The Instigator
Rasheed
Pro (for)
Losing
7 Points
The Contender
ReformedArsenal
Con (against)
Winning
16 Points

The Bible is not the word of God

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
ReformedArsenal
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/15/2011 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,550 times Debate No: 19299
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (14)
Votes (6)

 

Rasheed

Pro

The Christian Bible is not the Word of God because it contains scientific errors, contradictions, and historically inaccurate information.
ReformedArsenal

Con

I would like to thank my opponent for challenging me to this debate.

His argument takes the following form

1) Something that is the Word of God would not contain scientific errors, contradictions, or historically inaccurate information.
2) The Bible contains these things.
3) Therefore the Bible is not the Word of God.

As my opponent is both Pro and Instigator the burden of proof is his. As such, it is incumbant upon him to prove the following things.

A) The Bible caintains scientific errors, contradictions, or historically inaccurate statements.
B) The supposed scientific errors, contradictions, or historically inaccurate statements somehow invalidate the Bible as the Word of God.

As Con, my only Burden is to show how Pro's arguments do not prove the resolution. I do not have to positively prove the converse of the resolution, only that Pro's arguments do not prove the resolution. As such, my primary task will be to refute Pro's arguments.

I look forward to an engaging and enjoyable debate.
Debate Round No. 1
Rasheed

Pro

Thank you so much for accepting my debate challenge.

My contention is that The Bible Is not the Word of God, and for this round I will focus on some of the scientific evidence.

According to the first book of the Christian Bible light was created on the first day, and the Earth before it's star "And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light; and there was light" (Genesis 1:2-3). but the Sun, which is the source of light for our solar system was not created until the fourth day. A basic knowledge of Astronomy teaches us that the Earth comes from it's star, our Sun. This is irrefutable.

The question then becomes; Does an all knowing Creator make such basic scientific mistakes in a book that is supposed to be divinely revealed, or is this the fable of a superstitious scholar?

Another story that is widely accepted is the Noah tale. It is a story that cannot stand scientific examination. There are roughly 30 million species on Earth today, but there would have been more 4000 years ago, but we will go with that number. Noah was instructed to take seven clean beasts into the Ark and two of every unclean animal (Genesis 7:2-4). He had seven days to accomplish this amazing task. Nevermind whether or not there was enough room, or the fact that the Penguin and Polar Bear could not make the journey or survive in the subtropics. I want to examine the Deluge itself.

Noah would have to load an astonishing 50 pair of species per second into the Ark if he had only seven days.

A world Deluge would have left a signature and it would take five times the water that is presently on the Earth to raise the water to the top of the mountains, as the Bible says (Genesis 7:20). Even if the Polar Ice Caps were to melt it could not produce enough water. Additionally that amount of water would change the configuration of the atmosphere.

Knowing that warm air turns water into vapor that raises and gravity pulls it back down in the form of rain, hail, sleet, or snow in a process of recycling, where did all of the additional water go?

These are just a few of the glaring scientific errors that the Christian Bible makes as though an all knowing Creator would not know the basic natural laws that it originated.

For these reasons I contend that the Bible is not the Word of God.
ReformedArsenal

Con

I would like to thank my opponent for his contribution to this debate.

My opponent presents two alleged scientific contradictions that supposedly prove that the Bible is scientifically inaccurate. However, my opponent is incorrect in proving that these invalidate the Bible as the Word of God.

Contention 1) The Book of Genesis presents both light and the Earth being created prior to the Sun. He claims that "a basic knowledge of Astronomy teaches us that the Earth comes from it's star, our sun. This is irrefutable."

However, my opponent's point is one large exercise in begging the question. Begging the question happens when one asserts a contention, with no proof to support it.

Since there is no potential contradiction between light coming prior to the Sun (there are many light sources besides our star), I shall focus on why my opponent's contention does not stand philosophically.

There are two parts to my response.

1) The Bible is not speaking scientifically

My opponent asks "Does an all knowing Creator make such basic scientific mistakes in a book that is supposed to be divinely revealed, or is this the fable of a superstitious scholar?" However, he has not proven that this passage is to be read as a literal scientific account. Many Christian scholars would argue that Genesis 1 and 2 are metaphorical accounts of creation. Particularly they point to the fact that days 1 through 3 are the creation of "habitats" and days 4 through 6 represent the filling of those habitats. Furthermore there are poetic elements in the text that lend to a symbolic reading.

Simply put, the Bible cannot be presenting a scientific mistake if it is not making a scientific statement. Is the author of Song of Songs making a scientific mistake when he describes his lover as though her eyes were doves or her breasts were fawns? Of course not, he was using metaphoric language to describe her.

