The Instigator
GeoLaureate8
Pro (for)
Losing
51 Points
The Contender
Alex
Con (against)
Winning
64 Points

The Following Quotes Effectively Refute Christianity

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/11/2009 Category: Religion
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 9,118 times Debate No: 9196
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (27)
Votes (21)

 

GeoLaureate8

Pro

To start this debate, I will provide quotes that I think, effectively refute Christianity from a philosophical standpoint, and expose it to be morally unsound. My opponent (must be a Christian to accept) is tasked to completely vindicate Christianity, philosophically and morally. (*Try to avoid semantics please.)

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- Quotes -
=======

"The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully." – Richard Dawkins

"Strange, indeed, that you should not have suspected that your universe and its contents were only dreams, visions, fiction! Strange, because they are so frankly and hysterically insane - like all dreams: a God who could make good children as easily as bad, yet preferred to make bad ones; who could have made every one of them happy, yet never made a single happy one; who made them prize their bitter life, yet stingily cut it short; who gave his angels eternal happiness unearned, yet required his other children to earn it; who gave his angels painless lives, yet cursed his other children with biting miseries and maladies of mind and body; who mouths justice and invented hell - mouths mercy and invented hell - mouths Golden Rules, and forgiveness multiplied by seventy times seven, and invented hell; who mouths morals to other people and has none himself; who frowns upon crimes, yet commits them all; who created man without invitation, then tries to shuffle the responsibility for man's acts upon man, instead of honorably placing it where it belongs, upon himself; and finally, with altogether divine obtuseness, invites this poor, abused slave to worship him!" - Mark Twain

"I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of...Each of those churches accuse the other of unbelief; and for my own part, I disbelieve them all." - Thomas Paine

"[Religious belief] is a totalitarian belief. It is the wish to be a slave. It is the desire that there be an unalterable, unchallengeable, tyrannical authority who can convict you of thought crime while you are asleep, who can subject you - who must, indeed, subject you - to total surveillance around the clock every waking and sleeping minute of your life - I say, of your life - before you're born and, even worse and where the real fun begins, after you're dead." - Christopher Hitchins

"We can accept God becoming Man to save Man, but we cannot accept Man becoming God to save himself" - Vernon Howard

"An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind" - Gandhi

"Among the most detestable villains in history, you could not find one worse than Moses. Here is an order, attributed to 'God' to butcher the boys, to massacre the mothers and to debauch and rape the daughters." - Thomas Paine

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Alex

Con

Greetings Geo, thank you for the challenge I hope to have a good debate.

My opponent asks that I try to avoid semantics; however, if i am going to do this I need some clarifications. The resolution is worded in a peculiar way, because "Christianity" is belief in the Christian God, but your quotes do not refute belief in the Christian God, but rather it seems he is attempting to say that Jesus undermines his own morality?

So, as you wish I will not debate semantics, and will await your clarification.

What we must notice is that what the resolution requires in order for it to actually effectively refute Christianity.

Definition of refute: To prove to be false or erroneous; overthrow by argument or proof: refute testimony.
Dictionary.com

In order for something to refute anything, it must make an argument that presents evidence that adequately shows the incorrectness of the opposition. But what my opponent has done, has merely posted quotes that SAID Jesus is an unpleasant character, racist, hysterically insane etc. With absolutely nothing to back it up.
The quotes do not present any evidence whatsoever, nor do they give examples Jesus presenting the said kind of behavior. Now, my opponent may think that he himself can present evidence for his quote's cases, but it would be irrelevant. The resolution states "The following quotes effectively refute Christianity" this means that the quotes themselves must prove the entire case themselves.

As you can see, the quotes carry a heavy burden, a burden that must have something to display what it is talking about, such as examples from the Bible, or some other form of evidence to prove it's case. But seeing as none of the quotes actually do, there is nothing to hold them up. Only useless, petty insults with nothing to back them up.

As you can see, the quotes by themselves cannot carry the burden that they must be able to carry to effectively "refute" Christianity.
Debate Round No. 1
GeoLaureate8

Pro

Thank you, alex_hanson, for accepting this debate.
.
.

===============
Evading the Argument
===============

Unfortunately, my opponent has evaded his duty in this debate. I was expecting my opponent to demonstrate that Christian philosophy and beliefs are morally sound, contrary to what my quotes suggest. Instead, my opponent decided to digress by requesting evidence and picking on semantics, however, I clearly stated that this is from a philosophic and moral standpoint, not a factual debate. It's as if we are discussing planetary orbits and astronomy, and my opponent refusing to discuss the topic unless I can first prove that the Earth is round. That would be digressing from the debate topic.

