God of slaves.
This debate has four rounds and a 24 hour reply time. My opponent may use the first round to accept, or post a argument.
FF is acceptable if valid points are given without rebuttal. Which means, if a strong undeniable argument is presented in round one, you can win the entire debate.
All points and arguments must be within the allocated boundaries of this debate. ie- atheist or agnostic doctrine isnt permitted due to their nature.
This debate isnt about the idea of winning, but seeking truth.
Topic: God of slaves.
The god im referring to isnt any specific god, but the basic idea of god. The universal meaning of god is creator of life or origin. The use of specific gods isnt permitted, only the term 'god the creator.'
The word slave is used to describe all human relations between god, and that all humans owe a debt to god by default. Therefore humans owe their lives to this creator since without god they wouldn't even exist.
Side point, God prevents free will. God the creator never asked people if they wanted to be born indebted to him. If god did ask, it would mean they were given freedom of choice. Since we're born without the ability to choose, we're forced to pay back our debt to god.
PRO - I agree the above statement is correct.
Humans are enslaved to this universal idea of god, the god of slaves. God the creator is a ruler over slaves, that humans owe their lives and origin to god, and have a debt to pay without choice. If humans don't repay their debt, they're unjustifiably condemned to hell and torture.
CON, must show the term god ive used doesn't impose a debt, and allows freedom of choice.
Hello Albert. Thank you for proposing this debate.
I don't see that all humans owe a debt to god by default. Pro argues that this is so because "without god they [humans] wouldn't even exist." This is true (assuming god the creator), but it is true for lots of things. Without our parents, we wouldn't exist. Without the oceans, nitrogen, the sun, gravity, forceps, farmers, all our ancestors including the pre-human ones, we wouldn't exist. We're not obliged to pay back a debt of gratitude to those, so I don't understand why we must to god. Further, if we were in such an enslaved-to-debt situation, surely god would have made the terms clear to us? And as far as I know, he has not.
About the free will part. God never asked us if we wanted to be born indebted to him, as far as we know. But if he had asked, the question would not have made sense because for us to listen to and decide on this issue we would have to exist, and our existance is dependent on our answer to the question. Would this have been a real choice anyway, if the wrong answer would snuff us out? I suggest that such coercive terms do not allow freedom of choice in any case.
Further, Pro has not shown how the lack of free will on this one decision would rule out free will on all other decisions, and therefore even if such a debt existed, it wouldn't rule out free will.
If im raised and educated by my parents and conclude I dont owe them anything, it's my opinion. But if I own a large company and hire someone and provide training, clothing, food, shelter and education they owe me because of our written contract. If the hired person decides they don't owe me anything, that's their opinion but the legal contract says differently. So to reference my first example, if the child's opinion is they dont owe the parents anything, it's only their opinion, not truth.
If obligation is both legal and moral, then clearly moral obligations do exist regardless of opinion. When children are raised, they're obligated to obey their parents orders and conditions. If they decide they dont owe their parents loyalty or respect, they're punished. This is moral obligation demanding loyalty and obedience.
If god wields the power of life and death, he may fashion a tree into a walking stick. But if the tree rebels and decides not to obey, he may dis-guard the walking stick for another. So god the creator has the same right over all creation which decides to obey or rebel.
If god made his intentions clear or not, it still wouldn't excuse humans from an obligation, it would only mean that god hasn't asked for anything. Example, if I work for the BBC im obligated to uphold there conditions. But if no conditions are listed, im obligated to the BBC and to any conditions they present in the future. So god may not have listed any conditions to you, but that doesn't excuse your debt. Example for debt - If I owe money to the Mafia and they ask for a favor instead of cash, im obligated to payback the debt on request.
Side topics- Free will
rross has made a good observation that my statement wouldn't make sense. But my question wasn't banking on logic, rather justice. It's unjust to force someone into debt without choice, so to rephrase my original statement ill say: It's unjust to sell your child into slavery to pay for a parents debt, since the child is innocent and didnt choose to be born with this debt.
