The Instigator
aburk903
Pro (for)
Winning
18 Points
The Contender
Ajabi
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Christianity Is Intrinsically Harmful

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
aburk903
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/22/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 790 times Debate No: 63241
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (8)
Votes (4)

 

aburk903

Pro

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.

Definitions:

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...

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

I look forward to an interesting debate.
Ajabi

Con

My opponent has the complete burden of proof. I accept this debate.
Debate Round No. 1
aburk903

Pro

Thanks, con. 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.
Ajabi

Con

I am going to have to skip a round.
Debate Round No. 2
aburk903

Pro

I extend all arguments.
Ajabi

Con

I apologize, but I do not have the time currently. I concede.
Debate Round No. 3
aburk903

Pro

Concession noted, if you'd ever like to continue the topic I'd be glad to accept a challenge. Vote Pro.
Ajabi

Con

Please award all marks to my honorable opponent.
Debate Round No. 4
aburk903

Pro

aburk903 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by aburk903 2 years ago
aburk903
@Ajabi I'll give it the three days to extend.
Posted by Emilrose 2 years ago
Emilrose
Your list (1-20) will have to be supported with clear evidence. Some of them could easily refuted with actual verse from the Bible.
Posted by Atmas 2 years ago
Atmas
It is these very reasons why many people choose not to follow Christianity or any similar religion. It is even these reasons why religion being factual or not is irrelevant. Proving it to be true doesn't make it any more okay that it is inherently hateful and exclusionary. Which is something a number of religious people fail to understand.
Posted by Geogeer 2 years ago
Geogeer
Could be fun if I had the time.
Posted by aburk903 2 years ago
aburk903
That's an interesting insight, 1Credo. I believe that your supplied definition from MW pertains more to faith on an interpersonal level, whereas MW's subsequent definition of "belief in the existence of God : strong religious feelings or beliefs" is more pertinent to the religious aspect of faith. However, I do not view my personal description of faith as highly biased and made up. Consider the definition of faith provided by the Oxford English Dictionary- "confidence, reliance, belief esp. without evidence or proof". I think to suggest that basing one's life around a confidence in a supernatural system without evidence or proof is in contradiction to what one would objectively define as reason, and so my definition should not be viewed as unfairly condescending.
Posted by 1Credo 2 years ago
1Credo
"for faith does not claim basis in reason. It is, rather, an absence thereof."

You seem to explicitly suggest that faith is by definition unreasonable, or in other words a belief without warrant. I'm curious as to how it is you arrive at that conclusion. Your own source (Merriam-Webster) gives the following definition of faith: "strong belief or trust in someone or something"

This definition does not say or suggest anything at all about faith being unreasonable or unwarranted. Faith is, by definition, trust. So why is it that you distort the word by making up your own heavily biased definition for it?
Posted by PhilK 2 years ago
PhilK
20 points of contention is way too many to cover in a single debate. You should narrow it down to 3-5 in order to have a manageable and productive debate.
Posted by heyfur_1213 2 years ago
heyfur_1213
I don't think any religion is harmful. Rather it is the people who do things in the name of religion and paint an ugly picture for it.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Tweka 2 years ago
Tweka
aburk903AjabiTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Concession
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
lannan13
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Reasons for voting decision: Concession
Vote Placed by Envisage 2 years ago
Envisage
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Reasons for voting decision: Meh.... I was looking forward to this...
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 2 years ago
dsjpk5
aburk903AjabiTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Full concession by Con.