The Jesus Myth Debate
Debate Rounds (5)
Many of the issues I struggle with Christianity comes from the supernatural aspects of the Bible! Especially the concept of Hell! The Jesus that I recognize from the bible does not strike me as the type of person who wants to be responsible for being the catalyst for infinite human torture! I believe hell is an invention to fill the void of righteous Judgement and Justice that is absent in the Natural World! I get it. If someone kills your child you would like to imagine them suffering.. Not lost on me at all. The fact is "LIFE IS NOT FAIR"! Evil goes unpunished and good goes unrecognized. I can imagine a place free from human suffering.. but not on this planet! A chain of 7 billion with 6 billion weak links.. We are better off finding this utopia in our minds because it sure as heck isn't going to happen in reality! So I will invent a heaven instead. A place that will ease my fear of mortality and justify the suffering I have been through.. Again I get it but.. Who said life is fair?
The idea that when you die nothing happens fits perfectly with the callous and inhumane nature of human life on planet earth! I don't like it but I'm not going to make up a story to make me feel better. It stinks but it is what it is! Not unlike death.. I fear it. It keeps me on my toes and gives me a perspective of appreciation for the time I have to be alive!
Now I will get to the main topic.. John 3:16
It is hardly worth my time arguing if Jesus was born of a virgin, walked on water, or turned water into wine. These mythological stories have no consequence in my reality.. However the Resurrection myth is the most revolting and convoluted concept ever presented as "Truth" It literally makes zero sense and is proverbial white noise! The fact that an entire religion basis itself absolutely on the belief of this madness is a little unnerving and shocking seeing as how we live in a time where people don't sacrifice animals or burn witches!
Jesus was representing "The Final Sacrifice" The last blood spilled for the appeasement of God! Now we know that the success of our crops and spreading of disease has nothing to do with whether or not we cut a goats throat! So why believe that Jesus's sacrifice was anything other than a cruel and torturous death!
What the heck is "Sin" anyways.. Seems to be animal urges to me? Hardly worth creating a ridiculous story to help ease us of our guilt from being disgusting animals! I believe that the shedding of these Animal urges is a part of our evolution for survival purposes only! The consequences from acting on these impulses are far to great. We are simply the mouse finally deciding not to eat the electric pellet!
To make this shorter (I can go on for days) I will simply state to the people who claim to believe in the resurrection/hell story... How the heck can an intelligent human being believe in such nonsense (Ignorance, Brainwashed blind obedience) My guess is that your slave master (God) has you way to afraid to ask these questions!
(I'm sorry in advance. If referring to you in the third person bothers you, I'll try and stop next round. I'm a policy debater so I like to "talk to the judge")
I understand my opponent has laid out some very thought-provoking ideas. I will first summarize his arguments as I understand them. I'm open to correction if I'm wrong.
1. Hell contradicts the biblical God's (we will refer to Him as just "God" in this debate round, if that's ok.) very nature, and therefore can't exist alongside God.
2. Hell was invented by human beings to console themselves, that evil-doers would pay for any unrighteous actions. (He also made the argument that this falls in line with the "callous nature of our world")
3. Sacrifices are outdated, having been proven false, and bearing no consequence in reality.
IMPACT: Therefore, by this reasoning, Jesus' sacrifice also bears no real consequence.
4. Sin is just natural animal urges that are harmful to our well-being. (It would seem the fittest survive and pass along their traits to their offspring, as per Natural Selection)
5. (To paraphrase) A person simply can not believe in these things without fear or brainwashing being involved.
While I don't appreciate the condescending tone or vulgarity in my opponent's arguments, they are still valid points. Questions that deserve answers. After all, there is no such thing as a stupid question. So I will give my responses and tag them to each of my opponent's arguments.
R1. (or response to argument 1.) I disagree with this point wholeheartedly. It is the very nature of God Himself that requires Hell to exist. He is all loving, yes. But because of this, He let's us choose Him (or deny Him). You know the saying, "If you love something, let it go. If it loves you, it will return."? God wants to have a relationship with us, His creation. However, He also wants to allow us to choose Him, rather than mindlessly serve Him with no choice in the matter. This is why Satan was allowed to tempt man. He wanted to see if we loved Him. Sadly, according to the Bible, Adam and Eve fell into sin, and allowed it to enter our world. Satan, already condemned to Hell for denying God, is now on a mission to take as many human souls with him as possible. Satan knows that God can't dwell with those who reject Him, but it breaks God's heart to see someone He loves deny Him, just like it would you and me. If you had a child, and they ended up committing suicide due rather than be with you, it would hurt you, too. That's why there is a hell, because people have the choice to reject God, because He loves us.
R2. I believe that Hell was naturally required because God allows us to make a choice. God hates it us much as you and I, but He doesn't want us to be drones. I think that the very fact that we have a basic moral compass of right and wrong in each and every one of us, even the fact that we have such a concept as "morality", shows that Hell isn't the invention of man. If everyone was truly free to do what they wanted from the beginning, no one would've ever had to manipulate one another. A man could kill another man to take his things, free of remorse. No one would think anything of it. That is, until I decide to do the same thing to you, because I saw you now had something shiny. Morality has to start somewhere, and I think that Hell wouldn't exist if we had the choice. Why would we create a punishment for ourselves if we didn't abide by self-imposed rules? And why would we need to manipulate anyone in the first place (to do wrongs in secret) if it didn't cause any ill will (due to lack of a moral compass)?
R3. Sacrifices in the Bible were never about causing crops to grow. They were about reconciliation for wrongdoing. They were about mending a relationship that was constantly being broken. God wanted to have a relationship with us from the beginning, but our sinful nature keeps pushing us to reject Him. So, while my opponent's right, killing an animal never directly caused your corn to grow, it was about saying to God "I'm sorry for what I did. Please can I be with you again?" And God would say yes. But, as the Bible refers to Israel many times, we're like habitually adulterous spouses, we return to our sin. And simply put, we couldn't live righteously enough to be with God. And we didn't have enough cattle to keep apologizing. That's why He sent Jesus Christ, Who, by sacrificing Himself, made a covenant with God that we could believe in Him and have everlasting life. Like you said, as far as resurrection, you can't debate evidence one way or another. But since it scientifically hasn't been proven false, it is still valid because it can be assumed to be true. Assuming God is Almighty, resurrecting Himself wouldn't be an issue. Assuming He's not... well... then that's your choice. But what would be the point to this discussion anyways if your mind wasn't open?