Similarly, children aren't given the choice to be loyal to parents, they're usually forced by punishment via: sent to their room, time-out or no dessert until they listen and be loyal to their parents. This treatment is similar to training a dog to be loyal and obey, but to children. Children dont exactly chose to be loyal, they're forced by discipline.
Therefore children are referenced to parents, just as humans are to god their creator and master of life which has utter authority over creation.
In debt to god: some problems
Pro says that humans are in debt to god. To be in debt means that we are obliged to "pay" god in exchange for something he has already given us. This is a confusing idea, and I hope Pro will be able to clarify a bit in the next round.
Firstly, the idea that we can somehow pay back god for our existence. What could we possibly do, even over years, that could equal the value of being created? We couldn't create god in return.
Which leads to the second point, which is what could we give god that has any value at all to him? If he is capable of creating us, and the universe, what could we do in exchange and indeed, why would he need anything from us?
Sometimes debt implies we are repaying the efforts or expenses of the other party rather than the value we received. But did god go to much effort to create us? Was it easy or difficult for him? Even if it was difficult how could we compensate him for that?
Humans enslaved to other humans work to create value for their "owners". I don't really understand how human slaves could create value for god.
Authority, punishment and debt
God has universal authority. God can punish us. Neither of these statements implies we owe him a debt.
I bought a goldfish from a shop and put it in a tank. I went to some effort with plants and ornaments to enhance the fish's swimming experience. I feed it every day and I clean it out fortnightly. I "created" the fish's world. Is the fish in my debt? Why no. It has no rights, no power , and is no position to negotiate a contract. Therefore, it is under no debt.
A debt implies some level of equality - something exchanged for something else. The power differential in the goldfish example is great enough to make this ludicrous. But the power difference between god and human is even greater, unimaginably greater than that.
On free choice
Even slaves have choices. For example, a slave can choose to be obliging and try and please the "owner" or she can refuse to work and be punished. She could try to run away, or she could try to make her situation better by informing on the other slaves. None of these choices is particularly attractive, of course, but there they are.
However, Pro is not talking about choices but rather about "free choices". This has not been defined, but I assume he means choices in the absence of coercion. Is god coercing us? Not really (and again - to do what exactly? What is it that god wants from us anyway?).
For instance, Pro compares god to parents who discipline their children. Children who disobey are sent to their rooms or refused dessert. Repeatedly, until they realize it's in their best interests to do what they're told. Imagine if parents behaved as god does and did not punish their children in these small, immediate ways but rather relied on the threat of some terrible, unimaginable punishment that would come much, much later. Would this be an effective disciplinary technique? Hardly. The children would learn to discount it. They might not even believe in it.
In any case, we are not talking about any specific god, but a general creator god. Pro has not demonstrated why a general creator god would necessarily need to condemn some of us to "hell and torture".
And even if he did, I don't think if follows that we have a moral obligation to god. At school, a bully makes me had over my lunch money every day - otherwise she beats me up. Because I'm a coward, I either hand that money over or hide in the toilets. Does that mean I have some debt, some moral obligation to her? Of course not. Ability to punish is neither here nor there morally. If we owe something to our parents it's for reasons other than their ability to punish us.
personal bias and the truth
Pro stipulates that "we cannot make conclusions based off our understanding - we must use a reference." For example, he says, an employee can be in debt to a company because it says so in the contract. Where does it say that we are indebted to god? Without reference, Pro's statements about indebtedness are no more than his personal opinion.
This round ill be replying to Cons statements and answering his questions.
In debt to god.
Con has requesting clarifcation about what debt humans have to god. The basic principle is found within parent to child relation, that a child owes loyalty and respect on a moral level. This loyalty and respect is technically forced, or without choice (or without free will), since rebelling will only prolong punishment, and respect and loyalty will eventually be given. Because obligation is built from morality and law, morality is acceptable to use.
