The Instigator
Feldmm1
Con (against)
Winning
12 Points
The Contender
tmhustler
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

Resolved: If God exists, God would have sufficient reason to send people to hell

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Vote Here
Con Tied Pro
Who did you agree with before the debate?
Who did you agree with after the debate?
Who had better conduct?
Who had better spelling and grammar?
Who made more convincing arguments?
Who used the most reliable sources?
Reasons for your voting decision
1,000 Characters Remaining
The voting period for this debate does not end.
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/25/2009 Category: Religion
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,246 times Debate No: 9332
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (30)
Votes (3)

 

Feldmm1

Con

This is my first debate. In this post, I lay out the preliminaries and rules.

Main Entry: hell
Pronunciation: \ˈhelFunction: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old English helan to conceal, Old High German helan, Latin celare, Greek kalyptein
Date: before 12th century
1 a (1) : a nether world in which the dead continue to exist : hades (2) : the nether realm of the devil and the demons in which the damned suffer everlasting punishment —often used in curses or as a generalized term of abuse b Christian Science : error 2b, sin {1}

For this debate, the definition of Hell will be 1 a (2).

In Professor James Hall's course for the Teaching Company, Philosophy of Religion{2}, Professor Hall observes that in most religions, "God" generally designates some force, entity, being, or process that is affirmed as a proper object of human worship. Therefore, "God" is not a name; it is a title. For example, the name of the supreme deity of Christianity is Yahweh; the name of the supreme deity of Islam is Allah. The followers of such deities believe that their deity deserves the title of "God". Therefore, proving Yahweh or Allah's existence does not resolve the issue; although Yahweh and Allah are called "God", this does not mean that deities that send people to hell actually deserve the title "God".

In this debate, God is defined as a deity with the following attributes:
1. Worthy of human worship
2. Aseity (non-contingency)
3. Transcendence (transcending the material world; supernatural)
4. Omnipresence (being causally active at and watching over every part of the material world)
5. Omnipotent (all-powerful; able to do anything that is logically possible)
6. Omniscient (all-knowing; able to know anything that is logically possible to be known)
7. Morally flawless/perfectly good
8. Just
9. Righteous
10. Merciful
11. All-loving
12. Eternal
13. Creator of the material world

Now that we got that out of the way, here is my argument.

A semantic principle, which I will call p, says that in order for a descriptive concept to have sufficient meaning, there must be possible instances in which such descriptive concept does not apply; there must be possible instances in which some logically opposed concept does apply. Let's take the description "round" as an example. If there were no instances of straight edges, then "round" would become a meaningless term.

It follows from this principle that someone described as good would not act in the way evil people do. For example, for the statement "Hitler was a good person" to be true, Hitler could not have done evil things. When one takes into account p and the definition of God, 5 propositions follow.
p1: A morally flawless being would not torture anyone for any period.
p2: A just being would not punish one eternally for the sins comitted during a brief lifetime, but would proportion the punishment to the offense.
p3: A being that is righteous would not punish anyone eternally for unavoidable lack of belief.
p4: A merciful being would not be unforgiving forever to those who've offended it.
p5: A loving being would not bring about and perpetuate the suffering of those it loves.

Therefore, I contend that it is logically impossible for God to send people to hell. It follows from this that God cannot and therefore would not have sufficient reason to send people to hell.

I also contend that my opponent must give an adequate reason for God to send people to hell. It is possible that Hitler had a sufficient reason for committing genocide, but without knowing what that reason was, it is not rational nor plausible to believe such a claim. My opponent holds the burden of proof.

To conclude, it is more plausible that God would not have sufficient reason to send people to hell than God having sufficient reason to do so.

Sources:

{1} "Hell." Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. 2009.
Merriam-Webster Online. 25 August 2009
<http://www.merriam-webster.com...;

{2} Hall, James. Philosophy of Religion [underlined or italicized]. The Teaching Company, 2003
tmhustler

Pro

I would like to thank my opponent for what I hope will be an interesting debate.

