The Instigator
doomswatter
Pro (for)
Winning
17 Points
The Contender
Domr
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Suicide is Not a Sin

Do you like this debate?NoYes+2
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
doomswatter
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/9/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,305 times Debate No: 58747
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (11)
Votes (5)

 

doomswatter

Pro

(I have set a minimum elo requirement for my opponent, but I may consider removing it. Post in the comments if you want to accept the debate but are unable to, and I'll consider you.)

Resolution: Suicide is not a sin.


Definitions
Suicide: intentionally killing oneself either directly or indirectly (by proxy)

Sin: An offense against God, as defined in the Bible.

Rules
For my side of the debate, I will be referencing the NKJV Bible, but I don't care which version my opponent uses as long as this does not devolve into a version debate. Most English versions of the Bible agree with the NKJV. If my opponent foresees their argument resting on a rare translation in a single version, they should message me prior to accepting so that I can consider which version they wish to exclusively use.

This is a debate about the sinfulness of suicide from a Biblical perspective. Extrabiblical sources of morality do not apply in this debate.

For the purposes of this debate, it will be assumed that the Bible doesn't contradict itself. In the event that Con uses a Bible verse that seems to contradict one I have used, mine will stand as the correct one.

Structure
Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2: Opening Arguments
Round 3: Rebuttals and New Arguments
Round 4: Rebuttals and Closing (No new arguments)
Domr

Con

I accept.

Good Luck
Debate Round No. 1
doomswatter

Pro

Thank you, Con. Good luck to you, as well.

The main argument I will be utilizing for this round is as follows:

A1- Jesus did not sin.
A2- Jesus committed suicide by proxy.
C - Suicide is not a sin.


Now I will break it down and defend A1 and A2. (All italics are mine)


A1- Jesus did not sin.

Hebrews 4:15 - For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.[1]

Hebrews 7:26 - For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens;[2]

Hebrews 9:14 - how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?[3]

1 Peter 2:21-22 - For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: “Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth”;[4]

1 John 3:5 - And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin.[5]

2 Corinthians 5:21 - For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.[6]


The above verses make it clear that Jesus was sinless.


A2- Jesus committed suicide by proxy.

John 10:17-18 - [Jesus said] “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”[7]

Matthew 16:21 - From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.[8]

Luke 22:22 - [Jesus said]"And truly the Son of Man goes as it has been determined..."[9]

Luke 24:46 - Then He [Jesus] said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day,"[10]

Acts 26:22-23 - "Therefore, having obtained help from God, to this day I stand, witnessing both to small and great, saying no other things than those which the prophets and Moses said would come— that the Christ would suffer, that He would be the first to rise from the dead, and would proclaim light to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles.”[11]

1 Peter 1:18-20 - knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.[12]

Matthew 26:52-54 - [Jesus is being arrested, and his disciple attempts to defend him] But Jesus said to him, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels? How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?”[13]

Hebrews 9:14 - how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?[14]


The above verses make it clear that Jesus intended to die, and planned it the way it happened. Jesus committed suicide by proxy.


C - Suicide is not a sin.

If Jesus could commit suicide and remain sinless, suicide can not be a sin.



Take it away, Con.



------------------

[1]https://www.biblegateway.com...
[2]https://www.biblegateway.com...
[3]https://www.biblegateway.com...
[4]https://www.biblegateway.com...
[5]https://www.biblegateway.com...
[6]https://www.biblegateway.com...
[7]https://www.biblegateway.com...
[8]https://www.biblegateway.com...
[9]https://www.biblegateway.com...
[10]https://www.biblegateway.com...
[11]https://www.biblegateway.com...
[12]https://www.biblegateway.com...
[13]https://www.biblegateway.com...
[14]https://www.biblegateway.com...
Domr

Con

You have made my rebuttal quite simple Since your argument lies on one piece of information. For your argument to be valid, Jesus would have to have committed suicide. (Suicide by proxy)

The act of giving up (or laying down) one's life is not suicide.

Is it suicide when a solider jumps on a grenade to save his fellow troops? No, it is self sacrifice.

