The Instigator
abelsmack
Pro (for)
Winning
3 Points
The Contender
captmurk
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

The Bible is immoral.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
abelsmack
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/27/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 982 times Debate No: 42993
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (6)
Votes (1)

 

abelsmack

Pro

Using examples from a Christian Bible (KJV in my case) and the standards of our society (US juducual system for example) my opponent and I will try to determine if the Bible is a moral source. I disagree and place the burden of proof on myself to prove that while the Bible has some morality it also contains immorality by modern standards.
captmurk

Con

The core argument, regarding the morality of the Bible, depends entirely upon the objectivity of the Bible. In this sense, this debate is an attempt to prove, or disprove in your case, the objectivity of the Bible. The Bible is absolutely an objective source of morality for those who are faithful to the Bible and Christianity. They believe it to be true with an equivalent conviction to those who do not believe it to be true. Both believers and non-believers are seeking the same end-game with opposite results. They are both seeking objectivity, with the believers claiming the teachings of Christ are objective, and the non-believers claiming the teachings of science are objective (psychology/philosophy for the purposes of morality).

In other words, it really doesn't matter what the Bible SAYS, or what science SAYS about morality. What matters is that whatever is said, can be conveyed and accepted objectively. Science says that science is objective, based on the rules of science. The Bible says that the Bible is objective, based on the word of God. Of the two studies (Christianity and Science), only Christianity claims to draw its source of knowledge from God. Since I believe (on faith) that the Bible is the word of God, and that God is the most pure source of knowledge and creation, I therefore believe that the Bible's word, God's word, is the more objective word. I admittedly accept this claim on faith. I can't prove that God wrote the Bible. I BELIEVE that his Son's teachings helped construct the Bible. The votes on this debate will be entirely dependent on the amount of people who share my faith in the Bible's source, and objectivity. I won't pretend to prove it's objectivity, just as I hope you don't attempt to prove yours. It's simply a matter of which study, Christianity or Science, do we choose to be faithful to. (although there are certain facts that can validate historic events in the Bible, just as there are recent findings that can confirm certain laws and theories of Science)
Debate Round No. 1
abelsmack

Pro

First lets define morality.

The term "morality" can be used either

descriptively to refer to some codes of conduct put forward by a society or,
some other group, such as a religion, or accepted by an individual for her
own behavior or normatively to refer to a code of conduct that, given
specified conditions, would be put forward by all rational persons.

There are codes of conducts put forward by our society in the form of laws, which all citizens are subject to. We also have codes of conduct determined by organizations like religious groups towards its members and even criminal groups such as gangs and mafias. There may be conflicting code of conducts like when a gang has a "No snitching " policy and the law places a burden on citizens to report criminal activity. Another example is that a religious group may have a code of conduct such as how to dress, eat, and gender specific roles.

I used the US judicial system as one of the ways to determine whether something can be seemed immoral or not. An example would be that if a religious group advocates multiple marriages, they would be in violation of anti bigamy laws. Our society has deemed plural marriages immoral and therefore illegal. In many religions sex is heavily regulated and is usually only accepted between opposite gender individuals who are married. so an individual who has sex outside of marriage is acting immoral according to that faith. Most members of our society do no consider sex between heterosexual adults if they are unmarried immoral and we are in the process of debating the rights for adults to marry same sex partners, In essence our moral compass is shifting in opinion to homosexuality and it is reflecting in the laws being proposes and court decisions we are being handed down.

There are societies that are or have been primarily governed by laws dictating by a religion known as theocracies such as Sharia Law in some Islamic societies. http://en.wikipedia.org...

My opponent and I agree that, "The Bible is absolutely an objective source of morality for those who are faithful to the Bible and Christianity." I further argue that our written laws are an objective consensus of our moral standards especially because they tend to change and reflect the values of our society. The bible is static but does lend itself to interpretation, and very few people live according strictly through theological principals.

Our society is a blend of morals acquired form different sources which include democratic principles including secularism, British common law, religious dogma, and increasingly the scientific method. http://books.google.com...

The argument I'm trying to make is that many of the rules proposed by the Christian bible are now deemed immoral by our society in general and our legal system in particular. One example would be the 10 commandments which are believed to be given by God himself to the tribes of Israel. http://www.godstenlaws.com...

Our constitution does not favor any religion and could not adopt the first commandment of not allowing someone to worship Gods from non-Christian tradition. Another example is that we do not punish people for working on holidays, instead we punish people who would punish them. We do share the commandment that punishes those who bare false witness band murder but the others are not codified into law or run contrary to what we have agreed to.

The Bible also prescribes stoning as a form of capital punishment which would be consider cruel and unusual punishment and some states banned capital punishment altogether. I'm not saying that any Christian would like to stone people but that is a punishment prescribed to those who break commandments and societal norms. I argue that American Christians would not like to live in a society that was ruled by strict Biblical interpretation.

http://rationalwiki.org...

http://www.11points.com...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com...

