The Instigator
jat93
Con (against)
Winning
6 Points
The Contender
Valtarov
Pro (for)
Losing
1 Points

Verse 34:6 in the book of Exodus accurately describes God.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/4/2010 Category: Religion
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,994 times Debate No: 12460
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (13)
Votes (2)

 

jat93

Con

"And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth..." [1]

In this debate, God is defined as - the supernatural being conceived as the perfect and omnipotent and omniscient originator and ruler of the universe; the object of worship in monotheistic religions, [2] except in this debate, God = God of the Old Testament. No Christian theology, for instance, applies. No arguments over semantics.

My position is that this verse paints the portrait of a kind, just, merciful, "longsuffering" (patiently endures wrongdoings) God but in reality, if one even skims through the bible, they will find this description to be false.

[1] Exodus 34:6
[2] http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu...
Valtarov

Pro

My opponent, being the instigator, has burden of proof since he has not passed it to the Contender. He has not provided any arguments, so I have little to negate, and thus will use this round to clarify definitions:

The God of the Old Testament is the same God as that of the New Testament, but I will only use OT evidence.

My opponent has mischaracterized the God of the Old Testament. God is not "kind", according to the passage nor under any monotheistic religion's conception. God works for the good of each and every person, a concept that would later be described as agape. God is hardly "kind" to the Israelites, but He certainly is always doing whatever is in their ultimate good.

I agree that God is just, merciful, and slow to anger (which is what longsuffering means in context).

If my opponent plays semantic arguments on the wording of the verse, I reserve the right to clarify using alterante translations and Strong's.

"...but in reality, if one even skims through the bible [sic], they will find this description to be false."
My opponent has not supported his claim. I await his presentation of arguments in the next round.
Debate Round No. 1
jat93

Con

God is not just, merciful, or slow to anger.

God is unjust. He punishes the children, grand children, and great grandchildren of anyone who worships another God. According to God, humans can be punished for something they did not do. [1] Again, God says that if the Israelites don't adhere to his law, he will punish them and their descendants with "great plagues" and "sore sicknesses." [2] He condemns all mothers to a painful childbirth for Eve's sin, and all human beings to toil and labor for Adam's. [3]

God commanded the Israelites to slaughter every living thing they can possibly slaughter, leave nothing alive that breathes, take the people they haven't slaughtered, including women and children, enslave them, and finally, eat the spoils of their enemies - "Like God has commanded you." [4]

He commits genocide by flooding the earth and destroying *everybody* alive. [5]

He hardens Pharaoh's heart and removes his free will so that he will not free the Israelites, allowing God to continue cruelly and brutally torture all of the Egyptians - who were merely servants to a tyrant, and had no part in Pharaoh's decision. [6]

He lays a three year famine upon David's people for Saul's sin. [7]

"And when the people complained, it displeased the LORD: and the LORD heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the LORD burnt among them, and consumed them" [8]

And he is an unjust hypocrite for ordering Israel to commit genocide, actively helping them do it, killing innocent babies in Egypt, sending bears to tear 42 children to shreds and etc. [9] yet saying "Thou shalt not commit murder."

... And then Exodus 34:6 says "And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth..."

He is called merciful but one need only ask a simple question - How so?

It is as if the first sentence of the Torah (Old Testament) reads "WARNING – God is not El Rachum Veh Chanun (merciful and gracious), nor Erech Apaim (longsuffering), and he sure is not Rav Chesed (abundant in goodness)." And second sentence might as well be "But at least he is Emet - he is true - especially when he promises the brutal destruction of his people when they disobey him, and when they do obey him, the brutal destruction of their enemies (who in reality, by the way, have done nothing to warrant being called enemies)."

As Richard Dawkins said, "The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully." [10]

I await proof of God's mercy, grace, etc.

[1] Exodus 20:5
[2] Deuteronomy 28: 58-59
[3] Genesis 3:16
[4] Deuteronomy 20: 13-17
[5] Genesis 6:7
[6] Exodus 7:3
[7] Samuel 2 21:1
[8] Numbers 11:1
[9] Kings 2, 2: 23 – 24
[10] The God Delusion, p. 51
Valtarov

Pro

I had an unexpected event come up, so I apologize if my responses this round are very skimpy.

My opponent claims that God is not merciful, just, or slow to anger.

First, "just" is not mentioned in the verse, and is irrelevant. Even so, all my opponent's claims appeal to objective morality, which cannot exist except derived from God. God is just because God defines justice.

"God commanded the Israelites to slaughter every living thing they can possibly slaughter, leave nothing alive that breathes, take the people they haven't slaughtered, including women and children, enslave them, and finally, eat the spoils of their enemies - "Like God has commanded you." [4]"
These people regularly burned their firstborns to death in honor of Ashoreh and did other unspeakable crimes in their pagan rituals. God was hardly being unjust in wiping the culture from the earth.

