In the beginning...
Notice how Con vouches for creationism, stating outright "not from evolved apes but purposefully and intentionally". We could have a debate over whether evolution is true or not, but the level of scholar evidence for evolution proves that it is one of the most rigorous scientific theories of all time. Even just one expert paper
notes the fossil records, the common structures, the distribution of species, molecular biology, and gradual steps carefully shaping the incredibly complex world of today. Nearly 97% of scientists
agree with the theory of evolution. On the other hand, there are next to no papers published on the strength of creationism. Clearly, con's assumption is absurd.
Tree of Knowledge
Con claims that the eating of the apple was Adam's (or Eve's) fault, but makes no remarks on how God allowed an incarnation of the devil, the serpent, into his garden of sanctuary. If the garden contains everything necessary, that means God intended for Adam to be tempted, eat the apple, and fall from glory. All for a "grand plan" that is unexplained. Therefore, the garden couldn't have everything, because God's "Grand plan" with omniscience included knowing what Adam would do, and deciding to punish instead of forgiving him due to the devil's clever words.
Con ignores that I already conceded that we may deserve to suffer due to our bad, but says nothing about other animals. Did the fish sin as well? What about the ants? What does he say about other animals? In addition, he makes no remarks about my accusation that God may think that babies are also innately sinful, despite their blank slate. He allows them to suffer as well.
On an extension, if God is so struck on suffering, why does he allow us to reduce it, especially to negligible amounts? For example, if you are very rich and powerful, a lucky life could result in very little misfortune. Yet on the other hand, some people in Africa are starving to death, with no education, poor parenting, so on and so forth. Even if we accept the rich man must have some small level of suffering, the disparity seems ridiculous. God infers that the greater your crime the more you should be punished. Perhaps the child will go to heaven to eternity for suffering in Africa. But if the rich man coincidentally also lives a good life and believes in God, then God has little choice but to also send him to heaven. Granted, an eternity of joy outweighs the years of suffering, but it seems absurd that the rich man's suffering was very negligible, while the poor child had incredible amounts of suffering. If God was a utilitarian, even with his timelessness, he would still try to reduce current amount of suffering if the net amount of suffering was not reduced.
How have we fallen short?
Con seems to be standing by the Kantian flagpole, assuming that lying is definitely a sin, and that lust is always terrible. He makes no remarks on my potential reconciliation with "Greater good", and makes God look like a horrible entity that says "you can't do this even if it results in the greater good", yet does it himself to result in the greater good. He had killed many sinners in the bible, and with possible intentions to send them to hell. If this wasn't a malice intention, I don't know what is.
Con seems to infer that all bad acts cannot be reconciled, contradictory to the utilitarian potential of God (sends people to heaven if they have done good, to compensate for the suffering in their life). But the intention based system also seems contradictory. God could have pointed out all the times he intended to do good in your life, and that Good will alone would respect the human dignity. Kant would certainly think it enough. Give him a little luck in finding food. Give him a small twist of fate. Regardless of horrible results overall, God's telling us of evil intentions would infer that merely fulfilling good intentions was good enough. So he has no obligation to help send the Jews executed by Hitler to heaven either. As long as he has mere intentions to help us, he can treat us as means to end instead of executing that end (ultimate good). And that's very problematic.
Con asks: By what standard are you judging God to be acting in an unjust or immoral way?
I say the scientific and societal basis of ideals. It is true that almost no one wants to suffer needlessly, besides masochists and sadists. And nearly everyone wants to protect themselves and their culture -- evident by our genetic coding to survival. In addition, the libertarian ideal can still support objective values, such as everyone's rights to life and liberty. If we did not have these, people could easily shut others in jail for no reason, or kill everyone else, leading to a society that collapses. Even with a practical or subjective application of values, looking at impact is clear to see that there can be immoral/unjust values.
If the Lord wills...
I will have my revenge... eventually
"That you think we're having a pissing contest is a strange analogy to pop into your mind..."
It's not strange at all. As a moderator, it falls within your function to presume that you "know better." How else would you assume to moderate the behavior of others if you didn't. And I would assume that on occasion, you'll come across select individuals who take it upon themselves to presume the same thing--they "know better." And on occasion, they do. So how does this pertain to our interaction? I'm not presuming to know or care how to moderate the behavior of others. But there is one thing I'm certain I know, and that's logic. And yes, I know logic "better" (more consistent) as far as I can gauge from my interactions and discussions with you. Your presumption to "know better" and my presumption to "know better" have come into conflict; hence "pissing contest." And this is not mitigated by the fact you have a title.
"You chose to add questionable extra points to your vote, causing it likely be deleted if reported."
