Instigator
Points: 15

The Christian religion is inherently rational

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RationalMadman
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Religion
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Points: 21
Description
This house maintains there is nothing in the Christian worldview that would cause one to adopt beliefs that are not rational, that is to say the basic tenants and philosophical underpinnings of Christianity are reasonable and logically sound, so long as the basic claims of Christianity, namely theism, are within the realm of possibility
Round 1
Published:
Matthew 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind

Greetings. welcome to another exciting debate art debate. I would like to start off with a sincere thank you to my opponent for accepting this debate. I would also like to begin by defining some terms, then I will get into some basic arguments. 

Inherently: That is to say, I believe the intrinsic and fundamental nature of the Christian faith is one that is deeply rooted in rationality.

Rational: That is to say, within the parameters of logic, reasonableness, and sensibility. 


Let's get started:

1. IMAGO DEI:

The foundation of Christian anthropology is that we, as creations of God, are His image bearers. In the Christian worldview, God is maximally wise and intelligent. It logically follows that when we start off with this presupposition, that mankind is made in the image of God, who is maximally wise, it lends itself to the pursuit of knowledge through science and reason, as we have a responsibility to imitate our Maker, and conform ourselves to His nature. God is the source of all knowledge, wisdom and truth in the Christian worldview, therefore, we His image bearers have a responsibility to align ourselves with these principles. 

I believe it to be an unfortunate straw man when the Christian religion is painted as anti science, or contrary to logic. It is because we believe that God is maximally wise, and has created us as rational creatures in an orderly world that science then becomes a logical and noble pursuit. 

With this basic premise in mind, I will now get into some specifics. 


2. Christianity affirms Theism, which is a rational position. 

Our religion's explanation of origins is not arbitrary of contrived. We do not posit that the universe simply is, with no explanation. Instead, it is our contention that intelligence came from Intelligence. That life came from Life, that complexity came from Complexity, that design came from a Designer, and that good came from Good. 

It is because of these Theistic suppositions that we hold a rational edge in the market of ideas. 


3. Christianity affirms moral coherence. Which makes our ethical claims rational

As Christians we do not posit that mankind is the final arbiter of what is just and good. We posit that moral truths have their source in a Transcendent Lawgiver, this makes our ethical teleology not subjective or arbitrary. We can make certain moral claims with certainty, because of our Guiding Lawgiver, on the other hand, certain worldviews lend themselves to the disastrous idea that nothing can be truly called good or evil. This makes our view on ethics to be rational as they are rooted in a rational Mind. 

4. Christianity does not face an existential crisis:

It is fundamental to our worldview that we are created with a purpose, and we exist to bring our Maker glory, and enjoy His goodness and presence. Our worldview does not answer the question of "why am I here?" With a cacophony of endless meanderings and arbitrary explanations. It answers the question with one word, God. That is, we exist to glorify our Maker. This is a rational position to hold, because it provides a satisfactory, and non arbitrary answer to the existential question

I will start off with these basic truths of Christianity that I believe support the resolution, that Christianity is indeed rational, and does not cause one to abandon logic or reason. 

Thank you all

ICXCNIKA


Published:
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Semantics
Con will like to begin to challenge (or expand further on) the semantics offered by Pro. Let's start with what exactly the Christian religion is.

What is Christianity?

A Common Definition
One dictionary defines Christianity as “a monotheistic system of beliefs and practices based on the Old Testament and the teachings of Jesus as embodied in the New Testament and emphasising the role of Jesus as saviour.” This is certainly a good definition, but we need to go further.

Even though Christianity relates to the Old Testament as well as the New Testament, the word Christian did not exist until after Christ’s time. Christians got their name based on being followers of Christ.

Doctrinal vs. Denominational
One of the important distinctions is between the doctrinal religion of Christianity and the denominational religions of Christianity. Once the canon was complete and the scriptures identified, the definition of doctrinal Christianity was based upon the literal interpretation of Scripture. One problem in the early church was that Scripture could not be easily duplicated so Christians did not really have direct access to the Scriptures. This gave the denominational Catholic Church the job of interpreting the Scriptures for the common folk. Although today everyone has access to the Scriptures, the fact is that individual denominations still interpret the scriptures for their parishioners.

Bible-Believing or Pick-and-Choosing?
During the very early apostolic period, the apostles had to continually clarify the Christian doctrine that seemed to get corrupted often. Today, even with our well-documented Scriptures that are accessible to all, the belief in true Christianity (the literal interpretation of the Bible) has been corrupted to an even greater extent. The current percent of Christians who believe in the literal interpretation of Scripture, and do not pick and choose Scriptures to their liking, is about nine percent (Barna).

Most of Christianity today has embraced many humanistic and anti-theistic beliefs. The Christian denominations have accepted many cultural ideas and blended them into their doctrine. Generally, many concepts of sin, judgement, and the wrath of God have been put aside in favour of a religion of love, unity, and tolerance. One example is the New Tolerance philosophy.

In many churches today, Christianity is a doctrinal buffet, including selections from both the biblical and secular menus.
- 1

If no clear definition of Christianity is provided, no conclusion of its supposed property of being rational being inherent can be drawn. Do you agree?

