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Christianity is a weight dragging all of society down with it

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/28/2015 Category: Religion
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 778 times Debate No: 70839
Debate Rounds (4)
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I know this is very controversial, but try not to explode with anger straight away :)

1st round is just acceptance
All other rounds are anything you want
Keep it clean

Good luck :)


Very well. As Christianity is not a literal object and as such cannot drag anything down, it's reasonable to assume that my opponent is speaking metaphorically.
A more appropriate title is "Christianity is destroying society (presumably American society)".
Burden of Proof is on Pro. Let us begin.
Debate Round No. 1


Before I start, sorry the title was a little vague, but I'll stick with it.

I believe that Christianity is a (metaphorical) weight dragging society down with it for several reasons.

Firstly, when I say 'all of society', I did literally mean all of the people in society (USA and UK). This is purely because there are Christian people scattered all around theses countries and even though not everyone is Christian, the tremendous majority of people are influenced by Christian beliefs, or live in a society where Christian beliefs are dominant.

Secondly, I believe that the bible plays a major part in dragging down society. This is because of its sexist and homophobic views on life, which were obviously socially acceptable 3500 years ago, but to stick by these abhorrently exclusive social 'rules' now, is a crime against humanity, and results in people physically living in the 21st century, but mentally living 3500 years ago with extremely narrow-minded views, and all that's left to back that up is 'God said it'.

It is clear that the bible is extremely sexist towards women, and there are excessive amounts of quotes I could bore you with, but I'll only use a couple: "Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says" (1 Corinthians 14:34), "Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord." (Ephesians 5:22), and finally; "woman is the glory of man." (1 Corinthians 11:7). All these quotes highlight the fact that times were very different when these books were written, and that there was tremendous gender inequality, however, times have changed, with both genders being treated more equally in everyday life, and men not seen as superior or having power over women, but they are both equal in their relationship (in most cases). Therefore the Bible does not encourage equality between genders, and sends out the completely wrong messages to Christians in modern society, and if it's doing anything, it's causing clashes and conflict.

Homosexuality. It is clear that the bible is anti-gay by condemning homosexuals to death and calling their acts 'abominations': "If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltness is upon them." (Leviticus 20:13), "You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination." (Leviticus 18:22). I would say that society has, mainly, accepted homosexuality as a natural thing, as it happens all around us in the animal kingdom, it was the norm in Ancient Greek society, and many people are revealing their love for the same sex, and by the bible encouraging such hurtful things, conflicts are caused in modern society when most people have already accepted homosexuality.

I do understand that there are some upsides to Christianity's teachings; such as the Ten Commandments and the other general morals that are preached and constantly drilled into your head. "Thou shalt not kill" is a reasonable one because it inflicts harm on a person and steals their life: which is not yours to take. "Thou shalt not commit adultery" again, this has fairly obvious reasoning behind it; adultery inflicts emotional harm on the victim and provokes jealousy and hatred. I think you'll agree that the reasons behind these morals are pretty plain, however the reasoning behind "If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltness is upon them." is fairly vague and obscure since no harm is caused in these homosexual acts and both participants are willing, and also what good does condemning gay people do? Condemning murderers prevent the intentional ending of another's life, condemning adulterers prevents some emotional harm in the world, so what good does condemning gay people do?

The obvious morals taught by the bible do have an upside, however even without Christianity we would still be taught these morals in schools, work life and by parents; purely because they are blindingly obvious. So there is an upside to Christianity. But without Christianity that upside would still exist.


Okay. So we are in agreement that:
1. The "weight" in question is metaphorical, and the actual meaning is that Christianity is overall harmful to society today, with my opponent as Pro and me as Con.
2. That the society(s) in question is the United States of America and the United Kingdom.

I thank my opponent for these clarifications, and now we shall begin.

