The Instigator
JustCallMeTarzan
Pro (for)
Losing
187 Points
The Contender
InquireTruth
Con (against)
Winning
189 Points

Given the Bible, God is Morally Repugnant and Undeserving of Praise (+).

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/25/2008 Category: Religion
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 9,826 times Debate No: 6045
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (80)
Votes (60)

 

JustCallMeTarzan

Pro

I could have simply phrased this debate "God is Morally Repugnant and Undeserving of Praise" but then I remembered a debate I was just in where the person who accepted the debate gets to define God. This is not the case here - for purposes of this debate, we shall defer to the Judeo-Christian sense of God, and if it pleases my opponent, we may use the same version of a "mainstream" Bible - I would suggest the New American Bible, for it is the one I shall present my opening arguments from.

The resolution, while two-part, only has one requirement to fill, unless my opponent can make a brilliant argument for why a morally repugnant entity would be deserving of praise. Satisfaction of the first conjoin entails satisfaction of the other. It is a classic [(A -> B) -> (A & B)] argument.

**********************************

Obviously it would be easiest to start with showing that God is morally repugnant. To this end, I will illustrate several examples of the evils this entity has perpetrated, including infanticide, slavery, genocide, unjust retribution, homocide (killing homosexuals), social dissent and familial destruction, killing of non-believers, filicide (killing of one's children), and condemnation for those who do not believe in God.

Slavery:
"Let peoples serve you, and nations pay you homage; Be master of your brothers, and may your mother's sons bow down to you" (NAB Gn. 27:29a).

Genocide:
"When the LORD, your God, brings you into the land which you are to enter and occupy, and dislodges great nations before you… you shall doom them. Make no covenant with them and show them no mercy" (NAB Dt. 7:1a, 2b).

Unjust Retribution:
"If you are not careful to observe every word of the law which is written in this book, and to revere the glorious and awesome name of the LORD, your God, he will smite you and your descendants with severe and constant blows, malignant and lasting maladies… until you are destroyed" (NAB Dt. 28:58-59, 61b).

Homocide:
"If a man lies with a male as with a women, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives." (Leviticus 20:13 NAB)

Kill Those Who Do Not Seek God:
They entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul; and everyone who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. (2 Chronicles 15:12-13 NAB)

Infanticide:
From there Elisha went up to Bethel. While he was on his way, some small boys came out of the city and jeered at him. "Go up baldhead," they shouted, "go up baldhead!" The prophet turned and saw them, and he cursed them in the name of the Lord. Then two shebears came out of the woods and tore forty two of the children to pieces. (2 Kings 2:23-24 NAB)

Social Unrest and Familial Destruction:
"Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man's enemies will be the members of his household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it." (Matthew 10:34-39 NASB)

Tempting Abraham to Commit Filicide:
"Some time after these events, God put Abraham to the test. He called to him, "Abraham!" "Ready!" he replied. Then God said: "Take your son Isaac, your only one, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah. There you shall offer him up as a holocaust on a height that I will point out to you." Early the next morning Abraham saddled his donkey, took with him his son Isaac, and two of his servants as well, and with the wood that he had cut for the holocaust, set out for the place of which God had told him. On the third day Abraham got sight of the place from afar. Then he said to his servants: "Both of you stay here with the donkey, while the boy and I go on over yonder. We will worship and then come back to you." Thereupon Abraham took the wood for the holocaust and laid it on his son Isaac's shoulders, while he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two walked on together, Isaac spoke to his father Abraham. "Father!" he said. "Yes, son," he replied. Isaac continued, "Here are the fire and the wood, but where is the sheep for the holocaust?" "Son," Abraham answered, "God himself will provide the sheep for the holocaust." Then the two continued going forward. When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. Next he tied up his son Isaac, and put him on top of the wood on the altar. Then he reached out and took the knife to slaughter his son." (Gn 22:1-10 NAB).

God Does Nothing to Prevent Filicide in His Name:
"Jephthah made a vow to the LORD. "If you deliver the Ammonites into my power," he said, "whoever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me when I return in triumph from the Ammonites shall belong to the LORD. I shall offer him up as a holocaust." Jephthah then went on to the Ammonites to fight against them, and the LORD delivered them into his power, so that he inflicted a severe defeat on them, from Aroer to the approach of Minnith (twenty cities in all) and as far as Abel-keramin. Thus were the Ammonites brought into subjection by the Israelites. When Jephthah returned to his house in Mizpah, it was his daughter who came forth, playing the tambourines and dancing. She was an only child: he had neither son nor daughter besides her. When he saw her, he rent his garments and said, "Alas, daughter, you have struck me down and brought calamity upon me. For I have made a vow to the LORD and I cannot retract." "Father," she replied, "you have made a vow to the LORD. Do with me as you have vowed, because the LORD has wrought vengeance for you on your enemies the Ammonites." Then she said to her father, "Let me have this favor. Spare me for two months, that I may go off down the mountains to mourn my virginity with my companions." "Go," he replied, and sent her away for two months. So she departed with her companions and mourned her virginity on the mountains. At the end of the two months she returned to her father, who did to her as he had vowed. She had not been intimate with man. It then became a custom in Israel for Israelite women to go yearly to mourn the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite for four days of the year." (Jg 11:30-40 NAB).

