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Reason is necessary for building strong faith

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/28/2016 Category: Religion
Updated: 1 month ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 162 times Debate No: 96505
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
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I am bringing back this topic as the previous opposition pulled out. As stated earlier, I feel sad when a respected religious individual uses faith as a reason not to confront the shaky areas in his beliefs. So I wish to use the Bible to prove to Christians why faith is compatible with reason or logic..

Round 1: acceptance
Round 2: arguments
Round 3: rebuttals
Round 4: rebuttals.

I await your acceptance.


I accept this topic and wish a fair and impartial debate.
Merriam-Webster defines Faith as: A strong belief or Trust in someone or something.
Using this definition, Reason isn't a prerequisite for Faith.
Merriam-Webster defines reason as: The power of the mind to think and understand in a logical way. Using this definition however, faith cannot coexist with reason in all circumstances. Using this definition, contradictions become an impediment to true reason. Proverbs 12:22 "Lying Lips are an abomination to the lord". However, in I Kings 22:23, the bible says " The Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the Lord hath spoken evil concerning thee."
These verses cannot be simultaneously true. If you accept Proverbs, then the prophets have sinned and are thus not fit to be the voice of god. If you accept I Kings, then the prophets are liars by default, and thus you should throw out religion until a clearer authority can be found.
If you don't accept these verses, than you cannot be truly religious. Accepting them however, is contradictory to the idea of Reason. Therefore, reason is not integral to one's religious belief.
Debate Round No. 1


The first evidence to show that reason is compatible with faith is the biblical definition of faith. Hebrews 11:1 defines it "faith is the assured expectation of what is hoped for, the evident demonstration of realities that are not seen"( New world translation). Consider the phrase "evident demonstration of realities that are not seen". Let me give an example. You are in one of the forests of Africa when suddenly, you feel tremors and hear a deafening noise. When you raise your eyes, you see a dense screen of dust. You know what these signs mean; a stampede. Here, the tremors and dense screen of dust with the noise together form an "evident demonstration " of the yet unseen reality, the stampede. Your faith thus moves you to flee. So such faith is the act of believing in something unseen for which we have a good reason. So, rather than being naive, a person with true faith bases his beliefs on careful scrutiny of all available data, enabling him to have a conviction that even things that cannot be seen with the eyes are realities.
The next is the words at Romans 12:1."...your worship of God should be done in a way worthy of thinking beings" ( The Jerusalem Bible). So the faith mentioned in the bible must be thought through carefully, resulting in trust in God and in His word firmly based on reason. And such reason is needed to "make sure of all things" (1 Thessalonians 5:21). So our religious beliefs must be subjected to logical examinations with the light if the Bible before it provides faith that can stand the test of time. This should be done so that we are "always ready to make a defence before everyone who demands of you a reason for your hope"(1 peter 3:15).
And so, when faced with perplexing questions regarding what we find in the Bible, one does well to understand the situation, context and try to discern the reason behind an action before we draw conclusions. This will help us to build a stronger faith than one who just accepts it because he is a Christian.


I notice that definitions seem to be lacking beyond "Reason, so I shall rectify the situation.
Contradiction: a proposition, statement, or phrase that asserts or implies both the truth and falsity of something {1}
Logic: a proper or REASONable way of thinking about or understanding something. {1}

Using these definitions, avoiding Contradictions is a self-evident component of being reasonable or having reason, as contradictions cannot be simultaneously true, therefore any contradiction should be thrown out by the reasonable mind.
The bible is riddled with contradictions might I add. Among them "Trees were created before man was created. " and "Man was created before trees were created.". Let's not forget "On the first day, God created light, then separated light and darkness. " and "The sun (which separates night and day) wasn't created until the fourth day.". In addition "God prefers Abel's offering and has no regard for Cain's. " and "God shows no partiality. He treats all alike." {2}

That being said, you cite the Bible as evidence, yet the bible has never been peer reviewed. We've never found the Ark that Noah supposedly built, nor have we found Geological evidence of any flood. In continuing with this theme, the bible has only internal support. Stephen Hawking, Albert Einstein, Nikola Tesla, etc have never found evidence to support the idea of religion.

