Instigator / Pro
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1500
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Topic

To worship God is to worship a murderer.

Status
Voting

Participant that receives the most points from the voters is declared a winner.

The voting will end in:

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Parameters
More details
Publication date
Last update date
Category
Religion
Time for argument
Two weeks
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
One month
Point system
Four points
Rating mode
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Characters per argument
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Contender / Con
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Description
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THBT: To worship God is to worship a murderer.

-Definitions-
Worship - to honour or show reverence for as a divine being or supernatural power.

God - the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshipped as creator and ruler of the universe. For this debate, we will be discussing the Christian God.

Murder. To kill a human being.

-Burden of Proof-
Pro bears the larger burden, as they are the one proposing the idea of God being a murderer. Con must simply refute all allegations and maintain the status quo.

As the Bible is the only document regarding God, it shall be regarded with 100% accuracy. Anything that is stated in the Bible can be used as evidence. Debate about the actual reliability of the bible and the existence of God is for another time.

-Rules-
Forfeit = Instant loss
No kritks
Definitions are agreed upon

Round 1
Pro
I honestly thought no one would take this debate. But here we are. As stated in the description, to win this debate, I must prove that God has committed murder, thus making him a murderer. 

God personally killing. 

And there came out a fire from the LORD, and consumed the two hundred and fifty men that offered incense.
Number 16:35

And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of them.
Exodus 14:28

Behold, with a great plague will the LORD smite thy people, and thy children, and thy wives, and all thy goods:
2 Chronicles 21:14

And so it was at the beginning of their dwelling there, that they feared not the LORD: therefore the LORD sent lions among them, which slew some of them.
2 Kings 17:25

Neither did Jeroboam recover strength again in the days of Abijah: and the LORD struck him, and he died.
2 Chronicles 13:20

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, so whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
John 3:16
When Jesus died for us, He took our sin. If we truly believe this, then we gain the ability to go to Heaven. Atheists like myself reject this promise, and therefore don’t have the key to everlasting life. With no acceptance of forgiveness, we apparently deserve damnation for their un-forgiven sin.

God commanding murder

And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the LORD went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses.
2 Kings 19:35

Con
I’ll start off by stating the completely obvious: This debate is stacked against me. My opponent, being the one who set the rules, has chosen to weigh them in his favor by issuing newfangled definitions and prohibiting any challenges to them. This is gross, insincere, and quite frankly, indicative of an arrogance that isn’t conducive to seeking truth. He wants to win, whether it be through shameless bias or other craven methods (which I’m sure will come to light as the debate moves forward). Because of this, I have decided that the best course of action is to ignore the rules he set up, and attack his unfair definition.

PRO’s flimsy and haphazard argument for Round 1 reinforces what I’ve already stated. He set the bar so low for himself that all he has to do to win is post a few verses from the bible and leave it at that. There’s no in-depth exegesis done here, no elaboration. He doesn’t bother to examine the context, or even construct a case. He did a hasty Google search for “verses where God kills people”, slapped the first 10 results together, and called it a day. I am certain that no more than five minutes of work or thought was put into his argument. I don't have anything of substance to respond to. 

Murder, contrary to PRO, is not just the act of killing someone, but the act of killing them unjustly. To murder is to end someone’s life in a fashion that comes from malicious intent and is conducted outside of the law. Virtually all legal definitions of murder include “malice aforethought” as something that must be proven in court. In fact, malice and ill-intent are why we consider murder to be so vile in the first place, not to mention why most of civil society has always outlawed it. If you remove “malice” from the term, you effectively remove the stigma attached to it as well. What’s wrong with killing, or murder, if it isn’t done in a way that contradicts the law or moral consensus?

