The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
5 Points

Government should ban the sponsorship of religious pilgrimage

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/14/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,176 times Debate No: 43921
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (1)




Why should government spend money, hard earned money in sponsoring pilgrimages when we have other problems to solve? Indeed, government should not sponsor it..Nigerian government who has been spending their money should indeed stop because they have other problems to solve


Centuries ago, where our society has been deeply religious, the problem of funding in religious pilgrimages was never put in question? Why? Because we have to explore several points of humanity, and what religion is for humanity. Athiests call religion "irrational and immoral in this rational world", but is it? Is it really irrational and immoral? Ending sponsorship of pilgrimages would end centuries of irreplacable traditions. As this is my opening argument, I would like to start of with some definitions:

1. Pilgrimage: A journey to a holy place
2. Sponsorship: To support an action
3. Religious: Relating to religion
(All of this came from Webster-Merriam Dictionary)

Therefore, I would like to start with my first point: that religion is the guiding light of humanity.

For centuries, we have often look to religion for answers. We have often look to religion for guidance. We have often look for religion for joy and happiness; for the meaning of life. The meaning of life is different in many religions, but they mostly come to a same conclusion:

1. The meaning of life is to, in a words of a Satanist, have a happier after life
2. The meaning of life is to act morally and to support conscience.

However, through the many years of scientific development, the relevance of religion in contemporary society soon came into question. Is religion relevant to society? Doesn't scientific proof show that creationism is wrong? We may briefly ignore those questions, as there is a bigger phenomenom looming in our minds. That is, of the plethora of religious believers, who came from all over the world to pay their respects to their prophet. There arises a question: should the government support these religious believers, whose morality and conscience told them to come and pay their respect to the prophets that they, for so long, adored? I answer this question with another question: is it correct to end centuries of traditions? The answer would be no. Traditions provide the identity for a human person, and is the only reason why diversity exists. Traditions provide something for a human being to move back and study upon, and then say "ahhhhhhh, that's where I came from." Religious pilgrimages are a part of this tradition, and in some places, like the Vatican and Israel, they have become an important part of life there. If the government stops sponsoring religious pilgrimages, centuries of traditions would go down the well of ignorance. This is not what we want the world to go.

The opponent clearly states that the money that goes in the sponsoring of pilgramages goes to waste; it is not like that. In fact,the economical benefits of pilgrimages surely surpasses the negative effects of it.

Pilgrimage is a form of religious tourism, where people come from everywhere to astonish at the gaze of a place that their faith has revered. Cities like Mecca, a common site of pilgrimages, has developed into a huge cosmopolitan city, because of the benefits and profits of pilgrimages. In Israel, 450,000 visitors come on a pilgrimage their, and the profits that religious tourism gave to Israel that year was US$ 432 million. Boris Vukonic, a Professor of Economics at the Faculty of Economics, Zagreb, has stated that "How else can we account for Mina, a village that grew into a town, costs US$100 at the peak period?" These benefits of religious tourism surely surpasses the opponent baseless claims.

It is because of these reasons, and many more that I am about to represent in this debate, is why I urge you to vote con for this debate. I would like to thank the host for hosting this debate, and I would like to wish the opponent the best of luck.
Debate Round No. 1


