The Instigator
MikeNH
Pro (for)
Winning
11 Points
The Contender
othercheek
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

The New and Old Testaments Should NOT Be Considered Moral Guides

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
MikeNH
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/15/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,015 times Debate No: 40651
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (15)
Votes (3)

 

MikeNH

Pro

The first round is for acceptance and a brief stating of your general case. No specific arguments shall be made until the second round.


Brief description of case:

I will solely be referencing specific scriptures of the new and old testaments of the bible (which I will from now on will be referring to as "the bible" for simplicity) wherein disgusting, abhorrent, and immoral actions are ordered and advocated directly (supposedly) by God, and therefore conclude that nobody should be using these texts as moral guides.

In order to accept this debate, CON must:

1) Post their definition of morality in the comments PRIOR TO ACCEPTING debate so that we can agree before we move forward. The last thing I want this to turn into is a debate about definitions. I want this to be as fair as possible so we can move forward agreeing on what we are talking about first. (Note: In order to actually have this discussion I cannot/will not accept definitions of morality that already include god, such as "Morality is what God says" or "God is morality". This debate isn't possible using this definition)
2) Accept that both books of the bible are the true words of God in their entirety
3) Accept that these texts should be considered moral guides and/or a basis for a moral foundation

If you have questions or concerns, please don't accept the debate. Leave a comment and I will address them and we can potentially move forward. Thank you!
othercheek

Con

Morality is the differentiation of intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are "good" (or right) and those that are "bad" (or wrong).

That being said, the Bible is a perfect source from which to obtain morals. I will elaborate on such a statement in the next few rounds.
Debate Round No. 1
MikeNH

Pro

It would have been nice if you'd posted this definition, as I requested, in the comments so that we could agree upon it so we don't waste rounds going back and forth determining what is meant by the terms "good" and "bad". I have the awful feeling this will turn into a debate about what is considered good and bad, rather than if the bible is moral or not, but I digress...

Seeing as how we never got to agree on a definition, I want to ask you a few very important questions that I would very much like YES or NO answers to. I'm completely fine with explanations after the fact, but I would like either an affirmation or denounciation rather than some opaque or vague circumvention.

1) Is it ever morally good in any circumstance to own another human being as property?
2) Is genocide, including children, ever morally good?
3) Is human sacrifice ever morally good?
4) Is it ever morally good to hold a child accountable for the actions of his father?
5) Is the act of rape ever morally good?
6) Is it moral to force a woman raped by a man to be forever married to him?
7) Is hell an actual place where certain people are sent to and tortured forever?
8) Is it ever morally good to impose infinite punishment for finite crimes?
9) Is it ever morally good to punish someone with the death penalty for striking a parent?
10) Is it ever morally good to punish someone for crime that you know, even before they are born, they will at some point in their lives commit?
othercheek

Con

Oh. Whoops.

1) Is it ever morally good in any circumstance to own another human being as property? - Yes. We have a brain that God has wisely provided us to do what we want with it, which includes owning other people, which is natural. If they consent to it, it is okay.

2) Is genocide, including children, ever morally good? - Yes, because sometimes a little harm is necessary to prevent greater harm.

3) Is human sacrifice ever morally good? - Yes, if commanded by someone greater than mere mortal human beings.

4) Is it ever morally good to hold a child accountable for the actions of his father? - Yes, because he will most likely be influenced. That's why we have a natural inclination to scorn kids raised by welfare druggies.

5) Is the act of rape ever morally good? - No. Who said it was?

6) Is it moral to force a woman raped by a man to be forever married to him? - Yes, because otherwise she would be sexually impure. Definition: "morally wrong, esp. in sexual matters." So yes, being impure is more morally wrong.

7) Is hell an actual place where certain people are sent to and tortured forever? - Yes. Google Tamera LaRoux.

8) Is it ever morally good to impose infinite punishment for finite crimes? - Yes, because punishment is necessary for ethical communities, which anyone will agree with.

9) Is it ever morally good to punish someone with the death penalty for striking a parent? - Yes, if it is considered that serious of a crime. Either you support the death penalty or you don't, no "but only in this circumstance" shakiness. As I said earlier, sometimes a little harm is necessary to prevent a greater harm.

