The Instigator
Freeman
Con (against)
Losing
39 Points
The Contender
JustCallMeTarzan
Pro (for)
Winning
47 Points

The following users will probably go to hell because Christian theism is true.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/13/2009 Category: Religion
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 5,246 times Debate No: 9483
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (83)
Votes (15)

 

Freeman

Con

I have made it my goal in this debate to demolish the intellectual and moral pretenses of the Christian religion. Of course this demolition will have to take a back seat to the resolution that awaits us. I consider Christianity to be a wicked, depraved, and intellectually bankrupt cult that consistently perpetuates blatant falsehoods and is responsible for outrageous amounts of needles suffering- even whilst it maintains an air of superciliousness. Two thousand years is far too long far any illusion to be sheltered from the light of reason. The time of its destruction is before us. My antagonist will simply be arguing in favor of the truth of Christian theism, no more and no less.

============
The condemned:
============

Everyone on this list is confirmed as being either an atheist or an agnostic. And the resolution my antagonist will try to affirm is that it's reasonable to conclude that these people will have their skeptical doubts rewarded with an eternity of suffering.

(I-am-a-panda) (idontbelieveit) (SWfiend) (Ragnar_Rahl) (JBlake) (Nags) (Rezzealaux) (TheSkeptic) (atheistman) (Maikuru) (MTGandP) (comoncents) (Realist) (tmhustler) (theLwerd) (RoyLatham) and, of course, myself (Freeman)

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Contention 1: Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
========

Whatever can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence. Or as Carl Sagan famously put it "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence". Without extraordinary evidence that hell exists we can reasonably say that claiming to know that certain members of our species will go to hell is an unsupported and unsupportable claim to knowledge.

========
Contention 2: Christianities method of salvation/ damnation is unsupported by evidence.
========

Sam Harris did a good job of surmising the main thesis of Christianity's salvation scheme so allow me to paraphrase what he wrote.

Jesus Christ, a carpenter by trade, was born by parthenogenesis, ritually murdered upon a cross for the collective sins of his species, and then promptly resurrected after an interval of three days. Afterwards he ascended bodily to "heaven" where for two millennia he has watched over the Earth in anticipation of his imminent return, at which time he will judge humanity for its skeptical doubts and grant immortality to those that had the good fortune to be convinced, upon mother's knee, that this baffling litany of miracles was the most important series of truth claims ever revealed about our cosmos. [1]-[2] Of course Jesus hasn't completely left humanity out to dry after his untimely departure from this Earth. If you manage to telepathically tell this invisible carpenter/ zombie/ deity that you will forever be his servant in loving worship then you will get bliss in the afterlife. He has also availed himself to be conveniently eaten in the form of a cracker to remind you of how unworthy and wretched you are. This would also technically constitute cannibalism if you are a believing Catholic. Is there any doubt that if only a single person were to believe this he would be considered mad?

========
Contention 3: Hearsay is insufficient evidence to validate the truth of miracles.
========

The main quandary with arguing for the truth of religion, and Christianity in particular, is that the evidence for our religious doctrines is either terrible or non-existent. Christianity is predicated upon the reliability of the miracle stories of Jesus laid out in the New Testament. This is why people believe that Jesus is the son of God, divine, etc. These textual claims are problematic for a number of reasons. As many of you are probably already aware the earliest Gospels were not written until some four decades after Jesus was supposedly crucified. [3] On top of this there are no extra biblical accounts of the miracles of Jesus. But the truth is actually quite a bit worse than that. Even if we had multiple contemporaneous eye witness accounts of the miracles of Jesus that would still not provide a sufficient basis to believe that these events actually occurred.

