The Instigator
royalpaladin
Pro (for)
Winning
18 Points
The Contender
larztheloser
Con (against)
Losing
16 Points

There is at Least One Person on the Earth Who Believes that Parts of the Bible Are Despicable

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 7 votes the winner is...
royalpaladin
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/25/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,720 times Debate No: 21481
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (30)
Votes (7)

 

royalpaladin

Pro

First round is acceptance only. In order to win, Pro must explain why that one person believes that the Bible is despicable.


For the sake of debate, despicability must be considered universal. This is because, if it were not, there would be no point in having the discussion because you would automatically presume negative.
larztheloser

Con

I thank my opponent for instigating this topic. Obviously, it's heavily skewed towards pro (this is intentional - the debate was set up because pro believed she would be votebombed against if it wasn't heavily skewed towards her), however, I urge all voters to actually read and consider my argument.

Pro must not only explain why that one person believes it is despicable. Pro must also prove, according to the resolution, that the bible actually says what pro thinks that "one (universal) person" thinks it does (and note that pro must agree that every person has exactly the same morality, by the rule she establishes in paragraph two). It's this that I believe pro will be unable to do - she will take verses out of context in order to show despicability. I will also show that the bible was most likely written by man, and since morality is universal, what the men who wrote the bible thought was despicable is also what the "one person" thinks is despicable. Not wanting to preempt her arguments, however, I will allow her to state her opening case without further ado.
Debate Round No. 1
royalpaladin

Pro

Framework

Larz tells us that I must prove that the passages I discuss actually say what I claim in order for me to win. This is completely false because in order for someone to find something despicable, he simply has to feel strong negative emotions towards the thing that he hates. His reasons for hating it do not have to be true. I can find Obama despicable if I think that he is Muslim, but the fact that he is actually not Muslim does not mean that I cannot find him despicable for that reason. So, I do not have to prove that the person in question is correct about her interpretation. I just have to prove that she is interpretating the passages in a fashion that makes her believe that the Bible is despicable.

Larz also says that I have to prove that the men who wrote the Bible also found the actions despicable. This is not true because it is based on the fallacious notion that the Bible's moral system is the one that everyone follows. If morality is universal and even one person believes that the Bible is despicable, then the Bible's moral code is not universal. Members of non-Abrahamic traditions, for example, would find some of the laws in the Bible to be barbaric. So, even if morality is universal, the Bible's morality is not the universal morality that I speak of. Instead, the writers ignored universal morality while they were writing the book. The impact is that my opponent cannot simply undercut my case by using my own observations against me. This argument only works if he can prove that every single provision in the Bible is part of the universal moral system that I discussed.

Finally, I have one observation. In order to make arguments that claim that actions are moral if God endorses them, Larz must conclusively prove the following:

1. God exists
2. There is only one God and multiple gods cannot exist.
3. God’s moral system is outlined in the Bible. All other religions are false.
4. The Bible has not been altered in any fashion since it was written.
5. Morality is internal to God. In other words, actions are not seen as good only because God says so, and there cannot be any external means through which actions can be judged.

Failure to prove any of the above means that he cannot use this argument. If God does not exist, then actions are not moral because he does not endorse them. If there are multiple gods, then there is no reason that we have to follow the moral systems of the Bible god. If God’s moral system is outlined in another text, and is not part of the Bible, then the Bible’s moral system is false.

Affirmative Case
The standard that I will be advocating for despicability is the harm principle. According to the Harm Principle, a person may do as he pleases, except when he causes unconsented harms to others. Rape, for example, is despicable because it is an action that violates an individual’s sexual and bodily rights without his or her consent. Similarly, slavery and murder are despicable because they violate the individual without his or her consent. Violating the individual without her consent is despicable because morality is fundamentally contractarian in nature. I agree to allow Larz to have rights as long as he agrees to grant me the same rights. Contractarian theory is the only form of morality that explains why individuals inherently follow moral code, namely, they want to protect themselves. If Larz wants to advocate any other moral system, he needs to tell us why people would inherently want to follow that system.

Contention 1: The Bible Permits Slavery
In Exodus 21:1, God lays down laws for the Israelites to follow and also tells them what actions he deems permissible. One of these actions is slavery, both regular and sexual.

Passage 1: “If you buy a Hebrew servant, he is to serve you for six years. But in the seventh year, he shall go free, without paying anything. 3 If he comes alone, he is to go free alone; but if he has a wife when he comes, she is to go with him. 4 If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the woman and her children shall belong to her master, and only the man shall go free.

Larz will tell you that the slavery advocated here is consensual, but this is not the case when we examine the fates of the women and children who are born from slave unions. Slavery for HEBREW men involves voluntary servitude, but slavery for the women who are married to men by the master and slavery for the children of that union is perpetual and forced.

This perpetual enslavement of women is further proven here:
7 “If a man sells his daughter as a servant, she is not to go free as menservants do. 8 If she does not please the master who has selected her for himself, he must let her be redeemed. He has no right to sell her to foreigners, because he has broken faith with her.”

Furthermore, masters can beat slaves without their consent. God in Exodus continues:
20 “If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, 21 but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property.”

This is also a clear violation of the harm principle because it allows masters to murder slaves without fear of repercussion.

Finally, in Exodus, brutal treatment of foreign slaves is permissible.

44 ” ‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. 45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. 46 You can will them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.”
Slavery is despicable because it violates the Harm Principle.

