The Instigator
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The Contender
Con (against)
1 Points

Christianity is violent and oppressive

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/28/2015 Category: Religion
Updated: 9 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 322 times Debate No: 84350
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (9)
Votes (1)




Now, before I begin I would like to say I am not looking to offend anyone. And I also do not want any trolls accepting this debate, this is a serious discussion and I would appreciate a serious attitude when it comes to this.

Now to start off I want to introduce my arguments for this position.
1) The Bible, just like the Quran is littered with violent and oppressive quotes in its pages.
2) It fueled most of the world's most atrocious acts of genocide and gave brutal dictators a way to seize power
3) Today, it has slowed progress in our ever evolving world and continues to breed a regressive attitude

So to begin with we will address the biblical quotes that are quite frankly horrific and outright brutal. In 1 Samuel 15:3 we see an outright genocidal order with it saying, "This is what the Lord Almighty says ... 'Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.' In this God orders the Israelites to kill everyone in Amalek and not to spare anyone. And this is not even the worst yet! In 1 Timothy 2:12 Paul says, "I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, she must be silent." If we follow these words all the rights women have gained would be thrown out the window. For a final example we find in Psalm 137 it says, "Happy is he who repays you for what you have done to us / He who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks." There are countless more examples but for the sake of space I will leave only these quotes to validate my point. Are we supposed to call the people who wrote these passages peaceful and loving. And are we to legitimately believe that God commanded these things be done?

Secondly, Christianity was used to promote some of the worst atrocities in human history. My first example will be the crusades, in which the crusaders massacred every Muslim and Jew they saw regardless of whether they were a civilian or not. And they did this because their Pope promised them an eternity in heaven for fighting to 'free' the holy land. Secondly, the Spanish Inquisition captured and tortured anyone who disagreed with any of the church's opinions. Often times people would be killed in horrific ways such as being made to sit on spiked chairs or being pulled apart slowly. Let's also not forget the ever so famous burning at the stake incident. And when it came to promoting dictators, Christianity did a great job of bringing them to power. Adolf Hitler cited Jesus as his inspiration for fighting the Jews. And the Catholic Church endorsed Hitler and his Nazi party. Nazi soldiers had 'God is with us' inscribed on their belt buckles. Mussolini even wanted the Catholic Church to have the same power it had back in the Dark Ages. And because of this, the church helped these two dictators obtain power over their countries.

Finally, today Christians have halted progress for our ever changing societies. This is especially the case in America where even with the legalization of same-sex marriage, we still have people who refuse to recognize their marital status. And when it comes to science, about 42% of Americans still reject evolution for a creationist model of the universe. These same people want Christianity to be taught in schools as a fact and evolution and the Big Bang excluded completely. In history scientists such as Galileo and Copernicus were threatened with death for challenging the church's doctrine. It is a constant struggle to push forward into the future when we have people who want to revert to old, outdated ideas.

In closing I would like to say that everyone has a right to believe in whatever they see fit, but this does not mean that your beliefs are free from scrutiny. Christianity is in my opinion violent and oppressive in its ideas and beliefs


Good evening everyone, I would like to apologize to HChilders and those interested in this debate. Life got in the way for a moment but I intend to respond more quickly in the coming rounds.

I will take the position that Christianity is not a violent and oppressive religion.

For this first round I will offer my opening counter arguments which I hope to expand upon in the second round.

To hold this viewpoint that Christianity is violent and oppressive, one must erroneously regard the religion as a monolith unaffected by the human element. But Christianity is not a static thing. As new sects emerge and ideas surrounding the meaning of passages in the Bible change it becomes more and more complex as a whole, its complexity largely aided by the fact that there is no single authority within Christianity.

1) "The Bible, just like the Quran is littered with violent and oppressive quotes in its pages."

I agree with you, the bible absolutely is littered with violent and oppressive quotes within its pages. However the character of a given quote and what it means to the religion as a whole are two completely different things. Just like any other literary work, the meaning of the stories in the bible require context and are ultimately colored by perspectives of the individuals reading them.

Some Christians believe that the New Testament has more relevance than the Old Testament. Some choose to follow only the word of Christ using the rest of the bible to give context to the times. Some Christians try to make sense of the entire book. Some Christians are prone to cherry picking. All of these things affect exactly what each individual will take away from the religion and how they ultimately practice it.

We can tell just by the different sects of Christianity that exist and our understanding of the role subjectivity plays in literature that simply pulling a terrible quote from the bible will offer the reader nothing in terms of understanding the religion as a whole. Millions of Christians have been devoted followers for decades and even most of them will admit they still don't understand everything and that's after having read the bible and pondering the meaning of the stories within for decades. We can find many quotes in the bible that either are outright ignored by Christians or are at least seen as irrelevant to how they practice their religion.

2) "It fueled most of the world's most atrocious acts of genocide and gave brutal dictators a way to seize power."

There is no doubt that Christianity has been used as a tool to manipulate large groups of people but blaming the object used to manipulate rather than blind obedience to authority figures with dangerous, self-serving agendas is no better than following those same people. When one blames religion, they take those with dangerous agendas at face value rather than realizing that these people are attempting to gain something politically, economically and socially. It takes the focus of the root cause and placing it on to something that has no more meaning than what people give it.

It's common for most people that oppose Christianity to argue about how it is responsible for so many atrocities over time but it is simply not the case. When Charles Phillips and Alan Axelrod compiled an Encyclopedia of War analyzing 1763 wars were found to have a religious cause which accounted for 7% of all wars. [1] For something that is responsible for so much suffering throughout history there simply isn't much evidence to support it beyond a few major events that stick out in the collective consciousness of those looking to argue how terrible Christianity is.

