The Instigator
Freeman
Pro (for)
Winning
48 Points
The Contender
Lifeisgood
Con (against)
Losing
33 Points

Ignorant mortals probably wrote the Bible.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 15 votes the winner is...
Freeman
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/7/2009 Category: Religion
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,697 times Debate No: 9156
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (31)
Votes (15)

 

Freeman

Pro

The year is 2009. Nearly 2 billion people on our planet have organized their lives around the claim that the Bible is so profound that it is acceptable to arrange one's life around it to the exclusion of other books. Am I the only one that sees a problem with this? Given the breadth and profusion of human knowledge over the past few hundred years this almost seems to be miraculous in itself. It is certainly true to say that the authors of the Bible could write extraordinarily well, however this does not negate the fact that they didn't know what a germ or an atom was. The Bible is a very long book, it contains pages and pages on how to kill people, how to beat slaves, and detailed instructions on how to sacrifice a wide variety of animals. At no place in the Bible does God care to mention DNA, relativity or disease, the very principles of infectious disease. As though this weren't odd enough for some strange reason that surpasses human understanding God decided to make Shakespeare a better writer than himself.

"Take a moment to imagine how good a book could be if it were written by the Creator of the universe. Such a book could contain a chapter on mathematics that, after two thousand years of continuous use, would still be the richest source of mathematical insight the earth has ever seen. Instead, the Bible contains some very obvious mathematical errors. In two places, for instance, the Good Book gives the ratio of a circumference of a circle to its diameter as simply 3 (1 Kings 7: 23-26 and 2 Chronicles 4: 2-5). We now refer to this constant relation with the Greek letter p. While the decimal expansion of p runs to infinity-3.1415926535 . . .-we can calculate it to any degree of accuracy we like. Centuries before the oldest books of the Bible were written, both the Egyptians and Babylonians approximated p to a few decimal places. And yet the Bible-whether inerrant or divinely inspired-offers us an approximation that is terrible even by the standards of the ancient world. Needless to say, many religious people have found ingenious ways of rationalizing this. And yet, these rationalizations cannot conceal the obvious deficiency of the Bible as a source of mathematical insight. It is absolutely true to say that, if Archimedes had written a chapter of the Bible, the text would bear much greater evidence of the author's "omniscience.""- Sam Harris (Reply to a Christian) seventh paragraph

Here is what we now know about our world. The universe is far older, larger and more magnificent than either the Bible or Koran suggest. We know for a fact that the Universe is approximately 14 billion years old and that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old. Humans evolved from non-human ancestors along a continuum with all other forms of life on Earth. Many Christians will scoff at the notion of common ancestry by saying things like Evolution is only a theory and not a fact. Such sentiments are born out of a serious misunderstanding of the word theory when it is used in a scientific context. In science there are facts, which must be explained by reference to other facts. These larger explanatory models are theories. Gravity like evolution is a theory and a fact that is not likely to be overturned even if we were to witness a rock falling upwards. If you doubt that evolution is true then you may as well doubt that the Earth revolves around the Sun. The fact that there are some scientists who proclaim the failures of Darwinism does not in the slightest suggest that there is an actual debate in the scientific community on whether or not evolution is true.

So, where does all of this leave us? Unless it can be demonstrated that it is highly plausible that Jesus was the Son of God then the resolution will remain affirmed. Considering what Christians believe the burden will be upon my opponent to demonstrate why the divinity of Jesus is highly plausible. If, for instance, I claimed to be the son of God the burden would be upon me or any of my followers to spell out why this is so. The burden would not be placed upon the skeptic or the rational person that doubted whether or not I was God.

Sources

http://evolution.berkeley.edu...

http://www.scientificamerican.com...

http://www.secularhumanism.org...

=====
Slavery
=====
The Bible (Ephesians 6:5, 1 Timothy 6:1-4) St. Paul even admonishes slaves to serve their masters well-and to serve their Christian masters especially well.

"When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the slave girl's owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment."
(Exodus 21:7-11 NLT)

The Bible (Exodous.21:20-21) – Slaves can be beaten so long as they don't immediately die after the process.

