The Instigator
Thoht
Pro (for)
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The Contender
Chronosofwisdom
Con (against)
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Prophecies in Religious Books do not prove Religions True

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Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/30/2019 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,213 times Debate No: 120093
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (31)
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Thoht

Pro

Happy to think with you today.

Many people on this site, And people in general, Give predictions made in religious books great credit when it comes to validating their personal religion. Each religion ignores predictions made in other books for reasons they don't deign to explain.

1. Predictions made in books are not prophecies. When they come true, They come true because people try to make them true.

If someone writes predictions in a book and other person later reads it and tries to make as many predictions that it made happen as possible, The books did not predict what would happen. The person followed instructions from a book. I could just as easily say cook books are prophetic books as to what dishes will be made in the future. The motive people would have to try to fake prophecies is clear. Personal wealth and power.

2. People give great charity to vague predictions made in their holy books but no charity to predictions made in others.

If I say the walls of a city will fall into the ocean and one day hundreds of years in the future the wall is broken and pieces of it fall into the ocean that surrounds it, This is not surprising. It was an inevitability.

3. 100 true predictions don't prove your religion true if your religion has made thousands of claims, Or if we can prove even 1 false. No religion contains 100% true predictions. None even come close.

Please accept if you have confidence in your religion in part because of supposed prophecies in your books. It matters not what religion from which you stem.

May your thoughts be clear,

-Thoht
Chronosofwisdom

Con

Hello, Nice to meet you!

I am Christian and today I will prove that SOME prophecies in religious books do drastically help prove the validity of the religion.

Take the bible as an example, Over thousands of years people have questioned if its teachings are true, And not long after stumble upon some evidence that completely disproves their argument. Take for example the dead sea scrolls, People were saying that over time the bible was tampered with (which is a reasonable assumption) but recently archeologists have discovered clay jars in the dead sea which contained nearly word for word the bible we have today, So now we have proved that the bible we have today is indeed accurate ancient text.
Now using this, Take the prophecy of the birth of Jesus. In the old testament there are several times where the birth of christ is predicted to come. Using archeological data, It has been proven that a census was decreed through the entire Roman Empire at around 10-5 BC. This corroborates with the new testament exactly.
The issue with this debate is no matter how much evidence I throw at an argument, Proving that prophecies did come true not only because people made them come true, Strong believers in a religion will still cling to it. There is no convincing people of a religion based on evidence. However the more factual evidence there is the harder it gets to argue with. Arguments like the cosmological argument proving that there is a God are some of the hardest arguments to disagree with. And when an argument is extremely hard to disagree with, The more valid it is made.

Note: This is my first rodeo and the reason I joined this site was to get better at debating because ultimately the ability to respectfully disagree with someone is one of the best character traits there is. The issue with politics today is that there is almost no respectful disagreeing. I deeply respect your skill and ability to prove your point thoughtfully, Even though we have opposite political and ideologic beliefs.
Debate Round No. 1
Thoht

Pro

If this is your first rodeo that's fine, But it is advisable to stick to the topic at hand. Whatever the dead sea scrolls did is debatable and not pertinent. The cosmological argument is patently ridiculous. It is not hard to argue with at all. The difficulty of arguing against an argument has nothing to do with the validity of an argument even if it were. Let's leave the broad topics that are also widely debatable that don't pertain to the subject at hand out.

1. You have said you will prove that some prophecies in religious books are true and have meaning. Thus far all you've given is "The bible predicted the birth of Jesus. " This is a meaningless statement. The Bible has tens or hundreds of things that say something along the lines of 'the messiah will be born' or other notions. All of the Jews don't believe that Jesus was this messiah and they believe in the same book and the same prophecies.

If you're going to say that the prediction that Jesus would be born is significant you must quote the actual prophecies to which you refer and show how they are meaningful and how they have come to be. It is all well and good that you SAY the Bible predicted Jesus' birth but it is meaningless when it comes to this conversation. We need to debate the validity and the meaning behind the actual prophecies, Not your summary of them.

You cite archeological data. A census in the Roman Empire. Multiple verses of the Bible can be cited that directly contradict each other, Leading me to believe the census never happened. Can you link me a non-biblical source that has evidence that the census occurred? Am I to trust your holy book which directly contradicts itself to verify the prophecies in your holy book? This is a ridiculous notion.

