The Instigator
Bible13
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Romanii
Con (against)
Winning
18 Points

What is the true faith? I am a Jehovah's Witness

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Romanii
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/5/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 964 times Debate No: 56122
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (6)
Votes (3)

 

Bible13

Pro

I am a Jehovah's Witness, and very satisfied with my faith. I believe the true faith should be genuine, based on facts, and able to stand to scrutiny. I'd gladly have a pleasant and non offensive debate about what is the truth with anyone of any other faith. For the introduction I expect to see the answer to the following questions:

1) What is your faith?
2) Has that always been your faith?
3) Why do you believe it to be the truth?
Romanii

Con

Thanks to my opponent for instigating this debate.
Looks like it should be an interesting discussion...


1. What is your faith?

I believe in religious pluralism. Religious Pluralism maintains that a divine reality (i.e. God, afterlife, etc.) exists and that humans can come into contact with it. However, it also maintains that all religions are valid interpretations of that one divine reality; that religions represent humanity's attempts at understanding that divine reality based on encounters in it. This naturally entails that no one belief system holds exclusive claims to the truth.


2. Has that always been your faith?


More or less. I'm "officially" a follower of Sikhism, and religious pluralism is one of its doctrines... though it is only recently that I've started to actually identify myself as a pluralist.


3. Why do you believe it to be the truth?


I have found it to be the most realistic theistic world view, being consistent with all the evidence available to human beings, be it theological, historical, scientific, or societal. I can go more in depth into this if needed, but seeing that this round was only meant to be an introduction, I will leave it at that, for now.


I look forward to my opponent's responses...

Debate Round No. 1
Bible13

Pro

1. What is your faith?

I am a Jehovah's Witness. Jehovah's Witnesses are the worldwide Christian society of people who actively bear witness regarding Jehovah God and his purposes affecting mankind. They base their beliefs ONLY on the Bible.

2. Has that always been your faith?

I was born in a Jehovah's Witness family. My dad, on the other hand, was born in an atheist place in Cuba. He didn't deny a God, but he didn't know anything about him or if he cared about us.

3. Why do you believe it to be the truth?

My dad found a Bible on his university bed, read it, and shortly after was visited by Jehovah's Witnesses. We both came to the same conclusion after studying it. There is no other book as extraordinary as the Bible, and Jehovah's Witnesses have the truth found in the Bible.

Interesting, so you see religions as roads converging to the same point. I see two roads; a narrow road and a broad road, a road that leads to life and a road that leads to destruction. And the Bible is the map that helps us find the right path. What I think we both agree on is that there can only be one truth. Either God is real or he isn't, either God is a trinity and tortures people in hell or he isn't a trinity, but a loving father that would not do such a thing. AND, of course, either all roads converge to the same point or only the narrow road leads to life, and few find it.

As I previously said, I believe faith should be genuine, based on facts, and able to stand to scrutiny. This can not be said of the religions who will blindly believe in one or many Gods but not be able to explain why, or of those whose explanation is: "that's what I was born believing" or "that's what my parents believe".

There's also the religions that have their own holy book. Many books claim to be from God, but they can not agree in many essential things. and I believe that if it is going to make the claim, it should demonstrate it. I believe there is no book as extraordinary as the Bible, and I will explain why with detail.

But first I look forward to my opponent's response. :)
Romanii

Con

Thanks to Pro for his response.
I will be using this round to both defend Religious Pluralism from his objections and make my own objections to his faith.


Starting with objections, I only have one to make...

The central premise of Pro's entire faith seems to be that the Bible is God's Word. However, examining the contents of Bible and the history of its composition, there is no evidence to suggest that it is divinely inspired.
Looking at it from the pragmatic pluralist perspective, we see a view of the Bible that is much more consistent with internal and external evidence: it's is a collection of over 60 books, written by a variety of authors over the course of almost 2000 years of Hebrews history, ranging in content from ancient mythology to tribal folklore to actual historical record to early Christian propaganda. There is nothing even remotely divine about it.
Now, this is not to say that we must dismiss the Bible completely; the Bible does have some valuable teachings in it, but based on how it was written, and coupled with its numerous factual errors and internal contradictions, there is a very good chance that it is a man-made artifact, reflecting the cultural norms of the time and serving other materialistic purposes rather than being the "word of God".
The only evidence that Pro has provided to the contrary of this analysis is a personal anecdote about two people having similar interpretations of the Bible... this does not prove that the Bible is God's Word... it simply proves that the Bible has a consistent theme throughout it, which isn't all that extraordinary considering that all the books in it came from the same Judaic culture.
Pro must provide much more convincing evidence that the Bible is God's Word if we are to accept the validity of his faith.


