The Instigator
cbcullen84
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
QandA
Pro (for)
Winning
4 Points

Atheism in the United States

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
QandA
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/29/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 659 times Debate No: 41401
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (2)

 

cbcullen84

Con

Strictly applicable to the United States

The Declaration of Independence: When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

In the assertation and general philosophy of the Declaration of Independence God is referenced twice, once as an enabler of the people to assume the powers of the Earth and again as the sole authority concerning the human rights that define our Nation as the land of the free. It stands to reason that the Declaration of Independence acknowledged and accredited God on multiple accounts as being the basis for our current beliefs in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, the cornerstones of our society.

Pledge: A Solemn promise. Allegiance: loyalty or commitment of a subordinate to a superior or of an individual to a group or cause.

Allegiance is to be expected of anyone who enjoys the freedoms that the United States offers, it's a small price to pay for living in such a Country as ours. However, in order to pledge your allegiance you must understand what you are promising your loyalty and commitment to. We pledge our allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, "and" to the republic for which is stands, one Nation, under God" let's hold it there. According to this pledge, by reciting it you would be solemnly promising your loyalty and commitment to the flag AND the nation under God. Wait...our Nation is under God? It sure is my friend. So that would mean citizens of the United States are living in a Nation under God's rule.

Lastly, what do you call someone who has no loyalty or commitment to his country? What would you call someone who is unwilling to pledge his/her allegiance to your country but wanted to reap the benefits of living in it? What would you call someone who pledged his/her allegiance and then breaks their allegiance because they disagreed with it?

I cannot see logic in Atheism in the United States.

How about Syllogism: There is only one Pledge of Allegiance.
The Pledge of Allegiance is a pledge to a Flag and a Nation under
God.

If you pledge your allegiance to this nation then you are
acknowledging God, if you don't then you have no established
loyalty to the United States.
QandA

Pro

Thank you for the debate.

The Declaration of Independence is very old and becoming very outdated. For example studies show that Atheism is consistently on the rise in America. (http://en.wikipedia.org...).

With this in mind, people have a completely different mindset now than in the days of the Declaration of Independence where we can estimate that 99% of Americans were believers. Therefore I do not feel it rational to be against atheism in America because of a very outdated Declaration where the world, beliefs and ideas were completely different. There is little comparison.

Again on the notion of "outdated", it can not be proven that every man is "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights". In 1776 however there was little arguing against this but now the times have changed. The Declaration was written by people who know much less about the world than we do know so just because it claims that God is the basis for everything then that does not mean it to be true. Taking this into account, there is no valid basis to discriminate against atheism as believers could easily be wrong.

In today's world it is not fair to discriminate against people who have a different set of beliefs than the majority. Again "one nation under God" is becoming outdated now. The sheer increase in Atheism proves this. There is no way to prove that America or anywhere else is under "God's" rule because there is no way to prove the existence of God. If as expected, Atheism continues to increase then many years down the line, "One nation under God" will have to be changed one way or another. In let's say 200-300 years time the majority of America could very well be Atheists as there is a consistent increase taking place. If you saw that would you then discount the majority of American citizens?

What would you call someone who forces an outdated allegiance on citizens? It simply works as a majority rules type of thing. Atheism is shunned because it is still a minority but it is only a matter of the time before the Declaration becomes less and less prominent if Atheism increases. The world is becoming more and more realistic and I feel that just has to be accepted.
Debate Round No. 1
cbcullen84

Con

cbcullen84 forfeited this round.
QandA

Pro

Opponent failed to post an argument for this round. Arguments extended.
Debate Round No. 2
cbcullen84

Con

Thank you for the rebuttal.

I agree in that the Declaration of independence is very old and is in fact outdated. I agree that Atheism is constantly on the rise in America. I also agree that there is a different mindset of American leaders and citizens today than there was when the Declaration was written. These are strong points but I don't agree that they effectively argue the point. Simply put, if you argue that the age of the Declaration of Independence in any way invalidates the document, then on the same hand you would open every aspect of the Declaration to invalidation upon the very same argument. This is reason enough to invalidate arguing that the age of the document somehow implies that its principles are no longer justified.

