The Instigator
Projectid
Pro (for)
Tied
14 Points
The Contender
cjhill
Con (against)
Tied
14 Points

The God of the Holy Bible is a Monster!

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 7 votes the winner is...
It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/16/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,465 times Debate No: 36751
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (7)

 

Projectid

Pro

The god of the bible is a monster. He commands his people to abstain from murder, yet he kills 70.000 men in 1 Chron. 21 because of David's census blunder. The god of the bible also destroyed 60 cities including men, women, and children (Deuteronomy 3:6). The great story of Jericho, this loving benevolent god of the bible gives the city to Joshua and allows the destruction of all people, including the young and old (Joshua 6:21). The list can go on and on and on.
How about kidnapping and rape ( Judges 21:19-23).
The god of the bible also allows slavery ( Leviticus 25:44-46,Ephesians 6:51 Timothy 6:1-2). Jesus even gets in on the slavery thing (Luke 12:47-48) !
How about selling your own daughter as a sex slave (Exodus 21:1-11).
Child abuse (Judges 11:29-40 and Isaiah 13:16).
Bashing babies against rocks (Hosea 13:16 & Psalms 137:9).

So the argument that I am holding is that the god of the old and new testament is a monster and and is not the all loving god that Christians say they believe in according to the infallible word of god.
cjhill

Con

My opponent contends that the God of the bible is a monster who is incapable of love based on the referenced scriptures that almost exclusively, with the exception of Ephesians, Timothy and Luke, reside in the OT. For this 1st negative I will briefly rebut my opponent's first statement:

Statement: "The god of the bible is a monster. He commands his people to abstain from murder, yet he kills 70.000 men in 1 Chron. 21 because of David's census blunder."

Response: The account of the incident surrounding the census reveals it was Satan who incited David to take the census: "Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel" (1 Chronicles 21:1). God allowed Satan to tempt David, and David sinned, revealing his pride and allowing God to deal with him for it.

It is a well known fact that God permits Satan to act in order to achieve His purposes. God uses Satan in various ways, among them the refining, disciplining and purification of disobedient believers (Luke 22:31-32; 1 Corinthians 5:1-5; 2 Corinthians 12:7-10). Such is the case with David.

As to why God was angry at David; David was King and broke the law. In those times, a man only had the right to count or number what belonged to him. Though David be King, Israel did not belong to David; Israel belonged to God. Numbering the people of God had consequences:

Hundreds of years before David took the census, God told Moses (who was a type of king before Israel had Kings) In Exodus 30:12, "When you take a census of the Israelites to count them, each one must pay the LORD a ransom for his life at the time he is counted. Then no plague will come on them when you number them." A Census was not to be taken without God's command because in doing so, the census taker (The King) is expressing a lack of faith, that is, the King is not to trust in the numbers of fighting men, but in the power of God.

It was up to God to command a census, and if David counted he should only do it at God's command, receiving a ransom of one shekel from the rich and poor alike to "atone" for the counting. Since David did not receive this command, and did not receive a ransom from each man, he is guilty of breaking the law. Now when David sinned by taking the census, he was approached by the prophet Gad, in the same chapter of Chronicles, who,speaking on behalf of God, gave David a choice of three punishments for issuing the census(1 Chronicles 21:12). This was God's way of testing David to see if he new the law. Of the three options: (1) three years of famine (2) three months of losing wars (3) three days of plague, only (3) is the legitimate response to such a disobedient act according to Exodus 30:12 above. Since David knew the law, he reluctantly chose (3) because it appropriately fit Exodus 30:12, and as a result a plague struck 70,000 men, and they all died.

In conclusion, the chronicles account does not paint a picture of loveless monster God who murders his own people. God gave his people a law and expected the King, above all others, to follow it perfectly. When the law is broken by sin, atonement must be made because God's word must stand. It is clear from scripture that 70,000 men died not via an arbitrary genocidal act of God, but as the result of a clearly given mandate hundreds of years prior to David taking the throne that required a temporary life taking plague when an unsanctioned census was taken in Israel. Although King David had no excuse in the eyes of God, and witnessed many men die as a result of his careless decisions, God still loved him because of his repentant heart.
Debate Round No. 1
Projectid

Pro

The 70,000 died because of God.

