The Instigator
NobodyMove
Con (against)
Losing
2 Points
The Contender
ishallannoyyo
Pro (for)
Winning
13 Points

Is Religiion a force of good?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
ishallannoyyo
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/29/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,701 times Debate No: 24900
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (20)
Votes (5)

 

NobodyMove

Con

So, practically speaking, religion has done more harm than good. Talking about the crimes of Christianity, Islam and almost every other religion, we can infer that religion impedes the progress of science. It has been said that if there had been no religion, science would have progressed a thousand more years, right here today. Who knows? We might have even reached Mars and literally have extended life till there. So, anyone interested for a debate?
ishallannoyyo

Pro

I accept the resolution at hand. I would like to offer forth some resolutions:

Religion:
a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.


Good: righteous, or morally excellent

Morals: concerning the principles of right and wrong

I am not religious myself, but I would still like to debate this topic.

I look forward to my opponent's arguments!

Sources:
www.dictionary.com
Debate Round No. 1
NobodyMove

Con

I thank my adversary for accepting this debate.

Religion is the root cause of many of the problems of today's society. Since the pre-historic times, honor killing, genocide and infanticide have been practiced among the major religions of the world, let alone the minor ones. Recently genital mutilation was introduced to this list of ugly acts. These acts reveal the very nature of religion. The worst part of this, is that all these acts are committed without giving choice to the victim upon which they are committed. The victim is supposed to follow them blindly or unknowingly. And after all this, the victim is somehow convinced that he must be proud about it.

Unfortunately, these are not the only "ugly" things of religion. Religion (specifically Christianity) claims that "He that increaseth knowledge, increaseth sorrow", which clearly dictates the fact that religion does not want people to gain knowledge about scientific things. Briefly, it doesn't want people to delve deep into any kind of studies. For this reason, they did not allow scientists like Galileo and Copernicus to carry on their scientific expeditions. Not only that, they even arrested (house-arrest) Galileo for clearly no folly of his. Or rather, his folly was only that he discovered things which contradicted with the Bible. The wrong-doings of religion have only recently been discovered. In today's world, religion also speaks against discoveries which have been proven (evolution for instance).

Thus, I can also state that religion impedes the progress of science.

Sources :
http://www.studentpulse.com...
http://www.tektonics.org...
http://www.realclearreligion.com...
ishallannoyyo

Pro

I thank my opponent for his comments. I would now like to take this time to refute some of the arguments, then i will bring forth some of my own contentions.


Religion is the root cause of many of the problems of today’s society.


I would invite my opponent to specify which religions as religions such as Buddhism preach peace and cooperation. I will assume my opponent means Roman Catholicism considering the horrible acts that my opponent described has only been committed by Roman Catholicism in ancient times. As I will show later on, Religion is also the root cause of good in today’s society.


These acts reveal the very nature of religion.


My opponent is only judging religion based on those facts. I would like to point out though that part of the Crusades was to bring Christianity and salvation to the Muslims. Many acts throughout history have been driven by the need to HELP others, by converting them to Christianity or Roman Catholicism to SAVE their souls from burning in hell. As I will show in my arguments later on, this is not the only face of religion.



“He that increseth knowledge, increaseth sorrow”


My opponent failed to tell you that in his source, it specifically says that you cannot read the passage as it is and interpret it as it’s written. The saying is essentially the common idiom of Ignorance is Bliss. This sentence has nothing to do with science or religion forbidding research. The point of the passage is those that come to realize the horrible things that man do to each other will increase their sorrow. It also says that “Happy is the man that findeth wisdom and man that geteth understanding.” This doesn’t seem like a passage of the bible that forbids learning.


Religion does not want people to gain knowledge about scientific things.


