The Instigator
kvaughan
Pro (for)
Winning
24 Points
The Contender
actorgurl
Con (against)
Losing
9 Points

God and Hell cannot simultaneously exist (take 2)

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/27/2007 Category: Religion
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,429 times Debate No: 1049
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (11)

 

kvaughan

Pro

this will be my third go at arguing a problem of evil variant. In my past two debates (and in their comments sections) a theme seems to emerge – people disagree that more or less with the premise that there is evil in the world. There have been many different ways of doing this; you can (correctly) point out that I don't define evil, or say that evil is just an "absence of God" or whatever. While these arguments are useful and necessary to establish the problem, I grow tired of them, so I hope that this argument will sidestep that criticism and allow us to move on to something else.

Here's the argument: if God exists, no one would go to Hell.

I want to start out my mentioning that I will use Hell a lot here, but if you don't believe in Hell, the argument still applies if you substitute "non-Heaven", meaning just that God is incompatible with people going anywhere but Heaven.

This avoids the questions about evil because by definition, heaven is good and Hell is bad. If you deny this premise, I cannot see a reason to be religious. Religions all seem to prescribe ways to get into Heaven, so if you don't agree that heaven is better than Hell, then there is no reason to try to get into Heaven.

My argument formalized is this:
1. If God exists, then God is omnipotent, omniscient, and morally perfect.
2. If God is omnipotent, then God has the power to send everyone to Heaven.
3. If God is omniscient, then God knows how to send everyone to Heaven.
4. If God is morally perfect, then God has the desire to send everyone to Heaven.
5. According to religions, everyone does not go to Heaven
6. If Hell exists and God exists, then either God doesn't have the power to send everyone to Heaven, or doesn't know how to send everyone to Heaven, or doesn't have the desire to send everyone to Heaven.
7. Therefore, either God, Heaven, or both do not exist.

To the voters: please adjudicate on the basis of arguments presented in the round. I spend a good deal of time on this stuff and I feel that just voting your personal stance on the topic is extremely unfair. I would appreciate a short reason for decision at the bottom at the end of the voting period.
actorgurl

Con

I will make my first argument short, sweet, and to the point. Yes, God is omnipotent, omniscient, and perfect in every way imaginable. He does have the power to send everyone to Heaven, He could if He wanted to. The key words here are "could" "if" and "wanted to." Just because someone has the power to do something does not necessarily mean they will. God gives us a choice. If we chose to be bad and not live the way we should, then when we die, our spirit goes to Hell. But if we live like He tells us to and choose to be good our whole lives, then we go to Heaven. Think of it as a "reward" so to speak. It is not easy to be good. We are tempted by everyday evils and if we are good and do not choose the evil path, then our reward at the end of our life time is going to Heaven, or a place of nothing but good and peace. God wants us to all go to Heaven, but WE have to make our own decision, He cannot make it for us.

So what I am saying here is that God has the power and knows how to send everyone to Heaven, but it is our decision. How we lead our lives in our human form on this earth will determine whether our spirits go to Heaven or Hell.
Debate Round No. 1
kvaughan

Pro

While I'm usually in favor of short, sweet and to the point, I think this response is too short and thus filled with too many questions.

All you have done here is explained the Christian perspective on Heaven and Hell. I am well aware that Christians think that Heaven and Hell are rewards for our actions in the world, but I am rejecting this notion as compatible with the concept of God.

here are my responses:

1. My 4th premise is "If God is morally perfect, then God has the desire to send everyone to Heaven" you have not disagreed with this and you have not disagreed that God has the power to do so (in fact you say outright that he does) so why would a being with both power and desire to partake in an action fail to partake in it? This is a direct contradiction and it needs an answer from you.
2. Your response leaves the rather large question of why there is a world at all. I agree that it's hard to live right in this world, so why doesn't God just skip this world and create us directly into heaven. In fact, it seems to me that moral perfection would be to create an infinite amount of souls in Heaven so that they can experience infinite good.
3. Prima facie, it seems to me that infinite punishment (Hell) for a finite transgression (living poorly) is unjust. How can we continue to all God moral if he does this?