It wasn't questionable; your questioning my allotment doesn't make it "questionable." Here, let's bring up, once again, the voting standard as it pertains to sources:
"To award sources points, the voter must:
(1) explain how the debaters' sources impacted the debate,
(2) directly assess the strength/utility of at least one source in particular cited in the debate, and
(3) explain how and why one debater's use of sources overall were notably superior to the other's."
And now, let's look at my RFD as it concerned the sources' point allotment:
"Better Sources: I awarded the sources point to CON. Citing sources is not about quantity, but relevance. PRO cites an "expert paper" on the fossil record and the "97% consensus by scientists" on the Theory of Evolution, but fails to demonstrate its relevance to the affirmation of his proposition. (It should be noted that consensus doesn't determine veracity.) The argument over which they debate is not "Evolution vs Creation." It's "The Problem of Evil Makes it Unreasonable to Believe in the Christian God." CON however made specific references to Biblical text which informs his contention. Point awarded to CON."
What part of this description doesn't meet the criteria listed above? Don't bother answering because it's rhetorical. You won't find a part. You know why? BECAUSE I HAD ALREADY READ THE RULES. And I also read the debate in its entirety, as well as each source provided.
"Someone reported it (actually multiple someones), and someone gave feedback to the main vote moderator explicitly questioning the validity of the source allotment."
Well of course if "multiple someones" reported it, it necessarily means there was something wrong; good to know you focus on quantity rather than quality. And I'm sure Undefeatable has no stake in explicitly questioning the validity of an allotment that was against his favor. (Didn't you once accuse me of the same?)
"Unsurprisingly, it was then deleted."
Oh, your interpretations don't "surprise" me, either.
"Lots of votes get deleted. Even I've had some of my votes get deleted."
So you mean, I'm not alone in this? I feel much better...
Please, Ragnar, as if it that would be the source of my contention. This is a matter of logic and decorum.
I mean this with all sincerity: please consider whose side you are on. I believe you when you say that you would join Satan, and I take no pleasure in informing where that leads.
"Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.
Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to all the birds that fly directly overhead, "Come, gather for the great supper of God, to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great.” And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army. And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. And the rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of him who was sitting on the horse, and all the birds were gorged with their flesh."
Judgment is coming and there is only one way to be saved from it.
Look another anti-theist, how interesting
Ah, well, we can blame Adam for the deaths of thousands of sinless babies killed by a tsunami. Adam ate the apple, therefore it was justice. God couldn't be bothered to lift a finger. Too bad I'm an atheist, though. If I did believe in God, I'd definitely be joining satan to overthrow God. We need regime change.
Well you were shown clearly to be in the wrong, yet you will not admit it. And you are continuing to ask a question based on the faulty premise that God must somehow show consistency with your faulty definition. We both agree that your imaginary omnibenevolent god is inconsistent.
If you refuse to admit your error in misusing a passage while trying to malign God based on a false definition, there is no reason to answer your question. That is dishonest and intellectually inconsistent.
That you think we're having a pissing contest is a strange analogy to pop into your mind...
You chose to add questionable extra points to your vote, causing it likely be deleted if reported.
Someone reported it (actually multiple someones), and someone gave feedback to the main vote moderator explicitly questioning the validity of the source allotment.
Unsurprisingly, it was then deleted.
Lots of votes get deleted. Even I've had some of my votes get deleted. Deletions are not based on who cast them.
There is no evidence that it was used it for any purpose other than the stated one. No, I won't lie, but feel free to continue to believe one. BTW, you have no satisfactory answer to the question, which is why you're not answering it.
Will you admit that you MISUSED the passage? Or are you going to keep arguing against an "omnibenevolent" god
If I was God, I would have stopped that. What's his excuse?
Well no disrespect to whiteflame, but God has already sufficiently revealed Himself and His character in the Bible. If someone describes God in a way that is inconsistent with the Bible (such as whiteflame's "omnibenevolence"), that is not the God of the Bible. That means you are not arguing against the one true God, but a false god of your own making.
So if your argument is that your imaginary omnibenevolent god is inconsistent, then I would heartily agree.
I admit that it does not directly support the conclusion that God is evil. That it was misused, no, not really. It shows character that isn't consistent with the idea that God as "an omnibenevolent [...] being", which was a description proferred by whiteflame.
I will answer your attempt to change the topic if you admit that you misused the passage in Nahum.
If I was God, I would have stopped that. What's his excuse?
If you would bother actually learning about the topic you are attempting to critique, you would understand how foolish that sounds. Read the next verse:
"The Lord is slow to anger and great in power,
And the Lord will by no means leave the guilty unpunished.
Who is the Lord's enemy that He is furious with? Who is the Lord's adversary that He will give retribution to? The GUILTY. God doesn't punish the innocent but the guilty. So the passage you quoted is about God acting as a judge dealing out just punishment to the guilty, which you have admitted is not evil.
