The Instigator
theskeptik
Pro (for)
Winning
6 Points
The Contender
Burls
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

The doctrine of "sola scriptura" is nonsensical.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
theskeptik
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/15/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,198 times Debate No: 63268
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (33)
Votes (2)

 

theskeptik

Pro

(sola scriptura = "by scripture alone;" nonsensical = lacking sense or reason)

The first round is restricted to the acceptance of terms.
Burls

Con

Terms accepted.
Debate Round No. 1
theskeptik

Pro

The doctrine of sola scripture is nonsensical, because the scriptures themselves do not contain instructions for their own assembly.

The details of the criteria, through which the "orthodox" gospels, acts, epistles, and revelation were chosen, are not listed within the bounds of the New Testament.

The New Testament was canonised through a process of selection in which the "Early Church Fathers" rejected those texts whose theology they deemed unorthodox. The Church "discerned" which writings were to be included, via the Apostolic Tradition.

The canonisation of the New Testament itself "demonstrates the process of living Tradition," according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Therefore, Tradition is just as important as scripture.
Burls

Con

"The doctrine of sola scripture is nonsensical, because the scriptures themselves do not contain instructions for their own assembly."

And why would they? I ask myself; One might think a conspiracy is afoot to defraud a casual observer of the 'pearl of great price'.

"The details of the criteria, through which the "orthodox" gospels, acts, epistles, and revelation were chosen, are not listed within the bounds of the New Testament."

No, but a pattern may appear after much study.

"The New Testament was canonised through a process of selection in which the "Early Church Fathers" rejected those texts whose theology they deemed unorthodox. The Church "discerned" which writings were to be included, via the Apostolic Tradition"

Given the apocalyptic content of the New Testament I think a conspiracy to emphasise traditons over 'Magic' would have deleted more from the texts.

"The canonisation of the New Testament itself "demonstrates the process of living Tradition," according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Therefore, Tradition is just as important as scripture."

The trauma associated with the Grinch stealing Christmass is a caution to anyone who might attempt to buck tradition based on a questionable treatise. What's good for the goose however, is good for the gander, and the rewards of study are not easily culled.







Debate Round No. 2
theskeptik

Pro

1) You ask "why" the scriptures would contain instructions for their own assembly. You therefore concede that they do not. I am merely pointing out that there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy. In other words, one needs to look beyond scripture for guidance at some point. The doctrine of sola scriptura, if applied in the 1st century, would prompt the question: which scripture? My point is that the development of the canon was conducted extra scriptura.

2) Indeed, a pattern does emerge. The "orthodox" position was defined against various heretics, e.g. the Ebionites, the Marcionites, the Gnostics, and so forth. The criteria which were used to separate the orthodox from the heterodox was the apostolic tradition. In other words, the Church Fathers largely depended on the traditions passed down through succession to the various bishoprics.

3) You make an interesting point. The New Testament is highly apocalyptic, but it was not in the interests of developing a longstanding tradition which motivated the canonisation of orthodox texts, it was reaction to heresy.

4) I'm not entirely convinced that this response makes any rational sense, but I'm determined to give you the benefit of what little doubt remains. I'll just say that I'm not attempting to "buck tradition," I'm arguing for the existence of Tradition, with a capital T, which should be viewed as an authoritative source of Divine Revelation, alongside Scripture. This is the position of the Catholic Church, though I am not a member of that body.
Burls

Con

1.a) "You ask "why" the scriptures would contain instructions for their own assembly. You therefore concede that they do not."

I merely conceded that the instructionsare not readily apparent to the casual observer, which is not affirming their absence.

1.b) "I am merely pointing out that there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

And perhaps I have reciprocated.

1.c) "In other words, one needs to look beyond scripture for guidance at some point."

I agree, "The teacher appears when the student is ready" follows from the foundation.

1.d) "The doctrine of sola scriptura, if applied in the 1st century, would prompt the question: which scripture? My point is that the development of the canon was conducted extra scriptura."

Yes, there is some question whether the canon is reliable as evidenced by the variety of chapters.
__________________________

2.) "Indeed, a pattern does emerge. The "orthodox" position was defined against various heretics, e.g. the Ebionites, the Marcionites, the Gnostics, and so forth. The criteria which were used to separate the orthodox from the heterodox was the apostolic tradition. In other words, the Church Fathers largely depended on the traditions passed down through succession to the various bishoprics."

And yet to this day protestations based on the scriptural text are not uncommon.
__________________________

3) "You make an interesting point. The New Testament is highly apocalyptic, but it was not in the interests of developing a longstanding tradition which motivated the canonisation of orthodox texts, it was reaction to heresy."

I dispute this with the contention that breaking with tradition is the heresy that canonization seeks to prevent.
___________________________

4.a) "I'm not entirely convinced that this response makes any rational sense,"

Well the premise of argument No. 3 is a reach, but all's fair etc.

4.b) "... but I'm determined to give you the benefit of what little doubt remains. I'll just say that I'm not attempting to "buck tradition," I'm arguing for the existence of Tradition, with a capital T, which should be viewed as an authoritative source of Divine Revelation, alongside Scripture. This is the position of the Catholic Church, though I am not a member of that body."

