Instigator / Pro
Points: 12

Proposed: Jesus was tempted by Satan but three times, yet there are so many sins. There are three sins into which all others are encompassed.

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armoredcat
Debate details
Publication date
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Category
Religion
Time for argument
Two days
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
Two weeks
Point system
Four points
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Rated
Characters per argument
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Contender / Con
Points: 21
Description
Proposed: Jesus was tempted by Satan but three times, yet there are so many sins. In this debate, I propose to demonstrate that there are three categories of sins into which all other sins are encompassed, and this explains why Satan limited his temptations to these three. Master these three pitfalls, and all sins are less likely to plague the repentant soul and set that soul on the road to achieving perfection. The three basic sins encompassing all others, and why all sins relate to them, will be revealed in the first round and will consist of my total BoP. It will be Con's BoP to prove these three sins do not encompass all others.
Round 1
Published:
Let me offer at the outset my appreciation to armoredcat, my new friend, for accepting this debate. I hope for a good-natured, mutually generous experience. So be it; let us begin:
 
Introduction: Setting the stage
 
1 The text I will use in this debate to introduce my argument is the Holy Bible, Matthew, Chapter 4, verses 1 – 11.[1] This us not to say that it will be my only reference; certainly not. There is much to bring to the table and I will do so. I merely offer the assumption, and advise that my argument centers on the proposition that all sins relate to one of three sins by which Satan tempted Christ immediately following the baptism of Christ at the hands of John the Baptist.
 
2 I will further offer my belief that as real personages, Christ and Satan are brothers; sons of God in the spirit, as are we all. Therefore, these combatants are our brothers, as well, as we are all spirit sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father. Here again, it is not the purpose of this debate to prove or disprove these matters of family relationships. I mention it merely to offer background understanding of our purpose in this exercise to be the recipients and targets of Satan’s tempting power, and of Christ’s redemptive power. If you have the ability of suspension of disbelief, if that is your current belief, and can take the forthcoming arguments in that light, all the better for you to understand my argument, and that of my opponent.
 
3 Following his baptism, Jesus immediately retires to the wilderness. I like to think it was southward, bordering in the mountains above the Dead Sea, considering that further up river, the Jordan River which empties into that wasteland, Jesus was baptized. It is poetic to consider that Jesus considered the waters of his cleansing – not that it was needed in his case, but, as he told John, “…to fulfill all righteousness.”[2]– would be followed by his footsteps to such a wasteland. Not as a disappointment, but rather, as an opportunity to represent to us that all things of Satan can be overcome by our righteous obedience. Jesus, himself, would be typecast in the role as exemplar.
 
4 However, in Satan’s role, we find a clever aside, an attempt even before offering his three elemental temptations would be presented, to attempt to plant doubt in Christ’s mind. And mind you, this encounter occurs only after Christ has already spent forty days and nights in this desolation in fasting and prayer. What follows is indication that these two are already acquainted. Said the Temptor, first, “If thou be the Son of God…” Satan knows very well who Christ is, and who he, Satan, is, that they are brothers, but that God, the Father, their father, and ours, chose Christ’s plan for the rest of God’s children, us, rather than Satan’s plan, because the former, although issuing commandments for us to follow in righteousness, for our good, for our eventual redemption, on the condition of our obedience, would offer to redeem us by his personal sacrifice. Whereas Satan, in personal pride, would force our way back to heaven by denial of our free agency to choose our way, and would not, in the end, redeem us from anything that may befall us in our mortal experience. God’s place for us, in effect, is Eden, the Perfect Garden. Satan’s place for us, by contrast, is the desolation of the Dead Sea. He is already home.
 
5 Satan, in his greed to have more, attempts to plant doubt in Christ’s mind that he may not be the Son of God in the flesh. If he is not, Satan calculates - though he knows full well that Christ is exactly that, and yet will combat him to the ends of the earth – the fact is, Christ will not be the successful Son of God if it is his choice to deny that role for himself, even now. Therefore, the following three temptations carry all that weight on Satan’s shoulders to convince, and, thereby, spoil God’s plan for us: “If thou be the Son of God…”and remember that Christ is now forty days hungry… 
 
I Argument: “…command that these stones be made bread.”[3]
 
I.a Thus, the first temptation is placed. It is: Pride.Not hunger? No, Christ is already hungry; he does not need to be tempted to be so. And it is no sin to be hungry. No, hunger is not Satan’s trap. It is pride, because it is couched in Satan’s clever offer of doubt that Christ is notthe Son of God. When challenged thus, as we often do [and is that a subtle tug at our shoulder that perhaps we are not sons and daughters of God, either?] Satan calculates that Christ, in pride, will prove his Sonship, his unique, direct ancestry of divinity in the flesh by demonstration of that obvious source of strength. Satan even offers a suggestion. “You’re hungry,” he prods, as if it were necessary, “here are stones. You can make bread of them.” Does not God, and, therefore, his Son, have the ability to transmute anything into anything else, merely by manipulation of atomic structure? It’s just science, in the hands of a renowned expert. It’s child’s play. A Holy Child, in any event.
 
I.b Is that not something of which to be proud? And if Satan can be so bold as to tempt Christ, are we not all, therefore, under that temptation as well, in every day of our lives? And under the which umbrella hides a multitude of kindred sins? Pride goeth before the fall, it is said.[4] Actually, the full quote is, “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before the fall.”[5]
 
I.b.1 Consider Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, in which friend Brutus calculates, “That lowliness is ambition’s ladder, whereto the climber upward turns his face. But when he once attains the upmost round, he then unto the ladder turns his back, looks in the clouds, scorning the base degrees by which he did ascend. So Caesar may. Then, lest he may, prevent. And since the quarrel will bear no color for the thing he is, fashion it thus: that what he is, augmented, would run to these and these extremities.”[6] That speech is all about pride, and what follows in its wake.
 
I.b.2 The sin of pride is the mastermind of so many base sins, which, by degree, descend the soul into deeper and deeper extremes. Pride is the harbinger of a list of sins identified by the sixth century Pope Gregory I as “deadly:” pride, envy, wrath, gluttony, lust, sloth, and greed.[7] Note that each are conditions of deeply personal involvement, and each has a direct link to the first: pride.
 
II Argument: “…cast thyself down…”[8]
 
II.a Thus the second temptation is laid: Power. Note, once again, that Satan uses doubt to introduce this elemental sin for the desire of power. It is a double-edged sword. If Christ is the Son of God, he has the right to call down the blessings of Heaven to protect him from harm so that his mission in life can be accomplished. If he is not the Son of God, he will need power to create the illusion that he is the Son of God, who would be endowed with power from Heaven.
 
II.b Having power is not necessarily a sin in itself, but the use of that power for incorrect purposes can be sinful. Satan’s temptation is an invitation for Christ to use the power he suggests for personal gain, whereas the service of Christ, by God’s plan, was for Christ to be in the service of others. And what is the result of service to others? A great prophet noted when that power is used in the service of others, “…I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that… when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.”[9]
 
II.b.1 Elsewhere we read, Though talk of power can make some people uncomfortable, it is vitally important in organizational contexts: you need power to be able to influence others, perform your job to the maximum and attain all your goals. But this doesn’t mean nice guys finish last, in fact one of the key components to successfully maintaining power is using it for a greater good. Drawing upon extensive research from the field of organizational behavior and psychology, Prof. Sebastien Brion identifies six steps to gain and maintain power at work (power meaning here control over some valued resource upon which others depend.) 1. Control valued resources. 2. Develop social skills. 3. Internalize power. 4.Keep tabs on your behavior and environment. 5. Use your power to serve others. 6. Nurture alliances.Use power wisely – first and foremost, for the benefit of the people around you and the organization you serve. ”[10]
 
II.b.2 This kind of use of power is that by which Christ conducted his life, refuting Satan’s claim that power was useful in self-serving activities. No, self-purpose must by modified by turning outward to serve others, and, thereby, the self is augmented as it should be. Power that is not used in the pride of self-service, but in humility by service to others defeats both self-pride and power in service to others, and thus defeats Satan in his self-serving effort.
 
III Argument: “All these things will I give thee…”[11]
 
III.a Thus is laid the third elemental sin: Possession.However, for this last, Satan abandons the hook of placing doubt. His “if, then” challenge is an outright demonstration that it is Satan, not God, to whom allegiance must be given. Shown all the wealth of the world, Christ is challenged to possessit, “…if thou wilt fall down and worship me.”There is no pretense of subtlety here. Satan has blatantly withdrawn doubt, but he has also withdrawn both pride and power; all the world’s wealth will be given to Christ if only he will bow down to Satan and worship him as the source of pride and power, by the offering of wealth untold.
 
III.b Possession is a curious thing. It is, in and of itself by casual observation, representative of both pride and power. Those who possess wealth are viewed as both prideful and powerful, against which others are victims of that pride and power, and possession, as if all three are denied to them. Their envy is not personally seen as nearly as sinful as the sin of these three elementals.
 
IV Argument: Elemental sins are the root, trunk and branches of an evil tree
 
IV.a These three elemental sins, pride, power, and possession, are the root, trunk and branches of an evil tree whose fruit, like the biblical tree in Eden that God warned Adam and Eve to avoid partaking, would corrupt and bring death. It is like the Supreme Court’s principle, established by precedent, in the case, Nardone v. United States [1939]:  called the Fruit of the Poisonous Tree,which excluded evidence in a court trial that was obtained by illegal law enforcement activity. The Eden tree was called “the tree of knowledge of good and evil,”and its fruit would bring death. It is likened to the “fruit of the poisonous tree”in that it’s fruit, obtained illegally, would kill the case, and all other evidence obtained in it, even if that remaining evidence were obtained properly. Just so, the elemental sins of pride, power and possession derive all other sins man can commit. All are poisonous to the soul; all are evil in their results, and all can be eliminated even after commission, by a recognition that Christ is the source of forgiveness of sin, and all because he refused to succumb to the temptations of Satan in the wilderness.
 