I would like to start by telling you that religion is never a tradition because tradition is my way of life or people's ways of life while religion incompasses on your belief and moral life like christianity..I agree with the definition you gave and from that definition, i will rebout your start with, let me start by exposing the weakness of side opposition, you never gave your stand on this motion you are only telling us the defintion of basic terms and 2 two importance of going for if we are to clearly look at the motion at hand, i never said going for pilgrimage is bad, what am saying is this, that government should not sponsor it like the Nigeria government who are doing that because it is not even in the constitution to do equally said that people go there to respect their prophects by this you mean their God.but then my question is this, is it when we go for pilgrimage that we will respect our God? Indeed that is a pure lie and if you insist, give us where it is now contradicted your definition of pilgrimage by saying that people go there for tourism because in your definition you said pilgrimage is a place for worshiping question is this, are we then going to worship God or for tourism? Also you lied against me by saying that i said that religion is not relevant but my dear, that is not what i meant what i still stand is this, that government should not sponsor it not because it is not good but because we have other pressing needs and it is not in the constitution to sponsor it..having rebouted your arguments, i move into my own arguments..I Will start by giving my stand on this motion, my stand is this' since we have other pressing needs, and going for pilgrimage is not mandatory then it should not be sponsored' ponder on this, Nigeria as a nation whose government sponsor pilgrimage has other problems to tackle like bad government, bad roads, lack of infrastructural developments and other things should stop it because it is not mandatory..even the koran stated it that one should go for pilgrimage atleast once or should send someone who is going this certainly shows that it is not must that one must go there..moreover, do we know that people do die there because of the weather? A popular man in nigeria known as chief Abomege died because of this pilgrimage issue and other people who died my question is this, should government sponsor what people will die? Also you talked about boosting economy, Thank you very much for that..if isreal should have boosting economy, then at whose detrement? People who come for pilgrimage indeed..don't you know they will even be selling their products at high price? Which is not good at all cost..remember, do you know that vanguard newspaper on may6 stated that some people been sponsored by government, go there for bad business like drugs, cocaine? Ladies and gentlemen, indeed i still maintain that government should not sponsor this pilgrimage rather they should use that money for nation building


I would like to start with a statement: I have made my stance so clear, but if the opponent feels that he would not want to read the first few sentences of my previous argument, then I shall state it again: Governments should not end the sponsorship of pilgrimage. Now I would like to respond to a few of the questions that arose and rebut to the opponent's points.

1. Religion isn't directly tradition, but it is responsible for tradition
the opponent states in his opening sentences that religion is a way of life; isn't the tradition. A tradition is commonly defined as "a belief or behavior passed down within a group or society with symbolic meaning or special significance with origins in the past". In the past, our forefathers believed in religion, whether it was Christianity, Buddhism, Satanism, or Muslim. This religion was passed down from father to child, from child to grandchild, and therefore, religion is passed down with a special significance; it provides an identity for the people who inherit this tradition. How is that not tradition? In many places, like Thailand, where traditional Thai dances come from Ancient Buddhist texts, is that not religious tradition? In the Vatican, where the separation between the Church and the state cannot be seen through centuries of religious governance, is it not tradition for Popes to pay respect to Jesus? Therefore, taking in information from these two examples I have provided, does it make sense to not call religion tradition without ignoring centuries of acts that our forefathers have created?

2. Prophet is not god
the opponent has stated in his previous argument that a prophet is a god. A prophet, however, is a "person regarded as an inspired teacher or proclaimer of the will of God." A God, on the other hand, is a "creator and ruler of the universe and source of all moral authority; the Supreme Being." The opponent, however, has mixed up the words god and prophets, and through assumptions, he thinks that going on a pilgrimage is going on a journey to embrace and respect gods; I would like to reply to that with a statement that not all religions believe in god. Buddhism is a rational religion and denies the existence of god, but like many other religions it still has a prophet and believes in certain values. And like many other religions, many go on a pilgrimage.

