Christianity Is Intrinsically Harmful- Another Attempt
Debate Rounds (5)
Greetings. Although the topic of religion is nothing new to the debate community, I would like to propose this topic that does not focus on whether or not the Christian belief is one based upon fact. Faith is necessary for religious belief and cannot be revoked ultimately, for faith does not claim basis in reason. It is, rather, an absence thereof. However, this debate will address whether Christianity is intrinsically harmful or not, regardless of its factual validity.
1. Christianity- the religion derived from Jesus Christ, based on the Bible as sacred scripture, and professed by Eastern, Roman Catholic, and Protestant bodies. (Merriam-Webster)
2. Intrinsic- occurring as a natural part of something. (Merriam-Webster)
3. Harmful- causing or capable of causing damage or harm. (Merriam-Webster)
I will be basing my case around the arguments presented in Chaz Bufe's pamphlet "20 Reasons to Abandon Christianity". The only unique contentions I bring to this debate will be in defense of this argument, because it is sufficiently comprehensive. A full copy of "20 Reasons" can be found here: http://www.seesharppress.com......
I will also provide a concise summary of these points (condensing 20 to 2).
In summary, however, for those observing who do not desire to actually read this entire work, the 20 points presented are these:
1. Christianity is based on fear
2. Christianity preys on the innocent
3. Christianity is based on dishonesty
4. Christianity is extremely egocentric
5. Christianity breeds arrogance, a chosen-people mentality
6. Christianity breeds authoritarianism
7. Christianity is cruel
8. Christianity is anti-intellectual, anti-scientific
9. Christianity has a morbid, unhealthy preoccupation with sex
10. Christianity produces sexual misery
11. Christianity has an exceedingly narrow, legalistic view of morality
12. Christianity encourages acceptance of real evils while focusing on imaginary evils
13. Christianity depreciates the natural world
14. Christianity models hierarchical, authoritarian organization
15. Christianity sanctions slavery
16. Christianity is misogynistic
17. Christianity is homophobic
18. The Bible is not a reliable guide to Christ's teachings
19. The Bible is riddled with contradictions
20. Christianity borrowed its central myths and ceremonies from other ancient religions.
As we begin, I would like to remind all judges that in order to prove that Christianity is intrinsically harmful I will not have to prove each contention entirely. With a couple of exceptions, most of these contentions can independently reveal the harm of Christianity. Obvious exceptions to this rule include contention 18. and 20. regarding the reliability of the teachings of Christ and whether Christianity is borrowed from other religions. These should bear no real import to whether the content of the Bible is harmful as we have already established that this debate will not regard the factuality of Christianity, but rather the desirability of its moral code. Although these points are adequately defended in the pamphlet I presented, I will highlight two key themes.
I.Christianity Is Oppressive (encompasses 6, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17)
The six contentions that I have used to support this claims are that Christianity breeds authoritarianism, produces sexual misery, models hierarchical authoritarian organization, sanctions slavery, is misogynistic, and is homophobic. All of these attributes of Christianity are harmful to the ethical and just functioning of society. The concept of a theocracy (pt. 6) is not intrinsically corrupt, but because of the later contentions regarding the ethics of Christianity, this authoritarian system of government would be incorrect and so it must be added to this list. The Christian view of sexuality also holds great potential to harm, especially when indoctrinated with it from childhood. If one is taught that sexual thoughts are corrupt as well as sexual encounters of any sort outside of marriage, it has a great potential to harm the individual raised to believe this teaching as absolute. Christianity not only advocates slavery, but also sets down guidelines for how to respond to the abuse of one"s slave. Exodus 21:20"21: "And if a man smite his servant, or his maid with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished. Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money." Christianity is also extremely misogynistic. Passages asserting that wives must submit to their husbands and that one cannot be clean if he is born of woman are clearly of great damage to a moral society. Christianity also specifically singles out those who participate in homosexual acts as "an abomination". All of these above listed examples of Christian oppression is sufficient reason to conclude that if one truly does follow the Bible in its entirety, then they follow a religion that is intrinsically harmful.
II.Christianity Is Unethical (encompasses 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13)
The remaining eleven contentions that I will use to support that Christianity is generally unethical are that it is based on fear, that it preys on the innocent, that it is based on dishonesty, that it is egocentric, that it breed arrogance, that it is cruel, that it is anti-intellectual, that it has a morbid preoccupation with sex, that it has a narrow legalistic view of morality, that is encourages acceptance of real evils while focusing on imaginary evils, and that it deprecates the natural world. Although some sects of the church are now attempting to abandon their previous gospels of fear, it still remains a part of the church and will always be a part of the scriptures. Without the threat of eternal damnation, many would not be compelled to advocate the Christian faith. This is especially the case in circumstances in which these threats of eternal torture are made to children. Children who are deemed too young to make almost any real autonomous decision are expected to possess maturity to understand abstract religious concepts and live in a way that they otherwise would not. This is the epitome of preying on the innocent. Not only is this an unfortunate outcome of Christianity, but it is also praised as a Christian virtue. Christianity specifically advocates having childlike faith, which is also proof enough that it is anti-intellectual. As far as sexual preoccupation, Chaz Bufe says it best with "the Ten Commandments contain a commandment forbidding the coveting of one"s neighbor"s wife, but do not even mention slavery, torture, or cruelty"which were abundantly common in the time the Commandments were written" speaks volumes about their writer"s preoccupation with sex (and women as property)". Lastly, if we follow Christianity in concentrating on the afterlife and deciding what actions we can and cannot do within its legal framework, we must miss many opportunities that could benefit ourselves and others today and overlook real moral issues such as poverty and the destruction of the environment for such petty issues as impure thoughts and giving a tenth of our income to the church. All of these issues sufficiently show that Christianity is intrinsically harmful.
No round exclusive to acceptance is necessary. I look forward to an interesting debate.
Thank you Pro.
To start, I would like to establish that the BOP is entirely on Pro. Pro's claim is one of hypothetical assumption, placing the need to prove that assumption upon him. Pro doesn't just have to prove that Christianity has done some harm, but that the world would be better without it. If Pro can't establish this, Pro can't affirm the resolution. If the removal of Christianity has no effect, or a negative effect, then we know Christianity's existence wasn't harmful.
Rebuttal I: Christianity is Oppressive.
We find that Pro Assumes Christianity models "hierarchical authoritarian organization"... Pro claims this is bad, but doesn't aim to prove why. Many people believe authoritarianism is good, and a hierarchical system is not intrinsically bad... Christianity also models none of these. The Catholic Church may be a hierarchical organization, but that doesn't make it bad, or imply that Christianity is the sum of a few of it's parts. To adress Pro's claim of sexual misery, we should establish that 'sexual misery' is rather subjective. What you deem to be misery, I deem to be moral and pleasant.
