The Instigator
Stupidape
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Scruggs
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

(Pro) The Christian God is malevolent vs benevolent (Con).

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Scruggs
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/11/2017 Category: Religion
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 786 times Debate No: 98858
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (18)
Votes (1)

 

Stupidape

Pro

Round one


I will be arguing that the Christian God is evil. My opponent will argue that the Christian God is good.

Definitions

God

""(in Christianity and other monotheistic religions) the creator and ruler of the universe and source of all moral authority; the supreme being." [0]"

Malevolent

"1. Having or exhibiting ill will; wishing harm to others; malicious.
2. Having a harmful influence: malevolent stars."

Benevolent

"1.
a. Characterized by or given to doing good: "a benevolent philanthropist who donated the funds to found the town library" (Willie Morris).
b. Suggestive of doing good; agreeable: a benevolent smile.
2. Relating to a charitable organization that operates without making a profit."


All other definitions are assumed common definitions unless otherwise agreed upon.


Burden of proof

Burden of proof will be equally shared.


Structure

Round 1 Acceptance and Definitions
Round 2 Arguments
Round 3 Rebuttals, respond directly to opponent's round two.
Round 4 Defense, respond directly to opponent's round three.


Failure to comply with any of these rules on a first offense will lose the conduct point. A second offense will forfeit the spelling and grammar point. A third offense will forfeit all remaining points.

Sources
0. https://en.oxforddictionaries.com...
1. http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
2. http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
Scruggs

Con

I accept the debate.
Debate Round No. 1
Stupidape

Pro

Round 2 Arguments



I. God's killings in the Old Testament


First, let's establish that Jesus and the God of the Old Testament is one and the same. That Christians believe in only one God and the Old Testament is taught to Christians. Therefore, Jesus Christ committed the killings within the Old Testament.


"Did you know, for example, that God:

Forced friends and family to kill each other for dancing naked around Aaron's golden calf?

Burned Aaron's sons to death for offering him strange fire?

Burned complainers to death, forced the survivors to eat quail until it literally came out their noses, sent "fiery serpents" to bite people for complaining about the lack of food and water, and killed 14,700 for complaining about his killings?

Buried alive those that opposed Moses (along with their families)?

Burned 250 men to death for burning incense? " [3]


Richard Dawkins states

" “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”

R13; Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion " [4]


This means all those same characteristics can be said of Jesus Christ. One of the worst atrocities Jesus commits is Noah's flood. The flood was a genocide of nearly every human, animal, and plant on the planet Earth. To add insult to injury only fourteen humans were left afterwards. Meaning forced incest was the only way to reproduce and for the human race to survive.


II. Incest


" It's certain that Noah's children practiced incest. They had to.

Did God really have to kill everybody except Noah and his wife and children? Don't you love it when your loving god kills all the little laughing children to satisfy his genocidal lust? " [5]

III. Slavery


"""20 And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished.

21 Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he [is] his money." [6]

"“Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;” " [7]""


I argue that God must be malevolent to condone slavery. Not only that but God cannot be the source of all moral authority be allowing slavery.


IV. Eternal damnation


" Matthew 25:41English Standard Version (ESV)

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. " [8]


This is the worst of the worst in my opinion. Making Jesus even more evil than the God of the Old Testament. The Judaism God only had Hell for a finite time, about a year. Jesus the so called merciful extended Hell to all eternity. This is for only finite crimes, most notably not having faith in Jesus Christ.

There can be only one conclusion, that the Christian God is malevolent. Thanks for debating. I look forward to your response.

V. Sources
3. http://skepticsannotatedbible.com...
4. https://www.goodreads.com...
5. http://the-militant-atheist.org...
6. http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org...
7. http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org...
8. https://www.biblegateway.com...
Scruggs

Con

I would like to start by thanking my opponent for allowing me to accept this debate and I look forward to this dialog.

Is the God of the Bible, the Christian God, malevolent or benevolent? It is my position that the God of the Bible is benevolent and my evidence for this is threefold: (1) He made all things good, (2) He is loving, (3) He has grace. I will expand on each of these pieces of evidence below.

1) He made all things good.