3. Response to questions
the opponent has asked me questions that I feel compelled to answer. His first question, " is it when we go for pilgrimage that we will respect our God? ", I feel needs rephrasing, and I apologize, but I am unable to understand what he is trying to ask. His second question is "are we then going to worship God or for tourism?" after I stated that a pilgrimage is a form of religious travelling. I would like to respond that when you see the word "tourism", you think of beaches and exotic hotels. But religious tourism is another thing: in fact, it has been used for a synonym for pilgrimages. I stated that pilgrimages are a type of religious travel, but perhaps I forgot to mention that it is the most common type of religious travelling. And I certainly did not lie against you by saying the religion is irrelevant. I just stated that Atheists call religion "irrelevant and immoral". That is the rational explanation against religion, but the opponent seems to have mistaken this with a statement, which I never said: "that religion is irrelevant". I never said that, and if I did, I did not mean to say that. Going back to my point on pilgrimages, I stated that Israel earned 432 million US dollars from religious tourism in a year. As pilgrimages are the most common type of religious tourism, and the opponent says it costs a lot. That only propels my case: many feel obliged, because of their views on religion, to go on a pilgrimage once a year. If it costs a lot, and the flow of pilgrims is almost endless, that only means money for the government, doesn't it? If we are looking at this from an economic viewpoint, then we can clearly see that sponsorship of pilgrimages provide easy and an almost confirmed income for the host country, doesn't it? The opponent also cites an article from the Vanguard Newspaper. However, Vanguard Newspaper is a localized Nigerian English-language newspaper, and it highlights the action of the few to represent the actions of the many; therefore, those claims can clearly be ignored. I would also like to remind the readers that the debate topic states nothing about Nigeria, and the opponent cites the status of one country, and one country only. The opponent states that the Nigerian state lacks roads and good infrastructure, but how does that have to do with pilgrimages? The fact that the Nigerian government has been popping up every now and then in the opponent's arguments don't seem to be symmetrical with the debate.

Therefore, I now would like to introduce my points:
Putting aside the economical benefits, the government has a duty to protect the traditions of one country. In many countries, it has been a tradition for the people of that country, or that faith, to go on a pilgrimage, at least once in their lives. An example of this is a pilgrimage to Mecca, where all able-bodied Muslims must pay respects there at least once in their lives. The implications of ending government sponsorship of this are huge, as it can have security factors, especially from the growing threat of Islamic fundamentalism. This tradition has been in placed for such a long time ending government sponsorship of it would lead to two things:

1. The complete halt in the cities development. Mecca has developed from a village to a prosperous town in the modern world because of pilgrims spending their money to worship their gods. This would almost reduce the city into complete starvation, and many would migrate out of that place.
2. Ending years of traditions and possibly the halt of Islamic culture. Islam has for so long revered this city, that halting it would cause many to outrage. Ending government sponsorship there is also questionable, as the government looks to this place for it's income and it's identity.

Also, some important Buddhist pilgrimages sites are in Thailand; the Thai government largely sponsors religious pilgrimages in the few places, and in fact, these places are where the tradition of the old strives the most. Sukhothai is considered a holy city of holy places, and perhaps not coincidentally, traditions there strive the most. Pilgrims come from all over the world, from China and Japan, to come and pay their respects here. If government sponsorship of that act stops, then traditions would fade away, because people see no pride or joy in practicing their traditions. This would end traditions, and would eventually lead to the eradication of a national identity.

But the economic benefits of it are huge. If the opponent is not satisfied with my statistics on Israel, then chew on this: American religious pilgrims provide $10 Billion a year towards the world's tourism industry. Is that not a lot? The opponent seems to be describing the encouragement of going to a pilgrimage, not sponsorship of pilgrimages. Sponsorship of pilgrimages means that the opponent would want pilgrims to come to their country, while encouraging would mean to encourage them to go on a pilgrimage. He is therefore contradicting the debate topic, which is Sponsorship of Pilgrimages, not Encouragement of Pilgrimages.

It is because of these reasons, and many more, are why I encourage you to vote con in the following ballot.

Thank you and have a nice day.

