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The Contender
Pro (for)
6 Points

The Christian God is Omniscient and Omnibenevolent II

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/13/2009 Category: Religion
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,704 times Debate No: 9485
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (10)
Votes (4)




I'd like to get some legitimate arguing done. The resolution is fairly clear, please don't try something wacky using obscure definitions.

This is a rare debate in which both debaters have a burden of proof. It is possible for Pro to prove his/her side, and it is possible for me to prove my side. Please don't try and shift the burden. By accepting this debate, you accept half of the BOP.

I shall show that it is impossible for the Christian God to be omniscient and omnibenevolent at the same time.

First, numerous Bible verses point to his immorality. In these lines, God authorizes and commits slaughter.

Deuteronomy 20:10-14 - "As you approach a town to attack it, first offer its people terms for peace. If they accept your terms and open the gates to you, then all the people inside will serve you in forced labor. But if they refuse to make peace and prepare to fight, you must attack the town. When the LORD your God hands it over to you, kill every man in the town. But you may keep for yourselves all the women, children, livestock, and other plunder. You may enjoy the spoils of your enemies that the LORD your God has given you."

1 Sam 15:2a, 3 - "Thus saith the LORD of hosts... 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 a**(donkey)."

1 Sam 6:19 - "And he smote the men of Bethshemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the LORD, even he smote of the people fifty thousand and threescore and ten men: and the people lamented, because the LORD had smitten many of the people with a great slaughter."

Even if we don't look to the above passages, it is impossible for God to be omniscient and omnibenevolent given his past actions.

Let us assume that God is omnisicient. If God has unlimited knowledge, he knows exactly what humans are going to do before they do it. He knew Eve would eat the Fruit before she did. He knew he would have to flood the earth before humans grew wicked. He knows that every murderer would kill someone before they even act. Because he is omniscient, he knew all this before he even created Creation itself. Here we have a problem.

If God knew of every single sin that humans would commit even before he created humans, why create us in the first place? By creating humans, knowing exactly who would be damned, God effectively damned those people. Hell is described as the ultimate torture and punishment. God knew who would have to suffer hell, but created those people anyway - sending them to eternal damnation.

With that, I'll open the floor out for Pro.


Although I personally do not believe in the Christian God, I was raised Roman Catholic and had many of the debatable points mentioned by my opponent brought up within my own mind throughout my life.

Although the bible states a lot of situations in which God is vengeful and rains his wrath down upon our world, I will be debating from a purely logical basis alone, and not from the logical inconsistencies within the bible's God. Thus the acts of God in the bible, and any act of God I shall be ignoring and instead be discussing the logical consistency of a Omniscient and Omnibenevolent God's existence.

God's Inability

1: If God is Omniscient then he is able to see all that exists at all times, as well as all the acts that he and all other beings that exist commit within those times.

2: If God is Omnibenevolent then he is an all loving God. This is the idea that God is a loving God who does not act in evil or cruel ways, (At least this is what I have grown to learn that it means).

3: The basic idea that states that these aspects of God deny each other is that If God knew we were to fail or to act wrongly, and if he were a truly loving being, why did he not intervene? For by not intervening he would deny his Omnibenevolence, or that he did not know that it would occur, and thus couldn't and as such deny his Omniscience.

4: I state that this is only a problem should God be Omnipotent, that is, if he is all powerful and or able to intervene in our acts upon the earth. If God is able to stop such acts is such that if he doesn't then he is not all loving, or that he did not intervene because he did not know that it would occur. But, If God does not posses the ability to interact with this world, then it places God into a peculiar situation. For then he would truly be a loving God, with the capability of seeing all evil in the world, and all acts that we will ever commit before him; But due to his inability to interact with the world then neither his Omniscience nor his Omnibenevolence are denied. He posses them both, but is unable to act.

Free Will

1: The argument based on free will is one that argues that God, even if he were able to interact with the world, cannot due to free will.

A: God gave us free will because he loved us.

B: To act in any way, whether beneficial or detrimental to us, upon our plane of existence would deny our free will.

C: By denying us Free Will by his action goes against his act of love by giving it to us in the first place, thus Denying his Omnibenevolence.

-God Knew what we would do with our free will, but because he loved us he gave it to us. To have seen what we would do with free will and deny us it would have been to deny us his love.

Idea of Hell

1: The idea of hell is brought up by my opponent by stating that God Punishes mankind for not acting rightly.

2: There exists another idea of Hell, which many Christians today have begun to take upon themselves, which is linked directly to our free will, it is the Hell which is created by the separation of God.

A: To accept God and act for him is to accept heaven.

B: To deny God, or act against him is to accept separation from him.

C: If we deny God then we do so with the free will he gave us, and as above, for him to take away that free will is to deny his Omnibenevolence. It is the free will of Man, not the act of God, which creates a Hell for mankind by his own action.

-God Knew we would choose to deny and separate ourselves from him, but it is by our own free will that we condemn ourselves to hell, not his actions.

