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Topic

Biblical faith is not faith without evidence or doubt. It's ok to doubt in the Christian faith.

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With 1 vote and 3 points ahead, the winner is ...

Sum1hugme
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Round 1
Pro
There seems to be a growing public image that Christians believe based on faith alone. Faith being defined as belief without evidence. 

I claim this is false. I believe this to be false as many verses directly contradict this idea, some seeming to say this more directly are usually translation context errors, and the idea of belief without evidence as an expectation from God does not square with Jesus' actions. 

I don't want to get in a verse off. I'll opt to provide only one or two examples for a starting point. If there's a desire to cover more, please let it be known within your first reply and ill do so in my next response. I'm fine with either party providing these additional ones as well.

"Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see."
Hebrews 11:1

This is far from a description of belief because God says so. Unless you can argue Hebrews supports the idea that confidence can only be had via God's word. I don't know of anyone who takes this view. 

So, maybe I'm being picky and choosy. 2 Corinthians 5:7 says "For we live by faith, not by sight". I can more see an argument for belief without evidence. Paul wrote his letter to the church in Corinth in Greek. He would have used pisteōs (or πίστεως). This word has a few options. Usually translated as faith, but it's synonymous usages in English include trust, confidence, fidelity. This is perfectly in line with the verse and conclusion from the Hebrews example above.

I feel the various verses about faith can be placed into one of those two buckets. None supporting belief without evidence or just because God's book says it. 

Finally, I would have to understand why a God who's expectation is simple god the gaps, don't doubt, don't investigate, just believe standard of faith would do things like:
Bother to show up at all in the Old Testament during times like when the fleece were to be set ablaze from above in a Baal vs Yahweh showdown?

Let Thomas inspect His wounds post resurrection?

Not chastise and correct His earthly family when we know from John that "even His own brothers did not believe Him"?

I have more, but again, I don't want to bombard. 



Con
  Thank you Upholdingthefaith for issuing this challenge. I am excited to discuss this topic. First, I will provide some definitions my opponent did not take the time to provide thus far:

  • Evidence [1] 
1. The available body of facts or information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid.
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  • Belief [2] 
1. An acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists
1.1 Something one accepts as true or real; a firmly held opinion or conviction.
1.2 A religious conviction.
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  • Faith [3] 
1. Complete trust or confidence in someone or something.
2. Strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.
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----------------------------------------------

  I want to preface that I agree with the second point of the resolve, that it is ok to doubt in the Christian faith. As a matter of fact, doubt is a prime driver of the acquisition of knowledge and an indispensable tool in the toolbelt of reason. I will be attacking the former point of the resolve that, "Biblical faith is not faith without evidence or doubt."
 
  There is a colloquial definition of the word faith, that is used in everyday language, which is synonymous with confidence or trust. Then there is the definition that is used in religious language, which is the latter definition I gave. The second definition is the one that relates to belief in god, because belief in god is not evident, therefore cannot be relying on proof.

  The word faith is defined in the bible as [4], "11 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." - Hebrews 11:1 ESV

  Perhaps my opponent has heard the cliche, "Hope in one hand, spit in the other. See which one fills up first." The Bible is clearly defining faith in the second category as a conviction of things not seen. Therefore, biblical faith is belief without evidence. Of course, this definition could be shifted over to the first if some fact to indicate the bible is true were to come up, but until then it is not a belief based on evidence simply by the lack of available facts. If a belief is a conviction as defined above, and there is no evidence, then Biblical Faith is a belief without evidence.




Round 2
Pro
Thank you Upholdingthefaith for issuing this challenge. I am excited to discuss this topic. 
--Me too! Please don't take my earnestness or eagerness as sarcasm. I'm excited to have found a place to discuss topics, hear each other out, and hear some rational arguments with an open mind. Either I find out im wrong (good!) Or learn to nuance my position and approach further through a variety of differing views and critiques. Kind of like science theory, experimentation and peer review haha  



First, I will provide some definitions my opponent did not take the time to provide thus far:
--Thank you. Often I think these debates are two people supporting two separate points but using the same words. And often without even realizing it. 


  • Evidence [1] 
1. The available body of facts or information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid.
----------
-- i agree to this definition for the debate. 

  • Belief [2] 
1. An acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists
1.1 Something one accepts as true or real; a firmly held opinion or conviction.
1.2 A religious conviction.
----------
-- ill agree to 1 and 1.1. 1.2 makes me nervous given "religious". Jesus called out a lot (not all) of the same things commonly lobbed at Christians today as assumed beliefs. Ill give examples if you'd like, but if you're OK with scrapping 1.2 im good to use this. 


  • Faith [3] 
1. Complete trust or confidence in someone or something.
-- Closer to basically what I was arguing for in the whole of my first post as "Biblically defined faith". Trust without reservation is a closer add on here. But. The main idea behind the con position im arguing against is literally summed in #2. The fact that Biblical proof is not 2 is my whole argument. It's unfair to push this definition when crafting reasoning against the Bible and why I wanted to start this conversation. The scholars and researchers I follow do not take this view. The church I go to does not take this view. I dont believe the Bible to take this view and again is what I tried to show above. 


2. Strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.
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----------------------------------------------

  I want to preface that I agree with the second point of the resolve, that it is ok to doubt in the Christian faith.
-- Good. This is a bad, legalistic public image of Christianity that is driven by people who were acting outside the message laid out in scripture. People doubting are never chastised by God. Only other people. God called out his disciples for having little faith when, upon seeing evidence, they still didn't have faith. Why, if definition #2 holds? 


As a matter of fact, doubt is a prime driver of the acquisition of knowledge and an indispensable tool in the toolbelt of reason. I will be attacking the former point of the resolve that, "Biblical faith is not faith without evidence or doubt."
 
  There is a colloquial definition of the word faith, that is used in everyday language, which is synonymous with confidence or trust. Then there is the definition that is used in religious language, which is the latter definition I gave.
-- i would argue by the legalist 'Christian' who missed the point and who themselves were called out by Jesus as wrong. Some, Jesus says will not enter Heaven. They're not truly saved only professing. I feel like that's like saying don't vote for Trump because of his ____ plan. And you go on to describe the ______ plan of another candidate who says they're  Donald Trump. (Im not trying to be political, I just think this is a good analogy and people are thinking about elections right now) While you may have a solid argument against that plan (in the analogy) or the just believe version of faith, i feel it just doesn't carry weight on the topic at hand. I'm more so referring to the wasted time spent on various things said against whatever version of fake Christianity that's being argued against on these major Youtube channels, podcasts, major media. I find myself in the boat of having studied first and then now here, so confused at whats even being argued. And the ,"Christian" defending these incorrect things is just as bad. I figured either im the one who's wrong (the Christian joining these debates) or I might be able to change/focus the conversation in a more productive way. Not that I'm assuming I can do anything. But if I don't do something, why bitch hahahaha. Sorry for the rant. Honestly I'm more frustrated at the "Christians" with no intellectual depth, perpetrating these things on a grand scale. Like, you're a Christian. Why are more non-believers reading the Bible than you? Why are you a Christian if you don't know why you're a Christian is what id like to ask. I mean, the message is to humble yourself before others, love your enemies, the first is last, you will be persecuted following Christ, each person is a wretch who needs the Grace of God, you need to die to yourself daily and pick up your cross to follow Jesus. To, literally bend the knee and submit to someone else. It's not that outwardly appealing that I'd just want to check that box, tell everyone, and slap a bumper sticker on my car. I mean if it's not true, things are a lot easier and more comfortable in other worldviews which are supported in a lot of profound ways. 



The second definition is the one that relates to belief in god, because belief in god is not evident, therefore cannot be relying on proof.
-- This i would request you to provide more on please. A few things. Evident is, if even supported by a large body of evidence, opinion in this case when looking at the universe and everything in it that we know. 
I realize with what I'm about to say I'm starting with an assumption of the God of the Bible's existence but I am arguing from that pov and trying to justify why this statement should be expanded on and shown to be true. 
This statement is in direct contradiction to something incredibly important in the Bible that I am confident is true. And not just because the Bible says so. 
Romans 1:20
For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

I just reread your statement. Ill be clear in case I misunderstood. "belief in god is not evident" I took as synonymous with belief in the existence of God is not evident. Im not sure what you mean if what I assumed is incorrect. 



  The word faith is defined in the bible as [4], "11 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." - Hebrews 11:1 ESV

  Perhaps my opponent has heard the cliche, "Hope in one hand, spit in the other. See which one fills up first." The Bible is clearly defining faith in the second category as a conviction of things not seen.
-- i think I see where you're coming from. I disagree and would say the preceeding word conviction in. This is calling you to the same faith you have in a seat belt. A sort of trust without reservation. (Assuming you've never directly studied car crashes or seat belt mechanics like most) It's the same way you trust your seat belt given the odds of car crashes and the effects on the human body when not wearing one or if it were to simply fail. You don't get behind the wheel because you read the words "seat belts work" in a book. You evaluate the trusted texts (whole different debate about trusted texts,just trying to hit the analogy) and see that there's sufficient evidence to believe seat belts work. When God calls someone to act in faith he's saying you have prior evidence to trust me when i say your seat belt will work. And those are not for things like his existence. It's more specific to acts in the persons life. He had Moses raise the staff before he parted the sea. God asked Abraham to leave his home. God asked Noah to build a boat. Noah said why, God said have faith or in otherwords, trust me. Thats Biblical faith. You're never called on as a Christian to believe without evidence. God specifically says he went out of his way to provide sufficient evidence. 



Therefore, biblical faith is belief without evidence. Of course, this definition could be shifted over to the first if some fact to indicate the bible is true were to come up, but until then it is not a belief based on evidence simply by the lack of available facts. If a belief is a conviction as defined above, and there is no evidence, then Biblical Faith is a belief without evidence.

-- This might help. I believe the evidence is overwhelming that God exists, created the Universe. I believe the evidence is overwhelming that Jesus lived, died, rose from the dead, claimed to be and is God, and never spoke inerrantly. 
I have faith when Jesus said the Old Testament can be trusted, that he's right. As for the New Testament. I think the evidence is overwhelming the gospels we have are English translations of the original 4 gospels written by four eyewitnesses to the events surrounding Christ's ministry, death, resurrection, claims, and accention. Im getting there on evidence for the various letters and other books. But im good to cover through that much. Although each are their own lengthy topics and debates. 



