The Instigator
Phenenas
Pro (for)
Winning
3 Points
The Contender
TouchtheSky
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

The Bible is sexist.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Phenenas
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/15/2018 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,292 times Debate No: 112705
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (13)
Votes (1)

 

Phenenas

Pro

Hi all! I know this has been debated before, but I think the topic is interesting enough to bring back again. I will be arguing that the Bible, Old Testament and New, shuns women and portrays them as completely inferior to men. My opponent must argue against this and convince me that the Word of God states males and females to be equal.

Rounds:
Round 1 - acceptance (no arguments in Round 1, please!)
Round 2 - opening arguments
Round 3 - defense and rebuttal
Round 4 - final defense and conclusion

I have this debate locked for now, to ward off the trolls. If you'd like to debate with me, please leave a comment and say so. Look forward to some spirited argument!
TouchtheSky

Con

I accept! I'm excited for the chance to discuss this with you and look forward to hearing your perspective.
Debate Round No. 1
Phenenas

Pro

Thank you for accepting, and I’m looking forward to hearing your opinions too. Before I get into my opening argument, I have to make something clear. I don’t believe that Christians are sexist. In fact, many churches around the world today are as close to gender equality as you can get. As the title implies, this debate is exclusively going to center around the book we English-speakers call the Bible, which some believe to be divinely inspired. I trust that my opponent knows this, but I don’t want to seem intolerant towards Christianity in general.

The Bible is a collection of loosely related books written from around 600 BC to 100 AD. So it reflects the values of its times, including views on women. In this period, and long afterward, the female was seen as inferior, and she was expected to obey her husband and trust his judgment above even her own. The Good Book encourages this view with great enthusiasm.

The Old Testament

If we’re looking at this from a Christian perspective, which we are by even including the New Testament, it’s almost pointless to include the Old. However, by looking at one Jewish fable, we can learn how the Biblical authors justified their prejudice.

Even in the very first book of the Bible, Genesis, we can find the story behind why women are relegated to second place. Eve, the first woman, is tempted by the serpent to eat the forbidden fruit, and convinces her husband to do the same. So the fall of mankind was caused by a woman. When God discovers their crimes, he is furious, but just before exiling them from Eden, he has something to say to Eve. He tells her “Your desire will be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” (Genesis 3:16)

Clearly, this applies to all women, not just Eve, because God also gave her the pains of childbirth in the verse right before, and creates mortality for the both of them right after. Whether or not the Biblical story of creation is a true one, God has set the relationship between husband and wife as one between master and slave. I personally believe that the Book of Genesis is a work of fiction, but I can see how this story would have been a useful tool for husbands in ancient Hebrew culture. If one’s wife is acting unruly or disobedient, simply tell her the story behind why God says he gets to “rule over her”.

From that point on, the sexist society of the Old Testament narrative is more implicit than explicit. I could name a hundred verses where men casually trade around their wives and daughters like livestock, or a hundred laws about stoning women for not being virgins, but there is a character count to worry about. Besides, I don’t want to create a distraction from my main argument, which is based in the letters of Paul.

The New Testament

Saint Paul of Tarsus defined Christianity as we know it today, and his letters make up most of what we call the New Testament. Jesus was silent about gender relations, and while women play an important role in his life, this doesn’t necessarily mean anything. But Paul has quite a lot to say about the ladies, and remember, Christians believe that he was inspired by God himself.

In his first letter to the Corinthians, when giving instructions on public worship, Paul remarks that “women should be silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be subordinate, as the law also says. If there is anything they desire to know, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in a church.” (1 Corinthians 14:34-36)

Why is it shameful for a woman to speak in church? He doesn’t really say, but this verse is crystal clear, with no other possible interpretation. It even makes a reference to “the law”, the Laws of Moses which came from God on Mount Sinai, and its call for female inferiority. Paul even condescendingly adds that if a woman is confused on a spiritual matter, she should just ask her husband, whether or not he knows anything about this very new religion. That’s right folks, mansplaining is a virtue.

Another epistle of Paul is the one sent to the Ephesians, and at one point in the letter, he explains how a Christian household ought to be run. “Wives, be subject to your husbands as you are to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife just as Christ is the head of the church, the body of which he is the Savior. Just as the church is subject to Christ, so also wives ought to be, in everything, to their husbands.” (Ephesians 5:22-24)

This seems a little extreme even for its times. We’ve heard women described as property, slaves, and nuisances. But to say that she must obey her husband like she obeys God? That sounds almost blasphemous, but it can’t be if it is the word of God. So it’s not only in church in which women must shut up and listen to the men speak. Wives must obey their husbands, no matter what, and again, no room for any other interpretation. But let’s examine the context. After telling the women what to do, it tells the men what to do: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…” (Ephesians 5:25) Men should love their wives, which isn’t a bad message, but women should dedicate their entire lives to waiting on their husband’s every whim. That hardly seems equal.