Con has also stated two points,
1) That humans can somehow payback our debt to god - what could we possibly do to repay this debt.
Childern are in the exactly the same situation, and payment is given by loyalty and respect.
2) What could we give god that has any value to him.
Good point, yet that's also true for childern. Childern cannot pay back, or give their parents anything that they couldnt already get themselves. A child cannot give a BMW as payment, but the parents could get a BMW.
However we know parents find worth in the relationship between parent and child, a relationship which starts with loyalty and respect . This moral relationship grows into much more overtime, yet has no actual value such as a house or car, only moral value.
Con has stated that gods authoirty over life doesnt imply we owe him a debt. Then he gives the example of how providing the enviroment for a goldfish to live doesnt force the goldfish to owe him (Con). True, this is because he isnt the creator of life or water, plants, and oxygen. He didnt give birth to the goldfish, or create the goldfish from nothing, so the goldfish has no obligation or loyalty to him at all, only god.
If we jumped into this example even more, we'll more my point becomes clear. What if the goldfish had the ability to speak, and was relgious and knew he owed loyalty to god. Then Con tells the fish he owes him loyalty. The goldfish could rightfully say "Im only alive because god gave me life, you've only prevented me from death, but my lifes existances isnt indebted to you, because your not god. You (con) can only change the landscape so i may live at this time, so if i were to owe you my life, I would dishonour god who i'm rightfully indebted to." This is also true if someone tried this on a Monk. If a thug held a gun to a monks head and said "you owe me loyalty because your life is in my hands." The monk would reply "I owe my life to god, and i wont give you loyalty simply because you have the ability to take my life."
This is Cons example, but ive gone into more detail to explain the differences. I agree that his example is correct, but the reason why it's correct it important. If this example is correct because of Cons argument, then it would disprove mine. The example simply shows the goldfish owes loyalty to god not man. So when Con says, "the goldfish doesnt owe me anything" he's correct. But if the reason why the example is correct is because the goldfish doesnt owe the man anything, but actually owes god. So the example edifys my position, not Cons, that everything owes it's life to god.
Slaves may have choice between obey or rebel, but this isnt true freedom, only the ability to choose between two restricted options given by force. This restricted choice isnt real freedom, but forced option without alternative.
Con has used the example that slaves may obey or rebel, which proves they have choice. But this choice is simply obey or be punished. If we take this to it's extreme, we find that a choice between two options isnt freedom at all. If the options were, obey and live, rebel and die. This choice is the ability to chose one or the other, but this isnt freedom at all.
If we look at the correct definition for freedom it means: Free·dom - Noun 1)The power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint. 2) Absence of subjection to foreign domination or despotic government. So clearly the option between obey or disobey isnt true freedom.
If I continue this train of thought and return to past events in history. Dictatorship's foundation is based off obey or die, but more technically it's, obey and by loyal to the country or die. This isnt freedom at all, although people are free to choose to obey or die. War was made and fought in the name of freedom which everyone understands, because the people were denied their true freedom. If im incorrect, we should say, we gave them more freedom instead of two option freedom? No.
If two option choice isnt true freedom, then what's the opposite? Slave - Definition of slave -noun (especially in the past) a person who is the legal property of another and is forced to obey them.
Childern for a period of time are slaves to their parents, because they're forced to obey. Similarly humans are indebted to god without choice, since no child chose to be loyal to their parents, no human chose to be loyal to god. Therefore the obligated loyalty and respect applies for both cases because of the moral foundation.
Cons explains how my statement of debt to god is invaild without a foundation. This is incorrect because my foundation is morality which is rooted in obligation by definition, and to owe another is an obligation. The moral obligation between parent and child is real, which edifys the relation between god the creator and the created.
