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Does religion poison everything? (Christopher Hitchens argument)

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/6/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 717 times Debate No: 41807
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)




I would love to debate someone on this issue. I will be claiming that religion does poison everything. 1st round is for acceptance.


Finally. An opponent of this type of situation. I accept. But is one round of debate and one round of closing statements all we need? I guess I can swing with this.
Debate Round No. 1


I am relatively new to debating on here, and I didn't realise the no. of rounds could be changed, but if you wish, we could do repeat with more rounds after.

The assertion that religion poisons everything refers to that fact that things such as charity, or kindness, have been poisoned by religion, as we do not do them out of a sense on humanity, or a sense of how other humans are our brothers and sisters, but because we are ordered to, with the threat of eternal suffering in hell / Jahannam (Islamic hell) / whatever punishment you get in other religions. The good things we associate with religion like morality, we do because God/other deity tells us to, and not out of goodwill. Therefore these things, when done in the name of religion, are poisoned, as they become petty, as doing them out of empathy is doing it for the wrong reason.


Here is where I will post my only rebuttal.

As a Christian Anarchist, I believe in peace and love without government or church control over lives.. I was first a christian who thought I was in a religion. Then I saw the wrongs it did. So I researched my faith and found Christian Anarchy and other parts to my beliefs. But it started when I read the bible on my own. People wanna do good for God, yet Jesus told us to do good for ourselves. Religion has poisoned things, but it has brought light and healing to others. We have the founding fathers, who some were Christian. We had Ronald Reagan who not only ended the Cold War, but ended the Great Depression. Christian. Matthew Vines, the man who is working on a project to change the church's mainstream view on homosexuality. Shocker to most, he's christian. Just like the Gay Christian Netowork. They didn't do this for God. They did it for the sake of their people and themselves. Now it has added on to religious cults like Westboro Baptist Church, Army of God, KKK, Jim Jones. I can go on more about cults and crusade wars, but I can do the same for the morality we have, the leaders we have had, and the families that are being developed.

Now Atheism, has it's flaws too. It has become like Christianity. Both simple philosophies, but became a commodity due to sellouts and radicals. Agnostic became something of it since people weren't sure. Even Charles Darwin, the creator of the theory of Evolution was stated as an agnostic. Atheism came later where people claimed they knew no god or deity existed. Then other movements came in. Karl Marx stated that religion was an opium that needed to be destroyed. This would then invent communism. It was thought to be a paradise where poverty would never be known. One problem. It would be. People in churches already or of faith would lose everything due to what communism did. And if that doesn't happen, power or authority control is a factor. You have power and you can be corrupt by it. This was proven in 1970 with the Stanford Prison Experiment and in 1964 when told to electrocute somebody til possible death in 1964. Authority and power can corrupt people and the majority of citizens will obey, unless they absoluteley disagree. New Atheism forms with Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and the now deceased Christopher Hitchens (may he rest in peace for I prayed for him to be in heaven since I knew he actually had good hearted intentions for his cause). New Atheism is another militant form of atheism where they encourage people to be more open about their beliefs as well as mocking and ridiculing the religious. So this invites people who are atheists to be arrogant. Then rules were established. You couldn't believe or follow anything like creationism. Your main atheism bible is science and the philosophers and professors that were with the idea. You are to agree with other atheists. Then just like baptists and methodist denominations, more atheist denominations split. And then atheist church was built. Atheism has been responsible for murders as much as religion has. The persecution and killing of religious by communists is equal to the Army of God and KKK.

It's interpretation. I don't believe being gay is a sin and I will battle with anybody on that by bible verses. I don't believe in government or church authority, but I believe God and us are in control of our lives. I believe nobody is eternally damned forever. I believe we all can be saved and no sin is unforgivable except knowing that you know God, yet you denounce him and plan to go to war against him. I admit, some stuff in the old testament is pretty extreme. But look into the New Testament and you'll find some stuff. Especially Matthew Chapter 5.
Debate Round No. 2


Don't you think that things like the 10 commandments, and Jesus telling us to love our neighbour, compromise the idea of morality, as we are only doing things because we are told to. And those people, have they done those things because God has told them, or because they are naturally "nice", empathetic people? Also, as a sidenote, if Christianity hadn't been so "militant" in the past, especially to non-believers, maybe there would be a few more great atheist figures from the past...

