The Instigator
RightousBerkSwagga
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
AlternativeDavid
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Does religion have some benefits to society?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/21/2015 Category: Religion
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 602 times Debate No: 72112
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (9)
Votes (0)

 

RightousBerkSwagga

Pro

ABOUT: I usually prefer to be an agnostic, but for this debate, I'll change my viewpoint and shift it to being "Pro" just to see how it's like.
AlternativeDavid

Con

This whole debate sits on the premise that religion provides benefits, but holds the underlying assumption that these benefits could not be provided by another source. In order for Pro to win this debate he/she must prove that:

-Religion provides benefits that cannot be provided by another source
-Religion is a positive driving force on at least more than one societal issue*
These benefits do not come from fear of divine wrath. Society has not been helped as a result of you feeding the poor in response to death threats. Your suffering counterbalances the happiness.

*The term "some" implies that there is more than one of some undetermined or unspecified value. If Pro has an issue with this interpretation, I'd very much like to know why.

As Pro has not provided any arguments in the first round, I will refrain from doing so. I hope for a good debate.
Debate Round No. 1
RightousBerkSwagga

Pro

Thank you for being the contender of this debate. I hope this goes smoothly since this is my first.

Positive Outcomes In Society from Religious Integration:

1- Charity/Help:

Most charity organizations have been inspired by religious efforts. Many religious people have been taught to give a helping hand to others by doing several actions including; volunteering, donating and doing contributive effort leading to a positive outcome. Such scriptures and quotes are even mentioned in religious books:

A.BIBLE:

-Deuteronomy 15:11 For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, "You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land."

-Matthew 5:42 Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.

-Luke 12:33-34 Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

B.QURAN:

-And whatever you spend or whatever you vow to offer, Allah verily knows it and the evildoers have no helpers. (Al-Baqarah 2:270 )

-If you give charity in public, it is worthwhile (for it will persuade others), but if you hide and deliver it to the poor in secret that is (far) better for you. And Allah will remove from you some of your sins (due to this charity). And Allah is Aware of all that you do. (Al-Baqarah 2:271)

-Their (acceptance) of guidance is not your responsibility. It is Allah Who awards guidance whom He wills. And whatever wealth you give away (as charity donation) goes to your own benefit. It is not appropriate for you to spend but for Allah"s pleasure alone. And whatever you spend of your wealth, (its reward) will be paid back to you in full and you shall not be treated unjustly. (Al-Baqarah 2:272)

Many of the leading charity organizations have CEO's and founders that are a part of a religious faith. Examples are: Rotary Club, Mother Teresa, Kiwanis Club and the YMCA who take the willpower and the dedication to help pursue for a better world by giving enormous effort. This concludes the religious aspect of charity.

2- Morality:

Religion is also known to give moralistic value and hope to people who are at the low point of their lives. Some people like alcoholics, drug addicts or even people with depression find more comfort knowing that there is an almighty above, protecting them or giving them the thought that there is care involved if these kind of emotions aren't present with their families or friends for some reason. Basically religion gives most people a sense of meaning. It also brings people together, gives them a community for supporting each other who share a common goal of the religion and it allows people to believe in something greater than themselves . Religion has also had positive effects on slavery as well. Examples would be how Moses helped lead the Israelites from being slaves and how in England or the USA, during the anti-slave movement, it was first the Christians who viewed slavery as being immoral and wrong. This concludes the religious aspect on morality.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk...

http://www.breitbart.com...

http://www.washingtonpost.com...

3- Inspirational fundamentals:

Many of the worlds writers, poets , scholars, philosophers and musicians have had inspiration from their faith of religion. Often times, people like to incorporate their beliefs, biblical passages, and scenes into their arts. A lot of respective philosophies are based on their religious beliefs in conjunction with their community values and morals. Even In earlier times, such as the Renaissance, churches controlled a vast amount of wealth and they commissioned artists to create works for the church, such as Michaelangelo's painting of the Sistine Chapel which are still in great shape and has had popularity all around the world, even in text books.

It also gives a wide cultural stand point around the world by offering delicacies, clothing , language and hoildays such as Christmas, Ramazan or hanukkah. This concludes the religious aspect on inspirational fundamentals.

Sources for the scriptures and quotes :

http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com...

http://www.minhajwelfare.org...

