The Instigator
Ragnar_Rahl
Pro (for)
Losing
33 Points
The Contender
Dr_Harvey
Con (against)
Winning
50 Points

""God, as seen through the eyes of the biblical account cannot exist."

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/11/2008 Category: Religion
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,377 times Debate No: 4972
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (28)
Votes (21)

 

Ragnar_Rahl

Pro

"Matthew 19:26
But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible."

Revelation 19:6
And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.

"

Luke 1:37
For with God nothing shall be impossible."

Jeremiah 32:17,27
Ah Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:
Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?"

Basic thread of these quotes, made most explicit in Revelation... God is omnipotent. Proof of impossibility:

An OMNIPOTENT being has all powers imaginable, and can perform any ACTION. CREATING something more powerful than omnipotent is an action, and therefore possible if one can perform any ACTION. It is not possible to CREATE something more powerful than omnipotent. Therefore, contradiction.

1. O->A (assumption, definition of omnipotent)
2. A->C (Assumption, dare you to defy it.)
3. ~C (assumption, definition of omnipotent)
4. O (Assumption of the existence of God)
5. A (4,1 by arrow out rule of logic.
6. C (5,2 by arrow out rule).
7. C & ~C (6,3, by ampersand in rule, CONTRADICTION, check premises).

Also, his omnipotence is contradicted by the following bible quote:

"Psalm 145:3
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable."

If his greatness is unsearchable as such, this means God cannot "search" (fathom) it, and as such is not omnipotent

The bible also claims that he is omniscient:

"Psalm 147:4,5
He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names. Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.

Acts 15:18
Known to God are all his works from the beginning of the world."

that this omniscience applies to all time, not just the present:

"Isaiah 46:10
Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure."

And yet God still exhorts us to make a given choice: John 14:15 "If you love Me, keep My commandments."

In order for this action of requesting a choice from us to make sense, we would have to have free will to make or not make that choice, which is incompatible with him knowing the future. We certainly haven't "already chosen" all our choices, we don't even know what half of them are!"

Of course the bible seems to have missed this claim of free will anyway, since elsewhere it declares there is no free will (and thus invalidates all the morality it preaches, since morality is at essence a code of which choices ought be made, which only makes sense if there ARE choices).

""All people living on the Earth will worship [The Devil], except those whose names were written before the creation of the world in the book of the living which belongs to [Jesus]." Revelations 13:8"

To prove the problem with combining free will and omniscience:

Some CHOICES exust that have not yet been made. One cannot be CERTAIN (symbolized here as E because C is taken) what will result from CHOICES not yet made. God is CERTAIN what will result. Therefore, contradiction.

1. C (assumption of free will as applied to future actions)
2. C->~E (assumption from definitions).
3. E (Assumption of God's omniscience).
4. ~E (2,1 arrow out rule)
5. E& ~E (4,3 Ampersand in rule) (contradiction!)
Dr_Harvey

Con

I won't lie, your arguments were challenging and well thought out. However we are debating whether or not God can exist as seen through the scriptures. My job in this debate is to simply create a shadow of a doubt to your resolution. I must prove that it is possible, even if narrowly, that God as seen through the bible could possibly exist.

"An OMNIPOTENT being has all powers imaginable, and can perform any ACTION. CREATING something more powerful than omnipotent is an action, and therefore possible if one can perform any ACTION. It is not possible to CREATE something more powerful than omnipotent. Therefore, contradiction."

Your own definition of omnipotence makes your argument fall apart. You are operating of the assumption that God can only do what is logically possible. However, in the same breath you claim that being omniscient means God's power would transcend all of the physical and metaphysical world. This means that the bibles claims of God's omniscience can still stand because if he is truly omniscient [as you defined it] then he transcends logic. Therefore the God of the bible can still exist.

"Psalm 145:3
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable." If his greatness is unsearchable as such, this means God cannot "search" (fathom) it, and as such is not omnipotent

The butchered interpretation of this passage is unsearchable. This verse comes from a Psalm of King David. The genre of this text is ancient Hebrew poetry. A verbal tool of poetry is Hyperbole. David is using a literary tool which exaggerates to emphasize. It obviously wasn't literal because he continues to describe the unsearchable character of God for 18 verses. It is also common within Hebrew poetry to write a line, and then follow it up with a deeper description of that line. Also, there is nothing in the context of this verse to suggest that David wrote this verse with intention of it being applied to God. In fact, verse one in 145 indicates that David was speaking of himself not anyone else. He was saying that He himself, could not fathom the works of God.

