The Instigator
Stupidape
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Peili
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

The Christian God is malevolent.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/22/2016 Category: Religion
Updated: 10 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 532 times Debate No: 94013
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (17)
Votes (0)

 

Stupidape

Pro

Structure
Round 1: Arguments
Round 2: Rebuttals
Round 3: Defend argument against opponent's rebuttal

Outline
I. Intro
II. Slavery
III. Interracial marriages
IV. Homophobia
V. Women hating
VI. Anti-animal rights
VII. Totalitarian
VIII. Conclusion
IX. Sources

I. Intro

One the most difficult concepts for me is which God to worship? If you believe in Heaven and/or Hell is this not the most important question? Then, why do people seem to haphazardly worship whichever God their friends or family worship? If you are going to spend your life devoted to this God and eternity with this God, I think its best to know the character of God.

So, I ask the question is Jesus Christ good or evil? What is his character? Is he benevolent or malevolent. One of the panicked voices in the back of my mind wonders is God evil? Should I be worshiping an evil deity? I will now make the case for God being evil.

Note, I will be using information both from the New Testament and Old. This is because to understand the character of God, we need to look at both. A person's past explains a lot, so would God's past.

II. Slavery

Claim 0: The Bible permits and encourages slavery.

Warrant 0: [1][2][3]

Impact: Slavery is considered immoral by almost every person in the world. Thus the fact that Jesus Christ not only permits by encourages such an action harms his character.

III. Interracial marriages

Claim 1: The Christian God is against interracial marriages.

Warrant 1: [4][5][6]

Impact 1: Opposing interracial marriages sets the stage for racism and bigotry. Most, people in the western world view nothing immoral about interracial marriages. The fact that God would label a moral act as immoral damages his character.

IV. Homophobia

Claim 2: The bible condemns homosexuality as a sin

Warrant 2: [7]

Impact 2: Again, a deed that is commonly considered moral is labeled as immoral. This further damages God's character.

V. Women hating

Claim 3: Jesus Christ is a misogynist.

Warrant 3: [8]

Impact 3: Being kind to woman is commonly considered a virtue not a vice. The fact that God would be so anti-woman damages his character.

VI. Anti-animal rights

Claim 4: Animal sacrifices in old testament

Warrant 4: [9]

Impact 4: Such acts would be illegal if committed today. They would fall under animal abuse and the person would be arrested. Let alone the outrage. Cruelty to animals further damages God's reputation.

VII. Totalitarian

Claim 5: God will not suffer any other God.

Warrant 5: [10]

Impact 5: God promotes autocracy. You cannot have any other Gods. Furthering God's absolute power over man kind. Dictatorships, autocracies, and totalitarian governments are considered inefficient and evil these days.

VIII. Conclusion

God encourages slavery, racism, misogynists, animal cruelty, and overall is a tyrant. Judging by these characteristics of God, I view God as evil. Thank you for the debate. I look forward to your response.

IX. Sources

1. https://www.biblegateway.com...
2. https://www.biblegateway.com...
3. https://www.biblegateway.com...
4. http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org...
5. http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org...
6. http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org...
7. http://www.christianbiblereference.org...
8. https://www.biblegateway.com...
9. https://www.biblegateway.com...
10. http://biblehub.com...
Peili

Con

Let"s look at the six ways the Pro considers the Christian God to be malevolent. We shall see that nearly all of them are based entirely on his imagination and not on anything in the Bible. I will close by stating what the Bible actually says.

1. Slavery.
I want to give Pro some credit here. This was the closest he came to an accurate statement about the Bible. Sure, he said that Jesus Christ permits and encourages slavery without actually siting anything that Jesus said. And Pro says that Jesus encourages slavery, which comes entirely from Pro"s imagination. In reality the Bible does not outlaw slavery, but it does discourage it [1][2]. But at least Pro is correct that the Bible does not outlaw slavery.

