The Instigator
ScottyDouglas
Pro (for)
Tied
48 Points
The Contender
XimenBao
Con (against)
Tied
48 Points

The Bible holds more virtue than any other book!

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 17 votes the winner is...
It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/31/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 28,001 times Debate No: 23982
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (46)
Votes (17)

 

ScottyDouglas

Pro

I am Pro/For that: The Bible holds more virtue than any other book!

Rounds:
1. Acceptance
2. Arguement/Questions
3. Rebuttals/Answers
4. Rebuttals
5. Rebuttals/Conclusion

Rules:
1. Opposition must provide the book they claim.
2. Debate must be respectful.
3. Debate must stay on topic (Both books)
4. Both sides must provide questions about the oppositions side.
5. All questions must be answered and explained.
6. Pro/For provides the resolution.

I declare the Bible as my book!

The resolution is:
To provide the most documentation from within both books to determine which explantion displays characterisitcs of virtual morality more appropriately.
XimenBao

Con

I accept.

In the interest of making this somewhat challenging, I choose.....

a matchbook.


Debate Round No. 1
ScottyDouglas

Pro

I would like to thank my opponent for this debate and I wish him luck.

I will applaud my opponent for being creative.

To start we should establish some things.

My opponent chooses a inanimate object without a display of the topic in debate. To choose this as His book of virtue and character gives limited means of knowledge within the specific boundaries. The book He chooses lacks any sign of life or conciousness to make determining judgements of virtue or morality. His book is baseless and spiritless and is quite dull.

So to give more claricfication in this debate I will determine what defines our resolution.

We should determine what virtue and character is universally:

A conformity to a standard of right : morality b: a particular moral excellence. A beneficial quality or power of a thing. Manly strength or courage : valor. A commendable quality or trait : merit. A capacity to act : potency.

With this definition we shall see where the negate will take us.

We should determine what is character traits of virtue Biblically:
VIRTUE
http://www.openbible.info...

The Biblical definition of Virtue is, the application of being good from both the conscious will to do what is right from God's revealed Word and from personal responsibility. It encompasses integrity, honesty, compassion, and endearment and this is the quintessence of what biblical Character (that is right standards, strength, courage, modesty, and purity all done in excellence) is to be. We acquire Virtue by our faith, our obedience to Christ, being persistent in Him, and clothing ourselves in Him. This is what results when we truly repent; we will represent the nobility that we have in Christ. http://www.discipleshiptools.org...

Virtue is moral excellence. God is absolute virtue (excellence, 2 Pet. 1:3). Therefore, God sets the standard for virtue. Since God has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Pet. 1:3), He has given us the standard for moral excellence in His word (2 Tim. 3:16-17).http://www.corder.org...

As we grow in spirit, we grow in acts of virtue. Bible sources:
1. Abundant life, John 10:10
2. Citizenship, Romans 13:1-7, Titus 3:1
3. Cleanliness, 2 Cor 7:1
4. Courage, Psa 27:14
5. Diligence, Rom 12:11
6. Duty, Luke 20:21-25
7. Endurance, Luke 21:9-19, 2 Tim 2:3
8. Faith, Mat 8:5-13, Mark 11:22-24
9. Forgiveness, Mark 11:25-26, Eph 4:31-32
10. Freedom, John 8:31-36
11. Faithfulness, Mat 25:23
12. Honesty, 2 Cor 8:21
13. Fruitfulness, John 15:1-8
14. Honor parnets, Mat 15:4
15. Humility Luke18:9-14, Phil 2:3-11

I think we have described what virtue is and the many places it is described within the Bible.

*Note: My opponent gave me a matchbook with no idea of its contents(if there is any.) This provides a difficult position to oppose so far. Though the debate is young and this stance by my opponent will be revealed in time.

Questions:
1. How does one gain any virtue from a matchbook?
2. Does your matchbook have any information on or in it?
3. Wondering, How many matches are left in the book?
4. What is your biggest issue with the Bible?
5. Other than fire, what purpose does a matchbook offer?
6. Where does this idea come from, matchbook theology?
7. What kind of order does your matchbook give?
8. Does your matchbook give any creation/destruction knowledge?
9. Can you just worship anything on a wim?
10. What do you wish to achieve from this debate?

*It is hard negate a book of matches! But ole' try I will. I will hold this section short as I am curious to my opponents arguement and rebuttal!

Thanks again to my opponent. I trust his next round arguement will be exciting and interesting.

In the following round I will make a stronger case for the Bible and rebuttal what claims my opponent provides. Thanks!
XimenBao

Con

Best of luck to my opponent as well

The resolution is as stated in Pro’s first sentence, “I am Pro/For that: The Bible holds more virtue than any other book” which in this case means “The Bible holds more virtue than a matchbook.” I note this to avoid confusion with the last paragraph in Pro’s R1, where he states “The resolution is: To provide the most documentation.....” Unlike his first sentences, that’s not a debatable resolution, that’s a method to affirm the resolution, so we should use Pro’s initial formulation.

Definitions
I accept Pro’s definition of “virtue” as a multifaceted term meaning, “A conformity to a standard of right : morality b: a particular moral excellence. A beneficial quality or power of a thing. Manly strength or courage : valor. A commendable quality or trait : merit. A capacity to act : potency.”

Neither Pro nor myself defined the specifics of our choice in R1 (which Bible or matchbook), leaving further clarification to our argumentation in R2. In his R2, Pro used both the English Standard Version bible[1] and the King James Version bible[2] and did not pick a definition. As those choices can be viewed as very different Bibles with very different meanings [3], I take Pro’s definition of Bible as “the collections of books commonly referred to as the Bible” and recognize that varying sects and denominations allow for different collections and interpretations of books comprising the Bible.

