The Instigator
sonofzapp
Pro (for)
Tied
12 Points
The Contender
evilkillerfiggin
Con (against)
Tied
12 Points

The suffering of mankind [in this life or the afterlife] is not the fault of God.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/22/2008 Category: Religion
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,658 times Debate No: 4763
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (14)
Votes (8)

 

sonofzapp

Pro

I'm gonna use my opening argument from my last debate. Hope nobody has a problem with that. If so, too bad.

Oaky I believe that this topic of debate is pretty self explanitory. Everyday horrible autrocities happen. People are murdered, rapped, robbed, and treated like trash, but God cannot be blammed for these happenings. It is all the doing of man, and whats worse is that lots of people are sent to hell all the time. God cannot be blammed for this either, because that us the fault of that indivisual. Overall we know right from wrong, sometimes we feel as if we cannot help doing the wrong thing when placed in a certian situation, but in most cases we can, we just cannot [or dont want to] see it any other way.

Life is just one big test of endurance. Can you endure the challenges it throws at you, or will you fall victum to life's autrocities? Only God can answer that, but only you can make it happen, and if you happen to fall into the losers bracket, God cannot be blammed, nor the guy that stole your car, or your abusive steapfather[just examples]. ONLY YOU! You, as well as every other human being suffer at the hands of other humans, and weather or not you become like those oppresors is not the decision of God nor the fault of God. IT IS ALL UP TO YOU!

Well, Im done ranting. Im gonna save my real arguments for the debate, but first lemme set down some groundrules.

i. I am a Muslim, as a result I will speak and explain myself from a Muslim POV. I would greatly appreciate it if the person who ends up being my opponant tries to respect my religion and [if you must] argue against my logic as far as the debate goes rather then my religious views.

ii. Though my opponant my or may not believe in God, I would like him/her to remain respectful of him while speaking.

iii. Overall respect the debate and stay within it's boundaries please and i will respect you.

Thank you. I wish you the best of luck. Peace and blessings of Allah be upon you.
evilkillerfiggin

Con

I'm going to be assuming the God we're discussing is the God of classical theology - right? If He's not, please say so in your reply. (It helps a debate greatly when we're all talking about the same God, so if your God is not the one described below, please outline what He is in your reply.)

The God of classical theology, for those unfamiliar with the term, is a being who is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent. Which in English is all-powerful, all-knowing and wholly good. There are some inherent logical flaws here, which I'll outline in my next reply if my opponent does not disagree with this definition, but this is the one most philosophers seem to agree on.

Now, if God created the Earth, then God is directly responsible when it goes wrong. So immediately, we can see that all atrocities not directly resulting from Man (I'm thinking earthquakes, tsunami, etc. etc.) are the fault of God.

Secondly, God created Man. If God gives a being free will, God is responsible for the consequences of that decision. If I give a loaded handgun to a five-year-old child, I do not get to say that what subsequently occurs is the fault of the child, and not me. Now, I'm not saying that Man is not also to blame for his own actions - civilised society rests on the assumption that he is. But, like the five-year-old with my handgun: God is far more culpable for every misdeed of ours than we are.

You said life is an endurance test. This doesn't absolve God of anything: for every person who gets to lead a storybook life, faces challenges that they can just about overcome and grows further towards God with each victory, there are a hundred who are thrown into situations an honest soul cannot possibly compete with, who have to become cruel and cold and brutal to survive; there are a hundred more that are never tested - who are born into luxury and live in indolence.

That's two hundred souls that are destined for Hell for every one that's given a fair chance at Heaven. So God spends far more time in His capacity as torturer than he does in paternally testing his subject's devotion.

Not to mention life as an endurance test seems somewhat arbitrary: if God made each of our souls, surely He already knows which ones are going to break and which are going to succeed? Where is the need for Him to 'test' us in such a miserable, prolonged and painful way?

Circumstances are often far beyond our control. So, when you say, IT IS ALL UP TO YOU!, it patently isn't. Nevertheless, the mindset is a good one: when dire things are happening, you don't assign blame to God or other people, and instead seek to see what you can do about the situation. So it's a kind of thinking I'd wholeheartedly encourage. Doesn't change the facts though: if bad stuff is happening, God is still responsible.

