The Instigator
batman01
Pro (for)
The Contender
divergent_ambon
Con (against)

The Christian Religion is a Below Average Religion Morally

Do you like this debate?NoYes+1
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Debate Round Forfeited
batman01 has forfeited round #3.
Our system has not yet updated this debate. Please check back in a few minutes for more options.
Time Remaining
00days00hours00minutes00seconds
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/13/2017 Category: Religion
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 906 times Debate No: 102593
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (27)
Votes (0)

 

batman01

Pro

This will be a debate regarding the merits of Christianity as a moral system. Pro (me) will have to show that Christianity is a bad (or below average) religion in terms of the moral direction it gives.

Con then needs to prove that Christianity is a good moral system when compared relatively to other religions.

Please don't accept if you're not going to finish the debate.
divergent_ambon

Con

No doubt, my opponent will point out the moral evils that have occurred in the church, the moral evils contained in the Bible, and the moral evils that followers of Christianity have committed. However, that is not the point of the debate. The point of the debate is whether the Christian religion is itself morally below average.

To do so, we have to look at the Norma Normans, the "standardizing standard" that creates Christianity. It is comprised of Scripture, creeds, reason, tradition, and practice. All of these are compared against each other until a "standard" is reached. That is the heart of Christianity.

What then is the heart of Christianity?

1) Scripture has multiple different usages, but its greatest is not the literal. Jesus, Paul, the Gospel writers, and early commentators focused on the spiritualized meaning of the scriptures. The biggest example is Galatians 4, where Paul specifically says the story of Sarah and Hagar in Genesis is a spiritualized allegory. The Epistle of Barnabus as well specifically treats OT law as allegorical. Greater still, then, is how this spiritualization is to be applied.

2) Secondly, then, we have how to apply the Scriptures. Christ was asked how to sum up the law and the prophets. In other words, what is the application of the entirety of Scripture? The answer is to love God and love others. (Luke 10:27) Paul too in 1 Corinthians 13 shows that Love is the most important aspect that must be present in ALL Christian action.

3) In the standardizing standard, then, all action, tradition, and creed that can be called "Christian" must conform to this standard. It must be motivated by love and be an action of love. If it is not, then it is not Christian.

4) In light of this, the Athanasian Creed is accepted by all 3 major sects of Christianity: Eastern Orthodoxy, Catholicism, and Protestantism. It specifically says "And shall give account for their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting; and they that have done evil, into everlasting fire." Goodness is rewarded, evil is punished. Love and justice live interdependently.

5) Finally, then, action that is truly "Christian" must conform to all of these. If it does not, then it is not Christian. Only actions which are motivated by Love, justice, and truth can truly be "Christian" and conform to the standard.

My opponent must then not merely bring up times where people claiming to be Christian diverged from the standard, nor can he discuss the ethical horrors which are in the Bible. These alone are not enough to prove the Christian faith is immoral. Instead, he must discuss interpretation, tradition, creed, Scripture, and practice to change the Norma Normans.

I look forward to my opponent's arguments.
Debate Round No. 1
batman01

Pro

I disagree with your arguments entirely. I can discuss the ethical horrors that are in the Bible and the horrors which have been done by followers of Christianity. This is what makes Christianity; Christianity is the sum total of all it's constituent parts good and bad.

Saying that we should ignore all the bad things which occur within the Bible and which have been done by Christians just because Jesus said to love your enemies once is like saying we should ignore a murderer if he admits that his murder was wrong at some point. You can pick out good things from the Bible rather easily, much of it is good, however much of it is awful.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THE BIBLE:

"Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the cruel." (1 Peter 2:18)

You pointed out the Apostle Paul claiming that a passage in Genesis is allegory. Paul also says "I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent" (1 Timothy 2:12). Paul also proves to be anti-homosexual (you can read about this in Romans 1).

You also look to Jesus as the beacon of perfection in Christianity, citing his summary of scripture. It would perhaps interest you to know that there is considerable dirt on Jesus as well. In Matthew 10:34 Jesus says "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." He claims multiple times (Matthew 11, Mark 6, Luke 10) that if a city does not accept his teachings it will burn in hell. In Matthew 15, he calls a Caananite woman a dog. Jesus is a character who clearly approves of Jewish law and customs and clearly approves of all the acts God undertook in the Old Testament.

