Instigator

Is Christianity A Good Moral System To Follow?

Debating

Waiting for contender's argument

The round will be automatically forfeited in:
00:00:00:00
Debate details
Publication date
Last update
Category
Religion
Time for argument
Two weeks
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
One week
Point system
Four points
Rating mode
Rated
Characters per argument
15,000
Contender
Description
-- INTRO --
This is about whether Christianity is a good moral system to follow or not. It is focused on the New Testament and it's teachings, as it is called CHRISTianity for a reason, that reason being that it focuses on Jesus Christ and his teachings. Therefore, all arguments should center primarily around Jesus Christ/the New Testament. Secondly, there is no objective Christian standpoint, and what is truly taught for Christians should really be up for debate as well.
-- STRUCTURE --
1. Opening
2. Rebuttals
3. Rejoinders
4. Rebuttals/Close
-- DEBATER OBJECTIVES --
Pro - must sufficiently prove that Christianity is a good moral system while simultaneously disproving Con's arguments.
Con - must sufficiently prove that Christianity is a bad moral system while simultaneously disproving Pro's arguments.
-- DEFINITIONS --
Christianity - the religion based on the person and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, or its beliefs and practices.
Good - to be desired or approved of.
Moral system - a system of coherent, systematic, and reasonable principles, rules, ideals, and values which work to form one's overall perspective.
Follow - act according to (an instruction or precept).
-- RULES --
1. No forfeits
2. Citations must be provided in the text of the debate
3. No new arguments in the final speeches
4. Observe good sportsmanship and maintain a civil and decorous atmosphere
5. No trolling
6. No "kritiks" of the topic (challenging assumptions in the resolution)
7. For all resolutional terms, individuals should use commonplace understandings that fit within the logical context of the resolution and this debate
8. The burden of proof is shared; Pro must show why Christianity is a good moral system to follow, and Con must show why it is a bad moral system to follow. Simply rebutting one's opponent's arguments is not sufficient to win the debate.
9. Violation of any of these rules merits a loss.
Round 1
Published:
Many thanks to my opponent for this debate! For space, I will incorporate quotes only for main points. For minor parts of broad points I will simply provide citations. Bible version will be NIV unless otherwise stated.

0.) Definitionapalooza

0.1) What is a “Good moral system”.

To determine whether the moral system is good or bad, we have to establish a method of assessing the framework. I offer the following rules for voters to assess the Christian Moral Framework (CMF):

A.) It must not claim actions or behaviours are moral that are immoral or vice versa.

B.) Is must not be overly detrimental if you adhere to it.

C.) It must be possible to be follow?

D.) It must be reasonable, coherent and consistent.

Failure in many, or all of these aspects would clearly render a moral framework “bad” and thus would negate the resolution.

0.2) Following Christianity

One would not consider someone as “following the law” if they frequently robbed people - even though they may not be breaking any other laws.

Likewise following The CMF necessitates trying to follow all the moral laws and codes that Christianity lays down. Picking and choosing what to follow is therefore not “following” the CMF.

1.) CMF is too open to Interpretation.

The Bible, and the CMF has been regularly used to justify such atrocities and horrible acts - from the west borough Baptist Church, the crusades to the Salem
witch Trials. This clearly shows at least someinterpretations of CMF are odious and horrible - violating rule A.

Pro acknowledges that there is no objectively correct version of Christianity in the description - but pros admission here leads to three possibilities when trying to interpret the Bible:

I.) You interpret the bible based on your own moral values: this is not following the CMF- thus is just rationalizing your own morality with the Bible. 

II.) You rely on experts to help you interpret the Bible: this is also not following the CMF:this is following an experts interpretation, is dependent on the moral character of the authority, and is exactly why so much cruelty has come from Christianity.

III.) You become an expert in ancient Hebrew gain access to the underlying texts, and hope that you can translate with the appropriate context and determine that the originals can only really have one meaning. This is not practical.

In all cases: one cannot consider such a subjective and open to interpretation framework as “Good” due to the violation of the rules, or the fact it’s not really following the CMF.

Pro may attempt to show his interpretation is correct, but this is inherently problematic as shown above. Good people who believe in the Bible will rationalize what is good and bad to mirror their own morality : they are making the Bible follow their morals; rather than the other way around.

While pro can show interpretations of the Bible - these should only be accepted if there is no possible way a rational and reasonable human could interpret the line any other way.

As a result of the issues abide, the remainder of my arguments will be using a mostly literal reading of the Bible - I will use what it says.

2.) Morally odious, and irrelevant commands

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”
https://biblehub.com/matthew/5-17.htm

The law of the Prophets includes rules about not eating shellfish, selling your children into slavery and stoning homosexuals. ( https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Leviticus+20&version=NLT&interface=amp).

Even if you ignore Jesus admission that the law is not abolished: there are still weird moral edicts in the NT: telling slaves to be obedient[9], for women not to talk in church[6] - and to cover their head[8], and outlawing homosexuality as immoral[11]: none of these square with any reasonable human beings interpretation of morality. Violating rule A.

Then there’s the Ten Commandments, however are important as they are ten major moral edicts of Christianity : among the list of major moral crimes you shouldn’t commit:

  • Don’t Worship other Gods
  • Don’t work on Saturday
  • Don’t use the lords name in vain
  • Don’t be Jealous of your peers
  • Don’t Dishonour your mother of father.