3) "Today, it has slowed progress in our ever evolving world and continues to breed a regressive attitude."

Christianity hasn't slowed the progress of mankind by any means. It's been proven that generally people have a preference against change and against newer things and this has been proven without regard for anyone's religious affiliation [2][3][4]. To not recognize this is to overlook a quality that we all share to some degree. Most people are resistant to change in many areas of their life. There is truth in the phrase that we are creatures of habit and these habits have been proven to be difficult to break as we, in many ways, favor tradition and stability in various areas of our lives, often without realizing it.

Debate Round No. 1


HChilders forfeited this round.


My opponent has forfeited round two. Understandably a lot of time and effort can go into these things and it is sometimes difficult to meet debate deadlines. Should my opponent return, I ask that my opponent not introduce any new arguments for round 3 to keep this debate focused. I am not going to expand upon my previous points until they have been challenged. I look forward to the final round.
Debate Round No. 2


HChilders forfeited this round.


It appears that my opponent has forfeited the final round.

In conclusion I'd like to close the debate by stating the my opponent did nothing to support his opening arguments which fail to properly support his position in this debate .

Aside from the fact that the position that Christianity as a whole is violent and oppressive is the perfect example of composition fallacy, I will briefly remind the audience not of how wrong the position itself is but rather the fact that my opponent has failed to defend it.

1) My opponent has failed to support how quotes cherry-picked from a very large work of literature can possibly be used to characterize the entire work of literature let alone demonstrate that the work of literature itself has influenced violence and oppression amongst all or most of Christians who, as a whole, seem to have differing views on the content of the bible and also practice the religion differently.

2) My opponent argued that Christianity was responsible for the world's most atrocious acts of genocide and gave brutal dictators a way to seize power and did not support this point at all. Aside from the fact that he never estabilshed a causal link between the acts he did bring up and Christianity itself (which has also gone undefined) he has failed to acknowledge equally attricious acts in which Christianity played no part, failed to acknowledge the fact that modern Christians (and likely even Christians at the time) don't support those acts at all, and failed generally failed to demonstrate how the religion itself supports the few atrocious acts he named.

3) My opponent also placed the blame of regressive attitudes in society on Christianity. Aside from various studies and musings out there that outline the fact that people generally support the status quo and are averse to change without regards to religion, experience alone will tell us that this assertion is flat out wrong as a large portion that one encounters are resistant to change in various areas of their lives, even areas they are unhappy with.

Please remember that the burden is not on me to prove the religion is not violent or oppressive but rather on my opponent to adequately support that it is. I have pointed out the major flaws in my opponents opening arguments which they have failed to expand upon or defend past the first round.

As my opponent has failed to support their arguments, which are not adequate enough to defend their position, please vote for Con. Thank you for your time.
Debate Round No. 3
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by RayMabry 9 months ago
@dsjpk5 I thought this site offered a unique platform for a civil exchange of ideas. When I originally joined it was just simply to be apart of it in some way. I had every intention of being more active back then but I was preoccupied with other hobbies. My views and thinking have changed a lot over the past 4 years and I think I'm more confident in them so I came back, hoping to contribute. Although this debate didn't go as I hoped l, and I say that just in terms of my own time constants during the debate, I at least got a taste of it and hope to contribute more in the near future.

And thank you very much.
Posted by dsjpk5 9 months ago
Wow. You joined four years ago, but have just now started debating? Interesting. Congratulations on your win!
Posted by TheRealGod 9 months ago
I have seen a lot of things that people have done in my name called Christians, please stop using my name, you are giving me a bad rep. From the crusades to the missions to slavery, stop it.
Posted by RayMabry 9 months ago
2) I reject 1st source altogether. I agree with some points but upon thinking about it a bit more and learning more about the author, I can't fully support anymore.

[3] (Generally supports the study but points out its limits)

Generally what I'm finding is that the study isn't necessarily flawed but it doesn't tell us much. So I'll say, it doesn't produce "major red flags" for me anymore but I think it's certainly not enough be conclusive on the matter.

I'll also add, it might be great for a debate about Christianity and morality but I think it's out of place when talking about violence and oppression.
Posted by RayMabry 9 months ago
1) matt8800, Just some thoughts. That study doesn't seem to be related to the debate at hand at all. Since the article you posted doesn't appear to link to the original study at all, it took it upon myself to find it:

Obviously, we can't see everything but it's nice to be able to find the source.

First, I think the sample size is awfully small for what's being measured. We're talking about Children from different countries and religions and somehow capturing data on ~2000 of them is supposed to yield results that are representative of the behaviors of those affiliated with much larger religious groups? I also think that the fact that the children were also from 6 different countries would affect the results of the data let alone religion. I'm sure that one's culture and economics amongst other factors play a pretty huge role in determining how altruistic an individual is. I wonder did they control for those things. The sample size wasn't even large enough to capture statistically significant groups of people outside of Christians and Muslims.
Secondly, I think the category of non-religious is awfully vague as well.
So this study produces some major red flags for me.

I happened to find a source, that didn't appear have a religious bias, that was critical of the study. I thought it might be a good idea to include it here and seek out a few more in the same vein:

[1] (a bit on the humorous side, but makes great points)
[2] (probably more biased towards religion but interesting points)
Posted by matt8800 9 months ago
Here is a scientific study that shows that religious children are meaner than their secular counterparts -
Posted by stargate 9 months ago
Maybe hundreds p!of years ago, but not so much now.
Posted by HChilders 9 months ago
I am always open to criticism, if you feel I am doing something wrong then by all means correct me.
Posted by bballcrook21 9 months ago
Your argument is wrong on so many levels. I don't have the will to debate this, but I might in the future.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 9 months ago
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro ff many times, so conduct to Con.