This lack of support, in conjunction with the vast number of contradictions, leads us to the conclusion that Faith in the Bible is independent of Logical Reason. Therefore, you should negate the resolution.

Debate Round No. 2


In my opening argument, I mentioned that the Bible will be used as evidence in this debate.
As I pointed out previously, faith is based on accurate knowledge. In the examples you have pointed out, its easy to see that they look contradictory when the passage is not understood and taken out of context.

Consider the imagined contradiction between light and the sun and how it is resolved.
The book of Genesis was written with a point of view of a person on earth. A careful consideration of the Genesis account reveals that events starting during one "day" continued into one or more of the following "days." For example, before the first creative "day" started, light from the already existing sun was somehow prevented from reaching the earth's surface, possibly by thick clouds. (Job 38:9) During the first "day," this barrier began to clear, allowing diffused light to penetrate the atmosphere. On the second "day," the atmosphere evidently continued to clear, creating a space between the thick clouds above and the ocean below. On the fourth "day," the atmosphere gradually cleared to such an extent that the sun and the moon were made to appear "in the expanse of the heavens. " (Genesis 1:14-16) In other words, from the perspective of a person on earth, the sun and moon began to be discernible. These events happened gradually.
In the second instance where the uncertainty of which was first, man or trees or animals. A careful analysis of the bible reveals that the 2nd chapter of Genesis is about the creation of a "home" or garden for the habitation of humans(Gen 2:8,9). It became necessary to create that home for humans to live and so before the place was created, it was barren, devoid of life. This does not mean that trees, birds were not in existence, rather they were not in that particular area.
And in the area of external evidence supporting the bible, I think you will be amazed at what you find if you search for it.
So when dealing with contradictory looking passages, it is wise to understand the passage contextually, asking questions and comparing with other passages. This logical approach to study will build faith.


That doesn't change the fact that relying on the Bible alone is unreasonable. If you do, then you can claim anything in the book is correct. For example, let's say hypothetically that I feel the wind, and think it's going West. Using this evidence, I could claim the wind only goes West, however, that would be an illogical theory, as it relied on only 1 piece of evidence. The same thing could be said about the bible.
My opponent goes on to say
"And in the area of external evidence supporting the bible, I think you will be amazed at what you find if you search for it."
However, this is empirically false, as the bible make reference to a roof of the world or "Firmament". This "Firmament cannot exist, as we have gone beyond what would be the "Firmament" if it existed. So either reject the idea that we've sent satellites into Earth's orbit, or reject the idea of the "Firmament" altogether. {1}
In addition, the bible makes the scientific mistake of implying that the sun orbits the earth
Ecclesiastes 1:5 "The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down and hasteth to his place where he arose."
If this were true, then NASA would have observed it a while ago. The NASA Observatory explains
"But the evidence for a heliocentric solar system gradually mounted. When Galileo pointed his telescope into the night sky in 1610, he saw for the first time in human history that moons orbited Jupiter. If Aristotle were right about all things orbiting Earth, then these moons could not exist. Galileo also observed the phases of Venus, which proved that the planet orbits the Sun. " {2}
In addition, it is a common belief that god created the Bible, however, there is at least 1 contradiction even my opponent cannot deny.
Genesis 4:9 "God asks Cain where his brother Abel is. "
Proverbs 15:3, Jeremiah 16:17 23:24-25, Hebrews 4:13 "God is everywhere. He sees everything. Nothing is hidden from his view."
Let's not forget either:
Genesis 4:15, Deuteronomy 32:19-27, Isaiah 34:8 "God is a vengeful god."
2 Corinthians 13:11, 18, 1 John 4:8, 16 "God is love. "
Notice how my opponent also failed to address the idea of Impartiality. Here are the quotes for your convenience.
"God prefers Abel's offering and has no regard for Cain's. " and "God shows no partiality. He treats all alike." {3}
On the topic of external evidence, again. I turned up was bragging about turning up Babylonian creation stories". I'll concede, that the Tablets contain creation stories with the theme of flooding. However, we can chalk it up to their civilization being heavily based around the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers. In addition, if the great flood had really happened, then we would see similar themes throughout all cultures. However, Slavic Mythology describes how the world came from an egg, Norse describes Cold and Warmth meeting to form a Frost Giant named Ymir. Who was then killed to form the world, and has 4 dwarves holding him up at each cardinal direction. We're the great flood truly worldwide as the bible claims
Genesis 17-23: "For forty days the flood kept coming on the earth, and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the earth. 18 The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. 19 They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered. 20 The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than fifteen cubits.[a][b] 21 Every living thing that moved on land perished"birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind. 22 Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died. 23 Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; people and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark."
In addition, An archaeological expedition into the Flood turned up nothing.
"Woolley's first test pit was very small, so during that and the next season he had dug a number of other test shafts, including an enormous pit, seventy-five feet by sixty feet and sixty-four feet deep. In this main pit, he encountered a deposit of clean, apparently water-laid soil up to eleven feet thick. Evidence of the Flood was absent from several shafts and uncertain or disturbed in a number of others." {4}
In light of this, and all the evidence I have presented. The only logical and reasonable option is to negate the resolution.