Con
  Thank you for your response. To begin, there are two ways to read Biblical scripture: Literally and Metaphorically. When evaluating scripture as literal truth, this leads to models of the universe that are patently absurd, like that the earth and universe are less than 10,000 years old, which necessitates that light moves faster than light. This kind of religious fundamentalism is very familiar to me as it's what I was raised in. The second, more reasonable way to read scripture (because it does not lead to models of reality that are patently absurd) is in a metaphorical context. This allows us to extrapolate the meanings of the Biblical stories, without having to delude ourselves that they are factual accounts of history.

  I will not be dispensing of the definitions of the terms I provided for three reasons:

  1. They are verbatim copies of the Oxford definitions of the words. Not simply my own definitions.
  2. All these definitions are integrally relevant to the debate.
  3. The definition you are objecting to (Belief 1.2) is a use of the word that i have heard in countless religious contexts where it is used to mean exactly how the definitions provided describes.
--------------------

REBUTTALS

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  • R1
" This i would request you to provide more on please. A few things. Evident is, if even supported by a large body of evidence, opinion in this case when looking at the universe and everything in it that we know. 
I realize with what I'm about to say I'm starting with an assumption of the God of the Bible's existence but I am arguing from that pov and trying to justify why this statement should be expanded on and shown to be true. 
This statement is in direct contradiction to something incredibly important in the Bible that I am confident is true. And not just because the Bible says so. 
Romans 1:20
For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse."
  Evidence is never opinion. Evidence is a body of facts indicative of a particular conclusion, and facts are objectively verifiable. Assuming isn't knowing because knowledge can be demonstrated and nothing in the bible is objectively verifiable, save the geographical settings of stories (comparable to spider man being set in new york city). There are two ways I can see to interpret the term "Biblical Faith": 1. That the god of the Bible is true because the Bible says so, or 2. That the Bible is true because the Bible says so. The only thing that indicates the biblical god is true, or that the Bible is true, is the Bible itself. "A book says a thing" is not evidence for either interpretation of the term. Additionally, the verse quoted here literally starts by saying his invisible attributes are perceived. But the verse requires the assumption that the Bible God exists so that one may read the untestable nature of this god onto nature itself and call it "Creation." This is clearly the second definition of Faith as I provided.

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  • R2
"This is calling you to the same faith you have in a seat belt. A sort of trust without reservation. (Assuming you've never directly studied car crashes or seat belt mechanics like most) It's the same way you trust your seat belt given the odds of car crashes and the effects on the human body when not wearing one or if it were to simply fail."
  Here is a use of the word faith in the first context, which is a trust or confidence. The problem with conflating the colloquial use and the religious use in this context is that i don't need faith that a seatbelt works. I can watch slow-mo car crashes with dummies and analyze the damage. If I was a super nerd, i could calculate the Force in newtons being transmitted into the body of a person in a seat in a car crash and compare that to the tensile strength of the seatbelt. Faith in the Bible provides no such testability. With no testability comes no objectivity. With no objectivity, there are no facts. And without a body of facts, there is no evidence. This is why Biblical Faith is a belief without evidence.

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  • R3
"He had Moses raise the staff before he parted the sea. God asked Abraham to leave his home. God asked Noah to build a boat. Noah said why, God said have faith or in otherwords, trust me. Thats Biblical faith. You're never called on as a Christian to believe without evidence. God specifically says he went out of his way to provide sufficient evidence."
  While these are true of the stories, these stories are themselves not factual accounts of history, they're stories to teach a lesson. As a christian, one is called to believe, without reservation, in untestable, unfalsifiable hypotheses, and falsified stories. Again, there are no objective facts that indicate these stories are true. Since there is no body of facts, then there is no evidence. A literal interpretation leads us to an empty belief without evidence. Ergo, Biblical Faith is belief without evidence. 

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  • R4
"This might help. I believe the evidence is overwhelming that God exists, created the Universe. I believe the evidence is overwhelming that Jesus lived, died, rose from the dead, claimed to be and is God, and never spoke inerrantly. 
I have faith when Jesus said the Old Testament can be trusted, that he's right. As for the New Testament. I think the evidence is overwhelming the gospels we have are English translations of the original 4 gospels written by four eyewitnesses to the events surrounding Christ's ministry, death, resurrection, claims, and accention. Im getting there on evidence for the various letters and other books. But im good to cover through that much. Although each are their own lengthy topics and debates. 
"
  Without facts, there is no evidence. There is no fact that indicates the God of the Bible did any of the things in the Bible. Therefore there is no body of facts to indicate the Bible is literally true. Therefore Faith in the Bible as literally true is not the colloquial definition of faith, but rather the religious definition of faith. It is a belief without evidence.

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Conclusion

  In conclusion, reading the Bible metaphorically is not a bad thing, but it adds no objectivity to the case that the Bible is true. Biblical literalism is patently absurd. There is no fact that indicates that either the god of the Bible is true, or that the things the Bible claims is true. I probably sound like a broken record, but without facts there is no evidence. Belief without evidence is the Biblical definition of faith and fits perfectly in line with the second definition of faith I provided. I hope that my opponent is able to separate doctrine from deity and realize that the Bible is merely a collection of stories told by mere fallible men. Written by men claiming to speak for god, not god himself. Whether or not the god of the bible exists, there is no fact that indicates that he does. If we are assuming, we are assuming without evidence. 