How can we justify this with blaming the devil, did the devil make David do it, no David chose to do it. David should have died not the 70,000. Even David confesses that it was his fault and not the men who died.

17 And David said to God, "Was it not I who gave command to number the people? It is I who have sinned and done great evil. But these sheep, what have they done? Please let your hand, O Lord my God, be against me and against my father's house. But do not let the plague be on your people."

So here we have one man sinning and 70,000 men dead because of it. If I exchanged the names here to be of anyone in this world today, this would be deemed as a monstrous action. Should 70,000 men fall for one man? Most reasonable, rational, and loving people would say no way!This is what we call genocide.

By no means have the arguments of the CON made this god of the bible any less of a monster. A Loving god does not kill 70,000 men because of one man sinning. So therefore he is not loving, but one who is more worried about himself and acts irrational like a child throwing a tantrum.
Now this was just men, and only one passage among many.

What will the CON say about the children and the babies that have been murdered in the name of god. What will he say in defense of god for rape and the bashing of the heads of babies?
The CON will also have to deal with slavery! The CON has not proved that god is not a monster. In fact more contextual evidence has only made it worse; even David realizes his mistake and wishes no harm to others because of his actions, but god kills the 70,000 anyways.

How can any Christian rationalize the killing of 70,000 men for one man who disobeyed him? The CON says it is okay because god said he would do it back in Exodus.
cjhill

Con

The PRO has yet to SUPPORT THEIR CLAIMS. Simply asserting God is a loveless monster without providing support based on the context of scripture leaves the door wide open for a very bland debate. Despite this, The CON will continue refuting the PRO's claims.

How can we justify this with blaming the devil? People are inclined to blame the devil in order to remove their guilt, justify their actions, and ignore their responsibility but this does not mean the blame is valid. In Genesis, Adam blamed Eve and the Lord, "the woman made me do it, the one you gave me"(Genesis 3:12). Certainly, as the deceiver and liar, Satan instigated the temptation, but Eve responded with negative volition, unbelief, and disobedience, and Adam failed to stay true to his responsibility as the leader in his family.

Likewise, David failed as the leader of Israel. But should he have died? Consider this modernized parable:

Suppose Bob owns a factory and in the factory there are 100,000 workers. Bob, the owner, gives a tour of the factory to his new manger Tom. Bob instructs Tom by explaining, in no uncertain terms, that if he ever pulls a certain lever in the control board room without consent from him, all the workers must immediately put on hazardous material suits, or some of them will get extremely sick.

Several years later, after Tom has settled and become sure of himself in his position, he decides to pull the lever. Now, whenever the lever is activated, an automatic electronic message is sent to Bob in his office many miles away. Immediately, Tom gets a call from Bob. Bob asks Tom why he has done this. Regretful Tom apologizes seeing that many workers will get sick, and feeling like a complete failure asks Bob to fire him hoping that the workers will not get sick. But Bob does not have control over them getting sick at this point; he gave that control to Tom. Additionally, the lever was designed and set to work the way it works a long time ago.

So, despite the terrible mistake, Bob takes into account that Tom has been a great manager. If Tom were not so humble about his failure, he would definitely fire him, Bob thinks. Bob also reasons that firing Tom accomplishes nothing given that activating the lever directly affects the workers, not Tom. That is, Bob is going to lose enough productivity for awhile and cannot afford to lose Tom as well. As a result, 70,000 of the workers get sick and go on disability. Forgiving Bob lets Tom keep his Job. END OF STORY

To close the CONS debate on the census issue, it must be stated that God allowed the devil to tempt David to take a census that would harm Israel in order bring judgement on Israel because they were sinning, "Once again the anger of the LORD burned against Israel, and he caused David to harm them by taking a census" (2 Samuel 24 1-2). God's allowance of Satan to cause temptations is sometimes referred to as God's own actions, but they are not. God is a God of love, but he cannot overlook sin and thus, must judge it according to his precepts by allowing Satan to have his way. This fact must be accepted or there is no hope in understanding the terrible things that fall upon people in the bible.