The obligation continus even if the creator doesnt give demands, it simply means the creator hasnt asked for anything. A master may let his slave run free for ten days, but on the eleveth he demands loyalty, and the slave must obey or be punished. This relationship is similar to all dictatorships, to obey or be punished.
God created us unconditionally. Our lives are, in a sense, a gift.
Pro says otherwise. He says that in the moment of our creation, we somehow signed a metaphorical contract with god, which we must pay back in our lifetimes with respect and loyalty.
He goes further. He says that god has forced us into this contract to the extent that we have no freedom of choice. In particular, he says, god is holding us in two ways:
These two methods, though independent, are not contradictory. For example, parents have a moral obligation to care for their children and, at the same time, have a duty-of-care under law.
It's interesting to speculate why two methods are needed, though. An atheist would be influenced by neither method, while a devout deist would probably find the second method redundant.
Indeed, there are several logical inconsistencies in Pro's theory. Of course, neither one of us has evidence, documentary or otherwise. We are both merely stating an opinion. Therefore, the question needs to be decided logically. Our lives being a gift from god is not only more pleasant, it is also simpler and more logical. Therefore, if either theory is true, it must be the gift theory.
God's weak threat
If god wanted to threaten us, he could do a much better job. All he would need to do is show us hell for a moment when we sinned. Even once or twice would be enough. We would be terrified. We would do whatever he wanted all the time.
But god has not done that, from which we can only conclude that he does not want us to be controlled by fear of hell. He wants us to be free to choose.
Finally, there is no reason to think that there even is a hell. It is not a logical consequence of god the creator. Pro needs to provide at least some evidence of hell existing (it seems extremely unlikely to me).
MORAL OBLIGATION. A duty which one owes, and which he ought to perform, but which he is not legally bound to fulfill (1)
Therefore, even if we do have a moral obligation to god, something that Pro has yet to prove, we are still not in any sense "bound" to fulfil it. We are not coerced. We are not slaves. We still have free choice.
Respect and loyalty
Pro claims that our side of the contract requires us to give god respect and loyalty during our lifetimes. Please note that this is only Pro's opinion, based on his observation of parent-child relationships.
Are respect and loyalty internal or external behaviors? Of course, in interhuman relationships, given that we can't read minds, we mean respectful and loyal behavior. God, however, can read our innermost thoughts and feelings, so respect and loyalty to god must include behavior, thoughts and feelings.
Can thoughts and feelings be coerced? If they can be, then we would be more than god's slaves - we would be his automatons. It would be like in 1984: we would be wandering around crying tears of joy and love for god.
But the situation is not like that. Clearly, it is possible to live lives of disrespect to god without punishment in our lifetimes. There are all kinds of atheists, idolaters and satanists. God could have prevented this if he had chosen to. But he hasn't, which means we are not slaves - we are free to choose to worship him or not.
Perhaps we are in the ten free days that Pro has spoken of and in the eleventh day we will know god's fury. But there is no evidence for such a thing. It doesn't follow logically from the idea of god the creator, and it would be completely inconsistent with god's behavior up to now. I think we can discount it.
I will begin by addressing Cons key points, then conclude my position for this debate. Thank you rross for taking this debate, it's a refreshing change.
Truth cannot be present anywhere, otherwise babies that say the moon is made of cheese and it would be true. We must use a systematic method to dissimulate between truth and here-say. So if Con says: "God created us unconditionally. Our lives are, in a sense, a gift." The truth is, without a foundation of creditable evidence, it's simple here-say. Con hasn't presented any evidence to confirm his statement, but it's used to counter my position. I cannot debate or defend myself when one sentence that's sourced from his personal bias is presented, I need evidence.
RE: God's weak threat.
The argument present isn't my position, only Cons opinion about what god should do to warn us. If his opinion is that god should give free ice-cream to explain that god's a nice guy, that's his opinion. I don't need to defend against his opinion, only factual evidence against my position.
RE: Moral obligation.