Christianity isn't homophobic. It has no fear of gay people, and in the New Testament, we actually find that Paul condemns the judging of others, listing gay people as one such type of people we shouldn't judge. Paul, in Romans 1, lists a number of types of sinners, and in Romans 2, condemns the judging of these people, claiming it to be hypocritical (1). The Bible doesn't condemn Gay People, even if it condemns homosexuality. This is a common myth, when in fact, the Church is taught to welcome everyone, even gay people.
Pro claims the Bible promotes slavery, but excludes cultural context. The Bible didn't promote slavery, it simply placed down laws that benefited the slave. The writers of the bible were against slavery, but since slavery was so intertwined in the Roman culture, banning slavery would have had a largely negative effect. They choose, instead, to promote laws to protect slaves. While to us, laying down these laws would be seen as backwards, at the time, it was revolutionary and was a progressive stance to take. The Church was a major player in the opposition against slavery. As early as the 800's, Christians began opposing slavery publically. The Church's record with Slavery is shocking for the time, and was one of the most progressive forces in the world in regards to slaves rights and freedoms (2).
The bible is not misogynist... The culture back then was, and so we see misogynism written in the context, but the bible itself actually puts a huge spotlight on the power of women of the era. Such examples include the entire book of Ruth, as well as the postition of women in the Gospels. The Gospels were known for the influence women had in Jesus's ministry. Women were very important in the Bible, and played a major role in the Church. Pro is confusing the cultural misogynism of Rome and Medieval Europe as being founded in religion.
One problem Pro has is that he must prove that the harmful doctrines he brings up is Christian, and not just a cultural doctrine of the times.
Rebuttal II: Christianity is Unethical.
To start. Ethics is subjective. What Pro deems unethical, someone else might deem moral. Pro makes several claims here, such as the Church being a force of fear, and preying on the innocent. Actually, the Church played a large role in preaching peace. This isn't just christian rhetoric, either. During the sacking of Rome in 410 AD, the Visogoths largely left the city intact, and most everyone alive. The sacking was considered one of, if not the, most peaceful sacking in ancient history. Why was the sacking of Rome by a vicious Germanic tribe so peaceful? They had prior became Christian (3). Christianity took over much of the Germanic tribes becuse they were sick of fighting Rome and found Christianity's peaceful doctrine to be much better than their pro-war doctrines. Christianity also served to aid the poor and innocent more so than any group at the time, possibly only tied with by Hinduism. The Church was responsible for most charity in the Middle Ages, and contributed more to the poor than any other group in European history, before and after (4). The Church was single-handedly the greatest force for good in Medieval Europe, and some even believe it was responsible for an increased life expectancy in Rome.
Much of what Pro claims after that is about hierarchy and authoritarianism, which we discussed in Rebuttal I. The church isn't egocentric, but actually preaches against pride, deeming it the source of all sin. The church was also unique for it's acceptance of new members from other groups. Prior, the Jews excluded Gentiles from joining, but the Christians who came from Jewish backgrounds were taught to accept all people. This is seen in the vast number of cultures and peoples who were accepted into the Church. This is the opposite of "chosen-people mentality." Christianity also preaches against dishonesty.
As for anti-intellectualism... The Church single-handedly preserved Roman knowledge and books after the fall of Rome. The Church built massive monasteries where they preserved and copied down books, preserving knowledge that they would later teach and distribute via Universities. Most ancient European universities, such as Harvard, Oxford, and Yale, were built and paid for by the Church. The Church played a major role in science at that time (5). Technological harm done to Europe was caused by the Fall of Rome, not the Rise of the Church. The feud between Science and Christianity arose due to disagreements on how the Earth was created and because of the removal of religion from school, not because of some instrinsically bad feature of Chirstianity. The church and science are not exclusive, and have a long history of working together.
Pro never touches on issues 18-20. Although none of them has anything to do with if the bible is intrinsically harmful.
Argument I: Charitable Record.
Christianity today, like in the Middle Ages (4), is responsible for a great deal of charity. Christian NGO's alone are responsible for over $8 bn in international aid (6) while the US gave over $96 bn to religious causes in 2014 (7). This doesn't include the amount of donations given to non-christian groups for religious reasons. The NGO's alone make over half of all international Aid from the US.
"Faith-based and secular humanitarian organizations have a long history of responding to people in need and today are important players in the international community’s response to emergencies." - ICRC
"Faith-based organizations are unique players in the international humanitarian community in that they are rooted in their local communities and yet have global reach. Their large constituencies give faith-based organizations the potential to play a powerful role in advocacy and public awareness. With their presence on the ground, in the most remote parts of every country, they are well positioned to take action when emergencies arise." - ICRC
Argument II: Benefits of Religion.
A) Benefits in History and Prison.
I put History and Prison together because I wanted to make the third topic, Africa, separate.
Without the Church, the Fall of Rome would have had a much stronger impact on Europe. The Church was responsible for preventing the Dark Ages (the Dark Ages never existed, but this is largely because the Church created a safety net using things like the preservation of books, knowledge, and charity.) The Church also unified much of Europe, which led to far more peace than people seem to recognize. The Medieval Period was filled with war as a continent of 100+ unique nations would be. However, because of the unifying presence of Christianity, fighting wasn't nearly as common as it may have been otherwise, and the fighting that did take place wasn't nearly as violent. To attack and conquer another Christian nation without a proper cause was to declare war on the whole of Europe...
In Prisons, Christianity is one of a few religions that is helping to rehabilitate prisoners. Christianity is a force of good among prison inmates, and has benefited their recovery greatly. The Church is also known for their Hospitals. While many question the position these hospitals take on Abortion, something that a Pro-lifer would consider moral, one can not deny that the Church has provided a lot to the field of health and the growth of hospitals around the world. The Church has done much to provide high quality health services to the poor.
B) Benefits to Africa.
Aside from charities in Africa, Christianity has also helped places like East Africa by creating secondary and primary schools, and colleges. They also built printing presses and established newspapers across Africa. They even spread new and more advanced farming technologies to Africa, as well as fought against the African Slave Trade done by African nations (7)
"but Christians black and white, working in Africa, do heal the sick, do teach people to read and write; and only the severest kind of secularist could see a mission hospital or school and say the world would be better without it." -Matthew Parris (an athiest)
Matthew Parris, who grew up in Africa, wrote a great deal on the benefits of Christianity in Africa after revisiting his African town, despite how strongly he prior tried to see Christianity as bad (8).
