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The Contender
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An individual's actions doesn't necessarily represent their religion

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/29/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,178 times Debate No: 39601
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
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Our religions influence our lives (most of us). However, some people are not religious, but they do have a religion. After seeing or hearing about an act from someone, some people blame it on their religion, which in my opinion is not logical. In other words, there are stereotypes stuck to religions, which are not true. Some people act on their own will, according to their own thoughts, not the thoughts of their religion. But people think that their religion is the cause of their acts.
I am not saying that there aren't any actions that represent religion. What I am saying is that some actions are mistaken for being associated with religion.

Dear opponent, I would like to know your thoughts on this concept.

(Note that everything I say is a personal opinion, I understand and respect yours.)
Dialogue is how we communicate and understand.


I agree with you that many religious groups have been stereotyped in our society for being the cause of some acts of violence and I also agree that some people who commit these crimes do not necessarily practice the religion they are affiliated.
However in light of recent events, it is rational to look to the culprits religion as a cause for there actions. Many if not all religious groups have large or minor terrorist cells; the people in these terrorist cells often are convinced that they must take aggressive action against a certain group of people, because they believe this is what there religion want them to do. To them in there distorted version of what might be a peaceful "friendly" religion they believe that there religion and there god would want them to commit an atrocity. So it is safe to assume before proving evidence to support otherwise that there religion may have played a role in there actions.
Debate Round No. 1


Dear opponent,
I agree with your statement: "because they believe this is what their religion want them to do." The problem is that they "believe" it is the right thing, because they are misguided about their own religion. Therefore they are the cause of the stereotype. But stereotypes are often not true.

Even though with the recent events, I do not think it's rational to blame the culprit's religion, even if the violence and terror is caused mostly by people with the same religion. They might be using the name of religion in order to achieve their violence. Media plays a big role in displaying the picture of certain religions, too.

If we assume religion is the cause of different actions, especially dangerous and violent ones, then there are powers that practice violence but it is not blamed on their religion. Why are some religions blamed while others not? Other reason than stereotypes is that in fact it is not the religion to be blamed. It is the person, regardless of their religion. In my opinion, religions are sometimes exploited to express personal thoughts.

Also, how would you answer this question: If we never expose culprits' religions, where would we say are those individuals getting their thoughts from?

Good luck.


as I stated above I don't think groups should be all discriminated against because of the actions of a few religious (or not) radicals. However the reason certain religious groups have these stereotypes is because they are widely known (right or wrong) of taking part in whatever the stereotype is. For example in America around 13% of the population is black out of them around half live below the poverty line. For this reason people unfortunately judge people before actually getting to know who they are. If someone commits a crime and they can be directly linked to a terrorist group then until proving otherwise we should assume they did what they did for there religion. To answer your question if we did not expose there religion then we would blame it on them being insane which in many ways is not that different than religious radicalism.
therefore until proven otherwise the cultprits religion should be considered a possible a motive.
Debate Round No. 2


As a result of debating, I accept your stance "the culprits religion should be considered a possible a motive." However, the cause of the actions should be investigated. I mean, the culprit could be using religion to achieve self-interest/political aims.

In this third round, I would like to summarize my point:

- People act violently in the name of God and in the name of their religion, while their religions call for peace.
- Violent actions have no religion.
- If religion is considered the cause of terrifying acts, almost all religions would be imperfect.
- It is important to distinguish between political terrorism and religious terrorism. In most cases the cause is political.
- In his book How Evil Works, David K. writes: "Genocidal madness can't be blamed on a particular philosophy or religion."

Dear opponent, I am willing to see your summary as well.
Good luck.


before I close my argument and summarize my stance I would like to thank my competitor and say that I think regardless of the outcome we both have gained from this debate and bettered are own understanding of the topic. before summarizing my opinion I would like to first respond to my opponents points in order.

-these people who act violently in the name of god and there religion are representing a different point of view of there religion, although most may view the meaning of there religion as one that calls for peace there are some who may have a different more violent idea of its meaning. This is similar to how there are many different interpretations of the bibles meaning which is why there are so many different "sub groups" such as Protestants, Catholics, Russian Orthodox, Mormons and so on. All of them interpret the meaning of the bible very differently.

-in some cases there are religions that endorse violence against certain groups in order to obtain peace. Making this statement untrue.

-yes this is true, all religions are imperfect because they all lead to people misinterpreting the meaning which results in violence. Also religions are often abused for political gain.

-political terrorism and religious terrorism are often intertwined, terrorist groups use religion as a way to motivate people behind what may be a more political cause. More commonly groups will simply do these terrorist actions out of purely religious reasons.

-I think what the author meant was that you cant generalize a religion because of the actions of a few people who may have interpreted the meaning differently.

to summarize my points
-a reason for violence is a persons religion in some cases, because the meaning of a religion can be interpreted differently
-Until proving otherwise it is reasonable to assume that a persons religion may have played a role in there actions.
-some religions do endorse violence the majority of religions do not
-a persons actions reflects there interpretation of there religion or in some cases may be a direct interpretation of there religion

I hope this has been a enjoyable debate, for voters I hope you read both are arguments and vote for who supported a better argument. Thank you for the opportunity to debate this topic.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Tiimow 2 years ago
The debate was so beneficial to me. I would like to thank my opponent for giving me the chance to discuss. Dialogue is a way of knowledge. Good luck.
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