The Instigator
DanielSaltine
Con (against)
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The Contender
ThesnamisSorreall
Pro (for)
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Religon

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/7/2016 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 6 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 553 times Debate No: 92456
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (7)
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DanielSaltine

Con

I believe that there is no logical argument that you can make to justify truly believing in any specific religion. Or for that matter to accept one religion over all others. The existence of God may have some pretty good arguments, but even then its hard to determine if there even is one.
ThesnamisSorreall

Pro

Ah! What an excellent debate topic!

In my view, there most definitely is a logical way to ascertain whether one should believe in a specific religion.

Most religions are a system of beliefs. So to me, the logical way to go about determining whether a specific religion is correct is to comprehensively go through that religion's beliefs and determine whether their beliefs are correct. If a religion's beliefs are all right, I consider that religion "right", if they are partially right, I personally consider it wrong with pieces of reality. If it is all wrong...well...obviously it is wrong. So specific religions can be specifically found to be right or wrong, depending on the degree to which their beliefs are specific.

Here is one religion I will start with. I am a little rushed, so I hope you'll forgive my brevity.

Let's start with Christianity. In general, most Christians believe that the Bible is the word of God. So...we must see if this can be verified or debunked. There are three things I, personally, look at to this end.

A.) Are the words attributed to God in the Bible infallible? (If not, they are not from God, at least so long as God is considered to be infallible.)

B.) Ideally, the alleged words of God contain ideas and knowledge that could only be known by God, or can demonstrate that the source is God.

C.) The Bible records the alleged words of God the same way today as it did originally.

I argue that the alleged words of God in the Bible are indeed infallible, contain specific prophecies that contain details man could not have made up (Ezekiel 26!) and the earliest manuscripts show no significant deviation from the modern manuscripts. So there's one belief. Things of that nature. I'll continue in the next round.

But I contend that there are definitely ways to demonstrate whether religions are right or wrong. Namely, one could test whether their claims are right or wrong! They should be tested in much the same way, and with at LEAST the same intensity, as a scientific theories or mathematical conjectures.
Debate Round No. 1
DanielSaltine

Con

While this may be a reason some are christians, I don't see how these arguments are unique to christianity. If you substitute your arguments with, lets say, muslim characters (allah, Muhammad). You can see that muslims will use the exact same arguments to prove that their religion is right. Namely with your sections A, B, and C.

Furthermore, just because you may agree with the beliefs of the religion, that does not mean it came from god or some other spiritual place. I can agree with all the beliefs in the constitution, but I know that document did not fall from heaven. Also muslims think that their beliefs and principles are "right" too. And for the exact same reason all other religions do. I was once a christian but found that these arguments are faulty and I left the faith.

You have not given me any evidence to show that christianity is the "correct Religion." If christianity truly was the right answer, why do more people convert to muslim than any other religion? Why are religions based on where they are from? You would think that christianity would be all over the world in much higher concentrates if the christians god was actually real. After all the christian god is not restricted by travel. The reason why people are religious is because everyone around them is.

Off note*: I'll use this as an example to my argument. The bible says that Noah built a 520ft ship with every single animal on it as the world flooded. This is obviously impossible, for one a wooden ship that long (as explained by Bill nye) is impossible to build because the wood will twist and the boat will fall apart. But christians will say that by the power of God, this was made possible. However I can use that excuse for any religion (or really anything I say). Muhammad flew on a horse with wings into heaven by the power of god. I was able to lift up my house by the power of god. Do you get my point?
ThesnamisSorreall

Pro

"While this may be a reason some are christians, I don't see how these arguments are unique to christianity." Precisely! But what I provided was not a proof specifically for Christianity, I was just using Christianity as an example. What I am arguing there is that there is, a "logical argument that you can make to justify truly believing in any specific religion". I am not yet saying that Christianity IS the supreme religion, I am arguing that a logical argument can be made for believing in a specific religion, of which Christianity could be one.

I should probably give my thesis, for ease of reading, forgive me putting quotation marks around my own words,
"It is possible to make a logical argument that justifies a specific religion, by comprehensively testing that religion's beliefs about reality, and demonstrating through evidence and reason that these beliefs accurately reflect conditions in reality." Ta-da! That's my thesis.

So, do you believe "no logical argument can be made" because you have reason to believe no such argument can be made, or just because you have never come across such an argument?

I provided a very broad overview of a belief usually held by Christians, the different pieces of the belief that must be demonstrated, and a bit of the (very, very summarized) evidence/reasoning to support each piece. This is the method by which one can break down a religion's belief into logical pieces, and support each piece with evidence/reason, to construct a logical argument that that particular belief is, in fact, a condition found in reality.

"You can see that muslims will use the exact same arguments to prove that their religion is right. Namely with your sections A, B, and C." Certainly! Both Christians and Muslims believe their holy book is the word of God, so the structure of their arguments will be nearly identical. Just for clarity, I'll give the general layout,

Religion>individual belief about reality>claims about specific conditions in reality>evidence/reason that demonstrates that these conditions are met in reality.

A logical argument is an argument where the premises support the conclusion. Do you agree? In the example I gave, there is a conclusion, three premises, and several sub-premises (if you will.) If the sub-premises support the premises, and the premises support the conclusion, would you agree that the argument is, by definition, logical? I just want to make sure we're on the same page here.
I'm on less of a time crunch right now, so I can do more justice to this example! I apologize if my brevity made it confusing.

