The Instigator
YeshuaIsTheOneTrueGod
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
KostasT.1526
Pro (for)
Winning
7 Points

Is freedom from religion a Constitutional right?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/26/2017 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 months ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 305 times Debate No: 104657
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (9)
Votes (1)

 

YeshuaIsTheOneTrueGod

Con

Let's rock!
KostasT.1526

Pro

Hello, and thank you for this debate.

Definitions:

My opponent has not proposed and selected any definitions on the topic, so I will instead.

1. Constitutional [1]:
a. [government] of, relating to, or concerned with the constitution of a state, organization, etc.
b. [government] provided by or in agreement with such a constitution
c. belonging to or part of the character of a person:

2. Constitution [2]:
a. the way in which a thing is formed or arranged; makeup or composition of a thing
b. the physical character of the body with regard to health, etc.
c. [government] the fundamental law of the U.S., put into effect in 1789.
d. [government] the system of fundamental principles according to which something is governed
e. [government] the document in which these principles are written.

Since I believe that my opponent implied this to be a conversation concerning the law, I will select the definitions 1a, 1b, 2c, 2d, 2e.

Freedom from religion [3]:
"the freedom from the rules and dogmas of other people's religious beliefs so that we can be free to follow the demands of our own conscience, whether they take a religious form or not".
That is the definition on which I am going to base my arguments for this debate.

Arguments:

1. My opponent did not clarify whether by "Is freedom from religion a Constitutional right?" they refer to a specific country's constitution. Therefore, I shall proceed with the concept that if I show that freedom from religion is a constitutional right in any country's constitution, I prove my thesis. I am to begin with the constitution of the United States, but without that implying that I will not be able to address another constitution in the future.

Below is presented the first Amendment of the United States' constitution:
"The 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." [4]
What do we make of this, one might ask? In a religious frame, it is correct to state that the first Amendment declares the freedom of religion a constitutional right. I will later on refer to this as Premise no1, or simply P1.

2. Are the two phrases "freedom of religion" and "freedom from religion" actually the same? One often gets them described as the "the two sides of the same coin". I, in fact, do share that reasoning, and so I will justify my point of view with the following:
Firstly, I should analyze a bit "freedom of religion". To put it simply, it is the freedom of any individual to adopt a religious belief that fits their standards and liking, but also a regulation that forbids an individual or group from enforcing their religion's ways upon others. As my source [3] puts it in words, "You do not truly have the freedom to practice your religious beliefs if you are also required to adhere to any of the religious beliefs or rules of other religions".
Freedom from religion, on the other hand, is the freedom from the rules and dogmas of other people's religious beliefs, so that we can be free to follow the demands of our own conscience, whether they take a religious form or not. Hence, the difference between the two is that the former allows one to choose their religion depending on their own standards, while the latter, on top of the options freedom of religion provides, suggests the right to not participate in any religious groups, thus becoming what is known as an atheist, agnostic, apatheist, nontheist etc.
What the first Amendment states, however, is the right of equality and free speech, whilst it forbids government from deeming a religion as official or universal. As what freedom from religion postulates is the right of being able to choose no religion, it is actually included in the Amendment.

3. Let's take a look at the purposes of the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF):
"The purposes of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc., as stated in its bylaws, are to promote the constitutional principle of separation of state and church, and to educate the public on matters relating to nontheism." [5]
Obviously, both the promotion of separation of church and state and the education on matters related to nontheism are protected under the right of free speech (not to mention that even the separation of church and state is predicted by te first Amendment, but this is still debatable [6]). Hence, the Amendment supports the goals of the FFRF.

Sources:
[1] WordReference dictionary, "constitutional":
http://www.wordreference.com...
[2] WordReference dictionary, "constitution":
http://www.wordreference.com...
[3] "Freedom from religion":
http://hellemanworld.blogspot.gr...
[4] Wikipedia on the United States' first Amendment:
https://en.wikipedia.org...
[5] FFRF purposes, FAQ:
https://ffrf.org...
[6] Wikipedia on the separation of church and state:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 1
YeshuaIsTheOneTrueGod

Con

You bet. The First Amendment protects the right to freedom of religion, but not freedom from religion. Atheists don't have the right to crap on Christian or other rights. Christians ave the right to freely excercise their religion the same as any other religion.
KostasT.1526

