The Instigator
Flint489
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
TheUnexaminedLife
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

The God of the Bible is a loving God.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/21/2017 Category: Religion
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 672 times Debate No: 102709
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
Votes (0)

 

Flint489

Pro

In this argument, we will be debating whether or not the god of the Christian New Testament loves the world.
The Merriam-Webster definition of care is "A feeling of strong or constant affection for a person."
Rules:
1. We will use The Merriam-Webster Dictionary. (https://www.merriam-webster.com...)
2. We will use the NIV translation for any new testament or old testament quotations.
3. Remember that "When you are debating on Debate.org try to keep emotion out of your arguments. Debate.org is a place for fun and relaxation; not drama and stress. However tempting it may be, always refrain from using personal or general insults. It is not only rude but against the terms of service as well."(http://www.debate.org...) Please make your points without being rude.
TheUnexaminedLife

Con

Thanks to my interlocutor for the opportunity to argue against the benevolence of the God of classical theism (I assume with the theological premise granted that the Christian God exists).

Firstly, I would like to challenge your definition of God's love as 'caring'; many can have a detrimental and 'constant affection' for something or someone which isn't divine or good. Therefore, 'caring' alone is insufficient in describing God's love: unless you want to characterise him as a cosmic stalker, I think you also must define God's love as good.

Subsequently, I would propose the definition of love as we are using it pertains to the Greek word, 'agape' (unconditional, selfless love often characterised as divine love). https://en.wikipedia.org...

If you accept this, I look forward to hearing the rest of your argument--
Debate Round No. 1
Flint489

Pro

Thank you, fellow debater, for providing definitions of some of the terms we will be using. First of all, I do accept your definitions of love, and I do define God by those standards. I believe that God loves, as the article says "regardless of circumstances". I do define God's love as good as I define God as being good.
My first argument to prove God's benevolence is that God gave his own life. He went to great pains to provide a blood sacrifice that would pay for our sins (1). God, in the form of Jesus (A human body), died and rose again to prove his love and goodness to us. The Bible's words prove this to us by stating that "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."(2)
Based on this text, I believe that god does love the world, and therefore loves us. This proves God's benevolence.

Romans 6:23- "For the wages of sin is death" (https://www.biblegateway.com......)
John 3:16- "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
(https://www.biblegateway.com......)
TheUnexaminedLife

Con

In response to that famous passage from John's Gospel, I have only to reconstruct the late Christopher Hitchens' position on the matter.

How dare God do such a thing? What kind of loving entity imposes on us a salvation we never asked for that binds our freedom and obliges us to obey him. 'I am the way, the truth and the life' (1), sacrifice your freedom and emulate me. This isn't loving. This is an attempt to monopolise all ethics, epistemology and our very lives here...an act of supreme control. All Abraham had to do was to show that he would kill his son to gain divine assent (2); God actually went ahead and did it. And for what ends? Both paternal figureheads became highly influential after their action. Both acts required the fidelity of a lunatic to permit the death of the innocent. God killed so that a global religion could become popular, so that people would actually believe in him, impressed by his act of fanaticism. Not only is immolation of one's progeny a grotesque ask of barbarism, of human sacrifice, but it raises the question of whether this is what God does to those that he loves. If this is what God does to his children, I do not want to be one of them. And indeed, as Jesus was, we are all put to blade at the Parousia (Judgement Day): God stabs and sacrifices all non-believers on the altar simply for not renouncing their human selves (3), negating the very thing that makes them individuals, and trying to obey God's Eternal Law. Does any of this sound like God really cares for us, when all he desires is to see himself reflected? The Imago Dei (the image of God) given at Genesis (4) to man is what he encourages us to embrace: what narcissism. If he loved us for being us, he would encourage us to cultivate ourselves in the image of man. But, no, all God wants is for humans to act like puppets in accordance to his dogmas. And, Jesus' death is just rhetoric to make us buy into all this nonsense. It's the worm on the hook.

God's love is not unconditional love (agape): only those who believe in Jesus as their saviour partake in the salvation of the resurrection. The condition is the total surrender of one's critical faculties and human nature, deferring to God for permission to act as we want to. This is divine authoritarianism. Or as Hitchens would say, the act of a cruel and cosmic dictator.