Debate Round No. 2


I will not cease to say, that personality of my own calibre has been mocked, i have been cornered at a spot by my co-debater for some certain co- debater has committed fallacies in cost of this argumet.
Let me start by one of the fallacy my co-debater committed.
1.that i keep using nigeria as a point of reference, do not mean that i can't use other examples, i use nigeria as example because their government sponsor pilgrimage and besides, it is not even in their constitution to do that..talking about fraud, some of the government officials there i.e nigeria, uses this as means of looting public fund and this is never what we wanted..
I acknowledge the rebout of my co-debater but clearly look at his rebout, he has no argument..he kept on emphasizing on tradition..indeed i agree but what am saying is this, that government should not sponsor it..
Readers of this motion will bear me witness that i never said going for pilgrimage is a bad thing. What am saying is that government should not sponsor it..
Talking about the economic point of view, you asked a question, who will take the money is it not the government? But then in my second outing i asked you a question which you never answered..that is, at the detrement of who? Another government?
You talked of the host city, i am glad you mentioned that, since nigeria as a nation has been going for pilgrimage, how many times has any country come to nigeria? Atleast so that their own economy will rise just as you rightly put it? Talk of isreal, how many times have they gone to other country for pilgrimage? Or you want their own economy to be rising at the detrement of others? Vanguard you said is a local newspaper and all information there is irrelevant, lol and behold, it is a newspaper that covers almost the whole African story but that's not the main point..all you outing, you keep saying that why should we end tradition? But then let me answer you this by asking you this question, what tradition? Is u.s.a government sponsoring pilgrimage? If yes tell me when, date and source! Readers, do you know that government sponsoring this pilgrimage is not even in the constitution? Even in u.s.a constitution or any constitution so why should government be doing it?
More over, do we know that going for pilgrimage is not compulsory? So why must government sponsor millions of people to pilgrimage?
Do we know how much nigerian government has spent? Over billions of naira don't misunderstand me why am using nigeria am doing that because they have spent alot and yet gain nothing..this money, they can use and solve the pressing needs which is retarding the pace of their development like the strike, corruption issue not to mention but few..
I equally beg to disagree that prophets are God ponder on this, we chritians don't go for pilgrimage to worship profects rather God....
Why go for pilgrimage if i may ask when you can pray in the mountain and be heard? Even in the church or your bedroom? Answer my question, what will you say about people who die there? Ponder on that..
Please, answer all my questions even that of conclusion, my stand still remains, since it is not in the constitution for any government to sponsor pilgrims, then it should not be sponsored..thank you all.


The opponent keeps states that my rebuttal has no argument; in that case, I would like to request you to read it over again, and then think; is that really an argument? The opponent has clearly ignored most of my arguments by saying that I have no argument, and I really do think that the opponent should halt all these accusations, as I feel that they were shallow accusations with no proof whatsoever. Ignoring that, I would like to continue with my points and rebuttals.

My opponent says that he agrees with my on my traditions argument. That only propels my point: stopping government sponsorship of religious pilgrimage or the banishments of all forms of sponsorship would destroy traditions of the country, because religion and pilgrimage is inherently the traditions of some religion; I have stated the example of Islam, but there can be many numerous examples; in Buddhism, every able bodied man is suppose to become a monk or enter monk hood at least once in their lives. Government sponsorship of this has enabled monks to encourage the teachings and passing on of ancient Buddhist texts to younger generations, making them morally and religiously aware of their belongings and their cultural identity. I would like the opponent to read the debate topic carefully: governments should ban the sponsorship of religious pilgrimages. The opponent says he never stated that going on a pilgrimage is bad, but by banishing all acts of sponsoring religious pilgrimages, government or private? That, right there, is too much for any person to bear; where is the liberty of supporting your traditions, culture and identity? There is none! This resolution (and the opponent) wants to ban the act of monks, who make their living by teaching morals to the younger generation, from talking about the "Great City of Mecca", "The Holy City of Jerusalem" or the "Ancient City of Sukhothai", as that would encourage them to go. Apart from being too rash, it also violates Article 3 and Article 18 of the Human Declaration of Human Rights, as the liberty to promote religious believes are outlawed and the freedom to practice religion has been banished because the government would ban all sponsorship of it. The opponent also thinks that government support of pilgrimages should be in the constitution: I can only say that not everything the government does has to be in the constitution.

The opponent states that religious pilgrimages are unsafe by stating that "do you want the economy to advance with the determent of others?" Let me say two things:
1. The opponent has clearly ignored the fact that we live in an increasingly global and international world, where transnational transportation are given a priority. Albeit these might not be 100% safe, we can safely say that going on a pilgrimage in the 21st century is a different experience than going on a pilgrimage in the 13th century.
2. The opponent keeps using Nigeria as an example; it is a bad example. Nigeria's government is very corrupt, and it can be no fantasy to see that government officials taking bribes. But is Nigeria the only country sponsoring pilgrimages? No, there are many other countries whose sponsorship brought so many benefits. The opponent brings us one example, of chief Abomege, but there is no evidence of his story anywhere on the internet. Abormege is a road in Nigeria, and the opponent seems to be accounting and taking evidence from a fictional story.