Pro

My opponent completely ignores my arguments and the overwhelming evidence presented. I showed how the first Amendment protects the right of free speech and forbids the government from deeming any religion universal, thus satisfying the petitions of the freedom from religion movement.
My opponent is so delusional as to say that "Atheists don't have the right to crap on Christians or other rights", without even explaining why is that so, even after I disproved their thesis. They just baselessly claim that atheists have no rights, putting themselves on the same level as racists.
The burden of proof is henceforth on my opponent which they have to base on solid and factual arguments and not merely their beliefs. Otherwise, they shall be ignored.
Debate Round No. 2
YeshuaIsTheOneTrueGod

Con

The First Amendment protects the right to freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM religion. Atheists and liberals don't have the right to force their agenda on Christians and other religious people. If you don't like a Nativity dcene, ON'T LOOK!
KostasT.1526

Pro

My opponent, yet again, presented baseless claims instead of actual arguments and evidence. As promised in the previous round, they will be ignored until they do so.
The only thing I will point out in order to clarify the misunderstandings under which my opponent is is the fact that, contrary to the claims of the aforementioned, and as my definition too suggests, freedom from religion is not the right to not see theism anywhere in one's society, but the right to legally believe that God does not exist or to not participate in any religious groups. If my opponent still denies that, they go against the first Amendment's right of free speech. It is unthinkable to forbid atheism just because my opponent does not agree with it, not to mention that this very action is not a Constitutional but not even a moral right. Atheists force nothing on theists. My opponent's thesis in this debate is merely a result of unnecessary hate and inability to accept the right of other people to have different opinions.
Debate Round No. 3
YeshuaIsTheOneTrueGod

Con

I am so tired of you liberals crapping on Chrisians and whining like little snitches when we stand up for ourselves. Liberals have traditionally opposed religious liberty from Hobby Lobby to other religious liberty issues. I do believe that a President should lead this nation in consensual prayer to the God of the Bible.
KostasT.1526

Pro

My opponents states that they are "tired of liberals whining like little snitches when Christians stand for themselves". That is a pathetic excuse for not recognising equality among humans and the right to free speech, fundamental bases for the advanced human society. If my opponent wants to, I can argue for the mentioned rights and how they benefit humanity in a separate debate, so that they stop deluding themselves by claiming that only theists have the right to free speech and that liberals are little snitches whining for equality. It must be realised that no religious belief can be yet considered more true than the others, including christianity and atheism, and therefore it is irrational to propose actions such as deeming christianity the official religion of a nation or freedom from religion being excluded from the Constitutional rights of a country's Constitution. If I am not mistaken, even the bible's God considers all people equal (though the user by the name backwardseden has some objections to this, as seen in their debates), but my opponent, who claims to be a christian, does not recognise the equality of all despite their beliefs. An open mind and the ability to accept different opinions is always needed for humanity to progress forward, even in religious topics. It is of no use to reject other beliefs just because they go against our own, and grow hate against our philosophical rivals, just like my opponent does against atheists.
I shall quote the "Lord of the Rings" films; "What can men do against such reckless hate?"
Thank you for the debate.
Debate Round No. 4
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by KostasT.1526 1 month ago
KostasT.1526
Now that was the most unexpected thing that happened to me since today's morning.
Posted by BryanMullinsNOCHRISTMAS2 1 month ago
BryanMullinsNOCHRISTMAS2
Pro by default!
Posted by arugula278 2 months ago
arugula278
pro should wipe the floor. Establishment clause, anyone?
Posted by KostasT.1526 2 months ago
KostasT.1526
@ConserativeDemocrat
Thank you. I would appreciate your vote, If my opponent does not forfeit until then, that is. I do not mean to offend them, but the situation is quite against them right now.
Posted by ConserativeDemocrat 2 months ago
ConserativeDemocrat
Unless Con manages a comeback so miraculous that even Jesus would be proud, I plan on voting for Pro.
Posted by KostasT.1526 2 months ago
KostasT.1526
@YeshualsTheOneTrueGod
I looked up your account. Indeed, as Arganger says, you are a terrible debater.
Posted by Arganger 2 months ago
Arganger
I hate to say it, but so far you are a terrible debater.
Posted by YeshuaIsTheOneTrueGod 2 months ago
YeshuaIsTheOneTrueGod
No it isn't. You don't have the Constitutional right to eliminate my religious freedom, you Stalin worshipping atheist ***hole!
Posted by cakerman 2 months ago
cakerman
TL;DR, yes, it is. There is no debate
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by BryanMullinsNOCHRISTMAS2 1 month ago
BryanMullinsNOCHRISTMAS2
YeshuaIsTheOneTrueGodKostasT.1526Tied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro by default!