The Instigator
64bithuman
Con (against)
Winning
9 Points
The Contender
darthebearnc
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

Can Religion be held accountable for the worlds problems?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
64bithuman
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/25/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 990 times Debate No: 67533
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (3)

 

64bithuman

Con

1st round acceptance

As in: "Oh, religion - the cause of all the worlds problems!"

I'll be arguing that religion isn't the TRUE root of all the worlds problems.

Pro will be arguing that one can trace the worlds problems (or at least some of the major ones) as the cause.

It's more philosophy than history.
darthebearnc

Pro

I accept your challenge, assuming that you define religion as 'an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to an order of existence' or something of the like (from Wikipedia). I will be arguing that some of (not all of) the problem's in today's world are due to religious beliefs, customs, and practices. Good luck, and thanks! :D
Debate Round No. 1
64bithuman

Con

Alright then I"ll begin by thanking pro for joining the debate.

Religion is not the true cause for "all the world"s problems" because I claim it is simply a belief system that can be twisted like all belief systems. In the same way that a President could claim that invading a country (like Iraq perhaps) is "good for the country" and will "protect the lives of Americans" (even when it may not actually be for the true, honest, patriotism and good of a country) religious ideology can be used.

Religion is simply an ideological system that might claim one thing but be twisted to suit the purposes of another. For example, many like to blame the crusades on Christianity. Jesus is, of course, was a kind of banner for peace and love and understanding. He may have an odd few words on different subjects, but Jesus certainly would not have supported the crusades. The Jesus who destroyed a temple for being greedy, and after all, what would be the crusades without copious amounts of loot? Aside from historical proofs, a sociological case can quite easily be made.

Marx of course thought that religion was linked with social alienation, like everything else, I suppose, and that religion filled that sense of being a special snowflake for the average worker. It is ideology. I claim that the same ideological motivations, even when they are not consistent with the main message of the ideology, can be used to fool human beings into terrible situations. Therefore how can we blame religion, especially when a religion calls for peace and understanding above all else?

I"ll make it clear: the two bloodiest wars the world has seen were fought on political and imperial and patriotic ideology " WW1 and WW2. If you study a religious war, I can almost assure you that there is an underlying cause that the religious text is being twisted to suit.

Therefore the true cause of conflict must be human beings and not religion.
darthebearnc

Pro

First of all, I would like to thank my opponent for creating this challenge, and wish him the best of luck in this debate. Once more, I will be arguing that some, not all, of the world's major problems are due to religious beliefs, customs, and practices. With that, I thank my opponent once more, and wish for an interesting and educational debate. Good luck! :D

For my first argument, I will present two major problems in today's society that are due to religion, and a rebut my opponent's previous argument in the process (I would give more examples but I can't due to the character limit).

1. Terrorism - As most likely expected by my opponent and the viewing audience, the first major world problem that I will be attributing to religion is terrorism. Defined broadly as the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce [1], the specific case of terrorism that I will be discussing in this argument is modern Islamic extremism. As shown in recent years, months, and even weeks, terrorism is a major world issue in today's society, with over 17,800 deaths and 32,500 injuries having been reported due to terrorism in 2013 alone [2]. A large percentage of terrorist attacks in current times are due to Islamic extremism, with groups including the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), al-Qa'ida, and Boko Haram each being responsible for thousands and thousands of deaths last year alone [3]. Obviously, Islamic extremism is a huge problem in today's society - a problem that has claimed the lives of so many every year that it's unknown whether the killings will stop any time in the foreseeable future. However, I understand that, per the requirements of the debate, I must show how these cases of terrorism in the Middle East are due to the religion of Islam. My opponent states that religion is "simply a belief system that can be twisted like all belief systems" and that all problems attributed to religion are actually just individuals twisting religion themselves in order to fit their personal wants and desires. However, this is far from true. In order to see whether Islam is the true cause of terrorism in the Middle East, we must look at a core tenant of Islam - the Qu'ran, or Muslim holy book. This book contains the following passages [4]:
-"We shall cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve." (3:151)
-"Those who believe do battle for the cause of Allah; and those who disbelieve do battle for the cause of idols. So fight the minions of the devil." (4:76)
-"Take them and kill them wherever ye find them. Against such We have given you clear warrant." (4:91)
-"I will throw fear into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Then smite the necks and smite of them each finger." (8:12)
- "Behold them, staring wide (in terror), the eyes of those who disbelieve!" (21:97)
-"If thou comest on them in the war, deal with them so as to strike fear in those who are behind them, that haply they may remember." (8:57)
If those quotes - straight from the holy book of Islam - can't convince you that a large percentage of modern terrorism is due to the Islamic faith, I don't know what can. I would quote more messages from the Qu'ran, though I can't due to the character limit (go to [5] for more information on what the Qu'ran actually says). Obviously, one of the main parts of the Islamic faith is accepting and listening to the words of the Qu'ran, and so the more violent messages of the Qu'ran can be seen as valid and truthful in the eyes of those committing acts of terrorism. There is no need for Islamic extremists to "twist" their religion in order to have a religious excuse for causing terror - they simply must open their holy book and use its message of violence to their hearts' desire. While my opponent may argue that Islam and the Qu'ran have many messages of peace and love (this is true), he cannot ignore the fact that the Qu'ran is also full of violent passages that explicitly condone terror and killing in the name of the Islamic religion (see above).