The Flood wasn't genocide, it was omnicide. Everyone was killed equally. The reason: they were all doing incredibly immoral practices. God knows more than anyone (including themselves) what they have done and what they deserve.

More on Pharoh through children next round; I don't have time to respond right now.

It is as if the first sentence of the Torah (Old Testament) reads "WARNING – God is not El Rachum Veh Chanun (merciful and gracious), nor Erech Apaim (longsuffering), and he sure is not Rav Chesed (abundant in goodness)." And second sentence might as well be "But at least he is Emet - he is true - especially when he promises the brutal destruction of his people when they disobey him, and when they do obey him, the brutal destruction of their enemies (who in reality, by the way, have done nothing to warrant being called enemies)."
God would know better than you who was enemies and what was deserved.

As Richard Dawkins said, "The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully." [10]
Jealous: No, zealous for the good of His people.
Petty: It's God. If He's doing it, it isn't petty by definition.
Unjust: God defines justice by being God. By what standard do you call God unjust?
Unforgiving control-freak: He forgives Israel of breaching their covenant with Him many, many times. It's okay that God is in control because He's also omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, and morally perfect (by definition).
God is not "a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully". God cannot be any of these things according to his own definition. Also, none of these are negative traits combined with the other attributes of God, because God would know better than you.

"I await proof of God's mercy, grace, etc."
You accepted burden of proof. I don't have to prove a thing. According to the Bible, however, God is constantly merciful to Israel's breaching of their covenant relationship.
Debate Round No. 2
jat93

Con

" Even so, all my opponent's claims appeal to objective morality, which cannot exist except derived from God. God is just because God defines justice."

- I will respond to this later.

"God commanded the Israelites to slaughter every living thing they can possibly slaughter, leave nothing alive that breathes, take the people they haven't slaughtered, including women and children, enslave them, and finally, eat the spoils of their enemies - "Like God has commanded you." [4]"
"These people regularly burned their firstborns to death in honor of Ashoreh and did other unspeakable crimes in their pagan rituals. God was hardly being unjust in wiping the culture from the earth."

- Speaking of people burning human beings to death for their Gods, it is interesting to check out Samuel 2 21: 6-9 in which the God of the Bible himself accepts human sacrifice in return for his aid to end a famine.
Anyway, that the inhabitants of the land were bad people is an unsatisfactory attempt at justifying God's repeated genocides. Though I don't necessarily doubt you on this, which "other unspeakable crimes" that the nations committed are you referring to? So let's assume that they did commit other unspeakable crimes. Now, it would be one thing if the peoples' morality was the driving force behind the genocides that God helps execute. But in general, the moral status of the people is not the rationale behind the genocide - Rather, conquest is. It is all for the sake of the Israelites inheriting the land or benefiting from the possessions of other nations - and if the immorality of the nations that were to be dispossessed and wiped out in the name of God falls into place at all, it is secondary to Israel taking over the land/other spoils of war. It is an afterthought, and some times it isn't even a "thought" at all. For instance, check out Deuteronomy 20: 13 - 17; a section that I happened to have learned not too long ago in my 10th grade Bible class. Of course, there's the usual "slaughter every living thing you can possibly slaughter" and "leave nothing alive that can breathe," but then there's the "take everyone else you haven't slaughtered, take them captive, and enslave them," and the "But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shall you take to yourself; and you shall eat the spoil of your enemies, which the LORD your God has given you." (< literal quote of Deuteronomy 20:14). In other verses too, there's the "Kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves." (< literal quote of Numbers 31: 17-18). These genocides seem to contain that element of benefit, of reward, of conquest, and, well, of thievery, quite frankly. If the inhabitants' morality is present in God's decision to mercilessly slaughter those nations, it takes a backseat to those rationales.

"The Flood wasn't genocide, it was omnicide. Everyone was killed equally. The reason: they were all doing incredibly immoral practices. God knows more than anyone (including themselves) what they have done and what they deserve."

- A truly powerful, loving God should want to and should be able to eradicate evil in a manner which does not involve eradicating mankind, and more importantly, every other living being on earth, including - all (most, really) of the air breathing land animals and every single one of the world's babies, infants and toddlers as well. The animals and babies, infants, and toddlers were not all doing incredibly immoral practices.

"God would know better than you who was enemies and what was deserved."