This is simply incorrect. My opponent speaks about evolution, which he claims has been proven. Does this mean that religion is incorrect? Because evolution exists, religion is wrong? Because the Big Bang Theory is accepted, all regions are rendered moot and false? No, this is clearly incorrect. Religions don’t speak against evolution, in fact, many scientists believe that religion and science co-exist [1]. As shown in the article, many scientists believe in religion and science and that evolution is the way god created the world. Even Alberta Einstein, perhaps the greatest scientist the world has ever seen says: “Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind.” The Church only impeded scientific research hundreds of years ago, today it fuels research. Geology was a branch of science created to find evidence of the flood that made Noah build his ark. Thus, religion doesn’t impede science.



CONTENTIONS


Firstly, Religion can be very helpful. In times of great tragedy, people have turned to religion as a source of hope. Examples of which include during the Black Death, the Viking Invasion of the British Isles, and the Mongol hoards sweeping through Europe. During this time, people turned to the Church. The Church and God served as a major beacon of hope in those times, a symbol for the people not to despair. People pray to God to help. Does this seem like something evil, something wrong?


Secondly, Religion has funded many great works of art and cultural icons such as the Sistine Chapel. During the Renaissance, the Church funded the creation of countless works of art, both directly and indirectly. Michelangelo’s David, a famous example of David, the killer of Goliath. His statue was the first to show such detail and such skill. People took it as an inspiration and began making detailed and wondrous creations of art. Leonardo’s The Last Supper, Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, the list goes on and on. Religion has brought to us famous cultural and historical paintings, sculptures, and world wonders. The Pyramids, fuelled by religion. The Statue of Zeus, fuelled by Religion. The Cristo Redentor, fuelled by Religion.


Thirdly, The Bible and other religions preach about valuable lessons such as kindness, compassion, and forgiveness. “Repair the world”, a Jewish commandment. “Love thy neighbour as thyself,” a Christian commandment. “Look upon Charity as something you must do every day that the Sun rises,” a Muslim commandment.


Parables such as the Good Samaritan teach us about showing compassion even to our enemies when they need it most. Mose’s 10 commandments show us the way to live our lives virtuously. Millions of people live by the words of Jesus and God, showing love and compassion in our world. Does this seem evil? People who do good in this world will be rewarded by God in the next, and those that sin and cause hurt in this world will be punished by God in the next. Is this not fair?


As I have show, religion doesn’t impede scientific research and is not evil as my opponent would have you believe. Instead, religion is a source of hope for people, has created many wondrous wonders, and teaches people to live their lives virtuously.



I ask you, is this evil? Vote Pro.



SOURCES


http://news.nationalgeographic.com...

Debate Round No. 2
NobodyMove

Con

Once again, I thank my opponent for sharing his views.

I gladly accept the invitation provided by my opponent for the specification of the religions responsible for many a problems faced by today's society. I would like to emphasize, that I was not only speaking of Roman Catholicism, but also Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, as they too are involved in various acts of violence, even in today's society. The religions of Hinduism and Islam (the so-called religion of peace), are responsible for mass-scale honor killings in today's society. However, the media fails to bring this to the attention of the people, for various reasons ranging from apathy to bribery. Circumcision is mandatory in the religion of Judaism, which leaves the victim upon whom it is committed, no choice but to go through the painful process, no matter if he doesn't believe in the teachings of Judaism. It seems that my opponent is also unaware of the fact that the religion of Buddhism (the religion which preaches peace and cooperation) is responsible for the recent innumerable Muslim deaths in Burma. This proves the inaccuracy of my opponent's assumption.

REBUTTALS

Many acts throughout history have been driven by the need to HELP others, by converting them to Christianity or Roman Catholicism to SAVE their souls from burning in hell.

Offering salvation to people can, in no way, be defined as 'help'. Intentions cannot be counted as good deeds. No murderer can justify his murder by saying that he intended to save the victim's soul from 'burning in hell'. And even if the intentions of Christians or Muslims were pure, it doesn't justify their deeds. Keeping the Crusades aside, what about burning of women on accounts of witchcraft? What about the suppression of homosexuals, forced marriages? I ask my opponent, how do these things HELP the society?

Religions don't speak against evolution.

