The Instigator
qopel
Con (against)
Winning
13 Points
The Contender
SANTORUM2012
Pro (for)
Losing
10 Points

Should the Bible be the source of human morality?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
qopel
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/23/2013 Category: Society
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,233 times Debate No: 30595
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (15)
Votes (5)

 

qopel

Con

1. No use of Wikipedia. You can't use Wikipedia on a college paper. It shouldn't be used in a debate.
2. No vague definition of words. If you use a word that can have several meanings, make it clear what you actually mean.
3. No references to Creationist websites. Creationists are con-artists and their made up nonsense isn't worthy of consideration.
4. No adding new arguments as you go along. State your arguments in the first round and be prepared to defend them later. Do not try to flood the last round with new arguments that I don't get a chance to address. That's dishonest and cheating.

Now the definitions of words that will undoubtedly, be used:
Morality: 1. The quality of being in accord with standards of right or good conduct.
2. A system of ideas of right and wrong conduct: religious morality; Christian morality.
3. Virtuous conduct.
4. A rule or lesson in moral conduct.
http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
Bible: A canonical collection of texts considered sacred in Judaism or Christianity.
Both the Old and New Testaments should be equally considered valid and part of the Bible.
God: The one Supreme Being, the creator and ruler of the universe.
Atheism: The lack of the belief of a God. An Agnostic Atheist does not claim that there is no God.
Scientific Theory: A well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment. It is NOT the same as the definition of a layman's theory. The theory of evolution is just as valid at the theory of gravity.
Evolution: Change in the gene pool of a population from generation to generation by such processes as mutation, natural selection, and genetic drift. It has nothing to do with Abiogenesis.
Exist: To have actual being in the PHYSICAL UNIVERSE.
Space: A distance that separates matter or energy. Space itself is "something" and can contain within it, both matter and energy.
Nothing: The lack of everything.*
* NOTE: There has never been a physical "nothing" for anyone to examine. Any claim that something can't come from nothing is not valid because it can not be proved. There has never been a nothing for anyone to examine for something to come out of.
NOTE: The burden of proof is on those who make a positive claim. Pro would have the burden of proof that the Bible should be used as a source of morality. Con has the burden of proof that the Bible should not be used as a source of morality.

NOTE: Please don't resort to the use of logical fallacies.
SANTORUM2012

Pro

Challenge Accepted!
Debate Round No. 1
qopel

Con

Christians claim that morality comes from the Bible and that Atheists can't have morality without God.

Morality has existed way before the Bible.

The most famous set of moral values comes from the 10 Commandments.

The first 3 Commandments aren't about morality at all.

1."Thou shalt have no other gods before me"
2."Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image"
3."Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain"

Those Commandments sound like they are from an insecure God who is threatening those who may
question him. How is that moral?

The forth Commandment says "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy".
Exodus 31:14 reads, "Ye shall keep the Sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you:
every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death; for whosoever doeth any work therein,
that soul shall be cut off from among his people."

The Bible calls for the Death Penalty for working on the Sabbath! That's moral?

The 10 Commandments don't even mention rape or slavery.
There are laws against rape and slavery because they are immoral.

The Bible actually condones Rape and slavery.

Exodus 21:20-21
English Standard Version (ESV)
"When a man strikes his slave, male or female, with a rod and the slave dies under his hand,
he shall be avenged. But if the slave survives a day or two, he is not to be avenged,
for the slave is his money.

Deuteronomy 22:28-30
English Standard Version (ESV)
"If a man meets a virgin who is not betrothed, and seizes her and lies with her,
and they are found, then the man who lay with her shall give to the father of the young woman
fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife, because he has violated her.
He may not divorce her all his days.

Some my try to claim that these verses are taken out of context. If my opponent wants to argue that,
I challenge him to show me any context where rape or slavery is moral.

There are many many other verses in the Bible that are immoral, but for the sake of time and space, I'll limit my arguments to the above.

I look forward to my opponent's response.
SANTORUM2012

Pro

My Opponent....



“Christians claim that morality comes from the Bible and that Atheists can't have morality without God.”


