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1522
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14
debates
28.57%
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Topic
#4261

God, as portrayed in the bible, cannot reasonably exist to the words of the bible.

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Finished

The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.

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After not so many votes...

It's a tie!
Parameters
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Standard
Number of rounds
5
Time for argument
One week
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10,000
Voting period
Two weeks
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Multiple criterions
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0
1493
rating
23
debates
60.87%
won
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Round 1
Pro
#1
God, in the bible, is portrayed as having infinite mercy. To give an example, "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end" (Lamentations 3:22-23). Despite this, god sends people to hell just because they do not believe in him. Suppose that someone lives in such a way that they never encounter Christianity or even have a chance to become Christian. Even if that person is immensely charitable and kind, and is a model of someone immensely kind, they will go to hell. How can that be considered just or having infinite mercy? Would a merciful or kind god do such a horrible thing? 

To cite another quote from the bible, "He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9). Here, it is depicted that if you are sinful and believe in Christianity, they will be cleansed of those sins and admitted into heaven. According to the bible, all humans have sin after Adam and Eve, and the only way to make up for this sin and to get into heaven is to believe in god. Hitler believed in the biblical god and believed in Jesus Christ. According to this definition, from the words in the bible, Hitler would get into heaven but kind and sweet non-Christians are forced to suffer for all eternity. How can god be all loving and have infinite mercy while exacting such a cruel and horrific doctrine? Presuming god does exist, is not believing in him somehow worse than the millions of Jews executed at the command of Adolf Hitler, and thus Hitler gets into heaven but every kind non-Christian suffers?

Clearly, this is a massive contradiction in the bible. God cannot both have "infinite mercy" and condemn those who don't believe in him to hell at the same time if he does have infinite mercy. Thus, the only logical conclusion is that god couldn't exist as these things contradict each other. 


Con
#2
There is more to be said but I will try to be concise.

1. The bible itself is a collection of writings from authors who lived in different eras and did not speak english. There are parts written under assumption that an audience would already know certain concepts like god existslocations, oral tradition, religious practices, and more. 

The bible's purpose is identified not to learn about these things, but who is God and what is our human relation to Him. 

We see a blend of writing styles. some are literal or a metaphor. 
Some parts require oral tradition to guide us through non english cultures & habits. A good example (only an example) for this examines Jewish practices in Passover and connects them to Jesus, identifying a new passover. This is known as the 4th cup. Again this is an example on how tradition plays a role in guiding bible readers. 

 Therefore I encourage you to read the bible in a literal and metaphor tense as well as having a helping hand. Read more than individual passages because many passages connect together, showing complex meaning. 

For example, Christians use old testimont prophecies to assert Jesus is Jewish Messiah and God. 

The bible is like a puzzle and requires all pieces to be together. 

2. Assumptions in Benny's argument generate an invalid conclusion.
A.  hell is described in many ways. I do recognize that this may be drowned out by secular culture and contradicting demographics. 

 Using  tradition and the bible helps us see that the purpose for hell is to allows us to exist with out God. Our torment is our  separation from Him. If God is all things good then to be without God is to be without all things good. 


B. God does not send us to hell. 
 [1 Tim. 2:4]. [2 Pet. 3:9].  Both show God wants to prevent us from going to hell

He gives us a choice to be with him or without him. If we choose to be without him, then there must be some existence where that is possible because god is not forcing us to be with him. 

C. There is no sin in being ignorant. If a person generally does not know about Christ, then they may find Christ by another means. We should not constrain what may or may not be possible. That is why we do not say who went to hell. These assumptions put a limit on God that he otherwise would not have. 


D. Believing in god is not as simple as today's concept for belief vs disbelief. Consider fallen angels who knew God and existed with God. They did not have a disbelief in him, as to say "he does not exist." Therefore even a person who blieves God exists (christian) may find themselves turning away from God. This depends on individual circumstance. For we can not say who is or is not in hell. 

With these points we can say the bible does not express a contradiction between being merciful and the existence of hell. Unfortunately the presented arguement is just not accurate.

If Benny Emerald may be so polite to answer. 
What, to you, does it mean to be merciful? 

Round 2
Pro
#3
A. Learning your relation to God is still learning something, and part of that relationship is how God judges people and who goes to heaven and hell. Considering how the new testament (the Bible) mentions many things just as the existence of heaven and hell which weren't in the old testament, I imagine that the intended takeaway would be to learn about those things.