My opponent's knowledge regarding the religious views of evolution is desperately incomplete. Almost all the 'holy' books speak against evolution (The Bible and Quran for instance). Nearly half of the American population believes in creationism, and not evolution. If it were not so, I ask my opponent, why would well - educated people like Richard Dawkins struggle to spread the message of scientific evolution? It is a very popular fact, that religion speaks against evolution.

Even Albert Einstein, perhaps the greatest scientist the world has ever seen says: "Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind."


My opponent hasn't studied Albert Einstein's views on religion. Soon after he made that statement, did he also make it clear that he was non-religious. In a letter to philosopher Eric Gutkind, he stated : "The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this." By religion, he meant 'morals' more specifically.

Religion doesn't impede science.

First of all, geology wasn't invented to find evidence of the flood that made Noah build his ark as my opponent stated. Traces of geology are even found in Ancient Greece when Christianity didn't even exist. My opponent's statement "today it (church) fuels research" is false. The Church doesn't go against scientific research for the sole reason that there is TOO MUCH EVIDENCE backing the researches. To illustrate my point, Galileo didn't have the necessary evidence to support his claims. And of course because it was forbidden to speak against religion. Because freedom of speech and thought were quite alien to humanity back in those days (though not completely). In today's society it would be too primitive of the Church to go against such researches. If allowed, religion would surely hinder scientific progress.

In times of great tragedy, people have turned to religion as a source of hope.

People may have turned to religion (although to be precise, my opponent meant god) as a source of hope (albeit it was misguided, as the existence of god has still not been proven) during tragedies, but this 'hope' of theirs didn't lead them to any success as misguided hope never leads people to success. It is their will to work for a cause which makes them excel in their work. As Bill Maher quoted : "You cannot pray away Global Warming". However, my opponent would undoubtedly argue that the timid and weak people need hope in order to survive in times of crisis. Well, I would argue that leaders and rulers are born to guide such people through times of tragedy. These LEADERS must provide the weak, the necessary hope and not an imaginary entity or entities.

The Bible and other religions preach about valuable lessons such as kindness, compassion, and forgiveness.

Religions preach moral as well as immoral lessons. But, its a fact that the immoral preachings of religions surpass the moral preachings of religion. It is a well-known 'belief' of Christianity that homosexuality is a sin, and that homosexuals must be compelled to become heterosexual or face the wrath of god (which isn't proven to exist). The Bible also condemns abortion because it takes the life of a fetus and mainly because they 'believe' it is a sin. Although it results in a death, the baby is in a very primitive stage, and even though it feels pain, it doesn't recognize it as much as a developed brain does. However, what is seemed to be ignored is the pain through which the pregnant WOMAN has to go through. It should be HER will to go through the process, and not of a random religious fanatic. If she wills it, then so be it, but if she doesn't, then a random religious fanatic has no right to speak against her. The worst part is that these are just religious 'BELIEFS' and not 'FACTS'. Even Islam is against infidelity as they 'believe' only Allah (who isn't proven to exist either) offers salvation. Suicide-bombing, child-rape, child marriage, killing of infidels, are prominent features of Islam in TODAY'S society. This is the definition of evil, if defined correctly, based on facts and not on fallacies.

CONTENTIONS

Religion has been responsible for providing false hope to people since ancient times. Karl Marx rightly remarked "Religion is the opiate of the masses". It fools people into believing that the world is a fair place to live in and makes them feel good about themselves, while religion has actually been used as a medium to control people. If you look through the pages of history, the catholic church has supported many dictators (including Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler). Napoleon Bonaparte once said “Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet. Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.”

A misconception about religion is that it was devastating only in the past. False. The most perceivable effect of religion can be seen in countries like Pakistan, Afganistan and India. These countries are worst countries for women. Homosexaulity is frowned upon in these countries, thanks to religion. I can safely say that it is because of their religions.