The final verse I will cite comes from Paul’s first letter to his friend Timothy, instructing him on how to run his own ministry. In the middle of instructing him on how prayer should be done, he goes on a sort of sexist rant:

“Let a woman learn in silence with full submission. I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she is to keep silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.” (1 Timothy 2:11-14)

If anyone was skeptical of my argument that the Bible justifies its sexism with the Adam and Eve fable, here it is from the pen of one of Christianity’s most influential figures. According to the Bible, it’s abominable for a woman to have authority over a man. It goes against natural law. Instead of sharing knowledge as equals, women must keep silent and listen to their hairy masters, whether or not they’re actually more intelligent. The very next verse seems positive, but I will demonstrate why it promotes an incredibly sexist worldview: “Yet she will be saved through childbearing, provided they continue in faith and love and holiness, with modesty.” (1 Timothy 2:15)

Yes, woman has a very special job assigned to her by God. The job of a broodmare. So long as a woman pops out plenty of cute babies, she is doing her Christian duty. But be immodest? Become a cleric, as men are allowed to? Ask a question in church? Disobey, talk back to, or even question her husband? Have any goals or aspirations that the men in her family wouldn’t like? Those are sins that put her straight on the path to Hell.

All these quotations can speak for themselves. The Bible shuns women, and portrays them as completely inferior to men. And the Bible’s sexism has had harmful effects over thousands of years of history, but we don’t need to go into that.

And that ends my first argument. Looking forward to hearing Con’s rebuttal!

Sources:
The Bible (New Revised Standard Version)

TouchtheSky

Con

Thank you so much for your quick response and clear explanation of your beliefs. Before I start, I just want to let you know that I tend to get very passionate when I'm debating, and sometimes I say things that may come out offensive or rude, even though that's not my purpose. I've recently caused some really hurt feelings on this site, so I want to apologize ahead of time in case something comes up.

You brought up the Old Testament passage where Eve sinned and ate the forbidden fruit, and God punishes Eve in an extremely severe way. He tells her that "her husband would rule over her", and this applies to all women, not just Eve. However, for this verse to be sexist, God would need to punish Eve less then he punished Adam. But he didn't. He cursed Eve, and then he gave Adam an equally terrible judgment, as they both deserved. You can see all of the details in Genesis 3. When God said that Adam would rule over Eve, he was referring to Adam's position of authority as the male. The Bible is very clear that males should be in authority, as shown in many of the following verses that you pointed out. But just because women and men have different roles, that does not mean that they have different values, which I will go into later.

I appreciate your desire not to distract from your main argument, and I admire you for that, as that's something that I slip into very easily. However, I'd really find it helpful to see some of the verses that you pointed out. It's true that there's a lot of verses about women being horrifically treated, but I haven't seen anything suggesting that God supports it, unless (and this is the key) it's a judgment that she deserves and has brought among herself. I could also list plenty of passages of God punishing men for wrong actions- this isn't sinful, this is just. God punishes both men and women when they sin.

The verse does clearly say that a woman can not speak in church, and this is shameful to do so. This isn't something that is commonly thought about in modern times and sounds quite strange at first. But if you study it closely, you can see why Paul would have said it. It was the custom in that time that men and women would sit in different areas of the church (this is not Biblical, just cultural), and Paul was referring to trying to ask their husbands things in the middle of a service. It makes sense that he would want to stop women from doing this. This doesn't show female inferiority at all- just trying to keep people from distracting others during the service. I think that makes a whole lot of sense.

Paul clearly tells women to submit to their husbands, and obey him just as they would obey Christ. This verse is clear about the fact that a husband is in authority- God has made a distinction here in the roles of husband and wife. He NEVER said that a wife should obey a husband's every whim- the verse clearly establishes that Christ is above the husband, and therefore the women belong to him alone. But you're making an assumption here that the Bible never says: You say that because women have different roles, they therefore have different values. The Bible is very clear that women and men have different roles in the church, and the next verse that you gave about preaching is a clear example of that. But just because they are called to a different purpose in God's plan doesn't mean that they are called to a lesser purpose. There is nothing in the Bible that suggests such a thing.