I also argue that punishments, restrictions, and obligations dictated by the Bible are viewed as immoral by the standards of our society that includes a Christian majority. There are some elements that are in accordance with our society and may have been the source or a source of our moral standards, but as a whole it advocates standards abandoned and rejected by our society.
captmurk

Con

I will start by explaining why I disagree with my opponent's definition of morality being a "code of conduct." The nature of morality is deeper, more holistic, and objective than a "code of conduct," which is fluid and defines very specific actions or rules that should be followed in very specific situations. Morality, on the other hand, attempts to define the objective, black and white concepts of right and wrong, good and evil (for religious purposes). For example, you're company's code of conduct may require you to not bring up your personal beliefs in the office; however, most would agree that doing so is not fundamental wrong, evil, or immoral. It just goes against that particular company's "rules". We could also agree that Hitler's "code of conduct" was not an acceptable code of morality either. I will use this example to transition to my next point.

My opponent's argument seems to suggest that morality is fluid and changes with society. That as times changes, so do the morals that govern us. In other words, my opponent seems to believe that morals are subjective, and adapt with societal evolution. I fundamentally disagree with this assertion. At the time, Nazi Germany and Hitler's followers believed that ethnic cleansing was absolutely necessary, and could be justified morally. (Before you bring it up, Hitler was NOT following the teachings of Christ or Christianity, even though his early writings seemed to praise Christ. Nowhere in the Bible is the mass extermination of ethnic groups promoted or deemed acceptable) Obviously, their actions were wrong and immoral. It didn't matter how many of them believed they were right at the time, or how adamantly they believed it. Their actions were objectively wrong.

For this reason, and many others I could probably dig up throughout history, it is important that when we are talking about morals, when we are talking about what is fundamentally right or wrong, we should be talking about something that is objective. We should be talking about something that does not change based on pop-culture or new trends. Not even new countries, and new constitutions of law should change what is moral or immoral. No vote or poll should determine what is moral or immoral. All members of the universe should acknowledge that there is a consistent and objective "blueprint" that clearly outlines what is right and wrong. You either abide by those morals, or you are wrong. There should be very little subjectivity regarding morality, and it should not be open to manipulation to fit one's personal beliefs. Furthermore, I used the word "simple" because the blueprint should be limited to concepts and categories (e.g., lying, stealing, cheating, killing, etc.). It should not be a long and complex list of rules that govern very specific actions, such as a "code of conduct".

If we can agree that when we are discussing morals, we should be discussing something objective, then the next obvious question would be, what blueprint do we follow? For two reasons, I believe the Bible is an outstanding blueprint for morality. 1) If you do belong to the large Christian community, then you believe the Bible is derived from God's word. As I explained earlier, because God is the Creator of the Universe, there can be no word more objective than His. In other words, if you are faithful to the Bible (which much of the world already is), you believe it to be the objective blueprint for morality. 2) If you are not faithful to the Bible, and agree with my assertion that morality is objective, you have to choose some blueprint follow. Why not the Bible? It is one of the most commonly accepted scriptures, it is in line with many of the so called "common sense" morals that Atheists and common law agree on (The Golden Rule, don't lie, cheat, kill, steal, etc.), and it has stood the test of time. It seems to me, if you had to choose one blueprint, even if you aren't religious, the Bible seems to be a pretty good option, even if you have a hard time believing some of the stories.

I will close by briefly crediting my opponent for stating one of the obvious potential issues with the Bible's objectivity on morality. Interpretation. Properly interpreting the Bible (i.e. God's objective word on morality) is paramount. It's worthless if we misinterpret what He means. The good news is, most of the major interpretations are consistently agreed upon. Especially the big concepts (10 Commandments, The Golden Rule, etc.). It is typically only the specific tales and stories that are open to various interpretations. None-the-less, interpretation is something that needs to remain consistent in order to take the Bible seriously. In other words, regarding the major concepts outlined within the Bible, the interpretation needs to be objective too.
Debate Round No. 2
abelsmack

Pro

This is turning out to be a quite good debate. We seem to have hit an impasse on the definition of moral. I will try to clarify.

Morality (from the Latin moralitas "manner, character, proper behavior") is the differentiation of intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are "good" (or right) and those that are "bad" (or wrong). The philosophy of morality is ethics. A moral code is a system of morality (according to a particular philosophy, religion, culture, etc.) and a moral is any one practice or teaching within a moral code. Morality may also be specifically synonymous with "goodness" or "rightness." Immorality is the active opposition to morality (i.e. opposition to that which is good or right), while amorality is variously defined as an unawareness of, indifference toward, or disbelief in any set of moral standards or principles. An example of a moral code is the Golden Rule which states that, "One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself."
Source : http://en.wikipedia.org...

I have provide 2 definitions of morality. I stated that morality can be used on an individual level or as a collective and further specified that the debate pertained to our society as a whole. My first sentence was "Using examples from a Christian Bible (KJV in my case) and the standards of our society (US judicial system for example) my opponent and I will try to determine if the Bible is a moral source." I believe that the argument is clearly that I don't believe that the Christian Bible and the morals it claims match up the values and morals we have adopted to our society. My opponent claims that "The Bible is absolutely an objective source of morality for those who are faithful to the Bible and Christianity." He further stated that he believed that the bible is the word of God. This is irrelevant to the debate because we are not discussing 1) whether God exist, 2) God is moral, 3) the Bible is an actual representation of the would be creator of the universe.