Anyway, I shall wait and see what my opponent has to say before continuing. It would be impolite not to address your groundrules:

i. Shamefully, I know very little about Islamic religion. I'm assuming that as an Abrahamic religion, it shares many key ideas (God, Heaven, Adam and Eve, etc.) with Judaism and Christianity. I ask my opponent to be patient and to correct any mistakes I make.

ii. As a mark of respect for my opponent, I will refrain from making facetious or obnoxious comments about his God. Note that the very nature of the debate requires me to accuse God of crimes such as murder, torture, etc. While doing this I'll try to show respect by not speaking in a light or offhand tone.

If anything in my text comes across as offensive, then that was not my intention. Let me know about it and I'll try to avoid it in future.

iii. I will of course try to remain cordial and focussed during this debate.

So now I await your reply.
Debate Round No. 1
sonofzapp

Pro

I like the fact that my opponant is kind and respectful. His politness will be returned throughout this debate. NOW LET IT CONTINUE!

Just so you know, you were right on the money with the "God of classical theology" thing. Thats pretty much what I believe. In fact if I'm not mistaken [which I doubt] thats pretty much the same thing the average Christian, or Jewish guy would think of God too. So it baffles me as to how its possible for these two religious sects to hate Islam so bad. We worship the same being, we simply worship him in different ways. Wy other people can't understand that is something I will never be able to comprehend.

"Now, if God created the Earth, then God is directly responsible when it goes wrong."

Hmmmmmm. I fear I'm not content with your chioce of words my friend. A wise man once said, "There is nothing new under the sun." That wise man was Solomon, so if he said it its more then likely to be true. When you used the word "wrong" in this sentence, it seemed as if you were implying that things like earthquakes, tsunamis, and rockslides arent suppose to happen, or shouldn't happen. Occurances like these arent new and they definatly arent wrong.
God made mother earth like a person. People grow, change, and adapt differently. So does our planet. Earthquakes, mudslides, tornados, and snowblizzards have been happening for MILLIONS of years, and the creatures of the earth, weather human or otherwise, have been dealing with it for millions of years and will for millions more [assuming the earth is still around then].
I mean come on, its not Gods fault that hurricane Katrina happened. Yes; thousands of people were displaced, yes; thousands more were killed during the hurricane, but God isn't to blame. Like I said earlier, natural diesasters have been happening forever on this little blue planet. It isn't Gods fault that New Orleans just happened to be surrounded by water when the hurricane attacked. Nor would it be Gods fault if a tornado tore through Ney York city. I mean honestly, is it his fault that a city just happen to be right in the middle of the tornados attack radius. No it isn't.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that we humans should relocate ourselves, nor am I implying that we should ceses to exist so we could end the problems altogether, cause we gotta live too right? The point I'm trying to get across is that these things have been happening forever, and will forever more. We as people need to be glad that we have a earth to live in, and just roll with the punches when things get nasty. And judging from the earths current situation with global warming, I'm predicting that things are gonna get even nastier, but thats just our planets way of balancing itself out after all the crap weve put it through. If you melt the ice caps then the water has gotta end up somewhere, and we on the east cost of America have been reciving more rain, floods, and thunderstorms, in this one summer then we have all of last year put together. But I'm guessing thats Gods fault too right?

"Secondly, God created Man. If God gives a being free will, God is responsible for the consequences of that decision."

True! God did give man free will, but he also gave us a perfect and undeniable way of becoming good people, and a means of joining him in the after life. Its a guideline of sorts for one to become a blessed indivisual. If you haven't guessed it yet, it called the "Ten Commandments." Brought to us through the profit Moses, and still followed to this day. If you choose not to follow the rules it lays down for all of mankind it isn't his fault. I mean sure he gave us free will, but he also told us what to do with it.

