The Instigator
tornshoe92
Pro (for)
Losing
11 Points
The Contender
NewCreature
Con (against)
Winning
18 Points

It is unreasonable for a completely benevolent god to sentence all non-believers to damnation

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/13/2011 Category: Religion
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,089 times Debate No: 14767
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (7)

 

tornshoe92

Pro

I posted this same debate a few weeks ago but my oppenent stopped posting after the first round. This debate can be about a god in general sentencing non-believers to damnation or about the Christian god if my opponent so chooses. I would like to leave round 1 open and start debating in round 2.

Definitions from dictionary.com:

Benevolent - characterized by or expressing goodwill or kindly feelings
Unreasonable - not reasonable or rational; acting at variance with or contrary to reason; not guided by reason or sound judgment; irrational

Thank you and good luck to my oppenent. If you have any questions about the debate feel free to ask before accepting.
NewCreature

Con

Thank you and good luck as well. May we have a respectful, fun, informative debate.
I will be defending the omni-benevolent Christian God of the Bible for this debate.


I would also first like to clarify somethings first:
1. By "non-believer" I am assuming that you are referring to anyone who does not believe and accept Jesus Christ as the only way for salvation (from damnation) as is taught in the Bible.
2. The omni-benevolent God of the Bible does NOT condemn "non-believers" to damnation because they did not believe and accept Jesus. Instead, God condemns one to "damnation" because of SIN. (Romans 6:23)
3. Everyone sinned against God and are deserving of damnation. Believers are just as guilty of sin and just as deserving of hell as the non-believer. It is only through God's mercy and grace through Christ's sacrificial death are they (believers) SAVED from damnation. (Ephesians 2:8-9, John 3:16)

I would now like to know why it would be unreasonable for an omni-benevolent GOD, who is also at the very top of all of justice, to give the punishment that the offender justly deserves?
Is it unreasonable for a kind hearted judge of a court of law to sentence someone to prison for breaking the law? What if the person he is sending to prison is his own son or daughter? Does this action take away from his kind hearted character?
Debate Round No. 1
tornshoe92

Pro

By "non-believer" I mean people who deny the existence of or do not actively believe in a god. That would therefore extend to your description of people who do not believe that Jesus is the only way to salvation.

My position:

People vary on what will cause them to believe certain ideas. For example, there are some people who believe that aliens control the governments of the world. While those people are convinced by certain arguments that they hear, other people (because of their mindsets) are not convinced and as a result don't believe that aliens control the governments of the world. Similarly, many people (also because of their mindsets) don't believe in the existence of god. Some of those people assert that there is no god and others simply have a lack of belief in a god. What causes this difference of belief between "believers and non-believers"? I have found that most commonly the reason for "non-belief" is that the person was raised in a way that caused them to question what they see/hear/know to a point where it is very difficult for that person to put much faith in an idea that, to them, does not have enough convincing evidence to support it. One reason for this person's mindset could be a parent that had similar behavior and as a child the person used that behavior as a model for their own ideology. Another reason could be that due to a surrounding that the "non-believer" was hesitant to accept, that person developed a mindset of questioning every thing they came in contact with.

It is because of those initial occurrences which cause some people to question everything they see, that I believe there isn't much of a choice when it comes to accepting god and the bible as truth based on faith. Simply put, some people aren't built to accept things based on faith. If it is true that these "non-believers" are naturally not prone to believing in Jesus as the road to salvation, then in what way is it their fault that they don't believe in god if they haven't been presented with sufficient reasoning to convince them that god exists? Also in response to the judge analogy, I can physically verify that the judge exists and even if I still don't believe that he exists, I can physically verify that his/her sentence will be carried out because we can see it happening.
NewCreature

Con

Ok so basically you're argument for why it is unreasonable for a completely benevolent god to sentence all non-believers to damnation is that, for some people, there are just not enough evidence to confirm that god exists.

Well guess what? I agree with you if that assertion is indeed true. Of course I don't agree with that assertion though. But that is not the debate here, if that's your argument then we should be debating about if God gave us enough evidence to believe he even exists.