On top of that, Why don't you believe the religions of the "prophets" of today who make equally general, Vague, Or inevitable prophecies?

Here is the criteria that would make a "prophecy" meaningful and be some proof of a religion's validity.

1. We can verify who the prophet was and the date the prophecy was created.

This is important to ensure the prophecy wasn't simply a retelling of something that already occurred and so we can verify the prophet had no direct impact on the prophecy.

2. We can know if the persons or events involved in the prophecy knew of the prophecy's existence and its contents.

This is important because self-fulfilling prophecies are meaningless. The birth of Jesus would be fine if he was actually the messiah at his birth. If he started changing himself to fit the prophecies after he read the Bible then the Bible is a self-fulfilling prophecy. It loses its meaning.

3. The prophecy is not general or vague enough to be interpreted to fit multiple scenarios.

If a prophecy says "one shall be born and he shall don the colors of the noon sky and he shall be called the Great Mooloo. "

This is not interesting or meaningful. It is so vague to apply to literally any born male. Why is this? This is what the prophecy is saying:

3. 1 Someone will be born.
3. 2 "he" implies it will be a male.
3. 3 The colors of the noon sky could be red, Orange, Yellow for the sun white for the clouds or blue for the sky itself. Probably blue. Anyone who wore a blue shirt at any point in his life could fulfill this.
3. 4 At least one person decided to call him the Great Mooloo at some point.

How many people fulfill 3. 1? 100% of people. How many people fulfill 3. 2? 50% of people. How many people fit 3. 3? 100% of people. How many people fit 3. 4? Probably a small amount of people, But let's say some people knew of this "prophecy. " All they'd have to do is call a male who wears a blue shirt 'the great mooloo' and the prophecy is complete. This prophecy could refer to anyone in about 50% of the population at any point in history.

This is how vague almost all of your prophecies are.

4. How specific the time is.

Einstein predicted solar eclipses within several hours. Is your God so limited that his prophecies can do no better?

With the above example I cited this prophecy has an unlimited time span to prove its validity. Even if the percentage of the population that it would apply to is. 00001%, It has thousands of years for this to come to be on numbers below.

Which leads me finally to,

5. If the prophecy's chances of happening are not ridiculously low, It is meaningless. If a prophecy gives an exact time in which an event will occur the probability of that event happening is massively lowered. The more qualifiers the better.

Here's an example of a meaningful prophecy:

"There will be one named Jim Batista Raynor who will eat three sausages in the morning. After eating a banana, He will drop the peel and trip over the peel. A Number 3 pencil will fall out of his pocket as he falls and land point up. He will fall and pierce his left eye. He will survive this. After losing his left eye, He will scream obscenities, Fall down the subway stairs and run directly into a train. There he will meet his demise. All of this will happen in Time's Square New York In March of 2020.

-Prophet Azen. March 2019. Posted on a forum on the internet for creepy things.

Now how many people fit the bill here? What is the probability of its occurring? How well can we validate the prophet, The time of the prophecy, The events that unfolded, Et cetera? What are the chances someone, Much less Jim himself cold set this up perfectly, Or would even want to?

Nothing says a prophecy has to be THAT specific. It simply needs to be somewhere closer to 'impossible to predict without divine inspiration' than it is to 'inevitable. '

Now, Religions presume their God is true based on vague prophecies of prophets thousands of years old who they largely do not know. They don't know when the prophecies were made. The prophecies were read by many. Many people had every reason to doctor prophecies or see that they were fulfilled. We have no way of verifying the validity of most of the claims, And they are vague enough to apply to nearly anyone. They had no time limit, No specific time, Et cetera. Most can be interpreted to fit whatever scenario the reader would like.

This is the problem with prophecies. This is the problem with predictions. You have to ask yourself this:

6. What are the chances that someone predicted this without divine inspiration?

Without divine inspiration they are not prophecies. They are the predictions of men who seek to pull the wool over your eyes for their personal gain.

To conclude,

You must provide at least one example of a prophecy that can be validated that matches the above criteria. Otherwise, Any mortal man could have predicted it. If you say that the probability of the prophecy coming true doesn't matter, Then you must explain to me how you know he difference between divinely inspired inevitable predictions and normal mortal men making inevitable predictions.