First of all, let's talk about the Bible's "sexist" and "homophobic" side. In the Old Testament, God did in fact prescribe the death penalty for sodomy and a man lording over several wives was accepted.
In the New Testament, for theological reasons, God no longer prescribed the Death Penalty for sexual sins (for instance, Jesus saved the adulteress from being stoned). This most likely also included homosexuality.
For instance, in 1 Corinthians chapter 5, an early church was shown to be guilty of sexual immorality, such as incest.
The author wished that they would "put out of your fellowship" the perpetrator (key word not being "stone" or "put to death"). That is, Christians were to ostracize believers who would not repent of sexual immorality, and NOT to kill them.
Thus, Christianity does not actually endorse the killing of homosexuals, though it does acknowledge homosexual behavior as sinful.
As for the Patriarchal system which you have renounced as "sexist", I disagree. Men were to be the head of family units; this is true. Men have a sense of ambition and desire respect and admiration more than most other things.
However, with the occasional exception, women are not like that. "Respect", "reputation", and "admiration" are not generally what women desire most (though they may enjoy being respected or having a reputation of greatness). The sex that pretty much lives for this (that is, men), are the group that gets it.
Meanwhile, the needs of women (in general) are addressed in Ephesians 5:25.
Now, there might be the occasional woman who says "I don't give a *censored* about being loved; gimme glory and power!", but this is not usually the case.
Of course, the rules above apply only within the church, and the outside world is pretty much exempt from its teachings. So if a woman outside the church wants to rule over human civilization, there's no reason to forbid this. And, of course, even within the church there are various interpretations as to what the various teachings of Paul many, with some interpretations being not quite as old-fashioned.
Today, even in the church, it is relatively rare to hear people preaching on women not being allowed to speak up in church. In fact, it is possible that the command in question was based on cultural norms and had little basis in outside cultures.

Either way, it's pretty ridiculous to assume that Christians in general and the Bible as it is interpreted by most Christians is misogynist in any real way.

As for homosexuality, like I stated above, the commands on people not being gay only applies to the Church.
Now, I'd like to bring up another issue here: the matter of Christians prohibiting homosexual behavior.
First of all, this behavior is incredibly risky to those who partake in it. Though they are not the only cause, the AIDS pandemic of the past several decades would've been less severe had it not been for gay men. Also, widespread homosexual activity and abandonment of heterosexual marriage will likely lead to a decline in the birth rate (which is already below replacement level in some groups in the United States), which is harmful to the country. In that respect, the opposite of Christian teachings is what is dragging this country down (I don't really know about the UK, though the situation is probably somewhat similar there).
Still, even if we both were to agree that gay is good and the legalization of gay marriage were to lead to milk and honey and dancing unicorns and rainbows, it really doesn't matter what the Christian Right does in this respect, because gay marriage will inevitably be legalized in all 50 states, likely within the next 5 years.
So really, this will soon become a moot point; if gay marriage is good, it will have been legalized and the Christian Right's actions on gay marriage no longer relevant because they'd no longer be performing the bad deed of stopping it. If gay marriage is bad, that would be moot too because the Christians would have failed to stop it, meaning that they no longer perform the good deed of stopping it.

Now, let's point something else out: besides merely prohibiting adultery, murder, and the likes (though the murder rule would likely still exist without Christianity), Christians on average give more to charity than atheists.
Now, an atheist will excuse this by saying that much of this "charity" consists of donations to churches, but the fact is that much of church budgets goes to charities.
For instance, take the Catholic Church. Here's a rundown of their budget recently:
Now, despite that tiny portion which they designated charity, it turns out that most of this budget is in charity (since when did running schools and healthcare centers not count as charity? Silly atheists :)
So you see, Christians are overall more generous. We're the entire American population to turn atheist, it's likely that charitable giving would decline, despite what the Huffington Post and Salon may say.

So...I await what you have to say.
Debate Round No. 2


In response to your argument:

Firstly, even if we do assume that gay people were pardoned from the death penalty, they were still witnessed and portrayed as criminals and sinners, and the fact they were excluded from society is detestable, and I believe that if people still follow these abhorrent 'rules', then they are affecting society for the worse. This leads some Christians in modern life to believe that all gay people are sinners, and to strictly follow a book that was written in a time when social expectations, equality and principles were very different to what they are today, consequently, the Christians that believe gay people are criminals today are part of the (metaphorical) weight I referred to in the title; they keep us in the times of the bible, preventing, or at least making it considerably more difficult for society to evolve, amending principles and standards to what is right.

You then went on to say that the AIDS pandemic would have been less severe if it wasn't for gay men, and while I actually agree with this, it is not a valid reason to justify this religious homophobia because I could say that AIDS pandemic would've been majorly improved if it wasn't for heterosexual couples having intercourse, so yes, the spread of AIDS would be slowed by gay men stopping having sex, but it would also be drastically improved if heterosexual couples stopped having sex. My point is that it is not down to one sexuality, but both.

