The Instigator
internet.debater
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Sketchy
Pro (for)
Winning
18 Points

Re: The biblical God probably doesn't exist.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/11/2011 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 529 times Debate No: 18290
Debate Rounds (5)
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internet.debater

Con

This is a redux of the previous debate, "The biblical God probably doesn't exist." In my opinion a more appropriate thesis for that particular debate would have been "Physical evidence doesn't support an omniscient, omnibenevolent, omnipoent interpretation of the God of the Bible." In short, I'm challenging Sketchy to the same debate against me.

*This is my first debate on Debate.org, so please forgive if I'm not familiar with how everything works.

Since Sketchy is the one that initiated this topic to begin with, I would like him to set the ground rules for what exactly it is that he's hypothesizing. His previous thesis was in my opinion deeply flawed and his argument was specious. Is he trying to prove god or some other concept of supreme being doesn't exist period? Is he trying to prove a particular interpretation of the Bible is false? So I'd like him to first state specifically what he intends to argue and then we can go from there.

To help Sketchy put his thesis together though, let me start out by pointing out that the words, "omniscient," "omnibenevolent," and "omnipotent" do not appear anywhere in the Old Testament and the word "omnipotent" appears only once in the New Testament. And this word can mean a lot of different things. Also, for the sake of this debate only the King James Version of the Bible will be used.
Sketchy

Pro

I appreciate internet.debater for challenging me to this debate. I was getting tired of debating trolls and people trying to net an easy win with semantics. I’ll define the ‘omnis’ to prevent any confusion.

Omnipotence: The quality or state of being almighty or infinite in power.

Omniscient: Having complete or unlimited knowledge, awareness, or understanding.

Omnibenevolent: Unlimited or infinite benevolence. All good, perfect goodness, etc.

The Christian God is omniscient, as shown in the following verses:

Job 37:16 Do you know how the clouds are balanced, Those wondrous works of Him who is perfect in knowledge?

http://biblia.com...

Psalm 147:5 Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite

http://www.biblegateway.com...

1 Samuel 2:3 Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.

http://www.biblegateway.com...

The Christian God is also omnibenevolent, as shown in the following passages:

Psalm 18:30 As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.

http://www.biblegateway.com...

Psalm 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
http://www.biblegateway.com...;

So basically, I am trying to prove that the Christian omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent god probably doesn’t exist. If you need any more clarification, please message me. The burden of proof is shared, and I would like to wish my opponent good luck!

Debate Round No. 1
internet.debater

Con

Ok, here we go. :)

*I want to reiterate that let’s stick to the KJV, not the NKJV. Don’t mean to be overly picky, but there are significant differences. The accuracy of one translation vs. another could be the topic of another debate. Historically KJV is the most popular and considered the most accurate. It is a word-for-word translation, whereas newer translations generally rephrase the original wording to confirm with a particular interpretation.

*Also, just so folks understand my perspective, I am Christian, devout Mormon (aka LDS) to be specific. I do not claim to represent or speak authoritatively for other Christians of any sect (including LDS); I’m just giving my opinion.

*Also, throughout this I am intentionally trying to not cite scripture. If you want me to provide a reference I’m happy to, but I’m trying to leave the scriptural burden with you. I may cite a few verses, but I’m mostly just going to respond to yours. You’re the one trying to prove that “God probably doesn’t exist” based on the description of God in the Bible.

Regarding omniscience, I agree with you that the verses you cited are often interpreted to mean that God is omniscient. But let’s dig deeper.

First, what is “omniscient”? I generally agree with your definition, and I personally consider God to be omniscient, however I do not believe this to be absolute but relative. The Bible does not use the word “omniscient” and provides no definition for such a word. Instead we have created this word.

In the LDS church there is a saying that goes, “As God is, Man may become, and as Man is, God once was.” I’m putting this in my own words, so don’t quote me, but that’s the general concept. This phrase carries a lot of meaning. Comparing God’s knowledge with ours is like comparing an infant child with its parents. Relatively speaking, the parents could be called omniscient.

God doesn’t literally know everything there is to know in absolute terms. I fully acknowledge that many within Christendom would reject my opinion and assert that God does literally know everything, but they’re wrong. The people that argue this would probably also argue that there are no errors in the Bible, grammatical or otherwise, and that it is literally the word of God. Scripturally, there is nothing to suggest that God’s “omniscience” is absolute.

