The Instigator
QandA
Con (against)
Losing
1 Points
The Contender
Franciscanorder
Pro (for)
Winning
3 Points

It is better to live as a Christian than to live as an atheist.

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Franciscanorder
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/1/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 658 times Debate No: 37220
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)

 

QandA

Con

I am not necessarily saying that it is in turn better to live as an atheist over a Christian, I just argue that it is not fair to say that living a Christian life is better than living an atheist life. Round one is an acceptance round only, followed by rounds of back and forth argument. Good luck and happy debating.
Franciscanorder

Pro

Accepted.
Debate Round No. 1
QandA

Con

Thank you for accepting the debate. I will keep my argument for this round simple.

One of my main points is that living an atheistic life gives you so much more freedom and appreciation of life. Losing your religion is a very powerful thing. It is like a huge weight off your shoulders. You appreciate the fact that you only live once and as atheists don't believe in the afterlife I appreciate much more how precious my time here is and that I must make the most of it as I have ultimately nothing to lose. I think it is much more fulfilling to live a life of wonder and seeking knowledge. What I mean by this is as an atheist, I am constantly wondering about the origin of the universe, why are we here, what's the meaning of life etc. I find the seeking and rational thinking of these questions is so much more interesting and fulfilling than just being told that there is a superstitious explanation for all these questions and that there is no need to research them.This is being tied down In a way and hinders self development. These are some of the reasons why I favour the atheistic view of life.

Now onto the problems I see with the Christian way of life in light of the atheistic way of life.
Like I said, Christianity teaches that it's ok not to question things in life because there is already a supposedly perfectly good explanation for everything. This prevents people from fully growing up as they go around blind, depending on nothing more than a fictional story, rather than arguing against such a notion.
The life of a Christian is based around the idea that there is an all powerful being who is the ruler of the universe and cause of life. Yet this is a being who is supposedly judging us every minute of the day in everything we do and think of, who will determine if we are going to heaven or hell yet this is someone we cannot see, hear or feel which results in us being basically puppets. This is the essence of the master and slave relationship and I don't see how slavery is a good way of living.

I could go on however I will wait for my opponents rebuttal to get more in depth.
Franciscanorder

Pro

I often find that the Christianity that exists in the minds of atheists is vastly different from the Christianity I have known and practiced for about 24 years now. For atheists, it seems as though Christianity (and religion in general) is nothing but a collection of stereotypes they have about us, which are more or less foreign to me, and to most Christians I have known in my life. My opponent's opening argument is, unfortunately, just another example of this.

My opponent has apparently chosen a more rhetorical and anecdotal style of debate. I shall copy that.

Atheist's will often claim that they have more freedom than us. I suppose this is true, in a sense. We have a set of activities known as "sins" that are prohibited to us. Atheists recognize no such category, and have no such prohibitions, excepting things that everybody agrees are wrong, such as murder, and the like. Atheists thus have a much larger range of potential activities to occupy their time with, and are therefore "more" free.

Okay. I can accept that.

That said, I have seen these freedoms. I have practiced them. And while they can be fun, I did not find my life greatly enhanced through their practice. I've had plenty of sex (not bragging, just saying). I've been drunk (once). I've used as much foul language as I could fit into a sentence (I used to be a sailor, in fact, and *those* stereotypes are completely true). I've never done drugs, but I have been around drug users for most of my life. All of these things that atheists mock us for not being able to partake in are simply not that great of a loss for me, or for those of us who consider ourselves members of the body of Christ. In fact, every Christian who used to be an atheist will generally feel more free after giving up their atheist freedoms than when they had them. That is, after all, the story of many hundreds of church pastors around the country, including one of the ones I grew up with. They used to not live as Christians, and then they became Christians, and then felt a level of liberty and peace they had never known before. What's my point? Simply that while everyone is different, and different freedoms mean more to some than to others, all of this "freedom" that atheists have is not really that impressive.

Moving on, my opponent makes a point about another kind of freedom- we'll call it intellectual freedom. Freedom to question, freedom to search for answers, etc. My opponent states that losing ones faith is like losing a load off of one's shoulders. Again, I would point out that Christians who were former atheists will say the same thing about when they found their faith- that a load was lifted from them. But never mind that- it's all subjective anyway. To focus on the intellectual freedom my opponent talks about, all I can do is give real world counter examples. And there are many...