This is Pro strongest point, partly because it is the only time he accurately stated what the Bible says, and partly because in our culture slavery is immoral. But it is important to understand that this is our society. We are dealing with a change in values, not a change in ethics. Values deal with what people or cultures think is important. Ethics deal with what is right and wrong.

Post-enlightenment western society highly values individual self-determination. As such, slavery is one of the greatest evils since is removes self-determination. Pre-enlightenment Middle Eastern society valued the society over the individual and placed significantly lower value on self-determination. Self-determination was still valued in that culture, so being in slavery was a negative. However, people valued a functioning society over self-determination, even for themselves.

Our society has changed. We value different things. This doesn"t make God evil. It just means that the people He was dealing with at that time valued things that are different than what we value.

2. Interracial marriages.
Now we get into the much larger part, where Pro entirely misrepresents what the Bible says. Pro claims that the Bible is against interracial marriages. This is blatantly false. Consider Pro"s support for this. He cited Daniel 4:43, which is about the symbolic meaning of a statue made of clay and iron. The verse says, "And just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay."[3] The passages is about how the people of a nation will be divided, and their lack of national unity will be detrimental to the nation. It has nothing to do with marriage.

Then he cites the parable of the sheep and the goats [4], and says that this is about interracial marriages. I honestly have no idea how he came to the conclusion that this parables has anything to do with marriage. It obviously does not.

The Bible is not opposed to interracial marriages.

3. Homophobia
His third point (section IV in his argument) is that he accuses the Bible of Homophobia. It is true that the Bible includes sexual ethics, and calls homosexual actions a sin. That"s not what homophobia is. There is no aspect of fear or hatred, only a moral statement about sexual ethics. The existence of sexual ethics does not make the Bible homophobic, and a disagreement with Pro"s personal view does not make God malevolent.

4. Woman hating
Next, Pro claimed that Jesus Christ hates women, which as far as I can tell is just something he made up. There is no evidence for it in the Bible, and since Jesus regularly interacted with women and showed them great kindness, the suggestion that Jesus is a misogynist runs counter to all evidence and reason. Pro"s only support for this claim a statement from Paul that women should not teach in a certain church. First, that itself is not hateful. Second, it seems be a specific command for a specific situation, since Paul support female teachers and leaders in other places. Both Pricilla and Phoebe were female teachers whom had Paul"s support. [5][6]

5. Anti-animal rights.
Then Pro said that that Bible is anti-animal rights. He said that the animal sacrifices in the Old Testament would be illegal today. Stop for a moment and think about who Pro is suggesting here. Pro is attempting to say that today it is illegal to kill animals. Seriously.

Perhaps Pro has made up some elaborate form of cruelty that was involved in the sacrifices, but again this is only Pro"s imagination at work. The sacrificed animals were slaughtered and eaten, which is common place today and generally seen as moral (with all due respect to any vegans out there).

6. Totalitarian
Finally, Pro said that God is a totalitarian and promotes autocracy. First this is false because autocracy refers to a single human leader with complete authority. The term cannot be applied to God. More to the point, what God actually says is that anyone who follows Him cannot follow anyone else. If we are part of His kingdom then we cannot be part of any other spiritual kingdom. This is like America saying that anyone who wants to be an American citizen cannot be a citizen of another nation. The Christian God is a God who does not allow dual citizenship. We could argue the value of dual citizenship, but no sane person would say that this is totalitarian.

7. Reality
Finally, in contrast to Pro"s fictional statements about the Bible, let me quote what the Bible actually says:

Matthew 7:12, "Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets."

Matthew 22:39, "Love your neighbor as yourself."

This is as far from malevolent as one can possibly get.

1. https://www.biblegateway.com...
2. https://www.biblegateway.com...
3. https://www.biblegateway.com...
4. https://www.biblegateway.com...
5. https://www.biblegateway.com...
6. http://biblehub.com...
Debate Round No. 1
Stupidape

Pro

Round two rebuttals.