“And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.” (Genesis 1:31)

When God made his creations: man, animals, plants, the sun, the moon, the stars, etc. he did not make any of it bad. He made all of it good. Or, as the Hebrew would suggest, very good. There is an important distinction that should be made, however. It is highlighted by Albert Barnes in his commentary on Genesis 1: “Man, as well as other things, was very good when he came from his Maker's hand; but good as yet untried, and therefore good in capacity rather than in victory over temptation.”

Is there any way that we can know what would have been “very good”? We, as children of Adam, are far from such a state. But when God restores the earth, as he has promised (which will be covered later), what does He say it will be like? How will he restore it to being “very good”? To start, let’s look at what was written by the prophet Isaiah:

“The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder's den. They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” (Isaiah 11:6-9)

Surely this is not the desire of a malevolent God. We can read about his plan to restore his creation further in the book of Revelation:

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.’” (Revelation 21:1-4)

Again, this does not sound like the plan of a malevolent God. Rather, these words ring the truth that the God of the Bible is a benevolent God.

2) He is loving.

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (1 John 4:7, 8)

Would a malevolent God love His people and His creation? Would malevolent God be labeled as “love”? Perhaps the most famous verse in the Bible can be found in John 3:16, where we read: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” Does this sound like something a malevolent God would do? Though I believe that John 3:16 is not nearly as powerful as the Carmen Christi:

“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:1-8)

How absolutely powerful. I actually prefer The Living Bible’s reading where it says “even the death of a criminal.” God the Son humbled Himself and became a servant and adopted the lowly form of man in order to die for God’s elect on the cross. Is this something a malevolent God would do? Of course not!

3) He has grace.

"Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me." (2 Corinthians 12:8, 9)

I have been purposely shy in my first two pieces of evidence in order to leave enough room for this one, as it is the largest. We, as man, are totally depraved. This is highlighted in Romans 5:12, which reads: “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned…” However, it is by God’s grace that we can escape this sin:

“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved…” (Ephesians 2:1-5)

It is because God loves us that he gives us the gift of grace to be saved. Grace that we are totally undeserving of. This is highlighted in Ephesians also:

“[E]ven as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight…” (Ephesians 1:4-8)

Conclusion

So while God is benevolent, as is clearly indicated by my threefold evidence, there is a malevolent character who causes disruption in our lives. We can read about it in 1 Peter 5:8-10:

“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”

Therefore, I submit to you, the reader, that the God of the Bible is indeed benevolent and not malevolent.
Debate Round No. 2
Stupidape

Pro

Rebuttal round three.

Opponent's arguments in bold and italics.


"“The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder's den. They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.â€" (Isaiah 11:6-9)" Scruggs

I find this passage disturbing. This goes against animal's instincts and Darwin's theory of evolution. Predators have strong instincts to chase prey and prey potent instincts to evade predators.


"2) He is loving.

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.â€" (1 John 4:7, 8)

Would a malevolent God love His people and His creation? Would malevolent God be labeled as “loveâ€"? Perhaps the most famous verse in the Bible can be found in John 3:16, where we read: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.â€" Does this sound like something a malevolent God would do? Though I believe that John 3:16 is not nearly as powerful as the Carmen Christi:" Scruggs


Being canonized as loving doesn't make a person loving. This is classic malevolent tactics. Declare yourself as good, and other traits associated with good, like loving. Declare your enemies as evil, thus dehumanizing them. Now the evil force has created tribalism with the evil force being labeled as good, and the innocent labeled as evil. Furthermore, take the most evil nations in history, and you will find at least some redeeming traits. A psychotic killer that donates to charity is still a killer.


"How absolutely powerful. I actually prefer The Living Bible’s reading where it says “even the death of a criminal.â€" God the Son humbled Himself and became a servant and adopted the lowly form of man in order to die for God’s elect on the cross. Is this something a malevolent God would do? Of course not!" Scruggs

Sacrificing a God to another God is immoral. Human sacrifice is immoral. Scapegoating is immoral. Primitive tribes have scapegoated goats. [9]


"It is because God loves us that he gives us the gift of grace to be saved. Grace that we are totally undeserving of." Scruggs

Grace that we are undeserving of? This sounds like belittlement of humans to me. Make humans feel inferior so they are grateful for any little scrap.