If x is "Inherently Rational", what then in extended words is x?
When discussing the inherent nature of something we are saying that it is a natural part of the structure we're analysing. In this case specifically, Christianity is claimed by Pro to be naturally, as a basic part of itself, rational.2

When observing if something is rational or not, we are concerned with whether it shows that it is based on clear (thought and) reason.3 One should not relish in this definition if not without comprehend what reason is:

2 [mass noun] The power of the mind to think, understand, and form judgements logically.

2.1 What is right, practical, or possible; common sense.
- 4

On account of these definitions, we conclude that for the Resolution to be held true that Christianity (AKA The Christian Religion) must naturally be based on practical, sound judgements and display this in a clear way.

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A... CB... M
Absurdity
Confirmation Bias
Metaphor

Is it true that in Christianity some things are actualities and others a metaphors?5,6 Con asserts that the only thing separating the two, according to Christians, ends up being how absurd the thing is.

Absurdity is essentially the direct opposite to Inherent Rationality
1
: ridiculously unreasonable, unsound, or incongruous
: extremely silly or ridiculous
2
: having no rational or orderly relationship to human life : MEANINGLESS
also : lacking order or value
- 17

Under the concept of ACBM, Con is portraying the idea that whenever something is blatantly absurd in the Christian Religion, it is patched first by confirmation bias and if it still can’t uphold, the verses and logic that is directly proven wrong is said to be metaphorical so as to dodge it (which itself is an extended means of confirmation bias to prove Christianity true despite its scripture having many flaws when it comes to rationality).

Metaphors and the Bible
A metaphor is a comparison made between two or more things using figurative or descriptive language. Metaphors turn difficult ideas into simple concepts. Metaphors also infuse written text with vivid descriptions that make the text more vibrant and enjoyable to read.

Metaphor as a figure of speech is one of the most common literary devices, it can be found in almost any text, and The Bible is no exception. Some of the metaphors found in The Bible are alluded to and referenced in many other texts, so it pays to be familiar with them and understand what is being said. Let’s take a list of metaphor examples in The Bible.
- 5

What Con stands for in this debate is the idea that while some things at the core of Christianity are asserted to be actualities (to make the God be real and the faith have any real-world application worthy of considering it a valid doctrine to compete with the others), the logical fallacies and complete nonsense in the Bible is constantly defended against by claiming it to be metaphor, not actuality. This is not a case of coincidence or 'only some metaphors are the contradictions'. As long as it makes Christianity look good, almost the entire Bible, both OT and NT, would be consistently taken to be real events with Jesus being a real man and the disciples being real people and story-line being accurate (including the virgin birth being physically so, otherwise what could metaphorically be virgin about a woman who cuckolded her lover Joseph because God fancied raping her... Oh, sorry, God made her want it... Oh, never mind just metaphor? Not sure?). The only parts that are claimed to 'obviously be metaphor, duh?' are the parts that either:

  • directly contradict other parts of the Bible (which are taken to be actualities or also metaphors themselves),
  • have no logic to them whatsoever and are scientifically nonsensical
  • are so morally abhorrent or at least ambivalent that they'd leave one not considering Christianity to be a doctrine of 'be good' but rather 'God doesn't mind if you're evil all that much' or, worse, 'go ahead, be evil.'
The definition of confirmation bias, as put forth by Con, is as follows:

Confirmation bias is the tendency to process information by looking for, or interpreting, information that is consistent with one’s existing beliefs. This biased approach to decision making is largely unintentional and often results in ignoring inconsistent information. Existing beliefs can include one’s expectations in a given situation and predictions about a particular outcome. People are especially likely to process information to support their own beliefs when the issue is highly important or self-relevant.
- 7

Biased:

:tending to yield one outcome more frequently than others in a statistical experiment
:having an expected value different from the quantity or parameter estimated
- 8


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ACBM #1: God created itself... Himself? Doesn't need a creator? Created all that is real and didn't create itself but is real?... Is necessary to be, but is unnecessarily the Christian God as opposed to other such possible entities?

What is the core way that Christians justify their God? What is/are the actual core logical algorithm/s that they go through in order to achieve the conclusion that one must adhere to their faith as an appreciation of the real world via clear thought and reason?

In this section, Con shall initially explore the backfiring logic and flawed premises of The Kalām Cosmological Argument (KCM) and Pascal’s Wager (PW). Con shall be addressing Pro’s 2nd and 3rd contention with full fervor with regards to the logical need for a creator and how the Christian Religion fails to be inherently rational in its approach to the matter.

KCM’s initial flaw
While it was Muslims who officially invented KCM, it is a primary basis for Christian faith too. Dr. William Lane Craig has brought it very much into mainstream Christian-justifying logic as a prominent figure in the debating scene for Christians.9,10

KCM begins fairly reasonable:

(1) Everything that has a beginning of its existence has a cause of its existence.
(2) The universe has a beginning of its existence.
- 9

I think something interesting to note here is how Theists who rely on this argument concede that not only does something which you can’t explain the origin of require a cause, if it ever began to exist, but that time is to be assumed to undeniably not have begun with the maximum of what we believe our reality physically is; the universe. The KCM forgets that by insisting that there is a ‘before’ the universe at all, and that time didn’t begin with it it,the very God of a religion such as Christianity necessitates time before its origin too.