As said in the title, this debate constitutes "God, as portrayed in the bible, cannot reasonably exist to the words of the bible". The key thing to note is "to the words of the bible". This means that we hold the words of the Bible as truth and not metaphoric in nature, we are just using the words of the Bible, not any implications of being a metaphor. Thus, the explanation that there is no contradiction because the words of the Bible aren't supposed to be taken literally and thus some of what it says can be not true won't work.

B. Why is it the case that if one does not believe in God they must therefore go to hell for all eternity? After all, God is supposedly one who can do anything, as shown by "God can do anything, you know — far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!" (Ephesians 3:20-21). If God can do absolutely anything, even "far more than you could ever imagine or guess" why can't God just let good people in hell go up to heaven? The idea that God somehow can't grant heaven to those who don't believe in him because God is all good and thus living without him prevents good contradicts the fact that God can supposedly do anything - which should include allowing good-natured non-believers to experience heaven.

On another point, I currently do not believe in God. I still experience good in my life. If God is all things good, and separation from him all things bad, why am I (while separated from God by not believing in him), still experiencing good? If it is because I am alive, why is it the case that I can only experience good without God while I am alive?

You say that hell wasn't created by a God, however, according to the Bible, "Everything that ever was or is or will be is created by God, including hell (Colossians 1:16)".

C. You say that people can "find Christ" without believing in him, but such a thing is unsubstantiated in the Bible. Furthermore, the Bible says things like, "The final place of eternal torment for unbelievers is the lake of fire" (Rev 20:10). In this case, the "lake of fire" refers to hell. This is shown even further when the Bible says, "Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son" (John 3:18). Very clearly, the Bible determines who gets into heaven by who believes in God, they cannot find Christ by other means. If one is born in such a way that they never learn about Christianity, they are doomed to suffer eternal torture for something completely out of their hands.

D. I will concede this point to you. Turning away from God's ideals can indeed cause God to send you into hell, according to the bible, even if you are a Christian. That said, my core argument is unchanged as God is still unjust in the Bible for sending (or at least allowing) good non-believers to hell.

Although I am not sure why are asking what I believe it means to be merciful, I will answer it in case you need it for a future argument or point.
As for what I believe it means to be merciful, I believe it means to show compassion or forgiveness.

I look forward to seeing your response in this debate and wish you the best of luck!
Con
#4
Hey Thanks Benny. Understanding perspective is helpful in describing things. Especially definitions.  Good luck to you too. 


A. I think I need to clarify this part. I did not mean to convey that a relationship with God is not learning or not learned from the bible.  there are parts in faith or religious practice that are not in the Bible because the bible did not have that intent. 

For example, celibacy in priesthood.  Even if celibacy may be rooted in traditions we can see  in the bible, there are no directions in the bible that explicitly state, "be celibate." 

 I agree how God judges people and how people go to heaven and hell.  I don't think we see specifics on who goes to hell. Learning about heaven and hell is important yes. 

Now, metaphors. They can be true. A passage that is read as a metaphor can still be true and speak on truth. 

Jesus uses many parables to speak on truth, and parables are metaphors, analogies to look deeper into theology. Consider parable on mustard seed. 
If we take this parable to be literal, and only literal, Jesus is talking about gardening. 

However, take it as a metaphor and we see why the parable is like the kingdom of heaven. 

This is just one of the more obvious occasions where metaphors are used. 

B. Why is it the case that if one does not believe in God they must therefore go to hell for all eternity.

why can't God just let good people in hell go up to heaven?

The word believe is not always used to describe a person who does not think God exists. As explained  in part D., to not believe is sometimes used to describe rejection. To reject is to turn away and desire to be without. If we do not want to be with God, then where do we go? How do we exist? 

That existence is in hell. Ok so what is the existence with God? Heaven. Does good people go to hell if they reject God?

First, How do we define good? Many people use actions that are liked or may help others to define good. For christian theology, there is emphasis on good being defined by God; what He wills and his judgement. Pslam 51:4 can express this. 

Evil is often defined as something that contradicts God. Sin is an action that is against God, others, and ourselves. 

If we consider how christian theology explains these concepts, we can see how good people would and do go to heaven.  Even if a good person does not necessarily believe in God now (in his existence rather rejection), that belief can change. 

Here is a link that better described how even an atheist may go to heaven. Unfortunately I can not see this article (among other sites/web addresses) and have become unable to present its information from memory. If you are unable to view it as well there may be an issue with the site itself. I did get to read it a few days ago. 

You are not separated from God in same way one is in hell.  Even if you inwardly reject Him, He is still with you until you make that final decision, which occurs after death & at end of time.  