Conclusion : The Bible is the word of God
Premise #1: The words attributed to God in the Bible are infallible.
Premise#2:The alleged words of God in the Bible contain ideas and knowledge that almost certainly could not have been imagined by man.
Premise#3:The Bible records the alleged words of God the same way today as it did originally.

Do you agree here that if the Premises are true, the Conclusion is very likely/certain to be true? Hopefully yes. If so, here's the argument in full,

Conclusion : The Bible is the word of God
Premise #1: The words attributed to God in the Bible are infallible.
-Sub-Premise #1: There are no known falsehoods in the words God allegedly spoke in the Bible. Thus, by definition, they are infallible.
-Sub-Premise #2: The alleged words of God proved accurate even in regard to the future, as evidence in a HOST of prophecies. Some to consider are Jeremiah 23:8 which correctly predicts that the Jews will be gathered from the "land of the north" and reform Israel, Ezekiel 26 which predicts the destruction of Tyre in explicate detail, Isaiah 44:28 which predicts that a king named Cyrus would rebuild Jerusalem, to name a few.
Premise#2:The alleged words of God in the Bible contain ideas and knowledge that almost certainly could not have been imagined by man.
-Sub-Premise #1: Ezekial 26:12 is one verse to look at for this. This verse predicts that the destroyers of Tyre, " shall lay thy stones and thy timber and thy dust in the midst of the water." This was a virtually unheard of practice at the time in the prophecy was written, but was done when Alexander the Great took the rubble from mainland Tyre and laid it in the water to make a bridge during his invasion of the island.
-Sub-Premise #2: Specific prophecies such as the above (or the Cyrus one, or ones about the Messiah etc) could not have been imagined by man with such accuracy.
Premise#3:The Bible records the alleged words of God the same way today as it did originally.
-Sub-Premise #1: The oldest versions of the manuscripts that make up the Bible, such as the Dead Sea scroll, match the versions we have today without any significant difference. Thus, there is not evidence that they have been changed.
-Sub-Premise#2: As long as a religion has zealous followers, they're holy book tends to be defended rigorously from corruption. Christianity has always had zealous followers, thus it was probably kept from corruption.

Now, regardless of whether you agree with the conclusion, premises or sub-premises, would you agree that the sub-premises support the premises, and the premises support the conclusion? If so, by definition, a logical argument then can be made for this particular belief of Christians. (And, I would argue, for Christianity as whole.)

You are correct in saying that this structure is the same in the Muslim argument, and that the middle two stages are the same, only replacing the "Bible" with the "Quran". The evidence and reasoning part of the argument, however, is very different from the evidence and reasoning used for the Bible. Could you perhaps rephrase your argument here? Are you arguing that the evidence and reasoning supporting the idea that the Quran is the word of God is as good as the evidence and reasoning supporting the idea that the Bible is the word of God? I don't want to jump ahead into a rant about evidence and reason if that is what you are arguing.

But would you agree that if the evidence/reasoning demonstrates that the conditions are met in reality, the argument is then, by definition, logical? Let's go over the argument I gave earlier using this structure

It often takes many of these arguments to construct the argument that a whole religion is correct, a "comprehensive" analysis. But you can probably see where I'm going with this.

"Furthermore, just because you may agree with the beliefs of the religion, that does not mean it came from god or some other spiritual place." True, unless one of the beliefs of that religion is that it came from god or some other spiritual place, which is a belief of virtually all religions. The belief that the beliefs came from god should be tested with evidence and reason like all the other beliefs about the religion. I'm not sure how this helps your argument, could you rephrase it, perhaps?

Reading over your arguments, are you wanting to argue about whether it is possible to produce a logical argument supporting a specific religion, or would you like to change over to discussing these specific arguments themselves? It seems like you want to talk about these specific arguments, rather than talk about whether it is possible to produce them, if I'm understanding correctly.

Finally, as a side note,
" This is obviously impossible, for one a wooden ship that long (as explained by Bill nye) is impossible to build because the wood will twist and the boat will fall apart." This is a pretty bold statement, to say it is IMPOSSIBLE. Would you elaborating on this? What led you to believe the boat would twist and fall apart? If you get a single, really long but sturdy board and place it in a river (with no surface rocks or anything), as long as it's facing the same way as the current, I think it will just be moved along with the current, not broken. Same with Ark in the ocean, but with waves instead of current, right? What evidence led you to this?
Debate Round No. 2
DanielSaltine

Con

Maybe I should rephrase, perhaps there is a "logical" argument, but again they can be substituted with other religious figures. By definition, yes they are "logical" because the premises support the conclusion, but the premises are simply false. They are only true according to the bible, and any text can say that their own writings are true (which is not true). These predictions that have happened in the bible, some may have come true, but what about all the other predictions that have not come true?

Isaiah 17:1 "An oracle concerning Damascus: See, Damascus will no longer be a city but will become a heap of ruins."

This failed and the city today is still inhabited, and to ignore this is just simply ignorance

Matthew 16:28 "I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom." 23:36 "I tell you the truth, all this will come upon this generation." 24:34 "I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened."

These are words of Jesus himself. Now you can try and argue your way out of it by "interpreting" it differently. But the bottom line is, this never happened. So if this was a lie, this proves that the bible has at least one flaw in it, which most likely means the bible has other flaws in it (which it has many).