"7. Reality
Finally, in contrast to Pro"s fictional statements about the Bible, let me quote what the Bible actually says:

Matthew 7:12, "Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets."

Matthew 22:39, "Love your neighbor as yourself."

This is as far from malevolent as one can possibly get." Peili

First, Matthew 7:12 is more or less the golden rule.

The history of the golden rule is here. [11]

While the golden rule is a great start, it has one large weakness. Forcing your preferences on others. Let's say person A loves Pizza and Person B hates pizza. Person A may give pizza to person B. Since, person A would like others to give pizza to him or her, this fits within the golden rule also known as Matthew 7:12. Of course, person B hates pizza and is annoyed. The same is true of many other preferences. This becomes especially annoying or even harmful with surprise gifts.


Impact: There is no doubt the golden rule is a boon and helps to improve God's character. Nevertheless it isn't perfect and can be expanded upon and improved.

I thank my opponent for continuing the debate.

11. http://www.wisegeek.org...
Peili

Con

I will attempt to honor Pro"s desire to stick more stringently to the structure of this debate. This round is to be devoted to rebuttal of Pro"s opening argument, which I have already sufficiently done in my first post. So I will now refer Pro back to my first post and we can go from there.
Debate Round No. 2
Stupidape

Pro

I thank my opponent once against for continuing the debate.


1. Slavery

Both references to the Bible discourage slavery of Christians. Just like in the Old Testament it was moral to slave non-Israelite, but enslavement of Israelite was forbidden. This is a double standard. Freedom for Christians and Jews, but not for heathens. Terrific, so as a heathen living in a Christian society you get to spend your life in slavery and then in your after life in eternal damnation. This is pure evil in my opinion.

"This is Pro strongest point, partly because it is the only time he accurately stated what the Bible says, and partly because in our culture slavery is immoral. But it is important to understand that this is our society. We are dealing with a change in values, not a change in ethics. Values deal with what people or cultures think is important. Ethics deal with what is right and wrong.

Post-enlightenment western society highly values individual self-determination. As such, slavery is one of the greatest evils since is removes self-determination. Pre-enlightenment Middle Eastern society valued the society over the individual and placed significantly lower value on self-determination. Self-determination was still valued in that culture, so being in slavery was a negative. However, people valued a functioning society over self-determination, even for themselves.

Our society has changed. We value different things. This doesn't make God evil. It just means that the people He was dealing with at that time valued things that are different than what we value." Peili

Another point of view is slavery was always immoral and will always be. God, the omnipotent, could have easily abolished slavery before Rome was founded. This is well within his power. Yet, why didn't God ban slavery? Why is it not in the ten commandments "thou shall free as many slaves as possible." This is a question that will haunt believers. There is no good answer. Either God doesn't exist and the religion was made by human hands or God is malevolent in nature.


2. Interracial marriages and racism

Claim: People have used Christianity as a case against Interracial marriages

Warrant: "“Ross Barnett, a former Mississippi governor, once used religion to justify Jim Crow laws by calling God ‘the original segregationist.’ Religious arguments have also been used in our nation to oppose women’s suffrage, interracial marriage, the acceptance of Asian immigrants, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the abolition of slavery,” the coalition said in an emailed statement. “Bryant’s choice is clear: Either follow the path of progress or turn back the clock to the time of Ross Barnett. The civil rights community strongly urges him to veto HB1523”" [12]

Impact: Whether or not the Bible actually is against interracial marriages or not, people have thought so and used it to pass oppressive laws. With any religious text, the interpretation is often ambiguous. Meaning, two people can come to exact opposite conclusions from the same passage. This damages God's character because racism is considered immoral and he did not take a strong stance against racism.

"Now we get into the much larger part, where Pro entirely misrepresents what the Bible says. Pro claims that the Bible is against interracial marriages. This is blatantly false. Consider Pro"s support for this. He cited Daniel 4:43, which is about the symbolic meaning of a statue made of clay and iron. The verse says, "And just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay."[3] The passages is about how the people of a nation will be divided, and their lack of national unity will be detrimental to the nation. It has nothing to do with marriage.