Furthermore, in order for this point to stand, my opponent would have to prove that this is the only possible reading. He has not done so.

2) My opponent has done nothing whatsoever to prove that this astronomic data is correct. In fact there have been many theories to explain the formation of our solar system. My opponent not only has to prove that the predominant theory currently is as he describes, but he has to prove that this will not be overturned. In fact, several dominant scientific theories that have been understood as proven fact are in question at this point. One such theory is the theory of the speed of light itself. A firm in Europe recently observed a particle moving faster than the speed of light.[1] One scientist quoted in the article says "We'd be looking at a whole new set of rules" for how the universe works." My opponent has no way of knowing if the scientific datum that he is presenting will not be overturned.

I am not saying that it will be, I simply am saying that we cannot know it will not be. Prior to the recent discovery (which I'll admit, still needs to be confirmed by an independent source), had the Bible said "He hurled the stone faster than light." We would claim that it contradicted the laws of physics... today we would have to rethink that assertion. There is no way to know that this is not the case with the order of accretion of the Solar System.

Contention 2) The Noah Account is impossible

My opponent again begs the question. Allow me to demonstrate.

If the Bible is the Word of God, it presupposes a supernatural God capable of anything. This supernatural God could create a context in which 30 million species could be loaded into the ark. He could also allow for them to be loaded in rapid time, and to preserve polar bears or penguins to survive in the subtropics. Furthermore, he would be able to create the water required to cover the earth, as well as remove the traces that that might leave (nevermind the fact that my opponent has not given any support for these assertions).

However, my opponent simply presupposes a Godless system. Essentially he says "The Bible is not the Word of God because God doesn't exist." However, he has not proven that. The very fact that we are talking about the Bible as potentially the Word of God, presupposes that the way that the Bible describes God is potentially true. If indeed the Bible is true, then the problems that my opponent proposes are not problems (because the omnipotent God could accomplish all the things he described.) My opponent roots his entire argument in the fact that the Bible presents situations that defy the laws of Nature/Physics... however, that very Bible also presents a God who can break or bend the Laws of Nature/Physics as He wishes.

[1]http://www.washingtonpost.com...
Debate Round No. 2
Rasheed

Pro

Thank you for you timely response in this debate.

My opponent claims that the information that I presented was "alleged scientific contradictions", as it relates to the Earth coming from the Sun, which is in direct conflict with the creation story found in the Bible. Below I have supplied my source.

"From the scientific viewpoint, the Earth would have had to form about 4.54 billion years since the earliest material in the solar system is dated back to about this time period. It is scientifically accepted that the solar system including the earth was the result of a solar nebula that collapsed from the formation of the sun" (http://www.uk2planets.org.uk...).

Any book that claims to be from an all mighty Creator would be scientifically accurate, because It set up the laws that govern the universe, therefore, the Bible is not the Word of God.

REASONS FOR EXAMINING THE BIBLE SCIENTIFICALLY.

My opponent argues that the Bible is not speaking scientifically when it gives the stages of creation, but rather it was a "poetic" rendering of the beginning of the world. This flies in the face of all historical and contemporary evidence. Galileo was ordered to abandon the Copemican Theory on pain of death by Pope Paul V because Christians have always saw the Bible as the final authority on historical and scientific matters.

Darwin's theory is under attack to this day by Christians because they have pushed aside all scientific evidence that contradicts their holy book, so for my opponent to argue that portions of the Bible are not meant to be viewed scientifically is simply incorrect.

Does my opponent believe in evolution, and if not, why? I assure you his answer will be based in a scientific disagreement found in his book, the Bible, and nothing else.

THE FLOOD REVISITED

The argument that because the Creator is a supernatural being therefore anything that the Bible says should not be examined by modern man to discern if it is accurate, is an illogical argument. What an argument like this demands is that we simply accept that a book is from God because someone says so, and no other reason. It requires that we form a conclusion then try to make everything fit the conclusion. This is no way to determine the validity of anything.

It is only through investigation that we are able to determine the truth of any claim.

"The world’s water, in all of its many forms, is finite. Even if every molecule of water in the atmosphere rained down at once, even if every single spec of ice on the planet melted at once, the total water on earth would still be only a small fraction of what is necessary to flood the earth to a depth of 3.5 miles above sea level. In fact, it wouldn't’t even cover any cities more than a few hundred miles away from a coast. The total amount of water in all its forms in, on, and above the earth is estimated to be between 1 and 2 trillion cubic kilometers. The amount needed to fulfill the flood myth would be roughly 6 trillion cubic kilometers. As you can see, it’s not even close.