"So while God is benevolent, as is clearly indicated by my threefold evidence, there is a malevolent character who causes disruption in our lives. We can read about it in 1 Peter 5:8-10:

“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.â€" " Scruggs

Satan is more benevolent than God. If I have to choose between the two, I would choose to follow Satan. This is because God killed millions where Satan only killed ten or so humans. Note, Jesus will kill billions at the battle of Armageddon.


Sources
9. http://www.academia.edu...
10. http://rationalwiki.org...
11. http://rationalwiki.org...
Scruggs

Con

This round is a rebuttal to my opponent's arguments in round two.

1) God's killings in the Old Testament.


My opponent’s first piece of evidence to prove that the God of the Bible, the Christian God, is malevolent is the fact that He killed creatures in the Old Testament. While I do not deny the claim, I should point out the fact that my opponent submitted no evidence of such events occurring in the Old Testament (i.e., no Scriptural citations). As a result, I have no way of responding to the specific events that my opponent had in mind.

My opponent did provide a list of things that God supposedly did in the Old Testament, but provides no Scriptural citations. Rather, his citation is to a book that one has to purchase. He simply copy and pasted the description of said book and submitted it as evidence. Surely this is not proper. He then provides a quote from Richard Dawkins, who is not credentialed on the subject. Ironically, the Richard Dawkins quote also provides no Scriptural citations.

And why is killing inherently a sign of malevolence? In most modern and civil societies where justice systems exist, there is a death penalty. Cops can justifiably kill criminals. Home owners can justifiably kill intruders and those who intend to do harm. My opponent failed to touch on the distinction between murder and a justified killing.

The closest my opponent comes to providing a Scriptural citation is mentioning the flood. While I am not one who believes in a global flood, I will defend it regardless. Why did God decide to flood the earth and rid it of man? His reasoning can be found in Genesis 6:5-8:

“The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the Lord said, ‘I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.’ But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.”

So it was not God that was malevolent, it was mankind. But what would a benevolent God do? Would he kill the righteous with the unrighteous? Surely not! This is why he saved Noah and his family. We hear about Noah’s righteousness in Genesis 6:9, which reads: “Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.” With the flood out of the way, let’s move on to my opponent’s second piece of evidence.

2) Incest


I do not deny that “incest,” or the marrying of close relatives, occurred in the early days of humanity. This was a necessity, as there were no other humans to reproduce with. However, it should be noted that the only real objection to incest (from a secular standpoint) is that it results in genetic defects. In the early days of humanity this would never have been an issue. Why? Because humanity was created in perfection and there were relatively few, if any, genetic impurities in the early humans. Now, one should rightly call me out by saying “but you are not a secularist and, therefore, a secular position would be inconsistent.” This is true, but the marrying of close relatives was never forbidden prior to the book of Leviticus. Therefore, there was no issue with it (from a Godly standpoint) prior to the law(s) forbidding it.

I might also add that my opponent failed to provide a reason as to why humans practicing incest is evidence for the God of the Bible being malevolent. Now, let’s move on to the next piece of evidence: slavery.

3) Slavery


Did God allow slavery? Yes, as is indicated by the passages provided by my opponent. Does that mean God is malevolent? Of course not. It is well documented that the slavery practiced by the ancient Israelites was not the same slavery practiced in, let’s say, the transatlantic slave trade. [1] Man invented the practice of slavery without the help of God. This is indicated by the fact that the Egyptians enslaved the Jews prior to God ever establishing judicial laws in regard to slave practices (Ex. 1). Rather than abolishing the practice of slavery outright, God established judicial laws for the people of ancient Israel so that morality could be expressed through slavery.

4) Eternal Damnation


I would like to state that my opponent is now contradicting himself. At the beginning of his section regarding killings in the Old Testament, he rightly stated that “Jesus and the God of the Old Testament [sic] is one and the same.” Yet he now says that the concept of eternal damnation makes “Jesus even more evil than the God of the Old Testament.” So, which is it? Is Jesus the same as the God of the Old Testament or is He not? Beyond this simple mistake, does the concept of eternal damnation really make God malevolent? Or does this concept in fact prove that he is benevolent?