Jesus was a product of his time and place. If you trust the Bible's quotations you must say that he accepted slavery, the wrath of god, and all the killings of the Old Testament. Furthermore, he almost certainly did not say 'love your enemy as yourself.' It is dubious as to whether or not he as a person ever existed but if he did indeed exist then the earliest biography we have of his life was written more than 40 years after his death by a man who did not witness any of the acts which Jesus undertook. We can say with great certainty that Jesus little to nothing of what he is purported to say.

I'm not going to spend a great deal of time talking about the atrocities that take place in the Old Testament as they are so numerous. Slavery is allowed and at time encouraged, god kills thousands for complaining about his killings (Numbers 16), rape, murder, torture, all is allowed by god and all is accepted by Jesus. '

In Christianity neither your god nor your savior nor any of your believers are blameless.

https://ffrf.org...
http://dwindlinginunbelief.blogspot.com...

THE PROBLEMS WITH BELIEVERS:

There are many problems with most believers and I don't think most of these problems need to be spelled out, but to give objective proof of some of the ways in which Christians are morally worse than the rest of the population I'll give some examples.

Christians objectively seem to be more violent. An ABC news poll found that in 2014 Christians were 28% more likely to support torture than non-Christians (http://religiondispatches.org...).

Christians seem to objectively less accepting. A study in 2016 found that Christians are 46% less likely to support gay marriage than atheists, 38% less likely to support than Buddhists, 31% less likely than Jews, 24% less likely than Hindus, and on a whole 2% more likely than Muslims. Indeed, Christians seem to be essentially the least tolerant group in America. (http://reason.com...)

Christians also seem the most likely to support general violence. Christians are 6% more likely to support the killing of civilians than Jews and 37% more likely than Muslims. (https://niskanencenter.org...).

THE REASON MOST OTHER RELIGIONS ARE BETTER:

Every major religion on this planet with the exception of Islam is better than Christianity. The Asian religions of Buddhism, Jainism, and Hinduism support peace almost exclusively. For these religions non-violence is the central tenet. Christianity cannot make the same claim.

For two thousand years Christianity has been used to justify killings, slavery, persecution, and discrimination. It is certainly one of the worst moral systems ever created, both morally foolish and inconsistent enough to allow anyone to make of it what they will.
divergent_ambon

Con

My opponent did exactly as was expected, choosing verses from the Bible and actions done by proclaimed Christians to say Christianity is an immoral religion.

I can provide some more.

Psalm 137:9 is pretty nasty.

Numbers 31 is horrifying.

Exodus 21 is terrible.

I'm well aware of the terrible, immoral passages in the Bible. They are certainly there. But the question isn't about the Bible, the question is about Christianity as a religion.

My opponent pretty clearly doesn't understand my argument.

//Saying that we should ignore all the bad things which occur within the Bible and which have been done by Christians just because Jesus said to love your enemies//

That is not what I am saying at all. We should not ignore the bad parts. I'm saying that:

1) Christianity, historically, is defined by the Norman Normans, a set of authorities together that create Christianity. This includes tradition, Scripture, creeds, reason, bishops, liturgy, etc. This is the definition of Christianity set up by historical and modern Christianity. You can find a little more about this with this journal article from Harvard: https://www.jstor.org...

2) The Bible's interpretation religiously, divergent from historical-critical studies, is Pesher. Pesher is a cultural tradition which is found in places like the Dead Sea Scrolls, Christ's words in the Gospels, and Galatians 4:24. You can find out more about Pesher interpretation here: http://dss.collections.imj.org.il... http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org... This does not mean ignoring the bad and taking in the good. This means applying a certain hermeneutic that is spiritualized and relates to the modern world. I myself use a liberation theology hermeneutic in terms the Pesher tradition when I approach the Bible.

There's a clarification if my opponent would wish to address this. Specifically, he would have to address why the Norman Normans is not the formulator of Christianity, against all historical backing and modern discussion, and why it is only restricted to what the Bible says and how some Christians act.