Now onto defenses...

"What I think we both agree on is that there can only be one truth"

I do agree that ultimately there is only one objective truth regarding the divine reality.
However, where we seem to disagree is that, while Pro believes that his religion IS that objective truth, I believe that all religions are valid interpretations of that truth, each being divinely inspired at heart but each also having plenty of false, man-made components to it. These man-made components are added on as a result of religions being distinctively human reactions to the divine, as well as religions being modified by the cultures practicing them over time. These components are unnecessary and often result in meaningless doctrinal contradictions between religions.

"There's also the religions that have their own holy book. Many books claim to be from God, but they can not agree in many essential things"

First of all, let me point out that most "holy books" are not much different from the Bible. Books like the Quran and Vedas are also like the Bible, being man-made artifacts that reflect cultural norms more than they do any sort of divine will, as we can deduce from their contents and histories.
No scripture written by humans can really be considered God's Word, though many of them do have some great teachings in them, since they were written by earnest followers of God.
In Religious Pluralism, the best way to receive God's word is through direct personal contact with the divine (i.e. prayer, meditation, spiritual experiences, etc.).

As for contradicting claims, Religious Pluralism generally explains any such instance as either...

1) a result of unnecessary man-made components contradicting each other, in which case the contradiction is completely meaningless, since it has nothing to do with anything which is actually divine (e.g. rites, rituals, claims to exclusivity, etc)

or

2) different ways of looking at the same concept, in which case all that is needed to resolve the supposed "contradiction" is a reconciliation of sorts between the two differing perspectives (e.g. nature of material reality, descriptions of God, differing systems of the afterlife, etc.)

.

I have sufficiently asserted my own objections to Pro's faith as well as adequately addressed all of his objections to Pluralism.
I look forward to Pro's next response.

Debate Round No. 2
Bible13

Pro

Con seems to have some basic knowledge of the Bible, but he fails to understand what exactly makes it the divine, extraordinary word of God. So I will talk with more detail about the statements he has made and add more.

"it's is a collection of over 60 books, written by a variety of authors over the course of almost 2000 years of Hebrews history, ranging in content from ancient mythology to tribal folklore to actual historical record to early Christian propaganda."

More specifically, the Bible was written in over a 1,610 years. Its writers lived at different times and came from many walks of life. Some were farmers, fishermen, and shepherds. Others were prophets, judges, and kings. The Gospel writer Luke was a doctor. Despite the varied backgrounds of its writers, the Bible is harmonious from beginning to end. Why? Because there was only ONE author. The men were inspired by the same God. The first book of the Bible tells us how mankind’s problems began. The last book shows that the whole earth will become a paradise, or garden. All the material in the Bible covers thousands of years of history and relates in some way to the unfolding of God’s purpose. The harmony of the Bible is impressive, but that is what we would expect of a book from God. In addition, it is historically accurate, scientifically accurate and even contains information far ahead of its time.

"Pro must provide much more convincing evidence that the Bible is God's Word"

Actually, I did not provide ANY evidence for the Bible in the previous round. nor will I get into too much detail about it in this round. But I can in the next round if it interests you. I could show you some examples of its historical accuracy, information far ahead of it's time, and fulfilled prophecies, along with it's practical wisdom.

What about the Quran? Abu Bakr appointed appointed Zaid ibn Thabit to the gathering of whatever remained of the Quran, but too much was already lost at the battle of Yamama. In addition, 19 years after Muhammad’s death, Uthman ordered the original Quran to be burned and that every Muslim received a changed codex with many flaws, that same codex we have right now that has: missing phrases, missing verses, missing passages, and missing chapters. Even scholars carefully and personally chosen by Muhammad (four in total) believed the Quran we have today is unreliable! Why consider a book that Allah did not protect?

Concerning Hinduism, it is a religion of polytheism based on monotheism, belief in Brahman, the Supreme Being, source, or essence. It is also a religion that teaches tolerance and encourages kindness toward animals. On the other hand, some elements of Hindu teaching, such as Karma and the injustices of the caste system, together with the idolatry and the conflicts in the myths, have made some thinking people question the validity of that faith.