Cheers.
AlternativeDavid

Con

1-Charity/Help

This point is a bit misleading. Of course a majority of charitable organizations will be religion based when 84% of people on Earth subscribe to a religion [1]. In fact, it seems as though religious organizations get a proportionately low amount of donations at 73% [2]. This tells us that people donate to secular causes at a higher rate than to religious causes.


A.BIBLE:

I can recite bible verses too

-Psalm 137.9 "How blessed will be the one who seizes and dashes your little ones against the rock."

-Genesis 15:9-10 God tells Abram to kill some animals for him. The needless slaughter makes God feel better [3]

-Deuteronomy 3:3-6 The Israelites, with God's help, kill all the men, women, and children of every city. [3]

-Matthew 18:8-9 Jesus advises his followers to mutilate themselves by cutting off their hands and plucking out their eyes. He says it's better to be "maimed" than to suffer "everlasting fire." [3]

-Luke 3:9 Those who fail to bear "good fruit" will be "hewn down, and cast into the fire." [3]

B.QURAN

As well as Quran verses

-8:12 "I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them"

This quote is exactly what I meant by doing good things purely out of fear of divine wrath.
...

I was hoping Pro would mention Mother Theresa:)

Here's a statement by Christopher Hitchens: "[Mother Theresa] was not a friend of the poor. She was a friend of poverty. She said that suffering was a gift from God. She spent her life opposing the only known cure for poverty, which is the empowerment of women and the emancipation of them from a livestock version of compulsory reproduction. And she was a friend to the worst of the rich, taking misappropriated money from the atrocious Duvalier family in Haiti (whose rule she praised in return) and from Charles Keating of the Lincoln Savings and Loan. Where did that money, and all the other donations, go?" [4]

Also, as I stated above, of course there are organizations that have religious CEO's. 84% of people in the world are religious. Religion does not have a monopoly on charities. In fact, the amount of money that Atheists give to charity is on a major steep rise [5].

2-Morality:

Pro stated this last but it bugs me so much that I must tackle it first.

"Religion has also had positive effects on slavery as well. Examples would be how Moses helped lead the Israelites from being slaves and how in England or the USA, during the anti-slave movement, it was first the Christians who viewed slavery as being immoral and wrong."

First thing wrong with this is that the exodus of the Jews from Egypt never happened. If it did happen, there would evidence of a two million person population shift out of Egypt, the cities mentioned would have evidence of existence, and there would be evidence that Egypt was crippled as described in the Torah/Bible [5].

It's fine if one wants to pass Exodus off as metaphorical, but please don't use it as historical data.

Later in the quote, Pro claims that Christians were the first to view slavery as being wrong. This is again incredibly misleading. I hope Pro doesn't mind me using Wikipedia as a source, for it is only used here to put many Gallup polls into one place. This chart [6] shows the level of religiousness in the United States since 1948 (the earliest year for data that I could find. When compared to the fact that 99.8% of Americans were Christian in 1776 [7] we can figure that while the pecentage of Americans has been on a slight decline since the formation of the country, they were still an overwhelming majority in 1850. As one can conclude, of course Christians challenged it first, there was a 90% chance of that happening.

This is not to ignore the quotes in the Bible that condone slavery, however.

Leviticus 25:44-46 "However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance."

Clearly the authors of the Bible were not anti-slavery.

Now, on to an earlier point.

"Religion is also known to give moralistic value and hope to people who are at the low point of their lives. Some people like alcoholics, drug addicts or even people with depression find more comfort knowing that there is an almighty above, protecting them or giving them the thought that there is care involved if these kind of emotions aren't present with their families or friends for some reason."

What I take from the argument is that Pro is suggesting that lying to people is okay. Whether there is a god or not is irrelevant. According to Pro, making people think something so that they act differently is okay. That is called manipulation.

"Basically religion gives most people a sense of meaning."

Though is having a sense of meaning restricted to religious people? Believing that you only have one shot to get your name in the history books is a fantastic meaning giver.

3-Inspirational fundamentals

"Even In earlier times, such as the Renaissance, churches controlled a vast amount of wealth and they commissioned artists to create works for the church, such as Michaelangelo's painting of the Sistine Chapel which are still in great shape and has had popularity all around the world, even in text books."