No matter how much time you have to prepare for your death, in Jesus life, or the soldiers, both parties knew they would be dying by their own will.

Lastly, Jesus did not want to die. In the Garden of Gethsemane, he prayed to God for some other way to save us. It was God the Father's plan for Jesus to come down, live a perfect life, and die for our sins.

In no way did Jesus commit suicide.
Debate Round No. 2
doomswatter

Pro

Con’s rebuttal is indeed simple, but it is incorrect for four reasons:

1.
When Con accepted this debate, he accepted my R1 definition of suicide, which is: "intentionally killing oneself either directly or indirectly (by proxy)". It does not matter for what cause someone kills oneself, the act of killing oneself places one neatly within my definition.
There is no doubt that Jesus was killed. So who killed him?

John 10:17-18 - [Jesus said] “Therefore My Father loves Me, because
I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”[1]

According to Jesus, no one took his life. He laid it down himself. Therefore, if Jesus was killed (and he was), he killed himself. By my definition, which Con accepted, Jesus committed suicide indirectly, by proxy.


2.
Con is mistaken about the difference between suicide and self-sacrifice. A suicide may be for a noble or sacrificial purpose, but it is still a suicide by definition. Not only my definition, but Webster’s as well:

suicide:
the act or an instance of taking one's own life voluntarily and intentionally especially by a person of years of discretion and of sound mind.
[2]

Again, Jesus said that he intended his death and gave his life intentionally, and that no one took it from him. This fits the definition of suicide.



3.
Con compares Jesus' death to a soldier jumping on a grenade. This is a poor comparison. The soldier did not plan for the grenade to be there. He did not throw the grenade himself. We would all probably agree that whoever threw the grenade was at least partially responsible for taking the soldier's life. This differs from Jesus’ death in that Jesus admits that no one else took his life, and the Bible makes it clear that the whole thing was planned.

Besides this glaring problem with Con’s analogy, he is still wrong about the definition of suicide. If the soldier has any other option that will result in his survival, but chooses to dive on top of the grenade, then he has indeed committed suicide, by definition. It is a kind, honorable, sacrificial suicide, but is a suicide just the same.
A useful example would be the term, “suicide mission”.[3] The people taking part in the mission may be doing so for virtuous reasons, but if they are aware that they will die, it is still a suicide mission.


4. Con states that Jesus’ prayer in the garden shows that he did not want to die. While that is debatable, it is irrelevant. Whether or not Jesus wanted to die, he still arranged his death and killed himself by proxy. Pre-suicide jitters does not make the death any less a suicide. Jesus still went through with the plan, no matter what he was feeling in the garden.



Con’s rebuttal is simply insufficient.


Back to you, Con.



-------------------
[1]
https://www.biblegateway.com...
[2]http://www.merriam-webster.com...
[3]http://en.wikipedia.org...

Domr

Con

Pro has insufficiently tried to rebuttal my claim. Jesus did not commit suicide. Since Pro has difficulty understanding "laying down my own life" is sacrificial, not suicidal I will bring up more proof Jesus did not kill himself (or with help of a proxy). And extend all my previous arguments as I feel they were not sufficiently refuted.

"suicide: the act or an instance of taking one's own life voluntarily and intentionally especially by a person of years of discretion and of sound mind.[2]
Again, Jesus said that he intended his death and gave his life intentionally, and that no one took it from him. This fits the definition of suicide."
The act of TAKING one's own life, and GAVE HIS LIFE clearly state a difference in the meaning. Sacrifice is not Suicide.


Jumping on a grenade, sacrificing yourself is not suicide. That person is not taking their life voluntarily, someone else planned to throw a grenade in hopes to harm someone and the solider is GIVING UP his life to protect others. He does not want to die, he has not planned this, but he has known this is a possibility because of his occupation.


Now, if we assume the Bible is 100% true, and does not contradict itself, Then we believe that God has three separate entities.
The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.


Con has stated for my soldier analogy "the solider did not plan for that grenade to be there" Therefore he is stating, that if the "victim" did not plan the act, it is not suicide.