I wouldn't say so. Yet, I don't consider that to be an apt analogy. Say you come across a baby crying on some railroad tracks, and a train is coming. The train can't stop. Nobody else is around. You could save the baby, easily, by removing it from the tracks. Yet, you choose not to intervene. This is what God does, and it is evil.
Is it evil for a judge to sentence a murderer to the death penalty?
The problem of evil is resolved by taking the position that God is evil.
No worries. Perhaps it is better not to get caught in the crossfire of a pissing contest anyway
God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies. Nahum 1:2
My apologies, but I won't be voting again. I gather that Ragnar, and to a lesser extent, MisterChris, will attempt to continue this implicit "pissing contest" with me. It's rather unfortunate, you did have the better argument.
If you have concerns with my vote, do me the courtesy of addressing them with me, first. I would've obliged in explaining to you the reason your sources were irrelevant.
Reading comprehension is obviously NOT your strong suit.
Here, I'll quote Fruit_Inspector verbatim:
"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1)
God is an eternal spirit, an immaterial being not bound by time. He created all matter and energy, and even time itself. After creating stars and galaxies, plants and animals, He created human beings - not from evolved apes but purposefully and intentionally. HE MADE US IN HIS IMAGE; that is, we reflect the glory of God in the physical world as the moon reflects the light of the sun. As image-bearers of God, WE ARE ALSO MORAL BEINGS AND CAPABLE OF MAKING DECISIONS AND BEING HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR THEM. God created us with an immaterial soul that is inextricably connected to our body, giving humans a dual nature. Humans are thus distinct from the rest of creation. Plants are not alive as we are. Animals are not held to a moral standard as we are. BUT THIS UNIQUE LIFE AND MORAL AGENCY ALSO GIVE US INHERENTLY DIGNITY AND VALUE THAT COMES FROM THE ONE WHOSE IMAGE WE BEAR. No other part of creation can claim such an honor as humans have in that regard."
Do you see how Fruit_Inspector uses text from the Bible to inform a moral standard? A subject which is pertinent to the proposition over which they argue as it concerns "THE PROBLEM OF EVIL..." and the claim that it qualifies the existence of God?
Now let's look at Undefeatable's response:
"In the beginning...
Notice how Con vouches for creationism, stating outright "not from evolved apes but purposefully and intentionally". We could have a debate over whether evolution is true or not, but the level of scholar evidence for evolution proves that it is one of the most rigorous scientific theories of all time. Even just one expert paper notes the fossil records, the common structures, the distribution of species, molecular biology, and gradual steps carefully shaping the incredibly complex world of today. Nearly 97% of scientists agree with the theory of evolution. On the other hand, there are next to no papers published on the strength of creationism. Clearly, con's assumption is absurd."
Not once did PRO address CON's point. He took CON's statement about "not from evolved apes but purposefully and intentionally" and argued at best a tangential subject where Evolution and Creationism are at conflict. Not only that, he cited a consensus which logically does not inform the veracity of an argument. So his citation is USELESS as it neither addresses the subject of their debate, nor inform the "truth" of his point.
The fact that it "SEEMED" (seem, by the way, is not an observation) to you that CON's argument must necessarily be off-topic because I characterized PRO's response as off-topic is an incredibly INEPT analysis. (Responses don't have to reflect the relevance of that to which they respond, as Undefeatable tactfully demonstrated.) And your mentioning the three points which govern awarding points on sources only informs that you read neither their debate, nor my RFD properly. You can delete my votes if you want--it's become habit by now--but DON'T HOLD ME RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR POOR READING COMPREHENSION.
>Reported Vote: Athias // Mod action: Removed
>Points Awarded: 5 to con.
>Reason for Decision: "RFD will be provided in the comments section."
>Reason for Mod Action:
When I first glanced at this, I thought the source application seemed weak... Reading the related contentions, the claim of pro's being off topic, would seem to proclaim con's argument about creation and the bible as off topic (due to pro's being direct topical replies). That the argument is viewed to have failed, is not a valid reason to penalize sources.
To award sources points, the voter must:
(1) explain how the debaters' sources impacted the debate,
(2) directly assess the strength/utility of at least one source in particular cited in the debate, and
(3) explain how and why one debater's use of sources overall were notably superior to the other's.
The voter acted in such a way to suggest they did not give fair weighting to the debate content.
Discussing this with mods. Will get back to you on this soon.
just curious, is Athias allowed to give source points like this? It's unusual to see it justified in my manner of failure of connection to the core point. *squints*
I'll get to this when I can, still got a while. Fruit_Inspector is a solid debater, so I'm sure he didn't make this easy for you.
I probably lost, but I'd like some more feedback. Impact based analysis is obviously harder in religious type of debates, not to mention I crashed the last round. Probably should've made this unrated, but it is what it is. Improving logic might help in debates overall though.