Starting with myself, my faith has never once dimmed my interest in science. Cosmology is as interesting to me as it is to my opponent. I am a great admirer of Neil deGrasse Tyson, and one of my favorite books is The Big Bang, by Simon Singh.

Are these facts about myself impressive? Does it mean that my mind is a towering scientific intellect? No. I'm just saying that when my opponent crows about his interest in the origin of the universe, complete with an implication that religious people are not curious about the question, and don't care, or are even possibly forbidden from wondering, I must say that I find that ridiculous, as would just about every Christian. My opponent wonders about the origins of the universe? Whoop-de-doo. Get in line.

I was going to go through an extensive list of theists who have made invaluable contributions to science, but meh...I won't. Some of their names are extremely famous, others more obscure. If you want to know them, some theist, tired of having atheists tell him how uninterested in answering questions he is, has probably compiled a list of names on the internet somewhere. Basically, what I'm saying is that I was raised in church all my life, and went to a Christian K - 8th school, and I have never once been taught that SETI should be shut down, or that the Hubble Telescope is a tool of Satan.

As for other forms of intellectual freedom my opponent hints at, with his vague references to "questioning" things, that also is ridiculous to me. My first major was Philosophy, which, as may be guessed, has a healthy habit of questioning *everything*. And I happen to know that I was most certainly not the only Christian philosophy major in the country at the time. When I realized that a Philosophy major was useless, I switched to Economics, which combines the probing inquisitiveness, and inventiveness of philosophy, with the power of math, and the scientific method. I am not the only Christian interested in the (dismal) science of Econ either.

Further, the biggest names in the history of theology did not get that way by not asking questions about everything, including faith in God. C.S. Lewis has challenged my intellect more than that tremendous ignoramus Richard Dawkins ever has, or ever will, or probably even can. St. Augustine, in his Confessions, raises profound questions about life, faith, and everything else. The difference between Augustine and an atheist is that an atheist sees no answers (or at least no good ones) when he asks tough questions about faith, while Augustine, Lewis, Mother Theresa, Arminius, Aquinas, and a million others, all did see answers, and continue to. As for me, I am confronted with doubt all the time, and have asked, and answered, and even failed to answer, difficult questions many times in my life. At no time have I ever been told that I am not allowed to do this, nor have I ever felt punished by God for plumbing the depths of these big faith questions. One of my favorite things God has ever said in the scriptures is Isaiah 1:18- "Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord...". God extending an invitation to reason with him...it's a very powerful thought to me.

My opponent's parting shot is difficult to sum up, but he talks about God judging us, and him being our master and we being his slaves.

As far as God judging us, all I have to say is...so? Nobody likes the idea of anybody judging us, but concerning this, I can only make two responses:

The first is that, as God, the guy gets to judge. It's his office. What can you do? What can HE do? The job falls to him by default. Furthermore, if we accept human judgements on us -and we do- then I cannot see why God, who can see more things than a human does, who was there at the beginning, and who knows our natures better than we know them ourselves, does not get to.

The second is yes, God judges, but God focuses way less on his judgments than atheists do. God spends "every minute of every day" judging us? I don't know where atheists got that. I was never taught that, nor is that the God depicted in the Bible. "But God gave laws that says people have to be killed for mixing fabrics! He told the Israelites to kill every Canaanite! He judges all the time!"

Okay, sure. But that *still* does not equal "every minute of every day", as though God does nothing but sit there with a telescope, writing down every misstep he sees. Despite many instances of God judging people, the Bible also depicts him spending his time doing a whole lot more. Teaching, or guarding, or guiding, or blessing, or planning, or giving advice, or, *just* as importantly, FORGIVING. He spends a lot of time forgiving. The God who does nothing but judge is, in this day and age, mostly an atheist view.

God does a whole bunch of things, judgement is only one. If incensed atheists want to focus on his big, bad judgments, fine. But why should I? Why should *you*?

To summarize, every one of my opponents arguments is either a misconception, or a one-sided presentation of an idea not fully understood. Because of this, my opponent should lose this debate.
Debate Round No. 2
QandA

Con

Firstly, I do not stereotype all Christians as the same at all. My opening argument may have lacked some depth and just touched off topics but please don't mistake this for ignorance. Because the debate topic is so vast it is hard to pinpoint some details.

