The Bible is an accurate source of scientific knowledge and information.
Debate Rounds (3)
I bring three arguments:
That the Bible cannot be considered reliable because it was created by many different authors over many years;
That the Bible cannot be considered reliable because it contradicts itself frequently;
And that the Bible cannot be considered reliable because it makes many blatantly unscientific claims.
My first argument is that the Bible cannot be considered reliable because it was created by many different authors over many years. According to EveryStudent.com, a resource for Christian Bible students(Ironically located under "Why You Can Believe In The Bible"), the Bible was written over 1500 years and by 40 different authors. Though the article says that the many different authors somehow makes it reliable because they confirm each other, this is ridiculous because they do not confirm each other, they frequently contradict each other, as you will see in my next argument, and over 1500 years the Bible would need to be translated perfectly in order to remain accurate from the first authors, and all 40 authors would need to be accurate and correct in order to make the Bible an accurate source. In addition, there are other time discrepancies, including the fact that the account of Jesus's death was written 400 years after he actually died, and that if the Creation of the Universe by God is to be believed, the world is 6000 years old. From the original witnesses(presumably Adam and Eve), the tale of the mythical Creation would have to be passed down over all 6000 years, during which at least half of which it could not even be written down, totally accurately by everyone who heard it for all of it to find it's way into the King James Bible and still be correct and reliable. It would have to be translated through multiple languages to even get into the current Bible. In addition, all 40 authors would have to all be perfectly right for the Bible to be correct.
My second argument is that the Bible cannot be considered reliable because it frequently contradicts itself. The Bible itself points this out. Here is are two examples from the Creation accounts.
In the first creation story, humans are created after the other animals.
And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. Genesis 1:25-27
In the second story, humans were created before the other animals.
And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. Genesis 2:18-19
In the first creation story, the first man and woman were created simultaneously.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. Genesis 1:25-27
In the second account, the man was created first, then the animals, then the woman from the man's rib.
And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them.... And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. Genesis 2:18-22
In science, even one such contradiction would render the Bible an unreliable source. I have shown two, and many more are available if you critically read the Bible. I will elaborate on this in the future.
For my third argument, the Bible cannot be considered reliable because it makes many blatantly unscientific claims. Any source that repeatedly contradicts science obviously cannot be an accurate source of scientific knowledge and information, and the Bible does so extensively. I will give many examples over these five rounds, but I'll start with some scientific contradictions in Genesis.
In Genesis, the earth is created before light and stars, birds and whales before reptiles and insects, and flowering plants before any animals. The order of events known from science is just the opposite. 1:1-2:3
God creates light and separates light from darkness, and day from night, on the first day. Yet he didn't make the light producing objects (the sun and the stars) until the fourth day (1:14-19). And how could there be "the evening and the morning" on the first day if there was no sun to mark them? 1:3-5
Plants are made on the third day before there was a sun to drive their photosynthetic processes (1:14-19). 1:11
God makes two lights: "the greater light [the sun] to rule the day, and the lesser light [the moon] to rule the night." But the moon is not a light, but only reflects light from the sun. And why, if God made the moon to "rule the night", does it spend half of its time moving through the daytime sky? 1:16
"He made the stars also...To shine light on the earth." God spends a day making light (before making the stars) and separating light from darkness; then, at the end of a hard day's work, and almost as an afterthought, he makes the trillions of stars, planets, and presumably the rest of the entire universe. And "so they can shine light upon the earth"? Over 99% of stars are invisible from anything short of the Hubble Space Telescope on Earth. If they're designed to shine light on Earth, God did a horrible job with them. Besides, to think that the entire universe is here to shine light on us is incredibly arrogant. 1:16
All animals were originally herbivores(according to the Bible.). Tapeworms, vampire bats, mosquitoes, and barracudas -- all were strict vegetarians, as they were created by God. 1:30
In Genesis 1 the entire creation takes 6 days, but the universe is 13.7 billion years old, with new stars constantly being formed. 1:31
Humans were not created instantaneously from dust and breath, but evolved over millions of years from simpler life forms. 2:7
Because Adam listened to Eve, God cursed the ground and causes thorns and thistles to grow. Before this, according to the (false) Genesis story, plants had no natural defenses. The rose had no thorn, cacti were spineless, holly leaves were smooth, and the nettle had no sting. Foxgloves, oleander, and milkweeds were all perfectly safe to eat. 3:17-18
God curses the serpent. From now on the serpent will crawl on his belly and eat dust. But snakes don't eat dust, do they? 3:14
Seth lived 912 years, Enos lived 905 years, Cainan lived 910 years, Mahalaleel lived 895 years, and Jared lived 962 years. Other ridiculously long, definitely impossible lifespans are also recorded in the Bible.
