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8 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

Christianity is Probably False

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/27/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,084 times Debate No: 53471
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (2)




Chest and I have agreed to debate the topic "Christianity is Probably False"

Chest will be defending and attempting to show the literal and absolute truth of the Bible and I will be attempting to demonstrate Christianity's falsehood and respond to Chest's arguments in favor of its truthfulness.

Christianity: The monotheistic religion based on the life and oral teachings of Jesus and the Bible.

Probably: almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell.

False: not according with truth or fact; incorrect.

Debate format is the typical Lincoln-Douglas format.

R1: Acceptance
R2: My opening arguments followed by Con's opening arguments (No rebuttals by Con)
R3: Rebuttals to opening arguments
R4: Defense of your original arguments.

Since these debates tend to get long, you must limit yourself to a maximum of 3 contentions. This should be enough space for arguments and source lists. If there is not enough space to list sources, you may post them in an external link or in the comments.

No forfeits
No insults
No semantics
72 Hours to Post Argument
10,000 Characters Max
10 Day Voting Period
3 contentions max
Follow the format.


Thank you n7. I accept, and look forward to this debate! May God's will be done.
Debate Round No. 1


Contention 1: Scientific Error

The bible seems to teach the out dated Geocentric model.

Joshua 10:12-13

12 Then spake Joshua to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.

13 And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.

Many of tired to get around this by stating Joshua only said it appeared that way. However this is wrong for many reasons. First, Joshua asked God to stop the sun, not the earth. If we were speaking in an appearance manor we don't ask for the said appearance. Second, Habakkuk 3:11 states

"The sun and moon stood still in their habitation: at the light of thine arrows they went, and at the shining of thy glittering spear."

Clearly showing the belief that the sun itself stopped rotation.

Some have also tried to get around this by pointing out that the sun does rotate around the milky way. This is true, however it wouldn't have any affect on the earth's day, because if the sun moved or not, it still creates curvature in spacetime. Stating that both the sun and earth stopped would be wishful thinking, speculating with no scriptural support.

Alternatively one could say that Geocentrism is true. However this is shown wrong by many observable effects.

*Stellar parallax [1]

*Basic Gravity [2]

*Stellar aberration [3]

We also know the Earth rotates by the effects it produces. Like,

* Coriolis effect [4]

* Foucault's pendulum [5]

Contention 2: Historical Error

There is a historical contradiction in Luke and Matthew. Historian Richard Carrier presented it like so

The Gospel of Luke claims (2.1-2) that Jesus was born during a census that we know from the historian Josephus took place after Herod the Great died, and after his successor, Archelaus, was deposed. But Matthew claims (2.1-3) that Jesus was born when Herod the Great was still alive--possibly two years before he died (2:7-16). Other elements of their stories also contradict each other. Since Josephus precisely dates the census to 6 A.D. and Herod's death to 4 B.C., and the sequence is indisputable, Luke and Matthew contradict each other.” [6]

Carrier concludes

“...this becomes an irreconcilable contradiction after an examination of all the relevant facts.”

The resolution is affirmed.

Now to Con for his arguments.


[2] Curtis Wilson, "The Newtonian achievement in astronomy", pages 233–274




[6] Carrier, Richard. "The Date of the Nativity in Luke (6th ed., 2011)." The Date of the Nativity in Luke. <>.



Thank you n7, I will now present my opening arguments, as to why Christianity is true.

Contention 1: It Exists
Every religion has a founder. Budd founded Buddhism; Mohammad founded Islam; Socrates founded Greek thinking. However, very few religions survive when their leader dies. The Christian religion hinges on the resurrection of Jesus the Christ, however, many claim His resurrection was either faked, exaggerated, or flat-out invented. I beg to differ. The Bible mentions something very relevant, His followers had given up on Him and the principles He taught them, and were afraid of persecution. Christianity would have died along with its founder. However, Jesus appeared to them, and they were emboldened to spread what they had been taught.[1] Had Jesus not been resurrected and seen by them, Christianity would not exist today.

Contention 2: It is the Most Moral Religion
Of the major religions, Christianity stands as a contrast to the philosophies of most. Islam advocates the killing of "infidels" and other non-believers;[2] Buddhism speaks of complete separation from all material things;[3] Atheism would have us believe that we are simply animals fighting for survival, with no one to answer to.[4] Jesus spoke of loving our enemies, doing good to those who hate us, and helping every man. Jesus never advocated forcing people into Christianity. Ultimately He became the greatest example of a Christian,for indeed He was the Christ.[5]

Contention 3: Fulfilled Prophecies and Signs
Finally, and one of the most interesting points is all the things which were prophesied thousands of years beforehand, as well as the signs in the natural realm. Here is a quick chart of fulfilled prophecy.