In one of the most famous verses of the Bible we see that this was not Jesus plan to die.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

The one quote "he gave his one and only SON" This clearly states it was God the Father's plan to sacrifice his son.


"Con compares Jesus' death to a soldier jumping on a grenade. This is a poor comparison. The soldier did not plan for the grenade to be there. He did not throw the grenade himself. We would all probably agree that whoever threw the grenade was at least partially responsible for taking the soldier's life. This differs from Jesus’ death in that Jesus admits that no one else took his life, and the Bible makes it clear that the whole thing was planned."

"If the soldier has any other option that will result in his survival, but chooses to dive on top of the grenade, then he has indeed committed suicide, by definition."

According to your definition the soldiers death had partial blame on the grenade-thrower. Then you stated he committed suicide because he had another choice. Which one is it?

If I am hit by a car and I am mortally wounded and doctors are 100% sure I will not recover so we agree to that it would be best to die now, is that suicide? Or is part of the blame in the driver who hit me? What percentage of "part blame" pushes the line of murder or suicide?


Since it was God the Father's plan for Jesus to die, isn't he partly to blame? How much is he to blame? He did create everything and knows everything and had this plan in motion from the beginning of time? That sounds like a lot of blame on someone besides Jesus.

How much blame goes to the people who shackled, beat and crucified Jesus. They were the one's who committed the actual killing.

1 Thessalonians 2:14-15

For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews: 15 Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men:


If I get in the car with somone who every time he drives with a passenger in the car dies 100% of the time, but that car is the only option I have to save the world, and I then die in the car accident, is that suicide?

Jesus GAVE UP his life to us. Knowing how you are going to die is not suicide. Giving up your life is sacrifice, not suicide.



The only point you attempted to make has been successfully refuted twice.



Debate Round No. 3
doomswatter

Pro

Final Rebuttals

1. Suicide vs. Sacrifice

Con continues to doggedly invent an imaginary distinction between suicide and sacrifice. A sacrificial suicide is suicide nonetheless. I'm afraid that, due to the way society in general looks down on taking one's own life, Con is having difficulty examining the concept of suicide without its negative connotations.

All connotations and situational conditions aside, suicide is simply dying intentionally. It can take the form of stepping in front of a car, pulling the plug on life support, refusing to eat, jumping on a grenade, or orchestrating the execution of oneself. My opponent can not invent conditions for when an intentional death is a suicide and when it is not. Con's opinion is not evidence, and does not supersede the definition of suicide.

Con says, "Jumping on a grenade...is not suicide. That person is not taking their life voluntarily..." He is mistaken if the soldier had any other option. Would the soldier have survived if he had not jumped on the grenade? If so, then he had a choice between life and death, and made the decision to die. Did someone force the soldier to jump? If not, then his death was voluntary. Again, suicide can be for admirable and sacrificial reasons. Suicide is not necessarily evil, and, as we see in the Bible, it is not a sin.

2. God vs. Jesus

This point of Con's is moot because Jesus said, "I lay down my life...no one takes it from me, but I lay it down of myself."[1] "No one" means "no one", not even "God the Father". Jesus can't be any clearer.

It is true that "God the Father" had something to do with the proceedings, but Jesus' admission in John 10 is all we need to see that he was in control of his own destiny. This makes sense, considering that Jesus also said, "I and my Father are one."[2] Con's claim that God's involvement negates Jesus' suicide is a contradiction of Jesus' own words.

3. Blame

Con asks who is to blame for the death of the soldier who chose to die by jumping on a grenade. The answer is: both the soldier and whoever threw the grenade. Whoever threw the grenade is to blame for creating the dangerous situation in which the soldier had to make a choice, and the soldier is to blame for choosing to die. The word "blame", like "suicide", may have negative connotations to some, so let's use another word: "responsibility". The soldier is responsible for his own decisions. He shares responsibility in his death. Of course, he is a hero and we will honor his memory. His sacrifice could be considered more heroic than others' by virtue of him having a choice in the matter.

