Author Topic: redsoxfan77 vs. Hijiri Byakuren: does God exist?  (Read 4679 times)

Offline DunkleSeele (OP)

redsoxfan77 vs. Hijiri Byakuren: does God exist?
« on: October 02, 2014, 02:36:31 AM »
                                               
 
Moderator Message:
 
 
This is the official thread for the one-on-one debate between redsoxfan77 and Hijiri Byakuren. Only these two members can post here about the debate topic, I will post as a moderator if and only if I see that one of the rules is being broken and will not take part in any way or form to the debate.

A few rules:
1. Both debaters will make an introductory statement about their views on the topic at hand. The first one will be redsoxfan77
2. Once the concept or version of God has been defined, please stick to it. Diversions like "oh well, maybe then God is this and that" won't be allowed. References to other gods or versions thereof for the sake of comparison are allowed, though.
3. Once one of you makes a post, wait for the opponent's reply before posting more.
4. About burden of proof: each opponent MUST try prove their position, that is, redsoxfan77 must try to prove that God exists and Hijiri Byakuren must try to prove that evidence for God is missing and/or flawed. Invoking the burden of proof on the other opponent won't be allowed.
5. Personal attacks or insults won't be tolerated.

Have fun!

EDIT on October 8th, 2014, 08:27 am CET: thread has been moved to this section because of violation of the rules for formal debates. From now on the general rules for informal debates/general discussions apply.
 
« Last Edit: October 08, 2014, 02:30:14 AM by DunkleSeele »

Offline Hijiri Byakuren

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Re: redsoxfan77 vs. Hijiri Byakuren: does God exist?
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2014, 05:57:30 PM »
Opening Statement
There are many people who believe in a god. There are many people who believe this god created the universe. In this debate, my opponent and I will debate the evidence that has been presented for the existence of a god, with myself arguing against. My opponent's opening statement will address the specific concept of god that he will be attempting to defend in this debate. For my own opening statement, I shall attempt to anticipate some of the more general arguments that may be used.

First of all, what is a god? People have been defining and re-defining this term for millennia, and no real consensus has ever been reached. There are the Christians, whose god will be the main subject of this debate, who generally believe that this almighty creator of the universe is also a personal being, which is to say he takes emotional investment in the activities of humans. There is Japanese Shinto, featuring gods of varying degrees of power who are generally tied to some location or object. In ancient times you had the Greeks, the Babylonians, the Egyptians, all of whose gods looked and behaved like humans, including a sort of political structure. Then you have the deists, whose god is entirely non-personal, and bares little resemblance to the gods of old. Finally there are the pantheists, and the panentheists, whose respective concepts of what they call "God" bare no resemblance whatsoever to any religion at all!

We're here to debate the Christian God; the Catholic God; the God that Redsoxfan77 has chosen for his belief system. To properly define a god in this case, we must compare holy texts and see which other gods that God is most similar to. The previously-mentioned Greeks, Babylonians, and Egyptians seem to be the obvious choice: they take similar actions to each other, all cause global floods at some point, generally seem to take pleasure in meddling with human affairs, and at some point they all involve someone impregnating a human being. As far as definitions go, we seem to have a winner: a god is a human-like being with various abilities that defy the laws of physics, and at least in some cases capable of creating an entire universe.

Or do they really? Genesis 1:7 and 1:8 have this to say about the creation of the sky, evidently created after a "formless" Earth already existed for God to work from.
Quote
1:7 And God made the firmament and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
1:8 And God called the firmament Heaven.
Now this seems a rather strange thing to do: make a second ocean surrounding the Earth, and kept out by what is basically a glass dome. Well, it would have to be a glass bubble to cover a spherical Earth, but the Bible gives no indication that the Earth is anything but flat.

But then God does something damned peculiar with this "firmament" as we see:
Quote
1:14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
1:15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
We'll get to what I bolded in a moment, but this makes it clear: everything we see in the sky is in the "heaven" half of the firmament, and "heaven" is explicitly the name given to the body of water held up by the firmament. So the sun, the moon, and the stars are all suspended in water. No interpretation, no embellishment: this is exactly what the Bible has to say about them.

