The Instigator
Stupidape
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
RWZero
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Asssuming a religion's God doesn't exist we have a moral imperative to discontinue that religion.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/3/2016 Category: Religion
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 326 times Debate No: 94419
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (0)

 

Stupidape

Pro

I don't mind the religions who Gods do exist. These are religions who worship the sun and moon for example. [0] You can scientifically prove these Gods exist. The idea that science hasn't scientifically proven some Gods is bull manure.

Yet, the major religions claim that an immaterial God exists that grants miracles. To top it off there is religious doctrine. Considering all the immoral deeds committed in the name of these religions and assuming that none of these religion's Gods exist, I think we have the moral imperative to discontinue these religions. [1]

Thanks in advance for reading and accepting the debate.

0. http://www.dictionary.com...
1. http://www.thetoptens.com...
RWZero

Con

Your title doesn't match the body of your text. The title says, "Assuming a religion's God doesn't exist, we [should discontinue it]," which means that we should discontinue any religion if it turns out that its god doesn't exist--for the very reason that its god doesn't exist. The body says that we should discontinue the particular major religions in the link, for the reason that they are inimical to human happiness, assuming for the mere sake of the argument that their gods don't exist. Which is it?

Assuming that your argument is about discontinuing religion in general, on the basis that all religion causes harm, my initial response would be: the value of the link you provided is tenuous. No meaningful connection can be drawn between Christianity and the Holocaust, or the KKK and Christianity--in the sense that these things would not have happened in the absence of religion. Furthermore, how do the atrocities you've listed compare to those committed by nation states for non-religious reasons? If you count the dead and the wounded, for example, you'll find that (excluding the Holocaust) most of these just aren't that significant.

Discounted here is the great psychological benefit that millions of people derive from religion, as well as the extensive philanthropic work that is done by religions, especially Christianity (which I have good personal knowledge of). In order to demonstrate that we should discontinue all major religions on a "harm" basis, you would have to weigh the benefits against the harm, and for the harm, you have to argue that it would not have happened without religion. That's not an easy argument to make, considering what we've seen throughout history. The Crusades were territorial conflicts, and in the absence of religion these would just have been nameless wars, similar to many others waged in Europe throughout those times.

Granted, I would prefer to discontinue some religions before others (I'll not name them), but strictly interpreted, I don't see a lot of support for the main premise.
Debate Round No. 1
Stupidape

Pro

"Your title doesn't match the body of your text. The title says, "Assuming a religion's God doesn't exist, we [should discontinue it]," which means that we should discontinue any religion if it turns out that its god doesn't exist--for the very reason that its god doesn't exist. The body says that we should discontinue the particular major religions in the link, for the reason that they are inimical to human happiness, assuming for the mere sake of the argument that their gods don't exist. Which is it?" RWZero


The title, the body was just reinforcement for why we should discontinue religion if that religion's God doesn't exist.


"Assuming that your argument is about discontinuing religion in general, on the basis that all religion causes harm, my initial response would be: the value of the link you provided is tenuous. No meaningful connection can be drawn between Christianity and the Holocaust, or the KKK and Christianity--in the sense that these things would not have happened in the absence of religion. Furthermore, how do the atrocities you've listed compare to those committed by nation states for non-religious reasons? If you count the dead and the wounded, for example, you'll find that (excluding the Holocaust) most of these just aren't that significant." RWZero


The evidence might not be crystal clear, but I think enough evidence is there that religion played a part in these events. Yes, there is plenty of harm done for non-religious reasons. Just as in a theoretical example there is more violence in country A then B. Yet, we still try to minimize the violence in both countries.

Let's put this another way. Let's say there is a criminal on the loose that committed grand theft auto. Another criminal is speeding. We shouldn't ignore the speeding criminal just because we failed to catch the first criminal. People use this argument with the environment a lot too, I say we need to be vegan, and they say overpopulation is more important. So what? This is a long winded way of stating that my opponent brining up secular crimes is a red herring and should have no impact upon the resolution.


"Discounted here is the great psychological benefit that millions of people derive from religion, as well as the extensive philanthropic work that is done by religions, especially Christianity (which I have good personal knowledge of). In order to demonstrate that we should discontinue all major religions on a "harm" basis, you would have to weigh the benefits against the harm, and for the harm, you have to argue that it would not have happened without religion. That's not an easy argument to make, considering what we've seen throughout history. The Crusades were territorial conflicts, and in the absence of religion these would just have been nameless wars, similar to many others waged in Europe throughout those times." RWZero

Yes, this is essential what I am stating. Another way of phrasing the resolution would be as follows. "Let's assume God doesn't exist for a second, and ask the question does religion do more harm than good?" If a religion does more harm than good we should discontinue the religion and if religion does more good than harm we should continue the religion. With me arguing the former and my opponent the latter.

I probably could have phrased this better, but I couldn't think of a better way. The problem with just the much simpler question does religion do more harm than good? Is that if God exists, even if we find religion does way more harm than good, well in the end we are in big trouble if we discontinue that religion. That's why God's existence is key.

For example, lets say that we decide that the Norse religion does more harm than good. We discontinue the religion, and then at judgement day we figure out the Norse Gods were the true Gods and every other God was a false idol. I think we would be in deep manure.

I will make the argument that all religions do more harm than good. If my opponent can prove one religion does more good than harm my opponent wins. If I can prove all religions do more harm than good I win. Excluding religions where we have already proven the God(s) exists. I'm not going to battle hamster worshipers. Hamster do exist, in that sense you can prove the hamster worshipers' God exist.