Contention 2: The Bible permits rape
The Book of Deuteronomy also outlines laws passed down from God to Moses. Some of these laws permit rape, which is a violation of the Harm Principle.

First, the Bible punishes rape victims along with rapists. In doing so, it treats rape victims as morally accountable for the rape.

“If within the city a man comes upon a maiden who is betrothed, and has relations with her, you shall bring them both out of the gate of the city and there stone them to death: the girl because she did not cry out for help though she was in the city, and the man because he violated his neighbors wife.”

Now, I realize that this case does not apply to women in rural areas, but the fact of the matter is that the Bible is treating a certain subset of rape victims, namely those in the city, as morally blameworthy for their rape if they are unable to cry for help.

Deuteronomy allows for the rape of female captives.
"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. However, if later on you lose your liking for her, you shall give her her freedom, if she wishes it; but you shall not sell her or enslave her, since she was married to you under compulsion."

Thus, the Bible is despicable because it allows for rape and slavery. Since I find it despicable, there is at least one person on the Earth who finds the Bible despicable, and you affirm. Thank you.
larztheloser

Con

I thank my opponent for her analysis, though I consider I deeply flawed in two key respects which I will detail in a moment. In a PM pro told me that she's using the RSV Bible, so I'll do that too. She fails to give chapters (and sometimes the book!) for the verses she cites - in future, it would be great if this could be briefly included.

First, my opponent claims that she doesn't need to prove the Bible says what she thinks it does. Her reasoning is, to paraphrase, that she considers something despicable when she believes it is despicable, even if her belief is false. The problem is that if she despises what she believes the Bible is, and her belief about the Bible is false, then logically she's not really despising the Bible! She's only then despising her false perception of the Bible. She needs to prove that the subject of her despising is actually the Bible, not some text she just made up to suit her case.

The second key way her analysis is flawed is that she believes I told her that she has "to prove that the men who wrote the Bible also found the actions despicable." That's also not true - her job is simply to prove the Bible is despicable. We ASSUME, by her own rule, that the men who wrote the Bible found the actions just as despicable as we find them today.

My case

Her claim is that the writers ignored universal morality when writing the Bible. Let us first presume that lying is moral. Then, why despise the Bible for lying about morality? It's absurd to criticise a book as immoral when the book is doing something you define as being moral. Let us secondly presume that lying is not moral. Then why does she insist that the writers were moral, yet lied in the Bible, when she condemns this action as immoral? Surely that doesn't add up! The people who wrote the Bible (and I note that my opponent has tacitly conceded that that Bible was most likely written by man) must, logically, have written down what they thought was moral. Here are some passages where the authors of the Bible explain that the entire Bible is true. Remember, we must assume that these people are not lying (or else there would be no moral problem with the Bible) and completely agree with pro on morality: 2 Tim. 3:16, John 10:35, 1 Tim. 4:6, 2 Corinthians 13:8. Furthermore, lying and deceit are explicitly condemned a number of times in the Bible.

So there is no possibility that the writers of the Bible ignored universal morality, because they weren't lying. That means that they must have believed they were telling the truth. However, this would contradict the notion of a universal morality. The whole position my opponent advocates is therefore logically absurd and illogical... unless, of course, pro is lying. That's right. Almost everything pro said in the last round MUST have been a lie for her case to make any rational sense. In which case, of course, her case really makes no sense at all.

Pro says I need to prove God exists for that logic to hold water, because "If God does not exist, then actions are not moral because he does not endorse them." In other words, pro accepts that God is the one and only source of morality (for if there was another source, I would not have to prove this). Since she accepts some things are immoral, it follows that she accepts the opposite of those things as moral. Since there are moral things and she believes God is the source of all morality, pro must therefore logically believe God exists. Then she claims I must prove that there is only one God, as otherwise how would we know which moral system to follow? But my opponent made it a rule that I have to assume that there ARE NO ALTERNATIVE MORAL SYSTEMS! Sorry for shouting. In asking this question, my opponent breaks her own assumption. This is also true for the other things she says I first need to prove - they all presuppose the existence of genuine alternatives to pro's biblical morality, which of course, we must presuppose don't exist, leaving the questions in violation of the rules of logic and this debate. Basically, my point stands.

Pro's case pt 1 : Slavery

First, let us examine what a slave is. When we think of slaves, we have a tendancy to think of negro labourers in a cotton plantation, singing chants and being whipped. 4,000 or thereabouts years ago, in Ancient Egypt, that's more or less how slaves were treated. When the Israelites escaped Egypt, they decided they would not treat slaves as they had been treated. There are reminders of this in the Bible at frequent intervals, including Deuteronomy 5:15, and in the New Testament they go even further - 1 Timothy even treats slave traders as murderers and lawbreakers.

Brilliant scholar Peter Garnsey writes, in his book "Ideas of Slavery from Aristotle to Augustine":
"Slavery is the most degrading and exploitative institution invented by man. Yet many slaves in ancient societies... were more secure and economically better off than the mass of the free poor, whose employment was irregular, low-grade and badly paid... It was not unknown for free men to sell themselves into slavery to escape poverty and debt, or even to take up posts of responsibility in the domestic sphere."