"And he made the stars also." The Skeptic's Annotated Bible (SAB) makes a show of stating that, "at the end of a hard day's work, and almost as an afterthought, he makes 300 sextillion stars." Not so hard to believe, though, given that Genesis explicitly states that they're sitting in a body of water mingling with the sun and moon. These "stars" are not the burning balls of hydrogen we typically think of, but are basically celestial pixie dust.

This is definitely not the same so-called god that is described as having created the visible universe we now study in astronomy, nor the one who created the Earth that all other sciences focus upon. Indeed, as SAB once again points out, "In Genesis, the earth is created (1:1) before light (1:3) and the sun and stars (1:16); birds and whales (1:21) before reptiles and insects (1:24); and flowering plants (1:11) before any animals (1:20)." This is out of order and, in a couple places, ass-backwards compared to what we can currently prove and demonstrate about how all of these came to exist.

Now some will say that Genesis is allegorical, that it is not meant to detail the actual world's creation. To this I say: Back when this was written, stories like this were commonly used across all cultures world wide to explain why the world worked the way it does, because they had no scientific understanding to investigate for themselves. In that context, there is no reason to believe that the authors of Genesis believed anything less than the literal truth of the words.

Others will say that Genesis actually was inspired by God, but that the authors simply misunderstood. To this I must ask: What did God tell these guys to make them think that the Earth was the first thing ever made, that whales existed before there was a land mammal to evolve into them, that burning balls of gas many light years and parsecs away are actually florescent dust particles sitting very close to home, and that space is an actual ocean that can be unleashed on planet Earth to cause Noah's flood? You'd think an all-knowing God would understand how to properly teach these subjects so that there would be no confusion once he had them write it down; the fact that he evidently did not write it himself raises many questions of its own.

To paraphrase well-known atheist YouTuber AronRa:
Quote
Any document written or inspired by a supreme being would contain knowledge and wisdom so profound that no rational human being could deny the value of its contents. This text would not be subject to different interpretations, as any interpretation could only detract from the document's profundity. It would also be 100% consistent with all scientific observation, requiring no faith to believe its contents. There would therefore be no religion based on this document since its validity would be so painfully obvious that no cult following would be necessary to promote it.
From the very beginning, the Bible instantly fails this criteria, as I have demonstrated. This makes any of its claims extremely suspect, not the least of which is the existence of a being it claims created the universe.

The Bible makes very specific claims about God. One of them is his method of creating the universe, which is evidently false. But it gets even more specific in the books of Exodus and Deuteronomy. YouTube user Thunderf00t explains better than I could:



A volcano? Certainly sounds like it. It actually makes a bit of sense when you think about how God reportedly "parted the waters" to reveal land. It's not so different from what a volcano appears to do as lava flows into the ocean, is it not? Much easier to believe, even, if you believe the world is flat, which these people probably did. But as we know today, a volcano can't possibly have created the Earth: it needs magma from the Earth's mantle to do any of the so-called creating to begin with!

Some might cry "allegory" again, but again I say: there is no reason to believe any story in the Bible was intended to be anything but what the authors honestly believe to have happened. Claims otherwise are purely a product of post-revisionist thought by theologians who were attempting to keep up with the Enlightenment and make sure their Church remained relevant.

Now some folks will make a final argument, that regardless of anything else I say: God speaks to them. He speaks to them when they pray, he speaks to them on various other occasions when their mind is quiet. Frankly, that's so easy to explain with the psychological phenomenon of the simulacrum I almost don't have to argue the point. A simulacrum is any object to which an individual attributes qualities it does not actually have, which simulates an experience. If someone likes to wear a lucky pendant, they honestly believe the pendant is lucky, and anytime they themselves get lucky while wearing that pendant will be attributed to the pendant. This mixes with confirmation bias: anytime they get unlucky with the pendant, or lucky without it, that memory is quickly forgotten. It's the same with God: your brain is like a computer, and just as you can subconsciously create various mechanisms such as obsessions and phobias, you can create a simulacrum. It feeds you "messages from God" in a simulation of the actual experience. It will do this most often when you are conditioned to expect it. No God, just you, yourself, and your mental partitions. It's hard to doubt this when so many conflicting messages come from people all claiming to have spoken with the same god. Any claim to the effect of, "Well, my experience was definitely real," is confirmation bias at work.