Now, onto your points.
I shall accept your take that you didn't find your life greatly enhanced through free practices as a personal opinion. However you say that "every Christian who used to be an atheist will generally feel more free after giving up their atheist freedoms than when they had them". If this is true than the only explanation I think of why it is so is because of fear. In a sense, Christian life is the easy option as there is a supposed explanation for everything and that you shouldn't worry about things because God will take care of everything. Also Christianity has rules whereas atheism doesn't. It just follows a more humanist way of life. I can see why Christianity would appeal to an atheist who is lost in life as atheism makes you stand on your own two feet and find things out for yourself whereas religion just gives you a superstitious explanation for everything and indirectly says that because of all these "explanations" you never have to think about or question such things again. This fear would come from the overwhelming freedom and different mindset that atheism gives you. Some people want to live life by a code and have things all laid out for them. That is the only reason why I feel an atheist would convert to Christianity, not because they suddenly believe in God, but because they are lazy to seek knowledge and I think their supposed "liberty" and "peace" are just substitute words for their relief, as they feel they don't have to question anything anymore and that SOME Christian ideas such as heaven simply sound a lot sweeter to them. This is very poor reasoning to convert and such conversion results in become like a child again, tied down with a superstitious explanation instead of standing on their own two feet and researching such things for themselves. This is a key reason why I favour the atheistic lifestyle, there is much more personal development involved under every aspect.

"Starting with myself, my faith has never once dimmed my interest in science. Cosmology is as interesting to me as it is to my opponent. I am a great admirer of Neil deGrasse Tyson, and one of my favorite books is The Big Bang, by Simon Singh."

This is great for you and I am not denying it here you are making more of a case for disproving Christian stereotyping than addressing the actual topic on hand.

"I'm just saying that when my opponent crows about his interest in the origin of the universe, complete with an implication that religious people are not curious about the question, and don't care, or are even possibly forbidden from wondering"

Of course Christians are curious about the origin of the universe, that is why they proposed the idea that God is the cause. Christians can be as curious as they like about it but it doesn't change the fact that their beliefs on the issue stem from superstitious explanations.

Again you can talk all you like about your "intellectual freedoms" but at the end of the day (apart from it being nighttime) a Christian is not as intellectually free as an atheist as the religion holds a set of rules, teachings and supposed explanations to follow. Such a lifestyle ties people down and hinders a lot of freedom.

"The difference between Augustine and an atheist is that an atheist sees no answers (or at least no good ones) when he asks tough questions about faith"

I am sorry I do not follow. What do you mean by sees no good answers?

Again, the fact that you have never felt punished by God for indulging such questions is great for you but again this goes against Christian ideology which teaches that you never have to question such things. We are after all dealing with Christian life vs Atheist life.

Why does God deserve the right to judge us and control our life and death in such an often cruel and immoral way? I don't want to be owned and I think we all agree that ownership of people is a very immoral thing. Are you actually comparing human judgments to God judgements? Yes we judge a lot which has become just a natural part of life but WE don't send unbaptized babies to hell when they die, WE don't send homosexuals to hell when they die, we don't send people of other religions to hell for not believing in the Christian God.

Granted, "every minute of the day" was more a use of hyperbole but it is the exact same principle as judging us a lot. If he is an almighty God then he surely is aware of all of our actions so the time window of when he judges us is irrelevant.

"The Bible also depicts him spending his time doing a whole lot more. Teaching, or guarding, or guiding, or blessing, or planning, or giving advice"

And what would such teaching be? Condemning homosexuals?
E.g 2: Leviticus 20:13

"If a man practices homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman, both men have committed a detestable act. They must both be put to death, for they are guilty of a capital offense."

Or what about rejecting everything apart from God?
E.g. 1: Luke 14 :26-27

26, "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. 27, And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple".

These are examples of God's supposed teachings. These are horribly immoral lessons taken from the bible, which is after all, the alleged word of God. Back to the topic on hand, these, among other immoral examples are all part of the text of Christianity which is then part of the Christian way of living. Granted the majority of Christians don't take such immoral passages literally as they have learned to cherry pick from the bible however I don't see how worshiping a God who has demonstrated cruelness, immorality and an unjust nature through such teachings and actions is a better lifestyle than not following such a sadist; and that's what I feel God is when it all boils down; a sadist. I don't see how a being who is divine and almighty with power, with the ability to do what he pleases, as you say, can allow such hardship, pain and misery to exist in the world yet can still often stay in a mode of complete indifference. You can argue all you like that God does moral things as well but the fact that he allegedly has the power to stop such pain and hardship and doesn't is the essence of a callous bully. That is another reason why I prefer the atheist lifestyle. There is no dictator in which you feel you have to worship and praise , you are your own God, if you will.