I get where Pro is coming from, but had it not been for the church, there wouldn't have even been a Renaissance. There wouldn't have been a need for one. By this I mean that Christians spawned the Dark Ages. The Christian leaders of the Roman Empire (at the end of it's glory mind you) would burn classical literature [8] witten by Plato, Socrates, Democritus, Marcus Aurelius, et al for being Pagan and therefore heretical. I can't fathom how burning books helped society at all.

"Many of the worlds writers, poets , scholars, philosophers and musicians have had inspiration from their faith of religion."

I feel as though they would have easily found a different muse without religion.

"A lot of respective philosophies are based on their religious beliefs in conjunction with their community values and morals."

I'd like to raise a quesiton. Is philosphy based in religion, or is religion based in philosophy? Just because there wasn't a name for a philosophy does not mean it didn't exist.

"It also gives a wide cultural stand point around the world by offering delicacies, clothing , language and hoildays such as Christmas, Ramadan or hanukkah."

-How does starving oneself for most of the day, every day, for a month benefit anyone?
-Hannukah is a very minor holiday in Judaism. The only reason that presents are given is because of the commercialization of religion. I guess that it does benefit the already hyper rich owners of Hallmark.
-How does religion even relate to clothing, language, and food?

Quite frankly, I don't think Pro has introduced any benefits that can be decisevly attributed to religion, that cannot also be attributed to secularism.


[1] http://www.washingtontimes.com...;
[2] http://www.philanthropy.iupui.edu...;
[3] http://skepticsannotatedbible.com...
[4] http://www.independent.co.uk...;
[5] http://www.huffingtonpost.com...?
[6] http://en.wikipedia.org...;
[7] http://www.alliance4lifemin.org...;
[8] http://www.badnewsaboutchristianity.com...;
Debate Round No. 2
RightousBerkSwagga

Pro

Counter Arguments :

1-Charity/Help:

-I agree with your arguments but it should be known that even though religious charities don't get as much funding as their counterparts which are secular charities, they still do something in this world and it's better than nothing.

-As for the scriptures, they could be understood or interpreted in different ways but not all people from these faiths base their judgments or actions upon these kinds of teachings. Example would be Westboro Baptist Church, even the people from the same faith call them "nutjobs" and want them out of here. Another one would be Islam, and how most Muslims condemn terroristic actions. So even though some religions could have their cons they also have their pros, and most act upon the positives rather than the negatives. Although, this could be the case for some people who don't even know most of their religion but thats a debate for another time.

2-Morality:

What I take from the argument is that Pro is suggesting that lying to people is okay. Whether there is a god or not is irrelevant. According to Pro, making people think something so that they act differently is okay. That is called manipulation.

-Even though manipulation has negatives in other cases, in this particular case, manipulation has a positive, since it gives hope and the feeling of care.This is of course, if this kind of feeling isn't present with their friends or families.

"Basically religion gives most people a sense of meaning."

Though is having a sense of meaning restricted to religious people? Believing that you only have one shot to get your name in the history books is a fantastic meaning giver.

- The quote reads basically religion gives "most" people a sense of meaning. So, religion has the ability to give meaning to most people but not all. Even if you're not religious, you can still find the meaning of life.But in this quote, it was exemplified that religion gives most people a sense of meaning so there is a possibility that even religious people have a hard time finding meaning with a religion.But this still shows that a percentage does actually find a meaning in life with religion above there heads.

I feel as though they would have easily found a different muse without religion.

-Although you might be right in a sense, some of them did actually find muse through religion. An example would be Kepler, who found the laws of orbital motion and stated ""I wanted to become a theologian; for a long time I was restless. Now, however, behold how through my effort God is being celebrated through astronomy" So it could be concluded that some writers, poets , scholars, philosophers and musicians like Kepler did in fact base their desire to learn and unveil some of Earth's greatest mysteries by the help of religion.

I agree with the rest of your arguments and statements.

3- Inspirational Fundamentals:

-How does starving oneself for most of the day, every day, for a month benefit anyone?
-Hannukah is a very minor holiday in Judaism. The only reason that presents are given is because of the commercialization of religion. I guess that it does benefit the already hyper rich owners of Hallmark.
-How does religion even relate to clothing, language, and food?