Finally, we see here that Israel, in a addition to David, was not innocent, and many men apparently deserved the death penalty for crimes committed prior to David's census blunder. David's disobedience was merely a means to end, in order for God to display his wrath and judgement on the nation of Israel.
**************************************************************************************************
We move on to the PRO's statement: "The god of the bible also destroyed 60 cities including men, women, and children (Deuteronomy 3:6)."

Response: First, the challenge is often about a God who orders genocide in respect of the occupants of Canaan. Genocide, I would suggest, is the purposeful wiping out of a tribe, nation or people. A careful reading of the Bible text will show that that was NOT God's intention - it was to drive the occupants out of that land.To understand this apparent situation we need to understand:
a) the nature of God
b) the nation of Israel and the surrounding nations
c) the options of the inhabitants.

a) The Nature of God

The Bible"s descriptions of God are not at variance between Old and New Testaments. For example in the Old Testament we find God saying, "The soul who sins is the one who will die." (Ezek 18:5) In the New Testament, we find the apostle, Paul, writing "the wages of sin is death" (Rom 6:23). However, in the Old Testament we also find God declaring, "I take no pleasure in the death of anyone" (Ezek 18:32). Similarly in the New Testament, we find the apostle, Peter, writing about God, "He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish." (2 Peter 3:9)

Now in both testaments, the way to avoid death was quite clear:"Repent and live!" (Ezek 18:32) and "not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9).

For the moment that will be enough about God: sin will be punished by death, God doesn"t want death to come to man
death is avoided by repentance, turning away from the sin.

b) The Nation of Israel and the Surrounding Nations

Israel were a nation created by God, starting from Abraham, then through Isaac and finally through Jacob, who was renamed Israel by God. While in Egypt the families grew over about four hundred years to become the equivalent of a nation of well over a million people.

At the Exodus (see Exodus, chapter 1 to 12) God took them out of Egypt and meeting with them at Mount Sinai created a new nation out of them who would be a special people, specifically related to God (see Exodus 19). The objective of this was to show the world the possibility of a nation being led and guided by God, i.e. to act as a light to the rest of the world, revealing the goodness of God and His plan for His world.

To achieve this possibility God instructed them to remove all the existing inhabitants of the land in order to create a new national identity.

ii) The Surrounding Nations

When we look at the people that Israel were told to destroy, we are told they were to be destroyed because of their wickedness (Deut 9:4), and because they worshiped idols and would turn Israel to those idols and away from God (Deut 7:4,16).

The picture we are given is of nations in possession of the land God had promised Israel, who were totally established in worshipping idols and all of the practices that went with that (e.g. sacrificing children).

From the beginning of the Bible we are shown mankind that has a propensity to turn away from God and turn to all kinds of foolish life styles that can only be described as pagan and uncivilised in the extreme!

This propensity to turn away from God is what the Bible calls "Sin" and because Sin is living contrary to the design of the Creator, it means that such people live utterly destructive life styles.

Because mankind seems to be tainted with this tendency, it also spreads like a virus unless checked. If it is left unchecked, the moral direction of any society is downwards, as our own society is showing at the beginning of the twenty first century.

iii) Israel"s folly

God knew that if Israel simply went into the land and mingled with the idol worshipers there, they would soon be led astray by them. Hence the objective of removing all the existing inhabitants.

A number of the wars fought in the last century and, indeed, in this century, have been those fought to prevent something worse happen. This is what was behind God"s instructions to Israel

additional notes:

Children were included because God can judge the adult version of the child before the child becomes an adult. For example, suppose Hitler were a child, and a crazy person pointed out that the child is a genocidal maniac and should be put to death while the child is still an infant. Would that crazy person be a loveless monster? I don't think so.
Debate Round No. 2
Projectid

Pro

A self justifying god does not make the killing of 70,00 men okay, that is the point. The context does not make god out to be a loving god, it makes him out to be a monster.