You see, according to PRO’s definition killing is synonymous with murdering, which means everyone who has ever killed out of self-defense, within warfare, through negligence, or by accident would have to be branded a murderer. Of course, that means there have been virtuous murderers in the past, which is patently absurd. The noble Abraham Lincoln orchestrated the bloodiest war in American history, and while he was not without fault, he was still an upstanding leader and it’s absurd to put him on par with actual murderers like Ted Bundy and John Gacy. You’ve uprooted an immutable moral definition and changed it because it makes your side of the argument easier to contend for. But the problem is that, in doing so, you’ve made the word lose all of its potency. I see no issue with worshipping a murderer if all he’s guilty of is killing people, especially when literally every instance where he has done so it’s been because of his own ultimate righteousness and his target's sins against him. You’ve made “murder” a meaningless term.  I ask, PRO: Why is it wrong to worship a murderer?

If you want to have a conversation that will yield some sort of benefit for both of us, you will discard your lopsided standards and present an argument that is in line with reality. Scrap the contrived definition and adopt the one you and I both know is true. Show not only that God has killed people, but that he has done so on evil grounds. Until you have done that or at least attempted to, you are a  fool and a laughing stock. Nobody likes it when people overhaul age-old moral precepts for the sake of winning a debate. 

If you refuse to rescind your definition, I forfeit. I do not care whether I lose according to your rules or not. You’ve already shown how little you care about imposing rules fairly. Loss means nothing to me here. If I am to be the scapegoat you have to kill for you to feel good about yourself, then I’m fine with that. Just know that nobody here is impressed with you. Maybe you can redeem yourself if you offer a more accurate definition. I hope that is what you decide to do. 

I trust the voters will be wise with their decision. 

Round 2
Pro
I have to say I am disappointed with my opponents debating ethics. Con's first 2 paragraphs were essentially just complaints and personal attacks on my debate. So let me clarify the following clearly. 


I can create whatever debate I want. I can set whatever rules I want. I can debate about whatever I want. What I cannot do is force my opponents to compete against me.

YOU chose to accept this debate. Upon acceptance, you agreed to the rules which were clearly set. It does not matter how "outrageous" the debate is, it does not matter how "unfair" it is, the fact is you agreed to debate without even messaging me prior with your concerns.  

Murder, contrary to PRO, is not just the act of killing someone, but the act of killing them unjustly. To murder is to end someone’s life in a fashion that comes from malicious intent and is conducted outside of the law. Virtually all legal definitions of murder include “malice aforethought” as something that must be proven in court.
According to the Cambridge Dictionary, murder is

so I'm not too sure what the fuss is about, that's essentially the definition I used. 

However, What I'm really interested in is what you have instore for the coming rounds. So in short, do you believe God has committed murder? If no, continue, if yes, forfeit. 



Con

“I can create whatever debate I want. I can set whatever rules I want. I can debate about whatever I want. What I cannot do is force my opponents to compete against me.”

I didn't dispute this. I get that you have a right to set the rules. What I'm upset about is the fact that you're so hungry for a victory that you rigged them in your favor and forbade me from asking why. And of course you didn't force me into this interaction. That was a voluntary decision I made, mostly so I could urge you to reexamine your faulty definition. This has always been a very interesting topic to me and I want to have a fruitful discussion with you. But no fruit will be produced if your foremost goal is to win no matter what. I entered into this hoping that I could alter the path this debate was heading down. 

As I predicted would be the case, my effort was in vain, as you ignored my challenges and doubled-down on the suspicious rules/definitions you mandated beforehand. 

“the fact is you agreed to debate without even messaging me prior with your concerns.”

Because I had already seen how unreasonable you were in the comments. You said things like “I don’t think I made this possible to lose for myself”, and “If I add the word unjust', a religious person may argue that God cannot act unjustly and that all the murders were justified as God is Omnibenevolent.” While I applaud your honesty and straightforwardness, the bottom line is that these remarks demonstrate your intent was never to exchange ideas, it was to win a debate. You knew that your argument wouldn’t merit a victory on its own so you loaded the rulebook and stacked it in your favor. I was hoping to reverse that. 