Before Con handles the ‘but God wasn’t created’, first one must comprehend what ‘time beginning with the universe’ entails and why one of the most core principles of Christians using the KCM backfires on their God.

To understand the theory better, grab your universal remote (that is, your remote that controls the universe), and hit Rewind. As scientists know now, the universe is constantly expanding. As you move backward in time, then, the universe contracts. Rewind far enough (about 13.8 billion years), and the entire universe shrinks to the size of a single atom, Hawking said.

This subatomic ball of everything is known as the singularity (not to be confused with the technological singularity during which artificial intelligence will overtake humans). Inside this extremely small, massively dense speck of heat and energy, the laws of physics and time as we know them cease to function. Put another way, time as we understand it literally did not exist before the universe started to expand. Rather, the arrow of time shrinks infinitely as the universe becomes smaller and smaller, never reaching a clear starting point.

According to TechTimes, Hawking says during the show that before the Big Bang, time was bent
It was always reaching closer to nothing but didn't become nothing,
according to the article. Essentially,

there was never a Big Bang that produced something from nothing. It just seemed that way from mankind's point of perspective.
In a lecture on the no-boundary proposal, Hawking wrote:
Events before the Big Bang are simply not defined, because there's no way one could measure what happened at them. Since events before the Big Bang have no observational consequences, one may as well cut them out of the theory, and say that time began at the Big Bang.
11
Time not existing before something is not able to be brushed off as absurd by Theists because this is the very thing they are saying is true for God. The only difference KCM assumes and enables is to say that God has no ‘beginning’ of existence and thus requires no creator. The issue is that atheists (such as the aforementioned, well-renowned Stephen Hawking) consider the very universe itself (or at most multiverse if you wish to stretch that far) began with time in precisely the same way that Theists claim God did. Thus, the Big Bang doesn’t require a ‘before’ any more or any less than God itself does:

The general view of physicists is that time started at a specific point about 13.8 billion years ago with the Big Bang, when the entire universe suddenly expanded out of an infinitely hot, infinitely dense singularity, a point where the laws of physics as we understand them simply break down. This can be considered the “birth” of the universe, and the beginning of time as we know it. Before the Big Bang, there just was no space or time, and you cannot go further back in time than the Big Bang, in much the same way as you cannot go any further north than the North Pole.
- 12

The Bible says the following about God's age. He has no beginning and no ending, He is eternal, timeless and immortal (Revelation 4:8; 1 Timothy 1:17, 6:16).
Therefore, God has no age. The Bible states that God is, “The Alpha and the Omega,” “Who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty” (Revelation 1:8).
- 13

Theists would have you assume God to be viable without time preceding him because they assert he has no beginning. Is it showing clear thought and reason to assume something is true because the believers in it say it’s true? No, it is not. On top of this, it is even more absurd to refuse to apply the same logic to the atheist’s reality and universe (or multiverse) simply because they concede that their ‘ultimate reality’ has a beginning and they believe that even if that beginning wasn’t the beginning of time, that there’s no way to conclude anything else unless the evidence unfurls more (and such has already begun, but so far no sign of the Christian God).14

Remainder of KCM and PW’s similar error
It is now time to look at the rest of KCM and combine it with PW in order to highlight a severe flaw in the Christian Religion’s logic of going from ‘there could well be an all-powerful, eternal and infinitely wise creator and maintainer of reality’ to saying ‘and that one is the Christian Religion’s one as opposed to all other possible eternal, all-powerful, infinitely wise creators.’

Pascal’s Wager runs as follows:
There is infinite reward in the 50/50 gamble on there being a God or not and there’s infinite punishment if God is real and you’re wrong and so believing in God is infinitely beneficial as atheist reality won’t reward you for not believing in God.18,19

The remainder of KCM is:
(3) The universe has a cause of its existence.
(4) If the universe has a cause of its existence then that cause is God.
Therefore:
(5) God exists.
- 9

An error both KCM and PW make is to assume that if there is an original creator, it’s the Christian God but this is linked to a deeper issue; both are based on faulty axioms that then become confirmation-biased based tautologies. The Christian God is not a metaphor for ‘whatever the first ever thing was’, rather it is a very specific ideation (or culmination, if real) of the first, wisest and most powerful of all entities in existence with a moral code suited to the Bible.

For PW to even be true under the Christian God’s existence, it would mean that you genuinely do lose nothing by adhering to God’s way. The initial error of PW is that it suggests that you ever could fool yourself, let alone God, into believing something that you don’t actually believe. The second error (assuming the God that may exist may only be the Christian God) is to suggest that you lose nothing by adhering to the strict moral code of the Bible… Or is there a strict moral code at all?...

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ACBM #2: The Moral Code of a Christian is not only rooted in absolute selfishness, despite the religion considering such motive to be abhorrent, but is inconsistently applied, to severe degrees.