There are different ways to articulate how, but I prefer these two quick insights: 
A.  You are still made in His image 
B. God breathed to bring Adam to life. Through hereditary means, you still have that breath. God still resides in us. 
C. You, by hereditary means, still have a knowledge of good and evil. 
D. An objective morality is still in all of us. Like a program. However, that program can be altered or malfunction.


I did not say "hell was not created by God," but God created hell for those who wish to exist without Him. 

C. You say that people can "find Christ" without believing in him, but such a thing is unsubstantiated in the Bible. 

People can find Christ without having believed in him on earth. If we die and then meet Jesus at judgement - everything is put infront of us. 

Even when we consider what it means to believe in him, to have trust in him, there is forgiveness. 28 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. (Matthew 26:28) 

 Why should we think that there could not be forgiveness for anyone? 

An article linked in round 1 (which talks about belief vs rejection)  highlights this forgiveness for those who are simply ignorant about Jesus.  

The link is the first sentence for c. "there is no sin in ignorance."

D. Well.... Its not so much as turning away from God's ideals - like he wants us to to do x but we do not do x and therefore we go to hell..rather the concept in theology is expressed as we reject Him. We "turn away" from him. 

I assume you have been in a relationship. Doesn't matter what kind. Have you walked away from a relationship or had someone walk away from you? 
I had one friend totally stop takin my calls and texts, never responding. Hard to get the person who rejects you to hear you out, you know?  

 To turn away from God, like a person may turn away from us, puts a barrier between us and God that we put there. 

Sin and forgiveness does play a part in this. sin creates the barriers and habits to make us want to reject Jesus. 

I heard an analogy on human and habits about us having two wolves in us. One good, one bad. Feed the bad and we do bad. Easy concept to translate, if we do bad things we will perpetually do bad things.   However that is where forgiveness comes in right?  Along with repenting. 

Round 3
Pro
#5
A. The mustard seed parable begins with "He told them another parable:". A parable as defined by merriam-webster as "a usually short fictitious story that illustrates a moral attitude or a religious principle". As the mustard seed parable begins by saying it is parable, it, to the words of the bible, is fictitious and to be taken metaphorically. My issue with taking things from the bible metaphorically does not come from taking things metaphorically from the bible that state they are metaphorical, but rather taking parts of my argument that don't say they are metaphorical and saying that because they could be there is no contradiction. 

B. The following is a quote you gave: 
Evil is often defined as something that contradicts God. Sin is an action that is against God, others, and ourselves.

If we consider how christian theology explains these concepts, we can see how good people would and do go to heaven.  Even if a good person does not necessarily believe in God now (in his existence rather rejection), that belief can change.
This argument basically says that even if one is good they may change to Christianity and then believe in good, that that "belief can change", and that is good non-believers can go to heaven. But what if they don't change their belief before they die? As previous bible verses have shown, hell is eternal. Once you are in it, you cannot get out. I'd also like to address something else you say here, that evil is defined as something that contradicts god. The following are the ten commandments that the old testament of the bible gives: 

1. You shall have no other God’s before me.

2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven images.

These laws were very important. The Israelites needed them to become a strong nation amid all the people around them who worshipped idols. We are pledging in these commandments our allegiance to be loyal, obedient and respect God.

3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.

We don’t like it if people call us bad names do we? They are being disrespectful. God’s name is Holy and it must be used only in a reverent way.

Some people take God’s name in vain because others are doing it and we find ourselves saying these words that dishonor God. It can take root in our hearts and mind and begin saying it and don’t realize you did. Be careful don’t allow it to take root in your heart.

4. Remember the Sabbath day and keep it Holy.

Back in the Old Testament, this meant they should not work on the Sabbath but they carried it too far and wouldn’t let people pick up something heavy. Jesus changed this and said we should keep the Sabbath day to worship, remember creation, and rest so we could serve God and others. 

5. Honor your father and mother.

Honor means to love and respect them. When you honor your parents you love and obey them because they are wiser. God wanted homes to be happy so he made this an important rule. 

6. Thou shalt not kill. — God wants us to protect human life.

7. Thou shalt not commit adultery. — This means husbands and wives should be faithful to one another.

8. Thou shalt not steal.

No one is permitted to take something that belongs to another. Not only is it God’s law but it is the basic law of the society we live in.

9. Thou shall not bear false witness.

This means do not tell a lie. Do not tell stories that are untrue about people. When you tell a lie, you hurt yourself as well as others. Soon people will not trust what you say.