Then he cites the parable of the sheep and the goats [4], and says that this is about interracial marriages. I honestly have no idea how he came to the conclusion that this parables has anything to do with marriage. It obviously does not.

The Bible is not opposed to interracial marriages." Peili

Claim: The Jim Crow laws used Christianity as an excuse.

Warrant:"His remarks about slavery and Jim Crow also left out an important fact. While many Americans did attempt to use Christianity to justify slavery and Jim Crow, true Christian teachings played an important role—and I would argue an essential role—in eradicating those two scourges." [13]

Impact: The Bible is too open to malicious interpretation. The same is true with other religions. Why would God write the Bible in such a way? I can think of only three answers in-confidence, malice, or God doesn't exist.

3. Homophobia

"“If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death.” (Leviticus 20:13)" [14]

This is a quintessential example of homophobia. Death penalty is way over the top.

"His third point (section IV in his argument) is that he accuses the Bible of Homophobia. It is true that the Bible includes sexual ethics, and calls homosexual actions a sin. That"s not what homophobia is. There is no aspect of fear or hatred, only a moral statement about sexual ethics. The existence of sexual ethics does not make the Bible homophobic, and a disagreement with Pro"s personal view does not make God malevolent." Peili

If the Bible stated "confess homosexuality and pray for forgiveness" I would agree, but the death penalty is way too harsh.

4. Woman hating

"Next, Pro claimed that Jesus Christ hates women, which as far as I can tell is just something he made up. There is no evidence for it in the Bible, and since Jesus regularly interacted with women and showed them great kindness, the suggestion that Jesus is a misogynist runs counter to all evidence and reason. Pro"s only support for this claim a statement from Paul that women should not teach in a certain church. First, that itself is not hateful. Second, it seems be a specific command for a specific situation, since Paul support female teachers and leaders in other places. Both Pricilla and Phoebe were female teachers whom had Paul"s support. [5][6]" Peili

Running out of characters. There is contradictory passages in every religious text. The fact that the Bible so contradictory in nature harms God's character.

5. Anti-animal rights.
"Then Pro said that that Bible is anti-animal rights. He said that the animal sacrifices in the Old Testament would be illegal today. Stop for a moment and think about who Pro is suggesting here. Pro is attempting to say that today it is illegal to kill animals. Seriously.

Perhaps Pro has made up some elaborate form of cruelty that was involved in the sacrifices, but again this is only Pro"s imagination at work. The sacrificed animals were slaughtered and eaten, which is common place today and generally seen as moral (with all due respect to any vegans out there)." Peili

First, I am a vegan who has a strong opinion that non-vegan foods should be banned worldwide. Second, the title of the passage is the burnt offering. Setting an animal on fire is a horrid example of animal cruelty that is illegal. Impact, this shows extreme animal cruelty on God's part further damaging his character.

6. Totalitarian

"Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.
" [15]

This passage states that Stalin and every other malicious tyrant was established by God. This definitely promotes autocracy. Thanks for the debate.

Sources
12. https://richarddawkins.net...
13. http://www.weeklystandard.com...
14. https://www.biblegateway.com...
15. http://biblehub.com...
Peili

Con

Let"s take a look at Pro"s various points.

1. Slavery.
Pro points out the Bible discourages slavery of Christians. It would be more accurate to say that it discourages slaver for Christians. That is, the Bible was written for Christians and it takes an overall negative view of slavery, though it doesn"t directly outlaw slavery. The New Testament passages I cited do encourage slavery of non-Christians. Instead, they discourage slavery for Christians because the NT was written for Christians. This is not a double standard. It is simply recognizes that NT was written for Christians and as such does not tell non-Christians how to live.

After this, Pro seems to fail to grasp changing cultural values. He says that "slavery was always immoral and will always be," by which he is essentially saying, "my culture is right about what thinks it is important and all other cultures are wrong."