R4. My opponent argued that sin is just natural animal urges. I agree somewhat. In the Bible, our sinful nature is repeatedly referred to as "the flesh", or our carnal nature. We want things selfishly and physically/emotionally. Now, while God gave us physical needs and emotional needs, we get immense satisfaction out of satisfying these needs. And we can overdo it in our sinful nature. So God set up guidelines to protect us. (E.G. No premarital sex because of BOTH the diseases involved AND the emotional torture it inflicts on us, even if we don't realize it. For example, the natural feeling of guilt, or the jealousy or uncertainty of finding out your spouse has had sex outside of your marriage) So in a way, yes, this is true. However, no animal ever was born with the desire to kill itself. Animal instincts have always been about survival, while sin is about self-destruction. This is why sin can't be claimed as an animal impulse, or urge.
R5. Lastly, my opponent implied that no rational/logical being could believe in the Bible and the Biblical God without being brainwashed or incredibly fearful. However, that is not the case in my opinion. Not only can I testify personally that there is NOTHING more freeing than God's salvation, but there is simply illogical about God. If what I said above stands, then God makes sense, (at least on these issues) correct? He makes sense logically and rationally. Also, the second biggest fear in the western hemisphere, and the largest in the world, is death. What could be worse than death? Hell. So my opponent is trying to say that people are fearful of Hell, so they don't question God. However, to show one flaw in this argument, it all had to start somewhere. If Christianity was fabricated, then those who started it to gain power would have known they were lying. Yet, not only did Jesus Christ, Himself, die on the cross, as recorded in history. But almost every one of the apostles who followed Him originally, including those who would've been responsible for hiding Christ's body (if it had been hidden), died for their faith. Why would men die for a lie when they knew it was a lie? The only answer I can derive is that they didn't die for a lie. They died because Jesus Christ arose from the dead and they knew He was God.
So, I will recap quickly.
1. Hell is required, due to God giving humans free will.
2. Hell is not the result of a need for punishing bad behavior. Because then where did morality come from?
3. Sacrifices had nothing to do with trivial matters. They were about reconciliation with God. Hence, Jesus being the Last Sacrifice.
4. Sin is carnal, but is not "animal" due to its self-destructive nature.
5. A logical being can believe in God without fear.
2. Our morality comes from a Darwinian impulse for self preservation. When we choose to be moral we are simply the mice choosing not to eat the electric pellet! I will use an extreme example of Saddam Hussein.. Not alot of morel choices came from this wicked man.. but do you think this went unpunished? He found out fast that he would spend his life waiting for the sniper bullet to take him out.. constantly on the run and then finally killed. This "Justice comes from an inherent need to protect ourselves and the innocent! He certainly did not "Get away with it"! He crossed the morel line and paid for it dearly! I could go my entire life without the influence of religion and know that kicking a pregnant woman in the stomach is not a morel act! Hell does not deter me from killing or stealing.. my self preservation and desire for freedom does!
3. We are both right! Animal sacrifices were sort of a temporary substitute until Jesus became the final sacrifice. "Without the shedding of blood there can be no forgiveness" (unnecessary and sadistic rule God made up) What type of event do you think would cause these people to think.. "Gods mad we better kill something"? I would either think that they were malicious and loved to kill animals or something was happening (Drought, Famine) To make them think that they have made God angry! You have not convinced me that "Sin" is anything other than our animal urges that we repress for our own survival! I believe that you can never be separate form God and our "Sins" is something that eats at our Ego and causes shame. You care about this so much that you would expect God to care if you look at a woman other than your spouse with lust! I believe that everything that we are was perfect as intended and the fear of punishment in the afterlife is a shenanigan to help sell books and fill churches! There is no reason to assume that the resurrection happened in reality or that there was any reason for it! The concept is mind numbing white noise! The implications of not believing this convoluted story is far to great for me to allow it to manipulate me into believing! I would like to point out that resurrection myths are not localized to Jesus alone! ( Baal,Melqart,Adonis,Eshmun,Tammuz, Ra the Sun god with its fusion with Osiris/Orion, and Dionysus. Inanna/Ishtar, Persephone, and Bari. Horus, Mithra The Phoenix.. All resurrected! Not to mention around the same time a Jesus mass graves opened up and the dead rose, kind of a common event during those days!
"But what would be the point to this discussion anyways if your mind wasn't open?"- Can we continue this debate with closed minds? Opening up my mind brings in all sorts of possibility. Meaning any religion could be right. Vampires and the bogeyman become real if you let them! My argument is that I don't think your point of view is desirable! But we can still debate!
4. First off premarital sex can increase risk of contracting disease.. but getting married isn't exactly an immunity to these diseases! We do not need someone to tell us at the end that we "Took the wrong path"! That is not constructive nor does it provide the image of a loving God! We don't learn anything from it because we are left forgotten in the abyss! Suicide is usually caused by a mental illness that prevents the desire for self preservation.. you may as well have died from any other illness! Our "sinful nature" is just nature.. we provide the judgement known as sin! It has nothing to do with our God and should not be a focus or even allowed to exist outside of fiction! Sin is nothing ore than an idea created by man caused by guilt. Guilt is a self defence mechanism and a tool for learning your mistakes, it is not "Good or bad" we make it so!
5. Funny how the word "freedom" you describe is actually called servitude or slavery! There have been many discussions about whether or not humans secretly desire to be controlled leaving responsibility to the puppeteer. I believe that the resurrection myth is set apart from the rest of the bible. We did not get eye witness testimonials. In fact no one who lived during the time of Jesus wrote about him at all. Even though word of someone walking on water or healing the sick, being born of a virgin, claiming to be God until he is tortured, killed and the resurrected would spread fast. Instead we have gospels and scriptures written 20-200 years later! Long after every eye witness had died, or witnesses of the apostles dying for their claim that Jesus had risen! Why did Paul wait until he was almost dead to write about seeing Jesus risen from the grave? So I doubt that the story happened as told. More than likely someone back then named Jesus was crucified. But there is hardly evidence that he rose from the dead! Or that he died for anything other than the sadistic nature of people back then! I will state again that rising from the dead was a very popular "urban legend" at the time! Nothing new at all.. so why would it matter even if he did resurrect? It would be like watching Lazarus rise and thinking that's good enough I'm sold, but none of us are given that certainty.. we only have faith that we didn't just make up the story!
So, I will recap quickly.
1. "Hell is required, due to God giving humans free will."
Not making the connection
2. Hell is not the result of a need for punishing bad behavior. Because then where did morality come from?
Hell is the cleanup crew for "Gods mistakes" Wash His hands of us.. Morality is a natural process that is not reliant
upon a Deity!
3. "Sacrifices had nothing to do with trivial matters. They were about reconciliation with God. Hence, Jesus being the Last Sacrifice."
I would still argue that the sacrifices were a desperate attempt to survive not be redeemed!
4. Sin is carnal, but is not "animal" due to its self-destructive nature.
Out of r
5. A logical being can believe in God without fear.
Just to clarify- You may not believe in supernatural events. That is your right. But simply telling me that you do not believe in them doesn't make your opinion true. Just like me stating that I believe in God doesn't make mine true. I encourage you to show WHY you believe what you do, and HOW your beliefs can be possible. I am trying my best to do so, myself. Moving on to my responses.