10. You shall not covet.
(Exodus 20:17)

If sin is defined as contradicting god, then contradicting the core commandments that god gives would include this. One of these commandments (the very first one) says that one can have no gods before him. The sources you provide do indeed show ways that atheists can go to heaven if they are non-believers in god, but only for non-believers of any god. If one holds a "false" god before the real "god", such as say an Aztec god, they will always go to hell even if they remain fully ignorant of Christianity and are a very good person otherwise. To repeat what I've said in the past, clearly, God cannot be both having "infinite mercy" and allow such an injustice to occur, therefor the biblical god must not exist.

I did not say "hell was not created by God," but God created hell for those who wish to exist without Him.
As said previously, some didn't wish to exist without God, they didn't know that God existed and still found themselves in hell according to the bible. 

C. 

Even when we consider what it means to believe in him, to have trust in him, there is forgiveness. 28 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. (Matthew 26:28)
The quote here "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.", is referring to forgiving sins for those who are Christian. As explained previously, Christians will have their (or at least some of their) sins forgiven simply for being Christian. 

Why should we think that there could not be forgiveness for anyone?
Because the bible says that non-believers who follow a different god will go to hell and won't have their sins forgiven, as explained previously. 

The link is the first sentence for c. "there is no sin in ignorance."
It is true that the article claims this, and it does back it up with bible verses that explain that an atheist (or non-believer) who is ignorant may still go to heaven. However, it does not back up that there is no sin in ignorance regarding not knowing about Christianity but also believing in a non-biblical god. This is also backed up by the first commandment, "You shall have no other God’s before me.", because if you don't believe in god at all you have no gods before him. The issue comes in when we consider a person who does believe in a god, just the wrong one. To extend a previous argument, if one holds a non-biblical god before the biblical god they will always go to hell even if they remain fully ignorant of Christianity and are a very good person otherwise.

D. 

I assume you have been in a relationship. Doesn't matter what kind. Have you walked away from a relationship or had someone walk away from you?
I had one friend totally stop takin my calls and texts, never responding. Hard to get the person who rejects you to hear you out, you know? 

To turn away from God, like a person may turn away from us, puts a barrier between us and God that we put there.
I have "turned away" from "god" (although I do not believe in him, and thus am not actually "turning away" from something) somewhat like described here. But I have not blocked or rejected finding the truth about god. I am here on this debate, for instance. If exists, and god came down right now and told me to believe (which in this analogy can be considered to be calling and texting) I would become a believer. In this analogy, I wouldn't be rejecting god, or stopping to take his metaphorical calls or texts, I would be fully open to god sending me a metaphorical call or text yet he hasn't. 




Con
#6
A.)
I agree. Having something switched on us is frustrating. Especially when we are trying to learn or gain specific information. 

This is why I look towards tradition to help guide me on readings; it takes away some frustrations when contradictions arrive. Reasons why x passage is to be read in what ever way is provided. We can research and come to our own conclusion there after. 

For parables? yes that is easy. If we were talking in person, we would rely on body language and tone to help catch metaphors. However, not every situation or writing is a parable. Jesus also said he is the light of the world, but this is historically understood to be a metaphor.  

Examples can be seen here

Here are suggestions for spotting metaphors:

Reasoning to WHY we should look for metaphors
Because God is so different, he uses accommodated language to help us understand what he is like. This language involves metaphor, because the human language and mind are not able to capture what God is.

Please note. My only goal for section A is to show that metaphors exist in the bible. Not just parables.

At this point, do we agree that there are metaphors in the bible other than parables? 

What are some ways we could look for metaphors or other non literal passages in the bible?

How can we separate information about the bible that is helpful (ex: we should take Jesus light quote as metaphor) vs. not helpful (a person changing a meaning for their benefit only)???

B.) But what if they don't change their belief before they die? As previous bible verses have shown, hell is eternal. Once you are in it, you cannot get out. 
Based on the bible and tradition, it is my understanding that at death, God reveals everything to us. Everything. God shows us what and how we did. We are confronted with this knowledge and thus express our choice to be with Him or not. This I understand as our judgement.


I have also provided links that go into how  a person is judged, based on how they know God and Gods law. If we do not know God's law or are ignorant of it (for example if we have bad experience with churches or born to an era where it is not available) then by no fault of our own, we could not know God's law.   This would apply to humans born to different religions or eras. Including aztec god worshipers. 

Those also can attain to everlasting salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the gospel of Christ or his Church, yet sincerely seek God and, moved by grace, strive by their deeds to do his will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience. 

From a christian stand point, we do not know who is in hell. That is not our place to judge or know. Although some groups may make such judgement, there are areas in bible that tells us to refrain from it (like judge not) and such action does not depict God's will. 


Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses
There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor?

C. ) The quote here "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.", is referring to forgiving sins for those who are Christian.

The forgiveness of sin is for everyone, regardless of our conditions. 
Titus 2:11

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God

I will point out and acknowledge there are passages that highlight your origional claim, Benny, that one must believe in God to be saved. These passages are listed with the ones I quote above if we follow the link. 

I still suggest that belief is about having faith, and therefore the lack of belief is to lack faith, a rejection. Which is provided in previous rounds and links. 
We also have up to our judgement, including our judgement to reject. 
Where not everyone who pertains disbelief is rejecting God. 

What a your opinion on the information provided thus far? 


D. ) But I have not blocked or rejected finding the truth about god. 

Sometimes that is enough. Really just depends on the person. 

Round 4
Pro
#7
A.
There are possibly things in the bible intended to be metaphors. As explained previously however, as the claim involved "to the words of the bible", unless it is spelled out as a metaphor it will be assumed otherwise. That said, this is currently a non-issue. All of my quotes thus far are concrete examples of what the Bible is claiming as fact (such as hell exists, god can do anything, god is infinitely merciful, etc), and have no room to be taken metaphorically even if we drop the "to the words of the bible" bit of the claim. 

B. 
Based on the bible and tradition, it is my understanding that at death, God reveals everything to us. Everything. God shows us what and how we did. We are confronted with this knowledge and thus express our choice to be with Him or not. This I understand as our judgement.

Since you didn't include the specific quote from the source, I will do so: "each person will have a particular judgment with God". That said, the source does not show that we are confronted with knowledge and then express our choice to be with God or not. In such a reality, anyone could get into heaven regardless of what they did in life (including believing in a "false God") if they simply agreed to go to God after their death. However, as stated by previous arguments believers in Gods other than the biblical one can't get into heaven. 

I have also provided links that go into how  a person is judged, based on how they know God and Gods law. If we do not know God's law or are ignorant of it (for example if we have bad experience with churches or born to an era where it is not available) then by no fault of our own, we could not know God's law.   This would apply to humans born to different religions or eras. Including aztec god worshipers. 

Those also can attain to everlasting salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the gospel of Christ or his Church, yet sincerely seek God and, moved by grace, strive by their deeds to do his will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience. 
The issue with this quote is that it does not come from the bible. The quote cites "(Lumen Gentium, no. 16)". According to Wikipedia (yes, I know, not the best source but other sources say the same thing): 
Lumen gentium, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, is one of the principal documents of the Second Vatican Council. This dogmatic constitution was promulgated by Pope Paul VI on 21 November 1964
In other words, this is not just not from the bible, but is from way after in 1964. This debates claim is that "God, as portrayed in the bible, cannot reasonably exist to the words of the bible". In other words, the words of Lumen Gentium wouldn't apply here. In addition, this claim of the Lumen Gentium doesn't have its basis anywhere in the bible. 

From a christian stand point, we do not know who is in hell. That is not our place to judge or know. Although some groups may make such judgement, there are areas in bible that tells us to refrain from it (like judge not) and such action does not depict God's will. 
Presuming the biblical God is true, we would indeed be able to know in many cases whether one was in hell or not. As covered previously, believers in "false gods" (gods other than the biblical God) will go to hell. That said, this argument is generally irrelevant as whether or not we can tell whether or not someone is in hell doesn't show or show a lack thereof of gods morality; which in turn would show or show a lack thereof of whether or not god as portrayed in the Bible exists as covered in previous arguments. 

C. 
C. ) The quote here "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.", is referring to forgiving sins for those who are Christian.

The forgiveness of sin is for everyone, regardless of our conditions. 
Titus 2:11
The forgiveness of the sins in this context is only referring to Christians. It is true that this quote says that God offers salvation to all people, but not the forgiveness of sins. In addition, this also functions as another contradiction in the bible. This quote is claiming that God offers salvation to everyone, yet God as portrayed in the Bible does not offer salvation those unaware of him and believing in a "false God". To restate a previous quote, "The final place of eternal torment for unbelievers is the lake of fire" (Rev 20:10). If unbelievers go the lake of fire, clearly they are not being offered salvation. After all, supposing that they are offered salvation (for instance, after their deaths), why would all of them have their final place of eternal torment in the lake of fire (hell)? As stated previously, this causes a contradiction as a God that is infinitely merciful would not allow such an injustice to occur when they easily stop it. 

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God
The above argument also addresses this. If one is saved through faith, then lack of faith means they go to hell. 

