The Instigator
Zephani0852
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
TBR
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Witchcraft is not a beneficial religion

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Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 3/14/2015 Category: Religion
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 689 times Debate No: 71695
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (0)

 

Zephani0852

Pro

Witchcraft is not a beneficial religion.
TBR

Con

I accept.

Pro, please make your case.
Debate Round No. 1
Zephani0852

Pro

Witchcraft is not a beneficial religion. If we look at Deuteronomy 18:9-14, we see that God didn"t want the Israelites practicing what the previous nations of Palestine did. The passage in Deuteronomy reads, "When you come into the land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out from before you. You shall be blameless before the Lord your God. For these nations which you will dispossess listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the Lord your God has not appointed such for you." Not only did God root out the previous inhabitants of Palestine before the Israelites, He made very clear instructions that Israel was not to practice such things.
If we skip ahead into the future with Israel"s 1st human king, Saul (having rejected the Lord as their king"1 Samuel 8:7), we see the result of such practices. Saul had originally banished all people that had practiced witchcraft in the land, but in his most desperate hour, he turns to a witch to bring up the now deceased, previous prophet Samuel for instructions as to what he should do. Samuel tells him that Saul will die according to a previous prophecy that Samuel had made. The story is found in 1 Samuel 28 and the results of that action in 1 Samuel 31. In 1 Chronicles 10:13-4, we find the purpose that Saul had died""So Saul died for his unfaithfulness which he had committed against the Lord, because he did not keep the word of the Lord, and also because he consulted a medium for guidance. But he did not inquire of the Lord; therefore He killed him, and turned the kingdom over to David the son of Jesse."
Based on the Lord"s first warning and the end result with Saul, I conclude that witchcraft is not a beneficial religion, especially since 1 Corinthians 10:11 says, "Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come." (This particular passage is speaking about the nation Israel during its time wandering in the wilderness for their sins against God, yet it applies to Bible as a whole. Another passage in 2 Timothy 3:14-7 states, "But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.") God cannot lie (Titus 1:2), therefore I conclude that if God cannot lie, then the Scriptures (written through inspiration of God) cannot lie also. Therefore I conclude that what the Bible says about witchcraft and the consequences of consulting it cannot be false.
TBR

Con

Since we have yet to have a definition stated for "beneficial" we should get that right out of the way.

beneficial[1]
adjective
favorable or advantageous; resulting in good.
synonyms: advantageous, favorable, helpful, useful, of use, of benefit, of assistance, valuable, of value, profitable, rewarding, gainful
"ladybugs and other species beneficial to the garden"

A couple other definitions that should be made clear at this point are the definition of "Witchcraft" and its most closely associated religion "Wicca" and "Paganism".


witchcraft[2]
noun
the practice of magic, especially black magic; the use of spells and the invocation of spirits.
synonyms: sorcery, black magic, white magic, magic, witching, witchery, wizardry; spells, incantations; Wicca; rarethaumaturgy
Wicca[3]
noun
the religious cult of modern witchcraft, especially an initiatory tradition founded in England in the mid 20th century and claiming its origins in pre-Christian pagan religions.
paganism[4]
noun
the state of being pagan
a religion that has many gods or goddesses, considers the earth holy, and does not have a central authority

Since I have no believe in the supernatural, or spiritual world, I will for some parts of this debate suspend my disbelief of both the literal bibles as well as the world of magic. For the sake of the debate, both are equally plausible.

What pro begins the debate with is what the bible says about the wishes of God. It is clear through pros cited verses that the God, as understood in Christian religion, does not want people preforming witchcraft.

"...There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord,..."

So, there is little denying that the God of the Bible would like people to not preform witchcraft. That, however, is not no way affirming the resolution, "Witchcraft is not a beneficial religion", only that God may not like it very much.

"Saul had originally banished all people that had practiced witchcraft in the land, but in his most desperate hour, he turns to a witch to bring up the now deceased, previous prophet Samuel for instructions as to what he should do. Samuel tells him that Saul will die according to a previous prophecy that Samuel had made."

In this case, Saul had a need, and the need was satisfied through the use of witchcraft. He was punished for using witchcraft later, but the benefit was realized before the punishment, and the benefit cannot be denied because of the later hostility displayed by the Lord.