The problem is that first hand accounts of miracles are quite common even in the 21st century. There are literally millions of educated westerners who think that their favorite guru has magic powers. The powers ascribed to these gurus are every bit as outlandish as those that were given to Jesus. Millions of people believe that Sathya sai baba, the south Indian guru, is a living god. He has been claimed, by his followers, to have raised the dead, materialize objects and he even claims to have been born of a virgin- which isn't all that unique in the history of religion or in history generally. [4] If you're curious enough you can even watch some of his miracles on youtube. Sathya sai baba's miracles probably wouldn't even impress most children that weren't otherwise indoctrinated into his tawdry cult. So why, dear Christian, don't you treat the miracle stories of Jesus with the same skepticism?

========
Contention 4: A brief history of unreason
========

Religion had the unfortunate advantage of being our first form of Philosophy. Full credit to religion for attempting this, some one had to try after all. But because it was our first it was our worst. Such is the case with virtually all other human endeavors. Ten thousand years ago we didn't know why the tides came in and out, why the sun rose, why people die, where we came from. God seemed to be a perfectly reasonable explanation for that time. We now have better explanations both for the origins of our species and for the origins of our cosmos; so much better that had they been available to us ten thousand years ago religion never would have taken root. [5]-[6] No one would now go back to a time when we had no real philosophy; when we thought that the Earth was flat and that it orbited the Sun. Religion comes to us, in other words, from the infancy of our species. It comes to us from a time when we didn't know that there were microorganisms that caused disease. Theology was the branch of ignorance that came to us from a time when all causal relationships about the world were opaque and when we didn't know a damn thing. Therefore it is not surprising that our curious and bemused ancestors would have endorsed various supernatural explanations for various natural phenomena; they didn't know any better.

========
Conclusion
========

The fact that I could write this essay and sleep peacefully at night should be a sign to you of how unfounded I think your religious certainties are. I am not convinced by any of the patently absurd miracle stories of Christianity or any of the shoddy philosophical arguments that have been used to support them, and I don't think you should be either. On the other hand I am convinced by the evidence which shows that Christians are part of a pathological subculture that has been groomed to not look critically upon its own discourse. This entire game is zero sum, dear Christian; one of us will have to concede after having admitted to intellectual and moral defeat.

Best,
Freeman

Sources:

[1] http://www.reasonproject.org...

[2] Read any of the four Gospels: Mathew, Mark, Luke, or John

[3]http://wiki.answers.com...

[4]http://en.wikipedia.org...

[5]http://evolution.berkeley.edu...

[6]http://www.talkorigins.org...

Definitions:

I shall define hell to be as follows:

Hell- The metaphysical realm of torment and suffering where unbelievers in Christianity are said to depart after the death of their bodies.

Truth- consistent with fact or reality; not false.

Christianity (from the Greek word Xριστός, Khristos, "Christ", literally "anointed one") is a monotheisticreligion[1] centered on the life and teac
JustCallMeTarzan

Pro

Resolution: "The following users will probably go to hell because Christian theism is true."

Reworded: "Because Christian theism is true, the following users will probably go to hell."

Separated:

Premise - Christian theism is true
Contention - These users have violated some portion of Christian Theism
Conclusion - They are probably going to hell.

**********************************************************

Given my opponent's premise that Christian theism is true, I affirm the resolution by stating that these users (though I do NOT know how I am absent from the list), will ALMOST CERTAINLY go to hell.

AFFIRMED.
Debate Round No. 1
Freeman

Con

I can see where my opponent has decided to go and I'm more than willing to take on his logic. Normally this would upset me, but right now I'm perfectly happy. :)

=========
Contention 1: Flawed Logic
=========

In order for an argument to be logically valid the premises have to be true. [1] Therefore even if my opponent were to interpret my resolution to be what follows below he would still have a burden of proof to show why the premises are true. He assumes that the premises are valid in his argument and thus commits an obvious logical fallacy.