The atmosphere of the Earth would have been severely damaged, if not destroyed, by the flood. The water would have occupied much of the space that our atmosphere is supposed to occupy, forcing the atmosphere outward, where it would have likely boiled off.

There are other problems with the amount of water as well. That much rain falling so quickly would produce enough energy to increase the earth’s temperature to over 3 times the point at which lead melts, or right at the temperature at which steel melts. This also means that all of the falling water would vaporize and cause the earth to be quite dry, indeed. That much water vaporizing would then cause such an extreme greenhouse effect that the temperature would multiply many times yet again.

That much water would also weigh about 4.5E+21 kilograms, which is roughly 6% the weight of the moon. This would leave extremely obvious evidence of the flood for everyone to see today. It also would have added enough gravity to the earth to kill quite a few species" (http://secularskeptic.blogspot.com...)

THE MIRACLE ARGUMENT

My opponent misquotes me as saying "The Bible is not the Word of God because God doesn't exist." I never made that statement and as a practicing Muslim I would be accused of Shirk, or unbelief for such a terrible remark. One does not have to believe in the Bible to believe in a Creator, but I cannot argue with his notion that God can do anything and therefore nothing that the Bible says should be examined.

How does my opponent know that Reindeer don't fly and white rabbits don't lay chicken eggs? For him nothing is fiction if it can be found within the covers of his holy book.

A Creator would not reveal historically and scientific inaccuracies for several reason.

!. It would want us to know that it exists,

2. If it is perfect it would not know how to make mistakes.

For these reasons the Bible is not the word of God.

CONTRADICTIONS

The Christian Bible is not one book, but 66 separate books (or 72 if you are Catholic) written by upwards of 40 authors. If it was authored by one Supreme Being there would not be errors in numbers and events. There are too many contradictions to show here but so will give just a few:

What was Jesus' last words?

MAT 27:46,50: "And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, eli, lama sabachthani?" that is to say, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" ...Jesus, when he cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost."

LUK 23:46: "And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, "Father, unto thy hands I commend my spirit:" and having said thus, he gave up the ghost."

JOH 19:30: "When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, "It is finished:" and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost."

Who moved David to anger?


II SAMUEL 24: And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah.

I CHRONICLES 21: And SATAN stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.

Can God be seen?

EXO 24:9,10; AMO 9:1; GEN 26:2; and JOH 14:9
God CAN be seen:
"And I will take away my hand, and thou shalt see my backparts." (EXO 33:23)
"And the Lord spake to Moses face to face, as a man speaketh to his friend." (EXO 33:11)
"For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved." (GEN 32:30)

God CANNOT be seen:
"No man hath seen God at any time." (JOH 1:18)
"And he said, Thou canst not see my face; for there shall no man see me and live." (EXO 33:20)
"Whom no man hath seen nor can see." (1TIM 6:16)

Who did they see at the tomb?

MAT 28:2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.
MAT 28:3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:
MAT 28:4 And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.
MAT 28:5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.

MAR 16:5 And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted.

LUK 24:4 And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:

JOH 20:12 And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.

The evidence is overwhelming, the Christian Bible is not the Word of God.

ReformedArsenal

Con

I would again like to thank my opponent for his contribution.

Response to "Reasons for Examining the Bible Scientifically"

My opponent asserts that because people throughout the ages have interpreted this (and various other passages) as scientific, that we must do so. However, it is entirely possible (in fact it is both plausible and probable) that they were in correct. No Christian interprets the statement in Joshua which was used to support a geocentric solar system to mean that the sun actually stood still. Rather we understand that the author was using (perhaps unknowingly) a similar convention to when we say "the sun set" or "the sun rose." Furthermore, to read these accounts as a strictly scientific account would be to force a scientific understanding of the universe onto an author who excited two thousand years before such scientific rationalism would even find its prototypical form (in Socrates). To read this as a strict scientific account does injustice to the text and ignores the original context and capacity of the author.

Response to "The Flood Revisited"

My opponent has acknowledged the possibility of a supreme sovereign God who can do all logical things. This is indeed a basic tennent of theism. My opponent must now explain why such a being could bend the laws of physics to allow for all the animals to be in one ark, or to erase the traces of the flood. If he is indeed sovereign, then this is possible. My opponent's argument only succeeds if such a God does not exist, but he has already acknowledged that such a God does exist.