Murder, as was established in my first argument, is the premeditated killing of another human being with malicious intent. If your definition is different, you’re running counter to basically every judicial institution that has ever been founded. Murder is and has been considered to be, morally reprehensible SOLELY because of the malintent you have to have to commit it. If you kill someone out of self-defense, during war, or with some other reasonable justification you are vindicated and the charges against you are dropped. Civil society has always recognized this, and it baffles me that you’re so willing to contravene that consensus. 

The bible gives a helpful analogy for those struggling with this question. If I fashion a pot and decide, for whatever reason, to destroy it, I am well within my rights to do so. It is my creation, and so I have full claim and jurisdiction over it. I am allowed to do with the pot as I see fit, and while you might quibble about my rationale, no one could seriously maintain that I am in the wrong. Likewise, God created humanity and therefore has the authority to whatever he desires with it. He can strike people down, decimate nations …  whatever he feels is suitable, he is right in doing. He has full claim over our lives because he is the one who gave them to us. He is sovereign over everything he has made, and the benefits/liberties that stem from that are guaranteed. To top it off, you have the added fact that all humans have sinned against God and transgressed his moral law, which only lends him more credence when he decides to end someone’s life. The bible says that all of mankind is deserving of death, so God allowing us to die is not only upright but actually laudable. It’s one of the ways he judges people, and nobody can sincerely deny that we aren’t worthy of such judgment.  

My question is this: Do you apply your standards across the board, or are you being selective? Do you admit that your definition requires the damnation of all forms of induced death, including self-defense, warfare, and even abortion (which is undoubtedly the most egregious of the three)? If not, then your redefinition is tentative and prejudiced, and it can be concluded that you don’t really condemn murder (at least, not in the sense you’ve dictated). 

It gets even direr than that, as what you would essentially have to believe is that it is fine when people murder each other, but when God does it he deserves special condemnation. When Judges mete out the death penalty for egregious crimes, are they committing murder themselves? If they rule in that direction, aren’t they directly involved in the death of the criminal? When mothers slaughter their children in abortion facilities, is that wrong? Are you holding them to the same guidelines you’re insisting that God has to follow? If your answer is no, then basically what you’re telling me is that you believe it’s fine for women to dismember their innocent children in the womb en masse but wrong for God to harm the creatures he has full jurisdiction over, even as a response to their depravity and sinfulness. Solve that conundrum as you will. 

So here we reach a crossroads. Either:
1. All forms of murder (killing) are wicked, meaning that the Omnibenevolent God of the Universe is on a par with people like Hitler. George Washington and Abe Lincoln would fall under the same umbrella as Stalin and Pol Pot - their actions, according to you, are morally equivalent and uniformly evil. 
2. Only the murder (killings) God commits are wrong, and not the ones committed in war or at abortion clinics - in which case you’re being inconsistent with your application of this newfangled law. 
3. Or finally, no murder is wrong, which would beg the question of why you find it so repugnant to worship a murderer in the first place. 
These are your three options, and regardless of which one you choose, ultimately you have stripped the word of all its moral imperative. Say that I worship a murderer all you want. If we’re defining it your way, then I take no issue with that whatsoever.

I’ve got better things to do right now, so I’ll have to leave it there. Please, for the sake of this discussion, actually respond to my argumentation this time. 


Round 3
Pro
No introductions, I'll  hop straight into things. 

My opponent first agrees that they broke the rules of the debate, but then go on to insult my debate on a personal level. 

Because I had already seen how unreasonable you were in the comments. You said things like “I don’t think I made this possible to lose for myself”, and “If I add the word unjust', a religious person may argue that God cannot act unjustly and that all the murders were justified as God is Omnibenevolent.”
The word unjust would actually make this debate impossible for me to win. Religious people can argue that anything God does, including the killing of hundreds of thousands of innocent people is "just", as God is "perfect".  How could I possibly debate against this? The motivation for removing the word "unjust", was not for greed as you seem keen to suggest, but because I wanted to remove any loopholes which would make this debate unfair. In removing the word unjust,  the question is no longer judged by God's perfection, but by our own morality. 
 