=============
Animal sacrifices
=============

The Bible (Lev.chs 3; 7:11-21, cf.ch. 7:22-27; Ex.29:20-28; Deut.12:7, 18, 1 Sam 2:15-17)
=========================
Crimes that carry the death penalty
=========================

Homosexual men were to be executed. (Lev 20:13)

False prophets are to be killed by their own parents. (Zech 13:3)

Witches should be killed. (Ex 22:18)

Anyone working on the Sabbath is to be killed. (Ex 35:2)

Stubborn children were to be stoned, and the stoning was to be instigated by their parents. (Duet 21:18-21)

The list is long and it is preposterous. If I dedicated my time to writing all of them down I would be busy for quite a while.
Lifeisgood

Con

I thank my opponent for an excellent opportunity to debate.

First of all, I would like to point out that, not only is it improbable that ignorant mortals wrote the Bible, it is IMPOSSIBLE. I shall prove why in a moment, but first definitions must be given.

Ignorant: illiterate
http://www.merriam-webster.com...

Illiterate: unable to read or write
http://www.merriam-webster.com...

Mortal: a human being
http://www.merriam-webster.com...

Probably: insofar as seems reasonably true, factual, or to be expected : without much doubt
http://www.merriam-webster.com...

Wrote: to form (as characters or symbols) on a surface with an instrument (as a pen) b : to form (as words) by inscribing the characters or symbols of on a surface
http://www.merriam-webster.com...

The Bible: the sacred scriptures of Christians comprising the Old Testament and the New Testament
http://www.merriam-webster.com...

Now for my rebuttal.

============================================================================

"... So, where does all of this leave us? Unless it can be demonstrated that it is highly plausible that Jesus was the Son of God then the resolution will remain affirmed."

I need not bother showing the likelihood of Jesus being the son of God in order to negate the resolution. That point is completely irrelevant to the purpose of this debate.

In fact, all of the points my opponent has made are irrelevant to this debate. He has not yet affirmed the resolution.

=====================
A Paradox
=====================

My opponent supports the resolution that the Bible was written by ignorant mortals. However, this is absurd. Those who cannot read or write could not possibly have written the Bible. The Bible was (obviously) written by intelligent mortals who actually knew how to WRITE.

=====================
Conclusion
=====================

The resolution has been completely negated. I strongly urge readers to vote Con. However, give Pro the conduct point; otherwise, my conscience would kill me.
Debate Round No. 1
Freeman

Pro

Brothers and sisters don't let my opponent get away with playing a game of semantics. Further, his argument doesn't even hold up if I were to follow his line of reasoning.

Ignorant can have many different meanings.

Ignorant-1 lacking in knowledge or training; unlearned. 2 Lacking special knowledge or information 3 Uninformed; unaware (Random House WEBSTER'S college dictionary)

Being ignorant doesn't always mean being illiterate. Illiterate can simply be a synonym of ignorant.

Best,
Freeman
Lifeisgood

Con

I really don't think we need three rounds for this debate.

====================
My Opponent's Objection
====================

"Brothers and sisters don't let my opponent get away with playing a game of semantics. Further, his argument doesn't even hold up if I were to follow his line of reasoning.
Ignorant can have many different meanings."

Nice try. However, you failed to clarify your intentions in the first round. I was free to provide my own (completely acceptable) definitions. My argument does indeed hold up, and it at this point it is irrelevant that ignorant has multiple meanings.

I am sorry, but there is no escape for you. It is too late.

====================
Conclusion
====================

My opponent failed to specify critical terms in the first round. Because of this, I was allowed to provide the definitions. The resolution has been thoroughly negated through my definitions, which are all legitimate.

Again, I urge readers to vote Con, remembering to give Pro the conduct point.
Debate Round No. 2
Freeman

Pro

I strongly encourage a Con vote for anyone that is in favor of coarsening debate, philosophical discourse, speech and generally eroding the importance of critical thinking.

All the best,
Freeman
Lifeisgood

Con

My fastest debate ever. I have completed it in one sitting. Awesome.

==========================
My Opponent's Last-Ditch Attempt
==========================

"I strongly encourage a Con vote for anyone that is in favor of coarsening debate, philosophical discourse, speech and generally eroding the importance of critical thinking."