10) Is it ever morally good to punish someone for crime that you know, even before they are born, they will at some point in their lives commit? - Yes. Punishment is necessary. Knowing someone is responsible for some sort of crime merits punishment, which serves as a deterring future preventative measure.
Debate Round No. 2
MikeNH

Pro

Well then, I didn't think it would be quite so straightfoward. Let us recap Con's moral judgements:

1) Slavery good? - Yes. Con has agreed that it can be morally good to own another human being as property. He then later qualifies it with "if they consent, it's okay." What if they do not consent, is it then still morally good in any circumstance to own another human being as property?

2) Genocide good? - Yes. Con has agreed that it can be morally good to commit genocide.

3) Human sacrifice good? - Yes - Con has agreed that it can be morally good to sacrifice a human being, as long as you think you're commanded by someone greater than "mere mortals".

4) Sins of the father pass to the son? - Yes - Con has agreed that it can be morally good to hold a child accountable for the sins of their father because children are impressionable.

5) Rape good? Con says NO! He asks who ever said that? I'll name a few verses:

"When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again." (Exodus 21:7-11 NLT) (Woman as sex slaves, which is clearly non-consentual, and therefore rape)

"Lo, a day shall come for the Lord when the spoils shall be divided in your midst. And I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem for battle: the city shall be taken, houses plundered, women ravished; half of the city shall go into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be removed from the city" (Zechariah 14:1-2 NAB) (Take over a city, rape the women)

"When you go out to war against your enemies and the LORD, your God, delivers them into your hand, so that you take captives, if you see a comely woman among the captives and become so enamored of her that you wish to have her as wife, you may take her home to your house. But before she may live there, she must shave her head and pare her nails and lay aside her captive's garb. After she has mourned her father and mother for a full month, you may have relations with her, and you shall be her husband and she shall be your wife." (Deuteronomy 21:10-14 NAB) (After pillaging a city, find the attractive woman, take them as your property, and have sex with them - clearly not consentual - therefore rape)

There are more but I think the point has been made. You agreed rape is morally bad. The bible doesn't seem to say it's bad, in fact the people in the bible are specifically told to own women and have sex with them - this is rape by definition.

6) Good to force a women to marry her rapist? - YES because they are "impure", therefore punish the VICTIMS of crimes by forcing them to marry (without being able to ever get divorced) the man that RAPED THEM.

7/8) Hell exists and infinite torture for finite crime is good? - YES. Because "punishment is necessary for ethical communities", punishment should be infinitely more severe than the crime commited. See #9

9) Good to have death penalty for punching your dad? - YES because if you support the death penalty for any crimes, you must support it for all crimes. UNLESS the crime is rape, then it's not really that bad and doesn't require the death penalty, but instead you must pay a bit of silver and marry her as punishment... (says the bible)

If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her. (Deuteronomy 22:28-29 NLT)

10) If you knew the future, and you created a person knowing they would commit a crime before YOU MADE THEM, is it good to punish them infinitely for this crime? - YES because it will prevent people from committing other crimes. Con also mentioned that the person is responsible for their crime - but wouldnt the fact that god was directly responsible for them being created, all the while knowing in advance they would commit the crime, place some responsibility on him as well?

I think I'm going to let most of this stand on it's own. Con accepts that there are situations where slavery, genocide, human sacrifice, and the death penality for minor crimes are morally good. He then denies, for some reason unknown to me in light of all this, that rape is always bad, but I presented cases directly from the bible that straightforwardly show people were commanded in the bible to take women essentially as sex slaves and rape them - which contradicts his moral claim.

In the case of rape, it's either the case that you are mistaken and you were morally wrong, and the bible is right, and therefore rape is morally good in some situations, or you are correct and the bible is wrong and you have then derived some moral judgement that opposes the bible. Which is it?

It also seems as though you advocate the death penalty for all crimes, but the bible does not (as shown in the verse about the rapist) - how do you reconcile this contraction?
othercheek

Con

God definiton: "the creator and ruler of the universe and source of all moral authority; the supreme being."