It is simple, our society has morals (codified into laws and ordinances) that have influences and sources. The Bible has morals (Believed to be inspired by an all powerful and benevolent God) which is written as commandments. In Fact there are 613 commandments. http://www.jewfaq.org...
We are using morals in the group sense as in what a society as a majority considers right or wrong.
I am arguing that the Bible has BOTH moral and immoral teachings and requirements. We determine this by using our legal system as a barometer. In short we no longer use the Bible as the primary source of morals in our society. We find many commandments in the Bible as immoral by our standards and simply allow individuals to follow on their own and prohibit specific one out right. And yes morals do change with time.

Con: "My opponent's argument seems to suggest that morality is fluid and changes with society. That as times changes, so do the morals that govern us. In other words, my opponent seems to believe that morals are subjective, and adapt with societal evolution. " Yes, I do.

Con: "(Before you bring it up, Hitler was NOT following the teachings of Christ or Christianity, even though his early writings seemed to praise Christ.)" I won't.

Con: "Nowhere in the Bible is the mass extermination of ethnic groups promoted or deemed acceptable) Obviously, their actions were wrong and immoral. It didn't matter how many of them believed they were right at the time, or how adamantly they believed it. Their actions were objectively wrong." You are incorrect. The Bible DOES promote genocide.

Here is a basic definition:
gen"o"cide G2;jenəG6;sīd/Submit
noun
1.
the deliberate killing of a large group of people, esp. those of a particular ethnic group or nation.
synonyms:mass murder, mass homicide, massacre; More

Genocide is also wrong in that it:

Originates from a heart of hate
Involves a desire to dominate
Ignores justice and mercy toward the victims
Targets its victims indiscriminately, without respect to guilt or innocence, age, status in life, sex, or ability to defend themselves or to be aggressors themselves
Generally entails taking the law into one"s own hands
Is oriented against the ultimate establishment of justice and mercy in the land
Provokes severe terror
Forces huge hardship (massive displacement, refugee situations, economic hardship that may extend as far as nakedness and famine)
Tears apart families
Seeks to systematically destroy not only individuals (in large numbers) but also their cultures or ways of living
Rends the conscience of the perpetrators
Source: http://www.thinkingchristian.net...

You are trying to kill a GENE or genre of people. Genocide isn't always the killing of people directly it could also mean the sterilization of a race. So if you sterilize a race there will be no descendants and you have eliminated a branch of humanity without technically killing anyone. Destroying and identity is also a form of genocide, like kidnapping children and raising them as a different culture or ethnic group. We can all agree that targeting an individual or a group simply because of who they come from is a form of genocide (Jewish persecution). Preventing births is a form of genocide (sterilization of Roma Gypsies in Romania) and destroying identity is a form of genocide (Boarding schools of Indians and Australian Aborigines). I believe that the majority of humanity and American society is against this in general but it is part of all our histories Germany, Australia, South Africa, regretfully the US, AND in the Bible. The difference is that the Bible is NEVER EVER supposed to be wrong.

Examples of Genocide in the Bible:

Deuteronomy 2
2:34 And we took all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed the men, and the women, and the LITTLE ones, of every city, we left NONE to remain:
2:35 Only the cattle we took for a prey unto ourselves, and the spoil of the cities which we took.
2:36 From Aroer, which is by the brink of the river of Arnon, and from the city that is by the river, even unto Gilead, there was not ONE city too strong for us: the LORD our God delivered all unto us:

Deuteronomy 7
7:1 When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out MANY NATIONS before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou;
7:2 And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew MERCY unto them:
7:9 Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand GENErations;
7:10 And repayeth them that hate him to their face, to destroy them: he will not be slack to him that hateth him, he will repay him to his face.
7:14 Thou shalt be blessed above all people: there shall not be male or female barren among you, or among your cattle.
7:15 And the LORD will take away from thee all sickness, and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which thou knowest, upon thee; but will lay them upon all THEM that hate thee.
7:16 And thou shalt consume ALL the people which the LORD thy God shall deliver thee; thine eye shall have no pity upon them : neither shalt thou serve their gods; for that will be a snare unto thee.
7:20 Moreover the LORD thy God will send the hornet among them, until they that are LEFT, and hide themselves from thee, be DESTROYED.
7:21 Thou shalt not be affrighted at them: for the LORD thy God is among you, a mighty God and terrible.
7:23 But the LORD thy God shall deliver them unto thee, and shall destroy them with a mighty destruction, until they be destroyed.

That is a play-by-play of genocide. Not moral in 2014 now
captmurk

Con

I will attempt to address all of Pro's points.

Definition of Morality

I will accept Pro's refined definition of morality. It is thorough, and provides a deeper, more thoughtful meaning of morality.

