The Instigator
Schopenhauer
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
sengejuri
Con (against)
Winning
10 Points

The Idea of God is Tyrannical

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
sengejuri
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/25/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 688 times Debate No: 44598
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (2)

 

Schopenhauer

Pro

As the title says, no trolling, cursing will should not result in a loss of conduct unless it is personally insulting the debater. I wish my opponent the best of luck and may this debate change peoples minds and make them re evaluate their morals and ideas.
1st round- acceptance
2nd round- opening arguements
3rd round- rebuttals and closing statements
sengejuri

Con

I accept. Best of luck and have fun, looking forward to a good debate!
Debate Round No. 1
Schopenhauer

Pro

Thank you for accepting this debate. As the title says I believe the idea of God (omniscient, omnipotent, always present being) to be a tyrannical idea. Now let us begin.
1. Gods Omnipotence_ Because God is an omnipotent being, he can do whatever he wishes. He could set your house on fire, murder your wife etc. But, thank about natural disasters that kill innocent lives. If God is omnipotent, then he must be the one directing and controlling the forces that control weather, causing needless death and destruction. Consider other tyrants that have risen to power like Adolf Hitler. God was the driving force behind Hitler's ascension for power, because he made all the variables in Hitler's life that would allow him to rise in power. Because of this, we can see that not only is God a tyrant and a dictator, that he himself supports the ascension of other tyrants and dictators. One may argue that an event like a dictator rising to power could prevent other even more disastrous causes in the future. To this I might ask why such a God would not use a better way to prevent said destruction and death.
2. Omniscience- God can sense every thought and feeling you have, and because of this he will judge you in the afterlife. Because God can sense all of these feelings he can monitor you, always watching, the ultimate epitome of Big Brother. If he is always watching and making judgements based on whether or not you blindly follow him we can see that he is in fact a cruel, malevolent dictator and tyrant who is only satisfied when he gains complete control in the thoughts and feelings of his followers.
3. Always present_-Because God is always present he is constantly watching you, if a human being did something like this in real life it would be considered stalking. Gods eyes are always upon you, feeling and sensing.
4. The threat of hell- Admittedly, this is not part of a select more philosophical religions (ex. some branches of Buddhism) But in most of the worlds religions there is always the looming threat of hell. This threat is used as leverage by God to manipulate those who follow him into complete and utter blindness, so that he can hoard followers like a strange and deranged cult leader. A God who uses hell as a threat to those who do not or cannot believe in him uses it in the same way as the threat of force used by dictators.
5. The epicurean argument- This goes in a poem, that I will present for you to read at leisure
"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?"
-Epicurus
Once again thank you for accepting and I look forward to your response.
http://www.goodreads.com...
sengejuri

Con

Thank you Schopenhauer for opening this debate, looking forward to it.

I must begin with some definitions I hope my opponent will find agreeable. As stated, we are defining “god” as an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent being. In layman’s terms this means a being who has unlimited power, unlimited wisdom, and is all around. I must clarify that we are not arguing about a specific god (Allah, Zeus, Yahweh…), nor are we arguing about the likelihood of a god’s existence. We are debating that if such a being as described could exist they must be a tyrant. A tyrant, as defined for this debate, is one who is cruel, arbitrary, oppressive, and unjust. My opponent therefore claims that an all-powerful, all wise, all present being must be by nature cruel, oppressive, and unjust.

This claim is false.

The mere presence of unlimited power and wisdom does not indicate tyranny. Surely there are many cases in history where power is misused, and we do typically call these people “tyrants.” But when unlimited power is combined WITH unlimited wisdom, tyranny is not possible. Applying power unwisely implies limited wisdom. Knowing what is right but lacking the ability to do it implies limited power. Knowing what is right and doing what is wrong is unjust. An omniscient being cannot choose what is wrong because they always know what is right, and the right decision is always the wise decision. Therefore, an omniscient being cannot be unjust.

Furthermore, an all-powerful and omniscient being cannot be cruel. When we refer to “all-powerful” tyrants and dictators, we are actually referring to people who have strong but narrow powers. They cannot harvest so they steal. They cannot give life so they kill it. They force because they cannot persuade. They instill fear because they cannot instill love. They cannot be everywhere and cannot protect everyone. This is not limitless power, it is power limited to achieving certain outcomes in certain ways. Limitless power implies an ability to achieve any outcome through any method. This means an omnipotent deity has unlimited power to do both right as well as wrong, and if doing right is wise then an all-powerful and all wise being must always create correct outcomes through correct methods.

Finally, an all-powerful, all wise, and ever present god cannot be labeled as cruel and unjust because those terms have no meaning beyond humanity. If we can agree that even the best and brightest humans are imperfect with limited power and limited understanding, then such a creature cannot accurately label something they can never fully understand. We define “tyranny,” “cruel,” and “unjust” based on how we understand these qualities to manifest in other humans through human understandings of justice, freedom, and kindness. These definitions do not apply to realms beyond humanity. No one can apply a complete definition to something they do not fully understand.

