The Instigator
JustCallMeTarzan
Pro (for)
Winning
42 Points
The Contender
elgeibo
Con (against)
Losing
18 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: 1,811 times Debate No: 6044
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (13)
Votes (10)

 

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.

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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.
elgeibo

Con

I would like to thank my opponent for an interesting debate topic. He has chosen a topic that is becoming all too familiar on this site. Calling into question God's justice/decency/moral character etc seems to be an increasingly "fun" topic to discuss. As I've had enough of these, I would like to take this argument and show that my opponent is very extremely wrong.

So, to make things perfectly clear, I am arguing in the negative (which is positive since the topic is in the negative) that God is not morally repugnant and is deserving of praise.

I realize that my first point will fall on deaf ears but, if you are going to use the Bible on the basis of what God is, you cannot claim that the all powerful being that: created the universe, created humanity, created a way for humanity that had sinned to be with him anyway by sending his own son to die a terrible death so that you and I may live eternally in paradise is in anyway morally repugnant.

Crying about God's unfairness just ridiculous, it's the cry of a five year old who feels it is unfair that he should be put to bed without supper for breaking a lamp because it was too bright. In the child's mind, he is justified. The light was bright, the child preferred the darkness, ergo the lamp must die. The child does not think he was in the wrong, and so finds his punishment to be unfair, his parents to be unfair, and the whole system to be unfair. Never mind the fact that the child is laying in a warm home full of toys that have been bought for his amusement. Never mind the fact that the child owes it's literal life to his parents. The child feels that it was in the right, and therefore the parents have never done a good or decent thing in their lives.

But, that being the ultimate point, I will begin with a few minor points.

Many of my opponents verses were taken out of context. And, by adding a little history, it becomes even less repugnant than my opponent tries to make God appear.

Gn 27:29a is a blessing from a father to a son. Try to imagine a father saying to his son, "The whole world is yours, you just have to have the guts to take it!" It's the same idea. This is a father hoping for all the best things for his son. This is not the words of God, but of Issac.

Dt 7:1a, 2b is God telling the people of Israel to destroy the nations that have taken over their land. Before the Israelites were in Egypt (watch Prince of Egypt) they were in Cannan. These people groups had taken over their land. They also worshiped false gods (as we are using the Bible as our context, I will use the Judeo-Christian God as the one true God) and God did not want them to intermarry or begin to take on their customs. These customs included child sacrifice, self-mutilation, and the enslaving and torturing of other nations. I have used the Hittites as an example. (http://danwagner.homestead.com...). The Israelites did not obey these commands and intermarried and adopted the same customs. Because of that, their civilization was eventually overtaken by their supposed religious brothers.

As far as "unjust retribution" I believe I have shown why God demanded obedience. He knew what would happen if they did not obey. Side thought, verse 60 (what my opponent must have forgotten to put in I'm sure) explains that the same plagues that God used on Egypt to free the Israelites from a crushingly overbearing rule would be used on them if they strayed too far. Though, again, this is not God talking to Moses, this is Moses talking to the people.

Lev. 20:13 is not homicide. It is a penal justice from a government. To call that homicide is to call the execution of a murderer murder. It is not. Enough said. It had also been decided by the people, this is not one of the Ten Commandments that God gave to Moses. Again, not God actually talking to the people.

2 Chronicles 15:12-13 is again not God talking at all, but the actions of humans. It is King Asa reforming the land, they were in waste because they had ignored God's commands not to mix with the other people groups around them and he set up reforms.

Once again, 2 Kings 2:23-24 is just recording what happened. Though, if God is the master of the universe that he can control nature, I again question what right my opponent has to assume that God is amoral. And it most certainly shows that God is worthy of praise no matter his morality. I've never controlled a bear, have any of the other readers?

Trying to use Jesus' words (who all religions accept to be the very model of what a human should be) to prove this point is just ridiculous, I won't even dignify it with an answer.

Tempting Abraham to commit filicide. Again, my opponent seeks to sway the reader by not giving all the information. God never wanted Issac to die, he already had a goat waiting when Abraham and Issac got to the alter. My opponent is seeking to support his opinion with lies and distortions. Gen 22:11-13

Again, did God make Jepthah make a vow? No, my opponent tries to color God as Puck, but that is not the case.

