Is God good?
Debate Rounds (4)
Intro: Although, God has suffered from political correctness in our society. God still gives a strong moral character to individuals.
1. A God that promises a afterlife for doing good deeds: The basis of Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Judaism were created to help society stay in order. A omnipotent being that will reward the ones that follow morality, and punish the ones that follow the wrong path. Countries have taken advantage of this idea, and have produced orderly societies. Societies that have followed morality. God gives the ability to follow morality, and have benefits in the eternal afterlife. Heaven was created for the people that have followed morality. So this gives society a reason to follow morality, and a reason to be kind.
2. A Punishing God- After we follow the benefits of morality through God, we can also focus on the punishments of disobeying morality. If you steal you have to not only respond to the law, but you have to now think about the negative afterlife you have to face. A eternal fire that you will be doomed to. This creates a foundation for obeying morality, because now we have a God to enforce eternal hell when they die. If a person kills, steals, cheats, and lies they will be punished in the afterlife. So, you have a God that has promised benefits to morality, and negatives to immortality.
3. What was happening before religion- As Michelle Hart describes in his 100 most influential list, he lists important religious leaders first. Before Muhammad's time women were buried into the ground. But Muhammad taught equality. Jesus came, and taught ethics that the western world still use today.
4. Religion in country- If you look at every great empire, they were all brought up by religion. They all were inspired by God to conquer, and lead. They all upheld morality to a certain extent. They all feared God.
1. Reward for good deeds in religion is very complex. A god provides an afterlife only to his adherents. A Hindu who does many good deeds will not be saved in the eyes of a Christian and his God. This creates a division between different religions. At its best, religion causes societies to focus more on good deeds. Consequently, all those who do good deeds live in harmony. At its worst, religion causes societies to discard the good deeds of men because those men are not of the same religion. Unfortunately history has seen far more societies at its worst. Good deeds are overshadowed by intolerance that religion has fostered.
Secondly, Time and time again religion has strayed from its good intentions to bring justice, and that is because it is full of flaws. Popes have sold indulgences in Medieval Europe; anyone, good or bad, could enter heaven. Roman Catholicism originally requires sacraments. Popes Interdicted entire cities, condemning them to hell. On the other end of the spectrum, Calvinism preaches predestination; the good deeds of others are futile under this belief.
2. Religion's punishments are unjust. First, they are discriminatory, providing separate rules for different groups. Women and Homosexuals are treated unjustly in Christianity and Islam. Social classes are seen in Hinduism. Secondly many monotheistic religions condone infinite paradise or punishment for finite deeds, which is morally inferior. Harsh punishments such as Sharia law or eternal Hell can never be justified for a few wrongdoings.
3. Religion is a powerful weapon. Religions are divided into thousands of sects. Some of these sects are radical. All it takes is some hate and religious fundamentalism to create a river of blood. Religion has been used as a recruiting tool to lead thousands of people to kill: The crusaders, the Taliban, and Inquisition are just some examples of atrocious religious groups. By no means am I solely blaming religion for its atrocities. Humans have manipulated it for their interest, and under every religious war lies a political and economical motivation. However the simple fact that religion is so easily corruptible makes following it irrational and dangerous, because why follow a flawed system, when we can create our own that cannot be so terribly misinterpreted.
4. Religion is obsolete. I would agree that without religion the world would not be unified, and many important civilizations would not have been created. However now, it is not needed. The Soviet Union has proved that religion is not needed to create unity. The countries with more atheists and spirituals are far more peaceful than nations adhering to religion. I would much rather live in the Czech Republic, which has a high ranking on the Global Peace Index and, where a majority are atheists; rather than Saudi Arabia, where women cannot drive and homosexuals are publicly beheaded. Secular societies fair better than religious ones, today.