All of man is guilty. We are not innocent. We are born in sin and are sinners. “Man is a slave of sin (Rom. 6:20). He does not seek for God (Rom. 3:10-12). He cannot understand spiritual things (1 Cor. 2:14). He is at enmity with God (Eph. 2:15). And, is by nature a child of wrath (Eph. 2:3).” [2] With all of that said, any person who goes to hell is not undeserving of it. We, as humans, are all deserving of it. As has been famously said many times, it is not surprising when people go to hell, it is surprising that anyone makes it to heaven. This is God’s justice. He justly condemns those deserving of hell. Now, you may be wondering who makes it to heaven if everyone is indeed deserving of hell, or God’s wrath. This is a good question, so let’s explore it further (see also the section entitled "He has grace" in the previous round).

God has an elect people. His elect people have been showered in his grace and received His mercy. God fulfills his justice through the rightful punishment of the unrighteous and shows his mercy through the election of his people. He does not elect based on their own merit, but on God’s kind will. This is displayed in Romans 9:11, which reads: “though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls…”

Would a benevolent God not be just? Of course not! We see God’s justice through his wrath and his justice is a display of his benevolence.


Sources:

[1] http://archive.churchsociety.org...
[2] https://www.calvinistcorner.com...

Debate Round No. 3
Stupidape

Pro

Defense round four.


"1) God's killings in the Old Testament.

My opponent’s first piece of evidence to prove that the God of the Bible, the Christian God, is malevolent is the fact that He killed creatures in the Old Testament. While I do not deny the claim, I should point out the fact that my opponent submitted no evidence of such events occurring in the Old Testament (i.e., no Scriptural citations). As a result, I have no way of responding to the specific events that my opponent had in mind." Scruggs

I have provided evidence, the evidence is secondary, an interpretation of the Bible in lieu of the primary source, the Bible. The main reason to do so is ease of reading. The Bible is cryptic and contains many books and words. Reading a brief summary is much faster and easier. Furthermore, you haven't proved me wrong, all you telling me is my sources could have been more direct.

"My opponent did provide a list of things that God supposedly did in the Old Testament, but provides no Scriptural citations. Rather, his citation is to a book that one has to purchase. He simply copy and pasted the description of said book and submitted it as evidence. Surely this is not proper. He then provides a quote from Richard Dawkins, who is not credentialed on the subject. Ironically, the Richard Dawkins quote also provides no Scriptural citations." Scruggs

You don't have to purchase the book to get the basics of the book. Richard Dawkins is an expert on religion. If only by investing enough time on the subject. A common definition of expert is to spend 1,000+ hours on the subject. I think it is self evident that Richard Dawkins has spent at least 1,000 hours on the subject of religion and thus is an expert on religion.

"And why is killing inherently a sign of malevolence? In most modern and civil societies where justice systems exist, there is a death penalty. Cops can justifiably kill criminals. Home owners can justifiably kill intruders and those who intend to do harm. My opponent failed to touch on the distinction between murder and a justified killing." Scruggs

My opponent does have a point that in certain circumstances that killing is justified. Yet, I thought it was obvious that at least some of these killings were unjustified. Killing someone's family for a crime? That's considered pure evil. This is as bad as some forms of organized crime. Even, the worst mafia doesn't burn offender's family's alive.

"Buried alive those that opposed Moses (along with their families)?" stupidape round two.

"The closest my opponent comes to providing a Scriptural citation is mentioning the flood. While I am not one who believes in a global flood, I will defend it regardless. Why did God decide to flood the earth and rid it of man? His reasoning can be found in Genesis 6:5-8:

“The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the Lord said, ‘I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.’ But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.”

So it was not God that was malevolent, it was mankind. But what would a benevolent God do? Would he kill the righteous with the unrighteous? Surely not! This is why he saved Noah and his family. We hear about Noah’s righteousness in Genesis 6:9, which reads: “Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.” " Scruggs

I find it interesting that you personally don't believe in Noah's flood. This seems like an ad hoc fallacy. Since Christians are taught and believe the Old Testament to the best of my knowledge.