- Then I'll clarify what I meant - "their enemies, who in reality according to the information that the Bible has provided have done no actions to warrant being called enemies." But that wasn't my point. My point was that God's true nature and the real behavior he displays is so obvious, yet the vast majority of people remain blind to it. One can attempt at explaining how some of the actions that God's critics deem immoral are in reality not so, but the simple truth is that most people haven't even gotten around to being aware of those actions in the first place. If every single person was simply aware of them, many people's views would change instantaneously. Alas, I digress, and what I was saying in that paragraph was admittedly a tangent. So for that I apologize. Moving on -

- Okay, the Dawkins comment. As I said at the beginning I would return to, you keep falling back on the fact that God cannot have any of these negative traits because he is God, and he is the one that gets to define what is negative and what is positive, therefore he is positive. It's the classic "objective morality" argument - God decides what is "just" and "unjust" because he is the sole proprietor of morality. But if this true, he is necessarily a hypocrite as well - telling the Israelities to leave nothing alive the breathes, slaughter every little thing they can possibly slaughter, killing all the firstborn sons of Egypt, sending two bears to tear forty two children to shreds for calling Elisha a baldhead, commanding the Israelities to kill girls who are not virgins when they marry [5], commanding the Israelities to put disobedient teenagers to death [6], commanding the Israelites to burn prostitutes whose fathers are priests to death [7], permitting human sacrifice, and allowing captives of war to be tossed off cliffs [8], killing 185,000 Assyrian soldiers in their sleep [9] - YET telling the Israelites "you shall not murder." God, Yahweh, Jehovah, or whatever you call him does not even follow his own "objective morality."

- In addition to the aforementioned heinous acts of God, - God sets a plague upon the Israelites and kills 24,000 because some of them were having sex with Ba'al worshipers. [1] God kills seventy thousand innocent Israelites for David's sin. [2] God kills a man who tried to keep the ark of the Lord from falling during transport. [3] God kills a man (in truth, he actually sent a lion to do the job) for not smiting a prophet. [4] Just some additional perspective on God's character.

"And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth..." - Exodus 34:6

Seem a little out of place? I should hope so. In light of all the acts of God that I have discussed, I do not understand how it could not seem out of place. If one was forced to list characteristics of God that can be learned out from the actions I have provided, assuming one does not have a totally warped conception of morality and is not mentally insane, the characteristics should not include "merciful" or "gracious" or "slow to anger" or even "good." I believe I am justified in saying that the verse does not accurately describe God based on the "picture that has been painted" before and after the verse in the entire Old Testament. In fact, I am convinced that one would literally have to rewrite the Bible in order to reconcile God's personality and the behavior he exhibits with Exodus 34:6, and just because the author of the Old Testament is the author of the Old Testament does not make it a fitting description of the character he put forth. If in the middle of the Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling decided to write "Harry Potter is a middle aged, blonde haired, blue eyed, overweight American housewife," would that make it true based on the descriptions she provided previously and the descriptions she would go on to provide?

If God is anything, he is definitely not merciful, gracious, longsuffering, abundant in goodness, etc.

[1] Numbers 25: 1-9
[2] Samuel 2 24: 10-15
[3] Samuel 2 6: 3-7
[4] Kings 1 20: 35-36
[5] Deuteronomy 22:13-21
[6] Deuteronomy 21:18-21
[7] Leviticus 21:9
Valtarov

Pro

Valtarov forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by jat93 6 years ago
jat93
@geolaureate8 and justcallmetarzan - admittedly, i've always hated that train of thought. though it might be out of context, here's the last sentence of the debate - If in the middle of the Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling decided to write "Harry Potter is a middle aged, blonde haired, blue eyed, overweight American housewife," would that make it true based on the descriptions she provided previously and the descriptions she would go on to provide?
Posted by dmarais 6 years ago
dmarais
Unlikely has been going around posting the same comment over and over again. i would love to see someone challenge him to a debate. or better him challenge someone, instead of just being obnoxious
Posted by GeoLaureate8 6 years ago
GeoLaureate8
Con could've won if he didnt use a statement in the Bible as his standard.
Posted by Valtarov 6 years ago
Valtarov
@unlikely

I'm neither a religious nutjob nor am I ignorant. I bet I'm more well-read than you.
Posted by unlikely 6 years ago
unlikely
astonishing how many religious nutjobs on this site...whether its thor or mithras you believe in....you need to read more.....
Posted by RationalTheism 6 years ago
RationalTheism
Aw man, I was just about to say that I was able to accept this. :(
Posted by JustCallMeTarzan 6 years ago
JustCallMeTarzan
Fail... the Bible is the only source of the attributes of God. If Con wants to use Bible verses with any legitimacy, then Pro's sources are equally as valid. So unless Con makes an entirely logic-based refutation of the position, Pro wins with two sentences.
Posted by RoyLatham 6 years ago
RoyLatham
Note that the Exodus description appears to contradict the "omnsicient, omnipotent, and good" (O^3) description. A God that is "omnipotent and good" would seemingly not be "long suffering," because "long suffering" implies being forced to put up with something -- like endless debates on religion. I think that the resolution claim would be the debate topic rather than the O^3 claim.
Posted by Strikeeagle84015 6 years ago
Strikeeagle84015
Hmm should I take this?
Posted by RationalTheism 6 years ago
RationalTheism
Change of plans: I might not be able to take this. I have too many activities taking place at this moment.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by InquireTruth 6 years ago
InquireTruth
jat93ValtarovTied
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Vote Placed by rougeagent21 6 years ago
rougeagent21
jat93ValtarovTied
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