The Nature of this Debate

I disagree that we are simply trying to prove that the morality outlined in the Bible doesn't "match up" with the morality of our current legal system. Of course it is different. I can't debate that. It is a matter of fact. I was under the impression (tell me if I'm wrong) that we were debating if the Bible was a good source of morality, as compared to our current set up. In other words, the debate, I think, is about 'which is a better source of morality'; not, 'are there differences between the two'.
You also said, "...This is irrelevant to the debate because we are not discussing 1) whether God exist, 2) God is moral, 3) the Bible is an actual representation of the would be creator of the universe."

I disagree. If we are talking about what is truly moral, I believe we are talking about what is objectively moral. (If they aren't objective, then they aren't morals, they are simply personal or societal beliefs; which, by default, means that nobody can do anything wrong if they just claim that they believed it was right, or if society believed it was right, like Nazi Germany) Because we are talking about something objective, we have to be able to determine, in some way, what is an objective source? Many would argue that God is the most objective source in the Universe, because he created it. Therefore, if I am arguing that the Bible is the best source of morality, I would have to argue that the Bible is the most objective source of morality. To claim its objectivity would be to claim that it is derived from God's teachings. That being said, the above 1), 2), and 3) are absolutely relevant to this debate.

Genocide

This was a nice play on your part. I applaud your research of Bible verses, in addition to your tactical decision to exploit a comment I made without elaboration. Allow me to defend.

For the purposes of this topic, the Bible can be broken down into two components: STORIES of the Bible; and TEACHINGS of the Bible. What you did was essentially define genocide in your own way. And I don't necessarily disagree with your definition. However, because you called what Hitler did, genocide, and because you called what some STORIES said in the Bible, genocide (stories/versus that were taken out of context by the way), you essential equated the teachings of the Bible to genocide, and to Hitler. This was a slight of hand. Just because some of the STORIES in the Bible depict what you define as genocide, does not mean that the TEACHINGS of the Bible promote or encourage the acts of genocide. And to defend my original statement (the Bible in no way supporting what Hitler did), there is nothing inaccurate about it. The Bible does not encourage the slaughter of entire ethnic groups just because they are different than you. What the Bible does do, is say that the word of God should be spread. You contorted this into meaning that the Bible promotes genocide because it wants its followers to replace your beliefs with theirs. If you want to call that "genocide," so be it. I call it, wanting to spread the word of God for the purposes of enlightening the world. But I say again, in no way do the TEACHINGS (moral instructions) of the Bible promote the extermination of entire groups of people simply because they are of different ethnicity.

"Final Thought"

Pro: "I am arguing that the Bible has BOTH moral and immoral teachings and requirements. We determine this by using our legal system as a barometer."

If your faith dictates that the Bible was derived from God's word, then none of the teachings are immoral. If you disagree, you are simply wrong, as you would be disagreeing with the most objective source of knowledge in the Universe. Interestingly, even if you don't believe in God or the Bible, many of the teachings in the Bible happen to line up with current society's and "common sense" codes of ethics.

Also, to claim that our legal system is the barometer, is to claim that our legal system is the most objective and widely accepted source of what is moral. How could you convince any man of faith, that the modern legal system, created by man, is more objective, a more accurate "barometer," than a document derived from the source of all creation? Obviously, at this point, the debate becomes about, which is the more objective source/barometer of morals? The Bible? Or our legal system? More importantly, how could we prove it? We can't. Like I said earlier, it is simply a matter of where your faith lies. In the laws of modern humanity? or the perceived/believed timeless word of God? I will say, for the purposes of trying to win this debate, that at least my "moral code" claims to come from an objective source (i.e. God, our Creator).
I look forward to the next round.
Debate Round No. 3
abelsmack

Pro

Finally going somewhere. Lots to rehash. We agree to use basic example of moralitysuch as lying, stealing, cheating, killing, and the Golden Rule.

We seem to disagree on these points.

1. Morals change. (Yes morality change as laws do.)

Source: http://www.loc.gov...

2. Who decides morals? (I claim that society as a whole and it could extend to our species as a collective.)

Source: 1. https://www.youtube.com...

2. https://www.youtube.com...

6. If your faith dictates that the Bible was derived from God's word, then none of the teachings are immoral. If you disagree, you are simply wrong. Interestingly, even if you don't believe in God or the Bible, many of the teachings in the Bible happen to line up with current society's and "common sense" codes of ethics. How could you convince any man of faith, that the modern legal system, created by man, is more objective, a more accurate "barometer," than a document derived from the source of all creation? (Prove it.)

7. Just because some of the STORIES in the Bible depict what you define as genocide, does not mean that the TEACHINGS of the Bible promote or encourage the acts of genocide. The Bible does not encourage the slaughter of entire ethnic groups just because they are different than you.

(We both agreed on what genocide is. MUCH more on this later)

What the Bible does do, is say that the word of God should be spread. You contorted this into meaning that the Bible promotes genocide because it wants its followers to replace your beliefs with theirs. If you want to call that "genocide," so be it. I call it, wanting to spread the word of God for the purposes of enlightening the world. But I say again, in no way do the TEACHINGS (moral instructions) of the Bible promote the extermination of entire groups of people simply because they are of different ethnicity. (That is genocide, we agreed. . Was the Spanish Inquisition not genocide?.)