Additionally, the number of Atheists in the U.S. and the rising trend of Atheism itself also falls short of an effective argument against the Declaration. By this logic, if any "Belief" were on a constant rise in followers and showed a consistent trend of popularity, then that belief would stand as reason to discredit the Declaration of Independence if that belief contradicted the principles of the document. This logic would include all beliefs including extremist beliefs such as pedophilia, Nazism, Satanism, and extremist Islam because there is no statute of limitation according to the argument, the criteria is only that the rising trend somehow invalidates the document.

I agree that there is no proof that every Man is "Endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights", however my point was never about proving the Declaration of Independence to be irrefutable truth, my point is "Based" entirely on the fact that the Declaration is the standing document that serves as the grounds for invalidating Atheism in the United States. While I agree that the law doesn't make things true, I don't argue that it's always right, only that it still stands as the law of this land.

Finally to address the discrimination, the 1st Amendment states clearly "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." The argument I address in this instance is that it's not fair to discriminate against people who have a different set of beliefs than the majority. This is similar to above but deserves a different approach. An example of this logic would be that if Extremist Muslims believed that they needed to kill or forcibly convert those who didn't believe in Islam, then their beliefs would contradict our nations laws and the principles of our Country of Democracy. On the same hand, if Atheists don't believe in God and refuse to acknowledge him, then their lack of belief contradicts the principles of our Country. The freedom of religion posted above from the 1st Amendment does not account for a lack of religion...Atheism by definition is not a Religion because it is not a belief, it is instead a lack of belief by definition. The Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights and Constitution supports anyone's belief in a religion:

re"li"gion
noun \ri-G2;li-jən: the belief in a god or in a group of gods
: an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or a group of gods
http://www.merriam-webster.com...

By definition, "Atheism" is not a religion, it is a lack of religion if anything. Whether or not "Feelings" contradict the logic, the fact remains that there is no constitutional account for the lack of a religion in the United States and the idea isn't compatible with our "Still current" set of principles.

Our country is "One Nation, under God". God is in fact a principle of our Nation, he is stated to be so in the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, our laws, we pledge our allegiance to a Flag that represents a Country, Nation and Republic that is UNDER God, there is no basis to argue that our Country is not under God but the grounds to argue in support of the idea are strewn throughout the history of our Nation and still existent in our laws.

I feel, you feel, we feel...is all irrelevant. Demographics, trends, and statistics have no bearing on the Declaration of Independence, Constitution or Bill of Rights until they have changed or amended them. We as citizens in the United states are tolerant of many things that aren't supported by the laws of our Country but again we aren't debating what we tolerate.

Lastly, anyone who "Forced" an outdated allegiance on citizens would be a tyrant by definition, which is why no one in our Country is forced to do anything, everyone is free to leave if they so choose to do so...if they "Choose" to stay and live in this Country then logically one would be expected to conform to the principles and laws of that Country. And unfortunately, "Majority rules" doesn't apply to the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, the U.S. Constitution, or Federal, State and Local laws. There are no grounds to argue that our legal system is subject to something as flimsy as majority opinion unless it follows the voting system.

Atheism is shunned solely due to its numbers? I disagree entirely, the belief system is again incompatible with our Nation's principles, not because there aren't many of them. There's no sound reasoning behind that idea.

While I can't argue that the prominence of the Declaration is in jeopardy, I can say that I doubt very seriously that it has anything to do with Atheism.
QandA

Pro

I am not one to get hung up on things like this but I would have appreciated it if my opponent apologized for his previous forfeit. Nevertheless, the show must go on.

Yes my point exactly is that the Declaration of Independence is outdated. You actually agree with this, as stated. I argue that to be against Atheism because of the Declaration is an invalid and substandard argument because it is outdated. I have discussed all this in the previous round.

My opponent tries to make a case that if an argument is to be made against the declaration from the increase in Atheism then groups such as Nazism and Satanism would follow the same logic. I don't get the logic behind this argument. As the debate is dealing with Atheism in the US then in this instance it is only valid for us to make arguments on Atheism vs. The Declaration (the example you gave). However my point was that I do not feel it rational to be against atheism in America because of a very outdated Declaration where the world, beliefs and ideas were completely different. No point bringing up other groups or denominations as we are just talking about Atheism.

