The Instigator
Amarandum
Pro (for)
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The Contender
Lupricona
Con (against)
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God is Dead (Redux)

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/30/2017 Category: Religion
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 813 times Debate No: 99440
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (15)
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Amarandum

Pro

Part two of my attempt to disprove the existence of the Judeo-Christian God. Theists are welcome to have a civil, evidence-based debate on the existence of an all powerful, all good creator of heaven and earth. Rules and format are as follows:

R1- Acceptance
R2- Main Arguments
R3- Question Round, Where We Ask As Many Questions as Space Will Allow
R4- Answer Round, Where We Answer Each Other's Questions
R5- Rebuttals

Sources are to be posted in the comments after the final round.
Voters be on the lookout for logical fallacies from either side (use comments).
If the contender is a Creationist, the burden of proof for their claims will fall to them.
Please clarify your religious persuasion in the Acceptance round for clarity (including Creationism).

I look forward to an engaging debate!
Lupricona

Con

I accept.

I am a creationist. I'm not certain if Christianity is true, but I find the arguments for it convincing. So I will do my best to prove it true.
Debate Round No. 1
Amarandum

Pro

Thanks to my opponent for accepting. This topic is near and dear to my heart, as I was a Creationist for over a decade. Good luck to them.

To jump right into the issue, I hope to dispel some common misconceptions and shed light on blaring inconsistencies surrounding the Bible and Christianity. The focal points of my argument can be summarized thusly:

Contention 1:
-The Bible is a self-contradicting book of mythology and war crimes that goes against historical records, so for anyone to take it as some kind of authority is not reasonable.
-The historical veracity of the Gospels, as well as the life and deeds of Jesus are shrouded in serious doubt.
-The definition of God agreed to by Christians (a righteous, all loving creator) is fundamentally at odds with the God depicted in the Bible.
-Christianity's claim to authority is weakened by its pagan origins.

Contention 2:
-Science offers evidence-based accounts of our origins, Christianity offers mythology-based accounts of our origins. Our job is to go with the better answers.
-The premises of Christian theology defy common sense, which lends credence to the notion that it was created by a very young, very superstitious, tribal species of aggressive primate.

I'm going to have to cover each of these points only briefly, but I'd be happy to clarify further in the Q&A.

Contention 1- Biblical Fallibility and Morality
That the Bible contains mythology should be a topic beyond reproach. I'm not talking about the occasional miracle or two, but consistent denials of science and common sense that can only be performed by the ignorant shepherds that were the ancient Israelites. This is nothing against them - they simply didn't know better. Are we to seriously believe, as Genesis tells us, that two of every animal species on earth fit on a boat that was 450 ft long? Or that the whole planet (presumably including plants) was underwater for a full year? Or that demons gave birth to giants (this is actually found throughout the Bible)? Or that rainbows didn't exist until after the Flood? Or that Methuselah lived to be 969 years old? And before my opponent says that the Myths of the Old Testament deserve to be separated from the New, consider the words of Jesus in Matthew 24: "For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away." Why would the son of God spread what he knew to be a lie? Why not call it a myth? Maybe it's because he was an illiterate peasant with Bronze Age ideas of the world, like everyone else.

War crimes and historical inconsistencies are to be found with equal efficiency. Deuteronomy 13 says all nonbelievers are to be murdered while Leviticus 24 says a priest's sexually active daughter is to be burned alive. Numbers 31 sees Moses commanding the mass rape and murder of thousands of children, while Exodus 12 has God smiting all firstborn children in Egypt. Christians believe their God rained fire on two cities because it was full of gays, delivered unimaginable plagues on an empire because of it's stubborn ruler, and drowned a planet because it angered him; all within the first two books of the Bible. In what way is this character the all-loving source of righteousness looked up to today? Moving forward to the well-known scene of Christ's birth in the book of Luke, we are told that Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem because it was the home of Joseph's ancestor David (who lived a thousand years earlier), and the Roman empire supposedly had a tax that required families to move back to the town of their ancestors. The problem with this is that no such tax ever occurred. We have good records from the reign of Caesar Augustus, and nowhere does any historical source besides Luke say anything about a tax that required people to go to the town of their ancestors from a thousand years earlier. How could such a tax be implemented? Joseph kept a thousand years of family records? Is this at all believable? The author of Luke most likely lied about the tax to 'fulfill' a prophecy in the book of Micah, which said a savior would come from Bethlehem.

Not to mention the shaky ground Jesus stands on as it is. Bible scholars like Richard Smoley and Bart Ehrman have pointed out that we really know nothing about Jesus. Though many people believe that the Biblical Gospels were written as first person accounts (by people who saw and knew Jesus) Ehrman shows that the Gospels were really written decades after Jesus died. The language spoken by Jesus and his followers was Aramaic, and he lived at a time when very few people could read or write, and even fewer could read or write well. The Gospels were written in Greek by several different authors who were clearly highly educated. The theology department at Boston College says: "the vast majority of researchers believe that Mark was the first Gospel to be written, sometime around the year 70." That's forty or so years after Jesus died. National Geographic says: "The New Testament Gospels were written between AD 65 and 95." This reduces the likelihood that they were written as first person accounts down to almost nothing.

