The Instigator
SmallTacos
Pro (for)
Winning
7 Points
The Contender
rickfli
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Is Christianity Compatible With Skepticism?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
SmallTacos
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/11/2016 Category: Religion
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 365 times Debate No: 84837
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (4)
Votes (1)

 

SmallTacos

Pro

Christianity is compatible with skepticism. Let me elaborate.

The Bible is not a scientific book. It is a guide to a relationship with God. The culture in which it was written was a culture in which your belief in God was closely tied to a personal relationship with God. The Bible was never intended to be a book that explains everything about how the Earth was made (no matter how much Ken Ham would like it to be).

I think the beef most people have with the first bit of Genesis is its writing format. So let me explain Genesis to you: the first part of Genesis was a large poem describing the sin of man. Indeed, Adam's name means 'man' in Hebrew. The same goes for Noah's flood. The point of this poem was really three points--God created order out of chaos, He created the world, and man sinned, leading to the destruction of perfection and the need for salvation from sin.

Now, what about Noah's flood? It relates to a narrative of God using chaos to destroy sin, yet having mercy on those he loves.

Furthermore, outside of allegories, I can find no reference to God claiming this to be a book about scientific clarity.

Now, you could say that I'm just dismissing the lot of the Bible by labeling it an allegory, but the thing is, the first part of Genesis was meant to be a poem. Its structure is meant to be a poem, and its language is poetic. (the same goes for Revelation, but that doesn't concern us).

Furthermore, science does not necessarily disagree with Christianity. At this point, we don't know what created the universe exactly, and unless we can see beyond the edge of the universe, I don't suspect we ever will. Scientists have a lot of hypotheses, but the thing is, that these are un-testable. At this point, the science of our origin is delving into philosophy, so I think it is safe to say that it's subjective at this point. So, from a skeptical viewpoint, we just have to stop everything to do with science here.

There is nothing in science otherwise that dictates that there can be no God. God is not necessarily dead. We just can't know for certain if he's there.

Now, in Christianity, there is such thing as miracles, but here's the thing, they're the exception, not the rule. God doesn't intervene in ridiculous ways in everyday situations, and for the most part, science is not contradicted. These are exceptions, not rules. They don't change everyday reality. They just state that God can break them whenever he likes, but only when he has to.

In conclusion, Christianity is a philosophical view of the world, and does not contradict science. It has only to stand on its own tenets. The same goes for skepticism, except for the fact that it is a scientific view of the world. The two are separate planes of reality, but not mutually exclusive.
rickfli

Con

Simply put, the bible is just a collection of stories written by different individuals and in many cases spanning over hundreds of years in time.
To put it in proper context, the first thing that has to be understood is that it was written by men.
It was not written by god and is no more proof of god than me saying that the words I'm writing now are the words of god.
If one were to study the history of literature you would find that a great many writings have existed prior to the Old and New testaments that talk about the same concepts. They speak about the man and his relationship with god, the supernatural and the eternal struggle with good and evil.
The problem often times with having this debate is that people don't really know anything except for what they are told.
Most peoples reasoning is often subjective in that they can't separate their feelings from the information they are exposed to or they don't take the time to gather any information aside from what they have been exposed to.
Take the time to study the history of literature.
Read Greek mythology like Dante's inferno or Latin mythology like Virgil's Aeneid.
You will find that there is a great similarity in the themes in a lot of these stories and the bible.
The point is that the bible is just a book of stories just like everything else that has been written on paper, scroll or tablet.
Debate Round No. 1
SmallTacos

Pro

"Simply put, the bible is just a collection of stories written by different individuals and in many cases spanning over hundreds of years in time."

No disagreement on that note.

"To put it in proper context, the first thing that has to be understood is that it was written by men."

Written by men, yes, inspired by God.

"It was not written by god and is no more proof of god than me saying that the words I'm writing now are the words of god."

I never denied the fact of no objective proof. I said that if you believed in God, the Bible is a pretty good place to start.

"If one were to study the history of literature you would find that a great many writings have existed prior to the Old and New testaments that talk about the same concepts. They speak about the man and his relationship with god, the supernatural and the eternal struggle with good and evil."

Yes, that is accurate. The Bible was written so human beings could understand it.

"The problem often times with having this debate is that people don't really know anything except for what they are told."

That's kind of the definition of knowledge.

"Most peoples reasoning is often subjective in that they can't separate their feelings from the information they are exposed to or they don't take the time to gather any information aside from what they have been exposed to.
Take the time to study the history of literature."

Trust me, I have. The Bible was likely originally spoken in word in the context of the 14th Century BC, and written down from around the 10th Century to about the 4th. It was written in context of an Eastern Culture, a culture that was less reliant on evidence, a culture that accepted God's existence as fact. It was just a matter of which god to choose. I recognize this fact, which is why applying Socratic Logic to the Bible doesn't work. It's like trying to fit a round peg into a square hole. The fact is, when believing anything, including Atheism, you're taking a risk, because a decent bit of our world's origins could be construed as subjective. I'm saying that Christianity makes the most sense to me.