As for justifying the flood, sure they were some criminals that can be justified killing via the flood. Yet, the sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, aunts, nephews, fathers, mothers, and infants of those criminals? This is genocide plain and simple. I cannot understand how you can view infants as evil or animals or plants.

How is a tree evil anyways? This is irrational. Chipmunks, rabbits, and songbirds all considered evil by God and must be eradicated? Save for a few on Noah's Ark. I cannot even fathom your point of view.

Furthermore, what makes Noah good and those hummingbirds, trees, children, and infants evil? I cannot possibly understand how children and babies can be considered evil.

"I might also add that my opponent failed to provide a reason as to why humans practicing incest is evidence for the God of the Bible being malevolent. " Scruggs

Your right, just as with the killings, I assumed that pointing out the killings and incest was enough. The idea of justifying genocide or incest is foreign to me. I still standby that simply pointing out God's killing and forced incest is enough. That we do not need to challenge basic assumptions like does gravity exist? Is the Earth spherical? Is genocides immoral? Is incest immoral?

"Did God allow slavery? Yes, as is indicated by the passages provided by my opponent. Does that mean God is malevolent? Of course not." Scruggs

As above, I think pointing out that God allowed slavery is sufficient. That attempting to justify slavery is challenging basic assumptions. Just as reality exists and the sun is real, slavery is immoral, even if it is mitigated by a few laws. Furthermore, you ignore the part about being able to beat a slave with a rod, and if the slave recovers within two days, there is no punishment.

By not responding to this part you have effectively conceded the point about a slave and rod. Let me reinstate it.

""""20 And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished.

21 Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he [is] his money." [6]"


"All of man is guilty. We are not innocent. We are born in sin and are sinners. “Man is a slave of sin (Rom. 6:20). He does not seek for God (Rom. 3:10-12). He cannot understand spiritual things (1 Cor. 2:14). He is at enmity with God (Eph. 2:15). And, is by nature a child of wrath (Eph. 2:3).” [2] With all of that said, any person who goes to hell is not undeserving of it. We, as humans, are all deserving of it." Scruggs

Again, with labeling children and infants, maybe even fetuses as evil. I just cannot perceive your point of view. We are as different as light and shadow. This paragraph of Scruggs only further proves God's malevolence.

The idea of labeling children, infants, and fetus as sinners and deserving of Hell is not only immoral, but insane in my opinion.

As for the elect, less than 1/2 the population is Christian, thus the elect are failing.
Scruggs

Con

According to the structure of the debate, I am only supposed to be providing a rebuttal to my opponent’s arguments in round three. My opponent's statements will be in bold and italics text.

I find this passage disturbing. This goes against animal's instincts and Darwin's theory of evolution. Predators have strong instincts to chase prey and prey potent instincts to evade predators.

“The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder's den. They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” (Isaiah 11:6-9)

In response to my citation of Isaiah 11:6-9, which I have produced above, my opponent has said that it is “disturbing.” He has said that it “goes against animal’s instincts…” I agree, it most certainly does go against animal’s instincts. Is that supposed to be a bad thing? Consider an image of a lion eating another animal. This is not a benevolent scene. It depicts a fallen world with fallen creatures. Death has flooded every part of the world. My opponent goes on to say that the passage “goes against […] Darwin’s theory of evolution.” Again, I agree. Darwin’s theory suggests survival of the fittest. Christianity suggests survival of the meekest. This is written in Matthew 5:5, which reads: “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”

Being canonized as loving doesn't make a person loving. This is classic malevolent tactics. Declare yourself as good, and other traits associated with good, like loving. Declare your enemies as evil, thus dehumanizing them. Now the evil force has created tribalism with the evil force being labeled as good, and the innocent labeled as evil. Furthermore, take the most evil nations in history, and you will find at least some redeeming traits. A psychotic killer that donates to charity is still a killer.

My opponent rightly makes the observation that just because someone is labeled as loving does not mean that they are. However, we are debating over the identity of the Christian God. The Christian God is derived from the Bible. As a result, we must take what the Bible says and apply it. Therefore, the events that are recorded in the Bible, such as Jesus sacrificing himself and becoming a ransom for God’s elect, must be taken as true for the purpose of this debate. The same must be said in regard to the passage declaring that “God is love.”