I yield to my opponent.
 
 



[1] Holy Bible, Matthew 4: 1 – 11


[2] Holy Bible, Matthew 3: 15


[3] Holy Bible, Matthew 4: 3


[4] Holy Bible, proverbs 16: 18


[5] ibid


[6] Shakespeare, William, Julius Caesar,II, i.




[8] Holy Bible, Matthew 4: 6


[9] Book of Mormon, Mosiah 2: 17




[11] Holy Bible, Matthew 4: 9









Published:
Thank you to my friend and opponent in this debate fauxlaw for his well-spoken and well-argued first-round constructive. 

Burden of Proof 

My opponent states in his debate description: 

“The three basic sins encompassing all others, and why all sins relate to them, will be revealed in the first round and will consist of my total BoP.”

For the record, there’s a difference between something encompassing something else and something relating to something else. Per my definition of encompass, to encompass means “to include comprehensively” (I use the third definition because that definition of encompass is relevant to the debate). Something that relates to something only has a relation/connection/association with something. Because my opponent’s resolution uses the word “encompass” but my opponent’s description uses the word “relate”, these two things are contradictory to each other. 

I can elaborate further on the contrast between encompass and relate using the following comparison. Math is a field/type of science, so science encompasses (or includes comprehensively) math. On the other hand, math and chemistry are both fields of science, and in this sense they are related, but math does not encompass chemistry or vice versa. 

I posit that my opponent has to prove that there are three sins that encompass all others rather than three sins that relate to all others for two reasons; 
  1. That the resolution is what is being debated in a debate and is thus the most important and overruling statement in a debate; a description is secondary. When my opponent says “encompass” in the resolution and “relate” in his description, we should defer to what the resolution states.
  2. My opponent says both “relate” and “encompass” in his debate description. On the other hand, my opponent only uses the word “encompass” in his resolution, so we should give precedence to the resolution because it gives us more clarity.
Definitions 

Since my opponent hasn’t provided definitions for this debate, I have chosen to do so. All of what is written here, from BoP to Definitions to Rebuttals to my Negative Case, can be challenged. 

Encompass - “to include comprehensively
Relate - “to have some relation (often followed by to)
Relation - “an existing connection; a significant association between or among things”
Sin - “transgression of divine law” (In this case we’re talking about Christian law)

Rebuttals

Essentially, I don’t think that Pro is able to prove his resolution. We have shared burdens. Pro has to prove that his three Sins (Pride, Power, and Possession) encompass all other sins. If a sin is defined above as a “transgression of divine law” then my opponent would have to find a list of Sins in the Bible and prove that all of them fit under his three umbrella sins. 

Pro has seemingly not given any evidence that his three umbrella sins encompass all sins. Mostly, he has made unsupported statements like this:

“Just so, the elemental sins of pride, power and possession derive all other sins man can commit.”

The only vague attempt that my opponent has made to affirm the resolution was to claim that Pride is a harbinger of the seven deadly sins. Keep in mind that:
  1. The Seven Deadly sins hardly constitute all Sins as a whole. Biblical sins like the worship of idols  (aka. Having a non-Abrahamic religion) have nothing to do with pride, envy, wrath, gluttony, lust, sloth, and greed.
  2. Pro does nothing to support the claim that Pride is a harbinger or an encompass-er of these other sins. 
This is the only way that the debate can happen if me and my opponent have shared burdens. If Pro gave me three sins and asked me to prove that they don’t encompass all others, I’d have the BoP. My opponent has essentially created a resolution that is near-impossible to prove, has given himself the partial BoP, and on top of this, failed to support his broad claims with any tangible evidence. 

I’d also like to ask my opponent to elaborate on what my opponent means by possession. The possession of monetary wealth? The possession of goods? 

Negative Case 

Due to our shared burdens, it’s required that I not only counter my opponent's points but also introduce my own. I will do so here. 

In this section, I would only have to give one Biblical Sin that doesn’t fit within my opponent's definition to win the debate (since his definition says ALL sins), but I’ll give a concise three.

I: Idolatry

Like I previously stated, the Bible classifies idolatry as a sin. However, worshipping gods besides the Christian God conveys neither Pride, nor Power, nor Greed/Possession. In fact, worshipping idols is essentially the same thing as worshipping the Christian God; it conveys blind faith in another powerful being which you don’t know to exist. 

II: Atheism 

The New Testament considers not believing in Jesus Christ a sin, and it calls them wicked and evil among many other things. I ask the readers of this debate and my opponent; how is it prideful, greedy, or an abuse of power to doubt the existence of God? It seems like a belief that doesn’t make any statement on the nature of self-worth. 

III: Working on the Sabbath

The Bible commands in the 10 Commandments that you may not work at the Sabbath, making a violation of this a violation of the 10 Commandments and one of the most severe sins someone can commit. However, is working overly prideful? Not necessarily, you could work for all sorts of reasons. Is it a selfish abuse of power? No, you could be working to help your family or friends. Is it in pursuit of material possessions? Not always. As previously stated, you could be working to help others. 

Conclusion

To conclude, my opponent had to prove that ALL sins were encompassed by his three, but rarely even made an attempt to fulfill his massive BoP. I’ve given three examples of Biblical sins that do not necessarily coincide with his three umbrella sins. 

I thank my opponent, fauxlaw, for beginning a respectful and thoughtful discussion and I pass the baton back to him. 


Round 2
Published:
I Rebuttal: Encompassing relations
 
I.a In order to rebut my opponent regarding encompass and relate, I will use his example of science, math, and chemistry. Let us suppose, merely for rebuttal’s sake, that these three activities are sins, of which science is the elemental sin encompassing the related sins of math and chemistry, as well as physics, geology, and astronomy, et al.They are not mutually exclusive, but the elemental does encompass each of the branches of science mentioned, whereas none of these specifics encompass science. This is the manner of their relationship of elemental sin to specific sins, and the specifics of one to another. 
 
II Rebuttal: “Pro is [not] able to prove his resolution” 
 
II.a Did I not say in Description that my r1 would reveal the three sins on which all others are based? Did I promise to give anything else in round 1? I have three rounds left to me. Patience. I offered background to introduce the three elemental sins, and I even offered evidence of Pride via Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar  through Brutus. I did say I would use other sources, didn’t I? That’s one source for one elemental sin, besides offering a biblical source, Proverbs, for the same elemental sin. Are Shakespeare, and the Holy Bible banned as sources? Not by me, as I noted in my r1, Introduction 1, I would have sources. Therefore, my opponent’s charge of lack of evidence is false. Con’s rebuttal fails. As a matter of logic, it follows that there are sins which are encompassed by more than one elemental, and we shall see proof of that by and by.
 
III Rebuttal: The Seven Deadlies
 
III.a My opponent claimed in his r1 rebuttal that, “The Seven Deadly sins hardly constitute all Sins as a whole. Biblical sins like the worship of idols  (aka. Having a non-Abrahamic religion) have nothing to do with pride, envy, wrath, gluttony, lust, sloth, and greed.” I never said, “the Seven Deadlies constitute all sins.” I quote what I said, r1, I.b.2, “Pride is the harbinger of a list of sins identified by the sixth century Pope Gregory I as ‘deadly:’ pride, envy, wrath, gluttony, lust, sloth, and greed.”[1] I mentioned Pride, alone, as an elemental of the Seven Deadlies. Note: “a list of sins,” were identified by pope Gregory I. Let’s not exaggerate by converting "a list" to all sins. It is rarely a successful argument. I therefore declare Con’s rebuttal as a failure to disprove my BoP in this matter, too.
 
III.b Con further rebuts that I have not offered evidence that Pride encompasses the six other “deadlies.” Au contraire. I offered Pope Gregory I,[2] who lists it first, and Proverbs, which claims, “Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty heart before the fall.”[3] Sounds like an elemental to me by both sources. Con’s rebuttal is a failure to disprove my BoP in this matter, as well.
 
IV Rebuttal: Possession
 
IV.1 What is possession? Look it up, or, refer to rebuttal, r2, II.a, above, or, practice patience. There is r2 to complete, and two following.
 
V Rebuttal: Idolatry
 
V.a I refer Con, and readers, to Matthew 4: 8, 9, to wit: “…the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. And the reply by Jesus, verse 10: “…Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
 
V.a.1 Satan, knowing who God is [his Father] and who Jesus is [his brother, and the Son of God in the flesh], sets himself to be worshipped, but, as Jesus replies, only “the Lord thy God”is to be worshipped, and He, alone is to be served. Satan attempts to declare himself a rightful idol to be worshipped. As this incident occurs as the third of the elemental sins, idolatry is, therefore, part of the sin of Possession. I challenge my opponent to find that encompassing; but I will offer it by and by.
 
VI Rebuttal: Atheism
 
VI.a This is also encompassed within the injunction to worship “the Lord thy God.” This is not only a limitation of worship, but a command to worship only God, which atheism denies doing. It is, therefore, also encompassed by the elemental sin of Possession, as in the jealous denial of time devoted to God by further use of time for our own pursuits we possess. By the way, Con has accepted an ad hoc definition of possession as “greed.” Possession encompasses far more than that, such as jealousy. Therefore, possession and greed are not equivalents, as shall be seen. The latter is a sub-set of the former.
 
VII Rebuttal: Working on the Sabbath
 
VII.a Con offers all three elementals as potential evils with regard to the injunction to keep the Sabbath holy. Potential. That is actually a term that applies to the potential of all sinning, not just this one. Where Con errs is in allowing that our motivation to work on the Sabbath may not necessarily be motivated by Pride, Power, or Possession. The fly in the necessary soup is that such action can be motivated by any of the three elemental sins. I’m not arguing that we have the ability to rationalize our sins; of course we do. It’s a dangerous tactic, but, we do have that right. How we keep the Sabbath is a mode of action we must justify to ourselves and God, but rarely to anyone else. 
 