(https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus+20&version=NIV)

The first four violate rule A. There appears to be nothing overtly or inherently immoral when assessed by our own moral standards today.

For the fifth: it violates rule D and rule B. For example: Joseph Fritzl imprisoned and raped his daughter over a period of decades[1]. The major moral edict he violated was “don’t commit adultery”, his daughter, however would be guilty of dishonouring her father if she tried to escape, or ran away.

A moral system in which the most significant commands can lead to such a grotesque moral decision is not a coherent or good system. Worse, when 50% of these commands don’t even appear prima Facia immoral, your system cannot be considered good either 

3.) Pacifism.

Jesus promotes outright pacifism:

“But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.”
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+5%3A38-40&version=NIV

Turning the other cheek - also called Appeasement - was an approach taken by western allies with Hitler prior to the outbreak of WW2[2]. Given the atrocities committed by Hitler, our innate morality tells us the at even the horror of war are justified to avert even bigger horrors.

The CMF tells us it is inherently immoral for us to have fought world war 2. This violates rule B and C, as it is clearly reasonable to fight some wars in some situations.

If the CMF had been followed, it would have led to Japan, Germany winning WW2 and the deaths of multiple tens of millions of Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals with the likely realization of Germany’s final solution.

4.) Communism / Money

“Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
“Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.”
“John answered, “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.”
“And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need. 
https://www.biblestudytools.com/acts/4.html

Jesus’ moral commands show an outright hostility to money, above and beyond simply advocating against greed. The passages above show that Jesus advocated to shed one’s wealth and give to the poor, and that you should not aim for wealth at all in your life.

This clearly violates rule A, and rule B. It does not appear immoral to want success and money, provided you’re not greedy, or hurt others in doing it.

Bill Gates has arguably helped save more lives and improve the world through his wealth than 10,000 Mother Teresa’s[3], and yet his life would be considered immoral based upon CMF.

The benefit given to the world by Market capitalism would largely be eradicated by adhering to this CMF: and would mean we would spend our time comforting the sick and dying; but not acquiring and capitalizing upon our great wealth to save billions of lives through technology to eradicate child mortality, famine and sickness.

5.) Love your neighbour / enemy.

Both Jesus and Paul advocates for loving your neighbour and your enemy unconditionally:

“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”
“But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.”
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+6%3A35&version=NIV

While I’m sure we can agree that having empathy for others, and the struggles for others is a good thing; the moral command to go further and love murderers, rapists, the evil, dictators, and horrifying human beings is too much. It’s neither practical nor a coherent part of a moral framework.

There is no moral necessity to love serial killers, or child rapists. Viewed as humans, and with whatever empathy one can muster, yes: but it is not immoral to detest those who harm others, and it is not reasonable to have a moral command to ignore that understandable - and justifiable emotion.

6.) The Crux.

The Bible primarily consists of one good moral message paraphrased as “don’t be d**ks to each other”. The remainder of the CMF is arbitrary, irrelevant or morally odious.

To follow the CMF as taught by Jesus, you must be a full communist, full pacifist, adhere to 5 arbitrary commandments, try and uphold impossible arbitrary and a whole host of other edicts.

Thought crime is immoral[4][5], don’t make crass jokes or have sex before marriage[13], don’t have long hair as a guy, cover your hair if your a woman[6], no divorce, [7] no speaking in church if your a woman[8], slaves should not be disobedient[9], neither gay sex nor lesbian sex is allowed.[10] - as for jewelry and elaborate hairstyles: that’s a no no too[11]

Struggling with all these immoral acts or thought crime? Just cut off your hands and feet if they’re causing this immorality; it’s better than the impure thoughts![12]

This is the crux: for this to be a good moral framework, must interpret away or ignore all inconvenient or irrelevant passages to be a good person, or for the morality to make sense. Which is by definition - not following the CMF.

As a result of the above, the resolution is clearly false.

Sources:

[1] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fritzl_case
[2] https://www.iwm.org.uk/history/how-britain-hoped-to-avoid-war-with-germany-in-the-1930s
[3]https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/feb/14/bill-gates-philanthropy-warren-buffett-vaccines-infant-mortality
[4] https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+5%3A27-28&version=NKJV
[5] https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+5%3A21-26&version=NIV
[6] https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Corinthians+11&version=NIV
[7] https://www.biblestudytools.com/matthew/passage/?q=matthew+5:31-32
[8] https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Corinthians+14%3A34-36&version=NIV
[9] https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians+6&version=NIV(6-9)
[10] https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+1%3A26-27&version=NIV
[11] https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Timothy%202:9&version=NIV
[12]https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+5%3A30&version=NIV
[13] https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians+5%3A4&version=NIV

Not published yet
Round 2
Not published yet
Not published yet
Round 3
Not published yet
Not published yet
Round 4
Not published yet
Not published yet
Added:
--> @Ramshutu
Studying for SAT so I'll probably just squeeze this in tonight
Contender
#4
Added:
--> @Speedrace
2 day warning!
Instigator
#3
Added:
--> @Ramshutu
Ok lol
Contender
#2
Added:
--> @Speedrace
Nearly there. Just tweaking, and trying to reduce the size :)
Instigator
#1
No votes yet