The Smithsonian has said that much of the Bible's history is "very trustworthy."

So we can trust that, from the Bible, what God says is right is morally right.
Debate Round No. 3
MikeNH

Pro

"God definiton: 'the creator and ruler of the universe and source of all moral authority; the supreme being.'"

This is EXACTLY why you were asked to post the definition of morality IN THE COMMENTS PRIOR TO ACCEPTING this debate, as was outlined in the original argument, which you apparently did not read very closeles. What you've done is define morality as whatever you think God says in a book - which is in no way a viable pathway to any sort of moral truth.

You completely ignored the massive contradiction I pointed out regarding the fact that you said you do not think rape is morally good, yet I pointed out to you where it directly orders it in the bible on multiple occasions. I challenge you to sort this out in your final argument - you must explain if you are wrong for thinking rape is morally bad and that it is in fact morally acceptable, or it the bible is incorrect and therefore not a moral guide.

Some notable reasons why I will conclude that my case, namely that the bible should not be considered a moral guide, has been sufficiently demonstrated are as follows:

It's been clearly demonstrated that it is extremely difficult to determine from the scriptures what is to be considered morally good and morally bad. Even someone who advocates that it is to be considered a moral guide does not agree with all of what the bible directly says. The bible also says in the 613 commandments (1), (yes, there are actually more than 10), that other moral laws include:

- To destroy any city that has turned to idol worship
- To ritually slaughter every animal before eating it
- To burn incense every day
- Purchase a hebrew slave
- Not to take a loan with interest
- Fear your mother and father

I think it's obvious, unless CON claims otherwise, that he does not follow these laws, is himself in violation of said laws, and is therefore immoral, according to his own interpretation that the bible is true moral guide. If we are to consider the bible as a moral guide, none of us can take out mortgages, and we must fear our parents, own slaves, ritually slaughter every animal we eat, and destroy entire cities. How is any of this to be considered morally good?

I think it's obvious that scriptural punishments are in no way relative to crimes. A child striking their parent is punishable by death, but rape is punishable by a small fine and being forced to marry your victim. This is in no way morally good or just.

It's been clearly demonstrated that otherwise morally normal people (that I would venture to guess Con would be if he didn't believe the bible was a moral guideline) would be convinced that morally abhorrent actions such as murder, genocide, human sacrifice, sexual and physical slavery, etc., we actually morally OK simply because their deity says so. The view that the bible is a moral guide makes the people that ACTUALLY believe it agree that wicked things are acceptable and even righteous. This is disgusting. IF YOU THINK your bible doesn't actually order these things, READ YOUR BIBLE. There is no context in which these things are morally acceptable. The context of the bible, however you actually think it is to be intepreted, does not matter - these things are NOT moral and will NEVER be moral.

I believe that it has been clearly demonstrated that EVEN IF a god existed and the bible was actually his outline for what is to be moral and immoral, we still SHOULD NOT use it as a framework for determining what is good and bad. This argument is about whether the bible should be considered a moral guide, and if you are against CON's interpretation of the bible and it's rather clearly stated positions on what it says about what is good and bad, EVEN IF you consider yourself a Jew or Christian or religious in any other way, you should vote that I have demonstrated the bible shouldn't be used as a guideline for morality. If you disagree with ANY single moral statement in the bible, then it's clear that the bible SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED A MORAL GUIDE, and we can begin to work towards determining what a superior moral guide should be.

(1) http://en.wikipedia.org...;
othercheek

Con

That's the Old Testament. It doesn't apply anymore. http://www.gci.org...
Debate Round No. 4
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by DatAzian 3 years ago
DatAzian
@MikeNH, cite the sources that are cited in wikipedia then. And make sure you're using the correct context.
Posted by CynicalDiogenes 3 years ago
CynicalDiogenes
FYI-There is only 1 *official* catholic interpretation. This is what has been summarised in the Lumen Gentium(The dogmatic Constituion Of the Catholic church). I do hope we can argue about this as i feel i can do a better Job.