To summarize: God is the product of various ancient peoples not understanding what was happening in nature. He is not a real entity, he did not perform any of the actions attributed to him, and he certainly doesn't talk to people. While a deistic creator may very well be beyond the scope of scientific investigation, this Heavenly Father is pathetically easy to bring down to Earth and smite with his own scriptures.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2014, 08:24:46 PM by Hijiri Byakuren »

Re: redsoxfan77 vs. Hijiri Byakuren: does God exist?
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2014, 05:59:32 PM »
Here is the post I put forth on the wrong thread.  *Coughs* Sorry about that. This was made prior to any posting by Hijiri Byakuren.  A response to Hijiri's latest post will be forth coming.

OK so to describe my faith I would describe it as being in accord with the Church. I'll try to simplify this as much as possible so isn't confusing.

1. I believe in God  the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. 3 persons in 1 God.
2. The Bible is important, but not the sole authority on matters pertaining to God.  There is also to the faithful Catholic the Magisterium of the Faith, and Church Tradition. So the Bible is only 1/3 of our view point of God.  This is different from all forms of Protestantism, which for many on this forum is the most common form of Christianity you will come across in the US.
3. The are many ways to understand the Bible.  Certainly literalism is one way to understand the Bible, but often it's makes the readings incomprehensible.  The Historical Critical method, I believe is better. For those who don't know the various ways to Biblical interpretation here is a good intro link. http://www.ewtn.com/library/curia/pbcinter.htm
4.God is more unknown than known.  We can know a lot, but much of what God is is still a mystery.  This is going to annoy many, but just as any learned discipline grows in understanding Christianity is no different.
5. I believe in Rahner's view of the Anonymous Christian.  Keep in mind when Rahner was writing this, he was not trying to upset anyone.  Try to understand what he says from his position. 
6. The Apostles' Creed is a good summary of the faith, but just that, a summary.
7. I don't find Science and Faith in God to be incompatible.
8.  Time is a construct.  Meaning God created time while being outside of it.  He has interacted within time on several occasions, i.e. the life of Jesus.  But still exists outside of time. Outside of time there is still a linear progression of events. Of that we know very little.
9. This is a woefully inadequate definition of my faith and the first time I've debated this specific topic.

Any questions?

Re: redsoxfan77 vs. Hijiri Byakuren: does God exist?
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2014, 06:44:27 PM »
Part I. -
 In this first part refutation of Hijiri's first post I will attempt to demonstrate that consistent with Catholic theology, a literal reading of Genesis was not required.  Both St. Augustine (4th-5th Century)  and Chrysostom (also 4th -5th Century) rejected a literal reading of the Genesis account. Origen of Alexandria (2nd-3rd Century) was very explicit that Genesis should not be taken literally as well and to do so would be foolish.   

It is plain to see that in early Christianity a literal reading of Genesis was not required or even really encouraged.  The thrust of strict biblical literalism is a development of the Reformation.  However, Genesis is an inherited book for Christians.  We received it from our spiritual forefathers the Jews. While the thrust of Hijiri's early argumentation seems to stem from the necessity of early Christianity taking Genesis literally this just isn't the case.   The debate here was to focus on the God as viewed by RedSoxfan77, the Catholic God, the Christian God, and as such it is really irrelevant what people might have believed prior to the establishment of Christianity, (at least when it comes to debating our hermeneutics).

However, just for the fun of it let's look at what Jewish sources from antiquity had to say about the literalism/allegorical nature of Genesis.  Philo of Alexandria (1st Century, a Hellenisitic Jew) was against a literal reading of Genesis.  (Continuing response)...


Re: redsoxfan77 vs. Hijiri Byakuren: does God exist?
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2014, 07:11:16 PM »
For the Jews the major text of the old testament that binds them as a people was the story of the Exodus, rather than the story of Genesis.  The Jewish account of Genesis was written down from an older oral tradition(s) (3 traditions to be specific).  Writing a language for the Jews was not accomplished until the time of King David, (after all we need to have a good writing system to get the most money from taxes possible). This occurred around, roughly, 1000 B.C..  The Genesis account would have been written around or after this date. 