The single chain of prophecies you have summarized and provided no specifics on thus far falls short. The supposed validation of it you cite has no historical non-biblical verification. Many people that believe in those books can disagree with your interpretation because it is so vague.

Technically, For your prophecies to prove your religion true they would all have to come to be, And at least some of them need to be meaningful according to my above definition. Else, Is the right word for your deity "god? "
Chronosofwisdom

Con

Here we go 11:00.

1, The dead sea scrolls prove that the bible wasn't tampered with over time because it's nearly word for word.

2, Cosmological argument: No, Its actually EXTREMELY hard to argue with,

3, Census: unfortunately the only people who really care about the census is christians but it is archeological records that have been authenticated so here you go: https://www. Apologeticspress. Org/apcontent. Aspx? Category=6&article=907

4 Those were meant to prove the point that theres more than just prophecies to a religion. I was specific.

5 You seem to think that prophecies make or break a religion when I'm saying that theres other evidence to prove a religion valid.

6 Essentially there are a two things that people use in choosing a religion: Ideology (whether or not you agree with its teachings) and Evidence (archeological or otherwise). Prophecies could fit into either one. Some religions use prophecies in the evidence category (Prophecies simply to prove themselves correct), Or Ideology (prophecies to send a message). Christianity tends to use its prophecies to send a message, NOT as evidence. Although many other religions use prophecies as evidence. If a prophecy was made and fits all of your requirements then it CAN be used a evidence towards a religion.

So there you go. Good luck, And have fun!
Debate Round No. 2
Thoht

Pro

1. Again, We really should stay on topic. I have seen no research into it, And it is irrelevant to the discussion at hand particularly when you have given no prophecies for me to invalidate, And none that prove your religion valid.

2. It is easy to argue against. Feel free to send me a challenge after this. Also, Irrelevant to the current discussion.

3. Archaeologists and historians have field days over much less than an ancient census. It'd be critically important to many fields, What on earth do you mean? You've linked me an apologetics website and an article written by a clear christian apologist who got his degree from a "christian university. " How impressed should I be? I can give you articles by conspiracy theorists for hundreds of different things written by Ph. D holders. When we present evidence for an argument we tend to link sources that are as neutral and as absent conflicts of interest as possible. If I link you a study from a Ph. D holder who is employed by the sugar industry that says "sugar has no relation to fat gain. " How seriously can you take this article? To fail to understand what makes evidence strong versus what makes for poor evidence is a critical failing of anyone who is trying to stand on any position.

On top of this, Your own source denies that sufficient proof has surfaced:

"It is true that thus far no historical record has surfaced to verify either the governorship or the census of Quirinius as represented by Luke at the time of Jesus" birth prior to the death of Herod in 4 B. C. " (Dave Miller on opponent's source)

Did you even read the article you linked?

4. We aren't debating other things that may or may not validate religions. Prophecies do not help them. Prophecies are the resolution of this debate.

5. That's fine. Again, That is not the topic of this discussion. I'm not seeking to disprove God's existence with this resolution. I'm seeking to prove that prophecies that people use to try and validate their religions are meaningless. Debates have topics. If you want to debate another topic you can do so in another debate. Am I allowed to make a specific debate on prophecy alone or no?

6. Great, Then we don't disagree. If you aren't using prophecies as evidence for your religion then we agree on the subject and you've forfeited. There are plenty of Christians who do use prophecies as a form of validating their religion to themselves. Perhaps you could have let one of them take up the stand?

I conclude this debate by stating what should appear clear based on my opponent's R2. He does not believe prophecies prove religions true. He has offered a summary of a prophecy, Not an actual prophecy. The wording of prophecy is important. His interpretation is not important. Prophecy that is so open to interpretation as to have thousands of different ways of seeming 'fulfilled' is meaningless when it comes to the validation of a religion.

From the looks of things, My opponent does not even disagree anymore if he did in his R1. He has fallen back on "but that's not all of the proof of my religion. " I hope it is clear to the debate community that this is not a defense against the resolution.