5. Religion impedes scientific discovery and growth. Galileo was forced to lie about the Earth because the truth conflicted with Christian views. Today religion attempts to stifle plausible scientific theories with much support from smart people with absurd explanations supported by stupid people with terribly misinformed conceptions of scientific theories. Religion is indifferent and even hostile to new technology that could truly help the world. Religion refuses to comprehend logical problems of the future, such as overpopulation or global warming. Christianity supports human growth and encourages the depletion of Earth's resources, giving no long term solution to Malthus's logical prediction of human population overcoming food production. Not to mention human growth and manipulation of Earth encourages slave labor, forced through nations and companies. Christianity explicitly says the Earth is for humans to change. Religion also makes us loose sight on the here and now, religion discourages us from making the world a better place for others, and encourages us to only prepare for the after life, whereas atheism encourages us to do everything we can to help ourselves and our posterity before we die.
Discrimination, punishments that do not fit the crime, and intolerance prove religion is flawed. As said before Religion at its root does not intend to be evil. However the fact that is can be drastically misinterpreted adds a new flaw. Why follow a moral code that we know is not definitive enough to stop as much evil as possible. In my opinion our laws are far more ethical than religion, because true morality is doing what is right regardless of what you are told, religion is doing what you are told regardless of what is right, granted some of what you are told is right, but much of it is absurd and creates unnecessary guilt. We should discard religion entirely and set up our own moral code using logic and reason. People should do good deeds out of knowing that they better the world, not out of fear. Humans have emotion, guilt, love, and empathy. All humans have the capacity to do good without religion if they have basic emotions. Teaching people ethics or philosophy would be a far better replacement for religion. After all, if god is good, he should not threaten the human race, especially when his morals are discriminatory and flawed. If God could not make his word clear enough so that it can not be manipulated by humans? Then he is incompetent. If God wants us discover the truth ourselves? Then he is sadistic.
Sources: en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Criticism_of_religion, Human Geography, Word religions, and World History class
1. Good Deeds to intolerance- I understand where my opponent is coming from, but you cannot deny that it is human nature that is judgmental. It is not religion's fault for causing societies to separate. Christians in Britain thought they held superiority toward Hindus. It was not religion, they were Eurocentric. They believed that their society was one of the most advanced societies that ever lived. Spain believed in God, but Britain still thought they were better. France believed in God, but Britain still thought they were better. Using my opponent's logic would be incorrect in all of these cases, therefore my opponent's argument is invalid. Also my opponent tries to bring up the pope argument. Don't blame the faith for what the popes did. I know that the churches were becoming wealthy off of Christianity. But that is human nature becoming corrupt, not religion corrupting humans.
2. Religion punishments are unjust- Again, my opponent tries to bring the discrimination argument, and puts the blame on religion. Let me start my giving the background of human nature. If you see someone having blood loss, or wounded, you would try to get a doctor. But if you see someone hungry, it is human nature to get food for yourself, and not for the others. Its human nature that causes discrimination. You cannot blame survival of the fittest on religion. There will always be classes in a society. Blaming class hierarchy on religion is absurd.
3. Religion is a weapon- I understand that religion can be manipulated my people, and this causes terrorism to flow. But if you look at my opponent's statement, you will find that he says people manipulate. You see he accepts that it is humans manipulating, and not God manipulating. Since, he has said that humans manipulated, he gives me a win, because he is not blaming God himself.
4. Religion Civilizations- My opponent admits that religion creates a sense of unity, but also states that the Soviet Union has also created a sense of unity. Joseph Stalin was a well-known atheist, but he was also well-known for killing his people. Also, during the end of his life, he had to bring religion back, because his people had unhappy lives, and he wanted to bring back the idea of eternal life. Saudi Arabia also has the lowest crime rate, but I will agree that women not allowed the ability to drive cars is absurd. But if you have ever read the Qur'an as a full document, you will see in many surahs, they taught equality.
5. My opponent brings the argument that religion makes science difficult. I am appalled, because if we see in Islam's history, we will see that the Arabs practically invented math, science, medical advancements, and small microprocessors. Also, in America, everytime there is a scientific theory introduced, it will usually be counted as northern aggression to the south. The south holds on to religion, because of the north. When the north introduced evolution, the south went crazy because it was from the north. As you see this is a reference to human nature.