For the purposes of this debate I think we must assume first that God exist and that hell exist. The question at hand is if god should send anyone there? { correct me if I'm wrong}

Now onto your points

p1 This assertion is flawed because punishment does not necessitate torture. like when we jail someone for a crime its not torture

p2 I know the bible is not the only text concerning a hell, but in it even the damned are judged again on judgment day.

p3,p4 Also flawed because you define god as worthy of being worshiped, not something that must be worshiped

p5 Does a father who loves his son punish { grounded} him when he does something wrong

The god you previously described can not exist with all those characteristics {logically}, so for the premise of this debate were god does exists he must act above logic in order to contain these traits.

God would have sufficient reason to send people to hell if they had consistently committed grieves sins. just as we send people to prison.

I contend that we share the BoP mainly because most religions of the world have some sort of punishment for sinners in the afterlife. So it is my opponent that is making a claim that is against the norm so he does deserve a large share of the burden of proof.
Debate Round No. 1
Feldmm1

Con

I thank my opponent for accepting this debate. Again, it is my first time. I have complied with my opponent's request in the comment section and I have waited to post my response.

My opponent says that we must assume the God exists and hell exists and ask if the question is that God should send anyone there. Well, I would not necessarily assume that hell exists on the basis of the resolution, but that point is irrelevant.

My opponent's criticism of p1 exposes a flaw of mine when I was constructing this case. I was hoping for a debate that used "hell" in the context of scripture, but I assumed this from the beginning and did not mention it in my opening speech, and thus my opponent did not have to operate in that context. The definition I provided does say punishment instead of torture, and if one does not look at the ways hell is usually used, then yes, punishment does not necessitate torture. I shall concede such a point, but I will maintain that if hell is a place where people are punished through torture, then a perfectly good God cannot send people to hell.

If my opponent does decide to look at hell through a scriptural context, then I argue that people are tortured in hell.
According to www.merriam-webster.com, the definition of torture is:
Main Entry: 1tor•ture
Pronunciation: \ˈtȯr-chərFunction: noun
Etymology: Middle French, from Old French, from Late Latin tortura, from Latin tortus, past participle of torquēre to twist; probably akin to Old High German drāhsil turner, Greek atraktos spindle
Date: 1540
1 a : anguish of body or mind : agony b : something that causes agony or pain
2 : the infliction of intense pain (as from burning, crushing, or wounding) to punish, coerce, or afford sadistic pleasure {1}

The Bible makes it clear that that there will be intense pain and suffering in hell. Even if there is not literally fire in hell, it is still a bad place to be. Christiananswers.net supports a symbolic interpretation of hell, but the website actually maintains that the suffering in hell is worse that the suffering that fire could subject one to. Christiananswers.net writes, "Will there literally be a burning fire in Hell? The fact of the matter is that if this is just symbolic language, it's bad enough for me, and certainly the reality will be worse than the symbol. And fire isn't very funny. If you've ever been badly burned, as I was as a little boy, you never forget it. And if the Lord is simply using symbolic language, how much more terrible must the reality be?"{2}

The Bible's definition of hell seems to make it clear that hell is torture, and thus Yahweh is not perfectly good. No legal system burns people with fire (or the equivalent) day and night forever. Therefore, it is very improbable, if not impossible, that God would send anyone to hell as understood in this context. If my opponent wishes to make a perfectly good God compatible with torture (and argue that such a good being would in fact torture), my opponent must give a very good reason for it.

In response to p2, my opponent says that even in the Bible, hell is not infinite punishment. Instead, my opponent claims that the damned will be judged again. My opponent has cited no bible verse for this, and anyway the Bible is rather clear on the eternity of hell. The Catholic Encyclopedia cites many biblical verses that point towards this conclusion {3}. Also, my definition of hell contains the word "everlasting". This word should not need to be defined, but I will define it anyway.