- While fasting in Ramazan, it's supposed to give the awareness of being thankful to God that you have everything. It's also supposed to give you the feeling of how others in conditions of poverty and hunger feel and is supposed to motivate you to give to others. In addition, not everyone has to fast. These are the exceptions; sickness, traveling, pregnancy and breastfeeding, senility and old age and intense hunger and thirst. More info could be found here:

http://islamqa.info...

- Hanukkah being a "minor" holiday in Judaism shouldn't really be an issue since people still celebrate it. Plus, are you stating that a holiday should be recognized by the popularity of it? It is also a growing holiday because of its proximity to Christmas. And Hanukkah is not just about commercializing for Hallmark. More info about Hanukkah could be found here:

http://judaism.about.com...

- As for how does religion relate to clothing, you can find definitions of fashion materials from a particular faith that must be worn in certain circumstances here:

http://www.tolerance.org...

-For language,I'll give an example from the second most popular religion of the world. Islam, Native speakers of Arabic have long claimed that Arabic is far more than a language; rather, the language of Islam. The language chosen by God to speak to mankind, influences how a person perceives the world and expresses reality. More info about the Arabic language and how it correlates to religion could be found here:

http://www.meforum.org...

-For food, here is how religion is involved in some cuisines:

http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au...

I agree with the other arguments you've made.

Conclusion:

Religion does have "some" positives in this world, but some might suggest that the negatives could outweigh the rest. This kind of rational thought however, depends on who you are, where you live and what stance you take on this issue. I would like to hear the Con's opinion on this and would like to thank him for the great debate and great time! :)

Apologies for not explaining much, I'm kind of in a rush.

Cheers.
AlternativeDavid

Con

1-Charity/Help:


"I agree with your arguments but it should be known that even though religious charities don't get as much funding as their counterparts which are secular charities, they still do something in this world and it's better than nothing."

Yes something is better than nothing, but if secular charities are raising proportionately more than religious charities, then this benefit cannot be attributed to religion; rather people trying to do good in the world.

"...how most Muslims condemn terroristic actions"

I wonder if Pro has actually done his research on this. I hope bringing in this evidence will not lose me points with potential muslim voters, but I must if I am to properly counter this.

Throughout the world... [1]

-Only 57% of Muslims find Al-Qaeda to be unfavorable
-Only 49% of Muslims find The Taliban to be unfavorable
-Only 45% of Muslims find Hamas to be unfavorable
-Only 42% of Muslims find Hezbollah to be unfavorable
-62% of Muslims in Palestine believe that suicide bombings are often or sometimes justified

These numbers speak very, very loudly.

"...Westboro Baptist Church, even the people from the same faith call them "nutjobs" and want them out of here."

Keep in mind that the WBC is probably closer to message displayed in the bible than where most Christians are. The bible condemns gays (Leviticus 18:21-22), as does the WBC [2]. The WBC is classified as "Primitive Baptist" [3]. This means that they are more like the original Christians than today's Christians are. In reality, the WBC is more attuned to their religion than most are.

2-Morality:

"Even though manipulation has negatives in other cases, in this particular case, manipulation has a positive, since it gives hope and the feeling of care."

So where is the line drawn? I down expect Pro to answer this as he is out of time, but it is not up to Pro to decide where this line in the sand is drawn. When is it okay to manipulate people? Why is this time okay, not in the case of Jim Jones [4]? Jones belived until the very end that what he was doing was right.


"Even if you're not religious, you can still find the meaning of life"

So Pro agrees that the benefits of religion are negated by the fact that religion is not a necessary vector for finding meaning and happiness?


"Although you might be right in a sense, some of them did actually find muse through religion"

I feel as though Pro misunderstood my statement. Yes they found a muse through religion, but is there proof that they were limited to that muse?

"'I wanted to become a theologian; for a long time I was restless. Now, however, behold how through my effort God is being celebrated through astronomy' So it could be concluded that some writers, poets , scholars, philosophers and musicians like Kepler did in fact base their desire to learn and unveil some of Earth's greatest mysteries by the help of religion."

Where the heck did Pro pull that out of the quote? Kepler wanted to become a theologicial, sure, but nowhere in the quote does it say that it drove him to learn astronomy. He was indeed happy to be able to celebrate his god in such a way, but there's no discussion of why he went to astronomy.

"I agree with the rest of your arguments and statements."

Me too

3-Inspirational Fundamentals

"While fasting in Ramazan, it's supposed to give the awareness of being thankful to God that you have everything."

