The Instigator
Con (against)
The Contender
Pro (for)

Was the Creation Story Written to be Understood Literally?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/8/2016 Category: Religion
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 304 times Debate No: 97823
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (3)
Votes (0)




Rules, (or Subject to Moderator Reset):

1. Scope: Debate does not extend to whether the Creation story is actually accurate, but rather : if the underling text exhibits evidences that the author intended the narrative to be understood literally, or metaphorically.
2. Well-Informed, Substantiated Arguments : Applying proper hermeneutics based on Christian or Jewish Biblical texts; (No arguments from various traditions/doctrines).
3. Numbered Arguments: For reference. (e.g., R1.C.1 = Round 1, Con, Argument 1; etc).
4. Burden of Proof : Pro - to point out evidences indicating the passage was presented literally. Con - to point out evidences indicating the passage was presented metaphorically.

Round 1 - Con Argument :

R1.Con.1 : Every literal definition of a "24 hour Day" is understood to involve the Earth's rotation relative to the "Sun" - which the narrative says wasn't even placed and used as a sign to delineate days until the "Fourth Day", (Gen 1:19).
R1.Con.2 : It is unreasonable to assert that the author began with a metaphorical understanding of "Day" - and then "equivocated" to a literal understanding - in the middle of the narrative, without informing the reader. The author does not ever seem to do this elsewhere, in any other context. So, it is highly improbable that they are doing so here.
R1.Con.3 :
The author intended the Creation story to be a summation, and not exhaustive - evidenced by many significant omissions that they were aware of, (like angels, fire, lightning, rain, specific seasons, abstractions such as wisdom, truth, goodness, evil, math, etc).
R1.Con.4 : There is no "literal" definition of "Day" in Scripture - that is composed of 24 hours.


First off I would like to say that I thank the Con for starting this topic as it is an interesting one.

Clarification: The Bible is written by God (not necessarily directly)

My Points:
Pro 1: God wrote the bible to interpreted by man. This means that God would us to understand it as we read it, not to have the word "day" mean some other abstract timeframe. If God wanted man to know how the universe was created by Him, then He would say the timeframe, and if He didn't, then He wouldn't have written the Torah/New Testament to begin with.
Pro 2: God is all powerful, so He could have very well created the universe in 7 days.

Con 1: that He placed the sun, so therefore he could have placed it so one rotation of the Earth created 24 hours in a day.
Con 2: Did God start with a metaphorical "day" term, because that is an entire debate in of itself
Con 3: I am confused by this argument, please clarify what you mean by this.
Con 4: Refuted by Pro 1

Thank you again for starting this debate.
Debate Round No. 1


@Pro.R1.1: "Did God start with a metaphorical "day" term, because that is an entire debate in of itself."

Given the fact that a "Day" couldn't even be determined until the "Fourth Day" - yes - I am asserting that it was intended to be understood metaphorically, from the very beginning.

And, since the first four days can't possibly be literal, because injecting a "24 hour day" would be an anachronism, and because there is no precedent of this or any other Biblical writer switching from a metaphorical sense to a literal sense - in the middle of a context - then days 5, 6, and 7, must also be understood metaphorically.

Con.R2.2 : Burden of Proof

Con's Burden of Proof : I am suggesting that the author's clear intent was for the passage to be understood metaphorically - from the very beginning, given that they were certainly not using a literal 24 hour - Sun-Centric reckoning of a "Day".

Pros Burden of Proof :

But, I am hoping for an argument to show that the Author intended for this narrative to be understood literally.

And also, I am hoping that this argument be refuted.

Con.R2.3 -
I suggest that because the "Sun" wasn't even set as a "sign" for days - until the 4th day - then the very first mention of Day must have been metaphorical.
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Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
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Debate Round No. 5
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Jnaejnae 1 year ago
Well a long time ago it was taken literally by essentially all Christians until it was proven wrong. It was most likely written literally, until people realized how stupid it is literally. If I were god and I knew there would be confusion, I could have just put a clear note that everything I wrote is a literal retelling of events. So if got meant it not to be taken literally, he certainly failed for quite a while.
Posted by toocoolblue 1 year ago
Perhaps the greatest fault in Atheism, is to assume that limits placed on humanity are also placed on God.

What does it mean when Atheism's loudest spokesman says the EARTH IS THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE?
Lawrence Krauss is a Prof. of Theoretical Physics at Arizona State and he states -
That's crazy. We're looking out at the whole universe. There's no way there should be a correlation of structure with our motion of the earth around the sun " the plane of the earth around the sun " the ecliptic. That would say we are truly the center of the universe.

What does it mean when 3 different satellites confirm the finding?

Cambridge astrophysicist George Efstathiou, director of the Planck Satellite says -
"Why characteristics of the CMB should relate to our solar system is not understood. ... I was explicitly told not to say anything about God in this talk " which I've just violated," Efstathiou said half-jokingly.

This link explains it more...
Dragan Huterer is theoretical cosmologist, and professor of Physics at the University of Michigan.
Posted by HeyTheist 1 year ago
While I think I would enjoy this debate, I cannot join in because the side I would represent is already taken. Good luck whith whomever decides to take up metaphorical arms against you.
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