Story of Philosophy, Inherit the Wind
2. Religion is morally inferior. My opponent has failed to justify God's idea of infinite punishment or paradise for finite deeds in Islam and Christianity. Therefore, I uphold my claim that God's punishments do not fit the crime and therefore God is not good. Secondly, religion does promote discrimination. " I permit no women to teach or have authority over a man, She is to keep silent"- The Bible. 1 Timothy 2:12. Do not tell me gender inequality is Just a human thing, it is supported by God as well. Many Islam nations instill Sharia law. Anyone with a brain can see its cruel and unusual punishments, and its bias towards women. Who created this law? God. My opponent also failed to justify God giving salvation to those who don't deserve it through sacraments. Sacraments are a Fundamental Christian custom that God supports. It is also partially God's fault for giving the Pope too much power-" Anyone arrogant enough to reject the verdict of the judge or of the priest who represents the LORD or god must be put to death"-the Bible ( Deuteronomy 17:12) Social hierarchy is the very basis of interpreting Roman Catholicism. In conclusion it is absurd NOT to put any blame on God for injustice. The only way to end gender inequality and absurd punishments in Islam and Christianity, is to defy God, by cherry picking what HUMANS see is right and following that.
3. Religion is a weapon, and that is its own fault. I believe we have had a misunderstanding here. Yes, we both agree that humans manipulate religion. However, I am saying God is to blame for that. God left vague sayings in his scriptures that can be used to justify horrible atrocities. Since God is perfect and makes no mistakes, then he purposefully left these sayings, which means he intended for humans to do commit atrocities, for he his omniscient, and should have known we would. If he made a mistake, he should have enlightened everyone to the right path, for he his omnipotent, (enlightenment is not taking away freewill, it it simply informing) He failed to do any of these things, which means god is not good, he is a sadist. God has weaponized religion through His scriptures, such as Sharia Law, and this ," If a man commits adultery with another man's wife, both the man and the woman must be put to death"- ( Leviticus 20:10) If God is good, He would have not put this in his early scriptures. Once again HUMANS must omit some of GOD's word to live reasonably. So explain to me why we should follow God's word, when it is is morally inferior to the U.S Constitution. ( the constition was written from secular views of government and did not adhere to any one religion, nor did it have any basis of ethics that is claimed by religion, and was based on political and economical ideas,) To clarify we both obviously agree that God is not responsible for EVERYTHING humans do, therefore humans created something that is ethically superior to God's texts: Therefore If humans have the capacity for greed and evil, then God does too.
4. A society based solely upon religion today would be inferior to Today's secular governments, My point of the Soviet Union was show that societies can be created through philosophical, economical, and political beliefs, nothing more. The Soviet Union was superpower that went to space; people were not unhappy, because of lack of religion, they were unhappy because of the government. You also failed to acknowledge the much higher rating on the Global Peace Index of the Czech Republic, where the majority are atheists. People do not need to rely on religion to be happy, the determining factor is one's government, and if that government is based on God's view, I assure you it would be horrible, such as Medieval Europe and Saudi Arabia. Nations that adhere to no religion such as Japan or Iceland are far happier than governments adhering to God.
5. Religion can Never be trusted. Atheism is a disbelief, therefore it cannot restrict good ideas or bad ideas, but religion can. My point is that we as a human race can choose those good ideas for ourselves, better than God can today. Atheism is a blanks canvas, as long as good things are painted on it humans will be happier. Whereas, as long as Islam exists, so will Jihad ism. As long as Christianity exists, so will its ridiculous and harsh scriptures. Why? It is God's word, which can never be officially altered, but laws typically change for the better, and in this globalized world good laws will be diffused. You cannot separate religion from culture. Culture is what people care about and what they take care of; religion and God fits that category. Culture influences society and human behavior. All I am saying is that if God is eliminated from our culture, then we could create new one that betters society. Throughout time, Muslim and Christian empires have failed to uphold liberty and justice, because of God's restrictions. Today, faith should be put into good secular influences.