"In order for this action of requesting a choice from us to make sense, we would have to have free will to make or not make that choice, which is incompatible with him knowing the future. We certainly haven't "already chosen" all our choices, we don't even know what half of them are!"

Foreknowledge does not necessarily constitute an influence in the future. Knowing what will happen does not mean that we are preventing or causing that thing to happen. The sun will rise tomorrow. I am not causing it to rise nor am I preventing it from rising by knowing that it will happen. Consider also, if I put a bowl of candy and a bowl of broccoli in front of my kid, I know for a fact which one is chosen, the candy. My knowing it ahead of time does not restrict my child from making a free choice when the time comes. My child is free to make a choice and knowing the choice has no effect upon him when she makes it.

Foreknowledge means that God simply knows what we have chosen to do ahead of time. Our freedom is not restricted by God's foreknowledge; our freedom is simply realized ahead of time by God. Our ability to make another choice has not been removed anymore than my choice of what to write inside the parenthesis (omnipotence) was removed by God who knew I would put the word "omnipotence" in the parentheses before the universe was made. Before typing the word "omnipotence," I reasoned over which word to write. My reasoning was my doing and the choice was mine.

"Of course the bible seems to have missed this claim of free will anyway, since elsewhere it declares there is no free will (and thus invalidates all the morality it preaches, since morality is at essence a code of which choices ought be made, which only makes sense if there ARE choices)."

Where in the bible does it say that we don't have free will? You have not qualified this claim. IN fact we see a very different picture in Genesis. When Cain begins to become jealous of Abel God (in his compassion)warns Cain of the choice he would have to make. Then the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? "If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it." Genesis 4:6-7 God knew that Cain would have to make a choice and warns him of the consequences.

"Some CHOICES exust that have not yet been made. One cannot be CERTAIN (symbolized here as E because C is taken) what will result from CHOICES not yet made. God is CERTAIN what will result. Therefore, contradiction."

If God is omniscient as the Bible claims then he can know the decisions not yet made.

Your round...
Debate Round No. 1
Ragnar_Rahl

Pro

"
Your own definition of omnipotence makes your argument fall apart. You are operating of the assumption that God can only do what is logically possible"

Logic applies to everything with an identity, it is the method of non-contradictory identification. If you claim God is outside logic, he is outside identity, i.e. does not exist. Also, inspect your language. You state my assumption is that he CAN only do what is logically POSSIBLE. If something can be done (or just be), it must be possible, to state something is possible is to state that it can be. The assumption you have identified is tautological, i.e., necessarily true.

Since logic applies to everything with an identity, your only recourse is to hold that logic as such is invalid. Which would mean both your position and mine have no meaning, cannot be identified by human means (logical means), we are mindless, this debate is meaningless, and we are obviously already dead (because humans use their minds to live). Is that your claim?

"
The butchered interpretation of this passage is unsearchable. This verse comes from a Psalm of King David. The genre of this text is ancient Hebrew poetry. A verbal tool of poetry is Hyperbole." The resolution, which I suppose technically you authored (I just copied and pasted) states "eyes." Eyes do not exaggerate, they do not transfer qualities of poetry. This is an important quality of the metaphorical language of the resolution, so, if the bible exaggerated, that seen from it's "eyes" (rather than it's voice) cannot exist :P.

"Also, there is nothing in the context of this verse to suggest that David wrote this verse with intention of it being applied to God. In fact, verse one in 145 indicates that David was speaking of himself not anyone else. He was saying that He himself, could not fathom the works of God."

His intentions don't matter. Again, that "Eyes." The literal meaning of that phrase is "The Lord IS unsearchable." A property of the Lord, cannot be searched, without qualification.

"
Foreknowledge does not necessarily constitute an influence in the future. Knowing what will happen does not mean that we are preventing or causing that thing to happen."

Ignoratio elenchi. I do not claim that knowing what will happen means YOU cause it to happen, but it means SOMETHING causes it to happen.

"The sun will rise tomorrow."

Actually it won't. The earth will rotate to give that appearance however. And physics causes that. The Earth, might I note, has no free will in the matter, if it did, you couldn't be so certain.