I will point out and acknowledge there are passages that highlight your origional claim, Benny, that one must believe in God to be saved. These passages are listed with the ones I quote above if we follow the link. 

I still suggest that belief is about having faith, and therefore the lack of belief is to lack faith, a rejection. Which is provided in previous rounds and links. 
We also have up to our judgement, including our judgement to reject. 
Where not everyone who pertains disbelief is rejecting God. 
You highlight here how these passages highlight my original claim, that one believe in God to be saved. As a matter of fact, such passages are throughout the bible, we've already gone through quite a lot of them but many more still exist which show my point. As you then highlight, you suggest that belief is instead about having faith (I assume faith in good, and thus good people go to heaven is what you are arguing, which means that good nonbelievers go to heaven). I have already highlighted what I believe to be the flaws in the quotes that you have cited about good nonbelievers going to heaven, mainly this is referring to the article which directly shows your point from the Lumen Gentium. Of course, the issue with this is that it comes from the 1964 Lumen Gentium and not the bible, with its claims about good nonbelievers going to heaven being unfounded in the bible. Considering this, there is a large amount of evidence from the bible showing my point that good nonbelievers would go to hell if the bible was true (which shows that the bible contradicts itself and must not be true) and the only evidence which you have cited showing your point isn't from the bible nor founded in the bible; being irrelevant.  

D.
D. ) But I have not blocked or rejected finding the truth about god. 

Sometimes that is enough. Really just depends on the person. 
In a sense, what you are saying here is that the fact that I have tried to find the truth about God is possibly enough to get me into heaven. I don't see this as relevant as whether or not I would go to heaven or hell under your model of what the bible does not matter if your model of how the afterlife works from the bible isn't founded in the bible, which is covered in argument C. 
Con
#8
A. As explained previously however, as the claim involved "to the words of the bible", unless it is spelled out as a metaphor it will be assumed otherwise. 

Although we have different views on metaphors, we both seem to accept metaphors exist in the bible. Im glad this is a non-issue. So next we can consider why. Why would metaphors be used? 

Metaphors are used to develop a deeper meaning. Even when we look at parables, there is a reason an author would use it or add it. There is some meaning that parable helps us understand. This can extend to other passages that are not parables. 

Does this mean there is a metaphor in a quote you, Benny, provided? No. However this examination helps us understand there are deeper, complex, intricate meanings in the bible. Sometimes these complex passages are easy to identify. Sometimes these are hard to identify. 


B. Intricate parts include salvation.  Connecting these some times requires help. 

C. It is true that this quote says that God offers salvation to all people, but not the forgiveness of sins. 

Can you provide bible quotes that express salvation is not forgiveness of sin or that these are not mutual in some way?  

This quote is claiming that God offers salvation to everyone, yet God as portrayed in the Bible does not offer salvation those unaware of him and believing in a "false God"

That quote is from the bible. If you read it, as you say in part A, in a literal sense and only literal - then salvation (heaven) is for everyone. Whether they accept or "believe in" God is different. As explained in above rounds. Salvation is offered. We accept it or decline. 

Although believing in false gods would be a rejection of God, we can see how a person unaware/ignorant of God may not outright reject God at judgement. 

The above argument also addresses this. If one is saved through faith, then lack of faith means they go to hell. 

I never said people do not go to hell. I say that those who reject by their own choice go to hell. Faith is not a rejection.  
This does not affect my previous statements. Many parts in this round does not go against what I said. 


 Of course, the issue with this is that it comes from the 1964 Lumen Gentium and not the bible. 
Yes. ...  And...
Nor is God far distant from those who in shadows and images seek the unknown God, for it is He who gives to all men life and breath and all things,(127) and as Saviour wills that all men be saved.(128) Those also can attain to salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, yet sincerely seek God and moved by grace strive by their deeds to do His will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience.(19*) Nor does Divine Providence deny the helps necessary for salvation to those who, without blame on their part, have not yet arrived at an explicit knowledge of God and with His grace strive to live a good life. Whatever good or truth is found amongst them is looked upon by the Church as a preparation for the Gospel.(20*) 

127 acts 17:25 
And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else
1 Tim 2:4 
Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth 

These indicate God's behavior. 

D. I provided various articles that articulate the same point I am making. Each providing evidence from the bible and tradition. I provide various passages as well. If you would like clarification or quotation on something, please ask

Round 5
Pro
#9
A. Agreed, nothing more needs to be said. 