For example: Your parents buy you a brandnew 2008 mustang for your birthday. You can do what you want with it because its your car, but before you drive your parents set down some ground rules. "Respect the traffic laws, don't ride around on an empty tank, get an oil change when nesacery, don't speed, don't overpump the tires on your car, ect." Though they did get you the Mustang, its yours, so though you should listen to what they say, you sure enough don't have to. In a year your car is a chopshop reject because you didn't listen to what they told you. Now its a piece of crap and the first ones you blame it them. Yeah they did buy it for you, but they couldn't tell you what to do with it because its your proporty.
The same thing goes for God and his act of granting us free will. Sure he did grant ya free will, but he told ya what to do with it. If you or someone else suffers because you refuse to listen to his laws, its not his fault. We aren't 5 year olds with handguns, we are intellegant, capable, and reasonable human beings. We are the highest of all of Gods creations, [besides the angles] so when we screw up we can't blame it on him. The average human is smart enough to figure things out on his/her own.

"there are a hundred who are thrown into situations an honest soul cannot possibly compete with, who have to become cruel and cold and brutal to survive"

YOU ARE CORRECT SIR!!! There are indeed millions of people thrown into siches that a light hearted person couldn't possible survive. Thats the funny thing about God, because you see, some people simply werent ment to survive these occurances, while others believe they can't survive when actually there is a suprise in store for them if they just keep the faith. A hard death by the dark side of life is a very small price to pay for an eternity in paradise, wouldn't you agree? Don't believe me, heres another example.

Have you seen that movie "The Dark Knight?" If not you should, BECAUSE IT ROCKS!!! To be honest, its the best movie I've seen in a very long time, but thats besides the point. Point is, there is one scene, where there are two boats of people fleeing Gothem to escape the Joker's terrorist-like wrath. One is full of convicts, while the other if full of innocent civilians. Unknown to the passengers, the cargohold of the ship is chalk full of oil. The Joker placed an explosive on the boats and gave both ships two remotes. The remotes would trigger an explosion in the other ships hold, thus killing everybody! If one boat didn't blow up the other by midnight, the Joker was gonna blow them both to hell.
Through many attempts, neither boat full of passengers could bring themselves to destroy the other, untill one convict; played by Thomas Lister Jr, told the captian of the convict ship to give him the remote so he could "do what needed to be done an hour ago." Rather then flip the switch and blow the boat full of civilians to smitherenes like everybody expected, he tossed the remote out the window. Though the other convicts were upset, nobody protested. [I'm not gonna tell what happened next, but put simply, it was a lucky break for everyone]
Though this situation is pretty farfetched, can you honestly tell me God would have been angry at this man for sparing the innocents but condeming the corrupted. I doubt it. So yes you are correct, a good hearted person couldn't possible survive a situation like this, but in refusing it for the greater good, that indivisual would have reserved his/her spot in heavan. If you ask me, thats a pretty sweet deal.

I'm running outta space, I'll leave the rest as a comment.
evilkillerfiggin

Con

It seems the topic of the debate has shifted slightly. Are we talking about the question, "Is God to blame?" or the question, "Should we blame God?"

If we're talking about the second, I'd say no. I'm saying this because that question is about the mindset you should adopt when bad things happen to you. In a paragraph above, you spoke of why we can't blame God because, "We aren't 5 year olds with handguns, we are intellegant[sic], capable, and reasonable human beings." And I agree: responsible human beings do not seek to place blame when something goes wrong, they seek to see what they can do about it.

I bring this up, because my opponent's arguments seem to be centred around this idea, that we shouldn't blame God, because that's not a decent/mature/responsible thing to do.

However, the name of the debate indicates that the actual question is, "Is God to blame?" That is to say, if we look at the situation as impartial observers, as if we were judges in a trial, would be be forced to concede that a being in God's position is responsible for the suffering of mankind?

So for the rest of the debate I ask my opponent to forget, if possible, about how we should behave and instead just focus on God as an entity. Ie, if God did not exist and another being did who fit the same definition, would you find that being responsible for the suffering of man?

Okay, seeing as we're using a classical God, I give you Epicurus' Triad:

* God is omnipotent. He has the power to do anything, absolutely anything. (With the possible exception of things like moving, making square circles, etc. Not going into this now as three rounds isn't long enough.)