You try to make a case that "the Declaration is the standing document that serves as the grounds for invalidating Atheism in the United States" however you yourself said that the Declaration is outdated:

"I agree in that the Declaration of independence is very old and is in fact outdated"

This is a contradiction of points. However you are essentially saying that you are against Atheism because of what the Declaration of Independence says. Pardon me but I feel that this reasoning is a little unfair. How can you agree that it is old and outdated but that what it says still must be valid? You are arguing that you are against Atheism in the US because of the law of the land. Again I feel that this is unfair reasoning. Does this mean that no matter what the law, you will be for it just because it is the law? If a law was passed that allowed pedophilia to take place and a person said that they were for it because it was the law and the law must be correct then people would see that as a very weak justification. It is the same principle here. Also using this logic would this mean that if Atheism was fully condoned in the US then you would condone it too? There is a big difference between making an argument based on personal views and making an argument based on "following the crowd", if you will.

Again you contradict your arguments when you say that "The argument I address in this instance is that it's not fair to discriminate against people who have a different set of beliefs than the majority". The simple fact that you created this debate and that you are against Atheism in the US is discriminating against people who have a different set of beliefs than the majority i.e Atheists. Whether the Declaration, Bill of rights or the Constitution supports anyone's belief in a religion or not this is still discriminating against Atheists (people who have a different set of beliefs than the majority).

Definition of Discrimination: the practice of unfairly treating a person or group of people differently from other people or groups of people
Source: (http://www.merriam-webster.com...)

We would all like to think that we are against discrimination however that is not how your argument is presented.

Again there is know way of knowing if the US is "under God" or not. It is only under God on paper and like I said, such "paper" is becoming more and more outdated, especially as Atheism is increasing. Eventually the US will have to change it's basis if we are to see a consistent increase in Atheism over the many years to follow.

Again the Declaration of Independence etc. was written in a time where Atheism was unheard of but now the times have changed. Thankfully Atheism is legal in the US but the president can pass certain laws or not so it is not as if Atheism must be shunned for eternity in the US. And of course in the future, this will most likely not be the case at all.

Again the idea that Atheism is shunned is based on the majority. The nation's principles were written based on the majority e.g religion, in a time where Atheism was unheard of. Now we live in a modern society where different beliefs surround us everyday. We cannot keep living in the past and based all our opinions on outdated scripture rather than personal beliefs.

I am not Pro Atheism in the US because of the fact that I happen to be Atheist myself. I am Pro Atheist because I am pro individually. Everyone should have a right to express and believe in what they want to and have a right not to be discriminated against. I am also Pro Religion because I am pro Freedom of expression and Human Rights.

The Universal Declaration of Rights:
Article 19: Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
Source: (http://www.un.org...)

I will end my argument here as I feel I have sufficiently given my arguments. It was a pleasure debating you and I wish you the best of luck.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by cbcullen84 3 years ago
cbcullen84
I'd like to iterate again that it's not my "Opinion" that the Declaration stands for or represents anything. The debate was whether or not Atheism IS or IS NOT illogical under the basis that it is incompatible with the Declaration of Independence. I never said that "I Think" it is. My opinion was clearly limited to the statement concerning my agreement with the outdated status of the Document. Opinions weren't in question here but seem to have been the basis for argument. I'll specify logic as grounds for debate next time. Good show on the Pro side, I apologize for the forfeit earlier, I have irregular hours that require me to be in remote locations for days at a time.
Posted by TheGhostOfFreedom 3 years ago
TheGhostOfFreedom
In god we trust.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org...

The pledge.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org...

Now rest well knowing that our founding fathers did not wish to that you pledge allegiance to God or trust in God. They made this country for people like you. For people like ANYONE.

Too bad that religious brats ruined it much later on.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by MrVan 3 years ago
MrVan
cbcullen84QandATied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con loses conduct because of his forfeit in round two, and conceded to points which validated Pro's arguments.
Vote Placed by TheGhostOfFreedom 3 years ago
TheGhostOfFreedom
cbcullen84QandATied
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Reasons for voting decision: Both Pro and Con did an excellent job in this debate. I vote for a perfect tie. However I was troubled by the fact that both parties made reference to the "under god" pledge evidencing that our Democratic foundation is "outdated" http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pledge_of_Allegiance Under God was added to the pledge much later in our history, a decision that I feel reflect populism at the time 1954, and not the spirit of freedom that forged our country. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_God_we_trust In god we trust was added to our money 2 years later. I think that our founding fathers did it right, and selfish lobby groups ruined it for us later. As they still do to this day. Well done lads.