Prophecy Old Testament Prophecy New Testament Fulfillment
Born of a virgin Isaiah 7:14 Matt. 1:18,25
Born at Bethlehem Micah 5:2 Matt. 2:1
He would be preceded by a Messenger Isaiah 40:3 Matt. 3:1-2
Rejected by His own people Isaiah 53:3 John 7:5;"7:48
Betrayed by a close friend Isaiah 41:9 John 13:26-30
His side pierced Zech. 12:10 John 19:34
Crucifixion Psalm 22:1,Psalm 22:11-18 Luke 23:33; John19:23,24
Resurrection of Christ Psalm 16:10 Acts 13:34-37
Some would claim that the New Testament was written around these prophecies in order to accommodate them, but there is no substantial evidence of this.
Another great point is the precise events in the sky which happened just as they were written of. A man investigated the happenings in astronomy at the time when the Messiah supposedly came, his results were astounding. He found that indeed, there was a great host of evidence for the Bible, and specifically the star of Bethlehem, contained in the history of the sky. For his amazing study please use the reference. He found that there was a bright happening over the eastern sky during the time of Christ's birth, as well as a lunar eclipse and blood moon during Christ's death.[7]

Thank you for reading. Back to you Pro.

[1] Bible: John 20:19
[2] Quaran 2:191-193
[5] Bible: Matthew-John
Debate Round No. 2


Thanks Chest.

Rebuttal to C1: It Exists

Here Con argues Christianity wouldn’t exist unless Jesus rose from the grave. Con agrees that a religion can exist even when its founder dies, but says with Christianity, it was necessary for Jesus to come back or else it wouldn’t have strived. However, Con’s only justification for this was either from the bible or a bare assertion. Rendering his argument a case of circular reasoning.

Even if I were to accept the assertion that Jesus needed to come back in order to for Christianity to survive, I can still account for that without appealing to Christianity. It would be a much more parsimonious to claim a wizard brought Jesus back from the grave because he was a fan of most of his teachings or a type of alien race. Although unlikely, it’s simpler than claiming the entire Christian religion is true. Something slightly more plausible, but unlikely scenario is that Jesus survived. Richard Carrier calculated the odds of this being true and came up with “0.000147363, or 0.015%--roughly 1 chance in 6800” [1]. However, Carrier concludes

Even if there were only 1 chance in 68,000 of survival accounting for the evidence, that would still be good enough a chance to discount any miraculous explanation. For who needs to resort to "miracles" to account for what can occur even once in 68,000 times under the same conditions? …..You might as well use a royal flush in a local poker game as proof of God's divine might…I do not mean to compare the events. I compare only the odds of either event being natural rather than miraculous. If survival in all the same circumstances (as far as we can know them) by natural means can happen once in 68,000 tries, yet the odds of a royal flush happening naturally are roughly 1 in 650,000, and we know royal flushes happen without being regarded as miracles, why should we regard something that is over four thousand times more likely as miraculous? [ibid]

I think a more likely scenario is Carrier’s spiritual resurrection account. It claims early Christians did not believe in an ontological fleshly resurrection, but a spiritual one. Carrier has compiled many evidences for this [2] and has responded to many critiques of it [3].

Con’s first argument here is refuted.

Rebuttal to C2: The Most Moral Religion

If I were to accept that Christianity is the most moral religion, that doesn’t mean it’s true. It would be affirming the consequent. If Christianity is true, then maybe it would be the most moral religion, but if it was the most moral religion, that doesn’t mean it is true. For example, if Bill Gates owned Fort Knox, he would be rich. We all know Bill Gates is rich, but this doesn’t mean he owns Fort Knox. There are other ways to be rich than owning Fort Knox and there are other ways for a religion to be moral than it being true. People could simply be attracted to a moral religion, in which the authors of the Bible could have based the religion on that. However, I do not agree that Christianity is the most moral religion. Jesus may have spoke of love and never forced anyone’s hand into Christianity, but he has threatened many with hell [4]. The idea of hell is certainly morally questionable. Since Christianity is also defined as the teachings of the bible, it’s worth point out that God has commanded his followers to kill children and even infants.

“Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.” -1 Samuel 15:3

The most moral thing to do (assuming the men and women deserved to die) is to raise the children. Con could claim that since God commanded this, it is the moral thing to do, but this would render his argument circular. Since he would already be starting out with the view that what Christianity says is moral.