"Read Greek mythology like Dante's inferno or Latin mythology like Virgil's Aeneid."
*Renaissance literature like Dante's Inferno, which was influenced heavily by Christian principles
Other than that semantic, you'll find a lot was different between these cultures and the Eastern societies. As I've before mentioned, Greco-Roman culture was a very work-reliant culture, whereas Hebrew culture was a very family-reliant culture. This results in God's existence being construed as a relationship as opposed to one you need to prove.

"You will find that there is a great similarity in the themes in a lot of these stories and the bible."

Any universal truth can come out in any culture, that's the point of it being a universal truth. In this case, it seems that Good and Evil are the truths mentioned.

"The point is that the bible is just a book of stories just like everything else that has been written on paper, scroll or tablet."

That's subjective, which is my point. Just because something is subjective does not mean it cannot co-exist with the objective. No matter what you do, you will always have an unknown. I just choose to believe that Jesus is the Christ, and that's not contradicting skepticism at all, because skepticism can't apply to the unknown. If you choose to see the Bible as just a piece of literature, then that's all you'll ever see it as. It's of no concern to me.

You seem to misunderstand my argument. My point is not that the Bible can be proven by Socratic Logic, it's that it isn't necessarily incompatible because of that.
rickfli

Con

rickfli forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
SmallTacos

Pro

My case stands at the moment. I will wait for Con to make a rebuttal to elaborate further.
rickfli

Con

rickfli forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
SmallTacos

Pro

I'm curious as the where con went
rickfli

Con

rickfli forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
SmallTacos

Pro

So, Con, are you going to forfeit the next round too?
rickfli

Con

rickfli forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by SmallTacos 1 year ago
SmallTacos
@gordonjames, thank you for commenting. I understand your concerns with my address of Genesis. I admit that I could have set it up better, but my point was to address counter-arguments that have diverted focus from my argument in the past, because not only is it disingenuous, it's annoying.

The thing is that skepticism today is defined as Atheistic Skepticism, whereas I'd say that's a bit misleading. My point was that as long as a religion can stand on its own tenets, it can stand up to skepticism.
Posted by gordonjames 1 year ago
gordonjames
As a fellow skeptic, I agree with your resolution, but not with all your approach.

Regarding Genesis : Writing for the people of his time, Moses was both a scholar (Trained as royalty in Egypt) and true. In that context he did great.

The problem with trying to resolve Genesis with current understandings of science is that Genesis is not current. Moses language is not scientific and he is not addressing the questions we are trying to answer.

More importantly, Christianity is about Jesus.

Your first points seem to be better for a debate resolution of
"The Biblical book of Genesis is compatible with a scientific world view."

I happen to agree, but your opening argument sets you up for a loss because it is not really the focus of the resolution as stated.

If I were debating AGAINST you, I would work hard at refuting your points, and I would possibly win.

If I were debating in your position, the strongest arguments I would have would be to define skepticism, and then point to many skeptics who became Christians (C.S. Lewis, and many others)

https://askawiseman.com...

http://www.icr.org...

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

http://www.awakeandamazed.com...

http://blog.drwile.com...
Posted by Petfish 1 year ago
Petfish
I would say that the belief of impossible certainty is very hard to reconcile even within itself.
Posted by cbcullen84 1 year ago
cbcullen84
I have reason to believe that the answer to your question is "Yes". Christianity is compatible with skepticism. I really enjoy the way you've posed the debate, although I'm not sure it's meant to be a debate at all, none-the-less it's beautifully worded and I agree with it in its entirety.

There's portion of each side where the friction tends to catch every so often but I could easily assign blame to narrow-minded individual(s) on either side. The fact is, Christianity is simply a religious practice based on doctrine, doctrine that's reasonable but never-the-less without proof beyond reasonable doubt. I don't think it's productive to try to compare Science and Religion of any sort, Science is the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment while Religion is a system of faith and worship...few topics could be further from each other in fair comparison than the two.

In your reference to Genesis, I wouldn't doubt the poetic mannerisms of the writer or his intent in writing it in such a way, and I can see where Genesis comes into play in a comparison with Science...the origin of life on Earth.

I think that Christianity's version of our origin is very clear that it is to be taken on "Faith". While some devout Christians may be more dogmatic about their "Belief" than others, nothing has ever progressed our version beyond anything further than faith...our belief in God and his word based solely on spiritual apprehension rather than proof. We can't prove it, we don't presume to.

Science has had a rough and rugged road in the department of our origins. I think it stands to reason that, in the department of origins, the Scientific community could do a better job at differentiating fact from theory, knowledge from presumption and observational Science from supposition.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by LostintheEcho1498 1 year ago
LostintheEcho1498
SmallTacosrickfliTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit by Con