Second, what is “knowledge”? Knowledge of WHAT? The scriptures do not say that God knows everything about everything, period. For example, could God tell me the distance between two microbes on some random planet? I’m sure he can get out a telescope or even travel in-person with a ruler, but I seriously doubt he has this information memorized. When knowledge is spoken of in the scriptures this generally means knowledge of the gospel, knowledge of “good and evil” or whatever one wants to call it. It is speaking of absolute laws of nature, outside even God’s “authority.”

Third, in studying the Old/New Testament I think it’s important to clarify who “god” or “lord” refers to. There are two persons to be concerned with, Jehovah, who is also Jesus Christ in the New Testament, and Elohim, who is the Father. Now of course, many within Christendom believe in the Trinity and consider both to be the same person. This belief however is not scriptural and not all Christians believe this. In these particular verses it is Jehovah/Christ that is being referred to. That by itself is also evidence to support my points above. The fact that two distinct beings have apparently equal traits raises questions regarding the full extent of said traits.

Let’s look at the scriptures you referenced. Nothing about the phrases “perfect in knowledge,” “God of knowledge” or “understanding is infinite” suggests an absolutely omniscient being that knows everything about everything. The only phrase that maybe comes a little close is “understanding is infinite,” but understanding is very different than knowledge.

Regarding omnibenevolence.

First, I would ask that you clarify the definition of “benevolent” since “omnibenevolent” is defined as being an infinite amount of this. As with omniscience, this is a word that doesn’t appear in the scriptures, we are making it up. Note the word “benevolent” also doesn’t appear anywhere. It is a word I have never personally used to describe God, nor is it a word I can recall ever being used at church, and when I say church I mean LDS, Baptist and many other churches I’ve been to. Frankly I’m inclined to simply reject that God is “omnibenevolent.”

That said though, when I hear the word “omnibenevolent,” to me, it simply means “infinite kindness” or “charity” or “pure love.” Is this what is meant by the word? If so, I agree.
Second, I don’t agree with the interpretation of the verses you reference. I don’t read these verses to mean that God is omnibenevolent.

Psalm 18 is essentially a poem that David wrote. It’s not the Lord saying to us, “hey, I’m omnibenevolent,” but rather David giving his opinion of the Lord. He’s praising the Lord for helping him through some trials, trials BTW through which he grew. Again, Lord here refers to Christ, not God the Father. Also note difference between 18:30 vs. 18:32. First David describes God’s way as being perfect. And then he says in 32 that because of the strength given to him by God, his [David’s] way is also perfect. So is David also omnibenevolent? What does David actually say? He doesn’t say God is perfect, but his “way” is, and what does this have to do with benevolence?

Psalm 19 says law of LORD is perfect, nothing more. Doesn’t say the law is easy or pleasant, just that it’s right. And that too is relative to the people at that time.

Preemptively I also want to add that benevolence or kindness or love doesn’t necessarily mean “easy” or “fun.” Based on your previous debate I suspect I know where you’ll go with this. The existence of pain or suffering is not mutually exclusive with a loving God. I’m sure you’ve heard the expression, “no pain, no gain.” Growth is work, and work is pain. Learning to ride a bike requires falling a few times. Is it written anywhere in the Bible that pain or suffering is bad? God could be infinitely kind and cause infinite suffering at the same time, could he not?

See Ecclesiastes 1:18 – “For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.” (http://lds.org...)

Regarding omnipotence. First, as with the previous omnis, this word doesn’t actually exist, so we’re making it up, yet again…

You didn’t say anything about omnipotence but I think this is equally important and I suspect I know where you’ll go with this too. I would agree that God is omnipotent, but as with omniscience, this is relative. I do not believe in an ex nihilo creation. Scripturally there is no evidence for this either.

That being the case, God didn’t create natural laws such as the laws of Physics, he is constrained by them as much as we are, but of course he has much more knowledge than we do. Likewise God did not create evil. He did not create Satan, etc.