By depriving yourself of food and water? How does this awareness benefit anybody?

"...supposed to motivate you to give to others."

Due to the fact that Pro did not actually show whether or not it does in fact motivate people, I will assume that "supposed to" is as far as this goes.

"Plus, are you stating that a holiday should be recognized by the popularity of it?"

Yes. If I gather eight people together and start celebrating wdiuvhduvhervrvr day, is anybody going to recognize it as important? Only a small group of people even celebrate it, but popularity is irrelevant, right?


"As for how does religion relate to clothing, you can find definitions of fashion materials from a particular faith that must be worn in certain circumstances here"

So Pro's response to my remarks about clothing was to cite a source that shows the oppression of religion. Forcing people to wear certain clothing? That doesn't sound like a real benefit. That sounds like a detractor.

"For language,I'll give an example from the second most popular religion of the world. Islam, Native speakers of Arabic have long claimed that Arabic is far more than a language; rather, the language of Islam. The language chosen by God to speak to mankind, influences how a person perceives the world and expresses reality."

...And this is relevant how exactly?


"I agree with the other arguments you've made."

Me too


---

In conclusion, religion does not have plural positives in the world. After this debate, I could see at most one benefit that was addressed by Pro. As far as I am concerned, all other potential benefits were shown to be null or truly negatives. I very much enjoyed this debate. I wish luck to Pro in voting.


(I apologize for everything being blue, when I pasted in "leviticus" the standard color was changed to that of the word on the website I got it from.)

[1]
http://www.pewglobal.org...;
[2]
www.godhatesfags.com
[3] http://gawker.com...;
[4] http://www.biography.com...;
Debate Round No. 3
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by bluesteel 1 year ago
bluesteel
=================================================================
>Futurepresident2048 // Moderation action: Removed<

5 point to Con (arguments, sources). {RFD = Reasons for voting decision: Affirmation was able to give more convincing arguments. However the lengthy arguments in each round are very annoying.}

[*Reason for Removal*] Not specific enough on arguments. No explanation on sources.
==================================================================
Posted by iqpiblog 1 year ago
iqpiblog
religion didnt show us morality or charity...................................

humans acquired these attributes from our early ancestors
Posted by iqpiblog 1 year ago
iqpiblog
........agree with what you are saying

truth only exists in the present

nothing anyone says about the past or the future can ever be true.............

truth is a personal perception of an event and the brains processing of that event in the PRESENT

............................RELIGION LIKE EVERYTHING HAS SOME BENEFITS ALSO

H_O_W_E_V_E_R

It is an outdated human system of life that is currently causing serious harm to the human brain and ultimately hindering our species
Posted by vi_spex 1 year ago
vi_spex
unless they are talking about something that is physically here now or something i remember*
Posted by vi_spex 1 year ago
vi_spex
thank you :)

to me, true clarity=light now

knowledge is past, belief is future, i have no knowledge about the future, as knowledge is memory of now

science is a belief system, i can at best believe what others tell me, as i have to imagine it
Posted by iqpiblog 1 year ago
iqpiblog
vi_spex i agree with alot of what you say often

i totally agree that religion is actually 'evil' (ie something that causes detriment to a person)

however i also recognise that our species will need to very gradually transcend beyond traditional religions.

we are too proud a species to admit to our many grandiose and long running past errors, all at once.

as more and more people will gain new knowledges, they will also gradually be forced to see the errors of their ways.

it is equally important to highlight that science is also inflicted with our religious methods of thinking. we limit ourselves to fixed models and theories, and treat them as facts.

all current knowledge is merely the predecessor of a different and higher truth yet to be achieved.

religion and science are both hindering our brains from perceiving the world in a clearer light.

the big bang theory and creationism theory and evolution theory are all fragments or clues to our past but the past is non verifiable and hence we should end our attempts to describe unwitnessed past events as facts.

to be continued..........

good luck vi_spex
Posted by vi_spex 1 year ago
vi_spex
religion is all evil that can possibly exist
Posted by WillYouMarryMe 1 year ago
WillYouMarryMe
this resolution is a truism.

obviously it has *some* benefits.

the real question is whether or not the benefits outweigh the harms
Posted by Varrack 1 year ago
Varrack
If you need help just look at my religion debates.
No votes have been placed for this debate.