I agree that being a slave sucked. However, for people who were dying on the street, with no money, lots of debt, and no reliable income, the Bible says it is better for them to be slaves. In the old testament, this is the ONLY justification given for slavery - and even there, it was qualified. Deuteronomy 15:14 instructs slave masters to give enough property to the slave to make them non-poor when they are freed. Deuteronomy 24:21 forces slave masters to give their slaves free wine; 5:13 forces them to give their slaves free rests. Hardly like those cotton plantations. Why? Because God forbade the exploitation of slaves, not the ownership of slaves. Pro's case is not against ownership per se - it's about how that might be abused to beat or murder slaves (the latter of which is actually forbidden by my opponent's own passage from Exodus). For beating, allow me to cite the Word Biblical Commentary (summarising several exodus passages):

"In the case of bodily injury to slaves, whose status does not qualify them for equal compensation, the owner whose abuse results in the loss of an eye or a tooth is to free that slave, a remarkably humanitarian provision directed at cruelty and sadism in a slave-owner"

Also, contrary to my opponent's assertion, forced slavery was punishable by death (Exodus 21:16). And about girls sold to slavery - such sales ALWAYS presupposed marriage, which would then free the girl (see the JPS Torah Commentary on Exodus 21). Today we'd call that an "arranged marriage," not slavery.

Pro's case pt 2 : Rape

My opponent has cited two verses supporting rape. The first is easy: if you didn't cry out for help, you consented. No right-thinking lady would let somebody have sex with her whom she didn't want to have sex with, and say nothing. "Has relations" implies not just a one-night stand with a bound and gagged girl, but an ongoing affair - there is nothing to hint the woman was forced. That's not rape.

Second, my opponent claims captive girls could be raped. This is a mistranslation. The RSV was that bible which was burned by Christian ministers for blasphemy and widely condemned (http://en.wikipedia.org...). One change, which unfortunately found its way into a few other Bibles in that era, was in this very passage. The NSV, published later, corrected this mistake, and practically no bibles since have had the error. The NSV says "you may go to her and be her husband" not "you may have relations with her, and you shall be her husband"

Here's the cold, hard fact: Deuteronomy 22:25-27 states that rapists are to be killed. Same punishment as for murder.

That concludes my case for this round. I look forward to reading my opponent's continued case, and wish her the best of luck for the remainder of the debate.
Debate Round No. 2
royalpaladin

Pro

Framework
In my first observation,I discussed the fact that because hatred is based on perception, I have no obligation to prove that those passages actually mean what I think that they mean. I gave you the example of hating Obama because he is Muslim. Larz tells you that this is false because then I am actually hating the evil action and not the Bible itself. This response is inherently problematic because hatred is based purely on perception and not on truth. If I hate broccoli because I think it is red, it does not matter if it really is green because I am perceiving it to have a quality that I dislike. Thus, I only have to prove that I perceive the Bible to say the things that I think it says. In order for Larz to win, he has to actually dissuade me from believing those things, and since I hereby declare that nothing he says will convince me otherwise as long as I am alive, I find the Bible despicable. The impact is that you can vote affirmative based on this one observation. Nothing else that is said in this round even matters if you accept that this idea of perception is true.

Even if you do not, I hereby declare that the Bible contains a Creation story in Genesis. I find creation stories despicable because they attempt to explain why man exists. Thus, you can affirm based on this if you do not buy the observation.

My opponent agrees to lighten the burden that I present in my second observation. That is fine with me.

My third observation was that if Larz wanted to say that the Bible is correct because “God says so”, he has to prove the following five things:
1. God exists
2. There is only one God and multiple gods cannot exist.
3. God’s moral system is outlined in the Bible. All other religions are false.
4. The Bible has not been altered in any fashion since it was written.
5. Morality is internal to God. In other words, actions are not seen as good only because God says so, and there cannot be any external means through which actions can be judged.

He responds to the first one by saying that I said that God exists. I NEVER SAID THAT GOD EXISTS. I SAID THAT HE HAS TO PROVE THAT GOD EXISTS. HE IS LYING ABOUT WHAT I SAID IN ORDER TO BOLSTER HIS OWN POSITION. Since he never proved that God exists, he cannot make this argument.

He then claims that I am contradicting myself by claiming that he has to prove that there is only one God. This is also blatantly false because it assumes that morality is derived from gods and not from some other external source. In fact, even the Bible implies that some other source exists when it says in Genesis that God made fish, man, birds, etc. and “SAW that they were good.” The fact that he saw that they were good implies that he was using some external system in order to judge his actions. Larz also drops the final three points, so since he never attacked them, he never fulfills that burden.

Finally, he discusses lies and deception. First, the Bible does promote lies, as evidenced by the fact that in Genesis, Jacob deceives Esau and steals his blessing and birthright and lies and steals from Laban. In addition, Abraham sells his wife into sexual slavery twice and lies about it both times, thereby condemning the people that he deceives to a curse. God never punishes these people for their despicable actions, so he condones them and thus promotes both lying and sexual slavery. Since lying is permissible in the Bible, we can assume that the people who wrote down the Bible were following their moral code when they wrote it.

In addition, just because people believe in a certain moral code does not mean that they will follow it. Pope Alexander VI despised lying, adultery, rape, simony, bribery, and murder, and yet he was guilty of all of these things. So, just because people recognize that actions are against moral code does not mean that they will not commit them. This means that even if lying and deception are not permitted by the Bible, the people who wrote it down are not automatically blameless.

Affirmative Case
First, he drops the entirety of my analysis about the Harm Principle and Contactarian moral theory. Extend this cleanly across the flow. The impact is that the inherent, universal moral theory that I am advancing is contractarian in nature, and is not the one being advanced by the Bible. Insofar as this is true, I believe that the Bible is despicable, so you affirm. Do not let him bring up new responses because that is cheating. He already conceded this analysis.

