The Bible is the Best Standard and Foundation for Ethics
The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.
After 2 votes and with the same amount of points on both sides...
- Publication date
- Last updated date
- Number of rounds
- Time for argument
- Two weeks
- Max argument characters
- Voting period
- One month
- Point system
- Multiple criterions
- Voting system
The Bible: the sacred writing of Christianity, consisting of the 66 books in the Old and New Testaments
Standard: something established by authority, custom, or general consent as a model or example
Foundation: a basis upon which something stands or is supported
Ethics: the discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation
In determining which standard and foundation is 'best,' it will ultimately be left to the judges to determine which system is superior based on the arguments provided. As PRO, I will be arguing that the Bible is a better standard and foundation for ethics than all others. CON will simply have to show that there is at least one other standard and foundation that is better than the Bible.
Bear in mind, CON will have to show that there is a better system than the Bible for ethics. It is not enough to point out perceived deficiencies of the Bible if no other system is presented. This also means that there must be consistency within CON'S system.
- Humans are distinct from the rest of creation (Genesis 1:26), and have greater value than plants or animals (Matthew 10:31).
- Humans are created beings and, therefore, are subject to their Creator. (James 4:11-12; Matthew 10:28).
- Morality is determined by the character and nature of God, which does not change (Malachi 3:6).
- As image-bearers of God (Genesis 1:26), we are to reflect God's character in our conduct.
- Rules or laws given to humans may change (Mark 7:18-19), since laws are only expressions of God's unchanging character.
- Humans are inclined towards evil (Genesis 6:5; Romans 3:12).
- You shall have no other gods
- You shall not make for yourself an idol
- You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain
- Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy
- Honor your father and your mother
- You shall not murder
- You shall not commit adultery
- You shall not steal
- You shall not bear false witness
- You shall not covet
- "13 If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them." Leviticus 20:13
- "10 But anything in the seas or the rivers that does not have fins and scales, of the swarming creatures in the waters and of the living creatures that are in the waters, is detestable to you." Leviticus 11:10
"You ought to treat sentient creatures with value because you are sentient"
- The standard (or the what) is "treat sentient creatures with value."
- The foundation (or the why) is "because you are sentient."
"The Lord God commanded the man, saying, 'From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.'" (Genesis 2:16-17)
"For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it. For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law." (James 2:10-11)
Even if the laws change, the moral principles always remain the same since God always remains the same. It is then the application through laws that varies.
Laws give specific parameters on our conduct, and the government enforces those laws. In this case, the moral principle existed before the invention of the automobile. The new context required new laws in which we apply the moral principle in quantifiable ways - speed limits would be an example.
The sanctity of human life as a moral principle applies to all people; it was expressed in Genesis 9:6 when God established the death penalty as a punishment for murder
CON's argument that humans are predisposed to "good" is begging the question. For this argument to be valid, there must be an established ethic in which we can actually determine good from bad, or right from wrong.
also cannot help but note that the 20th Century saw two world wars, a Holocaust of Jews, and an estimate of around 100 million people murdered under totalitarian regimes, to name a but a few atrocities
So forgive me if I am skeptical of Vox's cherry-picked statistics revealing how ignorant Americans are of the suffering going on around the world
CON's argument that God has changed His demand for moral perfection from the Old Testament to the New Testament is untenable. God is perfectly just and has always required punishment for sin.
You will also see that I said the Ten Commandments are a summation of God's Law. You might say they can act as categories which other laws fall into, while also serving as laws themselves. With 613 total laws in the Mosaic Covenant, I think it is quite helpful that God gave ten overarching commands if just for the sake of memory. It should be noted that the Ten Commandments (or more accurately stated, the commands in Exodus 20) are also a part of the Mosaic Covenant. This means that as specific laws, they apply to participants in the Mosaic Covenant. But they also explicitly reveal the scope of moral principles that apply to all people as image-bearers of God.
"You ought to treat sentient creatures with value because you are sentient."
"IF your sentience should be valued THEN you should value others sentience."
"IF you desire to not suffer, THEN you should not inflict suffering on others"
"this way of thinking is how we evolutionarily got to where we are...The golden rule anybody?"
“Anyone who beats their male or female slave with a rod must be punished if the slave dies as a direct result, 21 but they are not to be punished if the slave recovers after a day or two, since the slave is their property.”
“.... God the Father, God the Son (Jesus), and God the Spirit have eternally coexisted and have been in perfect agreement with every judgment (not genocide) made on humanity”
“... God the Son was just as involved…... put God the Father and God the Son in disagreement must be justified from the Bible.”
“As I clearly stated, God - the Father, Son, and Spirit - has …... from the Bible defending this point....”
“When God created Adam and Eve, there were no laws regarding sacrifices for sin because they had not yet sinned. That doesn't mean that God did not know they would sin in the future”
“But it is also important to clarify that I am not a participant in the Mosaic Covenant.,.........pointed ahead to the one-time perfect sacrifice of Christ that actually provided atonement (Heb. 10:10).....”
“So, God's work in redemptive history to solve our sin problem means He must change the laws in terms of what participants in the Mosaic (or Old) Covenant must follow, and what laws participants in the New Covenant (Christians) must follow…..”
“.... I will also note that one cannot even read the rest of Exodus 21 and assume that a slave can be beaten for no reason, so it must be a form of physical punishment. And there must obviously be restraint shown if a slave is punished by beating, ...”
“... it has long been an accepted practice throughout the world. And if everyone agreed that corporal punishment is an acceptable punishment by law, how is that a violation of the golden rule? To clarify, if I believe that a ...crime demands a physical punishment regardless of who commits it,..., that means I believe the law is treating all people equally...“
"Regardless, I have also not claimed that babies cannot show high levels of empathy, or that humans always act as badly as they possibly could. My foundation, the Bible, claims that humans are inclined to sin, not that they are always as evil as they could be. A murderer who donates to charity is still a murderer. And a sinner who shows empathy is still a sinner."
You ought to treat sentient creatures with value because you are sentient. (CON-ROUND 1)
You ought to value other sentient creatures because you are sentient. This can be further expanded - IF your sentience should be valued THEN you should value others sentience. This can then be spread to suffering IF you desire to not suffer, THEN you should not inflict suffering on others, it goes on and on - my point is that this way of thinking is how we evolutionarily got to where we are, but also how most people do it anyways. The golden rule anybody? (CON-ROUND 2)
"So according to CON's system of ethics, if you own a pet or own livestock, you are a slave owner. And if you eat meat, you are no better than a cannibal because you are eating another sentient creature. I ask you to consider this as you are personally weighing the ethical system that views owning livestock and eating meat this way." (PRO-ROUND 7)
" Before I move onto the standard presented by Pro, I should take a look at the foundation presented by him. It can be summed us thusly: Humans were created with inherent value by god, they must follow what god says and their character ought to reflect god's character, laws given to humans may change because they are a reflection of god's "unchanging" nature, and that humans are usually evil." (CON-ROUND 1)
- God will allow some humans to be saved, but if you were born before Jesus you had no opportunity to repent
- God, knowingly, allowed Adam and Eve to be convinced to do evil - even though he could prevent it
- That god's character changed because in one instance of global sinful behavior he committed genocide, and on another occasion sent down his son