Over to Pro!
Round 3
Pro
Thank you for your response. To begin, there are two ways to read Biblical scripture: Literally and Metaphorically. When evaluating scripture as literal truth, this leads to models of the universe that are patently absurd, like that the earth and universe are less than 10,000 years old, which necessitates that light moves faster than light. This kind of religious fundamentalism is very familiar to me as it's what I was raised in.
-- And I would argue that they have no Biblical basis for that stance. They're wrong. At the very least, and I see this kind of assumption multiple times below, the Bible is not 100% one type as you allude to on multiple occasions. The Bible has both types of writing. Metaphor and literal. You can break these out into generally around 8 or 9 types. For example historical narrative. A specific version, the gospels could be this but better to specify a historical narrative which is a written eyewitness account focusing on a single person. There's poetic metaphor. Etc. You can't pick a single one and apply it across the whole Bible. I'm not aware of any Biblical scholars who support this view. I'm not saying it makes the Bible true. Just unfair to start as a foundation. It's not what Christianity says at the very least. 


The second, more reasonable way to read scripture (because it does not lead to models of reality that are patently absurd) is in a metaphorical context. This allows us to extrapolate the meanings of the Biblical stories, without having to delude ourselves that they are factual accounts of history.
-- where they are metaphor I agree. Not always the case as I outlined above. 


  I will not be dispensing of the definitions of the terms I provided for three reasons:

  1. They are verbatim copies of the Oxford definitions of the words. Not simply my own definitions.
  2. All these definitions are integrally relevant to the debate.
  3. The definition you are objecting to (Belief 1.2) is a use of the word that i have heard in countless religious contexts where it is used to mean exactly how the definitions provided describes.
--------------------
-- thats fine. But I may stop and want to discuss an assertion i think this false, stereotypical version of Christianity says. The one where faith is belief because God or the Bible says so. That's not what we're called to as Christians and just because a large number of people in our country have made this assumption because they dont want to truly investigate the Bible is not my responsibility. 


REBUTTALS

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  • R1
  Evidence is never opinion.
-- agreed. Although the conclusions found from the same set of evidence often are. Although there is an underlying truth to be found. 


Evidence is a body of facts indicative of a particular conclusion, and facts are objectively verifiable.
-- Restating of agreed upon definition. Im with you. 

Assuming isn't knowing because knowledge can be demonstrated and nothing in the bible is objectively verifiable, save the geographical settings of stories (comparable to spider man being set in new york city).
--This is broad. For now ill opt to hold any potential rebuttals as I think the conversation will drive well enough from the rest. 



There are two ways I can see to interpret the term "Biblical Faith":
-- and regardless of how many ways, one way actually supported by the text in the Bible. The Bible is clear on this. 

1. That the god of the Bible is true because the Bible says so, or 2. That the Bible is true because the Bible says so.
-- this is not the Christian worldview. 


The only thing that indicates the biblical god is true, or that the Bible is true, is the Bible itself.
--I think a compelling logical case can be made through the evaluation of available evidences. 


"A book says a thing" is not evidence for either interpretation of the term.
-- on its own, I agree. 


Additionally, the verse quoted here literally starts by saying his invisible attributes are perceived. But the verse requires the assumption that the Bible God exists so that one may read the untestable nature of this god onto nature itself and call it "Creation." This is clearly the second definition of Faith as I provided.
-- thats not clear to me. I'd ask you to elaborate. 


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  • R2
  Here is a use of the word faith in the first context, which is a trust or confidence. The problem with conflating the colloquial use and the religious use in this context is that i don't need faith that a seatbelt works. I can watch slow-mo car crashes with dummies and analyze the damage.
-- so you analyze the evidence, determine likely to be true, and have faith to get in the car. Faith is an unfortunate English translation given the mixed contexts. Love has multiple meanings, but I never hear someone assert God means love neighbor like you love pizza. Much easier to see the context as it's closer to our modern usage. This is different and kind of the whole point of my stance. Your defined religious use is by those who "are religious" (whatever that means, Jesus called religious people whores) but by those not using the definition found in the text they say they ascribe to. This is not the expectation of God. Not only does the text support this so do his actions. 



If I was a super nerd, i could calculate the Force in newtons being transmitted into the body of a person in a seat in a car crash and compare that to the tensile strength of the seatbelt.
-- i am that super nerd. I love it. Studied physics and applied mathematics in college. 


Faith in the Bible provides no such testability. With no testability comes no objectivity. With no objectivity, there are no facts. And without a body of facts, there is no evidence. This is why Biblical Faith is a belief without evidence.
--lets use a specific example.  What i was trying to get at with the God's existence is evident in creation. Granted, much different scope over time. For me, the fine tuning of so many constants (e.g. strength of gravity), the library of info in DNA. The molecular machines in our cells. The big bang. Etc. Are all best explained by intelligent design. Im weighing the evidence found in nature to come to a conclusion of design for all where others weigh and come to the conclusion chance for all.

