The Christian God is the likeliest of all the gods from thoughout time.
Debate Rounds (5)
I thank Dave for issuing this challenge.
I have studied other religions but I am by no means an expert. If I speak incorrectly regarding another religion's god, Dave must show evidence that I have spoken in error. He cannot simply say it is so and expect to win the debate. Also, arguing for the Christian God as opposed to all the other gods in existence is a tall order so I can't possibly be expected to have knowledge of every god in existence.
However, as Dave is the instigator he bears the burden of proof. I will use this round for acceptance and await his opening argument. He must show that God has nothing that fundamentally sets Him apart from other gods. If I can show even one thing that sets Him apart, or show that the Christian God does not fall in line with one of his arguments as to how He is allegedly just like them, then Dave has not upheld his burden of proof.
I await Dave's opening argument.
As instigator, Con bears the burden of proof that there are just as many reasons to believe in the Christian God as with other gods. If I can cast reasonable doubt on his arguments, and/or prove that there are reasons to believe in the Christian God that don't apply to other gods, then I win the debate. I will respond to his argument.
I don't know if Allah and God are the only gods who claim to be perfect. What would make one a God unless they were better than we are? There is nothing illogical about claiming that God is perfect. I can't be perfect so I wouldn't claim that I am because it would easily been proven a lie. However, there is nothing in the Bible to show that God is imperfect. In fact, God created us. A being can only create something lesser than itself. It cannot create something greater, and even God could not create something exactly like Himself (after all, that Being would have been created and therefore would be a contingent being, whereas God is eternally existent and is a necessary being). Con gave no reason to doubt God's perfection so it is no evidence against Him.
Allah is not the same god as the Christian God. Muslims do not believe in the Trinity whereas Christians do. The Trinity is an essential element of God so if a god claims not to be a Trinity, then it is not the same god. But there's better reason to believe in God than in the Muslim god. The Qu'ran conflicts with the Bible on certain issues (and Mohammad's words are said to supercede the Bible whenever they're in conflict). However, the Bible speaks in unity from Genesis to Revelation. The Muslim Qu'ran conflicts with the Bible, as does the Book of Mormon, both of which claim to be additional words from God (from the prophet Mohammad and from certain different "prophets"). However, they both conflict Biblical teaching, even teachings of Jesus, Himself, in the New Testament. There is no reason to believe the Qu'ran or the Book of Mormon is additional revelation from God. The Bible speaks in unity, and the Qu'ran or Book of Mormon has no place in it.
1. "As instigator, Con bears the burden of proof that there are just as many reason to believe in the Christian God as with the other gods." I must clear this up. The only BOP I bear is to show that there are many other gods that are more logical than the Christian one. I have to show no evidence of the Christian god or any other for that matter, unless it happens to support a certain argument.
2."What would make one a god unless they were better than we are?" This does not require perfection. Zeus is better than us for the fact he can throw lightning bolts and has other god-like powers such as raising the dead. Thor has superior strength, flight, and the ability to wield his hammer. (1) This makes them more than us, but still imperfect, as I have shown.
3. "However, there is nothing in the bible to show that god is imperfect." Yes, there is. In the bible, God declares himself a jealous and vengeful God. These are both petty human traits that could not possibly exist within a perfect being.
4." A being can only create something lesser than itself". I don't know where Pro got this idea, but it is simply not true. People create others equal or lesser to themselves all the time. It's how the human race progresses. If Pro's argument were true, then the human race would be in a constant state of regression. Every social, medical, ethical, and technological advancement we have made is a result of the current generation during the time of the advancement being better than the preceding one.
5."Con gave no reason to doubt God's perfection so it cannot be used as evidence against Him." Yes, it can. If this were a debate about God's existence in general, then Pro's argument would hold water. This, however, is a debate about the likelihood of His existence when compared to the other gods. Since the other gods lay no claims to perfection, this makes them more logical because we see imperfection all around us all the time. We have never truly proved all-encompassing perfection is even possible, so of course an imperfect god is more likely and more believable than a perfect one.