As with omniscience I acknowledge many within Christendom would disagree with me, but they are wrong :) Scripturally there is no evidence to support this absolute omnipotence. I would also again point to the significance of the fact that the god of the Old Testament is Jehovah, aka Christ, not Elohim, God the Father. Scriptures in the Old Testament used to support the absolute omnipotence of God would most likely point to Jehovah. How could Jehovah and Elohim both be omnipotent? Well they can’t, or that omnipotence is meant to be relative.

Sketchy

Pro


I apologize for taking so long to respond, but I needed a good block of time to write.

Regarding omniscience – Rebuttal

I personally...this word. How can complete knowledge be relative? Either you know everything or you don’t. We have created the word, but we probably created it with God in mind.

“This phrase...called omniscient. Again, you can’t be relatively omniscient. They can’t kind of have infinite knowledge. Either they do or they don’t.

“God doesn’t literally…“omniscience” is absolute.” You do acknowledge my passages that I quoted later in your argument, but you simply brush them off saying that they don’t necessarily suggest a true omniscient being.” How is a being “perfect in knowledge” not absolutely omniscient? My opponent would most likely agree with me that perfect is synonymous with complete, and lo and behold, you come to this:

God = A being complete in knowledge.

Omniscient = Having complete or unlimited knowledge, awareness, or understanding.

“Second, what is “knowledge”? Knowledge of WHAT? The scriptures do not say that God knows everything about everything, period.

1 John 3:20 KJV For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.

http://www.biblestudytools.com...

Third, in studying the Old/New Testament I think it’s important to clarify who “god” or “lord”…said traits.” I am referring to the deity that created the universe. I’m in no way arguing that Jesus Christ didn’t exist. I don’t particularly care if they are the same person or not because all I have to prove is that the Christian being that created the universe probably doesn’t exist.

Regarding omnibenevolence – Rebuttal

“First, I would ask...we are making it up. When I say omnibenevolence, I mean that God is perfect in morality and he must be without sin.

“Psalm 18 is essentially a poem...do with benevolence? But isn’t the Bible literally the word of God? According to the Eighth Article of Faith (which I assume you believe in due to the fact you are an LDS), you believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly. Therefore, you do believe that David is omnibenevolent. It has to do with benevolence because his way is perfect, which means that everything he does is perfect. If he does everything perfectly, he does all-good (which fits in perfectly with the Latin omni- and benevolent).http://lds.org...

Psalm 19 says... at that time.” The law of LORD being perfect means that it is just and fair. I don’t think it’s very fair for God to create the laws of the universe, creating evil and therefore Hell in the process. Why would you create something that you would eventually send to eternal suffering? I will emphasize this more in my first argument.

“Preemptively I also want...could he not? To be perfectly fair, I was going up against a troll so I wasn’t debating to my full potential. If god is omnipotent, why didn’t he simply take out pain in his plans for the universe? He can go anything, so surely he could eliminate evil while still maintaining anything gained from the suffering. Growth and work are not synonymous at all. Work and pain are not equal either. I do not think that any being could be infinitely kind while also inflicting infinite suffering. It makes absolutely no sense. It gets even crazier when you start to think that He created Hell. How could a being that is infinitely kind, humane, and morally perfect to allow people who haven’t even heard of Christianity spend an eternity of torture in Hell?

Regarding omnipotence

I would agree that God is omnipotent, but as with omniscience, this is relative. This is where you are completely wrong. Omnipotence is not and can never be relative. Omnipotent means unlimited power. Period.

Unlimited = not limited; unrestricted; unconfined http://dictionary.reference.com...

“I do not believe in an ex nihilo creation. Scripturally there is no evidence for this either.This was by far the easiest Bible passage to find. Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. Beginning is the point in time or space at which something starts. In this case, that is the entire universe.

“That being the case...He did not create Satan, etc. Genesis 1:1 again. God created the universe and therefore everything inside of it. He even specifically created the angels, which include Satan/Lucifer.

“As with omniscience...meant to be relative. The definition of God makes him omnipotent. If you really need specific passages, I’ve got you covered.

Matthew 19:26 “but with God all things are possible.” http://www.biblegateway.com...

Genesis 17:1 “I am the Almighty God” http://www.biblegateway.com...

Jeremiah 32:17, 27 “there is nothing too hard for thee”, “is there any thing too hard for me?”

http://www.biblegateway.com...

