The Instigator
matt8800
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
TranquilSpirit
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Faith without evidence is detrimental

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/8/2016 Category: Religion
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 529 times Debate No: 84772
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (0)

 

matt8800

Pro

I am taking the PRO position that faith without evidence is harmful. I believe it promotes habits of inaccurate thought and is detrimental to the individual and to society as a whole.

CON is going to try to prove that faith without evidence is a positive thing.

The only rule is that religious text can be used as reference to clarification or explanation but cannot be presented as proof that Con's position is correct. The reason for this is that it is circular reasoning (ie P1 The bible says to have faith. P2 The bible says the bible is completely correct. C It is correct to have faith). That would get off on a tangent of the credibility of the source material, which is another debate.
TranquilSpirit

Con

Since I can't use the Bible as "proof," then you can't use the Bible as "proof," either. Anyway, your entire view is complete fallacy, rendering your entire claim, void.

- Fallacy - A mistaken belief, especially one based on unsound argument.

Your view is fallacy, simply because you say Faith without evidence is harmful. There is no evidence to prove, or disprove God.

- Faith - Complete trust or confidence in someone or something

You have faith that God doesn't exist. Yet you have no proof, as no one does, of such a claim. I can say that, "Your faith without evidence is harmful."

The Bible was wrote by man, not God. It is through man's interpretation of God, and creation, that we come to have religious texts. From the dawn of intelligent thinking, man has felt something greater than ourselves in the universe. Which is why religions, philosophies, and faiths of all kinds have sprung forth all across the globe. Even some scientists, who don't believe in God, will agree in the terms of an intelligent designer.

"Every one who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe - a spirit vastly superior the to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble."

"The scientists' religious feeling takes form of a rapturous amazement at the harmony of natural law, which reveals an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection." - Albert Einstein

It is through one's own understanding of the universe, and creation, that we believe or don't believe in God. Man created religion, not God. Who is God? What is God? No one knows this. But to say a belief in such is harmful, is based on opinion, not fact. Christians follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. Jesus spoke of only one thing more than love, and that was God. Many people have done great things in their lives, and in the lives of others, simply because of their Faith. Yes, there are radical Christians who are mean, hateful, and very hypocritical. However, there are radicals in all religions and philosophies.

To say that Faith is harmful to one's self, and society, can be simply proven wrong on the understanding that through someone's Faith, they believed that God told them to do such selfless acts. If God isn't real, then their imagination in such a belief, held them to a high moral standard than of their self. Simply, to a belief in God. If this is the case, then the opposite argument can be made. Those people who don't believe in God, who do horrendous acts against society, do so because of their lack of belief in God.

This is why your argument is fallacy, and completely void. There is no evidence for either argument. Again, it's all based on one's own perception of literally, everything.
Debate Round No. 1
matt8800

Pro

You have faith that God doesn't exist. Yet you have no proof, as no one does, of such a claim. I can say that, "Your faith without evidence is harmful."

I never postulated that God doesn’t exist because I don’t claim to know.

Straw man - A straw man is a common form of argument and is an informal fallacy based on giving the impression of refuting an opponent's argument, while actually refuting an argument which was not advanced by that opponent.

The so-called typical "attacking a straw man" argument creates the illusion of having completely refuted or defeated an opponent's proposition by covertly replacing it with a different proposition (i.e., "stand up a straw man") and then to refute or defeat that false argument ("knock down a straw man") instead of the original proposition.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org...

It is through man's interpretation of God, and creation, that we come to have religious texts. From the dawn of intelligent thinking, man has felt something greater than ourselves in the universe.

I think the key word in the above quote is “felt”.

Because there seem to be a lot of Christians on this site, I will use other religions as examples to establish some points that we can all agree on.

Fact #1 Tightly held beliefs can be incorrect.

I have “felt” a lot of things and believed unverified “truths” in my life; some of which were incorrect. I think just about everybody has proven to be fallible in various assumption throughout their life so I will assume we can all agree that tightly held beliefs can be false. I also assume we can all agree that Mormons’ underwear is not going to protect them from anything or that Scientologists’ belief that there is an evil overlord named Xenu is unsubstantiated and false. This proves my first premise.