In your example story Bob is god and Tom is David. Bob made the factory with this lever, why? Perhaps Bob should have made a factory without the lever. Perhaps god should have done a better job of making things. Perhaps god should have chosen someone he knew wouldn't mess up, since he is all knowing.
Christians don't want to blame god for this but he allows David to be his fall man so he can kill a bunch of people he is not happy with. One could also say that god uses Satan to do his dirty work as well. Perhaps now I can understand why this loving god allows Satan to reign upon earth, he is god's henchman!
You stated that " many men apparently deserved the death penalty for crimes committed prior to David's census blunder".
This is an assumption.

Deuteronomy 3:6 The 60 cities and people destroyed.
The CON stated : "A careful reading of the Bible text will show that that was NOT God's intention - it was to drive the occupants out of that land".
Either way he destroyed everyone including children. It may not have been his intent but it was certainly what he decided to do. This does not help his position as a perfect loving god.

Deuteronomy 3:3-7
3 "So the Lord our God also delivered into our hands Og king of Bashan, with all his people, and we attacked him until he had no survivors remaining. 4 And we took all his cities at that time; there was not a city which we did not take from them: sixty cities, all the region of Argob, the kingdom of Og in Bashan. 5 All these cities were fortified with high walls, gates, and bars, besides a great many rural towns. 6 And we utterly destroyed them, as we did to Sihon king of Heshbon, UTTERLY DESTROYING THE MEN, WOMEN, AND CHILDREN OF EVERY CITY. 7 But all the livestock and the spoil of the cities we took as booty for ourselves. (Emphasis mine)

The CON: " Children were included because God can judge the adult version of the child before the child becomes an adult."
Perhaps god should of foreseen all these situations and found another way to deal with them. I mean he is all knowing, all powerful, and all loving right?

The CON: " For example, suppose Hitler were a child, and a crazy person pointed out that the child is a genocidal maniac and should be put to death while the child is still an infant. Would that crazy person be a loveless monster? I don't think so."
No the crazy person would not be a loveless monster, in fact for this not to be done would be down right wrong!
In fact it only proves my point.
God did not kill Hitler as a child. So by your argument because god did not kill Hitler as a baby, GOD IS A LOVELESS MONSTER!

The CON Said: "The picture we are given is of nations in possession of the land God had promised Israel, who were totally established in worshiping idols and all of the practices that went with that (e.g. sacrificing children)."
It seems that god is in the habit of sacrificing children as well. Do you assume that the children and babies he killed worshiped idols? How do you justify god killing babies for the sins of others?

CON: "Because mankind seems to be tainted with this tendency, it also spreads like a virus unless checked. If it is left unchecked, the moral direction of any society is downwards, as our own society is showing at the beginning of the twenty first century."
This is how the god of the bible has made us and then punishes us and kills children and allows other monsters (Hitler) to do the same.

How does god keep us from this downward spiral today? If he killed today as he did in the Old Testament would you be okay with that?

Since this is my last argument I would like to point out a few things:
1. The CON has not proved that god is not a monster for all the mass killing in the bible, although he has one more chance to do so.
2. The CON has not dealt with the slavery issue, the fact that god was okay with it and allowed it and gave guidelines for it is appalling and makes him a monster. He has not dealt with selling your own daughter as a sex slave (Exodus 21:1-11).
Child abuse (Judges 11:29-40 and Isaiah 13:16), and bashing babies against rocks (Hosea 13:16 & Psalms 137:9).
3.The CON has implied that god is a loveless monster for not killing Hitler while he was a child. Please pay close attention to the argument about Hitler, because the CON will most likely deny that he meant to imply this even if it is by default. Whether he meant it or not, it is true. God is a monster!

I would like to thank the CON for his time and effort in this short debate.
cjhill

Con

There seems to be a divide between what the PRO believes should be called good and what God has commanded to be good.

Unfortunately, there is no way around this. Very plainly put, if PRO cannot accept what is good then there is no basis for the entire argument from either side. That is, there must be a context. (1) Either God's precepts are accepted or (2) humans must create these precepts for themselves. If (2), then the question becomes, what human or group of humans may truly judge right from wrong? What human can say their imposed will should be the standard? No,no. Only God may take this position.