6. "Allah is not the same god as the Christian one... if a god claims not to be a trinity, then it is not the same god." It is widely accepted among Christians and Jews that they worship the same God, yet the Jews do not believe in the Holy Trinity. The fact that they are the same is evidenced by the same interactions with the same people, such as Moses, Noah, Abraham, etc. I could look up examples in the Qu'ran, but I'm not really worried about it because it is not a central part of my argument.
7."However, the bible speaks in complete unity from Genesis to Revelation". Again, this is simply not true. Each of the gospels offers a different account of the resurrection. In Matthew, they came upon a closed tomb and an angel descended from heaven with an earthquake. This angel removed the stone, sat on top of it, and told Mary's group about the resurrection. They never entered the tomb or even described what was inside. In Mark, there was an additional person, they came upon the tomb, asked about the door, looked and it was open. They entered and saw the angel sitting inside. No earthquake, do heavenly desention, completely different between the two, but in Luke... Even more people, no earthquake, no big desention, just an open tomb that they found empty. They had time to be confused about it before the angels approached. Two, this time, as if there weren't enough differences. Three books, three totally different accounts of the same event. Let's try for four out of four, shall we? In John, here we have an even different story than the rest. Up until now, the only thing that all the accounts had in common is the fact that Mary Magdalene, with a small group of people, approached the tomb at dawn. That, and the fact that after approaching the tomb an angel ( or two) appeared and told them of the resurrection. In John, however, Mary approaches alone, sees the open tomb, and freaks out, running to the disciples. They came back, inspected the empty tomb in great detail, and left. Mary stayed behind, alone, when the angels finally approached. Four books, four totally different accounts of what was supposedly the biggest event in Christian history. You'd think they would take care to get their stories straight. I cannot think of one common fact that they all share. I do have other examples of the bible being contradictory, but I think this is sufficient to disprove Pro's claim that the bible in written in perfect unity from beginning to end.
8. Pro has tried to discredit the other holy books by pointing out their contradictions to the bible, but you can't say the bible is more credible simply because it's the bible. That is circular logic. You have to provide evidence why your holy book is more credible. If contradicting the bible is a sign of falsehood, then the bible is just as false, because it contradicts itself just as much as the other books contradict it. I thought I would get to some of my arguments this round, but I am running low on time and don't have quite enough characters left to get through them. I guess they will have to wait until next time.
I will try to respond to Con's points briefly so as not to bog down the argument.
1. We are basically saying the same thing here, although I could have worded it a little better. What I was indicating is Con has the burden of proof to show that there are no better reasons to believe in the Christian god than any other. In point of fact, Con did not really offer any reasons as to why these other gods would be just as believable or more believable than the Christian god.
2. Con has confused perfection with power. While the Greek gods are said to be more powerful than we are, they are not better than we are. However, God claims to be perfect. This does not make God unbelievable. I could claim to be perfect, but that would not suddenly make my existence impossible. It would just mean that if my actions didn't measure up with my beliefs, then I would be a liar. Even if it were shown that God was lying when He claimed to be perfect, this does not disprove His existence. And Con has not shown any evidence that God is not perfect.
3. Jealousy and vengeance are not bad qualities. If a woman is married and her husband spends all his time with another woman, would she not be justified in her jealousy? In the same way, God is justified in His jealousy when we, His creation, seek other gods to worship (or no god). Also, God does not arbitrarily seek vengeance on those He doesn't like. His vengeance is righteous vengeance. He brings judgement on those who deserve it. This, again, does not make Him imperfect; quite the contrary. This makes Him uniquely qualified to judge us because as an omniscient God, He has all the information.
4. I have explained where I got this idea in my opening argument; I am not at fault if Con did not understand my argument. We do not "create" other humans, we produce them. God created us as a race of beings. We act within God's framework of procreation to keep our species going. As such, we can create artificial lifeforms which give the appearance of life but they lack key components of life, such as free will (they can only act within their programming), and sentience. Sentient artificial lifeforms with free will are the stuff of science fiction. We could not create beings like ourselves or better than ourselves, only beings which are less than ourselves.