"He spends a lot of time forgiving"
That's great but if he does this then why can't he spend a lot of time ridding hardship and misery as well?

I look forward to your response.

P.S. I also have had a lot of sex,

I wish........
Franciscanorder

Pro

There is one thing you won't ever catch me doing in a debate, and that is flippantly ascribing points of view I don't understand to "fear". My opponent mentions something about intellectual laziness being part of conversions to Christianity. Whenever I hear atheists ascribing faith in God to "fear", I always think it's one of the more intellectually lazy explanations I have ever heard. Atheists who have found God report years of personal growth, of view shifting, of navel gazing, and of having their previously well ordered view of the godless universe changed by Something. Summing all of that up as "fear" is beyond ridiculous. All of the supposedly frightening things that atheists assert keep us "tied down" in "superstition" are not really scary anyway. Overwhelming freedom? "Oh no, we're so FREE!!! Chain us, Lord, with thy holy manacles!" Please.

My opponent's response, unfortunately, continues his various misconceptions about Christianity. He keeps repeating that you don't have to question or think about anything. I believe I addressed this well enough in the last round, and I believe my opponent has not successfully refuted me. To summarize my arguments, history is full of Christian thinkers who made it their life's work to question everything, including faith. I mentioned theologians. I didn't even mention the multitude of philosophers over the centuries, like Descartes, or Kierkegaard, or Kant (in his early life), just to name a few, who were Christian, and who would have laughed my opponent out of the room if he suggested that they, due to their faith, were not interested in questioning anything, or don't feel the need to research anything (Isaac Newton? Anyone? Smartest human to ever have lived, discovered the laws of gravity, and was also devoutly religious?). This argument of my opponent's is an abject failure.

In an attempt to understand at least a part of what my opponent *might* be saying, I will concede that the bible does teach us not to worry about certain things. But not worrying about things is a completely different idea from not thinking about things, and Christ wasn't referring to math, science, or philosophy when he made that statement anyway.

Also, it's true enough that God does not command me to study cosmology (for example). So, I suppose in a sense of speaking, my opponent is correct if he wants to say that Christians don't "have" to think about the origins of the universe. But if that is his point, then I will point out that nobody *has* to. Atheists don't have to either. Nobody is commanding atheists (or anyone else) to be scientifically literate, and while you can argue that you should be scientifically literate in order to be a "good" atheist, it's largely a personal choice. Indeed, my younger atheist friends don't know the first thing about the origins of the universe. All they know is that God doesn't exist, and that weed is, like...really good.

My opponent continues his issues with God's judgement. He asks why God "deserves" to be a judge of humanity. It's simple- God has all authority that can be had. He can see everything that can be seen. He knows everything that there is to know. If humans can judge, not having any of these qualities, then so can God, having all of them. He can disagree with God, calling his judgements "immoral" and "cruel". Again, I would say that he is deliberately focusing on God's fire and brimstone, and not at all on the legion examples of his forgiveness and benevolence, but that's fine. Whether you agree with his judgements or not, the fact is that God has the power, the will, the perspective, and the authority. The job belongs to him. Period.

By the way, sending homosexuals to hell? I don't think God automatically does, but I can name more than few atheist regimes that have been happy to kill gays, ie, various atheist communist governments. God sending unbaptized babies to hell? This is a catholic belief, one that I don't hold and, thus, will not defend. I don't think God does anything of the sort. But many atheists often have had no problem with sending children on to the afterlife. I'm thinking those same regimes I already mentioned, as well as the seemingly high support among atheists for abortion. I wouldn't complain about God doing all of these things, when atheists have done them aplenty.

My opponent then triggers a Godwin's Law -like scenario, where he enters into the portion of every God debate where a list offensive scriptures is given.

I will not defend them, though I could make a decent run at it. I've done it a million times before in every dark corner of the internet. But the reason I will not is the point I have already established about his assertion...that whether or not you agree with God's values is irrelevant. God has the authority to judge, being ultimately in charge. He has the requisite knowledge, and vast perspective that being a judge demands. He cannot successfully deny these facts.

He goes on to make a "problem of evil" response to my correctly pointing out that his "nothing-but-judgement" God is an atheist invention, and not a God I recognize, and not the one shown in scripture. This is not a response at all. My rebuttal is that God does not simply callously issue judgements all day. Bringing up the so called "problem of evil" does not obscure the fact that my opponent was blatantly wrong in his characterization of God as a being who desires to do nothing but engage in judgement and wrath.