I on the other hand, will define my choice more clearly, and choose D. D. BEAN & SONS Co. book of safety matches[4].

Outline
As the rules reserve rebuttals for R3, I will advance my own case with two arguments dealing with the relevant facets of virtue:
  1. Conformity to a standard of right or morality
  2. A particular moral excellence/Beneficial quality or power of a thing

I leave off several aspects as irrelevant. Manly strength, courage, and valor are properties of thinking beings, not non-sentient books. Merit, a commendable quality or trait, is defined synonymously with virtue[5]and is redundant at best and circular at worst. A capacity to act doesn’t apply as no inanimate book has an inherent capacity to act.

I. Conformity to a standard of right

This is the point on which I expect to win the debate. I will later propose that neither the matchbook, nor the Bible possess the other relevant facets of virtue. Here though, I will argue that the matchbook surpasses the bible.

The Bible makes no attempt to conform to a standard of right or morality. Quite the opposite, it attempts to create a standard of morality for people to conform to. The Bible purportedly speaks for God, and as Pro said, “Therefore, God sets the standard for virtue.”

Setting a standard is the opposite of conforming to a standard. Instead of molding itself to a set of rules about what is right, the Bible creates its own, and thus fails to capture this aspect of virtue.

The matchbook, on the other hand, does conform to a set of standards for what is right. Specifically, a set of standards for quality as defined by the Code of Federal Regulations, Chapter 16, Part 1202 . These regulations are, “necessary to eliminate or reduce the unreasonable risks of injury associated with matchbooks and that the issuance of the standard is in the public interest.” [6]

As these standards are meant to protect the public good through safety by restricting/compelling the actions of the matchbook manufacturer, they are built on moral principles concerned with what rationale justifies what action. Specifically, preventing injury to matchbook users is said to justify regulation on matchbook manufacturers.

Thus, when the matchbook maker complies with this, they are conforming to the Code of Federal Regulations’ standard of morality.

II. particular moral excellence/Beneficial quality

When considered in the sense of virtue, moral excellence means “conformity to ideals of right human conduct [7].” So we consider, does the Bible conform to ideals of right human conduct? Does it possess a beneficial power?

The problem with those questions is that the Bible, by itself, is powerless. Left alone, it will sit upon the shelf gathering dust, much like a matchbook. Were we to leave the issue here, as the voters are welcome to do, then it is equal in moral excellence and beneficial power to a matchbook. (Possibly a little less so, since Bibles tend to be larger and thus would gather more unsightly dust. But anyway....)

But what happens when a person opens the Bible? Reads it? Is influenced by it? Does the Bible then gain moral excellence and beneficial power through its influence over that person?

That depends on two issues: what standards we use to determine ‘right human conduct’ and beneficence, and how the person interprets the Bible.

While I’m sure that Pro and I different on a few points of morality, we’re both members of the same nation in the same time period, and thus are likely to agree on the majority of big moral questions. Looking over the list of what Pro considered morally excellent in the standards created by the Bible, I’m in almost full agreement. Similarly, I assume that Pro would agree with me that equality of sexes and races is right while rape is wrong.

I also feel safe in assuming that Pro will interpret the standards created in the Bible this way and use it to support those beliefs. However, over the course of history and in different cultures, the Bible was/is interpreted and used to support the opposite of those beliefs. The Bible was used to support the legality of marital violence and rape[8] as well as the inferiority of blacks[9]. Even today, African pastors are having children killed with anti-witch Bible interpretations [10] and gay people are denied equal rights by fundamentalists in America.

I don’t mean to suggest that the Bible is evil or immoral, nor that Christianity is evil, and certainly not that Christians are evil or immoral. My point is that the person interpreting the Bible determines whether that interpretation would be what we would consider “right moral action.” Will the Bible justify witch-killing, rape-justification, and discrimination, or will it encourage charity, love, peace, and everything else Pro and I agree is right behavior?

It’s all up to the person who interprets it. The Bible itself has no more of a particular moral excellence or beneficence than the matchbook, which can start a campfire or burn down a school. It’s all about the person using the book.

Questions
1) If your plane crashed on a remote mountainside would you rather have a matchbook or a bible?

2) Which is more morally correct to drop out of a window upon the heads of passerby - a matchbook or a bible?

3)Wouldn’t Bibles with the couple’s name on the cover be a little tacky to hand out at weddings?

4)If you carry a Bible inside a chariot of iron, is that like inviting a vampire into your house?

5)Who would win in a fight - Bibleman or Aquaman?

6)If you turn a Bible upside down and shake it, will any of the virtue fall out?

7)What is the last digit of pi?

8)How many soda cans were on my desk while I was writing this argument?

9)DHjkdhgfsdkljgheruiohxkjsnxcvcm,bnswhweruihyqwedl;lgf?

10)Do you suppose the voters who previously insisted that any violation of the rules gives full points to the other debater will give me full points if you don’t answer and explain questions 7-9?

Sources:

[1]http://www.openbible.info...
[2]http://www.corder.org...
[3]http://www.jesus-is-savior.com...
[4]http://www.webstaurantstore.com...
[5]http://www.merriam-webster.com...
[6]http://law.justia.com...
[7]http://www.merriam-webster.com...
[8]http://www.bridgew.edu...
[9]http://www.utlm.org...
[10]http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
Debate Round No. 2
ScottyDouglas

Pro

Best of luck to my opponent.
Resolution:
The resolution is as stated "The Bible holds more virtue than a matchbook," is affirmed as the resolution. Thanks to my opponent for clarifing this.