VII.b Con has, not by intent, I am sure, demonstrated my point in II.a, above; but he has. He has identified a sin, working on the sabbath, that is encompassed by all three elementals: Pride, Power, and Possession. Well done. However, it does fly in the face of his claim that my BoP is all-inclusive, while declaring that his is not necessarily so hard. Necessarily is a highly operative word allowing for necessity as one of the options. Therefore, Con’s rebuttal in this matter fails. 
 
VIII Argument: The Commandments
 
VIII.a My opponent has challenged that my BoP is to list all the sins described in the Holy Bible, because I have stated that all sins are derived from three elementary sins: Pride, Power, and Possession. I will offer Con a suggestion: let him tend to his garden; I’ll tend mine. A possession thing, yes? I’ve noted above where Con has already wandered into my garden, perhaps at the expense of his own. Caveat emptor.
 
VIII.b As I have earlier noted, I have other means to prove my BoP. As an example, when God revealed the Ten Commandments to Moses, virtually all are self-explanatory but one; that referred to by Con in his r1: Commandment Five: “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.”[4] Although an additional three verses further expound on the subject, they do not provide a list of activities the Lord either sanctions, or not. I will submit that the other nine may well offer suggestions of proper comportment on the Sabbath, let alone on any other day. However, we also know that Jesus Christ, in his ministry, often, to the Pharisees, violated the Sabbath by their interpretation, such as performing miracles on the Sabbath. Note that these miracles were always in the service of others, even though a manner of work was performed, as if service to others was sinful.
 
VIII.b.1 In Hebrew, “work” is two words, avodah,and melachah.The latter was that work that was prohibited on the Sabbath.[5] It represented work that amounted to production, as in labor that is attributed to enrichment by virtue of the work performed. It is a random collection of activities that may not necessarily involve physical labor, though that is often how it is interpreted.[6] However, over the centuries between Moses and the Pharisees of the first century C.E., that scholarly group managed to corrupt the meaning, and looked upon all physical labor on the sabbath as anathema. Clearly, earlier scholars had a different view; one related to the third elemental sin: Possession.
 
VIII.c When the Pharisees attempted to trap Jesus in acknowledging work on the Sabbath, they posed, they thought, a clever question in the process, and thus hung themselves on their own treachery. They asked, in mock deference, “Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto to them, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”[7]
 
VIII.c.1 Herein is all the BoP I require, specifically due to the last sentence. As on all commandments “hang all the law and the prophets,” so it follows that all sins, as well, hang on them. It would be well, therefore, to understand the two commandments: Love God with all effort of body, spirit, and mind. Likewise love all people. That covers everyone on whom we should express love, and, therefore, covers all possible sins. 
 
VIII.d Therefore, I will apply this proper understanding of the “encompass” of Pride, Power, and Possession: it implies that I should not offend or injure God by any means, and neither should I offend any man by any means, let alone cause injury, physical, mental, or spiritual to them. Any offense, and injury to God, to self, and to others is a sin, by whatever guise it wears. 
 
VIII.d.1 Why is this so? Simple. The Old Testament prophesies are of a Messiah who will redeem all Israel, and, indeed, all of mankind. Redemption is a process of justifying all people to the Law of God on the basis of their obedience to it. Moses delivered the Ten Commandments to Israel, and while he was collecting from God, Israel was busy at the base of the mountain committing virtually every sin encompassed by the Ten Commandments. By redemption of Israel, Jesus fulfilled the law [of Moses]: “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.”[8]
 
 
 

Published:
Burden of Proof 

I’m not entirely sure what my opponent is getting at here, because none of what he’s saying seems at all contradictory to what I’m saying (except for the part where he says that the elemental encompasses the specifics, which is, of course, the whole point of the debate. Could he please clarify his point and where he disagrees with me? 

Rebuttals

I offered background to introduce the three elemental sins, and I even offered evidence of Pride via Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar  through Brutus. I did say I would use other sources, didn’t I? That’s one source for one elemental sin, besides offering a biblical source, Proverbs, for the same elemental sin. Are Shakespeare, and the Holy Bible banned as sources? Not by me, as I noted in my r1, Introduction 1, I would have sources. Therefore, my opponent’s charge of lack of evidence is false. Con’s rebuttal fails.

I was expecting Pro to give evidence in his R1 that his three elemental sins encompass all sins. He gave a variety of quotes from Shakespeare and the Bible, but these do not prove that his three elemental sins encompass all sins. Hence my charge that Pro lacked evidence in R1.

“IV.1 What is possession? Look it up, or, refer to rebuttal, r2, II.a, above, or, practice patience. There is r2 to complete, and two following.”

I can’t really look it up because clearly your Elemental Sin of Possession is different than the word “Possession”. Insofar, you’ve failed to provide a concrete definition for The Elemental Sin of Possession. 

The following rebuttals address my opponent’s VIII Argument (at the bottom of his rebuttal).

“VIII.a My opponent has challenged that my BoP is to list all the sins described in the Holy Bible, because I have stated that all sins are derived from three elementary sins: Pride, Power, and Possession.”

This is true.
  
(Responding to VIII.b) My opponent says that the Pharisees constituted Jesus’ actions as a violation of the Sabbath. My opponent fails to explain why the Pharisees, a group that Jesus called hypocrites, were valid in their criticisms of Jesus. For the record, the Pharisees are not the Bible. If they claimed that Jesus violated the Sabbath, that doesn’t mean he did. 
 
(Responding to VIII.b.1) So the Pharisees were wrong, and corrupted definitions? How could Jesus have violated the Sabbath if the definitions the Pharisees used to make that accusation were corrupted? 
 
“Clearly, earlier scholars had a different view; one related to the third elemental sin: Possession.”
 
My opponent didn’t provide a source for his claim after he made the claim as is traditional. Therefore, I’m going to regard this claim as unfounded. 
 
"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”[7]
 
The Bible advocates against homosexuality, sinning against your own body, or getting tattoos (same source). Unless these things have to do somehow with love for your neighbor, I think Jesus was wrong with this one. 
 
If my opponent says that this is a violation of the Love of God and not of thy Neighbor, then it is true that not all sins are reliant on the Love of thy Neighbor, making it possible to commit a selfless sin. 
 
VIII.c.1 Herein is all the BoP I require, specifically due to the last sentence. As on all commandments “hang all the law and the prophets,” so it follows that all sins, as well, hang on them.
 
Even if Jesus was right that all sins described in the Bible hung on the first two commandments, this has nothing to do with your BoP in the debate. 
 
You say “all sins”. Once again, for the sake of argument, we’re assuming that Sins are only those that aren’t done to help others. Even then, you’d have to prove to me that every, single, sin is encompassed by your three elemental sins. You can’t just claim that all sins hang on a set of other sins and expect me to disprove that claim; you have Burdens as well. 
 
“That covers everyone on whom we should express love, and, therefore, covers all possible sins.”
 
I don’t understand how the second conclusion could possibly follow from the first conclusion. We should love all people, therefore love of other people apples to all sins? I don’t get this. 
 
“VIII.d Therefore, I will apply this proper understanding of the “encompass” of Pride, Power, and Possession:”
 
What is “the” encompass? Encompass is a transitive verb
 
“it implies that I should not offend or injure God by any means, and neither should I offend any man by any means, let alone cause injury, physical, mental, or spiritual to them”
 
Is my opponent equating the first two Commandments with his Three Elemental Sins? What makes these two things alike? More clear meaning and explanation would help.
 
“Any offense, and injury to God, to self, and to others is a sin, by whatever guise it wears.”
  
(Responding to VIII.d.1 and the above quote) I don’t understand the relevance of this, either. Maybe if my opponent phrased these statements and connected them to the debate’s resolution they would make more sense. 
 
Negative Case 

I. Idolatry

V.a.1 Satan, knowing who God is [his Father] and who Jesus is [his brother, and the Son of God in the flesh], sets himself to be worshipped, but, as Jesus replies, only “the Lord thy God”is to be worshipped, and He, alone is to be served. Satan attempts to declare himself a rightful idol to be worshipped. As this incident occurs as the third of the elemental sins, idolatry is, therefore, part of the sin of Possession.

Not all idolatry is Satan worship. Idolatry is defined as “the worship of idols”. 

Here’s what I’m getting at and I think my opponent may be missing. My opponent says that ALL Sins fit under the three elemental sins he lists. 

Say I’m from an island in the ocean. My people worship (fictional) Boda, The god of Waves. Nothing Satanic. I was raised to do so and have largely the same reasoning for believing in my god that Christians do for worshipping Jesus.  The Bible says that by worshipping Boda I just committed a Sin. But none of my actions could be construed as possessive, greedy, or jealous. Therefore, that action was a sin that did not fall under the category of possessive. And therefore, not all sins are encompassed by my opponent’s three categories. The resolution is negated, and this is the crux of my argument. 

To be clear, non-satanic idolatry does exist in the real world, for example in Hinduism, where idols, called Pratima, have been worshipped for 2,000+ years. So my above example has real-world applications. 

II: Atheism 

“VI.a This is also encompassed within the injunction to worship “the Lord thy God.” This is not only a limitation of worship, but a command to worship only God, which atheism denies doing.”

I don’t dispute this. 

“It is, therefore, also encompassed by the elemental sin of Possession, as in the jealous denial of time devoted to God by further use of time for our own pursuits we possess.”

How is it jealous? 

My opponent’s point is not necessarily true either. It’s not guaranteed that when I’m out of Church I’m off on my own selfish pursuits. I could be giving money/food to the poor, helping my friend through a rough time in his life, or helping my grandma navigate her new computer. 