Surely if the bible was the word of god, everything in the bible would have come true. They simply didn't. Therefore the bible is not the word of god, but the word of man and only man. You have to do a lot of work here to make a even remotely believable argument, but if I disprove even one point about the bible, the whole book is therefore wrong. Which is why you are running in circles I think a little bit.

You seem to be taking a very simple argument and turning it very complicated, is there any evidence to believe in one religion over another, and you still have not given me a sufficient answer.

*If you want more information on Bill Nye debunking Noah's ark: https://www.youtube.com...
Please please please watch this video and tell me what you think.

Just the fact that you think that all the animals on the earth could fit onto one 520ft ship is honestly amazing, and a little depressing at the same time (not to be insulting, but that is my honest view on this topic.)

And yes I am saying that there is enough evidence that either, almost or just as good, supports the Quran as does christianity. However even though there might be more evidence to believe in the bible over the Quran (which there may very well could be.) This does not prove that the bible is the word of god. Just because the bible predicted some events (which are correct) does not mean that the rest of it is correct, or from god.

Think about this, if you ever seen a christian and a muslim argue over which religion is correct it goes absolutely no where because neither side has enough convincing evidence. (Changing religions is very very rare.)
ThesnamisSorreall

Pro

Your position was originally that, "I believe that there is no logical argument that you can make to justify truly believing in any specific religion." But now, you have said, "Maybe I should rephrase, perhaps there is a "logical" argument, but again they can be substituted with other religious figures. By definition, yes they are "logical" because the premises support the conclusion, but the premises are simply false." So, from this I conclude that either you misworded your position initially, or you are revising your position. Is that fair? Either way, it seems clear to me that you actually wish to discuss whether said logical arguments are evidentially and rationally sound, is that correct? I'm pretty sure that's what you're trying to do, and have to say, that topic is even more fun!
"Isaiah 17:1 "An oracle concerning Damascus: See, Damascus will no longer be a city but will become a heap of ruins." Actually, this did happen. Pretty shortly after the prophecy, too! The King in control of Damascus, King Rezin led a rebellion against the Assyrians in about 732 B.C. In response to this rebellion, the Assyrians sacked Damascus, executed the nobles, carried off many of the people into captivity, and allegedly burnt Damascus. It was really, really brutal, at least if our records are correct. As such, it certainly became a heap of ruins! This isn't really a well known piece of history though, so it's of course understandable if you weren't aware of it.
I feel like I should mention that some people would argue that this verse is predicting that Damascus will not be a city...FOREVER. But that is really just an assumption. What this passage is saying is that the city will become a heap of ruins and no longer be a city, not necessarily that it will not be a city for always and forever. You didn't argue that, of course, but I feel the need to say it. Sometimes people really go berserk with semantics to try and make prophecy seem wrong.
"Matthew 16:28 "I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom." The very nit-picky side of me wants to say, "we don't actually know who all was there, so we can't say if they all died or not". (By the way, we could probably figure this out. I think it would be worth the time!) However, based on different things you've said, I don't think you'll like that. That's just my perfectionist bias, but here's the actual argument. It's pretty well known that when Jesus referred to His "kingdom", He was referring to the Church. So the disciples certainly did live to see the "Son of Man coming in his kingdom", if He is referring to the same kingdom that He does elsewhere. I can see the confusion, since He's talking about the second coming immediently beforehand, but I'm not sure this verse is actually talking about the second coming.
Matthew 23:36: "23:36 "I tell you the truth, all this will come upon this generation."" What is the contention with this? This verse is saying that the blood of all the innocent people will come upon "this generation", I beleive. What is the problem with that?
Matthew 24:34 ""I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.": " The contention with this is usually based on the assumption that "this generation" refers to "your generation". The best analysis I've read, however, is that "this generation" refers to the generation that first began to experience "these things". This is verse is to say that all "these things" will happen in one generation, not necessarily that they will all happen in "your" generation.
This explanation makes a lot of sense, since much of the passage seems to be things Jesus was telling His followers to "look for" as signs that the end was about to take place. So really, part of the point of this whole passage would be, "if these signs start to happen in your generation, all this is going to go down in your generation." So this analysis makes sense in light of the rest of the passage.