2. LGBT Suicide - Another major problem in today's society is the almost commonplace suicide among those in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities. According to recent statistics, suicide rates among LGBT youth are disproportionately high, with LGBT youth being two to six times as likely to commit suicide than other youth of the same age [6]. It has also been estimated that more than 1,500 LGBT youth commit suicide every year, a shocking and disproportionate figure that should be severely disturbing to all who know of it [6]. Furthermore, almost half of polled youth in the LGBT say that they have attempted suicide multiple times, with suicide being the number one cause of death among youth in the LGBT community [6]. Obviously, these figures are very disturbing, and there must be a reason that so many more LGBT youth are committing suicide every year than their heterosexual counterparts. many of those who research and study suicides among LGBT youth attribute the shockingly high suicide rates to bullying. Why, we must ask, are these youth bullied so much more than there heterosexual acquaintances? While my opponent may argue that the bullying is due to heterosexuals seeing LGBT youth as 'different' or 'strange', the obvious source of the disproportionate amount of bullying inflicted upon LGBT youth can be found in one of the world's most trusted documents - the Bible. This book, regarded as God-given and sacred by those of the Jewish and Christian faiths, contains a variety of passages in explicit opposition to homosexuality and homosexual acts [7]:
-"You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination." (Leviticus 18:22)
-"If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them." (Leviticus 20:13)
-"The sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted." (1 Timothy 1:10-11)
-"And the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error." (Romans 1:27)
-"But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death." (Revelations 21:8)
As shown, the Holy Bible of the Christian and Jewish faiths explicitly condones hatred, violence, and even murder towards homosexual. If not already obvious, Christians and Jews have a perfect religious excuse to inflict harm upon homosexuals and LGBT youth, as their own Holy Scripture condones such acts of hatred. This is obviously a main reason for the bullying, and hence suicide, of LGBT youth. Once more, while my opponent may argue that the Bible has messages of peace and love, he cannot ignore the fact that the Bible is also full of violent passages that explicitly condone violence towards homosexuals.

Overall, I believe that I have shown successfully that the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim religions all condone hatred, violence, and murder toward certain groups. While my opponent argues that people can twist religion to fit their personal desires, we can see clearly that the holy texts of the three religions above each allow such hatred and violence. Obviously, religious people can use the texts of their religion to hate, harm, and kill others - it would be without virtue to say that religion is, in fact, not harmful in today's society. With that, I must wrap up this argument, and wish Con good luck in the rest of the debate. Thanks! :D

Sources:
-tinyurl.com/r2yzv
-tinyurl.com/nyqf8zb
-tinyurl.com/d9s57hn
-tinyurl.com/ybqke53
-tinyurl.com/m57lh99
-tinyurl.com/k3zup28
-tinyurl.com/jwelvtk
Debate Round No. 2
64bithuman

Con

Thank you for the response pro – on to rebuttals and so on.

Terrorist is of course the new political buzzword - much like the word Communist used to be – but the facts of terrorism are that around 3000 Americans have been killed by Islamic terrorists since 1972. In contrast, every year 573 Americans die by self-strangulation while sleeping. This means you literally are 8 times more likely to strangle yourself in your sleep then be victim to a terrorist attack.

http://bitsandpieces.us...
http://www.thereligionofpeace.com...
http://www.satp.org...