Fact #2 People are biased in their beliefs.

A Mormon has complete faith that his religion is completely true. He accepts that his underwear will protect him or that Native Americans are descendants of ancient Israelites. Although we would consider his beliefs silly and unsubstantiated, ironically he would consider Islam completely false with unsubstantiated claims in the exact same way.

Because everyone that belongs to a religion believes that their religion is the “true” religion, shouldn’t we expect grown adults to ask what proof they have that scientology or Mormonism is true? Now the elephant in the room is shouldn’t we have to ask ourselves if we are guilty of the same folly?

If other people who are just as intelligent and otherwise reasonable accept ridiculous notions as a foundation of their life, there is no way to know if you are one of them unless you apply unbiased logic. There is no evidence underwear provides supernatural protection other than faith in their religious texts, which is the same foundation as other religions.

People tend to demand proof of others’ beliefs yet demand little proof of their own. This is why very few people leave their religion to convert to a new one.

Fact #3 People tend to believe more in what is commonly accepted by the society around them.

The geography of one’s birth is the biggest deciding factors of what religion they belong to. If you are Christian, you most likely were raised in region where Christianity was predominant; however, if you had been raised in a country that was Muslim, you would most likely be Muslim. Most people didn’t pick the belief that they build the foundation of their life upon; it was picked for them.

Cognitive Dissonance

Cognitive Dissonance is the mental stress or discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time, performs an action that is contradictory to one or more beliefs, ideas or values, or is confronted by new information that conflicts with existing beliefs, ideas, or values.

Source - https://en.wikipedia.org...

Cognitive Dissonance is an obstacle in the development of accurate and critical thought. Someone that has developed the skill of critical thinking will continually rid themselves of cognitive dissonance but both cognitive dissonance and critical thinking cannot exist in the same mind at the same time. It’s one or the other.

If someone had a habit of dancing with deadly snakes in a church and, would you suspect they hold on to cognitive dissonance? Is teaching your children to wear supernatural underwear hindering their development of critical thinking?

Damage from Faith

Various societies throughout the world encourage cognitive dissonance by propagating beliefs that would otherwise be considered insane by other societies and discouraging scrutiny of those beliefs. By teaching their people to passively accept cognitive dissonance, they are by default discouraging the development of critical thinking.

The most religious countries in the world are the world’s poorest. Critical thinking is a resource a country needs to develop both economically and technologically. Source - https://en.wikipedia.org...

Catholicism prohibits birth control even though overpopulation is threatening to overwhelm our resources.

Some Christian sects avoid medical attention for their children with sometimes disastrous results.

Many sects of Islam believe that if they blow themselves up and kill infidels, they will go to paradise with 72 virgins.

Religion tries to discredit science in the belief that scientific knowledge discredits doctrine. While there are many present day examples, the early Christian church persecuted anyone that promoted the idea that the earth was round and orbited the sun.

Secular children treat other children with more kindness than religious children. Religious children are more selfish. Source - http://www.forbes.com...

Christians are more likely to reject any science or data that shows humans are negatively impacting the earth’s climate and decry any legislation aimed at combating global warming. Source - https://www.washingtonpost.com...

Religion is divisive and creates an us-versus-them mentality rather than a belief that we are all brothers and sisters sharing the same planet.

Faith cannot objectively differentiate between true and false. By definition, faith is a belief without evidence. Once belief has evidence, it becomes knowledge that requires no faith.

Parents in all religions teach their children the habit of believing what others tell them even if there is no evidence and discourage critical thinking. They call this faith.

No theory is too false, no fable too absurd, no superstition too degrading for acceptance when it has become embedded in common belief. Men will submit themselves to torture and to death, mothers will immolate [burn] their children at the bidding of beliefs they thus accept.

--Henry George

The moment we want to believe something, we suddenly see all the arguments for it, and become blind to the arguments against it. It is not disbelief that is dangerous to our society; it is belief.

--George Bernard Shaw

Beliefs are what divide people. Doubt unites them.