Main Entry: 1ev•er•last•ing
Pronunciation: \ˌe-vər-ˈlas-tiŋFunction: adjective
Date: 13th century
1 : lasting or enduring through all time : eternal
2 a (1) : continuing for a long time or indefinitely (2) : having or being flowers or foliage that retain form or color for a long time when dried b : tediously persistent {4}

Due to this fact, p2 is valid. It appears as if my opponent has two choices when approaching my propositions: 1. Analyze them using the strict definition of hell from Merriam-Webster, or 2. Look at the definition of hell through a scriptural context and argue against my propositions. My opponent cannot pick and choose which approach to use when addressing my propositions; he must be consistent with his methodology. Using option 1 may effectively shield him from the implications of p1, but through this method he cannot shield himself from the implications of p2. Option 2 gives him a chance to argue that hell is not for eternity, but then he must address my argument that hell is torture according to scripture.

I am not sure how relevant hi objection to p3 and p4 are; it seems to only affirm my propositions. However, his explanation of God sending people to hell does not necessarily include nonbelievers and those that insult it going to hell, so these two propositions do not really affect you.

His objection to p5 is that a father that loves his son can punish that son by grounding him when he has done something wrong. This objection is inadequate; it is clear from the context that the "suffering" I refer to is a much greater degree of suffering than simply grounding a child. Also, let's look at the word "perpetuate" and the word "perpetual".

Main Entry: per•pet•u•ate
Pronunciation: \pər-ˈpe-chə-ˌwātFunction: transitive verb
Inflected Form(s): per•pet•u•at•ed; per•pet•u•at•ing
Etymology: Latin perpetuatus, past participle of perpetuare, from perpetuus
Date: 1530
: to make perpetual or cause to last indefinitely {5}

Main Entry: per•pet•u•al
Pronunciation: \pər-ˈpe-chə-wəl, -chəl; -ˈpech-wəlFunction: adjective
Etymology: Middle English perpetuel, from Anglo-French, from Latin perpetuus uninterrupted, from per- through + petere to go to — more at feather
Date: 14th century
1 a : continuing forever : everlasting b (1) : valid for all time (2) : holding (as an office) for life or for an unlimited time
2 : occurring continually : indefinitely long-continued {6}

Would a father cause punishment to last forever? Furthermore, would a father use torture as a punishment (such as burning the child, using thumbscrews, water-boarding, etc.)?

My opponent has asserted that my definition of God is logically contradictory. However, he has not said in what way. If he does not point out a logical contradiction and allow me to deal with it, this assertion should not be considered to be true. Furthermore, even if God is above logic, is it reasonable to believe that he would act in a way that sends people to hell? Would such a being be considered perfectly good and worthy of worship?

He says that God would have sufficient reason to send people to hell if they committed sins, but this does not seem to justify torture or punishment for an infinite amount of time.

He claims that we share the burden of proof because I am making a claim against the norm. However, it is absurd to determine the burden of proof this way. The burden should be decided by who is making the claim. His argument is refuted for the same reason that argumentum ad populum is a fallacy. I do make some claims, and on those issues I have the burden of proof. However, as con, all I have to be is against the resolution. I need not necessarily say the statement is false; I merely need to say that I have not been presented with a good reason to believe the resolution, and therefore con is justified in being against accepting the resolution.

{1}http://www.merriam-webster.com...
{2}http://www.christiananswers.net...
{3}http://www.newadvent.org...
{4}http://www.merriam-webster.com...
{5}http://www.merriam-webster.com...
tmhustler

Pro

tmhustler forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Feldmm1

Con

My opponent's forfeit is noted. I thank my opponent for this debate.