Evidence for Divine competition for the minds of the masses is evident in the account of the Golden Calf in relation to the Ten Commandments. The authority that speaks thru scripture cannot be defined as one source therefor, which may account for the division within the faith. Knowledge hidden in parable and in plain sight may lead to further insights in the manner of connecting the dots. Whose insights predominate is a matter of skill with presentation. "SO DARK THE CON OF MAN," is not without substance considering the events that have transpired in the name of scriptural revelation, and so it remains with the individual to decide for themselves which principles shall govern them, whether the Ten Commandments of the Old Testament or Mathew 7:2 of the New Testament, or something strung together by traditional agencies or their own recognizance.
Debate Round No. 3
33 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by NatedaGreat1 2 years ago
NatedaGreat1
While the Doctrine "Sola Scriptura" canbe nonsensical. The opposite can be true as well. For "Sola Spritura believers like myself, it is not merely about the idea that everything about salvation is contain within the bible, it is about the dangers that can exist from equiting it with tradition. I'll be the first to admit that tradition can serve as a way to keep one's eyes focus on God, e.i. Catholics going on mass, circumcision, bapticism. But some traditions have, in a way, turns people's focus away from God. The communion of Saints, The Immaculate conception of Mary, which teaches that Mary was born without sin. My belief is that if something does not hurt the Church (body of believers) and can in a way help it, I welcome such traditions. But if something clearly goes against what the bible teachers, like what I mentioned above, then such traditions should be done away with.
Posted by mightbenihilism 2 years ago
mightbenihilism
"Our intellect can get us in all kinds of trouble, ask Adolf hitler."

lol

I can see the posters in Cheyennebodiestan now:

"DON'T USE YR MIND, KIDS. HITLER USED HIS MIND AND U SAW WUT HAPPENED. JUS HAVE FAITH. BLUT UND BODEN. GOT MIN UNS."
Posted by cheyennebodie 2 years ago
cheyennebodie
skeptic. Our intellect can get us in all kinds of trouble, ask Adolf hitler.The ONLY thing wrong with Hitler , or any other human being is what they think.If you get a man's thinking straightened out, you get the man on firm footing to succeed in life.That is what God meant when he said that our prosperity relies on our soul prospering.

Fear comes from an over worked imagination on the lies of the devil. That is what got Job in the mess he was in. That is what gets any of us an trouble we cannot handle.
Posted by mightbenihilism 2 years ago
mightbenihilism
I think the Aions were a way for the Gnostics to reconcile their theism with the bloody miasma that nature is. The idea is, Ok, if God is perfect, why is the world so awful? So, much like some mafias, they set up a chain to distance the head-guy from the stuff going on in the street. God is a perfect, infinite love-pug, but then he emanates these Aions, who emanate Aions, etc. (like rabbits), and then one messes up and we have the world, full of crime, suffering, etc. The ideas come from Platonism and Persian/Babylonian theology, I think.

So different Gnostic sects would posit different sets of Aions. The purer their idea of God, the more middle-men Aion thugs they added. This protected God for a while, until RICO statutes got him. Like King David sent out Uriah to die in a just war because he wanted some of that sweet Hittite lovin', we know that if you order something, or set up the conditions for it to happen, you're guilty whether you do it or not. David learned this lesson the hard way and God might learn it someday too --- and all those Aions will end up testifying to lower the sentences. Some might even cut a deal, go into witness protection, right a book, etc. Who knows.
Posted by theskeptik 2 years ago
theskeptik
@ mightbenihilism Yes, that's interesting. I had thought the GoT was just a list of the sayings of Jesus, similar to Q. I didn't realise it could have a discernible theology, but it does seem to. I'm aware of the concept of the Demiurge, but I've always struggled with the idea of aeons and all that business. What do you make of it?

@cheyennebodie Ah yes, 1 Cor 3:19. I respectfully disagree with Paul. I reckon that God, if he existed, would want us to use our what-would-be-God-given intellect!
Posted by cheyennebodie 2 years ago
cheyennebodie
The wisdom of this world is foolishness to God.
Posted by mightbenihilism 2 years ago
mightbenihilism
I'm in the camp that thinks the Gospel of Thomas shouldn't be classified as "Gnostic". "Proto-Gnostic" is better, but even then it lacks an Aionology and Demiurge, so. . . its iffy.

Anyway, I need to write a book on it so I can get some of that Ehrman money.
Posted by theskeptik 2 years ago
theskeptik
Haha, yes, that's not a bad idea. A youtube channel would be very helpful.

I'll check out your debate for sure. I, too, play the Christian, as I am here.

Out of curiosity, how do you differ in your assessment of the Gospel of Thomas?
Posted by mightbenihilism 2 years ago
mightbenihilism
I'm not a fundamentalist Christian, or a Christian, but I do play one on debate.org from time to time. Check out my debate on Bigfoot and the Bible.

As far as Ehrman goes, I like his stuff. I learned a lot from him. He's a much needed voice. I disagree with him on his assessment of the Gospel of Thomas, however. I would like to see him start a youtube channel, though. Something like "textual criticism, coffee and pugs." He'd outline some problems in a text, manuscript variations, etc. then it would cut to a scene of him drinking coffee while he watches his pugs attack a stuffed polar bear, or something. Kind of a variety show. He could even have a scene where his pugs are bringing him little pieces of manuscripts to translate, and in return he gives them a piece of cheezeburga. They could go on expeditions in the Middle East, and the pugs could use their sense of smell to find new manuscripts, shedding new light on the history of Western civilization.
Posted by theskeptik 2 years ago
theskeptik
@mightbenihilism

Yeah, he's extremely good. And he's prolific. And him and his (believing) wife do indeed have pugs! What's your angle? If you're a fan of Ehrman, I'm assuming you're not a fundamentalist Christian?
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by 1Credo 2 years ago
1Credo
theskeptikBurlsTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro made better arguments to support his case and those arguments went unrefuted by Con.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
theskeptikBurlsTied
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Reasons for voting decision: BOP was actually almost shared in this debate. Con at least had to show SOME kind of sense within "Sola scriptura". He failed to rebut pro and he failed to make any contentions of his own.