Murder, as was established in my first argument, is the premeditated killing of another human being with malicious intent. If your definition is different, you’re running counter to basically every judicial institution that has ever been founded.

I have already cited where my definition came from (Cambridge Dictionary) so this argument is purely emotional. 


If you kill someone out of self-defense, during war, or with some other reasonable justification you are vindicated and the charges against you are dropped. Civil society has always recognized this, and it baffles me that you’re so willing to contravene that consensus. 

According to the Cambridge dictionary, to commit murder is 

The crime of intentionally killing a person. 
while the definition of killing is 

To cause someone or something to die.  
It is clear that the only difference between killing and murdering is that a) murder is intentional, and b) killing includes causing death to both "someone" and "something". However, my opponent seems to have this point mixed up. They seem to believe the there is no murder at war. 

Murder occurs at war. However, murder can be justified. People at war were presumably fighting for life and death. They had little choice. What they did was still murder, there is no dispute about this, but society simply treats veterans acts of murder differently.  

You may point out that I just said "but murder can be justified". Before you say God's acts of murder can be justified, tell me how you can justify God burning 250 men into crisp. 

The bible gives a helpful analogy for those struggling with this question. If I fashion a pot and decide, for whatever reason, to destroy it, I am well within my rights to do so. It is my creation, and so I have full claim and jurisdiction over it. I am allowed to do with the pot as I see fit, and while you might quibble about my rationale, no one could seriously maintain that I am in the wrong. Likewise, God created humanity and therefore has the authority to whatever he desires with it. He can strike people down, decimate nations …  whatever he feels is suitable, he is right in doing.
This is exactly why I removed the word "unjust". How can I debate against this? Essentially, the question boils down too "is God real", which is a debate I will create in the near future. 

But assuming God is real, what makes burning 250 men right? If God commanded you to do exactly what he did, and burn a town of innocent men wives and children, would you do it? Don't give me the "but he would never command me to do it" because that would be hypocritical, just imagine God is commanding you to do EXACTLY what he did himself. 


My question is this: Do you apply your standards across the board, or are you being selective? Do you admit that your definition requires the damnation of all forms of induced death, including self-defense, warfare, and even abortion (which is undoubtedly the most egregious of the three)? If not, then your redefinition is tentative and prejudiced, and it can be concluded that you don’t really condemn murder (at least, not in the sense you’ve dictated). 
To kill someone in self-defense is to commit murder as it is "intentionally killing a person". To kill someone in warfare is murder as it is "intentionally killing a person". To perform an abortion is murder as it is "intentionally killing a person". It is how we judge these acts of murder which matters. 

When mothers slaughter their children in abortion facilities, is that wrong?
To slaughter a child is murder as it is "intentionally killing a person". As you can see, I'm pretty constant over the board. 

So here we reach a crossroads. Either:
1. All forms of murder (killing) are wicked, meaning that the Omnibenevolent God of the Universe is on a par with people like Hitler.
When did I say all forms of murder are wicked? As to the Omnibenevolent, I'll give an analogy. If I had an 18 year old son living with me, I have the rights to kick them out, as they are 18, but I will not be allowed to then call myself Omnibenevolent. You cannot be all loving while burning people to death. 

I disagree with you on the second half of the statement thought. God is much much worse Hitler. Yes. Hitler never claimed to be perfect, never claimed to be omnipotent, omnipresent, or omniscient. The acts he committed were heinous, terrible, and hateful. The christian god claims to be omnieverything, and yet, because he has to allow for free will, he allows children to suffer and die, allows families to be ripped apart, people to be “tested with trials and tribulations” and the suffering of an entire human species, all due to the act of one person eating a stupid piece of fruit thousand of years ago.

God is definitely much more terrible than Hitler, and even if he actually does exist, he is by no means worthy of my praise and worship.