In a previous debate, my opponent used a device that I believe he adapted from William Craig, a theologian and apologist for biblical genocide. I'd like to dismantle this tactic before it even enters the debate. It consists of several points that supposedly no historian can disagree with. Four such points were:

-He (Jesus) was buried.
-The tomb was empty.
-The disciples had experiences which they believed were literal appearances of the risen Jesus.
-The disciples were transformed from doubters to bold proclaimers.

The first two points are flat out false, while the second two have absolutely no bearing on the validity of the resurrection. We know that the Romans liked to feed the crucified to animals after they died, to ensure the humiliation of the convicted. Only the most prestigious victims under the most lenient Governors were allowed to be buried. Jesus was convicted of high treason and records show that Governor Pontius Pilate was exceedingly cruel. There's almost no chance that Christ had a burial, let alone his own tomb! My opponent hasn't read up on his biblical history, as this is common knowledge within theology departments.

The Bible has heavy influences from the paganism of the Near East. In Genesis, God says "Let us make mankind in our image" because the Hebrew word used here is "elohim", which literally means "many gods". They stole this myth, and others, from the pagan Babylonians. In many ways Yahweh is just a rehashed form of the god Marduk; much like Zeus and Jupiter. If you don't believe me, google a goddess named "Asherah", who was worshipped as Yahweh's wife for several hundred years.

Contention 2- We Don't Need Christ
Instead of building a strawman, I'm going to let my opponent argue against evolution in his opening, and then combat his assertions with all available biological, geological, and cosmological science-unless of course he wants to concede that evolution is an established fact; as concrete and well supported as any war or the life of any historical figure.

To end, let me illustrate the absurdity of Christian theology. Assuming evolution is true (which it is), the Almighty waited 9 billion years for the earth to form,1 billion years for the first life to appear,and 3 billion years for archaic homo sapiens to evolve. Then this God of love waited 200,000 years, during which time 99% of all species to have lived went extinct, to send his son (who was also himself) to be tortured to death in Bronze Age Palestine so that he could forgive humanity for a mythical man and woman eating an apple. The genius who created the laws of physics and quantum mechanics couldn't think of a less convoluted way to forgive people who never lived? Seriously?
Thank you.
Lupricona

Con

Introduction:

Thank you, CON, for allowing me to debate you in this topic.

I will attempt to use sound arguments to justify the belief in God.


The Existence of God- A Priori Arguments

Mind Over Matter

This universe consists of matter and energy. In the theistic understanding of the universe, mind is the originator of matter, as opposed to an atheistic and evolutionary stance- matter causes mind.

Before arguing for a mind to the universe, allow me to enter a third principle to the universe- information. To prove that information is separate from matter and energy, allow me to present an analogy:

If I write a certain collection of letters, like, “elhlo,” then the reader should not be able to make an understanding of those letters. However, if I rearrange the letters to “hello,” the reader should then understand the collection of letters as a word that conveys the meaning of a form of greeting someone. As you can see, matter was the medium used to convey the information. I would form the word “hello” on a computer, on a chalkboard, or on pen and paper. The material used would be different each time, that is, the medium to convey the information would be distinct, but the information would still be the same.

When dealing with information, there are two proponents needed. First, a sender, to form the information. Secondly, the receiver must be able to obtain and understand the information. To clarify “understanding the information”, imagine a Chinese person reading the word “hello.” If that person has no understanding of the English language, then they will not be able to understand the word “hello.” So, the sender must have an intention when delivering the information- that the message will be received and be understood.

Information, not matter and energy, is the underlying principle of the universe. From genetics, to language, to the physical laws of the universe, information is the critical component. Given our knowledge of information systems designed by humans, it is reasonable to conclude that the information in the universe, like genetics, was created by an intelligent mind.

The Prime Mover


Cat
^
cells
^
molecules
^
atoms
^
quarks

^

Prime Mover

To understand the significance of boundaries, refer to the text image. The cat is higher up on the form of complexity. A cat cannot be both a cat and dog at the same time. It is limited to being a cat. However, cells are not limited to cats, and can be formed to exist in other animals. However, cells are limited to exist in that form. Atoms are not limited to animals- they form all parts of the universe.

As we travel farther down the simplicity of existence, the less boundaries exist, and the more forms can be created from these states of existence.

So, the prime mover must be free from all boundaries. It is necessarily limitless. Also, because it is at the lowest point in the chain of existence, it can interact with all of reality. Not only does this prime mover interact with all of reality, all of reality is continuously depending on it.



Intenionality

Imagine that you are sitting at a table, and you notice a cup. You intend to grab the cup, so two possible scenarios ensue: 1) You pick it up and take a drink. 2) You attempt to pick up the cup and accidentally spill it over the floor.