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org...

8. Because we are talking about something objective, we have to be able to determine, in some way, what is an objective source? (Con believes that the Bible is Objective because it is the word of God. However, he states: “I admittedly accept this claim on faith. I can't prove that God wrote the Bible. I BELIEVE that his Son's teachings helped construct the Bible.” Then the Bible is not objective is it? I don’t BELIEVE, how do we settle this? The Bible is’t the only book that claim objective knowledge. I used the American justice system to see it the Bible is moral according to our consensus. That is American morals updated to 2014. That way we can find out if our sense of right and wrong share the foundations of the bible. Con is not being OBJECTIVE.) IF THE BIBLE WAS FALSE, HOW WOULD YOU FIND OUT?

Source: 1 objective

: based on facts rather than feelings or opinions: not influenced by feelings

1faith

: strong belief or trust in someone or something

b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2): complete trust

believe

: to accept or regard (something) as true

: to accept the truth of what is said by (someone)

: to have (a specified opinion)

a : to have a firm religious faith

b : to accept the word or evidence of believe you> believe my ears>

Phew! I hope I covered all the points of contention. I had to reread the debate literally dozens of times.

Let’s see if we can find Biblical examples of immorality proposed by God/Jesus or their message.

KILLING, MURDER, GENOCIDE, ATROCITIES

A. My favorite “Story”

15:2 Thus say the LORD of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt.

15:3 Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ask.

15:7 And Saul smote the Amalekites from Havilah until thou comes to Shur, that is over against Egypt.

15:8 And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword.

15:9 But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatties, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly.

15:10 Then came the word of the LORD unto Samuel, saying,

15:11 It repented me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the LORD all night.

15:14 And Samuel said, What means then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?

15:15 And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed.

15:17 And Samuel said, When thou was little in your own sight, was thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over Israel?

15:18 And the LORD sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed. (15:18-19)

"The LORD sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites."

Saul is rebuked by Samuel for "doing evil in the sight of the Lord" by failing to kill all of the Amalekites.

15:19 Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the LORD, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the LORD?

15:20 And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.

15:21 But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal.

15:22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

15:23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.

15:32 Then said Samuel, Bring ye hither to me Agag the king of the Amalekites. And Agag came unto him delicately. And Agag said, Surely the bitterness of death is past.

15:33 And Samuel said, As the sword hath made women childless, so shall thy mother be childless among women. And Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the LORD in Gilgal.

15:35 And Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death: nevertheless Samuel mourned for Saul: and the LORD repented that he had made Saul king over Israel.

B. Reason Classified? God order the genocide of an entire race (Amalekites) including women, suck lings, and little ones, the animals. Anything that breathed God wanted it dead. God was upset that the King and finest of the animals were spared. God repented making Saul king because he did not kill everything in sight. This is a sin to God and removes Saul’s authority. The king Agag is killed in front of God.

C. Executioner? Tribe of Israel under the command of Saul who was under orders from God.

D. Casualties? Regretfully not enough. The king was spared initially even though he was hewn in the presence of God. Some animals were spared to sacrifice to God but God hated the Amalekites so much he wanted everything destroyed. This has caused problems in modern times because some people believe that the Amalekites survived and the order to destroy them still stands.

Was longer but I had to shorten it. Sorry for the format. I look forward to the response. Great debate so far.

Ps. I could not get pass the profanity filter beacue I quoted the Bible! Easter egg points for whover can tell my why.

captmurk

Con

I will try to re-simplify the debate to complete this round. Doing so will mean that not every point of Pro's previous post will be addressed, only the key ones.

I want to start by making a case for objectivity. I made a point in round 3 and I was hoping it would be addressed and refuted by Pro, but it was not. The point was, essentially, that morals must be objectively true. In other words, they are not subjective. Pro has stated in a variety of ways that morals are subjective and change with time. This being the most direct quote from Pro:

"1. Morals change. (Yes morality change as laws do.)"

Here is my issue that I would like Pro to acknowledge and refute. IF MORALS ARE SUBJECTIVE, THEN IT WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE TO JUSTLY CONDEMN ANYONE'S BEHAVIOR AS IMMORAL. They would simply claim that they believe they were right based on their own personal moral compass. If morals derived and enforced by society were subjective, then it would be impossible to justly condemn any society's behavior as immoral, e.g. Nazi Germany. The society would simply claim that it believed it were right based on its own societal moral compass. Simply put, if morals were subjective, and able to change and evolve over time, then there are no morals. There is no right or wrong. There is only what any one person or society believes at any given point in time. Objectivity is KEY regarding the concept of morality. If we can't agree on this, there is almost no point in moving forward. I think this is what the debate should be focused on before we move on to any other topic, including specific passages in the Bible, or specific laws in the Constitution.

Rebuttals

"How could you convince any man of faith, that the modern legal system, created by man, is more objective, a more accurate 'barometer,' than a document derived from the source of all creation? (Prove it.)"