Do you take contention with any of these analysis? Would you like me to elaborate on any of them?
"You seem to be taking a very simple argument and turning it very complicated, is there any evidence to believe in one religion over another, and you still have not given me a sufficient answer." Okay, so we're now completely converting from talking about whether there are logical arguments to believe in one religion over another, to whether there is evidence to believe in one religion over the other. Correct? Let's do one verse that tends to convey the argument pretty well. Let's look at Ezekial 26: 12
"And they shall make a spoil of thy riches, and make a prey of thy merchandise: and they shall break down thy walls, and destroy thy pleasant houses: and they shall lay thy stones and thy timber and thy dust in the midst of the water." I'm going to be running out of characters, so please just give me your opinion on that. Is not the most logical conclusion that these came from God (who the quote is attributed to), or do you have a more logical explanation? Ezekiel could not have known that Alexander the Great would take the rubble from mainland Tyre and throw it into the sea, of his own imagination.
I watched the Bill Nye clip, and am glad I did. Thanks for recommending it! It put the arguments of anti-Arkness into a succinct, digestible format. However, I still completely disagree with his argument. I'll go to the ship example he cited. The reason he concluded that Noah's ark would twist apart is not because of physics or studying the layout of the ark, it is because we ONE wooden ship that was roughly the size of the ark twisted apart in recent history. Maybe he has more evidence than that, but the evidence that he cited is that we have record of an isolated instance (no repeat trails were mentioned) where a modern wooden boat twisted and was destroyed. I do not think this is plausible grounds to say the Ark was IMPOSSIBLE in the least bit, since this was a one trail "experiment", and didn't isolate any variables for us to know why it split. For instance, my suspicion would be that it split because the MOTOR provided too much thrust which caused the ship to bend, and obviously a motor would not be present on Noah's Ark. (Caps added for emphasis, not anger.) But I'm really more interested in what evidence Nye brought up that YOU found convincing. I actually like Bill Nye, in the sense that I think he's a LOT more dedicated to open and free scientific discussion than the VAST majority of scientists, but I do not agree with his arguments and have serious questions about the scientific integrity of the evidence he mentioned. (One trail experiments?) So...do you have any additional evidence you would like to provide, or can you explain why one of his points is actually viable? I very well might have just missed what he was arguing, and need it to be pointed out to me.
" Just the fact that you think that all the animals on the earth could fit onto one 520ft ship is honestly amazing, and a little depressing at the same time (not to be insulting, but that is my honest view on this topic.)" Okay, so why do you think this? Does it seem impossible to you, and if so why?
"And yes I am saying that there is enough evidence that either, almost or just as good, supports the Quran as does christianity" Which prophecies in the Quran were fulfilled? How many statements about historical events have been verified? (There might be answers to these.) To my knowledge, most of the Quran is "Allah" saying "do this" or "don't do this", there's not a lot of verifiable claims.
Just because the bible predicted..."
"No, but it does mean that the words recorded there in that book are from God. And actually, most of the Bible is actually cross-referent. So, one book will build on the authority of another. Ran out of characters... I can go through non-prophetic books next round if you want
Debate Round No. 3
DanielSaltine

Con

These are predictions from Islamic Texts

Muhammad having children:
"To you We have granted abundance. Therefore to Your Lord turn in prayers and sacrifice. For he who hated you, will be cut-off". (Sura no. 108)

--Given this, was it possible for any other than God, that eternal reality and fixed pivot of truth, to predict that matters would unfold in a sense completely opposed to existing circumstances.

Defeat of the Persian empire:
"The Romans have been defeated in a land nearby. But in the future they will triumph over their enemies, within a period of few years. All affairs, both earlier and later, are in the hands of God. And on the day when the Romans triumph, the believers and the followers of Islam will rejoice. God assists to whomsoever He wills, and He is Powerful and Compassionate. This is the promise of God, a promise which can not be violated, but most of the people know not". (30:1-6).

--Within less than 10 years, this Prophecy of the Qur"an was fulfilled in the year 624 A.D. corresponding to year 2 A.H. How can we explain the confident and categorical prediction of the victory of a defeated people over a victorious people, in the absence of any factors pointing to the likelihood of such an event?

Conquest of Khaybar and Mecca

"That which God inspired in his prophet by means of a dream is true and veracious: Without any doubt you will enter the sacred mosque (in Mecca) in safety and security. You will shave your heads and shorten your hairs without any fear or anxiety. God knows what you do not know. And you will win a victory near at hand". (48:27)

These predictions were made at a time when no military expert or adviser could have predicted the occurrence, given the difficult circumstances of the Muslims and the unfavorable situation in which they found themselves.

The Final Outcome of Abu Lahab

The Qur"an also predicts with clarity the final outcome of the life of a given individual, Abu Lahab, the obstinate enemy of Islam. It proclaims categorically that he will refuse the religion of monotheism until the very end of his life, and that for this reason his painful destiny will be to enter the fire of God"s wrath.

"May Abu Lahab perish, and may his two hands be cut off. The wealth he accumulated to destroy Islam has not availed him or saved him from destruction; he will soon fall into the flaming fire of Hell". (111:1-3).

The Return of the Prophet (S) to Mecca

"God Who made incumbent on you the recitation of the Qur"an will return you to your birthplace". (28:85).

All the afore-mentioned predictions of future events are inexplicable unless they be ascribed to the source of revelation, to the infinite knowledge of Allah (swt).

Now this did come from a Islamic source, but im fairly certain your said biblic prediction came from a christian source. But really in all of these cases it is very unlikley that any (christian or islamic) prophecies actually came true.

So if islam claims to have for told the future just as well as the Bible has, what reason is there for me to pick one religon over another?

Again I can bring up even more biblical prophecies that never cam true.

Ezekiel 30:10-11 "This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will put an end to the hordes of Egypt by the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. He and his army " the most ruthless of nations " will be brought in to destroy the land. They will draw their swords against Egypt and fill the land with the slain."

Ezekiel predicts that Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon will conquer Egypt utterly destroying it, slaying and scattering its people. In 568 BCE Nebuchadnezzar tried to conquer Egypt and Egypt survived with no apparent damage. Aahmes ruled for another generation over a prosperous Egypt and lived to see Nebuchadnezzar die. The Egyptians were not scattered or dispersed.