In the case of Jesus' death, I suppose that partial blame could be attributed to sin or sinful humankind. However, even that is questionable considering 1 Peter 1:18-20, which seems to suggest that Jesus' death was planned "before the foundation of the world".[3] This would suggest that even sin was a part of the plan. God's plans are apparently also Jesus' plans, since he "and the father are one".[2]

Con asks, "How much blame goes to the people who shackled, beat and crucified Jesus." The answer is: only as much as can be attributed to all of humankind. If humankind shares blame because of sin, and Jesus' executioners were humankind, then, obviously, they share blame. However, their responsibility ends there. They can not be blamed for arresting, trying, or executing Jesus, because it was all part of Jesus' ultimate plan to save the world. It's very clear in the Bible passages I provided and others that Jesus intended for everything to go down the way it did. He intended to suffer, bleed, and die because, according to the Bible, it was necessary in order to save the world. Jesus himself openly accepts responsibility for his arrest[4], his suffering[5], and his execution [1]. The Pharisees, Romans, etc. were simply the proxies that Jesus chose to assist him in his sacrificial suicide.

Conclusion

When observing the story of Jesus' crucifixion without knowing any surrounding details, it seems to be a sad tale of a man being cruelly murdered by zealots. Upon closer examination, however, we see that it is actually the tale of a divine plan to redeem mankind through the suicide of a sinless sacrifice. According to the Bible, it was necessary that Jesus die, he intended to die, and he willingly died. He made it very clear that he was in control of his own destiny, and could have stopped the execution at any time.

The evidence is overwhelming that Jesus' death was a planned suicide. Since, Biblically, Jesus did not sin, suicide can not be a sin.

Thank you, Con, for an interesting debate. Thank you, readers and voters, for your time and consideration.

------------------------

[1]https://www.biblegateway.com...
[2]https://www.biblegateway.com...
[3]https://www.biblegateway.com...
[4]https://www.biblegateway.com...
[5]https://www.biblegateway.com...
Domr

Con

While I still do not agree with Suicide=Sacrifice, There is one final flaw Pro has not yet accounted for. My rebuttal this round for Pro's premise is the definitions he has put in place for himself.

"Suicide: intentionally killing oneself either directly or indirectly (by proxy)"

He has defined the indirect portion of suicide as with the help of a proxy.
Jesus did not kill himself, therefore if he committed suicide, it would have to be indirectly.

As my opponent has used Merriam Webster's Online Dictionary to define a term earlier, I will use the same source. This will be the only source I post, as it will be the only one I need.

proxy noun
: a person who is given the power or authority to do something (such as to vote) for someone else
: power or authority that is given to allow a person to act for someone else

Regardless of whatever plan was put in place for Jesus to die, he died at the hands of the Jews. Pro has been arguing that Jesus had laid down his life which would be a form of suicide. However, per Pro's definition of this 'indirect suicide", this could only be accomplished through a proxy.

Those who crucified Jesus were in no way his proxy. They have no authority to make decisions for him. Jesus' death was not an indication of indirect suicide, as there was no proxy available to him. Just an angry mob asking for him to be crucified.

There is no rebuttal to this point, as Pro has laid out the clear definition, by proxy, for us in Round 1.

http://www.merriam-webster.com...
Debate Round No. 4
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by doomswatter 2 years ago
doomswatter
Thank you for the thoughtful comment, Sojourner. I disagree on the mutual exclusivity of "sacrificial" and "suicide", but I understand what you're saying. I also disagree that it was not Jesus' intent to die for the simple reason that Jesus' sacrifice was only necessary because God said it was. An omnipotent, preeminent God could have made the rules whatever he wanted them to be, but he specifically required Jesus to die. Since Jesus claims to be "one" with God, and follows his will by default, I would say that dying was definitely a part of Jesus' intent. God willed his death, and Jesus intended to follow God's will. Of course, it was to accomplish something greater, but that doesn't remove death from the plan. His suicide was for a cause, but the cause didn't make it any less a suicide. Whether or not someone really wants to die when they kill themselves doesn't have any bearing on the definition of suicide.
Posted by Sojourner 2 years ago
Sojourner
I really enjoyed the debate. Thank you both for a good discussion on a very interesting topic. Although I don"t agree with him, I have to give Pro a slight advantage in having the more convincing argument.