Finally, the worst part about religion is its inflexibility and its inability to take criticisms. Each religion claims that their way is the only way to salvation and anyone who believes otherwise will burn in hell. Is THAT what you call force of Good?

Sources:
http://www.thereligionofpeace.com...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://content.usatoday.com...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
http://www.freechristianillustrations.com...
http://www.guardian.co.uk...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://www.bible.ca...
ishallannoyyo

Pro

I thank my opponent for his comments. I will now like to take this time to refute the arguments brought forth by my opponent.

But before I begin, I would like to point out that just because my opponent doesn’t believe in religion, it doesn’t qualify him to dismiss any evidence of the existence of god and call people’s beliefs as “false” and gods as “imaginary.” Secondly, I would like to point out that my opponent has NOT MADE ANY REBUTTAL to the fact that religion has always been a patron of culture and the arts.

First of all, I will address honour killings. Using my opponent’s sources, “it is noted by sociologists that honour killings do not necessarily have to do with religion, but rather the cultures in different religions.” [1] This shows us that honour killings are not heavily influenced by religions, but by different cultures.

With regards to witch burnings etc, that was a result of the people. They feared that the witches would turn them into frogs or something of that sort, so witch-burnings actually gave hope to the people and THE PEOPLE carried those out.

Almost all holy book speak against evolution.

As I have shown in R2, even scientific journals believe in both evolution and science, they believe in both god and evolution. A common theory that evolution is the way in which god created the world, as seen in the article I cited in R2. Furthermore, the Pope John Paul II accepted evolution with the theistic evolution, which basically says that religion and evolution both coexist and are correct and that humans are a special creation [2]

My opponent hasn’t studied Albert Einstein’s views on religion.

It’s true that he wasn’t religious, it just shows that that people believe that science and religion can be intertwined.

Geology wasn’t invented to find evidence of the flood

This is incorrect as I have shown in R2. If you read the article, it clearly says that modern geology was fuelled by the drive to find evidence of the flood.

The Church doesn’t go against scientific research for the sole reason that there is TOO MUCH EVIDENCE backing the researches.

This is also incorrect. The church has fuelled scientific research since ancient times. They have provided medications and researched medicines for the population; it expanded literacy, numeracy, and clergy-men were often scientists such as Roger Bacon, and Nicholas Copernicus [2]. Though the Church opposed Galileo, it funded Copernicus, education, and advances in medicine.

(Albeit it was misguided, as the existence of god has still not been proven) during tragedies, but this “hope” of theirs didn’t lead them to any success as misguided hope never leads people to discuss.

As I have said, just because my opponent doesn’t believe in god doesn’t mean that this hope was false. “It is their will to work for a cause which makes them excel in their work.” Yet without hope people wouldn’t have worked at all. Why do people pray to their gods? Because they believe that their god will listen and help. Bill Maher may believe that you cannot pray away global warming, but some people believe that god will intervene and save us if we believe. This “hope” cannot be denied. “These LEADERS must provide the weak, the necessary hope and not an IMAGINARY entity or entities.” So my opponent would rather have people’s faith, dreams, and hopes all in one persons hands. This is what led to dictatorships and tyranny, and gods may not be “imaginary”


Religion preaches immoral lessons.

This needs to be addressed immediately. First of all, the word of holy bibles aren’t meant to be taken literally and it is up to each individual person to decide what their holy book means. Because some people have misinterpreted their books. “Suicide-bombing, child-rape, child marriage, killing of infidels are prominent features of Islam in TODAY’S society.” This is completely incorrect. The Quran forbids terrorism and harm of any kind. “The first cases to be adjudicated between people on the Day of Judgment will be those of bloodshed” , Muslim Prophet Mohammed [3]. These people that commit these sins are not doing so because their religion ordered them to, each person will have different interpretations and different views on their own religion. These acts cannot be blamed on the religion.