It is fairly clear from reading the REST of the passages, or even READING the passages that God is not morally repugnant and that not only is he worthy of praise for what he does in our lives, but for the way all of history has played out to bring us to him.

To explain the point one more time. The Bible is called "The Word of God" because it is the words God wanted written by man, not because God said every word that's in the Bible. People did many terrible things that are in the Bible, God just made sure their actions were written about.

Another point, people take God's words and tend to elaborate on them. All God gave Moses was the 10 Commandments. After that, the people began to elaborate heavily. The same thing happens in our culture today. The only "commandments" Jesus gave us was "Love the Lord your God with all your heart" and, "love they neighbor as thyself." We as humans have made all the extras since then.
Debate Round No. 1
JustCallMeTarzan

Pro

Your first point about using the bible as a basis of what God did has not fallen on deaf ears. However, even if this entity DID create the universe, humanity, sin, and the afterlife, the fact still remains that he has perpetrated heinous acts. Regardless of whatever benevolent intentions God may have had in creating, his clearly malevolent actions show that he cannot be the entity we idolize.

My opponent has some very good responses to some of the quotes I have posted... I will go through his responses to them.

Gn 27:29a is indeed a blessing of a father to his son - Issac to Jacob. However, if we look in the 26th Chapter of Genesis, at the beginning of the story of Issac's inheritance, we see that God has given the lands and peoples in question to Issac in fulfillment of his oath to Abraham. As we read in Gn 27, Issac blessed Jacob, giving him command of the lands and peoples there. In Gn 28:13-15, God appears to Jacob in a dream and endorses Issac's blessing.

As you say, "Dt 7:1a, 2b is God telling the people of Israel to destroy the nations that have taken over their land." How can this be anything other than God endorsing genocide? This is exactly the same as if the Native Americans came rolling into Memphis and slaughtered every man, woman, and child because their spirits has instructed them to because the spirits thought the way of the Memphis-ans was evil.

The unjust retribution in Dt. 28:58-59, 61b not simply Moses telling the people what he thinks God means. As we can see in Dt 28:69, "These are the words of the covenant which the Lord ordered Moses to make with the Israelites in the land of Moab, in addition to the covenant which he made with them at Horeb." Sounds like an order from God to me.

Lev. 20:13 is not homicide - correct. It is homOcide - HOMO-cide - killing of homosexuals. How can you argue that this is Moses' language when the 20th chapter of Leviticus begins "The Lord said to moses, "Tell the Israelites:..." The entire 20th chapter of Leviticus is Moses recounting what God told him. Sounds like more orders from God.

The story in 2 Chronicles 15 is about Asa, who, according to 2 Ch 14:1 "Did what was good and pleasing to the Lord, his God..." When Asa heard the word of the prophet Oded, he acted on the words that the prophet recounted to him - and he did battle on the premise that God was on his side, and afterward, in reward, "the Lord gave them rest on every side" and "there was no war until the 35thyear of Asa's reign." Again, we see God endorsing and rewarding violent conduct on his behalf.

My opponent is stating that 2 Kg 2:23-24 is a recording of what happened. I ask the reader then... can it be a coincidence that as soon as these poor children were cursed in the name of God, they were brutally massacred by she-bears? I think not...

I'm not sure how my opponent can flippantly dismiss the words of Jesus. He is clearly NOT the model of a perfect human, given the words that CAME FROM HIS MOUTH according to the Bible! I ask him to address this issue, as it is clearly pertinent to the topic at hand. Did Jesus not encourage social unrest and familial strife?

In the two passages from Genesis and Judges where someone makes an oath with god for the purposes of human sacrifice, there are two issues at stake here. One is the fact that god would deceive Abraham into thinking he was going to sacrifice his son. That is simply repugnant and clearly not the actions of a moral entity. Consider if I handed the reader what they thought to be a loaded gun and forced them to point it at their child and pull the trigger, even though it was empty. Forgive the element of coercion in my example, but the principle is the same - I was tricking them into believing they were going to kill their child.