******

Rebuttals:

Addressing my opponents point, he does some very odd things.

1) My opponent ignores the historical-critical method.

My opponent makes several elementary mistakes when looking at the Bible historically. Taking a historical view of it, which is admirable and important, must mean making correct claims

* My opponent claims Paul wrote 1 Timothy. This is complete folly to the modern scholar who regards it as pseudepigraphy. You can read more about that here: https://biblicalstudies.org.uk...

* My opponent also claims Christ spoke certain words: "In Matthew 10:34 Jesus says..." yet he also says "he almost certainly did not say 'love your enemy as yourself.' " First, that's not even in the Gospels, what my opponent says is a conflation of two different sayings of Jesus. "Love your enemies" and "Love your neighbor as yourself." The issue here, however, is that my opponent doesn't use the historical-critical method to establish why Jesus said one thing over another. The 300 non-Christian scholars of the Jesus Seminar in its commentary "The Five Gospels," would vehemently disagree with my opponent's claims. In order to make these claims, my opponent must show why they are all wrong.

* My opponent says "It is dubious as to whether or not he as a person ever existed." Mythicism, the idea that Jesus never existed as a person, is a fringe theory most scholars see as a conspiracy theory. Bart Ehrman, the Agnostic professor of New Testament at UNC Chapel Hill, wrote an entire book disputing it. https://www.amazon.com...

If my opponent wants to use historical-critical methods to attack Christianity, he must use them correctly. I would ask my opponent to then use the historical-critical method of his choice to establish why Jesus never said something like or exactly "Love your enemies" or "Love your neighbor as yourself," especially since it is established in the earliest sources through independent attestation, especially in Q, Thomas, and Mark.

2) My opponent makes false claims about other religions.

My opponent makes claims that religions like Buddhism or Hinduism "support peace almost exclusively." Yet, he claims Christianity does not say so, despite multiple passages of Christ which he ignores without applying the historical-critical method. In order to make this claim, he must apply the historical-critical method to Matthew 5:38-48, which I challenged him to do above. In the next round, I will use the historical-critical method to confirm this as an utterance of the historical Jesus.

Here are examples of violence by the groups described which often do, in fact, promote and institute violence and human rights violations.

Hinduism
Terrible Hindu Practices:
Burning the widow of a dead husband alive: https://en.wikipedia.org...(practice)
Child Sacrifice: http://www.news24.com...
Gang Rape Punishments: http://www.npr.org...
Caste System and the "Untouchables" https://www.britannica.com...

Hindu Terrorism and Religious Violence:
https://hudson.org...
https://en.wikipedia.org...

And let us not forget that the Hindu scriptures are often centered around war and conquest, great violent wars

Buddhism
Buddhism is an ugly thing in Myanmar and Sri Lanka. The Buddhist government and religious adherents stamps out other religions and terrorism against other religions is rife.
https://en.wikipedia.org...
http://www.bbc.com...
http://world.time.com...

Indeed, any religion can be, as my opponent even said of Christianity, "used to justify killings." That does not mean the religion itself is evil, just that it is being used by evil people to justify evil things.

Summary and Challenge to opponent
My opponent must address:

1) Why, against all historical and modern definitions, is merely the Bible and actions of some Christians deemed to be Christianity itself? Why is the Norma Normans not a good definition?

2) Why, using the historical-critical method to back up your claims of history, did Jesus use apocalyptic language and not speak the statements of love recorded in Q and Mark?

3) Why are the actions of Christians defining for Christianity as a religion, but not for Buddhism and Hinduism? I certainly don't think Hinduism and Buddhism are evil religions just because they have been used justify terrible things.


I await my opponent's response before the final round.
Debate Round No. 2
This round has not been posted yet.
This round has not been posted yet.
Debate Round No. 3
27 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by divergent_ambon 1 year ago
divergent_ambon
I'd guess for most people the point would be to learn. But I suppose that's not important to you. Those people I listed are some of the most important historical-critical scholars out there. They're the ones with the PhD's. It may be wise to read them.
Posted by backwardseden 1 year ago
backwardseden
Didn't read it. What's the point? You have nothing to say of value. That's been proven time and time again. Btw, its a very good idea that you do not respond to batman01;s argument because he's got you beat by everything in your tinsel mind can think of. Ta ta.
Posted by divergent_ambon 1 year ago
divergent_ambon
I'm just ignoring you at this point since you are clearly ignorant of the subject at hand. Not really worth responding to anymore.