1. Our differences do indeed make us interesting and wonderful. That's a true statement. But in order to accept the idea of Hell we must see that the Biblical God is, in fact, omniscient. What this means is that God knows each and every one of us, and the decisions we will make. He knows if we will accept Him, or if we've already set ourselves on a path in which we will never turn to Him. If we've gone past that point of no return, God may choose to take our lives. Why? Because they are His in the first place. He gives us life on this earth for that ONE choice. But you may ask why He doesn't just give us eternity to make the choice? God made us as eternal beings, then allowed us to choose if we will worship Him. If we deny Him, He literally CAN'T be around us. The only place without God, is Hell, the place He designed not for us, but for Satan. Satan, knowing we were God's most treasured friends, is trying to convince us to choose self-destruction, a.k.a Hell. This is how Hell and the biblical God can exist together. Yes, when a watch goes wrong, we blame the watchmaker, but we are not watches. We are beings. We can choose whether or not we go to Hell or Heaven. God isn't telling you where to go. And He didn't create us to be broken.
2. But where did morality come from? You haven't answered my question. You implied that it's instinct. Where did instinct come from? We have been imprinted with the idea of God and morality. We KNOW that taking a life is wrong. I think this doesn't prove we don't need God, rather that God is the source. We would have no reason for morality, if it weren't for God. You say it's nature. But at the same time, you say that sin, also an animal urge, is just nature. Animals aren't born with conflicting natures. Humans are. The Bible states that we have been made in God's image, yet we have been infected with a sinful nature. It's a bit strange to believe that humans, who invented morality for the sake of self-preservation, would end up killing each other over it... It just doesn't add up. Can you explain to me how these contradictions sort themselves out?
3. Actually, God invented the sacrifice directly in the Bible. Not only did He instruct Noah on how to sacrifice animals, to solidify a covenant with God (mending the relationship), but He also had Cain and Abel actually burn their produce in thanks to Him. Sacrifices were never about God allowing crops to grow. They were about mending a relationship that was constantly being broken. You are trying to say that the sacrifices performed (for very explicit reasons in the Bible) were not really performed for those reasons... but I don't see any cause to support this. I understand that this is your opinion. You're entitled to it. But you are not right because you stated your opinion. There is written record of these sacrifices and why they were performed. Addressing the matter of Jesus' resurrection, as I stated earlier, there is no proof it didn't happen. There were eyewitnesses, including women (who never would've been mentioned for credibility in a scam at that time), that have had their testimony recorded int eh scripture. The scripture has yet to be proven false. So, according to scientific theory, it can be assumed true until proven false. In fact, it's actually MORE probable to believe in the resurrection than to believe it was a scam, just by the method of Occam's razor. We have less to put faith in (we must merely believe Jesus was who He said He was) to make sense of the resurrection from a biblical view, then we'd have to put faith in (we must assume that the disciples somehow overpowered ROMAN guard, moved a giant tombstone, stole the body, made it appear to the people as alive, and got away with it for 2000 years) to believe that the Bible is false.
I would also like to point out that the idea of the afterlife was around long before "books" and "churches", just to clarify.
As for other resurrection stories, Satan of the Bible is constantly trying to counterfeit God's miracles. It fits with his nature. Also, the fact that there are other resurrection stories doesn't disprove the Bible, sorry. I agree that it's improbable that all of them are true, but logically that doesn't prove any individual one false.
Also, despite the open animosity the government, the Sanhedrin, and even some of the people, harbored toward Jesus, no one could ever prove His resurrection false. On the contrary, evidence has been found that the guards were in fact bribed to LIE and say that the body was taken.
You can't debate this subject unless you accept that the God of the Bible is who He says He is. If you're to assume that God isn't holy and perfectly just, (as the Bible says) then you can't argue things contradicting each other in the context of the Bible. Your original claim was that you didn't understand the reasoning behind Hell, morality, sacrifices, sin, and Christianity as a whole. I am showing you the reasoning, but keep in mind it is still a faith. Just like ANYTHING in this world, you can always be skeptical. It doesn't make it false.
4. No. Staying pure until marriage isn't a guarantee against all STDs, but it is the safest option. God never intended us to even have disease in the first place. It's our sinful and human nature that causes us to be broken. God gave us this guideline to prevent disease, though. You have also given me a lot of your opinion on matters such as guilt, or sin. But where would it have come from? Do animals have guilt? No. Because they do not have it in their nature to destroy themselves. We do. Guilt, in a way, IS a self-defense mechanism. But we only need it because of sin. Sin tries to destroy us from the inside, God gave us guilt so that we can recognize it. We are separated from other creatures in this fashion. We, as humans, are the only ones who have a desire to destroy ourselves. No animals have two natures, we do, because we have both a Godly father, and a father here on earth. As great as your father is, (I'm quite fond of mine) I'm sure you've figured out by now that he's not perfect, just like you and I. We would never have had the idea of morality if it wasn't for God. In fact, if we were animals, and the theory of natural selection was true, we would be extinct already.
5. As for your last argument, I suggest you do some more research. Archaeological digs have found quite a few pieces of evidence speaking of a "Jesus" who did miracles and claimed to be the Son of God. And as for human nature, why would we want to worship a God by nature if there wasn't one? You can be skeptical all you like, but it doesn't count for fact when you say "I doubt...etc.". Also, I will finish this response with one last thought, where did we come from? What's our purpose? Don't you take it on faith that there's some "unexplained reason" we're here? So why don't you exercise that same faith in God?
1. God didn't create us to be broken. We did it to ourselves. He's also omniscient, and knows our hearts (or if we will eventually accept Him)
2. Your opinion that Hell is a trash bin for God's "mistakes" is conjecture and nothing else. Morality couldn't have "just started" and conflicts with sin, which you also claim as nature.
3. According to the Bible we are debating over, sacrifices were about redemption. Multiple resurrection stories don't disprove the Bible.
4. Sin isn't animal. It destroys us, which is contrary to animals.
5. Archaeological evidence supports Jesus.
I will let you into a little bit of personal information to help you understand my reasons for blowing off steam on this website. I am getting married in about 10 days and even though neither of us believe in the Bible, we decided to get a pastor to marry us out of respect for our Christian families. We were reading the outline that he presented for us to let us know what he would say at the altar. It was passages in the bible about the hierarchy between a man and a women as represented by Adam and Even (we are most certainly equal partners) It then went on about how Jesus was necessary for a marriage to be successful, even though he knows that we are not believers! My fianc" called him because she was not happy at all and asked him to change it.. then he gave her the impression that we shouldn't have come to him unless we were willing to bend to his "pastoral duties".. meaning he should have told us this at the beginning when he knew very well we were not Christians. Now we are just pandering so we don't upset anyone.. I wanted this day to be about her.. not some random guys arrogance!! Basically I felt disrespected and sadness for my woman! Anyways....