I am sorry, but that statement will not win you the debate. That is little better than an Ad Hominem argument, and it indicates your desperation. I have no more to say on this matter.

=========================
Conclusion
=========================

My opponent has thoroughly failed in upholding his part in this debate, and has been reduced to pleas to the voting audience. I, on the other hand, have given a substantial argument against the resolution, which remains totally unrefuted. Voters, you know what to do.
Debate Round No. 3
31 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Nails 7 years ago
Nails
I agreed with the semantics argument.

A person being illiterate does not necessarily make them ignorant, however;
A person being ignorant does make them illiterate.

Particularly in Biblical times, to read and write was to be quite very smart.
Thus, if the mortals who PRO claims wrote the Bible could in fact write, they couldn't be ignorant.

I would have voted CON
Posted by Lifeisgood 7 years ago
Lifeisgood
@Roy:

"I think the semantic argument was so far astray that it could not have been made innocently, so Con gets dinged for Conduct."

I am hurt. Not that you dinged me for conduct (probably deserved that), but that you thought I took the semantics astray intentionally. I didn't mean to, not in the slightest bit. If I had realized my mistake, I would have totally altered my argument.

I believe that I legitimately won the debate. Barely.

However, I deeply wish I had done this debate differently. I'm sorry, Freeman, for messing it up for you. I'm starting to feel bad now...
Posted by RoyLatham 7 years ago
RoyLatham
If a word has multiple meanings, the one that makes the most sense in the context it is the one that is used. If that were not the rule, then the definition of virtually every word used in a debate would have to be given. Even that wouldn't end the semantic nonsense, because definitions use other words, and those meanings can be questioned. In this debate "illiterate" was not even one of the dictionary entries; it was in an appended list of synonyms. Synonyms are very much context sensitive.

I think the semantic argument was so far astray that it could not have been made innocently, so Con gets dinged for Conduct. All Pro's arguments were unanswered, so Pro wins the arguments.

I am guessing Con received votes from people who didn't read the debate. That happens.
Posted by Chrysippus 7 years ago
Chrysippus
DEBATE TOPIC: Jesus of Nazareth was deluded.

Freeman, you take Pro, and I shall take con.

This could be fun...
Posted by Chrysippus 7 years ago
Chrysippus
@Freeman: I was not referring to your section on Jesus; I was referring to your last response:
"I strongly encourage a Con vote for anyone that is in favor of coarsening debate, philosophical discourse, speech and generally eroding the importance of critical thinking."

If we accept this statement, all people who would possibly vote Con are/or are in favor of the following by definition
-coarse debating,
-"philosophical discourse" rather than solid reasoning,
-speech (which apparently is a bad thing, although no explanation is given)
-and "eroding the importance of critical thinking."

No offense intended, but this is clearly a criticism of your opponent(and those who might vote against you)'s character. Hence, ad homniem.

Although, having your words twisted when you were looking for a serious debate can be irritating. This time, the debate didn't work; but you can always repost the debate, and seek another challenger. Try leaving out the irrelevant paragraphs, and defining key terms carefully, and you may get the serious debate you were looking for.
Posted by Lifeisgood 7 years ago
Lifeisgood
I think he was talking about your final argument. It was a bit over the top.
Posted by Freeman 7 years ago
Freeman
If I were debating the deluded individual known as Jesus of Nazareth then perhaps I would have committed that fallacy. But I don't think I can reasonably be accused of that in this context.
Posted by Freeman 7 years ago
Freeman
Chrysippus, I don't think insulting God or Jesus constitutes the ad hominen fallacy.
Posted by Chrysippus 7 years ago
Chrysippus
C: Con, ad homniem is a fallacy, and a mark of a weak argument;
SP/G: tied;
A: Con, for having made a coherent and logical argument, although semantic;
S: Con, whose source was both reliable and relevant to his argument.

That said, semantics is an informal tactic; precludes a serious debate.
Repost this debate, and define your terms.
Posted by Lifeisgood 7 years ago
Lifeisgood
Come on people...
15 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 7 years ago
RoyLatham
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Vote Placed by Chrysippus 7 years ago
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