By the way, Atheism is a belief and not necessarily an action. A large number of atheists are closet atheists, meaning that they may publicly be Christian and attend services but privately not believe in God. Therefore, my opponent’s claim that it is the “denial of time devoted to God” is false. 

“By the way, Con has accepted an ad hoc definition of possession as “greed.” Possession encompasses far more than that, such as jealousy. Therefore, possession and greed are not equivalents, as shall be seen. The latter is a sub-set of the former.”
 
I’ve accepted an ad hoc definition because you’ve failed to provide an actual definition. When I asked you how you’d define The Elemental Sin of Possession, you told me to find it myself (and of course I couldn’t find it… or else why would I ask the question) 
 
III. Working on the Sabbath
 
“ Where Con errs is in allowing that our motivation to work on the Sabbath may not necessarily be motivated by Pride, Power, or Possession. The fly in the necessary soup is that such action can be motivated by any of the three elemental sins.”
 
My opponent said in his debate resolution that ALL sins are encompassed by Pride, Power, and Possession. My claim is that NOT ALL sins are encompassed by Pride, Power, and Possession. If I find a Sin (like working on the Sabbath) that is not motivated by Pride, Power, or Possession, I win the debate. Working on the Sabbath COULD be a Sin of Pride, Power, or Possession in some cases, but in other cases, it isn’t, and those cases negate the resolution because they are still Sins as classified by the Bible. Therefore, those cases constitute sins that aren’t motivated by my opponent's three elemental sins. Therefore, NOT ALL sins are motivated by those three Elemental Sins. 
 
VII.b Con has, not by intent, I am sure, demonstrated my point in II.a, above; but he has. He has identified a sin, working on the sabbath, that is encompassed by all three elementals: Pride, Power, and Possession. Well done. However, it does fly in the face of his claim that my BoP is all-inclusive, while declaring that his is not necessarily so hard.
 
First off, I don’t get how the second point, “the flying in the face” claim, follows from the first claim, the “encompassed by all three” claim. Perhaps my opponent should be more direct in his language as statements like these are often hard to follow. 
 
My opponent is right that my BoP is less hard than his. I have to prove that not all sins are encompassed by his Three Elemental Sins, and he has to prove that his Three Elemental Sins encompass ALL sins. 
 
“Necessarily is a highly operative word allowing for necessity as one of the options. Therefore, Con’s rebuttal in this matter fails.”

This is the third claim (so far) my opponent’s made that I’m failing to understand. To improve comprehension among myself and the voters, I ask that he be more direct. 

Conclusion

My opponent’s resolution is that ALL sins are encompassed by his Three Elemental Sins. In order for him to prove that all sins are encompassed by his Three Elemental Sins, he’d have to go sin by sin through all the Biblical sins. Instead, he has tried, through a series of bizarre, complex, and questionably relevant arguments, to prove that he doesn’t have to do this. On top of this, my opponent has failed to provide CONCRETE definitions for ANY of his Three Elemental Sins, meaning that they can essentially mean anything. 

All I have to do is prove that NOT ALL sins are encompassed by his three Elementals, or that you can commit a sin that is not motivated by Pride, Power, or Possession, to win the debate. I have done so with my example of Hindu Idol Worshippers, Closet Atheists, and those who violate the Sabbath to help others. Any one example could win the debate for me, but three is more than enough. This wins the debate for me and then some. 






Round 3
Published:
Given my opponent’s apparent confusion as expressed in his r2, I will offer additional argument first, and then apply some rebuttal because, contrary to his r2 opening [BoP], he states: “…none of what he’s saying seems at all contradictory to what I’m saying…”  however, the balance of 10,000 words disagrees with that statement. 
 
I Argument: Pride, Power, and Possession, made simple
 
I.a Pride: If every sin can be attributed to causing offense or injury [in both, by either physical, mental, and/or spiritual harm] to God, to other people, or to ourselves, as demonstrated in my r2, argument VIII.de and VIII.d.1, then Pride is the elemental sin encompassing any other sin by which we replace proper allegiance and gratitude of accomplishment in God and in other people by placement of these attitudes in ourselves, alone. 
 
I.a We should be mindful of our own contribution to any accomplishment, and we would certainly deserve praise by our singular accomplishment, but that praise should come from God and other people, and not exclusively from ourselves. It is self-directed praise that is prideful.
 
I.bPower: By the same argument as noted in I.a, above, Power is the elemental sin encompassing every other sin by which we usurp the rightful use of power by God, or by other people, by taking that power unto ourselves to use, denying its proper use by those others.
 
I.b.1 This is not to say that Power is to be avoided, for we each have claim to use of power, but it is properly used only when authorized to do so, and should never be used solely for personal gain at the expense of others, or avoided use to be of service both to God, and to other people. Recall the prophetic declaration from r2, argument II.b: “…when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God,”[1] and the more modern version of it, in the same argument: “…5. Use your power to serve others… Use power wisely – first and foremost, for the benefit of the people around you and the organization you serve.”[2]  It is self-serving benefit that is the misuse of power.
 
I.c Possession: By the same arguments as noted in I.a and I.b, above, Possession is the elemental sin encompassing every other sin by which we purloin the rightful possessions of God, or of other people, by taking that possession unto ourselves to have and use, denying its proper possession and use by those others.
 
I.c.1 By “possessions,” as described in my r2, rebuttals VI and VII, this is not only physical possessions not of our ownership, but that we may be inclined to take by greed, but also by taking possession of authority to act, which is not rightfully our possession of authority to use, or by denial of attitude to express to others rightfully expecting it from us, such as refusal to be grateful for the efforts of others in and on our behalf. 
 
I.c.2 “If greed and self-interest were the same thing, then the miser and the saint would be greedy because they both seek to satisfy their preferences. For that reason greed has no meaning in economics.”[3]  Motivations, emotions and moral decisions cannot be party to economic systems because these factors can strangle even the most altruistic self-interests, and, therefore, have no part in economic systems. Greed is, therefore, exclusively a matter of illicit acquisition of possessions. This is why Pro’s argument in his r1 that possession and greed are synonymous is false because greed is tied only to physical items of ownership.  
 
I.c.3 Often, biblical theorists, and ordinary Christians will take the story of Jesus and the young rich man as a principle that should be followed by all, concluding that acquisition of wealth is evil. The story is told in Matthew 19:[4] A wealthy young man approaches Jesus to ask how he “may have eternal life.” Jesus replies, “…keep the commandments.”  This the young man does, he said. Jesus relates commandments familiar to most, as from Moses, and finishes with, “…love thy neighbor as thyself”– similar to what we encounter in Matthew 22 [see my r2, VIII.c]. Confused, the young man replies, “All these things I have kept from my youth…” Finally, Jesus said, “If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor…”  “But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.”  The young man’s greed was his nemesis, not that all who have “great possessions” are; some with wealth are still very generous to the poor and needy. But not this young man. This was instruction to him, specifically, because Jesus sensed his greed, his sin of possession. Not all who have wealth commit this sin, and, therefore, need not temper their actions to give it all away,
 
II Rebuttal: The conditional nature of sin
 
II.a In his r1, my opponent challenged that my BoP could be met only by listing all sins mentioned in the Bible. I explained in my r2 rebuttal VIII, which my opponent now challenges in his r2 because he does not understand it. Not understanding is not a rebuttal; it is not even a supportable argument. However, let’s provide understanding.
 
II.b The root of Con’s misunderstanding is in his expectation that all languages have consistency, one to another. In every language, so it is supposed, one word in one has its equivalent in another. This is fallacious. Language is driven by culture. As cultures have great diversity, so do their languages and each linguistic lexicon. The effort of translation from one language to another as practiced by even ‘expert’ linguisticians is typically by dictionary-to-dictionary comparison. Fine; let’s compare “love” in English to that same word in Greek. Oh, an interrupt: Greek does not have one word that is the equivalent of English “love.” There are, in Greek, a total of seven words: eros, philia, storge, agape, ludus, pragma, and philautia. In English, these variations of “love” must be enhanced by associated adjectives, such as for agape, we substitute “universal love,” or “charitable love” to distinguish the sense of agape in English. 
 
II.b.1Con’s interrupt is that when he speaks of the scriptures lending to his confused state, he offers the Biblical Leviticus 20: 13, “…If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination…”  Although “love,” neither in Greek, nor English, is a word used here, the intent is clear that we are talking about sexual, physical love [eros]  and not charitable love, [agape],  of which Jesus speaks in Matthew 19: 19, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”  Thus Con’s confusion when he claims “Jesus was wrong here.”
 
II.b.1.A Con’s interrupt is simply explained with a bit of knowledgeable history. In the first century C.E., Israelites, what is left of them after the Babylonian invasion and occupation 600 years previous, did not ever fully recover in the region as an autonomous nation until 20 centuries later. The common man in the streets of Jerusalem in the first century C.E. did not have a working knowledge of Hebrew.[5] He spoke Aramaic. Neither, surprisingly, did the scholar working in the synagogue, or the lawyer in his practice [these both were Pharisees]. His working language was Greek.[6] Further, the texts commonly used in the first century C.E. were not the Hebrew Torah, but rather, the Greek Septuagint, in use since at least the third century B.C.E.[7] As a result, we should understand clearly the distinction of use of eros vs. agape,  and not accuse Jesus of getting it wrong. He knew exactly what he was talking about, and so do we, and thus, Con’s argument fails.
 