Furthermore my opponent asserts that "A Creator would not reveal historically and scientific inaccuracies for several reasons." Apart from the fact that my opponent has not present any inconsistent texts, he also has not proven that his to reasons (which is hardly several) are true. Do we have irrefutable proof that such a being would desire to be univerally known?

My opponent then launches into a list of "contradictions" he believes will invalidate the Bible.

Jesus Last Words

None of those texts say that the words he said were his last words. This is not true in English, nor is it true in Greek. In fact, the Greek lacks any sort of temporal indicators other than simple sequencing.

If I wake up, brush my teeth, get in my car, and go to the store... is it contradictory for me to later say "I woke up and went to the store." Of course not. My latter statement is not mutually exclusive to my earlier, it simply includes different details.

In fact, if we read carefully, we see that there is actually a simple harmony.

Matthew records that Jesus cried in a loud voice (1), then cried again (2).
Luke records that Jesus cried in a loud voice (1), then said something else (2)
John records that Jesus said something. (3)

Jesus cried "Eli Eli..." (1) then cried "Father, unto..." (2) and then said "It is finished" (3)

Note that none of the accounts say "this was his last words" or say "he said this then immediately he gave up the ghost."

Who moved David to anger?

A simple observation and knowledge of the original language reveals the answer. In hebrew, the word "satan" means "adversary." The Lord is acting as an adversary to David (and all of Israel) in this account. In 2 Samuel we see it refer to the LORD specifically, in 1 Chronicles the author chose to call him by an adjective desriptor.

Can God be Seen?

My opponent seems to miss the nuances of symbolic language. The Bible affirms that God is Spirit, and Invisible. At times, the Bible uses anthropomorphic langauge to refer to God, either to explain a characteristic, or to make the unknowable God concievable. We see examples where God says of himself that he desires to take Israel under his wings like a mother hen. Are we to believe that we must understand that God has wings? Of course not.

Similar langauge is being used in these instances. When the Bible says "Face to Face" it is not litterally refering to the face of God (God does not have a face, as God is spirit and does not have a body). Similarly, when it says that Moses will see his backparts, the Bible is refering to a sort of after image of the Lord. Moses himself bears a similar after image when he returns from the montain, as he is actually glowing because of his interaction with God. This then correlates to other passages where it says that No one has (or can) see God, because it is using litteral language. How can a man see God when God is invisible?

Who did they see at the tomb?

My opponent must believe that our audience is rather simple if he thinks they will buy this trick.

Again, if I went to the mall with 3 of my friends (Tim, Doug, and Kevin) and am asked later what I did today and say "I went to the mall with Doug," am I lying or contradictory? No, perhaps the person I am speaking to doesn't know Tim and Kevin, perhaps I had an argument with Tim and Kevin and didn't want to note that they were there. Whatever the reason, I simply described the situation highlighting a particular detail.

As far as the other issues presented. John and Mark reports that the young man was inside the tomb, Matthew and Luke are describing what happens outside. So it is likely that there was a figure/figures outside, as well as one inside. This is surely not contradictory since it is describing to different locations.

As far as the difference between describing them as Angel(s) (Matthew and John) they are simply describing what something is (likely after later theological reflection) while the reports describing them as seeing men (Mark and Luke). Likely what happened is the women came back and said "We saw these men who were wearing white outside the tomb, but they seemed different" and later Matthew and John reflected upon that and said "Those were Angels" while Luke and Mark simply reported what was described.

My opponent closes by saying "The evidence is overwhelming, the Christian Bible is not the Word of God." To this I respond "This is not only not overwhelming, it barely makes it by as evidence."

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 3
Rasheed

Pro

I thank my worthy opponent for a well thought out and articulated rebuttal.

He does not provide one ounce of documentation to refute my scientific reasons why the Christian Bible is not the word of God, he merely gives us his opinion. In particular he offers no evidence for why the World Deluge could not have occurred, he merely asks the reader to presume that a Creator can do anything, and therefore the Bible, which he wrongfully assumes that everyone believes in, is from that Higher Power, without offering any proof for his ascertain.

Answering the contradiction argument.

It will be up to the reader to determine whether the statements I provided from the Bible contradict themselves, but to help in that judgement I have provided the standard definition of the word:

con·tra·dic·tion/ˌkäntrəˈdikSHən/
Noun:
  1. A combination of statements, ideas, or features of a situation that are opposed to one another.
  2. A person, thing, or situation in which inconsistent elements are present.

Having the definition of contradiction clearly in front of us, let us examine a few more pronouncements from the Bible;

How old was Jeholachin when he began to rule?

2KI 24:8 Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. And his mother's name was Nehushta, the daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem.