In our culture, slavery is immoral because we value self-determination. In pre-enlightenment Middle Eastern cultures self-determination was valued less than a functioning society. Self-determination still mattered, but not as much as it does to us. Ethics can be (and in a Christian view are) consistent through time and space. Values are not. The fact that other cultures have different values than we do does not make them wrong or us right. It makes us different, and how we apply ethical principles needs to be understood within the values of a specific culture.

2. Interracial marriages and racism.
In this section Pro abandons his original idea that God or the Bible itself is racist or opposed to interracial marriages. Instead he argued that the Christian religion has been used for racist purposes. I agree that Christianity has been used for racist purposes, but this does not make God himself malevolent. A piece of wood, which can be used to build a hospital, can also be used to bash in a man"s head. That doesn"t make the wood malevolent. That means that a human can use good things for bad purposes.

Asking, "Why would God write the Bible in such a way?" is an empty question. Almost everything in existence can be used be used for bad purposes. The more powerful a force is for good, the more destructive it can be when used for evil. If we are going to say that everything which has ever been used for evil is itself malevolent then we would have to say that everything is malevolent, which is obviously ludicrous.

3. Homophobia
If we are going to discuss the Christian God then we need to focus on Christian theology. Christian theology holds that the "civil laws" " that is, the laws of the Old Testament that include a specific punishment " can tell us about what is important to God, but are not meant to be enforced outside of a theocracy. A theocracy is a nation where God is king, and the only theocracy in history was ancient Israel. In that setting, where God alone is king and everyone who entered that nation agreed to the legal expectation of God and was free to live elsewhere if they didn"t want that kind of kingdom, then such civil laws could be enforced. In all other nations the civil laws, such as a Leviticus 20:13, could be seen as ethical teaching but should not be enforced. So in a democracy, like modern America, the Christian God said, "Confess sexual sins, repent, and you will be forgiven." Pro himself said that he agrees with what actual Christian theology teaches.

4. Woman hating
Pro claims that the Bible is contradictory on this point, but then failed to support that claim in any way. As I pointed out above, the Apostle Paul did prohibit women from teaching in one specific circumstance, but overall support female leadership. Dealing with situations in a case-by-case nature and recognizing that not every situation is exactly the same seems like a wise way of dealing with life and speaks well of God"s character. Choosing any single teaching and exaggerating it at the expense of everything else in the Bible will of course produce a lopsided view of morality. To understand the Christian God we need to read the entire Bible and consider everything that is taught therein.

5. Anti-animal rights
Pro is free to be a vegan, but certainly he must understand that the vast majority of the world is not vegan and does not consider it unethical to kill animals for food.

Pro then takes issue with the idea of a burnt offering. In ancient Israel a burnt offering meant that the animal was slaughtered and its meat was cooked at the temple. I take it that Pro saw the words "burnt offering" and assumed that meant that the animal was burnt alive. Allow me to assure Pro that this was not the case.

6. Totalitarian
Here Pro has changed for saying that God himself is totalitarian to instead focus on the idea that God allows totalitarian governments.

This is certainly a more interesting question as the traditional Christian doctrine does not take a stand on any form of government. Democracies, kingdoms, dictatorships, etc. are not presented as good or bad. They are, so to speak, raw material. People living in those systems can do what is good or what is evil.

While that Bible does tell Christians to submit to authority, saying this is supporting Stalin is overly simplistic. The Bible also talks about justice, protecting the helpless, and the importance of following godly leaders. The Bible provides complex moral teaching for a complex world. Again, choosing any single teaching and exaggerating it at the expense of everything else will produce a lopsided and inaccurate view of God. The only commands which we are told to apply universally are the greatest commandments: To love God and to love our neighbor as ourselves.

