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Limits to debate

shakti
Posts: 40
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8/13/2009 2:37:09 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
I wonder if it is possible to debate religion without referring to "the word of god".

This seems to kill sensible debate since neither side will ever agree this point if they do not believe in the same scripture. Instead of exploring around the topic, the wider debate becomes sacrificed to an argument for/against scripture. It would be nice to see more diverse discussion upon this subject.
Rezzealaux
Posts: 2,251
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8/13/2009 3:07:34 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 8/13/2009 2:37:09 PM, shakti wrote:
I wonder if it is possible to debate religion without referring to "the word of god".

Religion is a word that refers to the aggregate of people, buildings, books, and beliefs.

People and buildings are obviously not what's up for debate.

The beliefs are based on the books.

Therefore, religious debates will always turn to being about scripture.
: If you weren't new here, you'd know not to feed me such attention. This is like an orgasm in my brain right now. *hehe, my name is in a title, hehe* (http://www.debate.org...)

Just in case I get into some BS with FREEDO again about how he's NOT a narcissist.

"The law is there to destroy evil under the constitutional government."
So... what's there to destroy evil inside of and above the constitutional government?
PervRat
Posts: 963
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8/13/2009 3:16:22 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 8/13/2009 2:37:09 PM, shakti wrote:
I wonder if it is possible to debate religion without referring to "the word of god".

This seems to kill sensible debate since neither side will ever agree this point if they do not believe in the same scripture. Instead of exploring around the topic, the wider debate becomes sacrificed to an argument for/against scripture. It would be nice to see more diverse discussion upon this subject.

Well, what are the choices? The printed word of the holy book of a religion, or the actions of those who practice that religion? If one debates against religion, are either unfair to use against religion?
shakti
Posts: 40
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8/13/2009 3:28:25 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
The point I guess I am trying to make is a rational believer might have interesting points to make. If arguments are made with only scripture for evidence, then the non-believer, or believer from another faith, would be in a position of arguing on a point which is nothing more than a fairly random quote from an old book. The problem with backing up your arguments by quoting scripture is simply that it proves nothing to someone who does not share your faith. It is perfectly sensible to construct arguments surrounding scripture if you are debating with someone who shares your faith in the scripture. However, it seems pointless outside this context.
shakti
Posts: 40
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8/13/2009 3:36:45 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 8/13/2009 3:07:34 PM, Rezzealaux wrote:
At 8/13/2009 2:37:09 PM, shakti wrote:
I wonder if it is possible to debate religion without referring to "the word of god".

Religion is a word that refers to the aggregate of people, buildings, books, and beliefs.

I notice you did not refer to the word God(s) in describing religion.

People and buildings are obviously not what's up for debate.

Why not debate people?

The beliefs are based on the books.

Not all religions have books (I am kind of answering my own question with this thought) but some are based on oral traditions. Is that all beliefs are based on? Does scripture matter since it is interpreted by people through their understanding which is likely to be flawed?

Therefore, religious debates will always turn to being about scripture.
PervRat
Posts: 963
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8/13/2009 4:12:38 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 8/13/2009 3:28:25 PM, shakti wrote:
The point I guess I am trying to make is a rational believer might have interesting points to make. If arguments are made with only scripture for evidence, then the non-believer, or believer from another faith, would be in a position of arguing on a point which is nothing more than a fairly random quote from an old book. The problem with backing up your arguments by quoting scripture is simply that it proves nothing to someone who does not share your faith. It is perfectly sensible to construct arguments surrounding scripture if you are debating with someone who shares your faith in the scripture. However, it seems pointless outside this context.

That would seem to contradict your claim that a believer could be rational, if objectivity is considered a component of rationality. By your words, someone of faith can only seem rational to someone else also of faith, and their faith could not stand up to scrutiny nor debate with someone with different beliefs.

If a religion cannot stand up for its own holy book -- its "word of god" -- nor for the actions of those who swear their faith to that particular religion, I cannot see how anyone who holds the belief could consider themselves to truly understand or respect persons outside their belief.
shakti
Posts: 40
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8/13/2009 4:36:45 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 8/13/2009 4:12:38 PM, PervRat wrote:
At 8/13/2009 3:28:25 PM, shakti wrote:
The point I guess I am trying to make is a rational believer might have interesting points to make. If arguments are made with only scripture for evidence, then the non-believer, or believer from another faith, would be in a position of arguing on a point which is nothing more than a fairly random quote from an old book. The problem with backing up your arguments by quoting scripture is simply that it proves nothing to someone who does not share your faith. It is perfectly sensible to construct arguments surrounding scripture if you are debating with someone who shares your faith in the scripture. However, it seems pointless outside this context.

