The Instigator
gage555
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Wylted
Con (against)
Winning
10 Points

Atheist or Agnostic in American public office

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Wylted
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/10/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 801 times Debate No: 43722
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (9)
Votes (2)

 

gage555

Pro

Is there any reason that an Atheist or agnostic ( here forward Atheist) would not be an equal or better elected official in public office. In my opinion the answer is obvious, no. Religion is widely exclaimed by all Americans running for public office and it is easy to assume in today's culture an open Atheist would stand no chance in the election against a religious counterpart. In a government model based on separation of church and state there is no real reason for this. One might be quick to say that the reason for the thirst for a religious candidate is morals. Yet any rational minded person would concede that an atheist would have no worse, if not most likely better personal morals. Furthermore someone not hindered by a sect or faith may be better suited to look at issues more rationally thus coming to better solutions for today's issues and problems. This is not to say that our atheist candidate would pose restrictions on religion at all. Of course we have freedom of religion and a right to practice any faith we see fit, but that doesn't mean a particular set of peoples beliefs should dictate this country as a whole. Issues such as gay marriage which has no argument against it aside from religious ones, would be settled quite easily. I wont drag this on as I would like to see the responses and move from there, but in conclusion I assert that an atheist candidate in American politics would be as equally fit if not better qualified than a religious one.
Wylted

Con

I want to start off by thanking pro for hosting this debate.

Atheists aren't trustworthy according to the general public [1].

I want to point out the study cited by the article I linked to indicates atheists are about as trusted as rapists. With the general public ( atheists included ) this distrusting of atheists why would you want one in office? The public should be able to trust someone holding public office. To put someone in office that untrustworthy could bring about a lot of resentment for that office and maybe even some hostility. Any political candidate that increases hostility, resentment and distrust towards government would clearly be inferior to a political candidate who restores faith in the people holding public office.

Atheists are immoral.

Pro insinuates in his opening arguments that atheists are likely to be more moral. Most people would say morality means knowing between right and wrong, and acting altruistic. But studies show that atheists are more likely to believe in moral relatism. Atheists also on average donate less to charities then their religous counter parts [2]. So there you have it atheists have a looser definition of morality and are more selfish. Most people would agree a selfish person who has a more relaxed definition of morality would make a worse political candidate and public office holder.

Atheist's aren't neccesarily more rational.

Pro argues that atheists are more rational, yet he offers no sources. This is just a feeling he has. An atheist can come to his belief system in an irrational way and a religous person can come to his beliefs in a rational way. Belief or disbelief in a supreme deity is no indicator of how rational a person is.

Atheists are more likely to be genocidal maniacs.

Worst 5 genocides of all time[3]

1. Mao Zedong At least 34 million dead (atheist )

2. Joseph Stalin at least 23 million dead ( atheist)

3. Adolf Hitler at least 6 million dead ( atheist )

4. Hideki Tojo at least 5 million dead ( religion unclear probably Shinto and Buddhist which is closer to atheism then Christianity)

5. Pol Pot at least 2.5 million deaths ( atheist )

Sure the chances of electing a genocidal maniac are extremely slim. None the less, if you put an atheist in public office he is statistically more likely to push for genocide. Therefore making him a worse person for public office even if just marginally.

Atheists interested in politics are more likely to be statists [4].

Most people are looking for a higher power. A lot of people find that higher power in religion. Some people find it in Anthony Robbins. The most rational people look to there selves, but a majority of atheists look to the government to be that higher power. If you look back at the genocidal maniac list you can see a pattern with that as well. Any politician that favors group rights over individual rights is less worthy to be in office. Any politician that would take away freedom from the individual is a worse candidate for public office. Any political candidate that would take power away from people and give that power to the government is bad for public office. If your the type of person who cares about freedom then you should know your more likely to lose it with an atheist politician.

Psychology of the atheist

As I've already proven atheists are looser with their morals, but what does that mean? As an atheist myself I think I have a good understanding of the psychology of an atheist, so let me explain.

