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Theism vs Anti-Theism

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/12/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 766 times Debate No: 45730
Debate Rounds (5)
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I'd like to debate religion with anyone, as long as they're civil and decent. I'm a strong atheist, and anyone willing to pick up the debate please do! Game on!


I am not theist but will still take the opposite for this debate.
Debate Round No. 1


Ok, first let me explain that I do not hate, nor do I think religion is bad in and of itself. But I'd like to focus on Christianity. Christians over time have evolved, and have developed morals other than that of which Christianity forms. Some Christians today now approve of homosexuality, or abortion, or not wearing hats all the time, not killing those who commit adultery. Is it a 'follower's' duty to enforce those morals set for them? Where in the Bible does it say "If thou shalt not approve of thine Holy words, then thou shall pick and choose."
And on another level, why would God create Lucifer? If he is all knowing and all powerful, then why would he create Lucifer knowing that he would corrupt the innocent human spirit? Doesn't that seem malevolent?
Why is there poverty and pain and disease? If He is Almighty, couldn't he stop that? Is he able but not willing? That's cruel. Is he willing and not able? Then the Bible lies in telling us he is all powerful. Is he neither willing nor able? Then why give Him the name of "God"?


Well said. I completely agree. There are inconsistent uses of scripture among the constituents of the Abrahamic faith traditions, especially the Western brand of Christian-Protestant-Evangelicalism in the United States. Folks seem to "cherry-pick" the Bible to support whatever agenda they might endorse but then also use the Bible in the same way to oppose whatever they might detest or disagree with despite what the Bible actually says.

Should we still stone adulterers or not eat shellfish or still own slaves? - All of which most folks today would consider crazy notions but which we still find in the Bible! This is why there are groups like the Westboro Baptist Church protesting funerals with signs that say things like "God hates ____." Everyone agrees that they are a radical group but then make exceptions that they are misreading or misinterpreting the Bible, when in all honesty, they are not. They have a strict literal interpretation of the Bible. It's clear that hard adherence to a strict literal interpretation of the Bible has problems when we try to square this what we know about the world today and with what we consider moral and fair today as well.

Rebuttal 1:

Religious folks have some work to do. And though we agree there are inconsistencies, your distaste for this kind of piousness doesn't disprove or prove anything. It merely points out that religious folks might misuse scripture in one way or another, or that a difference of interpretation exists. Among different groups it does. But laws have changed as well, so it becomes more complicated.

As a example, the Westboro Baptist Church has a literal interpretation of the Bible but also follow the "laws of the land" as instructed to do so in the Bible. It might seem odd but that's how you end up with a group who obviously deplores homosexuality but no longer endorses slavery as it is outlawed under the Constitution but same sex marriage isn't fully sheltered under the laws yet.

Now I'm not defending or endorsing anything or anyone group here, but what I am saying is that these folks then have what they consider to be well reasoned and logical ways of navigating the world while still following God's word, though both you and I would disagree with them.

And none of this disproves theism or proves it. These are really things to note and be aware of. I'm glad that you are.

Rebuttal 2:

Most of your case in Round 2 is centered around the Problem of Evil.

I think the Problem of Evil is the essential Religious problem and is, really, the essential Human problem. The preface to this is traditionally (in formal Philosophy of Religion) the question of how to reconcile the existence of evil with that of a deity who is omnipotent, omniscient, and omni-benevolent. Sometimes it's phrased as a simple question, "Why does God allow bad things to happen?"

One of the theologians that I'm currently enthralled with is Rabbi Wolpe (America's Rabbi). His take on the Problem of Evil and the system in which we find ourselves demands that God permits evil in order that we may have Free Will.

Is it God's job the interfere every-time a human being is going to harm another human being? And then how can we really say we have free will when He does? If you believe that God grants us freedom, then God has to remove himself so that we may be free.

One of the premises, then, is that there has to be random suffering in the world and that is the only way that we may also have Goodness as well. It is profoundly unfair but how else do you set-up a world in which we have free will but no suffering?

Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas were some of the first to understand how we wouldn't necessarily be free if God always interfered and saw certain "evils" as natural or only moral [Encountering Evil, p. 52].

A some theist and deist can square the Problem of Evil away by simply pointing out that in order to be free, God must then step away and allow everything to happen and it's hard to understand that makes us free to have choice, to do good works and bad works. And this is the only way to create a world in which we are not robots and can truly have Free Will.
Debate Round No. 2


PeacefulLibertarian forfeited this round.


Of the more interesting arguments made in favor of religion/theism are examples of cultures and countries devoid of region/theism in recent history and how they behaved.

1) Nazi Germany
2) Stalin
3) Mao
4) Pol Pot

The 20th Century was like a social laboratory experiment for how societies might act and behave when religion and theism are removed and vacuous.

An argument of utility can be made in favor of religion rather than an epistemological debate.
Debate Round No. 3


PeacefulLibertarian forfeited this round.


Lovely day out.

Think I will build a catamaran today and then frolic in the woods later at midnight.
Debate Round No. 4


PeacefulLibertarian forfeited this round.


Sorry Voters if you took the time.

Peace & Blessings
Debate Round No. 5
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by WhizKid 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: At least philosurfer finished/was willing to finish the debate.

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