First thing is that Christians do not believe that Atheists do not have morality or moral standards, Christianity does however believe in an absolute morality. That being said, the bible states it is immoral to commit adultery, which in my opinion would be what the majority of individuals believe. However, not everyone who believes this is a Christian or believes in the bible. Stating that Christians think that Atheists do not have morality shows ignorance upon my opponent’s part.

“The most famous set of moral values comes from the 10 Commandments.

The first 3 Commandments aren't about morality at all.

1."Thou shalt have no other gods before me"
2."Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image"
3."Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain"

Those Commandments sound like they are from an insecure God who is threatening those who may
question him. How is that moral?”

My opponent has taken this set of codes woefully out of context. The Ten Commandments is not merely a set of moral codes but standards set by God himself to show what he expects Christians to strive to achieve. While the bible has moral guidelines it is not fully morality based, meaning that while the book has moral codes it is not fully focused on the moral part of human nature.

My opponent also argues that by God telling us to not work on a Sunday or we shall be put to death as justification by proving the bible immoral but in the bible working on a Sabbath say IS A SIN and ALL sin is PUNISHABLE BY DEATH. This is where you get into why Jesus had to die on the cross to atone for the sin so that we wouldn’t have to die.

Slavery…
In the Old Testament, dating back into Exodus is a time where slavery was prominent. This verse did not “condone” slavery but was in fact written to protect the slaves. God in no way created slavery because that of course was created by humans but the verse insured that slaves were protected from their masters.

Rape…
Back then a woman had no rights and was not able to support herself without a man as she could not own land or work. If she were raped then a man would not want her because she would no longer be a virgin. This was written so that a man who violates a woman would have to support her for the rest of her life. This in no way condoned rape.

My arguments

Why the Bible Should be Used for Human Morality.

It is objective…

Many social issues that are debated upon and are causes of constant conflict between a large mass of people is because everyone has a different opinion. You hear a lot that there is no such thing as a “good opinion” or a “bad opinion”. Well, let’s investigate that logic. Let’s say perhaps that in my opinion I feel it is okay to kill everyone who is 30 years old. Would my opinion be wrong? If so, who is to say that isn’t the right opinion and everyone else’s is wrong. Morality covers the same ground, one person may say something is moral when another individual feels the contrary. This is why morality cannot be subjective and must be taken out of an objective and conclusive text, such as the bible.

It is Stable…

When I say it is stable, I am talking about the fact that it never changes. A lot of trouble we have with modern law is it is always changing and growing which often causes much confusion and frustration. This, being another upside to the bible being used as the primary source of human Morality, is that the bible has standards that are pretty strait forward and they never change.

It is harsh…

When a crime carries a harsher punishment it is more likely not to be committed. The bible often takes punishment to extreme which definitely would make the average human reconsider what they are about to do. In the 1960’s is around the time where prayer, and bible teachings were taken out of schools , as a result…

A. Young People
1. For 15 years before 1963 pregnancies in girls ages 15 through 19 years had been no more than 15 per thousand After 1963 pregnancies increased 187% in the next 15 years.
2. For younger girls, ages 10 to 14 years, pregnancies since 1963 are up 553%.
3. Before 1963 sexually transmitted diseases among students were 400 per 100,000. Since 1963, they were up 226% in the next 12 years.


B. The Family

1. Before 1963 divorce rates had been declining for 15 years. After 1963 divorces increased 300% each year for the next 15 years.
2. Since 1963 unmarried people living together is up 353%
3. Since 1963 single parent families are up 140%.
4. Since 1963 single parent families with children are up 160%.


C. Education

1. The educational standard of measure has been the SAT scores. SAT scores had been steady for many years before 1963. From 1963 they rapidly declined for 18 consecutive years, even though the same test has been used since 1941.
2. In 1974-75 the rate of decline of the SAT scores decreased, even though they continued to decline. That was when there was an explosion of private religious schools. There were only 1000 Christian schools in 1965. Between 1974 to 1984 they increased to 32,000.
a. That could have an impact if the private schools had higher SAT scores. In checking with the SAT Board it was found that indeed the SAT scores for private schools were nearly 100 points higher than public schools.
b. In fact the scores were at the point where the public schools had been before their decline started in 1963 when prayer and Bible reading/ instruction was removed from the schools.
c. The scores in the public schools were still declining.