The second issue these passages raise is that while God considers human sacrifice to be a terrible practice according to Deuteronomy (as my opponent helpfully points out), he accepted two oaths that involve human sacrifice!! Clearly a hypocritical act in the least, and bordering on sadistic, if this omniscient deity knew that Jepthah would be forced by the terms of the oath to kill his own daughter!!

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

Now to address my opponent's closing points...

>> "It is fairly clear from reading the REST of the passages, or even READING the passages that God is not morally repugnant and that not only is he worthy of praise for what he does in our lives, but for the way all of history has played out to bring us to him."

I'm not sure what passages my opponent is reading, or what history he is remembering. The Church has historically been tyrannical, unjust, corrupt, retarding of science, and even murderous. The God of history that my opponent speaks of came to millions of South Americans on the tip of a sword. Ironic, then, that Jesus stated 2000 years ago that he has come not to bring peace, but with a sword.

>> "The Bible is called "The Word of God" because it is the words God wanted written by man, not because God said every word that's in the Bible. People did many terrible things that are in the Bible, God just made sure their actions were written about."

This passage from my opponent seems to suggest that if God appeared to me and said "You shall not boil a kid goat in its mother's milk," that if I said to someone else, "God said we should not boil a kid goat in its mother's milk," the two statements are separable and that the second is not the word of God. Also consider that, if, as he states, "God just made sure their actions were written about," that this implies that God endorses the actions done in his name.

>> "All God gave Moses was the 10 Commandments. After that, the people began to elaborate heavily. The same thing happens in our culture today. The only "commandments" Jesus gave us was "Love the Lord your God with all your heart" and, "love they neighbor as thyself." We as humans have made all the extras since then."

This is the last point of my opponent's. God gave Moses and the other biblical characters much more than the 10 commandments. If you read passages from Leviticus and Deuteronomy, you will see that there were several instances where God gave more than the 10 commandments to the people of Israel. Take the already-referenced Leviticus 20 for example - it begins "The Lord said to Moses, "Tell the Israelites:..." Clearly, there are more than 10 rules that God has handed down... I would be interested to know what definition of "Love thy neighbor as thyself" God endorses if he takes sides in these biblical wars...
elgeibo

Con

My opponent has done a very good job of rehashing his argument again. Out of the whole Bible, he was able to find 10 versus, only two of which were actually God talking, and try to use them to explain his argument.

As my opponent has asked me to address the "Jesus issue" I will do so.

This was not an open endorsement to promote civil unrest, though I will agree about familial destruction to a point. As far as civil unrest, I assume my opponent says this because of the reference to the sword. What does a sword do? A sword cuts. What is this passage really about? This passage is about cutting ties to family that will not believe in the name of Jesus.

This passage is a reference to Micah 7. In this particular passage, Micah is in despair for there are no longer any godly people in the land. Because of the lack of God, no one has any morality. So, Micah says to not even trust your family (mine is the short, condensed version here is the actual passage http://www.biblegateway.com...;) So, Jesus is saying that if your family will not trust in me as well, it is better to cut ties with them, because they will lead you back to destruction. So, is this familial destruction? Maybe, but the road away from Jesus is familial destruction too, this way at least you (the believer) are safe.

Getting on with it

In my first rebuttal, I simply explained why he was wrong using his own examples, now, I will explain why God is deserving of praise. Then, in my next argument, I will explain why it is actually impossible for God to be morally repugnant.

As my opponent has pointed out, God can control nature. Not control in the way you and I can control our pet dog, or shift around dirt to build something, but actual complete domination.

Using the bears as an example, God put took animals that were probably not going to eat children that day, and honored Elijah's request to eat the kids. We're not talking moral repugnance, but deserving of praise, which showing control in that way is praiseworthy.

Also praiseworthy, with domination of nature and natural order, God stopped the sun (Joshua 10:15). Now, we know that God did not stop the sun, as the sun doesn't rotate, but stopped the Earth. Had God stopped the moon, we could just say eclipse, or had God blotted out the sun, again eclipse. But, given the Bible, God stopped the sun, ie the earths rotation, long enough for Joshua to win a battle over the host of nations against little Israel.

So, using natural law, if the earth were to stop spinning, then we'd have a problem. If nothing else, we'd all go flying off the Earth. So, if God stopped the sun, then he continued to let gravity take effect even though the reason for gravity would have ended. That is extreme control over not only nature but natural law.