I can't prove it. I won't pretend to prove it. In the same way you can't prove our society's current laws are objectively moral. Once we get past the 'objectivity issue,' this will obviously be where the real debate begins and ends. It will simply come down to where our faith stands. Yours seems to stand with the current minds of law makers and popular opinion. Mine is with God, and I believe that to be objective. There's nothing else to be said about it. Neither of us can PROVE (with 100% certainty) which source is objectively true. Interestingly enough though, most of the morals between the Bible and current society are in alignment. Where they differ is where our faith differs.

"7. (That is genocide, we agreed. . Was the Spanish Inquisition not genocide?.)"

No, we did not agree that genocide could be defined as spreading believes throughout civilization. That is an incredibly loose definition of genocide. I repeat, I do NOT believe that simply spreading one's beliefs to other cultures can be defined as genocide. I did agree, and once again I should of elaborated, that genocide could be defined as not only killing mass groups of people, but also breeding them out forcibly (rape), or destroying all potential historic artifacts for the purposes of erasing their culture. The Bible's TEACHINGS, i.e moral instructions (very different than the historical STORIES outlined in the Bible) do not promote or condone that behavior. The only exception would be to eliminate those cultures/peoples who are actively trying to eliminate yours. Sworn enemies in other words, in which both parties are aware that they are trying to wipe the other out. This could be defined simply as, survival. The Spanish Inquisition, depending on your source of research, and personal interpretation, could be defined in a variety of ways. The Spanish Inquisition was in fact a response to the Medieval Inquisition, which I'm sure was a response to something else. I don't want to go on and on about this, because as I said earlier, many stories are open to interpretation, and we could spend years debating the morality, or lack of, regarding the Spanish Inquisition.

"Con is not being OBJECTIVE.) IF THE BIBLE WAS FALSE, HOW WOULD YOU FIND OUT?"

If current societal morals were wrong, how would you find out? Once again, it's a matter of faith. There is no way to PROVE the objectivity of anything with 100% certainty. The only objective truth in the world is that I exist.
"I think therefore I am." -Descartes
I digress. So no, I am not being truly, 100% objective. But at lease my blueprint claims to come from an objective source, and just so happens to line up with many of the current and historic "common sense" morals, unlike some of the other "books that claim objective knowledge" you mentioned. Many of the Koran's morals don't at all line up with common sense decency. They are either worshiping a false God; or, they are right, and God is an arsehole :)

I close by respectfully asking that you address my assertion that, MORALITY MUST BE OBJECTIVE, before we get into anymore specifics in the Bible or elsewhere.
Debate Round No. 4
abelsmack

Pro

To reiterate we're trying to determine if the Bible is immoral. My opponent asked for a clarification, “MORALITY MUST BE OBJECTIVE.” One last time.

Morality relates to how members within a group interact, it's what is approved or not by the group. What we now deemed moral is codified into laws based on consensus, and yes it changes.

Debate criteria: Using examples from a Christian Bible and the standards of our society my opponent and I will try to determine if the Bible is a moral source.

My opponent makes a point I must address. “IF MORALS ARE SUBJECTIVE, THEN IT WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE TO JUSTLY CONDEMN ANYONE'S BEHAVIOR.”

We’re a social species like wolves and other primates. Within a social species there are hierarchies and roles individuals must fit into. In wolfpacks the dominant wolf eats until its full followed by the lesser ranking members. The low ranking members may not get anything when it’s their turn. However, most wolves would rather starve than break rank and eat out of turn. Wolves who aren't keen to follow rules (morals) then are kicked out of the pack or killed. We have a more complex form of society because our complicated behaviour. Our rules have to change as cultures change. Humans live in small bands of isolated hunter-gathers to dense megacities. Societies adjust rules in order to accommodate its members. From our predecessors we have inherited much of our tendencies and that's what is common across societies. In primate societies killing members of your group is bad but not necessarily killing outsiders. Humanity has had a chance to learn from trial and error and recorded history. We've expanded our in group from people you see every day, to people who have your citizenship, to every member of our species. The Bible was written (bronze age) when people behaved moraly to member of their tribe (Israelites) and drew a stark line between out members (gentiles).


My opponent states: “But at lease my blueprint claims to come from an objective source, and just so happens to line up with many of the current and historic "common sense" morals, unlike some of the other "books that claim objective knowledge" you mentioned.” I asked him to prove that his source is objective and he couldn’t.

He's worried about claims of objectivity rather than testing them. Ok, the Koran is an objective source, and the book of Mormon, so is Scientology and anything else that claims guidance from a supernatural being ……. like the Bible.

We agreed genocide is bad according to both of our morals. He denies that the Spanish Inquisition qualifies. Jews were rounded up and forced to convert to Christianity. If caught relapsing they would be put to death. When suspected of hiding their devotion to their former faith, they were tried and often tortured to get confessions. Jews lost their identity, up to 20% of Spaniards carry traces of Jewish ancestry but less than 1% identify themselves as such. My opponent dismisses it as just trying to spread his faith, he feels like the exceptions to genocide is conversions. I don't feel missionary work is genocide but killing someone for their beliefs is, as is forcing conversions against one's will or against their parents approval.


When I pointed to out Biblical examples of genocide and immorality he dismissed them as stories vs. what he called teachings. What are the point of those stories? Filler or entertainment?