This argument has been refuted.

Rebuttal to C3: Prophecy

Con presents many Old Testament prophecies and claims Jesus fulfilled them. He critiques the idea that the New Testament was written with the OT prophecies in mind because there is no evidence of them. However, Con has not presented any evidence that these actually happened. Occam’s razor suggests we prefer the idea that the New Testament was written to accommodate the OT. Furthermore, Con is attempting to show that Christianity is true, however in this argument he assumes that Jesus really did fulfill these prophecies. That starts out with the assumption that the bible is true in the first place. This argument is another case from circular reasoning.

Some Jewish scholars have critiqued the Christian interpretations of the Messianic prophecies. For example, it’s questionable if “virgin” is the correct word to be used in Isaiah 7:14 [5]. Also Jews have pointed out Jesus didn't do a lot of things the prophet would do. Such as, build the Third Temple as stated in Ezekiel 37:26-28, Gather the jews back to Israel as stated in Isaiah 43:5-6. and unite humanity as one as stated in Zechariah 14:9. Many claim Jesus will do this in his second coming, but the Jews state

“Jewish sources show that the Messiah will fulfill the prophecies outright; in the Bible no concept of a second coming exists.” [ibid]

The second coming response is just an ad hoc special pleading fallacy.

Con also brings up attorney Frederick Larson’s movie called “The Star of Bethlehem” as evidence of the astronomical events. This is on the Christian website “Answers in Genesis” as an argument Christians should not use [6]. Christian astronomer Dr. Danny Faulkner wrote a critique of the film saying that

Larson’s thesis is fraught with problems. It completely relies upon the late death of Herod, something that few historians have embraced. It has some obvious astrological connections….These astrological connections are related to the so-called gospel in the stars theory, which is without foundation...Though Larson does not date the birth of Jesus to December 25, there is a suspicious clinging to that date that has no real connection to the birth of Jesus. This star doesn’t fit the description of Matthew 2 [7].

Faulkner also correctly claims that this film does nothing for Christians, even if it was true.

“The DVD attempts to bolster peoples’ faith by showing that there is a natural explanation for the star of Bethlehem, as if we doubted that it actually happened. But by giving a natural explanation for the Christmas star, this cuts both ways and offers an out to the unbeliever. That is, the skeptic can now claim that an unusual, but perfectly natural, set of astronomical events was folded into the set of myths that we call the Bible.” [ibid]

This argument is refuted.


Con’s arguments fall short. They are mainly based on circular logic and unparsimonious assumptions.

Back to Con




[4] Matt. 23:13–34, Matt. 13:40–43, Matt. 25:41.






Thank you n7. I will not give my rebuttals.

Rebuttal to Contention 1:

First, in his opening argument he seems to have confused several things. Namely that we are not debating whether the Bible is false, or the Old Testament is false, or if the Bible's science is false. We are debating whether Christianity is false. Therefore, his first contention is invalidated. To review, our debate was on, “...The monotheistic religion based on the life and oral teachings of Jesus and the Bible.”[1] Indeed, he did mention the Bible, but not in the sense which his arguments coming from. Christianity is based mostly on the New Testament; the book of Joshua is a Old Testament historical narrative. Good reading, great truths, but not the basis of the Christian faith. I will overlook these errors and rebut the contention, but keep them in mind.

I contend that the Bible never, “taught” the Geocentric model; neither was the Geocentric model, “out dated” at the time this book was written. Joshua was written thousands of years ago, (approximately 1300-1400 B.C.)[2] As I stated earlier, Joshua is a historical narrative; that means it was written only as the events took place, and as the writer understood them. Joshua did not know that the earth rotated around the sun, neither did the writer of the book. They wrote as they understood at the time.

Random point, but n7 said, “Many of tired...” Minus grammar/spelling I would say.

This contention is refuted.

Rebuttal to Contention 2:

Augustus issued multiple censuses and taxations throughout his reign, there were also many more local censuses and taxations at the local level. Therefore it is quite probable that Herod was alive during one of them. Luke did not claim that Quirinius was a “governor” in the formal sense, but rather as one with authority. A “hegemon”(ruling officer/procurator) rather than a “legatus”(governor). The census Josephus talked about may have happened later. Matthew is right, Luke is right, Josephus is right.[3] See the reference for further details.

This contention is refuted.