Here are some scholars who could educate you since your sources primarily seem to be tv shows and Newsweek.

Bart Ehrman, L Michael White, Funk and the Jesus Seminar, Rudolf Bultmann, Borg, Spong, Kloppenberg

Hope that helps. Read up!
Posted by backwardseden 1 year ago
backwardseden
Just as I thought. No response. A forfeit. Its not really a surprise within your glass bottom bloat. So should you decide to respond to this, it will rightly and justly be ignored just as --- batman01 --- should rightly and justly ignore your idiotic attempts to converse with a stupid little debate. Your god is immoral. Period. No matter how you look at it and Newsweek who knows how to interpret far better than you or anyone knows better than you --- ever --- will. So its time for you to readjust your thinking if you want to get along with others in life, for the rest of your life. Its either that or be friendless and loveless.
Your choice.

One thing that is insulting is that you choose "Inherit the Wind" in which I 100% agree with you is one of the greatest films ever made. And I've seen around 10,000 films or so and counting. Obviously I am referring to the classic and not the cheese head remake. And I don't know if you know but the courtroom scene was shot in one take. Mighty impressive. But what is really sickening is that the courtroom scene is such a contradiction to your ideals and beliefs that any cow could jump over swiss cheese and cut granny farts all day. But then again there's no such thing as "mytho-poetic" as I have told you and you didn't explain it either. You had your chance. You blew it. You want everybody to live in the dork from what you BELIEVE with no evidence whatsoever to support huh? and you fricken know it, and yet you have the cloned Peter Popoff's late night theater rants to criticize others from which you know absolutely nothing about. Again, Newsweek has proudly proven you wrong with your gibberish interpretations.

As far as Carrier, welp my younun, why don't you take your scalp against him in a milking debate and he will obliterate you and you know it. The end.
Posted by backwardseden 1 year ago
backwardseden
None of this mattered for centuries, because Christians were certain God had guided the hand not only of the original writers but also of all those copyists. But in the past 100 years or so, tens of thousands of manuscripts of the New Testament have been discovered, dating back centuries. And what biblical scholars now know is that later versions of the books differ significantly from earlier ones"in fact, even copies from the same time periods differ from each other. "There are more variations among our manuscripts than there are words in the New Testament," says Dr. Bart D. Ehrman, a groundbreaking biblical scholar and professor at the University of North Carolina who has written many books on the New Testament.

Wow. Those two comments are a small portion from what I just read from an article from Newsweek entitled "THE BIBLE: SO MISUNDERSTOOD IT'S A SIN" published on 12/23/14. Oh and btw. Newsweek knows one helluva lot better than ANYTHING you can come up with. Anything and everything. You just lost the debate. Now you go right ahead and you read the entire article.
http://www.newsweek.com...
Posted by backwardseden 1 year ago
backwardseden
No television preacher has ever read the Bible. Neither has any evangelical politician. Neither has the pope. Neither have I. And neither have you. At best, we"ve all read a bad translation"a translation of translations of translations of hand-copied copies of copies of copies of copies, and on and on, hundreds of times. About 400 years passed between the writing of the first Christian manuscripts and their compilation into the New Testament. (That"s the same amount of time between the arrival of the Pilgrims on the Mayflower and today.) The first books of the Old Testament were written 1,000 years before that. In other words, some 1,500 years passed between the day the first biblical author put stick to clay and when the books that would become the New Testament were chosen. There were no printing presses beforehand or until 1,000 years later. There were no vacuum-sealed technologies to preserve paper for centuries. Dried clay broke, papyrus and parchment crumbled away, primitive inks faded.Back then, writings from one era could be passed to the next only by copying them by hand. While there were professional scribes whose lives were dedicated to this grueling work, they did not start copying the letters and testaments about Jesus"s time until centuries after they were written. Prior to that, amateurs handled the job.
These manuscripts were originally written in Koin", or "common" Greek, and not all of the amateur copyists spoke the language or were even fully literate. Some copied the script without understanding the words. And Koin" was written in what is known as scriptio continua"meaning no spaces between words and no punctuation. So, a sentence like weshouldgoeatmom could be interpreted as "We should go eat, Mom," or "We should go eat Mom." Sentences can have different meaning depending on where the spaces are placed. For example, godisnowhere could be "God is now here" or "God is nowhere."
Posted by divergent_ambon 1 year ago
divergent_ambon
I'm asking for three historical-critical scholars. I see Carrier, a fringe scholar but not surprising. And I see scholars from unrelated fields and lay-"experts." Any other historical-critical scholars?