Comparisons of morality between the Bible and our legal code.


Slavery.


Bible

However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way. (Leviticus 25:44-46 NLT)


Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ. (Ephesians 6:5 NLT)


US Law

13 Amendment

Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.[1]


Rape


Bible

So they sent twelve thousand warriors to Jabesh-gilead with orders to kill everyone there, including women and children. "This is what you are to do," they said. "Completely destroy all the males and every woman who is not a virgin." Among the residents of Jabesh-gilead they found four hundred young virgins who had never slept with a man, and they brought them to the camp at Shiloh in the land of Canaan. (Judges 21:10-24 NLT)


If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her. (Deuteronomy 22:28-29 NLT)



If within the city a man comes upon a maiden who is betrothed, and has relations with her, you shall bring them both out of the gate of the city and there stone them to death: the girl because she did not cry out for help though she was in the city, and the man because he violated his neighbors wife. (Deuteronomy 22:23-24 NAB)


US Law


Uniform Code of Military Justice [USC Title 10, Subtitle A, Chapter 47X, Section 920, Article 120] defines rape as:

(a) Rape.— Any person subject to this chapter who commits a sexual act upon another person by—

(1) using unlawful force against that other person;

(2) using force causing or likely to cause death or grievous bodily harm to any person;

(3) threatening or placing that other person in fear that any person will be subjected to death, grievous bodily harm, or kidnapping;

(4) first rendering that other person unconscious; or

(5) administering to that other person by force or threat of force, or without the knowledge or consent of that person, a drug, intoxicant, or other similar substance and thereby substantially impairing the ability of that other person to appraise or control conduct;

is guilty of rape and shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.


Religious tolerance

Bible

4 of the 10 commandments.

You must kill those who worship another god. Exodus 22:20

Kill any friends or family that worship a god that is different than your own. Deuteronomy 13:6-10

Kill all the inhabitants of any city where you find people that worship differently than you. Deuteronomy 13:12-16

Kill everyone who has religious views that are different than your own. Deuteronomy 17:2-7

Kill anyone who refuses to listen to a priest. Deuteronomy 17:12-13

Kill any false prophets. Deuteronomy 18:20


US Law

1st Amendment

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.


I've provided examples from the Bible demonstrating immoral teachings that contradict specific laws in our legal system. I've also showed that we don't use the Bible for our morality because we emphasis religious tolerance, protect victims, try criminals and measure out justice accordingly. Anything I mentioned considered immoral? The spirit of the argument is to determine morality by our standards. My opponent can use our laws to prove the Bible more moral if he wants. I chose to do the reverse. Can he use his objective morality to determine any laws immoral? Just point them out. When I give examples of what I deem immorality in the Bible can he defend them?

Thanks to my opponent and I look forward to his response. Those who vote I apologize so much energy was spent on defining terms. My opponent has made some really well placed arguments and I hope I have addressed them.

captmurk

Con

In this final round, I will try to debate only Pro's R5 arguments, and close with a brief summary.
Pro has held firm with the assertion that morality changes with time.
Pro: "What we now deemed moral is codified into laws based on consensus, and yes it changes."

Pro also stated that, "Morality relates to how members within a group interact, it's what is approved or not by the group."
By that definition, Pro has essentially confirmed that Nazi Germany's actions were moral at that time. We could essentially claim that if any "members within a group" define their own moral code, whatever that "moral" code is, it can be accepted as moral because "[morality] is what is approved or not BY THE GROUP."

Due to this reasoning, I believe that morals cannot be subjective because the acting party only has to claim that their immoral actions were moral; and I do not believe Pro ever really addressed that key issue with subjectivity regarding morals. To clarify that key issue: IF MORALS ARE SUBJECTIVE, THEN IT WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE TO JUSTLY CONDEMN ANYONE'S BEHAVIOR AS IMMORAL.

Pro used the wolf pack example in an attempt to address this issue:
"...there are hierarchies and roles individuals must fit into...Wolves who aren't keen to follow rules (morals) then are kicked out of the pack or killed."

Once again, we've reached a split in the road regarding the definition of morality. I do not believe that "rules, hierarchies, or roles" fall into the definition of morality. These things can of course change over time and are absolutely subjective. They relate to efficiency and practically regarding the actions and operations of a group or entity. For example, my company has rules, roles and a hierarchy model relating to each employee. Just because these rules and roles might change to adapt to different internal and external pressures, does NOT mean that those changes are related to morality, or are designed to maintain or achieve morality. Morals are deeper, more holistic concepts, as opposed to specific rules or roles that govern specific groups or organizations.

Pro: "I asked him to prove that his source is objective and he couldn't."

No I can't. Nor could you prove that our societal moral code is objective, yet you continued to use it as a 'barometer.' In fact, by your own definition of morals, you don't even believe that our current societal morals are objective; so how could any moral code be used as a reference to define morality if no moral code is objective?

Pro: "He denies that the Spanish Inquisition qualifies [as immoral]."