The central premise of Con's entire faith seems to be that it is "the most realistic theistic world view, being consistent with all evidence". I look forward to my opponent explaining why he believes it to be the most consistent view and what evidence he is referring to.

Romanii

Con

Alright! This is going to be a long argument on my part...


DEFENSES

"The central premise of Con's entire faith seems to be that it is "the most realistic theistic world view, being consistent with all evidence"."

http://www.quickmeme.com...

"I look forward to my opponent explaining why he believes it to be the most consistent view and what evidence he is referring to."

I will now provide my reasons for believing that Religious Pluralism is the most realistic theistic world view by showing its consistency with theological, sociological, historical, and scientific evidence.

C1) Theological Evidence

There are many essential similarities between the theologies of all religions, including the omnibenevolence of God, the sinful nature of human beings, and the tenets of love for the self, love for others, and love for God.
All of these ideas are present in some form or another in all major religions, and that alone is reason to believe that they are all somehow connected. Religious Pluralism explains this "connection" as all religions being interpretations of the same divine reality.

C2) Sociological Evidence

One sociological phenomenon that has been witnessed throughout all cultures and throughout all of history is that of spiritual experiences. Spiritual experiences are generally defined as instances of contact with the divine reality, including things like visions, sensations, miracles, and fulfilled prayers; they have been recorded since the beginning of human history by people of all religions.
The only logical ways to interpret this is either that all such experiences are false and explained by materialistic means (i.e. atheism), or that the majority of these experiences are true and actually were caused by a single divine entity; Religious Pluralism opts for the latter (the only viable theistic option).
But if only one religion were true, then only spiritual experiences/divine interventions associated with that one religion could be true, since all other religions are false, but such an assumption is completely baseless and irrational...
Religious Pluralism is the best theistic explanation for the sociological phenomenon of spiritual experiences.

C3) Historical Evidence

According to Religious Pluralism, religions represent humanity's attempts at understanding the divine reality based on encounters with it, and looking at the historical development of religions, we see a trend that is very consistent with that pluralistic view of religion.
Animistic religions developed as humans evolved more intelligence, mainly serving to explain natural phenomena more than anything else. As human cultures grew to become more and more advanced, their religions also became more complex, turning into what we call polytheistic religions, with the personified phenomena of animism turning into human-like gods with actual personalities and mythological back stories. However, many of those religions did still recognize a supreme being of sorts, such as Brahma in Hindu mythology, Chukwu in Izbo mythology, and Ma'at in Egyptian mythology. Finally, a couple of truly monotheistic religions came about, concentrating solely on that on supreme being; they started very small and isolated but eventually split/broke off into several separate religions and spread throughout the majority of the world. It is only relatively recently (within the past 500 years) that unifying philosophies such as religious pluralism have come about through religions like Baha'ii, Sikhism, and Universalism.
Basically, when we examine the historical development of religions, we see that no one religion really seems particularly special in relation to other religions; we see that religions have been building off each other as they have become more advanced, gradually getting closer and closer to the truth as humanity progresses. This is completely consistent with the pluralistic view on religion.

C4) Scientific Evidence

By not making absolute claims about God or his creation, Religious Pluralism is completely compatible with science. Pluralism views religion/spirituality as a study of the divine and science as the study of the workings of God's creation.
Both aim to learn as much as possible about different aspects of reality. Science and Religion go hand in hand from a pluralistic perspective, which adds substantial credibility to it as a "realistic world view".



OBJECTIONS

My opponent's only justification for the Bible being God's Word is that it is "perfect" (i.e. internally consistent, factually accurate) especially given the history of its composition.
Thus, if I can show that the Bible is flawed, my opponent's entire case for the Bible's divinity falls apart.

--Scientific Inaccuracy: a literal reading of the Bible dates the Earth's age at being less than 10,000 years, which is in direct contrast to the large amount of scientific evidence (namely, measuring radioactive decay) leading us to the conclusion that the Earth is 4.54 billion years old. Thus, the Bible contains blaring factual error within it, and cannot be God's word.

