The Instigator
vardas0antras
Pro (for)
Winning
16 Points
The Contender
Eccedustin
Con (against)
Losing
14 Points

The Christian God is more likely to exist than Pagan Gods

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/15/2010 Category: Religion
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,794 times Debate No: 14056
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (24)
Votes (6)

 

vardas0antras

Pro

Content:
Rules
Definitions
Introduction
Arguments for Zeus
Arguments for the Christian God

Rules.
We both need rest, hence both of us are required (not optional) to forfeit one round.

Definitions.
o God: simply means supreme being
o Exist: "To have actual being; be: The world exists, whether you like it or not."
http://dictionary.reference.com...
o Likely: "***seeming like truth***, fact, or certainty; reasonably to be believed or expected; believable: a likely story."
http://dictionary.reference.com...

Introduction.
This debate is about whatever or not the Christian God is more likely to exist than Pagan Gods. I as Pro say that the Christian God is more likely to be real.

Arguments for Zeus.
I would ask my opponent to provide arguments for Zeus or any other Pagan God.
Since I provided 2 arguments for the Christian God, I expect my opponent to do likewise. Note: I will also attack (refute) your chosen Pagan God.

Arguments for the Christian God.
A.The Resurrection
To begin we have sincere eyewitnesses. Many of them preferred to go through torture and ultimately painful death rather than repudiate their testimony of the resurrected Jesus. Many historical records (The Book of Acts 4:1-17; Pliny's Letters to Trajan X, 96, etc) say that they could have ended their suffering by renouncing their faith. Instead they chose suffering. (Also the book of Annals,XV,44)

Q. What did the followers of Christ had to gain (assuming they lied) by proclaiming the resurrection?
Q. Did the followers of Christ knew whatever or not they saw Jesus resurrected ?

I would also like to note the interesting conversion of certain skeptics. Paul and James. Paul was of his own admission a violent persecutor of the early Church.
Paul after seeing the resurrected Christ converts and suffers for his new belief. That is he gets imprisoned, beaten and then executed.
James the skeptical brother of Jesus was also suddenly changed. Like Paul, James willingly suffered for his new belief. (see The Book of Acts).

Q. Assuming they both lied, what have they gained?
Q. Did they want to be proven wrong? In short would they want to have some extra evidence which would disprove their experience?
Q. How well would James know his brother?

Now the tomb was found empty. It would have been impossible for faith in His resurrection to take root in Jerusalem while His body was still in the tomb where the Sanhedrin could exhume it, put it on public display, and thereby expose the hoax. Some crazy explanations have been made and I think this will be no exception.

Women are the first witnesses. Now make no mistake in the first century their testimony was regarded as unimportant. This was embarrassing to the gospel writers. There are old rabbinical sayings that said, 'Let the words of Law be burned rather than delivered to women' and 'blessed is he whose children are male, but woe to him whose children are female.' Women's testimony was regarded as so worthless that they weren't even allowed to serve as legal witnesses in a Jewish court of Law.

There's no need for questions at the moment and in fact the resurrection section is finished !

B. Jesus was foretold by the Old Testament
Now Messianic prophecy is not clearly labelled. There are disputes over what is a messianic prophecy and what is not. What we do know is that there are certain contradictions, for example:
Messiah both come upon clouds (Dan. 7:13) and come lowly upon a donkey (Zech. 9:9).
Officially there are 3 resolutions:
1. There are two messiahs
2. There is one Messiah but the prophecies will be fulfilled at different times.
3. The prophecy is conditional.
What is this all about? Well in case you try to tell me that Jesus is not the messiah as foretold, I have the background set up already.

Now here are the prophecies:
http://www.bibleprobe.com......

Thank you for your time and I hope you accept,
V0Antras.
Eccedustin

Con

My opponent has defined the terms. I will agree with the terms provided unless a problem arises with them.

My opponent asks me to provide arguments for Zeus or other Pagan Gods. I humbly deny this request. I will, in this debate, go on the basis that there are NO arguments that support the existence of Zeus or other Pagan Gods. I contend that there 'exist' arguments for the God of Christianity, but I contend that these arguments are flawed and incorrect and thus lend zero credence to his likelihood of existing.