* God is omnibenevolent. He is wholly good.

* There is gratuitous suffering and pain and general misery in the world.

(Can you see why He doesn't add up yet?)

Right off the bat, I'm going to equate gratuitous suffering and pain with evil: if my opponent wishes to argue that to knowingly cause gratuitous suffering ('gratuitous' here meaning 'more than necessary') is not an evil act, then I think our morals are too far removed to properly continue this debate.

So, there are acts of gratuitous evil happening all over the world. God, being omnipotent, has the power to stop these. If I have the power to do something, that I decide not to do, I have made a choice. I am therefore responsible for that choice. If I don't stop a child bullying another child, or see someone drop their wallet and say nothing, I am responsible for the choice, even though I had nothing to do with the situation.

So, we immediately have to conclude that every bad thing that happens is God's choice, and therefore God's fault. Yes, I'm blaming God for hurricane Katrina: He saw it coming, He could have prevented it, and He didn't. I can even blame God for global warming: even though it's us that have done it, He has the power to reverse it, and He has not.

God is omniscient. So, compared to us, He must be infinitely more wise and mature. Looking at us next to a being like that, my analogy of man as a five-year-old child is frankly quite a generous one. And if I give the kid my handgun, and then give him a list of Commandments* saying that he shouldn't shoot anyone, no jury in the world is going to sympathise when I say, "Well, I told him not to. He's an intelligent and reasonable lad. He has to learn to deal with the consequences of his own decisions."

And now we're back to life as an endurance test. I'm not really convinced by your rebuttal, as making someone go through a lifetime of unpleasantness just to make it clear to them why they were predestined for Hell definitely comes under my definition of causing gratuitous suffering. Not to mention, God is still the one who decided to do it, and so whatever His reasons, He is still to blame.

But God is omnipotent: He has the power to make each soul strong enough to get into Heaven. So the fact that some do not must also be a choice of His. Which means that He is directly responsible for creating Hell and then deliberately crafting souls to throw into it.

In conclusion, as an omnipotent being, God cannot escape responsibility for any single evil act committed throughout the course of history. Neither can we say that allowing such an act was necessary, as God also has the power to take us all directly into Heaven.

The only way we can logically say that God was not responsible for any given thing is if God does not have the power to prevent it. This then leads to a definition of God that would be considered unworthy of worship.

*This argument does not even cover those who never get to see the Commandments. If a hitherto undiscovered society's laws do not happen to coincide with them, does that mean they all end up in Hell, despite having lived what they were encouraged to believe were model lives?
Debate Round No. 2
sonofzapp

Pro

sonofzapp forfeited this round.
evilkillerfiggin

Con

Ah well, don't feel bad. This debate is thousands of years old, and better men than you have failed it.
Debate Round No. 3
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Xera 8 years ago
Xera
not so sure I would put it like that. I find it funny when people say that God knows what every person is going to do in all situations. He is NOT all knowing anymore- he removed that from himself, and there is biblical proof of such. The entire book of Job revolves around the idea that God does not KNOW what will happen if x and y happen to said person.

What we consider hardship and suffering and unbearable pain are not viewed the same by God. In much the same way that falling and skinning your knee when you are 5 is devastating, but pales in comparison to most of what happens when you are older, it is all about how much you have to compare it to.

I usually try to keep my own religious views separate when deciding on who to vote for, but I just felt the need to toss my two cents in on this one.

I voted CON because Pro failed to challenge her definition fo evil, and because no clear rebuttal was offered re. the contention that if God gives free will he is responsible for the consequences of such.
Posted by snicker_911 8 years ago
snicker_911
God gave us the Book of rules. God practically gave us a guideline on how to live! How on Earth is it His fault? He taught us, he gave us hope, and just as much of a chance as anyone else does of living a good and faithful life, yet we make mistakes. Even though we make mistakes, He forgives and loves us. Techinially, He's given us more than we deserve.
Posted by evilkillerfiggin 8 years ago
evilkillerfiggin
Dude... it's just a book. Not necessarily even an accurate translation.