The primary concern to have with the Bible is that OT God and NT God seem to have very different ideas about justice and morality. In fact, the concept of hell being eternal punishment is a completely alien concept to Jews (who operate solely by the OT, which is the text that is written in Hebrew on a Torah).15

The OT God would only let you live forever if you made it into Heaven, otherwise you’d be terminated (as in ‘really dead’).15 The idea was that purgatory would be a long enough period (approximately 12 months exactly) after which if the punishment and reflection on life you had gone through was insufficient for you to be a pure soul that ascended to the Garden of Eden (AKA Sheoul AKA Heaven), then you’d essentially be terminated.15,16 Gehinnom was purgatory, not an eternal Hell of any sort for the soul to be tortured by and endure for more than 12 months.15,16

Elsewhere (Rosh Hashanah 17a), the torments of Hell are said to be temporary for most sinners - but instead of ending in Heaven, they end in nonexistence.
- 16

In the OT, God is actually described as an entity that’s jealous/envious and indulges in his wrath (actually the wrath is consistent with NT).20,21 One can then only wonder how not only Hell came about, but the ‘seven deadly sins’  did too where the very envy and wrath that OT God was defined by become evil to display or wilfully experience.

Pro says God created us in his image, but Con asks you to think if this is possible when we were made with the very base urges (and even propensity to act on them in a sinful manner) that God knew and planned for, having all power to stop it and nothing with power to resist his forethought plan(s).

Immoral? God loves you anyway!... Or does he? Well, you should love the immoral, anyway!
God loving us and granting those who enter heaven eternal bliss and life is a given in both Testaments.22 It is clear in every single element of his love that it is not unconditional (despite what some may say), since every verse is either in the context of being an adherent to him and his son, or is directly stating that it is for those who serve, worship and admire him that this shall be granted.22 So, one may ask then, between a severely ‘good’ non-Christian (by all other measures in the Bible verses of ‘good’) and a severely ‘evil’ genuine adherent of God, who worships him and repents for his/her sins, which is the one who will be forgiven? Well, this is the point; the Christian will.

{ Source 23 is a primary multi-verse source for this sub-section to the end }
The entire concept of heaven and hell (or purgatory according to OT) is one of entirely selfish reason to be anything but selfish in this life and entirely selfless reasons to… Oh yes, perhaps the most horrifying element of the wishy-washy teachings is that underlying it all is the notion that no matter what you do, God will not only love you in the end but the wickedness was all part of the plan. After all, if you were to murder (or even legally kill, which would defy ‘thou shalt not kill’) humans who are… Wait for it… Good people, then you’d be helping ensure they get to heaven, right? You’d have guaranteed them to die good people, bound for heaven but guess what the real punchline is?

What would happen if you did evil things to evil people? Well, this is where it gets far more obscure. You’re entitled to judge people who are good, but are not entitled to use the very same judgement system to judge people who are not good. In fact, the ‘10 commandments’ were a social construct from a Bible book that had many more commandments and commandment 15 encourages one to judge fairly and by their own means of ascertaining truth on a person:

Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly.
- 24

Despite this, Pro himself and many Christians like him adhere far more to a notion that judging is negative because it comes at the price of being judged back (which means you risk being deemed evil).25 One can only wonder how selfless and noble it would logically be to tarnish one’s own soul in order to get others to heaven by ‘killing the good’. It’s a terrifying thought and one of the most severe flaws of Christianity. After all, even then one need only go through enough and repent and all will be forgiven.

Is there even such a thing as a ‘bad guy’ in a creation made by an all-powerful God that planned for the wickedness as part of it?

14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
26

4 God made everything with a place and purpose; even the wicked are included - but for judgment.
- 27

In the book of Genesis we read the story of Joseph, the favored son of Jacob. Joseph’s brothers were jealous of him and devised a scheme to get rid of him. They considered killing him, but ended up selling him as a slave to foreigners. God knew this was going to happen, and already had a plan in place. Through a series of events, Joseph went from slave to prisoner to Egyptian ruler. Years later he was able to use his authority and position to provide for his family during a famine in their homeland. How do you think Joseph felt when he and his brothers were reunited? Do you think he wanted revenge? No, he didn’t. He told them: “And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you (Genesis 45:5).” Joseph understood the omniscience of God; that the events in Joseph’s life had worked together for his family’s own good.
- 28,29

If God masterminds all evil, even family disputes and the rejection of someone who is rejected for the very purpose of returning to 'fairly' absolve them of guilt later on in a symbolic, heroic manner then there are actually no bad people. The evil help the good shine, after all if we were all good then no one would be better than anyone else at it or need to battle against anything to live happy in life, since we’d all care and share. It makes you wonder why all (every single) Christian nation was Capitalist and why this religion had to be challenged when introducing Communism to Russia (not that it worked well).30,31

If those who use and abuse to prosper in this life at the sake of their afterlife, are part of God’s grand plan, what is there left to speak against, act against or challenge? In the face of grotesque evil should one just refuse to judge the evildoer and forgive them? Should they judge them ‘fairly’ according to the less well-known 15th commandment? Christianity lacks clear thought and reason when it comes to the foundation of morality, let alone the specifics. Should you pay a father and marry his daughter after raping her? The Bible both suggests to do this and also not to do it in separate parts that highlight constant chaos and inconsistent teachings throughout (which defy inherent rationality as they are not clearly reasoned whatsoever).

Let us guess what the Christians will patch this issue with: when something is nonsensical it’s a metaphor and when it’s sensible and appealing it’s definitely the ‘real teaching’ to listen to. Of course, we should have used our ‘God-given’ brains!