"Premise - Christian theism is true
Contention - These users have violated some portion of Christian Theism
Conclusion - They are probably going to hell." - JustCallMeTarzan

Since my antagonist has given no arguments to defend any of the premises then I maintain that all my arguments against Christian theism shall stand. Vote Con

Best,
Freeman

======
Sources
======

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
JustCallMeTarzan

Pro

What we are arguing is the conclusion of the resolution, not the premises it rests on. Since the resolution contains the given statement that Christian Theism is true, and the actual contention is that the users will go to hell, an affirmation of the resolution affirms the contention, not the premises.

In other words, since the instigator included this premise in the resolution, it is unarguable because it forms the framework for the debate. If my opponent wants to give up one of the premises his resolution rests on, it is the same as though the resolution had not been put forth at all - in which case the resolution defaults to the side of inaction - assuming the resolution is true.

My opponent's resolution can be understood to be "Given that Christian theism is true, the following users are probably going to hell." The only way I see to negate this resolution is:

The following users are probably NOT going to hell because Christian Theism is true.

This negation makes no sense:

The following users will probably go to hell because Christian Theism is false.

And the double negation is a nonsensical statement:

The following users will probably not go to hell because Christian Theism is false.

This negation also makes no sense because it's self-verifyingly true, and cannot urge a change in the status quo, as is the instigator's burden....

*************************************************

So the only negation my opponent can really argue is: "The following users are probably NOT going to hell because Christian Theism is true."

None of my opponent's arguments point toward this negation. I merely need to save the status quo.

AFFIRMED.
Debate Round No. 2
Freeman

Con

Let be begin by thanking my opponent for his time and for his arguments.

=========
Contention 1: Invalid logic
=========

"Premise - Christian theism is true
Contention - These users have violated some portion of Christian Theism
Conclusion - They are probably going to hell." - JustCallMeTarzan

Tarzan assumes that the premises are valid without defending them and thus begs the question. [1]

=========
Contention 2: Semantics and invalid logic cannot establish the truth of metaphysical propositions.
=========

Since my opponent has already conceded that, "What we are arguing is the conclusion of the resolution, not the premises it rests on", then he must logically defend the conclusion, which is the following.

----> The following users will probably go to hell:

(I-am-a-panda) (idontbelieveit) (SWfiend) (Ragnar_Rahl) (JBlake) (Nags) (Rezzealaux) (TheSkeptic) (atheistman) (Maikuru) (MTGandP) (comoncents) (Realist) (tmhustler) (theLwerd) (RoyLatham) and, of course, myself (Freeman)

He supports this conclusion by writing the following.

----> "Given my opponent's premise that Christian theism is true, I affirm the resolution by stating that these users (though I do NOT know how I am absent from the list), will ALMOST CERTAINLY go to hell."- JustCallMeTarzan

What kind of epistemology could my opponent possibly embrace that would lead him to conclude that this is a sound argument? One simply cannot speak of certainties for a proposition when the reasoning used to support those certainties is logically invalid. [2]

=========
Contention 3: My opponent's analysis of the resolution fails.
=========

My opponent asserts that it is his responsibility to try and negate the resolution. This is false. My opponent's goal isn't to try and negate the resolution because he took the PRO side of this debate. He is affirming the resolution by taking PRO and thus would be arguing in favor of the resolution, which is:

----> "The following users will probably go to hell because Christian theism is true."

Since my opponent is arguing in the affirmative the burden of proof is on him to show why this statement is true with evidence. [3] Instead of doing this he has decided to engage in a vigorous campaign of casuistry, obscurantism, and semantics. –Vote Con

All the best,
Freeman

======
Sources
======
[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...
JustCallMeTarzan

Pro

My opponent seems very confused as to how resolutions work. He has put forth "The following users will probably go to hell because Christian Theism is true." As I have shown, the proper negation of this is "The following users will probably NOT go to hell because Christian Theism is true." The alternative negations involve either a nonsensical statement, or lack a change in the status quo. The instigator's burden with the resolution is ALWAYS to urge a change in the status quo.