In the final verse that you gave, women are told that they cannot have authority over men, and they are called to be submissive to men. It says that Adam was formed first, and then Eve, and uses this as a way of saying that this was God's plan.

But once again, you cannot assume that because men are in authority, they are therefore better. There's this belief in our modern world that equality means that everyone is exactly the same, and if we acknowledge any difference between men and women, we are being sexist. But that is not fully true. Just because God says he has a different purpose for men than women, and he has placed men in a position of authority does not mean that women are worth less. Just because men are in authority does not make them superior.

The Bible has a lot of ideas about what a woman's role should be. Titus 2:4-5, 1 Timothy 3:11, and Proverbs 31 all talk about the importance of a God-fearing woman. Galations 3:28 is meticulously clear on the matter.
Debate Round No. 2
Phenenas

Pro

Thank you for your counter-argument, Con. I’ve read it, and you have said nothing offensive or rude, so don’t worry about that.

Your response to my Genesis argument was very thoughtful, but there are some flaws in your logic. You say that this isn’t sexist because God gave an equal punishment to Adam right after the one for Eve:

“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife,
and have eaten of the tree about which I commanded you,

‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you;
in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
and you shall eat the plants of the field.
By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread
until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken;
you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” (Genesis 3:17-19)

I have to admire the poetry of this passage, but I don’t see how starving, working, and death are exclusively limited to males. However, in the context of the story, Eve was more at fault here so she deserved more punishment; either way, that wasn’t my main point. It’s those 5 words: “he shall rule over you.”

This is sexism, and since it comes from God, the Bible supports it. You say that “just because women and men have different roles, that does not mean that they have different values”. You go into greater detail later, so I’ll save my response.

I hope I've been careful about remembering the context, because I try to avoid simply quoting bad-sounding verses. You request an example of a verse from the Old Testament which shows God supporting oppression of women, and I can certainly give you one. This is one of the Laws of Moses, which are said to have been handed down from God himself. It’s too long to quote fully here, but I’ll include it in my sources. [1]

Basically, it’s rules for when a man suspects his wife of not being a virgin. If he accuses her falsely, nothing happens. If he is right, and this is the kicker, she is stoned to death. Men are expected to be virgins upon marrying, if they follow the Biblical laws, but they won’t be executed if they aren’t. You place a great deal of emphasis on the justice of God for punishing sin. I believe that having sex before marriage is a perfectly healthy, wise, and valid option. Even if you disagree and think a woman should remain pure until her wedding night, does she deserve death? Has she really brought it upon herself?

Who am I to decide what is a sin and what isn’t? Whether or not it's a sin isn't the point. This debate isn’t about who decides what is good or evil, or even whether sexism is good or evil. This law from the Book of Deuteronomy is sexist, because it is prejudiced and discriminatory against women. As I said, there is no similar punishment for men who commit the exact same sin. And if you decide to call this a just law because God is your only standard for justice, fair enough. I'd counter that, by definition then, God is sexist, and so is the Bible's idea of justice.

In response to my first NT quotation, you said “It was the custom in that time that men and women would sit in different areas of the church.” May I ask where you learned this? And I’d appreciate a source as well. Even if this is true, which I could see it being, there is no evidence that Paul was talking about this custom. I consulted the International Critical Commentary on the Bible, a highly respected academic commentary by scholars who study the Bible for a living, and it makes no mention of your interpretation. They do summarize the passage: “The women are to keep silence in the public services. They would join in the Amen (v. 16), but otherwise not be heard.” [2] And besides, if Paul's main goal was to keep from distractions, why does he focus on women? Surely there was at least one naughty young Corinthian guy who cracked jokes during the service.

You said twice that just because men and women have different roles, that doesn't mean they have different values. What do you mean? Because if women are loved just as much as men in the eyes of God, fair enough, but that has nothing to do with their position in our world. Sexism doesn’t mean hating one gender, or liking it less than the other. Nor does it have anything to do with woman’s ultimate role in the universe.

Let’s consult Merriam-Webster’s dictionary for a definition of sexism: “prejudice or discrimination based on sex.”

The Bible is most definitely guilty of this. You’re right, the Bible gives different roles for men and women. But the role of woman is very obviously lesser in value. And if you say that it’s “different but equal” then we may need to pull up Merriam-Webster’s definition of equality too. According to the Bible, man rules over woman. The husband is the head of the wife like God is the head of the Church. No woman should teach or have any authority over a man. And yet you say, “Just because men are in authority does not make them superior.” Don’t those two words mean almost the exact same thing? If not, please explain to me the difference. And I will again direct you to Ephesians 5:23, which states as explicitly as possible that the husband is superior to the wife.