Both scenarios, the intentional and accidental, are explained by a preceding intentional action. Intentionality can lead to either intentional or accidental effects. However, no purpose can ever derive from contingent accidental causes. This example is to show that all outcomes of life refer back to an earlier intentional action. This causal chain cannot go backwards into infinity, so there must have been a first intentional action- God intentionally creating the universe.

If God doesn't exist, and the universe came into being unintentionally, then the only contingent actions are necessarily unintentional. If my opponent concedes this, then my opponent concedes that they are just an accidental collocation of atoms, and any argument they give has no inherent meaning. Given that their argument is meaningless, I win by default. If they don't concede this, then they must concede that God exists.


The Rationality of Christianity- A Posteriori Arguments

The Historicity of Christ.

There are 12 historical facts that most secular (non-christian) critical scholars agree to. They are (1):

-Jesus died by crucifixion.
-He was buried.
-His death caused the disciples to despair and lose hope.
-The tomb was empty (the most contested).
-The disciples had experiences which they believed were literal appearances of the risen Jesus.
-The disciples were transformed from doubters to bold proclaimers.
-The resurrection was the central message.
-They preached the message of Jesus’ resurrection in Jerusalem.
-The Church was born and grew.
-James was converted to the faith when he saw the resurrected Jesus (James was a family skeptic).
-Paul was converted to the faith (Paul was an outsider skeptic).


There are two possible scenarios: The early disciples all had hallucinations of Christ at different times and places and were convinced that it was real, or Christ was resurrected by God and this is what the apostle's saw and preached.

Given that there are no historical accounts of mass hallucinations, it is more likely that Christ actually was resurrected. The best explanation for a small group of disciples that convinced all the societies around them of Christianity, and that it spread to the biggest religion of the world, is that the religion is true.


Miracles

Craig S. Keener (2) is received his Ph.D in New Testament Studies from Duke University. He has published a book (3) on miracles. Here is a brief, few minute interview (4) and a longer lecture for viewers of this debate who are interested (5).

The author researched the credibility of miracles from various cultures all around the world. There are over one thousand accounts in his book (he was very extensive and it took him many years to accomplish).

In the book, he provides examples of everything from simple medical healings to people being raised from the dead, all by people praying in the name of Jesus.

Genetic Entropy

Dr. John Sanford is a geneticist who created the gene gun (6). He has written a book entitled: Genetic Entropy (7). As the primary argument for evolution is that we are slowly evolving and improving, this book demonstrates that there is no scientific evidence to corroborate that, rather, we are de-volving. Not only does this attack the evolutionary dogma of the current day, but it emphasizes a very scary and devastating point- all species are heading towards extinction!

Now, I would love for my opponent and any interested to read the book, but I recognize that it is asking people to spend money and invest a decent amount of time, so I will also reference a lecture on this topic, summarizing his thesis and main points: (see reference 8 for a shorter one, and 9 for the full lecture).

To briefly summarize:

The genome is subject to decay. With every new generation, new mutations are added. Species can only contain so many mutations before they reach the threshold and become extinct. Natural selection isn't good enough to weed out all of the mutations. Even "beneficial" mutations are subject to decay. Therefore, evolution is impossible, and perfect creation with decay fits the model.



References:

1 http://www3.telus.net...

2 https://en.wikipedia.org...

3 https://www.amazon.com...

4 https://www.youtube.com...
5 https://www.youtube.com...

6 https://en.wikipedia.org...

7 https://www.amazon.com...

8 https://www.youtube.com...

9 https://www.youtube.com...

Debate Round No. 2
Amarandum

Pro

1)Why do you take philosophical arguments to be more powerful than science and historic records? I guess I can understand a belief in God (though I think that conclusion is needless) but why Creationism? Why should an immaterial subject like philosophy refute biology, cosmology, and geology?

2) What parts of the Bible do you think are myths? Did two of every animal fit on a boat that was 250 ft long? Was the earth (presumably including plants) underwater for a full year? Did God really rain fire on Sodom? Are you a biblical literalist?

3) How do you reconcile your belief with the moral atrocities committed by God? He's supposed to be righteous and loving, and yet the Bible shows him to be cruel and hateful. Even if he were real, would you really want to worship an invisible, narcissistic war criminal? Why would you want the Universe to be set up like a cosmic North Korea, with one dear leader that we all have to worship for eternity?

4)Doesn't Christianity sound a little bit absurd? The creator of the Universe, a mathematical genius who is supposed to be the source of all goodness, cares whether or not a tribe of desert shepherds eat pork? Couldn't God have just forgiven our sins? He is all-powerful after all. Why'd he have to send his son to be tortured to death?

5) How do you reconcile your belief with the historical inaccuracies and the pagan influences on the Bible? None of the Gospels were first person accounts - doesn't that worry you?