--Peter Ustinov

TranquilSpirit

Con

Cognitive dissonance is based on contradictory thoughts, or thoughts that turn into contradictory actions. One, Mormon's don't believe that their underwear is supernatural. Mormon underwear is basically the same as a "WWJD" bracelet. It is a reminder of one's Faith and devotion to Christ, to prevent one from sinning. Two, teaching a child to wear Mormon underwear has no effect on critical thinking. It's only cognitive dissonance if they were to wear the underwear, then take them off to have sex out of wedlock. It also applies if they change their beliefs of Mormonism to allow for sex out of wedlock.

"The most religious countries in the world are the world's poorest. Critical thinking is a resource a country needs to develop both economically and technologically." First off, being religious is not cognitive dissonance, and does not prevent critical thinking by any means. This country, the United States of America, was founded and built on Christianity and has become the most powerful nation in the world, and is only 240 years old; 409 years if you account for the first English settlers arriving here. The wealthiest countries, also have the most immigration. This diversifies the country with other religions, along with atheist and agnostics. Also, as we can see in America, technology in wealthy countries also plays a part in atheism because science, through technology, because of wealth, has caused many people to believe otherwise. Poor countries, all they have is their religion.

We are not at risk of overpopulation. Yes, the population has boomed since the late 19th century as the world took its first steps into the modern ear. However, because of birth control, the birthrate has declined tremendously. To the extent that there is now going to an expected population implosion. A population boom can be shown as an upright triangle. Well, because of contraceptives and abortion, that upright triangle is now becoming an upside down triangle. They believe by 2050, the population could start declining by almost 70+ million people a decade.

The Bible says nothing about seeking medical attention. The two main Christians denominations (Christian science and Jehovah's Witness) that deny medical were both created during the 1800's. Both deny Biblical scripture in many aspects, and almost Christianity itself. These would not pertain to Faith, but false teachings, where the person is not only accountable, but the teacher also. This also applies to Islam in a sense. The Quran, like the Bible, is clear on murder and suicide. Though the Quran does speak of a martyr, this deals with the act of war, not terrorism. It is through false teaching, that people believe the improper meaning of the word "jihad." The Quran also mentions nothing of 72 virgins in the after life. This is another example of false teaching, but one to inspire people to become a terrorist "jihad" as the western world has come to know them. These can also be contributed by what society, or family, around them believe.

The study that secular children treat other children with more kindness than religious children. This argument has no basis for truth. There are more than two billion children in the world, and this study only looked at 1170, from six different countries. There is not one single control with religion or lack thereof, region that they were born, house hold income, color or ethnicity, moral teachings of parents, or anything. All of this comes into play, but none of this was taken into consideration. It was just a scientific way of taking a stab at religion.

Christianity is a religion based on the teachings of Jesus Christ. Besides God, Jesus Christ spoke of love more than anything. Love thy neighbor, as thyself. Through this, every Christian "should" be the kindest people you ever meet. However, this is not the case. It's through many hypocritical Christian views, and lack of self accountability, that love doesn't seem to be the main teaching of Christ. This isn't religion, this is people. To mention religion being divisive, without mentioning how mean atheist can be to those of religion. Calling religious folks stupid, ignorant, etc.. What about all of the atheist sites devoted to denouncing the name of God and Christians. Or the secular movement events that not only throw God under the bus, but stupid religious followers. You shouldn't say religion is divisive, but radical beliefs, even that of atheism, is divisive. Atheist sure treat us like we are brothers and sisters.

Again, your fallacy Faith issue. You have faith that God doesn't exist. "I am taking the PRO position that faith without evidence is harmful. I believe it promotes habits of inaccurate thought and is detrimental to the individual and to society as a whole." You are saying that faith in God, with no proof is harmful to the individual and society. This is a sugar coated way of saying God doesn't exist. You can say it isn't, but it is. Your argument is still fallacy because you do not know. it's FAITH.

"Parents in all religions teach their children the habit of believing what others tell them even if there is no evidence and discourage critical thinking. They call this faith." How can you even make that claim? That is completely biased by your view on things, and not fact. You are trying to discourage someone else's critical thinking here. Religion is not cognitive dissonance, nor does it neither promote or nor downgrade the ability to critical think.
Debate Round No. 2
matt8800

Pro

Mormon's don't believe that their underwear is supernatural. Mormon underwear is basically the same as a "WWJD" bracelet.