Ezekiel 29:10-11 "therefore I am against you and against your streams, and I will make the land of Egypt a ruin and a desolate waste from Migdol to Aswan, as far as the border of Cush. The foot of neither man nor beast will pass through it; no one will live there for forty years."

Egypt was never uninhabited for forty years (look at historical evidence elsewhere)

"No longer will the people of Israel have malicious neighbors who are painful briers and sharp thorns. Then they will know that I am the Sovereign LORD. This is what the Sovereign LORD says: When I gather the people of Israel from the nations where they have been scattered, I will show myself holy among them in the sight of the nations. Then they will live in their own land, which I gave to my servant Jacob. They will live there in safety and will build houses and plant vineyards; they will live in safety when I inflict punishment on all their neighbors who maligned them. Then they will know that I am the LORD their God. (NIV)"

Israel's neighbors today are extremely hostile towards them

And ye shall serve the LORD your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee. There shall nothing cast their young, nor be barren, in thy land: the number of thy days I will fulfil. I will send my terror ahead of you and throw into confusion every nation you encounter. I will make all your enemies turn their backs and run. And I will send hornets before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee. I will not drive them out from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee. By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land. And I will set thy bounds from the Red sea even unto the sea of the Philistines [Mediterranean Sea[9]], and from the desert unto the river [the Euphrates river[10]]: for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand; and thou shalt drive them out before thee.

1: It's almost certain that Israelites don't have 100% food, water, and health security. The fact that Israelites had infertility is documented by the Bible: Elizabeth and Zacharias, the mother and father of John the Baptist, were both "advanced in age" and thus unable to make a kid.
2: Eventually, Israel did take control of the land. If, however, the Hittites in Exodus[wp] are the same as the historical Hittites,[wp] then YHWH didn't drive them slowly from the Levant - instead the Hittite Empire rather suddenly disappeared in the Bronze Age collapse.[wp]
3: Israel's borders have rarely reached the Red Sea, and have never reached the Euphrates, which is in central Iraq.

"And the waters shall fail from the sea, and the river shall be wasted and dried up. And they shall turn the rivers far away; and the brooks of defence shall be emptied and dried up: the reeds and flags shall wither. The paper reeds by the brooks, by the mouth of the brooks, and every thing sown by the brooks, shall wither, be driven away, and be no more."
The waters just simply never dried up
Now I know it looks like im trying to convert you to muslim, but you have to atleast see that the bible contains at least one flaw.
Further more with the Bill Nye video, you talked about the boat, but what about all the other evidence discussed in the video about how there is no evidence that the whole world was underwater? Plus you must also account for that all those animals would have gone extinct because having two of every animal is not a big enough gene pool to reproduce offspring. Also you must account for all the food and supplies that had to be on the ship, there was no room for it al.

You wouldn't believe in this story certainly if it wasn't in the bible. After all there are stories in the Quran that are just as ridicules (and similar in context) that you totally reject as untrue. So again what reason is there to believe one ridicules story over another?
ThesnamisSorreall

Pro

Okay, I'll address these individually.

(Sura no. 108) "Given this, was it possible for any other than God, that eternal reality and fixed pivot of truth, to predict that matters would unfold in a sense completely opposed to existing circumstances."
What do you mean that matters unfolded" completely opposed to existing circumstances"? What circumstances were there that made it unlikely that Muhammad would have children? It was actually very, VERY common for people to have children, so in what sense did this prophecy have to come from God? This prophecy seems to be predicting that something that was VERY common would happen again, unlike the Biblical prophecy of, say, Ezekiel 26:12 that predicts that something that was virtually unheard of would happen.
Defeat of the Persian empire: (30:1-6)
This is just predicting that "Rome" will "triumph over its enemies". This easily could have been known to man. Unlike most Biblical prophecies such as Daniel 11, this prophecy doesn't even really give a general indication of who, exactly, the Byzantines are triumphing over. Nor, unlike many/most Biblical prophecies, does it include much detail about the triumph. It could be assumed it was talking about the Persians (the Byzantines were getting their tail kicked in the north against the Slavs) but that is just an assumption. De facto, it's just prophecying that the Byzentines will triumph over SOMEBODY in SOMEWAY. To be fair, in the sense that it is super general, it was a correct prediction. But there was nothing about the prophecy that could not have been HANDILY imagined by man.

Conquest of Khaybar and Mecca
This prophecy was given only a year before Muhammad took Mecca. And actually, the Muslims were in an AWESOME military position at this time. At this point, (A.D. 628) Islam was actually pretty influential, and certainly militarily powerful. (To my knowlege.) To give you an idea, when Muhammad conquered Mecca a year latter, he did so with an army of 10,000 soldiers! That is Lord of the Rings, battle of Helm's Deep size, for all you that care. Furthermore, the reason the Muslims hadn't attacked Mecca yet was largly because of a temporary treaty. It is no secret that they wanted Mecca, and they would have known the treaty would expire eventually (to be fair, I don't know if it was written before or after the prophecy), and they had LORD OF THE RINGS sized armies...a military advisor or expert could definitely have predicted this occurrence I think. Contrast this with many fulfilled Biblical prophecies, such as Jeremiah 31:8, the fulfillment of which really was extraordinarily unlikely! And again, really no detail is given. This prophecy really just says, "We will take the Mosque in Mecca" which given the circumstances, was certainly likely and could have, and in fact should have, been predicted by military advisors.

