The Instigator
Grape
Pro (for)
Winning
23 Points
The Contender
rogue
Con (against)
Losing
15 Points

GodSands Should Cease Discussing Religion on DDO for His Own Good

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/6/2011 Category: Religion
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 4,785 times Debate No: 14964
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (72)
Votes (7)

 

Grape

Pro

Resolved: GodSands should cease discussing religion on DDO for his own good.

For the sake of this debate, we shall assume that the religious beliefs that GodSands has expressed in the forums are true. Con may not make statements about his beliefs that strongly contradict his previous claims. I will not take advantage of this to drill Con on any contradictions, but he/she may not use BS and ambiguity to weasel out of the point I am making if it is consistent with the spirit, implications, and overall message of GodSands prior statements.

GodSands has clearly expressed that he believes he is saved from sin and eternal punishment through his faith in God. He believes that Satanism is pure evil and that those who worship Satan will be punished. He also believes that atheism is basically equivalent to Satanism, morally speaking. Here are some statements from him that back up my assertion of these beliefs:

http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org...

There are probably other examples of when he has said similar things because these seem to be core parts of his religion. I am not affirming or denying the truth of any of the statements themselves.

My Argument:

Based on this, GodSands should leave DDO and stop engaging with a largely atheist intellectual community. He may think he is doing some good, but the costs clearly do not outweigh the benefits. Consider the following:

If GodSands converts someone on DDO, he will receive a finite reward (his own personal satisfaction). He will also please God, but he is already assured a place in Heaven because he is a devout Christian and undoubtedly serves his faith in other ways.

If someone on this site were to convert GodSands to atheism, he would stand to suffer an infinite loss. He would stop believing in God and probably commit many other sins. It may not be likely that GodSands could be converted, but as long as there is a nonzero chance, the infinite penalty of Hell outweighs the possible finite benefit.

There are better ways that GodSands could serve God than by trying to convert people on a site where he has been defeated 95% of the time. He is taking a massive unnecessary risk, and it would be most prudent for him to leave.
rogue

Con

I will begin by thanking my opponent for starting this interesting debate.

I believe Godsands should stay for his sake and other peoples'.

Personally, Godsands has changed the way I think about religion. He allows me to argue and debate him on religion, and as someone who is such a devout Christian I hope he knows what he is talking about. His weak responses and how he somehow consistently manages to miss the point and hardly ever answer my questions, has convinced me that Christians who take the Bible literally and believe every bit of Christian theology cannot answer these questions, are not thinking with logic and reason, and believe because they want to. In short, he has only made my atheism stronger.

To me, I see him as helping people doubt religion and the "faith" that has been spoon-fed to them since birth. Anyone who thinks with logic and reason can see posts either don't make much sense, are just Christian theology that doesn't answer the question, are just evasions of the questions asked, or are just evangelic. His inability to resolve problems people have with Christianity in Christianity's favor just makes them doubt it even more and shows them that their questions cannot be answered. I think that spreading doubt is a good thing.

It also helps Godsands become a better debater and recognize where his arguments fail. Maybe he will come up with a good argument for God and then those like me who want to believe but cannot because we think that there are too many flaws, improbabilities, inconsistencies, and conundrums in Christianity and any kind of faith at all will finally be able to have this problem resolved. Or maybe Godsands will take from what people on this site have said to him and have some doubt in his faith. This could lead to him being a more likable, intelligent, enlightening, successful individual. No matter what happens I am sure that DDO is and will continue to expose him to new ways of thinking and ideas which is almost always a good influence on people.

"He would stop believing in God and probably commit many other sins. It may not be likely that GodSands could be converted, but as long as there is a nonzero chance, the infinite penalty of Hell outweighs the possible finite benefit."- This would only be relevant if he still believed that Hell and sin existed, but since he would be Atheist it is unlikely it would be so. Also, this asserts that as an atheist, he would do more things that are considered "bad". I actually think he would do less. Even as an atheist I don't think he would do things he has been against his whole life like killing, raping, drinking in excess, drugs, casual sex, etc. I think it would stop him from being pretentious and looking down on others as he does now because he is Christian and they are not. It would also end his prejudice and discrimination towards homosexuals and people of other religions and no religions.