2. Only the murder (killings) God commits are wrong, and not the ones committed in war or at abortion clinics - in which case you’re being inconsistent with your application of this newfangled law. 
All killing is wrong, but some can be justified. Usually, the justification is "I had no choice, my life was under threat, I was forcibly threatened to". However, God has no such excuses. He is the maximal being of whom can do anything he pleases. Surely, burning 250 men was not necessary. 

-- 

Overall, all of my definitions have some how been questioned or shifted, which I am disappointed about.

The question remains do you believe God has committed murder. If yes, forfeits, if no, continue. 





Con
My opponent first agrees that they broke the rules of the debate, but then go on to insult my debate on a personal level. 
Because the way you set up the debate is clearly the symptom of some personal flaws. As we will see over the course of my next (and most thorough) rebuttal, you have made it abundantly clear that you not only care nothing about debate ethics or decency but that you do not understand the concepts you’re invoking in your arguments (if they can even be called that). 

The word unjust would actually make this debate impossible for me to win. 
If you can’t make a plausible argument for your position using accepted definitions then that’s a good indicator your position is probably indefensible and shouldn’t be held any longer. In my mind, you’ve just tacitly conceded the debate. And while this is quite amusing (in a morbid sense), it’s also disheartening; here you are, confessing that you have no cogent, grounded argument for why God should be labeled a murderer, but instead of following that line of logic to its obvious conclusion you decide to manufacture some new definitions. 

The motivation for removing the word "unjust", was not for greed as you seem keen to suggest, but because I wanted to remove any loopholes which would make this debate unfair.
Let me get this straight. You emptied “murder” of the very elements that make it so vile because otherwise, you wouldn’t be able to justifiably claim God has committed it, and then you restricted your opposition from challenging that and, indeed, say they have lost if they do; all under the banner of making things “fair”? I won’t bother pointing out the irony here - it’s already quite difficult to miss. 

In removing the word unjust,  the question is no longer judged by God's perfection, but by our own morality. 

Ah yes - by the ever-shifting, eternally changing standards of mankind. Those are perfectly reliable metrics for measuring the goodness of The Almighty God. If Hitler won WWII, had succeeded in conquering the world, and you had survived up to this point (assuming you aren’t Jewish and that he hadn’t exterminated you yet), your moral convictions would be very, very different. Especially if you lived in a region that was under his control. You would have been brainwashed and indoctrinated as a child into believing Hitler was virtuous. This is man-made morality - it’s artificial, unreliable, and dangerous. If you’re going to be examining God’s actions, you will need something with more steadiness and deeper roots than the vagaries of human judgment. 

But come to think of it, you shouldn’t even do that. Who are you to sit over God and arbitrate whether his actions are good or not? Are you really suggesting that your moral standing rivals that of the infinite God? I’d like to see some elaboration on this, but unfortunately, we’re running out of space. I doubt you could provide any satisfactory response anyway, so maybe that’s a good thing. 

I have already cited where my definition came from (Cambridge Dictionary) so this argument is purely emotional. 
Funny. The definition you cited agrees with me. It states that murder is an act that must be done outside of lawful conduct in order to qualify as such. What law, exactly, is God guilty of breaking? His own? What law restricts God from treating His subordinate creation as he desires? These are questions you have clumsily evaded for this entire discussion and honestly, I’m getting a bit tired of it. 

It is clear that the only difference between killing and murdering is that a) murder is intentional, and b) killing includes causing death to both "someone" and "something".
This is a useless distinction to make. There are plenty of instances where people kill others with intent. The requisite that separates those sorts of deaths from the more grievous act of murder is that the latter happens because of malice. Again, if there is a reasonable excuse as to why you killed someone, you’ll be exempt from any legal ramifications. Self-defense and warfare are emphatically not forms of murder, at least not inherently. 

 They seem to believe there is no murder at war. 
Where did I say this? Nowhere. 