That is incorrect according to official doctrine. Even if it were correct, if I used Catholics’ belief that when they take communion that it the literal meat and blood of Jesus, would that have made a difference?

This country, the United States of America, was founded and built on Christianity and has become the most powerful nation in the world, and is only 240 years old.

The premise that the United States is the most powerful country because of religion is incorrect. South America is far more devout to Christianity per capita than North America. The United States is ranked in the bottom third in religiosity. https://en.wikipedia.org...

We are not at risk of overpopulation.

That is incorrect (http://www.howmany.org.... ) and does not answer my point. Is your point that it is logical and good for society for Catholics to ban contraception? How are unwanted and unplanned pregnancies a good thing? I assume the only reason you were unable to rebut my point is that it is a ridiculous and damaging belief and no good defense exists.

The Bible says nothing about seeking medical attention. The two main Christians denominations (Christian science and Jehovah's Witness) that deny medical were both created during the 1800's. Both deny Biblical scripture in many aspects, and almost Christianity itself. These would not pertain to Faith, but false teachings, where the person is not only accountable, but the teacher also.

You are making exactly my point– Faith without evidence is detrimental. And, yes, it did exactly pertain to faith.

Faith (definition) - Faith is confidence or trust in a person or thing; or the observance of an obligation from loyalty; or fidelity to a person, promise, engagement; or a belief not based on proof; or it may refer to a particular system of religious belief. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org...

As you can see from above, faith is not just believing one religion. Faith is the foundation of every religion that has ever existed. Without faith, they could not have ever existed.

The Quran, like the Bible, is clear on murder and suicide.

You seem to defend both Christianity AND Islam. I assume since you realize that they have different beliefs, you would have to concede that they cannot both be right. If someone let their child believe in Santa Claus until he was middle aged, wouldn’t you assume the parents did a poor job of teaching their children logic and critical thought?

The study that secular children treat other children with more kindness than religious children. This argument has no basis for truth. There are more than two billion children in the world, and this study only looked at 1170, from six different countries. There is not one single control with religion or lack thereof, region that they were born, house hold income, color or ethnicity, moral teachings of parents, or anything. All of this comes into play, but none of this was taken into consideration. It was just a scientific way of taking a stab at religion.

To say that 1170 children is not a statistically significant sample is completely incorrect and any statistician would agree. The study was simple: In a given population, do children raised in religious families treat others differently than secular children in the same population? To say the results were skewed only to make religion look bad is to say the data was falsified by scientists for ulterior motives. This statement fits the very definition of cognitive dissonance.

Cognitive Dissonance (definition) - In psychology, cognitive dissonance is the mental stress or discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time, performs an action that is contradictory to one or more beliefs, ideas or values, or is confronted by new information that conflicts with existing beliefs, ideas, or values.

The problem with cognitive dissonance is that people don’t realize when they are the one that has it. The paradox is that once they realize they have it, they no longer have it.

Again, your fallacy Faith issue. You have faith that God doesn't exist.

Actually, as I already mentioned to the first time you made this claim, I am agnostic. I am agnostic because I don’t know but I am open to ALL reasonable evidence that is observable and does not violate the laws of the known universe. That is as far opposite of faith as one could be.

The rest of your argument was in defense of Christianity. Christianity is only one of about 2700 religions (that we know of) that all claim they are the true religion. This debate wasn’t about Christianity. It was about three things:

  1. A lot of people around the world continue to believe a lot of insane things.

  2. They believe in those insane things without any evidence whatsoever.

  3. They believe that believing things without evidence is a good thing.

  4. I am stating that believing things without any evidence is not a good habit to cultivate and sometimes can lead to very bad things.

I believe I have sufficiently proven all of my points.

TranquilSpirit

Con

Wikipedia has never been a credible source for information. Did your teachers teach you anything in high school?

"Nevertheless, when you're doing academic research, you should be extremely cautious about using Wikipedia. As its own disclaimer states, information on Wikipedia is contributed by anyone who wants to post material, and the expertise of the posters is not taken into consideration. Users may be reading information that is outdated or that has been posted by someone who is not an expert in the field or by someone who wishes to provide misinformation." http://isites.harvard.edu...