Although the effects of DDO on Godsands would not be easily accepted, I think in the end they will be good. I would like to finish by saying that I think that Godsands is a good person with good intentions but who refuses to challenge his blind faith and tries to support it with weak "scientific" and "logical" evidence all of which are easily defeated.
Debate Round No. 1
Grape

Pro

Any and all benefits that Con claims GodSands brings to other members are beside the point because the resolution clearly states that GodSands should leave for his own good. While his presence here may be viewed as a heroic act of self sacrifice, the resolution clearly has GodSands' own self interest in mind.

The benefits to GodSands that improving his debating skills would bring are finite, so they cannot outweigh the infinite penalty of Hell. As long as there is a nonzero risk of Hell it is not in GodSands' interest to continue debating on this site whatever the worldly benefits may be. Furthermore, there is no evidence that GodSands debating skills have improved. on herself has emphasized GodSands complete inability to engage in a discussion even after repeated attempts by other members to help in do so. Even if there were no infinite penalty of Hell, GodSands is clearly better suited to serving God in other ways. Con herself has conceded that GodSands actually hurts the cause of Christianity with his extreme incompetence, yet another reason why it would be in his best interests to leave.

To be honest, I don't think that Con got the point of my argument. GodSands believes that he will go to Hell if he becomes and atheist and he is maximizing his risk of becoming an atheist by coming to this site, thereby maximizes his chances of going to Hell. Because Hell is an infinite penalty, if GodSands is acting in his self interest he should do everything possible to avoid this risk. The fact that he might cease to believe in Hell should only worsen his present fears!

GodSands is not presently an atheist so the fact that he wouldn't believe in Hell if he were is irrelevant. This is about his present decision making process. Should GodSands, a devout Christian, conclude now that there is no risk of Hell for becoming an atheist because if he were an atheist he would not believe in it? That would be completely illogical. It would be like me converting to Christianity for the purpose of getting into Heaven because if I believed in Christianity I would believe in Heaven. That doesn't give me a present motivation for converting because I don't presently believe in Heaven. Both GodSands and I would determine that our alternative selves would simply be in error and not making or current decisions on that basis.

To recoup: going to Hell is an infinite penalty, and GodSands raises his chances of going to Hell by debating on DDO. The reason for this is because he regularly interacts with a large number of atheists with philosophically sound and well articulated views. They stand the highest chance of persuading him to abandon his religion and thus damn himself. He would have to purposely seek out an organization of atheist intellectuals to put himself in a worse spot than this. None of GodSands' beliefs even have to be true because I am only describing how he should rationally act based on his views.

This isn't even a theological debate, it's a very simple application of game theory. If there exists an infinite penalty, one should do everything in one's power to minimize the risk of it. GodSands does the very opposite of this, and thus he should alter is behavior to align with his self interest.
rogue

Con

I think it is irrelevant that Godsands believes atheists will go to Hell. If he were to convert, it would not be so that he can not be afraid of going to Hell because he is now atheist and does not believe in Hell, it would be because of some more powerful reason as that is what I think it would take a devout Christian like Godsands to stop being a believer. Godsands obviously does not think the possibility of his conversion is a problem, and if he did, I do not think he could be as evangelical and faithful Christian as he is. I think he would be much more open to peoples' ideas, have much more doubt, and not cause the frustration he does with other members of DDO. Since in Godsands reality there is a zero chance of his conversion, he has nothing to lose. Like I said, if he became atheist there would be no risk of going to hell because in his new reality there is no Hell. It is all or nothing. You either believe in Hell and God and stay Christian and think all atheist go to Hell, or you are an atheist and there is no Hell. In his beliefs, you cannot be a Christian just for the sake of if Hell is real, you will not go.

Godsands has everything to gain from being on DDO. Though there is no proof of his improvement in his debating skills, it is possible they will improve in the future. Not to mention that being on DDO gives people a chance to be informed about world issues, new ideas, new perspectives, and discuss things with people around the world. Those things can have a great effect on people; it makes you more intelligent, more well-rounded, more knowledgeable, and better able to see things from all perspectives. Not matter what his religion this can improve him as a person. I also believe DDO has taught him tolerance and forgiveness for all the people who he believes has sinned, there are a lot of people, like myself, who he believes are going to Hell and wishes to help. Believing what he believes, could you yourself standby and watch these people damn themselves?

If Godsands did convert someone then he can feel that he is a great agent of God. Pro acts like Godsands cannot help God in better other ways than talking on DDO because he is on DDO. Obviously Godsands does other things and I bet he does his best to serve his God in those areas too. While he may not convert many people here, at least people are hearing his perspective.

