The Instigator
Tatarize
Pro (for)
Winning
47 Points
The Contender
CiRrO
Con (against)
Losing
42 Points

If evolution were part of the religion of atheism, creationism should still be banned.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 13 votes the winner is...
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/21/2008 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,954 times Debate No: 5483
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (27)
Votes (13)

 

Tatarize

Pro

For the sake of this argument I will assume the following points:
Atheism is a religion.
Evolution is an integral part of that religion.

In science class and in public education in general it is *still* wrong to teach creationism. Teaching creationism is unconstitutional and the courts are right for striking down provisions which supported it.
CiRrO

Con

I negate: If evolution were part of the religion of atheism, creationism should still be banned.

[Definitions]

1. (Theory of) Evolution: theory stating that man has changed from less developed primates. Humans in a sense have "evolved" to what they are now.
2. Religion: a belief of the existence or non-existence of a greater supernatural force.
Creationism: a theological belief that the universe and life itself resulted from a supreme being.
Banned: made illegal.

[Observations]

1. The resolution implies that atheism is a religion. (Also stated by opponent)
2. The ideals of the constitution ought to be upheld.
3. Evolution would be taught no matter if the resolution was negated or affirmed.

[Contention]

Contention I: First Amendment

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

If evolution was a "part", and "doctrine", of the religion of atheism, and it was taught in public schools, then the state would be supporting a religion. Therefore, according to the 1st amendment, that teaching should be banned.

Contention II: Existence of a Double Standard

Now link the reasoning of Contention I to my observations 2 and 3. By affirming the resolution, the government would be creating an unjust double standard in that a doctrine of atheism would be taught and not the doctrine of creationism. Since both teachings derive from some type of "religion", then to fulfill the governments obligation of equality, both must be taught.

--> My opponent has stated an unwarranted case, so there is nothing for me to me to refute.
Debate Round No. 1
Tatarize

Pro

Observation 3 is in dispute.
"Evolution would be taught no matter if the resolution was negated or affirmed."

Constitutionally if atheism were a religion and evolution were part of that religion without any good secular purpose (which those stipulations would tend to imply) then the legal remedy to the teaching of a religious doctrine of evolution is to stop teaching evolution. If evolution is religious in nature it should be struck down and forbidden via the first amendment.

Insofar as many who make the argument that evolution is part of atheism and religious and therefore we should teach creationism, they make the same mistake you make. If that were the case, then the solution isn't to teach another unconstitutional thing to balance out the unconstitutionality of something else. Rather, it's to end the unconstitutional practices all together.

The conclusion to Contention I is acceptable. There's a chance that a religious evolution as part of atheism might have a secular purpose of more primacy than indoctrination and therefore be legal much like blue laws are legal because though religious they do have secular purposes. However, if a teaching was violating the first amendment, "that teaching should be banned."

The conclusion of Contention II is categorically unacceptable. There is no principle of equality in the first amendment. If "In God We Trust" is found to be an unconstitutional religious statement on a government coin we do not remedy the situation by adding "There Is No God" to other coins in equal amounts. If we cannot remedy the first problem, we do not counter one wrong with another wrong.

Your conclusion is based on a bad observation in the observation section. You are asserting a double-standard in error. If the aforementioned stipulations of the topic are held to be accurate then the legal remedy is exactly what you logically concluded in Contention I, we must stop teaching evolution. In such a case creationism should still be banned.

Q.E.D.
CiRrO

Con

"Constitutionally if atheism were a religion and evolution were part of that religion without any good secular purpose (which those stipulations would tend to imply) then the legal remedy to the teaching of a religious doctrine of evolution is to stop teaching evolution. If evolution is religious in nature it should be struck down and forbidden via the first amendment."

--> The resolution states : "If evolution were part of the religion of atheism, creationism should still be banned."
--> This resolution implies that since creationism would still be banned, then evolution would remain the way of teaching.
--> Thus, I claimed my 3rd observation

"The conclusion to Contention I is acceptable. There's a chance that a religious evolution as part of atheism might have a secular purpose of more primacy than indoctrination and therefore be legal much like blue laws are legal because though religious they do have secular purposes. However, if a teaching was violating the first amendment, "that teaching should be banned."

--> We come to a conclusion that if something is part of a religion, then it should not be banned. However, this comes down to something illogical. At this time it really only comes down to evolution or creationism. (I believe in a mix of the 2, but w/e) If both were banned, then the 1st Amendment is being counter-productive rather then productive. Teaching about existence is important to know. Thus, these two ways ought to be taught because it achieves some secular purpose, even though both involve religion. Furthermore, you either believe or do not believe, thus in this hypothetical resolution, everyone is a religious member. This leads me to Contention II. (I will refute what my opponent said, then clarify the contentional link.)