Refuting opponents arguments:
A. The resurrection.
Biblical scholars agree that there exist zero contemporary commentaries on the life of Jesus of Nazareth. In fact, there exists a lively debate on whether or not Jesus of Nazareth even existed as a historical person:

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

Moreover, even if all you say is legitimate, this only means that the disciples who witnessed something "thought" they saw a resurrection. To claim that a divine miracle occurred based on 2nd or 3rd hand sources from 2,000 years ago as your only evidence that it happened is far fetched indeed. Using Occams Razor, the simplest alternative is more likely. Either the son of God came down to earth and was killed, then resurrected and rose from the dead days later or alternatively the sources are incorrect or the 'witnesses' were mistaken. Which is more likely? Obviously the natural explanation. The Messiah was supposed to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem. The Messiah was supposed to "save Israel". The Messiah was supposed to return all exiled Jews to their homeland.

The truth is that Jesus did NOT fulfill the messianic prophecies from the O.T. There is no mention of the O.T. saying that there would be a "second coming" of any kind.

If you are going to argue that Jesus existed based on prophecy, then all of these things that I just mentioned blow that argument out of the water.

In summary, Nothing so far that my opponent has argued has suggested that the God of Christianity is "more likely" than the Pagan gods of mythology.
http://en.wikipedia.org...

The same statements can be applied to the supposed conversion of Paul and James.

Was Jesus' tomb empty? Who knows. No one knows for sure. What happened? No one knows for sure. The sources are too sketchy and non-contemporary to say anything for sure. However, you admit that there are tons of explanations for Jesus' tomb being empty or what not, and I would argue the same as above. What is more likely?

B. Jesus was prophesied by the O.T.

You are right. There are contradictions concerning the prophecy of a messiah. Not only that, but there are also numerous evidences suggesting that Jesus himself was NOT the messiah prophesied in the Old Testament: Nowhere in the Bible does it say that the Messiah would be born to a virgin. Nowhere does the O.T. predict that Jesus was born in Nazareth. Nowhere in the O.T. does it say that the Messiah would be "Godlike" or God in human form.

Moreover, Jesus was supposed to do many things that was prophesied in the O.T. that he did not do (like rebuilding the Temple or bringing all Jews back to their homeland). Also, if you contend that this will happen in the 2nd coming..The O.T. mentions nothing of the second coming.

In conclusion, Nothing that my opponent has argued suggests in any way that the Christian God is more likely than any Pagan Gods. If my opponent is to use the O.T. as evidence for his point, then he must address all of the contradictions and inconsistencies between the O.T. prophecy and Jesus' life.
Debate Round No. 1
vardas0antras

Pro

vardas0antras forfeited this round.
Eccedustin

Con

Eccedustin forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
vardas0antras

Pro

O Introduction
Now a certain person whom I won't mention directly (does anyone else feel like eating Kentucky fried chicken ?) has noticed that I have forfeited round two and so has my opponent. It is obligatory to forfeit one round in this debate as stated in round one "We both need rest, hence both of us are required (not optional) to forfeit one round.". With that out of the way, lets begin.

O Observations
1. My questions were not answered.

O Arguments for Zeus
My opponent has none.

O Arguments for the Christian God
It seems my opponent thinks that I make stuff up as I go.
o The Resurrection
http://www.thedevineevidence.com...
http://www.bethinking.org...
http://apologetics.blip.tv...
http://tektonics.org...
http://www.ancientegyptonline.co.uk...
http://www.gotquestions.org...

Jesus obviously existed nor is he a combination of other myths as some would want one to think. The fact is just like the claims of the Da Vinci Code:
http://www.religioustolerance.org...
Likewise the claim that Jesus never existed is not supported by most scholars because its frankly a silly idea. My opponent has ample of time and space to prove me wrong. I do not recommend my opponent to make this section an argument of Jesus existence.

"Moreover, even if all you say is legitimate" Why do I have a feeling that you knew I would prove this ?

The alternative ? I ask my opponent to provide an alternative explanation when one considers the evidence I provided.
"the sources are incorrect or the 'witnesses' were mistaken" That is not a proper response, please go through every single fact I provided and show me a more plausible explanation.

"If you are going to argue that Jesus existed based on prophecy, then all of these things that I just mentioned blow that argument out of the water."
When did I say that?

