. Don't you think it is true that things are more likely to be accurate if the person telling you the story isn't just trying to make themselves look good?

d. My opponent then states that "the gospels were written well after the supposed resurrection."

Not really. Ancient writers such as Polycarp, Clement, and etc...cited the Gospel accounts around 100 AD. And the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 AD and since the writers don't mention anything about it (temple was still in tact), we can determine that the gospels were written before 70 AD. Jesus was murdered around 30-33 AD. So 40 years is not actually that long. Paul's letters were written even earlier. He actually uses sources that date 5 years after the death of Jesus (http://www.reasonablefaith.org...).

e. My opponent writes that "we don"t know who the authors are."

That is also incorrect. Irenaeus wrote that "Matthew also published a gospel in writing among the Hebrews in their own language, while Peter & Paul were preaching the gospel and founding the church in Rome. But after their death, Mark, the disciple & interpreter of Peter, also transmitted to us in writing what Peter used to preach. And Luke, Paul's associate, also set down in a book the gospel that Paul used to preach. Later, John, the Lord's disciple --- the one who lay on his lap --- also set out the gospel while living at Ephesus in Asia Minor" (Against Heresies 3.1.1).

The early church was also unanimous with regards to the authorship to the Gospels. My opponent has no real reason to disbelieve that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John didn't write the gospels.

The Wiki articles my opponent doesn't get many things correct. The date of the gospel of Luke was completely off. I don't think these will damage my argument at all. They certainly didn't provide any reason to disbelieve church history.

3. Gospels show that Jesus raised from the dead thus proving that Jesus is God.

Eyewitnesses of other miracles were deceived as already shown and Jesus actually had an empty tomb unlike the rest of those so called divine people. I think I have proven my point.

Conclusion:

I have had fun with this debate. I don't think the evidence of well established eyewitnesses is poor evidence. I have made my arguments and I will await for my opponent's last post.
kasmic

Con

Before I begin my final round, I want to thank my opponent for this debate. I have no doubt that he truly believes what he is professing. Though this is unconvincing to me, it cannot be said of my opponent that he is attempting to deceive or put forth arguments he does not believe in. I hope it is understood that I feel I too have been sincere. With that, I will provide my analysis of both cases and why I think I have won this debate.

Pro’s Case


My opponent has claimed that Jesus is historical. That he performed many miracles including raising himself from the dead. That we have good reason to believe these miracles happened due to so called eyewitnesses. He concludes that accepting those things prove that the Jesus is God. I maintain that as the case was presented it is a non sequitur. I provided examples of other supposed miracle workers who have as much if not more so called evidence via eyewitness. I further demonstrated that the claim of being brought back from the dead is also not unique. Thus I concluded that if the criteria that pro uses to support the claim of being God is sufficient, then there is sufficient reason to believe that there are many Gods. Pro’s response to this is merely asserting that “No, only one God has been raised from the dead and that is Jesus.” This is not really a supported rebuttal, simply an assertion which we have no reason to accept.

Now, I don’t believe that there are many God’s because I find that criteria to be insufficient. Largely, this is due to the weak nature of “eyewitness” evidence. I, like pro doubt the stories of Muhammed, Sri Sthya, and others. For me this is consistent with my view doubting Jesus as God. For Pro, this is inconstant based on his arguments. Pro does argue that “while eye witnesses are helpful for proving things, you got to make sure that they weren't deceived.” This is a reasonable thought but not helpful in this debate. We have no way to make sure that those who witnessed Jesus were not deceived. If we did, this would not be a very interesting debate as we would simply know as a matter of fact.

Pro asks "can my opponent name one person in history that claimed to be God and yet wasn't also insane or a liar?" This is easy, every Latter-day Saint. I was raised Mormon, and while I no longer identify as one, it is a core tenant that we are all Gods. While I find the belief silly and unsupported I don’t believe the millions of members to all be insane or liars.

Pro also states that because Jesus is referred to as a “good teacher” it is fair to say he was not a liar. I feel this has been addressed sufficiently. It is obvious people can be both good teacher’s and liars. To believe otherwise is to lack interacting with society at all.

During this debate we have discussed whether New Testament Sources are valid historical accounts. I mentioned that Tom Clancy novels meet the same criteria as the Bible for being accurate. To this he says “That is a fair point. The problem is that Clancy never claimed his story was a fact. The gospels writers claimed to be witnesses…” We don’t really know what the gospel writers claimed to be as we are unsure who the gospel writers even were as I have already demonstrated. Despite having shown this, Pro still insists that the names of the gospels are 4 eyewitness. This has been shown to be historically false, we are unsure who wrote them, when they were written, or if the author’s even claimed to be “eyewitness.”

To my dismay pro clings to his argument that the embarrassment factor adds validity. No, I don’t think that a person telling me a story that is embarrassing makes the chances of the story being any more or less true. As someone who has spoken publically many times I will now confess that I have often fabricated or at least embellished embarrassing stories about myself to make a point. Irronically, now that I have shared something embarrassing, do you think you have more or less reason to believe me?

Pro claims that 40 years is actually not that long. I found this fascinating as Pro has not lived that long, not to mention Jesus did not live that long, so I am not sure what would be a long time to pro. I am shocked pro does not admit we don’t know the authors.” The anonymous author was probably a male Jew, standing on the margin between traditional and non-traditional Jewish values, and familiar with technical legal aspects of scripture being debated in his time.” (1) I maintain that scholars are entirely unsure who any of the authors were by name and refer my opponent to my sources from last round. Pro does claim these sources incorrect, but only claims so because they conflict with what he believes. He does not provide an argument as to why his is “more correct.”