Debate Round No. 3



Defense of Contention 1

It appears Con attempts to sidestep the issue by appealing to semantics. Con has shrugged off the old testament, but the agreed definition includes the bible. Con saying only attacks on the new testament would be valid, however this is semantics. The definition agreed upon does not allow for this. Con must concede that his first point is false, because in round 1, when I was specifying the BOP I said

Chest will be defending and attempting to show the literal and absolute truth of the Bible

Thus, Con is engaging in semantics and is attempting to go against the agreed BOP. He has broken the rules of the debate.

Anyway, Con commits a bare assertion fallacy. He claims the OT is just historical narrative with no evidence to support it. It is much more intuitive and likely to think of it as literal.

But if Con wants to reject Joshua as just an historical narrative, then he must also reject the New Testament. 2 Timothy 3:16 states

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

This would be false, a historical narrative is from the writers POV. It is subject to error not useful for correction or reproof.

Con tries to sidestep the agreed debate rules. Invalidating his rebuttals

Defense ofContention 2: Historical Error.

Con makes several historical errors here. I’ll go through them each, showing how my argument still stands.

Augustus issued multiple censuses and taxations throughout his reign, there were also many more local censuses and taxations at the local level. Therefore it is quite probable that Herod was alive during one of them.

Con claims it is quite probable that Herod was alive during a census. However, he has not demonstrated that. He just asserted it. Why is it probable that some hidden, unknown, undocumented census happened. It is an ad hoc, which makes it less plausible that some census was forgotten.

There couldn’t have been a census in Judaea before 6 A.D., because Judaea wasn’t in direct Roman control [1]. Historian Richard Carrier also writes

To conduct a census in contravention of such an alliance would have been a notable event indeed, mentioned in many other places as the peculiar event it would have been--and that's even if it didn't start an outright war, as almost happened when the Romans finally did conduct a census in Judaea in 6 A.D. Why, after all, would Rome want a census of a territory it was not taxing directly? Not only was such a thing never done at any time in the history of Rome, it would have served no practical purpose. According to A.N. Sherwin-White, Horst Braunert's study of the subject "disproves conclusively the notion of a Roman census before the creation of the province" while also demonstrating that a census was "a necessary consequence of the establishment of direct provincial government." And as we saw above, Josephus confirms a census at the beginning of Quirinius' reign, just when we would expect it. [ibid]

So it is highly unlikely that there would be a census before 6 A.D. in Judea. It’s clear this claim is historically flawed and falls apart quickly under examination, so what of his others?

Luke did not claim that Quirinius was a “governor” in the formal sense, but rather as one with authority. A “hegemon”(ruling officer/procurator) rather than a “legatus”(governor).

This wouldn’t fix anything if true. There still couldn't have been a census before 6 A.D. Anyway, Quirinius between 6 B.C. and 1 B.C. was fighting in a war in Asia [2]. So, why in the world would you date a census in Judea by referring to a “hegemon” who is fighting a war in Asia? Why not the legate in Syria? Quirinius would have absolutely nothing to do with Judea or a census. This would make scripture absurd if true. Furthermore Carrier says

“....just because Quirinius was probably assigned a Syrian legion to fight bandits on the mountain border between Galatia and Cilicia, it does not follow that he had any kind of command in Syria. To the contrary, he was in the province of Galatia, not Syria, and by special command of Augustus.”[3]

Con’s response here fails too.

The census Josephus talked about may have happened later.

The very problem with the census is that it happened too late. Claiming it could have happened later helps me, not Con.

Ultimately, in this section, Con misconstrues history. His rebuttals are full of historical error that fall apart quickly. It is probable that this is indeed a real contradiction. When we examine all relevant facts, we see Carrier is right in claiming that this is an “irreconcilable contradiction”






Thank you Pro. I will now give my defense.

Defense to Rebuttal of Contention 1:
Pro seems to believe the Bible is a inferior manuscript, as he states, "Con's only justification for this was either from the bible or a bare assertion.", therefore claiming the Bible's accuracy and authenticity to be equivalent to bare assertion. The Gospels, (where my reference came from) are the history of Christianity, equal in authenticity to any historical narrative such as Josephus' Antiquities or Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History. Luke was most likely a doctor, or a very heavily educated and well-rounded man, and is very detailed in his writings.[1] The only reason his work is discredited is because it is in the Bible, this is obviously illogic and biased. None doubt Josephus or Eusebius, therefore there is no reason to doubt Luke.
This second argument is in a completely different ballpark all together. Wizards and aliens are fictional beings, (unless of course you are referring to wizards as magicians) and therefore cannot bring anything back to life. The grammar is very poor, so I am not sure whether you are asserting that the wizard is an alien, or that Jesus was an alien? If you were referring to the second, you can rest assured that Jesus was a human, born of a women, fathered by God.
Carrier is doing his research to disprove Christianity, and therefore used more conservative figures. Even if he used the broadest numbers, it is all personal opinion, as he himself states. "The combined odds of survival, misdiagnosis, and escape are thus, in my opinion..."[2] Notice, " my opinion..." therefore this is speculation.

