The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
4 Points

The Christian god (Yahweh) does not exist

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/30/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,910 times Debate No: 51221
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (13)
Votes (1)




First round is for acceptance. BOP is on me. Any definitions can be hammered out in the comments section.


I accept. Thanks Pro, I look forward to it.
Debate Round No. 1


This is a short version of my argument that should get the debate started.

Historical Argument

Yahweh was not originally a Hebrew deity, in fact he was first worshipped by the Canaanites (who according to the bible were later exterminated by the Jews [1]). The Canaanites often depict a figure sitting on Yahweh's wheeled throne and appeared to have worshiped him as either a storm god or a god of metal work [2].

The very fact that Yahweh was worshiped by the polytheistic Canaanites invalidates his existence outright, the very fact that we can see his form change over time into what we now see changes everything about him. Remember an omniscient being cannot change their mind [3].

Paradoxical Argument

The bible constantly contradicts itself for instance:

God can inhabit temples [4], God can't inhabit temples [5].

God rests [6], God doesn't rest [7].

Yahweh is a god of peace [8], Yahweh is a god of war [9].

Murder is banned [10], Yahweh encourages murder [11].

God is claimed to be both omniscient [12] and omnipotent [13]. This is logically contradictory as a being that knows everything knows the actions it will take in the future and as such is not free to do anything and therefore has no power to choose what it does.

Yahweh is claimed to be both just and merciful [14] this is a contradiction as a being that is truly merciful will pardon even the worst offender but a being that is truly just will punish fairly but surely.

[1] Joshua 6


[3] (longer argument but I doubt there will be too much argument here)

[4] 2 Chronicles 7:12-14

[5] Acts 7:48

[6] Exodus 31:17

[7] Isaiah 40:28

[8] Romans 15:33

[9] Exodus 15:3

[10] Exodus 20:13

[11] Leviticus 20:13

[12] Psalm 147:4-5

[13] Luke 1:37

[14] Psalm 116:5


Thanks Pro

Historical Argument
Pro says that Yahweh was first worshipped by the canaanites. This notion is wrong on 3 counts:

1) It is simply wrong. Indeed, the only mention of Yahweh that we have in any Canaanite writings is found on the Mesha Stele, and even then only refers to the God of Israel in contrast with Chemosh, the God of the Moabites. [1] There is no other evidence of a God named "Yahweh" being worshipped by the Canaanites; any similarities are likely to be pure coincidence - the Canaanites worshipped several gods, and it is inevitable that some sort or similarities will arise.

2) It commits the genetic fallacy, which is: "a line of "reasoning" in which a perceived defect in the origin of a claim or thing is taken to be evidence that discredits the claim or thing itself" [2]. So, stating Yahweh's origins - which my opponent takes to be from the Canaanites - achieves nothing in terms of discrediting the notion of the existence of Yahweh.

3) It commits the Post hoc, ergo propter hoc (after this, therefore because of this) fallacy. Even if there are correlations with Israelite and Canaanite worship of Yahweh, and even if the Canaanites worshipped him first before the Israelites (but I don't for a minute admit this), that doesn't mean that the Israelites 'borrowed' a Canaanite deity and began to worship it. You need to show the causal relation if you are to make an argument like this.

Next, my opponent states that:
"The very fact that we can see his form change over time into what we now see changes everything about him. Remember an omniscient being cannot change their mind"
Even if the way Yahweh was worshipped and depicted changes, that doesn't for a minute mean that Yahweh himself changes. This is a non-argument.

So Pro's Historical argument fails in several respects.

Paradoxical Argument
Pro proceeds to list several supposed Paradoxes in the Bible or the nature of Yahweh. Needless to say, these 'paradoxes' are either simply wrong, or a gross misunderstanding of the meaning of the text. I will go through each claim.

God can inhabit temples, God can't inhabit temples"
There is a difference between being present in the temple (or rather, the Holy of Holies) as the Jews thought, and living in a man-made house. In fact, there isn't even a mention of temples in Acts 7:48 - only houses, which aren't temples. So God can be present within a temple and indeed a house - he is omnipresent. But he cannot 'live' inside a human made house. There is a clear distinction to be made.

"God rests, God doesn't rest"
Isaiah 40:28 goes as follows:

"Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom"
. [3]

As you can see, there is no mention at all of God not resting. It simply mentions that God is everlasting; i.e existing forever, and will not grow tired or weary; i.e he doesn't need rest, but can rest if he so wishes. At no point does the verse say that God does not rest. When God rested on the 7th day, it was not because he was tired and needed rest, it is that he had completed creation and chose to rest.