No, I did not. I stated that, "I don't want to go on and on about this..many stories are open to interpretation, and we could spend years debating the morality, or lack of, regarding the Spanish Inquisition." And as I also stated, the Spanish Inquisition was a response to the Medieval Inquisition. It was cultural war prompted by the actions of two parties. It wasn't just a random decision to start exterminating people. But again, this could go on and on.

Pro: "My opponent dismisses it as just trying to spread his faith, he feels like the exceptions to genocide is conversions."

So long as they are non-violent conversions, yes. The teachings and moral principles of the Bible do not encourage violence on anyone, ACCEPT for those enemies who threaten and seek to destroy the followers of Christ, and/or the word of Christ. This essentially means that violence is an acceptable force to combat those enemies who threaten your survival and sustainability. I do not believe that war is immoral.

Pro: "When I pointed to Biblical examples of genocide and immorality he dismissed them as stories vs. what he called teachings. What are the point of those stories? Filler or entertainment?"

The point of those stories is to outline historical events related to Christ and those who followed Him. The Bible is in essence a history book (that of course could be debated as well, but many scientific-based findings have confirmed historical facts within the Bible). Of course many Christian morals are present, or are loosely derived from the stories, "the moral of the story is" etc., but you took passages within stories, grossly out of context, and basically used them as if those specific words were the black and white teachings of the Bible. Most intelligent people could take anything out of context, especially when that context has as much content as the Bible, and spin their own meanings and interpretations.

Passages

I will only address a couple of Pro's passages because the interpretation of these very specific passages provided by Pro have much larger back-stories that could be discussed and debated for years...and I'm maxing out on characters.

Slavery
"Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ. (Ephesians 6:5 NLT)"
"Slaves", in that day and age, were the equivalent of "servants". There is a huge negative connotation with the word "slave" today due to the black/white racial conflict in early American history. In that day, slave simply meant servant. This passage essentially is saying, you shall respect and obey those that you serve. This is referencing an operational model, similar to the "roles and hierarchies" you mentioned earlier. I believe it to be fact, that a society that assigns and insures that its individuals assume roles, is paramount to the success of a society. I don't believe this to be immoral.

Rape
"If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged..."
This is incorrect. The passage does not say "raping a young woman." It has been proven by translation experts that the Hebrew word used in the original text, actually refers to intercourse. "Violate" is not referencing rape either. It is meant to mean, "violation of virginity." In other words, if a single man and woman are caught having sex, they will be required to be faithful to one another in marriage. I don't want to open up the "importance of marriage" can of worms, but I do not believe this passage to be immoral. It is stressing the importance of ensuring that those who engage in intercourse will be required to form a family unit to support a potential child. Children growing up in broken homes are an epidemic in the US, and the result has been detrimental; particularly in poor communities.

Religious tolerance
"4 of the 10 commandments [promote intolerance of other religions]"
Only 1 of the 10 commandments states that you must accept God (the Bible's God) as the only God you shall worship. And of course God will claim to be the objective God, and those who follow Him should be loyal to Him, and only Him. The killings of non-believers that you referenced were not designed to punish people of other religions. They were designed to punish people who were loyal to Christ, and then betrayed their faith by attempting to convert other Christians to a different belief system. I don't appreciate turn-coats either, personally.

I will close by reiterating my opponents BOP. He was to prove that while the Bible has some morality it also contains immorality by modern standards. My opponent failed to prove that the Bible is immoral, in any way, as compared to modern standards, because he failed to prove that modern standards are an accurate, objective model to measure from. Not only did my opponent not prove the objectivity of modern standards, and the Bible's shortcoming as compared, he repeatedly stated that there are no objective morals. If morals are subjective, then EVERY moral code (including the Bible) can be considered valid, as there is, by default, no objective barometer to use as a gauge of moral accuracy. Therefore, according to even my opponent's definition of subjective morality, the Bible is in no way immoral, compared to any system, and there is no way to prove otherwise.

I thank my opponent for an outstanding debate...and Happy New Year!!!
Debate Round No. 5
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by captmurk 2 years ago
captmurk
Thanks ablesmack. I'm new to debate.org. Is it typical to have so few votes on a debate?
Posted by abelsmack 2 years ago
abelsmack
@captmurk Thanks for taking the high road with regards on the voting issue. More importantly thanks for a heck of a debate. You have very good morals. ;)
Posted by FluffyCactus 2 years ago
FluffyCactus
Good debate. Great job on keeping voters in check captmurk, that is quite noble. I noticed why you did that.
Posted by captmurk 2 years ago
captmurk
I respectfully ask that voters base their opinions on the effectiveness of each argument, not solely on the voter's alignment with my religious beliefs.
Posted by captmurk 2 years ago
captmurk
Indeed. I had fun with it.
Posted by abelsmack 2 years ago
abelsmack
Thanks to my opponent captmurk for a quality debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Wylted 2 years ago
Wylted
abelsmackcaptmurkTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro and con both agreed genocide was immoral. God commanded his people to commit genocide. There for gods commands are immoral . If god is capable of immoral commands then his holy book can't be relied on for moral guidance. Since morality is subjective if con would have argued that he believes genocide to be moral then it would have been very hard for pro to prove the bible is immoral.