The Instigator
Con (against)
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The Contender
Pro (for)
3 Points

The Christian God's "morality"

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/4/2012 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,153 times Debate No: 25928
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (7)
Votes (1)




This argument shall only debate whether or not the God of Christianity is "morally good". Morally good shall, for the purposes of this debate, be defined as "that which minimizes or eliminates suffering, unhappiness, and conflict which harms individuals or groups." If my opponent disagrees with this definition he may use his first round to propose a new definition, or he may amend the existing definition. All language in this debate must be clear and any attempt to misconstrue the opponents position will not be tolerated. Any terms for which there are several meanings or may contain subjective connotations should be defined in a manner similar to the manner in which I have defined "morally good". Standard rules of debate apply. (No "red herrings","ad hominim", or similar tactics are acceptable.) I expect my opponent to understand and abide by the rules proposed. If my opponent wishes to amend these rules he may do so in the same round as his agreement/disagreement with my definition of "morally good". Without further delay, I shall propose my position to which you may present yours in the same round as the definition agreement/disagreement; this first round is simply to make sure we understand the rules and each others position. The position I choose to take is that of the opponent to the statement "God is morally good". As an extra measure to ensure clarity, this definition of "morally good" is being used because I have found no actions to which an individual has concluded to be morally neutral (that which does not promote or discourage the minimization or elimination of suffering, unhappiness or conflict that harms individuals or groups.) or morally bad (the antithesis of "morally good"). One may be incline point out the glaringly obvious flaw of "You rely a sizable part of your argument to your own personal experience and subjective bases." to which I rebut, "Yes, however, morality is subjective." If one argues it is not, that morality is objective, than one ultimately objects to the idea morality originates from a deity, since a deity is in this instance a subject, as evidenced by the fact that God has opinions which are not based on reason. If one argues that God is the source of objective morality than one is in essence arguing for the statement "Might makes right". Which I hope my opponent is intelligent enough to understand that there is truly no reasoning behind that statement. Thus concludes my opening statements, I await a response.


I accept this debate.

The Bomb made a comment that the debate should have less rounds. I agree with him that five round debates can get very repetitive and that is often unfair to the voters. I affirm that I will not repeat any arguments unless I must do so in order to form a response to my opponent if he repeats an argument. But if my opponent does not repeat any arguments either, then the debate should go smoothly and be free of repetitions. I propose that by the end of the third or perhaps the fourth round, if my opponent and I feel that continuing the debate would only result in the repetition of arguments, then we can agree to end the debate there and each of us would simply write "We agree that there are no more rounds" ( or something like that) as our posts for the remaining excess rounds. In other words, I think that both of us should do our best to make this a non-tedious debate.

I would like to point out that I disagree with my opponent that there are no morally neutral actions. I believe that most of our daily actions are morally neutral (neither moral nor immoral). When I walk down the street, is my action of walking moral? It does not seem so. Is it immoral? It does not seem so either. This seems to be a non-moral action.

But this is a minor point so I won't make a big issue out of it. I don't see how this could practically be discussed about God, so I will defend the morality of God instead of the non-morality.

I'd like to slightly modify my opponent's definition of what is morally good. He defines it very negatively, as that which eliminates suffering or harm. I agree with this but would also define it more positively as well, saying that something is morally good which creates happiness, peace, love, etc. I don't think this should change how the debate will go, so it seems like a minor point too.

With this, I turn things over to catharsis and I hope this is a good debate.
Debate Round No. 1