"The conclusion of Contention II is categorically unacceptable. There is no principle of equality in the first amendment. If "In God We Trust" is found to be an unconstitutional religious statement on a government coin we do not remedy the situation by adding "There Is No God" to other coins in equal amounts. If we cannot remedy the first problem, we do not counter one wrong with another wrong."

--> I never once said that the 1st Amendment grants equality. This was more a philosophical contention. I will clarify. According to Rawls, an institution, like the government, must be based on justice. Justice can be equated with fairness and equality. When the government is not fair, i.e. creates a double standard, then it becomes illegitimate.

Contentional Link

--> Link contention I and II together.

Contention I:

1. Types of theories of existence. Evolution and Creationism
2. Teaching one of these or both has some secular purpose. I.e. higher knowledge
3. Hypothetically in this resolution, religious is secular because in this case religion includes both belief and non-belief.

Contention II:

1. Justice is equality and fairness
2. If one is allowed to be taught, then the other must be
3. If not, then a double standard has been created

Contention Link/Conclusion

Evolution and Creationism are both religious. Only the two (in this case) can answer the question of existence. This is knowledge. Knowledge is a secular purpose, and according to the 1st Amendment, religious ideas are allowed if they fulfill such a burden. If evolution was taught, but not creationism, then the government is vioalting the bedrock principle of democracy, and liberty, and that is fairness and equality. Thus, in the affirmative world, the government would be acting unjustly, and thus the negative's world is the only just one.

For this reason, I urge a negation.
Debate Round No. 2
Tatarize

Pro

My requirement for this debate is to show that the proposed and possible unconstitutionality of evolution has no legal bearing on the already established unconstitutionality of creationism. I must show that the legal remedy of the government is to ban unconstitutional action rather than allow other unconstitutional action to even things up a bit. This argument logical follows from given legal precedents and rational understanding of law, equality and fairness.

--

Despite my opponents claims about the resolution, it is clearly stated. If evolution were such that it would violate the first amendment this would have no bearing on the constitutionality of creationism. My opponent is attempting to establish that the above situation would permit a continued teaching of evolution and thus a double standard, and thus demand that we teach creationism. There are two insurmountable problems with this:

First, if the condition of the resolution is established, and the teaching of evolution is unconstitutional. The legal remedy for this would be to stop teaching it. There would be no double standard as both evolution and creationism would be banned as religious violations of the first amendment.

The second problems is that even evolution were continued and not deemed unconstitutional as might still be the case under McGowan v. Maryland which holds that government actions do not violate the first amendment if they have legitimate secular purposes as evolution still would explain and make predictions about the life on this planet we wouldn't have a violation of the Lemon test as the government action would not have "the primary effect of either advancing or inhibiting religion;" rather the secular purpose would be the primary effect and promotion of religion being the secondary. Whether or not evolution slips by the test of legality, given the conditions, is irrelevant. Creationism is *still* unconstitutional to be taught within science classrooms of government schools.

Your third observation is up for debate, but even if it were or were not true the government actions are either to stop teaching evolution or to find legal reasons for continuing the teaching. It does not remedy the situational by bringing unconstitutional teachings back to the classroom. Two wrongs do not make a right.

------------

>>"We come to a conclusion that if something is part of a religion, then it should not be banned."

No. In fact, in allowing the blue laws which initially established in order to increase church attendance and other nonsecular purposes we find that all we need is a secular purpose for a nonsecular motivated action. If there were secular applications for creationism to be taught in school (they tried to argue this and failed) then it can be taught. Likewise, if there are not secular purposes then it cannot be a legal action for the government to take. Depending on the interpretation of the condition, evolution may or may not still have secular purposes. This would be a matter for the courts to decide. However, what isn't up for review by anything in the conditional is whether or not creationism is or isn't still unconstitutional; it is.

It isn't the point of the first amendment to be productive. The point of the first amendment is to protect the people from government restrictions on speech, press, religion, assembly, and redress. Knowledge about existence is important to know and certainly understanding the world has a number of secular applications. However, teaching creationism has failed to accurately meet this purpose and rather had the primary purpose of furthering particular religions. Evolution, depending on the interpretation of the conditional, may or may not accurately meet this criteria. If it fails to meet the criteria it is unconstitutional. It would thus be barred as acceptable government action. -- No part of this allows us to revisit the matter of creationism.

If evolution were part of the religion of atheism, creationism should still be banned.

--------------------

>>"I never once said that the 1st Amendment grants equality."

You said, "Since both teachings derive from some type of 'religion', then to fulfill the governments obligation of equality, both must be taught."