As you can tell I am treating this as a discussion and not a Debate.. I apologize if I led you to believe otherwise! I was trying to explain it by adding that "supernatural events" Are simply Natural Events that have not been explained yet! I will be Honest I see no need for formalities at this point. your desire for "evidence" is resting on the idea that I accept the Bible as Evidence.. Clearly I do not and could never actually debate Christianity unless I entertain the notion of the Bible being anything other than a collection of beautiful Literature. I thought since I had you hooked we could actually discuss this instead of pandering to the "debate police" we might actually talk about this and maybe even learn from it!
1 So why create something that is "predestined" for eternal suffering? Why create suffering to begin with? Why does an "All Powerful" Being need such a convoluted and revolting system? "Life for a life" is a terrible ransom from something that could be guided or "fixed" at any moment by the "creator"! Again something that is described as "all powerful" and "Loving Father" simply does not fit with this intricate web of unnecessary ritual! The fact remains that this is purely conjecture. From my perspective you are actually creating a quasi-reality that best suits your.. umm "personality"? (I didn't want to say Ego!) We all are for that matter.. Muslims have their (grim) "reality" and Well... I'm sure your familiar with other beliefs. I look at every thought in my head as a collection of information (consciousness maybe?) I don't exactly feel responsible for it.. it is just there... I believe it is this exact source that actually creates our "individuality" as we are merely limited to the consciousness that has been.. umm provided (I'm not going to pretend to know where it comes from) and our minds are designed to take this information and manifest it into our natural world. No where in my manifestation has innocent people being damned by a bully deity. We see them all the time in Greek/roman and Norse mythology as well as hundreds of others. I believe this description of a "has you by the grapes" kind of god comes from the callous and inhumane nature of the environment.
Naturally if you believe in God and your family dies of the plague you might assume that God did it for his divine plan or something like that! Everything here adds up to a coping mechanism.. you know the 5 stages of death? I think religion is great for helping you justify the horrible things that happen.. but I'm willing to bet the reality of it is not as forgiving as your ability to manipulate it in your own special reality!
I have never in my life though that God doesn't exist.. I only argue the "Nature" of this..umm "being"? sorry to dance around these concepts are elusive! I was pointing out that the differences in people that make them wonderful.. are simply misunderstandings because we do not share the same quasi-reality. In your reality these differences can be the catalyst for eternal suffering.. So from my perspective.. you are actually using "free will" to choose a reality where people that you respect and love will know nothing but torment.. and not even as a lesson, as I said Hell is not productive, it does not strengthen or provide relief.. that is not exactly what I want in my little bubble!
2. Instinct and morality is a part of our genetic memory and new moralities are nurtured by the environment they live in. Morality is a tricky concept because you need a basis for some moralities and in other realities moralities do not even exist at all outside of our own individuality. Meaning something that could seem moral to you might seem wrong to them! Its the same when someone asks me "doesn't the idea of just dying and becoming worm food scare me. I say , not as much as the reality presented in the bible. Of course I'm scared.. we all are.. but " 1 Corinthians 13:11 . What I take from that is I'm old enough not to need bedtime stories to help me sleep at night. The callous reality of becoming one with the planet is a more elegant way to put it than you meet grandma in a day spa! Anyways I thought my Saddam Hussein and the mice with the electric pellet analogy was pretty convincing! We evolved with a unique ability that gives us insight into the human condition..Donkeys do not care about the Donkey condition (I don't think) Also if we are made in Gods image as sinful creatures.. doesn't that make God a sinful creature? People killing other people can be Darwinian impulses that are a part of natural selection.. the bi-product of living in a post Darwinian era!
3. O.K. now we are getting into circular reasoning and adhoc speculation. You can see why every possible belief can be justified through this process. You cannot prove that God is not everything... so I must be right (Pantheism)! You cannot prove that Vampires don't exist.. so fear the night! I did not mean to make that rhyme :) I trust you understand that Occam's Razor means "simple answer"... That crushes the convoluted concepts of most of the events in the bible! The ridiculous and grotesque rituals are from the sadistic minds of man.. very simple.. no need to throw in some complicated mess about pandering to a deity that may or may not exist.. I stand firm that the entire process of God telling people to sacrifice animals is a sadistic delusion. Possibly just to justify their blood lust! I do realize that my beliefs and opinions are merely speculation, I have no illusions about that. I invite you to consider, I have in fact reached my answers through intelligent independent thought that I recommend for anyone to try. Don't just accept these concepts as wrong or right.. think how did I arrive at such a conclusion? There must be some reason why I'm just as secure in my beliefs as you are! Although my beliefs are adaptable.. I truly am looking for "The Answer" What I have discovered is that you will find it over and over again without realizing. The answer is too simple to satisfy our creative minds.. so we make crap up. Think about what is truly necessary in life (eat,drink, poop, sleep, procreate, socialize, be entertained) I really can't think of a whole lot else we should be doing here. But I have got ALOT of people telling me that I should be just like them.. You are telling me that if I am like you I won't go to hell.. I'm saying that if you are like me there is no Hell!
For the record... I'd be disappointed in your position as well. I think he should have mentioned it, knowing your beliefs, long before now. Regardless, I hope the ceremony is great.
I have noticed that you were treating it as more of a discussion. You did lead me to believe otherwise. (*cough* the title... *cough*) I'd be happy to discuss this with you, but in the future I'd recommend sticking to the forums or PMs for such purposes. I am a hardcore and competitive debater, so it's hard for me not to... well... debate, in a debate. However, I will discuss this with you. (I don't know what the difference will be really. Hopefully we'll still be using reason and logic!)
I know what you mean by the "supernatural events" thing... but... I must ask... why doubt? If we have no way to explain these things rationally, aside from supernatural events, then why not believe in that which is in front of us? It's scientific theory, right? We can assume it's true until it's proven false. I don't know. Maybe it's cause I've seen some incredible stuff in my, albeit short, lifetime, but I have no problem believing in miracles.
1. I think you don't understand something critical here. We are not "predestined" in the sense you are thinking of. God made us with free will. If we're going to ask why God made Hell and beings that could be put in such a place, let's look at it biblically. (this means we must assume that all this is true, so we can examine the cause) God made Adam and Eve, according to the Bible. Adam and Eve were His greatest creation. They were made in His image, and He spent time with them each day. From the beginning, He gave Adam and Eve a very special thing. Free will. He loved Adam and Eve dearly, but didn't want to force them to love Him. After all, then it wouldn't be love, right? It would be slavery. They would be automatons. So He creates the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and the tree of Life. He commands them not to eat from these trees. Since they do NOT have a sinful nature, they have no problem obeying. After all, they love God with all their hearts, and desire His relationship more than anything.