**************************************

It's fairly clear from reading these passages that God is not a moral entity and is also clearly not deserving of praise.
InquireTruth

Con

I would like to thank my opponent for starting this debate and I look forward to our encounter as he is a formidable opponent.

INTRODUCTION

For the sake of clarity I will numerically list the contentions that must be addressed before the resolution is true.

1. The resolution necessitates the use of the Bible in order to define the Judeo-Christian God. Given the Bible (as it is stated in the resolution), it is a contradiction to state that God is morally Repugnant (see Matthew 5:48). Morality, and the basis thereof, is unilaterally decided by the creator of the universe. Deuteronomy 32:4 states, "He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he."

David, the psalmist contends that "As for God, his way is perfect," Psalm 18:30a. If, according to the Bible, God is the sole proprietor of morality, how then, and upon what basis does my opponent call His actions repugnant? IF, given the Bible, God's ways are perfect and He does no wrong, how then does my opponent say that He is undeserving of praise?

2. Flowing from the first contention, my opponents concluding statement says,
"It's fairly clear from reading these passages that God is not a moral entity and is also clearly not deserving of praise."

My opponent posits an alternative morality that is not specified in the resolution. If given the Bible, God is the one who created all things, living and nonliving, and God and His commandments are how we determine morality (see Colossians 1:16), where does my opponent derive this alternative moral structure? Since my opponent appeals to a morality that is neither specified in his round one, nor consistent with the resolution "given the Bible," the readers should see such an argument as a contradiction and therefore null and void.

3. If my opponent cannot substantiate his claim that God is morally repugnant – his unfortunate attempt notwithstanding – how then can he make the claim that a perfectly just, omnipotent and omniscient creator of all things is not worthy of praise? Given the Bible, God is absolutely worthy of praise! Samuel 22:4 states, "I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies."

Psalm 145:3 states, "Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness
no one can fathom."

CONCLUSION

Although all his references have legitimate responses, I am not obliged to rebut any of them as they are mere red herrings. My opponent must show how calling God morally repugnant is not a contradiction of the Bible. If by calling God morally repugnant he contradicts the Bible (which indeed he does) then he negates his own resolution because then God would only be morally repugnant apart from the Bible and according to an unspecified moral objective.

I look forward to my opponent's response. Thank you
Debate Round No. 1
JustCallMeTarzan

Pro

An interesting defense, if somewhat circular. I shall move through my opponents points swiftly and show not only that they are circular, but that they offer an improper criteria for the source of morality.

(1)

Of course the resolution necessitates the use of the Bible in order to define God - that's why the phrase "Given the bible" is in the resolution - to illustrate that we're referring to the Judeo-Christian God, and not the deities of Jefferson, Madison, Avicenna, bizarre personal definitions, etc...

However, God cannot be the arbiter of morality. Morality is authority independent - some actions are wrong qua wrong. Consider a case where God made a rule that raping babies was morally permissible... The actions of God do not change the fact that raping babies is wrong qua wrong. The verses my opponent references are simply more cases where the Bible is incorrect. Genesis is incorrect about how man came to be. Deuteronomy is incorrect about the actions and motivations of God.

(2)

My opponent holds that I have no working definition of morality other than that defined in the Bible. He uses Cl 1:16 as a defense for the Bible being the arbiter of morality. Cl 1:16 reads "For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things were created through him and for him." That simply sounds like a statement that all things created were created by and for God, not that God is somehow the arbiter of morality.

A much better argument on that case would have been to state that God has the authority to judge people on the last day. However, the criteria for which he judges them is outlined in the Bible by the Ten Commandments, various oaths and bargains God has made with the people of Israel, various laws passed down from God to Moses, and even the words of Jesus.

If God is the final arbiter of morality, then he must be a hypocrite as well, ordering the Israelites to show no mercy to their enemies, wiping out armies that oppose Israel, murdering babies in Egypt, and accepting bargains involving human sacrifice.... all while telling the Israelites "Thou shalt not commit murder."

(3)

How can I make the claim that an entity that tells you he is worthy of praise is not? Easily - by looking at his actions. If the Bible is the word of God, we cannot take God's word that he himself is moral - that's completely circular. It's like asking a suspect to sit as judge in his own trial.