To create a flood, God opens the "windows of heaven." He does this every time it rains. However, we know that clouds, not a hole in Heaven, create rain. 7:11
These are just a few scientific contradictions in Genesis. There are many more in both the New and Old Testaments, which I will point out in the upcoming 3 rounds.
In short, the belief that the Bible can even remotely be trusted for scientific fact is ridiculous, considering it is a wide collection of scattered manuscripts with dozens of different authors, it actually flat-out contradicts itself multiple times, and it says things typical of desert nomads 2,500 years ago, not actual scientific fact. In reflection of this, please vote for the opposition. Thank you.
This is my first debate on this forum, I am not sure how this works to be entirely honest with you, so, if you would humour any mistake that I make concerning the format of this discussion.
I would like to primarily take issue with your technique of argumentation. Not only was the layout of your argument painfully mundane, but you also provided yourself with a premise that is ridiculously easy to disprove. Ofcourse, the Bible isn't an 'accurate source of scientific knowledge and information', but it doesn't claim to be that, I doubt the intention was to prove absolutely that 'the world is 6000 years old'. Is it really fair to deem this a debate when you have created such a ridiculous premise? If I were to start a debate, with the premise 'all rabbits are white' and argue against it...It would be unfairly easy to do so. As a matter of format, please take this Syllabus-esque debating technique elsewhere, it's about as creative as a straight line...'My second argument is..', are you incapable of gliding through your argument without signposting your next point like a falling rocks sign.
Anyone can pick out contradictions in the Bible John, anyone. The worrying thing about people who do this is that it is those who take the Bible literally in the first place. The Bible is, unless you pertain to the 6% of Christians who are fundamentalist, an allegory for virtuous living. Do you think Jesus really fed the five thousand with such little food? OR, do you think it is an allegory for sharing and compassion? It seems you have read the Bible quite superficially with little to no broader view. You stated you read the Bible 'critically' which would suggest this is the case...yet it seems, alas, it isn't. There are 'truths' in the Bible just as there are 'truths' in a Chemistry textbook, but they are very different. The 'moral' truths in the Bible are far more nuanced. Why else would there be a story like that if Abraham and Isaac? To show what, that 'scientifically' a father has the capacity to murder his son? OR that faith can be tested to the very limit?
As for your contradictions, if we are to concede that God did indeed create the universe, why should he measured by your human, physical standards? God is not bound by time, nor is he a physical being. You have anthropomorphised God (measure him in human standard and treated him as a human ) which is wrong. Can you verify empirically that God can not do any of these things? If you are referencing the God of classical theism then surely it is within his power to make adjustments at his any whim, as of course he is omnipotent. I simply cannot wade through your mundane list of contradictions.
SO, with nothing more really to say apart from perhaps, if and when you reply, you could weave these examples into your argument rather than giving a shopping list of numbered contradictions.
I'll now address my opponent, who, instead of criticizing my arguments, attempted to shame my style of debating, saying contemptuously, "I would like to primarily take issue with your technique of argumentation. Not only was the layout of your argument painfully mundane, but you also provided yourself with a premise that is ridiculously easy to disprove ... As a matter of format, please take this Syllabus-esque debating technique elsewhere, it's about as creative as a straight line...'My second argument is..', are you incapable of gliding through your argument without signposting your next point like a falling rocks sign." I take issue with this constant stream of petty insults. Not only is this the Ad Hominem fallacy, but attempting to assault my format, of all things, instead of my actual content, is not intellectual debate, it is simply a low attempt to seem superior to and shame your opponent. I would ask my opponent to take issues of greater substance in the future.