Since my opponent's resolution contains a given that is not part of his contention, I am free to assume that the given is true. This is no different than if someone put forth "Objects will fall up because gravity is reversed." Now we all know that gravity can't be reversed, but in the context of the debate, given that gravity is reversed, objects will fall up. Of course, the resolution involves a counterfactual (namely that Christian Theism is true), but resolutions that say things like "If the Nazis Had Won WWII..." are perfectly understandable.

I'm simply pointing out that my opponent has decided (incomprehensibly) to work in the framework that assumes Christian Theism is true.

So.... Given that Christian Theism is true, the users mentioned will probably go to hell, because they all espouse some sort of anti-God position.

************************************************************

>> "Semantics and invalid logic cannot establish the truth of metaphysical propositions."

Which means they can't establish the falsity EITHER, and you just destroyed your own argument, because, as I've mentioned before, in the absence of compelling reason, the debate reverts to the status quo.

>> "Since my opponent is arguing in the affirmative the burden of proof is on him to show why this statement is true with evidence."

My opponent appears to have not even read his own source... a quote - "The burden of proof is often associated with the Latin maxim semper necessitas probandi incumbit ei qui agit, the best translation of which seems to be: "the necessity of proof always lies with the person who lays charges."" In other words, my opponent's OWN SOURCE (http://en.wikipedia.org...) states that the person changing the status quo carries the burden of proof. Since our resolution assumes Christian Theism is true, I am not changing the status quo, and need only to show that my opponent's arguments are incomplete.

**************************************************************************

I cannot have put it better than my opponent:

Everyone on this list is confirmed as being either an atheist or an agnostic. And the resolution my antagonist will try to affirm is that it's reasonable to conclude that these people will have their skeptical doubts rewarded with an eternity of suffering.

(I-am-a-panda) (idontbelieveit) (SWfiend) (Ragnar_Rahl) (JBlake) (Nags) (Rezzealaux) (TheSkeptic) (atheistman) (Maikuru) (MTGandP) (comoncents) (Realist) (tmhustler) (theLwerd) (RoyLatham) and, of course, myself (Freeman)

As the resolution implies - Given that Christian Theism is true, these users are probably going to hell because they are confirmed atheists or agnostics.

AFFIRMED.
Debate Round No. 3
83 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by brittwaller 8 years ago
brittwaller
I just saw this debate an I am very offended that I am not on the list ;)
Posted by JustCallMeTarzan 8 years ago
JustCallMeTarzan
Roy, what I said the first time was "inject Christian principles into government" - not necessarily other governments, though I will admit that I answered your question incorrectly. In other societies, I suppose Japan would be the best example of the imposition of US values, though I'm not sure of e Christian content of them...
Posted by RoyLatham 8 years ago
RoyLatham
Tarzan, You claimed that the US imposed Christian principles against gay marriage, etc., on "other" societies, then when I asked you for examples, you said "our own." Ridiculous.

There is a long list of Christian principles including prohibitions on theft, perjury, and murder. So how do we know which Christian principles to oppose on the grounds that they are Christian, and which to accept despite their having a religious association? I claim the only way to do it in a free society is to vote on it. Rights are established in the Constitution, but the Constitution can be amended once there is about a two-thirds consensus.

What bugs me as that blaming everything that one dislikes on religion tends to make a religion out of atheism. It provides a false devil, just as much a cop out as a false god.
Posted by sadolite 8 years ago
sadolite
Tarzan, Since you are the last word of all logic on the abortion issue, Abortion is "not" a fundamental right and cannot be construed as such under the 14th amendment. The supreme court ruling is in essence invalid and Roe v wade should be over turned based on this argument correct? Please correct me if I am wrong in your interpretation.