And All Might's one for all is faced with All for One. Sorry lol. Just watched My Hero Academia and saying for all had that pop in my head. Not sure if the reference hits but hey, we're not in a strict robotic debate with no room to be humans having a conversation after first being talking point arguers. 
----------

  While these are true of the stories, these stories are themselves not factual accounts of history, they're stories to teach a lesson.
-- For those, no. I believe the incredibly wide-spread, standard view of Moses, the red sea and the fleece on fire, and Noah were all historical narrative from the point of view of the writers at that time, for other people of that time. And status of truth is not why I brought them up. Im using these as some of the many examples where the Bible supports faith like that in a seat belt and not because God says so or because the Bible says so. 
Actually,  this literally just occurred to me. Even John in the end of the first century didn't have a Bible. Until the Bible was published and wide spread no one was even able to use an argument because the Bible said so. This shouldn't even be a consideration. Maybe and only maybe, but maybe if the Bible was written to be a religious book. 
It wasn't. New Testament is an easier, shorter example. The gospel writers didn't know there would be a Bible when they penned and shared their individual eye witness accounts. Paul had no idea that his letters to various churches doing things against Jesus teachings and why they were wrong (many of the things that get assumed as Christian belief today ironically...) would be in the Bible. John, when penning Revelation, had no idea there would ever even be a Bible. I think this is relevant to many of your above points (and in contrast to).



As a christian, one is called to believe, without reservation, in untestable, unfalsifiable hypotheses, and falsified stories.
-- I completely disagree. I can unload a ton of verses and context but would probably be better served as a whole new topic to start from that premise. I think theres another conversation developing. Feel free to fire that topic up and add me if interested.


Again, there are no objective facts that indicate these stories are true.
-- An eyewitness account isn't even considerable? Not as proof the whole Bible is true. But say are they not proof a man named Jesus lived? God exists, if one of the stories, is supported by the fact of the degree of fine tuning as one example. You may assert a different conclusion but we're going off the same facts and neither can prove absolutely theyre right. 


Since there is no body of facts, then there is no evidence.
-- agreed but not relevant.

A literal interpretation leads us to an empty belief without evidence. Ergo, Biblical Faith is belief without evidence. --if you only take a single way of interpretation for the whole of the Bible. 


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  • R4
  Without facts, there is no evidence. There is no fact that indicates the God of the Bible did any of the things in the Bible.
-- Disagree. Addressed above. 

Therefore there is no body of facts to indicate the Bible is literally true.
-- if your above point is correct, you are correct this follows. I dont agree with the first part. 

Therefore Faith in the Bible as literally true is not the colloquial definition of faith, but rather the religious definition of faith. It is a belief without evidence.
-- Good thing this is not what the Bible expects or says. 


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Conclusion

  In conclusion, reading the Bible metaphorically is not a bad thing, but it adds no objectivity to the case that the Bible is true. Biblical literalism is patently absurd. There is no fact that indicates that either the god of the Bible is true, or that the things the Bible claims is true. I probably sound like a broken record, but without facts there is no evidence. Belief without evidence is the Biblical definition of faith and fits perfectly in line with the second definition of faith I provided. I hope that my opponent is able to separate doctrine from deity and realize that the Bible is merely a collection of stories told by mere fallible men. Written by men claiming to speak for god, not god himself. Whether or not the god of the bible exists, there is no fact that indicates that he does. If we are assuming, we are assuming without evidence. 

Over to Pro!




Con
Thank you for your response. I would like to lay out my argument in a series of easily quotable points before digging into my counter-rebuttals.


1. Faith has 2 definitions [1] :
  1a. Complete trust or confidence in someone or something.
  1b. Strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.
2. Hebrews 11:1 describes faith as a conviction of things not seen [2].
3. Being convicted of things not seen is directly equivalent to believing in things without evidence.
4. Biblical Faith as described here fits in definition 1b, not 1a.

--------------------

COUNTER-REBUTTALS


  • CR1
"- And I would argue that they have no Biblical basis for that stance. They're wrong. At the very least, and I see this kind of assumption multiple times below, the Bible is not 100% one type as you allude to on multiple occasions. The Bible has both types of writing. Metaphor and literal. You can break these out into generally around 8 or 9 types."

  The Biblical justification for the young earth is that when you add all the dates of the "begats" in Genesis and add them to the timelines of the rest of the Bible, the time from genesis creation to now is around 6,000 years. I'm not saying that the Bible must be read 100% one or the other, but simply that there is no clear distinction between what parts to read metaphorically, and what parts to read literally. The only reason that it is considered absurd to take the 6,000 year old universe literally is because a mountain of evidence supports an ancient universe. So, is the metric for determining what to read literally from what to read metaphorically solely what has been objectively shown to be not literally true? As a follow up question, what is the default stance for interpretation of the scripture: literal or metaphorical?

  When scripture is interpreted metaphorically, then it can be said to be helpful for valuable lessons, but this does not put it in the realm of objectivity. Whereas a literal interpretation of any given scripture is the only interpretation that makes claims about objective reality. 

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  • CR2

"  'Evidence is never opinion.'
-- agreed.Although the conclusions found from the same set of evidence often are. Although there is an underlying truth to be found. "

  Evidence is a body of facts that indicate a specific conclusion. Without a specific conclusion for the body of facts to be indicative of, they cannot be considered evidence. So there aren't "same evidence different conclusions." There are simply specific conclusions that either do or do not have evidence. They either have objectively verifiable data to support them or they do not.

