The Instigator
Akira
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Jobbo56
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Does religion harm society?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/2/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,031 times Debate No: 32014
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (3)
Votes (0)

 

Akira

Pro

It is my opinion that religion harms society, and I will be arguing in favor of this stance in the following debate.

Rules:
1) Debate will begin in Round 2. Round 1 will be for posting the rules and for the opponent to make any opening statement he may wish to make.
2) Arguments must be coherent.

The BOP is on me, as I must give compelling arguments in support of my stance.
My opponent will counter my arguments.
Jobbo56

Con

Thank you for the challenge.
Debate Round No. 1
Akira

Pro

I will now begin the debate by presenting my arguments.

Suppression of Scientific discovery.

Religion suppresses scientific discovery and progress. Since religion usually already has presented answers for many of the questions of science, and many of these being important tenets, as well as having narratives within it's holy texts that contradict the facts that scientific inquiry has discovered, religious leader and entities have often suppressed and diminished the scientific process. Obviously the most famous example of this would be the house arrest of Galileo, after being found guilty by the Roman Inquisition for publishing the observations he made on the nature of the universe, which supported Heliocentrism, which contradicted Catholic doctrine.


Motivating violence.

Religion can be a profound motivator towards the execution of violent actions. Although the idividuals and entities who perpetrate these actions are directly responsible, their belief system is, often by the perpetrator themselves, cited as the primary motivation towards the action. Therefore, religion is indirectly responsible. Although any ideology ever thought of ever could possibly sparks intense acts of violence, most religous texts often support violence action, particulary in the sphere of punishment for those who break religous rules.
Jobbo56

Con

"Religion suppresses scientific discovery and progress"

This is a malformed statement, as religion as a whole doesn't disagree on scientific accomplishments and theories. As there are many religions that do, it is those individual religions that suppress scientific progress, not religion itself. That being said if the issue is individual religions, that can be true, and at the same time irrelevant. At times scientific discovery and process can be harmful and unwanted by the majority of the population, e.x. Nuclear research. Perhaps if Religion suppressed that, more lived would have been saved and there would be less pollution. As far as suppressing goes, even if science had more potential in the past than it did, I doubt there would be a dramatic Jetsons style change in history. Medical science would still have developed as normal, as religion didn't have much confrontation; same with a lot of sciences. As our minds are evolving and new generations are passing down new ideas, we come to accept new things. In modern day with modern science, most of it is accepted by the general population and scientific research is allowed to flourish.

"Religion can be a profound motivator towards the execution of violent actions."

This is true, but in modern day is rapidly deteriorating. One way to help speed up the process would be if our society was taught logic and reasoning at an early age, more people would be inclined to resolve from violence and ignorance, and express their beliefs in a more civil matter. You may say that religion is the cause for not being able to lean logic and reasoning at an early age, and perhaps it is in the meaning that individual religions have some questionable material that is taught in it, but it was ultimately ancient man's limited knowledge and the passing down of that limited knowledge that is the cause. This knowledge isn't exclusive to religion, where as scientific advances fix a lot of the malformed answers and most of those answers are accepted by religions world wide. As new information and practices are presented, it is countered by passed down culture and traditions, causing clashes. However, Evolutionary psychologists suggest that psychological adaptations evolved to solve recurrent problems in human ancestral environments. This is shown in modern day, for the majority of people are debating in a civil manner and not killing each other. The Middle Eastern holy wars are an exception, being that most those countries are still in a primitive form of society. So if what Evolutionary Psychology shows is consistent in the future, as is currently in the present, these issues will be solved very soon. So what you said is that it CAN cause violent actions; which is true, but our minds are evolving to where religions can live peacefully together.
Debate Round No. 2
Akira

Pro

Responding to counterargument 1:

"This is a malformed statement, as religion as a whole doesn't disagree on scientific accomplishments and theories."

This is technically incorrect as the texts, myths, traditional stories, etc. are often at odds with scientific discoveries, particularly in their account of the nature of things. Although adherents can accept and agree with scientific discoveries, this is irrelevent.


"At times scientific discovery and process can be harmful and unwanted by the majority of the population, e.x. Nuclear research. Perhaps if Religion suppressed that, more lived would have been saved and there would be less pollution."

There are two things I wish to say in responce:
1) Religion hasn't only repressed "harmful" scientific discovery, it has also repressed benificial science; nor is it more adept at repressing harmful science than beneficial science.

2) It would be a much better and efficient system to have the decision as to which areas of science should not be serched into further by the scientific community.


"As far as suppressing goes, even if science had more potential in the past than it did, I doubt there would be a dramatic Jetsons style change in history."