That would seem to contradict your claim that a believer could be rational, if objectivity is considered a component of rationality.

It really comes down to the proposition that the holy book is indeed "god's word".
If no one is reasonably positive that the proposition is true or that it is false, then one might reasonably believe the proposition or might reasonably not believe that proposition.

By your words, someone of faith can only seem rational to someone else also of faith, and their faith could not stand up to scrutiny nor debate with someone with different beliefs.

They may appear irrational if they choose to base their arguments upon a source whose status can not be agreed upon.

If a religion cannot stand up for its own holy book -- its "word of god" -- nor for the actions of those who swear their faith to that particular religion, I cannot see how anyone who holds the belief could consider themselves to truly understand or respect persons outside their belief.

I am specifically saying it would be more productive to avoid the reference to dogma and pursue a debate concentrating on other proofs. I am just not sure if it is even possible.

However, I notice we are yet to quote any holy book as yet and here we are debating religion.
Rezzealaux
Posts: 2,251
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8/13/2009 4:47:54 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 8/13/2009 3:36:45 PM, shakti wrote:
At 8/13/2009 3:07:34 PM, Rezzealaux wrote:
Religion is a word that refers to the aggregate of people, buildings, books, and beliefs.
I notice you did not refer to the word God(s) in describing religion.
He's filed under "belief".

People and buildings are obviously not what's up for debate.
Why not debate people?
That's called ad hominem. It's a logical fallacy.

The beliefs are based on the books.
Not all religions have books (I am kind of answering my own question with this thought) but some are based on oral traditions. Is that all beliefs are based on? Does scripture matter since it is interpreted by people through their understanding which is likely to be flawed?
When I said "books", I meant those traditions as well. For most things I'm not a stickler for finding the absolute best word, you'll have to forgive me for my habits. As for whether or not these traditions and books matter, I don't think it's particularly relevant: it is part of what the word "religion" refers to. In my interpretation, anyways. And I think it's pretty accurate with what most people define religion as too. Most people would not call Christians Christians if what they believed was not from The Holy Bible.
: If you weren't new here, you'd know not to feed me such attention. This is like an orgasm in my brain right now. *hehe, my name is in a title, hehe* (http://www.debate.org...)

Just in case I get into some BS with FREEDO again about how he's NOT a narcissist.

"The law is there to destroy evil under the constitutional government."
So... what's there to destroy evil inside of and above the constitutional government?
Puck
Posts: 6,457
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8/13/2009 5:14:28 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 8/13/2009 2:37:09 PM, shakti wrote:
I wonder if it is possible to debate religion without referring to "the word of god".

This seems to kill sensible debate since neither side will ever agree this point if they do not believe in the same scripture. Instead of exploring around the topic, the wider debate becomes sacrificed to an argument for/against scripture. It would be nice to see more diverse discussion upon this subject.

It would depend entirely on the actual topic debated. A debate on ecumenical practice may well hinge on relevant verses, a debate, say, on whether the prescribed morality inherent in a specific religion is deemed of worth need not - so long as it can be described without reference to verse, which is not so hard. The issue arises where a scripture is used as a self referent for its own validity, and in these instances debate over its validity is pertinent.
shakti
Posts: 40
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8/13/2009 5:24:52 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
I do not mind filing "God" under belief.
You mention ad hominem. I must admit I have little debate experience and I am enjoying learning from you. However, it would be useful if you would explain in what way discussing religion in the context of people would be ad hominem? Is sociological or cultural debate to be considered ad hominem? I see religious discussion as encompassing these areas.

The beliefs are based on the books.
Not all religions have books (I am kind of answering my own question with this thought) but some are based on oral traditions. Is that all beliefs are based on? Does scripture matter since it is interpreted by people through their understanding which is likely to be flawed?
When I said "books", I meant those traditions as well. For most things I'm not a stickler for finding the absolute best word, you'll have to forgive me for my habits.