-(Another idea is this. God is Good, God is Love, To separate oneself from God is to separate oneself from Good, to separate oneself from Love)

Idea of Time
1: As humans we experience time linearly, that is in a line. When time occurs it is the present, when time has gone by, the past, and what will occur is the future.

2: God on the other hand may not experience time in the same fashion. For if God were to experience all time as we do the present. Then there is NO way for him to act to stop that which occurs at that time.

I.E.: God sees Jonny Doing X at Y time. But For God Jonny is doing X Now, and has already Done X at Y time.

- For many this is a complicated idea, but if God experiences all time at the same time and not linearly like mankind, then he cannot act on future events for they have already occurred.

I would like to thank my opponent for this opportunity and await his responses to these ideas. This is my First posting and look forward to interesting and enlightening times on this site.
Debate Round No. 1


This should be a quite interesting debate. I would like to thank my opponent, and welcome him to DDO (stick with the site - it's a nice place =))

Biblical Cruelty
My opponent seems to ignore my arguments here. He agrees that God can be "vengeful and [rain] his wrath down upon our world". Though you should technically count this as a concession of God's wickedness, this debate ought to revolve on the much more interesting philosophical arguments.

RE: God's Inability
Pro states that a cocktail of omniscience and omnibenevolence is only a problem if a shot of omnipotence is added to the mix. He argues that the Christian God does not have the ability to interact with out world. This is a completely incorrect statement. Apart from creating the world itself, appearing to the wandering Jews, impregnating Mary and giving Moses his ninja powers, the Christian God caused the Great Flood. Remember all of these things, but particularly the Flood. It will come into play later on.

RE: Hell
Pro agrees that God is omniscient and omnibenevolent. This means that he knows exactly who is going to Hell. He has the ability to communicate with us and interact with the world. Yet people still go to Hell.

He then advocates for another kind of Hell. I would like him to present scriptural evidence that such a Hell exists. If there is no basis in scripture, such a Hell would be a human construct, and therefore nonexistent.

RE: Idea of Time
Pro says that because God may be able to see time at all points past, present, and future, he can't affect the world because he cannot single out a time.

However, remember the Great Flood and other examples I cited above. God obviously can interact with our world, nullifying this argument.

Also, existing all throughout time strengthens my argument. Provided God knows the infinite future because he exists in it, he knows the results of his actions the moment he commits them, and if they are undesirable, he can change them.

Furthermore, he's omniscient. He knows the future. Even if he did not exist outside of time, and experienced it linearly, he'd constantly know the best course of action. Judging from our world, he obviously hasn't taken it.

RE: Free Will
Pro then brings up the point of free will. He says that God gave us free will, and that anything bad we do with it is our own fault. There are two main problems with this argument.

1) If God is omniscient, he knew giving us free will would lead to numerous problems. He gave free will to us anyway, and in doing so, made us bound to sin.

2) If God still wished to give us free will, he has done it inefficiently. God could have easily made rational beings that would only do good and cause no evil. Given the fact that God knew his options but chose the lesser, he is not all loving.

I look forward to your arguments =).


Terraforcer forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


Terraforcer has forfeited, so please extend my arguments through.

Vote Con!


I apologize for not being able to post in the second part of the debate, due to my work schedule I was unable to find the time and I was disappointed that I was unable to be heard. Here are my final Points.

Biblical Cruelty
My opponent above states that I disregard the argument for biblical cruelty, and he is correct, but I do not do so without reason.
If one believes that the bible is divinely created, then I concede that there is no way to argue the inconsistencies within the bible, but at the same time those who believe the bible to be divinely created tend to ignore the logical inconsistencies within it and the possible logical inconsistencies within God.
If on the other hand the bible is not divinely created, and instead is a work of man, then the logical inconsistencies of God's wrath can be explained. Much of what was defined as God's wrath in the past tended to be explanations that man gave for things that they did not understand.
Floods – Natural Disaster – Not God
Fire from Sky – Lightning, Meteor Shower, or even Hail – Not God.
Disease – Sickness – Not God
Even the 10 plagues of Moses have been able to be explained through science and do not have to be explained as god's Wrath.
For those in the past who were unable to explain natural occurrences, God was the best if not the only explanation.

God's Activity
As I state above, many of the actions that man states God causes within the bible are natural occurrences that do not require God's presence for man to claim that they are the work of God. The two that I shall speak of are the supposed Immaculate Conception and the Creation of the Universe.
As for the Conception of Jesus, can be explained scientifically through the process of Parthenogenesis, Although this has never been experienced in the lifetime of science within the human species, does not rule it out as a possibility. Also, if God were to have caused the immaculate conception of Jesus, that does not deny God's Omnibenevolence, in fact it is a show of his Love for man by creating a being for the sole purpose of teaching the truth of the universe to mankind, Whether they listen or not is up to each individual's free will.
The creation of the universe is an act of god, though not necessarily an omnipotent act. There is the possibility that the creation of the universe was similar to our creations. Einstein created the theory used to create the atom bomb, he never intended it to be used to create the atom bomb, and the creation of the bomb was out of his hands. Thus the earth could have been created by God, but after that he has no influence of what we do within it.