--Historical Inaccuracy: the Bible tells the story of the Exodus, which should have been quite a memorable incident for the Egyptians considering all the death and damage that was supposedly involved... yet there is absolutely ZERO mention within Egyptian historical records of the biblical Exodus having happened. And the Egyptians were known for recording even their most humiliating defeats, including their conquest by the Hyksos. The fact that Exodus is never even mentioned leads us to believe that the accounts of the Exodus in the Bible are either heavily exaggerated or completely fictional. In either case, that shows that the Bible is not entirely factual, and thus cannot be God's word.

--OT vs. NT: in the Old Testament, God is a ruthless tyrant, jealously having anyone and everyone who does not follow his rules killed off, yet in the New Testament, God seems to be a completely different deity, with his followers proclaiming that he IS love. The NT God is interested in reaching out to those who don't believe in him, whereas the OT God ordered the genocide of the Canaanites for no reason other than that they happened to be living in the Israelites' "promised land"... there is an obvious cognitive dissonance between how God is portrayed in these two parts of the Bible, showing that the Bible is indeed a flawed, man-made document.

--Gospel Contradictions: there are an innumerable number of contradictions between the 4 books of the Gospels concerning various historical details, especially the sequence and locations of events. Unfortunately, there are too many for me to name them all, so I'll just provide a link with a comprehensive list of them all: http://infidels.org...
This confirms the idea that the Bible is not internally consistent, as expected of a man-made document that was put together the way it was.

My opponent spends much of his round attempting to show why the Quran and Vedas are probably not divinely inspired, and I agree with his conclusions regarding them. However, I have shown that the Bible is no different from them, being just as flawed, with no evident divine inspiration to it. Religious Pluralism maintains that no holy scripture can truly be considered the word of God, but that they are man-made writings; I have affirmed that to be true.



CONCLUSIONS

-- I have demonstrated why Religious Pluralism is the most realistic theistic world view by showing how it is consistent with all available theological, sociological, historical, and scientific evidence (thus fulfilling my BOP)

-- I have shown that the Bible is inherently flawed, confirming Religious Pluralism's conception that no man-made scriptures can truly be called the "word of God" (which undermines the central premise of my opponent's faith).


I hand the debate back over to Pro!
Debate Round No. 3
Bible13

Pro

DEFENSES

My opponent's main claim is that religious pluralism is the truth because "we see that no one religion really seems particularly special in relation to other religions". Thus if my opponent fails to show the Bible is flawed, my adversary's entire case of religious pluralism falls appart.

Scientifically Innacurate? - It is easy to come to the conclusion that the Bible teaches the Earth is about 6,000 years old if we just read the creation story in Genesis. The Bible, however, does not support such a conclusion. A careful study of the Bible text reveals no conflict with established scientific facts. For that reason, Jehovah’s Witnesses disagree with Christian Fundamentalists and many creationists.

The fact is that the Hebrew word translated “day” can mean various lengths of time, not just a 24-hour period. For example, when summarizing God’s creative work, Moses refers to all six creative days as one day (Genesis 2:4). In addition, on the first creative day, “God began calling the light Day, but the darkness he called Night.” (Genesis 1:5). Here, only a portion of a 24-hour period is defined by the term “day.” Certainly, there is no basis in Scripture for arbitrarily stating that each creative day was 24 hours long. Another example is that a regular day for Jehovah is 1,000 years according to 2 Peter 3:8. So, the creative days could have been a lot longer.

The Bible is scientifically accurate. It even contains information that was far ahead of its time. For example, the book of Leviticus contained laws for ancient Israel on quarantine and hygiene when surrounding nations knew nothing about such matters. At a time when there were wrong ideas about the shape of the earth, the Bible referred to it as a circle, or sphere. (Isaiah 40:22). The Bible accurately said that the earth ‘hangs on nothing.’ (Job 26:7).


Historically Innacurate? - "all ancient histories were written as propaganda. [...] You read in the hieroglyphs that Pharaoh X raised a great army and conquered a number of provinces, and his son Pharaoh X Jr. raised even a larger army and conquered more provinces. Then, there is a hundred year gap in the history. What happened during that 100 years? For that you have to go to the Babylonian records. That is when the Babylonians were kicking the stuffing out of the Egyptians. The Egyptians don't record that because that doesn't glorify their empire. They just leave it out. [...] Why is it that no ancient Egyptian records mention the Exodus? The answer is that the Egyptians never recorded their defeats. Therefore, since the Exodus was a massive defeat, you would not expect them to record it. So, its absence from their records is not evidence against the Exodus."