Slavery
Larz then tells you that slavery in Israel was actually a good thing and that I am against the beating and rape of slaves rather than slavery itself. First, this is false. As I proved with this quotation from Exodus, slave masters in Israel were permitted to beat their slaves. ““If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, 21 but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property.” Second, even if you do not buy this, look to the fact that I explained in my affirmative case why slavery itself is wrong. In my analysis of the Harm Principle, I explained that slavery is wrong because it forces individuals to work for others without their consent. Insofar as this is true, you can extend this analysis and vote affirmative because even my opponent is conceding that the Bible promotes slavery. I have not only proven that slavery exists in the Bible, but that slavery as an institution is wrong and abusive.

He then provides you with a quote about compensation. Cross-apply my dropped Exodus analysis which explicitly shows that the Bible allows for beating slaves with rods and getting off scott-free.

He next claims that selling girls into slavery is actually arranged marriage. This is false, as proven by the fact that this dropped passage: If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the woman and her children shall belong to her master, and only the man shall go free.

This passage clearly implies that the enslavement of women is slavery, and not marriage. Even if you do not believe that, this type of arranged marriage is without the consent of women so it violates the Harm Principle and is also immoral.

Rape
His response to the first passage about how women are also treated as culpable for the rape is a sexist argument that states if women do not scream, it was consensual. This is completely ludicrous because women are often psychologically unable to resist. According to Lynn Hecht Schafran the National Judicial Education Program, “Other women experience one of two terror-induced altered states of consciousness called dissociation and frozen fright which render them totally passive. For some victims of both stranger and nonstranger rape the psychic stress is so extreme that they dissociate during the Lynn Hecht Schafran Barriers to Credibility 4
rape, saying later that they felt it was a terrible dream, or that it was as if the attack were happening to their body and they were watching it from the outside.. . .These phenomena of dissociation and frozen fright were critical issues in two recent state supreme court cases
Commonwealth v. Berkowitz15 and People v. Iniguez,16 that illustrate how important it is that judges understand the operation of rape trauma during a sexual assault. “ (Source: http://www.ok.ngb.army.mil...)

He responds to my second passage by saying that it is a mistranslation. THIS IS LITERALLY FALSE. THE PASSAGE THAT I CITED WAS FROM DEUTERONOMY, AS EXPLICITLY NOTED IN MY LAST SPEECH. THE MISTRANSLATED SECTION FROM FROM THE BOOK OF ISAIAH AND IS ABOUT VIRGINS, WHICH I DID NOT DISCUSS IN MY LAST SPEECH AT ALL. INSOFAR AS THIS IS TRUE, THE SECOND PASSAGE ABOUT RAPING FOREIGN WOMEN WAS COLD DROPPED IN THE LAST SPEECH. EXTEND IT BECAUSE IT PROVES THAT THE BIBLE PROMOTES RAPE. Since rape is despicable, you affirm.
larztheloser

Con

I thank my opponent for continuing her analysis. Largely this has just been a repitition of what she's already said, without really engaging with my counter-arguments, just with a little more bold and ALL CAPS text to try and get voter's attention.

If I was to claim "The Bible is offensive because it says I am ugly," then my opponent would believe I find the Bible offensive. What I'm actually finding offensive, though, is a hypothetical non-existant version of the Bible that says I am ugly. This hypothetical non-existant Bible can be distinguished from the Bible - just as fake Muslim Obama can be distinguished from Obama, and fake red Brocolli can be distinguished from Brocolli. You can't just invent attributes of the Bible to win the debate - you must actually argue against the real Bible according to the resolution.

In the same way, you cannot claim your standard of morality is the harm principle, and then claim a creation story breaches your standard of morality. This is a contradiction because a creation story does not automatically breach the harm principle. If my opponent was to say "The Bible is offensive because the word 'Bible' offends me," you would be left with an absolutely absurd morality based solely on the need to win the debate, not any reasoning or logic, nor the harm principle.

I never said the Bible is correct because God says so. That deals with this fallacious case. However, I stand by my deduction that my opponent must logically believe in God, not because she says so (and by the way, there really is no need to put that in all caps) but because otherwise some of her statements make no sense. I encourage her to actually read what I wrote. I also did not drop any of the remaining five points, as the answers to those follow logically from my opponent's rule (as I stated), which she is still ignoring. She already conceeded these four arguments to me in round one.

Finally, my opponent states "just because people believe in a certain moral code does not mean that they will follow it," suggesting the Bible writers were lying, and gives an example. That's precisely what she said last round. Now, did she read my massive 3-paragraph section entitled "My Case" which deals with precisely this? NO! She hasn't rebutted or answered any of what I've said yet! She hasn't even read my arguments, and then goes on to the comments to attack me "ad hominum" instead! I refuse to engage with this. I've been rebutting all of my opponent's assertions and logic, and she's rebutted NONE of mine. I urge voters to penalise this lack of engagement and accept my argument as true, unless my opponent actually responds to what I have to say, just as I do to her.

Slavery
My opponent starts by repeating that the beating of slaves was permitted. I conceeded this, but explained that after the beating, Jewish law forced the slave master to free the slave - which, as I showed last round, involved giving the slave enough stuff to make them non-poor, which by the way is even better for the "slave" than it is for citizens of the modern world who suffer an assault. My opponent is yet to respond this. Secondly, she claims that any forced labor is against the harm principle. Well, since we're all forced to do labour in order to continue to survive (including such Herculean labours as eating and breathing) I suppose the only way to conform to pro's morality must be to die. I did actually respond to this last round, by the way, with my analysis on poor people in ancient societies vs slaves.