 People at war were presumably fighting for life and death. They had little choice. What they did was still murder, there is no dispute about this, but society simply treats veterans acts of murder differently.  
No, there is definitely a dispute. There are many problems with this little blurb, but most importantly
1. Murder is unlawful. Oftentimes, war is not, especially if you’re fighting to, say, liberate a group that’s being oppressed or if you’re exercising your right to self-defense. Similarly, murder must be done with malicious intent. If the motives that provoked a nation to declare warfare aren’t malicious, then it isn’t murder. This is elementary logic. 

2. You act as though society constitutes the absolute moral norm for all of humanity. Which society? Hitlers, or yours? Once again, you’ve put the nonsensical aspects of subjective morality on full display. For the subjectivist, there is no point of reference - no timeless, unalterable principles. All you have (and all you’ve presented) are philosophical deepities. Come back when you have something more concrete than this amorphous blob you call “human morality”. 

However, murder can be justified. 
Then this entire discussion has been a catastrophic waste of my time. Saying all killing is murder is bad enough, but then going further and declaring that it can be justified . . . It’s almost insulting. You’ve reduced “murder” into a meaningless, vapid term. Now instead of being one of the most horrendous acts someone can commit, it's merely a catch-all for any form of killing whatsoever, even those that are done fairly and within lawful standards. Nobody who reads this debate in the future is going to come away thinking this was an intelligent thing to say. I’m sorry if that’s too blunt for you, but it’s just the truth. You’ve conjured up such a warped definition and are now doing (some rather impressive) mental contortions to defend it. Do you realize how oxymoronic the statement “murder can be just” is? You’re not a stupid person, I can tell that much. Why aren’t you employing your mind here? Did you wade in too deep and decide that you should double down to save face? 

Before you say God's acts of murder can be justified, tell me how you can justify God burning 250 men into crisp. 

First off, you haven’t demonstrated how it isn’t. Second, I already gave you a lengthy explanation as to why God can kill people rightly. God presides over mankind and sustains our existence. Therefore He has absolute authority over us. He fashions life like a pot and destroys it when his desires call for it. There is nothing wrong with this, or rather, you have yet to identify anything wrong. Your abject refusal to flesh out your objections has left me unable to give a substantial refutation. I can’t interact with your arguments because you have none. 

This is exactly why I removed the word "unjust". How can I debate against this? 
Yet another concession that your stance is much less tenable than you’ve purported it to be. If you can’t make a persuasive case for a certain viewpoint without fumbling around with fundamental judiciary/moral standards, perhaps you shouldn’t be making a case for it at all. 

As to the Omnibenevolent, I'll give an analogy.
We’ve all heard this analogy before, and it’s growing stale. Yes, as the parent you have the power to remove your child from your household. My questions are why that is wrong and also how it at all relates back to God’s ultimate supremacy and sovereignty over creation. I genuinely don’t see the connection. It seems like you’re grasping at straws, which isn’t surprising considering how much you’ve been doing that during this debate. 

 God is much much worse Hitler.
You claim to be so deliberate and analytical - so adamant against the use of emotion as a tool of persuasion. You even listed it as one of the reasons why you baselessly removed “unjust” from the definition of murder. And yet here you are, responding with emotionally charged language and empty rhetoric. I honestly don’t know how to respond other than by reiterating what I’ve been stressing since the debate began. God created life and thus wields the power to end it when he sees fit. He is operating on a different plane than Hitler or any human for that matter. Hitler didn’t create the Jews, and the Jews did nothing to him that would warrant their extinction. He had no right to make violent movements against them. Jews, or more broadly, humanity as a whole has sinned against God, AND He created them. The disparity is so plain and easy to detect. 

All killing is wrong, but some can be justified. 
And this is where I’m calling it quits. I just can’t do this anymore. You are clearly a very confused person and I pray that you will rethink some of the things you’ve done here, as well as the positions you’ve been advocating for. 

I trust the voters to issue an agreeable verdict. That is all.