Rebuttal:

I would like to start by going over my opponents claims and to show His flaw in the resolution that has been set. My opponent concedes to my display of virtue from the Bible. My opponent and myself also agree when he states:
"definition of "virtue" as a multifaceted term meaning, "A conformity to a standard of right : morality b: a particular moral excellence. A beneficial quality or power of a thing. Manly strength or courage : valor. A commendable quality or trait : merit. A capacity to act : potency."

My opponent pointed out that I did not clarify my specifics in Rd 2, so I will offer some here.

"I take Pro's definition of Bible as "the collections of books commonly referred to as the Bible" and recognize that varying sects and denominations allow for different collections and interpretations of books comprising the Bible."

My opponent would be correct here. I accept the general scope of the Bible. There are many versions of the Bible. I tend to lean towards the KJV, though many sites and places use a varity. So I will not hold it against my opponent of He uses holes in my arguement by using different interpretations. This is my flaw. As long as it is a reconized version of the Holy Bible.

Con offered that our books can not fulfill all the roles of virtue nor can we determine all the facets of virtue. We both agree that virtue can not be fully defined. Though the resolution is, which has more virtue, not the full definition of virtue. I still declare that the Bible does hold that title.

Clarification:

Con states and gives basic relevent concepts of virtue which was, 1. A conformity to a standard of right moral living and 2. A beneficial quality or power of a thing. I accept his proof provided for this arguement with no problem. Though Con also leaves off several aspects as irrelevant. Which is Valor, Faith, and Potency. These three are very valuable in the over all bases of virtue. And I provide that the Bible fulfills all 5 concepts of virtue given here plus many, many more.

1. Conformity of right/moral living- I think we see many places in the Bible were the Bible itself conforms to laws and morals determined by men. The Bible never claims that slavery, war, and discrimination is just behavior but it is allowed to conform to man's moral codes. The Bible gives a standard to live by, I agree with Con. Though many passages conforms into acceptance to what man has established. Though understandably because though inspired by God, it is for and written by men.

2. Benefical quality- I think no one can deny the benefical qualities the Bible distributes. I know there are many, including myself, who display and recieve benefits from the Bible. One personally for me is the revelation I recieve from reading the Word, as of everytime I read the passage as if it was meant for me.

3. Valor and Courage- We can also see much Valor and Courage displayed inside the Bible. The Courage displayed throughout history for the will of God from the words of the Bible is countless. One is Noah having courage to listen to God or Abraham leaving all he knew to go to the promise land.

4. Potency- The clear amount of followers and believers in the Bible gives credance to the potency of the words inside.

5. Faith- This is a part of the Bible a reader can not miss. The Bible gives hope. It restores and gives reason to have faith.

Answers to Questions:

So we consider, does the Bible conform to ideals of right human conduct? I think it most certainly does. Does the Bible contain all the attributes of virtue? We can not say. But the bulk amount given outweighs any book made or written.

Does it possess a beneficial power? It pocesses the ultimate power. The Bible gives proof of God to believers. By that belief God can work through thier lives.

But what happens when a person opens the Bible? Reads it? Is influenced by it? Does the Bible then gain moral excellence and beneficial power through its influence over that person? It most certainly does. The Bible itself says reading the scriptures is like God talking to you.

Will the Bible justify witch-killing, rape-justification, and discrimination, or will it encourage charity, love, peace, and everything else Pro and I agree is right behavior? I think the Bible explains itself to why death, rape, and discrimination happens. These acts are strictly because men's desire. God commanding that His people refrain from such people shows not only tolerance for these people but peaceful seperation.

Answers from questions:
1. I would rather have my Bible. Because my Bible offers encouragement and hope. While the matchbook offers only hours of heat.
2. Neither is but if I had to choose, I'd say, a matchbook. It would less painful.
3. I find it no reason to be tacky.
4. I fail to see your point.
5. Aquaman would win by default.
6. It would not shed anyway virtue.
7. 1.3511 trillion places
8. Since there is only a guess here I say, 2.
9. DHjkdhgfsdkljgheruiohxkjsnxcvcm,bnswhweruihyqwedl;lgf, means, DHjkdhgfsdkljgheruiohxkjsnxcvcm,bnswhweruihyqwedl;lgf.
10. Yes I do.

http://www.discipleshiptools.org......
http://www.corder.org...

To Conclude:
I want to commend my opponent for his arguement he is very insightful. I think this is a interesting subject and my opponent is a worthy challenger. Though in the previous round my opponent displayed a fatal flaw by limiting his amount of virtue in his book. The Bible still displays all the known attributes of virtue known to man. Also I would like to note that I did not offer many sources in this Round because it is entirely my words and thoughts. I do look forward to the next round. Thanks.
XimenBao

Con

I appreciate Pro's response, but some of the formatting is difficult to follow. Perhaps better use of quotations could be used in the future?

Outline

definition arguments
conformity
moral excellence
rebuttal
answers


Definition

Pro argues that the portions of the definition of virtue, “Manly strength or courage : valor” and “A capacity to act : potency” should be considered as there are stories about courage in the Bible, and the words of the bible are potent as shown by the number of believers.

These arguments aren’t supported by the definition. That the the Bible contains stories about courage does not make the Bible courageous. If we took a coward and tattooed the story of a hero on his back, it would not make him courageous. The stories in the Bible do not affect whether the collection of books is strong or courageous. To have courage is to act in the face of fear. Inanimate objects do not have fears, so they cannot face them, thus they cannot be courageous. They might contain stories about courage, but they cannot be courageous themselves.

Potency is used in this definition to mean “A capacity to act.” That’s why the entire phrase in the definition reads “A capacity to act: potency.” Inanimate objects cannot act on their own, thus they have no potency as used in the relevant definition of virtue.