I'm sorry, but your Mormon supernatural underwear, is in fact, false. The underwear, again, is a reminder of the covenants made in the Temple. The garments are for a literal reminding of the sexual sin in the world, along with making sure that both men and women are wearing modest clothes and not revealing their bodies like most people these days do. You're so good at copying and pasting, why didn't you copy and paste the doctrine scripture then?

The United States was built on Christianity. The first settlers that came to the country, were Christians. The Founding Fathers were all Christian. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution both mention God many times throughout their text. This country's foundation was laid down because of Christianity. If it weren't for these great men, this country would not be what it is today. America is still a Christian nation as more than 70% of the population is Christian. You completely left out the part about wealth, immigration of different people and religions or lack thereof.

The Catholic rule about contraception is not harmful to an individual nor the society. Again, the population is not at risk at over populating. The population will be on a steady decline within 40 years. Also, these rule are specifically for the married couple and making sure that they receive the full extent of love that marriage offers. They believe contraception hinders that love. Unplanned or unwanted pregnancy is do to irresponsibility of the individual, that is not the church's issue.

The argument about Santa Claus is not a credible argument, but an immature act to hold one's credibility higher than they actually can. Your entire paragraph on this issue was completely unrelated to the issue, and you declined to argue the claim also. I defend religion for the closed minded arrogance of people who think they are right based on absolutely nothing.

I'm sorry, but that is not statistically a valid argument. Children are very tangible and sensitive to many changes to their environment. A valid statistic would be if they took 1170 children from each faith, living in the same area, from households that have around the same income. The study was too simple, and proved nothing. There was not control. Every study or experiment needs a control of some sorts, or the results are very misleading, as they have mislead you way off the beaten path.

And again, your fallacy argument.. First off, the entire second round, I argued all the points that YOU made. I did bring Christianity in to the argument in the first round, however you were the one that used Christianity as your entire round two argument. Second, to say that people believe in a lot of insane things is the act claiming that you are right. But you have no evidence to support this claim. You believe in something that many people would consider insane, and again, without any evidence. Now you are making it seem as though your belief is better than someone else's, yet you have no evidence to support it. That's arrogant as can be! Again, you believe something, just as religion believe something. Your arrogance is overwhelming here. You did support one argument though.. "Believing things without evidence is not a good habit to cultivate and sometimes can to very bad things." You are a perfect example of this, as your arrogance on the matter is off the charts. Maybe if you believed otherwise, you wouldn't be full of yourself!
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by matt8800 1 year ago
matt8800
The definition of sect is "a group of people with somewhat different religious beliefs (typically regarding as heretical) from those of a larger group to which they belong." Even many mainstream Muslims agree that there are those that claim to interpret Islam to justify extreme violence and oppression. While most Muslims do not support ISIS actions, a concerning number still do - http://www.pewresearch.org.... I assume even as a Muslim, you would agree this is concerning.
Posted by ssadi 1 year ago
ssadi
Dear matt8800,

Can you prove the following, especially for "many sects"?

"Many sects of Islam believe that if they blow themselves up and kill infidels, they will go to paradise with 72 virgins."
Posted by moneystacker 1 year ago
moneystacker
I'm liking con already. Didn't think of it that way I was gonna focus more on how just because you have faith in God and don't use evidence to justify it doesn't mean you do that with everything in life.
Posted by moneystacker 1 year ago
moneystacker
Ok that makes sense now
Posted by matt8800 1 year ago
matt8800
Yes, you can quote the bible to explain or clarify your position - it just cannot be used as "proof".
Posted by moneystacker 1 year ago
moneystacker
I guess what I am asking is can I just use the bible and explain certain components of it? and maybe use a source that explains it as well?
Posted by moneystacker 1 year ago
moneystacker
rofl this is funny because faith without evidence hasn't effected me in real debate at all. I am able to think fine and win rounds.

My question is I guess what can the Con even do lol. I mean pro is claiming godly faith without evidence is inimical to any individual and society so doesn't that mean con simply proves that it's not. And since COn is proving it's not wouldn't it be a contradiction if con used evidence?
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