Secondly, I appreciate that gay couples cannot 'naturally' conceive, and this leads to a declining birth rate, however this is not always the case, as increasing numbers of gay couples are getting atrificial conceptions such as off with the help of surrogates, and they also have access, and make use of adoption. I think the question we really need to ask about this point is: "do we really need more people in this world?'. I appreciate that America's birth rate is declining slowly, however I don't believe you should immediately escalate to 'get rid of gay people!' and then use that to justify your point that Christianity teaches beneficial things. There are so many more acceptable, less controversial, convenient solutions to that problem, such as 'have more children?'.

Furthermore, assuming that gay marriage will be legalised in all 50 states within the next 5 years, that does not mean Christianity's teachings still don't pose a threat to society. I can fairly reasonably imagine that there would be riots, hate crimes and preachings against gay people and marriage, even when it is legalised. Just because it is made a law, doesn't mean that Christians will suddenly abandon their belief; they will still disagree. I find your sentence about "gay marriage were to lead to milk and honey and dancing unicorns and rainbows" extremely inconsiderate and hypocritical, considering that heterosexual marriages hardly resemble "dancing unicorns and rainbows" and you are clearly mocking my points as well as gay marriage.

Now to talk about sexism.

Your very opening sentences are teeth-grindingly irrititating, as saying that men were the 'head of the family unit' completely contradicts your first statement, portraying your belief that the bible is not sexist. Saying that "men have a sense of ambition and desire respect and admiration" is completely true, but for ALL members of the human race. These apsirations of respect are not exclusive to men , and just saying that, insults all women, due to the obvious sexism, and some men, due to the fact that you can't classify all men on this generalisation. You then go on to generalise all women, saying that they don't want respect and admiration, when it's clear that everyone in t eWorld wants that, no matter your sex. If your point is that men are more competitive due to their testosterone, then I would agree with you, but even though women lack testosterone levels like men's, it does not mean they don't want respect. Men only 'live for those things' in those times because they are told that's what they do.

I respect this quotation about husbands loving their wives, and (presuming that all the men loved their wives) men did still not respect their wives opinions or treat them as equals, but instead as inferior beings. You also seem to have a subtle/not so subtle arrogance around your approach towards talking about the different genders, as you have an aura of self-confidence enveloping you whilst you speak and generalise both sexes, such as when you said "this is not usually the case" and "women are not like that", and, politely, I think you shouldn't assume that you know very thing about all members of each sex.

I have also found a recent survey suggesting that '27% of women want mutual respect within their relationship'

This is a shocking number, I think you'll agree, and there's no doubt that some Christians still believe that women are meant to be submissive and obedient, and it is these type of people that weigh down society, because they are refusing to move on with society, and they are desperately clinging and obsessing over the past.

Finally, I do agree that being in a religious group does make you more charitable, especially Christianity because they preach charitable and selfless morals, however it ultimately comes down to the question 'is it worth the generosity of the Christian church to have people narrow-mindedly clutching on to 3500 year-old social standards?' And I believe that is the question we need to ask ourselves when thinking about this topic.

Thanks for reading... Next round :)


1. Homosexuality

"Gay people are portrayed as criminals and sinners". True.
Virtually every major religion regards homosexual activity as sinful. Christianity also does (some fringe denominations aside, that is).
If Christianity is true, though, then this is actually a good thing, as it gives gay people an incentive to stop acting on their gay impulses (it's called self-control, and with access to the proper resources and the willingness to submit to measures to end one's negative habitual activities this can be accomplished.)
If Christianity is not true, but another religion like Islam, Judaism, or Buddhism is, then this is still beneficial, as even if the wrong religion is stating it, homosexuality would still be a behavior that they need to break free from.
If no religion is true, Christianity iz still providing a deterrent against a behavior which is harmful to society (seeing as the US is larger in area than India but nowhere near its population; can you imagine how powerful we'd be if the population doubled? Plus, among some ethnicities the population is actually declining. We need to raise the birth rate!).
Also, you yourself admitted that homosexual activity quickened the spread of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS).

