Which side makes a better case?
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  • a month ago

    I just want to apologize to Chris for cutting him off. I was over eager I think.

    • a month ago

      Also, thanks very much to Chris for debating me. I was really delighted to have the opportunity.

      PS If you would like to do the same subject again, but with the timer, and now that you have more an idea what my argument is, I'd be happy to.

      • a month ago

        I have a bone to pick with the topic. If it's saying "God was more dramatic during the Old Testament than he was in the New Testament" then it's virtually undeniable, and not worth debating.

        If the topic is "The Old Testament God is a different character than the God of the New Testament" then that's a debate worthy topic.

        But the wording of this topic makes it confusing as heck.

        For one thing, drama is not directly opposed to peace. Sigfried agrees that Jesus did things that were dramatic, but still considers him a lover of peace, so he's already showing that drama and peace are not directly opposed. That makes it a bad debate topic.
        For another thing, Sigfried agrees that Jesus and his message intentionally sparked drama. He considers this a lower form of drama, but it's still drama.

        I'm not going to accept an interpretation of the resolution as "God was more dramatic in the Old Testament". If that was the resolution then that should have been the topic. But if I interpret the resolution as "God was dramatic in the Old Testament, a characteristic that changed in the New Testament" I think Con wins, because both sides agree that God was both loving and dramatic in the Old Testament, and loving/dramatic in the New Testament as well. God may have gotten less dramatic and more loving, but that doesn't suggest he was a different character, just a character who had grown while the story progressed.

        I don't see any reason why the New Testament version of God would have to be exactly the same as the Old Testament version of himself, as long as his motivations are still the same. It's like in a movie where a character grows and changes, but still stays the same being.

        Chris correctly points out that there are messages of love in the Old Testament. Thus it seems reasonable to infer that the Old Testament could have been a precursor to God in his "final form" which we then see in the New Testament. As soon as Sigfried agrees that the Old Testament deity had messages of love, and the New Testament version of God has intentionally stoked drama, he's agreed that the character had the same consistent motivations in both sections.

        All that said, I'd much have preferred that this debate was less about "drama" that's such a weak word. I'd contend that the God of the Old Testament was vindictive, significantly more violent, and a fundamentally different character than Jesus Christ, and I'd love to see a debate that better fleshes that out, but centering this debate around drama kind of held it back from getting anywhere.

        • a month ago

          @sharkb8 Fair enough. I spent almost no time preparing the topic or my arguments, I mostly wanted to reflect the statement I'd made in Facebook with my topic.

          The wording comes from a joke. TNT has a slogan "TNT knows drama" and I heard it one day when reflecting on the OT and the character of God. They say "God is love" and that never much rang true for me. Jesus, yes, God, not so much. So what one word does personify God of the old testament if not love. You say vindictive and violent, and those are true, but he is also generous and creative. It struck me that the single word that best describes God is dramatic. Whatever god does, he does it with a lot of extra dramatics.

          The part with Jesus was added because I also mentioned Jesus having a different character in the Facebook thread. I see hi as a character that lowers drama in situations, that preaches meekness and avoiding unnecessary conflict. Yes, he makes some drama, but that is not what he loves, that is not a word that describes him in all situations. Love is probably the best word to describe his message and character.

          I'd invite you to give me a single word for each character that you think better fits the broadest range of their actions described in the bible.

        • a month ago

          @sigfried I agree with you that the Old Testament God was constantly doing things that would dramatize each moment.

          Side note, that’s almost certainly because the writing style of the time had each author dramatize their fictional deity as much as possible so it would win over potential converts. All primitive Gods did dramatic things because the cultures in competition with each other had to prove why their God was best.

          That being said, drama vs. peace isn’t a debate topic. Those are descriptions of a broader concept. So the topic should have been something like “The God of the Old Testament was a different deity than the God of the New Testament” and as an example of how your side is correct, you can use drama vs. peace.

          Or it could be “Jesus Christ had fundamentally different goals and values than the Old Testament God” which more directly leads into a discussion of what specific values were different. That sort of thing.

          But if you have a topic the way you have it, it gets super confusing. Chris correctly pointed out that Jesus was dramatic, and the Old Testament God was loving, so your topic means nothing. But if the topic was set up with direct conflict, then there’s more to actually clash over.

        • a month ago

          @sharkb8 I'm looking at the topic, and honestly, to me it is pretty simple.

          I make two truth claims.
          1. God loves drama.
          2. Jesus loves peace.

          I don't see why those two claims cannot be debated or why it is so confusing. They are three word sentences making a simple claim. The only odd thing is there are two statements rather than one.

          Mind you, my arguments run a little far afield of those simple claims, but I really wanted to discuss the idea more than win the topic.

        • a month ago

          @sigfried yes but those two truth claims are incredibly generic. "OT God loves drama" well duh. Everyone knows that. There's nothing to debate here. "Jesus loves peace" also duh.

          The only way it's a debate topic is if you're suggesting that P1 is exclusionary to P2. That God's form changed between the OT and the NT. But Chris' case showed that while there may be a difference, it wasn't a radical transformation, just a continuation of character.

        • a month ago

          @sharkb8 I don't think that's very fair. I made a post that made these claims. The challenger said, "I want to debate you on that." so I made a debate with that topic so he could debate me. He thought he could counter that claim so that's the claim I went with.

          Lots of Christians don't think God loves drama. They say God is Love, God loves peace and justice, not Drama.

        • a month ago

          @sigfried but again, drama and peace aren't mutually exclusive. I do theater. I was a national champion in drama (literally). But I sure as hell love peace and justice. They can easily go together.

          For a debate resolution you'd want to pit one side against another, like in your comment you said that Christians "say God is Love, God loves peace and justice, not Drama." You're trying to pit two things against each other, but they aren't in conflict.

          You could possibly make them be in conflict if you said that God was NOT about peace and justice in the Old Testament, or if you said that God was NOT about drama in the new testament, but you directly admitted that the OT God appreciated love, and the New Testament God was willing to be dramatic. There's nothing left to debate. It's an instant loss.

          This topic is only debatable if you were claiming that the OT God is
          a. a different being than the NT God (or)
          b. the same being as the NT God, but in a drastically different form.

          You didn't argue a, even though it's what Chris seemed to expect and the reason he took the debate. You did argue b, but lost badly on that point.