Con explains how moral obligations don't necessarily imply punishment, or repercussions. However this explanation defies the meaning of obligation, since to owe is based on agreement, and if you break that agreement then what's agreed will or will not occur. Example, if morality says we should be nice to our neighbour but we're hateful and spiteful, it's very certain our neighbours wont be nice to us anymore. But if we take Cons position literally, the repercussions wont occur, our neighbours will still bring cake over for Xmas. If we're morally obligated to be respectful and loyal to our parents and we're not, then chances are something will happen based on the obligation.
Dogs are taught to be respect their masters call and be loyal, and similar children are taught to respect their parents, and slaves are taught to respect their masters. A dog is not legally bound, a child is partially bound legally and morally, and a slave is legally bound. Yet all three examples have clear repercussions for disobedience: that's, when they break they moral obligation.
RE: Respect and loyalty.
Cons explains firstly that my opinion alone says we owe god respect and loyalty, a statement which ill explain later. Con also explains how many 'disobedient' people live without punishment, therefore we cannot be slaves since we can chose.
This statement must be Cons opinion since to assume punishment doesn't exist he must know all things, which he does not. Also to say we're free to chose implies Con assumes the phase 'freedom of choice.' If we're free to chose god or not, that means we're capable to live without god. Example, im free to speak against Obama in USA and live, but in the days of Hitler I'm free to speak against and then be executed. The difference is freedom. If I'm free to chose god or not, then if I reject god, Con says I should live because here on earth we have freedom. But for Con to assume we are free to chose he must prove we can live after death without god. For Con to conclude we're free to chose, it implies punishment doesn't exist. But this statement conflicts with morality.
Morality exists, therefore assuming god the creator also exists, means morality came from god. Since creation is subject to the creator in all ways, the reference 'slave to master' is acceptable. If creation declares it's freedom from the creator, then creation must source it's own habitat which isn't already created. And if creation declares it's free, since no obligation exists between the created and the creator, then proof must be presented that morality doesn't exist between god and humans. If we reject god who created life, and this world to live in, then we must find another dimension to live in without god when we die.
Assume god the creator exists then all things must be created by god. Morality wouldn't exist without god the creator making it. Therefore our understanding of moral obligation between god and man is valid unless proof is presented. It's logical to conclude the attributes of creation are found within a creator, otherwise how was it made? Example, if soilders are taught discipline, it's logical that someone disciplined taught them, otherwise how did they learn it? If children have a moral obligation towards parents, it's logical that a moral obligation exists between all creation and the creator.
A child's obligation to there parent is taught by discipline. But not all obligations need to be taught to exist. Any legal or moral obligation can be formed without it being enforced, so punishment isn't needed to be seen in order to give evidence of obligation. Example, when Bob legally agrees to build Jack a house, Jack doesn't need to smack him on the bottom to give evidence of the obligation. If the world ended before the contract between Bob and Jack finished, would we have any evidence of the obligation? Yes, in the form of legal a contract. So even if we don't see Jack taking legal action against Bob for breaking the obligation, it doesn't mean the obligation didn't exist. So even if creation isn't taught about the obligation and it's not enforced, it doesn't mean the obligation doesn't exist.
If slaves seek freedom they must pay their master. But if slaves don't earn money because it's given to their master, how can they save money to buy their freedom? A slave would need to work for themselves to earn their own money. Technically speaking, this implies the slave becomes it's own master and collects his own cash for his own work. Similarly a child can disrespect and rebel against their parents leave their provision. But to move out and live, they need to source their own provision which isn't from their parents. So for creation to be free from the creator, they must create their own world without the materials already created, since what's created is the creators property.
But if Con is correct, that no moral obligation exists between god and humans, then sufficient proof must be provided to show morality doesn't exist between god and man.