I was running out of characters in the last round, so before I close I would like to address one argument that my opponent made more thoroughly. My opponent claimed that the God I presented was logically impossible, and therefore since this debate assumes he exists, then he is "above" logic. My opponent pointed out no such contradiction to back up his statement. However, let's assume for a second that he is right. If God is above logic and is able to act in an illogical way, how would my opponent be able to affirm the resolution? My opponent said that God would send people to hell to punish them for their sins, but if God acts irrationally, then what warrant do we have to believe that he would punish people for their sins? Even if it is logical that a just being would punish people for wrongdoings (although he would not have them tortured or have the punishment go on forever), we have no way to know that an illogical God would do that. Far from supporting his case, saying that God is above logic refutes his own case. Also, even if we assume that God's illogicality does not refute his own case, we would still not classify God the way that we do, due to the semantic principle I presented. Humans classify things logically, so we would classify God as a being of so-and-so characteristics in a logical way, despite the assumption that God is above logic.

Now that I have addressed that point more thoroughly, let's review what happened in this debate. I used a logical semantic principle (p) to present propositions p1-p5. They were as follows:

p1: A morally flawless being would not torture anyone for any period.
p2: A just being would not punish one eternally for the sins committed during a brief lifetime, but would proportion the punishment to the offense.
p3: A being that is righteous would not punish anyone eternally for unavoidable lack of belief.
p4: A merciful being would not be unforgiving forever to those who've offended it.
p5: A loving being would not bring about and perpetuate the suffering of those it loves.

My opponent objected that the definition of hell does not necessitate that hell is a place of torture, said that hell is not for eternity, claimed that p3-4 were not valid because God did not make people worship him, and said that p5 simply was not true (and gave the example of a father punishing his son to illustrate this. I argued that the scriptures that talk on the subject of hell make it clear that hell is a place of torture, argued that scriptures do advocate punishment for eternity (and noted that my definition of hell necessitates such a concession from my opponent), claimed that my opponent's objections to p3-4 were irrelevant (but conceded that those propositions are more about a minor detail of hell than the concept of hell itself), and defended p5. Thus, all my propositions stand (although I only really needed one). Due to p2, my opponent's argument that God would send people to hell as punishment for wrongdoings fails. If my opponent had any chance to win, he would either have to reinforce his claim that hell is not everlasting or argue that a just being could punish people forever. He did neither. Therefore, I have successfully negated the resolution. I urge the voters to vote con.
tmhustler

Pro

do to my forfeit{internet problems} in round two there really is no argument i could make in the last round to win this debate. so i will ask my opponent to repost this debate to me , so it could be properly debated. maybe 4 rounds would be better tnx
Debate Round No. 3
30 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by MTGandP 7 years ago
MTGandP
I would say God does have sufficient reason, since He gets to make all the rules.
Posted by Feldmm1 7 years ago
Feldmm1
I'll probably make another debate on this, but it may be a while. I am also hoping to eventually make debates on other topics related to religion, so I don't know if the next debate I am in will be on the same topic.
Posted by tmhustler 7 years ago
tmhustler
sorry for missing my last round had a problem with my internet connection guess I lose.
Posted by tmhustler 7 years ago
tmhustler
thanks for waiting. I will post my arguments in a few hours
Posted by MasterET 7 years ago
MasterET
cooler debate than my opponent's
Posted by Feldmm1 7 years ago
Feldmm1
Specifically the pronunciation of the words are messed up.
Posted by Feldmm1 7 years ago
Feldmm1
Looks like the computer messed up my post a little, but overall it looks fine.
Posted by Feldmm1 7 years ago
Feldmm1
My argument is posted.
Posted by tkubok 7 years ago
tkubok
Better write your response soon though, Feldmm1, cause the time is almost up...
Posted by tmhustler 7 years ago
tmhustler
I would like to ask my opponent to hold of on his response for a few days as I am leaving for Vegas tonight and wont be back till Monday thanks in advance
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Nails 7 years ago
Nails
Feldmm1tmhustlerTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Vote Placed by Feldmm1 7 years ago
Feldmm1
Feldmm1tmhustlerTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:50 
Vote Placed by tmhustler 7 years ago
tmhustler
Feldmm1tmhustlerTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:00