As an aside on this last point, he accuses Christians of cherry picking the bible. That is rich criticism coming from someone who has done nothing but present a one-sided view of God's actions, posting nasty, wrathful scriptures with pleasure, while glossing over literally every other scripture where people turn to God for knowledge, guidance, comfort, nourishment, salvation, and forgiveness. Christians are the only ones who see the whole picture of the biblical God. Atheists generally only see the qualities of God that they love to hate. My opponent is the one who is guilty of cherry picking, not I.

All I have done so far is refute my opponent's arguments. To make points in favor of the Christian lifestyle, I give my opponent a distinct advantage- I will promote his own values. Thus, I will argue with him on his own level, but I will show how Christianity encourages what he values farther than atheism does.

I am running out of room, so I will have to be extremely brief-

As to questioning everything, and intellectual pursuits, the fact that God created the universe makes me want to study it more deeply, not less. I will assert here that an appreciation for God's work can motivate you to study nature more than what we can very commonly distinguish as a philosophical nihilism founded upon atheist notions. The attitude I have expressed here about a lust for learning is not only mine. It is the attitude of every Christian who bothers to take an interest in being knowledgeable and well rounded, and it is boosted by my faith, not hindered. It is the attitude of every Christian who is famous for contributing to the scientific advancement of history, of which there are multitudes. If God is the one that knitted atoms together during the moment of creation, why shouldn't I want to study them?

As for "freedom" and the self development of atheism, I would simply point out that these "freedoms", which I have sampled and tested myself, are more like opiates. Christianity is not the only belief system to say this. Philosophers predating Christianity by thousands of years, as well as many an average person living today, would say that the sex/drugs/rockn'roll freedoms atheists like to brag about actually inhibit true development of who you really are with distractions. Christianity's prohibitions of these things lead to what I would argue is a distilled and concentrated state of personal being, less inhibited and less adulterated by pursuits of base pleasures.
Debate Round No. 3
QandA

Con

I understand the points perfectly and deduced that the only logical explanation I could come up with on why an atheist would convert is through fear. Now in this case fear is a very bold and harsh statement, that's why I broke down what I meant by this "fear". You have totally misinterpreted my notion of "fear". I mean fear in the sense that they are afraid of living an atheistic life because e.g there is a lot more self-dependence needed so they turn to Christianity because many of it's teachings and ideology sounds sweet. I mentioned all this in the previous round and simply said that this was a poor reason to convert.

Again you are misinterpreting me. I never said that Christians DON'T question faith, I merely said that they don't HAVE to question faith, which according to Christian teachings is true because there is already a supposedly good explanation for everything. Please don't mince my words. I believe you actually agree with me on this point:

"it's true enough that God does not command me to study cosmology (for example). So, I suppose in a sense of speaking, my opponent is correct if he wants to say that Christians don't "have" to think about the origins of the universe."

However you also say that nobody has to think about such things. Yes this is true however the reason Christians don't have to think about it is because Christianity doesn't project it. As you say, God doesn't command it. However this is a solely religious reasoning. The only atheistic reasoning is either from a lack of interest or ignorance. Christianity claims that an explanation already exists therefore this is seen as a good enough reason for the majority of Christians not to question such things. Which I feel shows a certain degree of gullibility and ignorance as there is much too be learned from Science about such things if people would bother give it interest. Granted some Christians are interested in such things but many are not as they feel the answers are all laid out for them. Again I do not feel that it is worthwhile to go through life banking on what someone else tells you and just taking that for granted.

"my younger atheist friends don't know the first thing about the origins of the universe. All they know is that God doesn't exist" are you saying you do know about such things? Or just that you believe you know about such things?

Name one example of an atheist regime who have been happy to kill gays. Name one atheist who has had no problem sending children on to the afterlife. You are stereotyping atheists as being all pro abortion. There is no logical reason why an atheists would be more pro abortion that the average person. If you are saying that an atheist would be pro abortion just because a lot of religious people are anti-abortion then that is ridiculous. An atheists view on abortion, just like anyone Else's is based on personal opinion and reasoning.