While Godsands may be forced to endure much criticism and taunting on DDO, he believes he is doing the right thing, and I think we can all agree DDO makes you a better person in many ways.
Debate Round No. 2
Grape

Pro

Con still does not get the point of the entire argument. That fact that Godsands believes atheists will go to Hell is pivotal to the debate. She has at least attempted a counterargument this time, but it rests on two points that are completely untenable.

The first is that GodSands will make present decisions based on possible future beliefs. If he is behaving rationally (and this debate is about what he would do if he were behaving rationally) he would certainly not do this. Consider if there were a pill that would make me believe that it is morally necessary to kill other humans and consume their flesh. Would I be inclined to take this pill? No, because I believe that it would cause me to believe something harmful.

Obviously some people will see this as a problem for everyone who professes to be open-minded. Why do I listen to socialist arguments if I believe that it would be a net loss for me to believe in socialism? The reason for this requires us to distinguish between the possibility that one could be convinced and the possibility that one's ideas could be false, a distinction that Con has systematically overlooked.

I believe it is possible both that my beliefs could be wrong and that I could be convinced otherwise, and that my being convinced that my beliefs are wrong is very like to result from (and only from) sufficient proof that they are wrong. It is therefore a benefit to me to debate a socialist: if he is right I may be convinced otherwise, which is a gain because I have acknowledged the possibility that I am in error.

While it is certainly true that GodSands could lose his faith, as I will discuss later, he believes that there is no possibility that his beliefs are in error. That is NOT the same as believing that it is possible that he could be convinced of the falsehood of his beliefs. In spite of whatever we would like to think, our beliefs are not predicated entirely on their actual truth.

At this present time, it is reasonable to believe that GodSands beliefs or could rationally determine the following
1) Those who do not believe in Christianity suffer an infinite penalty (Hell)
2) Christianity is certainly true
3) It is possible that I could come to not believe in Christianity
4) It is possible that I could suffer an infinite penalty

If there is an infinite penalty, he MUST take every possible action to avoid it. Finite gains and benefits are irrelevant. It should be extremely obvious from this that GodSands possible future belief in atheism should NOT influence his present actions. What Con advocates is tantamount to arguing that GodSands believes that Christianity will cease to be true of he stops believing in it. Clearly the truth of a religious doctrine is not based on one person's belief in it. The possible future atheist GodSands might be shocked that his past religious self was influenced by a fear of Hell, but that does not influence the decision making process of the current GodSands.

Now, I have already explained why debating on DDO increases the odds of GodSands facing unlimited punishment. His continual exposure to well explained atheist arguments increases his odds of being convinced. There are few other environments as hostile to GodSands immortal soul as DDO.

Con argues that GodSands is to convicted to lose his faith, but this argument does not rest on reasonable evidence. Human beings are capable of being convinced of opposing viewpoints. It is neither logically nor physically impossible that Godsands could become an atheist. As long as there is a nonzero chance that this could happen, GodSands has to avoid it in every way possible in order to behave rationally. Any probabilistic arguments by Con fail automatically because Hell is an infinite penalty.

All of Con's arguments have been based on finite gains. Finite gains me nothing if a nonzero increase in the probability of an infinitely negative outcome occur as a result. All my opponent's proposed benefits are insufficient because they are not infinite gains. The mere possibility of an infinite loss outweighs all of them infinitely.

I'm not going to keep reiterating the arguments I've made again and again. For two rounds Con has made arguments that have nothing to do with the debate. Silly things like DDO making you a better person have no importance in matters of infinite stakes. She's remade arguments that I already demonstrated are logically impossible (such as the potential gain GodSands could gain by converting others, which is finite because his ascent to Heaven is already assured) without addressing my arguments are all. There is an increased potential for infinite loss, and rational people to do risk infinite loss ever. That in itself is the end of any possible argument.
rogue

Con

I think Pro's argument that he should not stay on DDO for fear that he will become atheist is irrelevant. This is because GodSands believes his faith is true and cannot find reason to doubt it, therefore now he is not in danger. He does believe that one should believe in things because they have good reason and make sense. I think GodSands were converted to atheism, there would have to be a really good reason for doing so which made it in his eyes the best choice for him and others for him to be atheist. As an atheist he would not fear Hell. A pill is a bad comparison to turning atheist because this pills would change who you are and how you thought. If he was converted, he would still be GodSands and would have reasoned atheism to be correct in the same manner in which he reasons Christianity to be correct now. I think it would be against GodSands's principles and reasoning to fear becoming atheist and backing down because of it. In he current mindset, he is convinced he will never become atheist and has nothing to fear. In the new mindset where he is atheist, atheism is good and Hell doesn't exist so he has nothing to fear. In neither mindset does GodSands have anything to fear.