Debate Round No. 3


It is interesting that at Gen 1:6-8 the Hebrew word "raqia", is translated " firmament" or "expanse" and carries the thought of something "stretched out" or "beaten out". While it is possible to beat out or stretch solids, in some cases it is unreasonable to rule out a figurative use of the word. Thus at Job 37:18 Elihu asks concerning God: "With him can you beat out [tar"qiE7;aF1;] the skies hard like a molten mirror?" That the literal beating out of some solid celestial vault is not meant can be seen from the fact that the word "skies" here comes from a word (shaE7;chaq) also rendered "film of dust" or "clouds" (Isa 40:15;Ps 18:11), and in view of the nebulous quality of that which is "beaten out," it is clear that the Bible writer is only figuratively comparing the skies to a metal mirror whose burnished face gives off a bright reflection. So, too with the " raqia" or "expanse". no solid substance is described as being beaten out but, rather, the creation of an open space, or division, between the waters covering the earth and other waters above the earth. It thus describes the formation of the atmospheric expanse surrounding the earth and indicates that at one time there was no clear division or open space but that the entire globe was previously enveloped in water vapor. This also accords with scientific reasoning on the early stages of the planet"s formation and the view that at one time all of earth"s water existed in the form of atmospheric vapor because of the extreme heat of the earth"s surface at that point.
Moreover, Ecclesiastes 1:5 gives no credence to a geocentric universe. It merely relates the daily cycles of the sun based on what a man on earth observes. Naturally, this does not oppose the findings of NASA.
God saw Abel's murder by his brother. Does that mean then that his questioning was out of ignorance? Didn't He also see Adam's sin and question him? He asked Cain the question to give him an opportunity to express himself. And so did he, showing no remorse for his actions!
And of course, Vengeance belongs to God. His vengeance however is motivated by His love, Justice and mercy. He brings it upon those he deems wicked and uses it to protect his faithful servants. I fail to see the contradiction there, after all would it be loving for him not to punish the evil? Picture the terrorist groups and their sponsors together with child abusers, rapists and the like. Don't they deserve punishment? Love actually moves one to enact punishment.
Why Abel's sacrifice was favoured? "By faith Abel offered God a sacrifice of greater worth than Cain, through which faith he had witness borne to him that he was righteous, God bearing witness respecting his gifts." (Hebrews 11:4) Thus, it was because of faith that Abel was recognized as righteous by God. But faith in what? Faith in Jehovah"s promise that he would provide the Seed, who would "bruise the head of the serpent" and restore the peace and perfection that mankind once enjoyed. From the statement that the Seed would be "bruised in the heel," Abel might have reasoned that a sacrifice involving the shedding of blood was needed. (Genesis 3:15) Nonetheless, the fact remains that it was Abel"s expression of faith that made his "a sacrifice of greater worth than Cain. "By the same token, Cain was rejected, not because he offered the wrong kind of sacrifice, but because he lacked faith, as indicated by his actions. Jehovah had clearly pointed out to Cain: "If you turn to doing good, will there not be an exaltation?" (Genesis 4:7) God did not reject Cain on account of any displeasure over his offering. Rather, it was "because his own works were wicked" " marked by jealousy, hatred, and finally murder" that Cain was hated by God.
There are stunning evidences to prove that global flood really did exist. possible evidence of a drastic change: Remains of mammoths and rhinoceroses have been found in different parts of the earth. Some of these were found in Siberian cliffs; others were preserved in Siberian and Alaskan ice. In fact, some were found with food undigested in their stomachs or still unchewed in their teeth, indicating that they died suddenly. It is estimated, from the trade in ivory tusks, that bones of tens of thousands of such mammoths have been found. The fossil remains of many other animals, such as lions, tigers, bears, and elk, have been found in common strata, which may indicate that all of these were destroyed simultaneously. Some have pointed to such finds as definite physical proof of a rapid change in climate and sudden destruction caused by a universal flood. Flood Legends. Such a cataclysm as the Deluge, which washed the whole world of that time out of existence, would never be forgotten by the survivors. The fact that there are not merely a few but perhaps hundreds of different stories about that great Deluge, and that such stories are found among the traditions of many primitive races the world over, is a strong proof that all these people had a common origin and that their early forefathers shared that Flood experience in common. The destruction of humanity by a flood and the spread of the human race from one locale and even from one family. These folklore accounts of the Deluge agree with some major features of the Biblical account: (1) a place of refuge for a few survivors, (2) an otherwise global destruction of life by water, and (3) a seed of mankind preserved. The Egyptians, the Greeks, the Chinese, the Druids of Britain, the Polynesians, the Eskimos and Greenlanders, the Africans, the Hindus, and the American Indians" all of these have their Flood stories.
So when it comes to the Bible, its understanding is very important if one wants to make it a basis of beliefs. More so, when one gets the correct understanding, one will build strong faith that can stand the test of time. So when one truly understands the bible, one finds that correct science and even history can serves to support the Bible. And when one uses a logical approach to understand what is written in it, one finds that faith is stronger than just a blind acceptance of what is seen.