I also am not really a stickler either I find endless semantics a bit irritating. However, the idea that came to mind is one may be able to discuss religion which has no holy books to speak of without such problems. So I am rather grabbing at a possibility. How would one debate a religion based on oral traditions rather than the usual debates on the Abrahamic religions for example.

As for whether or not these traditions and books matter, I don't think it's particularly relevant: it is part of what the word "religion" refers to. In my interpretation, anyways. And I think it's pretty accurate with what most people define religion as too. Most people would not call Christians Christians if what they believed was not from The Holy Bible.

There are many interpretations of the bible. I think it is a part of religion and it is relevant to discuss it. But it is not the whole of religion. Take Christianity as an example: All Christians are part of organisations. These organisations have many elements which are employed in the practice of religion. If it were simply a matter of scripture one would hardly need to have councils to decide how to worship.
Rezzealaux
Posts: 2,251
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8/13/2009 6:00:38 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 8/13/2009 5:24:52 PM, shakti wrote:
I do not mind filing "God" under belief.
You mention ad hominem. I must admit I have little debate experience and I am enjoying learning from you. However, it would be useful if you would explain in what way discussing religion in the context of people would be ad hominem? Is sociological or cultural debate to be considered ad hominem? I see religious discussion as encompassing these areas.
So religion by my definition is people, buildings, books, and beliefs. When I say people, I mean the priests and the believers - not the people mentioned in the books, which would be under the books section and not the people section. So, if the people were what was up for debate, i.e. topic is "Christians" and you take either PRO or CON, you're attacking the people and not the belief. Generally speaking, when people have religious debates, they don't talk about how this minister was or wasn't in possession of CP, or was or wasn't homosexual; they debate about the beliefs.

The beliefs are based on the books.
Not all religions have books (I am kind of answering my own question with this thought) but some are based on oral traditions. Is that all beliefs are based on? Does scripture matter since it is interpreted by people through their understanding which is likely to be flawed?
When I said "books", I meant those traditions as well. For most things I'm not a stickler for finding the absolute best word, you'll have to forgive me for my habits.

I also am not really a stickler either I find endless semantics a bit irritating. However, the idea that came to mind is one may be able to discuss religion which has no holy books to speak of without such problems. So I am rather grabbing at a possibility. How would one debate a religion based on oral traditions rather than the usual debates on the Abrahamic religions for example.
I apologize, I have no experience in debating someone who is from a religion that is based on oral traditions.

As for whether or not these traditions and books matter, I don't think it's particularly relevant: it is part of what the word "religion" refers to. In my interpretation, anyways. And I think it's pretty accurate with what most people define religion as too. Most people would not call Christians Christians if what they believed was not from The Holy Bible.
There are many interpretations of the bible. I think it is a part of religion and it is relevant to discuss it. But it is not the whole of religion. Take Christianity as an example: All Christians are part of organisations. These organisations have many elements which are employed in the practice of religion. If it were simply a matter of scripture one would hardly need to have councils to decide how to worship.
I never said the book was the whole of religion. I've been saying that there are four factors. My point right there was that I consider books relevant because most people wouldn't consider Christians Christians if they did not have The Holy Bible. I argue that X is a necessary component of Y, not that X = Y.
: If you weren't new here, you'd know not to feed me such attention. This is like an orgasm in my brain right now. *hehe, my name is in a title, hehe* (http://www.debate.org...)

Just in case I get into some BS with FREEDO again about how he's NOT a narcissist.

"The law is there to destroy evil under the constitutional government."
So... what's there to destroy evil inside of and above the constitutional government?
penpal0andrew
Posts: 1
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8/13/2009 7:02:16 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Lets see if this works.

My impression so far is that this debate thing is for people who love to argue for the purpose of arguing. This gives me a headache. Also, you are going to be debating people who happen to be online.

The basic premise is wrong. People do not debate religion. What people debate are specific topics, and religion can be used in the discussion. And example would be whether abortion is murder or not. And one can quote scripture. That is fine. But you must also call on emotions. For example, a woman who wants children and cannot have them on her own, may be torn, if she also thinks women should be respected enough to make her own choices.
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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8/13/2009 7:46:51 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 8/13/2009 7:02:16 PM, penpal0andrew wrote:
Lets see if this works.