Cue Lucifer, the fallen arch-angel, whose only goal is to destroy that which God loves most, us. He tempts Eve to take the forbidden fruit of Knowledge and eat it. Then she tempts Adam to do the same. Thus, they have both been introduced to temptation, AND they now know the difference between all things good and evil. This means that they will be naturally tempted to do all things which they shouldn't.
Satan was banished to Hell, and has been since he rebelled against God. Hell is a place where God is not. It's a place of torment and suffering. Satan's SOLE goal (since he knows where he's headed) is to deceive as many as he can into joining him. God wishes for every last person to join Him in heaven. However, He has given us free will. We must choose.
I understand that you're incredibly frustrated with the idea that God could allow for such horrible things to happen. Many are. However, we live in a world that is being torn by our own actions. We must take responsibility for what goes on. God allows things to happen, and we won't know why. I don't know why. It hurts me to think about all the suffering going on. But if God stepped in and fixed everything, we'd be automatons. Wouldn't we? If he reset us back to Adam and Eve's state, we'd just end up making the same mistakes. God is omniscient, He KNOWS our hearts. We must trust in that if we're to believe in Him. We trust in the fact that what He does is just and pure. If the God of the Bible is true, then we know He will always act righteously. The Bible tells us this. If you're going to assume for a second that God is running things, then you also have to accept everything that there is to believe about Him.
I don't wish for anyone to go to Hell, and I hope no one does. But in the end, it's not my choice, or even God's (only because He has relinquished control of it), but its yours. You choose where you end up.
Hell isn't meant to be productive. Hell is the end of the line. It's like when a murderer is executed. We don't execute him to teach him a lesson. We execute him because he wouldn't change his ways. Again, if we are to accept that God sends people to Hell, it would only make sense for it to be a wholly just and omniscient God, correct? That way, he would know EVERYTHING there is to know about us, and He would act correctly, accordingly.
2. Ah... but didn't you say earlier that, even if you were never introduced to religion whatsoever, you'd know that kicking a pregnant woman int he stomach was immoral? This is caused by a basic moral drive in all of us. We know what is right and wrong. As soon as we realize the effect of death, we know it is unnatural. God didn't design us to die. We have to desensitize ourselves to it before we can cope. I agree that different cultures may TWIST morality. But I think that true morality has a source. The very idea of morality must have a source.
Your mouse and electric pellet argument was intriguing. However, if one human finally appeared (somehow sentient and with a drive for self-destructive, immoral activities) from the evolutionary process, how would he survive? Natural selection dictates he would not. Other creatures, not being sentient life forms, wouldn't understand the concept of learning from mistakes. Even if they did, it would be billions more years before another human-like creature evolved. And by then, there would be no recollection of the previous version's error. In the end, it's more probable for God to have imprinted a moral code into us.
I have already attempted to explain how God is perfect and created us, then we corrupted ourselves.
3. Sir, I won't pretend that you aren't sure of your beliefs. Every ideology has someone is sure of their beliefs. What separates you and me is that I've FOUND this "answer" you're looking for. It's been sitting in front of humanity since the dawn of time. Your "too simple" answer leaves too many things to speculation or questions. The very fact that your beliefs are adaptable means that they're not beliefs at all. You can't have faith in something that can change. By definition, faith means relying on something you are sure of. It must be constant. The answer to an outlook on life was thought up a long time ago by a man named Blaise Pascal. He made a simple statement. "I would rather live my life as if there is a God, and die to find out there isn't, then to live my life as if there isn't, and die to find out there is."
I do not believe out of fear. I believe because there has to be a reason that we're here. If not, well... then I'll be worm food. Whatever. But as you said, morality is self-preservation anyways. Essentially, there are no drawbacks to Christianity, only advantages. You have a God that loves you, and everyone, and only wishes for them to find Him. You get to share this hope with the rest of the world. You realize that this world only has one decision which will ever affect you. Will I accept Christ as my savior? The rest... simply doesn't matter.
And heck. If I'm wrong. So what? Nothing happens. I get the same fate as you. Right?
So as I wrap up this "round" in our discussion, I'd encourage you to consider why you'd rather believe in your speculation, then in the explanation that has provided people hope and joy for millennia.
I look forward to your response, as always.
I have never witnessed an event that has given me the feeling that I was in the presence of a miracle. Honestly the word miracle is a little vague. Technically all of existence is one big miracle. Now if you want to replace the word God with miracle, then I can understand the concept. I was watching an interview between a priest and Richard Dawkins. Dawkins was elegantly illustrating the evolution of the human eye. The priest looked at him and said "I'm not impressed by that". He didn't believe him because it contradicts Genesis. Then he asked Dawkins to listen to a story of a "miracle" He then went on about a hot beam of light shooting out of the sky into his back. He said it was hot and made it hard to move at first. Then he went to a house that had a sick girl where he placed his hands on her and felt the beam enter the girl. The girl sat up. Later he found out that she had died before he entered the room. A women told him that she saw the beam enter his back. "I'm sorry.. I'm just not impressed by that". The priests refusal to acknowledge Dawkins as a credible source for "truth", was returned with the same lack of trust. Richard has no trouble telling you that the mind has a powerful and unique ability to hallucinate. Especially in times of great stress or desperation! I am the first to tell you that if I actually saw something that could not be explained. (Ever watch David Blaine?) No clue how he does it.. but you know he is no sorcerer. That is the most rational conclusion I can think of why there is such a barrier between individuals of different faith. I'm not just talking about unbelievers here. So many different "holy books" and denominations. Each one considers the other as damned or secular. That is why I do not have a set boundary for my faith.. except the whole pantheist thing but that impresses no one if they ask me if I'm theist/atheist. The "Truth" from what I can tell is anything you want it to be. Like I was saying before.. technically when you believe in the devil and hell.. they are real... to you. They are your truth. You have to see that we are all connected to the same God who's' "love" is unconditional. It is an illusion that you can ever be separate from God! That is my "truth". It may not be enough for you but it works for me. My struggle is not with my beliefs, it is the same pandering nonsense that I was trying to illustrate with the preacher. He wanted to turn our wedding into a "chance to finally drop my "Satan like" rebellion and accept that I need to believe in the Jesus resurrection ritual. What if I don't need it.. what if its wrong? You spent your entire life imagining a place that people who are not like you suffer for eternity. Keep in mind that is only made worse through the concept of the devil! It disregards any wisdom that can be learned as lies if it contradicts your interpretation of the bible. It deny Education of evolution in schools. Denies homosexuals their rights. (I'm not going to link you to the crusades, witch burnings, inquisition, holocaust, Jihad, child molestation, slavery, genocide) Don't you get tired of hearing about the bombings in the middle east. Not to mention the constant compromising of my personality to suit the religious expectations of the family. Kinda weird growing up hearing your dad tell you that if someone held a gun up to his families head and asked him to deny Jesus he would say pull the trigger. Also imaging having your father tell you there is a demon in you.. believe in demons? I certainly don't. Anyways you can see my point. Every destructive action that comes from religion is given impunity. It is taboo to talk about this to anyone I know. They abuse the tolerance of the people pleasing side of me. I apologize for laying out some of my baggage on you, I honestly don't have anyone that can keep up with me (not arrogant) Wow that went longer than I wanted for an opening statement but I think it helps bring some of my reality to you so you can better understand my position!