II.c The reason why a list of sins is immaterial, contrary to my opponent’s continued insistence, thus maintaining his invasion of my garden rather than tending to his own, is that all sins are conditional by their nature.  Simply put, it is expected that all laws of God are to be obeyed. Period. When they are not, this constitutes sin. Sin is merely a counterfeit of obedience. It is practiced, it is rationalized [justified?] as a type of obedience when, in fact, it is passing a counterfeit $20 bill, so to speak. Further, my opponent supposes that once a sin, always a sin. No, as I argued in r2, VIII.b, for example, while the Pharisees believed that any work performed on the sabbath was a sin, Jesus taught that charitable work performed on the sabbath, work performed for the benefit of others, was not sinful. Nor is it sinful to work on the sabbath if one's employer demands that schedule while, if, in the person's heart, that person would otherwise be in an attitude of worship of God. What list will quantify and qualify that? Moreover, if, while working, that person maintains a prayer to God in his heart, a cheerful, helpful attitude to others, and a readiness to perform as expected in his labors, how is that not worship as intended by God?
 
II.c.1 Suppose I purchase a car from a private owner, a junker truck for which I pay an agreed-upon $500. I give him cash; he gives me the truck, the keys, and the pink slip. I now possess the truck; he owns my $500. It’s a deal; we both get out of it what was expected. The only problem is that my $500 payment was made in counterfeit $20 bills, 25 of them. I have a commodity of value, but my seller has nothing of value. Now suppose that I was unaware of the counterfeit nature of my money, but find out later when my seller accuses me of fraud. Did I sin? In law, ignorance is no defense. It is called ignorantia juris non exccusat  [ignorance of the law excuses not]. There are, indeed, exceptions, such as found in SCOTUS case Lambert v. California [1957].[8]  However, United States v. Freed [1971][9] found otherwise when the defendant should be reasonably expected to know his actions were regulated, and that case is now precedent. Yes, I committed a sin, both statutorily, and morally.
 
II.d Relative to my r2 rebuttal of Con’s argument that idolatry, atheism, and working on the Sabbath are not sins encompassed by pride, power, and possession, please review my commentary in r2, V, VI, & VII, inclusively, when taken in light of my rebuttal above, II.a – II.c.1, inclusive. 
 
I await my opponent’s r3.
 
 
 

Published:
Definitions

I’m only going to talk about his Possession definition because this is what he accuses my  Idolatry and Atheism counterexamples of being. He says that working on the Sabbath is all three, but since he’s failed to support that claim with any evidence, I’m going to disregard it. If my opponent tries to bring his definitions into play in the following round I’ll do the same thing I’ll do here. 

“or by denial of attitude to express to others rightfully expecting it from us, such as refusal to be grateful for the efforts of others in and on our behalf.”

I see what my opponent is doing here. He’s adding a piece to his definition that would conveniently include Atheism and Idolatry, my counterexamples. I can see the potential argument:  “Atheism and Idolatry both refuse gratefulness to God and therefore fit under my definition”. 

I don’t blame my opponent for trying to win in a debate (if he did do this intentionally); I do it too. I’d just want the voters to know that the definitions my opponent provided aren’t exactly fair. 

The real problem with this clarification is that it runs directly contrary to the definition he provided directly above it, which is as follows: 

“Possession is the elemental sin encompassing every other sin by which we purloin the rightful possessions of God, or of other people, by taking that possession unto ourselves to have and use

Gratitude is not a possession. That doesn’t make any sense. If I deny gratitude from someone, I don’t give it back to myself because it doesn’t have a physical form. It’s also not like when I refuse to be grateful to someone, I am thereby grateful to myself. When you deny gratitude, it disappears; there is no gratitude.

My opponent also says that we take away the possessions of other people by “giving [gratitude] (sic) to ourselves to have and use”, but that’s not how we take away gratitude from others. We don’t take away gratitude from others by giving it back to ourselves (even if we could do that), we take away gratitude from others by not giving them gratitude. Not paying gratitude is inaction, but the part that I’ve bolded from my opponent’s argument above implies action. 

Rebuttals

“II.a In his r1, my opponent challenged that my BoP could be met only by listing all sins mentioned in the Bible. I explained in my r2 rebuttal VIII,”

He didn’t. He explained how all laws were based on the first Two Commandments (something I challenged) and then somehow equated Pride, Power, and Possession with his Three Elemental Sins, (Argument VIII.d R2) which I didn’t understand or see the justification for. I’m gonna quote my R2 response here: 

“Is my opponent equating the first two Commandments with his Three Elemental Sins? What makes these two things alike? More clear meaning and explanation would help.”
 
 “Not understanding is not a rebuttal; it is not even a supportable argument.”
 
Hopefully, the voters have a better understanding of fauxlaw’s arguments than I did; if they too find them sometimes hard to make sense of and often irrelevant, my responses will probably seem valid. 

(addressing arguments II.B, II.b.1, II.b.1.A) First, I gave three examples of things that violated the idea that all laws were based on the love of thy neighbor; my opponent is only addressing one. I also gave the examples of sinning against yourself and getting tattoos - my opponent drops these counterexamples. 
 
Second, my opponent is addressing a strawman of my argument rather than my actual argument here. Don’t get me wrong, there is some truth to the idea that if Jesus really loved his neighbor, he’d be fine with them having the freedom to have sex with each other, but that’s not my whole point here. 
 
My point here is as follows: my opponent says that all laws of the Bible are based on Love of thy Neighbor( the Second Commandment), and thus being kind can’t be a sin. When I gave those three counterexamples, my point wasn’t just that those examples ran contrary to the Second Commandment, but that they weren’t really motivated by the Second Commandment. My opponent isn’t addressing this. 
  
My opponent’s point here might be that since Jesus said “all laws hang on Love of thy Neighbor” that any sin that involves an act of kindness cannot be a sin, this time the emphasis being on the conclusion of that statement rather than the justification. I think he’s trying to address my arguments regarding Athiesm and Working on the Sabbath not necessarily being a sin here.
 
 A reminder of what Jesus said directly before the “all laws hang on Love of thy Neighbor” claim: 
 
“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment”
 
Clearly, Atheism violates the First Great Commandment, and so obviously Atheism is a sin under all parameters. Therefore, even if an Athiest skips Church to help others, he is a sinner by virtue of being an Athiest and not loving the Lord. (I’ll defend my Working on the Sabbath counterexample later in this)

“II.c The reason why a list of sins is immaterial, contrary to my opponent’s continued insistence, thus maintaining his invasion of my garden rather than tending to his own,”

My opponent is trying to trick you into thinking that me making my opponent uphold the burdens (proving that ALL sins fit under his three Elemental Sins) that he gave to himself in his resolution is “an invasion of his garden”. Don’t fall for it. 

(addressing "all sins are conditional" claim) I understand this. I was the one who provided the definition of “sin” in the opening round as a “transgression against God’s law”. And my response to his argument here is so what? I guess that means that my opponent has to prove that all counterfeits of obedience fit within his three Elemental Sins, as mandated by his resolution. 

It must be hard to figure out how to fit every single transgression against God’s law into Three Elemental Sins, but that’s not my problem. My opponent made a resolution containing the word “all”. There’s nothing wrong with me expecting him to uphold it. 

“ No, as I argued in r2, VIII.b, for example, while the Pharisees believed that any work performed on the sabbath was a sin, Jesus taught that charitable work performed on the sabbath, work performed for the benefit of others, was not sinful.”

But per my opponent, wasn’t Avodah permitted on Shabbat, even back then? Melachah was what was disallowed, right? And Melachah was what was necessary for the construction of the Mishkan (and I’m pretty sure that no one performed miracles for the homeless to construct the Mishkan). 
 
My opponent also assumes that Jesus performed miracles because he thought that the law didn’t apply to acts of kindness and not because, say, he didn’t think to performing miracles was a violation of the Sabbath.

(addressing arguments from Nor is it sinful to as intended by God?) Because Exodus 35:2 EXPLICITLY mandates that if you work on the Sabbath you’ll be killed. If my opponent has some source that suggests that there are different ways to interpret the above verse,  I’ll check it out. But for now, the point stands, and my opponent is pointlessly asking rhetorical questions. 

Remember that First Commandment? And remember when my opponent cited the Jesus quote stating “The first and great commandment… [on which] hangs all the law and the prophets”? The First Commandment commands that nothing shall be put before God. If you’re putting your employer above Exodus 35:2, or if you’re putting your family over Exodus 35:2 (the law of God), then you’re clearly not putting God first. Working on the Sabbath (in the Melachah ways) is mandated as a Sin by the Bible, and yet is not necessarily motivated by Pride, Power, and Possession, therefore my counterexample is successful. You could be motivated by a desire to feed your family or out of pure ignorance of the law altogether. 

My opponent is right that no list will qualify his rhetorical interpretation shared by seemingly no one else. I guess that means my opponent has no means to prove his resolution. 

(addressing II.c.1) My opponent makes a good point; say I commit a sin. I had no idea it was a sin. Did I do anything wrong?

My opponent says yes, but I say the opposite (under certain circumstances). Look at the part I bolded from my opponent’s quote: “Reasonably expected”. 

Say I live in India. I worship a Pratima. I’ve been raised Hindu my whole life, and have barely heard (or not heard at all) of Christianity, which composes roughly 2% of my country’s population (and has a series of complex laws that I’m even less likely to know of).  Can I be reasonably expected to not worship Idols and keep the Sabbath because some religion that runs contrary to the belief system I was raised with and is a tiny minority in my country says so? Clearly not. Furthermore, though what I did was classified as a sin by that religion, did I act out of Pride, Power, and Possession? Clearly not.

Say I’m from the Soviet Union. Religion is propagandized against and religious buildings are demolished. I’ve been raised with a society that tells me that religion is terrible. What am I going to do, seek it out? Clearly not. And if I don’t, and remain an atheist, have I committed a Sin? Per the Bible, yes. Have I committed a Sin of Pride, Power, or Possession? Clearly not.

Conclusion 

To conclude, my opponent has stipulated that he doesn’t have to prove that every single sin fits within his Three Elemental Sins, but has no reason to say this. He’s furthermore failed to state a unifying characteristic that both ALL sins and Pride, Power, and Possession share that would make all sins sins of Pride, Power, and Possession. 