My opponent also maintains that I have provided myself with a premise that is "ridiculously easy to disprove." He says that "Anyone can pick out contradictions in the Bible John, anyone." He asks me if I really take the Bible seriously. No, I don't. He even says that "Of course, the Bible isn't an 'accurate source of scientific knowledge and information', but it doesn't claim to be that, I doubt the intention was to prove absolutely that 'the world is 6000 years old'." He is here quite literally ceding the argument to me, maintaining that his side is indefensible. Instead he argues a completely separate and irrelevant to the debate position, which is that the Bible is, as stated by many Christian apologists, a set of metaphorical moral guidelines. This is irrelevant to the debate. We are debating whether or not the Bible is scientifically accurate, not whether or not it is a series of overly subtle metaphors written by desert nomads 2500 years ago. In addition, the Bible does indeed claim, and is hailed as by one-third of Americans according to a recent Gallup poll, to be the literal word of God. It was not presented to us as metaphors by the religion itself, but instead as God's immortal word, passed down to us by generations. Whether or not I strain to find some hidden meaning in it so I can call it moral teaching is, again, simply irrelevant. If you wish to have a debate with me on whether or not the Bible is a giant metaphor, than I am happy to do so at a later date, but that is not a valid position in this one.
Back to the debate. My opponent has stated that if God did indeed create the universe(which is in itself a massive, scientifically incorrect assumption), why should he be measured by "your"(scientific) standards? He can apparently do whatever he wants based on his own laws, and therefore is exempt from logical criticism. This argument is effectively a cop-out. If nothing God does makes any sense, such as creating literally everything in the universe in seven days, than he doesn't need to follow logic. He just doesn't. Why? Because he's God, that's why. Here, my opponent has set up a non-falsifiable claim, which is classified as nonscientific. You can't just invent new rules for yourself if you can't comply with the existing ones.
My opponent continues. He reiterates that judging God by laws of reality which he's apparently magically exempt from, based on zero scientific evidence, is "wrong". He gives no evidence for why I'm wrong. He simply states I'm wrong. He then asks if I can verify empirically that God cannot do anything stated in the Bible. Here my opponent missteps and commits the burden of proof logical fallacy. It is up to those on the proposition to prove that God can, scientifically, do something, not up to me to disprove it. If, for example, I said that there was, at this instant, a teapot in orbit around Mars, you couldn't really disprove it, but that doesn't mean that it's automatically true. I'd have to actually provide compelling logical evidence for the teapot's existence before you needed to mount an argument against it.
My opponent again says that as God is, "of course", omnipotent(Again, massive assumption), he can do whatever he wants regardless of logic and reason. Again, this is a cop-out that I've already addressed. My opponent concludes with a contemptuous, " I simply cannot wade through your mundane list of contradictions.", rounding out his general theme of imperious contempt for my arguments. He then suggests that I should integrate his criticisms into my arguments, which I will not do as their validity still stands.
In conclusion, you, voters, should vote for the opposition.
You, sir, are the embodiment of the new atheist.
You belong, good John, to those who have such fundamental flaws in their thought, most probably fuelled by a desire to look different, in turn fuelled by many insecurities, that you are actually undermining your own school of thought. You embarrass them John, you embarrass them. I'm sure this isn't the first time you've heard this however, seeing as your ardent desire to look different has extended onto the internet, perhaps in some strange campaign to convince yourself you are right.
Alas John, I enjoyed your response. I imagine it didn't take you long to respond, it certainly didn't take you long to proofread it...
However, in the words of a great man: 'back to the debate'. I found it strange that by labelling my otherwise quite sincere refutations of your argumentation techniques as 'petty insults' you are in turn falling at the hurdle of 'as hominem' which you so aggressively took issue with. Even so, I don't see how taking issue with your technique is an 'ad hominem' attack. It says nothing about you as a person, indeed as I'm sure you read, it said your technique was 'mundane', not your smile, which, fittingly, probably is. (That was an 'ad hominem' attack. ) Let us leave the dissection of this means of duel to another day.
Funnily enough, around half your debate was concerned with something you deemed as 'irrelevant'. Surely if it was so irrelevant you would just deem it at that and leave it? Maybe this is another characteristic of your debating technique. Yet, still, how is the discussion of the content of the Bible ' completely irrelevant' to a debate concerned with the content of the Bible?!
As a sidenote, concepts are passed down *through generations rather than *by generations. I don't know how deceased generations can willingly pass something down to their respective 'youngers', maybe there is 'scientific fact' to suggest otherwise. John is such a funny name isn't it? So monosyllabic, so simple, so effortless, I'm sure you wear it well. But anyway John, apologies for the digression, I have serious issue with your thought process.
