The Instigator
qopel
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
MrCarroll
Pro (for)
Winning
6 Points

Is the Bible infallible?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
MrCarroll
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/22/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,964 times Debate No: 30518
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (24)
Votes (2)

 

qopel

Con

There are people who claim the Bible is infallible and is the literal word of God. I intend to disprove that claim. The very fact that it was written by humans, who are not perfect, proves that it is subject to imperfections. The Bible contradicts itself at times and contains information that can be scientifically proven wrong.
MrCarroll

Pro

I will defend the bible as being infallible and literally the word of God. Any proven imperfections or errors and I will surely lose. This will be a short debate, which I don't mind. It has been a while since my last visit.

My opponent has already begun with an argument. Something like: since humans who wrote the Bible are imperfect, the Bible is therefore imperfect. I don't agree with the premise that something flawless cannot come from something flawed. A human can, for example, write a perfect math problem quite easily. While we may not be able to create flawless physical objects, we can communicate flawless concepts. It is the concepts and communications of the Bible that are infallible. It doesn't matter if the pages are wrinkled.

Even if we are to accept that imperfect people cannot write a perfect book, my opponent forgets that the Bible was communicated by God, through man. Humans were simply the tools for writing. With a perfect being in control, it doesn't really matter who's writing the book. It will still be perfect.
Debate Round No. 1
qopel

Con

I will start by saying that if an almighty God had important information for everyone to know, the use of scripture, written by people who never witnessed the events themselves, but supposedly got the information telepathically, 200 years after the fact, is not the most reliable way to communicate. If God wanted his book to be perfect, he could have just had his perfect son, Jesus, write the book while he was walking the Earth.

Of course the Catholic religion is beyond logic and reason anyway, so why should I expect anything else from its holy book?
Christianity is the belief that a cosmic Jewish Zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree.

In any case, the Bible is full of contradictions that render it imperfect.

For example: Has any living human ever seen God?

Genesis 32:30"""For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved",
Exodus 33:11""So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.", or
Exodus 24:9-11 "Then Moses [etc] went up" and they saw the God of Israel."
BUT
John 1:18 "No one has seen God at any time." or
1 Timothy 6:16 "[God],"whom no man has seen nor can see"

The explanations for this this discrepancy are:
One or more writers (or copyists) made a mistake.
Someone wrote it down wrong.
Someone got their facts wrong.
Someone heard wrong.

I look forward to my opponents response.
MrCarroll

Pro

My opponent thinks he would be better at writing a divine book than God. His idea of how the Bible should be written is merely opinion. His explanation on how it was written is very incorrect, though I don't claim to fully know the details. Nor do I need to. For the skeptics really curious, God can control circumstances, and the authors writing the gospel (this is what my opponent was referencing) obtained all the information needed - witnesses, sources, etc. - by God's guidance. Not necessarily telepathically, though I don't deny the possibility. No matter, this is irrelevant. Just like the tour of Christianity he gives us. I think he should give the Bible another read. If he would have actually shown the Christian faith to be illogical, then we might have a discussion. But he hasn't. He only gave an inaccurate mockery of Christianity. I'm not Catholic, by the way.

Our first and only argument over contradictions in the Bible is the question of man seeing God. Con's list of explanations is very ridiculous, because there is, of course, another option - that my opponent has misunderstood the verses. And of course, he has. Most of the verses are taken out of context. But more importantly, in the case of Exodus 24:9-11, my opponent has forgotten something. The fact is, and this is explained throughout the Bible in many ways, God has multiple personalities, quite literally. That is the trinity. My opponent, like any atheist, won't like this explanation because he cannot fully understand this concept, and he knows that Christians can't either. But it doesn't change the fact that the trinity is an essential biblical concept. So, can anyone see God? Not God the Father, who is spirit. But the Word, Jesus, who is God, is physical, and we can see Him.

Genesis 32:30 - "For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved."
If you know the story, Jacob is speaking after just having wrestled with an angel. Because he had wrestled with God's representative, he likens it to wrestling with God. And thankfully, he didn't die. Jacob is using figurative speech and didn't actually see God's face. The line, "and my life is preserved," is misleading without context.

Exodus 33:11 "So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend."
Again, if we read the few verses before this, we find Moses was in a tent speaking to God through a pillar of cloud. Since God the Father doesn't actually have a face, we can be sure the author is using personification, which is very acceptable in the Bible, just like in any other book. Moses was in the presence of God, and the Holy Spirit was directly communicating with him. Either that, or Moses was talking to Jesus.

Exodus 24:9-11 "And they saw the God of Israel."
This is a very interesting chapter, where Moses and the elders go up a mountain where Moses would receive the Ten Commandments. They see "the God of Israel." This must be Jesus, the Word, as explained in the first chapter of John. There had just been, in the previous verses, a large sacrifice by the people, which is symbolic of Christ's sacrifice. Christ's subsequent appearance was quite fitting. As I said before, God the Father cannot be seen, but the Son can certainly be seen. This is confirmed in the verse of John 1:18, which my opponent kindly provides.