Then, again assuming the Bible is true, there's the whole created the universe and everything in it thing. That is fairly important and deserving of praise.

Then, I would also assume that Jesus, part of the Trinity, coming down to Earth to be the sacrifice for our sins that we can spend eternity in paradise with God instead of in Hell for all eternity.

These all are assuming the Bible is true. I don't believe you can believe the Bible is true without understanding that God is at least deserving of praise. Now, I don't believe my opponent believes the Bible is true. So, my opponent sees the Bible as a collection of fairy tales concocted during the early parts of the common era using bits and pieces of several religions to deify a fake person (although this fake person's thousands of followers actually didn't make him a deity until the 500s). And that although most of the scientific pioneers, including Galileo, Newton, and Einstein have all believed in this fairy-tale, most intelligent people in the modern time can see through this fantastical web of lies and clearly see and accept a not at all confusing mixture of luck, happenstance, and unconfirmed theory to see how the universe was made.

As I said in the comments section. People believe things. Either my opponent or another reader asserted they only believe that which can be measured, but all they can believe in is the measurement itself. We can measure gravity, see it's effects, even understand things than generate it, but what made gravity? What wrote the law (though a true scientist will tell you gravity is actually a theory) of gravity?

We know now that the sun is not pulled across the sky by a chariot. But what made the sun? Where did the one infinitely small point of matter suddenly expand? What keeps the protons from shooting away from each other in a nucleus? Every "answer" is not actually the answer, but a measurement of the question.

So, my answer is as simple as it is complex, God. God does all these things. God keeps the universe from exploding apart. Keeps giving man ideas to continue in their quest of knowledge of him (originally, most scientists were in religious orders, not just Christian, but Hindu, Muslim, etc). That is why God is certainly, if nothing else, deserving of our praise.

I regret that it has taken this long to get back to the debate, but it was Thanksgiving holiday, by the way, you can thank God for that as well. People running from England to find religious tolerance for either their Deist, protestant other than Church of England, or Catholic beliefs.

I look forward to my opponents rebuttal and wish him luck.
Debate Round No. 2
JustCallMeTarzan

Pro

To sum up my opponent's argument thus far, he has stated that he partially agrees with the notion that Jesus came partly to cause familial destruction ("I will agree about familial destruction to a point."), and that God has indeed committed immoral acts ("God put took animals that were probably not going to eat children that day, and honored Elijah's request to eat the kids."). However, he holds that the majesty of God in deed renders him worthy of praise.

I'm confused - my opponent seems to state that: While God has committed immoral acts, he remains worthy of praise.

All my opponent's argument has shown is that God is powerful, and to be feared. Praise is earned by virtue, not by might. Using examples of what an omnipotent being could do, he attempts to prove to the reader that this being is also omnibenevolent. This is simply not the case. He also assumes that God's action in sending Jesus to Earth somehow rights all the wrongs that God has perpetrated in the past. Consider a situation where I come across a cripple and shoot him in the shoulder, causing terrific pain. Then I wave my hand and heal not only the shoulder, but all his other ailments as well. It was STILL morally impermissible for me to shoot him in the first place, regardless of the fact that I more than made up for it later.

At the beginning of my Round 2 post, I rebutted my opponent's contentions for why the verses from the Bible cannot be used. As he has ignored all of them except the one concerning God murdering bratty children, I will assume that he has accepted their use as examples of God's immorality. However, since he seems to take issue with what came from God's mouth to Moses, and what is recorded as being attributed to God, I shall provide more that comes from God to Moses.

Now... let us examine the Book of Leviticus. Many chapters in Leviticus begin with some form of "The Lord said to Moses, "Tell the Israelites: X, Y, Z, etc..." If this is not coming from God's own mouth, I'm not sure what is...

(Lv 25:44-46) "Slaves, male and female, you may indeed possess, provided you buy them from among the neighboring nations. You may also buy them from among the aliens who reside with you and from their children who are born and reared in your land. Such slaves you may own as chattels, and leave to your sons as their hereditary property, making them perpetual slaves. But you shall not lord it harshly over any of the Israelites, your kinsmen."