My impression so far is that this debate thing is for people who love to argue for the purpose of arguing. This gives me a headache.

Not sure what gave you that impression, but generally, people want to honestly debate, persuade others, and learn.

Also, you are going to be debating people who happen to be online.

The basic premise is wrong. People do not debate religion.

Yes, people do. It is one of the most popular topics to debate on.

What people debate are specific topics, and religion can be used in the discussion.

In most cases, religion is the topic, not a side discussion. Examples being "Does God exist," "The Bible is immoral," "Jesus does not exist," etc.

And example would be whether abortion is murder or not. And one can quote scripture. That is fine.

No, that is not fine. Anyone who uses scripture as evidence against abortion, will automatically lose the debate. Using religious beliefs to argue against abortion are invalid.

But you must also call on emotions.

No, emotions are of no significance in a debate.

.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
Rezzealaux
Posts: 2,251
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8/13/2009 8:30:19 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 8/13/2009 7:02:16 PM, penpal0andrew wrote:
Lets see if this works.

My impression so far is that this debate thing is for people who love to argue for the purpose of arguing. This gives me a headache.
Many people argue for that "reason", yes. I am not one of them, but I do debate every once in a while to keep my logic skills relatively sharp.

Also, you are going to be debating people who happen to be online.
You clearly don't know how this site works.

The basic premise is wrong. People do not debate religion.
Are you suggesting that we are not people?

What people debate are specific topics, and religion can be used in the discussion. And example would be whether abortion is murder or not. And one can quote scripture. That is fine.
Yes, people do that too.

But you must also call on emotions. For example, a woman who wants children and cannot have them on her own, may be torn, if she also thinks women should be respected enough to make her own choices.
There are certainly arguments which were conceived of originally because of some emotion, but if an argument is nothing more than emotion, then it is not an argument that is accepted by the community. This has been empirically proven.
: If you weren't new here, you'd know not to feed me such attention. This is like an orgasm in my brain right now. *hehe, my name is in a title, hehe* (http://www.debate.org...)

Just in case I get into some BS with FREEDO again about how he's NOT a narcissist.

"The law is there to destroy evil under the constitutional government."
So... what's there to destroy evil inside of and above the constitutional government?
DATCMOTO
Posts: 6,160
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8/14/2009 3:54:34 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
For the Word of God is LIVING and POWERFUL and sharper than ANY two edged sword.
Do NOT think Christ came to bring peace on Earth. He came not to bring peace BUT A SWORD: His Word.
The Cross.. the Cross.
shakti
Posts: 40
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8/14/2009 5:52:07 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 8/14/2009 3:54:34 AM, DATCMOTO wrote:
For the Word of God is LIVING and POWERFUL and sharper than ANY two edged sword.
Do NOT think Christ came to bring peace on Earth. He came not to bring peace BUT A SWORD: His Word.

Ah! A quote from scripture. I wonder how this scripture helps our discussion.
You see this is the problem I have. If I were a Hindu, Muslim, Jewish or even Atheist I would find it difficult to debate on the basis that Christ's sovereignty is taken as a given. Many people will defend and support both views. However, at this point it descends into my belief is better than your belief. And people stop looking at the basic ideas. Really our discussion is on the topic of is it possible to discuss religion without reference to scripture as evidence. DACTMO is making the point, as I notice he often does, by simply quoting scripture. This is fine if you are debating to the converted. However if you are debating with the unconverted this is a huge stumbling block. Far more useful is to draw from social anthropology and historical evidence which has verifiable sources. Even using personal experience is far more useful than quoting scripture to those yet unconverted. That is my opinion at the moment...It can change! To take an outlandish example, if I for example believed that Harry Potter was the messiah, then proceeded to interpret Harry Potter books in this way, ultimately entering debates only using quotes fro Harry Potter books as evidence, then it surely follows people would find this unacceptable. But mostly because everyone else thinks Harry Potter a work of fiction and do not believe it to be the word of God. The BoP is surely on me to therefore present evidence that it is the word of God and not merely a work of fiction.
shakti
Posts: 40
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8/14/2009 6:37:19 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 8/13/2009 5:14:28 PM, Puck wrote:
At 8/13/2009 2:37:09 PM, shakti wrote:
I wonder if it is possible to debate religion without referring to "the word of god".