On the subject of militant atheism, I don't see any difference between militant atheism and some Christians who are exactly the same..

You mention "Christopher Hitchens (may he rest in peace for I prayed for him to be in heaven since I knew he actually had good hearted intentions for his cause)". What intentions do you believe he had? I interpret in the way as I stated in the 2nd round.

Thank you for the debate, it was great fun! Could you possibly explain Christian Anarchy in more detail, as before today, I had never heard of it!

*virtual handshake*


I mention that because Christopher Hitchens said he loved people and wanted to help them. He stated he would have helped Jesus and prevent his execution the best he could if he was able to. He even said he was a good teacher. But didn't like being told that he was going to die and that he had no say so in the matter of Jesus dying for his sins. Christopher Hitchens wrote about Mother Theresa in his novel, The Missionary Position. In the book, he calls her a whore and a selfish person who he thought, killed the poor and diseased she was helping. Now the differences are at least she was there doing something. Christopher Hitchens only writes books and debates with religious beings on the matter of justice, but was he out doing anything?

Militant Atheism is the same as militant Christianity. Both fundamental and dogmatic. Like I said, it's the human being, not the religion. Somebody can make a science or political party and poison everything the same ways people claim. Science exclusively for promoting the chances of killings and genocides. Nazi Science might also become official. Political parties can have complete control over things.

Like I said, Jesus doesn't want us to just do it for the matter of reward of heaven. Even if you consider that, it's no different from any other form of this learning technique. You hear of a certain reward like money for chores or Raising Canes Chicken for report card grades, you will learn this implies that given an award, we perform better. So your argument sounds like you don't like the idea of presenting a reward to somebody for good conduct. Before anybody says, "This guy will lose because he believes in heaven and he states it's ok for others to believe in fiction", I will say this. It doesn't matter. I'm not saying my faith or beliefs are fake, but if you say what I quoted, then you should look up studies on Placebo Effects and how they have improved situations. Like giving sugar pills to angry and violent people, but tell them they are taking pills to suppress their anger. No harm is done to anybody.

My point is this. Religion is about as poisonous as branches of science, politics, military or law enforcement, music, or social group. It's all about the individual. There are saints and there are tyrants. Which will you become? Forget the past, and become the future.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by ndedo 2 years ago
Why do you make the assertion that Roman Catholicism is "not true Christianity"? I agree that Mormonism is not, and obviously neither is Islam, but what makes Catholicism un-Christian? I'd enjoy debating this with you.

You also mention James 2:26, which includes the words "faith without deeds is dead". This disproves your next statement that there is no threat of damnation if someone doesn't do good deeds, instead of backing it up like you seem to think. I'd also like to debate this in a second debate: whether or not good deeds are necessary to enter Heaven, based on the Bible.
Posted by logicaldebater 2 years ago
"The assertion that religion poisons everything refers to that fact that things such as charity, or kindness, have been poisoned by religion, as we do not do them out of a sense on humanity, or a sense of how other humans are our brothers and sisters, but because we are ordered to, with the threat of eternal suffering in hell / Jahannam (Islamic hell) / whatever punishment you get in other religions."

Those would be good works religions (like Roman Catholicism, Mormonism, Islam, etc.) and not true Christianity. I do believe that religion (at least good works religion) poisons society, because it makes people believe that if they don't do something, they'll go to hell. True Christianity, though, makes clear the fact that Salvation comes from grace alone, not works. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith"and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God"not by works, so that no one can boast."

Good works are how Christians should exercise their faith. People should do good things not because those good things will save them, but because they have been saved already. James 2:26 says, "As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead." There is no threat of damnation if you don't do "good things." People are damned for sinning, not for failing to give to charity. People are saved by Christ's grace alone, anything "good" that they do afterwards is simply for the sake of showing the love that Christ showed to them to others.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by ndedo 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: It was pretty close, but I feel that Con was slightly more convincing. Pro had better S&G, conduct was even and no sources were used.