(Source:
http://ohr.edu...)

"As to absence of Egyptian monumental evidence of the Israelites’ sojourn in Egypt, this is not surprising, in view of the fact that a study of the monuments there reveals that the Egyptians did not record matters uncomplimentary to themselves. However, an even more powerful testimony than stone monumental evidence is the living monument of the observance of the Passover by the Jews, who have commemorated the Exodus in this way throughout their entire history. [...] The integrity of the writer Moses attests to the book’s authenticity. He points out with the greatest candor his own weaknesses, his hesitancy, and his mistakes, not attributing anything of the miracles, leadership, and organization to his own prowess, though he was acknowledged as great by the Egyptians and, in the main, much respected by Israel"

(Source:
http://wol.jw.org...)

The Bible is historically accurate and reliable. Its accounts are specific. They include not only the names but also the ancestry of individuals. In contrast to secular historians, who often do not mention the defeats of their own people, Bible writers were honest, even recording their own failings and those of their nation. For example, in the Bible book of Numbers the writer Moses admits his own serious error for which he was severely reproved (Numbers 20:2-12). Such honesty is rare in other historical accounts but is found in the Bible because it is a book from God.

Two of the greatest 20th-century archaeologists, William F. Albright and Nelson Glueck, both lauded the Bible (even though they were non-Christian and secular in their training and personal beliefs) as being the single most accurate source document from history. Over and over again, the Bible has been found to be accurate in its places, dates, and records of events. No other "religious" document comes even close.

The names of over 40 different kings of various countries mentioned in the Bible have all been found in contemporary documents and inscriptions outside of the Old Testament, and are always consistent with the times and places associated with them in the Bible. Nothing exists in ancient literature that has been even remotely as well-confirmed in accuracy as has the Bible.

Hebrew Scriptures (OT) and Greek Scriptures (NT): From Cruel to loving and Merciful? - ANTHROPOLOGIST George Dorsey described the God of the “Old Testament” as “a savage God.” He added: “Yahweh is [...] utterly unlovely. He is the God of plunderers, of torturers, of warriors, of conquest.” Others have reached similar conclusions regarding the God of the “Old Testament”, Yahweh, or Jehovah. Thus, some today wonder whether Jehovah was in fact a cruel God who eventually changed his character to become the loving and merciful God of the “New Testament.”

Such an idea about the God of the Bible is not new. It was first propounded by Marcion, a semi-Gnostic of the second century C.E. Marcion repudiated the God of the “Old Testament.” He considered that God to be violent and vindictive, a tyrant who offered material rewards to those worshiping him. On the other hand, Marcion described the “New Testament” God, as revealed through Jesus Christ, as a perfect God, a God of pure love and mercy, of graciousness and forgiveness.

God’s very name, Jehovah, means “He Causes to Become.” This implies that Jehovah causes himself to become the Fulfiller of all his promises. When Moses asked God his name, Jehovah elaborated on its meaning in this way: “I shall prove to be what I shall prove to be.” (Exodus 3:14) Rotherham’s translation puts it this way: “I Will Become whatsoever I please.”

So Jehovah chooses to become, or proves to be, whatever is needed to fulfill his righteous purposes and promises. An evidence of this is the fact that he bears a wide array of titles and descriptive terms: Jehovah of armies, Judge, Sovereign, Jealous, Sovereign Lord, Creator, Father, Grand Instructor, Shepherd, Hearer of prayer, Repurchaser, happy God, and many others. He has chosen to become all of these, and much more, in order to carry out his loving purposes.

Does this mean, then, that God’s personality or standards change? No. Regarding God, James 1:17 says: “With him there is not a variation of the turning of the shadow.” How could God meet the challenge of varying circumstances while remaining unchanging himself?

The example of caring parents who shift roles for the sake of their children illustrates how this is possible. In the course of a single day, a parent may be a cook, a housekeeper, an electrician, a nurse, a friend, a counselor, a teacher, a disciplinarian, and much more. The parent does not change personality when assuming these roles; he or she simply adapts to needs as they arise. The same is true of Jehovah but on a far grander scale. There is no limit to what he can cause himself to become in order to fulfill his purpose and to benefit his creatures.—Romans 11:33.

