The Instigator
jamai
Pro (for)
Winning
4 Points
The Contender
Arcita
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

When it comes to truth, Christianity is no different from any other belief system.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/21/2009 Category: Religion
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 674 times Debate No: 9008
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (9)
Votes (1)

 

jamai

Pro

First : I am not a debater, I have never tried a formal debate ever in my life but I thought I'd make good use of some additional free time of late and try my hand at a couple of debates. I have read some of your other debates and found myself going, 'Oh they should have argued this' or 'They should have countered that with this' so naturally I am here to debate.

I like debating Christianity because it's an easy way to debate a deeper metaphysical issue: the nature of truth. To keep it simple... there are two major assertions I'll be making:

My first assertion defines the epistemological origin of Christianity:

1) That Christianity is a subjective interpretation of the bible that differs from person to person and denomination to denomination.

My second assertion defines the nature of these beliefs:

2) That all beliefs in Christianity are a matter of faith, just as other beliefs are matters of faith. That is to say that they are only subjective beliefs and they can not be known to be objectively true, only believed to be.

From this I can go many places, but for the sake of focus and simplicity I want to see if we can agree on these two points in some manner, even if the words we'd use are different. From there I will present arguments founded on these points. I don't know if debates normally work this way but it makes sense to me that before we go into specifics we find a stable starting point.
Arcita

Con

Responses to Your Points:
I would like to begin by thanking my opponent for this debate challenge.

"1) That Christianity is a subjective interpretation of the bible that differs from person to person and denomination to denomination."
I agree with assertion 1.

"2) That all beliefs in Christianity are a matter of faith, just as other beliefs are matters of faith. That is to say that they are only subjective beliefs and they can not be known to be objectively true, only believed to be."
No, I don't think every beliefs are matters of faith.

My Points:
Yes, truth. We are never certain. But sometimes we know.
I would like to argue that there are two types of belief systems - open ended system and a closed system.
An open ended system are systems of truth based on faith.
A closed system are systems of truth based on knowledge.

Closed systems are systems where you make basis of truth to create a system.
Truth is fact. Its not denied.
Example: Oompas exist. Loompas exist. Existence exists. => Oompas and Loompas both exists.

As you mentioned, Christianity is matter of faith, one chooses to accept truth by faith. That is why there are subjective interpretations.
Since Christianity is not a close ended system, it is different from other belief systems.
Christianity's faith based truth is certainly different from the Oompa Loompa system.
Debate Round No. 1
jamai

Pro

Interesting, looks like the first comment rung true - I start a debate intended to reduce gnosis to faith and I end up arguing someone else's concept of truth to the same end. Even though the details have reversed the method of debating my point is virtually the same, so I'll happily continue the debate.

I would argue that any system can be an open ended system and a closed system to any person depending on what they believe, once again, returning to faith.

Example:
I believe that Jesus walked on water and resurrected after his crucifixion because the bible says so, and I accept everything the bible says as truth.
The structure is: I believe in X and Y because I believe Z to be true.

I believe oompas and loompas exist because I believe existence exists.
The structure is: I believe in X and Y because I believe Z to be true.

You could write the statements as:

I know that the bible is truth because I believe I've experienced it, therefore all things that I believe to be sourced from the bible are true.
-and-
I know existence exists because I believe I've experienced it, therefore all things that I believe to exist must exist.

Second half of both statements:
'all things that I believe to be sourced from the bible are true'
'all things that I believe to exist must exist.'

Both beliefs are based off of a supposed truth (the bible and existence) and share the exact same relationship. The belief that I know what the bible says and that I can know that oompa/loompas exist are both subjective. They both rely on the first statement in order to be true, so they themselves are not statements that can bear any truth. They are definitely 'open', not 'closed'.

First half of both statements:

'I know that the bible is truth because I believe I've experienced it'
'I know existence exists because I believe I've experienced it'

The basis for knowing that the bible is truth is that I believe it says that it is true. So in other words, I believe it to be true because I believe it claims to be. It is me experiencing something (in this case the bible) and believing that it (and what I believe it to say) is true because I believe it has been experienced-in-itself and claims truth.
I know the bible is true because I believe it comes from an objective source different and outside of our sense-experience. Even though the bible itself can only be experienced, the source of the bible actually exists. That is where my hypothetical faith comes in, to bridge the gap between our subjective universe to the kingdom of God
that is true objectively.