You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, O LORD, you know it completely.
32
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ACBM #3: The entire basis of faith in the Christian Religion comes from genuine self-fulfilling confirmation bias in an explicit sense.

This section will be prompt and concise in R1 but expanded upon later. From Noah’s Ark to Jesus coming back as a ghost and causing fight to come out of the water to give his disciples an unfair advantage to cancel out what he perceived as an unfair disadvantage at fishing that day, the Bible has a series of stories, teachings and self-contradictory (let alone nonsensical even when they don’t contradict) lines of logic that consistently lead one to be baffled. The way the absurdity is patched is to require the Christian believer to set all doubt aside and consider faith in and of itself a good thing.

This is literally confirmation bias of the most honest kind that there could be. When something is openly requiring one to stop doubting and first believe to conclude it, this is the very foundation for confirmation bias to proceed. This would be somewhat fair enough if it weren’t for the fact that quite so much of it does indeed contradict with logic, science and even itself in different places. The point of this debate isn’t to determine if Christianity is true in spite of being nonsensical but simply to ascertain it is inherently rational. The religion at the very core, encourages one to set aside disbelief (no matter how rational) for the teachings that come from a God who is undeniably assumed to be wisest and thus correct beyond our ability to reason past the God.

Con hasn’t used sources in this particular section because it is exploring a basis of Christianity directly demanding confirmation bias, as opposed to saying a specific element of it is having it.

Source Bibliography - Default Harvard style of http://www.citethisforme.com/:

All Accessed latest between 21-22 April 2019.

[1] All About Religion (n.d.). What is Christianity?. [online] Available at: https://www.allaboutreligion.org/what-is-christianity.htm
[2] Cambridge English Dictionary (2019). INHERENT | meaning. [online] Available at: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/inherent
[3] Cambridge English Dictionary (2019). RATIONAL | meaning. [online] Available at: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/rational
[4] Oxford Dictionaries | English. (2019). reason | Definition of reason in English. [online] Available at: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/reason
[5] Literary Devices. (n.d.). Famous Metaphors in The Bible. [online] Available at: https://literarydevices.net/famous-metaphors-in-the-bible/
[6] Bible Gateway. (n.d.). 5409 metaphor - Dictionary of Bible Themes. [online] Available at: https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/dictionary-of-bible-themes/5409-metaphor
[7] Casad, B. (n.d.). confirmation bias | Definition, Background, History, & Facts. [online] Encyclopedia Britannica. Available at: https://www.britannica.com/science/confirmation-bias
[8] Merriam-Webster English Dictionary. (n.d.). Definition of BIASED. [online] Available at: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/biased
[9] Philosophy of Religion. (n.d.). The Kalam Cosmological Argument. [online] Available at: http://www.philosophyofreligion.info/theistic-proofs/the-cosmological-argument/the-kalam-cosmological-argument/
[10] Craig, W. (n.d.). The Kalam Cosmological Argument. [online] Reasonable Faith. Available at: https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/popular-writings/existence-nature-of-god/the-kalam-cosmological-argument/
[11] Specktor, B. (2018). Stephen Hawking Says He Knows What Happened Before the Big Bang. [online] Live Science. Available at: https://www.livescience.com/61914-stephen-hawking-neil-degrasse-tyson-beginning-of-time.html
[12] Exactly What is Time? (n.d.). Time and the Big Bang. [online] Available at: http://www.exactlywhatistime.com/physics-of-time/time-and-the-big-bang/
[13] Bibleinfo.com. (2019). How Old is God?. [online] Available at: https://www.bibleinfo.com/en/questions/how-old-is-god
[14] Nelson, B. (2018). Time actually existed before the Big Bang, according to new theory. [online] MNN - Mother Nature Network. Available at: https://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/space/stories/time-actually-existed-big-bang-according-new-theory
[15] Rabbi Rose, O. (2019). Heaven and Hell in Jewish Tradition. [online] My Jewish Learning. Available at: https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/heaven-and-hell-in-jewish-tradition/
[16] Gilad, E. (2019). What is the Jewish afterlife like?. [online] Haaretz Newspaper. Available at: https://www.haaretz.com/jewish/.premium-what-is-the-jewish-afterlife-like-1.5362876
[17] Merriam-Webster English Dictionary. (n.d.). Definition of ABSURD. [online] Available at: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/absurd [Accessed 21 Apr. 2019].
[18] Saka, P. (n.d.). Pascal’s Wager about God | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. [online] International Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Available at: https://www.iep.utm.edu/pasc-wag/
[19] Hájek, A. (2017). Pascal’s Wager (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy). [online] Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Available at: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/pascal-wager/
[20] All About God. (n.d.). A Jealous God. [online] Available at: https://www.allaboutgod.com/a-jealous-god.htm
[21] Scheumann, J. (2014). Five Truths About the Wrath of God. [online] Desiring God. Available at: https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/five-truths-about-the-wrath-of-god
[22] SeedTime. (2019). 21 Bible Verses for when you need to feel God’s love. [online] Available at: https://christianpf.com/bible-verses-about-gods-love/
[23] Bible Study Tools. (2018). 18 Bible Verses About Acceptance & Scripture on Loving Others. [online] Available at: https://www.biblestudytools.com/topical-verses/bible-verses-about-acceptance/
[24] Bible Gateway. (n.d.). Bible Gateway passage: Leviticus 19:15 - New International Version. [online] Available at: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Leviticus+19%3A15&version=NIV
[25] Quod.lib.umich.edu. (n.d.). Matthew 7. [online] Available at: https://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/k/kjv/kjv-idx?type=DIV2&byte=4404251
[26] Bible Study Tools. (n.d.). Matthew 6:14-15 - For if you forgive other people when they sin a.... [online] Available at: https://www.biblestudytools.com/matthew/passage/?q=matthew+6:14-15
[27] Bible Study Tools. (n.d.). Proverbs 16:4-11. [online] Available at: https://www.biblestudytools.com/msg/proverbs/passage/?q=proverbs+16:4-11
[28] All About God. (n.d.). Omniscience of God. [online] Available at: https://www.allaboutgod.com/omniscience-of-god.htm
[29] Nelson, T. (1982). Genesis 45. [online] All About God. Available at: https://www.allaboutgod.com/bible.htm?embed_path=/query&query=Genesis%2045:5
[30] Novak, M. (2010). How Christianity Created Capitalism. [online] Acton Institute. Available at: https://acton.org/pub/religion-liberty/volume-10-number-3/how-christianity-created-capitalism
[31] Zubovich, G. (2018). Russia’s Journey from Orthodoxy to Atheism, and Back Again. [online] Religion & Politics. Available at: https://religionandpolitics.org/2018/10/16/russias-journey-from-orthodoxy-to-atheism-and-back-again/
[32] Stewart, D. (n.d.). Does God Know Everything? (Omniscient). [online] Blue Letter Bible. Available at: https://www.blueletterbible.org/faq/don_stewart/don_stewart_359.cfm