Those stats are just for a regional perspective on the often somewhat scaremongering idea of Islamic Extremism. It’s a bigger issue in other places perhaps. Indeed almost 18,000 people were killed by terrorists worldwide in 2013, as you pointed out. Again, a bit of perspective.

Is the “point” of the Quran to destroy the planet and form it into some kind of Nazi-like state, with or without the help of the general population? Let’s not be childish. For every couple of bad verses you find I can find ten good ones. Here’s two:

And make not Allah, by your oaths, a hindrance to your being righteous and observing your duty unto Him and making peace among mankind. Allah is Hearer, Knower.
- 2:224

There is no good in much of their secret conferences save (in) him who enjoineth almsgiving and kindness and peace-making among the people. Whoso doeth that, seeking the good pleasure of Allah, We shall bestow on him a vast reward.
- 4:114

But rather than get dragged into a translation technical-type squabble I’ll reinstate my points. The ideology behind Islam is comparable to most ideological paradigms. The point of Islam to make everybody Islamic, not to randomly murder innocents – just like the point of American intervention is to make every nation a Capitalist Democracy… but it rarely is truly the point. More often than not, that is simply the ideological motivation to make people who aren’t informed as to what the true point is do something he wouldn’t have otherwise done, and therefore the human being is at fault, not the ideology.

American intervention and American ideological twists and cover-ups and so on have led to some of the biggest catastrophes in the past 100 years. One only has to run down a catalogue of the countries that America has destroyed, either politically, or physically, to see that fact.

For example, the nation of Iran. A so-called terrorist state, our sworn enemy and the one nation that we won’t poke with a stick anymore. The reason Iran so mistrusts the United States is because the U.S. and Britain ousted a popular democratic leader, Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh because he Nationalized Iran’s oil and began protecting his nation’s interests. In 1953 he was overthrown via coup d’état by American and British secret forces. A Hitler-Stalinist state ensued – disastrous. The Islamic Revolution in Iran was a direct reaction. This is just a taste of countless cases. They did this all over and still do it.

Interventions Map

http://williamblum.org...

Let me make it clear – I claim it is human nature to accept an ideology. Most importantly, I claim ideology is best used when it claims to be for a greater good, whether it be Nazi’s claiming that systematically eradicating the Jews is “for the good of the Fatherland” or America claiming that torturing people is “for the good of America” or that murdering so-called infidels is “for the good of Allah”. It’s endless. I don’t pretend that this problem lies in the ideology. So when Catholics collect money for the church they don’t do it because the Bible has laid out a system of taxes and collections they do it because they have found a way in the ideology to justify collecting money. They live in luxury, but never does it even suggest that a pope should. In fact, nowhere in the bible is a “Pope” even mentioned.

When the bible says “God loves a cheerful giver” in Corinthians it never says that you have to give money. Yet the Catholics - especially in the Middle Ages - found ways to collect taxes and make people give more and more money for countless reasons.

The surface issue appears to be religion, but with deeper analysis the problem of course is within man, not the mostly good and pure main message of the Bible, or the Constitution, or the Quran. That is the point. You can’t blame religious ideology when the problem is within man. If Islam didn’t take over the Middle East it could have just as easily been Christianity, and it could have just as easily ended with terrorists, just like what has happened in Africa. They are not true Christians because to be a perfect Christian is to be nearly a perfect human being. It’s all ideological, that is, that the problem is the person who fools a population with promises of ideology, when in reality, even when the ideology is good, the true motivation lies within the corrupt overseer who has tricked the population.