As for Samuel and David... again... another case of Biblical characters being mistaken about the nature of their deity.

**************************

My opponent is of course obliged to rebut the verses I have put forth, for if they go unrebutted, it is evidence of gross hypocrisy on the part of the deity he holds to be moral. Calling God morally repugnant only contradicts parts of the Bible if one holds that God is actually the arbiter of morality, which clearly cannot be the case, both for reasons of circular logic and the authority independence of morality.

On the other hand, calling God morally praiseworthy ALSO contradicts parts of the Bible, regardless of who we hold the arbiter of morality to be.
InquireTruth

Con

My opponent claims that my argument is circular. This is simply not so. My opponent affirms in his resolution that God is morally corrupt GIVEN THE BIBLE. Since the Bible states the opposite - that God is indeed morally upright and perfect - then it is quite apart from the Bible that my opponent reaches such a conclusion.

1. My opponent's empty claim that my argument is circular notwithstanding, he seems quite fond of circular reasoning himself. He states that some things are "wrong qua wrong."

"Consider a case where God made a rule that raping babies was morally permissible... The actions of God do not change the fact that raping babies is wrong qua wrong."

My opponent merely uses an appeal to emotion rather than defining why it is wrong. You cannot simply say that it is wrong because it is wrong. Even still, my opponent is negating his own resolution because God IS a moral !entity given the Bible!

"The verses my opponent references are simply more cases where the Bible is incorrect. Genesis is incorrect about how man came to be. Deuteronomy is incorrect about the actions and motivations of God."

This is mere casuistry of the highest sorts. My opponent can use the Bible to affirm his resolution, and of course the passages he quotes must be correct in order for his argument to hold, but all my use of the Bible is incorrect? This is intellectually absurd. The Bible is assumed true by the resolution, my opponent cannot simply pick and choose what in the Bible he will accept as true and what he will not.

2. My opponent must substantiate his claim that Morality is uncreated. If indeed morality was created it was surely created by the One who creates all things. God is the measure by which we judge right and wrong. The Judeo-Christian God is the divine law-giver as is evidenced by the nature of his commands and that fact that we will be judged thereby.

"If God is the final arbiter of morality, then he must be a hypocrite as well, ordering the Israelites to show no mercy to their enemies, wiping out armies that oppose Israel, murdering babies in Egypt, and accepting bargains involving human sacrifice.... all while telling the Israelites "Thou shalt not commit murder."

You are correct that the Ten Commandments say "thou shalt not commit murder." Indeed the Hebrew word ratsah is employed. Therefore my opponent must show how God's acts are criminal acts of murder. Even still, God is not included in the command he gave, nor is he bound by them (Isaiah 55:8). The fact of the matter is the Bible says God is a morally upright entity, therefore all his actions are morally just and perfect, regardless if we understand the complexities and nuances. Much like a doctor who performs a careful incision to remove a malignant mass on a waking patient. The patient may wake up and not know that he has a malignant mass, or that the man cutting him is a doctor. While the patient will surely perceive what is being done as evil, having a full breadth of understanding tells us otherwise.

3. "How can I make the claim that an entity that tells you he is worthy of praise is not? Easily - by looking at his actions. If the Bible is the word of God, we cannot take God's word that he himself is moral - that's completely circular. It's like asking a suspect to sit as judge in his own trial.

As for Samuel and David... again... another case of Biblical characters being mistaken about the nature of their deity."

This is again casuistry. My opponent cannot use the Bible to affirm his resolution, and then say that I cannot use the same Bible to negate it. My opponent must show that God is not worthy of praise GIVEN THE BIBLE. Since the Bible is very clear that God is indeed worthy of praise (see aforementioned passages) the resolution cannot stand.

Conclusion:
My opponent has not substantiated his use of an alternative metric of morality. My opponent is
persistent in contradicting his own resolution. My opponent is seeking to show that God is morally repugnant by appealing to a morality that is quite apart from the Bible – since such is the case my opponent has not defended his resolution that God is morally repugnant GIVEN THE BIBLE.

My opponent's previous references still stand as mere red herrings.
Debate Round No. 2
JustCallMeTarzan

Pro

I'm going to respond to my opponent's conclusion because I find it much easier to follow and more concise than the rest of his arguments. Then, I shall return and address any missed points. As this may be a long post, I shall try to be clear and concise as well.

My opponent contends that:
1) I have not substantiated the use of "alternative morality."
2) I have contradicted the resolution.
3) Appeal to morality outside of the Bible is not within the bounds of the resolution.

My apologies for addressing these points out of order, but they do not fit chronologically in the order above...