I would like to start by thanking CriticalThinkingMachine for such a warm welcome and polite demeanor. I also would like thank him for not only amending the definition of "morally good" to include positive actions ,but also for pointing out my omission of morally neutral actions. I would now like to formally start my proposal for this arguments second round. My assertion that God is not "morally good" also must, under further scrutiny, must be more clearly defined. The basis on which we judge a human's "moral goodness" is by his actions, ergo we must judge God by his. Thus now "moral goodness" has come to encompass the actions that constitute the aforementioned positive and negative properties of decreasing harm and increasing happiness without harming others as well as the overall moral assessment of the being in regards to said actions. To start I would like to reference the Torah quite a bit. In Exodus, when God sent the Israelites into Egypt to gather food due to famine, why did God send the famine? Surely this caused at the very least a panic within the unprepared. After the famine had ended, God sent Moses to free His people. He did this, at first, in perfectly acceptable way: he used miraculous acts through Moses. Later, God sent the plagues, which certainly cause inconvenience to the people... in the beginning. After the plague of pestilence, God unbuckled his proverbial belt and took a swing with the plague of boils. Is sending boils upon the innocent citizens when the leader is to blame. Is it right to punish others for the wrongdoing of one? Not to mention, the plague of hail that destroyed their food crop left them in no state to recover from their skin deformity. Skipping a few plagues that, in my opinion, are less heinous, we come to the plague of the death of the firstborn. I will reiterate my point from the plague of boils, when is it acceptable to punish others for the sins of one? On a side note, God was the one keeping Pharaoh from letting the Israelites leave by hardening pharaohs heart. Several generations later, God observes that David had committed adultery with Bathsheba. As punishment God killed the child; it took 7 days for the child to die. Hell is also a problem for the argument of God's goodness, as we have defined it. If God is omnipotent, He could save everyone in Hell by simply thinking them into Heaven. Since He does not do this, He is content to allow them to suffer for an eternity. While on the topic of Hell, what ,exactly, is the purpose of Hell (just curious on what the answer could be)? I think this is enough for a round ,although I can go on with examples of God doing similarly abhorrent atrocities, if you wish me to go on next round. If you are one who believes that everybody deserves eternal punishment from God, by default, for the sin of man, than how does one judge actions? I will discuss this on the off chance that you do hold this position. (although I believe you to be smart enough to see the flaws in this belief.) Most places on earth and even in Christianity's view of salvation, the individuals actions determine praise or punishment or neither (as you mentioned earlier). This fact renders the whole notion of punishment without action of the individual completely contradictory to almost every concept of fairness. I feel that you will do well in debating me. I await the joy of critique and bid thee good luck.



Thank you to catharsis for starting this debate. In his posting for round two, Con has presented a few arguments attempting to show the immoral nature of God. In my post for round two, I will address his arguments and put forth my own. Con’s arguments are all direct quotes and appear in red ink.


Negative Arguments (My Rebuttals to Con)

1- The basis on which we judge a human's "moral goodness" is by his actions, ergo we must judge God by his.

1A- confusing motivation with action
I take issue with this statement. We judge a person rather by the motivations and intentions behind his actions rather than his actions themselves. For example, if someone intends to do something nice for someone else but accidentally harms the person, would it be fair to say that the person acted
immorally? Probably not. This does not mean that one’s actions are irrelevant. They are highly relevant. But we must always look at the relation of the one’s actions to the motivations behind them, not simply the action by itself.

2- To start I would like to reference the Torah quite a bit.

2A- unreliable source
The torah is a document which may not be completely reliable. We have no way of knowing if the supernatural events that are described actually took place.

3- Several generations later, God observes that David had committed adultery with Bathsheba. As punishment God killed the child; it took 7 days for the child to die.

3A- unreliable source
Again, while we may have historical records that individuals named David and Bathsheba lived and that they had a child, we have no historical records of God acting upon them or intervening into their lives, or killing their child.

3B- contradictory source
If we were to rely on the Bible to ascertain God’s moral nature, then we would come to a deadlock since God is attributed as doing both very moral and immoral things. These cancel each other out and are more indicative of the moral nature of the ones who wrote the Bible rather than the moral nature of the subject of the Bible.

4- Hell is also a problem for the argument of God's goodness, as we have defined it. If God is omnipotent, He could save everyone in Hell by simply thinking them into Heaven. Since He does not do this, He is content to allow them to suffer for an eternity.

4A- can does not entail should
Assuming that God can, as Con said, save everyone in Hell by thinking them into Heaven, does that sound fair? Does the FilmAcademy give awards to actors simply because it can, or does it also do that
because it believes that the actors have earned them? Similarly, it would be unfair for God to simply think someone into Heaven simply because He can.

5- While on the topic of Hell, what ,exactly, is the purpose of Hell?

5A- non-applicable point
Con makes an excellent point about the purposelessness of Hell. But he also realizes that this point only hurts someone’s concept of God if they accept that concept of one that includes God punishing all of mankind for original sin. Since I do not, and since it contradicts the Christian concept of fairness, the point does not apply in this debate.

5B- exist does not entail purpose
Supposing that Hell exist, something does not have to have a purpose in order to exist. It could be that Hell was not created (by God) with any purpose but only exists as the natural consequence of doing evil.

Positive Arguments (My Case For the Morality of God)

First let me say that this is not a debate about God’s existence. It is a debate about
God’s nature. All of Con’s points already presuppose the existence of God, as do all of mine, so I am not obligated to argue for God’s existence.

1- our existence
The very fact that we exist is a sign of that God loves us, for why else would He create us and allow us to continue existing? As God is all-powerful and under no obligation to do anything, the fact that He would choose to bring beings into existence points to the conclusion that He wants to share existence with us, a very non-selfish act.