The goal of the writer was to show a historical account "in so much as they illustrated a divine plan. That interest was the overriding factor in their choice of material."*Eugene H. Maly, St. Joseph Commentary 1969 edition, Genesis chapter.  The goal of the writer, therefore, was more concerned with the relationship of God to man versus biblical literalism and this cannot be underemphasized. 

Part II will be forthcoming but I have to get ready to go to my second job.  Your patience is appreciated.

Offline Hijiri Byakuren

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redsoxfan77 vs. Hijiri Byakuren: does God exist?
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2014, 10:33:42 PM »
This isn't my response, but in a formal debate like this you're supposed to wait for your opponent to speak once you have taken your turn at the podium. Since you have posted twice too many times, I will be posting my first and second rebuttals next. Please allow me to finish those before you continue.


Sent from Monster Island. Titty sprinkles.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2014, 10:36:18 PM by Hijiri Byakuren »

Offline Hijiri Byakuren

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Re: redsoxfan77 vs. Hijiri Byakuren: does God exist?
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2014, 03:13:42 PM »
First Rebuttal
Redoxfan77 (Reddy, for short), I'm not really sure what point you were trying to establish in your opening post. You've made reference to many names and concepts, but you have not seen fit to actually include the information you're citing. I get the feeling you don't really know how a debate works. In any case, here is what I have to say about your opening statement:
1. I believe in God  the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. 3 persons in 1 God.
This doesn't mean anything to me.

2. The Bible is important, but not the sole authority on matters pertaining to God.  There is also to the faithful Catholic the Magisterium of the Faith, and Church Tradition. So the Bible is only 1/3 of our view point of God.  This is different from all forms of Protestantism, which for many on this forum is the most common form of Christianity you will come across in the US.
Interesting, but what you need to demonstrate is that those two things can survive without the Bible. The Bible, from where I'm standing, seems to be the core basis of all Christian belief, Catholic or otherwise. How much of Church Tradition and the Magisterium of the Faith can stand on their own if I totally debunk this thing? You have not given me a reason to believe that they can.

3. The are many ways to understand the Bible.  Certainly literalism is one way to understand the Bible, but often it's makes the readings incomprehensible.  The Historical Critical method, I believe is better. For those who don't know the various ways to Biblical interpretation here is a good intro link. http://www.ewtn.com/library/curia/pbcinter.htm
There is no reason to believe that the Bible was written in anything but a literal sense. "Interpretation" is basically literary analysis. Not that I'm knocking on literary analysis, but it's a concept you generally apply to fiction.

4.God is more unknown than known.  We can know a lot, but much of what God is is still a mystery.  This is going to annoy many, but just as any learned discipline grows in understanding Christianity is no different.
How much is known of God is not the issue. The issue is whether or not there is a God to know anything about. Any study into "the nature of God" holds no relevance to me if you can't prove that he actually exists.

5. I believe in Rahner's view of the Anonymous Christian.  Keep in mind when Rahner was writing this, he was not trying to upset anyone.  Try to understand what he says from his position.
6. The Apostles' Creed is a good summary of the faith, but just that, a summary.
I don't know what these are, and it is not my job to look them up. Include your argument in full, or else don't include it at all.

7. I don't find Science and Faith in God to be incompatible.
This is irrelevant to the issue at hand.

8.  Time is a construct.  Meaning God created time while being outside of it.  He has interacted within time on several occasions, i.e. the life of Jesus.  But still exists outside of time. Outside of time there is still a linear progression of events. Of that we know very little.
There is nothing in science that indicates anything is capable of existing "outside of time." The reason we call it "spacetime" is because you cannot separate the two concepts. Time is an inherent property to all matter and energy, is not consistent throughout the entire universe, and is certainly not something one can exist "outside" of. In addition, the Bible gives no indication that God is not subject to time. 2 Peter 3:8, New International Version: "But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day." This only indicates that God's perception of time is different, not altogether separate. Your own brain perceives time differently depending on how quickly it is processing information; it is not an unprecedented phenomenon. For any other arguments you may have, I refer back to Genesis, in which God is quite clearly residing at a point in the known universe at all times. Heaven, again, is explicitly stated to be a place sitting above Earth's celestial firmament. There's really no other way to spin this: God is quite explicitly within the bounds of spacetime.