5. Again, Con has given no reason to doubt God's perfection other than we can't see it around us. By his logic, we can doubt gravity, and we can even doubt the past as we haven't seen it. The fact that we can't be perfect actually lends credibility to the existence of a perfect God because we have been created by a Being better than us, not flawed beings like the ones Con supposes.
6. I will concede this point to Pro, as I also do believe we worship the same God as Jews. However, this actually works in my favor because if we worship the same God (just believing different things about Him), then I don't have to show why the God of the Bible is more believable than the god of the Qu'ran.
7. It is true that the Bible speaks in complete unity. I have debated Con on this before. He seems to be on a crusade to "prove" the Bible contains contradictions but so far has been unsuccessful in doing so. This is no different. I will show how the examples Con provided are not a contradiction.
In the future, I would ask that Con please give chapter and verse to make it easier to look up the passages in question.
It actually lends credibility to the Gospel accounts that they differ in some aspects. If they were exactly the same, then accusations of plagiarism could be leveled against the Gospels. But just like if a police officer asks different witnesses to give their version of the story, there are certain differences in the Gospel accounts of the resurrection because they are by different authors. They are not contradictory, just different.
Matthew doesn't say "only one" angel came. He says "an angel came and rolled away the stone." This does not contradict the Gospel of Luke, which more specifically says there were two angels there. Matthew doesn't record that the women went inside or described it, but this doesn't mean they didn't.
In Mark, there was an extra person (Salome, which Matthew didn't mention although like with the angels, Matthew didn't say that "only" Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of James, went). Mark also doesn't mention the earthquake but again, nothing in the text of Mark contradicts that there was an earthquake. Mark just mentions that after questioning who would roll the stone away, they looked up and it had been rolled away. Perhaps the earthquake got their attention, they looked toward the stone and noticed it had been rolled away.
Now, Luke is not specific on how many women actually went, just that "the women who came with Him [Jesus] from Galilee went." This could have just been the three women already mentions, Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, and Salome. Or it could have been more; but again, nothing in Matthew or Mark contradicts that there could have been more women. The number of women present there wasn't important. Now Luke is not necessarily specific about the event, just "they found the stone rolled away." This doesn't contradict Matthew and Mark, Luke is just not concerned about how the stone was rolled away.
For example, let's say Bob went to the store. It was five minutes before it was supposed to open but he met a cashier there, talked for a few minutes, then opened the store two minutes early. Bob buys some items then goes home. His tells him wife, "guess what? I went to the store and it was open a couple minutes early so I bought a few things." Did Bob lie? No, because even though he was there five minutes early and saw the cashier open the store a couple minutes early, he wasn't lying by omitting those facts. They just weren't relevant.
Now, we see in John's example of the resurrection that the first three accounts were not wrong, just not very specific. John gives a more specific account of the events. Mary did not approach alone, she is the only one mentioned by name. In fact, look what she says: "They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him." We do not know. The other women were with her, just not specifically mentioned by name. Then we see that she ran back to tell the disciples, and Peter and John ran back to the tomb to check things out. It's after that event that we see the two angels in white. The other three accounts omitted some events, but don't contradict the account in John.
I have sufficiently shown that these are not contradictions, so Con's accusation fails. Also, I'm not sure he's even actually read them if he can't think of one common fact they all share (how about the fact Jesus was crucified, the fact Jesus rose, and the fact that there was angelic encounters there, among others).
8. Looking in the Bible to prove its credibility is not circular logic; it is essential. Looking in the Bible to prove God's existence is circular logic. How else can we prove the Bible's credibility than to look at its claims, specifically.
I am running low on characters, but aside from the fact the Bible was written by over 40 different authors and yet speaks in complete unity, there are very specific prophecies that have been fulfilled and verified from the Scriptures, and the fact that the Scriptures are a little more down to earth makes them believable. There is no evidence that Greek gods existed, though they supposedly had numerous interactions with humans. However, an encounter with God or angels was actually a rare occurrence in Scripture. However, there is no evidence the Greek gods ever existed, yet there is much evidence for belief in the God of the Bible.