Here, the husband probably isn't being called an inherently better human being, as you pointed out. But in practice? He is most definitely superior. Why do you think employees call their bosses their “superiors”? Because they have a greater purpose in God’s plan? Certainly not. Because they have more influence, and can tell them what to do. And women have the same relation to men in the Bible.

“He NEVER said that a wife should obey a husband's every whim- the verse clearly establishes that Christ is above the husband, and therefore the women belong to him alone.” You are right about this, and I admit my mistake. However, while the Bible says a woman’s first loyalty should be to God (who, might I add, is male), her immediate second loyalty is to her husband. Men are not required to obey their wives at all, and in fact are encouraged to instruct them like teachers instructing foolish children.

“There's this belief in our modern world that equality means that everyone is exactly the same, and if we acknowledge any difference between men and women, we are being sexist.” Is there? I agree that thinking such a thing is a load of foolishness, but who says that? You’re denouncing a position that may not exist, or is at least a very extreme one.

I’ve taken a look at the verses you kindly cited for me, and they don’t contradict anything that I said. If anything, it helps my argument, because Titus 2:5 again tells women to be submissive to their husbands. I’m not saying that all wives should be bratty and catty and trying to undermine their lover. But a marriage should be a union of two free-thinking people, each of which has an equal voice and equal authority. And to be perfectly frank, believing that a husband should have authority over a wife, even if it’s just a “different role”, is sexist. And if one believes 1 Timothy 2:12 to be canon, they must condemn female college professors, CEOs, and politicians. I hope my opponent is prepared to do this.

Con, I’d like to thank you again for such intelligent arguments and dedication to this debate. I know this is probably more of a sensitive topic for you than for me, so I apologize if anything I said ends up offending you. I promise that wasn't my intention. Good luck on Round 3!

Sources:
1. https://www.biblegateway.com...
2. http://biblehub.com...

TouchtheSky

Con

Hello again! Thank you so much for your thoughtful response and insights. I'll do my best to respond to them now. I'm sorry if my answer last time was a little rushed- I was running short on time and didn't elaborate on a lot of my points, leading to some confusion. I hope this time, I can give some more thoughtful answers.

Contrary to what you said, the punishment that is given to Adam actually was more strictly related to men than women. Men's bodies are more built for hard labor, and my saying that isn't me being sexist- it's just fact. Most people will accept that men are generally stronger than women- that's why they're separated into different groups in events such as the Olympics. There are, of course, weak men and strong women, but in general, their genetic makeup is different in that way. Throughout history, men have done more of the work in the fields and in factories and such. This isn't a statement of their worth at all- just the fact that men were more affected by this command then women.

And with that past, I'm going to turn to those last five words, 'he shall rule over you'. In this passage, God is giving man authority and saying that in a household setting, a man should be the ruler of his family. I have strong reasons for believing that this is not sexism, but I'm going to follow your structure and go into this later.

The verse that you gave is very complicated because it deals with the issue of saving your body before marriage. I respect your beliefs, and I accept that there's a difference here, but I'm not going to go deep into this because a discussion of sex before marriage is completely irrelevant to the main topic and won't really prove my point. My other reason is simply that, because of my age, I really don't know enough about this topic to offer a clear or convincing argument. However, I don't think, with regards to the topic itself, it's really necessary for me to argue that position.

Instead, I'll challenge you on the idea of objective morality. You make a claim here that sex before marriage is okay, and say that God is sexist for punishing it. But, if you believe that God is biased and unfair (or doesn't exist at all), then what basis can you offer for claiming that you know what is 'acceptable' and what is not. Christians can claim 'objective morality' because they believe in a God who creates it. But if you deny that God is fair and just, then your explanation for this verse being 'sexist' has to include some kind of a basis for defining what IS right and wrong.

I believe that sex before marriage is wrong, and God is right to punish it. I don't think that Christians need to have such a strict punishment for it in modern times because of Jesus' death and fulfilment of the old law (which is another complicated tangent that I'm not going to go into now), but I do believe that God has a right to punish sin, and I respect that he does that. I don't think such a decree is anti-women, just controversial when compared to modern beliefs.

