Anti-Theism is flawed.
Debate Rounds (5)
My opponent shall make a case defending Anti-Theism.
Anti-Theism is the belief that Atheism is superior to other religions, or other religions are detrimental to mankind.
Atheist are people who don't believe in god.
Religions are the belief systems that people follow. (I'm counting Atheism and Agnosticism as religions.)
Round 1 is for accepting the challenge.
Round 2 is where the debating begins.
I accept the challenge.
Thanks for accepting, this should be an interesting argument with a atheist arguing for the
value of religion, and a theist arguing for anti-theism.
Benefits of Religion:
1) Religion helps people get through day to day life. (Faith gives people hope.)
2) Religion can encourage people to do good. (A sense of morality.)
3) Religion can bring people together. (Religion and social behavior.)
Faith gives people hope: Whenever people have religion, they usually find some joy in it. This makes people happier, and less afraid of the world around them. (The afterlife is a general aspect of religion and it makes dying seem more acceptable.) People with this faith are also happier in day to day life. Faith brings them peace as they assume their god is watching out for them.
A sense of morality: With religion, people do better things. Many religions have a variant of the golden rule that promotes empathy and kindness towards your fellow man. This encourages people to do good. Religion also keeps people from doing wrong.
Some people believe in the Divine command theory.  That states that good and evil is determined by a god. If you've seen the movie 'Gods Not Dead,' the protagonist quotes Dostoevsky by saying "Without God everything is permissible." This is obviously untrue for many reasons (Euthyphro dilemma comes to mind ) but the fact that some people believe it is true, proves that Religion has an effect on people's behavior. Without God, these people wouldn't see a reason to act morally. If these people believed there was no God, they would act immorally. (Morals being their beliefs of right and wrong.)
Religion and social behavior: Churches, mosque and synagogues are all places people meet to discuss religion. This social behavior improves their happiness and creates bonds between people. This will make the people happier  and some churches or religious organizations try to help the community or the world. 
Flaws in Anti-Theism
1) They mistake the errors of mankind as that of religion.
2) They misinterpret the correlation of science and atheism.
3) Assumption of superiority.
The Errors of Man: Many Anti-Theist will bring up the Crusades or Salem Witch Trials as proof of the flaws of religion. Cultures dislike other cultures, and the Crusades were fighting to reclaim Jerusalem. Yes, religion was their excuse, but chances are the major reason was the fact they disliked another culture and felt they had claim to that land. The Salem Witch Trials were created by superstition and fear. Yes, religion was a major point at this point , but they seen their children as possessed and wanted to look for someone to blame. Greed, fear and blame are major parts of human nature as a general rule, major factors in most of the 'atrocities' committed by religion are not caused by religion, but more likely to claim religion as a reason to make their causes seem righteous.
Faith is not Stupidity: Another fun topic some Anti-Theist enjoy bringing up is that faith is just superstition that is created by early man. They believe they are atheist because they see past their ancestor's flaws, rather than sticking to what most believed as a child. This is not the case. How Richard Feynman describes it,  many scientist are atheist not because their overwhelming intelligence, but that doubt is a key component in their career. To doubt what you believe is a major virtue in this field, and most scientist share it (Even those who are theist) and they eventually begin to question their religion. This period of questioning can create a disbelief in a god, and many decide to get out of their religion because of this. (Quite a few decide that religion is worth it.) The ideas of science and religion are not opposing, but their major virtues do oppose each other (Doubt and Faith) making it difficult (Not impossible) to have religion with doubt, or follow science while maintaining faith.
Assumption of Superiority: The possible greatest flaw of Anti-Theism is they assume their religion (Atheism) is greater than any other. Each religion has it radicals (Christian 'Bible-Thumpers', Muslim 'Terrorist' and most importantly, Atheism's Anti-Theist) and each prefer look to other radicals to support that their religion is better than the other's. In fact, of each religion a great many are willing to accept people of other religions into their lives. (I can speak from personal experience as an atheist with Christian friends, but I know that won't suffice as evidence.)
Many countries have religious diversity  and in these countries, there are constant debates (such as this one) that argue about religions, but in the end it encourages diversity and for many it encourages the acceptance of other cultures and their beliefs.(The share of knowledge and literature that could prove beneficial for all people, and with exposure to different ideas it encourages tolerance of different ideas, if an atheist reads the bible and gains knowledge about a Christian's beliefs, he will most likely feel more understanding with them.)