1. & 2. Just because Pro doesn't accept my reasons why the other gods are more believable doesn't mean the arguments weren't there. God's claim to perfection doesn't automatically make His existence impossible, but it does make Him less likely and believable than other gods who make no such claim. As I said, this debate isn't about the existence of God in general, but the likelihood of it in comparison to the other gods. Say you meet two people on the street. One says he works in a fast food place and one says he is a billionaire business mogul. The trouble is, they are both wearing the same kind of K-mart knock off. Who is more believable, the one who admits the truth, or the one who makes an extraordinary claim which at face value seems impossible?
3. He brings His judgement to those who deserve it? How is eternal suffering an appropriate punishment for simply having your own mind and the gall to make an informed opinion based on the evidence? Cruel and unusual punishment cannot be the policy of a perfect being.
4. Create and produce are two words that mean basically the same thing. Now Pro is just arguing semantics. Through reproduction, people make other people who have the potential to be greater than them.
5.I am not required to show evidence against God's perfection, though I am willing. I am only required to show how that claim to perfection makes Him less likely to exist than the other gods, which I have done.
7. Just because Pro doesn't want to see the contradictions doesn't mean they aren't there. He claims that omitting doesn't count, but you have to look at what is being omitted. Is it really logical to think that something as major as an earthquake or an angel descending from heaven was really unimportant enough to only be mentioned in 1 of the 4 accounts? In Pro's example, the more relative situation would be if the store was robbed, Bob stopped it, and the store owner gave him his stuff for free out of gratitude. Then when he got home, he just mentioned he saved some money at the store. These are huge events they are leaving out. Also, the contradictions are more than just omissions. The angel came and rolled away the stone. This is found in Matthew 28-2, even though it is not a direct quote. The use of the word "the" in this context implies that there was just one angel. Also, Pro claims that just because it doesn't describe them going in doesn't mean they didn't but the surrounding context shows they were still outside. In the same verse it says he rolled back the stone and sat on it. If a stone serves as a door to a cave and can be rolled away, then the stone has to be on the outside. This puts the conversation outside because if an angel was speaking directly to you, I can promise you wouldn't be listening from inside a cave. To do so would be too disrespectful. Also, there is the aspect of time. Matthew 28-1 says at dawn, Mark 16-9 says just after sunrise, and John 20-1 says while it was still dark. The time of day might not be that important of a detail, but it does show an inarguable contradiction. Also, Mary does not use the word "we" in Pro's example until she is back with the disciples. In fact, while she is at the tomb, only singular pronouns are used. Also, the conversation between Mary and the angels is different in John. The biggest contradiction is that Mary left and came back in John, but in all the others just approached and eventually the angel(s) showed up. Also, the reason I said there are no common facts is because even those events that take place in all of them happen differently. Also, the rising wasn't actually described in the gospels, just the angels' telling of it.
8. I never said you can't look in the bible to prove it's claims, that is the only way to verify or falsify it's claims. I said you can't just say the Qu'ran is false because it contradicts the bible, you have to show evidence why your holy book is more reliable.
"When we say that Jesus Christ was produced without sexual union, was crucified and died, and rose again and ascended to heaven, we propound nothing new or different from what you believe regarding those whom you call the sons of Jupiter" Justin Martyr, early church father
There are many gods who have many things about there stories that they share with Jesus, but in the interest of time and not bogging down the argument, I will only list three. Horus was born of a virgin, had stars appear at his birth, turned water into wine, had 12 disciples, and was associated with the lion and the lamb. Mithras was born of a virgin, was baptised in water, was considered a travelling teacher or master, had 12 disciples, performed miracles, celebrated communal meal with bread, held Sunday sacred, born on Dec. 25, visited by wise men upon his birth, resurrected on 3rd day, and was buried in a cave-tomb. Thor was the son of a god, betrayed by his brother, forsaken by his father, died and resurrected, was considered the savior of humankind, and fell in love with a woman who sent against his teaching and beliefs. With these and many other similarities, it is logical to assume that all these religions had one source, and since Christianity is a fairly new religion, it couldn't have been the source. I have more arguments, but will forfeit the round in a couple minutes, so I'm afraid that's all for now.
