How Does The God of the Bible Appeal to Logic?
Debate Rounds (2)
Please do not take offense to the title of this debate if you are person of faith: that was simply the best way to put my thoughts into words. I do not mean to imply that the belief in God defies or belittles logic. I just would like to know how the God of the Bible seems to be more realistic than the gods of other religions. I would like a response that does not use the Bible as evidence: of course the Bible says the Bible is correct. Other religious texts do the same for themselves. All I am curious about is the appeal of the Christian God, compared to the countless others.
When one asks the question of how a concept appeals to logic one must establish upon which vector one wishes to establish a goal of argument. One must also keep in consideration the distinctions between transient emergent events in social memes and cultural permutation of social memes into conceptual foundations that fall outside of individual belief systems and apply instead to psychological construction of self-identification matrices.
Human beings evolve along twin vectors. One vector, biology, is easy enough to understand. The other vector, sociological, is as important to the development of the evolution of individuals in view of the species as the other. It can be observed in all high-order sentient life on earth, including cetaceans, primates, hymenoptera and a great many others. It is probable that higher-order sapience is a resultant of sociological evolution influencing biological evolution. Due to the fact that social selection (survival and propagation) is directly linked to biological evolution as a social adaptation vector one is forced to conclude that survivability, not provability, of a social meme is a prime factor in debating its logical merit.
When one uses a loosely defined but culturally selective term such as 'The Bible' one is left with a loose definition generally relating to a collection of selected historical writings put forward by a social authority as embodying the core logical foundations of set of belief systems. Since faiths based on the bible vary widely one must examine this logical foundation for a clear definition of their core belief.
This is where the religion of christianity shines. There is no firm definition of who or what god is. There are tons of allegorical comparisons made by different authors on how the Judeo-Islamic-Christian god behaves in set circumstance, but absolutely no direct observation of his characteristics or personal announcements of his belief system or motivation. This means it is an open-ended set of characteristics defined not by the foundations of the faith but rather by the implementation of each belief sub-sect.
If one takes the position that there is a God, then using such an ambiguous definition of self could be a masterful action of measuring the evolutionary progress of a species after creation. By observing the evolution of cultures based on loose belief over time it would be possible to judge their baseline social evolution and determine exactly which temporal epoch would be most ideal for revealing self or more about self.
If one takes the position that there is no God, merely that religion is a natural and inevitable emergent event in the dynamics of sociological evolution, then it is still a fine example of nonspecific socially-adaptive memegeneering. Any specific definition of the attributes of god establish a groundwork on which that belief system can be directly attacked, thus making any logical assault against a particular doctrine based on a particular speculation. The biblical figure Jesus in the Christian "New Testament" establishes that clearly as a weak point when he condemns teaching for doctrine the commandments of men.
Thus the god of the bible appeals to logic through nonspecific definition in order to allow the parishioner to establish his or her own rational belief structure on choice.
Any inconsistency of action requires that a logical position take up subjective motive as the position of argumentation against the actions of the deity. This places the counter argument upon the same shifting foundation of speculative projection (psychological reflection of personal motivation and interpretation) as their opponent and thus makes any argument for or against any action equally dependent upon a logical fallacy.
Essentially, the god of "the bible" cannot be directly assaulted logically because of the specificity principle. Until a specific individual or sect defines the specificity of the nature of God it cannot be argued against.
One can argue against the validity of the logical approach itself, but to do this one must establish the motive of the author(s) of "The Bible" itself. This involves many people over many spans of time and many groups, each of which have reconstituted the collection of canonical works according to their own beliefs and motives. This devolves the argument, again, into one against a particular sect, government or author rather than the nonspecific deity called "God" as loosely laid out in those same works.
In conclusion we are faced with the fact that for any given question concerning the nature of the god of the bible, there is a logical approach to either side, which allows for valid argumentation. It doesn"t matter if one seeks to validate the potential for existence in a question such as "does this God exist" or "is this God ethical" the simple truth is that a logical argument can be made without violating the premise.
Thus it (the concept of this biblical god) does form a nonspecific set of characteristics in keeping with a logically consistent belief system. What it does not provide is a foundation for logical consensus on which a specific definition can be built in order to form axiomatic proof. Seeking proof is, as you have established already, a separate issue.
On your statement that there is no clear depiction of who God is: I think I have to disagree on that. Actions speak louder than words, my friend, and God has made Himself known through more actions than he has in actual words. Throughout the Bible, he has helped his disciples perform miracles of healing and demonstrations of power. Does this not shed some serious light on His character?
Also, while I am sure you made note of this, I did not mean to ask if the existence of a god or creator is logical, but rather the reasoning behind why the God of the Bible is so popularly accepted as logical.
Emotionally I understand a complicated schedule, yet this is my opponent's debate and she chose to request that it be engaged. This appeal might be accepted by me, or by the judges, were it meant to excuse expansive argumentation on points made. Unfortunately from the rest of the arguments presented, I must conclude it is an excuse for further fallacy. This I cannot accept in good conscience.
Following the initial appeal, my opponent presents an argument that is itself a formal breach of debate protocol. My opponent makes use of the colloquialism that actions speak louder than words which is merely a restatement of my own argument that we have nothing but actions from which to determine the nature of the biblical deity. I further argued strongly that any argument for or against logic would be speculative since it would require that we attempt to create motive from speculation. Action derives from motive. Motive derives from logical reason. Logical reason derives from worldview. We have no stated worldview or logical argument from the deity in question, merely speculation on motive for action provided by observers who see and judge the actions but have no dialogue with the deity and thus no insight into his reasons. My opponent has therefore committed the logical fallacy of Avoiding the Issue. In classical fallacious follow-up my opponent then points towards a subsection of the bible, the New Testament, in order to argue the character of 'God' when all faiths derived from the biblical texts agree that despite delegation of divinity God (the father figure of christianity) and Jesus (the one who had disciples and worked miracles) are different entities entirely. Even the christian trinity theory does not allow for logical equation of the old-testament God with jesus and thus my opponent has added the red-herring counter-argument approach to the avoidance fallacy.
Finally I bring myself to the second half of my opponents final statement which is an example of 'begging the question'. The request for the reasoning presumes that the God of the bible is, in fact, popularly accepted as logical.
In point of fact, it is the social meme (or socio-demographic perception of God built by religious authority in individual societies) that each society accepts as logical but contend with each other over the same assumptions. This has been clearly established by social testing. You may feel free to read the results yourself, but suffice it to say that it is the OPPONENTS of any group accepting the social meme as logical which know more about the origin and fallacies than the PROPONENTS. [U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey - Pew Research Center, religion and public life, September 28, 2010]
The same research goes on to show an incredible ignorance of foundational religious texts by the vast majority of people who believe, or agree with the logic of a particular belief. Their reasoning is almost entirely built on speculative arguments provided by religious leadership and has only the most tenuous of relationships to the religious texts on which the beliefs are nominally founded.
Christianity (the Bible) features prominently in the research data which also includes demographic and ethnic social meme metadata.
I consider my previous arguments unaddressed and, further, reinforced by this additional cited research.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Heirio 10 months ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro stated that God's character changes throughout the Bible, something that should not happen if God was as powerful and all encompassing as people say. He notes how God was rather harsh in the Old Testament, but not so much in the New. This was a convincing argument for me, as most depictions of God (as all encompassing) conflict with this. Con didn't address this at all, and stated that God's character was shown through the Bible, despite the fact that Pro's previous argument refuted that. Pro get's the point for arguments.
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