3. Of the nation's top academic scholars, three times as many come from private religious schools, which operate on one-third the funds as do the public schools.
D. The Nation
1. Since 1963 violent crime has increased 544%.
3. Illegal drugs have become an enormous & uncontrollable problem.
2. The nation has been deprived of an estimated 30 million citizens through legal abortions just since 1973
The bible also sets high standards for humans…

God knows that people cannot meet the criteria to be entered into heaven therefore, he send Jesus on the cross. However, the logic behind setting such high standards is that we as humans will reach for high goals. He knows we will never be perfect; however, if we strive to be perfect, we would be a lot better off than if we don’t.


Over to CON :)

http://www.inplainsite.org...

http://www.christnotes.org...




Debate Round No. 2
qopel

Con

First I would like to apologize for my generalization about Christians claiming that morality comes
from the Bible and that Atheists can't have morality without God.
I should have said "many Christians". I didn't mean all of them.

About the first 3 Commandments....There's that old "out of context" cry again.
The context was the 10 commandments, and they were not taken out of Context.

Before I move on to the two bible verses I mentioned, I want to make sure I quote my opponent:
"...another upside to the bible being used as the primary source of human Morality, is that the bible
has standards that are pretty strait forward and they never change."

OK, so let's continue:

My opponent wants to justify the slavery verse by saying: "In the Old Testament,
dating back into Exodus is a time where slavery was prominent."

So, if slavery was so accepted back then as moral and the bible
has standards that are pretty strait forward and they never change, then why is
slavery looked upon as immoral today?
If the verse was just to "insure that slaves were protected from their masters", then
why were slaves in America not protected from their masters the same way? I thought
"they never change"!

My opponent also has an excuse for the rape verse I mentioned.
"This was written so that a man who violates a woman would have
to support her for the rest of her life."

Sorry, but I had to laugh when I read this one! What woman would want the support of a man
who violated her and ends up being stuck in a marriage with that man without the option of divorce?!
You think every time they had sex after that, it was willing and enjoyable for her?
That's protection? That's moral? A man get rewarded for rape and that's not condoning rape?
Nice try, but I doubt any sane moral person in this day and age would call that moral.
Yet, my opponent claims "the bible has standards that are pretty strait forward and
they never change." When's the last time a judge sentence a rapist to marry his victim?

Moving on...

My opponent claims that the Bible is objective and stable.
All I can say to that is, I'm very happy modern civilization rejects most of the
morality the Bible teaches. I can just see it now: "Your honor, my slave died three days after the beating,
and the Bible clearly says a day or two." How about a judge sentencing a rapist by saying,
"You are ordered to pay fifty shekels of silver and the Wedding day is set for July 15th."

Now the best for last. My Opponent wants to claim, without evidence, that there is some kind of
correlation between taking God out of schools and all the statistics about young people, family and education.
That's a logical fallacy called "Correlation Implies Causation".

The truth of the matter is, Atheists actually have a higher moral standard that Christians.
There are less Atheists in jail.
http://www.atheismresource.com...

According to the book, "Society without God" Denmark and Sweden rank among the most well-developed, wealthiest, most democratic, most free, most entrepreneurial, least corrupt, least violent, most peaceful, healthiest, happiest, most egalitarian, best educated, most charitable, and most environmentally compassionate societies in the entire world...and they are mostly ATHEISTS.
SANTORUM2012

Pro

First of all I would like to point out that this debate was whether or not the bible should be used for human MORALITY not LAW many things that are immoral are not illegal.

Second, My opponent took my argument about the bible never changing and flipped it. I said that the BIBLE never changes However, society and the way we handle things does.

Take for example the Constitution, Amendment 3 states “No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.”

Obviously we do not have to worry about Soldiers being forcefully housed on our property because it is not a problem in this day and time however, this does not mean that the third amendment has changed, it means times have changed.

Slavery once again…

“So, if slavery was so accepted back then as moral and the bible
has standards that are pretty strait forward and they never change, then why is
slavery looked upon as immoral today?”