********************************

3) Appeal to morality apart from the Bible.

This argument is actually quite short. God is not laying the groundwork for morality in the Bible. In fact, when considered in light of what the majority of people consider to be "morals," much of what God lays out or endorses in the Bible is in fact immoral. What God is doing is laying the rules for how people should behave if they are going to receive any sort of reward from him. If you ask a Christian or Jew what the various rules in the Bible are, they will respond that those instances where God or Jesus hand out rules are instances of what one must to do be saved, not what one must do to live a moral life. In many cases, the two are the same. However, the purpose of the rules is so that the people follow the Deity. If it were morality, literally billions of people would be living an immoral life in Asia for not following God's rules. My opponent will no doubt argue that you follow God by living the moral life outlined by the rules in the Bible. However, leading a moral life is a mere side effect of following God's teachings... and sometimes, when one follows the acts he endorses, one would live an IMMORAL life.

1) On the use of "alternative morality."

I put "alternative morality" in quotes because there really is only one morality. As I stated above, the Bible is a collection of God's rules, not morality. Where, then, does morality come from? There are two options to answer this question - sentimentalism and rationalism.

A sentimentalist viewpoint holds morality to be the collection of rules and norms that, when violated, give rise to feelings of severe approbation and other negative emotions according to some emotional trigger latent in our perception of the act (Hume, Nichols). A moral "law" under this viewpoint would be a regulation that prevents one from transgressing against a "harm norm" - in other words, there are certain societal norms that carry extra weight to them. For example farting at the dinner table is disgusting, but may be acceptable in some cultures or situations. Wanton murder is never acceptable in ANY cultures or situations. Thus, a sentimentalist would consider "No wanton murder" to be a moral "law."

A rationalist approach holds that morality is a set of rules and norms that adheres to the principle that one should act only as though their actions would be an acceptable universal law. The groundwork for what is acceptable may be rooted in things like evolutionary benefit from certain altruistic behaviors, cognitive thought about utility, or even simple rational consideration of what constitutes a good will (Kant, Joyce). A moral "law" under this viewpoint would be a maxim that would be universally applicable without contradicting its own ends, using people as a means to an end, or disrespecting the autonomy of individual's reason. For example, the act of farting is, at some times and places, appropriate (or even necessary!). If it were a universal maxim that farting was inappropriate, this would contradict the subjective consideration of the times and places where it WAS appropriate. However, wanton murder is NEVER acceptable, and thus, making "no wanton murder" a universal maxim would yield an acceptable moral "law."

Thus, one can clearly see multiple ways to form a sense of morality without the use of God, or an appeal to ANY authority. Indeed, morality is authority-independent. If you ask even a stout Christian (this study was done with Amish Children) to consider if God made no law concerning harming others, over 80% said it was still morally wrong to harm others (Nichols). The numbers stayed the same or CLIMBED in a similar study done by Joyce wherein the situation was that God had made a rule that it was acceptable to harm others.

Lastly, even if one considers the Bible to lay out the only moral framework, one could still use the terms of that framework to analyze God's actions and determine their morality. My opponent may argue that the Bible states that "you shall not put the Lord your God to the test," but I ask that the reader consider the action in the abstract - i.e. "X murdered babies", instead of "God murdered babies." In any event, he is not my god, and therefore, I need not abide by the above rule.

2) The argument that I have contradicted the resolution.

This argument is somewhat spurious. One of us has indeed contradicted the resolution. However, who that is will be up to the voters. Consider:

1 - Assume the Bible is correct.
2 - The Bible states that God has committed X, Y, & Z, which are morally reprehensible acts.
3 - The Bible states that God s moral and deserving of praise.

Thus, one can see that premises 2 and 3 cannot BOTH be correct. Therefore, either the PRO or CON side of this debate is in contradiction of the resolution by violation of "Given the Bible" or "God is Morally Repugnant and Undeserving of Praise."

*****************************

My opponent argues that:

1. The Bible is Correct
2. The Bible is the Word of God.
3. The Bible states God is Moral.
4. Therefore, God is Moral.

One can easily see the circularity of this reasoning. It is exactly as though God is sitting as judge and jury in his own trial if one accepts this heinously circular method of reasoning.

Also consider the reason my opponent considers God moral. It follows as such:

1. The Bible is Correct.
2. The Bible has factual claims about acts perpetrated by God.
3. These actions would be considered immoral.
4. Various Biblical characters (Samuel, David, Solomon, etc...) are of the opinion that God is Moral.
5. Therefore, based on their opinion, and ignoring factual claims, God is moral.

One can see that this a poor argument indeed.