Then the issue becomes, who's God is right? Since this cannot be proven, everyone must become their own witness to what is true by seeking the truth through prayer perhaps, hoping that the true God will answer them.

In general, the PRO seems to by implying a much larger, pervasive question: Why is there evil in a world created by a Good God? Very simply, without a choice to do evil one cannot be declared good. Again, maintaining a good position requires a context that involves neglecting evil. The evil that exists everywhere is the result of autonomous persons acting from their God-given will, which involves a choice that may no follow God's example. Indeed, God has bestowed this kind of power upon his creation.

The PRO would do well seeking honest answers for their questions. 8000 words is simply not enough space to cover everything. In the last round PRO attempted to cover those questions by covering the underlying purpose of God leadership strategy with respect to Israel in the OT. And, PRO believes that CON may always beg the question no matter how relevant the argument is. IF "why" begins every question, eventually the argument will end with -"because that's how God designed it, and it just very well may be the best configuration imaginable."

This debate would have have much better had the been only one question at hand so that it could be more focused. Perhaps a future debate can cover this.

I would like to thank the PRO for his time and effort in this short debate.
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by GOP 4 years ago
GOP
The user named "spankme" votebombed this debate.
Posted by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
CONCLUSION

PRO stuck pretty steadfastly to a conception of "monstrous" that included genocide, temptation, and evil. He put the blame for all of this on God because, well, God is responsible for everything, right?

CON's rebuttals to this, while certainly readable and engaging, did not convince me that God was NOT responsible for all of this evil.

This debate is simply the problem of evil manifested in monstrosity, and in order for CON to have won this debate, he would have had to convince me that the problem of evil not of God's doing. That CON continually argued that Satan was doing God's will convinced me that God was responsible for evil, and that what we deem monstrous is indeed God's will. Arguments PRO.
Posted by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
1) CON: "It is a well known fact that God permits Satan to act in order to achieve His purposes. God uses Satan in various ways, among them the refining, disciplining and purification of disobedient believers (Luke 22:31-32; 1 Corinthians 5:1-5; 2 Corinthians 12:7-10). Such is the case with David."

So, CON believes that God colludes with Satan, i.e. God works with a monster to do monstrous deeds that further God's aims.

2) CON: "So, despite the terrible mistake, Bob takes into account that Tom has been a great manager. If Tom were not so humble about his failure, he would definitely fire him, Bob thinks."

The problem here is that CON is thinking AS IF HE WAS GOD, which to my knowledge is a sin in the Bible. Regardless, no one is privy to how God "reasons", if God "reasons".

3) CON: "God's allowance of Satan to cause temptations is sometimes referred to as God's own actions, but they are not. "

So, God is not responsible for His creation?

4) CON: "sin will be punished by death, God doesn"t want death to come to man...death is avoided by repentance, turning away from the sin."

Compare this to the parable of throwing the first stone, and you have to conclude hypocrisy by either God or CON...God should have killed EVERYONE as no one is without sin.

5) PRO: "One could also say that god uses Satan to do his dirty work as well. Perhaps now I can understand why this loving god allows Satan to reign upon earth, he is god's henchman!"

This follows from CON's arguments.

6) CON:"If (2), then the question becomes, what human or group of humans may truly judge right from wrong?"

Argument from a nihilistic position is IMHO never constructive. It puts doubt upon everything, to include the one proffering the argument.

(conclusion next)
Posted by wiploc 4 years ago
wiploc
Two people, RoyLatham and Justin.Graves, awarded S&G because Pro didn't capitalize the word "god." That's like the brownshirts beating up people who don't salute when Hitler's name is mentioned. That's like Nixon berating a reporter on TV because the reporter's organization doesn't capitalize the "p" in "president Nixon."

Christians are free to show deference to their god by capitalizing euphamisms if they want to, but they are not free to enforce their gramatical weirdnesses on others.

I capitalize "Jehovah," because it is a name. I don't captitalize "god," because it isn't. Christains are free to use "God" as a name if they want, but they don't get to insist that the rest of us are using it as a name.