Ideologies may come and go, but they will almost always be twisted to create war and murder etc. etc. If not Islam, then Communism, if not Communism, then Capitalism. Ideas that are fine and should work well and help people but are used by bad people to make people do bad things.



darthebearnc

Pro

My opponent begins his rebuttal of my point regarding terrorism by stating that only 3,000 Americans have been killed by Islamic extremists since 1972. He then compares this statistic to the apparent 573 Americans who are killed every year by self-strangulation while sleeping, saying that you are "8 times more likely to strangle yourself in your sleep then be victim to a terrorist attack." However, this misleading contention is utterly untrue. My opponent's own sources defeat his argument, with his second source (which happens to be a blatantly anti-Muslim website) referring only to American casualties on American soil, not American casualties abroad. Furthermore, this debate isn't even about major problems in just America - it's about major problems around the world. The amount of casualties in any single nation is irrelevant - instead, we must realize that on a worldwide scale, there were over 17,800 deaths and 32,500 injuries due to Islamic extremism in 2013 alone [1]. Obviously, Islamic extremism is a huge problem in today's society - my opponent himself admits it, saying that "indeed almost 18,000 people were killed by terrorists worldwide in 2013." Unless you want to deny the fact that over 17,800 preventable deaths and 32,500 preventable injuries per year is a major problem, you must admit that Islamic extremism is a huge, huge threat in today's society. As seen in the map below, nine of the top ten nations effected by terrorism (excluding Colombia) are strongly, if not dominantly, influenced by Islamic extremism:


My opponent continues, asking if it is the point of the Koran to "destroy the planet and form it into some kind of Nazi-like state." He then states that "for every couple of bad verses you find I can find ten good ones" - regardless of whether this is true, the point of the debate isn't whether religion has any good effects on society (I suppose it might). The subject of the debate is whether religion imposes any major problems - in order to decide if this is true, we must look to religious texts to see if they contain any problem-imposing quotes. Once more, I offer just some of the many, many Koranic quotes that clearly condone hate, violence, and murder [2]:
- "But they who disbelieve, and deny Our revelations, such are rightful Peoples of the Fire. They will abide therein." (2:39)
- "Allah hath cursed them for their unbelief. Little is that which they believe." (2:88)
- "And whoso seeketh as religion other than the Surrender (to Allah) it will not be accepted from him, and he will be a loser in the Hereafter." (3:85)
- "Allah hath sealed their hearing and their hearts, and on their eyes there is a covering. Theirs will be an awful doom." (2:7)
- "In their hearts is a disease, and Allah increaseth their disease. A painful doom is theirs because they lie." (2:10)

As shown, the Koran obviously condones all kinds of hatred and violence - to argue that the Koran is a book of 'peace' or 'good' would be absurd. Clearly, the Islamic extremists in today's world are getting their motivations from the texts and passages of the Koran - once more, this debate isn't about whether there are any possible good effects of religion, but rather if religion causes any of the major problems in today's world (as shown, it clearly does). My opponent's argument that the main point of Islam isn't to "randomly murder innocents" is invalid - it would be absurd to say that modern-day Islamic terrorists do not get their inspiration for hatred, violence, and murder from the very texts of their sacred book (for more quotes that show just how 'peaceful' the Koran is, go to [2]).

My opponent then begins to argue that "American intervention and American ideological twists and cover-ups and so on have led to some of the biggest catastrophes in the past 100 years" - how is this relevant to the debate? This discussion clearly does not revolve around the problems caused by America or any other nation/national ideology - instead, it revolves around whether religion itself is the cause of major world problems today. I don't understand why my opponent spends such a large portion of his argument detailing the interventions and wars involving the United States - once more, this debate is about problems with religion, not nationality. Therefore, I can only assume that my opponent discusses American foreign interventions in order to make the point of why "it is human nature to accept an ideology" (he doesn't describe why he discusses the US in the debate). My opponent states that he doesn't believe the problem of terrorism "lies in the ideology" - this is absurd. Clearly, most of the terrorism in the Middle East today is strongly inspired by the Islamic faith, as seen by the countless examples of Islamic extremists purposefully harming, injuring, and killing themselves and others. The ideology of Islam, rooted in its holy scripture (the Koran), is surely the cause of such violence, as seen in the violent passages and quotes of the Koran itself. The Koran inspires Islamic extremists to "kill [infidels] wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out" (2:191-193), and encourages terrorists to "fight in the cause of Allah" and "be not weak hearted in pursuit of the enemy; if you suffer pain, then surely they (too) suffer pain as you suffer pain" (4:76; 4:104). It is absurd for my opponent to state that the problem of terrorism doesn't lie "in the ideology" - nothing could be more blatant than the obvious Islamic condoning of hatred, violence, and murder of innocents as seen in their very own holy text.