1.I guess I don't understand how an all powerful all knowing and benevolent God would design such a system. It doesn't add up. Something that is separate from sin but created everything? We are created in his image? That is not illustrated by his work. The Devil rebelling against the all powerful all knowing God? So when God created The angels he knew creating humans would set Lucifer off.. then he knew Adam would eat of the fruit. Then he knew his son would have to be tortured and murdered to fix something that had been done 5000 years ago. How does this sound Benevolent. This is not a loving father this is a being tied to as dismal of fate as his children. I know in any Hierarchy when something goes wrong you don't look to the drones, you look to the leaders. So any image I have of the Judeo Christian God is that of a bad leader. My proof is in the suffering and tragedy that humans endure! I would say that the chances that someone will not believe in the bible makes procreation the most irresponsible thing a person could do. Bringing a child into that reality would be extremely risky and has too severe a punishment to even try! Free will.. I think free will is as elusive as morality. Very hard to really put a pin on it, but we know its there. One thing is certain though, it has its boundaries and limitations. Your environment, mental and physical health, adaptation and conformity, marketing, sensationalism, agendas, manipulation...etc. I do know that a discipline can be achieved to fight this but it is definitely not the path of least resistance (You know the most common path taken) That is why I do not settle in just one belief, I believe that it is the self inflicted ignorance of the many other possibilities that could be true! It is also why the number of people who make the same proclamations is not very impressive. It was just the path of least resistance for them.. They did not make themselves, they were made!
2. I have pointed out that although Religion does provide a source for morals, so do many other sources. You can gain morality from an episode of south park if you look past the crudeness! Morality is just as much secular as it is religious! The fact is in comparison to the earth we have only been here a short time. In that time however, through natural selection we have instilled morals in our very genetic coding for survival purposes and to protect your "tribe". Now we are in mass numbers hold the same moral code only modified and evolved to our current stage of evolution in which we live! When you kick a pregnant woman in the stomach it is a mutation of that process with very horrifying results! Even doing nice things for complete strangers is a remnant from a time when the people you met were not strangers and could reciprocate in the future.
3. I see you one further.. We have all seen the truth. We only distort it because it does not stimulate our ego! That is why the truth appears different to the individuals that experience them! But we both know its the same any way you turn and I am comfortable calling it God! out of room
I have. I had a friend who was cured of cancer spontaneously. That was incredible. I've had friends who have survived near death experiences. I've even felt the presence of my God. But that's me personally. This can't translate to you. I understand that. I can't share my past experiences in a way that's believable with someone who wasn't there. I just encourage you to realize that... yes... we must always look into the cause of things. After all, science never proves anything. We never know for sure if we have the answer scientifically. But I find it more reasonable to believe in my God than I do to believe in pantheism. If you think about it, what is there to back up the belief that everything is god? .... It's as valid of a theory as anything, since it hasn't been disproved. But I want you to see that at some point, you may just be denying Christianity, or religion as a whole, because of harsh feelings towards it.
I think evolution is fascinating, personally. However, I don't believe in evolution as an explanation for the creation of the world. This is because, as the famous syllogism goes....
Everything that has a beginning of its existence has a cause of its existence;
The universe has a beginning of its existence;
The universe has a cause of its existence.
Evolution only works when there is something to go off of. We adapt. And even though there's no proof that macro evolution could work/has worked before, I'm willing to consider it. However, the fact that everything had to come from something else leads me to believe that we had a Creator.
As for relative truth. I apologize, but I really hate the theories of "relative truth" and "relative morality". Truth exists. The fact that believe that relative truth is true, makes it false. If truth is relative to everyone, how can I believe you when you tell me that it's relative? It's circular reasoning. Why? I must ask. Why do you believe that there is no such thing as truth? We, as humans, try and come up with so many ways to explain how we can all disagree and still be right. However, if I did something I viewed as moral to you, who viewed it as immoral, would you care what my opinion was? No. This teaches us that morality is black, white, and constant. It's not gray and squishy.
I want to point out that this whole time, even if you've been right about everything, I don't have any negative consequences after my life is over. But if I'm right, I'll have positive ones. You, on the other hand, if wrong, will have negative consequences. While, if you're right, you will have no consequences.
I do not wish to deny the teaching of evolution. In fact, most of the arguments by Christians aren't to stop teaching evolution, but to teach both evolution and creationism. The problem is that, despite not being proven false, schools are refusing to teach creation as a valid theory? Does this seem just to you? It doesn't to me.
Homosexuality is a choice, in my opinion. I understand it's an unpopular opinion. Many people call me a "homophobe". I don't hate homosexuals at all. I, in fact, don't thing that government should tell homosexuals that they can't be together. I don't think that homosexuals should be allowed to be "married", by that specific term. But civil unions I'm okay with. I don't think heterosexual couples should get any more benefit than homosexual ones. I just think that homosexuality is a sin. I wish that homosexuals would stop their acts, (because I still believe it to be a choice) but I love them just the same as I love my Christian friends.
I don't understand how the middle east bombings are related... I believe this is actually Islamic worshipers, or Muslims, who are performing Jihad.
I do believe in demons. I don't know if one was inside of you, (I sure hope not of course) but that doesn't change the fact they exist.
I think that, from my point of view, religious actions are actually treated with harsher backlash than non-religious actions. But then again, you and I are biased, aren't we? Yes. I believe we are.
Christianity shouldn't be about stupidity, blind following, or shutting people up if they don't agree with you. Isaiah 1:18 says, "Come, let us reason together.". The point of Christianity is that it's the truth, so if reason is followed, you will eventually wind up with it as the answer. If you don't accept it, that's your choice. But Christians who are afraid to talk about why they believe what they believe, probably don't have much faith in their beliefs at all.
As far as baggage goes, it's totally fine. Life can be a pain.
1. I refer back to my earlier statement. We are not meant to be automatons. Yes, God knew what would happen. But He is omniscient, I am not. Again, to assume part of the Biblical God is true is just going to make you angry. You have to have faith that He's all who He says He is, in order to have faith that it'll be okay. All I can do is accept Him, and try and share the news with others. Do you think the society we have today, with all our suffering, is a God-driven one? I don't. So long as we don't have a Utopian society, where everyone follows the same values, we will have disagreement and suffering. That "Utopia" is God's kingdom. God doesn't choose who's going to Hell, just like you don't choose if you kid will kill themselves... You could just lock them in a closet for the rest of their life, force feed them, and make sure they can't move or harm themselves, but you wouldn't do that. You'd rather have them live life and try and get it right, loving them. Correct?