Pro also talks about faith as a component of virtue, which is nowhere to be found in the accepted definition.

Conformity to a standard of right

In my R2, I argue that the Bible does not conform to a standard of right, but instead attempts to create it’s own standard of right, thus not meeting this standard of virtue. In response, Pro attempts to have it both ways. He argues that the Bible is written to conform the standards of men, noting that the practices of slavery, war, and discrimination are allowed in order to conform to human moral codes. Pro also says, “The Bible gives a standard to live by, I agree with Con.”

What Pro does not engage, is the argument that if the Bible creates its own standard, it does not conform to a standard of right, and isn’t virtuous in this sense. So to the extent Pro agrees that “The Bible gives a standard to live by,” the point is conceded. Nor does Pro challenge the matchbooks conformity to a standard of right.

However, to the extent that the Bible conforms to the standards of slavery, war, and discrimination, those certainly aren’t the standards of right that I discussed sharing with Pro in my R2. Those are glaring violations of a standard of right.

So if you agree with Con’s arguments, the Bible does not conform to a standard of right by virtue of its claim to set standards while the matchbook does conform.

However, if you agree with Pro’s arguments it follows that the Bible does not conform to a standard of right by acceptance of slavery, war, and discrimination. Slavery is such a gratuitous evil that the matchbook should be considered more virtuous for not conforming to a standard which accepts it.

Either way, Con wins this point for the virtuous matchbook and as the Bible will fail to gain ground on it in further arguments, the debate is won here as well.

Particular moral excellence/Beneficial quality
After reading Pro’s rebuttal several times, I’m unable to find anything that addresses the thesis of this argument. While I encourage the voters to read the full version in my R2, the nutshell of it is, “Whatever moral excellence/beneficial qualities are thought to come from the Bible are really from the person interpreting it, and the Bible is in truth a blank canvass for the reader to paint his/her own virtues on, just like a matchbook allows for warmth or destruction at the hands of its user.”

Pro actually relies on this subjectivity in his rebuttal, saying, “I think the Bible explains itself to why death, rape, and discrimination happens. These acts are strictly because men's desire.”

However, other people think that death and discrimination happen because of God’s desire.

Popular preacher Jerry Falwell said, “AIDS is not just God's punishment for homosexuals; it is God's punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals.[1]"

It’s not uncommon to interpret the Bible as God wanting women to be submissive to their husbands, who should be the spiritual and financial heads of their household.[2]”

And of course, there are the Ann Coulters who see a religious mandate to attack enemies and “invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity[3].”

Now, again, I’m not claiming these are majority or even representative interpretations. That’s because I believe that people are generally better than this. What we find is that once society accepts that slavery is wrong, or that women should have equal rights, then the Bible is interpreted to support that equality. However, until people come to those conclusions, the Bible is interpreted against that equality. We can watch this happening with gay marriage right now. The Bible has traditionally been interpreted as against gay people, but now as more people are accepting sexual orientation equality, more people are interpreting the Bible as accepting it.

Pro argues that the Bible has the ultimate beneficial quality, that it allows the believer to acquire proof of God and allows Him to act through their lives. I certainly agree that it tends to allow the believer to think they have proof of a god, and gives them the moral certitude that their actions are endorsed by the heavens, but whether the actual outcome of that is beneficial or harmful is dependent on whether the reader is Fred Phelps or Christine Deponio[4].

The Bible has no moral excellence in itself. It’s the morally excellent Christians who do.

Rebuttal

Pro’s argument in R2 comes in two parts.

First Pro givens a selection of quotes from the Bible which promote a definition of virtue.

Second, Pro gives a selection of Bible verses that promote what he believes are virtuous qualities.

The first runs into the problems of creating a standard versus conforming to a standard that I discussed earlier. The second runs into the issue of selective interpretation. Pro reads the Bible as supporting actions that I agree with are moral, but other people emphasise other parts and so the Bible is used to support all sides of issues.

None of this relates back to the definition of virtue that sets the standard for success in the debate. Neither the Bible’s definition of virtue, nor the selection of Bible verses are argued to meet the standards of virtue as defined in R1, and thus carry no weight in the debate.

Additionally, Pro doesn’t distinguish between whether the Bible, as a collection of books, is virtuous as opposed to the stories told in that collection of books are virtuous. If I take a chisel and chip “honor, courage, and potency” on a rock, does that rock become virtuous? No, it doesn’t. The rock remains a rock to which virtue doesn’t apply. Just like this collection of books remains a collection of books, to which virtue only applies to the reader. Even if Pro makes an argument that the messages or stories are virtuous, he is faced with the fact that the stories are not the collection of books. Until Pro passes this hurdle, his entire approach must fail.

Answers

1.A man with a match is more potent than one without.
2.Not to my knowledge
3.To start with, 50
4.Demonstrable truth
5.A good value for money
6.Matchbook theology is especially fond of Judaism for its lamp-based holidays
7.I gave it to my friend, Pyro Frank, and it ordered him to burn the liquor store*
8.Yes, if you use it enough
9.Not personally, but I can direct you to the local Scientology branch
10. A bag of Doritos and a non-aquatic dolphin, but I’m prepared to settle for a win


[1]http://www.brainyquote.com...
[2]http://www.helium.com...
[3]http://rightwingnews.com...
[4]http://www.christiantoday.com...
*Not really
Debate Round No. 3
ScottyDouglas

Pro

I thank my opponent for this debate. I will respond to my opponents comments about the definitons we agreed upon.