As for men not being punished the same as women, this isn't true at all. Both men and women are punished for this, and just because this verse is directed at women doesn't mean that women are the only ones who will be punished for it. Most of the verses in the bible dealing with premarital sex are directed towards men and women equally- this verse is simply different in terms of it's targe audience. I could list many, many verses where men are punished for sexual immorality- they are not exempt from this. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Hebrews 13:4, Revelation 2:22

As for the next verse, I apologize for not quoting my sources. This isn't something that I do a lot, and it's something that I need to work hard to do more often. Unfortunately, this isn't something with a clear link or a book that I can direct you too- I heard it in Sunday school once. I apologize for not relying on a more reliable source- I understand where I went wrong on my part, and next time I'll try to only make arguments based on solid fact.

However, I did a little bit more research on this topic, and I came across something that really surprised me, and I think will answer your question. I'd like to point you to this link: https://escapetoreality.org....

To answer your next question, I think we have to back up and, as you have already done, define sexism. To be honest, I think the lack of a clear definition is making the line blurry for both of us.

I would, in general, agree with Merriam-Webster's definition, although even within that, the definition is a little vague. It's complicated to know what qualifies as discrimination. One silly example of this might be an adult trying to enter kindergarten and accusing the teacher of discriminating them based on age. This is kind of ridiculous- after all, Kindergarten is specifically directed at kids- it's how they learn. Refusing to allow an adult in isn't discriminatory- it's common sense. So it's complicated to know where to draw the line here.

This, I belive, is a clearer definition that makes a lot more sense in the context of this discussion. This is from Dictionary.com. Let me know if you agree. "[Sexism is] the belief that one sex (usually the male) is naturally superior to the other and should dominate most important areas of political, economic, and social life. Sexist discrimination in the United States in the past has denied opportunities to women in many spheres of activity."

I don't believe that the Bible is guilty of this definition. The Bible is clear that men and women have different roles, and for men, they are called to a position of leadership. But the Bible never says that men are naturally superior to women. It does say that men should dominate some aspects of life, including the church, but it doesn't meet the definition because these areas are not 'more important'. The Bible says clearly that they are equally important to God. I gave verses regarding this in my previous argument: Titus 2:4-5, 1 Timothy 3:11, and Proverbs 31 all talk about the importance of a God-fearing woman.

Christians believe that women are called to different roles in society, but their roles are not lesser. You said, and I quote "If women are loved just as much as men in the eyes of God, that has nothing to do with their position in the world. Sexism doesn't mean hating one gender or liking it less than another. Nor does it have anything to do with a woman's role in the universe." I'm not sure you fully understood my point here, because what you said actually proved my point. You've been arguing that because women are not allowed in a leadership position, and husbands are called to be leaders of the family, then that's sexism. But just now, you clearly said that the roles of each gender are different, but none is different in the eyes of God from one another.

I will hold by my point that 'just because men are in authority does not mean that they are superior'. These two words do not mean the same thing- after all, would you argue that the boss in your example (the "superior") is a more important person then the people beneath him? I would say no- he is in authority, but that does not make him a better person. Ephesians 5:23 says something very similar to this- men are in authority, certainly, but it says nothing about them being naturally better people.

I only have a few characters left, so I'm going to stick straight to the point and try to end this quickly.

The verses that I stated in the previous round do talk about submission to their husbands, but they also clarify the importance of a woman's role, and each of them make it clear that a woman is important and valuable to society.

I have only a few characters left, so I'll end with this:
https://bible.org...
Debate Round No. 3
Phenenas

Pro

And now, my final argument! Don’t worry, your last round was good, but you did put more detail and effort into this one, which I am grateful for. This round, I’m going to give a rebuttal, then a conclusion, which is a quick summary of how the debate went from my perspective, along with some final thoughts for the voters. Just something I like to do. Con can do the same if she chooses.

Continuing the Genesis argument, you say that Adam’s punishment was meant for men because we, in general, are stronger and better built for work. But take a look at the passage again. The labor God describes is related to gathering plant life for eating. In hunter-gatherer societies, which Adam and Eve would have been (if they existed) since they had not yet discovered agriculture, the gathering is almost always done by the women. [1]

One of your points has to do with moral objectivity. I’ve already explained why that topic is irrelevant to our debate. I don’t like having to do this, but I’ll refer you to what I said in Round 2:

“This debate isn’t about who decides what is good or evil, or even whether sexism is good or evil. This law from the Book of Deuteronomy is sexist, because it is prejudiced and discriminatory against women.”