Luke 1:37 “For with God nothing shall be impossible.”

http://www.biblegateway.com...

I saved the best for last!

Revelation 19:6 “for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth”

http://www.biblegateway.com...

We didn’t even make up the word. Look it up in your Bible! These six words completely and utterly destroy this argument.

I have a large amount of arguments, so I will keep them short and sweet lest my readers fall asleep.

Problem of Evil

1: God is omnipotent (established above).

2: God is omniscient (established above).

3: God is omnibenevolent (established above).

4. God would know if evil or suffering is taking place (omniscience), He has the power to stop it (omnipotence), and would feel obligated to stop it (omnibenevolent).

5. Evil exists.

6. God doesn’t exist.

More details are above in my rebuttal for omnibenevolence.

Lack of Empirical Data

To prove something does or doesn’t exist, we usually need a lot of evidence to support it, right? Christians seem to only point to the Bible as proof of His existence. Why? Surely if He exists there would be a lot of evidence supporting His presence. Individual accounts of ‘seeing God’ have caused people to convert to Christianity, Islam, Hindu, etc.http://www.islamtomorrow.com...

http://western-hindu.org...

Free Will?

If God knows everything that is going to happen in advance, we don’t really have free will. No matter how many times we change our mind, God’s omnipotence knew it would have happened.

Intelligent Design?

God created us in His image, correct? Then why do we get sick? Why do some people have extra toes or fingers? What does God really look like? With all of the billions of different skin tones, hair colors, eye colors, hairs, moles, organs, etc. how did he really create us in his image? You get the idea.

Objective Morality vs Subjective Morality

You expressed very clearly several times that everything is relative, but what about morality? If God is omnibenevolent, then there is an objective morality that is definitely correct. Do you advocate genocide, slavery, racism, misogyny, homophobia, infanticide, and filicide? The Bible sure does!

Contradictions

The Bible is literally the word of God, and the only contradictions are human errors according to your faith. You insisted that I use the King James version, so I will assume that you are completely confident that it is perfect. Here are a list of contradictions that you can look up yourself in your KJV Bible:

Jeremiah 3:12 and Jeremiah 17:4 Does God keep grudges forever?

Matthew 28:18 and 1 John 5:19 Who rules the world?

Matthew 5:16 and Matthew 6:1 Should you be humble?

John 9:39 and John 12:47 Is Jesus/Jehovah judging us?

John 5:31 and John 8:14 Can Jesus/Jehovah testify on his own behalf?

John 1:18 and Genesis 32:30

Matthew 22:37, Matthew 10:28, and 1 John 4:18

Debate Round No. 2
internet.debater

Con

internet.debater forfeited this round.
Sketchy

Pro

Since Con forfeited, I'll extend my arguments.
Debate Round No. 3
internet.debater

Con

internet.debater forfeited this round.
Sketchy

Pro

My arguments remain unrefuted, so I'll extend them again.
Debate Round No. 4
internet.debater

Con

internet.debater forfeited this round.
Sketchy

Pro

My opponent forfeited the final round, and has not presented any new arguments nor has he even addressed my arguments. Because of this, it is fairly obvious that I should win this debate.
Debate Round No. 5
No comments have been posted on this debate.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by Zarroette 3 months ago
Zarroette
internet.debaterSketchyTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: ff
Vote Placed by wiploc 2 years ago
wiploc
internet.debaterSketchyTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Why would Con instigate a debate in which Pro argues against the existence of a tri-omni god? Con's "rebuttal" seems to be that he doesn't believe in that god either? That's not a rebuttal; that's a surrender.
Vote Placed by Man-is-good 2 years ago
Man-is-good
internet.debaterSketchyTied
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Reasons for voting decision: internet.debater did not do so well, though he was a beginner: he spends too much time on his own personal impressions, which were refuted from instances of the Scripture given by Sketchy, somehow argues that omniscience/omnibenevolence/omnipotence is relative [how is an all-powerful, almighty, all-knowing being relative in concept? If so, wouldn't that make him NOT almighty, &ct?]...
Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 2 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
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Reasons for voting decision: what thett3 said
Vote Placed by thett3 2 years ago
thett3
internet.debaterSketchyTied
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Reasons for voting decision: :/