1 and 2: I don't accept Con's reasons for why the other gods are more believable because they're not good reasons. If the Christian God claims to be perfect, that doesn't make Him more unbelievable it just makes His claims more open to scrutiny. Even if God were shown to be imperfect this would not disprove His existence. He could simply be lying about being perfect (which He isn't, of course).
In Con's analogy, neither are more or less believable. Not all millionaires have exquisite tastes. It would not be impossible to meet a millionaire wearing a shirt from Wal-Mart. You have no reason to believe or disbelieve someone for telling you they're a millionaire unless you know something about that person's character.
3. Con has a gross misunderstanding of the character of God. First, Hell is not an unusual punishment, for Jesus once said that narrow is the road [to Heaven] and there are few who find it. It is also not cruel, because we are being punished for our sins, not for "having our own mind" (Con has committed a Strawman fallacy here). God has warned us of the destination for sinners. If we choose not to heed His warnings, you have only yourself to blame.
4. I am not arguing semantics. We do not create humans in the way God did. In fact, we have very little power over conceiving another human. We can try not to with contraceptives, but you can't just tell yourself you're not going to conceive and expect it to happen. God created the universe from nothing. We cannot create someone out of dust, we can only produce another human in the natural way that God has established for our procreation.
5. Con's argument that God's claim to be perfect makes His existence less believable is a non sequitur.
7. Again, there are no contradictions in the accounts. It's not that I "don't see them," it's that they're not there. Con's analogy actually supports my argument, not refutes it. Bob may have ommitted certain major events, but he was not lying or contradicting his story. He got items for free that he would have spent money on otherwise, so yes, he saved money at the store.
There is nothing in the surrounding context of Matthew 28 that showed they were still outside. And as John showed, the women went to the grave twice. Matthew was just not specific about all the events. When they communicated with the angels it may have been the second time the women are there. The problem is that Con is reading things into the text that simply aren't there.
In fact, we see in John chapter 20 that after the stone was rolled away, Mary ran and told the other disciples. So when the angel rolled away the stone and sat on it, that was when Mary ran away to tell the disciples. Then when she arrived the second time, that's when the angel spoke to her. As we see in John 20, she communicated with the angels on her second visit to the tomb. We can see this because what the angel tells her in Matthew 28 parallels what the angel told her on the second visit in John 20. So the first paragraph in Matthew 28 was the first visit, and the second paragraph was the second visit. It's not exactly clear that they were two separate visits in Matthew 28, but taking John 20 into account (which gives us a more specific, clear account of what happened at the tomb), we see that they were two separate visits. No contradiction, just lack of detail on Matthew's part.
There is also no contradiction in the time of day they went to the tomb. First, Mark 16:9 does not even talk about when the women went to the tomb, it's the time of day the post-resurrection Christ rose to see the disciples. Mark 16:1 just says that the Sabbath was past, which is in harmony with the rest of the Gospels which say this happened on the first day of the week (the Sabbath being the seventh day, so yes, the Sabbath was past). Also, John and Matthew do not conflict. John says while it was still dark they went to the tomb. Matthew says they went to see the tomb while the day began to dawn. What they are conveying is that it was very early when they went to the tomb. They probably started out while it was dark but got to the tomb when the first day began to dawn. There is no contradiction here, the meaning is clear (even if Con is trying to unsuccessfuly nitpick).
Con is simply wrong when he speaks of singular pronouns at the tomb. In John, no singular pronouns are used at the tomb. In fact, in Mark 16 as they are approaching the tomb, they ask amongst themselves, "who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us." Plural pronoun.
It is quite obvious that Con is trying to read contradictions in to weaken the case for the Bible, but he has created a Strawman argument against the Bible, trying to create contradiction where there are none.
I'm not sure where Con got his quote from (as he didn't source it), but the difference between the sons of Jupiter and Jesus' resurrection is that there's actual historical evidence for Christ's resurrection. There was a historical Jesus. Also, there were over 500 eyewitnesses to His resurrection. Additionally, if the resurrection was actually false all the Romans or Jews needed to do was produce His body and the Christian movement would have been crushed. They couldn't, all they could do was accuse the Christians of "stealing His body" (Matthew 28:13). However, this couldn't have happened. There was a huge stone blocking the entrance. Plus, there were guards stationed in front of the tomb. Also, the disciples were pretty...I don't want to say cowardly, but they were pretty timid before Christ resurrected. Peter denied Him three times publicly, and they continued to hide out because they feared persecution. There's no way they would have had the courage to face down the guards, or the strength to remove the stone, and steal Christ's body.
