Has Christianity done more harm than good?
Debate Rounds (3)
I personally assume the first round is for acceptance unless otherwise noted. I suggest we allow Round 2 for our arguments and Round 3 for rebuttals.
I will be taking up the position that Christianity has been responsible for more good than harm.
Look forward to your arguments, and I appreciate your confession that you personally struggle with some biases on the matter and seek a more honest and objective perspective.
Yes, first round was for stating sides, sorry for not saying so before. I'm still rather new to the site and to the debating process. Second round is for each side of the argument to put down their reasonings, and third round for rebuttals, if necessary. With this in mind, I'll begin.
I hate to beat the popular dead horse, but I think bullying of LGBT youth (primarily in the USA) can start this off well. Daily they are beaten, verbally abused, told they are worthy of eternal torture and that they should die to get it over with, and they do. According to the Surgeon General, gay and bisexual adolescent males are a whole four times as likely to kill themselves, with lesbian/bisexual females are twice as likely. This negative pressure comes either from the family, their peers, or their environment, and, please correct me if I'm wrong, Christianity is predominately the root of the intolerance.
I realize that I have no concrete sources to back this up, and thusly my stance crumbles and I'm beginning to think against continuing this debate, seeing as once you post good links to something my arguement'll completely fall apart. I was gonna go on to religious wars but I don't think I could back it up any better, and I'm sorry for wasting your time.
Appreciate your candor in this first round of arguments, and I would like to encourage you to participate as learning is the ultimate goal over winning. I have learned far more from debates I have lost than debates I have won, but I don't want to for a second assume that this is a completely won debate on my part.
I would like to structure my argument as follows:
1. Good Christianity has Done
2. Cause of the Harm
Argument #1 l Good Christianity has Done
In the USA there are currently 2,903 Non-profit Community Hospitals which are vastly comprised of religiously founded institutions. This makes up about 50% of all hosptials in the U.S.
There are currently 970 religious founded colleges in America, which comprise about 34% of all 4 year degree programs in America.
The very concept of there being moral rights must be built on what is called Natural Law, which is seen in our Declaration of Independence.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
Granted this was authored by a deist, Thomas Jefferson, this application of natural law goes back in modern times to Christian philosophers, Augustine and Aquinas, who write.
By nature all men are equal in liberty, but not in other endowments.
"The highest manifestation of life consists in this: that a being governs its own actions. A thing which is always subject to the direction of another is somewhat of a dead thing."
Science & Math
Many of the most influential and brilliant scientists have been Christians and inspired by their faith. These include Galileo Galilei, Isaac Newton, Angelo Secchi, Gregor Mendel, Max Planck, Georges Lemaître, etc. etc.
Without the influence of Christian thinkers listed here, our advancement in science would have been greatly inhibited. And to the charge that Christianity stands in the way of science currently, I would say that this is an ignorant statement as a HUGE number of Christians(including myself) support the popular scientific theories such as the Big Bang and Darwinian Evolution.
I could go on from here and list philosophy, morality, government, etc. but I do not want to belabor the point too much. The fact is, whether or not you like Christianity, most of western society stems from this and surely has bad benefits and drawbacks because of that. I argue, that majority of Christian influence has been greatlly beneficial and has done more good than harm.
Argument #2 l Cause of the Harm
The harm accentuated most strongly by my opponent is the contention that Christianity is primarily to blame for the bullying and intolerance experienced by the LGBT community. While I would concede that within America Christians will likely be the culprit, I will contend that their actions of intolerance and bullying is contrary to the core foundations of Christianity.
"I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world."
There is no command agaisnt Christians interacting with those who engage in immoral behavior (according to the standards outlined in the Bible). In fact, Christians are commanded to love their neighbor as themselves, and also to live at peace with them.
"..any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law."
"Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all."
The teachings of compassion and love for all mankind is one of the core principles of mankind, therefore those who seek to do evil through war or bullying are out of alignment with the foundational principles that Christianity is built on.
Therefore I do not see Christianity itself as the root cause of these harms, but more so bigotry that stems out of an ancient tribalistic mentatlity of the "us versus them." Christianity is us FOR them, that we ought to lay down our lives for one another and esteem others as more important than ourselves.
 1 Corinthians 5:9-10
 Romans 13:9-10
 Romans 12:14-18
Thank you for your time and for being polite to me in the face of my naivete.
I would like to again thank my opponent for creating this debate with the willingness to learn and look forward to future engagements!
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Concession.
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