All religions teach irrational thinking, tribalism, piety, and blind faith. There is no productive arguing with each other because each one is irrationally holding onto blind faith. Same dialogue "I believe my religion is best because my grand parents told me so!" Believer A

Oh yeah, well I believe my religion is best because my God is more merciful because this ancient book that has been translated several times says so! Believer B

It becomes a contest of will and often brute force as opposed to logic and argument construction. Either one side gives up and becomes submissive because they have better things to do than argue all day, or they engage in physical blows. Claiming that whoever is victorious God is on their side. David vs Goliath is a classic example.

Then, there is piety. People use time and energy praying. If there is no God, what is the purpose of this activity? Why not just simply mediate instead?

Blind faith is easily the most dangerous. Since we are assuming God doesn't exist, the person is obviously following blindly. Obeying religious leaders without question. Assuming those leaders would be revealed by God if they were committing any treachery. This is like the fox in the chicken house for a malicious religious leader. Everyone assumes God will keep him/her in check and that person gets free reign to perform malevolent deeds.

Religious tribalism takes away from the we are all human philsophy. Instead, we see each other as heathens, heretics, infidels, non-believers, and so forth. Dehumanizing each other. Dehumanizing is really bad if you want people to treat each other well.

I'm done my argument for round two. I await my opponent's argument. My opponent only has to prove that one religion would do more good than harm even if God doesn't exist. Thanks in advance.
RWZero

Con

To be honest, I accepted on the premise that I'd be arguing against the proposition: "We should discontinue any religion whose God does not exist," assuming that the lack of that god's existence gave the reason for the discontinuation. I didn't think it was about the idea that religion does more harm than good.

So maybe I should just forfeit this one. I'm not that interested in defending religion as a "force for good."

I will say that my experience with Christians (I was one for a long time; I am now non-religious) suggests that almost all their lives are much improved by it, and the only negative effects I ever witnessed personally were... well, I suppose believing some incorrect facts, and trying to promote some traditional views of marriage. And making each other feel guilty for swearing or looking at nudity. But overall I witnessed about ten times more positive results in those people's lives than I ever saw harm, and I got a pretty large sample size over several decades.

Sorry to disappoint.
Debate Round No. 2
Stupidape

Pro

"I will say that my experience with Christians (I was one for a long time; I am now non-religious) suggests that almost all their lives are much improved by it, and the only negative effects I ever witnessed personally were... well, I suppose believing some incorrect facts, and trying to promote some traditional views of marriage. And making each other feel guilty for swearing or looking at nudity. But overall I witnessed about ten times more positive results in those people's lives than I ever saw harm, and I got a pretty large sample size over several decades.
" RWzero


The problem is this might just be correlation and not causation. Reverse causality comes to mind. Religion people acting better might mean religion promotes goodness, but the opposite might be true, naturally good people are attracted to religion. I will argue the latter. That naturally good people are attracted to religion. That they desire to do good, and therefore look to religion for guidance in how to perform moral deeds.

RWZero

Con

Myself and many others I knew were born into Christianity, so in a large part of my experience, that isn't the case. Though undoubtedly a lot of people looking for "redemption" were attracted to it. I also saw a lot of people who were changed by it who were not attracted to it, but were convinced to go along by some friend or family member or love interest. Overall, the religion consisted of passing down these "good" (or, one might more accurately call them docile / harmless) beliefs and behaviours.

Besides, if I observe good people in Christianity because it attracts and retains good people, then where's the part where it makes them worse?

When people rag on Christianity, they usually cite quasi-political events from hundreds of years ago, plus that old bastard Phelps' litter of hate preachers. Obviously modern Christianity does some harm--for example, I believed gay people were wrong to follow through on their gay desires, and I said hurtful things about gayness because of this, which probably made some gay people feel bad. But this is minor in the grand scheme of things. In meeting thousands of people in churches, I encountered a lot of boring and slightly annoying people--maybe a few self-righteous people--but among dedicated Christians I encountered a very low number of vulgar, violent, miserable, angry, dishonest, cheating, lying, hateful or malicious people. In contrast, I encounter this kind of thing among random people quite a bit more often.

Anyway. Not really a real debate, but I encourage readers to base opinions on a large sample of interactions with actual dedicated religious people and not on news reports about them, which pretty much only report on Christians when they try to ban gay marriage.

Assuming there is no god, we don't have a moral imperative to do anything anyway. Zing.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Stupidape 1 year ago
Stupidape
Another problem with trying to figure out if religion does more harm than good if God exists is that many religions claim God has power over time. So, if we figure out that a religion does more harm than good today, then we get into all sorts of weird arguments over tomorrow is today and today is tomorrow. We would then have to argue about future events that will happen, and if they already happened and the harm they will do/have already done.

Time travel really makes debates more complicated. For example in Christianity, would we take in the final battle between God and Satan or or not? Since, in some sense that battle has already happened. Furthermore, a person could argue that a person who died in history didn't really die because God will reverse time and prevent that person from dying. Yeah, adding God to the debate makes for such a level of complexity I cannot handle.
Posted by Stupidape 1 year ago
Stupidape
Debate me then. Those atrocities I linked to were done in the name of religion. Without religion those atrocities would have never happened.
Posted by dsjpk5 1 year ago
dsjpk5
If someone commits an atrocity when they violate the doctrines of religion, then it makes no sense to ban the religion. In fact, that's a reason to SUPPORT the religion in question.
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