Despite all of that, I will still provide contentions to my opponents argument.

=========
Contentions
=========

{*The resolution is worded in a peculiar way, because "Christianity" is belief in the Christian God, but your quotes do not refute belief in the Christian God, but rather it seems he is attempting to say that Jesus undermines his own morality?*}

Christianity is NOT merely the belief in the Christian God. That's borderline Deism and this is not a God existence debate. Also, you cannot merely believe in the *Christian* God, because he wouldn't be the Christian God if it weren't for the theological attributes ascribed to him by the Bible. Christianity includes Biblical scriptures, Christian philosophy, beliefs, and practices.

{*So, as you wish I will not debate semantics, and will await your clarification.*}

I clarified in my opening statement that "I will provide quotes that I think, effectively refute Christianity from a philosophical standpoint, and expose it to be morally unsound." This has nothing to do with facts, evidence, or God's existence. This is a philosophy debate.

{*Definition of refute: To prove to be false or erroneous; overthrow by argument or proof: refute testimony.
Dictionary.com*}

I wish that we do not emphasize the word "refute." I simply mean that my quotes expose Christianity to be immoral and philosophically unsound. Since you provided a definition though, I will emphasize "to prove to be false or erroneous."

{*But what my opponent has done, has merely posted quotes that SAID Jesus is an unpleasant character, racist, hysterically insane etc. With absolutely nothing to back it up.*}

First of all, the quote you are referring to was not talking about Jesus. It was talking about Yahweh. Let's make this distinction very clear too. Despite the Christian claim that Jesus is God, the Bible gives specific attributes to Yahweh, and a different set of attributes to Jesus, and thus we will treat them as separate. Secondly, (with regards to the Dawkins quote about Yahweh) I do not have to prove that Yahweh is genocidal, just as I would not have to prove Dr. Doom is violent. The quote is attacking the God of the Bible and all of the attributes ascribed to him, and the Bible claims that Yahweh killed everyone on earth with a global flood. It is not my duty to prove that he did this, but that this character in the Bible (from which much of Christian philosophy comes from) is immoral. That's what this debate is about.

========
Conclusion
========

In conclusion, my opponent failed his duty to vindicate Christianity, philosophically and morally. He instead, picked on semantics and disputed facts, rather than discuss the philosophy and morals of Christianity. I encourage my opponent to argue within the realm of this debate, in which he must defend Christian philosophy and morality.
Alex

Con

Understandings:
_____________

The Christian God exists
The Christian God possesses all attributes that are required for God to be the Christian God mainly Omni-Excellence, (All Omni-related attributes)
This is a debate about Christianity being morally sound NOT the existence of God.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Clarifications:

I did not ask you to prove anything, what I am saying is that a real contention does not consist of petty name calling, I was pointing out that there must be specific examples of the God demonstrating what the quote is saying calling him, otherwise there is nothing for me to content, nor without them it is baseless and really, moot.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________

Contention- System or Morality:

Despite the quotes lacking anything to back them up I will continue.
We both are assuming that God exists, therefore my opponents system of morality must be challenged. My opponent must prove that his system of Morality is the correct one, then prove that the quotes prove it to be undermined.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

Contention- Empty attacks, argument fallacies:

I will reemphasize this argument. When one instigates that his quotes refute something such as morality, there must be examples, or evidence if you will of the occasions in which this is happening. Analogously, if I told Geo that he was the most Godforsaken, hideously dressed, ill tempered creature that ever existed, I would need cases or examples of him being Godforsaken, I would need instances in which he was hideously dressed, and i would need instances of him being ill tempered for any of that to actually mean he is any of those things that i am accusing him of.

Without examples of him performing the accused actions, I have nothing. This is exactly what he is doing. His quotes accused God of being many things, yet provides nothing to show that he is actually any of those things. And without examples, the accused actions mean nothing. That is like trying to sue someone and telling the judge whatever it is your suing them about, without anything to show for evidence.

That being said, his quotes hold no water for what they accuse him of.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________

Contention- Burden of Proof:

My opponent, the instigator and the challenger, must be able to defend his position; however, he has placed this burden of proof on his quotes, and like i stated in the previous contention, his quotes alone have nothing to back them up.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________

Contention- Omnibenevolence and the Moral framework

My opponent has stated that the Christian God is omnibenevolent, which is defined as "Moral perfection", "perfect goodness", and "desire to do good."

