The Instigator
Pro (for)
Anonymous
The Contender
Phenenas
Con (against)

is Christianity the true religion

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/6/2018 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 616 times Debate No: 115072
Debate Rounds (5)
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Pro

Hello Phenenas, I saw on your profile that you said that if anyone wants to try to convince you of their religion, go ahead. I am a Christian and I would like to attempt to convince you that it is indeed the true religion. For the first round please just accept the debate. Arguments will begin next round.
Phenenas

Con

Alright, then I accept. All I ask is that we keep this civil.
Debate Round No. 1

Pro

While I was researching this topic, I realized that answering this question with only 10,000 characters is way to hard and found someone who can explain it much better than I can. Ravi Zacharias is a famous Christian philosopher and here is a link of him explaining the answer to this question.
Phenenas

Con

I would have preferred that you had made an argument yourself rather than linking a video. But very well, I’ve watched the video, and now I’ll give my response to it. I’m not convinced by either of their answers. The short version of my rebuttal is this: they both assume that the Bible is completely reliable.

Ravi Zacharias’s answer is pretty anecdotal, but when he finally does get to his reasoning for why Christianity is right, it seems geared towards those who are Christians already. He praises Jesus for having such a pure life, performing miracles, and predicting his own death, but ignores the fact that the Gospels, which are the only documents we have that talk about Jesus's life, weren't written by eyewitnesses and we can’t take them as historical evidence.

He claims to be amazed that Jesus fulfilled all the Old Testament prophecies, yet he doesn’t even entertain the possibility that his fulfilling them was in itself a legend, meant to convince people he was the messiah. We have no empirical evidence that Jesus was born of a virgin, a descendant of David, or a native of Bethlehem outside the New Testament. And if I trusted everything the New Testament said, we wouldn’t be having this conversation, because I would be a Christian.

The other man on the stage, Vince Vitale, makes a less nebulous argument, but unlike Zacharias, he makes some outrageous claims which are factually wrong. He points to 1 Corinthians 15, which describes all the people whom Jesus appeared to post-Resurrection. Just like his colleague, he takes the Bible as historical evidence, which is a very flawed approach if you’re trying to convince the irreligious. Yes, the letters of Paul state that Jesus appeared to many people, even hundreds at a time. But as far as testimony from those very people who supposedly saw him? Nothing. If we had a letter or a diary entry from someone who claimed to have seen the risen-again Jesus, while in a group, that would change everything, and I would immediately admit my mistake and convert to Christianity. But these are all from secondhand sources, and outside of the biased source of Paul, we hear nothing of these post-Resurrection appearances.

I’d like to add that Dr. Vitale said this book of the Bible was written “almost immediately” after Jesus’s death. The First Epistle to the Corinthians is dated by scholars to 53-54 AD [1], so I’m a bit shocked that 20 years counts as “almost immediately”. Paul never met Jesus, and two decades is plenty of time for myths to form. Maybe you’ll be tempted to ask me, “What motivation would people have to make up a story like that?” I’ll explain myself later on.

Dr. Vitale, at around the 7:35 mark, gives a perfect explanation of the modern academic view of how the myth of the resurrection came about. But then he destroys his credibility by labelling this as the scholarship of “a hundred years ago” and saying that now, the “legendary development” thesis got thrown out the window and now the only possible scholarly explanation is that Jesus actually rose from the dead. I’m sure even the audience could sense something wrong there - if this is the only academic explanation, then why aren’t all history professors devout Christians? In truth, “legendary development” is still the standard view, and isn’t being thrown out of any windows anytime soon. I suspect his explanation is so flawed because he’s a theologian rather than a secular scholar, and he studies the work of other evangelicals rather than those who are going to look at the Bible historically, critically, and honestly.

If you’re curious about what I believe, as far as how the Jesus story came about if it isn’t true, I’d again point to Dr. Vitale’s demonstration: one person tells another person, that person tells another, and so on, and like a game of Telephone, the story changes and becomes embellished. Jesus was certainly a real person - we have enough evidence to prove that. But we don’t have any information about him from contemporary sources. All we can know for sure is that he was baptized by John the Baptist and crucified by Pontius Pilate. [2] As for everything else, we have no way of knowing if any of it is true. And these legends probably aren’t the work of any wicked disciple who decided to tell lies, but they arose naturally, like most myths, out of human interaction. Just look at some of the stories you see on Infowars or Snopes. Even in the Information Age, where all the knowledge in the world is just a Google search away, there are people who believe that the world is flat, that Barack Obama is a Muslim born in Kenya, and that the Sandy Hook shooting was staged. So it's not difficult to see how a legend about Jesus could have arisen quickly, especially in a time when stories were spread by word of mouth, and when people were more open to religious/superstitious explanations.

The last thing I want to appear as is closed-minded. I tried to give your video a fair shot, I weighed the arguments, and I wasn’t convinced. I’m open to having my mind and my religion changed - with evidence. If you want to make any arguments of your own, or question anything I’ve said, then feel free. As for now, I don’t believe that Christianity is “the true religion”, nor that such a thing exists. Best of luck to you.

Sources:
1. https://en.wikipedia.org...
2. https://en.wikipedia.org...

Debate Round No. 2

Pro

Thank you for your response. I don't have time to respond right now so could you copy and paste your last argument to this round so I can respond to it within the next few days.
Phenenas

Con

You can respond to my argument next round; I won't copy and paste it as that sounds a little redundant. Look forward to hearing from you!
Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
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Debate Round No. 5
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