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  • CR3
"so you analyze the evidence, determine likely to be true, and have faith to get in the car. Faith is an unfortunate English translation given the mixed contexts"
  I analyze the data, determine that the tensile strength of the seatbelt is greater than the force pushing me towards the windshield, and conclude that a seatbelt works. No faith required, unless it is the colloquial definition of faith, wherein such case it's synonymous with trust. This is not the religious definition of faith, and more specifically, not the biblical definition of faith.

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  • CR4
"lets use a specific example.  What i was trying to get at with the God's existence is evident in creation. Granted, much different scope over time. For me, the fine tuning of so many constants (e.g. strength of gravity), the library of info in DNA. The molecular machines in our cells. The big bang. Etc. Are all best explained by intelligent design. Im weighing the evidence found in nature to come to a conclusion of design for all where others weigh and come to the conclusion chance for all."

  Respectfully, how are any of these "evidences" explained by intelligent design? By what mechanism did a designer design these things? I feel the following definition is necessary:

  Magic - The power of apparently influencing the course of events by using mysterious or supernatural forces [3].

  If the explanation is supernatural powers, or magic, this is no more an explanation for these natural phenomena then Zeus was an explanation for thunder and  lightning [8].

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  • CR5
"Im using these as some of the many examples where the Bible supports faith like that in a seat belt and not because God says so or because the Bible says so. "
  I'd also like to avoid a verse-off, but I will give an example.  Consider Moses: "The Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand? He said, 'A staff.' 3 And he said, 'Throw it on the ground.' So he threw it on the ground, and it became a serpent, and Moses ran from it." - Exodus 4:2-3 ESV. Moses was to obey without any reason other than God said so. This is not seeing until after the act of faith is performed. This is a clear demonstration of Faith as defined in the second definition, and in Hebrews 11:1. This is however not an example of the "trust with sufficient reason" definition of Faith, that we use colloquially.

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  • CR6
Again, there are no objective facts that indicate these stories are true.
-- An eyewitness account isn't even considerable? Not as proof the whole Bible is true. But say are they not proof a man named Jesus lived? 
  An eyewitness account is something, but not much of anything. Eyewitness accounts are the least reliable form of evidence [4] as memory is easily corruptible, and very subjective. It doesn't help that there are other gospels that are not included in the Bible like the Gospel of Barnabas [5]. Do you consider the Gospels that were left out as also eyewitness accounts? Is Barnabas an apostle as it says in his gospel? The point is that the foundation of relying on anonymously written [6] ancient documents as eyewitness accounts is shaky at best. At least with alexander the great we have man non-anonymous sources independently corroborating his life [7].

--------------------

CONCLUSION

  In conclusion, the bible commands in black and white text to believe without seeing. This is faith without evidence. Ergo, The bible commands belief without evidence and Biblical faith is belief without evidence.


[6] https://www.history.com/topics/religion/bible - About 1/3 the way down the page
Round 4
Pro

-- Thanks. The format and flow are super helpful and the patience for a newbie in this area is appreciated. Even more so as I have to do this all on my phone. 


1. Faith has 2 definitions [1] :
  1a. Complete trust or confidence in someone or something.
-- Much closer to biblical faith. I hope the rest will support. 

  1b. Strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.
-- Literally what I hope to show is untrue for a Biblical definition of faith.

2., 3. 4. 
-- Yes but not when it comes to belief in God. My whole point of the debate. This chapter goes into a lot more depth. Including examples which happen to illustrate faith after evidence. Please be more specific on your argument here and ill come back to it. 

To throw a counter example. Jesus led by example in a lot of ways.

I can give many examples where, and probably better examples to tackle, Jesus is rebuking someone for lack of faith. Let's look at what Jesus concisely modeled and argued to make a case. For one example to start, im happy to provide more:
John's gospel records accusations against Jesus for claiming to be God. Jesus responds and comments on their lack in faith. Lack of belief in who He is. 

"Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?” The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.” Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’? If he called them gods to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be broken— do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”
John 10:32‭-‬38 ESV

I would argue that Jesus in short is saying, respond to the evidence that you have been provided with.  In 2020 perhaps this could mean things like consider the empty tomb, the evidence for the resurrection, the validity of changed lives in light of Biblical prediction of the types of change (when shown to be a true follower), the evidence in the universe, and then on the basis of those facts, believe, which would be the step of faith. This is not believe because I said so.

--------------------

COUNTER-REBUTTALS

  • CR1
  The Biblical justification for the young earth ... what parts to read literally. 
-- You're right. There is no distinction in text thousands of years old, written by different authors, over hundreds and hundreds of years, not with the purpose of "for the Bible". You have to look at each book, it's context, audience, and original word usage. It's not surface level by any means. Ive been walking through Genesis with a group. We meet bi weekly and started in December. We're just now through Genesis 11. I'm starting to get a handle but we've not even gotten into Hebrew word choice and English word comparison yet. Why does the Bible have to be clear in this distinction. The writers weren't writing for the Bible. None of the authors even knew there would be a Bible. 