Conclusion: I've shown most of Pro's assumptions to be false or nitpicky, and shown many benefits, historically and modern, to having Christianity.
Christianity is not intrinsically harmful, and is even a force for good in the World and Africa.
I.Christianity is Oppressive
To briefly address my opponent"s contention regarding whether or not a hierarchical organization is ideal, I quote from Chaz Bufe, "The indoctrination by example that Christianity provides in the area of organization is almost surely a powerful influence against social change toward freer, more egalitarian forms of organization." In regards to the subjective nature of sexual misery- I quite agree. However, Christianity places unnecessary restrictions on sex that creates sexual misery in many unnecessarily so, whereas abolishing these rigid standards in no way mandates promiscuity. The claim is not that monogamy be viewed as necessarily harmful- rather, mandated and absolute monogamy.
The referenced verses in Romans seem to do quite the opposite of proving a Christian toleration towards homosexuality- in fact, it seems much more consistent with the Bible"s earlier claim that such acts are an abomination. People exercising their natural sexual desires towards members of the same sex are condemned as unnatural sinners and equated to "sinful" heterosexuals who can be viewed as "equally unnatural and abominable". This compounded condemnation should not be seen as a step away from homophobia but as a further proof of my claim regarding sexual misery, both for the directly forbidden (homosexuals) and the sexually oppressed (heterosexuals).
I am shocked that my opponent can take such a weak stance towards the easy Christian dismissal of slavery. One must remember that early Christian teachings were relatively culturally radical- banning idolatry, enforcing monogamy, Sabbath law, corporal punishment, etc., and so to claim that the authors of the Bible were secretly against slavery but tampered with the word of God to be more politically acceptable is simply illogical, especially as that claim requires insight that my opponent cannot have. He additionally only mentions the Roman slave culture, ignoring the historical context in which the referenced passages regarding slavery occurred in (Exodus).
My opponent claims that the Bible is not misogynistic by citing examples of "strong" female characters like Ruth. However, Ruth, Esther and Rahab are all strange examples to cite. The first two were simply portrayed as heroes for seeking out powerful husbands and somehow attaining their favor. Rahab was a prostitute who merely aided the Jews. Mary"s only true recognition comes from being a virgin and giving birth, and the additional women of the New Testament are secondary characters sent to serve men. The Bible does not speak for their equality, but recognizes their nobility in humbling themselves beneath men.
In summary, if the law is written in the Bible- it is Christian. The whole of the Bible is the claimed inerrant word of god and to be followed as such. The Bible was set up to define a culture, not the opposite.
II.Christianity is Unethical
To claim that all ethics are necessarily subjective is an entirely separate debate from this one. I will respond by only saying that such a notion is ridiculous and dismisses any ethical validity to any argument (for I can simply deny it by claiming what"s moral for me is just different from you). If one wishes to bring an obscure historical example like Rome in 410 AD, then one cannot overlook the Crusades. This debate does not center around historical record- but the example of the Crusades certainly dismisses converse examples of "Christian benevolence" in war. That, and the Inquisition.
The pride of Christianity is far more dangerous from the typical claim my opponent counters- because it masquerades behind a fa"ade of humility. Theological concepts like the salvation of the elect only scratch the surface of this. In order for a Christian to make any authoritative claim about the teaching of God, that Christian must claim to have inerrant understanding of God"s intent (insofar as the topic which is being addressed). To claim to have such supernatural knowledge, such absolute insight and such totalitarian rules while simultaneously claiming to be humble and meek is impossible and paradoxical.
As far as anti-intellectualism, my opponent sites specific historical examples that have equally damning counterexamples. However, the epitome of Christian anti-intellectualism does not come from historical example of scientific denial. It comes from absolute faith- and from a belief that such faith is the highest virtue. It comes from a doctrine that teaches to envy those with "child-like" faith. The entire Christian mindset is inherently based upon conformity, warrantless belief, and the systematic denial of anything that could prove contradictory to faith as the "lies of the devil". Even as Martin Luther said, "Reason is the greatest enemy that faith has."
I will now elaborate a bit further on how my initially presented Nazi-Anarchy analogy applies to the concept of Christian charity. Firstly, I am sure that my opponent and I can agree that the only charitable work exclusive to the Christian community is not really charity but religious outreach. To distribute Bibles and send teams of preachers to impoverished nations is not actually charity- it takes away funds that could actually be used towards charity. These ventures exclusive to Christianity are simply furtherance of a religious agenda. The true charity, then, is secular- aided by Christians and other groups alike and exclusive to none. Now, to include the Nazi analogy. A Nazi government is ideal to no government, but is less ideal than an objectively just government. Similarly, a religious charity is better than no charity, but is less beneficial than a charity free of any agenda save altruism. However, this is not the scope of our topic. Suffice it to say that the presence of charitable work within the church in no way supports its lack of harm on the community, especially given that this work is not exclusive to the church and could actually be carried out better without the funding currently allocated to "religious needs" rather than the tangible physical ones (that generally tend to be more pressing).
II.History, Prison and Africa
A.History and Prison
i.The Dark Ages
I contend that the Dark Ages did exist. I request that my opponent supports the assertion that they did not with concrete evidence or that this claim be disregarded as explicitly fallacious.
ii.Optimism Regarding Christian European Reform
As I have mentioned above, the Crusades and the Inquisition are excellent counterexamples to these historical claims. Although this entire contention (or really my opponent"s entire constructive) does not actually address Biblical doctrine, these historical examples are not valid ways to prove the objective value of Christianity.
In regards to my opponent"s claim regarding inmate rehabilitation, I ask what part of this is exclusive to Christianity that could not be instituted some other way? To suggest that Christianity has a necessary and exclusive role in the rehabilitation of inmates if simply untrue. Just as many impoverished nations turn to faith when little other luxuries are available, so it seems to be in prisons, the military, etc.,
Instead of merely focusing on my previous contentions regarding the benefit of a purely secular charity, I offer the example of how the Christian involvement in Africa was actually harmful and counterproductive (an issue that a purely secular and humanitarian organization would not have had). The Catholic Church has historically instructed the HIV/AIDS impoverished nations of Africa that condoms are immoral. Without a religious agenda, this claim is obviously not only ridiculous but also dangerous and immoral. This also shows that much of the churches charity rests on the simultaneous spread of the churches" agenda.
Conclusion: My opponent has not dismissed any of my contentions as false. In fact, all that my opponent has done is offered a few vaguely relevant historical examples and one questionably interpreted Biblical text. My entire case rests on the teaching extracted directly from the Bible, not on historical tradition. What the church does without the Bible is merely the danger of an organized church- not the danger of the Biblical doctrine itself. Even so, I have successfully offered relevant and damning evidence to contrast each of my opponent"s provided historical examples, while my opponent has shown no intrinsic value to Christianity and has failed to sufficiently counter my contentions regarding necessary harms.