And I've already told you what I believe. I'm a loose Panentheist who identifies with the mytho-poetic structure of Christianity.
Posted by backwardseden 1 year ago
backwardseden
Well then that's an incorrect approach now isn't it because its YOUR approach only. And its fundamentally wrong. Did that ever occur to you? Of course not. Its why you are so obviously lonely.
See its because of your direct and total misinterpretations that causes all this hatred in this world because of your religion.
Naturally I asked you to state EXACTLY what you believe and you ducked it. Of course. Wow. What a natural spring water of chocolaty goodness surprise because even you cannot state it and you probably don't believe it yourself.

Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Matt Dillahunty, Steven Hawking, Sam Harris, Carl Sagan, Bill Nye, Roger Waters, Voltaire, Steve Wells, Richard Carrier, Jen Peeples, Tracie Harris, etc etc etc all in which if alive would absolutely destroy anybody you can think of in any debate possible. And to prove it, why don't you call The Atheist Experience this coming Sunday at 5:30pm EST and argue with them with your delusional ideas that would never get past any atom as compared to the big bang. That is if they knew what in the flying pregnant fetus screw you were squawking about. The Atheist Experience is a non profit show that is run out of Austin TX every Sunday to promote positive thinking through atheism. They take phone calls from around the world and they always put theists ahead of the line. To get their number go to youtube on Sunday at that time with The Atheist Experience.
Posted by divergent_ambon 1 year ago
divergent_ambon
I'm describing fundamentalism as a hermeneutic which is a result of reactionist treatments of modernism.

What scholars do you follow? Could you name three? Because the ideas I'm using are mainstream and well accepted. The fact that you don't know that is telling.
Posted by backwardseden 1 year ago
backwardseden
No you are stuck on the fact that you think are edumacated on your religion, and sadly you are not. As stated before, but you obviously cannot read, because you are truly a simpleton and nothing more with obviously no friends or loved ones which is the real dagger, there---is---no---such---a---thing---as---fundamentalism because it cannot possibly be followed nor acted out in any way at all. Now what part of that wimpy death metal (and there are bands out there that absolutely obliterate and pulverize death metal) brain don't you understand? How can you be well edumacated on christianity when you don't even place GOD on the turntable? NO ONE of merit will agree with you. You invent your own religion and excuses to obtain stature.
Its not my translation theory. Jeez. What an idiot. Its no wonder you have no friends or loved ones. Try passing off your ideas to anyone. They will either insult you and rightly so, or walk away from you and rightly so.

Oh and what you said to mmissmedic? Well who made you god of all kings and says you have the ability to interpret correctly above him or others and that does include me? You are a complete and total joke. mmissmedic happens to be 100% correct in what he stated. That is IF and only IF you were to have read your bible in which you clearly haven't.

And what's really a joke is you listen to your death metal, some of it is good, some of it stinks, but some of it is satan-isc so its a direct contradiction from what you believe. But then again we really don't know what you believe because you dangle yourself on a sheet of metal to blow glass and expect everybody to follow you on a whim. And jeez you have yet to state for the union address what you believe. So go ahead and tell us EXACTLY what you believe. The floor is yours.
This debate has 0 more rounds before the voting begins. If you want to receive email updates for this debate, click the Add to My Favorites link at the top of the page.