Yahweh is a god of peace, Yahweh is a god of war"
Exodus 15:3 says that 'God is a warrior'.
You can be a warrior while still being peaceful; some may consider mother Teresa a 'warrior' against suffering and injustice - but no-one would ever blame here of being warmongering. In other words, you can still be a warrior while being peaceful. The two aren't antonyms.

"Murder is banned, Yahweh encourages murder"
There is a vital difference between 'murder' and what we are talking about in the text. Murder is: "The unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another" [4], Whereas in Leviticus 20:13, it makes it clear that such a killing is a lawful killing; after all, Leviticus is a book of laws. So in no sense is the law in Leviticus 20:13 'murder', it cannot by definition. So Yahweh doesn't encourage murder - at most, he encourages a punishment of killing for a violation of divine law.

"God is claimed to be both omniscient and omnipotent. This is logically contradictory as a being that knows everything knows the actions it will take in the future and as such is not free to do anything and therefore has no power to choose what it does"
I see no reason why knowledge of choices somehow determines the choices that a being makes. Surely it is the other way round! It seems fairly blatant that God's own choices determine his knowledge of his own free-choices. Regardless, who even says that God has free-will, and how does it impact on his omnipotence? While some argue that he does, it is not essential to the nature of Yahweh. It may be that it is logically impossible for a maximally great being (i.e Yahweh) to have free-will. Because that implies that he can make wrong choices. But God can't be wrong! So in that sense, it is greater not to have free-will than not to, as that suggests the possibility of being wrong or doing wrong choices. So the dilemma is a false one - free-will is not necessarily a great-making property.

"Yahweh is claimed to be both just and merciful this is a contradiction as a being that is truly merciful will pardon even the worst offender but a being that is truly just will punish fairly but surely"
I see no contradiction between being merciful and just. As Thomas Aquinas stated;
"God acts mercifully, not indeed by going against his justice, but by doing something more than justice; thus a man who pays another two hundred pieces of money, though owing him only one hundred, does nothing against justice, but acts liberally or mercifully" [5]
So being both just and merciful at the same time has no contradictions.

Thanks Pro, I hand the debate back over to you.

[1] 'Canaanite myth and Hebrew epic: essays in the history of the religion of Israel': Frank Moore Cross
[3] 40%3A28
Debate Round No. 2


I'm very sorry, I'm going to have to forfeit this debate on account of me being out of the country for some time. I'll challenge you again when I get back.


No problem. See you around.
Debate Round No. 3


A341 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4


A341 forfeited this round.


Thanks everyone, see you around
Debate Round No. 5
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Pitbull15 7 years ago
Looks like we have a potential front-pager here what with all the comments.

Looking forward to reading this one.
Posted by Nzrsaa 7 years ago
NIV usually
Posted by A341 7 years ago
Out of interest is there a specific version of the bible you endorse (to prevent any problems)?
Posted by MUSA 7 years ago
You really don't have an argument. There is a God. A creator if you will. He, in the first person may not be here, but he left his children here, us. It is more of a question. To what extent do you believe ? Either you do or don't. I wish, that all people who really in their hearts don't believe in a life after death, never have children. Because if you have no soul, how can anyone hold you accountable for your actions here. That alone is what makes the Christian view so important to everyone living. Otherwise, the people would have ceased to exist on this planet, and would have been gone with the invention of the atomic bomb. So, be glad there is one.
Posted by The_Scapegoat_bleats 7 years ago
I do not agree, sorry.
If you use NT, you have to accept that the god of the OT does no longer exist by the end of NT.
Again, I'm sorry, but I'll have to decline this. We have too incompatible views on this for an effective cmmunication. It would be no fun. For either of us.
Posted by A341 7 years ago
However if you use only the OT you do not need to accept any of the NT.
Posted by A341 7 years ago
I would say that if you use the NT you must also accept much of the old testament because of verses like Matthew 5:18.
Posted by The_Scapegoat_bleats 7 years ago
OT or NT?
Posted by Illegalcombatant 7 years ago
By having a loose definition of God, even if you give a good argument for the non existence of that God, some one can just claim a slightly different conception of God, say it's the bible God and lose.

I mean it's your funeral..........
Posted by A341 7 years ago
I am being deliberately vague so as to open the debate to more people. A loose definition would be a god with the characteristics shown by the bible in both the new and old testaments.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Geogeer 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Sadly pro forfeited what looked to be a promising debate. Points Con.

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