Like I said, Ill be defending the Christian God of the Bible. And this debate calls for both of us to assume that the God of the Bible exists, at least for argument sake. This also means that we have to assume, for argument sake, that the Bible is the word of God. If you can't do that then we really have no debate here, and we should start a new debate and argue if God really does exist and if He gave us enough evidence.

Since I will be defending the Christian God of the Bible, as you so graciously allowed me to do so, I will base my arguments on what the Bible (the word of God) teaches and what Christians believe are true:

1. Only those who put their faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior will be saved from eternal damnation. Simply believing that God exists does not help you one bit. Like I mentioned in Round 1, we are damned because of sin, not because they didn't believe in God. Remember that Satan himself and his demons all KNOW God exists.

James 2:19 "You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that--and shudder."

This narrows down even further who will be spared from eternal damnation. But the point is that SIN is why we deserve eternal damnation, and God, the ultimate judge, is justified in sentencing the guilty.

2. God DID make himself known to us.

Romans 1:18-25
"The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.
Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen."

The Bible teaches that we are without excuse. In our heart of hearts we know that the true God exists and we suppress this truth because of our wickedness. Your argument is a very good example of this. You're saying that we are justified and do not deserve punishment because God did not make it clear enough. It isn't our fault, it's God's fault!"

But if the God of the Bible is in fact real, and the Bible is in fact his infallible word, then you really have no argument on why God is vindicated when he condemns SINNERS to hell.

To summarize my points, we are not sentenced to eternal damnation because of unbelief. We are sentenced to eternal damnation because of sin which INCLUDES unbelief. Unbelief is not the result of lack of confirmation from God, but is the result of us suppressing the truth that God made plain to us.
We are all wicked and are all deserving of punishment, but God showed mercy by giving us His son to pay the penalty for our transgressions.

Romans 3:23-26
"for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement,through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus."

How then does this negate or contradict the omni-benevolent nature of God?

The purpose of the judge analogy was to show that the omni-benevolent God acting as a righteous judge by punishing the guilty, is not unreasonable, which is exactly what we are debating about.

Debate Round No. 2
tornshoe92

Pro

"But that is not the debate here..."

It has everything to do with the debate at hand. If salvation is dependent on belief that Jesus is the son of god and the savior of man, and that belief in turn is dependent on faith that god exists, then starting from the most basic level on the path to salvation (belief in god) makes the most sense to me.

"And this debate calls for both of us to assume that the God of the Bible exists, at least for argument sake."

I can say "If there is a god then blah blah blah is unreasonable." without actually assuming that such a god exists.

"This also means that we have to assume, for argument sake, that the Bible is the word of God."

Similar to my previous point while I do not assume that the Bible is the word of god or even necessarily true it is still very valid in this argument and I welcome its use.

"If you can't do that then we really have no debate here, and we should start a new debate and argue if God really does exist and if He gave us enough evidence."

That's not true. The debate topic has in no way changed. The arguments I've used thus far have merely touched on a sub-section of what the overall debate is about. Since the debate is only about the damnation of non-believers it makes sense to discuss why they don't believe.

I will now address your points in the order in which you made them.

1) I understand that in order to obtain eternal salvation a person must put their faith in Christ as their savior but as I stated earlier that first requires a belief in god. I will get to your point about having enough evidence next, I just wanted to make the point that you can't have faith that Jesus is the son of god if you don't have faith that there is a god.

2) The quote and your argument both basically say that we all know that god is real but we choose not to believe that there is a god. Firstly I have never seen any indication that is true. Secondly if that were true then I would feel guilty or at least different by saying that I don't know if there is a god, however I don't feel anything so I am still left with no indication that "I know god is real" or that god even exists.

In regards to your conclusion, while sin may be the reason for damnation in the first place, the only way out of damnation is through belief in Jesus as the savior of man, and consequently belief in god. You have yet to argue against why a lack of evidence to convince non-believers is not the fault of man other than saying "There is enough" without supporting that claim.
NewCreature

Con

Im not home and my iphone is dying so ill just oet your own argument speK for itself:

"I can say 'If there is a god then blah blah blah is unreasonable.' without actually assuming that such a god exists."