I have pointed out many benefits he gets from being on DDO, none of which Pro has negated.
Debate Round No. 3
72 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Koopin 6 years ago
Koopin
The vote bombing on this is funny.
Posted by ourgodisaconsumingfire 6 years ago
ourgodisaconsumingfire
All of this non sense is ignorant. To the person who posted this one could sue over a matter like this. It's called importuning harrassment this is not Iran or Pakistan. People are equal all people have right's no matter if the is a so called (Atheistic stronghold) website in which I have not found an extremely amazing atheist debater on here yet. That although does not give me the right to use slander and debate on ones own right to debate here this is pure ignorance. I am glad at least rogue knows that it is wrong. Grape you are childish and expect no one to respect you besides these Hitchen and Dawkins lovers of arrogance. This is not a matter of debate though. If one would want to debate actually debate on a real subject not one's self entitlement.
Posted by GodSands 6 years ago
GodSands
@Bloodsnhall, give me more information, give me an example of what you say, then I will respond to your accusation.
Posted by bloodsnhall 6 years ago
bloodsnhall
@Godsands, but you didn't answer my question about why your here when there are injustices being committed in your house? There are crimes being commuted in your faith right now and the people responsible for these acts are being justified by your inactivity. Are you just going to sit here with us when these people are committing crimes against your god's will? I will never understand how these people follow false idols. These people are your leader's and your participation and inactivity to disobey god's word is allowing them to walk you straight into hell. When will you stand up and say enough is enough for your god? you think he likes seeing you be ignorant cowards.
Posted by rogue 6 years ago
rogue
Grape- I definitely did not get that from the rfd. In fact I got nothing sensible from that rfd lol.
Posted by JustCallMeTarzan 6 years ago
JustCallMeTarzan
Meh - it was vote fraud.

Vote Bombing is vote fraud by a bunch of people.
Posted by Grape 6 years ago
Grape
Are you guys not aware of the fact that he specifically said in his comment that he was voting against me to get revenge because I accused him of cheating? How is that not the definition of vote bombing?
Posted by m93samman 6 years ago
m93samman
lol@200machao
Posted by rogue 6 years ago
rogue
Godsands- thank you
bloodsnall- I honestly didn't understand what that guy was saying. But for some reason I thought I deserved to win so I thought it was legit.
Posted by GodSands 6 years ago
GodSands
I agree with rogue that this debate as a whole is over rated, and there was no vote bombing going on before JKenyon interfered. I believe that 200machao reasons for voting all towards rogue was fair. And if I could vote, I would vote for rogue, not because I am the subject matter, but because Grape has taken the site far too seriously in respects of such a minor issue. So if I could vote, rogue would have 14 points right now.
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by Awed 6 years ago
Awed
GraperogueTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Counter votebomb brokenboy.
Vote Placed by brokenboy 6 years ago
brokenboy
GraperogueTied
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Reasons for voting decision: this is a debating site anyone should be entitled to expressing their opinons and belifs
Vote Placed by JustCallMeTarzan 6 years ago
JustCallMeTarzan
GraperogueTied
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Total points awarded:31 
Reasons for voting decision: Giving Rogue a conduct point, because IMO, Grape really did take the topic way too seriously. That said, the reverse pascal's wager argument is correct in this case... BUT, if Rogue had tossed out a "comedic value" argument, I would have voted for her on the arguments...
Vote Placed by annhasle 6 years ago
annhasle
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Reasons for voting decision: Con either did not comprehend or repeatedly ignored Pro's risk analysis of GodSand's inevitable visit to Hell if he stayed on DDO. I liked his use of Game theory and he met his burden of proof which Con did not adequately negate. Instead, Con focused on "what ifs" which are not strong enough to be construed as counterarguments. Well done, Grape.
Vote Placed by J.Kenyon 6 years ago
J.Kenyon
GraperogueTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Counter votebomb.
Vote Placed by 200machao 6 years ago
200machao
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Reasons for voting decision: Trying to tie fdebate these people are obviously the same person... seriously how does that even make sense at all? Its a freaking debate website theres no championship or trophy for winning debates why dont you keep ur opinions to urself u obviously have no life an d make accounts/
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 6 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
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Reasons for voting decision: Con did not deal with the risk analysis of Pro which was clever.