-Dictionary.com/Reference.com

Now, morality only exists within it's own framework, conceding that God has moral perfection, means that God has not been immoral in his own framework of morality. If my opponent disagrees, he must prove that HIS is the correct moral framework, and say why the Christian Gods is not the correct framework, then prove how his quotes effectively refute Christianity.
Debate Round No. 2
GeoLaureate8

Pro

I thank my opponent for his response, however I find it to be, once again, rather elusive.
.
.

========================================
Circumstantial Necessity of Evidence and Incomplete Arguments
========================================

My opponent's entire argument is a gripe he has with 1 of the 7 quotes, on the grounds that one particular quote is making unwarranted claims. However, I disagree, and say that they are perfectly warranted descriptions of the character Yahweh as described by the Bible. Just as I could call the character Draco, from the Harry Potter novels, a mischievous, dishonest, cruel, bully, and I would be warranted to say so, because these are the attributes given to this character by the book. I do not need to prove that this is true, because the evidence is easily accessible in the book itself. Just as the Richard Dawkins quote is warranted because the evidence for his claims, is easily accessible. My opponent needs to distinguish when it is appropriate to ask for evidence and when it is not. If I assert "fairies exist," then my opponent has every right to ask for evidence because it is an extraordinary claim, in which no evidence for it has yet to be seen. However, if I assert that the book-based character Harry Potter is a wizard who performs magic, casts spells, and fights evil, it would be both redundant and absurd to ask for proof because the evidence is easily accessible.

Even at that, if my opponent were correct that the first quote is unevidenced conjecture or as he says, "petty insults," that is but 1 of the 7 quotes contended. I asked him to completely vindicate Christianity, philosophically and morally, and yet, at best he has barely made his first step.

========================
Fallacies and the Nature of the Quotes
========================

My opponent has committed an intentional fallacy [1] in which he treated all of the quotes as unevidenced conjecture, yet only one of the quotes can (possibly) be described as such. The remaining 6 quotes (perhaps with the exception of one) made no extraordinary claims, and were simply making philosophic and moral statements from which, no evidence is needed. For example, you don't bring evidence to a debate about the philosophic implications of existentialism. It's just not required in these circumstances. Evidence is for science, archaeology, and for confirming facts. Not philosophic thought.

=======
Contentions
=======

{*We both are assuming that God exists, therefore my opponents system of morality must be challenged.*}

No, that parameter was never set and is essentially irrelevant. The Christian philosophy is based on the scriptures, and whether or not the scripture's claims are true (i.e. God exists), Christian philosophy is still derived from the book. Thus, the existence of the Christian God is irrelevant. Also, your conclusion does not follow. Why must my system of morality be challenged if the existence of God is assumed? It should (or should not) be challenged either way and really makes no difference if God exists.

{*My opponent must prove that his system of Morality is the correct one, then prove that the quotes prove it to be undermined.*}

No, that is not my obligation. I do not have to prove anything about my system of morality. I am challenging your Christian system of morality and am demonstrating how it both undermines it's own moral code, and undermines the inherent, basic morals of human beings.

{*When one instigates that his quotes refute something such as morality, there must be examples, or evidence if you will of the occasions in which this is happening.*}

Not necessarily. The evidence is easily accessible, and it would be redundant for the quotes to point out which specific chapter and verse it is referring to. You don't have to prove something that's already been proven. It's as if you are deliberatly ignoring or avoiding evidence, unless it is spoon-fed to you. And again, I stress that my opponent is only picking on one quote. At least 5 of them are simply philosophic statements in which there are no insults that my opponent would need request evidence for.

{*My opponent has stated that the Christian God is omnibenevolent, which is defined as "Moral perfection", "perfect goodness", and "desire to do good."*}

No, I did not say anything like that. To the contrary, I'm actually arguing against that statement. This is, however, the position that Christians hold, and partly what I'm trying to do here is to show that what Christianity holds to be moral perfection, is far from moral. For example, Yahweh is apparently all-loving and all-good, yet is responsible for brutally drowning every living being on the planet. This is essentially what I was hoping to debate about.

=======
Conclusion
=======

In conclusion, my opponent has once again failed his duty to vindicate Christianity, philosophically and morally. He is denying the obvious (i.e. refusing to acknowledge the murders committed by Yahweh), in order to evade his duty to vindicate the morality of Christianity. I was expecting him to justify or vindicate statements such as "[a God] who mouths justice and invented hell - mouths mercy and invented hell," but instead nitpicked the fact that the quote didn't specify which verse. This prevented us from discussing the central point of this debate, and instead kept us occupied with a side argument. I thank you all for reading.