2CH 36:9 Jehoiachin was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months and ten days in Jerusalem: and he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD.

Does my opponent contend that this is not an error?

How many years of famine?

I SAMUEL 24:13: So God came to David, and told him, and said unto him, shall SEVEN YEARS OF FAMINE come unto thee in thy land? or will thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue. thee?

I CHRONICLES 21:11: SO God came to David, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Choose thee. Either THREE YEARS OF FAMINE or three months to be destroyed before thy foes, while that the sword of thine enemies overtaketh thee;

How does my opponent explain away these numeric difference, or will he ask the reader to disregard them entirely?

Can the entire Earth be seen from atop a mountain?

ISA 40:22 It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:

MAT 4:8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;

Astronomical bodies are spherical, and you cannot see the entire exterior surface from anyplace. The kingdoms of Egypt, China, Greece, Crete, sections of Asia Minor, India, Maya (in Mexico), Carthage (North Africa), Rome (Italy), Korea, and other settlements from these kingdoms of the world were widely distributed.

Would my opponent argue that this is not meant to be taken literally?

Finally, there is only one statement from the Bible itself that proves that it is not the word of God, but I will supply several for examination;

1 Cor. 7:12, "But to the rest I say, not the Lord, that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, let him not send her away."
(1 Cor. 7:12).1 Cor. 7:25, "Now concerning virgins I have no command of the Lord, but I give an opinion as one who by the mercy of the Lord is trustworthy.

For all of these reasons the Bible is not the word of God.

I await your response.

ReformedArsenal

Con

I thank my opponent for the time put into his argument.

My opponent has radically misunderstood my argument. I am not saying that because the God of the Bible can do miracles, the Bible is the word of God. Rather, what I am saying is that my opponent is arguing against the Bible because it presents miraculous signs (that defy natural understanding). However, my opponent's argument only works if miraculous signs are not possible. This is the flip side of the following argument.

A) The Bible says that it is the Word of God
B) The Word of God is true
C) Therefore what the Bible says is true
D) Therefore the Bible is the Word of God

His argument flows thusly

A) The Bible presents miracles
B) Miracles are impossible
C) Therefore the Bible is inaccurate and not the Word of God

My opponent must PROVE that B is true in order to reach the conclusion of C... he has not done so. This is circular reasoning at its best and amounts to "The Bible is not the Word of God, therefore the Bible is not the Word of God." He MUST prove B, which he has not done.

Contradictions

My opponent has provided a definition of Contradiction... however I am unable to determine which dictionary he has used, as he did not cite it. Furthermore, according to the Random house dictionary, a contradiction is much more than simply something that is inconsistent. Rather it defines it as "a statement or proposition that contradicts or denies another or itself and is logically incongruous." [A] Furthermore, in reference to a debate the standard definition of a contradiction is something that violates the law of non-contradiction. [B] That is, something cannot be both A and Not-A. So far, nothing that my opponent has presented fulfills this requirement, and therefore cannot be considered a contradiction.

Since my opponent has not challenged any of my explanations of his alleged contradiction, they stand.

I will now address the next alleged contradictions that my opponent has brought forth.

How many years of famine?

This is not a difficult issue to resolve. My opponent has been consistently quoting the King James Version of the Bible. However, the King James Bible was translated using texts available in the 16th century. In the subsequent 400 years we have found numerous additional manuscripts, and the majority of manuscripts reflect the number "three" in both accounts. This is reflected by the majority of modern translations including the NIV, ESV, and HCSB. It is likely that this reflects a copyist error as the numbers three and seven bear similar spellings in Hebrew. This may seem like a problem for the Doctrine of Inspiration in Christianity, however the Doctrine only extends to the Autographs (originals). [C]

Can the entire Earth be seen from atop a mountain?

My opponent again insists on a wooden and literal understanding that would be foreign to the author. The words in both Greek and Hebrew for "Earth" are also used of "Land." To say "He saw the whole earth" in Hebrew of Greek could also mean "He saw the whole land," meaning everything he could see.

Furthermore, both of these accounts refer to supernatural vision, not natural vision. In Isaiah, the "see-er" is God. God can see the whole earth from wherever he is... regardless of the shape of the planet.

The second is speaking of a vision that is revealed to Jesus by the Devil. Furthermore, it does not say he saw the whole earth, it says he saw every kingdom. It is entirely possible that the Devil took him to a high mountain and then gave him a vision of each Kingdom in the world (maybe it was even like a projection in front of him...) Whatever the actual nature of the seeing, it is supernatural in source and therefore cannot be bound by the natural laws of line of sight.