Please point out to me where I said, at any point, that Biblical law isn’t “acceptable” or “right”. I know the word “sexist” has a negative connotation, but it has a clear definition, too. My passion causes me to interject my opinions here and there, and I probably shouldn’t have, because my idea of right and wrong has no relevance to this debate. Nor does yours. I’m trying to prove that the Bible meets the definition, nothing else. Personally, I believe that morality is obviously subjective, and if you want to take that on in a later debate, I’d be happy to let you. But not right now.

So, we’re not required to convince the other whether sex before marriage is good or bad. I shared my beliefs, so you have every right to share yours, as you did. I apologize for going on about sex so much. I had forgotten that you were a child, and might not be very knowledgeable about these things. I’ll have to keep talking about adult-themed topics for the sake of the debate, but now I will keep your age in mind.

You say “Both men and women are punished for this”. Are they? I can’t find any Biblical punishment for non-virgin men. Much less death by rocks. Deuteronomy 22:13-21 is anything but equal. And I never said that men weren’t punished for sexual “immorality”, but their punishments are comparatively light. All three of those verses you cited for me are condemning adultery. I know you’re young and may not know this, but there is a difference between adultery and fornication. Adultery is betraying your spouse to be with someone else. Fornication is simply not being married at all and being with someone at the time. The Bible makes a big deal out of female fornication, while almost turning a blind eye to the men.

No need to apologize about the sources, you’re completely fine. Just know that voters take sources pretty seriously. If you’re going to give information, usually tell your opponent where you got it from. You can even say “I learned in Sunday school that men and women sat on different sides of a church”. That counts as a citation. It helps me learn the facts that your argument is based on.

You’ve sent me an interesting blog post about the verses from 1 Corinthians. I’d love to respond to it point-by-point, but simply don’t have the space. My abridged response is this: all this proves is that the Bible contradicts itself. Dr. Ellis doesn’t try to disprove the “no talking in church” rule, but rather, gives examples of them speaking in tongues anyway.

I agree with the Dictionary.com definition you found. It’s more specific, and I will use it from now on. But we really are getting bogged down in semantics with “superior” versus “important” versus “valuable”, and so on. We have dilly-dallied and beat around the bush, but it’s the last round, so it’s time to settle this. If a husband “rules over” his wife, then he is superior. Just because we don’t see any Hebrew or Greek equivalent of the word “superior” doesn’t mean it isn’t implied. It doesn’t matter if God likes Christian men and women equally. All that matters in our debate is their status in the physical world of Earth. And according to the Bible, a family ought to be a hierarchy, with men at the top and women below. Yes, woman plays a different role, and by the Bible’s command, she plays the role of slave. You can tell me that the ideal godly woman is just as important as a man. But if his job is to be an active leader, teacher, warrior, and preacher, and her job is to obey him, the inequality here is clear as day to me. Feel free to disagree, but in the end, it’s up to the voters.

And going back to the definition you gave us, I believe that the Bible meets those standards. Man rules over woman, as the Bible says in its very first book, and this is natural superiority. Men dominate the political life, because even putting aside the patriarchal society of the Hebrews, Paul says that no woman should have authority over a man. Men dominate the economic life, because they are allowed upward mobility into the priesthood, and are encouraged to go out and find opportunity while women’s first duty is to stay at home and take care of the family. And men dominate the social life, because they speak in church while the women sit in silence, and act as the kings of their own family unit.

“...it doesn't meet the definition because these areas are not 'more important'.”

Please explain your reasoning to me. And tell me how the Bible gives women equal opportunity to participate in politics, society, and the economy.

“...would you argue that the boss in your example (the ‘superior’) is a more important person then the people beneath him?”

You have taken a sudden interest in the word “important”. Why? Sure, it appears in the definition, but not in the context you’re making it out to be. Sexism isn’t the belief that men are more important than women. Importance has nothing to do with it. And to answer your question, I wouldn’t call the boss a more important person than his employee, I would call him a superior.

You ended with an article commenting on 1 Timothy. The guy who wrote it, Dr. Moo, says “Paul’s concern in 1 Timothy 2:11-15 is specifically the role of men and women in activities within the Christian community, and we question whether the prohibitions in this text can rightly be applied outside that framework.”

This is very carefully worded, but he’s saying that if the entire world were Christian and fundamentalist, no women would be in positions of power. Which goes right along with my main argument. And that ends my final rebuttal. Apologies if it sounded curt at times, but...character limit.

Conclusion

Con made a valiant, clearly educated and well-read, defense of the Bible. However, there were problems. She fluctuated a bit, altering her opinion on why women aren't allowed to speak in church. We could never quite resolve the argument of "just different roles". Some of her points felt off-topic, such as equality not being sameness and men being stronger.