Clarification of Definitions/Rebuttal:

My opponent seems to suggest that by the definition of virtue provided that it somehow limits the amount of virtue we can use, this is nonsense. Though we came to the definition from a dictionary, that dictionary does not put forward the full amount of virtue. My opponent conceded to this by the following statements by us both:

He says: "I accept Pro's definition of "virtue" as a multifaceted term meaning."

I said: "My opponent concedes to my display of virtue from the Bible."

Bible: "Therefore, God sets the standard for virtue. Since God has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness." (2 Pet. 1:3)

As we see God sets the standard of virtue and that has been set within the Bible. By conceding this point my opponent admits to virtue having many meanings and is unable to be properly defined.

He then says; "I leave off several aspects as irrelevant."

Though He leaves off several as irrelevant, I do not. Though my opponent is right that both our books are objects that are unable to move, speak, act, and have courage. Though He ignores the fact that a book can hold inside the means for others to have all these attributes and more. A book itself can do nothing but if read, it can cause great things and terrible things I agree with my opponent here.

Lets reread the resolution again we agreed to: "The Bible holds more virtue than a matchbook."

The key words here are 'HOLDS and VIRTUE.' My opponent seems to want to holdback some virtue and only allow certain types. He wants to throw a blanket over the many words that are actually inside the Bible and display a blind-eye, maybe due to the lack virtue inside his matchbook. The words within the Bible provide all the virtue for the reader. The reader displays these words of virtue as symbol of God in thier life but the reader does not put virtue in the book, the book already has it inside. In any case my opponent is wrong.

Lets look at what the word, 'HOLDS', actually means: Holds- "To have and keep in one's grasp: To retain (one's attention or interest): To be filled by; contain." http://www.thefreedictionary.com...

As we can see the word, 'HOLDS', by definition gives one the right to include whatever is within. This allows myself as PRO to use every word inside the Bible to prove my arguement. I say this because I gave many examples in RD 2 of the virtue within the Bible and my opponent seemed to approve or ignore it. But I will conform to my opponents request and only rely on the specific words in our definition as it seems fair to him.

Arguement:

Virtue applies to written polemics as well. When the writings of another is important to strive to understand and represent the words true position. Christians are called to exemplify virtue in matters of the mind. God is honored when His people demonstrate such disciplines as study, reflection, discernment, and honesty. A critical intellectual virtue and a core principle of sound reasoning is the ability to handle the arguments of others (especially one's intellectual opponents) with fairness and integrity.

Beauty as evidence for Christianity: there is real beauty, a specially Biblical beauty, in virtue. In our definition of virtue are Benefical-Power of Thing, A commendable quality or trait-Merit. This leads one to think that you can only contain a certain amount of virtue within these bounds and by that the debate is held in check by semantics. So lets just use those and show clear proof of the Bible's capacity for virtue.

Virtue in the Bible:

Benefical Quality or power of a thing:
If the Bible is indeed our Creator's instruction manual for a successful fulfilling life and I believe that it is, then there is nothing that can be more important or beneficial that giving ourselves to a serious study of it. Indeed, the Bible is unique among all written communication. It is written as a many layered onion where even a small child can appreciate and learn from its stories. On the other hand, it includes complexities that can occupy a scholar for a lifetime. The Bible includes timeless principles dealing with our relationships with God and one another.

A commendable quality or trait;
Many obediently follow the words within the Bible. Or we would not have this record of providential work on behalf of his people today. This does not excuse sin, but it does recognize that God used them for his purposes in spite of failures. The scheming of sinful people cannot thwart God's plan. The Bible's story reveals God's sovereign care for his people, even those who are not following him wholeheartedly. I think we all have seen many that abide the law of the Bible whole-heartedly. These people did not put this in the Bible but pulled it from within the Bible.
http://www.faithcycleministry.org... http://www.thegriffon108.com... http://www.reasons.org... http://www.thinkingchristian.net...
XimenBao

Con

Thanks to Pro for continuing the debate, and while I criticise some tactics in this round, no offense is meant.

Definitions
Pro and I agreed in R2 to define virtue as, “A conformity to a standard of right : morality b: a particular moral excellence. A beneficial quality or power of a thing. Manly strength or courage : valor. A commendable quality or trait : merit. A capacity to act : potency."

Pro does not now get to claim that virtue has too many meanings to be properly defined. I protest that it is very poor form to quote me saying, “I accept Pro's definition of "virtue" as a multifaceted term meaning” as if I support the lack of a definition, when the omitted portion of that very sentence gives the definition we agreed to. This is quote-mining and misrepresentation, and it is not appreciated.

Pro’s complaints that I am trying to “holdback some virtue and only allow certain types” are really complaints that I am holding Pro to the definition that he himself provided.

Pro takes a creative approach with the definition of ‘holds’, claiming that it means “to be filled by: contain.” It makes more sense to use the definition from Pro’s same dictionary link, “To have as a chief characteristic or quality”. To “be filled with more virtue” or to “contain more virtue” makes no sense unless it is used in a metaphorical manner to mean the other definition (that is, if you turn the bible and shake it, virtue doesn’t actually fall out), and Pro can gain no ground from equivocating on the senses in which the term is used.

Thus the resolution means, “The Bible has as a chief characteristic or quality more conformity to a standard of right, particular moral excellence, beneficial quality or power, Manly strength/courage, commendable quality, and capacity to act than a matchbook,” which is how the arguments have progressed to this point.

Now, some of those elements are not relevant. As Pro says, “books are objects that are unable to move, speak, act, and have courage.” This eliminates strength/courage and capacity for action. That others can increase those qualities by using the book, doesn’t grant those qualities to the book itself.


Conformity to a Standard
Pro continues to state that the Bible is god setting a standard without making an argument as to how it still captures this element of virtue. Pro hasn’t argued against the conformity of the matchbook. Con wins this point by default.