Round 2
Published:
All points from R1 as they are. Change 'fight' to 'fish' in the ACBM#3 explanation. :)

Posting links is 0% debating, one must quote the links and apply it to the debate for it to count.
Round 3
Published:
Greetings. My opponent is correct. Posting links is 0 percent debating. I was not trying to debate because my opponent has made it clear to me I am not going to be able to debate in good faith. Any attempt to rebutt my opponent would take an exhaustive thesis going down rabbit holes I never mentioned in the first place. My opponent has set up an opening argument so lengthy and multifaceted, that  any attempt to have a debate wherein his premises are adequately challenged would immediately take us off topic, and would require me to spend reams of information fighting countless fires at once.

In other words, I have been gish galloped.

If my refusal to take the bait and begin disputing my opponents contention that 91 percent of Christians cherry pick the Bible, or Mary was the "victim of rape" means I forfeit the debate, so be it.

That is all.

Thank you.

ICXCNIKA
Published:
--

ACBM #1: God created itself... Himself? Doesn't need a creator? Created all that is real and didn't create itself but is real?... Is necessary to be, but is unnecessarily the Christian God as opposed to other such possible entities?

This thwarts the following from Pro:

2. Christianity affirms Theism, which is a rational position.

4. Christianity does not face an existential crisis.
- Both from Pro's R1

The entirety of Con's proof of ACBM#1 remains non-refuted. This means the opponent is conceding every single part of it and is admitting to doing so as it is being called 'gish gallop' or whatever you want to call something you can't defeat in debate and want to disregard anyway.

The ways in which Pro's Angle 2 and 4 are thwarted by ACBM#1 are that the following quoted parts highlight precisely how irrational Christian Theism is as a position by the very exact means by which they disregard atheism and other Theistic religions.:
Theists who rely on this argument concede that not only does something which you can’t explain the origin of require a cause, if it ever began to exist, but that time is to be assumed to undeniably not have begun with the maximum of what we believe our reality physically is; the universe. The KCM forgets that by insisting that there is a ‘before’ the universe at all, and that time didn’t begin with it it,the very God of a religion such as Christianity necessitates time before its origin too.

Time not existing before something is not able to be brushed off as absurd by Theists because this is the very thing they are saying is true for God. The only difference KCM assumes and enables is to say that God has no ‘beginning’ of existence and thus requires no creator. The issue is that atheists (such as the aforementioned, well-renowned Stephen Hawking) consider the very universe itself (or at most multiverse if you wish to stretch that far) began with time in precisely the same way that Theists claim God did. Thus, the Big Bang doesn’t require a ‘before’ any more or any less than God itself does:

- Con's R1 ACBM#1 addressing how Theists defeat their own logic in how they deny Big Bang Theory and the atheistic universe's beginning being directly applicable to their completely irrationally assumed-to-be-real God which has an extra step above the Big Bang and just as much mystery to it as the Big Bang itself, on top of being unknown to be real or explain its/his own existence in any coherent way whatsoever. The Christian God is actually more, or at the very least equally, bizarre to the Atheistic reality and is not known to be real at all while this reality is known to be real to us in a much more rational way.

An error both KCM and PW make is to assume that if there is an original creator, it’s the Christian God but this is linked to a deeper issue; both are based on faulty axioms that then become confirmation-biased based tautologies. The Christian God is not a metaphor for ‘whatever the first ever thing was’, rather it is a very specific ideation (or culmination, if real) of the first, wisest and most powerful of all entities in existence with a moral code suited to the Bible.