This seems to kill sensible debate since neither side will ever agree this point if they do not believe in the same scripture. Instead of exploring around the topic, the wider debate becomes sacrificed to an argument for/against scripture. It would be nice to see more diverse discussion upon this subject.

It would depend entirely on the actual topic debated. A debate on ecumenical practice may well hinge on relevant verses, a debate, say, on whether the prescribed morality inherent in a specific religion is deemed of worth need not - so long as it can be described without reference to verse, which is not so hard. The issue arises where a scripture is used as a self referent for its own validity, and in these instances debate over its validity is pertinent.

This is in keeping with my own ideas on the subject.
shakti
Posts: 40
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8/14/2009 7:11:42 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
So religion by my definition is people, buildings, books, and beliefs. When I say people, I mean the priests and the believers - not the people mentioned in the books, which would be under the books section and not the people section. So, if the people were what was up for debate, i.e. topic is "Christians" and you take either PRO or CON, you're attacking the people and not the belief. Generally speaking, when people have religious debates, they don't talk about how this minister was or wasn't in possession of CP, or was or wasn't homosexual; they debate about the beliefs.

It is naive to imagine that modern religion owes nothing to its organisation. By organisation I mean those structures which control, direct and coordinate the movement and shape its ethos . If I claim I am a Christian this in itself does not refer to a singular set of beliefs and practices rather a myriad. Arguments of this nature would fall under the remit of sociology and anthropology.

>> I don't know what CP is

As for whether or not these traditions and books matter, I don't think it's particularly relevant: it is part of what the word "religion" refers to. In my interpretation, anyways. And I think it's pretty accurate with what most people define religion as too. Most people would not call Christians Christians if what they believed was not from The Holy Bible.

As I pointed out earlier there are many world religions and not all of them have holy books. Therefore it is not a X is necessary component of Y situation. Who are most people? We should be careful not to fall foul to the tyranny of the masses. Do Christians believe what is in the holy bible? A Catholic and a Jehovah Witness are both considered and consider themselves to be Christians yet they differ greatly upon many subjects. (e.g. A priest may absolve your sins if you are Catholic yet this is abhorrent to a JW) Interpretation and application is key. The very nature and scope of religious scripture are undetermined also. It is a book which is subject to literary criticism as any other.

There are many interpretations of the bible. I think it is a part of religion and it is relevant to discuss it. But it is not the whole of religion. Take Christianity as an example: All Christians are part of organisations. These organisations have many elements which are employed in the practice of religion. If it were simply a matter of scripture one would hardly need to have councils to decide how to worship.
I never said the book was the whole of religion. I've been saying that there are four factors. My point right there was that I consider books relevant because most people wouldn't consider Christians Christians if they did not have The Holy Bible. I argue that X is a necessary component of Y, not that X = Y.

The Holy Bible was only available to those outside the learned classes recently. The majority of Christians had only their priests interpretation of the book. Is this the same as having the Bible? As I said earlier X is not necessarily a component of Y since X may be absent entirely from an instance of Y.
shakti
Posts: 40
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8/14/2009 7:18:38 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 8/13/2009 7:02:16 PM, penpal0andrew wrote:
Lets see if this works.

My impression so far is that this debate thing is for people who love to argue for the purpose of arguing. This gives me a headache. Also, you are going to be debating people who happen to be online.

I am new to this debate site. I only signed up today. I am sure everyone here has their own reason for being here. For me, I simply enjoy exploring ideas and possibilities.

The basic premise is wrong. People do not debate religion. What people debate are specific topics, and religion can be used in the discussion. And example would be whether abortion is murder or not. And one can quote scripture. That is fine. But you must also call on emotions. For example, a woman who wants children and cannot have them on her own, may be torn, if she also thinks women should be respected enough to make her own choices.

We are debating religion right now. I agree with Geo it is the crux of the topic not a side issue. Although we may discuss ethics without once referring to religion. Ethics does not require religion. Question: Does religion require ethics?
PervRat
Posts: 963
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8/14/2009 8:32:24 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 8/14/2009 7:18:38 AM, shakti wrote:
We are debating religion right now. I agree with Geo it is the crux of the topic not a side issue. Although we may discuss ethics without once referring to religion. Ethics does not require religion. Question: Does religion require ethics?