Paul's Opinnion

my opponent cites a statement where Paul offers an "opinion." However, this is an inaccurate representation of the word. The word "Gnomey" in Greek mean "Thought, Judgement, or Opinion" and comes from the root "knowledge." This is not Paul simply offering his opinion, rather it is him offering his theological statement. Furthermore, the Doctrine of Inspiration includes using the human mind, cultural context, language, and thoughts in the process of inspiration. This being Paul's thoughts does not preclude it being inspired of God. Furthermore, when Paul says "I not the Lord" it is in contrast to "The Lord, not I." When we look at the commands that are of "The Lord, not I" we see that they are teachings directly from Christ. So the contrast "I not the Lord" refers to a teaching that is not a quotation of Jesus. Paul was being careful here to indicate that he is not quoting Jesus... not indicating that his judgement is not authoritative or inspired of God.

I look forward to my opponent's next round.

[A] http://dictionary.reference.com...
[B] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[C] http://carm.org...
Debate Round No. 4
Rasheed

Pro

My opponent has answered swiftly, I thank him for this.

My opponent says that I oppose the Bible because it presents miraculous signs, but this is incorrect, I oppose the Bible because the signs that it presents cannot be proven.

My opponent is accurate in saying that I do not believe in miracles as the Bible presents them, but this is not my opinion, this is scientific fact.

The Bible gives examples of a donkey talking (Numbers 22:28-30). How can I tell my children that the donkey in Shrek is not real but the one in the Christian Bible is very real? What evidence outside of the story in the Bible can be used to validate such a claim?

My opponent states the following

"His argument flows thusly

A) The Bible presents miracles
B) Miracles are impossible
C) Therefore the Bible is inaccurate and not the Word of God"

I shall answer them all in turn.

A) The Bible presents miracles

This is self evident.

B) Miracles are impossible

I have provided numerous scientific evidence in my earlier posts, such as the impossibility of the flood happening and all animals being placed into a wooden boat, to which my opponent did not provide any counter evidence to show why it was possible. He simply makes statements and provides theories.

I will add further scientific evidence now.

"The Bible gives the date of the flood as beginning 2345 BCE and ending in 2344 BCE If this were really the world-wide gig claimed by creationists then the civilizations of the world would all show a disruption in their history or at least take note of such an event, but does the rest of archeology/history corroborate the Biblical account===> NO!

  1. The city of Ur of the Chaldees (ancient Sumer, location of the "plains of Shinar", hangout of Noah) was the leading city from about 2400 BCE until about 2,285 BCE and its history is not broken by any flood in this period.
  2. Babylon was rising to power from about 2,400 BCE on and reached a great height of civilization under the famous King Hammurabi, who would have been a contemporary of Hebrew patriarch Abraham (about 2,250 BCE), and again there is no break in this history due to a flood.
  3. In Egypt, the 5th Dynasty, which began to reign about 2,465 BCE, was followed by the 6th Dynasty (2,323 BCE), which ruled to about 2000 BCE. This time-period is very well-documented and there was no disruption during the 5th Dynasty at the time of Noah's flood, 2,345 BCE, with the nation remaining strong and powerful throughout these dynasties.
  4. The Harappan Civilization(2300 - 1900 BCE) in India shows no disruptions at the time of the Flood and, ironically, appears to have ended because of a region-wide drought! (some used to think that an invasion was the cause, but the evidence points away from this earlier scenario).
  5. Chinese history begins nearly 3,000 BCE. The Shu-King historic record of China, shows that King Yao came to the throne in 2356 BCE and ruled China for many years after the alleged flood. Incidentally, during the reign of Yao, the Shu King reports that the Hwang Ho River flooded on a number of times, for three generations, again with NO break in history. Please consult the History of China or THIS timeline. The only place you find these early rulers listed are at Chinese sites (spelled Tangyao, Westerners shorten this to Yao).
  6. Ancient civilizations in India which predate the Bible entirely and shows no evidence that such an event ever happened ( appearance of the oldest book of the Hindu religion, the Rig Veda pre-dates the Bible considerably, according to astronomical dating provided by astronomical events listed in the Rig Veda)"
(www.deusdiapente.net/science/flood.php)

Flood theorists generally pinpoint the date sometime about 2,500 BC or thereabouts, and are completely unaware that records from Egypt and other ancient civilizations exist for that time period. No flood.

Contradictions revisited.....again.

The Bible is an unreliable authority because it contains numerous contradictions. Logically, if two statements are contradictory, at least one of them is false. The biblical contradictions therefore prove that the book has many false statements and is not infallible. I did fail to cite my source in my earlier post so I present it here. Google Dictionary. (http://www.google.com...)