"I am not causing it to rise nor am I preventing it from rising by knowing that it will happen."

Again, ignoratio elenchi. The fact remains that if a thing is knowable as a certainty, there is no choice left about it. You're confusing causation with just plain logical inconsistency.

"Consider also, if I put a bowl of candy and a bowl of broccoli in front of my kid, I know for a fact which one is chosen, the candy"

No, you don't know. He might have read that statement and chosen the broccoli just to annoy you. Or might have suddenly thought of nutrition. Other people's minds are not accountable to you.

"My child is free to make a choice and knowing the choice has no effect upon him when she makes it. "

I just wanna note the pronoun contradiction :D.

"
Foreknowledge means that God simply knows what we have chosen to do ahead of time. Our freedom is not restricted by God's foreknowledge; our freedom is simply realized ahead of time by God."

That is not coherent. If we are free to do or not do a thing, both it being done and it being not done remain possibilities. The statement "X will happen" does not yet even HAVE a truth value, so, the truth value cannot be known, it is incompatible with knowledge.

"
Where in the bible does it say that we don't have free will? You have not qualified this claim"

You weren't paying attention, I'll give you the quote again.

"""All people living on the Earth will worship [The Devil], except those whose names were written before the creation of the world in the book of the living which belongs to [Jesus]." Revelations 13:8"

Says right there that it's predetermined, we will worship the devil, unless our names were written in the "book of the living"

Or how about...

""Praise be to [God], who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will-to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves." Ephesians 1:4-6 NIV"

PREDESTINED.

""For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified" Romans 8:29-30 NIV"

PRESDESTINED.

"
If God is omniscient as the Bible claims then he can know the decisions not yet made."

That was contained in a slightly different sentence as a line in my argument. You seem to miss the part in it where decisions not yet made cannot be known (it doesn't even HAVE a truth value yet), which means the first premise must be checked.
Dr_Harvey

Con

"Logic applies to everything with an identity, it is the method of non-contradictory identification. If you claim God is outside logic, he is outside identity, i.e. does not exist."

Keep in mind I never said that I agreed with your definition of omniscience. I simply argued from the definition you gave of omniscience. When I speak of omniscience I define it as, God can do anything that does not go against His nature to do. For example, He cannot lie. He cannot sin. He cannot tempt or be tempted. These things go against his nature to do. By the way that you defined omniscience God can do anything he wants. He has not boundaries. "CREATING something more powerful than omnipotent is an action, and therefore possible if one can perform any ACTION. It is not possible to CREATE something more powerful than omnipotent." Your reasoning is circular because of the way you define omniscient. You say an omniscient being can do anything, yet he cannot work outside logic according to you. If God has boundaries in his nature then he is not omniscient. But you setting logic as a boundary, by your definition of omniscient, makes omniscience impossible. Therefore you contradict your own definition of omniscience. I believe that the Omniscient God of the bible cannot do the things that are outside His perfect Holy nature to do, as His character sets the boundary for all that is Good. I also believe that God created logic and works inside it. Though we may not always be able to reason as he does and are limited because we are not divine, he has created a universe that is logical. Creating something more powerful than omnipotent is a mute point if your definition of omnipotence is not applicable to the God of the bible. The Bible describes a God with limitations in His divine character. For example James 1:13 says, "When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone." We see in this verse a God with limitations in his character. You see the Bible does not describe omnipotence as you do, it describes a just God, who cannot contradict himself. To create a being greater than himself is to contradict His character in that there is none greater than him. Yet, omnipotence does mean that he is greater than we are, and His actions are perfect in nature, without flaw.

"His intentions don't matter. Again, that "Eyes." The literal meaning of that phrase is "The Lord IS unsearchable." A property of the Lord, cannot be searched, without qualification."

Again, you are the one that say that this universe is governed by logic however your interpretation of this passage is totally illogical. When I read poetry I want to know what motivated the writer, For example, "Why did he say his pain was unsearchable?" The writer wrote that to describe a pain he himself could not describe. There is a logic which governs biblical interpretation yet you have ignored the context of the passage, the genre, the writer, the history of the write, all of which have to do with how we understand the intended meaning of the passage. You could say that God was a chicken based on Genesis one if you took the spirit of the lord hovering of the waters literally. However, Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic, all have laws of composition they are subject to just like English. Interpreted correctly, we see a man who is using poetry in this passage to describe a God he sees as indescribable.