******************************

To conclude:

I have shown that morality is authority-independent and therefore cannot come from God. Thus, the Bible is laying out God's preferential characteristics in his followers, not morality. Consider - if God held that raping babies was moral, it would STILL be immoral to rape babies. It would be a very strange conception of morality indeed where a raping babies would be ok because God said so. Even ignoring the authority independence of morality, God's own rules state what would be moral in my opponent's opinion. However, God violates even these rules.

Consider:

1. The Bible is Correct.
2. Moral reasoning AND the Bible state that murder is wrong.
3. God murdered babies in Egypt (or ordered the "Angel of Death" to do so).
4. Therefore, God has committed morally repugnant acts.
5. Therefore, God is undeserving of praise.

************************

Throughout this debate, my opponent's main contention has been that the Bible states that God is moral. I have shown numerous times that not only is that the opinion of Biblical characters and not a factual claim, but that the Bible and God are not the arbiters of morality. With this in mind, I ask the reader to consider again:

Is murdering babies wrong, even if the murderer is God? OR
Is committing immoral action X wrong, even if the actor is God?

In the Bible verses I have referenced above, the answer should be a resounding YES, and a vote for Pro.

*******************************

Looking forward to the next round. (By the way... only 73 characters
InquireTruth

Con

Let me make this very clear as it seems I am not being properly understood.

3. Appeal to morality apart from the bible

My opponent claims that the Bible does not lay any ground work for morality when in fact the Bible is clear that it should be looked upon for moral instruction (2 Timothy 3:16,17). My opponent uses the fallacious argument, ad populum, by saying that morality is determined by the majority of people. Even if it were not a fallacy he would still be neglecting the fact that the majority of people also believe that God is a moral entity. My opponent then makes the claim that the Bible merely makes claims on how to be saved and not how to be moral. This is simply wrong. The Bible says that all followers of Him must be righteous. Righteous, by definition, is conformity to morality. Let me lay it out.

A. The Bible lays out commandments and prohibitions.
B. Following these commandments and prohibitions is considered righteous
C. Righteousness is, by definition, conformity to morality
D. Therefore, the Bible lays a framework for morality.

(My opponent also makes an appeal to consequences when he talks of how many would be immoral. This is fallacious and irrelevant).

1. On the use of "alternative morality."

This is where my opponent is rather humorous. First he says that there is only one morality. Yet, ironically enough, he gives us two different options. If there is indeed only ONE real morality, why then does he not give us the one universal objective metric of morality?
My opponent then makes a point that is at least congenial to the resolution, that if God is analyzed by the moral structure of the Bible, he fails. However, and in order for my opponents point to stand, he must prove that God is bound by his own rules and commandments. Indeed he cannot prove that God is bound by his own rules because it is not GIVEN IN THE BIBLE. The Bible says that God's ways are above our ways and his thoughts are above ours. He must also prove that God's actions are not righteous judgment. Again, he cannot prove that it is not righteous judgment because it is not GIVEN IN THE BIBLE. The Bible says that all his ways are just and righteous. Let me lay it out.

A. My opponent claims God's actions are immoral GIVEN THE BIBLE
B. The Bible says all God's actions are Just, perfect, and righteous.
C. Therefore, God's actions can only be considered immoral if we appeal to a source outside of the Bible – which conversely contradicts the resolution.

This naturally leads me to #2

2. The argument that he has contradicted the resolution

"1 - Assume the Bible is correct.
2 - The Bible states that God has committed X, Y, & Z, which are morally reprehensible acts.
3 - The Bible states that God s moral and deserving of praise.

Thus, one can see that premises 2 and 3 cannot BOTH be correct. Therefore, either the PRO or CON side of this debate is in contradiction of the resolution by violation of "Given the Bible" or "God is Morally Repugnant and Undeserving of Praise."

My opponent is incorrect. He inserts "morally reprehensible acts" in premise 2 without ever substantiating the actions as such. Also, the end of premise two should actually read "which are perfect and just actions according to the Bible." This premise now leads perfectly to premise 3.

"1. The Bible is Correct
2. The Bible is the Word of God.
3. The Bible states God is Moral.
4. Therefore, God is Moral.

One can easily see the circularity of this reasoning. It is exactly as though God is sitting as judge and jury in his own trial if one accepts this heinously circular method of reasoning."

My opponent should take note that he is the one who created the resolution. In which case, yes, it is true that – given the bible – God is indeed a moral entity.

"1. The Bible is Correct.
2. The Bible has factual claims about acts perpetrated by God.
3. These actions would be considered immoral.
4. Various Biblical characters (Samuel, David, Solomon, etc...) are of the opinion that God is Moral.
5. Therefore, based on their opinion, and ignoring factual claims, God is moral.

One can see that this a poor argument indeed."