I could continue to list more contradictions from the Bible, but I think that I have carried my burden of proof in earlier rounds, and so do not have to repeat them here. My opponent would have us believe that an almighty Creator could not get his numbers straight.

The Books of Moses

The first five books of the Bible are called the Pentateuch, or "The Books of Moses." Many fundamentalist Christians and Jews believe that Moses wrote these first five books. I am absolutely sure that my opponent is in that category. First:

"Did Moses write the five books (Pentateuch), which are designated by his name?" To this question we unhesitatingly answer, yes; for the following reason: If any man presents a book to the public, and alleges that he is the author of the same, he deserves, without doubt, to be believed, unless some other person should claim the authorship, and bring conclusive proof, that he, and not the ostensible editor, is the true author." (http://www.jewish-history.com...)

A careful examination by the astute reader will reveal that Moses could not have written the Pentateuch. I ask you the reader to judge this verse, and decide for yourself;

But Moses and Aaron fell facedown and cried out, "O God, God of every human spirit, will you be angry with the entire assembly when only one man sins?" (NIV) (Numbers 16:22)


As you can see this, and hundreds of verses like this are written from the third person perspective!! had Moses wrote this it would read something like this; "But I and Aaron fell facedown and cried out, 'O God, God of every human spirit, will you be angry with the entire assembly when only one man sins?"

"So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord" (Deut: 34:3). Did Moses write about his own death? I think not.

Finally, I have offered proof, not dogma, to prove that the Bible is full of contradictions, errors, and stories that are scientifically unproven (i.e, untrue).

To overlook these glaring errors is to judge this debate based on emotion, and not reason. I would like to thank my opponent in advance for his stellar conduct and thoughtful rebuttals, and look forward to his final response.

ReformedArsenal

Con

I would like to thank my opponent for an engaging debate.

Miracles

My opponent simply does not understand my argument. The very definition of miracles are that they violate natural law. You cannot say that something that defies natural law cannot exist because it defies natural law. This is circular reasoning at its best.

If the Bible is true, miracles exist and defy natural law.
If the Bible is false, miracles do not exist. You cannot use the conclusion of an argument to prove the presupposition... this is exactly what my opponent is doing. He is saying the Bible is false because it presents miracles which cannot occur, however he is using the fact that miracles do not exist to prove the Bible false. Unless he can prove the Bible false on some other grounds, this argument fails.

In regard to the dating of the flood. Again, my opponent seems to think that the most fundamentalist and conservative sources are the most reasonable. However there are scores of Christian theologians, even in the evangelical realm, that do not believe the dating posited by these person.

Typically the dating is based off genealogies given in the book of Genesis. However, these genealogies can skip generations, or refer to dynasties instead of individuals. Because of this ambiguity, we really have no way to know how long each genealogy is, and therefore no reliable way to date the flood. Furthermore, we have no way to know that the Flood account is not a literary convention. Many Christian scholars view Genesis 1-11 as entirely metaphorical or literary, reckoning them as no more than a mythological account. While this is not a perspective that I share, it is no less a reasonable and legitimate perspective. My opponent must prove that the only way to interpret the flood account is as a literal, historic account. In addition, he has to prove the dating to where he places it.

The Book of Moses

"The first five books of the Bible are called the Pentateuch, or "The Books of Moses." Many fundamentalist Christians and Jews believe that Moses wrote these first five books. I am absolutely sure that my opponent is in that category"

My opponent has made a grave error. First of all, I am not a fundamentalist, nor do I believe that the Pentateuch was simply written by Moses. I believe that it was written primarily by Moses, edited by Joshua (or Aaron) and then later edited again (perhaps in Exile). This accounts for the record of Moses' death being part of the story. This debate is not about Mosaic Authorship, so I will not go into further details. However, the books of the Pentateuch make no explicit internal claim to their authorship, and therefore showing that Moses is or is not the author is irrelevant and cannot represent a contradiction.

Furthermore, the only evidence that my opponent has offered that the book was not written by Moses is that it was written in the third person. I am not usually moved to laughter, but this is quite humorous. Has my opponent never read an autobiography? The Autobiographies of Charles Spurgeon and Billy Graham are sitting on my shelf right now. They were written entirely in the third person. This doesn't mean that they were not written by the subject of the story, it is simply a litterary choice to write in the third versus the first person.