(Lv 26:14) ""But if you do not heed me and do not keep all these commandments..."

I pause so that you may recall the extent of the Lord's ridiculous commandments - and not simply the 10 commandments - previous verses in Leviticus 26 and Lv 27:34 make it clear that God is speaking about the totality of his orders, such as you shall not boil a kid goat in its mother's milk, homosexuals are to be killed, blasphemers are to be stoned, money may not be leased with interest, no crippled person can offer sacrifice to God, if a man marries his brother's wife they shall be childless for their incest, even though he is ordered to do so by God in case of her death.... The list goes on and on of completely spurious and idiotic regulations that carry a completely unjust punishment of:

(Lv 26:16a) "I will punish you with terrible woes--with wasting and fever to dim the eyes and sap the life"
(Lv 26:25) "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.'
(Lv 26:29) "till you begin to eat the flesh of your own sons and daughters."

That's despicable. If you boil a kid goat in its mother's milk and refuse to repent for your "sin" than God will punish you "till you begin to eat the flesh of your own sons and daughters." This is CLEARLY not the word of a moral entity.

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

Regardless of the powerful nature of God, the fact remains that he has committed and threatened to commit terrible, immoral actions. He murdered babies in Egypt, forced bears to eat bratty children, deceived moral and god-fearing people, ordered genocide, laid out rules for slavery, and threatened to mete out unjust punishments including forced cannibalism for the most insignificant offenses.

Simply because several Biblical characters are of the opinion that God deserves praise does not make it so. This entity has clearly committed morally atrocious acts, some of which my opponent doesn't even dispute!!!

I ask the reader again - is this entity worthy of praise given these immoral acts?
elgeibo

Con

My opponent is doing a very good job of summarizing my statements, so I will attempt to be as concise.

My opponent agrees that God is greatly to be feared. And not feared as in, "oh, a scary thing in my closet" but feared in a, "my word, I have no way to compare to that" kind of fear.

So, that fear is what brings me to my next point. God is above you and I. God is above morality. Morality is simply following a code of right and wrong. The thing is, there is no wrong for an all powerful God. My opponent attempts to put a human moral code to a superhuman being. Is it anymore "wrong" for God to choose what nations live or die compared to our way of thinking than it is for me not to proudly display my chest and sing loudly when I'm around an attractive female compared to a bird's way of thinking? Or to bring food first to the queen, then to the pupa? Trying to compare an almighty God to a human is laughable at best.

My opponent is attempting to compare asparagus to chocolate cake (something disgusting to something divine, sorry asparagus lovers it is a fact asparagus sucks look it up on Wikipedia). My opponent is telling the football coach how to set up his team while my opponent watches on the couch. Without knowledge, without scope, without absolute justice, my opponent brazenly dismisses the moral uprightness of a God he has already admitted is all powerful and almighty.

A God who, as I previously stated, created the universe also created true moral code. In doing so, God is the very ruler to which all moral codes must measure. You may find your moral code to be better in every way but one, but if you don't measure up, you are morally bankrupt to God's perfection.

My opponent admits that God is all powerful. That alone should make him worthy of praise. Fear is a good reason alone for praise, look politicians. They absolutely loathe each other, but they are happy to follow each other to hell, just because they fear the retribution if they do not.

But, God is even more worthy of praise because he is better than such drivel as human morality.
Debate Round No. 3
JustCallMeTarzan

Pro

My opponent has made an error in assuming how I state that God is to be feared. He seems to state that I regard God as "My word, I have no way to compare to that." This is incorrect. My opponent may be of this opinion, but to attribute it to me is simply false. God is indeed to be feared. I don't know about the reader, but if I encountered a deity who could violate the laws of nature and do other powerful acts, then learned that this same deity endorsed slavery, genocide, filicide, murder, infanticide, deceit, and a host of other unsavory qualities, I'd be scared like none other.

He also states that "Trying to compare an almighty God to a human is laughable at best." It is easy to see the immorality in God's actions if you compare God to Jesus! Compare the almighty God to himself (or is son, depending on religions...)... You can also easily see immorality in God's actions if you consider the rules HE HIMSELF has made!