My opponent has made a glaring error. If he believes the Bible is wrong about the claims of God's faultlessness because it is "opinion," then he defeats his entire argument, for his argument is based on the writer's "opinion" that it was God who acted and decreed. Indeed it is the mere "opinion" of the writers that God decreed the things my opponent lists in argument 1. It is mere "opinion" that it was God who acted and committed the maladies listed in my opponent's round 1.

As you can see, by my opponents reasoning, he has no basis for his claims that God is morally repugnant. If all is mere opinion and speculation, he really has no way of confirming the resolution. Either we take neither, or we take both. Either way my opponent fails. If we take neither, my opponent has no basis and he contradicts his resolution. If we take both, then my opponent fails because God is righteous and worthy of praise according to the Bible.

Response to my opponent's conclusion:

"1. The Bible is Correct.
2. Moral reasoning AND the Bible state that murder is wrong.
3. God murdered babies in Egypt (or ordered the "Angel of Death" to do so).
4. Therefore, God has committed morally repugnant acts.
5. Therefore, God is undeserving of praise."

My opponent's #3 #4 and #5 contradict his #1. If the Bible is correct then premise 4 and 5 are contradictions because the Bible states the opposite of those things as stated in previous rounds. His premise 3 incorrectly labels God's actions as murder. If the Bible is correct, God's action was not murder it was divine judgment on the people of Egypt.

Conclusion:
I ask the voters to pay attention to my opponent's persistence in contradicting the resolution. He must prove that God's actions are morally repugnant GIVEN THE BIBLE. He must prove that God is not worthy of praise GIVEN THE BIBLE. Since he has done neither, he has not fulfilled the burden. I have proven that the Bible does indeed show that God is both perfect and worthy.
Debate Round No. 3
JustCallMeTarzan

Pro

While incorrectly claiming that I make a fallacious argument via ad populum, my opponent presents the following:

"Even if it were not a fallacy he would still be neglecting the fact that the majority of people also believe that God is a moral entity."

THE EXACT SAME fallacy!! I'm also confused as to where my opponent got the impression that morality was subject to an ad populum framework. It is also quite clear that I presented two options for accessing morality, not two different forms of morality. The two methods will yield a morality that is roughly equivalent on most issues and nearly exactly the same on core moral issues. He then goes on to assert that according to 2 Timothy 3:16, the Bible is used for instruction in morality. However, The verse actually reads:

"All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that one who belongs to God may be competent, equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Many dictionaries distinguish between secular and religious definitions of righteousness. Secular meaning simply means "The quality of being just or rightful" (Random House Unabridged). Religious meaning implies "The quality or state of being righteous; holiness; purity; uprightness; rectitude" (Webster Unabridged). Nowhere in these definitions, EVEN THE RELIGIOUS one, does it imply that righteousness = morality.

My opponent also asserts that an appeal to a source of morality outside of the Bible contradicts the resolution. It is plain that there is nothing in the resolution that defines a standard of morality. I have made the case that the Bible lists God's preferences for ideal followers, and not moral code. I have also rebutted my opponent's evidence that the Bible states that it is used for moral code.

In his attempt to rebut the notion that God has committed immoral acts, my opponent appeals to the notion that the Bible states that the actions of God are just. This should not surprise anyone, as it is just a form of God saying: "Since I am God, and my word is law, I can commit atrocities and state they are just." Obviously, God's say-so does not necessitate truth, else we would live in a much different world... for example, if God's say-so necessitated truth, all serpents would eat dirt - and it is plain that they do not.

My opponent's argument thus far can easily be summed up thus:

While God has committed atrocities, he is moral and praiseworthy simply because he says he is.

Utterly uncompelling. However, there is something to be said for the argument that given the framework of the resolution, God is indeed praiseworthy. But the farthest that this argument can reach is to show that technically God's moral worth is indeterminate, but that he is a hypocrite. The truth of the matter, is that if you look at the Bible, you will see:

1) God has committed atrocities
2) God is worthy of praise.

Obviously the two are inconsistent. An entity can exhibit both moral and immoral traits at the same time, but when one looks at the atrocities this entity has committed, it becomes clear that this God is morally repugnant. I ask the reader to look at the section below and ask themselves if an entity that performs these actions is moral and worthy of praise....

