The Instigator
Bob_Gneu
Pro (for)
Winning
20 Points
The Contender
taoblue
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

The Bible & Christian God are not the best source of morality

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/29/2011 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,839 times Debate No: 15672
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (11)
Votes (3)

 

Bob_Gneu

Pro

When pointing to morality, it is often the case that a religious person refers to the bible as the source of their morality. After reading the bible and taking part in the world it does not appear to be as such.

The con position should show that there are no better sources of morality.
The pro position will argue that the morality from the bible is insufficient.

taoblue

Con

We know that the bible is a source of morality and a good one at that, with the ten commandements, and such. Can my opponent point out any other sufficient sources of morality?
Debate Round No. 1
Bob_Gneu

Pro

Sufficient is defined, in a previous debate[1], as being “a quantity that can fulfill a need or requirement but without being abundant”[2] and so I take up my opponents charge.

Re: Other sources of morality
Robert Hinde writes “Moral principles are based in human nature, but societies and their cultures change, leading to a limited differentiation of moral codes between societies.” in his paper entitled Law and the sources of morality.[3] The position he argues is that the elements of morality are products of evolution, social interaction, tradition and a number of other socially and culturally guided elements. In this paper he goes on to say:

“Interestingly, the Hebraic Commandments enjoin children to honour their parents, but not the reverse. Presumably parental love was assumed, or the Commandments were written from the parental perspective. We shall encounter other instances of moral rules prescribed with self-interest later.” [3]

No matter how you feel about the Christian bible, god and or his word you have to be aware of the moral teachings of civilizations going back into the centuries and millennia before the bible and the episodes of the Christ were authored. [4]

One aspect of this discussion that is as yet taken for granted is what morality actually is… I will allow you to redefine it as you choose, but as a beginning and unrefined definition - Morality is a set of guidelines by which we are able to decide what we should do.

Re: 10 commandments (and such)
Not only can most people not list the 10 commandments, most of the 10 commandments have nothing to do with morality.[5]

I am the lord your god, you shall have no other gods before me; you shall not make for yourself an idol; do not take the name of the Lord in vain; remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.
These first four are not in any way pertaining to morality, let alone necessary to making moral decisions.
Honor your father and mother; you shall not kill / murder; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness against your neighbor; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife; you shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor.

Redundancy aside, you can scoop all of these up into the golden rule (do unto others as you would have them do unto you), and be done with them. And even if you were to say that these are all very moral teachings you have to keep that even pastors commit adultery[6], so clearly that moral is not held in high regard.

Re: The bible being a good source of morality

If only. As has been debated here many times, I am sure, that is not the case. There is no citation within the bible that pushes for child molestation, spousal abuse, infanticide or racial positions to be abolished, but surely you agree that they are all morally bad. The bible is a tome of the times when it was written when the average life span was a fraction of our own and people had bigger problems than dealing with abuse or racism. Genocide is only referenced in the bible when it is enacted by the Christian god. Not to mention Lot and his daughters… it’s hard to find a moral teaching in the book through all of the filth and begats.
taoblue

Con

taoblue forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Bob_Gneu

Pro

Building off of the previous post, I will point my finger to a couple articles based on the same topic – Evolution of Morality. "[The] precursors of human morality can be traced to the behaviors of many other social animals," [1] suggesting that in spite of not being able to reason at the human level or read any of the languages that the bible has been written, the elements of morality that we hold to be so important are also able to be found in the rest of the animal kingdom. Clearly the bible is not a primary source for morality in such cases.

It is important to keep in mind that the bible's morality is not evidenced through our world either. The views of the Hindu, Buddhist, new age religious views are often contrary. Examples include the Buddhist belief that you are supposed to avoid frivolous entertainment, simple beds and seats and the use of money, hold the virtue of knowledge[2]. These are peripheral social norms in today's modern society but certainly not the same as Christian moral precepts assert. The closest one can come from the bible are a handful of citations regarding living modestly, and the notorious eye of a needle reference. Nowhere in the bible does it discuss knowledge.

Even in the occurrence that the "moral teachings" of the bible are simply mirrored in another groups moral beliefs, the point of this debate is to show that the bible is not the best source. I was asked to provide other sources, and in spite of how disingenuous that request may be I have complied with two substantially different sources.

1.http://en.wikipedia.org...
2.http://webspace.ship.edu...
taoblue

Con

taoblue forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Bob_Gneu

Pro

I take it my opponent is AFK for the time, being. My arguments await rebuttal.
taoblue

Con

taoblue forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
Bob_Gneu

Pro

And one last time.
taoblue

Con

taoblue forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by calverley79 5 years ago
calverley79
Just some help...
1. The Eleventh Commandment "A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another; As I have loved you, that you also love one another." Jesus. (john 13.34 NKJ)
2. The interpretation of this statement is certain. If all humans followed this commandment there would be no problems ever.
Posted by Bob_Gneu 5 years ago
Bob_Gneu
My account was created a year ago, i have only taken part since this past Wednesday.
Posted by Chrysippus 5 years ago
Chrysippus
The remark about your spine was uncalled for. I retract it.

The weight on this site is heavily atheistic; creating a debate on a topic like this is similar to shooting fish in a barrel. Of course, you've had time to realize this, as you have been a member for over a year now. I'm not sure how you classify yourself as a new member, but whatever.
Posted by Bob_Gneu 5 years ago
Bob_Gneu
As a new member to the site, i am not clear on all of the subtle rules and expectations. I will take that into account for future debates. If any of you would like to change this debate around to suit your needs and offer me the challenge, I will gladly accept.

In terms of the arguments posted, expect a concrete argument in the second round. The reason I took the pro position on this is because I intend to defend this position. How that can be construed as being weak is beyond me, but please keep your comments about my backbone, or lack thereof, coming; they only improve my ability to find more "easy win" topics.
Posted by Chrysippus 5 years ago
Chrysippus
The point, Bob, is that the way you have it you've copped out of actually doing any work for this. You set up what might be termed an "easy win," and given the burden of proof to your opponent. All you have to do is sit back and snipe at their arguments.

I'm saying, grow a back bone and argue your own position. You're the one starting this debate, go ahead and do the research, write a opening argument, and accept the burden of proof as instigator. Anything short of that is just cheap.
Posted by Illegalcombatant 5 years ago
Illegalcombatant
Ouch, basically some one has to defend the bible, with all its Godly instructions of killing, stoning etc is the best moral system.

Old testament + evil bible website = win ?
Posted by Bob_Gneu 5 years ago
Bob_Gneu
Pro or con is not the important aspect, the discussion stands. I don't want to have to stay Con for the rest of my life.

If you have other debate topics I would like to hear them.
Posted by Chrysippus 5 years ago
Chrysippus
Cut it down to four rounds, make a case against morality from the Bible as Con (you have the two sides switched), and I'll accept.
Posted by Pastafarian 5 years ago
Pastafarian
I dont get the structure of this debate-- please help me and I'll gladly accept it
Posted by Ore_Ele 5 years ago
Ore_Ele
Pro, you are making the claim. If you wanted a debate, like how you describe, you should create one entitled "the bible is the best source for morality." and you take CON.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Zarroette 2 years ago
Zarroette
Bob_GneutaoblueTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: ff
Vote Placed by askbob 5 years ago
askbob
Bob_GneutaoblueTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: forfeit
Vote Placed by duckiejen23 5 years ago
duckiejen23
Bob_GneutaoblueTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Con just left the debate! How can you NOT give pro the vote?