B. I made a significant amount of arguments under the section of B last time. You're response to them was as follows: 
Intricate parts include salvation.  Connecting these some times requires help.
I fail to see how this connects to the arguments I previously made under B. When you give an argument, you need to explain the significance of that argument or what that argument is arguing. And, obviously, a one sentence response isn't going to work for the sheer amount of arguments I made under B. 

C. 
Can you provide bible quotes that express salvation is not forgiveness of sin or that these are not mutual in some way?  
Salvation would be forgiveness of sin, and these are mutual. But how is that relevant? If the method by which the biblical God as portrayed in the Bible provides salvation (i.e. only to believers) is unjust (which I have shown previously), the fact still stands that there is a contradiction in the Bible and ergo the biblical God cannot exist. 

That quote is from the bible. If you read it, as you say in part A, in a literal sense and only literal - then salvation (heaven) is for everyone. Whether they accept or "believe in" God is different. As explained in above rounds. Salvation is offered. We accept it or decline. 

Although believing in false gods would be a rejection of God, we can see how a person unaware/ignorant of God may not outright reject God at judgement. 

The above argument also addresses this. If one is saved through faith, then lack of faith means they go to hell. 

I never said people do not go to hell. I say that those who reject by their own choice go to hell. Faith is not a rejection.  
This does not affect my previous statements. Many parts in this round does not go against what I said. 
I have provided a lot of biblical evidence which shows that this is not the case. While you have explained this in above rounds, you have failed to provide proper evidence for it. 

 Of course, the issue with this is that it comes from the 1964 Lumen Gentium and not the bible. 
Yes. ...  And...
And, as I explained earlier, this debate solely consists of what is in the Bible due to the claim involving the "to the words of the bible". The Lumen Gentium does not matter. 

127 acts 17:25 
And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else
This is irrelevant to the debate. 

1 Tim 2:4 
Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth 
This quote differs from what is commonly used. According to the New International Version of the Bible, the quote is as follows. Most versions use a version similar to the following as well. 
who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
So the biblical God "wants" all people to be saved (which clearly cannot be true, or else he would reveal himself to Native Americans before Columbus and make it more obvious that he exists), which only serves to show my point that God cannot exist due to this being a clear contradiction (God is saying he wants to save everyone while not making himself apparent to everyone and letting them be not saved as a result). 

D. As I explained previously, this line of reasoning is mostly irrelevant. 



Con
#10
Hey thanks Benny for a fun debate. Felt more like just informal talking sometimes. In this round, I will focus on the audience a little more. 

For anyone who is reading or has read these posts, thank you for taking the time to do so. 

We can break down Benny's position  into a formula similar to x + y + z = an all merciful God could not exist. 

However, as stressed from point 1 in 1st round (elaborated in point A in rounds there after), there are parts missing from this formula based on meaning and relating/connecting passages. 

"Therefore I encourage you to read the bible in a literal and metaphor tense as well as having a helping hand. Read more than individual passages because many passages connect together, showing complex meaning. "

 My example for this is known as the 4th cup. Here multiple passages through out the bible and tradition point towards a literal understanding to Jesus' last super. Including Jesus' phrases like "This is my body.". 

Although I am not arguing  for this understanding, I am using the example to point out how complex the bible can be and we need to look deeper than the initial formula because parts are missing.   

We have delved  into questions like:

what is salvation? 

What is hell? 

What happens when we die? 

These questions and their answers have popped up during this debate because they influence our conclusion.  However, we did not see these in Benny's formula from 1st post. Including them has helped identify biblical passages that contradict Benny's premises and conclusion. Introduce these passages and we see why the debate claim is invalid & false. 

I'll address a few questions/objections now, 


First, in previous round Benny questions how judgement occurs when we die. I introduced theology that presents judgement as individual based to present conclusion that we can not, in good faith, declare a person to be in hell because we do not know their condition. So to say a person like an aztec man (from ancient times) may be in hell but without an absolute we could not say, "yes he is in hell." 

We should not work on speculation. I was adding to theology that uses biblical evidence to identify a non believer (someone who might reject Jesus during life) who may take position of ignorance

Although I was not able to complete the picture, we can still see with help from article provided (in round 2) and the passages used (including salvation is for everyone passages) that a person who may violate the first commandment, like the aztec, could still be in a condition of ignorance.  

B. "I fail to see how this connects to the arguments I previously made under B""

I already addressed  the claim, "as stated by previous arguments believers in Gods other than the biblical one can't get into heaven." 