6) You mentioned cell entropy. Is there any more evidence you can provide for Creationism? (That refutes evolution I mean)
Lupricona

Con


Thank you, Pro, for your questions. I will now ask you some of my own:



It seems to me that almost everyone in the world has beliefs that are not entirely created by themselves. Given a certain time and culture, it is easy to predict the beliefs of an individual. Because of the fact that there are so many constructed paradigms throughout all of the various epochs and societies, how is it that you feel justified in having accepted the arbitrary beliefs you've happened to stumble on? Have you cross-examined your beliefs to as many others as possible? Are you open-minded enough to consider the possibility that you could be wrong, and have striven to create objective criteria for determining truth in the world? If so, how is that possible on an atheistic mindset, where truth is subjective and cultural relativity reigns supreme?



You mentioned that the Bible is a book of mythologies, that it is self contradicting, and that it contradicts other historical records. Do you truly feel justified in making this claim? Have you studied multiple historical documents and compared them to the testimony of the bible? Which historical documents have you read that prove this? Also, if you claim the bible is self contradictory, where so is that the case? And before you reached that conclusion, did you study the bible using the historical-grammatical method, making sure that you're accurately understanding an ancient text before you make wild and unfounded conclusions?



You claimed that a righteous God is at odds with the God depicted in the Bible. How are you justified in making that claim? How much time have you spent studying moral theory? Did you provide an emotionally charged conclusion, merely because your cultural values are at odds with the moral actions of another culture, or do you have a justifiable moral theory that proves the actions in the Old Testament are indeed immoral? If you can't provide a justifiable moral theory, how then can you make such a certain statement?



You claimed that science offers evidence based accounts of origins, while Christianity offers only mythology. Why do you set up Christianity as a straw man? Do you deny that there are intelligent creation scientists who have devoted their lives to explaining the origins of the universe in scientific methods? How many of the creation scientists have you read? Even if you disagree with them, and believe evolution to be a better explanation, why must you still belittle the Christian explanation? Again, it seems this conclusion is emotionally charged and without merit.



Basically, you are making a lot of claims, claims which would have required hundreds of hours of research in each topic alone to justify your conclusions.


Debate Round No. 3
Amarandum

Pro

Much thanks to Lupricona for his/her argument and questions. I hope this dialogue will bring greater understanding between our positions.

1) I'll start off my responses by saying that we truly live in a strange time when a creationist can ask this question and not feel some sense of irony. My beliefs are not arbitrary; they are defined by science and reason. I haven't stumbled upon them; thousands upon thousands of research hours have gone into proving the truth of evolution. A small fraction of this time has been spent on creationism, with little success, and no time has been spent on proving the existence of God, with a similar null output. I will say this again: I was a creationist for more than a decade before I finally committed to the Socratic principle of following the evidence, instead of spouting rhetoric and pseudoscience. You know exactly what it's like to be a skeptic. You're a skeptic about Zeus, Brahman, Allah, and Xenu. Some of us just take it one step further. I don't assert there is no God, I just say the 'evidence' for a God appears shoddy to me. I don't know and neither do you, and neither does the Catholic priest or the Muslim imam or the Buddhist monk. Pretending like we do know has led to quite a few atrocities and the stifling of much science. And, for goodness sake, truth is not subjective! How many atheists do you know who think two plus two equals five? Truth is the closest to reality that observation, experimentation, and independent corroboration can verify - I don't need a genocidal God who murdered a planet to tell me that killing is bad; evolution has built empathy into me to tell me that.

2) With regards to mythology, I don't need historical sources. Snakes can't speak. People can't live for a thousand years. Giants and ghosts and angels and demons don't exist. Diseases and natural disasters aren't curses for wickedness. Menstrual blood isn't evil. Two of each animal species can't fit on a boat 450 ft long. Virgins in the first century couldn't give birth. People can't walk on water. The dead can't come back to life. The moment you scientifically prove one of these statements to be false is the moment they cease to be mythology.

Contradictions within the Bible only require one source, and it certainly isn't historical: the Bible itself. For space, I'll cite only a few taken from the KJV.
Genesis 1:3-5 says God made day and night on the first day of creation, but Gen 1:14-19 says he made the sun and moon on the fourth day. How can there be day and night without the sun and moon? Genesis 1 says animals and birds were created before man, but Gen 2:19 says God made man, then made animals, then brought them to Adam to be named. Genesis tells us that the sin of Adam was responsible for the fallen state of mankind, but Ezekiel 18:20 says the person who sins is guilty, not their children or descendants: "The one who sins is the one who will die. The child will not share the guilt of the parent, nor will the parent share the guilt of the child. The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to them, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against them." This quote is at odds with yet another passage, Jeremiah 16:10-11, which says: "And it shall come to pass, when thou shalt shew this people all these words, and they shall say unto thee, Wherefore hath the Lord pronounced all this great evil against us? or what is our iniquity? ... Then shalt thou say unto them, Because your fathers have forsaken me, saith the Lord, and have walked after other gods, and have served them... and have not kept my law;" Matthew 20:29 says that as Jesus left the city of Jericho, two blind men called after him: "As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!" In Mark 10:46-47, it was one blind man: "...As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means 'son of Timaeus'), was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" Are we to believe the three men said the exact same thing on two separate occasions? Or is it more likely that the oral traditions the Gospels were based on got two different stories? Mark 6:8 says Jesus told his disciples to bring nothing but a staff on their journey. Luke 9:3 sees Jesus explicitly forbidding his disciples from carrying staves. Jesus has divine authority to perform miracles, and yet Pharaoh's pagan magicians during the exodus could perform miracles as well.