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"If a man lies with a male as with a women, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives." (Leviticus 20:13)

"Slaves, male and female, you may indeed possess, provided you buy them from among the neighboring nations." (Leviticus 25:44)

"I will punish you with terrible woes--with wasting and fever to dim the eyes and sap the life" (Leviticus 26:16a)
"I will make the sword, the avenger of my covenant, sweep over you. Though you then huddle together in your walled cities, I will send in pestilence among you, till you are forced to surrender to the enemy." (Leviticus 26:25)
"...till you begin to eat the flesh of your own sons and daughters." (Leviticus 26:29)

"The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name." (Exodus 15:3)

"And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the LORD met him, and sought to kill him." (Exodus 4:24)

"And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle." (Exodus 12:29)

"Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and a$$." (1 Samuel 15:2-3)

"And he said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbor." (Exodus 32:27)

"The sword of the LORD is filled with blood." (Isaiah 34:6a)

"Then the angel of the LORD went forth, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians a hundred and fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses." (Isaiah 37:36)

"But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him." (Luke 12:5)

"And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12)

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How many of the actions above are moral?

Is ANYONE, even GOD, that perpetrates any of the above actions moral and deserving of praise. It would seem ludicrous to think so. The entity that commits these heinous actions is morally repugnant and therefore undeserving of praise. This entity is otherwise known as God.

Will you praise a murderer? A liar? A baby-killer? One who condones slavery?

I will not.
InquireTruth

Con

My opponent starts by saying that I have committed the same Ad Populum fallacy he did. If he would simply reread what I wrote he would see that I said that EVEN IF we were to take his fallacious reasoning into consideration, it would yield unfortunate results for his case.

"I'm also confused as to where my opponent got the impression that morality was subject to an ad populum framework."

Let me quote you in your round three verbatim: "In fact, when considered in light of what the majority of people consider to be "morals," much of what God lays out or endorses in the Bible is in fact immoral."

As you can see you clearly inferred that God is immoral based on "what the majority of people consider."

Ad Populum.

"It is also quite clear that I presented two options for accessing morality, not two different forms of morality. The two methods will yield a morality that is roughly equivalent on most issues and nearly exactly the same on core moral issues."

The fact of the matter is that you presuppose a universal morality. Giving two ways to access this morality – ways that yield contradictory results in many cases – in no way proves that a universal morality exists.

Let me now list the points my opponent did not adequately (or at all) refute:

1. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 and Righteousness

My opponent goes on to give definitions that apparently show that Righteousness has nothing to do with Morality. This is intellectually dishonest and a casuistic trick of definitions. He ignored the literal meaning of the Greek word employed, dikaiosune. AND he ignored the very clear meaning apparent in the roots. The Greek word dikaiosune literally means to do that which is right. Righteous simply to act uprightly i.e. morally.
His convenient omitting of the word's literal meaning notwithstanding, he ignored how most all other dictionaries seem to categorize righteousness.

Dictionary.com
1. characterized by uprightness or morality

American Heritage Dictionary
1. Morally upright; without guilt or sin: a righteous parishioner.

WorldNet Princeton University
1. Characterized by or proceeding from accepted standards of morality or justice

Merriam-Webster
1: acting in accord with divine or moral law : free from guilt or sin
2 a: morally right or justifiable b: arising from an outraged sense of justice or morality

Since it is very clear that Righteousness is defined by an adherence to morality, it is unreasonable to say that the Bible does not teach morality. This syllogism still stands:

A. The Bible lays out commandments and prohibitions.
B. Following these commandments and prohibitions is considered righteous
C. Righteousness is, by definition, conformity to morality
D. Therefore, the Bible lays a framework for morality.

2. Appeal to a moral source outside of the Bible contradicts the resolution.

"My opponent also asserts that an appeal to a source of morality outside of the Bible contradicts the resolution. It is plain that there is nothing in the resolution that defines a standard of morality."

My opponent must show that God is morally repugnant and undeserving of praise, GIVEN THE BIBLE. Since the Bible is very clear that God is a moral being and is most definitely worthy of praise, my opponent appealing to a moral source outside of the Bible in which to classify God's actions as immoral is not GIVEN THE BIBLE – it is in complete disregard of the bible – and therefore a contradiction of the resolution.

3. My opponent admits that he is incorrect
"The truth of the matter, is that if you look at the Bible, you will see:

1) God has committed atrocities
2) God is worthy of praise."

If the Bible says God is worthy of praise then your resolution cannot stand. Given the Bible, God has not committed any atrocities because it never says that he does. You classify his actions as atrocious by a standard that is quite apart from the Bible, and most definitely not GIVEN THE BIBLE.