John 1:18 "No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him."
So, no one has seen God (the Father). The only begotten God (Jesus) in the bosom of the Father (They are one) has explained Him. My opponent's choice of verses actually explain each other marvelously. I would be repeating myself if I went into 1 Timothy 6, since Timothy makes a clear distinction between the Father and the Son.

All other supposed contradictions in the Bible come from a misunderstanding of what is written, or simply taking verses out of context. I'm sure my opponent could come up with many more verses that he thinks contradict each other, and I'm sure I could answer every one of them. What contradictions my opponent has provided, I have thoroughly answered.

Cheers.
Debate Round No. 2
24 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by qopel 3 years ago
qopel
Red is red and blue is blue. Sure, Theists like to wear colored glasses to see things their own way, but that won't change the real colors that Atheists see.
Posted by MrCarroll 3 years ago
MrCarroll
@qopel - you would have a good point if my arguments were really that far-fetched. But they aren't. If I say the elders saw Jesus, that is an entirely coherent argument considering what the rest of the Bible teaches. I don't need to twist anything. It might be more interesting if you asked that question to a Jew. Anyway, color is subjective, so that's a poor analogy. I'm sure you always assumed everyone interprets color like you do.
Posted by qopel 3 years ago
qopel
I never said debating should be easy, but it should be fair.
Posted by proglib 3 years ago
proglib
@qopel

"Theists: If I said the sky was blue, you would say it was red on Mars and I used the wrong interpretation of "sky". Then you'd go get some link to a BS website that would show the sky was green. If I came back with proof that it was, in fact, blue, you'd laugh and say I took it out of context. You don't care about truth. You care about how you can BS and twist things. I'm done with you."

Wow, harsh! :P)

However, as an agno-deist-would-be-Buddhist..., I certainly wouldn't blame you for that remark.

This could get ugly around here...but who said debating was easy? :)
Posted by qopel 3 years ago
qopel
Theists: If I said the sky was blue, you would say it was red on Mars and I used the wrong interpretation of "sky". Then you'd go get some link to a BS website that would show the sky was green. If I came back with proof that it was, in fact, blue, you'd laugh and say I took it out of context. You don't care about truth. You care about how you can BS and twist things. I'm done with you.
Posted by proglib 3 years ago
proglib
Qopel

I agreed with you before the debate (and can safely say I will after rereading it.) Pro did a very good job of making his arguments, though.

In terms of believing or not believing in God or gods, though, I'd say you are going to find a lot of non-gullible, extremely smart people on this site who disagree with you, IMHO. (I'm not one of them...:p)
Posted by likespeace 3 years ago
likespeace
Keytar, I remember Joan Osborne asking, "And would you wanna see? If seeing meant you had to believe in things like Heaven, and in Jesus and the Saints, and all the prophets." Around that time, I questioned what it would take for me to fully believe. While it might be difficult to convince us of full omnipotence and full omniscience, it would be straightforward to demonstrate existence, power, intelligence, his preferred code, and the consequences for not following it. Lucifer knew these things and still rebelled, so knowing such wouldn't even eliminate our capacity for free will.
Posted by likespeace 3 years ago
likespeace
Keytar, I'm a practical man. If any of the Men's Health or Maxim 100 hottest women of 2011, 2012, or 2013 fell in love with me--in good health, not bankrupt, and excluding porn stars or models--I'd convert to the religion of their choice. Most of them have beauty, fame, and fortune. ;)
Posted by Apeiron 3 years ago
Apeiron
Knowledge is a justified true belief with some other type of thing which confers warrant. No where in epistemology does it say that we must be certain of something to count it as knowledge.
Posted by Apeiron 3 years ago
Apeiron
What does that even mean, I'm 100% certain 2+2=4, does that mean that equation was solved and shown to me by God? ...
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by proglib 3 years ago
proglib
qopelMrCarrollTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Fun. An intelligent, *short* discussion of whether the bible is infallible. I've read it quickly, and would say that though I still agree with Con, and like his arguments, Pro definitely gets the conduct points. He seems to be a more seasoned debater. (I will vote the arguments after I reread them.)
Vote Placed by likespeace 3 years ago
likespeace
qopelMrCarrollTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I suspected Con was in trouble when I saw he picked this example, having re-read Exodus very recently. A few lines down in Exodus 33:20, God says, "You cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live." This suggests the face-to-face expression in 33:11 is either not meant to be taken entirely literally, or this is some other representation of God, as God appeared to Moses in other forms such as a burning bush. Trinity works, too, as an explanation for Catholics. Pro addresses this and the other verses.The format works against Con, since he didn't anticipate the rebuttal, nor does he now have a chance to contest it.