"Was Jesus' tomb empty? Who knows. No one knows for sure. What happened? No one knows for sure" I can't believe you just said that. Ill just quote what I previously said:
". It would have been impossible for faith in His resurrection to take root in Jerusalem while His body was still in the tomb where the Sanhedrin could exhume it, put it on public display, and thereby expose the hoax. Some crazy explanations have been made and I think this will be no exception."
(Gary Habermas did a study on the state of scholarship to date. He reports that 75% of scholars agree that the tomb was indeed found empty)

In conclusion my opponent evaded my arguments.

o Jesus was prophesied by the O.T.
Again, my opponent has evaded my arguments. What should I do ?
1. There are many prophecies Jesus did fulfill as I showed.
2. I knew my opponent will say:
"Moreover, Jesus was supposed to do many things that was prophesied in the O.T. that he did not do (like rebuilding the Temple or bringing all Jews back to their homeland). Also, if you contend that this will happen in the 2nd coming..The O.T. mentions nothing of the second coming."
So I said this beforehand:
"Officially there are 3 resolutions:
1. There are two messiahs
2. There is one Messiah but the prophecies will be fulfilled at different times.
3. The prophecy is conditional."

In conclusion it feels strange to be ignored.
Eccedustin

Con

Eccedustin forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
vardas0antras

Pro

According to the rules we both agreed, we can only forfeit one round. My opponent so far has forfeited two rounds. I hope everything is okay and I expect a sharp rebuttal in the next round.

Anyhow Vote Pro
Eccedustin

Con

My opponent states that I did not answer his questions. I ask, what questions did

I not answer? What would the lying disciples have gained? I already answered that

question and even clarified that they need not even "lie" to resolve the problem,

but may simply have not even existed!

Do I have any arguments for Zeus? No. Of course not.

Does my opponent have any "valid" arguments for the Christian God? No. Of course

not.

My opponent posts 6 outside links suggesting that these links provide legitimate

and valid arguments for the existence of a Christian God. This isn't my

responsibility (nor do I even have room with 8,000 characters) to refute all of

the arguments on all of the links my opponent has posted.

The big issue here is discriminating between simple arguments and legitimate and

valid arguments.

The basis of my opponent's arguments is this:

Premises: There are arguments for God.
Premises: There are no arguments for Zeus.
Conclusion: God is more likely than Zeus.

This argument is fallacious in the extreme. My opponent assumes, and this is the

basis of his argument and the flaw of his argument, that just because arguments

exist for God these arguments must have weight. This is a flaw in logic. None of

the arguments are valid, nor do they have weight.

Jesus's existence is, in fact, strongly debated among scholars today. My opponent

claims that no biblical scholars lend credence to the idea that Jesus might not

have existed. This is false. See:

Pagels, Elaine, "Adam, Eve, and the Serpent," Vintage Books, New York, 1888

Pagels, Elaine, "The Origin of Satan," Random House, New York, 1995

Price, Robert M.," Deconstructing Jesus," Prometheus Books, 2000

Gauvin, Marshall J
http://www.infidels.org...

etc.

There is a ton of controversy about the validity and historical accuracy of the

gospels as well as the very existence of Jesus himself.

My opponent contends that "the sources are wrong" or the "witnesses were mistaken"

are not valid explanations. I ask: Why? Why are these not valid explanations?

Whenever we see historical records of supernatural things that can't exist, that

we know don't exist, like Sea monsters, dragons, mythological creatures, miracles,

feats of supernatural ability, etc....The most provided scholarly explanations are

that either the sources are wrong or the witnesses were wrong. Simple as that.

You provided prophecy as an argument in your "B" argument, stating that "Jesus was

foretold by the Old Testament". I rebutted this and offered contrary evidence to

this statement proving that Jesus was, in fact, NOT foretold by the O.T. See my

previous post.

My opponent claims that 75% of scholars believe that the Tomb was empty? Even if

this is true, there are different hypothesis concerning "WHY" the tomb was empthy,

even if it was in fact empty:

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

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

So, even if the tomb was discovered empty (A fact debated by scholars), There are

many much more reasonable and non-paranormal explanations concerning this event

that do not require resurrection from the dead, supernatural powers, God visiting

earth in the form of a man 2,000 years ago, etc...

I argue that the simplest explanation is the best explanation.

Conclusion, My opponent makes many logical fallacies as well as leaps of logic in attempts to justify his position.

A summary of my responses to his arguments.

o Jesus was prophesied by the O.T.