To conclude you have just not interacted with my argument at all, you have merely restated the Christian perspective. To proceed please either reject a premise from my argument or the arguments soundness of validity. Thanks.
actorgurl

Con

Ok if my first argument was short, then I will take your responses and answer them separately.

1) You said that if God is morally perfect the He has the desire to send everyone to Heaven. And yes I did agree with you on that. But I will say that just because a being has the power to do something does not necessarily mean they will do it. Any being has the desire to do a lot of things for themselves and even others. Just because someone has the desire to do something does not mean they will do it. Yes, God has the power and the desire for everyone to go to Heaven. But we as people have to take certain steps in order to be able to enter Heaven. There is no getting around it. I could sit here and get into a huge discussion about the Bible and what God says we have to do in order to be able to enter Heaven, but there is not enough space nor time. To narrow it down, we have to accept that Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins and we have to accept him in our hearts as our Lord and savior. If you don't do that in your lifetime, then you will go to Hell, and that is the honest truth.

2) There is a world because we were all created by God to worship Him. It clearly states in the Bible that if we as his creation does not worship Him, He will make the rocks cry out and worship Him. That is why there is a world.

3) Just because someone lives poor does not necessarily mean they will go to Heaven or Hell. It is not where the live, their income amount, or who their friends are, it is how their relationship with God. If they are not saved and they have not done the things required to enter Heaven then yes, they will go to Hell. But if they do everything God tells to do and lead Godly lives then they will enter Heaven. Like I said, it does not matter their income or anything that, things like have nothing to do with how their spirit sits with God.
Debate Round No. 2
kvaughan

Pro

Looks like this is my last post on the subject. I will address your responses to my arguments and keep it at that. As a note, in debates past people have had a nasty habit of switching arguments in the last speech. Don't do this – it ruins competitive equity.

1) Your response indicates to me that you have not understood my objection in any form, but have followed in the footsteps of your first post and just restated the Christian perspective.

You say "Yes, God has the power and the desire for everyone to go to Heaven". That's it. Case closed. I win. If God has the desire for everyone to go to Heaven and the power, then it will happen. No other outcome can result from him having both power and desire.

But, I take it you don't see it this way, so you seem to have a few responses:

a) "Just because someone has the desire to do something does not mean they will do it." This is true, but it ignores the point about God having power AND desire as we both have conceded. If I want to get a new car and I can get a new car, I will get a new car. Now, you might object that your parents do want a new car and they do have the money, but they keep their old car. The problem with examples like this is that other desires (the desire to have money for basic necessities) is outweighing the desire for a new car. When I use desire, I mean as a totality. If we weigh your parent's total desires and we see that on the whole they want a car and they can get it, they will, by definition have a car. QED

b) "Yes, God has the power and the desire for everyone to go to Heaven. But we as people have to take certain steps in order to be able to enter Heaven." You seem here to actually be arguing that God does NOT have the desire for all people to get into heaven because he wants us to engage in certain steps. First, this directly contradicts your statement that God wants us to get into Heaven, so I can't be expected to effectively argue with your self-contradictory assertions. But, if I had to try, I would argue that this begs the further question of why God would require these steps.

In the end, you response makes no sense which is funny because it is the standard Christian response.

2) Your response is "we were all created by God to worship Him". Explain to me why an all-powerful God would want us to worship him. It can't be for his benefit because he is all-powerful and cannot, by definition, need things. It also can't be for our benefit because the best possible scenario is for us to go to Heaven. So the response makes no sense.

3) For a third time, you have no answered my objection. How is it just for the finite transgression of "have not done the things required to enter Heaven" to lead to the infinite punishment of Hell. You have just explained the Christian perspective once again.

CONCLUSION: my opponent fails to interact with my arguments in any significant way, implicitly conceding all of them. Especially telling is my opponents admission that God both wants to send people to heave and has the power. No matter what she says from here on out, there is no way she can get around explicitly admitting that my argument is correct in this way.
actorgurl

Con

I would like to point our first of all that I am a debater and I don't like it when people switch arguments in the last speech either so you don't have to worry about that.