The Final Outcome of Abu Lahab:
First of all, I'm not sure your interpretation of this is correct. Maybe there's other text, but the text you mentioned here just says he was an enemy of Islam, not that he always would resist monotheism. Other than that, it says he will die and go to the lake of fire. Most people die, so that prediction is not extraordinary. I am not aware that it has ever been verified that this individual is in the lake of fire (that takes a whole argument about whether the quran is infallible) so that doesn't seem extraordinary either. Even if your interpretation was correct, though, it is not unreasonable to guess that a person who HATED Islam at the time of the prophecy would continue to dislike monotheism. And again, there's a lack of specifics. I am running out of characters, so skipping ahead,

"So if islam claims to have for told the future just as well as the Bible has, what reason is there for me to pick one religion over another?" These Islamic prophecies are super general and could have definitely been guessed by man. The Biblical prophecies are much more detailed and include correct predictions that could not have been guessed by man.
This is evidenced in Ezekial 26:12, have you come up with a way man could have known this? Or can we agree that this could not have been predicted by man?

Do you agree with my analysis of the previous Biblical prophecies you were wondering about? They weren't challenged this round, so I assume it's all been clarified and that we are in happy agreement as to what they mean.

To the new prophecies you are investigating,

Ezekiel 30:10-11:
So, what evidence led you to believe Nebuchadnezzar did not conquer Egypt? To be honest, when I look at it, we really don't have enough evidence to say whether this was fulfilled or not fulfilled. Yes, we have clear record that Nebuchadnezzar invaded Egypt. We also have clear record that Amasis II went to meet him in battle. But after that honestly there's a bit of an awkward blank space in history. I have not been able to find any evidence as to the struggle between Amasis and Nebuchadnezzar. If you have come across archeological evidence that Amasis won the struggle, PLEASE present it! The only thing I can find is that one man named Herodotus, who's credibility has been fiercely questioned I think, thought the years following the war were prosperous. But that's one account, from a source of questionable credibility. Do you have any evidence that Amasis actually won?

Ezekiel 29:10-11
Again, there's an awkward blank space in history following Nebuchadnezzar's invasion. Honestly, I find this conspicuous. History is told by the victors, no? Amasis was, really, a new pharaoh who used to be a rebel, and was in an extremely tricky political situation. If he had won against the Great Nebuchadnezzar, I would think that he would have made a big deal about it. Whereas if Nebuchadnezzar won, meh. Another great nation defeated! I've heard a pretty good theory that actually Nebuchadnezzar conquered Egypt, committed genocide, but that the topic became somewhat of a taboo.

"No longer will the people of Israel have malicious neighbors...." I do believe this took place shortly after the prophecy under the reign of Cyrus. Again, it does not say there will peace FOREVER (in fact, if you happen to study end time prophecy, that is not true unless we're talking about Israel waaaaaaay off in the future, which it might be.) What makes you think this prophecy is saying Israel's neighbors should be peaceful today? (Your explanation might be totally reasonable.)

Exodus 23: 20-33:
This isn't actually a prophecy. It says in verse 22, "If you listen carefully to what he says and do all that I say, I will be an enemy to your enemies and will oppose all who oppose you." This passage is, it seems to me, more of God saying what He will do if he Israelites obey Him. Yes, if the Israelites had done everything God said, you are right that we should have seen all these things taken place. But the Israelites did not do everything He said, which is why they wandered for I think forty years in the desert.

"The waters just simply never dried up"
Actually they do. There's a lot of instances of this happening, but one of them is the Aral Sea.

Here are three verses that I find it unlikely/borderline impossible that man could have predicted of his own knowledge,

Ezekial 26:12:, Jeremiah 31:8, and Isaiah 44:28. Does it seem probable that man could have predicted any of these out of their own knowledge? I am running out of characters now :(

We have good reason to think the Bible is from God, such as the aforementioned verses. Not so with the Quran.

Which of Nye's evidence did you find convincing? I can go through my problems with it if you found it all convincing in the next part. But generally, the logic was bad and it used a TON of faulty assumptions.
Actually, most scientists agree Earth was once a "waterworld". I think that was the flood, evolutionists think it was just what early earth looked like. I might be able to elaborate in the next round if you differ here. Thanks!
Debate Round No. 4
DanielSaltine

Con

Honestly there is so much ignorance in your statements that it is clear you are unable to see any of my points. Religon by very definition is ignorance to all other forms of theories to how the world came to be. You were clearly brought up in a very religious family, and they have beaten this idea into your head so much, that you can literally not even see other peoples views.

The reason why I am no longer a christian is because I took a step back, and questioned religon.

Also think about this: Now more then ever people have the freedom to believe in what they want to believe. This by law in america and almost all european states. If Jesus truly was the answer don't you think that people would either stay, or flock towards christianity if they had complete freedom to choose? But they don't. 1/3 of millennial are now identifying with no religon. Wouldn't your god have made it more obvious that the Bible is the word of god, the fact that die hard christians (like You) have to defend so rigorously a book (that clearly has so many flaws) with ignorance, and unwillingness to see the flaws in the bible as your only defense. Sure you may be able to show that the Bible has predicted three things out of many that never came true, but that doesn't mean the whole thing is true.