I feel it important to note, before anyone answers, that "ethics" is subjective. Murder, torture and slavery can be justified under some ethical codes.
I-am-a-panda
Posts: 15,380
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8/14/2009 8:42:51 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 8/14/2009 5:52:07 AM, shakti wrote:
At 8/14/2009 3:54:34 AM, DATCMOTO wrote:
For the Word of God is LIVING and POWERFUL and sharper than ANY two edged sword.
Do NOT think Christ came to bring peace on Earth. He came not to bring peace BUT A SWORD: His Word.

Ah! A quote from scripture. I wonder how this scripture helps our discussion.
You see this is the problem I have. If I were a Hindu, Muslim, Jewish or even Atheist I would find it difficult to debate on the basis that Christ's sovereignty is taken as a given. Many people will defend and support both views. However, at this point it descends into my belief is better than your belief. And people stop looking at the basic ideas. Really our discussion is on the topic of is it possible to discuss religion without reference to scripture as evidence. DACTMO is making the point, as I notice he often does, by simply quoting scripture. This is fine if you are debating to the converted. However if you are debating with the unconverted this is a huge stumbling block. Far more useful is to draw from social anthropology and historical evidence which has verifiable sources. Even using personal experience is far more useful than quoting scripture to those yet unconverted. That is my opinion at the moment...It can change! To take an outlandish example, if I for example believed that Harry Potter was the messiah, then proceeded to interpret Harry Potter books in this way, ultimately entering debates only using quotes fro Harry Potter books as evidence, then it surely follows people would find this unacceptable. But mostly because everyone else thinks Harry Potter a work of fiction and do not believe it to be the word of God. The BoP is surely on me to therefore present evidence that it is the word of God and not merely a work of fiction.

...Shakti, heads up, Datc is a Christian troll. Try and engage only when necessary. He will not heed your arguments. Ever.
Pizza. I have enormous respect for Pizza.
shakti
Posts: 40
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8/14/2009 9:28:06 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
...Shakti, heads up, Datc is a Christian troll. Try and engage only when necessary. He will not heed your arguments. Ever.

Thanks Panda. Scripture had until this point not even entered the debate about if quoting scripture could be excluded from a religious debate. This was its first appearance and not even a helpful contribution to the discussion. It makes its own statement. I had a quiet chuckle at its inclusion in this manner.
shakti
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8/14/2009 9:31:46 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
We are debating religion right now. I agree with Geo it is the crux of the topic not a side issue. Although we may discuss ethics without once referring to religion. Ethics does not require religion. Question: Does religion require ethics?

I feel it important to note, before anyone answers, that "ethics" is subjective. Murder, torture and slavery can be justified under some ethical codes.

Agreed. Even within a single religion for example the Dutch Reform Church at one time used the bible to theologically support Apartheid in South Africa.
JustCallMeTarzan
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8/14/2009 9:47:18 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
A Cosmological, Teleological, or Ontological argument can be made for the existence of God without quoting any scripture at all.
Rezzealaux
Posts: 2,251
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8/14/2009 9:59:37 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 8/14/2009 7:11:42 AM, shakti wrote:
So religion by my definition is people, buildings, books, and beliefs. When I say people, I mean the priests and the believers - not the people mentioned in the books, which would be under the books section and not the people section. So, if the people were what was up for debate, i.e. topic is "Christians" and you take either PRO or CON, you're attacking the people and not the belief. Generally speaking, when people have religious debates, they don't talk about how this minister was or wasn't in possession of CP, or was or wasn't homosexual; they debate about the beliefs.
It is naive to imagine that modern religion owes nothing to its organisation. By organisation I mean those structures which control, direct and coordinate the movement and shape its ethos . If I claim I am a Christian this in itself does not refer to a singular set of beliefs and practices rather a myriad. Arguments of this nature would fall under the remit of sociology and anthropology.
.............................again, I never said religion has nothing to do with its organization. I'd file that under "people". I was simply saying that books and traditions are a necessary component of religion.

>> I don't know what CP is
Sorry, I can't tell you. Look it up.