My opponent has insofar failed to address my closet atheist counterexample, given below. If he has not noticed this counterexample yet I hope he addresses it in the next round.

“By the way, Atheism is a belief and not necessarily an action. A large number of atheists are closet atheists, meaning that they may publicly be Christian and attend services but privately not believe in God.”

My opponent has failed to clarify why Idolatry is a sin of Possession. His definition of Possession states:

 “Possession is the elemental sin encompassing every other sin by which we purloin the rightful possessions of God, or of other people, by taking that possession unto ourselves to have and use,”

Worshipping an idol/another God does not necessarily “take possession unto ourself”, nor is it selfish. 

My opponent says that Atheism is not a Biblical Sin if you dedicate your time to helping others. A quote from Jesus contradicts that of my opponent: 

“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment”
 
Therefore, Atheism is always a Biblical sin but does not necessarily involve Possession (as I’ve proven in R3 and R2), making it possible to commit the sin of Atheism without Pride, Power, or Possession. This wins the debate by itself. 

My opponent states that Working on the Sabbath is not a Sin if you work to help others/work for your employer but still love God, to counteract my counterexample of a person who works on the Sabbath to help others (which is not a sin of Pride, Power, or Possession). This contradicts Exodus 35:2 and the First Commandment, as I’ve proven above. Therefore, Working on the Sabbath, (or more specifically, Melechah on the Sabbath) is a Sin but is not necessarily motivated by Pride, Power, or Possession. (as I’ve proven in R3 and my R2 Negative Case)This too wins the debate by itself. 

I’ve given three related counterexamples in the section directly above this conclusion. These too, win the debate by themselves if they go uncontested. I hope my opponent addresses them in the next round. 






Round 4
Published:
Con’s rebuttals of my proposal center on:
1.    The examples of idolatry, atheism, and working on the Sabbath are not encompassed by Pride, Power, Possession, and,
2.    Jesus did not fulfill Mosaic Law by implementation of two greater commandments: to love God, and to love all people as ourselves,[1] and that by so stipulating, all sins are not a violation of these two commandments.
 
I Rebuttal: Item 1, above [idolatry, atheism, sabbath work]
 
I.a In my r2, I addressed these three examples in rebuttals V, VI, VII, inclusively, to wit: 
 
I.a.1 Idolatry: An idol, according to the OED, is “An image or similitude of a deity or divinity, used as an object of worship: applied to those worshipped by pagans, whence, in scriptural language, = false god, a fictitious divinity which ‘is nothing in the world’ (1 Corinthians 8: 4)”  By this definition, which does not allow for exception due to ignorance, as my opponent argues in his r3 by examples of being in India, or in the Soviet Union, he admits in r3 that, “…have I committed a Sin? Per the Bible, yes.”

I.a.1.A Satan was not, and is not a god. Setting himself as one to be worshipped, he therefore tempted to sway Jesus from his worship of God, his literal Father, both in spirit and in the flesh. Any person who is likewise swayed from worship of God is, therefore, guilty of idol worship, replacing God with a physical object or image claimed to be a deity. This is the problem with idolatry: it is exemplary of the sin of possession, as in allowing ourselves to be possessed by Satan to worship an image or object as being a deity, rather than worship of God, Himself, as Jesus commanded.

I.a.1.B Idolatry is a sin of possession for the simple reason that we rob God of worship due to Him as our Creator by worship of an object which represents “nothing in the world” by definition of the OED. “Possession is the elemental sin encompassing every other sin by which we purloin the rightful possessions of God, or of other people, by taking that possession unto ourselves to have and use, denying its proper possession and use by those others.” Con argued in his r3 that gratitude is not a possession. He admits that it is an attitude. But, Con completely ignored my following paragraph “By ‘possessions" ...this is not only physical possessions not of our ownership... but also by taking possession of authority to act... or by denial of attitude to express to others rightfully expecting it from us.”  We “possess” attitudes, to wit: “Every human being holds thousands of attitudes... Each of our attitudes has its own unique characteristics, and no two attitudes come to us or influence us in quite the same way…  we might use the term in a different way in our everyday life (e.g., “Hey, he’s really gotan attitude!”)[2]  Another term of expression for “hold,” and “got” is “possess.”
 
I.a.2 Atheism: contrary to idol worship, atheism denies worship. It is the belief that there is no god to be worshipped. Therefore, one is possessed by nothingness, or, as I Corinthians 8: 4 describes it, “nothing in the world.” So possessed by a negation, there is no worship, which denies the command to “…worship the Lord thy God”[3]“ Watsuji Tetsuro’s essay, The Psychology of Idol Worship,   states, “…this essay does not cover the entire range of idol worship as the highest level of fetishism (the worship of things). Rather, it is limited to the still narrower scope of the veneration of excellent artistic works. What I would especially like to do now is to reflect on this problem…”[4]  Note that the author describes idol worship as a fetish, and, therefore, a problem. Atheism also presents a problem: the elemental sin of Possession, which possesses us of a spirit to deny worship of God by worshipping nothing at all. Atheism, according to the OED: “n.  Disbelief in, of denial of, the existence of God.” Con, show my statement that "Atheism is not a Biblical Sin if you dedicate your time to helping others." It does not exist.
 
I.a.3 Sabbath work: as demonstrated by Jesus, whose Sabbath work was in service to others, is not sin. Atheism is, under any circumstance. What is sinful is to personally choose to work for a wage on Sunday when not necessary, thus achieving personal enrichment at the expense of worshipping God: pure pride and possession. Jesus fulfilled Mosaic Law, so let's not be lost in the weeds over Exodus 35: 2 and Avodah/Melachah. No one in a rational mind is killing others for working on the sabbath. It is an issue between individuals and God.
 
II Rebuttal: Item 2, above [Love God, love our fellow man as ourselves]
 
II.a If one analyzes the Ten Commandments, the core of the Mosaic Law, one realizes that they address, in order, our relationships with God, others, and ourselves. One reason why it is said that Jesus fulfilled the Law of Moses is that he consolidated these ten commandments into two: love of God, and love of others as ourselves. The names have changed, but the intent never has. That is the order of our proper relations. We satisfy our needs by seeing to God, first, and our obedience to Him, then others, and their needs, and only then to ourselves. 
 
II.a.1 That is what I meant in my r1, argument II.b, “Agreat prophet noted when that power [and pride and possession, as well] is used in the service of others, ‘…I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that… when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.’”[6]
 
II.a.2 This is the point that my opponent has failed to see in three previous attempts. I have suggested he read Matthew 22. The entire chapter. He has not, or has misread it. He asked, “Is my opponent equating the first two commandments with his three elemental sins?”No, I am not equating them. I am alleging that by violating both of the two commandments offered in Matthew 22, we commit all three elemental sins of pride, power, and possession by committing sins such as idolatry, atheism, and working on Sunday, as explained above and in my r3, I.a, I.b. I.c, and in my r2, V, VI, and VII. How often must they be repeated? I have. Thrice. Con claimed in his r3 that, “…my opponent says that all laws of the Bible are based on Love of thy Neighbor (the Second Commandment)”  No, that is NOT what I said. I quote, again [and again] from Matthew 22: “They  [the Pharisees] asked, in mock deference, ‘Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto to them, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’”[7]  Not on either the first, or the second commandment, alone, do the law and the prophets hang, but on both together. And note that it is both which are qualified by the total dedication of heart, spirit, and mind – “like unto it.” They cannot be singled out and separated. That’s a Pharisee tactic, and it is wrong.
 
III Rebuttal: All sins have their core in either/or combined: pride, power, possession
 
III.a If, as Con acknowledges by definition in his r1, sin is “transgression of divine law,”  and it is accepted that God is the source, the author of divine law, and that Jesus fulfilled Mosaic Law by his injunction from Matthew 22: 36 – 39 to “love God,” and to “love our neighbor as ourselves,” and that these two new covenant laws were the support on which “hang all the law and the prophets,”  then it follows that there are numerous ways in which we can transgress the laws of God. Is it really necessary to make a list, as Con demands? Anything we do which, by personal agency, elevates us above God and others is pride. Anything we do to advantage ourselves above God and others is illicit power. Anything we do to possess anything not rightfully ours is evil possession.
 
III.b “For behold, it is not meet that I  [God] should command in all things, for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward. Verily, I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness; For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward. But he that doeth not anything until he is commanded, and receiveth a commandment with a doubtful heart, and keepeth it with slothfulness, the same is damned.”[8]  
 
III.b.1 The forgoing is another reason why a list is unnecessary. We are expected to use our free agency to determine what are good works and what are not by our own reasoning and judgment. A list of either commandments to follow, or sins to disobey them, is, therefore, no better than making just a list of what are and are not proper activities on the sabbath. We should determine it, based on what commandments we have, without God leading us by the nose.  We have been given two commandments: Love God, and love our neighbors as ourselves. If we love God, are we going to worship someone or something else? Are we going to make a graven image to represent God when we already know we are in His image, and that no image is needed to worship Him? Are we going to deny He exists if we love Him? Are we going to fail to acknowledge Him by not choosing one day in a week to perform that worship, and do good for others before ourselves? If we truly love our parents and neighbors as ourselves, would first we cause physical, spiritual, or mental harm to ourselves before to them? Are we really going to kill, sexually abuse, steal from, bear false witness against, or covet our neighbors if we would not do these things to ourselves? Further, would we in any way cause our neighbors to stumble physically, spiritually, or mentally by any sin? There’s our list, if we must have one. How many sins have we just entertained? More than ten. But who needs to count? And, just as we observe that Jesus Christ condensed the entire Mosaic Law into two commandments, all else will hang on that obedience; we observe that all sins can be condensed into a mere three: the wrongful commission of pride, power, and possession as defined above and elsewhere in my three previous rounds. How do we know which is which? Refer to the scripture quoted above in III.b: by prayerful reason.
 