And that statement is not accurate. The governments actions are not concerned with being equal (though equality in a number of places are required for constitutionality) but rather in not overstepping the lines drawn by the first amendment to promote religions. If teaching creationism, does that it's illegal. If teaching evolution does that, it's illegal. The conditional of the topic has absolutely no bearing on creationism. Teaching creationism still promotes religion and is still illegal (as government action).

>>"According to Rawls, an institution, like the government, must be based on justice."

Our bill of rights are fair and just. If both evolution and creationism are illegal they are both banned. You are assuming that evolution would continue to be taught, and while possible it would depend on whether or not it would be just to do so. However, none of this has any bearing on the part of the topic in contention. Should creationism still be banned? Yes, of course.

>>1. Types of theories of existence. Evolution and Creationism

Creationism doesn't qualify as a theory of existence but rather a set of religious claims about existence. Depending on how one interprets the conditional evolution may or may not qualify either.

>>2. Teaching one of these or both has some secular purpose. I.e. higher knowledge

Only if correct and not a set of religious claims. Certainly you could argue that my marketing of a belief in Isis which allows people to live forever to school children has secular purpose because the students living forever would be beneficial for some students. However, if my claims aren't true and it's simply a scam then I should not be allowed to do so. Likewise, teaching creationism was found to have no secular purpose and was thus struck down by the Supreme Court. Nothing about the conditional provides creationism with a secular purpose. With regard to creationism we are dealing with the same unconstitutional beast we had without the conditional.

>>3. Hypothetically in this resolution, religious is secular because in this case religion includes both belief and non-belief.

No. The conditional does not make the religious secular, it makes the secular religious. It contends that evolution is part of the religion of atheism. This means that evolution would have a good deal of non-secular baggage. This would not mean that religions suddenly become secular and have secular purposes. It would simply shed doubt on the constitutionality of evolution.

>>1. Justice is equality and fairness
Accepted.

>>2. If one is allowed to be taught, then the other must be
If one interprets the conditional to assume evolution is on the same foundations as creationism, then the two would aptly be in the same boat.

>>3. If not, then a double standard has been created
Accepted.

-- However, if we are to make the assumption, which I find perfectly acceptable, in number two then both evolution and creationism are to be banned. No double standard is created as neither would be taught.

>>Evolution and Creationism are both religious. Only the two (in this case) can answer the question of existence. This is knowledge. Knowledge is a secular purpose...

This is a false choice. If evolution and creationism are both religious (as assumed by topic and established by legal precedent) it does not follow that the two are required for any purpose at all. You say that "Only the two can answer the question of existence" -- this is not accurate, perhaps neither can. If neither can, just as both Islamic as well as Christian creationism are banned from schools, then atheistic Creationism would be equally banned and students would learn about no
CiRrO

Con

I will quickly set up some voters (since I'm in a rush)

1. Teaching some form of reason for existence is a secular purpose. Both Evolution and Creationism give insight to this. Thus, to avoid a set double standard, it is necessary to teach both.

2. Therefore, creationism ought to be taught along side with evolution.

*I apologize for the very short response, but I got things to do.

Thank you ladies and gentlemen.
Debate Round No. 3
27 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by jason_hendirx 5 years ago
jason_hendirx
Or, he's going to avoid me like the intellectual coward that he is.
Posted by jason_hendirx 5 years ago
jason_hendirx
CiRrO is going to throw the full weight of his rhetorical facilities against me, and like a wave against a cliff face, he will fail.
Posted by jason_hendirx 5 years ago
jason_hendirx
CiRrO, look here. http://www.debate.org...
Posted by jason_hendirx 5 years ago
jason_hendirx
You seem reluctant to pick up the gauntlet. Therefore, I will toss it at your stupid little head.
Posted by Rezzealaux 5 years ago
Rezzealaux
"I believe in a mixture of both evolution and ID."

I do hope you're not a YEC.
Posted by CiRrO 5 years ago
CiRrO
I would debate that, however remember, I believe in a MIXTURE of evolution and ID.
Posted by jason_hendirx 5 years ago
jason_hendirx
Why do you believe in ID? I think we have a debate on our hands.

I challenge you. Name the terms and phrase the question in a way that I can stomach.
Posted by CiRrO 5 years ago
CiRrO
Oh, and no I don't. I believe in a mixture of both evolution and ID.
Posted by jason_hendirx 5 years ago
jason_hendirx
I really frakking hope you don't honestly believe creationism should be given the same respect as the theory of evolution.
Posted by CiRrO 5 years ago
CiRrO
I guess people accepted my observation 3 when deciding.
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