My opponent makes an egregious disanalogy between asparagus and chocolate cake... A more appropriate analogy in this case would be a football coach who tells his team to not smoke and drink on the weekend, and come Saturday night is more hammered than a nail and more stoned than a boulder.

The rest of my opponent's defense rests on the notion that a powerful God is deserving of praise. This is simply nonsense, as to be deserving of praise, a deity has to be benevolent as well. And as we can clearly see from the Bible, this deity is far from benevolent at times.

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

In closing, I shall summarize my opponent's argument as such:

1) God is all-powerful.
2) God has handed down several sets of rules for followers to abide by.
3) God has committed the actions of endorsing familial unrest and murdering babies (see Con R2 & Pro R3)
4) God is above human morality.
----------------------------------------
5) Therefore, in spite of the immoral actions from #3, God is still moral and deserving of praise.

Obviously, the reader can see that my opponent has drawn the wrong conclusion. At best, the conclusion that we could draw from my opponent's argument is that: "God's moral worth is technically indeterminate, but he is a hypocrite. "

One of the issues that has come up in my opponent's arguments is that one cannot judge God by human standards. I ask the reader, then, what standards are we to judge God by? No doubt the staunch Christians will rail and gnash their teeth claiming that man is not fit to judge God. That is their opinion.

The truth of the matter, is that if you look at the Bible, you will get an argument with premises such as these:

1) God has committed immoral acts and is immoral.
2) God is worthy of praise and moral.

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)

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

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.
elgeibo

Con

My opponents arguments have been thought out and forceful. My opponent's claims are well constructed and designed to ring true of the terrible nature he puts onto God.

God is a being of wrath (Zephaniah 1:18), jealousy (Exodus 20:15), hatred (Malachi 1:2-3), and many other emotions that we attribute to sin. But, are the feelings sin, or are actions sin? To be honest, I'm surprised my opponent did not attack Jesus more. Anger in the temple, choosing to help only a few instead of all, telling his followers to leave successful lives and careers to follow him to be beaten and later die.

My opponent seeks to make you think that there are versus upon versus about God's morally repugnant ways. My opponent also, apparently, is incapable of providing any other evidences than the 10-15 he was given, though I myself have come up with a few more, just to add to his arsenal for later ;)

My opponent likens God to a coach who tells his team not to go out and party (in whatever way they do) over the weekend and himself comes back trashed, and any player that is trashed as well is severely punished.

The coach created the team, the coach gave the team its instructions, and the coach was a hypocrite. What a jerk! Seriously, how could any intelligent person play for someone like that? Surely such a coach would see his numbers dwindle and be incapable of performing even the slightest task (http://en.wikipedia.org...).

Or maybe, by keeping those that don't know how to control themselves, he has the greatest team and is worthy of praise, though not necessarily likable. Or even likable at all!

Using Bobby Knight as an example, the guy was a jerk. He did and said terrible things. If you want to see some interesting things, youtube Bobby Knight and just watch. The man was/is morally repugnant in every way shape and form.

But, he's the most winning coach in NCAA Div I history. He's had players that have gone on to have amazing careers, not just in sports, but in the world at large as well (http://en.wikipedia.org...).

Yes, Bobby Knight is, to put it mildly, a jerk. But he has been praised by basketball fans for how well he ran his program.

Obviously, morality has nothing to do with praiseworthiness.

What my opponent wants you to think is that though you are immoral, you are no worse than God. And since you and God are on the same level, you don't have to praise him.

But again, I have not really argued the morality of God because, God's morality doesn't change the fact that we should praise him.

I have shown that God is deserving of praise several times, where my opponent has shown God's moral repugnance. But, if God is to be praised as not just a coach, but the creator of the whole universe. Who was, and is, and is to come. Who wrote TRUE moral code before you and I, even the universe existed. Then, is it not possible that there are rules that are apparently specified in the Bible( in the way of showing what happens if you break a rule) that make God moral and you and I immoral again?

My opponent has done a good job of writing the same things over and over, he was much more eloquent than cut and paste. I wish him luck in this debate and future ones.

I hope you enjoyed this debate. I want to see reasons people! Don't vote if you're not going to explain yourself.
Debate Round No. 4
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Mangani 8 years ago
Mangani
Conduct: Tie
I thought both were equally courteous and respectful of the other.