Any questions?
Yes, what is your point?

I still need to do my second rebuttal since you decided to jump the gun earlier. Please allow me time to finish, and afterword speak in proper turn. Your second rebuttal addresses my first rebuttal; your third rebuttal responds to my second; etc.

Offline Hijiri Byakuren

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Re: redsoxfan77 vs. Hijiri Byakuren: does God exist?
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2014, 03:39:20 PM »
Second Rebuttal
I'm lumping your two posts into one since they seem to be related.

In this first part refutation of Hijiri's first post I will attempt to demonstrate that consistent with Catholic theology, a literal reading of Genesis was not required.  Both St. Augustine (4th-5th Century)  and Chrysostom (also 4th -5th Century) rejected a literal reading of the Genesis account. Origen of Alexandria (2nd-3rd Century) was very explicit that Genesis should not be taken literally as well and to do so would be foolish.
Whatever these individuals instructed, there is no reason to believe Genesis was written in anything but a literal sense. These stories were written as explanations for the state of the world, when no science existed to fill this need. This is how all of Genesis' contemporaries were written. Pleading the exception for this particular creation myth is nothing less than Biblical revisionism: You know it's false, and you'd rather twist it to mean something else than acknowledge the need to discard it.

It is plain to see that in early Christianity a literal reading of Genesis was not required or even really encouraged.  The thrust of strict biblical literalism is a development of the Reformation.  However, Genesis is an inherited book for Christians.  We received it from our spiritual forefathers the Jews. While the thrust of Hijiri's early argumentation seems to stem from the necessity of early Christianity taking Genesis literally this just isn't the case.   The debate here was to focus on the God as viewed by RedSoxfan77, the Catholic God, the Christian God, and as such it is really irrelevant what people might have believed prior to the establishment of Christianity, (at least when it comes to debating our hermeneutics).

However, just for the fun of it let's look at what Jewish sources from antiquity had to say about the literalism/allegorical nature of Genesis.  Philo of Alexandria (1st Century, a Hellenisitic Jew) was against a literal reading of Genesis.
What men in the 1st Century CE believed about Genesis is irrelevant. The various stories of Genesis were authored 500-1500 years before these men lived, and they did not have access to the information and tools we now possess to assign dates to their creation. Genesis is critical to establishing that God even exists as something other than an easily-explainable simulacrum in one's head. If it's wrong, the rest of the evidence for the Christian God's existence is quite flimsy.

For the Jews the major text of the old testament that binds them as a people was the story of the Exodus, rather than the story of Genesis.  The Jewish account of Genesis was written down from an older oral tradition(s) (3 traditions to be specific).  Writing a language for the Jews was not accomplished until the time of King David, (after all we need to have a good writing system to get the most money from taxes possible). This occurred around, roughly, 1000 B.C..  The Genesis account would have been written around or after this date.
Irrelevant. Exodus was evidently about people worshiping a volcano, which, while powerful, is by no means a god. Regardless, there is nothing in Egyptian historical record to indicate that the events of Exodus even happened. The Egyptians themselves, who were known to record losses far more embarrassing than Exodus, don't even seem to have ever recorded enslaving an entire nation of people, much less losing them as a result of 10 plagues sent by God; by the way, this is about whether or not he exists, in case you've forgotten the topic already.

The goal of the writer was to show a historical account "in so much as they illustrated a divine plan. That interest was the overriding factor in their choice of material."*Eugene H. Maly, St. Joseph Commentary 1969 edition, Genesis chapter.  The goal of the writer, therefore, was more concerned with the relationship of God to man versus biblical literalism and this cannot be underemphasized.
In the context of the time in which it was authored, like Genesis, there is no reason to believe Exodus was intended as anything but a literal account. If the book is admittedly non-factual, then you have destroyed your own case. Again, these books, and particularly Genesis, are key to establishing that God even exists, much less interacts with people. That is what we're arguing about, yes? You seem to be veering off into a defense of Catholicism, which is totally and completely irrelevant to our debate.