"It (the fact that homosexual activity helps spread AIDS) is not a valid reason to justify this religious homophobia because I could say that AIDS pandemic would've been majorly improved if it wasn't for heterosexual couples having intercourse".
While AIDS may also spread through "straight sex", gay sex is (probably) much more effective in spreading HIV, as shown by this link:
While other factors may be involved in this huge overrepresentation of men who have sex with men (MSM) in new HIV infections, straight couples would also likely be subjected to these other factors, meaning that the gay sex itself, compared to "straight sex", is the likely culprit.
In fact, this unbiased source admits to such (though it does also list external factors):

Now, despite this, do gay men have a right to engage in homosexual activities? Well, yes. Technically it is a free country. However, like racism, it is something that, while protected under freedom, something that society should discourage, simply because it is as destructive as it is.
Anyway, I admit that in the United Kingdom, gay marriage is still illegal in Northern Ireland. And, in the United States it is still illegal in 12 states (as of the date that this was typed and posted). Also, same-sex unions are not recognized in 17 states (which is less relevant as in 5 of those states same-sex marriage is allowed).
However, 70% of the US population resides in jurisdictions where same-sex marriage is legal. Only 30% does not. If you live in one of the 12 states, then in the meantime you can move to one of the 38 states until full legalization occurs. Thus, the issue is not a major one, and the remaining States will likely legalize gay marriage in the next few years.
Still, as the average lifetime cost of HIV treatment is over 370,000 U.S. Dollars, and Christianity is providing a deterrent to a behavior that increases HIV infection rates, on the gay front Christianity isn't such a bad thing.
(Link to $370,000+ figure):

Then, my opponent mentions stuff like hate crimes. Literally hateful activity is opposed to the tenets of Christianity, but often some Christians do engage in hateful activity directed towards homosexuals, be it speech or actions.
While this does serve to deter a destructive activity, it still is overkill, I'll admit.
Still, it is a problem that can be fixed by a wide understanding in the Christian community that while homosexuality is sinful, homosexual people are not "monsters"; rather, they are sinners like everyone else (Christians also sin often), and they should be reached out to, not condemned.
In many ways, however, it is society's fault, not that of the Christian community. The Christian community provides a deterrent, but society actually encourages people with homosexual tendencies to act upon those impulses. It's a game of Tug-Of-War and Cognitive Dissonance that only makes it worse; one group should yield. And as homosexual behavior is unhealthy, the Liberal crowd should yield. All religious texts aside, it's widely known that (at least in right now's western society) society embracing homosexuality would have negative effects and, while tolerated, should not be encouraged.
Before I continue, I apologize for my statement which my opponent found to be "extremely inconsiderate and hypocritical". Still, though straight couples could certainly improve, this is about gay couples.

2. Gender

Oh dear. My opponent has fallen for the fallacious assumption that because the Bible deems men to be the "head of the household" the Bible is sexist.
First of all, what is sexism? Well, sexism is unfair treatment based on gender. Also, I apologize that the existence of the Holy Book which I base my hope for Eternity upon is something which you find "teeth-grindingly irritating".
My opponent has stated (or at least insinuated) that men and women are equally ambitious.
However, this is not quite true.
Let's say that I were to survey 50 men and 50 women. Let's say that I were to ask them the following questions:

1. Would you want to be a U.S. Congressman/Congresswoman?
2. Would you like to be a world-renowned mercenary warrior?
3. How would you like to be the CEO of a large corporation?

Well, if you were to be honest with yourself, you'd admit that more men than women would answer "yes" to at least one of these questions.
Why? Because men in general are more ambitious than women in general.
And this isn't just based off cultural norms. It's rooted in biology.
One of these differences is that men tend to be more narcissistic.
Now, I will admit that this link right here provides a dissenting opinion.
However, this seems to be rooted in opinion, not evidence.

So, men are more ambitious and power-hungry. They like power more. Women generally have a different "area of expertise".
This explains the following:

Women are generally less satisfied pursuing a business career in contrast to raising a family. Call it sexist if you may, but biology doesn't lie.
Under the Christian idea of marriage, wives submit to their husbands' authority as head of the household. Meanwhile, their husbands love their wives as they love themselves.
Men get respect, wives get love. Not all women (or men) would be satisfied with this arrangement, but most are.
Even with the source my opponent provided, less than 30% of women want equality with their partner. That means over 70% don't.

3. Charity
My opponent asks a question. Is it worth it, even with charity? I have shown that the answer is yes; when the Christian model is applied, society is better off for it. At the very least, it is not a "weight".

My opponent has failed to meet his burden of proof.
I await his response (which, hopefully, will be more substantial).
Debate Round No. 3


manpower2 forfeited this round.


Oh dear. My opponent has forfeited. Please vote for me.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by jwoodward48 1 year ago
This is vague. Certainly, some of the beliefs of some Christians are harmful to society, but there are also some good parts.
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