My case has been the same from the very beginning. The Bible is sexist because it matches the definition. We have used at least three different definitions of sexism, and I have tried to prove all of them. Con was on the defensive, arguing against my points without building a case of her own. Notice that she didn't give any Bible quotes about gender equality. That would have helped her greatly.

But Con is incredibly polite, and her grammar is stellar. So, all I ask the voters is that you give your vote to whomever you think made the more convincing argument. Good luck to my opponent, on her final round and in the voting stage! Thank you again for an awesome, challenging debate!

Sources:
TouchtheSky

Con

Thank you so much for this debate- it was wonderful to be doing this with you, and I'm sad to see it finished. I'm hoping we can do more debates together afterward. I've never seen what you've done in terms of a conclusion, but I'd like to thank you for your honest points and evaluation of my argument. It was very carefully thought out and very helpful to remember for my next debates, so thank you.

I agree that women will also be punished in terms of that curse, and to be honest, I never really thought of that before, so thank you. But I'll still hold by my point that it was mostly the men who will be affected by that command. God's words aren't directly aimed at the gatherers like you said, although certain lines are ('thorns and thistles' is the main one). All that it says is that 'the ground is cursed, they must eat plants of the field (before, they could simply pluck it off of trees), they would have to work to get their food (the sweat of their face), and they would eventually die (which is by FAR the biggest curse for both Adam and Eve). The fact is, both Adam and Eve would have to work to prepare food. Eve might do the gathering, but naturally, Adam would do more of the hard physical labor.

As for the Deuteronomy point, I apologize if I didn't fully understand your point and ended up rambling and getting sidetracked. I see now that it was a rabbit trail, and I'll try to stay on track from now on. All I can really say here is that it's a difference of opinion, and just something that I don't know a lot about. Your points were very valid, but to be honest, I really don't know enough about the topic to be able to really discuss them, so I'm going to move on. I would like to continue to state my belief, however, that both men and women can be at fault in this situation, and there is nothing that suggests that God will not punish them both equally, even if this specific verse is directed at women.

I'm glad we've both agreed on a definition with regards to morality- it's something we should have done in the very first round, and it's resulted in a lot of confusion for both of us. I agree that we are getting very bogged down in the idea of "superior" and "important" and "valuable". But I also disagree with your final conclusion. If a husband "rules over" his wife, that won't always mean that he's a more important person. The President (or King, or whoever rules over the place where you live) rules over you, but that doesn't make him more valuable in the eyes of God. Your boss at work, or your teacher at your school, or your parents all "rule over" you, but that doesn't mean that they are better people. You said that "it doesn't matter if God likes men and women equally. All that matters in our debate is their status on the physical world of earth". As for this point, all I can say is that you and I have a very different idea of what this debate is about. To me, their status on earth has been given to them by God, and it is a role from him, but as a Christian, I believe that worth is determined not by their position on a made-up hierarchy, but their worth as a child of God, made in his image (Genesis 1:26). There is no verse that suggests that a woman plays the role of a slave- I've already given you several verses where God-fearing women are glorified.

I do believe that the Bible gives women an equal opportunity to participate in politics, society, and the economy, but I believe that this does not mean that they have the exact same roles. The men's job is to be a leader and a teacher, but the woman's role is to be a nurturer and a helper. No role is less important than the other.