Moral excellence
Pro asserts twice (once during the ‘hold’ argument and once in the final paragraph) that the virtue is part of the Bible, not the people reading it, but the argumentation to support these claims is lacking.

The first time, he claims that since the words in the Bible might inspire people to be virtuous, the Bible is virtuous. I refer again to my argument of the carved rock. Placing words onto an object does not make that object virtuous. Otherwise the rock would be virtuous if we carved ‘virtue’ on it.

Look at the definition of moral excellence, “the quality of doing what is right and avoiding what is wrong[1].” As we have established, books cannot act. They cannot do things or avoid things, and so, just like the rock, they cannot possess moral excellence.

The second time, he asserts this inside his final paragraph about scheming sinners, bible stories, and link spam (the arguments inside those links cannot be considered as Pro’s). Pro talks about “this record” without establishing the record he refers to, and generally fails to link his claims here to an argument. I would like to highlight the final sentence though, referring to people who abide by the Law of the Bible wholeheartedly “These people did not put this in the Bible but pulled it from within the Bible,” as this flows into my next point.



Beneficial quality
What’s interesting to me, is that the Bible is the purported Word of God establishing this Law of the Bible, but what is pulled from the Bible and believed wholeheartedly as Biblical law is constantly changing according to which person you ask in which culture at which time.

Pro can look at the Bible, come up with a list of Bible verses that match what our shared culture views as desirable and say, “This is what God wants. The Bible is setting the standard that this is the right way to behave,” and I would be unlikely to have many objections to his proposed behaviors despite disagreement over their foundation.

The problem is, Bible-believers have done that through every stage of development culture has gone through since there was a Bible, only they’ve picked different verses and interpreted them into different narratives and moral structures. Believers have sincerely claimed Biblical support for slavery and patriarchal dominance over women (as have their opponents), and while Pro denies that these things are “justified” per se, he agrees that slavery and injustice is Biblically “allowed to conform to man's moral codes.” The Bible sets the standard for behavior, but when it can be equally in tune with slavers’ morals in the ancient world as it is with egalitarians’ morals today, any beneficial qualities are a result of being read by the latter instead of the former.

God never steps in to settle the matter or offer a definitive version, which leaves Pro’s claim that the beneficial quality of the Bible is being an extremely complex “Creator's instruction manual for a successful fulfilling life” rather lacking. Apart from failing to meet BoP for that claim, complexity by itself is not beneficial, and the Bible is certainly not written like an instruction manual. Rather, it’s a grand buffet of a read, where any instruction can be found, interpreted, or justified. It’s not an instruction manual, it’s a menu.

Any beneficial quality from the Bible comes from people interpreting it in beneficial ways instead of non-beneficial ways, not from the Bible itself.



Odds/Ends (Beauty and Polemics)
Beauty as virtue is a new argument and should not be considered according to Pro’s rules put forth in R1. Even if it was considered, Pro doesn’t support that the Bible is beautiful, and it’s an entirely subjective evaluation. I deny the Bible is beautiful, and thus Pro’s argument is refuted.

Pro’s virtue in polemics section is disconnected from this debate. Intellectual honesty in argumentation is desirable, but not a relevant point to make here.



Summary:
Here are the six aspects of virtue and how the debate stands at this point:

A conformity to a standard of right: The matchbook conforms to a standard, the Bible purports to set or be a standard.

A particular moral excellence: Books cannot take morally correct actions and avoid wrong ones. N/A

A beneficial quality: Completely subjective to the user/reader. The objects’ qualities are beneficial or not based entirely on how they are used or interpreted, they hold no such quality themselves.

Manly strength or courage: A book cannot be courageous, N/A

A commendable quality or trait: Redundant to beneficial quality

A capacity to act: A book cannot act. N/A

The matchbook leads on conformity.


[1] http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
Debate Round No. 4
ScottyDouglas

Pro

I want to thank Con for this debate. I was blind-sided and mis-worded my debate. That is my error.

Anyone with any sense knows the Bible has alot more virtue in it than a matchbook. Far and away. But Con came hard and I salute him. Very creative and interesting, Sir.

To conclude:
1. The Bible without a doubt has reached more people than a matchbook. It has tranformed lives, I doubt a matchbook has ever.
2. The world continues to display virtue that is written inside the Bible.
3. The Bible gives unmeasureable hope and Faith.
4. The Bible gives and continues to give for thousands of years long before a matchbook was thought of.

My opponent says that his matchbook is 1 point ahead this far, I see it as tied. Because the Bible is also Conformed to standards. There are mnay Bibles and I think that many have been conformed to man's will and not God. So in this man has given the Bible conformity. As my opponent used the same in his arguement, the matchbook like the Bible can not conform itself it was conformed by a man by obligation to law and standards. The matchbook did not change itself. A man changed it to conformity.

I do appreciate this discussion and tip my hat to my opponent. The final result in my book is a draw or the Bible far passes the matchbook.

Thanks Con and readers.

Vote Pro~!
XimenBao

Con

I thank Pro for his final argument and an engaging debate.

Going through Pro’s numbered list.

1. Reaching people and transforming lives can be a positive or negative thing. Pro doesn’t use this claim of reach and transformation to support any of the ongoing arguments, and so this point can be discarded.

2. Pro claims the world displays virtue written inside the Bible. Given the state of the world, I’d need to see evidence for this claim to accept it, and it borders on being a new argument in the final rebuttal round. Regardless, Pro doesn’t address the argument that writing words on an object transfers no virtue to the object itself, which is necessary to gain ground here.