The point is that not everything that's forced violates the harm principle - it must be unconsented (which I admit slavery SOMETIMES was) AND it must be harmful, according to my opponent's own retelling of the principle. She has not proven that it was more harmful to be a slave than what these people would otherwise have - being a slave was much, much better in Jewish society. Kings even called themselves "slaves" because of the fortunate position slaves occupied (according, again, to Peter Garnsey's book). So my opponent has not proven slavery is wrong and abusive - in many cases it was better than being free.

Slave exploiters were put to death. No response from pro.

Her Exodus analysis, by the way, only says the masters are not to be punished. Freeing a slave was not seen as a punishment because slaves usually cost more to keep than they produced - indeed, keeping slaves was compassionate, because you freed them from the poverty of their former lives. It was not uncommon for a freed slave to WANT to remain a slave.

She reiterates that slave-girls were not in an arranged marriage. First, stop claiming that I dropped your passages when I didn't. If you don't refer to them by verse, don't expect me to. Second, the "only the man shall go free" applies to when one slave was married to another slave, not when she was married to the master or one of their sons - this would happen if, for instance, the person who the girl was supposed to marry died (people died young back then) or was otherwise unavailable for marriage. This still happens in modern arranged-marriage societies. If the union of slaves produced children, the woman would remain a slave and care for the children, so that the master could give the infants all the resources they needed. When the woman and children were later freed, the idea was that the husband would have established himself with his newfound middle-class status sufficiently to allow the children to have a good upbringing, and the woman to have a good home. Nothing about this brings harm to the children or the woman. Nothing about this therefore violates the harm principle.

Rape
Okay, so I'm apparently being sexist? My opponent's the one who's claiming women are inferior because they're unable to resist! Trust me - if I was to start coming on to my opponent - she WOULD resist. Even if unable to resist during the actual assaulting, you bet she would call the police at the first oppertunity! Why? She doesn't know me. Most rapes today are committed by people known to the victim, as her source says. This would not have happened in ancient Israel because if the laws of the Bible were followed, women would be carefully protected in their households. The only real way they could have male friends from other households is by sneaking out, for the male could not sneak in (and if he did, the woman would obviously raise the alarm long before any sexual assault could begin). The passage clearly refers not to a woman being raped, but a woman having an affair. This has been unresponded to.

Furthermore, even if it did refer to rape, which it doesn't, this is clearly not a one-off incident. She must have had an oppertunity to tell somebody for this law to apply. And besides all of that - women in ancient Israel were trained to scream for help when somebody attempts to force them, from a very young age. This conditioning leads to the situation being much easier to deal with - very different from the conditioning girls are given today. The point is that a woman is just as culpable as the man if she, according to the best evidence available, was having an affair. By my opponent's harm principle, the violation had to be unconsented for my opponent to use it. Nothing about the passage indicates a lack of consent, unlike many other laws where lack of consent is explicitly stated, meaning lack of consent should not be assumed.

Lastly pro goes on a massive all-caps rant that I lied about the RSV. There were more mistranslated passages than just the one from Isiah (actually there were several from Isiah, not to mention several from other books). I proved that the NSV, the newer version, contradicts the RSV, and that virtually every Bible since has accepted the correction. That's a fact. If it wasn't a mistake, why was it corrected? Also, none of this is rape, which is condemned in the Bible. Also, I said all this last round. I'm still waiting for my argument to be answered.

Good luck for the last round!
Debate Round No. 3
royalpaladin

Pro

Framework
The only thing that he bothers to do with the first observation is rehash his argument about how I cannot hate something for false reasons. Since he completely drops my analysis about how hatred is based on perception and emotion, and I only have to perceive something to be true about an individual in order to hate him or her, you can extend it cleanly across the flow. The fact of the matter is that people hate Obama because they think he is a Muslim. Although he has proven that he is a Christian, this hatred continues to fester. Why? Because they perceive that he is not a Christian. This hatred is not based on fact; rather, it is based on a perception. The fact that these ideas are false is irrelevant because to that person, they are very real.

He is going to tell you in the next round that morality is universal, so I cannot use this argument. Hatred and morality are not the same thing, however. I can hate someone for immoral reasons. For example, a rapist can hate a victim who pursues legal action against him, or he can hate her for resisting his advances. The fact of the matter is that since I have proven that I hate parts of the Bible, you have to affirm because I fulfilled my burden. This also solves the strawman that he creates with the Creation story. I do not have the creation story because of a moral principle; rather, I hate it because I find it idiotic. He is falsely linking together hatred and morality; do not let him get away with this.

I do not believe in God and larz has not proven that God exists, so you can extend the third observation cleanly across the flow. He also concedes the analysis about how morality is external of God, so he cannot make any claims about how an action is moral just because the Bible or God says so.

Now, he claims that I did not engage his case at all, but this is a blatant lie. I will quote the place where I engaged it, and then I would like you to affirm because he dropped the counteranalysis that I posted against his case and he lied about it.