There are two reasons why human beings bring other human beings into existence. One-they intended to. Two- they did so by accident (i.e. unplanned pregnancies) As accidents do not happen to God as He has no force overriding Him, His bringing of human beings into existence was because of His intention to, and why would God intend to bring human beings unless He had some kind of moral nature. It is hardly indicative of an immoral or amoral nature.

2- other things in existence
If God brought us into existence, it makes sense that He would fill our existence with gifts that display His moral nature. This gifts range from the intellectual to the physical and everything in between. They include both creation and the ability to comprehend creation. Science itself is a gift from God. I’ll use some examples of abilities from the arts that God has given us to make the world existence better and more enjoyable: the ability to make music, to tell stories, to create meaning and function in things which previously had none, to create visually arresting images, to create architecture etc. Surely like would be missing something special without the abilities to bring about the aforementioned features. To give humans the abilities to do great things is not a sign of an apathetic God or a God who hates, but a sign of a God who loves, and therefore has a moral nature.

Again, I do not have to argue that God is responsible for these things. That is already implied by the fact that we are debating the Christian concept of God. I only have to argue that they point to a moral God.


I have no objection to Con’s conduct.


Pro’s writing seems like a run-on paragraph. He does not separate any of his points, and he had some grammatical errors.


Con presented a wall of text, rather than a well-laid out format. I ask that in the next round, he separate all of his points and number them. It makes it easier for me and voters to read and understand what he is saying.


Con used the Bible as a source for some of his arguments. He did not give any direct quotes or provide any links to Bible passages.


Con has not met his burden of showing that the Christian God has an immoral nature. I have met my burden of showing that the Christian God does have a moral nature. I look forward to a response from my esteemed opponent.
Debate Round No. 2


Catharsis forfeited this round.


I'm sorry to see that my opponent has forfeited the last round. I extend my arguments to this round. Vote Pro.
Debate Round No. 3


This post is to formally forfeit this argument. The cause for my forfeiture is my recent life events, namely the death of one of my best friends. This situation will require my full attention and will most definitely affect my ability to argue in a rational manner. Although I do have arguments against what pro has put forth I will allow pro to take this debate on the grounds that he has constructively criticized me and has pointed out areas in my presentation that could be improved. Thanks for the good time; I wish the good times could last.


I would like to thank Catharsis for a very interesting debate, and on a personal note I would like to say that I am very sorry to hear about the death of your friend. You have my deepest regrets and sympathy.
Debate Round No. 4


Catharsis forfeited this round.


Vote Pro.

conduct/grammar/sources: tie

arguments: pro
Debate Round No. 5
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Catharsis 5 years ago
@AlwaysMoreThanYou We have set a definition which will be the criterion by which God is judged. If you argue that this to s subjective, you would be correct. Although not objective, it is a meaningful, coherent definition. To answer your question, the definition is acting as the "Objective Standard" although in truth no such standard exists, yet meaningful and meaningless standards can be used to great effect in the practical world.
Posted by philochristos 5 years ago
I agree with AlwaysMoreThanYou and THEBOMB.
Posted by THEBOMB 5 years ago
could you make it four rounds instead of 5? maybe even three since we are basically diving right into the debate. In my opinion, 5 round debates get really repetitive and they are not fair to the voter.
Posted by DeFool 5 years ago
There is no concept of "good" that applies to the Christian gods - in particular Jesus. These deities are depraved and sadistic to an extent that has become legendary.

Unless genocide, democide, murder, rape, castration, cannibalism, child rape, slavery, war, torture and Hell can be considered good. I argue that no sane person exists who would hold this opinion.
Posted by AlwaysMoreThanYou 5 years ago
If you're saying morality is subjective, you can't really claim the Christian God to be immoral by any objective standard.

Unless you're just saying "I deem the Christian God immoral", which is pretty much un-negatable.
Posted by Catharsis 5 years ago
@wiploc A fine suggestion ,yet I prefer to allow my opponent to a formal presentation of a definition. I expect him/her to give a reason why this definition is more effective than my own. This forum is wonderful for shorthand practice, but the strict format irks me greatly.
Posted by wiploc 5 years ago
You don't want to let your opponent amend the definition in the debate. Do that, and you'll still be arguing over what definition you should base the debate on in round five.

Instead, let potential opponents suggest amended definitions here in the comments. If you agree to a change, then you can amend your opening post. That way, when the debate begins, both parties will have agreed on the topic of the debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Clash 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con conceded.