3.Pro claims the Bible gives unmeasurable hope and faith, but doesn’t elaborate on what argument this is relevant to or what aspect of virtue he hopes to prove by this. If Pro meant it as an argument for beneficial quality, he needs more support for why hope and faith is beneficial, as I can think of many instances where hope based on faith is problematic, parents praying instead of taking their sick children to a hospital, for example. They have unmeasurable hope and faith, but I'm doubtful that's a good thing. Of course, since Pro doesn't make a link between this and any aspect of virtue we're arguing about, it's irrelevant to a vote decision.

4.Pro claims the Bible has given something for thousands of years before matchbooks existed. I’d first ask him to check his timeline, because ‘thousands of years’ seems slightly off. Beyond that, he doesn’t explain what it is the Bible is giving, why the length of time matters, or what relevance this has to the aspects of virtue under discussion.

All of these items are too loosely connected to any of the ongoing arguments (what the aspects of virtue are and how they apply to the different books) to carry weight in a final decision.

Conformity

After that, Pro talks about conformity, and makes the argument that the matchbook cannot conform to standards because men conformed it. Unfortunately for his argument, he didn’t use a definition of conform. I define conform as “to be in agreement or harmony —used with to or with [1].” The matchbook is in harmony with the standards of safety and quality required of it. No action is required of the matchbook, conformity denotes a state of being that is applicable to inanimate objects, whereas other aspects of virtue’s definition were not applicable as they required actions. Whether you agree that those standards of safety and quality constitute a standard of right, please accept it as such for the purposes of this debate, given that it was never challenged by Pro.

Pro suggests that many Bibles have conformed to Man’s will and not God's, but no examples or argumentation is present to support this. The only example Pro gave anywhere in the debate was the Bible conforming to standards of slavery and discrimination. If you accept this, then given our discussion of shared morals, it’s certainly not conforming to a standard of right. If you reject this, the Bible isn’t conforming to a standard at all, where the matchbook is. In either case, the matchbook wins the point.

Conclusion

Conformity was the only aspect of virtue that Con identifiably challenged in R5, so extend my unchallenged arguments on all other points. Having countered the challenge on conformity, I repeat my summary from R4 of the six aspects of virtue.

The six aspects of virtue:

A conformity to a standard of right: The matchbook conforms to a standard of right, the Bible purports to set or be a standard. If the Bible does conform to a standard it isn’t a standard of right (at least as argued by Pro in this debate.)

A particular moral excellence: Books cannot take morally correct actions and avoid wrong ones. N/A

A beneficial quality: Completely subjective to the user/reader. The objects’ qualities are beneficial or not based entirely on how they are used or interpreted, they hold no such quality themselves.

Manly strength or courage: A book cannot be courageous, N/A

A commendable quality or trait: Redundant to beneficial quality

A capacity to act: A book cannot act. N/A

The matchbook beats the Bible in the aspect of conformity, and Con dropped the arguments against the other points in his R5.

Thank you for reading, and please vote Con.



[1]http://www.merriam-webster.com...
Debate Round No. 5
46 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by devient.genie 3 years ago
devient.genie
Which is the perfect verse to curl up with your 7-9 yr old daughter as you share in the inspirational words? judges 19:22-30 :)

22 While they were enjoying themselves, some of the wicked men of the city surrounded the house. Pounding on the door, they shouted to the old man who owned the house, "Bring out the man who came to your house so we can have sex with him."

23 The owner of the house went outside and said to them, "No, my friends, don"t be so vile. Since this man is my guest, don"t do this outrageous thing. 24 Look, here is my virgin daughter, and his concubine. I will bring them out to you now, and you can use them and do to them whatever you wish. But as for this man, don"t do such an outrageous thing."

25 But the men would not listen to him. So the man took his concubine and sent her outside to them, and they raped her and abused her throughout the night, and at dawn they let her go. 26 At daybreak the woman went back to the house where her master was staying, fell down at the door and lay there until daylight.

27 When her master got up in the morning and opened the door of the house and stepped out to continue on his way, there lay his concubine, fallen in the doorway of the house, with her hands on the threshold. 28 He said to her, "Get up; let"s go." But there was no answer. Then the man put her on his donkey and set out for home.

29 When he reached home, he took a knife and cut up his concubine, limb by limb, into twelve parts and sent them into all the areas of Israel. 30 Everyone who saw it was saying to one another, "Such a thing has never been seen or done, not since the day the Israelites came up out of Egypt. Just imagine! We must do something! So speak up!"

SmartyPants 10:4--Increase our chances of inspiring the next genius, take your kids to a museum or science center on Saturday or Sunday and let genius inspire them instead of jesus :)

DUH 1:29--A childs inability to comprehend biology, is Not proof of their god :)
Posted by devient.genie 3 years ago
devient.genie
christianity vs islam

It's deny equal human rights vs disrespecting human life, well played planet earth, well played :)
Posted by superlative 4 years ago
superlative
The reason why it has more virtue is because of 1 of the two root laws: love your neighbor as yourself. Every good in the world derives from loving your neighbor as yourself. All other religions rely on acts, not motives, where the Sermon on the Mount correctly says that it's your motives that count, not your actions.