"The AMA was dealing with abortion before the 14th Amendment was passed. If, as the opinion says, abortion is a fundamental right, then it should be enumerated in the constitution or rooted in the history of the American people. The right comes from the "emanations of the penumbra" of the word "liberty" in the 14th Amendment... it cannot properly be construed to mean abortion is a fundamental right, especially given the notion that the question of abortion rights was already being discussed in the government."
Posted by Freeman 8 years ago
Freeman
Sadolite, I will happily debate you on the topic of abortion if thats what you so choose. I have exams to study for this week, but perhaps sometime in the near future.
Posted by JustCallMeTarzan 8 years ago
JustCallMeTarzan
A wonderful ad hominem argument....

The case against Roe is simple.

The AMA was dealing with abortion before the 14th Amendment was passed. If, as the opinion says, abortion is a fundamental right, then it should be enumerated in the constitution or rooted in the history of the American people. The right comes from the "emanations of the penumbra" of the word "liberty" in the 14th Amendment... it cannot properly be construed to mean abortion is a fundamental right, especially given the notion that the question of abortion rights was already being discussed in the government.
Posted by sadolite 8 years ago
sadolite
Tarzan believes he is the last stop for all man kind when it comes to any opinion or logic argument about every single subject ever thought of by the human race since the beginning of time.

First the Question...... "So you are the supreme regulator of what is considered a "logical argument". "Everything must pass through you before it can be considered an logical argument."

Then the answer...."Yes" But then at the end says it is sarcasm. His answer is true in his own mind, but he realizes that the readers would crucify him by admitting it. So he tries to hide his true and honest answer behind the cloak of sarcasm. One only has to read the thread from the beginning to know that he does think he is the last stop for all of humanity when it comes to logical argument. Tarzan is indeed a legend in his own mind.

The last two rebuttals reemphasise the fact that he would discriminate oppresse and subordinate all people who do not fit his criteria of human existence and beliefs. He can not escape his bigotry, it is clear for all to see.

Since he is the master of all human logic, he should be able to come up with a logical argument that would meet his criteria of logical acceptance to challenge Roe v Wade. But let me guess there is no logical argument that could ever be thought of that could possibly challenge Roe v Wade. That supreme court decision may as well be what all human life on this planet should worship "like" a god instead of actually worshiping god.
Posted by JustCallMeTarzan 8 years ago
JustCallMeTarzan
>> "Oh, so you are the supreme regulator of what is considered a "logical argument". Now I understand everything must pass through you before it can be considered an logical argument."

Yes - because that's exactly what I meant when I said I don't have a problem with people formulating logical legal arguments [/sarcasm].

>> "And again you re emphasize your complete willingness to exclude based on belief. Yes, I still fear people like you because you never stop."

Do you think it's a good idea to create policies about this world that are based on "facts" and "data" that was not gathered from this world?

>> "Jews were identified with political subversion."

Because the Germans blamed the loss of WWI on them after they gave the Jews some political power.
Posted by sadolite 8 years ago
sadolite
JustCallMeTarzan, "I have no problem with someone challenging the ruling in Roe so long as they formulate their argument in logical legal terms, which nobody seems to do."

"Mabey you could provide the readers with an example of a logical argument to challenge Roe v Wade that you would find acceptable." And then we can use that in a debate. You being pro for challenging Roe v Wade and me being Con.
Posted by sadolite 8 years ago
sadolite
I have no problem with someone challenging the ruling in Roe so long as they formulate their argument in logical legal terms, which nobody seems to do.

Oh, so you are the supreme regulator of what is considered a "logical argument". Now I understand everything must pass through you before it can be considered an logical argument.

"I'd exclude someone who thought a fairy in his laundry machine was giving him a moral code from office too." Even these people are protected under the constitution. And don't try to get out of what you said earlier, you weren't talking about people who believed in fairies before you were talking about people of faith. And again you re emphasize your complete willingness to exclude based on belief. Yes, I still fear people like you because you never stop.

"Do you know WHY Jews were forbidden from having office?"

Jews were identified with political subversion.

Is not your argument to ban people of faith exactly the same? You think people of religious faith subvert the political process?
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