Finally, regarding Con's last argument, the fact that so many cultures have stories like this lends credibility to the deity of Christ. There are many stories that Christianity/Judaism has in common with other religions (such as a Creation account and a worldwide flood). The fact that many different cultures had stories like these lends credibility that an actual event happened. However, the accounts as told in the Bible are more reliable; they are less fantastic than the other cultures, and contain specific information (for example, to my knowledge the Bible contains the only flood account which contains the actual instructions for how the boat was made). The account of Jesus is no different. There was no historical Horus, or Mithras, etc. But there was a historical Jesus. Even if you don't believe the claims of His deity, there was a historical man named Jesus. However, there are many good reasons to believe that Jesus was who He said He was.
1. & 2. The reason His claim to perfection makes Him less believable is simple. When choosing between two options with no real evidence to separate them, the one that takes less of a stretch of the imagination is more believable. I really don't understand why Pro can't grasp that an impossible claim like ultimate perfection is less believable than a claim of imperfection. In the analogy, the reason the guy who says he works at fast food is more believable is because even though it is not impossible for a billionaire to wear Walmart clothes, it is less likely for the fact that expensive clothes are better than normal ones and those that can afford them usually wear them.
3. It isn't a strawman fallacy. No matter how Pro tries to justify God's cruel "justice system", it is a system in which a child rapist can go to heaven for simply asking for forgiveness and a generally good person can burn for eternity for not worshipping right god. Not to mention the fact that the whole Christian theology is based on blackmail. When you blackmail someone, you threaten to do something to someone if they don't follow your instructions. God says worship Him or burn for eternity. There is no perfection there.
4. If Pro is talking specifically about supernatural creation, then he cannot claim with certainty that a being can only create something less than themselves. I can just as easily say that a perfect being cannot create anything less than perfect because to do so would go against the nature of perfection. To be perfect means everything you do is perfect. Therefore by the transitive property anything created by a perfect being must itself be perfect.
5. My argument cannot be non sequitur because the conclusion that God's claim to perfection makes Him less believable comes from the premise put forth in point 4.
7. Pro can try to explain why this verse left out that and try to twist the facts to suit his cause, but he can't change the fact that there are clear contradictions. Since the only point of this argument is to disprove Pro's claim that the bible speaks in perfect unity, I will only offer some that I think are unarguable. Pro never addressed how unlikely it is that something as major as an earthquake or angelic descention would have only been mentioned in 1 of 4 books. These are major events, and if 3 of 4 just ignored them, then God chose some crappy writers. Also, if contradictions that aren't omissions, then here you go. Mark 16:5 says they saw someone sitting inside the tomb, but Luke and John said it was empty.
There is a singular pronoun. John 20:2 says "then she runneth". As to Mark 16, I have already said that John is the only account that claims she was alone. That is part of the contradiction.
The only way I am arguing a strawman fallacy is if there are no contradictions, and I have made it clear that their are.
I cited the quote in the comments section. Pro claims that there is historical evidence of Jesus, but this is not true. In fact, there is not even a mention of Jesus outside of the bible. The only major writing Christians can even refer to is that of Josephus, and that text has been shown to be fraudulent (1). If someone went around raising the dead, turning water into wine, walking on water, etc; then every historian and record keeper in the area would be writing about him. Surely someone outside of God's chosen writers would have noticed.
8. I don't see how having things in common with other religions help the case for Christianity. If two things have similar stories, and one has been around for thousands of years longer, which one is more likely to jave
As this is our last round, I will not present any new arguments. I will only respond to Con's claims.
1 & 2. Con has really made no argument here, only that "I can't do something so I can't believe someone else when they say they can." As I have already indicated, God's claims to perfection don't make God less believable than any other. God could be a liar but still exist, or God could really be perfect and still exist. "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" is a myth. Extraordinary claims require reasonable evidence, just like anything else.  I can claim to be absolutely perfect. That does not mean my existence is called into question, only my claims. If Con cannot see this then maybe debating is not the best use of his time. The ability to see the opposing viewpoint and understand why someone might believe that is essential for coming up with responses to them.