My point is that no matter what words you fill into 'I know Z because I believe X to be true' you'll find it relies on exactly the same conditions that the Christian statement's conditions rely on. The faith that you know something to be true, in your case existence, that we exist in some knowable form in this universe and aren't some empty emanation without form whirling in a tempestuous vortex of images and apparent patterns is something you believe. That there exists any thing and that this thing can be known doesn't have any more proof than an objective truth from a written text. We believe oompas, dogs and ourselves exist because we believe that some things can exist. We believe in hell, evil and various commandments because we believe that some things can exist, in this case objective laws and truths from a specific higher source. I will not deny that the belief in existence is certainly more widespread than the belief in a body of sacred texts known as the bible, but regardless of the popularity of any system of belief it still relies on faith in the same manner.

These are my attempts to defend the second assertion. I guess you attempt to counter now?
Arcita

Con

Arcita forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
jamai

Pro

For reasons unknown to me my opponent has not provided an argument or made any attempt to clarify anything with me or contact me outside of the debate itself. Being a virgin to debating I don't know what this entails technically. I can't justify typing out more when my opponent has given me nothing new to debate or made any new challenges to my assertion, so I'll stick to what I had above.
Arcita

Con

Arcita forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by Arcita 7 years ago
Arcita
The broad definition that includes 2+2=4. Any system of beliefs no matter what matter of truth they believe to have. Everything is included.

Thanks. Cleared alot of things.
Posted by jamai 7 years ago
jamai
Posted by RoyLatham 57 minutes ago:
I noticed that jamai proposed the topic once before, then forfeited every round without making a case. http://www.debate.org...... Tough to win on that basis.

I left a comment below explaining that - it won't happen again.

Posted by rougeagent21 1 hour ago
I might take this if you made it three rounds. This debate does not need four.

Changed to 3.

Posted by RoyLatham 1 hour ago
The resolution would be okay if (a) you plan to stick to it, and not go on to other points about the nature of truth in general, and (b) if "belief system" is defined. Does "belief system" refer to just another faith-based religion, or is something like arithmetic claimed to be a "belief system"? In other words, is 2+2=4 claimed to be on an equal basis of subjective faith with articles of Christian faith? We have people on the site who make the latter claim.

The broad definition that includes 2+2=4. Any system of beliefs no matter what matter of truth they believe to have. Everything is included.
Posted by RoyLatham 7 years ago
RoyLatham
I noticed that jamai proposed the topic once before, then forfeited every round without making a case. http://www.debate.org... Tough to win on that basis.
Posted by rougeagent21 7 years ago
rougeagent21
I might take this if you made it three rounds. This debate does not need four.
Posted by RoyLatham 7 years ago
RoyLatham
The resolution would be okay if (a) you plan to stick to it, and not go on to other points about the nature of truth in general, and (b) if "belief system" is defined. Does "belief system" refer to just another faith-based religion, or is something like arithmetic claimed to be a "belief system"? In other words, is 2+2=4 claimed to be on an equal basis of subjective faith with articles of Christian faith? We have people on the site who make the latter claim.
Posted by jamai 7 years ago
jamai
That would be the resolution, sorry for the lack of clarity.
Posted by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
So, is the title the resolution? If not, specify exactly what the resolution is in your debate.
Posted by jamai 7 years ago
jamai
Thanks for the comment but if someone is going to debate semantics then they probably wouldn't be worth debating in the first place no matter how much I covered all the debating culture niches that no doubt exist. I started this debate a long time ago and I found a challenger (next to undefeated) who thought the resolution was fine and was fully prepared to go at it - unfortunately my life got in the way at the time. Anyhow, this resolution has been satisfactory in the past to a very seasoned debater so I'm hoping I'll get lucky and find the right person.

Thanks for the warning though... I will be prepared for the worst and at the very worst it will be a learning experience on how these debates differ from casual debates :)
Posted by feverish 7 years ago
feverish
Hi jamai and welcome to the site. You probably want to reword your resolution to be much more specific.
There are people on this site who will destroy this resolution with semantic arguments and you may not get the debate you were after.
Good luck anyway.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
jamaiArcitaTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
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Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
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Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: FF.