Conclusion

At this point has offered no objection or contradiction that is not easily overcome by a full understanding of the text and logical interpretation. He has failed to refute the fact that his argument against miracles is circular in nature, and thus does not stand. He has also failed to prove any internal contradictions in the Bible and therefore the argument does not stand. He has also failed to prove any historical contradictions in the text, and therefore the argument does not stand.

In his opening argument he posited that "The Christian Bible is not the Word of God because it contains scientific errors, contradictions, and historically inaccurate information." He has not fulfilled his burden of proof to show that it contained any of these inaccuracies, and therefore he has lost the debate.

Thank you again to my opponent for his engagement and contribution, and thank you to the readers for their participation as well.
Debate Round No. 5
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by ReformedArsenal 2 years ago
ReformedArsenal
And... the word "bible" does not mean: Collection of Books... it comes from the Greek "Biblos" which means "Book."
Posted by ReformedArsenal 2 years ago
ReformedArsenal
victor081291, I am working on my Masters Degree in Church History, specifically on the Nicene-Chalcedonia Era. I can tell you that your assessment is incorrect... he Emperor was an Arian, and the Council ruled against Arius... if he was determining the outcome, don't you think that it would have gone in his direction?

Furthermore, it is spelled Nicaea... and "Council of Nicaea" is three words.
Posted by victor081291 2 years ago
victor081291
Two words my friends, Council of Nicea. The christian bible was constructed under Emperor Constantine's rule in 325 A.D. The word bible itself means collection of books. If the bible really is the word of God, then it has been edited to benefit a tyrannical regime.
Posted by wiploc 2 years ago
wiploc
: The Christian Bible is not the Word of God because it contains scientific errors, contradictions, and historically inaccurate information.

Another interpretation would be that the bible is the work of an unscientific, contradictory, inaccurate god.
Posted by Mr.Infidel 2 years ago
Mr.Infidel
ANALYSIS
This has been an interesting debate and am blown away by both debaters. Pro tried to show that there were inaccuracies in the text and con refuted it well. Amongst many things, pro did ot respond adequately to the harmonization of the text.
Pro tries to use the deluge as an example, but fails to remember God is able to do such a thing, as he is all powerful; moreover, there is good evidence to show that the world was much different before the deluge (which I wish con brought up). Overall, nice job.
Posted by 545jthegeec 2 years ago
545jthegeec
I agree with Mr. Infidel
Posted by ReformedArsenal 2 years ago
ReformedArsenal
Mr.Infidel... that's highly debatable. In most cases, particularly during 2nd temple Judaism, Satan was seen as the Angel behind the oppressive Regime (Babylon or Rome usually) and was seen as an enemy of Israel. You have a tricky theodicy to explain with some of the other statements you have made if Satan is behind Rome or Babylon oppressing Israel, and is also an agent of the Lord.
Posted by Mr.Infidel 2 years ago
Mr.Infidel
"A simple observation and knowledge of the original language reveals the answer. In hebrew, the word "satan" means "adversary." The Lord is acting as an adversary to David (and all of Israel) in this account. In 2 Samuel we see it refer to the LORD specifically, in 1 Chronicles the author chose to call him by an adjective desriptor."

=> If I may comment, I think that this is an important point. Satan in Judaism is not the same Satan as is in Christianity. In Judaism, Satan is an agent of G-d, not a fallen angel.
Posted by Mr.Infidel 2 years ago
Mr.Infidel
Challenge me.
Posted by Rasheed 2 years ago
Rasheed
Making such a statement does not make the Bible true, you will have to prove that, which you will not be able to do.
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by Man-is-good 2 years ago
Man-is-good
RasheedReformedArsenalTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: While Con may have stumbled with his statement about the instability of scientific knowledge, he provided an overall more convincing case: Pro does make errors, especially in establishing "contradictions" that Con revealed to be valid (multiple statements on a single event can corroborate each other) and based on word definitions in particular. Moreover, while Pro's case about Noah's flood was convincing, he failed to counter Con's acknowledgement of the omnipresence of God as well.
Vote Placed by gordi9 2 years ago
gordi9
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Reasons for voting decision: good job
Vote Placed by Nur-Ab-Sal 2 years ago
Nur-Ab-Sal
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Reasons for voting decision: Great debate. Convincing arguments goes to Con.
Vote Placed by Mr.Infidel 2 years ago
Mr.Infidel
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Reasons for voting decision: Sorry ra that izbo the clown v-bombed you. Analysis in comments.
Vote Placed by thett3 2 years ago
thett3
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Reasons for voting decision: Counter to izbo.
Vote Placed by izbo10 2 years ago
izbo10
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro tried to have an intelligent conversation, con used intellectual dishonesty and apologetic nonsense. Winner Pro