To start. I didn't say Pro must prove that it is either of those things. Just that it produces a net harm. If he can't show that it's bad outweighs it's good, he can't prove it's intrinsically harmful. He must also prove the harm is intrinsical to the religion, not the people or era.
Rebuttal I: Oppression.
A hierarchic organization isn't a bad setup. But if the voters deem that it's a matter of opinion, than Pro would lose, as Pro must prove objectively that it's harmful. Are hierarchic organizations intrinsically harmful? Every government is a hierarchic organization to a degree, as are most companies. Charities as well, and sports teams. In reality, the Catholic Church was built upon Roman culture, and the organizational standard that church set is not intrinsic to the religion.
Most restrictions Christianity imposes on sexuality are in place because they believe those activities are immoral. You can't claim something is harmful because you subjectively find their beliefs immoral. You must prove they are objectively immoral and are harmful restrictions. The idea that restrictions on what you can do in bed is so bad that it produces true misery and harm is based on an exaggeration of how important odd forms of sex is. Especially when many of the restrictions (I.E. no sex before marriage) are scientifically beneficial (1). And Pro's claim about Homosexuality relies on the idea that thinking an action is bad is the same as thinking the person doing the act is bad. This isn't true. I believe homosexuality is wrong, and let two of my closest friends on here are YYW and BSH1. The verses, if read in order, says that despite how they believe these actions are wrong, we are not to hate or judge the people involved. The idea that Christians hate homosexuals is based only on popular misconception.
Regarding slavery. It was culturally acceptable to agree with all those things. Disagreeing with slavery, however, was different. And pro attempts to misrepresent the claim to fit her narrative. "tampered with the word of God" is a corrupted way of referring to what the writers did. Pro must understand that the letters that were written to the Greeks and Romans about slavery was not "tempered with." They were just letters, and they aimed to make life better for slaves. It's not illogical to do what they did... Compromise is an intelligent method to accomplishing change. The church couldn't abolish slavery (only an idiot thinks they could) so they made laws to make life better and fairer for slaves at the time. I've shown that the church has a record with slavery that Pro doesn't counter.
Ruth and Ester's stories are oversimplified by pro to make them sound bad, when the real point of the stories was that the women were strong, and supported each other in a time when not having a husband at Ruth's age was like not owning a house in winter. Just because Rehab was a prostitute doesn't mean she doesn't important in the text. And regarding Mary, pro lacks context. Mary and other women supported Jesus's ministry and was the backbone of his operation. When Jesus was resurrected, he shown himself to the women first, in a time when women weren't qualified as witnesses. Women like Deborah, Esther, Huldah, Jochebed, Hannah, Noadiah, Rachel, Rebekah, Ruth, Rahab, Miriam, and Sarah played important and decisive roles in Israel's history.
You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. (NIV, Galatians 3:26-29) (2)
Just like in R2, pro thinks that because you can see the misogynism in the cultural context, that the bible must condone it (person A beats his wife in the Bible, not because the bible allows it, but because the bible is historical text, and doesn't censor the culture of the time.) The bible aimed entire books to show the strength of women.
Rebuttal II: Ethic.
Pro is literally saying that because the topic could be debated, I can't use the fact against her. But I can. Ethics is mostly subjective, and depends on the viewer. Pro ONLY claims that this view is ridiculous but does nothing to back that claim. Ethics and morality are subjective. This is an established status quo, and if Pro wants to claim it's not, he has BOP. Pro most prove objectively that Christianity in unethical.
Pro seems to have ignored my case that Pride is considered a sin in Christianity, and Christians are taught to not have pride. To claim that the Bible promotes a concept it has only ever demoted is illogical. No, Pro confuses what causes pride... Human Nature promotes pride, the bible demonizes it.
"When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom." Proverbs 11:2 (3)
"Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall." Proverbs 16:18. (4)
If Pro wants to accuse a book of something, he should show it in the context.
Pro concludes his claim with a strongly flawed principle. The Bible says to have full faith in God... it says nothing about having illogical full faith in whatever other believe you have. Pro is pulling a strawman. Misrepresenting what the Bible says about faithfulness. Claiming that Christians must be faithful in God and in every single thing we believe, ever... Is the sun yellow? No? Too bad, my faithfulness prevents me from believing. However, that's not what the Bible says. I'll deal with the rest of this in the Dark Ages rebuttal.
Rebuttal III: Charity.
I do not agree with Pro's assertion. Christian charity is often done to better lives, not spread religion. Of course they spread what they consider salvation, but that's not the end goal.
Pro claims that because some of the funds for charity goes to sending over Bibles and Preachers, that it's not charity. No, it's all charity, even if some has to pay for other side features. And pro never shown just what percent of funds go to sending over bibles and preachers. It should be understood that Preachers are only different from normal volunteers in that they are qualified to teach as well. They do work and contribute also, so Pro's claim is mute. And if Pro would read over my prior source in R2, he'd see that the writer mentioned that those who converted to Christianity say stronger peace of mind and were more active and happy. So spreading Christianity has helped many people in Africa.
It's better to donate through a religion because, despite the extra costs (which a Christian wouldn't deem bad to began with), the Church still gives back a larger portion to charity than secular charities who have to work through Governments. Federal Aide and donations that have to run through governments in Africa have often led only to larger problems in those nations (5). Christian charities run separate of the Government, and send the work and funds directly to the location that needs it.
Pro claims Charity from religious groups isn't effective using only a bit of rhetoric, but the International Review of the Red Cross (6), the Oxford Journal (7), and the anti-religious Matthew Parris visiter to Africa disagree with her unsourced observation (8)(from R2.)
Rebuttal III: Dark Ages.
The Dark Ages are a myth. The term was coined by a Roman who considered the era dark only because Rome had finally fell. In reality, the era was like any other, and as my source will say (much to Pro's loss):
"It is also in this period that the Roman Catholic Church became the sole political and social authority, filling that which was once occupied by Rome. In doing sothe Church practically guaranteed social cohesion, provided health services since the monks preserved classical medical knowledge, and kept classical learning alive in its monasteries andabbeys. The Church preserved literacy among its clergy." -Acedemia (9)
The Dark Ages was a name founded without a footing in reality. And it's all thanks to Christianity.