It would seem I have shown benefit (or pro actually showed the benefit) of witchcraft, I should at least provide one example of Wicca or paganism being beneficial. Christmas!

I choose a religious site for this information to dismiss potential biases.

"It is beyond doubt that Christmas was originally a pagan festival. The time of the year and the ceremonies with which it is still celebrated, prove its origin."[5]

There are plenty of soft and hard benefits of Christmas, I only will point to one. Economic. "In the United States, it has been calculated that a quarter of all personal spending takes place during the Christmas/holiday shopping season."[6]

It seems clear from the Bible that witchcraft has benefits. It is clear from Christmas that paganism has benefit.

Back to pro.



References
[1] http://tinyurl.com...
[2] http://tinyurl.com...
[3] http://tinyurl.com...
[4] http://tinyurl.com...
[5] http://www.goodnewsaboutgod.com...
[6] http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 2
Zephani0852

Pro

First off, I wanted to thank my opponent for defining the terms. Since I didn't define them, now there can be no reason for someone not to understand.
Second, I wanted to clarify what I meant by the term "Witchcraft." I meant it as a broad overarching term--anyone who practices magic. Since that is the case, I will not divulge in the Red Herring that my opponent has given me--namely Wicca and Paganism. I am happy to debate what has been brought up in another debate.
Thirdly, I want to thank my opponent for suspending disbelief about the topics given. It is not an easy thing to debate on something that you do not believe in.
Fourthly, it was not my intention to show that witchcraft in any of its various forms to be beneficial. Since that was what my opponent interpreted the evidence as me meaning that, let me further explain. Witchcraft (outside of being forbidden by God) is not profitable in any of its various forms. Isaiah 8:19 says, "And when they say to you, "Seek those who are mediums and wizards, who whisper and mutter, should not a people seek their God? Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living?" Yet this is exactly what Saul did. If we say that he received a benefit from working with a witch to bring up the dead, we overlook the fact that he died for his actions--and who wants to live in immature life? Who wants to die before their time? Not me. The fact that Saul died almost immediately after he committed this error prevents me from saying that he received a benefit. A scrap of information for a life? No thank you. God even says in Ezekiel 33:11, "Say to them: As I live, says the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?" If Saul at any point had decided to go back to God and ask for direction from Him, God would not have killed him, but let him live. Saul choose to die when he knew beforehand that God despises those who practice witchcraft. When I say "despises," let me explain.
All wisdom comes from God. James 1:5 is very clear when it says, "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him." So all Saul had to do was ask wisdom from God and God would have given it to him. Notice the verse says, "liberally and without reproach". God does not condemn us for asking Him for wisdom. He knows that we are finite and cannot fully grasp all what we are supposed to do when. It appears to me that from that verse God invites us to ask for wisdom from Him, not condemns. So why not ask God for wisdom? Saul clearly thought he knew better than God so he asked a witch to bring up someone who was already dead. Where is the wisdom in that? Luke 20:38 states God "...is not the God of the dead but of the living, for all live to Him." Wouldn't it have been better if Saul had been left alive with a testimony about all God had done? To live is much better than to die.
Another thing I want to point out is that God's "thoughts are not (our) thoughts, nor are (our) ways (His) ways...For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are (His) ways higher than (our) ways, and (His) thoughts than (our) thoughts" (Isaiah 55:8-9). We do not know what God plans to do in any given circumstance. When He acts in one way delivering us, He may not do the same thing in another circumstance. I say this because when you look throughout the Bible in how God acts, He never acts in the same way twice. If you look at when the Israelites were in Egypt and they cried out to God for deliverance from the forced and hard labor of the Egyptians, God delivered them by sending plagues on Egypt that afflicted the lowest to the highest of them. During the beginning of the plagues, the Egyptians had magicians that imitated the same things (ie: turning a river to blood and bringing up frogs to cover the whole land). But when God sent lice, the magicians could not imitate it. It was then that the magicians said, "This is the finger of God" (Exodus 7:19). Pharaoh of course didn't hear because God had hardened his heart that He might multiply his wonders in the land of Egypt (Exodus 7:1-5). When God sent flies, inflicted their livestock with diseases, and sent boils on man and beast, the magicians couldn't replicate them. It says in Exodus 7:11 that "...the magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils, for the boils were on the magicians and on all the Egyptians." The Lord then sent thunder, hail, and fire from heaven; He sent locusts and thick darkness over the whole land. He also killed the firstborn of Egypt and finally Pharaoh let the Israelites go. If the Egyptians' magic was so powerful and beneficial, at any time it should have been able to keep any of these plagues from happening to Egypt. Rather it was the magicians that recognized that God was more powerful then their own magic. Granted, this was years before King Saul was born, but it is still a testimony to the power of God. Technically, this story should have been one that Saul knew beforehand (being of one of the tribes of Israel).
Another testimony to the power of God is found in the story of Daniel 1. Fast forward several years into the future. Judah is given into the hand of King Nebuchadnezzar and taken into captivity. Whilst in captivity, the king asks that some men of "the children of Israel and some of the king's descendants and some of the nobles (be brought), young men in whom there was no blemish, but good-looking, gifted in all wisdom, possessing knowledge and quick to understand, who had ability to serve in the king's palace, and whom they might teach the language and literature of the Chaldeans" (Daniel 1:3-4). The king gives them a daily portion of his delicacies, but Daniel and his friends purpose that they will not be defiled with the king's food. So they are tested 10 days with vegetables and in the end they are healthier than all the king's men. Because they decided to keep to God's laws concerning what foods they could or could not eat, God honored Daniel and his friends by giving them "knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams" (Daniel 1:17). Daniel 1:18-20 states "when the king had said that they should be brought in, the chief of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. Then the king interviewed them, and among them all none was found like Daniel, (and his friends); therefore they served before the king. And in all matters of wisdom and understanding about which the king examined them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who were in all his realm." Wisdom from God far surpasses anything we could gather from any other source. Notice that the king finds these men from the kingdom of Judah 10x better than anyone else who claims similar wisdom. That's saying something!
Therefore if God's wisdom and power are so much better than anything (or anyone else's), then why do we settle for the inferior that gives us so much disfavor from God? Does it make sense to you when I say, "God despises witchcraft" because it is so inferior to His own power and might? Wouldn't it be easier to just ask God for wisdom, the God of all living things?
TBR