Sacrificing a God to another God is immoral. Human sacrifice is immoral. Scapegoating is immoral. Primitive tribes have scapegoated goats.

I am not sure that this makes a whole lot of sense. The Bible says nothing about sacrificing one god to another. There is only one God: Jehovah. My opponent rightly points out that human sacrifice is immoral, which is why God has spoken against it:

“You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way, for every abominable thing that the Lord hates they have done for their gods, for they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods.” (Deuteronomy 12:31)

Does that mean that Jesus’ ransom sacrifice was immoral as well? No. This is for at least two reasons:
1) Jesus was not merely a human. He was the God-man (John 1:14).
2) No one sacrificed Jesus. Rather, Jesus sacrificed Himself. Consider John 10:17, 18, which reads:

For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”

Grace that we are undeserving of? This sounds like belittlement of humans to me. Make humans feel inferior so they are grateful for any little scrap.

Let me start by saying that this is an absolutely abysmal attempt to actually address what I said. We, as humans, belittle ourselves. We live sinful lifestyles and disobey God. We lie, we lust, we steal, we use profane language, we hate, we are unjust, etc. Does God belittle humans? Well, let’s consider a few examples from Scripture that may answer that question:

“Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.’ Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field.” (Genesis 2:18-20)

“You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, ‘Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness’—and he was called a friend of God.” (James 2:22, 23)

What can we pull out of these two examples? In the first example, from Genesis, we see that God genuinely cares for His creation, Adam. He feels compassion for him and wishes to please him by providing companions on the earth. God does not stop there. He respects Adam enough to bring every creature to him in order for him to name them. And what about the second example, in James? Reflecting back to the father of the faith, Abraham, James rightly points out that he was called a “friend of God.” Not a servant, but a friend.

So, God does not belittle humans, he brings them up! We, as humans, belittle ourselves.

Satan is more benevolent than God. If I have to choose between the two, I would choose to follow Satan. This is because God killed millions where Satan only killed ten or so humans. Note, Jesus will kill billions at the battle of Armageddon.

Satan is more benevolent than God? This cannot be the case. As is revealed in the book of Revelation, the serpent in the Garden was Satan. What did Satan do in the Garden?

“Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?’ And the woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’’ But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.” (Genesis 3:1-6)

Does this sound like a benevolent character? Satan lied and deceived Eve. He told her that God was being untruthful and that she could trust him, the serpent. We all know the result of this. Eve did not become “like God.” She brought humanity down further from God and we still feel the impact of her decision to this day. Surely this is not a benevolent character.

In regard to the numbers claims, my opponent provides no citations or supporting evidence. The only thing that is mentioned is Armageddon. I would suggest that my opponent read Revelation 16-18 and tell me that this does not sound like a benevolent God!

Conclusion:

I now request that you, the reader, vote for Con. I believe that I have shown with great clarity that the Christian God is benevolent and not malevolent. I leave you with the following passage:

"By this we know love, that he [Jesus Christ] laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers." (1 John 3:16)
Debate Round No. 4
18 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Stupidape 1 year ago
Stupidape
I don't plan to debate this topic as long as there are man-made global climate change deniers. I've spread myself too thin already. I'm done arguing with theists, Trump's victory effectively broke my moral for arguing this topic. I guess I didn't think Donald would become inaugurated.

"Only a fool fights in a burning house"

Doesn't make sense to argue about God when we are frying from climate change.

https://en.wikiquote.org...
Posted by Ragnar 1 year ago
Ragnar
Ape, if you do this debate again I suggest putting God's punishment to Eve first and foremost. "I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children." Note, God clearly made the choice, rather than it being 'oh crud, that fruit changed you so you'll have more pain.' I'd then leverage that into a general thing about God's treatment of women (many easy to find sources will have lists... rather than quote the list, grab the quotes from the bible to which they refer). On God killing people, there's a really good South Park clip that walks us through a good example of it (http://southpark.cc.com...). I'd then pick just one other theme, likely the slavery, but take the lessons you learned in this one to pre-refute the limited counter arguments for it. Of course historically slavery might have been a step forward above just killing...
Posted by Scruggs 1 year ago
Scruggs
Ragnar, thank you for the vote. I was worried that this debate might go down in the long list of draws that flood the archives of debate.org.