You literally just dismissed all of the islamic predictions as false. This ONLY accounts for one book, what about all the other predictions? Are you really going to sit there and say ALL of those are wrong? EVERY single one? Just because there not in the bible?

Please, I was in your exact same position, ready to defend everything in the bible, but if you put all pre conceived notions out of the way you will see that it just simply doesn't add up. There are so many problems with religon it is almost unimaginable. You have only countered a select few problems of many in the bible. What about the problem of evil? what about how there is little record of Jesus ever even existing? What about how there is no way to prove even if God exists? What about how religon varies by region? What about how there are a multitude of inconsistencies in the bible? What about the fact that the christian god kills and lies? What about how the Bible says to kill homosexuals? What about the fact that JESUS HIMSELF believed in the literal interpretation of the bible? What about how the bible indirectly says that the earth is only 6000 years old? What about the fact that the bible says the earth was created as it looks today?

And trust me this is only the very surface of the problems.

Now I do honor how you have at least been willing to listen to what I have to say (as most deeply religious people wouldn't) and still decided you are correct. However most anyone who is "on the fence" about an issue like this will most likley (as been proven) agree with me. Not you.

Maybe just ask yourself "what if jesus isnt the answer." and go from there

Im Done
ThesnamisSorreall

Pro

Whew! Closing arguments! I hope you'll forgive my aggressive approach to closing arguments, it's just how I roll. If I sound mad, I don't mean to!

"Honestly there is so much ignorance in your statements that it is clear you are unable to see any of my points." It's a little late in the game for this. But normally, I would entreat you to enlighten me of the information I am ignorant of! However, since this claim was not supported with references to anything I actually said that would indicate ignorance, I do not believe it is justifiable.

"The reason why I am no longer a christian is because I took a step back, and questioned religon." Others, too, have questioned religion and arrived at a very different answer. The important thing is whose answer is correct!

"Religon by very definition is ignorance to all other forms of theories to how the world came to be." The Merriam Webster definition (simplified) is,
":the belief in a god or in a group of gods
:an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or a group of gods
:an interest, a belief, or an activity that is very important to a person or group" Nowhere in the definition is there anything about ignorance of other religions, so this statement does not appear to be substantiated.

"If Jesus truly was the answer don't you think that people would either stay, or flock towards christianity if they had complete freedom to choose? But they don't." The question here is, if people had the choice to believe something that is true, wouldn't they believe it? No. They may have been socialized to believe differently, they may not have researched enough to know that it is true, they may not actually care whether it is true...there are MANY prevalent reasons why one believes falsehood. In American history, there was a time when people had about the same freedom as they do today, yet a large portion of the population believed the "right" to own slaves was a civil right, while another large portion believed owning slaves was not a civil right. Just because something is true, does not mean many people will choose to believe it or will know it's true.

"die hard christians (like You) have to defend so rigorously a book (that clearly has so many flaws) with ignorance, and unwillingness to see the flaws in the bible as your only defense". This only appears to be true from the perspective of one that believes that such blatant flaws exist, so obviously I don't think this is a true statement.

"You literally just dismissed all of the islamic predictions as false." Actually I did not. I demonstrated (or meant to) that man could have easily come up with those predictions, unlike many Biblical verses such as the three verses I provided that weren't really contested.

My oppoenet raddled off a bunch of last minute arguments, so here's some brief answers,
"What about the problem of evil?" And what is the problem?
"what about how there is little record of Jesus ever even existing?" We have a MINIUMUM of five independent records of this, whereas to my knowledge many historical events are recorded by 1-2 sources. (Tacitus, conquest of Britannia, for one.)
"What about how there is no way to prove even if God exists?" This has to be a longer discussion. But basically, if matter were eternal and linear progressing (which it is), then our past would be infinite and we would be at the end of eternity. It is impossible to be at the end of eternity, so mater cannot be eternal. At a very basic level, this demonstrates a creator of some kind. Secondly, with our advanced cognitive complexity, and through thousands of years of intentionality, humans have been able to produce machines even vaguely as advanced in the ones found in nature only in the past few years. As such, the machines found in nature likely came from something of greater cognitive complexity. Thirdly, building on Descartes' work, if humans can know truth, the source of truth must be both external, conscious, and able to interact. Fourthly, the future was correctly predicted, including details that were unlikely to have been known by man, by a source that claimed to be "God". This really is a longer conversation, but this isn't a "problem" with the Bible.
"What about how religon varies by region?" Scientific and social theories very by region, that does not mean they are all wrong.
"What about how there are a multitude of inconsistencies in the bible?" This requires examples. I am unaware of any.
"What about the fact that the christian god kills and lies?" Killing is not necessarily wrong, and I'm not sure what is being referenced to claim God lies.
"What about how the Bible says to kill homosexuals?" Again, I would like the verse on that. It is unclear what the objection is to this, (if it did say it, which I am a little skeptical of) but I assume it is that many people would feel morally opposed to it, in which case it is treating the subjective morals of some people as an objective indicator of right and wrong, which is an unsound argument. We must also remember that in the Bible, homosexuality almost always refers to men who lay with men, not people who just prefer other men. The Bible takes the clear position that it isn't wrong to be tempted, and I don't think it would consider such people homosexuals. (I encourage the reader to look at the Hebrew for those verses, it makes more sense.)
"What about the fact that JESUS HIMSELF believed in the literal interpretation of the bible?" Which verse is that? More literal than some people, certainly! And why is that wrong?
"What about how the bible indirectly says that the earth is only 6000 years old?" What verse is that? I have not come across any verse that indirectly gives the age of the earth, though one might be able to calculate the age of life on earth. And again, if it did say that, why is it wrong?
"What about the fact that the bible says the earth was created as it looks today?" What verse is that, and why is this wrong? It does seem to say that all the animals were created in a week, but that doesn't necessarily mean they looked the same. This requires more elaboration.