6. Science grew despite religion, The Arabs had contributed to science because they were in a golden age. All Golden ages ( Renaissance, Hellenistic era, Rome) occurred during a great shift towards secularism and humanism. Human nature is what encourages scientific growth, because we are curious beings that always want something more to better our lives. Religion does impede science, because religion does not put as much emphasis in the present on Earth to better our posterity. Christians focused on religion and God during the primitive malevolent dark ages, Christians focused on secularism and HUMAN achievement during the Renaissance. God encourages us to be careless of the environment with reward of the afterlife.
1. Christopher Columbus is a well known explorer. He is known for giving a route into America. But, if my opponent's logic is correct, than Christopher Columbus was probably wanting to spread Christianity into America. Well, if you look into the diary of Columbus you will find that he was a power-hungry man who wanted fame, gold, and land. He brought a clergy man with him, because clergy men were required to accompany explorers. My opponent's logic was incorrect on Columbus.
2. Cortes was also a Spanish explorer. According to Glenco Text Books, He was too a power-hungry man that wanted gold, land, and fame. He also went to explore modern day America. Why? It wasn't because he was passionate for exploring. It was his power hunger. He wanted land. He took a clergy-man, because it was simply required. If I were to use my opponent's logic, than I would find that Cortes was a religious person that wanted to spread Christianity. No, he just brought a clergy man with him because it was required. So, logically my opponent would be proven wrong in this case.
3. Vasco De Game was also a Spanish explorer. He was a warrior who fought for Spain, and also explored. In Spain, men became superstars if they found land. Vasco was inspired by these ideas. So he decided that he wanted to explore. He brought a clergy-man because it was required.
4.Jacquis Cartier was a French explorer. He was inspired by the superstar idea. He wanted to be popular. He is popular today for his discovery of America. He too was power-hungry. He did not do it for God.
You can see that it was human nature that inspired these men, not God.
So you see, my opponent's logic was wrong most of the time. Now, I am not saying that his logic isn't correct for certain cases. But for the majority of these cases, he has been proven wrong. Now, since I have proven that my opponent is capable of throwing big assumptions on things that could be inaccurate in the end, than how can we trust his ability to provide us with information.
2. Religion is morally inferior. Alright, for those of you that have bought my opponent's argument. I urgently ask you to read his argument more carefully. "Secondly, religion does promote discrimination. "I permit no women to teach or have authority over a man, She is to keep silent"- The Bible. 1 Timothy 2:12. Do not tell me gender inequality is just a human thing, it is supported by God as well."" Where did God say I support Timothy's teachings? Where did God's say that I say that I support Sharia Law. My opponent has put a very broad assumption that God made these laws. It is Timothy! Timothy wrote these things, not God. Is there ever a passage saying "The Bible. 1 God 1:11 I hate gays". No! My opponent is throwing assumptions off of things that shouldn't be assumed. It never says anywhere in the Bible that God said that I permit popes to have sex with children. Gender Inequality is a human thing. Islam Surah 3- says respect women, for they are the up bringers of our children. Give money to a single women in need. Take care of your women. Show respect. These things aren't being obeyed in our society. Its human nature that is stopping these things from coming to reality.
3. Religion is imperfect-My opponent is still under the false claim that God wrote the Bible. Humans wrote the Bible. God didn't come down here with his angels saying to Timothy to give me the pen, I'll write this part. If my opponent says this is true, than the voter will know himself that it is absurd. My opponent's argument is irrelevant, because God didn't write these books, therefore God cannot be blamed.
4. My opponent blames today's religious societies for cherry-picking when he cherry picks Soviet Union's government with Czech Republic's peace. My opponent dropped my Soviet Union attack, because he just likes the good atheist governments. Czech Republic's population is 10.52 million. It was founded In 1993. Statistically proven, Countries founded in the last 20 years usually learn from its predecessors. That is just fact. Also, religious societies are far bigger than secular societies. I challenge my opponent in the next round to find be a secular society that has a population above 200,000 million, and is still peaceful. I'll even give my opponent room to stretch to the 19th century civilizations, so he can get the challenge done. It isn't God's fault for what Saudi Arabia did. He didn't build the country.