Defense to Rebuttal of Contention 2:
Here Pro contends that if Christianity is the most moral religion, then it does not necessarily follow that it is true. It does not mean that it is not true either, and therefore, it is still a valid argument, unless of course, he could prove that Christianity is not the most moral religion. Hell is not morally questionable. If there is a just God, and He must allow people who follow His plan for salvation, there must be a place of punishment. Anyone can choose to follow His plan, which He has clearly outlined, yet, there must be a place of punishment for those who do not follow it. Yes indeed, Yaweh did indeed order the killing of men women and children. To this I have two defenses: first, the people of the city had heard of Israels fame, and indeed could have turned to their God, and repented, but indeed, they lived in continual evil and immorality. The second contention is that God did the most merciful thing to the children. They were too young to know right and wrong, therefore, He could not justly send them to hell, so when they died, they were able to come to heaven, without having to live through many evils that were to come.

Defense to Contention 3:
I continue to wonder why the Bible is being assumed false, simply because it is the Bible. Why do we trust Plato's writings, or Darwin's? This is once again illogic. Besides, he never defined what he meant by the contention that the Bible is untrue. Historically? Philosophically? Morally? There are multiple truths which can be used. I am not trying to be semantical, but I am simply stating the fact. Occam's razor would not affect either, because both make one assumption each, either, A) The New Testament was written to accommodate the old, or B) It was not. Both take one assumption, so Occam's razor cannot be validly used.[3]
There is no prophecy of a third temple in Ezekiel, only a tabernacle. He also said that his "servant David" would be the one doing it, not the "Son of David". The Isaiah example was not referring to the Christ anywhere, so I am not sure where you drew this conclusion? The Zechariah 14 prophecy claims, "A day is coming...", therefore it is gives room for speculation of a second coming. The reference did not give a source for their, "Jewish sources" so I cannot refute them, because I cannot see their argument.
Faulkner is one man, with a right to his opinions. Sadly any attempt at past-telling astronomy is bound to have flaws. Larson's theory is just that, a theory, yet it does have grounds, just as Faulkner has grounds of belief.

Pro attempts to discredit the Bible, simply because it is the Bible, therefore ignoring logic. His arguments carry weight, but ultimately not enough. My position is defended. Thank you Pro for a professional, intellectual, and polite debate.

Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Chest 6 years ago
Thank you guys! Congrats n7 on winning a solid, respectful debate.
Posted by Seeksecularism 6 years ago
N7 had some great objections to Chest's arguments. Though Chest's rebuttals attempted to address these objection, I felt they fell very short. Demonstrating the "affirming the consequence" fallacy to the moral argument was very well done, as most people I think would have grabbed the low hanging fruit and attempted to demonstate immortal teachings within Christianity. By first attacking the logical structure, and then addressing the content, n7 demonstrated not just superior debate skills, but better truth seeking skills. Well done.
Posted by Romanii 6 years ago
Um, I accidentally pressed enter and it voted before I could write my RFD
I'm about to place a real vote.... just hold on XD
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Sagey 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro's arguments were well constructed and very poignant, while Con's lacked credibility and were mostly assertions without evidence, such as Christianity is the most moral religion, which Pro disproved by citing Hell. An eternal place of torture with no chance of rehabilitation is Extremely Immoral. Buddhism is a far more moral religion, even Jesus borrowed his teachings from Buddhism, so Jesus must have thought Buddhism was the best source of morality he could think of.
Vote Placed by Romanii 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Very interesting debate! Sources, S&G, and Conduct were equal on both sides, so I will not be awarding points for them. Arguments to Pro because the BOP was on Con to prove the factual accuracy of the Bible, and he did not, instead trying to avoid Pro's contentions by saying that the OT isn't really the basis of Christianity. Pro showed that Jesus's words in the NT show that the OT IS the basis of Christianity. Con never effectively countered Pro's opening contentions against the Bible, going off on some tangent about how Pro is calling the Bible inaccurate just because it's the Bible when Pro did not actually do that... As for Con's opening contentions (the necessity of Christ's resurrection for Christianity's existence, its high moral standard, and fulfilled prophecies), Pro refuted all of those too, but I seriously doubt that I can explain why in the 140 characters I have left. I can do so in comments if any one wants me to. @#$% the RFD character limit!

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