I see what your saying in regards to causality. However, it is possible for God, who is biblically omniscient to know all of the mathematical possibilities for a potential choice. He can know what will happen yet still have no hand in its cause. In fact this is the principle of free will in that human beings are the agents of cause because they have freewill. God in his nature, will not circumvent mans freewill. That doesn't mean he isn't persuasive as an element of his love but he won't take away a persons freewill and their ability to be a change agent in their own life.

"The fact remains that if a thing is knowable as a certainty, there is no choice left about it."

Correct in matters of physics and science, incorrect in matters of metaphysics or the human heart. Probability is always knowable in matters of human choice however certainty is not, there is too many variables. How often have human beings surprised us with their brutality or their compassion. No one thought that someone would be depraved enough massacre 6 million Jews. But Hitler surprised all of Humanity with his disregard for Human life. What is knowable about the future in the biblical sense hangs only on human choice and the sovereign will of God which has already been made known to man. Therefore, the God of the Bible can exist.

"All people living on the Earth will worship [The Devil], except those whose names were written before the creation of the world in the book of the living which belongs to [Jesus]." Revelations 13:8"

For the record, the book is called Revelation, there is only one. This still does not negate freewill for several reasons. First, this is not what the verse says. It actually says,

"All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world." Revelation 13:8

On top of that it is only the original language of the bible which is considered canonized. So, while the English version serves us well for this debate any truly scholarly discussion on the matter has to be taken from the original text. The verse literally says

" And all who are dwelling on the earth will be worshiping it, everyone whose name is not written in the scroll of life of the Lamb slain from the disruption of the world." Revelation 13:8

The genre of Revelation is prophecy meaning it is a foretelling of what is to come. The writer didn't make the future happen, it simply is saying in foreknowledge that this will be the result of the choices made by man.

"PRESDESTINED." and all of the verses you connected with it.

Here's the deal. I am not a Calvinist so I can't say that I believe your interpretation of these passages. And the purpose of this debate is not to argue Calvinism, Armenianism, or the Weslyan/ Holiness persuasion. Even if, we were predestined to heaven or hell, we have no way of knowing who is predestined or not. I can also say that Calvinism is one of the most misinterpreted theological ideas. So, predestination doesn't remove the free will of man but rather exposes the total depravity of man and his inability to seek God on his own accord, as Calvin would say. But the Man who so adamantly believed in predestination, more so than any Christian scholar, believed that the scriptures gave a picture of a God that exists even if we are predestined. The debate isn't about man's free will or lack there of.

You have to prove that God as pictured through the scriptures cannot logically exist. Your definition of omnipotence ruined your argument that God is not limited by anything except logic. Your interpretation of the scriptures demonstrated your total lack of any real understanding regarding literary comprehension, specifically by not taking into account any historical, cultural elements, also by not demonstrating that you understand the relationship between genre and the comprehension and interpretation of ancient literature. No one picks up the newspaper and reads it the same way they read poetry which is what you have done by treating elements of poetry like a discourse narrative. The things you've attempted to prove demonstrate a very shallow understanding of the faith you are attempting to criticize. If your going to say Christians read the bible wrong, [which is essentially what you are saying, because they would argue God exists] then you better have a logical way of how it should be read.
Debate Round No. 2
Ragnar_Rahl

Pro

"
Keep in mind I never said that I agreed with your definition of omniscience. I simply argued from the definition you gave of omniscience. When I speak of omniscience I define it as, God can do anything that does not go against His nature to do."

Are you confusing the words omniscience and omnipotence?

And anyone can do anything that does not go against their nature, their limits are part of their nature. Therefore, by your definition everyone is omnipotent. The Bible however speaks as though omnipotence is a special characteristic, which would be incompatible with your definition. So, ironically enough, I'm using the bible's definition, and you, the Christian, are not:

"
Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.Matthew 19:26 "

ALL THINGS. This is, again, unequivocal.

"For example, He cannot lie. He cannot sin."
The Bible indeed makes these claims. Yet another point for me. A God who cannot lie, and cannot sin, is not a God with which "ALL THINGS" are possible. A contradiction cannot exist in reality.

"He cannot tempt or be tempted. "

I thought the bible claimed he created everything? This would mean he also created Satan (since the Bible claims such a figure exists), and therefore created the capacity within Satan to tempt, which happened to tempt Satan quite a bit :D).

