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Fundamentalism is a bigger threat to belief in God than Atheism.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/1/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 936 times Debate No: 36229
Debate Rounds (3)
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Fundamentalism is a bigger threat to any religion than atheism because fundamentalists see their religious books as a scientific and historic document, something that they were never intended to be. Thus, the real way to interpret religion is lost, and belief in absurd unscientific facts like creationism seem to be neccessary for belief in God.
Fundamentalism and 'Sola Scripturum' are relatively recent ways of Biblical interpretation, and Wahabism only started with the origin of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Religion is the art of taming the Heart.It is *not* meant to curb scientific progress and infringe on others freedom.In a way, all fundamentalists can be called Atheists as they are Atheists with respect to all other religions other than their own.

Modern Atheism is merely a reaction to this disturbing rise.


How fundamentalists perceive the world they inhabit, without question, affects they way they interact with it. I do not however view fundamentalism as an imminent threat to a belief in a higher power. If I may direct you to the Wikipedia entry:, it's easy to extrapolate that fundamentalism isn't a threat to the belief in a god-figure any more than being of an educated, affluent, white/ Asian background. The rise and persistence of fundamentalism in your sample country, Saudi Arabia, isn't in part due to a psychological folly, religion in ingrained in the political process, at work, in leisure, and in the daily lives of Saudis. The authority to press fear inside of the minds of ordinary Saudis in the materialistic world is the preferred method of retaining believers, as I'm sure whoever is reading this can attest to by the occasional media coverage of the beheading of women for speaking out or adolescents for masturbation. Fundamentalist God-belief in Saudi Arabia has undoubtedly been upheld by tradition and force. A decline in religious belief is not the rise of atheism, it's the decline of religion. The decline of religion however hasn't been replaced by atheism in most instances, most notably the United States, where religion has been replaced by a liberal sort of personal deism. The number of actual atheists in the U.S. stands at roughly 2%, whereas the irreligious stands at 19% (see Wikipedia article above). Religion has the side-effect as you said in antagonism of "curbing scientific progress and infringing on others freedom", because it can be argued through observing centralized religion's actions (in the case of Christian-Islamic fundamentalism, excluding Judaism). It's written into liturgy, hymns, and even the Bible/Qu'ran itself; the conquering of unbelieving peoples is a main theme, so the idea that infringing on the freedoms of others isn't a goal per se is by the very nature of official institutional texts, false. Modern atheism, in the U.S. at least is a byproduct of religious freedom, secular education, materialistic comforts, and as always your environment, among other innumerable factors.
Debate Round No. 1


I thank my opponent for sharing his views.
However, not that the title of the argument is not 'religion' but belief in God.
And my original argument still stands.
1.Fundamentalists across the globe invariably insist that their way is the only way.They also assert that their scripture is perfect word of God,ignoring even scientific advancements.They also interpret religious books that are full of symbolism and allegory literally, thus not only the beauty, but the metaphysical inner meaning of those texts is lost.

2.Because they seem to be following the texts to the letter, many people believe that the fundamentalist version is the correct version,when in fact, most religious texts were never meant to be interpreted at face value, thus not only are they following an incorrect interpretation themselves,they also make the true believers who follow the scripture in spirit seem like they are cherry picking.The fact that con says that conquering of unbelieving peoples, something that only fundamentalists push for is somehow integral to christian-Islamic faith shows how this is true.The actions of a small over-zealous minority result in all the followers of that religion getting the blame.

3.Sola scripturum, or belief only in the Bible and Wahabism in Saudi Arabia may seem like they are following the original version of their religion, but these movements began atleast a thousand years after the death of Jesus and Mohammed respectively.

4.Because of their unscientific claims, most ordinary people are made to think that religion is somehow nonsensical hence they loose faith in God.The biggest claim made by atheists is that religion cannot be scientific, and most of the arguments they make are against fundamentalist interpretations.Thus many believers who do not know of their religion loose their faith.Hence my claim that it is a bigger threat to belief in God

Thus fundamentalism is undermines true belief in God in two ways :1.By overlooking the metaphorical and inner meaning of scripture and following an overly simplistic literal interpretation.Thus, making those who interpret them in spirit seem like they are cherry picking.
2.By making irrational and unscientific claims and then telling that those beliefs are necessary for a belief in God, thus making other moderate followers either seem stupid, or forcing those who think rationally to become atheists.