Regarding abortion, it is either Pro-Life or Pro-Choice. Aborting a fetus is considered by some murder. “If she will sit, then so be it, but if she doesn’t, then a RANDOM RELIGIOUS FANATIC has no right to speak against her.” I would invite my opponent to show more respect to those religious as they are not all “religious fanatics.” Secondly, nobody is forcing her to do anything. It is her choice, yet it is the belief of many people that abortion can be considered murder.

Religion has actually been used as a medium to control people.

As shown above, my opponent would like this to happen by having people place all their hopes and completely rely on their leaders. Secondly, leaders may inspire people, but they can’t answer prayers like gods can. People who believe in gods believe that their prayers will be answered by god, can leaders do this?

Homosexuality is frowned upon in these countries, thanks to religion.

Though religions may believe that homosexuality is immoral, religion doesn’t force anything on anyone. Homosexuality shouldn’t be frowned upon as the Church teaches acceptance, as I have shown above people interpret religions differently, it cannot be blamed on the religion.

As I have shown, Religion is a force of good. My opponent has not made any rebuttal to the fact that religion has always been a patron of the arts. I showed how religion teaches to live your lives virtuously. My opponent has countered this by saying that religions teach immoral lessons as well. I have rebutted this point by showing that the horrible acts that some people do aren’t fuelled by religion. People interpret religions differently, people claim they are fighting for Allah when they commit terrorism while Muslim priests preach peace. These things that these people do cannot be blamed on religion. Religion has also always been a source of hope for people, believe that their god will help in times of trouble. My opponent has countered this by saying that leaders provide hope, not imaginary people. I have rebutted this by showing that people who are religious feel that their god will answer their prayers as they are all-powerful. Leaders can’t do this.


SOURCES

1. http://en.wikipedia.org......

2.http://en.wikipedia.org...

3.http://www.islam-guide.com...



Debate Round No. 3
20 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by ishallannoyyo 4 years ago
ishallannoyyo
Whatever man, it was a good debate :).
Posted by ishallannoyyo 4 years ago
ishallannoyyo
I apologize for mispelling "regions." If you look on your own source, it says "region." I misspelled it into Religion. The evidence for god that some people may argue is the fact that everything in the world has a maker. Currently, we have not found any maker for DNA, some Christians believe that God created DNA. The reaction of the Church against blasphemous art is understandable, do you want a picture of your creator, or god doing something completely inappropriate??
Posted by NobodyMove 4 years ago
NobodyMove
My opponent asked me for the 'other ones', very well.
'I would like to point out that just because my opponent doesn't believe in religion, it doesn't qualify him to dismiss any evidence of the existence of god and call people's beliefs as "false" and gods as "imaginary."'
Which evidence are we talking about here? There is absolutely no evidence for the existence of god. And before you start muttering that there is no evidence to the contrary too, let me tell you something. You cannot disprove the existence of anything. If otherwise, disprove the existence of unicorns and gargoyles to me, please.

'I would like to point out that my opponent has NOT MADE ANY REBUTTAL to the fact that religion has always been a patron of culture and the arts.'
I wasn't provided enough space for speaking against every ignorant statement you made, which is why I hadn't made any rebuttal. Religion has always been the patron of culture and arts, you say? Well, what about M. F. Hussain? Was Hinduism (a religion), not responsible for his self-imposed exile? Was it not responsible for getting issued a non-bailable warrant against him? What about the reactions of Church against blasphemous arts? There you have your rebuttal.