The Bible contradicts many ancient sources. Space prohibits me from going into detail, but one quick example is the aforementioned census during the birth of Jesus in the book of Luke. The Romans were master historians, yet we have no reports of any such census. The only conceivable conclusion is that the author of Luke, writing decades after the death of Jesus, needed a way to 'fulfill' the prophecy in the book of Micah about a savior from Bethlehem. Many more examples can be found in the books "How Jesus Became God" by Bart Ehrman and "How God became God" by Richard Smoley.

3) Good grief! The Bible is my justification! Did you look at the sources I provided? Numbers 31 refers to virgins as 'plunder' to be divided among the priests and soldiers. Deuteronomy 13 says all nonbelievers should be executed. The Pentateuch repeatedly says homosexuality is a crime, which is why God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. God drowned a planet because it angered him, commanded the genocide of the Amalekites, and sends anyone who doesn't worship him (even if they're morally decent) to a pit of fire for eternity. I don't need a masters in philosophy to tell that this is wrong. What about Christian ethics? What about 'thou shalt not kill' and 'turn the other cheek'? Do you know what it's called when an all-powerful ruler doesn't have to follow the laws of his kingdom? A dictatorship. And don't give me that bologna about the Old Testament and the New being different. The Bible says many times that God is unchanging. If it was okay for him to do it then, it's okay for him now.

And I don't need a justifiable moral theory to tell yours is ridiculous. Let me use an analogy. Say you and I are walking in the park, and a big pink teapot falls in front of us out of a clear blue sky. If I were to say "This means space aliens want us to drink tea!", you don't need an explanation of how the teapot got there to dismiss mine as being absurd.

4) How have I straw-maned? I've given my perspective and arguments to support it. If I were to say to any random person off the street, 'your wife is cheating on you', or 'Elvis is alive', or 'Superman is a real person who really saves people', what is the first thing anyone would respond with? Anyone in the world? 'Show me some evidence'. I believe the evidence for God is shoddy at best, and not indicative of any particular god over another (why Yahweh and not Allah)? I don't belittle the Christian explanation, so long as it doesn't lie to support it's narratives. My family's still Christian, and I have many Christian friends. There are many Christians; the pope, the archbishop of Canterbury, etc who believe in evolution over creationism. I think there is no evidence for creationism, which is why I belittle creation explanations - because they lie. Yes, I am familiar with ICR and Answers in Genesis. Kent Hovind and Ken Ham and Ray Comfort and all those other detestable characters. They remind me of Bond villains with how they delude so many into following them. Just because many (well, more than a few) scientists are creationists doesn't mean their conclusion is correct. Thousands of engineers believe the US government planned 9/11. Many archaeologists believe extraterrestrials seeded life on this planet.

Thanks.
Lupricona

Con


Question 1



I don't take philosophical arguments to be more powerful than scientific and historic records. Philosophical arguments are arguments that we can come to understand through reason alone- they are the simple deductions we can make about reality. Empirical data is different in that it requires seeking knowledge about the world through observation. These are separate realms for knowledge, a priori and a posteriori, and I categorized them separately in my opening case. One does not supersede the other, and I never made this claim.



Question 2



The separate books that make up the Bible need to be understood as the writer had intended. I take the grammatical-historical approach to looking at texts. Looking at the text of Genesis, its easy to see that the intention of the book was documenting historical events. Not only is their the text of Genesis, but numerous other texts and cultural traditions around the world have accounts similar to Genesis- that of the Creation and Fall of Man, the Flood, and the Tower of Babel. Given that so many cultures agree on these accounts, and given the vast geological evidence that a worldwide flood did occur, it would be difficult to not take Genesis as an accurate account.



Question 3



I don't know that the God of the Old Testament has committed moral atrocities. I usually find that people who accuse the Old Testament deity of such crimes are doing so with emotional appeal, and judge based merely by the morality of the culture they inhabit. It is unlikely that any rational skeptic can come up with arguments as to how God went against morally objective principles. I find that, the more you study the elements of moral philosophy, the more difficult it becomes to hold on to the position that God is a moral monster.