"By the way that you defined omniscience God can do anything he wants."

Again, omnipotence, not omniscience :D. But I believe you are a fan of Greek roots? The root "Omni" means all. And I didn't make this definition:

http://www.answers.com...

and the Bible's statement too implies it, stating ALL THINGS are possible for him. "

"Your reasoning is circular because of the way you define omniscient. You say an omniscient being can do anything, yet he cannot work outside logic according to you"

Circular? Do you even know what a circular argument is? That's not one of them. A circular argument is an argument whose premises are identical to the conclusion.

In any case, it is by definition impossible to work outside logic, working outside logic means a thing has no identity, i.e. does not exist. The argument is to show that the definition of omnipotent is therefore incoherent (and therefore not realizable in reality). It is not I who say God is omnipotent, it's known as REDUCTIO AD ABSURDUM, the bible makes that claim, in the form of the definition (all things possible to it) rather than in the form of the word omnipotent. The fact that his being omnipotent is incompatible with his being unable to work outside logic IS THE WHOLE POINT! That is why the argument arrives at a CONTRADICTION. E.g., if one believes the premises, x is necessarily both true and untrue, which is impossible. Since we know logic works (or this computer wouldn't,) the premise that must, necessarily, be discarded is the existence of an omnipotent being.

"But you setting logic as a boundary, by your definition of omniscient, makes omniscience impossible."

This argument, again, is about OMNIPOTENCE. Omniscience was a separate issue. And that is the WHOLE POINT. It is, by the definition (the bible's definition, not "mine," IMPOSSIBLE. The bible furnishes the means for it's own disproof.

"Therefore you contradict your own definition of omniscience."

Not my definition. The Bible contradicts it's own definition of omniscience, my argument's bring the bible's to their necessary contradiction. THE WHOLE POINT is that I bring out a contradiction. That is, again, how reductio ad absurdum works. If you admit the contradiction inherent in the symbolic argument, you admit that it's premises must be checked, that one of them is NECESSARILY wrong.

"I also believe that God created logic and works inside it."
Impossible, because he (the God of the Bible) clearly isn't compatible with it. This is the God of the BIBLE as such, not the God you've altered from it, that is relevant.

"The Bible describes a God with limitations in His divine character."

And also, as above noted, describes one without limitations. It does BOTH. It wants to HAVE ITS CAKE AND EAT IT TOO. Above all, it CONTRADICTS ITSELF! You are GIVING ME MY POINTS.

"You see the Bible does not describe omnipotence as you do,"

I already quoted the bible's description of omnipotence precisely as I describe it. Go ahead, claim it doesn't really say that :d.

"
Again, you are the one that say that this universe is governed by logic however your interpretation of this passage is totally illogical."
How so?

"When I read poetry I want to know what motivated the writer,"

What do your wants, wishes, hopes, desires, WHIMS, have to do with what is logical?

"There is a logic which governs biblical interpretation"
No, there is only one logic, which governs all identification, biblical or otherwise.

"yet you have ignored the context of the passage, the genre, the writer, the history of the write, all of which have to do with how we understand the intended meaning of the passage."

Because I am paying attention to the LOGIC, i.e., the EXACT MEANING of that phrase. The phrase was not context dependent. Arguing about the writer is just ad hominem, and the rest too is irrelevant.

"You could say that God was a chicken based on Genesis one if you took the spirit of the lord hovering of the waters literally. "

That's a point for me. The resolution of the debate, again, speaks of "Eyes," i.e. organs which only interpret things literally. :D.

"
I see what your saying in regards to causality. However, it is possible for God, who is biblically omniscient to know all of the mathematical possibilities for a potential choice."

Which is irrelevant, because he still doesn't, still CAN'T, know for CERTAIN (not probabilistically, but certain) the event which does not yet have a truth value. Because it is still "Something," anything whose understanding is "infinite," lacking limits

"Psalm 147:4,5
He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names. Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.

must necessarily know it, but because the word "Know" is not applicable to it, it must necessarily also not, therefore, such an infinite understanding cannot exist.

"He can know what will happen yet still have no hand in its cause"

Ignoratio elenchi. I did not, I repeat, claim his hand in it's cause (though the bible does, as shown earlier).