Regarding the Crusades and the Inquisition... The Inquisition was a product of it's time, not a product of Christianity. The Crusades was a product of politics. Not religion. The war started because of the constant invasions of Byzantine by the aggressive Turks. The Turks, in turn, came into the region after their population grew too large to maintain near China (10). It wouldn't matter if Europeans weren't Christian. The idea of fighting in the name of God was more a ploy to unite Europe against someone other than themselves. And even then, only the First Crusade was tied to religion in any notable way. The rest were fighting to maintain as much victory as possible. Some didn't even include a second Religion.
And Pro is wrong about my source... It doesn't list off negative effects of Christianity. It lists off issues caused only by the religion's lack of resources right away.
Rebuttal IV: Prison
It's not the availability of Christianity in Prison that makes it work. It's the principles behind Christianity that make it work. Few other things have the intrinsically rehabilitating powers of a Religion. And Pro's argument here is fallacous. You can't say that because something great isn't exclusive, that Christianity isn't good for accomplishing that something. That's not how one argues intrinsical harm... If anything, Pro conceded to the fact that Christianity seems to have this healing power that people in bad situations can turn to for help.
Rebuttal V: Africa.
I dealt with this in Charity.
Pro has to show an intrinsical harm in the Religion itself to win. And that instrinsical harm must outwiegh the intrinsical benefits. I've shown that Christianity has done a lot for Europe after the fall of Rome, and stopped the Dark Ages, opposed Slavery, and is a healing factor in millions of lives. As well as the most effective forms of Charity in Africa.
Christianity is a beneficial force in the world.
-My opponent merely claims that organizational structure may be a matter of preference, thoroughly disregarding my contention that hierarchical structure is almost necessarily a movement away from an egalitarian and free system. This is followed by what seems to be a red herring regarding post-Biblical Catholic Church structure, which belongs to a different debate.
-My opponent would have us believe that "You can't claim something is harmful because you subjectively find their beliefs immoral" but you can set up a system of morals that oppress an individual"s autonomy and do cause sexual misery for those under a Christian system. My opponent"s Christian bias is further expressed by claiming the "scientific benefit" of waiting to become sexually active until marriage. This very claim presupposes that marriage is an end goal, that monogamy is ideal, etc., which must be objectively viewed as circular reasoning. The harm I propose does not come because I believe in promiscuity whilst the advocates of Christianity believe in abstinence. The harm comes in the repression of the will and autonomy present in the Christian worldview, that creates unnecessary sexual tension and misery, and that warps our view of the morality behind sex. I feel at liberty to say this because my opponent has been so bold as to suggest that I misinterpret Christian hatred for homosexual intercourse with hatred for homosexuals. While these two seem rather inseparable, it is of no consequence. The fact that my opponent concedes that a Christian should hate the sexual lifestyle of another human being is proof enough that Christianity is harmful. This is almost reminiscent to the days when one might hear argued, "I"m not a racist. I have two black friends! I merely hate those criminal n-----s".
-My opponent asserts that only an idiot could believe that the church could abolish slavery. Perhaps, then, I am the grandest idiot- because any institution claiming to represent the most pure and absolute morality must also absolutely bar the enslavement of other humans. Additionally, my opponent addresses letters to the Greeks and Romans. This is not the source of my evidence. My evidence comes from Exodus- long before the writing of Peter and Paul. This is the time when Moses established a code for how slaves were to be treated by the Jews. Also, the church record with slavery must be ignored because (as I am sure I will refer to often in the lines to come) I must prove that the religion itself is harmful- not any of the people or the era.
-My opponent suggests that I misunderstand the Bible"s treatment of women. Perhaps. However, no evidence to the contrary has been presented as their chief virtue still appears to be marrying a strong man and procreating. Additionally, on the claim of Biblical misogyny, my opponent overlooks that "wives must submit themselves to their husbands" and that women "must be silent in the churches".
-The ethics that I refer to as objective are not arbitrary ones that may be subjective. They involve the equality of man, the right to liberty, and other basic fundamental beliefs necessarily mutually understood to have any further moral discourse. My purpose in this debate is to prove the intrinsic harm of Christianity, not to counter a desperate deconstructionist claim that until I can empirically show any morality as absolute may I advance.
-My opponent entirely misses my contention of pride. Yes, any observer of the Bible may note that pride is labeled a sin and that a "good Christian" must be humble. Yet- is it not prideful for every Christian to claim to have direct knowledge of God and his moral wishes? What pride could be greater than to claim to have divine insight that has not been granted to scientists and philosophers through the ages- claiming these learned men as "blinded sinners". This denied pride is surely more dangerous than simple satisfaction in one"s own accomplishments- as I would advocate.
-Faith needn"t apply to something arbitrary like the color of the sun to be anti-intellectual and my opponent must understand this. The Bible sufficiently promotes anti-intellectualism through faith when it claims to have faith like a child rather than to trust the wayward logic of man. This "trust-and-obey" mentality is dangerous to any progress of society.
III.My Opponent"s Case
-I dismiss my opponent"s case entirely. By stating that the only relevant material to this debate was concrete Biblical text and not the historical record of the Church, my opponent has effectively dismissed any impact that a charitable record may have (be it in Africa, prison, or anywhere else). The only portion of my opponent"s entire case that may be linked to Biblical teaching is the concept of charity as a virtue. This in itself is excellent- but is not a virtue exclusive to Christianity. This alone cannot defend Christianity as a source for good, especially when I have shown so many examples illustrating the harms intrinsic to Christianity and shown that charity is just as possible without the Church. This same use of my opponent"s own criterion necessary to champion this debate dismisses their entire conclusion as simple examples of good deeds by those in the church, which we have both acknowledged as irrelevant. Let us return our focus back to the actual doctrine of Christianity in these remaining rounds. I have shown the intrinsic harm of the system of ethics taught in the Bible and my opponent has failed to provide contradictory goods. As demonstrated above, Christianity is intrinsically harmful.
Premise I: BOP.
Everything has something harmful, that doesn't make it harmful. Breathing Oxygen leads to the oxidization of cells, causing old age and death, but breathing Oxygen isn't harmful. Why? Because it's overall more beneficial than it is harmful. Being harmful and having harmful effects isn't the same thing. The resolution isn't that Christian has some harmful effects, but that when the effects are weighed, it is harmful, not beneficial.
Premise II: Prescriptive v Descriptive.
Pro, to prove his case, must argue with these two in mind. The Bible is made up of Prescriptive and Descriptive text. Prescriptive text prescribes instruction. Descriptive text provide description (1). Often, arguments against the Bible are made without these two in mind, leading to people arguing that something the Bible described was actually instruction. Prescriptive text would be like a moral law, while Descriptive text is like detailing a character's feeling. A famous example is a song the Israelites sing while in captivity. It's a song about hating their captors and wanting them to be wiped out. Many belief this is a good argument against Christianity, when it's really just descriptive text, detailing the emotions of the Israelites.