Question 4



The God of the Bible is depicted as one who reigns supreme over all of creation. In the Old Testament, God made a covenant with Abraham, and promised that his ancestors would be the seed that save all of mankind. After Christ's resurrection, the Jewish nation converted the majority of the world towards Christianity. So, this religion doesn't sound absurd, as it is focused on every culture, and as previously stated, most cultures around the world have similar accounts to Genesis, which shows the universality of Christian concepts.



Question 5



The more I've studied the books of the Bible, the more I've discovered them to be incredibly historically accurate. If you're finding the opposite to be true, I'd like to see which historical documents prove your case. Also, as for pagan influences, this argument has been debunked numerous times. I would like to see which historical pagan belief influenced any of biblical traditions.



Also, two of the Gospels may have been written first-hand, and one of them was written second-hand by a disciple of Peter. And, as already stated, given historical studies to the veracity of the Gospels always shows them to have high integrity.



Question 6



Evolution is a not a scientific theory that has any credibility whatsoever. None of the claims it makes matches anything remotely consistent with reality. Rather, the theory was initially pushed by Darwin, who created the conception before empirically verifying it, its been proven wrong time after time, the modern conception of the theory is merely an amalgamation of all the rejected hypothesis.



The realm of genetics disproves the impossibility of evolution. Geology shows the impossibility of millions of years between rock layers. The physics of the universe disallow a big bang cosmology, and numerous dating methods have been proven to be inaccurate.


Debate Round No. 4
Amarandum

Pro

Thanks to my opponent for their time.

"As the primary argument for evolution is that we are slowly evolving and improving, this book demonstrates that there is no scientific evidence to corroborate that, rather, we are de-volving."
False. This is the classic go-to creationist argument, and it is based upon a misunderstanding of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which says that entropy increases in a closed system as time goes forward. The evolution of creatures is not a closed system that lacks the input of energy; we are constantly bombarded with cosmic energy and changing environments which cause us to adapt to survive. According to the National Center for Science Education, referring to a debate between evolutionists and the pseudoscientific Institute for Creation Research: "The creationist argument given in the first paragraph contains a gaping flaw, and evolutionist debaters wasted no time in pointing it out: While the classical version of the second law does indeed state that the entropy of an isolated system cannot decrease, evolving systems are not isolated! One might expect that at this point the issue would be considered settled and everyone would pack up and go home. However, such an expectation would never be entertained by anyone familiar with the peculiar tenacity of creationists."

"Not only is their the text of Genesis, but numerous other texts and cultural traditions around the world have accounts similar to Genesis ... Given that so many cultures agree on these accounts, and given the vast geological evidence that a worldwide flood did occur, it would be difficult to not take Genesis as an accurate account."
So, because Genesis agrees with world mythology, this leads you to believe that Genesis is accurate? Not sure I follow your thinking there. I've found some scientific sources that say there was a global flood, I've found others that disagree. For the sake of argument, let's just assume that there was such a thing. Why does this mean a god was responsible? Ancient people didn't understand their world, so they ascribed thunder and earthquakes and diseases and eclipses to the will/wrath/mercy of the gods. Why should we assume different with a really big flood? But, for the sake of argument, let's assume it was a god or gods that caused it. Why Yahweh of the Bible? You yourself say that every world religion has a flood myth. Why couldn't it have been caused by Allah or Poseidon, or Neptune?