Do you have a proof of God's existence that can survive independently of these accounts? Because if not, the debate is over.

Offline DunkleSeele (OP)

Re: redsoxfan77 vs. Hijiri Byakuren: does God exist?
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2014, 05:07:31 PM »
Gentlemen, first of all I want to apologise for not intervening before; unfortunately today I had a bit of a personal mess which kept me away from the computer for most of the day (it's 11 pm here right now).

Now, much as I don't want to interfere with your debate, I want to make clear that the debate rules have to be respected; as stated in the introductory post and then remarked also by Hijiri Byakuren, please follow strictly the rule of one post at a time; once one of you has made a post, wait for your opponent's answer.

Thank you.

Re: redsoxfan77 vs. Hijiri Byakuren: does God exist?
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2014, 05:47:11 PM »
I'm actually going to have to forfeit this debate due to time constraints.  The 24 hour rule I won't be able to meet, given that I have to find new work. 

But if you want to keep on debating despite my responses taking longer then they should I'm fine with that.

As it stands Hijiri wins.

Offline DunkleSeele (OP)

Re: redsoxfan77 vs. Hijiri Byakuren: does God exist?
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2014, 06:09:54 PM »
As a personal note, in the debate rules I intentionally left out the 24-hour constraint because it seemed to me too restrictive. But it's up to you two to decide.

Offline Hijiri Byakuren

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Re: redsoxfan77 vs. Hijiri Byakuren: does God exist?
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2014, 02:12:13 AM »
I'm fine with a longer waiting period, long as we make progress at least once a week.

Re: redsoxfan77 vs. Hijiri Byakuren: does God exist?
« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2014, 07:41:48 PM »
Ok thanks you two!  I'll be posting the continuation of where I left off in the next few days. 

Re: redsoxfan77 vs. Hijiri Byakuren: does God exist?
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2014, 01:58:48 AM »
Part II

This post picks up exactly where I left off.  No consideration was given to Hijiri's rebuttal in this post.  Indeed, I haven't even read it.  Not because it isn't worth reading and responding to, but because it was out of order for the debate itself.  I will gladly read it or the new criticisms of my posts  after I have finished posting. 

To recap Part I: a literal interpretation of the book of Genesis is not required according to the Catholic faith, nor do we believe that the author wished for this work to be taken literally. 

To introduce new material I will respond to the quote of AronRa concerning God's authorship of the Bible.  If I understand him correctly, he postulates that if a book had been inspired by an almighty God then this should be immediately apparent to everyone.  There should be no questions, disagreements as to the authorship and 100% consistency of the text with all scientific observation possible.

This does make sense.  After all, why shouldn't things be apparent, clear, concise, and understandable if it has some connection with God? 

However, the problem isn't usually the text (though some translations are crap).  It's the people.  Flawed humans are still going to be making mistakes, whether on accident or on purpose.  In using humans to transcribe the books of the Bible some things are evident.  1. God knew that He was entrusting flawed people to convey His message to them.  2. This conveyance of the message would often be imperfect in its delivery. 3. That people could choose to believe or disbelieve that the written texts were inspired by God in authorship.  All of this was known by God and yet this is still the method that was used. 

It seems that in respecting Man's free will, God also accepts that His message will be affected by the free will of men who choose evil over good. By those who act selfishly, who lie, cheat, and steal.  Despite this, much that is good can be found in the message sent forth. 

Couldn't there have been a better way to transmit the message of God?  Seriously?!?

I would argue that the Bible is but one way in which God transmits His will, but that it is also the best known.  Shouldn't there have been another way?  Perhaps, but finding one that would in no way impede upon the free will of man seems to be impossible.

Part III dealing with the video will come later on today.  Also the proofs of God are coming, though I'm first going to respond to Hijiri's post in full and then introduce those proofs. 