For PW to even be true under the Christian God’s existence, it would mean that you genuinely do lose nothing by adhering to God’s way. The initial error of PW is that it suggests that you ever could fool yourself, let alone God, into believing something that you don’t actually believe. The second error (assuming the God that may exist may only be the Christian God) is to suggest that you lose nothing by adhering to the strict moral code of the Bible… Or is there a strict moral code at all?
- Further means by which ACBM#1 attacks point 2.

Theists would have you assume God to be viable without time preceding him because they assert he has no beginning. Is it showing clear thought and reason to assume something is true because the believers in it say it’s true? No, it is not. On top of this, it is even more absurd to refuse to apply the same logic to the atheist’s reality and universe (or multiverse) simply because they concede that their ‘ultimate reality’ has a beginning and they believe that even if that beginning wasn’t the beginning of time, that there’s no way to conclude anything else unless the evidence unfurls more (and such has already begun, but so far no sign of the Christian God).
- Con's R1 ACBM#1 handling of Pro's 4th Contention.

--

ACBM #2: The Moral Code of a Christian is not only rooted in absolute selfishness, despite the religion considering such motive to be abhorrent, but is inconsistently applied, to severe degrees.

The entire section disproves the following angles of Pro:

2. Christianity affirms Theism, which is a rational position.

3. Christianity affirms moral coherence. Which makes our ethical claims rational

The foundation of Christian anthropology is that we, as creations of God, are His image bearers.
- Pro' R1

The entire concept of 'everyone is good as we're all made in God's image to God's unstoppable and all-foreseen plan for us' is not only ambivalent morally but horrifying in the following way:

Oh yes, perhaps the most horrifying element of the wishy-washy teachings is that underlying it all is the notion that no matter what you do, God will not only love you in the end but the wickedness was all part of the plan. After all, if you were to murder (or even legally kill, which would defy ‘thou shalt not kill’) humans who are… Wait for it… Good people, then you’d be helping ensure they get to heaven, right? You’d have guaranteed them to die good people, bound for heaven but guess what the real punchline is?

What would happen if you did evil things to evil people? Well, this is where it gets far more obscure. You’re entitled to judge people who are good, but are not entitled to use the very same judgement system to judge people who are not good. In fact, the ‘10 commandments’ were a social construct from a Bible book that had many more commandments and commandment 15 encourages one to judge fairly and by their own means of ascertaining truth on a person:

Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly.
- 24

Despite this, Pro himself and many Christians like him adhere far more to a notion that judging is negative because it comes at the price of being judged back (which means you risk being deemed evil).25 One can only wonder how selfless and noble it would logically be to tarnish one’s own soul in order to get others to heaven by ‘killing the good’. It’s a terrifying thought and one of the most severe flaws of Christianity. After all, even then one need only go through enough and repent and all will be forgiven.
- Con's ACBM#1 R1 handling Pro's 2nd and 3rd Contention.

The way this contradicts the 'made in the image' angle of Pro is that if we are made in the image of God, this only further supports the idea that there's no actual bad guys at all as those who are evil are merely slaves to God's plan and obeying his command:

s there even such a thing as a ‘bad guy’ in a creation made by an all-powerful God that planned for the wickedness as part of it?

14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
26

4 God made everything with a place and purpose; even the wicked are included - but for judgment.
27

In the book of Genesis we read the story of Joseph, the favored son of Jacob. Joseph’s brothers were jealous of him and devised a scheme to get rid of him. They considered killing him, but ended up selling him as a slave to foreigners. God knew this was going to happen, and already had a plan in place. Through a series of events, Joseph went from slave to prisoner to Egyptian ruler. Years later he was able to use his authority and position to provide for his family during a famine in their homeland. How do you think Joseph felt when he and his brothers were reunited? Do you think he wanted revenge? No, he didn’t. He told them: “And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you (Genesis 45:5).” Joseph understood the omniscience of God; that the events in Joseph’s life had worked together for his family’s own good.
28,29

If God masterminds all evil, even family disputes and the rejection of someone who is rejected for the very purpose of returning to 'fairly' absolve them of guilt later on in a symbolic, heroic manner then there are actually no bad people. The evil help the good shine, after all if we were all good then no one would be better than anyone else at it or need to battle against anything to live happy in life, since we’d all care and share. It makes you wonder why all (every single) Christian nation was Capitalist and why this religion had to be challenged when introducing Communism to Russia (not that it worked well).30,31

If those who use and abuse to prosper in this life at the sake of their afterlife, are part of God’s grand plan, what is there left to speak against, act against or challenge? In the face of grotesque evil should one just refuse to judge the evildoer and forgive them? Should they judge them ‘fairly’ according to the less well-known 15th commandment? Christianity lacks clear thought and reason when it comes to the foundation of morality, let alone the specifics. Should you pay a father and marry his daughter after raping her? The Bible both suggests to do this and also not to do it in separate parts that highlight constant chaos and inconsistent teachings throughout (which defy inherent rationality as they are not clearly reasoned whatsoever).

Let us guess what the Christians will patch this issue with: when something is nonsensical it’s a metaphor and when it’s sensible and appealing it’s definitely the ‘real teaching’ to listen to. Of course, we should have used our ‘God-given’ brains!