Con

“First off, I wanted to thank my opponent for defining the terms. Since I didn't define them, now there can be no reason for someone not to understand.”

You’re welcome

Second, I wanted to clarify what I meant by the term "Witchcraft." I meant it as a broad overarching term--anyone who practices magic. Since that is the case, I will not divulge in the Red Herring that my opponent has given me--namely Wicca and Paganism. I am happy to debate what has been brought up in another debate.

Well, the debate was about a “religion” of witchcraft. Wicca fit the question. Calling it a “red herring” seems unnecessarily argumentative. However, I have generally stuck to pros redefined debate of “anyone who practices magic” rather than a “religion”.


“Fourthly, it was not my intention to show that witchcraft in any of its various forms to be beneficial.”

That was the debate question. It was my job to show benefit of witchcraft, which I have.


Since that was what my opponent interpreted the evidence as me meaning that, let me further explain. Witchcraft (outside of being forbidden by God) is not profitable in any of its various forms.

Well, that’s just silly. If I am to presume that witchcraft is possible, it would be folly for me to ignore the potential profitability. Paying for services of a witch are not hard to find (card reading for one), and surely a competent witch could conjure what he or she needed. Profitability seems a solid benefit of witchcraft.

God even says in Ezekiel 33:11, "Say to them: As I live, says the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?" If Saul at any point had decided to go back to God and ask for direction from Him, God would not have killed him, but let him live.

Since it was God who killed Saul, blaming God’s hostility on witchcraft is a little blaming the victim.

Saul choose to die when he knew beforehand that God despises those who practice witchcraft. When I say "despises," let me explain. All ...[cut to save space] " Wouldn't it have been better if Saul had been left alive with a testimony about all God had done? To live is much better than to die.

Nowhere does this say God informed anyone the punishment would be death. Again, God behaving jealously, or simply hostile is not a good case for witchcraft having no benefit.


Another thing I want to point out is that God's "thoughts are not (our) thoughts, nor are (our) ways (His) ways...For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are (His) ways higher than (our) ways, and (His) thoughts than (our) thoughts" (Isaiah 55:8-9). We do not know what God plans to do in any given circumstance. When He acts in one way delivering us, He may not do the same thing in another circumstance. I say this because when you look throughout the Bible in how God acts, He never acts in the same way twice.