2. My point isn't that morality comes from the Bible. My point is that morality had to have started somewhere. Where did we get the concept? It's like the KCA syllogism I mentioned earlier. What's the cause? Also, I don't think I need to reiterate that the possibility of all that happening, even factoring out that there was no beginning to it all, pales in comparison to the probability of a creator. And another thing, evidence points to a decaying world, correct? Science shows that our world simply could not have been around for that long, due to the natural decay in our environment. This world, at the rate it naturally decays, could only have been a round a maximum of 15,000 years. However, you're denying all that by assuming we came from nothing, evolved over billions-trillions of years, (despite a lack of macro evolutionary evidence) mutated into a humanoid species, died, mutated again millions more years later, died, etc. until we somehow had learned a moral code. Then we somehow reproduced with those lower in the evolutionary cycle to create more of our kind. We shared our knowledge through communication (even though there's no source for the idea, even, of communication in your theory). Then we created diverse civilizations and cultures, created religion, then went back and destroyed our own moral internal system, claiming morality is relative. And this all happened in a dying world with a 25,000-30,000 years maximum lifespan?
3. I'm afraid I don't much understand this last argument. I've already spoken on my thoughts of relative truth. I know, personally, that there is only one truth. You can not tell me otherwise. I mean... you can... you just won't be correct. Haha.
Seeing as next round is last, I'd encourage you to try and summarize as best as possible your position throughout this discussion/debate. I will do the same.
Yeah I'm sorry. I will have to witness such an event myself. I'm sure you understand that eyewitness testimonials are not really considered evidence to me. Just the other day a lady tried to get me in trouble at work saying that I made rude hand gestures to her and screamed obscenities... Obviously her allegations were incorrect but she perfectly illustrated my point. People are crazy.. they see what they want to see... they have hallucinations and illusions! Pretty simple.. If I did in fact witness a miraculous cancer recovery my first thoughts would be that their bodies immune system made a leap forward (or something closer to logic)
It does not invite supernatural hypothesis. There is an old anecdote that goes: when you see hoof prints.. think horses not Zebras (Occum's Razor) My main argument is that just because we do not understand something doesn't mean it cannot be understood with inviting magic into the equation! I will admit Pantheism is definitely a cop out answer to "what are you.. atheist/theist" I have recently been telling people that I am a anti-theist/atheist/agnostic/deist/mono-theist/polytheist/pantheist :) but really I am a "human" that is my final answer! I am an animal in a wonderful stage of evolution (I'm happy I grew up in the entertainment era) I will say that technically all of existence backs up my pantheism theory but I don't think that evidence will satisfy you. But I still think it is alt least a reasonably conclusion for the definition of "God". What is bigger than everything?
"Science never proves anything. We never know for sure if we have the answer scientifically."
While I can see the perspective you are coming from I must invite you to recognize the integrity of scientific fact. The process in which something crossing the boundaries of "theory" and "fact" undergoes a gauntlet of hoops and scrutiny. Scientists are skeptical by nature but will acknowledge a universal "Truth" or at least know how to communicate it without a window for misunderstandings! That is why science is always adapting, it knows that the refusal of accepting change leads to entropy! Therefore new theories crawl their way into becoming fact with the greatest ethical objective known to man! Once these "laws" have become universal... they become a pillar in the infrastructure of knowledge and understanding of our existence (purpose). Which law of science are you referring to when you say "science never proves anything".. That is the beauty of science.. you can actually have an answer.. because eye witnesses and books do not require the same ethical process and carries on with impunity because of the personal importance it has for the individuals!
"You may just be denying Christianity, or religion as a whole, because of harsh feelings towards it."
Is it that obvious lol? I wish it were that simple. Do you know how much easier my life would be if my mind didn't obsess over empirical reasoning vs. faith! My family and my fiance's family would not seem like schizophrenics to me. When you haven't bought in to the notion of the bible.. it all blends together: Muslim, Mormon, Hindu, Scientology, Zeus, Apollo, Horace, jack and the beanstalk, the matrix! It all seems to be linked to the humans ability to imagine/ dream.. or even hallucinate! So technically I reject it as a factual account of history, but see it as a wonderful testament to the creative capabilities of man! Although my bias feeling towards Christianity does come from a personal reflection.. my rejection of all religions or "atheism" comes from the same skepticism that you have towards Muslim, Scientology, The Matrix.. etc
To be clear, Evolution does not claim to answer how the earth was created.. they actually do have a blueprint/map of elements to illustrate how that happened (Periodic Table)...I invite you to listen to Lawrence Krauss. He is the leading theoretical physicist working on "Something from Nothing" not that it will answer your "where did existence come from" but it will be a better explanation than "Gods magic". I'm not going to tell you to believe in "The big bang theory" or "String Theory" However Evolution is a very sophisticated and reliable source for the evolution of man; as a species of animals cousin to the chimpanzee. Not created in the Garden of Eden in "Gods image" Again I will invite you to learn from Richard Dawkins.. He is the best teacher I have ever had and can explain very elegantly that the evidence for macro evolution is very real and should be recognized as an educative science not unlike Biology or Chemistry! I use the word "invite" because I understand that you are not outwardly seeking a way to strengthen you doubts however you would be missing out on some very fascinating information that can be even more beautiful than theories put forward from religious scriptures!
If truth is relative to everyone, how can I believe you when you tell me that it's relative?"
You can't.. and don't (apparently) That does not change the fact that our "relative truth" trumps "absolute truths" when it passes through the mind of a human. I come to this conclusion through the most humble and objective point of view. You claim that relative truth, in the end does not have meaning, but then you say that "Your Truth" is the only "absolute truth" So tell me... how is that not just your egocentric denial of everyone else's "relative truth".. but proof is in the pudding.. does it even matter if any of us are right, if the consequence is the purposeful segregation and conflict of individual "tribes"? If I recognize a universal theory of "relative truths" I am paving a way for common ground among the "tribes". Proving that we are all connected. Not one single person or group of people are more important than the other and we are all validated by our hope that we do in fact have purpose and meaning, regardless of where it comes from! I'm an idealist though, I know I will never see the change I am hoping for in my lifetime, but I am happy with this "gift" while I have it.. not wondering what the next "gift" will be!
"Even if you've been right about everything, I don't have any negative consequences after my life is over."
I am not interested in the consequences from my death only the consequences from my life. I do not claim to know you personally and I wanted to make it clear that I do not link you to every atrocity done in the name of God, however the actions of everyone has consequences. You cannot just use the ends to justify the means here because you do not really know the "ends" or " means"! If you haven't been victim of the judgement and disrespect from other faiths then you are lucky. My personal issues with Christianity and the fact that you are Christian has not illustrated my ever growing urge to use the men and black device to erase Muslim culture from existence!