Thus fundamentalism is the biggest threat to belief in God.


Mark_Corrigan forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


My opponent has forfeited this round.I am new here i am not sure of what to do.Please help me out in the comments.


I apologise for I have not been logged into, I was busy with schoolwork and have justifiably forfeited that round. The debate continues unabated (pun intended) until the end, thank you sir.
1. The main flaw with your first argument is the assumption or maybe even the belief that religious texts have metaphysical meaning or value, in other words you've yourself interpreted the texts differently than our fundamentalist brethren, and have discovered metaphysical value in them for yourself, the same does not apply because by the very dynamism of human interpretation means we could read the same passage and justify opposing ideas. I view this as invalid because it's a modern liberal attitude; ancient texts that motivated violence in the time of their creation and as tools for powergrabs, murder, and imperialism that if interpreted as you do could do plenty of good for our condition. The only reason I caught on to this was the common fallacy of trying to equate religious texts with the "spirit" of humanity. If all of humanity can not agree on the existence of a common supernatural spirit there can be none applied to all of humanity. You've only presented two sides, fundamentalism and a liberal interpretation. What about those who wish to reject the texts altogether as having no value, no meaning, and simple reading material without an effect on tangible reality. Emotions and unaccounted phenomena do not signify evidence, they try to take the space where lack of evidence exists, otherwise known as the God of the Gaps argument. On the account science could solve all our problems, questions, and curiosities, the concept of God would die by sheer lack of need or justification.
2. I will ironically zealously oppose this argument especially, because it is the people who don't follow the texts to the word that follow something called "moderate" or "modern" religion, the conquering of unbelieving peoples I hold, is still an integral part of the Christian-Islamic faith system because it is preached in the texts themselves, the fact that only a truly believing minority follow such tenets does not downplay their existence or validity. (They entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul; and everyone who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. (2 Chronicles 15:12-13 NAB). This argument has become one of interpretation.
3. This applies to Bible as well, as the Bible was rewritten with over 1,000 variations in 1611 by King James's scholars, and before that it is possible that the Bible wasn't actually first written until about a century after the death of Christ.
4. The "real world" validity of the claims made by these religions must be scientific. If they are not, they do not apply to everyone and are therefore rendered irrelevant to humanity, but they can retain sway over individuals and groups. The interaction between neutrinos and our body for example is well-established, no one is exempt, whereas there are so many religions and deities vying for your soul and money that even theoretical physics seems offer better consistency than an all-powerful God, and on an emotional level as Freud pointed out in The Future of an Illusion, God must provide the feeling of protection afforded by a father-figure or he will whither under the weight of humanity learning to fend for itself.