Finally, I cannot let rise a statement by Con with no challenge: his r2 and r3 conclusions declares: “This wins the debate for me and then some,” rather than merely saying he believes he has met his BoP. I personally consider such language as unduly prideful; arrogant in any round, unless I have forfeited. It borders on vote rigging, which is bad enough committed by non-participants in the debate, who, found to be guilty of same having also voted, may have their votes removed. When committed by a participant, it is all the worse. It is a shame there is no penalty attached in this instance and I appeal to mods to see to that policy change.
 
I rest my case.
 



[1] Holy Bible, Matthew 22: 36 – 39


[3] Holy Bible, Matthew 4: 10


[5] Greek Septuagint, Exodus 20: 9

[6] Book of Mormon, Mosiah 2: 17

[7] Matthew 22: 36 – 39

[8] Doctrine and Covenants 56: 26 - 29








Published:
Negative Case

I. Idolatry

(Addressing I.a.1) First - unsourced definition. Should cost my opponent the sources point for failing to source a key definition. Here’s an actual definition, from the actual OED/OSD: “An image or representation of a god used as an object of worship.” Let’s use this one going forward instead.
I quote what I said last round: 

“Say I live in India. I worship a Pratima. I’ve been raised Hindu my whole life, and have barely heard (or not heard at all) of Christianity, which composes roughly 2% of my country’s population (and has a series of complex laws that I’m even less likely to know of)”

Under those circumstances, can I be expected to not worship Idols? Am I supposed to convert to Christianity? Like I said before, of course not. My opponent expects the 97.7% of non-Christians and the 79.8% of Hindus to abandon the religion of their home country and convert to this faith from the West that mandates that they leave behind their old beliefs. I guess he thinks all those Hindus who lived and died as Hindus were Possessive and selfish, too, per his definition of Possession.

“…have I committed a Sin? Per the Bible, yes.”

I did say this. However, there’s a difference between what the Bible says to be a sin and my opponent’s three categories that he made up. I agree that it’s a Biblical sin (though I think worshipping Idols is fine) but that doesn’t make Idolatry coincide with your definition of Possession, and in this case, it doesn’t (I’ll add to this point later on)

(Responding to I.a.1.A (voters, press Ctrl-F and then type “I.a.1.A” to find what I’m replying to)) I don’t care if the Bible says that Idolatry is Satan worship. I know the Bible classifies it as a sin. However, not all sins fit within Pride, Power, and Possession, and I’ve proved this and will continue to. My opponent has failed to substantiate the claim that Satan is the motivator behind all Idols; the Bible is not assumed as truth in this debate (To be clear, when I say something’s a sin I mean it’s a Biblical sin, not an actual sin). Also, note that being possessed by Satan is not the same as taking a possession upon yourself or taking it from someone else (which is my opponent’s definition of possession), those are two different definitions of the word “possess”. One is a verb, one is a noun.

(Responding to I.a.1.B) My bad! I read “gratitude” as part of the Possession section when really it was part of the Pride section. Regardless, Idolatry doesn’t fit in my opponent’s definition of Possession.

First, remember that Idols actually are supposed to represent Gods (per my above definition), not “nothingness in the world”. My opponent hasn’t sourced his definition. 

My opponent states that Possession “takes possession of the authority to act”. However, parents largely condition their children’s religious beliefs. In America, for example, 80% of kids raised Protestant are still protestant (the Pew Research source is given below the study). It can hardly be said that a kid who’s parents take him to religious institutions and raise him to be religious is “taking the authority to act” from God. It should also be noted that God never had that kid’s allegiance in the first place because the kid was not raised Christian. Therefore, the kid is not “taking” anything from God. 

 In fact, I’d say the opposite is true - if you go out of your way to become a Christian in a Hindu environment, it is you and only you who is “taking the authority to act”.

Also note that my opponent says that you are taking the “authority to act” from God, and “denying it’s proper possession and use” from him by worshipping Idols, but fails to clarify what God’s “authority to act” is or means. If God exists, he is all-powerful; he has the authority to act over everyone regardless of belief, and you, therefore, take nothing from him by worshipping an Idol.

“Another term of expression for “hold,” and “got” is “possess.”

This is semantics and has nothing to do with my opponent’s definition of possession. 

II. Atheism

(Responding to I.a.2) I can apply the same logic I used above to Atheism - just replace Hindu with Athiest, and note that 67% of children raised as nonbelievers remain nonbelievers. Also, keep in mind the effects that propaganda from Atheistic states like the Soviet Union and religious repression from China would have - kids would become even more ignorant of religion due to the regime they lived under. We know that websites spreading disinformation get tons of traffic, (1.2.3 Digital Platforms) so imagine if this was state-sponsored. 

Also, carry over the “authority to act” rebuttal into this argument as well. We can’t take “the authority to act” from God if he truly exists and is all-powerful.

“denies the command to “…worship the Lord thy God”

This is not disputed.  But The Commandment to Worship the Lord thy God is not one of your Three Elemental Sins, nor does one imply the other.

My opponent and the quote he quoted fail to substantiate the claim that idols are a “fetish” or a “problem”. Again, here’s the definition

“Atheism also presents a problem: the elemental sin of Possession, which possesses us of a spirit to deny worship of God by worshipping nothing at all”

This has nothing to do with my opponent’s definition of Possession. His definition of Atheism here does not:  “deny... its proper use by those others.”, which is stated in his definition of possession. “The spirit to deny worship of God” does not have a proper use by other people because my opponent states that Atheism is always a sin. Therefore, Atheism doesn’t fit his definition of Possession. 

Also, note that “The spirit to deny worship of God” is not the “rightful possession of God” which his definition concerns. According to my opponent, it shouldn’t be the rightful possession of anyone since Atheism is always a sin. 

Atheism, according to the OED: “n.  Disbelief in, of denial of, the existence of God.”

Pro’s provided another definition here without a source. This, and the above incident, should cost my opponent the sources category in this debate.

“Con, show my statement that "Atheism is not a Biblical Sin if you dedicate your time to helping others." It does not exist.”

I assumed that my opponent’s point in the examples of Jesus supposedly violating Biblical laws in the service of others is that any sin is that violating the law the service of others isn’t a sin. I guess he doesn’t think this. Anyways, he failed to provide a warrant for said arguments/connect them back to the resolution, so he’s at fault here, not me for trying to interpret them.

III. Working on the Sabbath 

Eh, I’ll concede this point. Regardless, my other two counterexamples still stand.

Rebuttals

(Addressing II Rebuttal) First, I shouldn’t have to read anything to participate in a debate unless that is EXPLICITLY mandated beforehand, which it was not.

My opponent says that by committing the first two sins “on which all are based”, you commit the Sins of Pride, Power, and Possession. This is the first time he’s explained the warrant behind his R3 and R2 arguments, and yet is pretending that he’s simply repeating himself. I ask the voters - did they understand these claims of his when he made them?

My opponent’s whole argument here is based on the assumption that all of the law is based on the first Two Commandments because Jesus said so. Don’t get me wrong; I trust Jesus as a source for the Bible… But not when it contradicts the Bible. I refer to my argument in R2:

“The Bible advocates against homosexuality, sinning against your own body, or getting tattoos (same source). Unless these things have to do somehow with love for your neighbor, I think Jesus was wrong with this one. “

My opponent’s response to this was that homosexuality is only based on physical sex and not emotional love. He failed to address my other two examples. When I clarified that I was asking my opponent about how prohibiting having sex with someone you may/may not love, doing what you want with your own body, and getting a mark on your flesh was a violation of the love of God and kindness towards other people, he dropped the point. Thus, we should NOT assume that all the law and the prophets are based on the first two commandments, and thus should NOT assume that my opponent’s Three Elemental Sins encompass all others.

Also note that Jesus only fulfilled the ceremonial and civil laws, to respond to my opponent’s argument regarding Mosiac Law. The previous source clarifies some of the moral laws that still hold, which include homosexuality, but also include things like the above examples; sinning against yourself and making marks in your flesh (the latter is sometimes disputed). Corinthians 6:18 confirms (See example 23) that two of these are moral laws:

“Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.”

“Not on either the first, or the second commandment, alone, do the law and the prophets hang, but on both together.”

Not relevant.

(Addressing III Rebuttal) I’ve already disputed that all laws are based on the two Jesus stated because there are multiple moral laws that Jesus did not abolish that have nothing to do with the First Two Commandments.

My opponent implies here that Pride, Power, and Possession are the ONLY ways to violate the first Two Commandments. This claim is unsubstantiated. The only way to truly substantiate it would be to find every single sin and fit it within Pride, Power, and Possession, and then the claim would hold true (and this assumes that the first Two Commandments DO contain all sins, which I dispute).

My opponent’s claim doesn’t change my argument here. If he wants to determine what’s a Sin or not based on interpretation, he can do that. But he’d still have to find every single sin to truly determine whether Pride, Power, and Possession are the only ways to Sin. 

Once again I remind voters that the First Two Commandments that Jesus said encompass all sins do NOT do so and even if they did that does NOT mean that Pride, Power, and Possession are the ONLY ways to violate these Commandments.

I’m low on characters and don’t have time for my opponent’s claim that me saying what is tantamount to “I easily won this debate” is prideful and arrogant, much less “borderline vote rigging”. Is proving that you won a debate not the purpose of a debate? Does the statement I made not just emphasize that? By the way, my opponent has levied the “vote rigging” accusation before (see comments). This may be more of a tactic than a legitimate claim.