You might have misunderstood me… the bible NEVER condoned slavery because slavery already existed, the verse was written to provide safety for the slaves and the citizens would not have killed their slaves because as the verse said, it was his money. Slavery was not moral then and it isn’t moral now, the only difference is it was legal then and now it is not.

Rape…

My opponent completely dodged the argument that women had absolutely no rights back then. This verse was not put there to protect the rapist but to provide financial stability for the woman. Obviously times have changed and rapists are dealt with differently however, we are not dealing with legal terms we are dealing with morality. Rape was immoral then and it is immoral now.

My opponent makes the argument that the countries he mentioned are better off because they are Atheists but they aren’t better off because they are atheist.

They are well-developed and wealthiest because they have worked hard and working hard is condoned by the Bible.

They are “most free” because they believe in Free Will and free will is condoned by the Bible.

They are less corrupt and less violent because they believe in treating others the way they want to be treated and this is condoned by the Bible.

They are most peaceful because they believe in equality and that is condoned by the bible.

They are most educated because they respect knowledge which is condoned by the bible.

They are most charitable because they believe in compassion which is condoned by the bible.

They are environmentally concerned because they respect this planet which is again condoned by the bible.

There was not one moral standard my opponent has set that could not be found in scripture. By my opponents argument you could almost assume he gets his morality from the Bible.

Furthermore, following moral guidelines set by the bible doesn’t make you a Christian anymore than following Shake N’ Bake directions makes you a chef.

Summary

My opponents only arguments was that the Bible was immoral because it condoned rape and slavery which I clarified in my argument it did not. My opponent flip flopped from talking about objective biblical morality to objective government guidelines. My opponent did not seem to show an understanding that while times did changed the morality in the bible did not, only the way humans deal with it.

I enjoyed this debate and can hopefully do it again!

VOTE PRO!!!! J

Debate Round No. 3
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by qopel 4 years ago
qopel
"what makes you so sure there isn't a god or gods?"

I'm not sure. I'm an Agnostic Atheist.

I don't claim there isn't a God. I don't believe in a God due to the lack of evidence for one.

The burden of proof is on those who make a positive claim. Anyone who claims there is a God has he burden of proof to show evidence. I don't have a burden of proof to show evidence that there isn't a God.
Posted by proglib 4 years ago
proglib
Posted by SANTORUM2012 1 hour ago

'I actually had that exact debate a couple months ago, you should check it out, I think my opponent named it "God is Evil". It might not change your mind but it will give you a different perspective.'

Though a confirmed agnostic/secular..., I appreciate your civil debate style. Folks who have a complex view of a creator who is all powerful, all knowing, ... but still chose to create humans with free will and can explain it in a fairly rational way as you did in your other debate tend to get my respect.

I don't think you quite achieved that purpose with your arguments here, but I appreciate the effort.

A question for an atheist like qopel that always comes to my mind is: what makes you so sure there isn't a god or gods?

In my mind neither the existence nor non-existence of such a being is provable.

On the yes there is a god side one can use some decent logic combined with "faith" (suspension of disbelief, IMHO) to say "I believe in God for these reasons" and have some rational basis, again IMHO.

On the atheist, there is no god, and I'm sure of it side, I'm not sure how this works. Most rational explanations of atheism seem to be more agnostic than saying they can prove god doesn't exist. Which leads me to fall back on Shakespeare and Hamlet to Horatio: "more things on heaven and earth than in all your philosophy..."
Posted by proglib 4 years ago
proglib
@qopel

The context I'm speaking of is not the context of the bible. I couldn't care less about that context. I'm talking about the historical-sociological context of the time when the bible was written. (I wasn't clear about this at all.)

For the society of the time--not just bible-based society, I think--women who had engaged in intercourse were devalued, and it didn't matter that the intercourse was forced on them. (This of course didn't change in "judeo-christian" morality until relatively recently--how embarrassing for people who think the bible is a good moral guide...)

So on that one minor point, I think that the bible may have been improving morality at the time it was written.