Whether or not God has the authority to judge or not is irrelevant as I have already shown why I think his judgement is ultimately immoral. I feel he is a wicked person to worship and again, I have said why in my previous argument. But of course we are not debating God's morality vs his immorality. We are debating Christian life vs Atheist life. Therefore I don't see how worshipping a cruel, immoral and unjust being is a better life than simply just worshipping life itself.

Also since when was the idea of God having the authority to judge and be in charge a FACT?

"Bringing up the so called "problem of evil" does not obscure the fact that my opponent was blatantly wrong in his characterization of God as a being who desires to do nothing but engage in judgement and wrath."

How would your contrary belief to this be any more right than mine?

"As an aside on this last point, he accuses Christians of cherry picking the bible. That is rich criticism coming from someone who has done nothing but present a one-sided view of God's actions"

Well actually pal I acknowledged the fact that an argument can be made that God, if exists, does moral things as well as immoral things however I argued that he is an overall immoral being as the idea that he has the ability to do moral things all the time yet doesn't, often with tragic, horrific implications shows an immorality on an even greater scale. Again you have minced my words.

The idea that he has the capacity to help people yet at the same time is taking the lives of hundreds of thousands of people every day and allowing such horrific events to occur worldwide is the essence of a malevolent bully. People would have the right to say things like "God why can you take my newborn baby away who couldn't have possibly committed any immorality in their short lifetime yet you can allow a mass serial killer away with it?". If a man beats a young child to death yet that same day saved a child from getting beaten to death do you think he would be forgiven? No of course not he would be thrown in prison, or worse .Although people would certainly question why he would commit such a horrible, cruel, immoral act when he is capable of doing a good act. How is God any different? Why should we make him an exception to cruelty and immorality. This is where the problem with Christianity lies, it teaches that it's okay that God can do such horrible things because he is God and nothing else.

I feel I have already responded to your last two points several times and because I am running out of space I will keep my summary brief.
Advantages atheism has over Christianity
1) Living your life without need to defer to someone's interpretation of their god's rules.
2) Living your life knowing that you are ultimately responsible for your actions.
3) Living a finite life requires you to prioritize the activities in your life.
4) Living a finite life makes you want to leave a positive legacy.
5) Living your life practically and pragmatically, without need to refer to the supernatural.
6) Living life without cognitive dissonance. No need to believe in things that are not there.

It has been a pleasure debating with you and I wish you luck.
Franciscanorder

Pro

I feel like my opponent and I are now just going around in circles on certain points. I will make rebuttals of my opponent's last arguments, and a brief restatement of my own positive arguments.

My opponent has said that I misinterpreted his appeal to fear. I, however, am saying that appealing to fear is exactly as intellectually lazy as he suggests people are who convert to Christianity from atheism. And, more to the point, my opponent's distinction between what he means when he says "afraid", and what I ridiculed is not very strong. We all know what it means when somebody says someone is doing something out of fear.

My opponent then states:

"Again you are misinterpreting me. I never said that Christians DON'T question faith, I merely said that they don't HAVE to question faith, which according to Christian teachings is true because there is already a supposedly good explanation for everything. Please don't mince my words. I believe you actually agree with me on this point:"

I added the paragraph that "agrees" with my opponent as a stab-in-the-dark at trying to understand him. I cannot believe that this is what my opponent meant the whole time. If that is the case, then my opponent's argument is practically self parody.

Firstly, I will repeat that if Christianity is deficient because nobody commands you to be a scientist, or to be familiar with science in any way, then atheism is precisely as deficient, because nobody commands atheists to learn anything either.

Secondly his explanation of how a Christian's lack of interest in science is apparently morally inferior to an *atheist's* lack of interest in science is not an argument, but a joke. I can imagine some Christian high school student in science class...

"QUESTION #1: DESCRIBE NEWTON'S LAWS OF GRAVITATION."

"I don't have to. God exists, and all the answers are already laid out for me."

There may be a number of back-woods, fundamentalist congregations, way back in the Ozark Mountains, who feel this way. Some of those people handle snakes; I'm sure they are weird in other ways. But my opponent claims, "this is seen as a good enough reason for the majority of Christians not to question such things." Nowhere near anything even approaching a "majority", or even a sizable minority, feels this way. My opponent's argument on this is definitely worthy of ridicule.

My opponent then seems to take exception to the fact that I pointed out that some atheists regimes have killed gay people, and that support for abortion among atheists is high.

To the first point on gays, I will say that it is very easy to find information on gays being sent to gulags under the soviets, and persecution under the atheistic Chinese Communists.