As an atheist, I know there is no God. If I rape and kill a woman, the only things I have to consider is will I get away with it and will this hurt me psychologically. If I were a sociopath then the only thing I would have to consider is, will I get away with it. The religous person, even if the religous person is a sociopath knows that god is watching and knows they will pay for their crime. They won't even consider if they can get away with it because in their mind, they can't.

Tell me which person can you trust with a female relative more? The person who knows they will be punished for raping that female relative or the one who knows that there is a tiny possibility they can get away with it? I don't know about anyone else but I want my sister to be around people who won't even consider raping her. A person who would consider rape has got to be a worse political candidate then the person who won't.

Summary

1.Atheists aren't trusted by the general public and would therefore create hostile feelings, resentment and distrust for their political office.

2. Atheists are looser with their morals and are selfish. Not good qualities for a public office holder.

3. Candidates are probably extremely unlikely to be genocidal maniacs, but atheists are slightly less unlikely then theists.

4. Atheists are more inclined to favor power to the government then power to the people.

5. atheists are more likely to consider raping my sister then theists. This is not a quality I look for in a political candidate.

Sources
[1] http://www.scientificamerican.com...
[2] http://www.psychologytoday.com...
[3] http://justontop.blogspot.com...
[4] http://www.atheismresource.com...
Debate Round No. 1
gage555

Pro

gage555 forfeited this round.
Wylted

Con

All arguments extended
Debate Round No. 2
gage555

Pro

gage555 forfeited this round.
Wylted

Con

Thanks forr the oppurtunity to debate you anyway, gage.
Debate Round No. 3
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by Wylted 3 years ago
Wylted
Good point about the genocide performed by god in the days of Noah. Hitler isn't Jewish and even if he was Jewish he wasn't a practicing or religous Jew.
Posted by Hidden_Moon 3 years ago
Hidden_Moon
Exception of the part where God killed the entire inhabitants of the planet which included all plant life all forms of biological life except for those he claimed worthy.

Also adolf hitler was jewish.
Posted by Wylted 3 years ago
Wylted
Either way the communist ( atheist ) regimes to take over Russia and china killed over 100 million people. The genocidal maniac part of the argument isn't the meat of my argument anyway it's just an interesting side note and icing on the cake.
Posted by Wylted 3 years ago
Wylted
Adolf Hitler was likely atheist. He was seemingly trying to phase out all traditional religion and replace it with what basically amounts to worship of ones own race. His goal in trying to phase out any atheistic display was because it was a show of loyalty to something other then his regime ( an atheistic regime ).
Posted by KaleBevilacqua 3 years ago
KaleBevilacqua
Um, no. Adolf Hitler was not an atheist, and in fact was strongly against atheistic displays/practices.
Posted by Wylted 3 years ago
Wylted
Why do you think gay marriage only has religious opposition? I'm one atheist who would not make any policy decisions supporting gay marriage if I held public office.
Posted by gage555 3 years ago
gage555
let me also be very clear as well I'm not trying to debate the truth or fallacy of religion. Nor am I trying to debate that a religious official is inherently a bad one. I only want to debate that an atheist official could not be equally qualified or more so assuming all other qualifications to his religious counterpart are the same, the only difference is religious belief.
Posted by gage555 3 years ago
gage555
Yet will a history of religious, or at least those professing religion, elected officials there has been countless examples of malfeasance in office. So it would seem having a higher power does not free you from the risk.
Posted by YYW 3 years ago
YYW
Any man who is not accountable to a higher power runs the risk of malfeasance on earth.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Jay-D 3 years ago
Jay-D
gage555WyltedTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct to Con since Pro forfeited multiple times. Pro also didn't contest much, and most of Con's statements went unrefuted. Con was also the only one with any sources. S&G is pretty much a tie.
Vote Placed by johnlubba 3 years ago
johnlubba
gage555WyltedTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Gage didn't engage much and forfeited a few rounds