These S&G votes are bullying, brownshirting. The rest of us don't owe Christians our gramatical obedience.
Posted by RoyLatham 4 years ago
RoyLatham
Conduct violations in a debate are strictly for personal attacks and violations of debate rules. Insulting an argument, an article of faith, or persons not in the debate may well be offensive, but it is not a debate conduct violation. Pro did personally insult Con, so there is no violation of debate conduct violation. Asking "How can Christians ...?" is not even an insult to Christians. The question should just be answered directly. something along the lines of "Because God take sin seriously."
Posted by GOP 4 years ago
GOP
Conduct goes to Con because Pro used inappropriate behavior in his debate.
He said aggressively inappropriate things like, "Most reasonable, rational, and loving people would say no way!This is what we call genocide."
He also asks the question, "How can any Christian rationalize the killing of 70,000 men for one man who disobeyed him?"
Furthermore, he says this offensive thing..
"So therefore he is not loving, but one who is more worried about himself and acts irrational like a child throwing a tantrum."

As for convincing arguments..
Con proved that God had a morally sound reason for the death of 70K men because the said men were sinning. He even quoted a Bible verse referring to God's wrath upon them. Pro just made a bare assertion fallacy saying that is an assumption, despite the fact that Con put a Bible verse in his argument to support that. It is also hypocritical of Pro to say that Satan is God's henchman, which is unfortunately an assumption. He did not support this assertion at ALL.
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
ProjectidcjhillTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: see comments
Vote Placed by gordonjames 4 years ago
gordonjames
ProjectidcjhillTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Interesting debate. Pro had one point - God (who gives life) does not have the right to take life. Con showed the error of this position (morality is defined by God) yet Pro had no other argument. Sources go to CON for the number and context of Bible references.
Vote Placed by Mrparkers 4 years ago
Mrparkers
ProjectidcjhillTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro really stuck to one argument until the end there, but that one argument essentially went unrefuted throughout the round. In my opinion, Con was not able to adequately explain how it is morally justifiable to end the lives of thousands of people due to one man's mistake. So arguments go to Pro. I gave conduct to Pro to counter GOP's conduct vote. Just because you are personally offended by something a debater said doesn't mean conduct was violated. Pro did not directly insult his opponent or even a certain demographic of people, so conduct was not violated. If I happened to be offended by the acronym 'GOP', it doesn't mean I can consistently give conduct votes to all of GOP's debate opponents.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 4 years ago
Ragnar
ProjectidcjhillTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Interesting arguments, yet without a definition of Monster I feel it's all pretty subjective. Pro next time try not to bring up so many new lines of reasoning in the final round; that also makes the whole thing harder to judge.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 4 years ago
RoyLatham
ProjectidcjhillTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro seems to me to concede that by contemporary standards, the Old Testament God is a loveless monster in the instances cited. The con argument is that contemporary standards do not apply because only the Bible defines sin, and it says that killing 70,000 for taking a census is moral. Granting the immorality by rational standards grants too much for a debate that must be judged by reason, not by faith. If we allow judging debates by faith, then any rational argument may be rejected on grounds of faith. The debate forum has to be a rational one. Pro used sources to support his points; Con only applied the circular logic of the Bible exonerating itself. Con needed to sow how the decision met rational standards of morality. Con did not dispute several Pro contentions. Pro loses S&G for the annoying failure to capitalize God and Bible. Conduct only applies to personally insulting an opponent, and neither side had any bad conduct. Insulting an argument of belief is not a conduct violation.
Vote Placed by justin.graves 4 years ago
justin.graves
ProjectidcjhillTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Son of Spock... let's break this down. Conduct is tied. B-A-R-E-L-Y. Spelling and grammar go to Con because a) Pro did not capitalize "God" multiple times and b) poor comma use. Arguments to Con because. well, Pro used a lot of circular reasoning, which Con caught onto. He did not comprehend the idea of a morality that was not subjective or that he did not understand. Pro gets sources because he used more than Con.
Vote Placed by GOP 4 years ago
GOP
ProjectidcjhillTied
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Reasons for voting decision: See comments.