To the second point about high abortion support among atheists, I direct his attention to Gallup-

"Americans with no religious attachment (self-identified atheists, agnostics, and those with simply no religious preference) identify as pro-choice by a 49-percentage-point margin over pro-life, 68% to 19%."

http://www.gallup.com...

My opponent then states, "Whether or not God has the authority to judge or not is irrelevant as I have already shown why I think his judgement is ultimately immoral."

Well, no, actually. My opponent asked my *why* God gets to judge, and I told him. And I pointed out that just because he disagrees with God's judgement does not mean God doesn't have the prerogative to judge. I answered exactly the question my opponent asked, no more, no less.

My opponent also says that I minced his words about cherry picking the bible, but his attempt to dodge his own accusation, when thrown back at him, is not impressive. When talking about God, he, like practically every atheist I argue with, will skip over large portions of the bible, declaring God to be this, that, and the other terrible thing on the strength of verses they find while jumping around the scriptures. Christians, on the other hand, are the only ones who assert their opinions about God after acknowledging everything about him, both the wrathfulness and the mercy. Atheists are the ones who cherry pick.

Further, my opponent then states, " If a man beats a young child to death yet that same day saved a child from getting beaten to death do you think he would be forgiven?" To which I can only respond, if the State of California sentences your neighbor to die for something, is that the same as you sentencing your neighbor to die for something? The State has authority to take life. God has even more authority than the State. You, personally, have very little authority to take life. If this is immoral to my opponent, then fine. But God doesn't have to explain himself to my opponent, when his reasons seem deficient. God is all knowing, all seeing. Furthermore, He's a thousand times more forgiving than my opponent. God may have commanded Israelites to kill all Canaanites, but has my sinless opponent volunteered himself (or his child) to die for the sins of the entire world, offering free salvation to any takers? Does my opponent immediately and completely forgive anyone who asks for it, even as they continually commit offenses against him? Probably not. Yes, God has issued terrible, wrathful judgements (3,000 years ago...), but he has also shown acts of forgiveness that 99.9% of all humanity would be incapable of- and those he continues to this day, in 2013. The last time he did anything wrathful was c. 1,000 BC, give or take. Could we get a conversation about God that reflects 2,500 year old realities on the ground?

Still...God kills hundreds of thousands of people a day? I did not know that! God is a bully because he allows bad things to happen? Bullies don't allow bad things to happen. Bullies *do* bad things that they shouldn't be doing. God only does *ahem* "bad" things when he passes judgement and issues the death penalty, which is entirely within his rights as President of the Universe, Chief of Celestial Police, First Chair Violin In the Cosmic Orchestra. Again, you can disagree with God, but it is not very sensible to say that if God exists, he does not have the authority to pass judgements and such.

Lastly...

2) There is nothing in Christianity that tells me I am not responsible for my actions. Christianity teaches us that God weighs our hearts by our actions, so we should do good things. The atheist claim that religion means you are not responsible for your own actions is absolutely ridiculous. I am extremely responsible for myself.

3) Only atheists feel they have to prioritize their time on Earth? Christians have bucket lists same anyone. I look forward to Heaven, but I only have one chance to see the Taj Mahal, so you can bet I will be prioritizing my time here.

4) Leaving a positive legacy is in no way mandated by atheism, or precluded by theism. This point is ridiculous. There are several hundred million Christians (if not more) all through history who have left positive legacies after lifetimes of desiring to do good. Apparently, my opponent has not heard of even the more famous ones.

As for my two positive points, I don't feel like my opponent refuted them at all, even though he claims that he addressed them already.

My opponent did not address my contention that it is entirely feasible, even probable, that an appreciation for God's world can motivate you to ask questions about it more than the possibility of falling into philosophical nihilism inspired by atheism.

My opponent also did not address my contention that Christianity's prohibition on what he refers to as "freedoms" actually leads to greater self development than the practice of these "freedoms".

My arguments have not been successfully refuted by my opponent, while I have repeatedly shown that my opponent's arguments are all misconceptions, or fallacies.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by QandA 4 years ago
QandA
Better as in more fulfilling
Posted by lolzors93 4 years ago
lolzors93
What is meant by "better"?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Ameliamk1 4 years ago
Ameliamk1
QandAFranciscanorderTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: A good debate, very close, but pro did have slightly better arguments. However, I will give con conduct because I will not allow Richard Dawkins to be called a "great ignoramus".