It seems that everything to you needs scientific fact, indeed that is what your argument has suggested hitherto, yet you have made an assumption which has no scientific backing whatsoever. You have declared something 'wrong' with no empirical backing. You have labelled the hypothetical situation of God creating the Universe as scientifically wrong. ( As if by attaching scientifically you have objectively proved me wrong). For a start, the majority of modern science allow that God could have created the universe. So.... secondly, there is no 'scientific' evidence to suggest he didn't create the universe? If he didn't, and your scientists chums are right..what did?! It is, you write, a 'scientifically incorrect assumption' to believe that God created the universe. Well, have fun proving a negative. IS science wrong here or you? Most would agree that it is more rational to suppose something created the universe rather than nothing?
To pre-empt your inevitable 'Big-Bang' retort I would like to cite St Thomas Aquinas' Cosmological Argument:
First Way - The Argument From Motion
St. Thomas Aquinas, studying the works of the Greek philosopher Aristotle, concluded from common observation that an object that is in motion (e.g. the planets, a rolling stone) is put in motion by some other object or force. From this, Aquinas believes that ultimately there must have been an UNMOVED MOVER (GOD) who first put things in motion. Follow the argument this way:
Nothing can move itself.
If every object in motion had a mover, then the first object in motion needed a mover.
Movement cannot go on for infinity.
This first mover is the Unmoved Mover, called God.
Second Way - Causation of Existence
This Way deals with the issue of existence. Aquinas concluded that common sense observation tells us that no object creates itself. In other words, some previous object had to create it. Aquinas believed that ultimately there must have been an UNCAUSED FIRST CAUSE (GOD) who began the chain of existence for all things. Follow the agrument this way:
There exists things that are caused (created) by other things.
Nothing can be the cause of itself (nothing can create itself.)
There cannot be an endless string of objects causing other objects to exist.
Therefore, there must be an uncaused first cause called God.
Third Way - Contingent and Necessary Objects
This Way is sometimes referred to as the modal cosmological argument. Modal is a reference to contingency and necessary. This Way defines two types of objects in the universe: contingent beings and necessary beings. A contingent being is an object that cannot exist without a necessary being causing its existence. Aquinas believed that the existence of contingent beings would ultimately necessitate a being which must exist for all of the contingent beings to exist. This being, called a necessary being, is what we call God. Follow the argument this way:
Contingent beings are caused.
Not every being can be contingent.
There must exist a being which is necessary to cause contingent beings.
This necessary being is God.
I took these three ways from www.scandalon.co.uk. They own the rights to this material and I in no way claim it as my intellectual property.
I had to use this as the English which resulted from the direct translation of ST Thomas Aquinas is hard to follow and I want to make this process as easy I can for you John.
Finally, as I'm bored now.
We could prove a teapot was orbiting Mars.
God doesn't have to follow 'logic' because 'logic' is a human concept and he is God.
They're not my standards, they're the standards one would attach to the God of classical theism.
He's not exempt from logical criticism, just because he can do whatever he wants. We can 'logically criticise' Kim Jong-un, can we not?
My opponent starts with a bang ... or something like that.
"You, sir, are the embodiment of the new atheist." I think I'm supposed to be insulted, but to be honest, his opening is just a statement of fact. Thanks? My opponent continues, and for the next paragraph proceeds to psychoanalyze me, saying I have fundamental flaws in my thought(and keep in mind this comes from someone arguing that the Bible is scientifically accurate), fueled by insecurities and a desire to look different. I'm not sure what this poor attempt at psychoanalyzing your opponent does for you, but feel free to continue. Apparently I embarrass my own school of thought(even though I supposedly also embody it. My ideology embarrasses itself, apparently.) Thank you, random debater on the Internet, for diagnosing my personal problems and ideological issues. Would you like to discuss my love life as well?
My opponent goes on to insult my proofreading(again, seriously?), and mock my language. After this, he says, " I found it strange that by labelling my otherwise quite sincere refutations of your argumentation techniques as 'petty insults' you are in turn falling at the hurdle of 'as hominem' which you so aggressively took issue with." (Note that directly after criticizing my proofreading, my opponent misspells "labeling' and 'ad hominem'.) I do need to clarify. I'm not calling whatever rebuttals you may have petty insults. I'm calling your constant denigration of my technique petty insults. My opponent then clarifies that his taking issue with my technique isn't ad hominem(debatable based on intent to distract from substantive points via petty criticism) by giving me an actual ad hominem. I think that he may have missed the point here.