Offline Hijiri Byakuren

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Re: redsoxfan77 vs. Hijiri Byakuren: does God exist?
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2014, 03:16:38 AM »
Third Rebuttal
Part II

This post picks up exactly where I left off.  No consideration was given to Hijiri's rebuttal in this post.  Indeed, I haven't even read it.  Not because it isn't worth reading and responding to, but because it was out of order for the debate itself.  I will gladly read it or the new criticisms of my posts  after I have finished posting.
Haha, no. That's not how debates work, Reddy. This is officially your second rebuttal, the response to my first rebuttal. Since, by your own admission, you actually ignored the text of my rebuttal, I now get to be a bit of an asshole.

If you were not done articulating your thoughts back in your first rebuttal, that's too damn bad, because that ship's already sailed! There's a reason why you're given ample time to compose these responses, Reddy. If you choose to rush out a post, that's entirely on you. I have no obligation to wait, and I am now going to have a field day with your second rebuttal. If you wish to avoid being treating like my personal punching bag in the future, please observe the actual rules of the debate, and not your own made-up standards. Unlike your non-existent God, ignoring the debate rules actually does have consequences, of which "being talked down to by your opponent" is one.

To recap Part I: a literal interpretation of the book of Genesis is not required according to the Catholic faith, nor do we believe that the author wished for this work to be taken literally.


In the context of the time in which it was first created, there is no reason to believe that Genesis is intended to be anything but literal. Your only evidence to the contrary comes from people who lived many centuries later, in a time when such information was not readily accessible. Their opinions can be safely discarded, as they clearly have no idea what they're talking about.

By the way, this is extremely relevant to the subject of God's existence.

To introduce new material I will respond to the quote of AronRa concerning God's authorship of the Bible.  If I understand him correctly, he postulates that if a book had been inspired by an almighty God then this should be immediately apparent to everyone.  There should be no questions, disagreements as to the authorship and 100% consistency of the text with all scientific observation possible.

This does make sense.  After all, why shouldn't things be apparent, clear, concise, and understandable if it has some connection with God? 

However, the problem isn't usually the text (though some translations are crap).  It's the people.  Flawed humans are still going to be making mistakes, whether on accident or on purpose.  In using humans to transcribe the books of the Bible some things are evident.  1. God knew that He was entrusting flawed people to convey His message to them.  2. This conveyance of the message would often be imperfect in its delivery. 3. That people could choose to believe or disbelieve that the written texts were inspired by God in authorship.  All of this was known by God and yet this is still the method that was used.
Which, at best, makes God an idiot. No scientist would ever entrust a layperson to properly disseminate scientific information: at worst they would give the job to a scientific journalist, who if nothing else is at least familiar enough with scientific subjects to write about them without veering too far off course. What you are saying God did here is essentially the equivalent of telling Farmer Joe to go teach quantum physics knowing nothing but the Reader's Digest version of how it works and wishing him the best of luck.

And again I must ask: What did God have to tell these people to make them think that Earth is the oldest thing in the universe and that stars are just a bunch of pixie dust suspended in a flying ocean?

Also, this is irrelevant to the subject of God's existence.

It seems that in respecting Man's free will, God also accepts that His message will be affected by the free will of men who choose evil over good. By those who act selfishly, who lie, cheat, and steal.  Despite this, much that is good can be found in the message sent forth.
Free will with a gun to your head is not free will. Also, this is irrelevant to the subject of God's existence.

Couldn't there have been a better way to transmit the message of God?  Seriously?!?
Yes. Several. One of which can be found in any classroom on this planet. It's a little practice known as TEACHING, and it's generally understood that you should do it before asking people to write about a subject. It's also something that God evidently sucks at.

Also, this it irrelevant to the subject of God's existence.

I would argue that the Bible is but one way in which God transmits His will, but that it is also the best known. Shouldn't there have been another way? Perhaps, but finding one that would in no way impede upon the free will of man seems to be impossible.
Far more likely, it is a book written not by a god, but by men seeking to control other men.

Part III dealing with the video will come later on today.  Also the proofs of God are coming, though I'm first going to respond to Hijiri's post in full and then introduce those proofs.
Your next post (third rebuttal) is the response to my second rebuttal. If it does not, in fact, address my second rebuttal and only my second rebuttal, per standard debate practice, I will not respond. Instead, I will laugh in your face, declare victory, and advise you to study up on how debates work before you embarrass yourself like this again.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2014, 03:22:12 AM by Hijiri Byakuren »