The Instigator
rawrxqueen
Con (against)
Losing
24 Points
The Contender
Ragnar_Rahl
Pro (for)
Winning
26 Points

Everything In the Bible Should Be Taken Literally

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/6/2009 Category: Religion
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 6,247 times Debate No: 9621
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (76)
Votes (8)

 

rawrxqueen

Con

Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the person dedicated to God may be capable and equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

Many good people build their case against homosexuality almost entirely on the Bible. However, these people fail to take the rest of the bible as seriously or as literally as they do with this issue. When it comes to faith, you cannot pick and choose. Either you take the whole bible literally (such as believing that a TALKING snake peer-pressured Eve into eating the apple) or you realize that some things just can't be taken literally, and are utterly ridiculous. The con side is not against Christianity. It is just arguing that you can't possibly take the entire bible literally. Many people like the verses that say God loves them, but they dislike the verses that say God will judge sinners. But we simply can't pick and choose what we like about the Bible and throw the rest away. If the Bible is wrong about hell, for example, then who is to say it's right about heaven—or about anything else? If the Bible can't get the details right about creation, then maybe the details about salvation can't be trusted either. If the story of Jonah is a myth, then perhaps so is the story of Jesus. On the contrary, God has said what He's said, and the Bible presents us a full picture of who God is. "For ever, O LORD, Thy word is settled in heaven" (Psalm 119:89). In order for the Christian religion to be legit, Christians must realize that that cannot take the entire bible literally.

C1: We must realize that the bible was copied, by hand, over and over and over again to get at what we have today.

We don't have an original, or a copy of the original, or a copy of a copy of a copy of the original. In fact, before they were actually written, all of the books in the Old Testament. If you ever played the children's game 'Telephone', where you start with one sentence and whisper in a circle through 15 or 20 kids and than look at the first and last sentence, they are entirely different. We have the last little kids version of the Bible.

C2: The bible was written by man, edited by man and interpreted by man.

It starts with genesis; the world was created in 6 days. Science has shown that the earth was here billions of years before man. To God a year could be an anything, if that's true then every word in the bible could mean something else.

C3: The Bible stands or falls as a whole.

If a major newspaper were routinely discovered to contain errors, it would be quickly discredited. It would make no difference to say, "All the errors are confined to page 3." For a paper to be reliable in any of its parts, it must be factual throughout. In the same way, if the Bible is inaccurate when it speaks of geology, why should its theology be trusted? It's either a trustworthy document, or it isn't.

C4: The Bible is a reflection of its Author.

All books are. God Himself wrote the Bible as He worked through human authors in a process called "inspiration." Second Timothy 3:16 says, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God" (literally, "is God-breathed"). See also 2 Peter 1:21 and Jeremiah 1:2. We believe that the God who created the universe is capable of writing a book. And the God who is perfect is capable of writing a perfect book. The issue is not simply "Does the Bible have a mistake?" but "Can God make a mistake?" If the Bible contains factual errors, then God is not omniscient and is capable of making errors Himself. If the Bible contains misinformation, then God is not truthful but is instead a liar. If the Bible contains contradictions, then God is the author of confusion. In other words, if Biblical inerrancy is not true, then God is not God. However, if the bible is not taken literally, and you consider my contention 2, then you realize that mistakes are permitted. So therefore, any good christen should vote con for this debate, to support their religion.

C5: The bible has many passages that simply don't make sense, or that contradict itself. (Source: INTP Central)

Subpoint A: The bible has many passages that are rather odd.

Example #1: "But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me."
Luke 19:27
That's not Herod, Hitler or a mad scientist bent on world domination talking, that's Jesus. Yes the compassionate, turn-the-other-cheek Jesus. Well at least it makes the KKK feel better.

Example #2: "A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things."
Ecclesiastes 10:19
Materialism supported by the bible...?

Example #3: "And the Lord was with Judah; and He drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but He could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron." Judges 1:19
He = God he = someone else. So God has no power over iron? Did God become obsolete with the invention of the car or something?

Example #4: Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men Mathew 2:19
This is the famous Herod the baby-killer story. But none of Herod's contemporary historians recorded this, not even Josephus, who chronicled Herod's life in full. It's not like you wouldn't notice the death of every child in and around a major city like Bethlehem.

Example #5: And Joab gave up the sum of the number of the people unto the king: and there were in Israel eight hundred thousand valiant men that drew the sword; and the men of Judah were five hundred thousand men.
2 Samuel 24:9
That's 1,300,000 fighting men. That doesn't include a population count of women or children either. That's a ridiculously high number of troops for two tribal armies in 1000 BC. The biggest military in the ancient world (Persia) only sent 250,000 on their first attempt to invade Athens and the rest of Greece, and that was a few hundred years later. In 2000 the US had about 1.37 million active duty troops.