We're talking about God on logical terms here. The God we're discussing is well defined (omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent.) He needs no further definition from the Qu'ran.

When we're debating, we have to do so logically. You can't just quote miscellaneous scripture and expect it to carry weight - you have to think about that statement and see that it makes sense. Utilising your rational brain.

Sadly, looking at the votes it seems most people aren't capable of that. I poked holes in all my opponent's arguments, which he failed to rebutt. The burden of proof was on him, so I won the debate. Those votes for PRO are the product of emotional, irrational readers voting on their own feelings rather than the argument.
Posted by Cg09 8 years ago
Cg09
Really the Bible's not appropriate here? The written word of God isn't appropriate when discussing God. Ok thats completely ignorant.
Find me some quotes from the Qu'ran. (I'll ignore them too
All your simply stating is an opinion thats has no basis and when its shown to you, you refuse it because it contradicts your claim.
Posted by evilkillerfiggin 8 years ago
evilkillerfiggin
"So because you think that God is the root of all suffering you want him to take you away to heaven cause you don't want to endure harships that all individuals go through?"

Cq09: I don't want God to take me anywhere. I'm a completely disinterested party. And this debate did not concern 'hardships that all individuals go through.' What do you think we're talking about, losing your job and getting dumped? When sonofzapp and I talk about suffering in life, do you really think we're speaking from our own perspective, as rich and happy Westerners?

What my point was, was that God need not bother us with all this living (and consequent suffering) because He can simply take us all into Heaven. So because He's chosen not to do that, any suffering we feel is a direct result of that choice. So He's to blame.

"God is not the root of all evil, Satan is."

God did not create Satan? God cannot destroy Satan? If God created Satan, God's responsible. If God did not create Satan, God has Creatorly competition. If God can destroy Satan and has not, God is responsible. If God cannot destroy Satan, God is weak.

And the Bible is not even appropriate here. Find me some quotes from the Qu'ran. (I'll ignore them too, because being written in a famous book doesn't make a nonsensical statement true. But it's still more fitting nonetheless.)
Posted by Cg09 8 years ago
Cg09
God cannot escape responsibility for any single evil act committed throughout the course of history. Neither can we say that allowing such an act was necessary, as God also has the power to take us all directly into Heaven.
Con really? So because you think that God is the root of all suffering you want him to take you away to heaven cause you don't want to endure harships that all individuals go through? God is not the root of all evil, Satan is:
Read James 1:13, paraphrased, "For with evil things God cannot be tried"
1 John 5:19: "We know that we originate with God, but the whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one."
Posted by DrAlexander 8 years ago
DrAlexander
CON,

Please challenge me to this debate, I think you'd be interested in what I have to say regarding this issue.
Posted by evilkillerfiggin 8 years ago
evilkillerfiggin
I didn't write a R3 because it seemed unfair to take three rounds where my opponent only got two.
Posted by evilkillerfiggin 8 years ago
evilkillerfiggin
sonofzapp: I think you've just put your finger on one of the greatest problems with religious texts in general: what the f[]ck was anything in the Qu'ran meant to mean?

I'd hesitate before you start with the ad homs: it's very difficult to know which concepts you've got across clearly when there's no nonverbal clues. Things that seem completely obvious to us are somehow completely missed by others - sarcasm, hyperbole, the actual intention of the word rather than its literal meaning, etc.

Although, yeah, I'd agree Rezzealaux was being a bit pedantic there. Scramjets are seldom used in religious apologies. (On the other hand, that whole passage was pretty much a logical DMZ, so I can see why she felt the urge to respond. Firstly, the quote wasn't really related to the point you were making, secondly, it's a fallacy to say that because someone wise said something, that something is also going to be wise, and thirdly, nothing in the following paragraph really explained how God isn't responsible for it.)

Anyway, how's that decisive rebuttal coming along?
Posted by sonofzapp 8 years ago
sonofzapp
[4 those of us who r idiots] when I made that statement i ment at in terms of the creatures of the earth, and the earthly occurances such as blizzards, sandstorms, ect. but then again, i cant be sure what soloman ment when he made that statement. can any of us? [but what the hell else could he have ment?]
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