On the topic of the firmament. It says in Genesis ""Then God said, "Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters." God made the expanse, and separated the waters which were below the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse; and it was so. God called the expanse heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.""" One cannot make absence. One can put something into absence, or take to make absence. Therefore, "make" shows us that God is creating a Physical object. Therefore, the Firmament refers to a Physical Barrier between "Heaven" and "Earth". While we're on Heaven. Genesis describes how Heaven is located just beyond our Atmosphere. If that is the case, then why haven't we found it. If Heaven truly existed as the bible claims, our Sattelite's would have found it on the way out of our Planet. It's the same thing with Hell. There has been significant studies of the Earth's Geological composition, and it found that the Earth is somewhat solid all the way through. However, the Ezekiel 31:16 says "I made the nations to shake at the sound of his fall, when I cast him down to hell with them that descend into the pit: and all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, hall that drink water, shall be comforted in the nether parts of the earth.""
This verse says that hell is in the Earth, which conflicts with Scientific Evidence of the Earth's composition.
God is a Psychopath. It's a safe assumption that God knows everything in advance. So he created humanity knowing they would be evil and spiteful towards each other, and yet he complains when he has to Drown them. In regards the Vengeance, again. Isn't Hell punishment for Evil People. If God slaughters people who do bad things, then what was the point of hell. If you accept this conclusion, God is a psychopath, unworthy of worship and is imperfect, in that he created hell without purpose or killed people without reason.
Absurd Bible Verses
In addition to contradictions, the bible is riddled with Abusive and Violent Verses
Deuteronomy 25:11-12 NASB
If two men, a man and his countryman, are struggling together, and the wife of one comes near to deliver her husband from the hand of the one who is striking him, and puts out her hand and seizes his genitals, then you shall cut off her hand; you shall not show pity.
Anyone arrogant enough to reject the verdict of the judge or of the priest who represents the LORD your God must be put to death. Such evil must be purged from Israel. (Deuteronomy 17:12 NLT)
As you approach a town to attack it, first offer its people terms for peace. If they accept your terms and open the gates to you, then all the people inside will serve you in forced labor. But if they refuse to make peace and prepare to fight, you must attack the town. When the LORD your God hands it over to you, kill every man in the town. But you may keep for yourselves all the women, children, livestock, and other plunder. You may enjoy the spoils of your enemies that the LORD your God has given you.
Anyone who is captured will be run through with a sword. Their little children will be dashed to death right before their eyes. Their homes will be sacked and their wives raped by the attacking hordes. For I will stir up the Medes against Babylon, and no amount of silver or gold will buy them off. The attacking armies will shoot down the young people with arrows. They will have no mercy on helpless babies and will show no compassion for the children. (Isaiah 13:15-18 NLT)