Spelling and Grammar: Tie
No major mistakes on either side.

Convincing arguments: Con
Pro never made his case (to me) as to why the passages he cited are proof of God's immorality. Indeed Con did not view them as immoral, and though his argument was not the same as the understanding I give these passages, Con skillfully made his point that these passages are based on morality, rather than immorality. We cannot judge the era- over 4,000 years ago- using the laws of this country, or our own microcosm of understanding when we did not experience life 4,000 years ago. Deuteronomy and Numbers contain the laws of the Nation of Israel at the time, and those were the foundation of THEIR morality. As a matter of fact, this country was founded on Judeo-Christian values, and our Constitution is largely based on the morality taught by this "immoral" God. Pro relied largely on the assumption that the reader would reach the same conclusions he reaches when he reads the bible, and that is an unfair and unwarranted assumption.

Sources: Con
Other than the bible, Con is the only one that presented any sources.
Posted by RoyLatham 8 years ago
RoyLatham
elgeibo, When the Buddha himself clearly and specifically disavows belief, your task of proving that there is really a belief in God in Buddhism is impossible. It's like trying to prove Christ was really an atheist. The alternative is believing in nature -- that things are just the way they are, no matter how they got that way. There is a concept of God that corresponds roughly to "the wonder of nature." Einstein used the metaphor. However, that concept does not support your point that there is a common natural belief in an anthropomorphic God.

The debate was about whether the Biblical god, as portrayed, is morally repugnant. The notion that only 15 or 20 specifics sited is insufficient. How about arguing that Jeffrey Dahlmer was not morally repugnant, because he only has serial killing and cannibalism against him -- and that's only two things. Arguing moral relativism, that different rules apply to God, is inconsistent with God providing transcendental values. It is moral relativism, which a God should not espousing.

The Bobby Knight analogy fails because Knight is praised for one thing, his winning record, but that was accomplished in spite of his immoral behavior. So if God coached a basketball team, that argument could apply, but not to an argument on the fundamental morality.

In practice, Christians simply ignore the Old Testament immoral behavior of God, and get on with leading moral lives. I don't have a problem with that.
Posted by KRFournier 8 years ago
KRFournier
Conduct - Tie - Good debate etiquette was employed throughout.

Spelling and Grammar - Tie - Both sides were easy to read and follow.

Convincing Argument - Con - This was a close one. I ultimately gave Con the win because he raised a vital issue that Pro never answered: if God exists, to what standard of morality is He to be measured. Pro seems convinced that we measure him by our own standard, but he did not explain why this is reasonable, again, given that God exists.

Reliable Source - Tie - Both sides used the same Bible as their source, even if they disagreed on interpretation.
Posted by elgeibo 8 years ago
elgeibo
Roy,

I'm not wrong at all, they still have a god. Only it is called a "universal oneness" There is "something" up there that we all go back to. That "something" started everything. Buddhists just don't care enough about it to give it a name.

It's not that they don't have a god, it is that they are more worried about the arrow then about who shot it. They don't think an arrow just appeared in you, they know something shot it, they just want to make sure they here in now is looked after, not the big picture.
Posted by RoyLatham 8 years ago
RoyLatham
eligibo,

You said that there is a universal belief in gods as a mechanism explain that which cannot be explained through nature. I said that isn't true, because Buddhism is a counter example to the supposed universality. You rebutted that Buddha rejected god explanations because of, essentially, the Argument from Evil. The wikipedia article is not very enlightening on that point, but if so he was right about that it. It supports my argument that belief in gods is not universal; it does not support your argument. When the Buddha was asked if God exists, he replied (rough paraphrase, I wasn't there): "It is as if you have been shot by any arrow [life is a challenge]. You should be concerned with removing the arrow, not who shot it." Much mystical stuff follows, of course, but your claim of universal belief is clearly wrong.
Posted by elgeibo 8 years ago
elgeibo
Roy,

Look up Buddhism a little better on the Wikipedia. The Buddha came from China at the time when Hinduism was the name of the game. Buddha (as the story goes) was a prince who was tired of the lavish life and went to live with the people. He had a rude awakening to the sadness of life and decided that all life was worthless. Life was merely a cruel joke that the gods played on all people. So, he took the Hindu idea of caste system/reincarnation and tweaked it. Now, there is a universal oneness. All life, all things in the universe are a giant playdough ball. When you die, you spirit immediately goes to the playdough and how good you were in your previous life determines what you become in your next. Buddha was a little fuzzy on the details of who or what made that decision, because he was trying to get away from the gods that the Hindu religion talked about.