Voting Suggestions:

Arguments:

I’ve successfully proven that there are two sins that are not encompassed by Pride, Power, or Possession, effectively negating my opponent’s resolution. My opponent’s case relies on the false assumption that all Biblical laws are based on Two Commandments, and the unsupported assumption that committing sins of Pride, Power, and Possession are the only ways to violate those laws. I should win full argument points.

Sources:

My opponent has failed to provide a source for two of his definitions from the OED (see his and my R4). Not everyone has the OED, and therefore can’t just find what he’s talking about. I’ve sourced every claim I’ve made in this debate that requires one. I should earn full source points.

S&G:

Many of my opponent’s claims, i.e. “ Further, my opponent supposes that once a sin, always a sin”  (R3) often aren’t explained/don’t quote or paraphrase my statements. Furthermore, my opponent has failed to clarify several key points in his argument (i.e. by sinning against the Two Commandments, one commits the sin of Pride, Power, and Possession) until the final round. This may not be an S&G problem, but it certainly detracts from the readability of the debate. 

Conduct:

My opponent accused me of “borderline vote rigging”  and being overly prideful without justification.

Added:
--> @bmdrocks21
thanks man
Contender
#97
Added:
--> @armoredcat
Congrats on the win!
#96
Added:
--> @fauxlaw
Thanks for the debate man, it was a good one
Contender
#95
Added:
--> @blamonkey, @bmdrocks21, @SupaDudz, @PGA2.0
20 min left bump. This will be the final bump.
Contender
#94
Added:
--> @whiteflame
Thank you for voting! I'll take the advice you gave me regarding giving ground into account for future debates. I've been told before that conceding a lot early in this debate is probably a bad idea.
Contender
#93
Added:
--> @RationalMadman
I will not comment further until after voting has ended, lest any other voters be unduly influenced
Instigator
#92
Added:
--> @fauxlaw
That doesn't even make any sense and he replied to it. What envy of possession drives atheism?
#91
Added:
--> @fauxlaw
"Yes, but commentary is outside of debate rounds, and I've completed my rounds."
Right....
I guess I'm just worried that potential voters would be influenced by your comment. Not neccesarily RM.
Contender
#90
Added:
--> @armoredcat
Yes, but commentary is outside of debate rounds, and I've completed my rounds. The vote is already cast, and I did not ask that it be re-cast, did I? Do not read anything into what I write but what I write. I am a demon for detail. Believe it.
Instigator
#89
Added:
--> @fauxlaw
Didn't you tell me not to influence voters outside of the debate rounds?
Contender
#88
Added:
--> @RationalMadman
Did you miss my rebuttal to atheism in r2 that atheism is an expression of jealousy, a sub-set of possession, for denial of time commanded to be devoted to worship of God?
Instigator
#87
Added:
--> @RationalMadman
Thank you for voting!
Contender
#86
Added:
--> @bmdrocks21
I'm sorry?
Contender
#85
Added:
--> @armoredcat
Rreeeeeeeee
#84
Added:
--> @PGA2.0
Might be an interesting debate to vote on for you
Contender
#83
#3
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
I’m going to be unusual with this RFD and keep it brief.
What separates the two sides in this debate largely comes down to tactics. I can see (though it takes me sometime to get there) how Pro is approaching the debate: by arguing that every sin falls under those two central commandments (which he ends up saying are inextricable from one another, effectively making them one commandment with two parts). That’s an interesting tactic and Pro spends a lot of time defending it, but as Con points out, it’s difficult to link this 1:1 with the three sins Pro is supposed to be defending as all-encompassing from the get-go. I buy that following these commandments represents the core sins of the world and maybe even that they represent all sins, but that doesn’t meet Pro’s burdens. Pro does also spend a great deal of time arguing about what fits under each of the three sins represented by the three temptations, and I’ll get into that momentarily, but by doing so he implicitly acknowledges that, yes, he does have to fit all sins into these three categories. There may have been room to argue that this was unnecessary for Pro to win this debate, but I don’t see much on that front.
Con’s view is that the “all” in the resolution allows him to function based on any doubts that result from individual sins either not fully or not at all fitting under these three sin categories. Con immediately concedes a lot of ground by doing this, and in particular, I think it is an error to say that many of his examples could fit under them, largely because doing so provides Pro easy routes of response and forces Con to get more and more specific. I recognize that there are good reasons to do this to preempt some points from Pro, but Con, you need to be careful how much you concede up front to your opponent in your own arguments. Let him do the legwork, and build in responses rather than handing points to him. That being said, there are many of these points that, at minimum, provide reasons to believe that they might not fully fit under the three sins Pro ascribes them to, and while I could go back through each individual example, I’ll just focus on the two that made it all the way to the end.
Idolatry is probably the most difficult to assess. I can both see Con’s point about a lack of intention and Pro’s point about how intention doesn’t necessarily make a sin a sin. Possession, at least to some degree, does apply to idolatry and while intentions may be sufficient to show that someone was trying to sin, I have a hard time buying that it falls outside the realm of Possession that Pro describes. I don’t love the shifting on the definition, but he contorts it well enough that I have a hard time with it, so this would not be an easy point to vote on.
But Atheism is a lot easier for me, largely because Pro takes a couple of steps too far on this. His main justification for why this is Possession (how it falls under the other two is unclear) is that these people are possessed by nothingness. I thought this was an intriguing line of attack at first, but Con pointed out the error that was coming to my mind shortly thereafter: Pro is trying to use multiple definitions and perspectives of possession. If nothingness possesses you, are you guilty of possession? If you possess nothing (equating this to idolatry is weird when you’re talking about literally possessing nothing), are you guilty of said possession? I think Pro fell into a trap that he could have easily avoided here by pointing out that atheism is itself a form of belief, an argument that I believe Con himself made. Pro’s own language use does him in here by making it more and more difficult to understand where atheists, and not the supposed nothingness they believe in, are guilty of possession. I can’t give Pro points he didn’t make, and while I can see where possession may apply, Pro’s efforts to contort the definition here result in my voting against him.
#2
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
I unironically find this debate to be almost a tie and my reasoning will seem simplistic but this simple reasoning is merely fleshed out over many characters and multiple Rounds. In the end, Con wins it but I will explain why Con also loses it before winning it.
Pro's entire case is that there are ways to see all sins as motivated by pride, power (meaning lust for power), and possession (meaning greed). If Con had merely explored the other 4 of the seven deadly sins, Con could have won the debate (but not easily, Pro is clearly very educated on the matter and this is why it ended up being such a long debate).
Both sides end up conceding the debate to the other side, it is therefore conclusive to me that it's a tie.
I will explain how and when this occurs by quoting the most significant moment in Pro's case and Con's case where I perceive concession:
Con's indirect concession: "Working on the Sabbath COULD be a Sin of Pride, Power, or Possession in some cases, but..."
Pro's indirect concession: "As on all commandments “hang all the law and the prophets,” so it follows that all sins, as well, hang on them. It would be well, therefore, to understand the two commandments: Love God with all effort of body, spirit, and mind. Likewise love all people. That covers everyone on whom we should express love, and, therefore, covers all possible sins."
I will explain to you very briefly why these resulted in the tie. The only reason I am voting at all is that I was asked to by Con and I didn't ignore this debate, I genuinely read it and didn't understand why both sides kept agreeing with the other side so much.
Both sides of this debate believe that the resolution is true. Pro believes that it is true because all sins can be interpreted to come down to Pride, Power-lust and greed for posession of material things. Con believes that it is true because you can twist any sin to somehow be motivated by one of those three things but that doesn't necessarily mean that the sins are only of those three categorical natures.
So, it would appear Pro won the debate since both sides agree to the resolution initially. However, the resolution doesn't say 'motives behind sin' it actually says 'there are three sins into which all others are encompassed'. It doesn't even state 'types of sin' but 'three sins'. On top of this, Con's BoP is specifically stated, in the debate's description, to be to prove that those three sins encompass all others. What Con does in this debate is force Pro to keep admitting that he is INTERPRETING all sins through an intentionally biased lens to make them fit a three-type system he believes that Christianity declares necessary to split all sins into. When Pro indirectly concedes the debate in what I quoted, it is one of the most blatant moments where you question what he is even trying to represent. He says that because the Bible says "Love God with all effort of body, spirit, and mind. Likewise love all people."... Somehow we are supposed to then declare all sins to be ones of either pride, power or possession.
How does that logically follow?
Con's strongest attack at the resolution and Pro's case was this:
"I see what my opponent is doing here. He’s adding a piece to his definition that would conveniently include Atheism and Idolatry, my counterexamples. I can see the potential argument: “Atheism and Idolatry both refuse gratefulness to God and therefore fit under my definition”. "
This was both a defense and attack all at once and began to highlight what Pro was doing over and over throughout the debate; tweaking interpretation of things outside of pride, power and possession to somehow fit into them.
I agreed with Pro that being ungrateful for the generosity of others does come under the 'greed for possession' category of sinning so I didn't find Con's defense there satisfactory since ungratefulness was clearly what a possession-craving person would embody. Regardless, I did agree with Con that Pro kept trying to force all sins to fit into the three categories but Pro actually did so quite successfully for most of the debate, it's just it wasn't enough and Con did indeed provide exceptions such as atheism and non-Judeo-Christian idolatry.
#1
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
Reason:
Good job on both sides. I am only voting after PRO said I was free to view it to any religious perspective I want.
Arguments: PRO had a massive task prove all sins committed by individuals are encompassed within three sins. Pride,Possession,Power, I entertained his notions, I mostly don't comment on religious issues, I avoid hurting religious sentiments. I will try to present the reason in the most palatable way. Atheism and following other religions is not a sin by any means .The Bible says:idolatory is a form of worship of Satan. All CON had to do was to point it out, he did, he scored. More than a billion Hindus live on earth to say that they are all are sinner , including myself is far stretch. Almost impossible to prove, all CON has to do was point it out, he did , by stating say he lived in India.