My counteranalysis in bold: “He then claims that I am contradicting myself by claiming that he has to prove that there is only one God. This is also blatantly false because it assumes that morality is derived from gods and not from some other external source. In fact, even the Bible implies that some other source exists when it says in Genesis that God made fish, man, birds, etc. and “SAW that they were good.” The fact that he saw that they were good implies that he was using some external system in order to judge his actions. Larz also drops the final three points, so since he never attacked them, he never fulfills that burden.
Finally, he discusses lies and deception. First, the Bible does promote lies, as evidenced by the fact that in Genesis, Jacob deceives Esau and steals his blessing and birthright and lies and steals from Laban. In addition, Abraham sells his wife into sexual slavery twice and lies about it both times, thereby condemning the people that he deceives to a curse. God never punishes these people for their despicable actions, so he condones them and thus promotes both lying and sexual slavery. Since lying is permissible in the Bible, we can assume that the people who wrote down the Bible were following their moral code when they wrote it.”

I urge you, the intelligent voter, to go back and do a search function on this webpage to check the veracity my claims to have refuted it. He dropped every word of this counteranalysis, so cleanly extend it across the flow and vote affirmative. If he brings up new responses to this in his last speech, he is cheating, so please do not permit him to do so.

Slavery
Continue to extend the Harm Principle analysis because he dropped it.

The first thing that he claims is that slaves can be set free. Now, he claims that I never responded to this, but this is actually false. In the first round AND in the second round, I quoted a passage in which female slaves who were married to male slaves of their masters (NOT THE “ARRANGED MARRIAGE” WIVES OF THE MASTER) were enslaved for life. This quote is from Deuteronomy: “If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the woman and her children shall belong to her master, and only the man shall go free.” So, even if male slaves were permitted to go free, the female, non-wife sex slaves of the master were not. He dropped this, so please extend it. Second, I posted analysis in Round 1 that explained that this only applied to Hebrew slaves. Foreign slaves were not accorded that privilege. From Exodus: 44 ” ‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. 45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. 46 You can will them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.” These slaves are kept for generations and are not set free. He drops this, so extend it and vote pro.

He then strawmans my position. Forced labor by nature does not violate the harm principle. As I explained, the Harm Principle is violated when SOMEONE ELSE, ANOTHER MORAL AGENT restricts your liberty without consent. Go back and read this uncontested analysis from Round 1. This takes care of his straw man that says that we all have to work to survive.

He also drops the part of the analysis that states that Slave Exploiters were not punished because slaves were property, and then asserts that I dropped it. So, I will post it again in hopes that it will finally grab his attention. Please go back and confirm that I posted this: “If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, 21 but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property. Exploiting slaves by beating them so that they are not able to be revived for two or three days is exploitation. Vote pro.

Finally, he makes up analysis in the end about how forced sexual slavery only occurred if the husband died. This is unsourced, so please do not buy it. In addition, EVEN IF IT IS ARRANGED MARRIAGE, HE DROPS THE ANALYSIS THAT SHOWS THAT ARRANGED MARRIAGE VIOLATES THE HARM PRINCIPLE. Extend that cleanly across the flow and vote pro.

Rape
He next asserts that in ancient Israel, rape did not ever occur and that if a woman slept with another man, it was with consent. This is also false. The Bible itself discusses rape of women in Genesis when Jacob’s daughter is raped and when KING DAVID, OVERLORD OF ANCIENT ISRAEL, RAPES AN INNOCENT WOMAN. The fact of the matter is that the claim that women were never raped is absolutely preposterous considering that the Bible itself says it was rape. In addition, “having relations” simply means that they had sex. It does not imply that there was an affair whatsoever. All of this is unsourced conjecture by my opponent.

Please look at my opponent’s own source. It explicitly states that the Isaiah source was mistranslated, and not the Deutoronomy passage that I quoted. In addition, my Bible was the Revised Standard Edition, which takes care of all of those problems. Even if his argument is true, it only applies to the previous edition.

I hereby declare that I find parts of the Bible despicable. The resolution is true.
larztheloser

Con

I thank my opponent for this debate. It's been fun.

Pro's BOP
To win this debate, pro needed to convince you that she wasn't lying when she said she believes that parts of the Bible are despicable. She also stated that what is and isn't despicable must be the same for both her and the people who wrote the Bible.

I must admit, I have been using immoral and despicable interchangably in this debate, and my opponent appears to have been doing the same. Despicable means deserving of hatred, which is of course a moral judgement. I'm sorry if that caused any confusion for anybody, but I'm pretty sure hatred is the result of a moral judgement, as opposed to, say, a mathematical judgement or grammatical judgement.

Pro continues to state that this is based on perception - and, as is quite typical of pro, she does so without answering my contention - people don't hate Obama because he's a Muslim, because that would logically presuppose that he is a Muslim (just like pro cannot presuppose that the Bible is despicable). I gave a really big analysis of this last round, and pro is just repeating herself with synonyms, so I think I have given enough responses here.

My Case
In round two pro attempted, very poorly, to pre-empt my case. Her rebuttal was, simply put, that the bible writers were liars. I then rebutted this for three paragraphs. My opponent's response, which she highlighted in bold last round, was from round three. In round three I showed, however, that this was just a fancy way of restating what she had said in round one - because her argument was again that the Bible writers were liars. I did not drop or ignore the point. She, however, had completely ignored my analysis of what logically follows if that's true. This is ironic, because she continuously claims I dropped her non-existant counteranalysis - "every word" of it! If you go through point for point, you'll see that the only thing I didn't answer was her claim that the Bible permits lying, for the simple reason that I had already dealt with what happens if it does in round two.