Jesus was not, in fact, many O.T. prophecies contradict the N.T. accounts of Jesus. (See post above)

o. There are 2 messiahs? This doesn't fit with Christian tradition. We are arguing the likelyhood of the "Christian" God here. Not something my opponent has fabricated.

o. There is one Messiah but the prophecies will be fulfilled at different times? This isn't stated in either the O.T. or the N.T. And the O.T. seems to be the source of what my opponent is basing his prophecy argument on. So, if the O.T> doesn't state that the prophecies will be fulfilled at different times then I don't see how my opponent can make that argument. He is making up stuff as he goes along.

o. The prophecy is conditional? Please clarify this.

Thanks. No one was ignored, I just lost track of time.
Debate Round No. 4
vardas0antras

Pro

My opponent obviously has no good arguments so he tries to tell us that Jesus never existed. I am sorely disappointed by this but what can I do ?

O Arguments for the Christian God
"even clarified that they need not even "lie" to resolve the problem,but may simply have not even existed!"
Are you trying to tell me that thousands of Christians who claimed to have seen (not the same as believe) Jesus resurrect, didn't exist ? No further comment.

"This isn't my responsibility (nor do I even have room with 8,000 characters) to refute all of the arguments on all of the links my opponent has posted."
Nor could you considering that most scholars think that Jesus existed, whatever he was a man or God is more controversial. Also the questions are in a way a proof of Jesus existence. For example, how could Jesus followers claim to have seen Jesus resurrect if he didn't exist furthermore how could the religion grow with such an obvious flaw ? What about the empty tomb which was found - most scholars agree this to have happened ? Would Christian opponents say that they stole Jesus body if Jesus didn't exist ?

I have made a good comparison between "The Jesus Myth" and "The Da Vinci Code" both are flawed in logic but both are popular. I don't see a reason to tell you why but Ill throw in few anyway: ego boost, they didn't do any real research hence now they think they found gold (my classmate is like that) or they wanted to "broaden their mind" by seeing the same point of view, again. There's no good reason to believe Jesus didn't exist, there's a good reason to believe that some people simply want to hear views which appeal to them hence misinformation like "Jesus Myth" is produced, however, flimsy ideas shouldn't be considered in a debate like this.

"Jesus's existence is, in fact, strongly debated among scholars today."
This is a funny joke, most scholars in fact accept Jesus existence. Scholars debate Jesus existence ? This again is laughable and I challenge my opponent to provide valid links. Yes, I am aware of the crusades by "The Truth Searchers" but they're a bunch of random, average people ; blogs made by Atheist aren't convincing.

"I rebutted this and offered contrary evidence to this statement proving that Jesus was, in fact, NOT foretold by the O.T. See my previous post." Do I have to quote what I said in the first round again ?

"there are different hypothesis concerning "WHY" the tomb was empthy, even if it was in fact empty:"
Then he introduce the swoon theory whereby a man who is tortured and battered then pierced with a spear, survives for 3 days without food and water, somehow pushes the stone seal and then runs away without leaving a trace (secretly so that guards wouldn't see) to random people while appearing healthy and fine while claiming to be resurrected. You ought to be crazy not to chuckle at this.

After that he introduces the stolen body theory. If this is true then there was no resurrection but even dismissing the guards who are protecting the tomb (its life or death situation for them) this is impossible. My opponent is telling me that the Jesus followers stole the body and then died because they declared his resurrection. He is also dismissing all the other eyewitnesses of his resurrection. What about James ? The brother of Jesus who was always a critic would convert now that he is sure Jesus wasn't God and suffer for it ?
http://www.resurrection.azprophecy.com...

"o. There is one Messiah but the prophecies will be fulfilled at different times? This isn't stated in either the O.T. or the N.T. And the O.T. seems to be the source of what my opponent is basing his prophecy argument on. So, if the O.T> doesn't state that the prophecies will be fulfilled at different times then I don't see how my opponent can make that argument. He is making up stuff as he goes along."
My opponent dared to say this "He is making up stuff as he goes along" anyhow my opponent is making the usual argument despite my obvious explanation in round one... Just why ?

"The prophecy is conditional? Please clarify this."
I don't see how I can rephrase this... There are some conditions that must be fulfilled before a prophecy happens. Namely, Jesus can't be the ruler before he is the saver of mankind.

Well I leave the rest to my readers,
Cheerio
Eccedustin

Con

In this final round I want to just briefly refute my opponents arguments in his last post, give a summary of my argument as well as refute his former arguments again.