Most Catholics may have different private opinions.But,I will be defending the official biblical interpretation that has arguably remained unchanged for the last 2000 years.
Posted by MikeNH 3 years ago
MikeNH
@DatAzian - to the contrary, the wikipedia article I cited contains hundreds of its own citations backing it up, and was mostly a compendium of lines from scripture with their own individual verse citations. You sir, are calling the kettle black.

@ThunderClap - Any moral system that advocates slavery and rape is ipso facto less moral than one that abhors it. SIMPLE AS THAT. For the purpose of this debate, I needn't create my own moral system, I just needed to show, which I did, that the biblical system is nonsensical and disgusting at best.
Posted by ThunderClap 3 years ago
ThunderClap
I wish I could've debated this. You can't create an objective system of morality without a God, so arguing under the premise that God doesn't exist, the Bible is just as good of a source of a moral system as anything else.
Posted by DatAzian 3 years ago
DatAzian
When you cite wikipedia, you automatically just call yourself an idiot.
Posted by MikeNH 3 years ago
MikeNH
I'm starting to wonder if the person I've been debating against is actually a Poe. I find it extremely hard to believe someone could be serious about the things they argue for, and miss so many obvious things, including the initial request to agree on a defined morality in the comments before accepting the debate, which I put in BOLD LETTERS in the initial challenge, as well as the fact that the TITLE OF THE DEBATE ITSELF says "New and Old Testament" and in his final rebuttal, he replies with the old testament doesn't apply.... Can he actually be serious, do you think?
Posted by MikeNH 3 years ago
MikeNH
@othercheek - Did you miss the part where I said we need to agree upon the definition of morality before we start the debate?
Posted by MikeNH 3 years ago
MikeNH
"The Catholic interpretation of the Bible" is not something that even Catholics can agree on. You ask 5 different catholics what they believe the bible says and you'll get 5 different and often mutually exclusive answers. Saying you adhere to the Catholic interpretation is essentially meaningless and doesn't give me any indication as to what you actually believe is true.
Posted by CynicalDiogenes 3 years ago
CynicalDiogenes
I told you i will be taking the Catholic interpretation of the Bible.This is a consistent argument and i can't do what you claimed that i would do
Posted by MikeNH 3 years ago
MikeNH
@simpleman - if you want to provide a definition for what you think morality is that we can try to agree upon, I would be happy to debate this with you, because I wholeheartedly disagree with what you said.

@janetsanders733 - sure!

@cynicalDiogenes - I don't think debated with those terms would be very fruitful, as I fear anything I present will simply be dismissed as "not the correct interpretation". Unless there is a verse by verse breakdown somewhere that you can point me to that explains exactly what is the proper interpretation/meaning of each verse in scripture, anything you don't like will undoubtedly be dismissed, and anything you do like will be accepted - which ultimately means that you aren't deriving any moral standards from the bible, but that you've arrived at those moral judgements some other way.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 3 years ago
bladerunner060
MikeNHothercheekTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct for Con's not reading the rules, and thus forcing Pro specifically into a situation he was trying to avoid. Conduct also because Con's responses demonstrated he had no interest in actually DEBATING this topic. Arguments because he conceded in the final round, and, frankly, never really presented any arguments in general. As always, happy to clarify anything in this RFD.
Vote Placed by FREEDO 3 years ago
FREEDO
MikeNHothercheekTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con accepted a debate in which it was clear that they were meant to argue for the moral truth of both the old and new testaments. In the last round, they conceded. Not related to my vote: I've also never seen anything more self-condemning. Yikes.
Vote Placed by NiqashMotawadi3 3 years ago
NiqashMotawadi3
MikeNHothercheekTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con used a definition of morality that was not agreed upon. Moreover, some of his arguments were not backed-up by more than his personal opinion. He ended up supporting slavery, infanticide and other horrible things which shows according to my compass of morality that the Bible is not really a good guideline for him. In the end of the debate, he says the Old Testament doesn't apply when it was included in the topic of this debate. Hence, arguments go for Pro as he showed me based on my common understanding of morality that Con is not really following a good moral guideline. It also disappoints me that Con chose one-sentence long responses as if he wasn't taking this debate seriously.