Rebuttal I: Oppression.
Pro starts with rationalizations about why an organization is bad... Claiming that a hierarchical organization leads away from freedom. This is a slippery slope fallacy. A hierarchical organization is the most common and useful type of organization, and has been in use centuries before the Jews, better yet Christianity. Pro ignored that government, charities, schools, and even families, run off this system. It's not a bad system.
Everything Pro states here is largely a subjective opinion. You can't set up a standard of morals and hold everyone else accountable to them. That is not how subjectivity works. You can only do this is those people agree to your standard. If Pro wants his morals to be a standard by which Christianity is held to, he must prove Objective Morality exists, and then that his morals are the objective ones. Being against homosexuality and sex before marriage... These are subjective opinions. Christianity is not bad for having these opinions. If they regularity harassed and hated on Gay people because the Bible said to, perhaps Pro would have a point here... But the New Testament preaches against this, and Churches accept gay members, and always welcome women with sexually immoral pasts. They even have special programs for unwed mothers. Pro has no case here. Only popular rhetoric that doesn't hold up to reality.
Regarding Slaves; Christianity would have failed if they tried freeing slaves. Then what? Christianity had to play politics like anyone else. they had to do it like Martin Luther King Jr did it... Slowly and in pieces. All at once, and nothing would be accomplished. Pro then defends his claim with Exodus... A Jewish book. The Old Testament isn't all relevant to Christianity. Pro must remember that while some Old Testament works are relevant to Christianity (Proverbs, for example), a lot of laws were based on different situations, such as the difference in Slaves in the time of Exodus and the time of the New Testament. We know those laws aren't relevant to Christianity because they are based on a different type of slave. We also know that they were laws that benefited slaves (so even they were progressive laws). Slaves then were more akin to servants today. They sold themselves, usually to pay off debt. The two types of slaves are completely different. If Pro wants to argue about the Old Testament, he must make sure the laws are relevant to Christianity, and that they aren't based on handling culture as it was at the time.
Yes, Moses wrote up laws for how slaves should be treated... This doesn't mean he condoned slavery. The US Government is generally against cigarettes, but because banning cigarettes would lead to worse results, they put massive laws on cigarettes instead. The laws Moses set were to help slaves in a time when slaves (a part of culture) were mistreated. Also, Pro should remember that context is important.
Pro has dropped my case on the Church's record with Slavery. He believes it's irrelevant because it's the actions of people, not religion. But this isn't true. They are the actions and beliefs inspired by the Bible's text. The early Christians believed slavery was wrong because of the Bible. The opposition to Slavery is Biblically-inspired.
Regarding Ruth. The book isn't about Ruth getting married via misogynistic means. A love-story is not misogynistic because the main character is a girl. In reality, if Pro had read the book, he would see that Boaz (Ruth's to-be husband) was caring and kind to Ruth, even leaving her with extra food out of kindness. Ruth asks Boaz to marry her, and he agrees (2). This isn't misogynistic, but romantic. Meanwhile, the Book focused on the fact that God loves even the Gentiles, contrary to much of Pro's arguments. The book doesn't have to pit them against opponents or star a large quest, for the females to be strong. Ruth was set up to be a model for all Jews of the time, male or female (3).
Rebuttal II: Ethics.
Pro seems to think his views are objective... However, they are merely populist. Equality for women isn't objective. Much of the Middle East and India would disagree with Pro... A population outnumbering the whole of Europe and America. Also, everything Pro just mentioned is Biblically accepted. The Bible placed a great deal of emphasize of the importance of Women in the Church, and preaches about how we should leave fear behind. It condemns dishonesty. Liberty, like many things, is subjective. Liberals and Conservatives both believe their goals are in the name of Liberty. What defines or encourages liberty differs greatly from one person to the next.
Regarding Pride, this is GRAVELY wrong. Not even a little correct. Being knowledgeable and being proud aren't the same thing. To be prideful is the same as bragging about one's intellect, which is different from saying what you know. If a christian says "God is the path to Salvation, no one is perfect" this is sharing knowledge. If they say "I'm better than you because I know God is the path to Salvation" than they are being prideful. Knowing something =/= being prideful of what you know.
Pro never shows where the Bible preaches being faithful to the point of ignorance. It says be faithful, not ignorant, and is actually against ignorance...
"Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance..." Proverbs 1:5 (4)
"An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge..." Proverbs 18:15 (5)
Pro claims that being Faithful in God and being anti-intellectual are the same, but great minds like Isaac Newton, who studied the Bible as a major passion of his and was deeply devoted to his religion (6) are proof against this. The person accepted by many to be the first scientist in post-Roman Europe was, in fact, Pope Sylvester II (7). Others include Kepler and Boyle. To claim faith and anti-intellectualism are the same is unfounded.
 http://tinyurl.com...;(page 5)
Rebuttal III: Dismissal of My Arguments.
Pro does not determine what is necessary to win the debate. That is for the voters to address. This debate is about Christianity, and whether Christianity as a religion is beneficial or harmful. By shifting goalposts from Christianity to the Bible, Pro has effectively dropped every argument of mine from Rebuttal 3 - 5 in an attempt to claim they were irrelevant. The Resolution says "Christianity Is Intrinsically Harmful." Not "The Bible Is Intrinsically Harmful- Another Attempt"
Pro's own defintion supports this...
"the religion derived from Jesus Christ, based on the Bible as sacred scripture..."
He doesn't define Christianity as "The beliefs of the Bible"... But as the religion itself.
Pro dropped cases like how Christianity literally stopped the Dark Ages, saved intellectualism in Europe, and is a leading force in charity and aide across the world. Pro can not claim these are irrelevant, as Pro conceded their relevancy when he replied to them as relevant arguments in R3. This is a cheap attempt to back out of the argument.
Argument IV: Benefits of Christianity.
The National Bureau of Economic Research compiled a study of the effects of Religion and Social Organizations on the development of children in poverty. The foundings concluded that children who's parents regularally attend Church or other religious organizations were better off then those who's parents attended social groups. They had higher graduation rates, better habits, and faced less disadvantages later on (8). The Church and religion also focuses a lot of effort on the belief in fair wages, worker rights, and to respect and care for the Earth (9).
The Catholic Church in the US alone provides more than 2,500 charitable agencies that serve 10 million+ people. These groups include social justice committees, soup kitchens, food pantries, and others. The Catholic Church, in total (including Hospitals, Universities, etc...) spend nearly $30 bn a year on charity for Americans alone. It's estimated the Catholic Church alone (not including Protestant Churches) contributed as much as 17-34% of all non-government Social Services in the US.