'honour (honor) killings are not heavily influenced by religions, but by different cultures.'
Your source states 'honour (honor) killings do not necessarily have to do with religion, but rather the cultures in different religions.' Cultures in different what? 'RELIGIONS'. It aids to honor killings, albeit indirectly. Let me give you an example, by the way. 'In 2008 a woman was killed in Saudi Arabia by her father for "chatting" to a man on Facebook. The killing became public only when a Saudi cleric referred to the case, not to condemn it but to criticise Facebook for the strife it caused.' The source is Wikipedia. Is this related to cultures? And I criticize cultures along with religions too (every product of religion).
Posted by NobodyMove 4 years ago
NobodyMove
About circumcision, let me put it like this (can't believe I have to make it THIS simple). Suppose I am a Jewish child, born in a Jewish family. My parents believe in the Jewish god, while I don't. Does it matter? Its mandatory for me to go through circumcision, no matter what. You call THIS religious FREEDOM? You see, children have to go through the process and not their PARENTS.
Posted by NobodyMove 4 years ago
NobodyMove
Its really a matter of shame that people in the 21st century believe that circumcision is not "disgusting". If you justify circumcision in the name of 'religious freedom' then all terrorists in the world can justify their deeds on the basis of same. When they kill people in the name of Islam they are practicing their religions. Let me show you some unholy verses from their so-called holy Quran:
"Slay them wherever you find them...Idolatry is worse than carnage...Fight against them until idolatry is no more and God's religion reigns supreme." (Surah 2:190-)

"Fighting is obligatory for you, much as you dislike it." (Surah 2:216)
Posted by buckIPDA 4 years ago
buckIPDA
Con, you lost me when you mentioned Dawkins. If you're wanting to argue for a force of good, Dawkins is the last person you want to be citing; he's kind of a bully.
Beyond that, Con had too many premises he never fully pulled through. He continuously talks about all the bad things religion has done, and occasionally he even references one or two - but he never cites these things and he never really delves into these problems. There is an astute difference between a fully formed argument (Claim/Warrant/Data/Impact), and premise (vague mentioning).
Con also failed to respond to Pro's arguments, and instead continued to offer those vague premises.

Pro's grammar was weak, and his arguments left me wanting, but they still had all four parts of a good argument. I would have liked to see Pro continue the line of thought offered in the first round regarding the intentions of the crusades, but oh well.

Good round in general.
Posted by WMdebate 4 years ago
WMdebate
Batman versus Batman!
Posted by ishallannoyyo 4 years ago
ishallannoyyo
Circumcision is the parents choice. It isn't a "disgusting practice" it is up to them. Religious freedom my friend.
Posted by NobodyMove 4 years ago
NobodyMove
Do you even have the slightest idea about the number of baby boys which get infected due to this disgusting practice? It is in no way a medical choice. In fact the only aim of religious circumcision is to repress the libido of child, nothing else.
Posted by NobodyMove 4 years ago
NobodyMove
Do you even have the slightest idea about the number of baby boys which get infected due to this disgusting practice? It is in no way a medical choice. In fact the only aim of religious circumcision is to repress the libido of child, nothing else.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by BennyW 4 years ago
BennyW
NobodyMoveishallannoyyoTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro had better arguments and con was rather rude.
Vote Placed by bencbartlett 4 years ago
bencbartlett
NobodyMoveishallannoyyoTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con's arguments were not rigorous - he made many unsupported blanket statements, such as "These [horrible] acts reveal the nature of religion" without any support whatsoever. Pro made adequate rebuttals, though he could have stressed the lack of support a bit more. Furthermore, don't use other people's opinions, like Einstein's, in an argument. It does nothing to prove your point, since opinions are irrelevant. Pro needs to work on his grammar and to stop bold-facing all of his arguments. :P
Vote Placed by buckIPDA 4 years ago
buckIPDA
NobodyMoveishallannoyyoTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Comments.
Vote Placed by Man-is-good 4 years ago
Man-is-good
NobodyMoveishallannoyyoTied
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Reasons for voting decision: No standard was necessarily given for the moral base of "goodness" here as a framework for consideration. While both sides did have interesting points to posit, Pro managed to uphold his contention that religion was a prime motivator for arts and extended it to briefly encompass the sciences and the propagation of moral values, which obviously made it "good" in one sense. In a debate like this, there are often partial senses to which a system can be considered, and Con failed to consider that...
Vote Placed by acvavra 4 years ago
acvavra
NobodyMoveishallannoyyoTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Very good debate. Good arguments on both sides. Too hard to tell who was more convincing, so I vote tie.