The point I was trying to get at saying God has the power and desire and everything I said following that, I was saying that just because someone has the power and desire for something does not mean that thing will happen. I do not know how much clearer I can make that statement. I do not understand how you win this just because I stated something that you did. I was repeating what you said yes but trying to prove a point as to the fact of what I have already stated numerous times.

A) The statement you made about the parents and having a car, that made little sense. I say that because you said "they will, by definition, have a car." Well seeing as the definition of HAVE is "to possess, own, hold for use, contain" (found at dictionary.com, last updated in 2006), how could the parents actually have the car if they have not physically bought it and therefore have it in their own possession? Like with God and having the power and desire to want people to go to Heaven, just because someone has the power and desire for something to happen does not mean it actually will happen.

B) I was not arguing that God does not want people to go to Heaven. He wants us all to go, but like I said, we have to do certain things. We are all naturally born into sin. We are not born as saved people, we have to ask Jesus in our hearts and ask Him to forgive our sins and accept that He died on the cross for our sins. Some things are just a certain way and this is one of them. Like I said in my first argument, getting to Heaven is a reward in a sense because it is like when we were kids. If we did what our parents told us to do we would get a reward like extra time on the computer or playing outside right? Well this is the same basic thing. God is our father in Heaven, and our reward when we die if we have done everything He has told us to do is going to Heaven, instead of the eternal punishment of going to Hell. This is not self-contradictory, you just took it that way.

2) Again, looking at dictionary.com, the definition for all powerful is "having or exercising exclusive and unlimited authority; omnipotent" and the definition for omnipotent is, "almighty or infinite in power, as God." So there again, the definition has nothing to do with Him not "needing things" as you basically put it. Like I said in my above argument, some things were just made to be and this is one of them. I am not God, so I cannot give you all the answers as to why He did what He did. I can only give you and the readers the most logical explanation I can give and hope that you understand what I am explaining.

3) As to me only explaining the Christian aspect of things, I am explaining it that way yes, but that is because that is the best way I know how to explain it. I wouldn't expect you to go out and try to explain something in a way you didn't know how to explain it. When someone tries to explain something, what do they do? They explain it in the way(s) they have been taught and that makes the most sense to them right? So why is it that just because the way I explained this to you is something you don't understand, it automatically makes no sense?

So my conclusion for my closing argument is simply that I did interact with my opponents arguments just fine. Just because I admitted to something that my opponent said does not automatically mean that he wins. It simply means that I agree with a certain aspect of what he is saying and I am trying to explain why certain things are the way they are. And just because I have stated things in a certain way that maybe he doesn't like or understand does not mean that the readers do not understand. So as for my arguments against his, I did attack everything he brought up many times and in no way contradicted myself. I win this debate on the simple fact that I did disprove his case, he just does not want to see it.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by A-ThiestSocialist 9 years ago
A-ThiestSocialist
kvaughan, you won the round, but man there's a huge issue with claim four. The argument from evil (and it's predecessors) just doesn't work anymore, even though it somehow did in this case.
Posted by KikoSanchez 9 years ago
KikoSanchez
Pro is assuming that is god is morally perfect, yet if god has created morality, then it is however god defines it to be. Therefore, sending people to hell would be morally good if god says it is. Ergo, divine command theory sucks.
Posted by Descartes 9 years ago
Descartes
kvaughan, your argument is an interesting one, however I disagree. Still, there can be no doubt that you won this "debate" (and I use that in the loosest sense). Lets have a real debate sometime.
Posted by Raisor 9 years ago
Raisor
Con didnt address the issue of why God would present us with temptation if he wanted us to go to heaven, or the issue of how justice is carried out with the infinite punishment/finite transgression deal.

Clear Pro victory for lack of clash and Con offense.
11 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by Derek.Gunn 8 years ago
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