For example, Jehovah is revealed as a God of love and mercy in both the Hebrew and the Christian Greek Scriptures. The prophet Micah of the eighth century B.C.E. asked about Jehovah: “Who is a God like you, one pardoning error and passing over transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? He will certainly not hold onto his anger forever, for he is delighting in loving-kindness.” (Micah 7:18). Similarly, the apostle John wrote the famous words: “God is love.” (1 John 4:8).

On the other hand, in both parts of the Bible, Jehovah is presented as the righteous Judge of those who repeatedly, grossly, and unrepentantly violate his laws and harm others. “All the wicked ones [Jehovah] will annihilate,” said the psalmist. (Psalm 145:20). In a similar vein, John 3:36 states: “He that exercises faith in the Son has everlasting life; he that disobeys the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains upon him.”

God’s firmness for righteousness, as revealed throughout the Bible, is no less nor his love any greater than it was at the beginning of his dealings with humans in Eden. The differences in his personality seemingly demonstrated in various parts of the Bible are in reality different aspects of the same unchanging personality. These result from the differing circumstances and persons dealt with, which called for different attitudes or relationships.

Gospel Contradictions? – The character limit will not allow me to address all these “contradictions”.

Unfortunately the character limit does not allow me to address your "evidence". I'd appreciate it if you allow me to finish my arguments and
choose the New Testament "Contradictions" you want me to address (preferably no more than 10) wisely before making any rebutals. I will demonstrate these are not real contradictions and show why your evidence is not valid.

I thank you for your great response and patience. I eagerly await the New Testament "Contradictions".

Romanii

Con

First of all....

______________________________________________________________

PLAGIARISM ALERT

Pro has copied large portions of his Round 4 arguments from external sources without citing them at all:

http://wol.jw.org...=%22the bible%22

"The Bible is scientifically accurate... said that the earth 'hangs on nothing'" (Job 26:7)."

"The Bible is historically accurate and reliable... because it is a book from God."

http://wol.jw.org...

Entire section entitled "Hebrew Scriptures (OT) and Greek Scriptures (NT): From Cruel to loving and Merciful?"

.....................

I will leave it up to voter discretion to determine what this violation warrants in terms of scoring.
______________________________________________________________


Aside from that... Pro has requested that I utilize this round *only* to present some specific examples of NT contradictions...
I will be using the following source for all of them: http://infidels.org...

1. Death of Judas
In Matthew 27:5, Judas hangs himself.
In Acts 1:18, he bursts open and his insides spill out.

2. Purple Robe
In Matthew 27:28, soldiers placed the purple robe on Jesus after Pilate had Jesus scourged
b. Luke 23:11, Herod and his soldiers placed the purple robe on much earlier

3. Empty Tomb (i)
In Matthew 28:1, only Mary Magdalene and the other Mary saw the empty tomb
In Mark 16:1, it was only Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome.
In Luke 23:55, 24:1 and 24:10, it was "the women who had come with him out of Galilee."
In John 20:1-4, Mary Magdalene was the *only* one to see the empty tomb

4. Empty Tomb (ii)
In Matthew 28:8, they "ran to report it to His disciples."
In Mark 16:8, "they said nothing to anyone"
In Luke 24:9, "they reported these things to the eleven and to all the rest."
In John 20:18, Mary Magdalene announces to the disciples that she has seen the Lord.

5. Ascension
In Luke 24:51, Jesus' ascension took place in Bethany, on the same day as his resurrection.
In Acts 1:9-12, Jesus' ascension took place at Mount Olivet, forty days after his resurrection.

That is enough to prove my point...

I look forward to my opponent's final round.


Debate Round No. 4
Bible13

Pro

Bible13 forfeited this round.
Romanii

Con

== MY CASE==

Pro ignores all my arguments, instead assuming that by proving the Bible's divinity, he would refute Religious Pluralism.
This is probably true, but now all I have to do to win the debate is refute his case for the Bible's divinity.

.

== PRO'S CASE ==

Despite Pro"s plagiarism, I will still refute the arguments made for the Bible's divinity as if he actually made them...

