The Instigator
Erik_Boonprakong-Kitching
Con (against)
Winning
8 Points
The Contender
AlwaysMoreThanYou
Pro (for)
Losing
6 Points

Catholic churches

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Erik_Boonprakong-Kitching
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/31/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,262 times Debate No: 23974
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (4)

 

Erik_Boonprakong-Kitching

Con

Hi, I am not a Christian but I live in the UK, so I do read about it occasionally and Christians believe that money should be spent responsibly and not wasted, yet if you look at the Catholic churches, they have very expensive designs and decorations which are not beneficial, I see this as using money irresponsibly.

The way I would like this debate to work would be:
Round 1 - Acceptance
Round 2 - Your main points
Round 3 - Contradicting each other's idea

So long story short, I don't think that the Catholic churches should be using so much money on the appearance of the churches.

Thank you to whoever accepts the debate, I appreciate it a lot.
Good luck.
AlwaysMoreThanYou

Pro

Have at ye, infidel!
Debate Round No. 1
Erik_Boonprakong-Kitching

Con

First of all, thank you for accepting my debate.

So basically, I don't see any worthy benefits of spending a lot of money on the appearance of the churches, therefore, I see this as an irresponsible use of money. This is also against Catholic belief, so this makes the Catholics hypocrites in this respect.

I am not saying I am against churches. It makes sense to have a religious place of gathering. They are, however, used for the wrong causes. In the Bible, Jesus teaches the people how to pray; he states "And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.". This is stated At the beginning of "Matthew 6". Nowadays, people go to the church to pray, but in this passage, it is stated NOT to do that.

It is also stated in the bible that "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." in "Mark 10:25". This shows the principle of irresponsible use of money. If someone is rich, then they have a lot of spare money, this money is not being used for a good cause. This is the same case as the Catholic churches. It is the religious leaders who are making these decisions as to how much to spend on the appearance of the church. This appearance is not beneficial, as is the money in a rich person's bank account. These are the people who are meant to be close followers of the Bible, yet they are dis-obeying some of the simple rules.

At no point in the Bible does it say anything to the effect of; A grand-designed church will help to connect with God. The appearance of the churches is something which was completely decided by the Catholics themselves.

This was one of the many reasons that Protestants came along. How come the Catholic churches continue to use the money to make the churches look nice, instead of using it for a charity of some sort?
AlwaysMoreThanYou

Pro

First off, let me welcome my opponent to Debate.org (DDO). I wish him a long and productive period here, and feel like a right jerk for Round 1.

I assume that that by churches, my opponent also means Cathedrals and Basilicas and stuff like that.

My Case:

Contention One: Catholics already have plenty of charitable organizations

Catholic charities are numerous, and consistently rated highly for their efforts to improve living conditions of many. CharityWatch rates Catholic Relief Services with an A+, and Catholic Charities USA is the second highest provider of social services in the United States (after the Federal government) and was ranked second largest nonprofit organization in the US [1][2][3]. It is generally agreed that the Catholic Church is the largest charitable organization in the world. Plenty of effort is already being used for charitable reasons, and as I will detail further churches are too important to cut.

Contention Two: Catholic churches are by necessity glorious

What Catholics are called to do is to put God first and themselves second. Therefore, it makes sense that the buildings we build for the praise of God be beautiful and of high quality. Ideally, churches should be better furnished than homes. When you have a some little shed as your church, that says something about what you think of God. For instance, look at the Ark of the Covenant in the Old Testament, and the Temple. Many valuable materials were used to construct those things, because they were for God. It is the same with Catholic churches today.

Contention Three: Public enjoyment

Anyone can enjoy the splendor of Catholic churches. Even if you have no money, you can still enter beautiful places like Westminster Cathedral. The elegance of the Catholic churches can even be enjoyed by non-Catholics, and you need no money to do so. How often does a poor person find themselves able to afford a visit to such spectacular sights? Catholic churches are free.

Contention Four: What else do we do with them?

As my opponent is proposing a change in the status quo, I believe it is up to him to show what could otherwise be done. A lot of the money spent on churches is upkeep; but these churches are often of great cultural and historical value and cannot be allowed to fail. We have to keep the churches operational, as they are in use. We cannot keep them operational without spending money on them. They already exist and are consecrated, so we can't just sell them off or anything. We must keep them.

I thank my opponent for making this debate and wish him luck.

Sources:
1. http://www.charitywatch.org...;
2. http://en.wikipedia.org...;
3. http://www.catholicnewsagency.com...;
Debate Round No. 2
Erik_Boonprakong-Kitching

Con

First of all, I would like to thank my opponent, I really enjoyed reading the views from someone else.
Don't worry about round 1, it's easy to give the wrong impression when you're communicating through text.


Contradiction 1 – Catholics could still make even more charities.
I agree that the Catholics have a lot of charities, and I think that this is great. There is, however, a section in the Bible in "Mark 10" where Jesus is talking to a rich man who is searching for eternal life "Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." – This follows the idea of Catholicism being an ascetic religion, and the Catholic churches, cathedrals etc. are doing a lot for charity but they are not using their money to the full potential for charity reasons. Jesus taught that a poor woman who gives all her money away has given more than a rich man who gives three times as much as her.

Contradiction 2 – Churches are not beautiful by necessity.
You said: "What Catholics are called to do is to put God first and themselves second. Therefore, it makes sense that the buildings we build for the praise of God be beautiful and of high quality. Ideally, churches should be better furnished than homes." but in the Bible, it is said "Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." This is in "Matthew 6:4". So if you go by the word of the Bible, you do not need to make the buildings look fascinating and expensive, if you put God before you, God will notice, you do not need to show to the public that you put God before you. Furthermore says not to show that you put God before you to be seen by others "Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven" this is in "Matthew 6:1". Surely giving the building their expensive and grand look is doing exactly what Jesus is saying not to do here. So if you have a little shed as your church, you may be showing the others around you the wrong impression, however, this does not matter, because God knows what you think of him and that's what matters.