5. Religion can never be trusted. Societies can better one generation at a time. It is unfair saying that religion has failed, because of its history. Because by using my opponent's logic, since the Soviet Union happened, we can never let Atheism happen again. My opponent would say that claim is absurd. I would say that claim was absurd. So I would call my opponent's claim absurd.
6. Science grew despite religion. The Arabs were very religious. And, they still contributed a lot to science. The Arabs are an example of when religion, and science flowed correctly. My opponent throws a big assumption when he says religion impedes science. The Arabs are an example. God never encouraged this environment, because he never wrote these teachings. You see this is the heart of the con argument. He argues that religion is bad and God influenced it. This is where he is wrong. God never wrote those texts. He never wrote what he was specifically going to do. God never had a pen to write down what these texts say. People that take the Bible literally have very blind faith. Vote for Pro, because pro brought the logic, and doesn't throw big assumptions at things, like Scientology throws its critics into court. Vote for Pro. And if you still want to vote for Con. I'll give you three main points. 1.Do you like people throwing big assumptions. 2. Did you like how the Soviet Union went. 3. You probably wouldn't be here if it wasn't for the MUSLIM Arabs, because of there invention of healthcare.
Vote for Pro!
1. My opponent does not understand the point I was trying to make about conquerors AT ALL. I never said ALL individual explorers invaded for god, I specifically used NATIONS as examples for that, and conquerors were those nations' means of doing so. My opponent failed to acknowledge Portugal's legacy in Asia. My opponent provides a measly 4 cases in which explorers were more greedy than religious, that does NOT disprove my point. I could give you hundreds of conquerors that killed in the name of God, but I am not going to waste time. Anyone who has taken 7th grade history should know God was a primary motivation for invasion. My point is STRENGTHENED when my opponent says that nations sent missionaries (who promoted ethnic cleansing of non-Christians) with explorers; This emphasizes that most European NATIONS intended to convert or kill during this period. My opponent pointed out in round 2 god provides an afterlife. My point was, Conquerors see pagan's do not achieve an afterlife unless they convert ( due to God's requirements) Therefore, these pagan's lives were undermined because they do not receive eternal salvation( just as we see a bug's life is less valuable because it is short) Thus, it is easier to kill a life that is deemed less valuable; Europeans did commit genocide, because God demeaned the lives of those who were not obedient to Him.( My opponent did not make ANY attempt to acknowledge my reasoning. Why vote for my opponent, when he only attempts to refute my examples, NOT my central ideas? Also, my opponent has made little attempt to win his own debate (to prove God STILL provides strong moral character) ,whereas I have attempted to show how God's ideas can and have been harmful in EVERY argument.
2. My opponent does not understand the fundamental basis of the bible nor
priests. My opponent wants me to NOT use the bible, because God did not write it. How absurd! I am aware God does not SAY every word in the bible, but remember God does not directly speak to anyone, so he MUST rely on priests and sacred texts. Remember !!! , my opponent is SUPPOSED to argue that God still instills moral character to humans! How does God do this? Through the bible. Why do you think ALL 3 branches of Christianity view the bible as the source of truth? Why do you think the largest and oldest branch of Christianity, Roman Catholicism, relies on priests and church hierarchy? Because our OMNISCIENT God intended it to be this way. Plus, I do not see God condemning Timothy's words. Do not vote for someone who does not understand the basic purpose of the bible. Thirdly, I stress my opponent must argue that God still gives us moral character. Even if I am wrong, I do not see how God PROMOTES gender equality or equality for homosexuals. If human laws have promoted equality already; Why do we need God?