The opponent says what traditions: ending sponsorship of all religion would end the act of orally passing on information to our younger generation, who are already ignorant of religion. Ending all sponsorship of pilgrimages would severely limit the masses of Muslim going to Mecca to pay respect, to the masses of Hindus going to the Ganges to respect the dead buried there, to the masses of Buddhist going to respect the many temples in India and Burma, to the masses of Christian going to Jerusalem to pay their respect to the Holy City, and to the masses of Jews going to the New Temple. All of this would result in the complete eradication of cultural respect and would result in the limiting of religious interactions; a monk from Thailand who is denied the right of going on a pilgrimage will not be aware of the other types of Buddhism out there.

All I will have to say about all the people who died while attending a pilgrimage in the 13th century is that they died going to the home of their faith. Since my opponent has given me no examples, other than a fictional story that doesn't seem to have existed, of modern pilgrimage deaths; I can only say that modern day pilgrimages are much safer than those pilgrimages of the 13th century.

I will now answer all the questions that the opponent has asked me:
1. How many time has any country come to Nigeria?
I would only reply that that question is so irrelevant I would like to answer with another question: is encouragement of going to pilgrimage the same as sponsorship of receiving pilgrims?
2. Or you want their economy to be rising at the determent of others?
No I do not. But the opponent has not stated that at whose determent? The Jews? Muslims? Christians? Answer me, clearly and carefully; who is affected negatively by a pilgrimage to Israel?
3. Is the US government sponsoring pilgrimage?
Then how do we account for the 10 billion dollars that US pilgrims have spent in the tourist market; it is because the US of A is a country of liberty, where the freedom to choose free will is present, is why the US does not need support. The opponent wants to ban the act of sponsoring pilgrimages altogether; that is no free will.
4. do we know that going for pilgrimage is not compulsory? So why must government sponsor millions of people to pilgrimage?
Because there is always a steady flow of pilgrims coming to a holy site; that, itself, is an almost guarantee of steady income for the government and the people, what Nigeria needs.

The opponent lastly that going on a pilgrimage is useless because you can do so in your room and your prayers will still be heard. I would like to answer by saying that going on a pilgrimage gives you a understanding of what your prophets had to go through, and some places are just holier than others, and some places gives you a deeper understanding of the world and your religion. In some religions, it is also mandatory, like Buddhism and Islam.

In conclusion, the economic benefits of pilgrimages, along with the preservation of tradition and the violations of human rights that this would violate would bring in implications that the world would never know the solution. Implications like the loss of religious and moral identity, and the eternal hatred of humankind's eternal guiding light. Religion is important and it should never be forgotten; our ancestors and forefathers lived and died by it.

Why should we be the generation that bears the shame of losing our identity? What if some religions are right? What if religion is actually a moral guide to society? Religion must be kept in place, and the government should sponsor all types of acts that would enlarge one's understanding towards religion.

It is for these reasons, and many more that I am unable to present here, is why I urge you to vote con in the following ballot. I would like to thank the host for hosting this debate, and I would like to thank the opponent for participating in all rounds of this debate.

Thank You and Have a Nice Day

Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by SeventhProfessor 3 years ago
I believe he is referring to all governments in the world, and not individuals.
Posted by Ragnar 3 years ago
I think he wants a law passed to make sure no one gives money to someone else for missionary type work, as in theory those people would otherwise donate that exact amount to other causes.
Posted by kbub 3 years ago
Which government, which laws?
Posted by black_squirrel 3 years ago
Are you suggesting that goverment IS sponsoring pilgrimages?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by birdlandmemories 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Sources to con, since he was the only one to use them. This gave him a significant advantage with his arguments. Con did a decent job rebutting pro's arguments. Pro had a few spelling and grammar mistakes, but I'll let those slide. Good luck to you both in future debates. I will explain my RFD more in the comments if anyone has questions.