Rather than refer you back to round three, therefore, let me refer you back to round two. I asked my opponent if lying was moral. Then I showed that no matter which way she answered that question, she would get an absurd answer unless she was lying. Pro could not answer that question. Therefore pro must be lying. Therefore, no matter what other arguments pro might have, she cannot fulfil her burden. She said the Bible writers thought lying was moral, but continuously repeats that lying is immoral, breaking her rule again (milestone - that's the 30th time she's done that in this debate). And none of this is a new response. It's not even a response - this is all me repeating my argument from round two!

That last paragraph is probably the most important paragraph for voters to read in this debate.

Slavery
I didn't drop the harm principle analysis. I explained last round in great detail how the harm principle is not violated.

I showed last round that her three-time quoted Deuteronomy quote was out of context and misrepresented. She claims it's talking about sex slaves of the master - but why then would the master be freed if he's not enslaved!? I have given Biblical evidence that refutes my opponent's twisted understanding of the passage - both in round two and three. All this evidence has gone ignored.

I also showed that non-Hebrew slaves could not be traded, and while they could be bought, they had to be treated well under Jewish law. They could be kept for life, but if they were treated poorly, they were freed by the same laws, which made no exceptions for foreign slaves. This was much better (from a harm principle perspective) than being poor, as defeated captives inevitably were after the army plundered. This all comes from round two.

I also showed that beating a slave led to that slave's freedom. Yes, my opponent DID ignore the freedom part. She substituted that with the word exploitation, which of course makes no sense because I've proven, with references, that the Bible forbids that.

What did I say? I said that her round two harm principle justification was not against liberty, but against things she could prove to be harmful. She has not proven that slavery was a bad thing for the slaves. Therefore, she cannot have won the point.

The arranged marriage thing was sourced in round two, so please buy into it. I also did not drop the analysis that arranged marriages violate the harm principle, because pro never proves why they're harmful.

Rape
I didn't say women were never raped. I just said that women always spoke out when it happened. My opponent does not respond to this, so I'm assuming she agrees. She claims I did not source my "having relations" thing (which is true, actually - that just comes from my memory of Hebrew classes at school, but it can be easily verified by anybody with a good Hebrew-English Bible dictionary). She, however, is the one who came up with the "conjecture," and she has provided sources for pretty much none of what she's said, except for, in later rounds, sometimes indicating what Bible verse she is hypothesizing about. A quick glance at both the quantity and quality of sources we've both used (since her sole source was an out-of-date Bible) should make that part of the vote fairly obvious.

My wikipedia source states that there was controversy over the translation, and gives Isiah as an example of that. The RSV bible is exactly the one she's using, and the one that caused the controversy, but the error has been corrected long ago. Regardless of what verses evoked the most controversy, the fact remains that the Deuteronomy line was a mistake, and that was corrected. The fact is that what she is claiming is not part of the Bible. Anybody with an NSV or later bible can easily check that I'm telling the truth.

Is the resolution true?
Let's consider the facts for a moment:
  • To win this debate, pro needed to convince you that she wasn't lying when she said she believes that parts of the Bible are despicable.
  • I proved to you, in round two, that pro must be lying for her rules and position to hold true.
  • She could not respond to this analysis - only reiterate her belief that the Bible writers were liars, and that's morally OK.
  • Therefore - why does she have a problem with the Bible lying about morality, if she thinks that's OK? I said this in round 2.
  • Therefore she's lying.
  • She proved to you that slavery exists in the Bible.
  • I have consistantly shown that "slavery," as stated in the Bible, was a good thing.
  • She has not been able to argue that slavery is a bad thing, except for randomly linking the harm principle to libertarianism in round four.
  • She has not proven why liberty is good or being a slave in ancient Israel bad.
  • I have shown that any exploitation of slaves was "punishable" in the modern sense of the word.
  • She tried to make a point about rape but didn't really.
  • Her first subpoint was about affairs.
  • Her second was a mistranslation.
  • Therefore all her reasons for hating the Bible fail.
It's hard to look at that and give the debate to pro.

If I'm right on my logic on EITHER (or both) of these bases, I win the debate. I know this may anger many people, but remember, this is a debate. My opponent has not disproven what I've said. Pro has just repeated herself and not based her arguments on concrete Biblical evidence. For this reason, I urge all unbiased people to vote con.

The resolution is negated.
Debate Round No. 4
30 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by TeaForTheParty 5 years ago
TeaForTheParty
Ok, thank you for informing me.