To summarize, truly unlimited wisdom combined with unlimited power must mean unlimited good because what is wise is also good. Even if this was not the case, the argument is futile because it is impossible for creatures of limited wisdom and knowledge to accurately define what they can never fully understand.
Debate Round No. 2
Schopenhauer

Pro

Thank you for your response. I will immediately pursue rebuttals.
"As stated, we are defining "god" as an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent being."
Agreed.
"An omniscient being cannot choose what is wrong because they always know what is right, and the right decision is always the wise decision. Therefore, an omniscient being cannot be unjust."
The killer might know what is right or wrong, but the blade of his knife still guts the victim. A thief knows that stealing is wrong, but he still steals. The right decision is not always the wise decision. If one knows that if one does not kill a million, that three million will die, and their is little time to act then one knows that they cannot afford to postpone a decision. If they make the wise decision, they will kill the three million, but if they make the right decision they will try the slim chance of saving both parties. Even if you discount all of this, what is "right" or "wrong" is subjective.
"They cannot harvest so they steal. They cannot give life so they kill it. They force because they cannot persuade. They instill fear because they cannot instill love."
I am guessing this is for more purposes of enjoying reading the debate, but even so I will remind you that many dictators have won democratically through elections and have been in fact loved by their people. This is why God is a dictator, he enjoys a relationship of fear and love, sado -masochistic and parasitic.
"and if doing right is wise then an all-powerful and all wise being must always create correct outcomes through correct methods."
Then this God must be a blunderer. Millions upon billions die because of various reasons, all of which a God could prevent. One may argue that "God works in mysterious ways" If so, how could we call a God omniscient, omnipotent, etc. if he works in ways strange, alien, cold, and bizarre to what humans hold dear.
"because those terms have no meaning beyond humanity."
Neither do terms as wise, and just, and kind.
"No one can apply a complete definition to something they do not fully understand."
Then the existence of both God and religion are pointless, as they are constructs designed to fill a need for Big Brother and understanding. Big Brother is always present, defines reality (omnipotent), and has knowledge of you. How does this not fit the description of a dictator like Big Brother that all people think is evil?
"for creatures of limited wisdom and knowledge to accurately define what they can never fully understand."
This means that both of our arguments are futile, as we have both attempted to codify God.
sengejuri

Con

My opponent’s arguments contain many problems. His examples of pain and suffering only work if you assume god exists. As I established, we are not debating or assuming if god is real. Maybe bad things happen because an omniscient, omnipotent being does NOT exist and cannot stop them. Perhaps if a god DID exist, Hitler never rose to power and your house never burned. We are merely debating the IDEA that IF a god could exist he MUST be a tyrant. You cannot use the current state of humanity as evidence of divine tyranny because the current state of humanity could equally be caused by absence of the divine.

On multiple occasions my opponent displays a misunderstanding of the definitions for “all powerful” and “all wise.” He asks why a god “would not use a better way to prevent said destruction and death?” Good question. There is only a “better” way if that god is not truly omniscient. How can a human with limited wisdom know a better way than a being with unlimited wisdom? If a god is all powerful AND all wise then there is nothing they cannot do and nothing they do not know - they cannot make a mistake. Is this not the definition of perfection? To make a mistake or commit an imperfect act then means that god is not actually omniscient and omnipotent. My opponent cites imperfect acts as examples of tyranny: Hitler, natural disasters, murders. He is therefore arguing against a flawed god that makes mistakes, not a perfect one. And for the sake of argument, even if those acts ARE perfect, then how are they tyrannical? Is perfection tyranny?

The comparison of an omnipresent god to a stalker or Big Brother is illogical. A shepherd who constantly watches his sheep is not stalking, he is protecting. A mother watching her childern play at the park is not spying, she is vigilant.

The use of the classic “kill a few to save many” argument is shaky at best. How is killing the three million the wise decision? Why is there only a slim chance of saving both parties? If there is an omnipotent god, chance is not a factor – both parties could be saved with the snap of a finger. How is it not both wise and right to save BOTH parties? If my opponent calls “right” or “wrong” subjective, then how does he objectively call tyranny “wrong”?

Citing that dictators have been elected and loved is simplistic. On the surface, yes, despots have risen to power with parades and votes. Let us look deeper though. Does anyone who is not corrupt themselves really love a tyrant? Do free people ever vote to be oppressed unless they are coerced? Many Germans plotted to assassinate and resist Hitler(1). Does anyone actually think those lavish North Korean parades are filled with genuinely joyful (starving) people(2)? Did Afghans really vote overwhelmingly for Karzai, or were the ballot boxes stuffed(3)? Name any tyrant, and I will name for you how they used intimidation, force, and injustice to earn the people’s “love.”

There is one thing I agree with my opponent on: if we cannot label god then our arguments are futile. Exactly. I am not trying to label god a tyrant, I am demonstrating it is impossible for my opponent to do so. He cannot prove a god must by nature be a tyrant, and is indeed advocating a futile and untenable position.
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Hierocles 3 years ago
Hierocles
I think you should to provide all definitions in the round.
Posted by Schopenhauer 3 years ago
Schopenhauer
By tyrannical I mean...
"
1. unjustly cruel or severe; arbitrary or oppressive; despotic.
Posted by DrySponge 3 years ago
DrySponge
Yes but what do you now mean with tyrannical ?
Posted by Schopenhauer 3 years ago
Schopenhauer
Just to clarify, I am talking about an omnipotent, omniscient, and constantly present God.
Posted by DrySponge 3 years ago
DrySponge
Damn auto correct !!!!!!
Posted by DrySponge 3 years ago
DrySponge
You really got my attention with this debate but what is do the black premise of the singularity debate ?
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by PiercedPanda 3 years ago
PiercedPanda
SchopenhauersengejuriTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Con had better arguments, backed up by more reliable sources.
Vote Placed by Hierocles 3 years ago
Hierocles
SchopenhauersengejuriTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Kudos to pro for a good debate. Overall, I gave it to Con because he provided the best argument, in dodging the pro's charge with the idea that God might not exist at all. Most of pro's argument presumed that the concept of god is problematic because there is suffering in the world. Yet Con rightly argued that suffering may be a reason to doubt god's existence, but not reason enough to presume the idea of god is inherently tyrannical. Pro should of provided a definition of "tyrant" and then demonstrated how god matched that definition. Con implied a definition of tyrant, arguing that tyrants must have imperfect or corrupt knowledge, thereby excluding god.