[1] http://www.iep.utm.edu...
Alex

Con

Introduction:

My opponent as consistently claimed that I have been elusive in this debate. However, I have been nothing but straightforward. In order to sufficiently uphold the resolution, Geo must show how his quotes EFFECTIVELY refute Christianity. Since any effective argument requires ACTUAL substance, I'm not sure that it is at all disingenuous to point out that his "philosophic" quotes are unilaterally lacking in that department.

========================================
Circumstantial Necessity of Evidence and Incomplete Arguments
========================================

"My opponent's entire argument is a gripe he has with 1 of the 7 quotes, on the grounds that one particular quote is making unwarranted claims."

False. My contention is that all said quotes are making unwarranted claims – inasmuch as they all reference morality without proving that such thing actually exists. Dostoevsky's dictum seems true, "If God does not exist, everything is permitted." Geo is either engaging in the traditional begging of the question, that is, morality is contingent on God, or he is presupposing an alternative, objective standard of morality by which we may determine immoral action.

Obviously there is no gripe with the actions of said God (e.g. the flood). Evidence is not needed to establish that God indeed flooded the earth (at least when dealing with the issue philosophically), but evidence is absolutely needed when someone is making the philosophical claim that said actions are immoral. If they are immoral, they MUST be proven as such. Since all listed quotes call God, in some form or another, immoral, they must establish, beyond a reasonable doubt, the objective, transcendental and binding metric of morality which they reference.

They stand merely as empty and unwarranted conjectures.

"Just as I could call the character Draco, from the Harry Potter novels, a mischievous, dishonest, cruel, bully, and I would be warranted to say so"

False. You would only be warranted to say so if an established system of morality was already proven. Since the book, in essence, sets the variables of the story and controls the morality of the system, then yes, Draco is evil according the system in which he resides. He is only evil because the book says he is. You have no warrant to call his actions ACTUALLY immoral, unless you have a warranted, objective system of morality.

========================
Fallacies and the Nature of the Quotes
========================

Let's briefly address the quotes in order.

1.This can be rejected via its dependence on conjecture. Dawkin's ascribes certain attributes to God without proving that said attributes are true. Moreover, he depends on a metric of morality that was not established – philosophically or otherwise.

2.The second quote, again, assumes a metric of morality that is not established – philosophically or otherwise. By claiming that said actions are morally perverse (or inferring it rather), he is claiming that God is bound by a morality that is yet to be evidenced. Moreover, Twain assumes that humans and God are morally analogous and that God is bound by the morality he creates – this is tantamount to saying that a game designer is bound by his own programming.

3.This quote is completely irrelevant and only makes claim to what the person quoted believes.

4.Hitchen's is bumbling on again, without substance. This quote presents no philosophical claims at all – my opponent's belief notwithstanding. What am I to refute? If he is trying to call God immoral, then we are where we are with most all these quotes – by what objective moral standard do such authors appeal?

5.Irrelevant. Ipse-Dixit. This, philosophical or otherwise, requires evidence. Let me quote the same author cited above, "what can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence." The author of Geo's quote said this.

-http://www.goodreads.com...

6.This contention would address Judaism, not Christianity. Under the New Covenant of Jesus Christ (i.e. Christianity), we are to turn the other cheek.

7.This is irrelevant to Christianity, in that it addresses the actions of Moses. Also, it ascribes actions to Moses which are not true. Moses never ordered rape and debauchery. This also makes the same error as all the others, it assumes a moral standard without warrant.

=======
Contentions
=======

"Why must my system of morality be challenged if the existence of God is assumed?"

Because if God exists then he is not bound by whatever system of morality that you decided to never once reference or prove.

"It should (or should not) be challenged either way and really makes no difference if God exists."

If God is not, then everything is permissible. If God is, then he makes the rules.

"No, that is not my obligation. I do not have to prove anything about my system of morality."

So we are to just assume that you know what morality is? If everyone in the world claims that child molestation is right, will it be right? If the answer is no, then the appeal is being made to an un-sourced, and objective moral standard. If this standard is not God, then you have to show it to be something else. If the answer is yes, then morality is not actual, but merely contingent upon the subjective whims of an ever-changing mass of humanoids.

"At least 5 of them are simply philosophic statements in which there are no insults that my opponent would need request evidence for."

False, philosophic statements require philosophic evidence. Not one quote gave any philosophical evidence for why said actions were immoral. They certainly pointed out certain actions, and said or inferred that they were immoral – but that is quite a distance short from proving them as such.