May your thoughts be clear,

-Thoht
Chronosofwisdom

Con

Alrighty midnight,

CLARAFICATION
1 I was defending a statement and in the future we should stay on topic.

2 Totally! I think it would be fun! (if it is not nearly as heated as this debate was)

3 Yes I did, I linked it because sometimes reasoning can act as evidence. Remember in the comments Backwardseden's statement? Both of those videos were CLEARLY made by atheists, Yet I believe that evidence or reasoning, No matter where they come from, Can be used. So you cannot penalize me for linking an apologetics website.

4 I'll get back to this one.

5 Not only did you intentionally choose a vague title, You also penalize me for sticking to the topic. Just to clarify because there seemed to be some issues with communication. My claim is this: prophecies in some religions can be used as evidence toward that religion.

Now you've made me waste a considerable amount of this debate to either clarify, Or defend my claims back in R1. Good job.

Now to the actual closing arguments.

The topic of this debate is whether or not prophecies can be used as evidence for a religion. I am not just defending my religion, But the fact that prophecies can be used as evidence toward your religion. The prophecies in the bible were said to give hope to the jewish people. However many prophecies in the Quran are meant to prove the religion true. My claim has stayed the same this entire debate.

I hope you have a great day, Whatever the results of this debate may be.
Debate Round No. 3
31 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Thoht 3 years ago
Thoht
Hey at least you're consistent. Good for you buddy.
Posted by Athias 3 years ago
Athias
Once again you're offering arbitrary conditions which are not substantiated by any description of prophecy. Nothing in the description of prophecy states that billions of people on earth can't be prophets. So what have you won? "Validity" in the context you've argued is based on your opinion. I'm not trying to win you over. I'm trying to sustain a logically consistent argument.
Posted by Thoht 3 years ago
Thoht
If you think inevitable predictions or predictions people make that they fulfill themselves are prophecies then there are billions of prophets on the earth and prophecies certainly don't validate any religion. I still win this debate.
Posted by Athias 3 years ago
Athias
My disagreeing with a particular definition is irrelevant since the definitions are the definitions; therefore, This disagreement you allege I bear does not serve as the basis of my criticism. I'm scrutinizing the merit of your argument because your stipulations focus more on your impression than meeting/satisfying any description of prophecy. Choose whichever definition you wish, None of them requires any of your stipulations, "specific, Timely, And out of the equation, " be met. Once again, It's fine if you want to argue your opinion, But at the very least, Chronoswisdom ought to be aware that he's being goading into debate over that which provides you meaning, Not any substantiated descriptions of religious prophecy.
Posted by Thoht 3 years ago
Thoht
A bit odd to critique someone for using a definition you don't agree with without supplying your own.
Posted by Thoht 3 years ago
Thoht
I'm using the common definition of prophecy. What is your definition if not that? Are you using your holy book or your personal impression to justify your holy book?
Posted by Athias 3 years ago
Athias
@Thoht: Ultimately, You're using your impressions as a standard of proof. You're not using any substantiated description of prophecy or definition of prophecy. You're using mere statements. If you wish to argue your opinion, That is fine, So long as you're not obfuscating that fact.
Posted by Thoht 3 years ago
Thoht
Athias,

It is all well and good if you assign the label "prophet" and assign their predictions with the attribute of "divinely influenced" if they make a prediction and then fulfill it themselves. Maybe you think that has some sort of meaning. That is on you. Most of us just call it someone telling you what they're going to do tomorrow instead of a divinely influenced prediction. I can predict for you what I'm going to do for the next several months with 100% accuracy. Would I be making divinely influenced predictions?

You either misunderstand the definition of prophecy, Or you think there are billions of prophets running around the Earth at any given time. Either way is fine by me.
Posted by Athias 3 years ago
Athias
@Thoht: That's a conveniently arbitrary description of prophecy you've offered. But no description of prophecy--even religious prophecy--I've found delineates a person cannot act in order to bring about the consequences described in prophecy. Your description of prophecy aligns with the description found in RationalWiki which can be edited by any internet user. (Note that the wiki too offers nothing more than mere statement of these criteria, And no substantiation. )
Posted by Thoht 3 years ago
Thoht
You wouldn't even have any way of knowing it was a God speaking to you rather than mental instability.
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