The Instigator
joze14rock
Con (against)
Winning
17 Points
The Contender
vasilicus
Pro (for)
Losing
13 Points

The Old Testament of the Bible: A Depressing Paradigm PART II

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/15/2007 Category: Religion
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,338 times Debate No: 448
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (10)

 

joze14rock

Con

I read the original debate over this topic, and to be bluntly truthful, I was appalled by both sides. I was so appalled that I could not cast a vote on who was better. I strongly believe if someone is going to judge the Tankah (the Old Testament) it should be judged strictly on its own grounds. In other words, the Old Testament should be judged apart from the New Testament. Christian theology and ideology should not be the underlying premise to the glory of the Tanakh. We should read the Jewish Bible through a Jewish interpretation and Jewish mindset. That is what I plan to do in this debate.

Furthermore, I will also try to evaluate some of the points on the original debate (i.e. animal sacrifice etc) and bring up, what I believe, to be more crucial points concerning the Old Testament.
Below is the outline of my opening round:
1- Wisdom (logic) vs. the Bible- An incompatible truth
a) the difference between reason and obedient love
b) Because the Bible is beyond human comprehension, we shouldn't judge the things that don't make sense
c) Understanding that the Bible doesn't really make itself understandable is the glorification of the sacred works
2- The Exemplification and Glorification of the Old Testament
a) Animal Sacrifices
b) Brutality within the Scriptures
c) Why the Israelites were the Chosen people (Deut. 4:15-19)
d) The Torah
e) An Ostensible reading of the Old Testament shrouds the essential meaning of certain narratives in the Bible (e.g. The Laws of Moses, more specifically, the Sabbatical and Jubilee years. This innovative agricultural system (Sabbath) allowed for the land to recuperate and replenish itself after harvest. Or, another example, the reason why Joshua forbade the plundering of cities even after a murderous rampage).

There is no such thing as "The Old Testament of the Bible of the Catholic Faith." Even to the Catholics, the Jewish Apocrypha is not considered part of the Old Testament.
The Old Testament is how it is.
Interpretation, of course, is different between Christians and Jews. I believe to truly exemplify the glory of the Old Testament is to see it through the ones who brought it down to us: The Jews.

My only wish for this debate is to make at least one person who reads this realize that there is nothing worse than being ignorant of your own ignorance (St. Jerome). I do not proclaim that I know everything about Judaism.

And for those Christian readers who are urging for some New Testament, here ya go:
"Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For is say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and the Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 17-20
vasilicus

Pro

I have not read the thread you are referring to, neither am I Catholic - in fact I have been an atheist for over 3 years! You have not offered up a topic of debate in the form of a question or statement, but I will do the best I can to challenge your statements. Remember that Christians believe that Jesus himself stated that the Old Testament is literal truth, but times have changed and the morals presented in the Old Testament no longer apply to the world Jesus wants to create. Remember, without the Old Testament there is no knowledge of Yahweh, no forebears to the Jewish faith. Jesus himself, in fact, was a Jew!
Debate Round No. 1
joze14rock

Con

Thanks for the reply!
First I would to like to begin with that I just copied the original threads title and stuck "PART II" at the end. But I do believe it's a clear statement. It claims that the Old Testament is a "depressing paradigm" which I will be refuting in this point.

Furthermore, I do suggest that you read the entirety of my Round 1, for I say that I will argue from a Jewish Perspective and not a Christian Perspective. Meaning that Jesus has no authority, except as a Rabbi, in Judaic theological thought.

But I would like to say that I am a Christian, and if you want an argument from a CHRISTIAN perspective, please feel free to challenge me.

Now in regard to Old Testament morality being "outdated." That is definitely untrue. I will refer as my authority an article called
"Progress or Return: Crisis of Modernity" by Leo Strauss, who will be my support throughout this debate.

As humanity enters deeper into the new millennium, man is confronted by more and more ideological, social, and ethical struggles. What crisis is Western civilization confronting? Modernity has encrypted us with this notion of progression; that modern man should look towards the future and not towards the past. The past, as modern man is concerned, is inferior and irrelevant to our day and age.
Progress proclaims that life is simply good. Progress, as such, is change in the direction of the end for the perfection of the understanding.
But the concept of progress is slowly being replaced with the idea of "change." People are no longer certain that they are moving in the right direction; no longer certain that there is a guaranteed goodness in understanding. In a sense, the contemporary crisis of Western civilization is paradigmatic with the climactic crisis of the idea of progress.
One can't help but wonder if modern man is really any better and wiser than the ancients, considering the barbarity and evil that has occurred in the twentieth century. The advent of marvelous technological innovations and the propounding of astonishing scientific discoveries don't seem to parallel twentieth century moral or social criterions (e.g. WWII, Hitler, Holocoust). Leo Strauss had anticipated this corrosion of Western civilization. He believes that the only way to salvage the West is by reaffirming and reestablishing our western heritage. We should return back to Western civilization's roots: Greek philosophy and the Bible.

The word "return" in Hebrew is translated as teshuva. The word's emphatic meaning is rendered in English as "repentance." Strauss argues that by implication of the word's emphatic meaning, man was once on the right path. But now modernity has strayed man away from that path and is now leading humans in the wrong direction. It is only when we return (repent) to the original course that we start aiming toward perfection once again. Judaic thought links perfection to the beginning.
One only has to think of the Garden of Eden to understand why. Before man had sinned and corrupted the world, the Garden in the beginning was the worldly extension of a perfected paradise.
Strauss vehemently argues that a crisis exists in Western civilization and that the strict Jewish sense of "return" should be assimilated by modern man to save it. Modern man is consumed by this idea of "progress." Progress mocks the beginning, claiming it to be imperfect. Man should not dwell on the past, for it is inferior, but rather focus strictly on what lies ahead. With the beginning of modern philosophy and Modern Science, their came forth the idea of method which drastically changed the constructs of progress and displaced pre-modern notions.
Paralleling the rise of modern thought in the seventieth century, Rationalism (the branch of epistemology that Spinoza and Descartes so famously developed and exploited) viciously rejected Biblical theology and replaced it with such things as deism, atheism, pantheism, etc. But while trying to replace the Bible, it was thought that Biblical morality was saved. Friedrich Nietzsche criticized the notion that such preservation was practical. The attempt to eradicate the biblical religions but keep their moral foundations, according to Nietzsche, is foolish and impossible.

Although modern progress still has a firm grasp over the Western world, skepticism over the prosperity of progress is escalating.
vasilicus

Pro

Ok well obviously this is based off of another debate that I didn't read. Sorry. I cede you the debate.
Debate Round No. 2
joze14rock

Con

Or you just didn't feel like reading my response to your entire mini-case.

This debate is not based off the other thread. I just took the topic from it.

This is a distinct and seperate debate that you only gave up because you don't want to read all this.
I know it is all intimidating, but you shouldn't give up so easily
vasilicus

Pro

vasilicus forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by joze14rock 8 years ago
joze14rock
WTF!?!
My freaking opponent gave up the debate and I'm tied on votes!?!

Seriously, are Debate.org voters that biased and stupid?
10 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by U.n 1 year ago
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