3. My opponent has failed to justify God's ideas ( Christianity and Islam) of infinite punishment or paradise for finite deeds, My opponent has AVOIDED this idea throughout all of the debate. My opponent says himself, God is good (his debate ) because he provides the afterlife and punishment. I have countered this by stating God's punishments are cruel and do not fit the crime. In many sects God also gives eternal salvation to people who have sinned, but repented, and has given eternal damnation to good people, because they did not believe in him. For example humans have created the Geneva conventions which support the rights of enemy soldiers even during war ( Protects the rights of ALL), whereas God eternally condemns people who are not loyal or do not believe in him, and encourages the death all his enemies. My point is humans have created laws with punishments that actually DO fit the crime and even show mercy to enemies, unlike God. So how does God STILL influence strong moral character, today; My opponent has FAILED to explain how.
4. I NEVER said cherry picking good ideas is wrong, in fact, I encourage
it. My opponent misunderstands me once more. My point was that it is MUCH harder for religious societies to cherry pick good ideas, and keep them. Because people hold a great deal of esteem and sentiment towards their religion ( especially since religion is part of culture), they are less inclined to change it for the better. They are also more inclined to keep or even GO BACK to bad ideas in order to preserve their culture, because these religious customs have been practiced for generations; regardless of whether these customs are harmful or not. Whereas, laws are changed all the time for the better. For example, democracy was very rare in history ( Athens and Roman republic were the only major forms) Gradually, people have progressed and many nations are democracies today. Why? because people saw citizens living happily under democracy and rebelled. American Revolution, French Revolution. People will never go back to feudalism because there is no reason to, thus, good ideas ( secular, human ideas) such as democracies will be kept, copied, and diffused across the world. Whereas religion keeps us confined in a circle. Remember, laws and governments can be OFFICIALLY reformed, whereas religion can't because humans do not have to power of God to do so. Plus, religion is also open to interpretation people will preserve old interpretations as the Vatican has preserved original Roman Catholicism, even long after the Protestant Reformation. I truly wish he cherry pick the Soviet Union's unity and ambition with the Czech Republic's peace. My opponent said in round 3 new countries build upon previous nations to build better ones, my opponent has also failed to explain to me why we STILL need God to do so, which is what my opponent is supposed to do in this debate. Challenge: Few nations have a a 200 million population at all, However the Japan and the E.U and have secular governments that are very peaceful and large populations.
5. Religion can be practiced in circles. As I have explained, religion can ALWAYS be interpreted to justify discrimination and killing, and religion can never be OFFICIALLY reformed to change that, whereas laws can. Many states have stopped discrimination of Gays by recognizing their rights. Laws have officially made murder illegal, whereas, (to use my opponent's words) God cannot come down here with his angels and say give me a pen I will revise make murder officially illegal and officially outlaw discrimination. My opponent was originally supposed to argue that God is good and explain why He still gives us strong moral character, instead ,since round 2, my opponent has only made excuses for God.
6. My opponent refuses to accept basic correlation. As I have pointed many times, science flourishes better during times of
secularism and humanism. God impedes human achievement by attempting to provide us with everything we need, when in reality he doesn't. God encourages us that seeking God is the only fulfillment we need. This idea prevents us from wanting more; wanting more which is what fuels the creation of new technology and scientific growth. This does not mean religion and science cannot coexist, but science would fair better during secular times, history ( Renaissance, Hellenistic era, Rome) proves this. Plus God demeans us with his superiority. My opponent has failed to acknowledge my reasoning on all of this, and a he once again does not argue his original debate.
If you scroll up, you will see that my opponent is supposed to explain why God is still useful for morals today. However I believe my opponent has failed to do this, instead he only makes excuses for God. I have attempted to explain why God's ideas are obsolete. I believe that humans have outgrown God because we have superior ethics and secular societies, today. I believe I have accomplished my goal of this debate. Vote for who you believe truly won this debate.
NOTE: All sources are same except for bible on round 3
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Jzyehoshua 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: I disagree with both sides' criticism of the Bible. Pro made some interesting and unique arguments though in pointing out that Con's attacks applied to human nature in general, not religion specifically, and that religion has not always impeded scientific progress. Con definitely had better spelling and grammar and comes across as the more polished debater, but Pro did a solid job with rebuttals.
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