In conclussion, a few things.
My opponent's original position was that, " "I believe that there is no logical argument that you can make to justify truly believing in any specific religion." But latter said, "Maybe I should rephrase, perhaps there is a "logical" argument, but again they can be substituted with other religious figures. By definition, yes they are "logical" because the premises support the conclusion, but the premises are simply false."

In regard to the three verses I provided, my opponent agreed, " Sure you may be able to show that the Bible has predicted three things.." These three things (Alexander's bridge, Jewish people come from the land of the North to remake Israel, King named Cyrus rebuilds Jerusalem) could not have been known to man. My claim that these details could not have been known to man went unchallenged. If we agree that the predictions are correct, and it was not challenged that these things could not have been known to man, isn't it most logical that the prophecies came from the source that they were recorded as coming from, God?

My analysis of the Islamic prophecies were not challenged or argued against.

Finally, my analysis of the prophecies that were initially used to argue the Bible of flaws were not challenged or argued against.

Thanks! It was fun debating this with you!
Debate Round No. 5
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by ThesnamisSorreall 6 months ago
ThesnamisSorreall
I hope you don't mind my slightly more aggressive tone. Apparently I sound angry when I'm being more succinct!

There seems to be a disconnect between us, so let me be a little more clear,

One's opinion on why I believe what I believe is irrelevant, in the same way that my opinion of why another believes what they believe is irrelevant. What is relevant is which belief is more rational.

One can claim that my belief is based on ignorance just as easily as I can claim another's belief is based on ignorance, but it is not relevant to this conversation unless the knowledge one of us is lacking can actually be provided.

If you can quote something from the Bible, and then provide direct (creditable) evidence as to why that quote is wrong, it is with that that I am actually concerned. But I'll admit I'm not too particularly interested in a dialogue about our opinions of why the other believes what they do. (Though that's certainly an important topic!)

I now must go to posting my argument. It has been fun debating this with you, and THANK YOU for the Bill Nye video! That was really...really nice to look at!
Posted by DanielSaltine 6 months ago
DanielSaltine
Yes that was the answer I was looking for. I think your answer can really be summed up in, you believe in in christianity for the sake of believing. Which was my point in the beginning that you can believe, for the sake of believing, in anything and anyone. I believe in muhammad for sake of believing, I believe in Buddha for the sake of believing.

Also I want you to think about cults (Look up the Jim Jones tragedy). These people are really no different than any other religon. When Jim Jones asked them to kill themselves they did it because they actually thought that what he said was true and followed him blindly just as christians, Jews, muslims etc. do as well. They all genuinely thought that they were going to be saved by committing suicide. Now really...are you any different? The only difference is that you believe in jesus (and he's not asking you to kill yourself of corse) and they believe in Jim Jones.
Posted by ThesnamisSorreall 6 months ago
ThesnamisSorreall
Justify unbelief*, can you tell im distracted? I can give you abetter response when im focused if you prefer.
Posted by ThesnamisSorreall 6 months ago
ThesnamisSorreall
Ahhh, im busy right now so I hope you'll forgive my brevity.
There are four factors here.
1.) You are correct that I was raised in a Christian family. Most likely i was biased to view Christianity favorably in the same way i am socialised to view the law of gravity favorably.
2.) I have actively saught after the opinions of people that disagree with me, from peers, instructors, online....and have not found their arguments to be compelling. The more I learn, the more implausible alternative theories seem to be, and the more sound Christianity seems.
3.) Looking at the reasons and evidence, and knowing that those who disagree with me have been just as socialised as I have, Christianity seems to
4.) But then theres my real reason. The purose of Christian belief is eternal life, which the Bible defines as relationship with God. I certainly have had close relationship with God, which came to me through Christian belief. I dont expect you to accept that, and so I rarely give it in a discussion. But that is my real reason. I cane to belief in Christianity frankly because my parents told me it was real, (the same way I cane to belive in things like gravity) but I believe today because of my relationship with God. Through belief in Christ I gained relationship with God, and now that I have relationship with God it is hard for me to justify belief in Christ. Thata the gyst of it.
But of course, I also feel strongly that is evidentially and rationality most jusfiable.I am of the position that truth should be generally verifiable with evidence and reason, which has certainly been done.
I dont know if thats what you were asking, but tada!
Posted by DanielSaltine 6 months ago
DanielSaltine
Maybe I should ask you why you are a christian?
Posted by ThesnamisSorreall 6 months ago
ThesnamisSorreall
Sorry it got so terse at the end! I ran out of characters!
Posted by canis 6 months ago
canis
"I believe that there is no logical argument that you can make to justify truly believing in any specific religion."
No. There is no logical argument- You would need an actual and specific god. Without actual and specific profe of an actual and specific god........ well we have none..The next best would be to examine why an actual and specific god would have to exist. There are no reasons why an actual and specific god would have to exist...
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