My opponent states that I create a image of hell without proof, and that it has no basis in Scripture thus the hell I stated would be a human construct. I defend this by stating "Scripture" Is a human construct. The bible, whether influenced or not (which is purely belief based), was still created by man.

Idea of Time
My opponent states that the idea of time I stated above strengthens his argument, but he does not realize, that were god to exist out of time, that his interference in the workings of the world, would be impossible. If god were to see A do X at T1(future), then god sees A doing X at T2(present), and god sees A having done X at T3(past). Were god to intervene at any point then problems occur on different levels. First, if god Stops A from Doing X at any point then A was not free to do X, and thus denies Gods Omnibenevolence by denying free will. If God were to stop A from doing X at T1 or T2, then A never did X at T3, thus stating that God's knowledge that A has already done X by T3 was incorrect and thus he is not omniscient. God will not act in any fashion that would also deny any of his traits, for it would cease his existence.

Free Will
My opponent brings up two arguments against god giving mankind free will.
1) As for the statement "Bound to sin" it is incorrect for Free will does not make us sin, our choices to sin is what makes us sin. Free will only gives us the ability to make those choices.
2) This argument does not work against Free Will. If god were to place limits on our free will, then we do not have free will. If God were to say that mankind can do anything they wish, but cannot commit evil, then they cannot do anything they wish.

- My argument can be better explained in two scenarios.
The Locked Room
Two men are placed in two rooms and locked inside with no other way out. The men do not know the door is locked. One chooses to stay in the room, the other chooses to leave but is unable to because the door is locked. If free will is the ability to choose otherwise, which many people do believe it to be, neither of these men are free, because they are unable to leave the room. The first man may be happier because his choice was what he wanted and he does not know he cannot do otherwise; the second man though is denied even the choice because the only option was to stay.

The Sedated Prisoner
Two cell doors are opened, each cell holds a man, one man is neither restrained nor sedated, and the second man is sedated to stay. The first man can choose to leave the cell or stay within it; he has no restraints on his options. The second man though, although the option to leave exists, his ability to fully choose has been tampered with, the sedation denies the option to leave, and thus he cannot choose otherwise, even if normally non sedated he still would have chosen to stay. The second man again has been denied his free will even though he may not perceive it that way.

-Thus if god were to have made us with the ability to always do good and never evil, then we were never free to do evil in the first place, thus denying gods Omnibenevolence towards us through the idea of free will.

Although complicated, god's Omniscience and Omnibenevolence are NOT contradictory.
Vote PRO
Debate Round No. 3
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Terraforcer 8 years ago
Well... either way... It was an interesting argument. It's no longer up to us now. Lets see how the people vote. Good luck to you.
Posted by ToastOfDestiny 8 years ago
You sourced parthanogenesis, so I voted "Tied" on who had the more reliable sources (as I sourced the Bible, which is reliable in this context). The RFD is a template we use here so that people know how we vote and to keep voting legitimate (some users make multiple accounts vote for personal reasons).

I dismissed your argument of time simply because we are talking about the Christian God, who is described in the Bible. He can interact with the world, as he did create it (which would be impossible if he couldn't interact with the world).

Also, right at the end, you said that if God didn't give us free will, we wouldn't be able to perform evil , meaning God let us perform evil. If I had another round, I would have challenged your argument by saying that if free will meant evil, and no free will marred omnibenevolence, God should have just not created us at all.
Posted by Terraforcer 8 years ago
Not a single point I received came from Wikipedia.

Time is not dismissed just because you don't understand it.

And 2: The bible speaks of both the Christian, Jewish and Muslim God. They are all the same god, the only thing different about the bible from the Torah is the New testament. The old Testament is the stories of the Jewish God and which many Jews still state are stories meant to create morals within people and not to be truth.
Posted by ToastOfDestiny 8 years ago

B/A: Con.
C: Con; Pro did forfeit.
S/G: Tied.
CA: Con; many reasons.
1) Parthanogenesis would have created Jesa, not Jesus. Mary's egg duplicating would have two X chromosomes, and would be a girl. With this, God can interact with the world, but chooses not to.
2) The Christian God is the God described by the Bible, rendering Pro's other points moot.
3) Pro's 'time' argument is dismissed because of '1'.
S: Tied; I used the Bible, he used Wikipedia.
Posted by ToastOfDestiny 8 years ago
Go for it.
Posted by Terraforcer 8 years ago
I want to apologize to my opponent for due to my work schedule I was unable to complete my second part of the debate. I was hoping that I would have time today but life caught up with me and I was unable to. If You desire to continue I will try my best to get the second part of the Argument in with my final analysis. If not if not I am both willing and desire to have this debate started again so that we can complete it. Again I apologize for my inability to get my second posting up in time.
Posted by ToastOfDestiny 8 years ago
Welcome to DDO!
Posted by Puck 8 years ago
Cue Charlton Heston..
Posted by brittwaller 8 years ago
Well, book title or cheesy movie franchise ;P
Posted by Rezzealaux 8 years ago
Sounds like a book. Are you going to copyright that title?
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