Conclusion:
The rest of my opponents argument is mere red herring as he is not addressing the fact that God is morally upright and worthy of praise GIVEN THE BIBLE. He is appealing to emotion and wishing that the audience will look at God's actions as morally repugnant without giving a standard for which we can judge that which is and is not moral.
We are talking the creator of the universe. The One Almighty Lord who gave each being, human and otherwise, life. He gave humans the power to reason. Can the pot really complain to the potter?
Debate Round No. 4
80 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Mangani 7 years ago
Mangani
You should be thankful that I helped you learn to spell liar, coward.
Posted by humanistheart 7 years ago
humanistheart
You said you'd stop reading and responding to my posts, you continued to. That is a liar. But if you can't figure that out perhaps moron would be a more apt term for you. Seriously, your maturity level's about as high as that baby you have on the picture. But at least the baby's not a liar.
Posted by Mangani 7 years ago
Mangani
And it's LIAR...*rolls eyes*
Posted by Mangani 7 years ago
Mangani
I've lied about nothing, coward.
Posted by humanistheart 7 years ago
humanistheart
Mangani, you are a lier, it's as simple as that. Stop trying to dress it up.
Posted by Mangani 7 years ago
Mangani
"The inappropriate 'coward' comment was directed to me, not geo"
-Yes. And it did not require reading your comments, nor responding to them other than to, as now, call you a coward for hiding behind the comments section. Don't be a coward. If you'd like to debate this topic then do so formally. There is no need to continue your childish backtalk in the comments section.

"And I never alluded to spelling."
-No s**t? I did. You spell like a five year old.
Posted by humanistheart 7 years ago
humanistheart
"I apologize for the unnecessary harshness."

Inquire, I understand, you're just following jesus' example. You are a christian, by definition that makes you a hypocrite.
Posted by humanistheart 7 years ago
humanistheart
??? Is your name Geo??? Oh, and a liar is someone who pretends they can spell, but can't."

The inappropriate 'coward' comment was directed to me, not geo, so don't try and claim geo's arguments were relevant to your claim that you'd stop reading mine, and the fact that you did not. You said you would not do something and you did. By definition, you are a liar. And I never alluded to spelling. If I'd said 'I'm a perfect speller' or something to that affect than that would be lying. You need to look up the definition of liar before you continue to post out of ignorance.
Posted by humanistheart 7 years ago
humanistheart
"Now, you may go on with your misspellings and circumlocution while swinging frantically at straw, but I'll have no part in that."

Yet you continue to 'have a part in it'. You can at least try to be honest here.
Posted by Mangani 7 years ago
Mangani
'The original King James version says "kill."'

-The King James Version of the bible is just that. It is not the original version of the Pentateuch. When referring to the old testament, we must do so within it's context. In Hebrew, "tirtsach lo' ", means "You shall murder not". This terminology refers to "illegal" killing, hence the term "murder".

"Yahweh is a homicidal maniac"

-If God was subject to the laws of man, then maybe. But that's like saying a warden is guilty of murder when he carries out a lawful execution. The Bible would not be a religious set of books if God wasn't the arbiter of law. Because he IS the arbiter of law, within the bible he is always the standard for morality.

"You would be offended if someone said you're synonymous with Hitler."

-You're actually arguing one of Hitler's points of view quite effectively.

"If we assumed Harry Potter as a framework and Voldimort claimed he was perfect and good despite killing babies, does that make him moral? No"

-That makes no sense. If Voldimort (for children's sake) was the arbiter of law, the giver of life, the creator, and the standard by which all of the characters in the Harry Potter novels lived by, then you might have a point. He's not, and you don't.
60 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by bsh1 2 years ago
bsh1
JustCallMeTarzanInquireTruthTied
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Vote Placed by Nicoszon_the_Great 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con made a couple good points but Pro wins
Vote Placed by wrichcirw 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Interesting topic, but poorly constructed argument. I will use the following assumptions to illustrate my point: A = Given the Bible B = God is Morally Repugnant and Undeserving of Praise. (A -> B) = argument Personally I think B is true, but (A -> B) is false. The problem with how the argument (A -> B) is constructed is that it presumes that the Bible is the source of truth for the purposes of this argument. The Bible in multiple locations totally debunks B, as CON aptly pointed out, thereby rendering the argument false, even though without A, I believe it would be fairly easy to prove that B is true. In fact, PRO's argument USING A MORALITY STRUCTURE NOT DEFINED IN THE BIBLE is quite compelling, and I agree with him on nearly all of his points. However, the structure of the argument precludes his usage of these points, and results in an automatic loss. Deut 32:4 verse clinched it for me. MORAL OF THE STORY - Once you say the Bible is true, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE...ANYT
Vote Placed by ScottyDouglas 5 years ago
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JustCallMeTarzanInquireTruthTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I agree with Con and Con explained the Bible more proper than Pro.
Vote Placed by quarterexchange 6 years ago
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Vote Placed by MrCarroll 6 years ago
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Vote Placed by DoubleT 6 years ago
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Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 6 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Semantic, but clever win for Con on noting the bible defines God as to defeat the resolution.
Vote Placed by marker 6 years ago
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Vote Placed by Atheism 6 years ago
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