Had Con pushed a little bit more on the soldier analogy, and made a larger argument on the distinction between sacrifice and suicide, I think he would have had the win.

I chuckled a little when I saw the term "sacrificial suicide". I consider these two words mutually exclusive. I think it is all about intent. It was not Jesus" intention to die. His intent was to save souls and there was no other way to achieve this without sacrificing Himself. He knew He would die, but His death was not the goal. Likewise, it is likely that the soldier knew if he fell on the grenade he would die, but his intention/goal was not to die, but rather to save the lives of his fellow soldiers. Contrast this with a suicide bomber. His intent/goal is to kill himself along with as many other people possible so he can be with his 76 virgins. He WANTS to die. Neither Jesus nor the soldier wanted to die. It is all about intent.

Good debate. Thanks again.
Posted by doomswatter 2 years ago
doomswatter
Yes, because this debate is from the perspective that the Bible is in harmony with itself. The debate is not about translation, it's about interpretation.
Posted by Preston 2 years ago
Preston
im getting stuck on the point, you cannot contradict, thus any verse saying X cannot be opposed by a verse saying Y
Posted by Domr 2 years ago
Domr
Preston, do not worry. Pro has used a flurry of bible verses, but interprets suicide incorrectly. Self sacrifice is not suicide, so I do not even need to use specific bible verses to refute his point.
Posted by doomswatter 2 years ago
doomswatter
Preston, if the Bible conflicts, it is an unreliable source of morality. Most Christians believe that the Bible is a reliable source of morality and does not conflict. Therefore, I want a Christian, or at least a devil's advocate, to debate whether or not suicide is sin based on a non-contradictory Bible.

It's not that hard to understand. I'm not sure where your getting stuck.
Posted by Preston 2 years ago
Preston
its not possible, you cant have to opposing vies using evidence that doesn't conflict, abuse requirement.
Posted by doomswatter 2 years ago
doomswatter
The point is to show whether or not suicide is sin from the perspective of a non-contradictory Bible. In order for someone to believe and follow the morality of the Bible, they usually believe that the Bible is reliable. That is the kind of person I wish to debate. Therefore, any possible contradictions brought up during the debate must be resolved or default to my verse.
Posted by YaHey 2 years ago
YaHey
Well if you use the bible to determine sin, and you use a verse that agrees with you, and another finds a verse that contradicts yours, but we have to use your verse, where is the argument, exactly?
Posted by doomswatter 2 years ago
doomswatter
If you believe the Bible contradicts itself on the subject of suicide, this debate is obviously not for you. If there seems to be a contradiction, you'd better be able to show that it actually is not a contradiction, or else don't bother with this debate.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by NathanDuclos 2 years ago
NathanDuclos
doomswatterDomrTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 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 Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: I like doomswatters argument, and he presenting a good one, but I'm still disagree with the argument and have not been convinced. I am sure the Coffee shop will discuss this. However to him goes the vote. i
Vote Placed by FuzzyCatPotato 2 years ago
FuzzyCatPotato
doomswatterDomrTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 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 Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: 1: Pro proved suicide can be by proxy, and Jesus's death fits. 2: Because nobody defined self-sacrifice, I really can't tell if it is suicide. Hence, only 1 matters.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 2 years ago
dsjpk5
doomswatterDomrTied
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 Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Pros definition of suicide was undeniable.
Vote Placed by Phoenix61397 2 years ago
Phoenix61397
doomswatterDomrTied
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 Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: This was an interesting one. I agree suicide is not a sin, but disagree that Jesus committed suicide. However, as both parties agreed to the suicide definition, pro got the win. Con tried to argue the semantics of the word "proxy" but it didn't quite work.
Vote Placed by Sojourner 2 years ago
Sojourner
doomswatterDomrTied
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 Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in Comments