Supidape, I understand that you had a lot of other debates going on, as I noticed them when I looked through your profile. I never accept a debate without looking to see if the person has done previous debates on the same or similar topics. You had, which gave me a little bit of an advantage :) I believe you would of had some strong arguments if you had provided Scriptural citations for some of your claims and pressed me on the issues of incest and slavery. While I was confident that I could have addressed those issues, it would have been time consuming.
Posted by Stupidape 1 year ago
Stupidape
Thanks for voting Ragnar, I was fairly certain I lost the debate by a fair margin. Mainly because it is difficult to find moderately skilled opponents. Either A, I get an opponent who way under my skill level or B. get an opponent above my skill level in a debate. Therefore, I expect A which is much more common, so when B comes around I am unprepared.

I was surprised at Scruggs skill level in the debate, a good 1/3 or so of my opponent's effectively forfeited before round three. As for the links, you are correct, the problem is the point is valid, yet I failed to find a better source. Doesn't mean my point is incorrect, just not much attention has been paid to my point for Internet sources.

""Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win"
R13; Sun Tzu, The Art of War "

I think this above quote explains my scenario best. I was unprepared to fight against such a formidable apologetic. I've had this problem before, that suddenly the apologetic is quoting a vast amount of scholarly peer reviewed articles and I realize that I am completely unprepared.

Though the same could be said for climate change deniers. First few times debating climate change my opponent were much more prepared than me. This doesn't mean climate change deniers are correct though. Same with this debate.

https://www.goodreads.com...
Posted by Ragnar 1 year ago
Ragnar
---RFD (1 of 4)---
Seems to boil down to a false dilemma, as God as presented is clearly both. I will attempt to grade this on which is shown to be the greater ...

ARGUMENTS: Both won some points, and lost some. Both had a problem of taking the validity of their points for granted, but con did better at finding errors in pro's reasoning; such as is Jesus God or not. Pro on the other hand got distracted, the biggest point he could have won on (Noah, and "what would a benevolent God do? Would he kill the righteous with the unrighteous? Surely not!" instead of leveraging that quote, he dug in with questions about con's faith). God seems to condone brutal slavery, which is bad. Some people like God (the authors of the bible), some people dislike God (a couple book authors), neither has any real impact. God of course does not lift everyone into paradise, less than half of people in fact, he's failing at that good will... But power of this point got lost in confusion first over if Jesus is God, and where in the bible it says that Jesus changed hell from one year to all of eternity (probably did, but evidence of it was in no way cited), even a God built hell would have gone a long way (A case certainly could have been made that if we all deserve hell, than it's a weird malevolent favoritism that God picks and chooses at random which bastards shall be rewarded with heaven for their crimes...). God is going to Make Animals Great Again (I agree with pro that it's weird, but con defended it largely with the meek winning having a benevolent feeling better than bullies winning, which tied into the debate nicely when pro is characterizing God as a bully). ... God was not shown to be the cause of the badness, but he was shown to be lifting people and animals out of it; even if he's bad follow-through, at least he's trying.
Posted by Ragnar 1 year ago
Ragnar
---RFD (2 of 4)---
SOURCES: While I'm leaving this tied, pro almost earned them. 9 being so hard to get to was annoying, 10 and 11 not being connected to the arguments created an easy exploit for con, 5 was just trash, and 4 did not connect to any context (as much as I was glad the quote was shown to be true). I was glad to see so many biblical quotes from con, but the bible as a source is just a given on debates about interpreting the bible (I do agree with con that pro should have done more of this).

Malevolent Case:
R2 Pro: I. Jesus is God. Jesus did a list of messed up things. Richard Dawkins dislikes him. Jesus committed a genocide via drowning. II. Just a quote from someone who dislikes God. III. God condones slavery (with biblical quotes). IV. Jesus is not God as stated in the first point, but is actually worse...