Am I claiming that Jesus never existed? No. I am simply saying that there is a possibility that Jesus never existed. Many scholars agree with me.

My opponent claims that "thousands" of Christians claimed to have seen Jesus rise from the dead? This is utterly false. There were witnesses who were claimed (in the gospels) to have seen Jesus after he rose from the dead, but NONE of these individuals wrote first hand accounts of the resurrection. In fact, as I said earlier, all of the accounts of Jesus's life were written decades or a century after his death and there is little evidence they were written by the apostles. The gospel of luke, the author even admits he was not an eyewitness.

My opponent asks how Jesus' followers could have claimed he rose form the dead if he didn't exist. If he didn't exist then he didn't have any followers to begin with... How could Christianity have grown if Jesus never existed? Haha, I don't know...Very easily probably. I would counter: How could the Greek mythology have grown so much if Zeus or Hercules never existed? Same logic...

Did Jesus exist? I don't know. IF Jesus existed then his entire life is a mystery because of the (proven) strong influence from pagan myths. See: http://en.wikipedia.org...

Many aspects of Jesus' life and mythology were taken from pagan mythologies. Virgin birth, death by Crucifixion, resurrection, birth on Christmas, etc. The list goes on and the parallels are far too strong to be pure coincidence.

My opponent seems to believe that the accounts in the New Testament are totally accurate and infallible. This is a stretch by any means, and can't be defended. I previously offered the idea of the "Swoon" theory to explain the resurrection of Jesus. My opponent seems to believe that the swoon theory is absurd because he takes everything the N.T. says literally. While, in all likelihood, most of it is fictional. Thus, maybe Jesus was put up on a cross and he wasn't speared. Maybe he wasn't speared that badly, maybe he wasn't on a cross at all. Who knows? I'm just offering a non-supernatural and worldly explanation that is more likely than a supernatural explanation.

The problem with arguing in support of a 2,000 year old account of a supernatural event, written by people who (by all evidence) didn't even witness the event is that one can dismiss any aspect of the story. It is my opponent's burden to prove that the accounts are historically accurate, reliable, and more likely than not to be true.

Now, to summarize my arguments...

*There is no evidence that Zeus existed. I do not need evidence to make Zeus more likely. I do not need arguments either. There are none and I admit this. Does this mean that Jesus is more likely simply because arguments exist for Jesus? No. Not if the arguments themselves are invalid.
*Jesus was prophesied by the O.T? This assertion can only be valid if the prophecy is totally true and free of contradictions or pitfalls. In fact, it isn't as I mentioned above. You can't say that the prophecy from a divine creator of the universe exists if there are problems with the prophecy. That just makes no sense.

So...In summary...Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 5
24 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by vardas0antras 6 years ago
vardas0antras
Great vote bombing huh I need more viewers
Posted by vardas0antras 6 years ago
vardas0antras
Let the votes commence !!!
Posted by vardas0antras 6 years ago
vardas0antras
Koopin FTW
Posted by Eccedustin 6 years ago
Eccedustin
Hahaha. Hilarious.
Posted by vardas0antras 6 years ago
vardas0antras
Okay, Eccedustin come out of the closet, what is it really that you believe ? :)
Posted by Koopin 6 years ago
Koopin
http://www.debate.org...
Eccedustin is a Christian! THIS WAS TAKEN YESTERDAY OUTSIDE OF A CHURCH!!!
Posted by Eccedustin 6 years ago
Eccedustin
I lost track of time and did not intend to forfeit that last round. Apologies.
Posted by AznMagic 6 years ago
AznMagic
spinoza's god exists because spinoza's god is the universe. the unverse exists.
Posted by vardas0antras 6 years ago
vardas0antras
"They each have a very unlikely chance to be true, identically unlikely. LOL"
Please don't shove YOUR religion down my throat because you have NO EVIDENCE to believe. YOUR religions is CAUSING HARM and MODERN SCIENCE has disproved all your fairy tales Those preachers nowadays >:p
Posted by SoSilly 6 years ago
SoSilly
They each have a very unlikely chance to be true, identically unlikely. LOL
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by Man-is-good 4 years ago
Man-is-good
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Reasons for voting decision: Countering Bozotheclown's vote...
Vote Placed by bozotheclown 5 years ago
bozotheclown
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Reasons for voting decision: Owned!!!
Vote Placed by Koopin 6 years ago
Koopin
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innomen
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