=======
Conclusion
=======

To the contrary, twas my opponent who was being elusive in this debate. He gave quotes without substance, warrant, or sense. He was so bold as to suggest that a few sentences could effectively refute a system of belief that has survived for thousands of years – against much stronger criticism might I add. All of his quotes made moral claims without proving the morality on which they depended. Geo essentially believes that it is reasonable to believe that assumption can refute Christianity. It is at the pinnacle of ignorance to suggest that assumption can refute anything! I must end here and joyfully thank my opponent for the stimulating debate. Cheers!
Debate Round No. 3
27 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Alex 7 years ago
Alex
Ya man...I wasn't going to go through the entire Bible and vindicate every little thing that was questionable, that would take years just to get through it.
Posted by Crust89 7 years ago
Crust89
In that case, I ranted for...posterity! ^.^
Posted by Lifeisgood 7 years ago
Lifeisgood
My RFD.

B/A: Tie/Con.
Conduct: Tie. I didn't see much that was questionable.
S/G: Tie. Nothing noticeable.
Arguments: Con. I found Pro's arguments to be insubstantial.
Sources: Tie. 1 vs 1.
Posted by GeoLaureate8 7 years ago
GeoLaureate8
I wasn't talking to you Crust89. Your post didn't appear until I after I posted mine. I was talking to KR.
Posted by Crust89 7 years ago
Crust89
"Con said in the debate that if I brought the evidence, it would be irrelevant because the quotes carry the entire burden."

You're right. He did say that. However, it is up to you to refute. This is a debate after all. If I were in your place I would've argued that the analysis that follows the quotes exemplifies what the quotes mean. Therefore, if the analysis refutes Christianity, the quotes refute Christianity. For example, if the resolution were "Revenge is Bad" and I used the Gandhi quote and let him dictate that the quote contains the entirety of the burden, I would probably lose. In the quote itself, Gandhi never says anything directly about revenge. He could be talking about a plethora of issues. It would be up to me to show how the quote proves that revenge is bad.

"But can we have some intellectual honesty here"
Never assume the people judging your debate have any foreknowledge of anything for two reasons. One, they might not actually know. Meaning you just gave yourself a 0% win chance with that judge. Two, they might be trying to be a tabula rasa judge. In fact, being a tabula rasa judge is often favorably looked upon. Being tab ras means that a judge won't intervene, but it also means you have to back up claims with knowledge and evidence.

"This is clearly deliberate evasiveness and semantic tricks."
Evasiveness? Maybe. Semantic tricks? No. This debate falls into what I call meta-debate. You're not actually debating the resolution but arguing over the "rules of debate" or something else as abstract.
Posted by Lifeisgood 7 years ago
Lifeisgood
"An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind" - Gandhi

Either 1) that quote was taken out of context, or 2) that quote is stupid.

I vote number one.
Posted by GeoLaureate8 7 years ago
GeoLaureate8
Con said in the debate that if I brought the evidence, it would be irrelevant because the quotes carry the entire burden. But can we have some intellectual honesty here? We all know what happened during Noahs Ark, and I shouldn't have to point out which verse it's in. You guys completely missed the purpose of this debate. Maybe i should have set an assumption parameter for the debate, but I thought I said I didn't want semantics. This is clearly deliberate evasiveness and semantic tricks.
Posted by Crust89 7 years ago
Crust89
RFD!
Before - tied
After - Con
"The Following Quotes Effectively Refute Christianity" This was not proved. I would have given it to Pro if the resolution was "The Following Quotes Effectively Prove Themselves". In essence, it must be shown how the quotes refute Christianity. Solely listing the quotes does not show how they refute.
Conduct - Pro
Waiting until the last round to respond to the quotes is kinda low.
Args - Con
Posted by KRFournier 7 years ago
KRFournier
You misunderstand me. I am not saying you are the only one that must provide evidence. I'm saying that since you did not support your quotes with scriptural references, you were begging the question. You state, "I do not need to prove that this is true, because the evidence is easily accessible in the book itself." The evidence is up to interpretation, of which you offered none. That was why I felt you lost the argument.

Now, had you supported these quotes with textual interpretation, then I would have expected Con to use evidence to back up his rebuttal. However, given two debaters with relatively equal lack of evidential support, I would be in favor of the contender.
Posted by GeoLaureate8 7 years ago
GeoLaureate8
How come he can claim that God is moral within his own framework, without evidence, or any attribute of God, yet I'm the only that must provide evidence?
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