Example #6: "Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones." Psalms 137:9
Just weird. And a little creepy.

Example #7: Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
James 4:4
Oh, so that's why Bush constantly ignores international treaties!

Example #8: "It was impossible for God to lie." Hebrew 6:18
He can create the universe and is generally regarded as omnipotent, but he can't lie? That's a weirder weakness than even that iron thing.

Example #9: "And I beheld, and lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth." (Revelation 5:6)
Everyone agrees that the slain lamb is a constant symbol for Jesus. So now Jesus has horns?

Subpoint B: The bible, on multiple occasions, contradicts itself.

Example #1: Does God want some people to go to Hell?
Yes
"God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned." 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12
"The Lord hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil." Proverbs 16:4

No
"God our Savior; who will have all men to be saved." 1 Timothy 2:3-4
"The Lord is ... not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:9

Considering these points, I urge you to vote that not everything in the bible can be taken literally.
Ragnar_Rahl

Pro

Too many minds are won into oblivion by the destructive force that is faith for us to continue letting it wiggle around in metaphor uncontested. Take the Bible literally when it says Pi is 3, that the Prince of Peace has not come to bring peace, or any other falsehoods or contradictions, and fewer people will be snared by it. Reason only operates when dealing with the literal, and Reason is the only counter we have-- let faith wander free of it, and it will have people renouncing the earth in favor of the being that's supposed to have struck me by lightning several times right now. It takes reason to notice I haven't yet been struck down.
Debate Round No. 1
rawrxqueen

Con

My opponents argument is only applying to people who are not christen. My case can be applied to all religions, because no matter what religion you are, when you read the christen bible, you should not take it literally. Also, my opponent has failed to state why faith is harmful. Faith is very beneficial. For some people faith does have something to offer. People get a lot of things out of having faith, they find strength, hope, etc. If anything, religion is what brings out any good in people's hearts. All moral conduct, norms, and virtuous standards are spawned from religion after all.

And what about the good religion has done? How many charities can you name that are secular or were started by a secular group? The Salvation Army, Red Cross, etc. were established by religion. In fact, almost all aid that goes into poverty stricken places, or places hit by disasters, is spear headed and done by religious organizations.

Religion is not some bad thing, or pointless thing that has shown no results. There is a place for everything, and everyone will have their own beliefs and perceptions of those beliefs. That is, after all, the cusp of individuality.

Also, the bible does not need to be taken literally to be proven false. The whole concept of a supernatural being is baloney. Also, if you agree with the CON side, you can say that the WHOLE bible cannot be taken literally, therefore proving it to be false.
Ragnar_Rahl

Pro

:My opponents argument is only applying to people who are not christen.
No. Perhaps it only appeals to them. But it applies to all. I highly encourage Christians-- take the Bible literally!

If it's true, they'll find it out that way. If not-- they'll find that out too, and not waste their life on illusion.

But founding one's moral code upon metaphor-- upon anything but truth-- why do that if your goal includes being right?

:Also, my opponent has failed to state why faith is harmful.
If I have faith that a car will not hit me, I do not look both ways before I cross. If I have faith that what is in a container is food, I do not read the label, and eventually I get poisoned.

:People get a lot of things out of having faith, they find strength
No, one finds strength by lifting weights or doing pushups, and then eating something with protein in it.

:hope,
Hope of what? Hope-- that it doesn't matter that they die because they'll live again? Without evidence, such hope is nothing more than an inducement to throw away all they have to value. That's not "getting something out of it."

:If anything, religion is what brings out any good in people's hearts.
You see the problem here? Your argument here is a metaphor, a metaphor of nothing, not reducible to any literal meaning. What good? You get good out of your heart by eating whole grain foods and getting cardiovascular exercise. Not by attending church.

:All moral conduct, norms, and virtuous standards are spawned from religion after all.
http://en.wikipedia.org...
I have some fellows who would beg to differ.

:And what about the good religion has done? How many charities can you name that are secular or were started by a secular group?
Charity? Charity consists of donation-- of detaching the beneficiary from the agent. This is obviously a less successful model in general of doing good than trade, especially in scale. Look at what you're typing on. Was it a charity that invented this device? Or was it someone seeking to trade value for value, in order to live their life on this world, and not any other? Incidentally, there are many secular charities
http://techskeptic.blogspot.com...

:The Salvation Army, Red Cross, etc. were established by religion.
Although my point above stands, the Red Cross is a secular organization.