"
"The fact remains that if a thing is knowable as a certainty, there is no choice left about it."

Correct in matters of physics and science, incorrect in matters of metaphysics or the human heart. "
How so? What governs physics except metaphysics? What governs the human heart ( a blood-pumping vessel) except physics? :D

"Probability is always knowable in matters of human choice however certainty is not, there is too many variables. " This does not prove your above claim, since my claim was conditional on "IF A THING IS KNOWABLE AS A CERTAINTY." It does however prove my claim, since the bible claims that ALL THINGS are knowable, at least to God, including certainty in matters of human choice.

"
For the record, the book is called Revelation, there is only one."

Did not know that. Neither, apparently, do a lot of quote repositories.

"First, this is not what the verse says."

Translations do vary.

"

" And all who are dwelling on the earth will be worshiping it, everyone whose name is not written in the scroll of life of the Lamb slain from the disruption of the world." Revelation 13:8"
Which has WHAT practical difference? Scroll or book, it still declares who you are worshipping is dependent on it.

Continued in comments.
Dr_Harvey

Con

"The literal meaning. Implications, interpretations, context, all that is all well and good in it's time and place. That place is not here."

"By making Christianity from the "poems" of the Bible, they become more than poetry, they become the only pillar upholding an entire supernaturalist philosophical system. Serious philosophy can only be investigated on it's literal meaning, not it's literary. This debate is not about the value of the Bible's poetry, it is about the value of the Bible's facts."

"Um... reading something "logically" MEANS reading it literally."

It surprises me because you seem very intelligent, logical and intellectual. However, you want to chuck logic at the door by stating that in order for something to be read logically it must be literal and nothing could be farther from the truth. Take for example George Orwell's criticism of communism in the book "Animal Farm" This was not a literal book yet made a very strong logical case against communism. How about Homer's "iliad and the odyssey" did they not give a logical examination of human nature through literary elements? Ultimately, logic in and of itself is a incomplete discipline because it cannot examine matters of experiential knowledge, metaphysics, and intangibles. Logic in it's western form only has limited application to biblical studies. Deductive reasoning can't be used to pick apart eastern logic nor can it be used to interpret the scriptures.

Regardless of where you have tried to take this debate, this debate is about what the Bible says about God. To state that you believe that God as seen through the scriptures cannot exist you have to KNOW WHAT THE BIBLE IS SAYING! Your sophomoric attempts at interpreting a 2000 year old document by taking one verse from here and another from there and putting them together and saying they contradict, is absolutely logically absurd. To think that the only way to logically read something is literally is to go against what every professor of literature in the entire world would say. Some of the greatest pieces of philosophy ever written were not written literal (according to you, not logical). They were satire, they were comedy, tragedy, or a discourse narrative. You honestly cannot win this debate because you view the bible a list of quotes and not as a document that must be handled with the same literary criticism that all literature must come under.

Also you are dealing with a divide between the western mindset and the eastern mindset (the mindset by which most of the Bible was written.) To understand the value of the bible as literature you have to understand the mindset of an ancient Jew. You take one verse from a book of poetry and say that contradicts with a book of prophecy and think that you have seen something that all Christian Theologians have put there head in the sand about? I don't think so. It is illogical to think that you can read a book from ancient Israel like you would read a book from America.

Finally, who defines what logic is? Westernized America? No. I submit to you that the logic of the east, while it is not linear in nature, makes as much sense when it analyzed from the mindset of an easterner (a non-linear fashion). You act as though logic means that it must be broken down into a linear, outlined, progression but leave no room for non-linear elements. Your analysis of the biblical text you have presented is incorrect because of the rigidity of your logic.

Your analysis has not given credence to the fact that the bible is a collection of books from the east. If you are going to say that the God that it claims exists doesn't, then you would have to know the framework by which it is written. You are essentially arguing that something written in Chinese (might as well be) is making claims it's making without knowing Chinese If I am going to criticize a book written by a Atheist claiming Christianity isn't real, I am going to read the entirety of what he says and analyze it from a holistic perspective taking into account the time period in which it was written, the writer himself, and the philosophy background he comes from.

"By making Christianity from the "poems" of the Bible, they become more than poetry, they become the only pillar upholding an entire supernaturalist philosophical system."