Conclusion:
I appreciate Pro"s efforts to debate Christian beliefs. However, Pro has clearly been given false information about what Christians believe and what the Bible says. Perhaps after a deeper study of the Christian scriptures he can revisit this issue with greater insight, but for now it is clear that his case for the Christian God being malevolent cannot stand. Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
17 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by whiteflame 10 months ago
whiteflame
*******************************************************************
>Reported vote: MWonderWolf// Mod action: Removed<

6 points to Con (S&G, Arguments, Sources). Reasons for voting decision: Spelling and Grammar: Pro misused the word 'homophobia'. More Convincing Arguments: Con was more convincing, as he used real Bible verses, and Pro simply stated either 'facts' from his imagination or misunderstanding of Bible text. Reliable Sources: As said above, Con used Bible text, which is what the debate is about. Pro used things from the Internet, and, although he used more sources, they are not as good as the Bible. I did not see Pro using verses from the Bible even once, and, therefore, his sources are irrelevant.

[*Reason for removal*] (1) S&G is insufficiently explained. The voter has to do more than point to the misuse of a single word. Unless that substantially impedes understanding of the argument, this point cannot be awarded. (2) Arguments are insufficiently explained. The voter is required to assess specific points made by both debaters and not merely state that some source usage by one side was better than the other's. (3) Sources are insufficiently explained. The voter has to clarify why Pro's sources were not as strong, not just state that they aren't because they're not the Bible. It should be clear why the voter finds the Bible more reliable in this instance, and why other sources are irrelevant.
************************************************************************
Posted by Stupidape 10 months ago
Stupidape
No I didn't misuse the word.

" Fear, hatred, or mistrust of lesbians and gay men."

http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
Posted by MWonderWolf 10 months ago
MWonderWolf
I meant the Grammar part, not spelling. But, since they pair them together, I had to do both.
Posted by MWonderWolf 10 months ago
MWonderWolf
No, you said nothing directly from the Bible like Con. All the sources you had had .com's at the end. The Bible doesn't. Plus, that's apparently just round one.

I did explain it, you must not have read the beginning. You used the word 'homophobic' incorrectly. Note that it has 'phobic' or 'phobia' at the end. That suffix means 'fear of'.
Posted by Stupidape 10 months ago
Stupidape
MwonderWolf You awarded my opponent the spelling and grammar point. I don't understand, where did I make any spelling and grammar mistakes? You did not explain this in the reason for decision.
Posted by Stupidape 10 months ago
Stupidape
"Pro used things from the Internet,and, although he used more sources, they are not as good as the Bible. I did not see Pro using verses from the Bible even once, and, therefore, his sources are irrelevant." MWonderWolf

nine out of ten of my sources in round one were from the Bible.
Posted by MWonderWolf 10 months ago
MWonderWolf
Homophobia is a fear of homosexual people.
Posted by Peili 10 months ago
Peili
As I said, I am less familiar with Harris. I am familiar with Hitchens and Dawkins. They were/are well known for being loose with the truth when it comes to religion. Dawkins is a biologist, and I understand that he does well when he sticks to the topic on which he is an expert. However, he is often accused of misrepresenting religious beliefs, history, and scriptures. Pro in this debate said that he got his ideas from Hitchens, Dawkins, and Harris. If this is so, then we have at least five clear examples of times when the trio misrepresented Christianity to an extreme degree.
Posted by Faithisbad 10 months ago
Faithisbad
Hitchins, Dawkins and Harris loose with truth! @Peili Do you even know who they are and what they write? For a complete summary of Jehovah's killings and thurst for blood and delight in human suffering as recorded in the Bible read 'Drunk with Blood' by Steve Wells.
Posted by Peili 10 months ago
Peili
It would probably be best to save such things for the debate itself instead of the comments section. You are certainly far from the biggest idiot on the internet (I can"t imagine what that person would be like). However, in academic circles Dawkins and Hitchens are widely considered to be propagandists who were willing to be loose with the truth in order boost books sales. I, personally, am less familiar with the works of Harris.
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