Pro has dropped the following arguments, claiming they aren't relevant in whether or not Christianity is beneficial:
2- Aid in Africa and Prisons.
3- Influence in the Dark Ages.
Pro's case on Ethics and Oppression is subjective or based on misunderstanding the Bible. Christianity is more benefical than harmful, making it a beneficial force in the world.
I.A Fundamental Misunderstanding Regarding the BOP
-My opponent uses the example of the minimal harms of oxygen being canceled out by its benefits (necessity for existence, in this case) as an example for why Christianity's harms are canceled out by its propensity to do some good. This is not only fallacious but misses the point of my Nazi-Anarchy dichotomy presented above. To remedy this error I will adopt my opponent's example of oxygen in the hopes that all is clarified. Breathing oxygen is harmful to the extent that it leads to oxidization of cells but we continue to breathe it- why? We continue breathing oxygen because we have no alternative. If we had a perfect alternative to oxygen that only eliminated this negative oxidization, any person who continued breathing oxygen would surely be proclaimed a fool. We may take this line of reasoning now to the debate at hand. Were Christianity (with all its aforementioned harms) the exclusive method of charity or some other necessary good, then perhaps we might accept it. However, eliminating Christianity does not eliminate charity- it merely eliminates the harms of Christianity and makes charity a religion-free enterprise.
II.Denial of My Contentions Without Direct Address to Them
-My opponent mentions prescriptive and descriptive text. I am not naive enough to mistake emotional exposition with the proclaimed "commands of god"". When I mention slavery, I do not refer to the historical account of slave keeping. I refer to the legal system mandated under the name of "God"" that justifies slavery and, worse still, slave abuse (if such a statement is not immediately redundant). I do not refer to the misogyny and homophobia from a cultural vantage point, but from laws labeling homosexuality "an abomination"" and commandments that place women as inferior to men. My opponent's point is, while accurate in itself, inapplicable to my case.
a.Whether or not hierarchy existed before Christianity does not dismiss the face that this model is prescribed by the Christian texts. It also does not matter how widely accepted it has become, or within how many aspects of life it has become implemented. My contention of necessary inequality associated with this system remains unaddressed.
b.I do not advocate an objective morality in this case. I merely point out that if morality is as subjective as my opponent claims, then surely it is dangerous for any organization (especially one as globalized as the Christian church) should implement one absolute moral code. My opponent proceeds to explain how some churches welcome gays and how allegedly all welcome women with "immoral"" pasts. It is already absurd that we must make a distinction between women who have had only sex within marriage and "immoral"" ones. As if to prove my point, this week New Hope Ministries made a funeral party move a casket bearing a deceased lesbian woman outside of their church during the scheduled time of ceremony for no other crime than her sexual orientation. I know that we are disregarding historical example, but this simply proves that my opponent's presented concept of a welcoming church is far from universal, even today.
c.In my definition, I have made perfectly plain that Christianity was the religion which was "based on the Bible as sacred scripture""- not simply the New Testament. I have made the important differentiation between prescriptive and descriptive text above, but I will advance this point more powerfully still. Not only is slavery defended in Old Testament law, but my opponent claims that Christianity would have failed if it had tried freeing the slaves. This is mind numbing on many planes. The church was not a radical revolutionary agent in the freeing of slaves in this recent time, but let us look to what we are debating- the Biblical text. The slaves in question are not slaves of some Gentile culture that the Jews are observing- these laws are for the slaves of the Jews! Even if one could claim that the Israelites had to be political within their own society, these laws are implemented directly following an account of God sending twelve devastating plagues on Egypt, killing every firstborn son of the Egyptians and then parting a sea for the newly freed Jews to cross. If this action could be taken to free Jewish slaves, surely it would be a strange stance to take in claiming that the Exodus culture was limited by political pleasantries.
d.I fail to agree with my opponent's example of Ruth. I am quite familiar with the text- Ruth is among the poor and widowed women of the community who must follow the harvesters in the field and pick up any overlooked surplus. Boaz "generously"" left some extra for her. Following this, Ruth lays at the foot of Boaz's bed, hoping that he will take her as a wife when he finds her there. These stereotypes are not ideal, but that is the weaker of my contentions regarding misogyny. My opponent has consistently failed to address my strong claims of the Biblical teachings "wives must submit themselves to their husbands" and that women "must be silent in the churches". The time has passed for new evidence, and the fact that these two testaments to Christian misogyny stand seems quite telling.
-I feel that no extensive rebuttal is required when my opponent's ethical defense features claims regarding the "subjectivity of the moral need for women's equality and general liberty". These are not popular claims- these are fundamental human rights. If my opponent cannot embrace even this in the defense of Christianity then my proposition of Christianity's intrinsic harm is proven further.
-I did not intend to give the appearance of claiming Christian's bragged or were explicitly proud (i.e., "I'm better than you""). I speak of the intrinsic pride that comes when claiming to absolutely know the inerrant will of God. Claiming this divine knowledge absolutely is surely a sign of deeply internal pride- though admittedly not intentional. It is simply the consequence of any absolute faith.
-My contention with anti-intellectualism does not claim that all persons of faith are necessarily unintelligent. There are obvious counterexamples, as listed by my opponent. The teaching that proves my point is best summarized by Proverbs 3:5- "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding"". It is this adamant denial of the world of reason when it comes to matters of faith and (by extension) the morality taught by the texts of said faith that is anti-intellectual. To conclude this point by quoting Jesus in Matthew 11:25- "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children."
V.The Dismissal of My Opponent's Case
-My opponent is directly self-contradictory. No goalpost has been shifted. In fact, I only dropped my opponent after my opponent stated, "He must also prove the harm is [intrinsical] to the religion, not the people or era." When we remove the human element from the proposition, as will be done when we look to the religion itself and not the variety of both goods and atrocities committed since the Bible's publication, as is mandated by our mutually agreed upon exclusion of the people and era, we are left merely with the harms of Biblical doctrine. This obviously dismisses my opponent's constructive, as all claims presented were related to post-Biblical church history and not directly to Biblical doctrine. As my opponent states, we are debating the "religion derived from Jesus Christ, based on the Bible as sacred scripture"". This being the case, the only truly relevant source is the teachings of this Bible. I trust that the concession of these historic examples by my opponent's own criterion for the debate will be obvious to potential voters, and I will leave it with all the aforesaid to their judgment.