:Religion is not some bad thing, or pointless thing that has shown no results. There is a place for everything, and everyone will have their own beliefs and perceptions of those beliefs. That is, after all, the cusp of individuality.
This is a platitudinous way of not making an argument. By stating "it's not something that has shown no results," you've written a check that in the sentences after your *** didn't cash. And individuality occurs whether people embrace religion or not, it is by no means diminished by discrediting religion within individual minds.
And if there is a place for drinking poison, where is it?

:Also, the bible does not need to be taken literally to be proven false. The whole concept of a supernatural being is baloney
In order to regard this as a disproof you have to first assume that the Bible is LITERALLY declaring a supernatural being exists. If you don't, you can muddle around and declare it to be a "moral metaphor," thinking people will say "oh okay" instead of "a metaphor reducible to what literal message? And why is that message moral?" Because-- they often will, because you're encouraging them to evade reality by means of a metaphor that is no longer a metaphor (i.e. something reducible to some other literal meaning), but rather a deliberately meaningless statement made flowery.

:Also, if you agree with the CON side, you can say that the WHOLE bible cannot be taken literally
No, you can't. You take the whole bible-- as a literal and nontrue account of the world. Anything else does not address the function it has arrogated as means to evade thought in one's life-- which means-- surrenders thought to that function.
Debate Round No. 2
rawrxqueen

Con

rawrxqueen forfeited this round.
Ragnar_Rahl

Pro

Kentucky fried.
Debate Round No. 3
76 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 5 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
Lol, alkid clearly didn't read, as my argument is not dependent on God's writing the Bible or even existing. :)
Posted by rawrxqueen 7 years ago
rawrxqueen
Dang! I've been grounded so I didn't get to post an argument. That sucks.
Posted by comoncents 7 years ago
comoncents
then the world is flat.
Posted by GodSands 7 years ago
GodSands
Oh right a atheist who's side is for the Bible to be taken literally.
Posted by Freeman 7 years ago
Freeman
Ragnar_Rahl, your argument is brilliant. :)
Posted by Puck 7 years ago
Puck
Nicely done, R_R. :)
Posted by MTGandP 7 years ago
MTGandP
Pi, rounded to the nearest tenth, is 3.1. If they just had a circle and measured the cubits around it, they should have gotten thirty-one, not thirty.
Posted by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
Nags, have you ever heard of sig figs?
Posted by rawrxqueen 7 years ago
rawrxqueen
yes it does. One of the most famous mathematical statements in the Bible is in I Kings 7:23-26, describing a large cauldron, or "molten sea" in the Temple of Solomon:

He made the Sea of cast metal, circular in shape, measuring ten cubits from rim to rim and five cubits high. It took a line of thirty cubits to measure around it. Below the rim, gourds encircled it - ten to a cubit. The gourds were cast in two rows in one piece with the Sea. The Sea stood on twelve bulls, three facing north, three facing west, three facing south and three facing east. The Sea rested on top of them, and their hindquarters were toward the center. It was a handbreadth in thickness, and its rim was like the rim of a cup, like a lily blossom. It held two thousand baths.

Now the Hebrews were not an especially technological society; when Solomon built his Temple he had to hire Phoenecian artisans for the really technical work. So the author of this passage may not have known the exact value of pi, or thought his readers might not be aware that specifying the diameter of a circle automatically specifies its circumference. In any case, the essential point was the impressive size of the cauldron, and its dimensions were only approximate, because the ratio of the circumference to the diameter is stated to be exactly three rather than the real value of pi which is 3.14159....

If the rim was made in the form of a lily blossom, we could expect it to have had decorative details with bumps and re-entrants, in which case any really exact measurement of diameter and circumference would be meaningless.
Posted by studentathletechristian8 7 years ago
studentathletechristian8
Look again, mongeese. Anyway, the Bible itself is primarily a document used for morality. The numerical expression of pi is irrelevant in the Bible's purpose.
8 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Vote Placed by Zetsubou 4 years ago
Zetsubou
rawrxqueenRagnar_RahlTied
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Reasons for voting decision: [2 Con, 5 Pro] [Adjusted against alkid96's vote] Conduct, Con forfeit -- S & G, Con has several errors that make reading rather difficult -- Arguments, I found some of Con's argument to be rather emotive, my main issue with it is that it pays no heed to what "the living word" says about understanding "the living word". She herself leaves no argument herself that should appeal "to people who are christen".
Vote Placed by alkid96 5 years ago
alkid96
rawrxqueenRagnar_RahlTied
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Reasons for voting decision: i HATE when people take the bible so literally. it wasnt even written by god
Vote Placed by quarterexchange 5 years ago
quarterexchange
rawrxqueenRagnar_RahlTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con voted 7pts for herself
Vote Placed by ethopia619 6 years ago
ethopia619
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Koopin
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rawrxqueen
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