Incorrect. In fact I don't know one theologian who would take one passage from a book of poetry and build an entire theology off of it. Church Doctrines are formed off of themes as seen through scripture. This is the discipline of hermeneutics. I could make anyone sound contradictory by taking one sentence they wrote and comparing it to another sentence they wrote somewhere else. They may not have been contradictory though I falsely made them look contradictory by ignoring context.

You have not proved that the God of the Bible cannot exist because you haven't made a good case for your interpretations of the biblical passages.

Thank you for Debating
Debate Round No. 3
28 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Godzukis_Dad 8 years ago
Godzukis_Dad
In regard to free will and religion:

I am not sure logically whether a god knowing in advance what I will do takes away my free will. Frankly I do not care. I am sure however that it is silly for a god to inspire imperfect creatures to write down a set of rules, in a way that is confusing, and then to expect another imperfect creature to follow them.

God, please write a set of instructions for me to live by, in English, unless I am not meant to follow your rules.
Posted by Rezzealaux 8 years ago
Rezzealaux
"who are the ones without empathy?"

Aha that's so funny. You.
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 8 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
"Many victims helped by relief efforts experience positive and long-term ramifications.
"

That doesn't matter, it's still a breach between actor and beneficiary. The point is whether the helpers experience positive long-term ramifications.

Note that in the case of the untouchables you are overreaching, I was speaking of specific catastrophes, not long-term states of oppression. There are indeed generally benefits to aiding those who have endured such long-term oppression once you get them out of it, and their state of oppression has no negative implications for their ability to repay. Hurricane Katrina, however, as one example, is clearly not such a place, it victimizes by and large people stupid enough to live below sea level on the coast. It was not unexpected, the city has been previously devastated in similar manner several times since it was built. Darfur relief efforts have a separate problem, namely that any goods sent in relief will be seized by the people who created the problem in the first place, not to mention, none there seem to have the least amount of will to fight back, which doesn't speak well of investing in them.

"

Rez, in light of Ragnar's post, I cannot help but wonder: who are the ones without empathy?"

Now you are stereotyping. I may be an atheist, but I am an atheist of a SPECIFIC KIND: An Objectivist. If you find lack of empathy blameworthy, well, you have grounds to blame me if you are correct. This does not means you have grounds to blame Rezz, he may be an atheist, but not one of that specific kind.
Posted by InquireTruth 8 years ago
InquireTruth
Rez, I am citing the phenomenon and you are assuming the reasons exclude empathy - if you could adequately substantiate your claim it might upgrade your statement from empty rant to conspiracy theory. It is as presumptuous as saying that as I child I could not have enjoyed soccer because my mom said I needed to play. You are creating polarity where none exists.

Ragnar, such an epitomizing of the people involved in disaster is intellectually alarming. Displaced victims of Katrina, Innocent villagers caught in the devastating wake of warring tribes in Darfur, breaking the stigma of the untouchables. Many victims helped by relief efforts experience positive and long-term ramifications.

Rez, in light of Ragnar's post, I cannot help but wonder: who are the ones without empathy?
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 8 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
"Like their overwhelming involvement in relief efforts of every sort - i'd say that needs to end post haste."

Yes, it does. There are much better ways to spend your money than on people who have a proven penchant for getting into disasters, and will lose it come the next disaster. And even the exceptions, tend not to be people who will reward you significantly for such an action, so, it's a poor investment.
Posted by Rezzealaux 8 years ago
Rezzealaux
Reasons for doing things are more important than their effects.
Posted by InquireTruth 8 years ago
InquireTruth
However you may be disposed, it is of no reduction of the fact that the majority of all relief effort worldwide is dominated by the faithful. Of course to say that relief efforts are done only because of Divine mandate and not empathy is quite presumptuous as well - no such polarity exists between the terms. I'm merely citing the phenomenon. Zero has a problem with "everything" in religion except its desire to convert. Such relief effort is something, and it is not conversion, therefore Zero is against it.
Posted by Rezzealaux 8 years ago
Rezzealaux
Quite so. We need to start helping people due to empathy, not because we feel ordered to.
Posted by InquireTruth 8 years ago
InquireTruth
Like their overwhelming involvement in relief efforts of every sort - i'd say that needs to end post haste.
Posted by Zerosmelt 8 years ago
Zerosmelt
lol... id never deny that i try and covert people. Of course the act of conversion isnt whats wrong with religion... its everything else, lol.
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