Reason for Decision:
This was an interesting read. Now on to my decision.
Conduct: They were both fairly the same here.
Spelling & Grammar: Again, fairly the same here.
Better Sources: I awarded the sources point to CON. Citing sources is not about quantity, but relevance. PRO cites an "expert paper" on the fossil record and the "97% consensus by scientists" on the Theory of Evolution, but fails to demonstrate its relevance to the affirmation of his proposition. (It should be noted that consensus doesn't determine veracity.) The argument over which they debate is not "Evolution vs Creation." It's "The Problem of Evil Makes it Unreasonable to Believe in the Christian God." CON however made specific references to Biblical text which informs his contention. Point awarded to CON.
Better arguments: this admittedly was a difficult proposition for PRO to affirm. He would have to demonstrate how the existence of a Christian God was contingent on the existence of evil. PRO doesn't do this AT ALL. PRO instead operates on the metric of "equality," utilitarianism, and a Buddhist Kharma System. PRO did make a substantial point about the sin of babies and animals, which goes unaddressed by CON, but once again fails to tie this to the affirmation of his proposition. CON on the other hand does a good job in describing the standards of good and evil as noted in the Bible, and maintaining that which informs God by standards of the Bible. PRO's failure to define "evil" and index it to an absolute moral standard, in my opinion, cost him this debate. It allowed CON to define the standard of evil in accordance to a moral to relativism where the Christian God is the sole arbiter. With all that considered, I award my vote in favor of Fruit_Inspector.
I did. I don't feel like I fully grasped its implications, and the creationism claim left a sour taste in my mouth. If "concede" was in my dictionary, I probably would've gone for it. But I didn't fully feel persuaded. I know my logic's flawed on paper but I just can't shake off the feeling of impossible to know God's "good intentions", especially if intentions are all that are necessary. If I lost, I lost.
Can I ask an honest question? Did you really try to read my arguments to understand what I was saying? Because basically everything you said about Christianity was not in the Bible, and in some cases was completely antithetical to what I said. I can understand if religion is not your strongest debate topic, and I'm guessing you have talked to a number of "Christians" who have no idea what they're talking about. But wouldn't you want to at least debate the position I am personally presenting, rather than an unbiblical form of Christianity I am not arguing for?
I am not good at debating religion, lol. Just a heads up for why it seems so awkward
Please ignore the egregious overuse of the various forms of 'simple' in my Round 2 Conclusion...
For clarity, the second sentence should say "Rather *than* answering..."
The comment sections in debates just aren't the best place for that sort of conversation, the forums are specifically made for it
What makes "this" special? Its not tooo long i guess
If you have something like this, it would probably be better to bring it to the forums
I'm trying to gain better understanding. I definitely have a stronger way to phrase the denial of God, but by phrasing the clearness of my beliefs and stripping the complexity of it, I allow Con to better explain the questions I have for Christianity.
I won't give arguments to Con, but I really don't even think that "omnibenevolent" god of christianity is really attacked by the argument very effectively, I think its an excellent start for getting people to start doubting the rhetoric of the bible, but besides that, ehhh....
Yeah I think I agree. All it really attacks is an omnibenevolent god. Zeus doesn't care about evil.
I've found my own path towards belief, though it's probably pretty distinct from most. I'd probably be more akin to a deist than I am to most Jews, but I'm culturally Jewish, and my belief in God doesn't put any strain on that. Can't say I've really considered polytheistic religions (though the mythology is often intriguing). Same with Buddhism.
Ah, too bad, i'll definitely be following this one
polytheistic religions would be interesting. I'll need more information about those before I'm willing to convert LOL. Buddhism seems pretty acceptable to me.
Note that the resolution species the Christian God, not all gods. I agree with you that this argument isn't a compelling reason to disbelieve in any god, but I believe his point is that, at least in his opinion, the Problem of Evil doesn't jive with the existence of an omnibenevolent, omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient being, specifically. At least personally, I don't think the Problem of Evil has much to do with polytheistic religions that generally lack such a being and usually include conflict between gods, which is bound to have consequences for humans. Not that I'm saying that polytheistic religions are more reasonable as a result, just saying that there's a more specific focus to this debate.
I will look a little closer at this since you raise a valid question about the nature of God. As a side, that quote is from Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology and not Romans 11:22. I don't think it matters too much since it doesn't change your overall assertion, and I believe the Bible does actually teach what that quote says. Just happened to double check the reference and thought I'd let you know for clarity's sake.
I actually think that this argument isn't compelling reason to believe that no gods exist... hmmm
Right there with you, both on your perspective and lack of comfort with this kind of debate. Had a long discussion with a couple of people over the Problem of Evil. It plays a substantial role in my beliefs, despite remaining Jewish.