Conclusion: I have successfully shown that Christianity is intrinsically harmful. I have shown that the harm Christianity entails produces no good exclusive to the Christian faith, which leads to the logical conclusion of Christianity's unnecessary propensity for harm as sufficient evidence against it. I have illustrated this by showing that Christianity is unethical in many respects- most notably the intrinsic promotion of gender inequality and general injustice. Coupled with this, I have shown that Christianity promotes oppression. It is for all of these reasons, and for the continuous lack of concrete refutation above, that you must vote Pro. Thank you.
Premise I: BOP
Pro pulls the classic act of calling something fallacious without stating why. Without explaining what fallacy my example was, or why it was fallacious, we can only assume there was no fallacy. Pro assumes Oxygen is harmful because it leads to death, however, the benefits of breathing it (ie not dying within ten minutes) negates and overturns the harmfulness. Being harmful is about doing more damage than good.
A new example: President A is elected. His administration leads to the loss of 250,000 jobs, but sees debt drop by $10 trillion. Also see the US tax rate drop from 15% average to 10% average, and crime reduced by half. His administration had a harmful effect, but was his administration harmful to the US? No. The US benefitted from his Administration.
Premise II: Descriptive vs Prescriptive Text
Pro mistakens this for an argument. it was, in fact, a Premise (hint the name.) It's only point is to present factual principles to be brought up later in the round. This Premise didn't attack or reference a single claim of Pro's, so to claim I indirectly address his arguments is unwarrented. I used it to attack Pro's claims later in the debate, directly. Pro's attack on my Premise is unwarranted.
I did, in fact, address all of Pro's claims. Not in the Premise, but through out each Argument (Rebuttal).
Rebuttal I: Oppression.
Christianity never prescribed hierarchical organization. That was a construct of the Roman society, implemented by people in the Church, not by the Bible. I have stated this over and over again... Pro's continued attack on this system of organization is pointless. A hierarchical organization is not intricsically bad eitherway. This isn't a matter of discussion, but a matter of opinion, if even that.
Pro claims he did not advocate 'objective morality.' If so, than Pro loses much of the Oppression Argument, and all of the Ethics Argument, as both are largely based on morality. To win these, Pro must show that they are objectively wrong. By conceding the point of Objective Morality, pro concedes the argument consequentially. The only means of proving either wrong is through Objectivity.
Pro did, however, claim his moral standard that he judges the Church by was the accepted moral standard...
"The ethics that I refer to as objective are not arbitrary ones that may be subjective." - Pro in R4.
Pro does claim his ethics to be objective, and says they aren't arbitrary or subjective. Now Pro claims to have never advocated any Objective morality. Pro lies and contradicts his argument.
Pro's definition of Christianity he lists this round is misconstrued in his phrasing. The definition was "the religion derived from Jesus Christ, based on the Bible as sacred scripture, and professed by Eastern, Roman Catholic, and Protestant bodies." Pro's denial of his own definition is harmful to his case. The resolution is, in fact, about the religion.
Being poor and widowed does not equal being weak and oppressed. Pro argues based off opinion of the text. Not once has he tried proving my interpretation wrong via sources that back his claim. To argue further would be repetitive. Pro has not sourced his interpretation of Ruth.
Rebuttal II: Ethics.
Pro still relies on the popularity of his morals to deem them Objective. His morals are subjective, and can not be held against the Church. What deems his morals to be fundamental rights? A piece of paper? Pro's arguments are entirely subjective and hold no ground to judge with.
Pro's claim of pride is empty. Pro has shown no evidence that pride is an intrinsically part of the religion, while I have shown entire verses that prove the religion is against pride. Pro's stubbornness doesn't make his arguments any less wrong. His argument is largely that people naturally become prideful because of the religion... This, however, is not a principle intrinsic in the religion, but in Human Nature.
My argument against anti-intellectualism was never about how Christians can be smart. This is a clear redherring and strawman. My entire argument was that examples of scientists with faith prove that you can be faithful without being anti-intellectual. Also that the Bible is against ignorance and blind stupidity. Being faithful in God is not the same as being ignorant of science.
Rebuttal III: My Arguments.
How is my argument self-contradictory? Pro can not simply accuse me of something, then not explain the accusation. Pro did indeed shift goalposts. As follows:
Resolution: Christianity Is Intrinsically Harmful
Definition: "The religion derived from Jesus Christ..."
Full Resolution: The religion derived from Jesus Christ Is Intrinsically Harmful
Pro's new Resolution: The Bible Is Intrinsically Harmful
Pro attempted to shift focus from Christianity, defined as being the religion derived from Jesus, to the Bible, and only the Bible. Of course, he then starts his round by arguing about a system of organization never mentioned in the Bible, that was created by the people in the church. Pro can not shift focus like this.
Pro continued to not address my arguments. Charity, Africa, Prison, and the Dark Ages are all relevant arguments, that Pro has dropped in order to shift the goals. Facts that Pro has dropped:
-Religion, in compliance with beliefs taught in the Bible, has produced a great deal of charity for Africa.
-Religion has spread happiness and rehabilitation in Prisons.
-Religion, in compliance with beliefs taught in the Bible, preserved knowledge and built universities, and provided social services that prevented the Dark Ages.
Pro has also dropped my two newest arguments from R4:
-Religion, in compliance with beliefs taught in the Bible, provides 15-35% of all non-government Social Services
-Religion provides stability for children is impoverished families, or with disabilities.
Pro has dropped several arguments about what Christianity has done for the world.
I have shown that Pro's Ethics are subjective, and that the Bible is not Oppressive to people. I have also shown that the religion has done far more good for the world than any amount of harm, making it a net-beneficial religion. Christianity is not intrinsically harmful.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Blade-of-Truth 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: pro must demonstrate Christianity is intrinsically harmful. If Christianity even has one positive impact, it is not intrinsically harmful. Con demonstrated how many of Pro's "negatives" are in many ways positives--he prefers those ethics. Further, con shows how religious causes related to Christianity benefit the world in many ways. Namely, charity. This massive effect really negates the resolution. Pro counters they spend time and money on conversion. Even if this is the case, it again begs the question: is that bad? And they do spend huge parts of their budgets on secular money based initiatives focused on the well being of people, not just their religious beliefs. Con also demonstrates the church helps families--as family structure is a topic which interests me, this really won me. Pro seems to have dropped the argument. Which really harms him. He also, for the most part, drops how churches provide a huge amount of welfare. Con wins pretty clearly
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: The resolution being debated is that Christianity is harmful, not that it "could" be harmful. With this in mind, arguments go to Con. Here's why: Pro's ethics claims were defeated by Con by pointing out that they are subjective. Also, Con's charity claims were compelling as Pro was not able to refute them. Just because another organization could do the same charity work doesn't change the fact that it's still beneficial to those receiving the charity.
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