R1) Scientific Inaccuracy

Pro dismisses my argument regarding YEC by using a different interpretation of the Bible. This is an acceptable response. However, he then goes on to try turning this point in his favor by claiming that the Bible makes scientific predictions far ahead of its time.
Let"s take a look at the examples he provided"

"He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth" (Isaiah 40:22)

"He suspends the Earth over nothing" (Job 26:7)

Neither of these verses even vaguely demonstrate that the Bible possessed any scientific knowledge ahead of its time. Calling the earth a "circle" could actually be interpreted as the Bible calling the Earth flat, and Babylonian astronomers already knew that the Earth doesn"t hang on anything (http://www.spacetoday.org...).
The Bible"s consistency with science is shaky at best, only holding up thanks to the possibility of translation errors and the arbitrary decision to take the book of Genesis metaphorically...

R2) Historical Inaccuracy

Pro"s only rebuttal to my argument regarding the complete absence of historical evidence for the Exodus is that the Egyptians didn"t record it because it was a shameful event.
Yet, I already showed that the Egyptians recorded all major and minor events, including ones that didn"t go very well for them.
Take the example of the Hyksos" conquest of Egypt, for example (http://www.ancientegyptonline.co.uk...). This event was a stain upon Egypt"s honor as an empire, yet they STILL recorded it. Take the embarrassing defeats of Ramses the Great at Kadesh (http://www.discoveringegypt.com...). Even the military defeats of greatly respected kings were recorded!
If events as major and unflattering as those were recorded by the Egyptians, how is it logical to assume that the entire Exodus just "slipped their mind"? It is much more logical to assume that the Exodus accounts were heavily exaggerated.

And as for Pro"s attempts to turn this in his favor by citing other examples of the Bible"s general consistency with history, I must point out that having a vague basis in history is not really anything special. Even the Iliad, which we commonly regard as a work of fiction, had enough of a basis in history that we were able to use it to locate the original city of Troy. The Bible getting a few external names, dates, and kingdoms correct really does not prove anything at all, other than that it is not *completely* fictional, and I never asserted that in the first place.

R3) OT God vs. NT God

Pro"s entire essay of apologetics can be boiled down to the following quote:

"God"s firmness for righteousness, as revealed throughout the Bible, is no less nor his love any greater than it was at the beginning of his dealings with humans in Eden. The differences in his personality seemingly demonstrated in various parts of the Bible are in reality different aspects of the same unchanging personality. These result from the differing circumstances and persons dealt with, which called for different attitudes or relationships."

This would seem like a valid answer upon first sight, but inspecting it more closely, it still does not make any sense. It is not realistically possible for the same God (unless he"s schizophrenic) to first order the genocide of an entire nation just for not being lucky enough to be born into his favored group, and then later claim that he loves ALL humans so much that he "sacrificed his only son" for them... there is a cognitive dissonance between these two descriptions of God, and trying to cover it up using broad generalizations like "both are different aspects of the same personality" doesn't work.
This enormous contradiction between the OT and NT is plenty to show that the Bible is flawed, being much more consistent with the Pluralistic view of it (i.e. "a man-made artifact, reflecting the cultural norms of the time")

R4) New Testament Contradictions

Pro has not responded to any of the examples of New Testament contradictions that I have provided...

.

== CONCLUSION ==

My opponent has dropped all my arguments for Religious Pluralism, and I have completely dismantled his case for the Bible's divinity by showing that it is a flawed, man-made artifact, in accordance with the pluralistic perspective.
Vote Con!
Debate Round No. 5
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Empiren 2 years ago
Empiren
This really isn't fair. The instant pro claimed the bible was "scientifically accurate" he lost.
Posted by Bible13 2 years ago
Bible13
Well, if character limit is too low I will allow you to write whatever you couldn't on a comment. Just make sure to let the audience know in round 5 if you have to do that. I will allow it.
Posted by Romanii 2 years ago
Romanii
The only problem I have with this is that in Round 5, I will hav to counter ALL your rebuttals to my pluralistic evidence and refute ALL your defenses of the Bible, which may be too much for a single round due to character limits...
Posted by Bible13 2 years ago
Bible13
Yes, choose your favorites. I know there are more than 10, but most of those are just stupidly easy to answer like the Jesus Genealogy "contradiction".
Posted by Romanii 2 years ago
Romanii
Wait, so for my round 4, you want me to just provide the 10 NT contradictions?
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by MrJosh 2 years ago
MrJosh
Bible13RomaniiTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: forfeit
Vote Placed by Cold-Mind 2 years ago
Cold-Mind
Bible13RomaniiTied
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Reasons for voting decision: As Con said in conclusion.
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
lannan13
Bible13RomaniiTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture