The Instigator
alesalvia
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Network
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

The Bible should be law in the United States.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/2/2015 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 913 times Debate No: 69327
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (14)
Votes (0)

 

alesalvia

Con

I am going to be arguing that the title of this debate is NOT reasonable. My opponent will attempt to give an argument as to why the Bible should be the law of the land, and that the moral teachings/commandments/commands of the book should be adopted into law. (I do realize it is against the Constitituon, but this is simply a "what if...and why" topic and probably won't ever happen)

First Round: Acceptance
Second Round: Opening argument
Third Round: Rebuttals
Fourth Round: Further argument/rebuttal
Fifth Round: Closing

The only rules are to keep this civil and without personal insult (e.g. ad hominem)
I wish you the best of luck, opponent!
Network

Pro

I accept this debate. I will prove with arguments that it would be in the best interest of the United States to follow the Bible sincerely rather than to follow the current Constitution and laws.
Debate Round No. 1
alesalvia

Con

alesalvia forfeited this round.
Network

Pro

To analyze the question at hand, one must first look at the amendments to the US' Constitution, since they are the basis for much of the law.

Amendment 1: should I mention that for Thomas Hobbes, a Christian writer who based his politics on a literal interpretation of the Bible, the things contained in this amendment are an essential component of Christianity. Since none of the denominational churches (and I am counting baptists as denominational) hold exclusivity on theological truth (1 Corinthians 1:10-17), it would be ridiculous to give them any real power or make a state church that can only be as faillible as any other church. The true Church of God is not in any institution created by men (I am paraphrasing Hobbes ; this is not my own conclusion).

Amendment 2: This amendment is anti-biblical. The Bible says "all who draw the sword will die by the sword" (Matthew 26:52). Guns are the modern equivalent of swords. Statistically, the use of guns does not reduce crime rates, but many accidents caused by little children shooting at random people (parents, other children, themselves...) would have been avoided if gun restrictions were more severe.

Amendment 3: Not an innovative amendment. Breaking it amounts to theft anyway, and theft is prohibited by one of the Ten Commandments.

Amendments 4 to 9: These amendment basically say that trials must be just. The Bible already tells us that (Psalms 82).

Amendment 11: Unreasonable abuse of constitutional power, because it basically says the government cannot be accused of anything. Strictly speaking, this could even be applied to crimes against humanity. It is far more just to allow prosecution against the US government when it is in clear violation of human rights (as it often is). The Bible says that God has no partiality to rulers, so that they should be judged like those they rule over (Job 34:19). Therefore, this is actually a case where the Bible is more morally reasonable than an amendment of the Constitution.

Amendments 13, 15, 16 and 19: Slavery? The Bible does not endorse it (the Old Testament regulates it, which some assume means it endorses it implicitely. But slavery as practiced by ancient Israelites was far more humane than what was practiced in most civilizations, southern states included), and Paul is usually considered to have opposed it in his epistle to Philemon. Paul was also against discrimination based on origin or sex (Colossians 3:11, Galatians 3:28). Finally, he also says Christians must pay their taxes (Romans 13:7).

Amendment 18: Just stupid. Fortunately it got repelled.

All other amendments: Internal regulations. They are not strictly required for the establishment of a functional United States government.

Note that the original text of the Constitution is almost exclusively an affirmation of the United States government's power, defining the politics of the United States as republican (done by election of representatives). But republicanism is not perfect, as the existence of two-party politics attests (two-party systems in general have a high risk of corruption, which is detrimental to efficient governance). If anything, using the Bible as the law of the country would be a great opportunity to establish a new type of government in the United States. Which government is best, however, is another debate entirely, since the Bible would allow United States citizens to choose how they want to be ruled. To Hobbes, it wasn't even required that the ruler of a Christian nation be a Christian himself, as long as he respects the Christian ideals (those of the true Church, not those of churches of men) and abides by them.
Debate Round No. 2
alesalvia

Con

alesalvia forfeited this round.
Network

Pro

Network forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
alesalvia

Con

alesalvia forfeited this round.
Network

Pro

Con has forfeited three rounds, suggesting she is incapable of proving her point.

Having sufficiently demonstrated that the Bible was more morale than the United States Constitution, I should win this debate. Since the Constitution is the basis for all other laws, and the Constitution is morally challengeable, many of the other laws can be challenged as well, just like you cannot build a solid building if its pillars are on soft ground. While some laws may still be good, it is reasonable to assume elements of the Bible will parallel these laws.

A few examples would be how the Bible explicitely says that all human beings are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). This is explicitely used to address the issue of intrinsic human rights : "Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image." (Genesis 9:6). As it is usually assumed that humans are accountable for sinful thoughts (desire to sin) as well as the acts they commit, the consequence of being made in the image of God is that anyone with a desire to hurt one of his fellows will be held accountable for it. So much for racist or homophobic " Christians "! This is doubly true for Christians (1 John 2:9 ; 1 Corinthians 3:16-17), who will be judged harsher than any other for their offenses (Luke 12:47-48). Surely it would be perfectly morale for the United States to live under a system based on the source of this morale.
Debate Round No. 4
alesalvia

Con

alesalvia forfeited this round.
Network

Pro

Con failed to argue through this debate and should lose by default, since she forfeited 4 rounds out of 5, while the only round I have forfeited was round 3, which was the counter-argument round, and I can't counter-argument if my opponent makes no argument whatsoever. I was following the rules of this debate: Con was not.

At this point I am the clear winner of this debate. I would have preferred a real debate with an opponent that actually makes arguments ; since my position was supposed to be undefendable Con should have had it easy. But nevermind, it is finished.

Please vote honestly and constructively.
Debate Round No. 5
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Network 2 years ago
Network
I feel bad about this. The commenters refused to vote (strategic voting) because they would not let me win, and while the debate is a tie, it is obvious to any observer I should have won. Not funny guys.
Posted by Network 2 years ago
Network
Wow, we are only midway through the debate and I already have the advantage. If Con forfeits all rounds, will you let me win?
Posted by Network 2 years ago
Network
Makes me think of Greek philosophy, though. Socrates asserted there was objective justice, while his opponent Thrasymachus considered there was no such thing, and Glaucon even said that people would do whatever is good to them and which they think they can get away with. Which stance is closest to your opinion? If Socrates, you should live by righteousness, which I doubt most people do. If Thrasymachus, you have a very low opinion of morality anyway. If Glaucon, then you'll have to admit Christians are more moral than Atheists, because the former think they can't get away with nothing, while the later say they can.
Posted by Network 2 years ago
Network
No, I didn't substitute any word for another. I only stated the obvious - you can judge the morality of a thing based on its consequences. An act cannot be good in itself if its consequences are detrimental to people involved, and something is not evil if it is beneficial to everyone. What you do is confusing pragmaticism (making moral conclusions based on practical consequences) with Occam's Razor (the solution to a problem with the simplest premises is usually the best). Pragmaticism doesn't have to be simple, as long as it is practical. Occam's Razor doesn't apply to morality in any meaningful way. Neither of them are sufficient to disprove the existence of God, and the people who developped both concepts were well aware of that.

In fact, given that pragmaticism can be reduced to such statement as "what is useful is good", I could even argue that this is what Christianity teaches. Paul said that what Christians must look for is the good of others, but that they are otherwise free to live how they want (1 Corinthians 10:23-33). This is identical to benevolent pragmaticism, if such thing exists. So the first part of your argument (religion cannot be pragmatic) is invalid, as far as moral pragmaticism is involved.

And the second part of your argument (which is really a misapplied form of Occam's Razor) is that there is no moral need for religion and/or God. But I doubt that a strict Atheist would obey all moral codes in full humility by sheer benevolence (I am not saying altruism. Benevolence, unlike altruism, doesn't have to be detrimental to the self). I suppose you think otherwise. But before mentioning apparent exceptions (you may think of Ayn Rand, for example), verify that they are not following a bowdlerized form of Judeo-Christianity (the reference to Deuteronomy 30:19 in John Galt's speech is hard to ignore). You say that a person who fully denies God can be righteous ; then prove that people will obey a law they think is without punishment or reward.
Posted by missmedic 2 years ago
missmedic
Religion is based in metaphysics not pragmatism. When you substitute the definition of a word with your own it does not make it true or "righteous".
Pragmatism is a broad philosophical movement, but most forms center around the idea that a proposition is true if and only if it "works" and that a proposition's true meaning can only be determined through the consequences of actively applying or trying it. True, meaningful ideas should be accepted while those ideas which don't work, aren't meaningful, and are impractical should be rejected.
Pragmatic atheism thus finds that the proposition "at least one god exists" is false and/or meaningless because the application of such a proposition to one's life does not "work" " or at least does not create any meaningful difference in one's life as opposed to not applying it. If there's no practical difference between believing and not believe in any gods, then there's no practical difference between the existence and non-existence of any gods. Therefore, atheism should be adopted for purely pragmatic reasons.
Posted by Network 2 years ago
Network
It's not inconsistent, enigmatic or self-contradictory, you just never cared to figure out what the text means. It is even written that the Holy Spirit teaches to believers (John 14:26), presumably teaching them the correct reading of scripture.

The Bible says humans have knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 3:22). But you do not know what this means, do you? Obviously humans are not naturally born with the ability to know that charity is good and murder is bad, or similar. But this knowledge rathers shows itself in the ability of human beings to decide what is good and evil - by conviction. This is what the epistle to the Romans was intended to mean. But truly good things must also be pragmatic, because pragmaticism is the first (and only) objective moral standard. Starving? Could be good, if done willingly. Eating meat? Good, as long as it feeds you and you don't waste it. Murdering? Not pragmatic, therefore not good. Taboo, therefore evil. This is what, I think, is the meaning of righteousness.

But you will not buy anything of that, will you? The Bible says you must be a good person and honor the only living God. People can differ on how to do that. But nobody who does evil or dishonors the living God knowingly and willingly will get unpunished.
Posted by missmedic 2 years ago
missmedic
No two men will ever agree what this perfect word of God is supposed to mean, since much of it is either self- contradictory, or obscured by enigmatic symbols. And yet the perfect God expects us imperfect humans to understand this paradoxical riddle using the imperfect minds with which he has equipped us. Surely the all-wise and all-powerful God would have known that it would have been better to reveal his perfect will directly to each of us, rather than to allow it to be debased and perverted by the imperfect language and botched interpretations of man.
It's not rational to believe in something with logically contradictory characteristics. It's not rational to believe in something defined one way when the allegedly same thing is defined in a contradictory manner by someone else.
The most rational and sensible position is to simply withhold belief and remain an atheist.
Posted by Network 2 years ago
Network
Missmedic, you need to read your bible better and not cherry pick. The covenant of God with Moses required the Law ; the covenant of Jesus with mankind requires faith. Paul compared this to a guardian taking care of a child while the parent is absent. When the parent returns, the child is no longer under the care of the guardian (Galatians 3:23-25). Jesus came to fulfill the Law, so its purpose was complete ; therefore, the time of the Law is over (Romans 10:4), and those who are trying to live by the law in the knowledge of Christ's sacrifice cannot partake in his grace (Galatians 5:4).

We can even find confirmation of this in the Old Testament, because " The righteous shall live by faith ", yet " the person who obeys [the laws] shall live by them ". We cannot be both persons, because righteousness is not given by the Law (Romans 3:20), but through faith (Romans 3:22) by the grace of God (faith follows from grace and not from personnal innovation, so that no one can boast on their faith). To Paul, Law was a curse, which could only be lifted by the curse of Jesus hanging on a wooden cross (Galatians 3:13), and Christians are cursed to evangelize (Acts 4:20).

Christians are free to live on their convictions as long as they do not disobey them nor those of others (Romans 14), but this freedom is not unconditional. All is permitted, but not all is useful (1 Corinthians 10:23), and what is not useful is better avoided. But the faith of a person is shown by his works (James 2:19, Matthew 7:16-18), so there is no true faith without righteousness. A person claiming to have faith but doing no good works is mistaken (at best), because " faith without works is dead " (James 2:17), and dead faith does not lead to salvation.
Posted by missmedic 2 years ago
missmedic
Esiar you need to read your bible better and not cherry pick.
Here is a brief list of some of what Jesus taught about the Old Testament:
1.Source of Authority1.When confronted by Satan, Jesus appealed to the Old Testament as a source of authority by stating, "It is written," (Matt. 4:4, 7, 10).
2.Imperishability1."For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished," (NASB, Matt. 5:18).
3.Unbreakability1."The Scripture cannot be broken," (NASB, Jn. 10:35).
4.Source of Doctrinal Authority1.Jesus appealed to Scripture when correcting false doctrine stating, "You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God," (NASB, Matt. 22:29).
5.Truthfulness1."Your word is truth," (NASB, Jn. 17:17).
6.Historical Reliability1.Jesus affirmed the historical existence of Jonah (Matt. 12:40), Noah (Matt. 24:37-38), and Adam and Eve (Matt. 19:4-6).
7.Scientific Reliability1.Jesus affirmed that God created the world (Mk. 13:19; cf. Matt. 19:4).
8.Old Testament Canonicity11.Jesus made reference to the Law and Prophets as a unit, "Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill," (Matt. 5:17).
2.Jesus explained the Scriptures, "Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures," (NASB, Luke 24:27).
3.Jesus referred to the entire Canon by mentioning all the prophets from Abel (from Genesis, the first book and first martyr) to Zechariah (Chronicles, the last book, and the last martyr) (Matt. 23:35).
So if your a true Christian you must follow the old and the new testaments, most Christian do not read the bible much less follow it, most use there own morality to cherry pick what they want to follow and neglect the rest.
Posted by Esiar 2 years ago
Esiar
I hope Con doesn't talk about the Old Testament: According to the Bible, we should follow the New Covenant, not the old (Hebrews 8). Christ fulfilled the law, he finished building the house. Meaning, we ought to live in the complete house (NT) rather than an incomplete one with fault (OT).

That being the case, there would be no Porn, Drugs, Alcoholics, Murderers, Theifs, Liars, etc. if everyone followed the Bible.
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