The only reason that it is considered absurd to take the 6,000 year old universe literally is because a mountain of evidence supports an ancient universe.
--Which is why I'm in this camp and would claim the Bible is unclear. Any Christian saying they're 100% sure is reading into the text and adding their interpretation. Genesis tells us (from it's point of view im not arguing this as proof for these points) for sure without need for long debate that or any uncertainty or metaphor. 
1. The Universe had a beginning. 
2. God exists
3. God exists outside of this universe

(Many others but for the sake of this ill not make it a full separate conversation)

Genesis never specifies how specifically or when specifically this happened. That's reading into things. As much as that sucks for our current scientific culture (young earth creationists too) Genesis was not written to be a textbook to perfectly explain the details of creation for all humans ever. That's not the purpose or scope. At all. 



So, is the metric for determining what to read literally from what to read metaphorically solely what has been objectively shown to be not literally true?

As a follow up question, what is the default stance for interpretation of the scripture: literal or metaphorical?
-- no, i outlined why above. You could pick a specific book and we can start there. To just say scripture is too broad to be accurate. 


  When scripture is interpreted metaphorically, then it can be said to be helpful for valuable lessons, but this does not put it in the realm of objectivity.
-- this is however not the only usage or intended purpose of metaphor in scripture. 

Whereas a literal interpretation of any given scripture is the only interpretation that makes claims about objective reality. 
--For the scriptures making claims about objective reality yes. For example. The universe had a beginning. Not metaphor. God exists. Not metaphor. The 7 headed dragon in Revelation? Metaphor pulled from Old Testament reference.
----------

  • CR2
 
-- but the seemingly correct conclusion is SO often shown to be wrong. Usually because of new facts which were unknowable to exists. Give me an example of one if you could please it'll help me specify my argument here.

--------

  • CR3
-- You have faith youve covered all the cases and someone won't crash in an unexpected way causing everyone in the vehicle to lose their seat belts efficacy. 
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  • CR4


  Respectfully, how are any of these "evidences" explained by intelligent design? By what mechanism did a designer design these things?
-- Not sure. Bible doesn't tell me the how of creating a universe from nothing. God spoke, but we can have a discussion on metaphor vs literal there. Genesis assumes a non physical entity outside of time and space. "Speaking" doesn't make any sense. The writer of Genesis wouldn't have used terms like sound waves and air molecule vibration. But they would have made a ancient context argument. 


I feel the following definition is necessary:
  Magic - The power of apparently influencing the course of events by using mysterious or supernatural forces [3].
-- I'm good using this. 


  If the explanation is supernatural powers, or magic, this is no more an explanation for these natural phenomena then Zeus was an explanation for thunder and  lightning [8].
-- This is only true if the supernatural does not exist. As you have not shown that to be true, I feel it's disenguous to equate those outright in this way. You're getting at God of the gaps. Please use a specific gap. Because the non God theory for creation is far from settled. 


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  • CR5
-- This would only be true if this was the VERY first call to action for Moses. 
Let's back up. Moses first encounter with God was in the prior Chapter. The burning bush. Arguments of the physics aside. Let's take it from Moses pov given the argument of 4:2-3 assumes God changes it and questions the faith aspect. The very first time God appears, God provides evidence of His authority over nature and status in the form of something impossible. A bush on fire which is not burning up. It was only after Moses saw this and inquired further did things move on. God identified himself. Evidence first. So when God said throw the staff, if Moses said well prove it to me first. Why obey? God could have corrected Him for his lack of faith now because of the burning bush. I have other examples. 
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  • CR6
  An eyewitness account is something, but not much of anything. Eyewitness accounts are the least reliable form of evidence [4] as memory is easily corruptible, and very subjective.
-- Yes. You're correct. But it was on me to show there exists evidence. Your follow up, to me, assumes an agreement on this point and seeks to clarify strength. We can have a separate debate on the individual and combined strength of all the evidences. But this was to show it exists. The other should be done separately. 



It doesn't help that there are other gospels that are not included in the Bible like the Gospel of Barnabas [5]. Do you consider the Gospels that were left out as also eyewitness accounts?
-- yes, eyewitness accounts. Different level of reliability. If you want to discuss reliability of the New Testament we can in another debate. If you want to discuss criteria for Canon selection (in otherwords identification of which texts were inspired) again another discussion. I will say, none of the writers were writing "for the Bible". The gospel writers basically said people need to know what happened. Targeted a group and theme and wrote their story. Paul wrote lot of letters to churches for those churches. Hence the names. The church in Corinth was apparently so far off the mark of following Jesus, Paul wrote 2 inspired letters haha. 

Is Barnabas an apostle as it says in his gospel?
-- I dont know. But define apostle. Someone who followed Jesus around during his earthly ministry? Probably.

The point is that the foundation of relying on anonymously written [6] ancient documents as eyewitness accounts is shaky at best. At least with alexander the great we have man non-anonymous sources independently corroborating his life [7].
-- not the point set out to show however. Not that you don't make a well thought out compelling case. 
--------------------

Sorry for triming so much of your text. Ran out of characters .


Con
  Thank you for this debate, it's been fun. Perhaps it would be easier for you in the future to visit your local library or something, as it's much easier to craft these on a computer. I will not be tackling my Final-Rebuttals in the same order that my opponent's argument was presented, so bear with me.