1. I hold to my belief that it is humanity growing up and discovering free-will in a deterministic universe that affects God-belief so much, whilst I concede in some small way, that fundamentalism is a turn-off for most rational people. Whilst there was a rise in atheism after the atrocities of 9/11 were attributed to fundamentalism, statistics show most people didn't leave God, they left religion. I dislike the format we've fallen to because God has been so intrinsically tied to religion and vice-versa in the Middle East and the Western world. It is a wrong to say that without a decline in a religion there would be a decline in God, although it exists on a negligible level anywhere but the American Jewish community, where over 50% of Jewish adults harbour doubts about the existence of God.
2. They only do as the Book commands. Anyone arrogant enough to reject the verdict of the judge or of the priest who represents the LORD your God must be put to death. Such evil must be purged from Israel. (Deuteronomy 17:12 NLT)
You should not let a sorceress live. (Exodus 22:17 NAB) A priest's daughter who loses her honor by committing fornication and thereby dishonors her father also, shall be burned to death. (Leviticus 21:9 NAB) Suppose you hear in one of the towns the LORD your God is giving you that some worthless rabble among you have led their fellow citizens astray by encouraging them to worship foreign gods. In such cases, you must examine the facts carefully. If you find it is true and can prove that such a detestable act has occurred among you, you must attack that town and completely destroy all its inhabitants, as well as all the livestock. Then you must pile all the plunder in the middle of the street and burn it. Put the entire town to the torch as a burnt offering to the LORD your God. That town must remain a ruin forever; it may never be rebuilt. Keep none of the plunder that has been set apart for destruction. Then the LORD will turn from his fierce anger and be merciful to you. He will have compassion on you and make you a great nation, just as he solemnly promised your ancestors. "The LORD your God will be merciful only if you obey him and keep all the commands I am giving you today, doing what is pleasing to him." (Deuteronomy 13:13-19 NLT)
If your own full brother, or your son or daughter, or your beloved wife, or you intimate friend, entices you secretly to serve other gods, whom you and your fathers have not known, gods of any other nations, near at hand or far away, from one end of the earth to the other: do not yield to him or listen to him, nor look with pity upon him, to spare or shield him, but kill him. Your hand shall be the first raised to slay him; the rest of the people shall join in with you. You shall stone him to death, because he sought to lead you astray from the Lord, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery. And all Israel, hearing of this, shall fear and never do such evil as this in your midst. (Deuteronomy 13:7-12 NAB)
One day a man who had an Israelite mother and an Egyptian father got into a fight with one of the Israelite men. During the fight, this son of an Israelite woman blasphemed the LORD's name. So the man was brought to Moses for judgment. His mother's name was Shelomith. She was the daughter of Dibri of the tribe of Dan. They put the man in custody until the LORD's will in the matter should become clear. Then the LORD said to Moses, "Take the blasphemer outside the camp, and tell all those who heard him to lay their hands on his head. Then let the entire community stone him to death. Say to the people of Israel: Those who blaspheme God will suffer the consequences of their guilt and be punished. Anyone who blasphemes the LORD's name must be stoned to death by the whole community of Israel. Any Israelite or foreigner among you who blasphemes the LORD's name will surely die. (Leviticus 24:10-16 NLT) So God let them go ahead and do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other's bodies. Instead of believing what they knew was the truth about God, they deliberately chose to believe lies. So they worshiped the things God made but not the Creator himself, who is to be praised forever. Amen. That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. And the men, instead of having normal sexual relationships with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men and, as a result, suffered within themselves the penalty they so richly deserved. When they refused to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their evil minds and let them do things that should never be done. Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, fighting, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They are forever inventing new ways of sinning and are disobedient to their parents. They refuse to understand, break their promises, and are heartless and unforgiving. They are fully aware of God's death penalty for those who do these things, yet they go right ahead and do them anyway. And, worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too. (Romans 1:24-32 NLT)
And he smote of the men of Beth-shemesh, because they had looked into the ark of Jehovah, he smote of the people seventy men, `and' fifty thousand men; and the people mourned, because Jehovah had smitten the people with a great slaughter. And the men of Beth-shemesh said, Who is able to stand before Jehovah, this holy God? and to whom shall he go up from us? (1Samuel 6:19-20 ASV)
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by CynicalDiogenes 5 years ago
Moderates do not cherry pick they follow religion in its true spirit.They know the circumstances and the real intentions of the scripture.The only reason why they seem to cherry pick is because of fundamentalists. Dannyc's comment illustrates this.
Prabhupada was not a fundamentalist. ISKON is a cult that was formed during the counter-culture movement and is very different from Gaudiya Vaishnavism that it claims to promote.There are many conservative Vaishnavas in India even today who never enter Shiva temples.
Posted by johnlubba 5 years ago
Also not all fundamentalist are against all other religions, Prabhupada was a fundamentalist and he welcomed every established authorized religion.
Posted by johnlubba 5 years ago
I couldn't have said it better Danny C.
Posted by leonardlewis4 5 years ago
Well said, dannyc .
Posted by dannyc 5 years ago
Fundamentalism does not exist, usually fundamentalists take their divine holy scriptures at face value and attempt to live by them, far more honestly than the supposed moderates of their religion who reject harsh teachings independently and cherry pick their beliefs. In fact fundamentalism is religion in full swing.
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