The fickle God is… well… Just awful for this argument. So, we are to believe what God said and did regarding witchcraft before, or just assume that he will “never act the same way twice”?


If you look at when the Israelites were in Egypt and they cried out to God for deliverance from the forced and hard labor of the Egyptians, God delivered them by sending plagues on Egypt that afflicted the lowest to the highest of them. During the beginning of the plagues, the Egyptians had magicians that imitated the same things (ie: turning a river to blood and bringing up frogs to cover the whole land). But when God sent lice, the magicians could not imitate it. It was then that the magicians said, "This is the finger of God" (Exodus 7:19). Pharaoh of course didn't hear because God had hardened his heart that He might multiply his wonders in the land of Egypt (Exodus 7:1-5). When God sent flies, inflicted their livestock with diseases, and sent boils on man and beast, the magicians couldn't replicate them. It says in Exodus 7:11 that "...the magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils, for the boils were on the magicians and on all the Egyptians." The Lord then sent thunder, hail, and fire from heaven; He sent locusts and thick darkness over the whole land. He also killed the firstborn of Egypt and finally Pharaoh let the Israelites go. If the Egyptians' magic was so powerful and beneficial, at any time it should have been able to keep any of these plagues from happening to Egypt. Rather it was the magicians that recognized that God was more powerful then their own magic.

So God is more powerful, and it should be noted, more awful, then the other witches. What of it? Again, this does nothing to prove the resolution.


Another testimony to the power of God is found in the story of Daniel 1. Fast forward several years into the future. Judah is given into the hand of King Nebuchadnezzar and taken into captivity. Whilst in captivity, the king asks that some men of "the children of Israel and some of the king's descendants and some of the nobles (be brought), young men in whom there was no blemish, but good-looking, gifted in all wisdom, possessing knowledge and quick to understand, who had ability to serve in the king's palace, and whom they might teach the language and literature of the Chaldeans" (Daniel 1:3-4). The king gives them a daily portion of his delicacies, but Daniel and his friends purpose that they will not be defiled with the king's food. So they are tested 10 days with vegetables and in the end they are healthier than all the king's men. Because they decided to keep to God's laws concerning what foods they could or could not eat, God honored Daniel and his friends by giving them "knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams" (Daniel 1:17). Daniel 1:18-20 states "when the king had said that they should be brought in, the chief of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. Then the king interviewed them, and among them all none was found like Daniel, (and his friends); therefore they served before the king. And in all matters of wisdom and understanding about which the king examined them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who were in all his realm." Wisdom from God far surpasses anything we could gather from any other source. Notice that the king finds these men from the kingdom of Judah 10x better than anyone else who claims similar wisdom. That's saying something!

This is a matter of relative powers again. It, well, it proves the debate question for con. Witchcraft has benefit, just not potentially as good as Gods. Back in the case of Saul, God was not responding, there are many that have angered God, and he will not respond. The best benefit they may receive might be from a witch, who pro again has proven have benefit.


Therefore if God's wisdom and power are so much better than anything (or anyone else's), then why do we settle for the inferior that gives us so much disfavor from God? Does it make sense to you when I say, "God despises witchcraft" because it is so inferior to His own power and might? Wouldn't it be easier to just ask God for wisdom, the God of all living things?

God is, by your account, hostile and fickle. If he chooses to not allow me access to his brand of magic, the best alternative may be witchcraft.

Pro has not proven “Witchcraft is not a beneficial religion”. Pro has only shown that it is the opposite. Additionally. I have provided at least two benefits of witchcraft. The resolution is defeated. Witchcraft IS a beneficial religion. Vote con.

Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Berend 1 year ago
Berend
It's not even satanic nor a religion. IF it is considered one, it is as beneficial as any other. Though not as good as Jediism, that beats all religions.
Posted by Zephani0852 1 year ago
Zephani0852
I agree that it is Satanic, but it's also considered a religion for some people.
Posted by Joyal 1 year ago
Joyal
I don't even consider witchcraft a religion, its just power given from Satan to turn people away from God.
No votes have been placed for this debate.