Sir, I understand that you are skeptical. Even I'm skeptical, sometimes. I hear a well thought-out argument from someone that challenges my views, and I look into it. However, everything you have challenged me on, I have given a way it doesn't contradict the Bible. You haven't changed your opinion, you've made that clear. (And thank you very much for being so polite towards the end) I will respect that opinion. I just want you to understand that you had yet to provide an argument I couldn't explain. Now I'll address your final points.
I am not offended when you attack my faith. Debate is designed so that validity of arguments is "tried by fire", if you will. Any believer that gets offended when you challenge them politely and reasonably is probably not very secure in their faith.
I'm sorry, but I think it's a bit farfetched to think that you can shrug off Jesus' feeding 5,000 with only 2 fish and 3 loaves of bread, due to the fact that the human mind can imagine a middle finger. You are being skeptical. You admitted yourself that your first thought after a cancer patient recovered would be that their body's immune system made a leap forward, despite the fact there's no logical reason to assume this. If we can assume there's a God, through the KCA (the syllogism I presented that you didn't disupte), and we can see that Christianity, if one assumes there is a God, is the soundest faith of any on this planet, then we can assume that God healed this cancer patient. However, even though cancer survivor's bodies have been examined and there is no explanations for these recoveries, you're willing to assume it is there, we just don't see it yet. Logic doesn't work like that. Logic takes what you know, and allows you to draw reasonable conclusions. Your lack of belief in God isn't logical, you haven't provided any reason for me to believe it is.
Your defense for pantheism being reasonable is "everything is the biggest thing out there". However, who said God was big? How does this backup your reasoning? I'm not drawing the connection. You told me all of existence backed it up, and I would say the same for my God. However, you told me that I wouldn't be satisfied with your answer... However, if you had showed how exactly everything backed up your theory, I don't think there would be much room for argumentation on my part. In the end, it comes across as a "You wouldn't understand" kind of argument. I know you didn't mean to be insulting, and I haven't taken it that way. However, that is the gist of what you're saying, if I'm not mistaken.
Yes, sceintific fact is reliable. But science can only deal in the present. Again, I agree that scientific laws is very trustworthy. I do not doubt it. However, in science, we can only test what we see. So we will never be able to test the beginning of the earth, even if one day a credible atheistic theory does come about. (Sorry if that seems harsh, but it is very hard to reasonable believe the big bang theory or the string theory)
As for the credibility of eyewitnesses, you trust the accounts of wars and such from ancient eras, don't you? You trust the historical documents that have been passed down for centuries. You trust the writings that stated that Colombus came to the Americas. You trust the writing that states that the U.S. was engaged in a bloody civil war. You even trust the documents that state your great great grandparents even existed! (Well, you have photographs for the last one possibly) What I'm saying is that almost everything we take for granted is because we know we can trust eyewitness account. Is it able to be proven scientifically? No. But it is still evidence. And the sheer amount of eyewitnesses to Jesus' miracles and teachings and conduct would lead you to believe that the Bible's testimony is reliable.
Again, you brought up the ability to hallucinate. However, unlike Mormonism and Islam, two religions which very well could've started with hallucinations, Christianity asks us to believe in historical events. There has been no prood that any of these events didn't happen. There are theories, some unanswered, but they have a track record of being accounted for eventually.
I've actually read quite a bit of Richard Dawkins. Lawrence Krauss, not so much. But I am familiar with both the "big bang theory" and "string theory" (as I mentioned htem earlier). I, again, want to point out that your dismissal of the creationism theory actually makes you seem closed-minded, when you're trying to state you're open ot every possibility. There is no logical argument, and no evidence, that creationism is wrong. There is the KCA (the syllogism I presented earlier) and the world's amazing complexity, to support creationism. Yet you drop the topic faster than a politician's promise after election day. The big bang theory and string theory both do not explain how something came from nothing. Even the "big bang" had to have a cause. No logical argumentation could support something out of nothing. It's a scientific fact that everything must have a cause, the same kind of fact you stated was incredibly reliable. Yes, open to change, but we can assume it's true until it does have to adapt (IF it does).
As to relative truth. You tell me that you're paving the way for common ground. However, the only way different viewpoints will ever come together is if one of them conforms to the other. That is why different beliefs evangelize... or use other means, depending on what their holy book says. There is no such thing as coexisting. If truth is all relative, we will still not have peace. Why? Because you're giving just as much legitimacy to the views of Muslim jihadists as yourself! If they're "right" because truth is relative... then you have no right to call them immoral, despite the fact that they're murdering infidels left and right. Correct?
You answered my final point, using Pascal's wager, to say that you only care about the consequences of your actions in this life. That is fair. However, I can assure you that I am making the most of this life right now. God hates the atrocious things done in His name as much as you or I do. However, I am a Christian who is trying to provide living testimony to His love. In this, my sense of purpose is justified, and I am happy. I can feel safe. I can feel loved. If it's all an illusion, but I'm happy, and making others happy by loving them, great. If it also gets me to heaven, even better. Right? I do think that Christianity is os much more than "a way to be happy", but even if it wasn't... there you go. It's a win-win for me.
Thank you very much to you, my opponent, and to anyone who reads this/votes on it. I encourage you, whichever side of this argument you initially were on, or concludingly, to challenge your own beliefs. I admire Finalfan for being able to come on here and defend his thoughts. Do I think they're correct? No. You can draw your own conclusions about their validity. But I certainly won't dismiss them, and I'm glad he didn't with mine! (Well... mostly ;) haha) The point of this, in the end, is to show that you must "try your ideas by fire" to see how resilient they are under pressure.
Finalfan, I look forward to discussing this with you more in the future. I'm on vacation right now though so I'm trying to limit myself to finishing the debates I have already started. However, maybe in a few weeks we can pick this up again. I certainly wouldn't mind. Have a fantastic wedding, my friend. I truly wish you and your wife the best.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by GOP 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con strawmanned a lot. "What the heck is "Sin" anyways.. Seems to be animal urges to me? Hardly worth creating a ridiculous story to help ease us of our guilt from being disgusting animals!" "It is hardly worth my time arguing if Jesus was born of a virgin, walked on water, or turned water into wine. These mythological stories have no consequence in my reality.. However the Resurrection myth is the most revolting and convoluted concept ever presented as "Truth" It literally makes zero sense and is proverbial white noise! The fact that an entire religion basis itself absolutely on the belief of this madness is a little unnerving and shocking seeing as how we live in a time where people don't sacrifice animals or burn witches!" Con also makes bare assertion fallacies. Pro easily won this.
Vote Placed by THE_OPINIONATOR 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro seemed to debate, Con simply ranted. Both sides had good points but Pro made a very structured argument and Con didn't.
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