My opponent now makes his first substantive point: around half my debate was concerned with something I deemed as 'irrelevant'. True enough, but there's no real harm done. In future I'll try to be more succinct. He then ruins his decent point by turning it into a cheap opportunity to shame me. He follows this insult(scathing, I'm sure) with, "Yet, still, how is the discussion of the content of the Bible ' completely irrelevant' to a debate concerned with the content of the Bible?!" This is a broad over-generalization of the debate. Whether or not the Bible is a set of moral teachings is totally irrelevant to whether or not the Bible is scientifically accurate.
My opponent again criticizes a slight grammatical error(in a mocking tone, of course), and literally criticizes my username, of all things. Is this really substantive debating? I'm growing seriously tired of this. My opponent continues(*sigh*), "It seems that everything to you needs scientific fact(This is a debate about scientific fact!), indeed that is what your argument has suggested hitherto, yet you have made an assumption which has no scientific backing whatsoever. You have declared something 'wrong' with no empirical backing. You have labelled the hypothetical situation of God creating the Universe as scientifically wrong." Umm ... Yeah. Pretty much. Modern science totally disputes the idea that a sky ruler created everything that has ever existed in seven days(and in two different, contradictory orders(see my first argument). There isn't an emerging scientific consensus in favor of Creationism. Far from it, a massive ninety-three percent(Gallup poll) of scientists are atheists. If that doesn't tell you something about religion and science, I don't know what does.
My opponent says that the majority of modern science allows that God could have created the universe. What? Where did you find that number? (And don't cite a theological website.) He says that if God didn't create the universe, what did? I don't know! I just don't pretend to know either. Besides, that argument could be used for anything.("Well, if the Flying Spaghetti Monster didn't create the universe, than what did? Hah! Got you!") "Most would agree that it is more rational to suppose something created the universe rather than nothing?" Yeah, I'm with you. But, again, I don't pretend to know what did.
"To pre-empt your inevitable 'Big-Bang' retort I would like to cite St Thomas Aquinas' Cosmological Argument:..."
Yeah, no Big Bang retort from me. Besides, this argument is completely irrelevant. Attempting to prove that the hypothetical existence of God could happen, maybe, has nothing to do with the scientific accuracy of the Bible. This argument also contradicts itself, but I'm going to follow my opponent's earlier advice and not waste time disputing it, as, again, it's completely irrelevant.
My opponent tries to condescend to me one last time, and closes his arguments. "We could prove a teapot was orbiting Mars." That's not the point. What I'm trying to say via my earlier metaphor is that being unable to disprove something does not make it automatically true. "God doesn't have to follow 'logic'(note the quotation marks around logic) because 'logic' is a human concept and he is God. They're not my standards, they're the standards one would attach to the God of classical theism." I've already rebutted this. God does not have a free pass from logic simply because he's God. That's not how science works. You can't just insert exceptions as you please. "He's not exempt from logical criticism, just because he can do whatever he wants. We can 'logically criticise' Kim Jong-un, can we not?" Two things. For one, two sentences after saying "God doesn't have to follow 'logic'", my opponent says "He's not exempt from logical criticism." I guess he does agree with me after all! Two, my opponent totally misinterprets what I was saying, which is that God cannot do what he wants exempt from logical criticism simply because he's God. What my opponent got out of that is fairly mangled and not what I was saying at all. Apparently, I need to be clearer to get my points through to my opponent.
Please vote for the opposition. I think that my opponents' points(and constant Ad Hominems) illustrate why better than I can put into words.
I'm going to conclude by again saying something that will no doubt irritate my opponent(sorry to be "mundane"), back to the debate.
EternalCaprice forfeited this round.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Chaosism 1 year ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Firstly, Conduct to Con for the multitude of unwarranted criticisms and Ad Hominem attacks by Pro, as well as the final forfeit. The S/G errors were not significant enough to inhibit readability on either side. Con's original arguments are virtually untouched, and Pro essentially concedes in Round 1 (I don't know why Pro accepted the debate, then). Later, Pro presents arguments for the existence of God, but that is completely irrelevant to the resolution. Arguments to Con. Both participants cites sources within their arguments, but I would strongly suggest listing all sources separately at the end of your arguments. You can observe this technique can be seen in almost any debate on DDO.
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