For example, is it okay to lie? Why yes it is! In certain circumstances, lying can save someone's life. In WW2, people lied all the time to save the life of Jews they were protecting. Rahab in the Bible was commended for lying and protecting the Hebrew spies. Many religions focus on lying as an act, whereas the Bible (NT) focuses not on the act but the motive.
Posted by devient.genie 4 years ago
devient.genie
QUESTIONS 7:6--Why is it that people who think Elvis or Tupac are alive, we consider delusional, yet people who think that the reason for everything can convict you of thought crimes, those people somehow posess moral excellence? :)

CaptainObvious 2:3--Science cannot prove or disprove a slave supporting sexist who is admittingly jealous and can convict you of thought crimes, anymore than science can prove leprechauns at the end of rainbows. Those things seems a bit far fetched for a thinking person and are therefore called statistical improbabilities amongst the most brilliant minds of today:)

WARNINGS 2:59--Stay away from books that proclaim virtue while hiding behind a shield of humilty during the commission of vile, wicked, childish and immoral actions :) There is unfortunatley a best selling book that is indoctrinated into millions of childrens minds all over the world, that suggests the reason for everything in the world is admittingly jealous and can convict you of thought crime :) The holy binky provides as much nourishment to your childs intuition, intellect and instinct, as a plate of gunk from the bottom of a McDonalds dumpster is nourishment for your childs heart :)

GROWUP 4:4--We need to evolve conciously. Conciousness is the ground of all being. This is NOT psychic talk or imaginary pseudo science. The world is facing many problems. Our societies problems are rooted in religion. Religion is a problem. When it comes to the problems of religion and the world, Albert Einstein says it best, No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it :)

BigKids 5:13--We can still keep Santa and Christmas, the tooth fairy, even the easter bunny, but once our children crack the code on those myths, we should NOT burden them with a myth with a very difficult code to break because of its incessant poisioning of conciousness and free thought, such poisons have been known to completely atrophy ones intuition, intellect and instinct
Posted by abstractposters 4 years ago
abstractposters
This Pro goes to the draw.
Posted by ScottyDouglas 4 years ago
ScottyDouglas
That same toilet paper you used. After you used it. Has more virtue than yourself.
Posted by Kebenzis 4 years ago
Kebenzis
The toilt paper that I use to wipe my arse has more virture than whats in the Bible.
Posted by duane 4 years ago
duane
Roy, I don't see why you're so confused. Pro and Con set the rules of the debate. They set the definitions of the terms of the debate, and then Con presented a compelling argument towards those rules and terms.

You might not agree on their agreement, but that shouldn't affect how you vote.

Pro is welcome to make another debate using new terminology, but for this debate, Con argued the resolution as agreed, and he did it very well.
Posted by XimenBao 4 years ago
XimenBao
Its only a conduct violation according to you, no one else. Regardless it wouldn't invalidate arguments because Pro agreed to that interpretation. There was no definition debate. There was clash.

The "mockery of debate" you quoted occurs when the debaters dicker over definitions the entire debate instead of the resolution. Exactly what DIDN'T happen here.

And if you read the rules you cited further, you'll see it requires a debater to disagree to win an interpretation argument.
Posted by RoyLatham 4 years ago
RoyLatham
XimenBao, The first set of rules you cited says:

"For a debate to proceed, both teams need a clear understanding of what the motion means. This requires the motion to be ‘defined' so that everyone (audience and adjudicators included) knows what is being debated. Problems arise if the two teams present different understandings of the meaning of the motion. This can result in a ‘definition debate', where the focus of the debate becomes the meaning of the words in the motion, rather than the motion itself.
Interaction and clash between the two teams concentrates on whose definition is correct, rather than the issues raised by the motion. Definition debates should be avoided wherever possible. They make a mockery of what debating seeks to achieve."

The starting point is the premise that both sides understand what the resolution means. On DDO, if you don't understand, the first recourse is to ask a question in the comments. If you think it is clear, but it turns out you have a misunderstanding then a debate on the semantics occurs, "a mockery of what debating seeks to achieve." We have legitimate semantic debates here, for example when words like "atheist" or "creationism" have different meanings for the two sides, and both sides think their meaning is clear and correct.

In this case, the meaning of the resolution was not in doubt. I think you could have won the debate easily by just debating it. But you elected not to debate it. When the semantic disagree is legitimate it is "a mockery of what debating seeks to achieve." When it's a deliberate, it's a conduct violation.
17 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by Doulos1202 4 years ago
Doulos1202
ScottyDouglasXimenBaoTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Arguments and Conduct to Pro. Con's use of semantics displayed a lack of seriousness (hence the conduct to Pro) and offered nothing convincing to state that a matchbook contains more virute than the Bible.
Vote Placed by AlwaysMoreThanYou 4 years ago
AlwaysMoreThanYou
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Reasons for voting decision: Counter Socialpinko TheOrator was already countered, AND Socialpinko gave seven points to the same person as TheOrator
Vote Placed by socialpinko 4 years ago
socialpinko
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Reasons for voting decision: Countering Orater who was for some reason countering bobbyliug's legitimate counter of Spock. I just think it's great that so many people have no idea how to write a fvcking RFD, thus necessitating most votes to be simple counters.
Vote Placed by phantom 4 years ago
phantom
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Reasons for voting decision: Shifting my vote to counter both TheOrator and dolous. Bobbybluig was countering a vbomb. He also gave seven points when bobby only gave 6. If I give three points to pro than that will be seven both ways and the two bombs will cancel eachother.
Vote Placed by TheOrator 4 years ago
TheOrator
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Reasons for voting decision: counter bobbyluig
Vote Placed by thett3 4 years ago
thett3
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Reasons for voting decision: Counter Arizonan
Vote Placed by AnalyticArizonan 4 years ago
AnalyticArizonan
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Reasons for voting decision: Ximen was not serious in this debate. He was just attempting to troll Scotty.
Vote Placed by bobbyluig 4 years ago
bobbyluig
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Reasons for voting decision: Balance out Spock who didn't provide any reasons for being "demolished."
Vote Placed by Spock 4 years ago
Spock
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro was demolished.
Vote Placed by bp_1138 4 years ago
bp_1138
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Reasons for voting decision: Unexpected win for con, in my book....