Thank you so much for your comments- I'm still trying to figure out a lot of this myself, and haven't really studied this topic a lot, so I suppose I wasn't really grounded in a lot of my ideas, specifically about women talking in church. Next time, I'll try to focus more on the main point. Thank you so much for this wonderful debate- I really hope we can keep on debating in the future.
Debate Round No. 4
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by judaism 3 years ago
judaism
Pro made the argument that Genesis 3:16 condones men to rule over women, but Jeremiah said in the Messianic Age, this wouldn't be so.
Posted by judaism 3 years ago
judaism
If you don't believe me, just try debating them and see how it goes!
Posted by judaism 3 years ago
judaism
Well, seems everyone's on here. I'd love to see FollowerofChrist1955 debate backwardseden, though. Both have the same character: arrogance.
Posted by TheTrueBeliever 3 years ago
TheTrueBeliever
Modern day simple-minds have a hard time with the difference between the notions of "intrinsic value" and categorical logic. In other words, I fully admit that under certain circumstances (when I'm in a court for example) that a judge who lives down the street from me would have authority over me, this does not mean that as a person, he/she is a "superior" human being. At work, I must defer to my boss when it pertains to my work; this does not mean that he has more "value" than I do as a human being. When parents have authority for a small time frame over their children as they develop, this does not mean that the parents are somehow more "important" than the children.
When I meet a police officer, who generally only have HS education, within the framework of being on a public highway, he has authority over me. If he ever changed pursuits and got a job for the Govt where I work, it would probably be true that I have authority over him/her.
Within the framework of a religious home, the Father of the home is the primary authority for spiritual development and matters. The mother is the primary authority for maternal development and matters (which is equally as important).
Only modern day atheistic-liberals could be so illogical as to not understand logical and social categorizations, and to then argue that this somehow means that one sex is "superior" (sexist) to the other. They are utterly influenced by philosophical notions of egalitarianism and are utterly oblivious to the difference. To them, unless each sex has the EXACT same roles, then one must be intrinsically "superior" to the other.
Within any construct, being an "authority", in no way implies that you have more intrinsic value to another. Coaches are not "superior" to their players. Police are not "superior" to citizens. Parents are not "superior" to children. Husbands are not "superior" to wives. To make this idiotic argument is a non-sequitur. They DO NOT understand The Bible.
Posted by backwardseden 3 years ago
backwardseden
@TouchtheSky - Sure "some" so-called christians may not be sexist. But then again there really is no such a thing as those who are christians because christ is a false messiah to begin with. Regardless nobody can prove that god can even exist as well. So its a double whammy. But let's suppose god exists for the sake of mere argument... it means that in order for you to believe in god, then you absolutely MUST believe in pure sexism and to degrade and humiliate women because you are a man and for no other reason. That's according to YOUR bible and its verses as stated below. Look them up. Some of them are truly sick and disgusting as is your bible.
Posted by canis 3 years ago
canis
Imagine if the book it was written / created by a women.... ?
Posted by Phenenas 3 years ago
Phenenas
@TouchtheSky Thank you, I'm glad that there are still people on this site who like calm discussion. If you're still willing, I think I'll choose you as my opponent here. Best of luck to you!
Posted by TouchtheSky 3 years ago
TouchtheSky
Guys, we're only in the comments section, and already people are viciously attacking one another. FollowerofChrist1955, I agree with your beliefs in general, but I think that Phenenas has a right to be able to question God's judgement in this matter, and I would enjoy the chance to talk this over. Backwardseden, there are in fact Christians who believe in equal rights for men and women- it's not a contradiction. Please don't insult other people over this.

I would enjoy the opportunity to discuss this with you, if that's alright. I know several people have already volunteered, but I would enjoy it if they don't get a chance to.
Posted by backwardseden 3 years ago
backwardseden
@Phenenas - Don't worry at all you are perfectly fine. FollowerofhippieJesusJujitsu (as we all know) is a worthless breed of scum and radioactive trash that feather dusts his bile in which nobody of sound mind believes. You are 100% correct in stating that the bible "shuns women and portrays them as completely inferior to men" and then some by a wide margin. And here are some verses to absolutely 100% prove you are correct in which are irrefutable and truly impossible to take out of context as christians who rather blatantly and obviously have not read their bible's. I don't know if all of these verses listed will fit into what you are looking for, but some certainly will. Please tc and have fun.
LM 4: 9-11 sick and disgusting, HS 13:16 sick and disgusting, JD 21:10, 2 SAM 12 11-14 sick and disgusting, DT 2:34, NU 31 17:18, LV 26 21:22, 1 SAM 15:3, HS 13:16 sick and disgusting, DT 2 32-34, 2 KS 8: 9-15, 2 KS 15:16 sick and disgusting, EZ 9: 5-7, HS 9: 11-16, 2 KS 6: 28-29 sick and disgusting, JD 19: 24-29, LM 2 20-22 sick and disgusting, 1 COR 14:34,1 TMY 2:12
Posted by Phenenas 3 years ago
Phenenas
@FollowerofChrist1955 Chill, dude. The debate hasn't even started yet.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Wizofoz 3 years ago
Wizofoz
PhenenasTouchtheSkyTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Both sides quoted various biblical passages, then attempted to interpret them according to their beliefs. In this, I think Pro definatley made more convincing arguments, for instance the fact that Eve was punished, and Adam was given authority over her. Con on more then one occasion stated that men had authority, women should be subservient, but tried to explain that this was not sexist, not successfully in my opinion. They agreed on the dictionary definition of sexism, but then con tried to argue that the separation of roles and authority given to men did not constitute sexism, when it clearly does. A very well conducted debate, but ultimately Pro made better arguments.

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