(1) John 14:16 https://www.biblegateway.com...
(2) Genesis 22 https://www.biblegateway.com...
(3) Revelation 20: 15 https://www.biblegateway.com...
(4) Genesis 1:27 https://www.biblegateway.com...
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Tell me if you found this too offensive and I will turn it down (you know, the whole suggesting that Jesus was a worm incarnate and all; it's just a metaphor to highlight the paradox of a weak God and ultimately the death of the immortal). How did Jesus' resurrection actually solve anything in the first place? How does this mystical substitution work? In Narnia, we might be inclined to call the same principle over Aslan's death, 'magic'. Anyway, over to you--

Debate Round No. 2
Flint489

Pro

Thank you for the challenging questions and statements. You stated in a sentence " What kind of loving entity imposes on us a salvation we never asked for that binds our freedom and obliges us to obey him." You are anything but right. Christians do not sacrifice freedom, we just accept that we must follow him. Freedom's definition, in this case, is " the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action". (1) God does not force us to follow him or follow his laws. He does not restrain us from breaking them, but he does punish us. That punishment is not a prison.
The explanation of verse 15 of revelation was incorrect.
Revelation 22:15 states- "Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire."( you posted the link for this) This does not have God "stabbing" and "sacrificing" non believers. This has the non-believers being thrown into a lake of fire. God does not kill them, he punishes them. God loves us for being us, but he does not love human nature. I am not human nature. If I was merely human nature, I would have committed many more sins.
"God wants is for humans to act like puppets in accordance to his dogmas. "
God doesn't need us, he wants us. You say that it is "lack of concern for the wishes or opinions of others" or "authoritarianism", but God doesn't control everything we do. He cares for what we want. ""The LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore." (2)

(1) https://www.merriam-webster.com...
(2) Psalm 121:8 (NIV)
TheUnexaminedLife

Con

Rebuttals:
Of all the cinematic adaptations of Christ, I find Darth Vader the most accurate. A paternal figure, he tries to convert his progeny to his side of the Force, guided by some imperial master. Those who do not convert, will be killed or punished. They will not partake in the eternal life of Heaven.

https://www.youtube.com...

Darth Vader (the Chosen One) 'wants' his son to convert to his faith as well. But, fortunately, Luke Skywalker resists him. Christians give in: they choose to bow their heads to their opaque master and in the process sacrifice their freedom. Theologically-speaking, our souls are only extensions of God. They are constituted of Ru'ach (the breathe of God) given in Genesis (1). He wants us to reject the sinful 'human' part of ourselves and embrace the part of us which is divine, which is him. This is narcissistic; he wants us to become like him, like Christ, rather than develop to be like ourselves beyond the guidelines of the Bible. He provides an eternal law and ethics by which we ought to obey and a Christian has no choice but to obey these ethics; if they go against them, they will be reprimanded and punished for it at the Parousia. Thus, they choose to obey-- out of fear and out of trust in the wisdom of their master. This is still a slavish relationship. Christians do not choose how to act: they waiver their freedom to act how they please and obey God. Now, compare this to any other authoritarian regime: the citizens obey either from fear or from belief. The dictator doesn't control their every action but rather sets up the regime by which they must conform.

My description of God sending all non-believers into Hell as 'stabbing' was to tie it to the Abrahamic narrative. It may not be filicide because it would be a contradiction to state, 'souls are eternal' and that 'souls can be extinguished', but it is eternal punishment without chance of redemption or hope. It is an immolation, a sacrifice or discard of souls into the fires and lava. To argue that God has the moral high ground here, is just plainly wrong. He is no Obi Wan. He may 'hate the sin but love the sinner' (2), but that is to say that he hates what we do but loves the part of him within us. He hates everything that is human and loves all which is divine.

If God is loving, he is loving of himself only and all that he produces. He hates that which makes us essentially human like sin and ethical free-thinking. Therefore, God doesn't love us: he loves himself. Those who maintain individuality will be destroyed.

(1) Genesis 2:7 https://www.biblegateway.com...
(2) https://www.catholic.com...

Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by wonkaworker123 1 year ago
wonkaworker123
Yes, a loving God would commit genocide, give leprosy, and wipe out an entire generation of Egyptian children. Ever ask why a God would make us, not provide adequate proof of his existence, then punish us for not believing?
Posted by missmedic 1 year ago
missmedic
A loving god's advice on raising children, beat them with a rod, if they talk back, kill them. This advice comes from a father that drowned all his children.
Proverbs 13:24
Leviticus 20:9
Posted by TheUnexaminedLife 1 year ago
TheUnexaminedLife
But, given that he is traditionally a male, I'm sure he has got his dick out for Harambe as a sign of respect and love for his creation.
Posted by Flint489 1 year ago
Flint489
No LuciferWept, I do not believe that the god of the bible has accepted Harambe into his heart as his lord and savior.
Posted by LuciferWept 1 year ago
LuciferWept
Who is this god of the bible, and has he accepted Harambe into his heart and his lord and savior?
Posted by canis 1 year ago
canis
There is 1. You. 2. The world /univers. 3. Other life...What difference would some letters in one book or another make to anything ?..
Posted by missmedic 1 year ago
missmedic
Christians see Jesus as God. That means that he was also the God of the Old Testament. The same God who commanded all those killings and the author of all those violent and disgusting commands. So the violence Jesus supports and predicts is not only evident in the New Testament, but he is supposedly also the author of said violent commands in the Old testament as well. Not only then is the Old Testament "an expression of the will of Christ""it is Christ.
Posted by canis 1 year ago
canis
There is 1. You. 2. The world /univers. 3. Other life...What difference would some letters in one book or another make to anything ?..
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