--------------------

FINAL REBUTTALS

----------

  • FR1
"'Is Barnabas an apostle as it says in his gospel?'
-- I dont know. But define apostle. Someone who followed Jesus around during his earthly ministry? Probably."
  In the Gospel of Barnabas, Barnabas is one of the twelve apostles[1]. This is a direct contradiction of the canonical gospels that do not list him as one of the twelve[2]. As a side note, one of the Gospels of Barnabas translations states that miraculously, Judas Iscariot was crucified in Jesus' place. Another eyewitness account?

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  • FR2
"yes, eyewitness accounts. Different level of reliability."
  The problem here is that there can be no confirmation that any of these are eyewitness accounts, since they were published anonymously, with the names of apparent apostles ascribed to them to boost their popularity [3]. 

" Yes. You're correct. But it was on me to show there exists evidence. "
  If they were indeed eyewitness accounts that would be evidence. But there is no evidence that indicates that all gospels mentioned in this debate, canonical and noncanonical, were indeed eyewitness accounts. On the contrary, the fact that they were published anonymously seems an argument against their reliability as historical accounts.

  This leads us to the Metaphorical vs Literal interpretation problem I've been stressing. The biblical accounts cannot be verified to be true, and therefore, if we are assuming their truth, we must necessarily be assuming their metaphorical truth rather than their literal truth. Unfortunately for my opponent's argument, Metaphorical Truth is not Objective Truth. Therefore, any faith put in the Bible's truth can have no objective facts behind it, nor can any faith put in the truth of the Bible's god have any objective facts behind it. This is a belief with no facts; a belief with no evidence.

----------

  • FR3
 "This would only be true if this was the VERY first call to action for Moses. "
  This was the very first call to action for Moses. Witnessing a burning bush not burning is not a call to action. Additionally, there is nothing about a burning bush not burning that indicates that a staff can turn into a snake. The hypothesis that "My staff will turn into a snake when I throw it down" is not supported by the fact, "bush is on fire, but not burning," or "burning bush is speaking." In this way, a burning bush is not evidence that the call to action will be answered, and therefore, Moses was acting without evidence, on a burning bushes say-so rather than proof.

I'll just add a classic quote here:
"Because I said so!" - Mom

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  • FR4
" You have faith youve covered all the cases and someone won't crash in an unexpected way causing everyone in the vehicle to lose their seat belts efficacy. "
  I did not claim that I had covered all cases. The point I'm making is that the hypothesis that "a seatbelt will work if the tensile strength is greater than the force pushing the passenger towards the windshield," is supported by every test conducted. Therefore it is a provisionally true model of how seatbelts keep one from flying through the windshield in a car accident. Because there is a body of objectively verifiable facts supporting this provisionally true model of an aspect of reality, then faith here is only applicable in the colloquial sense, meaning evidenced trust, not the religious or Biblical sense.

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  • FR5
"The only reason that it is considered absurd to take the 6,000 year old universe literally is because a mountain of evidence supports an ancient universe.
--Which is why I'm in this camp and would claim the Bible is unclear. Any Christian saying they're 100% sure is reading into the text and adding their interpretation. Genesis tells us (from it's point of view im not arguing this as proof for these points) for sure without need for long debate that or any uncertainty or metaphor. 
1. The Universe had a beginning. 
2. God exists
3. God exists outside of this universe"
  The Bible is unclear, because a literal interpretation of Genesis Creation, as was accepted in Galileo's time, has since been systematically falsified on every testable claim. This is just a solid, specific example.

1: Agreed, this is evident.
2: This is a faith based assertion without evidence.
3: This is a faith based assertion without evidence.

  Points 2 and 3 necessarily require religious faith, the faith described in Hebrews 11:1, and in line perfectly with definition 2 of faith as defined in my opening statement.

----------


  • FR6
" but the seemingly correct conclusion is SO often shown to be wrong. Usually because of new facts which were unknowable to exists. Give me an example of one if you could please it'll help me specify my argument here."
  To be honest, I'm uncertain what exactly is being asked of me to provide. I apologize if I'm just totally missing the point on this one. But as for conclusions being falsified when new facts arise, in most cases, the provisionally true models are updated to compensate for the new data, rather than scrapped and replaced, with few exceptions (i.e. Phlogiston Theory [4]).

----------

  • FR7
"Genesis assumes a non physical entity outside of time and space. "
  Only if one is attempting to rationalize, ad hoc, a literal interpretation of Genesis Scripture.

"You could pick a specific book and we can start there"
  The first book, Genesis. Which by no coincidence, we are discussing in a separate debate.
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CLOSING STATEMENTS

 
  In our language, there are two primary definitions of faith. All examples of faith used in the bible have been conclusively shown to be in the "belief without evidence" category. The verse provided by me, Hebrews 11:1 ESV [5], states, " Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen," And the verse provided by my opponent, 2 Corinthians 5:7, states "For we live by faith, not by sight." These are both perfectly in line with a definition of faith that is "belief without evidence." Additionally, a literal interpretation of any testable aspect of the Bible discussed so far have been demonstrated to have no bearing on objective reality. So this idea of Biblical Faith is also demonstrably a belief without factual support. Therefore, Biblical Faith is belief without evidence.


[3] https://www.history.com/topics/religion/bible - About 1/3 the way down the page