You say you'd like some examples of historical inaccuracies or internal inconsistencies in the Bible. One article has a very handy list:
A. River Gihon could not possibly flow from Mesopotamia and encompass Ethiopia (Gen 2:13)
B. The name Babel does not come from the Hebrew word 'balbal' or 'confuse' but from the babylonian 'babili' or 'gate of God' which is a translation of the original Sumerian name Ka-dimirra. (Gen 11:9)
C. Ur was not a Chaldean city until 1000 years after Abraham (Gen 11:28, 15:7)
D. Abraham pursued enemies to 'Dan' (Gen 14:14). That name was not used geographically until after the conquest (Judge 18:29)
E. Gen 36:31, telling of Jacob and Esau, lists kings of Edom "before there reigned any king over the children of Israel." This must have been written hundreds of years later, after Israel had kings.
F. Joseph tells Pharaoh he comes from the "land of the Hebrews" (Gen 40:15). There was no such land until after the conquest under Joshua.
G. The Egyptian princess names the baby she finds "Moses" because she "drew him out" of the water (Heb meshethi). Why would she make a pun in Hebrew (Ex 2:10)?
H. No Egyptian record exists mentioning Moses or his devastation of Egypt.
I. Moses refers to "Palestine" (Ex 15:14). No such name was in use then.
J. Law of Moses is the "statutes of God and his laws" (Ex 18:26), but it closely mirrors the Code of Hammurabi, which was penned 1800 BC, hundreds of years before Moses.
K. Priests are mentioned at Ex 19:22-24, but they are not provided for until Ex 28:1.
L. Moses mentions Rabbath, where Og's bedstead is located (Deut3:11). Moses could not have any knowledge of Rabbath,which was not captured by the Hebrews until David's time,500 years later (2 Sam 12:26).
M. Jericho and Ai (Josh 8) were both ancient ruins at the time of the conquest of Canaan, according to archaeologists. Jericho's walls were destroyed centuries before Joshua.
N. Kings are referred to at Deut 17:17-19, before Israel had kings.
O. The Wilderness is viewed as history at Num 15:32, showing that Numbers was written later.
P. The Sabbath law was unknown when the man gathered sticks at Num 15:32-34.
Q. Book of Joshua refers to Book of Jasher in the past, mentioned at 2 Sam 1:18, therefore Joshua must be post-David.
R. Captivity is mentioned at Judg 18:30, making it post-Exile.
S. David took Goliath's head to Jerusalem (1 Sam 17:54). But Jerusalem was not captured until 7 years after David became king (2 Sam 5).
T. David paid 600 shekels of gold for the threshing floor (1 Chron21:22-25). But shekels of gold were not yet used in business transactions (this is the only use of the term in the OT).
U. Psalm 18:6 mentions the temple, thus cannot be by David.
V. Defeat of Sennacherib did not happen at Jerusalem, but at Pelusium, near Egypt, and Jews were not involved, contrary to 2 Kings 19.
W. Ninevah was so large it took three days to cross, i.e. about 60 miles (Jonah 3:3-4). Yet it had only 120,000 inhabitants, making a population density of of about 42 people per square
mile for a city.
X. Daniel's account of Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar is historically inaccurate; Nebuchadnezzar was never mad. Belshazzar, whom he says was king, was never king, but only regent. Belshazzar was not the son of Nebuchadnezzar, but of Nabo-nidus. Babylon was not conquered by Darius the Mede, but by Cyrus the Great, in 539 BC (Dan 5:31). Darius the Mede is unknown to history.
Y. Chronology of the empires of the Medes and Persians is historically incorrect in Isa 13:17, 21:2, Jer 51:11, 28
Z. Esther (and all the characters in the Book of Esther except Ahasuerus [= Xerxes]) is unknown to history, even though it claims that its events are "written in the chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia" (Est 10:2). The Book of Esther is not quoted by any pre-Christian writer, nor mentioned in
NT, nor quoted by early Christian fathers.

You asked for some ways the Bible was influenced by other religions.
To cover a lot of ground with a few sentences, Christianity has plagiarized the ancient Persian religion of Zoroastrianism, as well as Hinduism and various pagan religions. The idea of one god, one adversary, heaven, hell, angels, and demons comes from Zoroastrianism. The holy scriptures of Zoroastrianism, the Avesta, talks about how the supreme being created the the world and the first two humans in six days, and rested on the seventh. The names of these people were Adama and Evah, and it was written around 1000 BCE. Most people believe Genesis was written about 600 BCE. Jesus is basically a knockoff of several pagan god-men; most notably Bachus, Mithras, Buddha, and Osiris. Bachus was a roman god who was born of a virgin and traveled from town to town preaching peace and turning water into wine. Mithras was a sun god made mortal whose religion competed with early Christianity for power. He is quoted as saying: "He who will not eat of my body and drink of my blood, so that he will be made on with me and I with him, the same shall not know salvation." Sound familiar? Buddha preached peace, walked on water, and healed the sick long before Christ was born. Osiris was an Egyptian god who was killed by a devil and was resurrected to become ruler of the gods. He was called "King of Kings", and the "good shepherd", and his symbol of eternal life (my profile picture) looks eerily like a cross. The idea of a holy trinity comes from many different religions, most notably Hinduism - Vishnu, Brahma, Shiva.

I encourage everyone to look at the sources I provide.
Thanks.
Lupricona

Con


Thank you, Pro, for your arguments.



Contention 1: The historicity of the Bible.



I disagree with my opponent that the Bible is historically inaccurate. In all of my studies, historical documents and archaeology tend to confirm the biblical account.



My opponent gave a list of “inconsistencies” in his final round, but these are all fallacious and can be easily disproven. Given that he gave a shotgun approach and listed too many of them to explain in the character limit that I have, I would encourage that my opponent actually investigates each of those claims to see if they even hold up to scrutiny.



For example, his first “inconsistency”, A: River Gihon could not possibly flow from Mesopotamia. This is inaccurate, because according to Genesis, the entire world was destroyed by a flood. This would have changed the entire environment of the earth. After Noah left the ark, he and his ancestors would have renamed the new rivers and lands.



All of this rest of his claims can be also quickly disproven if given the time to examine them.



There are also lots of cultures around the world that share very similar origin stories with the Christian account. My opponent somehow thinks that disproves the bible. Rather, if multiple cultures around the world each of similar accounts far enough back in history, its more likely that something historical happened to cause all of these cultures to have these beliefs. The alternative is that all cultures just happened to come about the same myths, something so radically improbable it's not worth serious academic inquiry.