Youre argument basically is:
IF THE CHRISTIAN GOD EXISTS, then its is unreasonanle for him to sentence people to damnation, BECAUSE WE DONT EVEN KNOW IF HE EXISTS OR NOT.

Thats not a valid argument.
If youre arguing against the CHARACTER of, in this case, the Christian God, then youre automatically assuming, for argument's sake, that God exists. Therefore, you have to argue WITH IN THE CONTEXT of the reality that Christianity claims to be true.

We cant have a debate if we dont have the same foundations and definitions.
Debate Round No. 3
tornshoe92

Pro

I apologize if my previous arguments have been confusing. This is my first time starting a debate and I realize that I have much to improve upon. I will now try to clarify what it is that I've been trying to say.

1) It is reasonable to doubt or not be sure of the existence of a god based on lack of convincing evidence.

2) The omni-benevolent god of Christianity sentences people to damnation for not believing that Jesus is his son and the savior of man.

3) Belief that Jesus is the son of god first requires belief that god exists.

4) Because of point "1)" it is unreasonable for god to punish non-believers.

Once again I apologize for not being clear enough in my initial arguments.
NewCreature

Con

You have 4 points but the last 3 depend on the 1st one, which is merely an assertion.

Again, you are debating about something else, ie. whether God does exists and if he made himself known.

I have already addressed this assertion in the second round. This is why this argument fails.
If the debate is wether it is reasonable for the Christian God of the Bible to sentence people to damnation, then we have to debate with in the Biblical Christian context.

With in the Christian context, God exists and the Bible is his revealed word.
The Bible says that God has indeed revealed himself to the world through his creation, through his word relayed by prophets and ultimately through his own son Jesus.
The Bible also says that the root of unbelief is rebellion against God not the other way around. God has made truth plain for all, but our rebellion tries to suppress this truth as it clearly says in Romans 1.

If your basis for concluding that it is unreasonable for God to sentence people to damnation, is the "lack of evidence of the existence of God", then I will simply tell you to read Romans 1. If God exists and if the Bible is his infallible word, then your argument fails. If you're gonna accept the Christian concept of eternal damnation, then you also accept everything else that Christianity claims to be true. You can't pick and choose. You can't read one part of the Bible and ignore the rest. You can't judge God's character if you're not gonna accept his WHOLE character. God is justified when he sentenced sinners to death. But God loves us so much that He gave his only son to die in our place.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by boredinclass 5 years ago
boredinclass
http://www.debate.org...
That^ is the most unorganized
Posted by Greyparrot 5 years ago
Greyparrot
This is probably the most unorganized debate I ever read.
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by Rednerrus 5 years ago
Rednerrus
tornshoe92NewCreatureTied
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Vote Placed by socialpinko 5 years ago
socialpinko
tornshoe92NewCreatureTied
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Vote Placed by ReformedArsenal 5 years ago
ReformedArsenal
tornshoe92NewCreatureTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro did not read or address Con's argument about why people are condemned. This lost him not only convincing arguments, but conduct as well.
Vote Placed by rogue 5 years ago
rogue
tornshoe92NewCreatureTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I don't think Con understood the debate and simply defended the Christian god.
Vote Placed by m93samman 5 years ago
m93samman
tornshoe92NewCreatureTied
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Reasons for voting decision: The resolution assumes God's existence; thereby, what determines damnation is determined by the God whose existence has been assumed. Unfortunately, Pro was damned to lose from the start (pun intended). Default to Con
Vote Placed by MrCarroll 6 years ago
MrCarroll
tornshoe92NewCreatureTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I think the Bible and creation are legitimate evidence for God existing which destroys pros reasoning.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 6 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
tornshoe92NewCreatureTied
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Reasons for voting decision: The argument by Pro in round four is not to say it is unreasonable because God may not exist, it is to argue that reasonable non-belief is just that reasonable, and thus the resolution passes. To contest the resolution Con would have had to show there is no such thing as reasonable non-belief.