Also, I will define radicals as those who believe their religion is superior and that other religions are wrong and should be disbanded.
An excellent collection of points you've made there. Jesus, I may end up regretting some of the things I'm going to say here, but the lord's always gracious to those of us who do good deeds, no?
But I'm sure you must be anxious for my arguments. So, I'll present my arguments without further ado.
Sure, then I'll get right on to your arguments, fine as they are, they need a little refurbishing.
#1. Isn't fully compatible with scientific research.
I disbelieve those who say religion and science are two edges of a double ended sword, because that's not really the case. If religion and science were in fact completely incompatible, it would be logically impossible for science to make even a modicum of progress under the existence of religion which is not really the case.  Arguably, science and religion are different ways of understanding and knowing. 
I agree atheists highly embellish this point but what's really true, is the fact that science and religion aren't the best of mates. How? Well, for the very fact that science and religion have different ways of understanding, knowing and teaching principles of life. For the obvious example, the religious theory of creationism doesn't cooincide with the scientific theory of evolution. 
#2. Discourages rational thought.
Breaking news. Religion supresses rational thinking. But how? Well, studies show that religious belief decreases with analytical thinking.  Oh, not so much breaking. Or news even, is it? The very fact that I have to produce some sort of evidence or source my assertions isn't the way religions works since religions are "systems of faith and worship". And faith is defined as "belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence" or in a more religious tone, "strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof."
#3. History of religion
I am not going to overstate or emphasize this point, since history is history, but just to shed some light on what the glorious religions have been doing when we weren't looking. (oh, they've been naughty! Evidence later. Don't reckon you need it either way.) You make a fair point in stating that errors of man are often mistaken for the doing of religion. But then, religion offers plenty of reasons why innocent people may be slaughtered (slaughtered maybe on the grounds of witchcraft, homosexuality, or suspicion).  These, then aren't the doings of religion, but doings promoted by religions. Allow me to explain this with the help of an analogy. If your government passes a law tomorrow to legalise the murder of innocent people (maybe on grounds of suspicion) would you not hold the government at least partly accountable for the inevitable rise in the number of murders that follow? Now, religions weren't exactly governments back then, but they had massive sway in the political matters of many a countries - for example, the authority of the churches (which you were arguing about). 
It is important to note that not all of what I've said apply to all the religions in existence. (some simple or unpopular religions like buddhism or paganism can't ever hope to commit as much atrocity as mainstream religions such as Christianity or Islam and truly are peaceful to a sizeable degree.)
Now, time for my arguments against your eloquently-worded sweet contentions:
#1. Religion gives hope.
This statement requires more evidence than what you've provided. To actually prove this, you'll have to prove that without religion, people wouldn't be as hopeful, under all circumstances remaining virtually identical. For instance, you may not argue any statistical observation which favours the Christians being happier in a country where atheists are a minority and a significant part of the majority disfavours this particular minority. Only then, do you logically prove that religion imbides hope in people.
#2. A sense of morality and social behaviour.
While it may follow logic that since religion promotes morals, religious people should be more moral, but that isn't statistically true. In fact, since many a religion promote negative sentiments against homosexuals and members of various races, religious people tend to have a discriminatory attitude against the said victims and many an atheist actually do many a good deeds. 
The religious influence on social behaviour isn't exactly all that dandy either. To demonstrate this, those who were affiliated with religion had massively higher crime rates than those who didn't.  It should be noted that some of those who proclaimed an affiliation with religion may not actually be religious. However, even if we were to consider half of the religious prison population as belonging to this category, it would still surpass the non-religious population with relative ease in some of the cited studies.
I notice that I've yet to produce counter-arguments against the remaining two of your contentions, but due to spacial and time constraints I'll do so in the next round.
Wish you all the luck, my fierce adversary! Hope you replicate some of the fine work you did there.
 Instigator argument round 2: Flaws of anti-theism.
didymus forfeited this round.
That's the spirit.
didymus forfeited this round.
There we go.
Let me hear you sing Con, people!
didymus forfeited this round.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct for the forfeits. Along those lines, the forfeits also resulted in Pro failing to address Con's points--which means that they stand. Pro had presumptive BoP, and with Con's points standing, arguments to Con. As always, happy to clarify this RFD.
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