My opponent ends his argument by stating that "the surface issue appears to be religion, but with deeper analysis the problem of course is within man, not the mostly good and pure main message of the Bible, or the Constitution, or the Quran." Once more, this debate is unrelated to the United States and the Constitution, but I find it absurd that my opponent would argue that the messages of the Bible and Koran are mostly pure. As I am running out of characters, I will simply refer you to my above arguments, as well as sources [2] and [3], to see just how 'pure' the messages of the Bible and Koran are. My opponent's argument that the real issue isn't religion is baseless - without religious excuses, only a fraction of the terrorism, bigotry, and discrimination would take place. Of course, not all terrorists are inspired by religion (e.g. Stalin, Zedong, Hitler, etc.), but to say that the very words of the Bible and Koran aren't the cause of many problems in today's world would be completely and utterly baseless and untrue.

Overall, I find my opponent's argument flawed, as he provides little evidence for his claims and tries to defend the innocence of religion without supporting arguments. I have clearly rebutted his claims, having provided ample Biblical and Koranic evidence in my last two arguments that clearly show the true hateful and violent message of many religions in today's society. My opponent has failed to even mention my argument regarding Christian discrimination against homosexuals, and I have succeeded in rebutting his argument regarding terrorism, making the winner of this debate quite clear.

Once more, I thank my opponent for creating this debate, and hope to not have offended anybody. Thanks! :D

Sources:
1. tinyurl.com/nyqf8zb
2. tinyurl.com/yvzg7z
3. tinyurl.com/zmbbo
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Ragnar 2 years ago
Ragnar
@BDPerching
Nice Gish Gallop. I particularly loved your claim that "religion is based on a plagiarized book from older beliefs and myths," which seeing how old and spread out the earliest religions are, your magic book it's all based on theory would mean there must have been a god-like-being which wrote said magic book.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
I might not get to this before the voting period ends, but I'll still read over it and provide feedback eventually here in the comments.
Posted by BDPershing 2 years ago
BDPershing
"There's a decent argument to be made that if religion is the cause of the world's problems, and many of the same people who make that claim are correct in believing that religion was made up by people, than atheism would become the true cause of said problems."

you have no idea what religion as done to humanity.
Discrimination, double standards, genocides, brain washing, plagiarism, strait up lying and deception, That is the history of religion.
religion as killed Atheist since the beginning.
religion as been connected with racial discrimination.
religion is based on a plagiarized book from older beliefs and myths.
religion is connected with many wars and genocides.
religion has brain washed the young and are found to be incapable of rational thought, reason why some faithful people are incapable of learning math, science, and philosophy. They're just too dam dumb to figure it out, for they lack rational thought.
religion holds themselves as moral while what they preach in the bible is immoral and even commit acts of immorality.
Posted by neha18 2 years ago
neha18
religion is not the reason of world's problem... every religion teach us humanity, peace and respect for others. If every one start to respect others religion then there no problems at all.
Posted by Ragnar 2 years ago
Ragnar
There's a decent argument to be made that if religion is the cause of the world's problems, and many of the same people who make that claim are correct in believing that religion was made up by people, than atheism would become the true cause of said problems.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Lexus 2 years ago
Lexus
64bithumandarthebearncTied
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Reasons for voting decision: pro did not meet the burden of proof, because the resolution, which was not amended, said that religion caused ALL of the world's problems. I understand that he tried to bend the resolution to fit his case, but it did not, so he did not fulfill his BoP
Vote Placed by Geographia 2 years ago
Geographia
64bithumandarthebearncTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Both sides did just fine. Conduct , s/g and sources were equal. Pro's main argument hinged on the fact Terrorism is religion based, but he didn't really prove that. Con retorts with some USA and WW one and two facts that they provided the world more woe then ISIS or whatever
Vote Placed by warren42 2 years ago
warren42
64bithumandarthebearncTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Great debate, both sides did well. Con did a good job of minimizing Pro's biggest point, terrorism, so my vote goes Con. I really wish Pro had used Con's Round 1 example of WWII against him, since at least part of the conflict was due to religion (Hitler's genocide of the Jewish) and would have also turned the fact that the religion does not have to be at fault for the problem, just a major cause of it, in many cases due to the ignorance of one side of the problem.