Another point you mentioned was: "look at the Ark of the Covenant in the Old Testament, and the Temple. Many valuable materials were used to construct those things, because they were for God. It is the same with Catholic churches today.". The old testament was before Christ, so it was also before Christianity, this was how the religion was before the teaching of Christ were around, the teachings of Christ would go against the idea of using the money for decoration instead of helping the poor.

Contradiction 3 – Public enjoyment is not worth it.
I will accept that the look is fascinating and it can be enjoyed by all types of people. I have not got too much to say about the public enjoyment aspect of things, other than; the total enjoyment by the public does not really compensate for the total cost of building and maintenance of it.

Contradiction 4 – What I would do with them.
I completely understand that the churches, cathedrals and temples etc. are too important and significant to just demolish, I would keep the current places of worship, just make a few little changes to most of them, and this would keep the maintenance costs down. As there are so many places of worship, slight changes to each of them would save a lot of money in the long term. As for new churches being built, I would cut right down on the decoration and design. I would make it look different to a normal building so that it stands out, but I would not do this by spending more on a grander design, just a different design. I would not build as many churches, because, although they are helpful, they are not necessary to be a perfect Christian.

As for the money saved, there are many practical and productive uses for it; it could be used to help educate poor children in Africa, or it could be used to help sort out the current problems with the social services. There are just so many charities and other helpful uses, although, in my opinion, I think that the children working in sweatshops in Asia and Africa should be given more options and education in life.

Thank you for debating, and good luck.
AlwaysMoreThanYou

Pro

I assure my opponent the pleasure is all mine. I know a lot of people hold views similar to that of my opponent, and as always on a topic such as this learning more than what you previously knew is beneficial. Enjoy your time here on DDO, Con. Hopefully you enjoyed this debate as much as I did (no forfeits! yay!)

Contention 1

The church leaders are not rich men. Religious clergy in the Catholic Church take vows of poverty, celibacy, and poverty. Even the Vatican, which is in charge of over a billion faithful Catholics throughout the world, operates on a budget equal to that of the City of Chicago. Anyway, like I said, there's no way that they could use the money vested in the construction of churches for charity. It's already been used, and they can't unuse it.

Contention 2

The point of the churches aren't to show off to the public, it's to make sacrifices for God. You donate your money to the church, the church doesn't collapse and continues to look nice, and you have made a sacrifice. It's not the only proof that you truly put God first. Remember the story in Matthew 26:7-8, where a woman pours ointment on Jesus. Pretty much, the disciples complain that the ointment was valuable and should have been sold for money to give to the poor, but Jesus rebukes them saying that the woman has done a good thing. This is fine. I also contend that the Old Testament is not irrelevant, as evidenced by the constant quoting of it by atheists.

Contention 3

My opponent asserts that the total enjoyment by the public does not really compensate for the total cost of building and maintenance. I assert that it does, especially for the poor. It gives them an opportunity to enjoy splendid art and architecture that normally would be costly or much more difficult.

Contention 4

I do not know by what standard my opponent defines a perfect Christian. The reason churches generally cost so much is because they are built/redesigned with materials specifically meant to reduce maintenance costs. So at first it looks really bad that so much is being spent, but it pays for itself in time. The older buildings specifically need maintenance because they're old; in general newer buildings do not require high maintenance. Not a terrible number of new churches are being built. While I don't doubt that my opponent's schemes for alternate usage of the money are generally worthy goals, the money cannot be recovered. It's stuck in the building. We can't get it back out. We also can't let the buildings collapse, so we have to upkeep them. Nothing can be done.

In conclusion, the Catholic Church's spending of money on construction is acceptable. Thanks Con, for a great debate.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by AlwaysMoreThanYou 4 years ago
AlwaysMoreThanYou
@Erik_Boonprakong-Kitching
Votebomb (give points without a good reason for decision (RFD) to one side, esp. giving 7 points with no RFD)
VBing is votebombing
Posted by Erik_Boonprakong-Kitching 4 years ago
Erik_Boonprakong-Kitching
What's VB and VBing? I'm new, I don't really know what the acronyms mean.
Posted by 16kadams 4 years ago
16kadams
tyler did that to VB without VBing
Posted by Erik_Boonprakong-Kitching 4 years ago
Erik_Boonprakong-Kitching
ah, ok, no problem, thanks for agreeing to argue, I've only just signed up.
Posted by AlwaysMoreThanYou 4 years ago
AlwaysMoreThanYou
Sorry if my Round 1 came off as overly aggressive.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by TheOrator 4 years ago
TheOrator
Erik_Boonprakong-KitchingAlwaysMoreThanYouTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: The con did the better job of proving his point. While the Con showed Bible verses stating that money should be used to benefit the poor rather than be used for asthetic purposes, the Pro basically just said "But God wants them to look pretty". Which the Con actually managed to negate :P
Vote Placed by tyler90az 4 years ago
tyler90az
Erik_Boonprakong-KitchingAlwaysMoreThanYouTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: I thought Con had more convincing arguments. It also helped that Con cited the Bible often.
Vote Placed by Sojourner 4 years ago
Sojourner
Erik_Boonprakong-KitchingAlwaysMoreThanYouTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con did not specifically detail how much is too much and why. Pro did a good job of refutting all Con's contentions.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 4 years ago
16kadams
Erik_Boonprakong-KitchingAlwaysMoreThanYouTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Easy vote. All of cons arguments where logically refuted by pro. Not having sufficient charities is not bad.