As for whether or not these traditions and books matter, I don't think it's particularly relevant: it is part of what the word "religion" refers to. In my interpretation, anyways. And I think it's pretty accurate with what most people define religion as too. Most people would not call Christians Christians if what they believed was not from The Holy Bible.
As I pointed out earlier there are many world religions and not all of them have holy books. Therefore it is not a X is necessary component of Y situation.
I thought we agreed that books and traditions are the same thing.

Who are most people? We should be careful not to fall foul to the tyranny of the masses.
The masses decide the convention of language, and if you do not accept the convention of language, you will not be able to communicate. This is a simple fact.

Do Christians believe what is in the holy bible? A Catholic and a Jehovah Witness are both considered and consider themselves to be Christians yet they differ greatly upon many subjects. (e.g. A priest may absolve your sins if you are Catholic yet this is abhorrent to a JW) Interpretation and application is key. The very nature and scope of religious scripture are undetermined also. It is a book which is subject to literary criticism as any other.
Yes, but as I've said, they still need the book. That's THE ONLY thing I've been arguing, so I'd like you to get it straight. I'm not arguing religion's validity here, I'm just saying that the book or tradition is a necessary component.

There are many interpretations of the bible. I think it is a part of religion and it is relevant to discuss it. But it is not the whole of religion. Take Christianity as an example: All Christians are part of organisations. These organisations have many elements which are employed in the practice of religion. If it were simply a matter of scripture one would hardly need to have councils to decide how to worship.
I never said the book was the whole of religion. I've been saying that there are four factors. My point right there was that I consider books relevant because most people wouldn't consider Christians Christians if they did not have The Holy Bible. I argue that X is a necessary component of Y, not that X = Y.
The Holy Bible was only available to those outside the learned classes recently. The majority of Christians had only their priests interpretation of the book. Is this the same as having the Bible? As I said earlier X is not necessarily a component of Y since X may be absent entirely from an instance of Y.
This is what I was looking for. This is what I was talking about. This is on topic.

Is it the same as having the Bible? No, it isn't. Is having the Bible necessarily a component of some Christians' faith? No, it isn't. But I don't think that factors in (I'm not sure how this works, it just feels right this way, so don't expect me to come with a logical defense if you get a counterarg to this). I mean, the image of the Bible is part of what makes the religion too, right? If the book was Harry Potter, it would hardly be called Christianity, even if the priests were saying the same things.

Your original question was is it possible to debate religion without referring to scripture. By my breakdown on the spot, I answered no, but Tarzan has given a few examples of non scripture arguments for God - and I would definitely call an argument over those examples a religious debate.
: If you weren't new here, you'd know not to feed me such attention. This is like an orgasm in my brain right now. *hehe, my name is in a title, hehe* (http://www.debate.org...)

Just in case I get into some BS with FREEDO again about how he's NOT a narcissist.

"The law is there to destroy evil under the constitutional government."
So... what's there to destroy evil inside of and above the constitutional government?
DATCMOTO
Posts: 6,160
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8/15/2009 5:55:03 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 8/14/2009 9:47:18 AM, JustCallMeTarzan wrote:
A Cosmological, Teleological, or Ontological argument can be made for the existence of God without quoting any scripture at all.

*swoon*
That guy's SO smart..
The Cross.. the Cross.
JustCallMeTarzan
Posts: 1,922
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8/15/2009 10:30:45 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 8/15/2009 5:55:03 AM, DATCMOTO wrote:
At 8/14/2009 9:47:18 AM, JustCallMeTarzan wrote:
A Cosmological, Teleological, or Ontological argument can be made for the existence of God without quoting any scripture at all.

*swoon*
That guy's SO smart..

Even someone of mediocre intelligence appears a genius to the brainless.
shakti
Posts: 40
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8/15/2009 5:04:12 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 8/15/2009 4:12:59 PM, Puck wrote:
Given you indicate your religion as 'other' maybe a list of what you want to debate would help. :P

I do not have a preference for subject matter I find most things interesting. I thought it would be nice to be given a random topic on the subject, that way I can learn something I did not choose from my experience.

However, if what you are asking is what religion do I consider myself. The answer I am afraid is none. I am not a part of any organised religion on the list. I am also not a member of any organisation that I know of which has a religious purpose. I have my own beliefs and I read and think about the subject. I do not have a label for what I am in this context.