I never said or implied that there would be.


Responce to your first counterargument as a whole:

1) Religion as a whole does disagree with scientific dicoveries.
2) Religion isn't a tool to prevent progress in harmful areas of science, nor should it be implemented as one.
3) When speaking about religion suppressing harmful science, you tacitly admit that religion does suppress science.
4) What society would be like if religion never existed is irrelevent, as religion existing is a prerequisite to the question of the debate.

In my opinion, my argument that religion suppresses scienctific discovery and progress still stands.


Responding to counterargument 2:

I'll respond to this counterargument generally, rather than respond to specific points.

My argument wasn't based on the actions of adherents. My argument was based on a generalized form of the teachings of religion as a whole. While I said it can cause violent actions, I also said anything can cause violent actions. That's why the main point of the argument wasn't that religion merely has the potential to cause the execution of violent actions, but that the primitive doctrines of religion can be a very profound motivation, as these texts often depict and support the use of violence in the spheres of punishment of unruly adherents and in the spheres of relations with different beliefs. So, in my opinion, your counterargument misses the point of my argument and argues against an argument I never made.

In my opinion, my argument that religion can be a profound motivator towards violence still stands.


Therefore, it is my opinion that my arguments that religion as a whole is harmful to society have not been successfully countered.
Jobbo56

Con

This is technically incorrect as the texts, myths, traditional stories, etc. are often at odds with scientific discoveries, particularly in their account of the nature of things. Although adherents can accept and agree with scientific discoveries, this is irrelevent."

The concept of religion does not have a set base of beliefs or texts. As religion as a whole is again, a concept. Therefore, one can conclude that this is relevant being that we are, in fact, discussing religion as a whole; which is a concept. Texts, myths, and stories are adherents when you are discussing religion as a whole.

"Religion hasn't only repressed "harmful" scientific discovery, it has also repressed benificial science; nor is it more adept at repressing harmful science than beneficial science."

This all depends on which society we are discussing. As in the modern western society, this isn't a big issue. If it's society in general, that is a problem being that society in general is full of extreme differences that are in conflict and contradiction with each other.

"It would be a much better and efficient system to have the decision as to which areas of science should not be serched into further by the scientific community."

I agree.

"I never said or implied that there would be."

I never said you did, this was just a comment that I had.

"1) Religion as a whole does disagree with scientific dicoveries.
2) Religion isn't a tool to prevent progress in harmful areas of science, nor should it be implemented as one.
3) When speaking about religion suppressing harmful science, you tacitly admit that religion does suppress science.
4) What society would be like if religion never existed is irrelevent, as religion existing is a prerequisite to the question of the debate."

1. No it doesn't. In order to have religion as a whole, you have to include all known religions. And as there are many that do accept scientific discoveries, religion as a whole is neutral when it comes to science.
2. I never said it was, nor did I say that it should.
3. Yes, it can, but I also stated that this is not much of a case in today's standards and most likely not in the future.
4. I was using that as a point that the past suppression of science doesn't matter in today's standards being that most societies accept scientific research and discoveries, and that it would most likely not be much different if religion didn't exist.

"My argument wasn't based on the actions of adherents. My argument was based on a generalized form of the teachings of religion as a whole."

There is no teachings of religion as a whole. Religion is a concept; mashing up every religious teachings is not religion as a whole, it's presenting individual religions side by side.

"That's why the main point of the argument wasn't that religion merely has the potential to cause the execution of violent actions, but that the primitive doctrines of religion can be a very profound motivation, as these texts often depict and support the use of violence in the spheres of punishment of unruly adherents and in the spheres of relations with different beliefs. So, in my opinion, your counterargument misses the point of my argument and argues against an argument I never made."

And as I stated, if we were taught logic and reason, there would be less violent actions. It's not just primitive doctrines, it's the human inability to easily change one's thought pattern. Another reason why these things happen is that humans are naturally conformative, where as if logic and reason were taught, this would be countered.
Debate Round No. 3
Akira

Pro

Akira forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
Akira

Pro

Akira forfeited this round.
Jobbo56

Con

And I guess that's it.
Debate Round No. 5
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Jobbo56 4 years ago
Jobbo56
Yes, there are many flaws to prevent this debate's full potential.
Posted by Akira 4 years ago
Akira
I agree. This argument wasn't very well thought out. I was a bit too overzealous to start my first debate.
Posted by Ragnar 4 years ago
Ragnar
With so narrow a question, of course the answer will be yes. If it harms more than it helps would be a better subject.
No votes have been placed for this debate.