I have provided enough it seems to throw sufficient doubt on eyewitness accounts of miracles. It should be clear at this point that even if you accept Pro’s points that Jesus is historical. That he performed many miracles including raising himself from the dead. That we have good reason to believe these miracles happened due to so called eyewitnesses. It does not follow that Jesus is God. Thus, Pro has not done what was needed to support his burden and does not warrant your vote.

Con’s Case


I present a case against the existence of the Christian God. Namely I present the problem of evil. Pro missed this stating that “It seems that my opponent is trying to show that the coexistence of God and suffering is impossible yet hasn't supported that notion at all.” This is not what I did, I showed that the existence of evil creates a logical problem with the existence of God.

I argued that;

"P1) If God exists, then God is omnipotent, omniscient, and morally perfect.” Pro does not contend.

“P2) If God is omnipotent, then God has the power to eliminate all evil.” Pro’s contention here was that such a world is impossible. I ask him what kind of world the Garden of Eden was? Clearly, according to Christian theology, God does have the power to create a world without evil, or at the very least, significantly less. He provides a brief free will defense. Of the many reasons to reject this defense the biggest reason is unexplained suffer. Free will does not cover the vast number of evils in this world like natural disasters or the suffering of animals. In other words not all evil is the result of free will, there is a substantial amount that exists independent of people’s choices. The very fact that pro believes that God can do miracles or alieve suffering should show that such a God has the power to do so and it would not be impossible.

“P3) If God is omniscient, then God knows when evil exists.” Pro does not contend this.

“P4) If God is morally perfect, then God has the desire to eliminate all evil.” Pro rejects this premise in a similar manner to his last objection. If we accept the story of the garden of evil, we accept that God both can and desired to make a world without suffering. Pro quotes William Lane Craig who argues God could not have created another world with as much good with less suffering and free will. Again, what about all the needless suffering that occurs naturally and not as a result of so called “free will.”

“P5) Evil exists.” Pro does not contend.

“P6) If evil exists and God exists, then either God doesn’t have the power to eliminate all evil, or doesn’t know when evil exists, or doesn’t have the desire to eliminate all evil.” Pro claims this to be a bare assertion though it is merely a culmination of the already supported previous premises.

“C) Therefore, God doesn’t exist." Pro claims this to be a bare assertion though it is the logical conclusion of the previous premises.

I have sufficiently supported the Problem of evil. The God as defined in Christianity does not exist. This is clearly demonstrated through the problem of evil. Even outside the scope of this essay, we see that if a God did exist, he or she is "either impotent, or evil" and would also not be worthy of worship.

Thanks for reading, and vote Con!

Sources

(1) Duling, Dennis C. (2010). "The Gospel of Matthew". In Aune, David E. The Blackwell Companion to the New Testament. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-1-4051-0825-6.
Debate Round No. 4
41 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by zmikecuber 5 months ago
zmikecuber
I will read and vote today. I should have time later in the day. Looks like a good debate.
Posted by Jerry947 5 months ago
Jerry947
The people of the time period say that Matthew, Mark, Luke, John wrote them, and I have no reason to disagree with them. And you shouldn't either.

My claim is based on evidence (that was never actually addressed)...but I am fine with agreeing to disagree.
Posted by kasmic 5 months ago
kasmic
Mk, jerry. You are a cool guy. Unfortunately Though I don't see this conversation bearing much more fruit. Obviously I disagree that any such source exists and I cited as much. Again I don't have an issue that you believe those are the writers but such a claim is a faith based claim, not a historical factual claim. If it offends you that people acknowledge that there is not much to do.

Galatians 4:16
Posted by Jerry947 5 months ago
Jerry947
Most Christians I know say that the gospel writers were Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. And we have sources to prove it...
Posted by kasmic 5 months ago
kasmic
Well, considering most Christians acknowledged that we dont know who the authors are... I dont know how anyone could boldly claim to know who wrote them. Even when I believed in the New Testament I acknowledged that the writers of the Gospel were unknown if not unverifiable.
Posted by Jerry947 5 months ago
Jerry947
Why is it laughable?
Posted by kasmic 5 months ago
kasmic
I think any reasonable person would say that. That is not to say that any reasonable person would vote for me... just that the claim that you have proven beyond reasonable doubt who wrote the gospels is laughable.
Posted by Jerry947 5 months ago
Jerry947
I don't doubt for a second that the main voters on this site would agree with you on that point.
Posted by kasmic 5 months ago
kasmic
I dont think anyone reading this would agree that you "did prove beyond a reasonable doubt who wrote the gospels."
Posted by Jerry947 5 months ago
Jerry947
@Iannan13

I never called you biased.

Though, arguing for the Christian God isn't hard at all since the evidence is in my favor (now I am being biased).

You just didn't seem to understand the arguments I made.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by zmikecuber 5 months ago
zmikecuber
Jerry947kasmicTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: I felt Con significantly cast doubt on Pro's case of eyewitness testimonies. He gave other examples of supposed eyewitness accounts, and Pro's response seemed to be a special pleading "Well they didn't claim to be God, like Jesus did, so it's different." Of course, Con also responded to this with his Mormon argument. I did not feel that Con fleshed out the problem of evil enough, and this could have been done better. Pro came back with the free will objection, but Con showed that this didn't explain natural disasters. Now I know Pro didn't have a chance to reply to this, so I'm giving it less weight. Nonetheless, while I'm not particularly convinced by Con's case, I am interpreting this debate with the BOP largely on Pro, and Con's points about Isaac Newton, and other religions were convincing to me that I believe he sufficiently refuted Pro's arguments, and thus won the debate. Good job, guys. Fun debate!
Vote Placed by lannan13 5 months ago
lannan13
Jerry947kasmicTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in the comments section. This vote has been brought to you in part by the DDO Voter's Union.