I really don't see (yet) how the slave reference was an improvement for society's victims. I'll reread it, but I'm very skeptical.

Hope that clarifies my point.

Cheers
Posted by SANTORUM2012 4 years ago
SANTORUM2012
I actually had that exact debate a couple months ago, you should check it out, I think my opponent named it "God is Evil". It might not change your mind but it will give you a different perspective.
Posted by qopel 4 years ago
qopel
You know what's sick? God, the "almighty" doesn't stop the rapes from happening....he just "protects the victim" after it's done. God, the almighty, doesn't stop slaves from getting beat....he just "protects the victim" from dieing in a day or two. Some moral God. ...and religious nutjobs try to justify that! God is all good?!?? God loves us all?!?!? Yeah, by creating hell and the devil. By letting rapes happen and slaves get beaten.
Posted by SANTORUM2012 4 years ago
SANTORUM2012
I think strategy wise we have definitely improved in how heinous crimes like this are dealt with but what I think is misinterpreted is that the bible condoned it in which every verse my opponent presented was written to protect the victim. This showed the act done was wrong which is what the debate was about. No how the act was dealt with but whether the act itself was deemed moral or immoral.
Posted by qopel 4 years ago
qopel
How is "women are no better than slaves or cattle" moral? CONTEXT?!?!? Show me ANY context where slavery or rape is moral!

These so called moral values in the Bible never change....and yet, we want those old outdated morals used today?!?
Posted by proglib 4 years ago
proglib
Qopel:

"Sorry, but I had to laugh when I read this one! What woman would want the support of a man
who violated her and ends up being stuck in a marriage with that man without the option of divorce?!
You think every time they had sex after that, it was willing and enjoyable for her?
That's protection? That's moral? A man get rewarded for rape and that's not condoning rape?
Nice try, but I doubt any sane moral person in this day and age would call that moral.
Yet, my opponent claims "the bible has standards that are pretty strait forward and
they never change." When's the last time a judge sentence a rapist to marry his victim?"

This is a case where taken in context, Pro may be right. (I view this from an agnostic-secular-would-be-buddhist...viewpoint. I'd be pastafarian if I knew that was about eating pasta.LOL)

In the context of a society where women are no better than slaves or cattle--just another form of property--forcing a man to care for a woman that otherwise would be shunned, might be a more humane system.

Of course using a book with a sentence like that in the 21st century to teach morality seems to me as useful as using it to teach astronomy. Gallileo would object, if I remember that history correctly.
Posted by qopel 4 years ago
qopel
The voter is a biased Theist, and voted based on opinion, not fact.
Posted by angelcoba 4 years ago
angelcoba
Can you people vote on this debate please "The argument is about the Rights of the unborn."
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by conservativealive 4 years ago
conservativealive
qopelSANTORUM2012Tied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Con did not understand what the debate was about as pointed out by pro. Overall pros arguments were more convincing to me. Conduct to pro as con made generalizations/stereotypes (which was apologized for.
Vote Placed by proglib 4 years ago
proglib
qopelSANTORUM2012Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Will read in more detail later. However, on first reading Pro's arguments didn't impress me. On closer examination, pro did a decent case with what I consider a *very* tough position.
Vote Placed by likespeace 4 years ago
likespeace
qopelSANTORUM2012Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con showed that the bible condoned (accepted or allowed, not necessarily promoted) slavery. Pro did not show any verses where the bible said slavery was wrong or immoral. Con asserted and Pro conceded that slavery is immoral. Ergo, the bible should not be THE source for human morality. At best, Pro has defended that it could be on source, and we need another source that says slavery is wrong.
Vote Placed by Luggs 4 years ago
Luggs
qopelSANTORUM2012Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Arguments to Con, the were more convincing. S/G for that one mistake made by Pro at the end where a J was added at the end. Conduct because Pro made a false claim saying that predominately-atheist countries are better off is because they do something which is mentioned in the Bible, free will, which I'm sure is some form of logical fallacy.
Vote Placed by BigSky 4 years ago
BigSky
qopelSANTORUM2012Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con misunderstood several of his sources, the bible never did actually condone slavery. Pro made more convincing arguments over all.