Buddhists don't believe in a god because they're better than that, Buddhists don't believe in gods because their founder thought the gods were unjust and morally repugnant ;)
Posted by RoyLatham 8 years ago
RoyLatham
elieibo,

"In the "church world" it is called the universal understanding of God. All humanity can look at the sky and wonder how it happened. From there, all humanity can say "God did it" they mean whatever deity they like, but they still accept and believe God did it."

The proposition that using a god or gods to explain unexplained things is (a) false and (b) insofar as it is true, proof that humans have a desire to explain that often overwhelms reason. It is false because many people do not call upon gods to expalin whatever they understand. Buddhists, for example, have mystical beliefs that do not require belief in gods, just a belief in how the world works. The Buddha advised against considering whether or not God exists, viewing it as a distraction from more important issues. Insofar as people invent god-based explanations, they do not by that deduce anything in particular about the nature of the gods. There are many evil gods, which serve to resolve the Argument from Evil. There is no universal understanding, because far from everyone evokes gods, and those that do have widely divergent understandings.

The way in which humans are different from other creatures is that they have superior reasoning ability. It is therefore a contradiction to suppose that God intended the reasoning ability not to be used. The reasonable response to confronting an unknown is to accept that one does not know.
Posted by JustCallMeTarzan 8 years ago
JustCallMeTarzan
A correction:

The truth of the matter, is that if you look at the Bible, you will get an argument with premises such as these:

EITHER
1) God has committed immoral acts and is immoral.
2) God is worthy of praise and moral.
Posted by elgeibo 8 years ago
elgeibo
Roy

But God did give his creatures knowledge of him. In the "church world" it is called the universal understanding of God. All humanity can look at the sky and wonder how it happened. From there, all humanity can say "God did it" they mean whatever deity they like, but they still accept and believe God did it. Then, it is assumed, if there is a God who created the universe and everything in it, God created humans as well. Since humanity is different from all other creatures, we must be special. If we are special to God, then that must mean God wants more out of us. That is universal understanding. I believe (and I am not supported by all doctrines on this one) that if a person believes in the universal understanding, and has no way of hearing about Jesus, then that person is under the same circumstances as children and those not mentally capable of understanding the concept. But, as soon as they have heard the gospel, then they are in the same boat as the rest of us.

PS, doctrine is people driven. All that matters is Jesus and his death on the cross, and your acceptance of your sin, that nothing you can do can make you on par with what God wants, and that Jesus is the only way to basically plea bargain with God. Everything after that, believe what you want, there's a church for it somewhere.
Posted by RoyLatham 8 years ago
RoyLatham
elgeibo, Drange relates the Argument from Non Belief (ANB) to various concepts of God. The argument is perhaps most easily understood with respect to the Christian God. Drange, p. 43, summarizes: " ... consider the strong desire on the part of the Christian God for a kind of fellowship with a special group of his creatures. Those creatures have gone astray and he wants to redeem them. But such redemption requires acceptance of that particular God by the creatures, which in turn calls for them to believe that certain Christian doctrines are true. ..." Thus, by withholding evidence of His existence, God denies redemption to those who might otherwise be redeemed. A God who is good would not do that, therefore that god does not exist. Drange extends the ANB to Liberal Christian and Orthodox Jewish Gods.

As I said, this leaves open the possibility of other Gods. For example, the Deist God of Madison and Jefferson has no interaction with the world at all. Such a God would presumably have no trouble in letting atheists wonder.

I think it is human nature to want very strongly to answer virtually all questions, even questions upon which nothing is contingent. That is why religion is so common, yet religions have wildly diverse beliefs about many things that cannot be proved or disproved. I do not share the need for such beliefs, but I think such beliefs are mostly harmless. Religion can serve a positive function as a social institution, so long as the gods are not ordering people to do bad things.
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