WW2 was fought for freedom against Hitler, and the German people had their freedom denied. The only choice was to be loyal to Hitler or die. If Con says we're free to chose god or not, we must conclude we shall live after death. But if we turn our back on the creator and reject god, where will we live? Do we live in gods house that god created? No, because we rejected him. Do we build a house from wood that god made? No, because we rejected him, and that wood belongs to him and so does the land. So if we assume god the creator does exist, and no other god apart from this god exists, where shall we live? If the only option is death because we're unable to live without a world created by him, then we have no choice but to be loyal to god. And the choice between obey or die isn't freedom, it's the opposite: slavery. We are subject to a master that we have no choice, but to obey or die - God of slaves.
From these assumptions, Pro had the burden of proof to show that humans are enslaved to god, "that humans owe their lives and origin to god, and have a debt to pay without choice. If humans don't repay their debt, they're unjustifiably condemned to hell and torture."
This seems to me a very difficult thing to prove, and I accepted the debate out of curiosity to see how Pro might do it. Unfortunately, he has proved nothing. He has made a series of statements about his beliefs, but he has not proved that hell exists, that humans have a debt to pay to god, that we lack freedom of choice, or that anything in our relationship with god is unjustifiable.
god is not subject to human law
Pro has based his assumptions about god's nature on his observations of human behavior. He draws parallels between human law and divine law. He compares god to Hitler, a slave-owner, a pet-owner and a strict parent. But there's no reason at all to suppose that god would behave the way humans do when they're in a position of power. Quite the contrary in fact. God the creator created humans. As Pro pointed out in round 2, there is nothing in the human capacity that even approximates that. We cannot understand god's intentions by looking at humans.
not all morality is god's morality
It seems that Pro is arguing that his version of morality is valid because god must have created it, since god created everything. Therefore, if a man believes it's moral to beat a dog, so god believes it's moral to punish us.
But what about a man who believes it's immoral to beat a dog? What about indulgent parents who believe that disciplining children is wrong? What about buddhists who refuse to harm even the smallest bug, and scoop up scorpions in buckets and lovingly carry them back to the jungle? The morality of these people is also created by god, according to Pro. If god also shares this kind of morality, then he would never treat us like slaves or punish us unfairly.
How to decide - Pro's morality or mine? Of course, we can't decide on this basis. God's morality cannot be inferred from human morality. The truth of god's nature cannot be inferred from human belief (neither mine nor Pro's). God's relationship with us cannot be inferred from human-human relationships.
Therefore, Pro's statements about god's morality, drawn only from his own beliefs and his observations of humans and animals, can be dismissed.
We are not in debt to god
In particular, there is only Pro's statement that we are in debt to god. There is no contract, no evidence of any kind. God does not punish us in our lifetimes if we infringe this "contract". Pro speaks darkly of punishment that may come when we die but again, he's just guessing. He speaks of "moral obligation" to god, but seems unsure about what this entails. When parents instruct their children, in contrast, it's clear what they want them to do. God wants "respect and loyalty", according to Pro, but cannot be more specific than that.
Pro says, "...for Con to assume we are free to choose, he must prove we can live after death without god." This is the wrong way around. If we have freedom to choose, why should we assume anything other than that god has given us that freedom? As Pro says, god has created everything, including our freedom to choose. Our freedom is right here with us. We can see it in the way people choose to live their lives and the things they say. Hell and the threat of punishment is not right here. We can't see it, and most likely it does not exist at all. Of course, it's most logical to believe in what we have evidence for (freedom to choose) over what we haven't (eternal punishment).
Whose opinion counts?
Pro has complained several times that I am only giving my opinion. He writes, "I don't need to defend against his [sic] opinion, only factual evidence against my opinion."
Yet, Pro has provided no factual or logical support for his own opinion. In stating that we are slaves to god, he has made a positive assertion that he needed to defend. Because he has provided no evidence, logical or factual, to support his opinion, he has failed to uphold the burden of proof. Therefore, if we choose to dismiss mere opinion, as Pro insists we must do (and I agree), he has failed to carry his argument.
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