To repeat from previous round 3:
"I have also provided links that go into how  a person is judged, based on how they know God and Gods law. If we do not know God's law or are ignorant of it (for example if we have bad experience with churches or born to an era where it is not available) then by no fault of our own, we could not know God's law.   This would apply to humans born to different religions or eras. Including aztec god worshipers. ""

I provided a link that uses biblical passages and reasoning to articulate if a person is ignorant at no fault of their own, then that condition is applied to their judgement. Which is contrary to what Benny presents and addressed the issue before Benny questioned it. 

Now, does my short response in part B connect?  Yes, it does connect. This highlights the issue in Benny's premises and conclusion. 

Consider part A from the entire debate and the ending of part A from round 4 AND part B from round 4. I quote myself," this examination helps us understand there are deeper, complex, intricate meanings in the bible. Sometimes these complex passages are easy to identify. Sometimes these are hard to identify. 

B. Intricate parts include salvation.  Connecting these some times requires help. "" 

We need to consider more than just individual or grouped readings to see how the bible's over all message presents itself. Benny's claim fails to do this because there are parts missing. For example, how salvation is for everyone, but not everyone accepts salvation based on their own choice. 

Although I understand Benny's sentiment to be hesitant to look for help or at another's explanation to christian theology, we can see there is a benefit in using help. Which in itself, occurs in the bible. We can read stories about prophets or notice how Peter and Paul provide help to in their letters. For example, books like Romans and Philippians are written letters where a person (Peter or Paul) tell followers what Jesus said, what His words mean, how to follow His words, and more. 

The evidence provided in earlier rounds provide the same kind of help offered by letters inside the bible. We should consider evidence another person provides to see if their conclusion coincides with the bible. Just as we do with Benny's posts. We looked over his premises and conclusion. They are well written and easy to understand. There are still missing passages that would identify Benny's conclusion as inaccurate. 

Here is another article that articulates position on ignorance. Again, built on information in the bible.


C. Salvation would be forgiveness of sin, and these are mutual. But how is that relevant?  

Benny previously said this:
It is true that this quote says that God offers salvation to all people, but not the forgiveness of sins" 

This seemed to be a point Benny was trying to convey. I was asking for clarification but there seems to be conflict in what is said. Somehow these things are mutual but at same time they are not mutual because salvation is for everyone but forgiveness is not? Perhaps we can revisit this another time. For now there is not enough time to go deeper into since this is last round. 

 
However, we can ask why is a passage that says "everyone" is offered salvation is to be restricted in meaning? We can see very clear that salvation is offered to non believers as well. True that a person who enters hell is a non believer in the sense they rejected God, but that does not depict a person's life. Nor does this depict an injustice as people are weighed by individual basis. A person may have their ignorance taken into account along with other factors. 

The evidence is provided by me as well as in articles - where bible verses are quoted and supported. 

Benny continues:
"consists of what is in the Bible due to the claim involving the "to the words of the bible". The Lumen Gentium does not matter. "

Then what words matter? The Lumen Gentium does the exact same thing Benny does. Provides an opinion and explains that opinion with bible verses. If we are to exclude one article then we exclude all of us. We all read the bible alone to develop our own conclusions and this debate is pointless. 

Except that "scripture alone" mentality is not supported in the bible. There are no bible verses that depict such examination. Instead we should encourage each other to read and consider each others opinion. Let the dialogue continue so we may better understand together. 

With this we can, together, see that there are missing verses in Benny's formula which contradict his position/conclusion. 


C2 
So the biblical God "wants" all people to be saved (which clearly cannot be true, or else he would reveal himself to Native Americans before Columbus and make it more obvious that he exists), which only serves to show my point that God cannot exist due to this being a clear contradiction (God is saying he wants to save everyone while not making himself apparent to everyone and letting them be not saved as a result).  

Here is another example where the bible contradicts Benny's position but it is not considered. 

What evidence does Benny have that God did not reveal himself to Natives sooner than the christian arrival? 
Our known history only asserts what was believed not how native beliefs developed. Although we can start pointing to similarities faiths like flood story, we can also take neutral position to say neither side of this argument has given evidence to say what God has or has not done to reveal Himself to all peoples in the world for all ages.  

We can say that the position of ignorance is in the bible and with reason a person who at no fault of their own can still accept God. Even if they believed in another god/idol or not.  

D. this line of reasoning is mostly irrelevant. "" 

This line of reasoning?  
I provided various articles that articulate the same point I am making. Each providing evidence from the bible and tradition. I provide various passages as well""""

The other line of reasoning in part d went into what is rejection, belief, etc. Many parts that seemed relevant enough to ask about. 

Either way I am still thankful for this conversation. I wish Benny luck and god days.