In regard to my other speculation, can you answer why the quotes you used from the Bible don't correspond with the RSV versions I found on the internet? In fact, your first quote from Exodus 21 doesn't match what I found at:
http://www.blueletterbible.org...
OR
http://www.mybiblescripture.com...
So, were you actually using a different version from the RSV? Or did you use a different version just for the quote? I know I'm being a stickler and I drive people nuts with it sometimes... I am really curious though.
Posted by royalpaladin 5 years ago
royalpaladin
The RSV is not controversial. We used it in my Literature class in college just a few months ago.
Posted by TeaForTheParty 5 years ago
TeaForTheParty
I haven't completed enough debates yet to be allowed to vote, but if I could it would be in Con's favor. Why did Pro use such a controversial version of the Bible to reference? And is it really the RSV version Pro is quoting? I looked up several websites with RSV versions of Exodus 21 and Pro does NOT quote word for word the RSV version. What version is it?? IMO, that's an important factor for interpreting the Bible. True meanings get lost in some of these latter translations of the Bible.
Posted by larztheloser 5 years ago
larztheloser
@Fourtrouble - I don't hold it against you, I'm sure your RFD is perfectly valid - it's just not a criticism of my case I would have expected. Thanks for the useful feedback.
Posted by FourTrouble 5 years ago
FourTrouble
@larz, I didn't see the implication, it could be my failure. Your argument was really good in theory, it almost puts Pro in a double bind, but like I said, you left out the key part, motive. I didn't think it was implied, I just felt it was missing, so your argument left me unconvinced. Of course, the resolution was absurdly in favor of Pro, so don't take my RFD as a sign that you did worse.
Posted by larztheloser 5 years ago
larztheloser
@Fourtrouble - interesting RFD. I wouldn't normally prove an implication because I thought I had implied strongly enough that pro was lying with the motive of wanting to win the debate. I had, actually, been wondering whether pro would challenge me on that, but since it didn't come up in the debate I decided it would be a non-issue for my case. That's what makes your RFD so interesting - it sounds like a rebuttal point to me that pro never made, but which I thought I had strongly implied the answer to anyway. Besides, even if pro had no intent to lie, it's still possible that she lied by mistake, which is why that line is rarely run in non-legal debates. Never mind, I was always expecting to lose the debate, I just hoped pro would try to follow my case (but I was wrong on that too).
Posted by Zaradi 5 years ago
Zaradi
finds the Bible despicable, she isn't providing a reason as to why it is universaly considered despicable. Con also brought this up in round one, so I can give him the weight of the argumentation. So I vote con off of that.

Easy way for the pro to have won this debate: take out that first round description of what makes something despicable. Without that, it would've been an easy vote for the pro. But with it there, I can't really vote for the pro.

So yeah, that's how I decided.
Posted by Zaradi 5 years ago
Zaradi
Dear lord...where do I begin. Let's just get through this as painlessly as possible.

I think that there were a lot of factors that slanted the debate in pro's favor, notably just the ridiculously hard burden that the con had to fulfil and the ridiculously easy burden that the pro had to fulfil. Hence, I find it dissapointing that I find myself voting for the con in this debate. Here's how I decide:

I think on the framework side of things, the con isn't doing enough to either a) disprove that the things that pro is talking about link into the harms principle or that b) the harms principle is a ridiculous theory to go off of in the beginning. I think that B would've been the best choice here, but since it wasn't made I can't give him ground off of it. On the contention level of things, though, I think that con is sufficiently disproving the pro's perspective of what the bible is supposedly saying and replanting what it's supposedly supposed to say (if there was anything I would tell the pro to improve on, it would be adressing arguments with other responses aside from "look to my evidence, it takes out his." Make arguments that don't revolve around your case being true in the first place). But this only leads me to the messy portion of the debate about perception. How do we verify that pro is being truthful about her perception, and how does this perception interact with the round?

I feel that the pro is more than sufficiently proving that SHE perceives the bible to be despicable. That was almost a non-issue for the pro, because there was no real way for the con to falsify this. But I feel that the pro, when framing the debate in the very first round, made a crucial mistake when she said that despicability must be considered universal. So, how I interpret this (since it really wasn't clarified in the debate) is that in order for the pro to prove that something is despicable, she has to prove that it is universably true. And while I think she proves that SHE
Posted by Zaradi 5 years ago
Zaradi
You guys really don't make things easy for judging....-sigh- RFD will be in momentarily, along with my vote.
Posted by FourTrouble 5 years ago
FourTrouble
Kind of a ridiculous debate... I didn't like that both of you accused each other of "lying," but neither of you actually backed up that claim in a convincing or compelling way. There is a huge difference between lying, and just being wrong about something. I will admit that my vote is somewhat biased, but I don't think my bias means my vote is illogical. Lying implies a motive to deceive, whereas being wrong about something is not lying, it's just being wrong. So: Con's argument that Pro is lying was in theory a good way to deal with an absurd resolution, but I don't think Con pulled it off. Con doesn't show that Pro has motive for lying, and without motive, we have no reason to suppose Pro is actually lying.

I vote Pro because on the slavery and rape points, Pro gives good reason why Pro, personally, thinks they are despicable. Con does not have to agree, Con even argues they aren't bad, but that is irrelevant if Pro thinks they are despicable. That is one person. So arguments go to Pro.
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by imabench 5 years ago
imabench
royalpaladinlarztheloserTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: countering the actual vote bomb, brought to you by Demonized Nambian Antelopes.....
Vote Placed by PlanetTutTutTurtle 5 years ago
PlanetTutTutTurtle
royalpaladinlarztheloserTied
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Reasons for voting decision: @Guitar Guru, this is an actual vote bomb.
Vote Placed by Zaradi 5 years ago
Zaradi
royalpaladinlarztheloserTied
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by FourTrouble 5 years ago
FourTrouble
royalpaladinlarztheloserTied
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments
Vote Placed by TUF 5 years ago
TUF
royalpaladinlarztheloserTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Both sides did great. I preffered pro's structure a little bit more, and feel she upheld the resolution, the best. Carried the BOP as well.
Vote Placed by Guitar_Guru 5 years ago
Guitar_Guru
royalpaladinlarztheloserTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I feel as though LlamaMan is votebombing, this is a counter. I'll read this over as soon as I get the chance.
Vote Placed by LlamaMan 5 years ago
LlamaMan
royalpaladinlarztheloserTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con played it smart and in my mind won. Conduct goes to con because pro misinterpreted the bible several times.