3. Con has committed a strawman fallacy by arguing a point that simply isn't true, one that is easier to refute than the actual true statement. God doesn't condemn anyone for having their own mind, in fact God gave us our minds and wants us to use them. Con has confused physical repercussions for eternal ones. A child rapist can go to Heaven if they are genuinely repentant of their actions. This means they are truly sorry and will not do it again. However, they still must pay the consequences of their actions, and rightly so. They should not be set free from prison early simply because they had a conversion. I have no justified anything; this is how God's justice system works. I would urge Con to actually read the Bible before attacking it (he claims to have read it but his arguments show otherwise). Additionally, Con has not shown by whose standards a "genuinely good person" is good which would not justify them going to Hell. A person who goes to Hell rejected God, so God is giving them what they want, in a way. An eternity without God. But on top of the eternal separation, they also receive punishment for the sins they have committed. Christian theology is not based on blackmail. Christians are good not because we don't want to go to Hell, but because it's the right thing to do.
4. The type of creation (supernatural or natural) is irrelevant. Con's reasoning is flawed. God, even acting supernaturally, can only create beings less than Himself, not equal or greater. God is a Necessary Being. He has always existed and it is in His nature to exist. If He creates a being, even one as powerful as He is, they will still be a contingent being. They would have a beginning, and so they would not have always existed. God did not create imperfect beings, however God did give us free will. As such, and as we are lesser than God, we acted upon our free will improperly and committed sins. Those sins are the reason we couldn't go to Heaven and were facing Hell. It's only because of God's mercy that we can be saved at all.
5. Con's argument is a non sequitur. Making the claim of perfection does not make one's existence unbelievable, at the most it may just make their claims unbelievable.
7. I'm not twisting any facts. The problem is that Con has clear biases against the Scriptures so no amount of reason will convince him otherwise. To Con, reasonable explanations are not enough. He would argue for inconsistency no matter how consistent the texts were. I can't explain why certain authors left out certain details but it's clear that if the other books don't contradict these details then there's no contradiction. Con's argument is based on ad hominem attacks ("crappy writers") and special pleading.
It is clear that Con is not an honest thinker, so he will try desperately to show contradictions where none exist. This is a perfect example. In Mark 16:5, there is an angel in the tomb. The book of John clearly shows us that Mary went to the tomb twice. Luke and John do not say the tomb was empty, they say they did not find the body of Jesus. Clearly Con is fabricating contradictions.
In the book of John, Mary Magdalene was the only one mentioned. John does not say she was alone. She was the only one that John felt it necessary to mention. Mary says "...we do not know where they have taken him" in John 20:2, that same verse. So clearly she wasn't alone, even though John only decided to include her, specifically, in the narrative. At no time does he say she was the only one who went to the tomb.
Now, Con is arguing from ignorance to try and discredit Jesus. "We can't prove it so it must not be true." There is a historical Jesus. To claim any different is just ridiculous. Also, Christians refer to many writings that contain references to Jesus (other authors who mention Jesus are Pliny the Younger, Thallus, Tacitus, Suetonius, and a host of others, including Josephus, which is not fraudulent.  But even if there were no other sources, it wouldn't matter. The Bible was compiled in one volume in the fourth century. Before then these were four independent accounts of Jesus written by four different people (not to mention the numerous other books not accepted as Biblical canon, such as The Apocalypse of Peter). Saying there was no Jesus just doesn't hold up to scrutiny.
8. The difference is that the Scriptures have their basis in history. The fact that there are things in common with other cultures lends credibility to these events happening. Christianity and Judaism are historical religions. The Old and New Testaments were historical accounts recorded, mostly as the events were occurring.
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Vote Placed by 1dustpelt 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Arguments tie. Conduct-Con trying to continue arguments in comments area. Sources-more sources on pro
Vote Placed by 16kadams 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: people would have thought my vote was a VB... So tie
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