You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, O LORD, you know it completely.
32
- Con's ACMB #2 R1 directly annihilating Pro's first 3 Contentions.

--

ACBM#3: The entire basis of faith in the Christian Religion comes from genuine self-fulfilling confirmation bias in an explicit sense.

To put it simply, when something demands you first to believe in it and then to reject proof against as it's part of God's plan and accept all hints towards as concrete evidence because to not truly do that is to be an insincere Christian who may well go to Hell, is inherently confirmation bias based by nature.

There's little to say here other than the very mechanics by which one defends and finds themselves devoutly believing in Christianity are all summed up as explicit confirmation bias.
Round 4
Published:
Unfortunately, my opponent has decided to go around to several of my debates and leave profane comments in the vote section. To top that off my opponent has made his arguments even more lengthy. I was interested in rational discussion, but before this gets even further away from why I am on this site (respectful dialogue) I am going to go ahead and concede this debate and congratulate my opponent on his win. I am going to ask my opponent to stop leaving profanity in the vote section of my debates.

If my opponent does not delete his votes and comments, I am going to request my opponent to not have further dialogue with me.


That is all. Thank you folks.


Published:
 I am going to go ahead and concede this debate and congratulate my opponent on his win.
- Pro, R4.
Added:
--> @Virtuoso
Feel free to challenge me to that last resolution whenever you're ready. Let's hope my computer is on board
Instigator
#37
Added:
--> @Virtuoso
I do believe the Trinity is strongly hinted at in the Tenakh, but it is most clearly taught in the new testament. I think the issue is progressive revelation, in that regard we don't have much common ground. I would certainly be interested in hearing your arguments against the Divinity of Christ using the new testament. I definitely am on board with the last resolution you presented
Instigator
#36
Added:
--> @Dustandashes
Perhaps we could do "Resolved: The Trinity is Unbiblical." Though I would be using more of the Tenakh as I dont' accept the New Testament. Perhaps I'd be willing to do "Resolved: Jesus is not God" and show from the New Testament that the discipels did not believe Jesus' divnity.
#35
Added:
--> @Virtuoso
Well I'm certainly not a theologian but I'll try my best to defend it. What would you like the resolution to be?
Instigator
#34
Added:
--> @Dustandashes
That would be fine. The Trinity is logically incoherent and Unbiblical.
#33
Added:
--> @Virtuoso
Ok, so maybe we could narrow it down to is the Trinity coherent?
Instigator
#32
Added:
--> @Dustandashes
I suppose the question would hinge on the word "rational." I would view the idea of the Trinity to be irrational and that's my biggest logical objection.
#31
Added:
--> @Virtuoso
I would be interested in that. Maybe it could be a little teaser to our Resurrection debate. I think the arguments I make in favor of Christianity being rational would apply to Judaism, I don't see how you could debate against it though
Instigator
#30
Added:
--> @Our_Boat_is_Right
You did not respond to my question. I would appreciate a response.
The rules on sources are clearly stated and self-evidently necessary. If you have specific objections to any of the three points, please state them. Merely repeating that the sources are awful is not an argument and does not provide me any insight into exactly why you feel that way.
#29
Added:
--> @bsh1
The sources rules are awful. Chang the DART rules.
#28
Added:
--> @Our_Boat_is_Right
Which vote are you referencing?
#27
Added:
--> @Dustandashes
If you want to debate me on this, feel free.
#26
Added:
--> @bsh1
why don't u fix the sourcing rules they are broke rn
#25
Added:
--> @bsh1
but this vote is apparently ok?
"PRO provided highly questionable sources like infowars, stonecoldtruth and project veritas. Each one of these are known conspiracy theory websites. On the other side, CON provided proper sources like European Union related websites, independent and the actual website they were talking about. "
#24
Added:
--> @Our_Boat_is_Right
*******************************************************************
>Reported Vote: Our_Boat_is_Right // Mod action: Removed
>Points Awarded: 2 to Pro for sources
>Reason for Decision: Con used known conspiracy theory sources like all about world view.org and literallydevices.net. Pro used RELIABLE sources like logicalfallacies.net. All others tied.
>Reason for Mod Action: In conceded debates, voters are required by the site voting policy to give the balance of points to the non-conceding debater (or award a tie). For this reason alone, the vote can be removed. That being said, the vote is insufficient in that it satisfies just two of the three required criteria to award sources points: identifying specific sources and comparing the uses of sources between debaters. It does not complete the other step: explaining how each debater's sources impact the debate. The vote is thus also insufficient.
************************************************************************
#23
#3
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
" I am going to go ahead and concede this debate and congratulate my opponent on his win."
- Nuff said
#2
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
Concession
#1
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
Cons behaviour and arguments were clearly toxic, and given pros response - this would likely have caused me to register a vote for pro - given how Con was not at any point arguing in good faith.
However, as pro conceded the debate - I am unable to award any points to him - as this is explicitly prohibited by the CoC. I would strongly recommend that no one concede a debate like this, unless they feel their opponent was clearly arguing in good faith, and was clearly better.
Saying this, con clearly does not deserve any points given the excessive and antisocial gish gallop of quotes and citations that are hurled unreasonably at his opponent: so I am declining to award any points in his favor - this behaviour is toxic and should not be rewarded.