My opponent also claimed that Jesus was a knock-off from other religions, but these claims have already been disproven. Researching the issue shows that, either the myths that are similar to Jesus are historically later than Jesus, or they aren't similar enough to make a reasonable comparison.



My opponent also argued that Jesus' tomb was not empty and that Jesus wasn't buried. Now, as I showed in my opening argument, this position is in direct opposition to all teaching scholars on this subject. Now, it may be the case that all of the scholars are wrong, but there is too much historical evidence to indicate that these propositions are true.



Contention 2: Science is fact, Religion is Myth



This argument, as I already explained, is a straw man. My opponent seems to prop up “science” as some kind of existing thing. Science is merely using an empirical approach to discovering claims about reality. “Science” doesn't make any claims about the past or future, rather, humans study the natural world to make conclusions about it. If someone wants to make a claim that all life evolved through mutations from a swamp to mankind, I would determine that as blatant mythology. Religion offers an historical account or origins, while science can be used to determine how the world came to be. If empirical studies show that evolution is impossible, and that the earth isn't billions of years old, then the scientific method validates the historical claims made by religious texts.



Conclusion



My opponent did little in the way of argue against many of my arguments, and as he didn't disprove any of them, you should vote Con.


Debate Round No. 5
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Amarandum 1 year ago
Amarandum
"To my debates"
Posted by Amarandum 1 year ago
Amarandum
@JimShady, Superman died. Darth Vader's dead. It's a figure of speech coined by Nietzsche. I have a feeling you know exactly what the title means. How about you challenge me to a debate instead of posting passive aggressive comments to? Judging from your profile picture, I bet we have a lot of views in common... pro-gun, pro-life, pro-Ben... sadly your logic only stretches so far.
Posted by JimShady 1 year ago
JimShady
Pro foolishly names his title "God is Dead." How can God be dead if he was never alive, according to you?
Posted by Amarandum 1 year ago
Amarandum
Thanks to Lupricona for a fun debate. Hopefully we can do this again sometime.
Posted by Amarandum 1 year ago
Amarandum
@ ThatRandomGuy777, Not necessarily. This argument was one of the last reasons I remained a Christian. Something can't come out of nothing, right? Actually, that may not be the case. Current cosmology and theoretical physics tells us that the singularity that exploded out during the Big Bang was most likely the center of a black hole within another universe. The universe that spawned ours may have itself been created by a singularity, etc. There is much mathematical support for this idea, and no evidence for the existence of a god; save of course ancient texts written by shepherds who thought the world was flat. Occam's Razor suggests we should go with the most likely possibility.
Posted by ThatRandomGuy777 1 year ago
ThatRandomGuy777
Everything has to have a beginning. Thus, the big bang had to have a beginning. If the big bang created everything, then what created the big bang? And what created that? If everything has to have a beginning, then there has to be a creator.
Posted by Amarandum 1 year ago
Amarandum
http://listverse.com... - List of nonChristian influences on the Bible.
https://ncse.com... - National Center for Science Education.
http://www.news24.com... - Contradictions link.
https://www.scientificamerican.com... - Scientific American article addressing creationism.
http://www.religioustolerance.org... - ReligiousTolerance.org list of Christian/nonChristian parallels.
bibviz.com/ - A project on biblical contradictions/hate.
Posted by Amarandum 1 year ago
Amarandum
@DebateIntellectDeity, nobody's saying you can't be a scientist and believe in God. Newton, Darwin, Copernicus etc. (Einstein was a deist, so he didn't believe in the Christian God). This has nothing to do with whether or not there is a God. Are you aware that thousands of engineers currently believe the US government planned 9/11? I'm sure they're great at their jobs, but that doesn't make the conclusion valid. Evolution does not say we come from chimps. Good grief. Evolution says we and chimps had a common ancestor, but the group of ancestors that became humans had more risks in their environment, causing them to evolve larger brains to avoid conflict, develop the capacity to walk upright so that they could more easily see predators, etc. There are many historical records of evolution, counter to what ICR or Answers in Genesis tell you. Any museum and any highschool biology teacher can validate this.
Posted by DebateIntellectDeity 1 year ago
DebateIntellectDeity
Furthermore, I'd like to state that numerous scientists, philosophers, and powerful men believed in god (Einstein, Edison)for example. According to evolution, we are from chimps, which defies common logic. Why are chimps not turning into humans now? There has never been any historical records of evolution, and many loopholes according to this process. The big bang theory also has faults in it's logic.
Context: http://www.evolutionnews.org...
http://www.newgeology.us...
http://thetechreader.com...
http://science.howstuffworks.com...
Posted by DebateIntellectDeity 1 year ago
DebateIntellectDeity
God is real, and does not die. Why do you think all the religious books all link to Abraham, one of God's chosen. Most of all the religions, including Islam, Catholic, Judaism, and Christianity all have similar context within their laws.
No votes have been placed for this debate.