R3 Con: I. Lack of evidence for the specific killings. Richard Dawkins' is not an authority on the subject (normally I'd disagree with this, but the quote only spoke to his dislike, without any context applied). Killing not shown to be exclusively malevolent. And finally regarding the flood, " But what would a benevolent God do? Would he kill the righteous with the unrighteous? Surely not!" point being he spared Moses, and Moses' family.
II. Incest not shown to be bad.
III. "...God established judicial laws for the people of ancient Israel so that morality could be expressed through slavery."
IV. Caught contradiction in Jesus being and not being God. I admittedly was a little confused on the rest, somehow hell proves God is benevolent, because he chooses some people to not send their, and it's not based on their own merit...
Posted by Ragnar 1 year ago
Ragnar
---RFD (3 of 4)---
R4 Pro: I. Evidence was interpretations, which are clearer, and still not shown to be wrong. Richard Dawkins is an expert (sorry, this appeal to authority isn't quote working on me, mainly you're not even citing an argument he made, but a single quote without context... You don't just win because someone generally agrees with you). Killing can be justified, but the targeting of enemies families is not. And on the topic of the flood: "This is genocide plain and simple. I cannot understand how you can view infants as evil or animals or plants."
II. Incest doesn't need to be proven to be bad (I consider this point dropped).
III. "slavery is immoral, even if it is mitigated by a few laws" plus the fact that slaves were beaten badly, and God's law said it was fine if they survived a couple days (this brings it back from the brink, as it reminds us that even if not as bad, it was still abusive slavery as we in modern times understand it).
IV. "The idea of labeling children, infants, and fetus as sinners and deserving of Hell is not only immoral, but insane in my opinion." Plus God sends more than half the population to hell (That'd also be every aborted baby... not weighting by this, but it's the path of reasoning we seem to be down).

Benevolent Case:
R2 Con: Very well organized, and supported with good quotations... 1. He made all things good, and plans to return them to that state, even ridding the world of death and pain. 2. He loves us enough to sacrifice his son for us. 3. Humans suck, God loves us anyway (this point seems to pre-assume that the audience has the same understanding of the word Grace, and the implications therein). 4. Satan bad.
Posted by Ragnar 1 year ago
Ragnar
---RFD (4 of 4)---
R3 Pro: A lot of space wasted on quoting too much from the con... 1. The return to the state of all things being good, violates the natural state of animals as predator and prey (a little talk of diet requirements would have gone a long way).
2. Being called loving does not assure it, as the terms good and evil are often used as a political tool. God killing Jesus was immoral, as human sacrifice is inherently immoral. Using scapegoats instead of taking personal accountability is bad (I liked the humorous bit about the origin of the term scapegoat, but that link was awful to navigate to).
3. We have not been proven to be undeserving of grace.
4. Satan is preferable to God, due to having killed only into the double digits rather than into the seventh. And apparently Jesus (who God killed), will kill even more.

R4 Con: 1. Basically a counter to pro's argument by nature ethics, with domestication being good (strengthen by the previous round making the violence of animals the unnatural state for them).
2. The bible must be considered factual for this debate, and the bible says God is love (I buy the first part, not the second. However, just because being called something does not make it true, it is also no proof of the opposite). Jesus committed suicide (yeah call that an over simplification of what you were trying to say, but the lines were very convoluted: First Jesus is not a God, so pro's argument there is invalid, then it was ok to sacrifice Jesus because Jesus was not a human but was actually God, and then finally Jesus actually killed himself...).
3. We suck, God is nice to us (or at least Adam and Abraham) anyway.
4. Lack of evidence to turn the death rate assertions into arguments, and Satan was the first man to trick women into doing things against their self-interest; clearly not a benevolent guy (pro's actual point was more to the effect that he felt Satan was less malevolent than God, not to say he was benevolent).
Posted by Ragnar 1 year ago
Ragnar
Looks like it will be a 3 or 4 part RFD. I've done an in depth look over of the malevolent case and counterpoints (I see both strengths and weaknesses), in the morning I'll do the same for the benevolent.
Posted by Scruggs 1 year ago
Scruggs
I am sure I speak for both myself and my opponent when I say that a vote would be much appreciated.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 1 year ago
Ragnar
StupidapeScruggsTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments. ... Side thoughts stirred by reading this make me agree with pro slightly more than con, but those include examples like Job and Pharaoh not even mentioned in this debate.