Deuteronomy 22:28-29 NLT) If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her.
If you abide by the belief that god created the Bible (which my opponent failed to rebuke), then you must abide by these rules. However, these rules have no place in a just and reasonable society. Therefore, you should negate the resolution.
The stories about Floods may simply be because most major settlements were based around sources of water, as water is necessary for growth. When strong rains came, the water broke its boundaries. The worldwide aspect is because they weren't globalised in 600AD. Therefore, the theory of a global flood was the only one that made sense for them. In addition, drowning doesn't kill suddenly, as you suggested.
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by missmedic 1 month ago
When researching, one relies on reliable sources that are peer reviewed, and cites those sources as support. Christians often do this with the Bible, treating it as a reliable source that has been "peer reviewed" by its authors. The Bible is viewed as the truth and the guide to reality, thus quoting from it is like a scientist quoting from a scientific journal. The difference is that the scientific journal can be criticized, reviewed further, and even refuted at some point. The Bible is not refuted as it requires its followers to maintain the Bible as a source of truth. If the Bible had plenty of outside sources to support its miracles and events then it would be credible. Christians see the Bible as truth and treat it as truth, so when someone says "you can't just use the bible as a source" the answer is "but that is my source, because it has the truth." By believing in it as the truth, and by not allowing any change or refutation to take place, the Bible is always seen as truth whether it is or not. Saying "stop using the bible as a source and use something else as a source" cannot be done, because Christianity is based on the Bible, not a system of academic peer review. The Bible fails for its lack of external support, so it relies solely on internal support. This is the same as any book that claims itself to be true regardless of any journal or review, whether it be pseudoscience, holocaust denial, conspiracy theory, or Scientology.
Posted by vi_spex 1 month ago
flawed reasoning
Posted by missmedic 1 month ago
Faith contradicts reason and logic by definition. Willful ignorance and belief are "necessary for building strong faith".
Logic : "Logic is the art of non-contradictory identification. It is the mental tool that sets the standard for proper thought. It is the foundation of knowledge. It is the means of understanding and clarity. Without logic, we could not distinguish between the true and the false. We could not throw out bad ideas because we could not judge them as bad. Without logic, our minds would be cluttered with so many absurdities and falsehoods that if there was some truth, it would be lost in the garbage of contradictions, fuzzy thoughts, and non-integrated mental images."
Posted by PowerPikachu21 1 month ago
So this debate is about whether you need a reason to believe in God.

Thinking about this logically (silently thinks over Logic + Biblical Belief and Biblical Belief - Logic) Pro has the better side.
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