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Is it ever okay to force one's beliefs onto someone else?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/19/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,097 times Debate No: 42677
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (82)
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Religion, or the lack thereof, has been an irreversible factor in our world today. Everybody either believes in a higher being... or they don't. However, is it ever okay to force one's atheist or religious beliefs onto another?

I, myself, am not religious. However, I understand religion is a large part of many families and provides something to trust and love when there is nothing left to trust and love. Atheist distrust religion and its fundamental teachings. But it is never okay to force each other's beliefs onto the other.

Religion has taught people tolerance, respect and loyalty. Atheism taught people to keep and open mind and explore the universe for physical seeable answers.

Unfortunately, I have come across many posts by you stating the idiocy of religious people. I wish to refute your rude and irresponsible arguments (as posted here and prove that perhaps at the end of the day, it is okay to have one's own views peacefully and not encroach on someone else's personal space.

Thank you


Thanks Con for the invitation!

Firstly, it's not about imposing any religious belifs, for starters Atheism is not a Religion unless you want to call, not playing Tennis a sport. not collecting stamps a hobby.

It's all about providing an education.
Nothing to do with beliefs.
My debate topics are based mostly on current scientific knowledge.
They are based on currently established factual information.

Fact: The world is becoming more and more secular, exponentially in some places like here and New Zealand. There have been no statistics so far to dispute this movement, nobody on D.O have been able to bring any to bear.

Fact: There is no verifiable evidence for the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ as Yet, and there is likely none to be found.

Fact: Neurology is exposing many OBEs and NDEs as being nothing more than Hallucination, researchers trying to prove this wrong have been at it for over 25 years, without bringing any evidence to prove me wrong. If somebody can in Debate.Org, then I'll be very grateful to them.

You should read "Hallucinations" by Dr Oliver Sacks or watch a few of Prof. Robert Sapolsky's very educational Youtube videos.

Essentially, I'm an educator, I put up currently, generally held concepts of scientists, historians and professionals and see if anybody on D.O can bring anything that researchers have not been able to discover. Maybe there is some gems of knowledge to uncover, without my prompting people for them, they may remain hidden.

These came from studies into Religious history and census statistics around the world.
I'm just turning currently accepted truths into debates, it's all about educating the public, not about beliefs.
I actually don't have any religious beliefs.
I'm a student of reality.

All I am doing is prodding people's consciousness and trying in some way make them think.
As most Rational, Critical Free Thinkers who have studied some Neurology, like myself know, the majority of humans are cognitive misers.

It appears that the vast majority of humans on the planet are cognitive misers and prefer to accept the ready made, irrational answers offered by Religions, rather than actually do some rational thinking.
Because rational thought requires energy!

If people don't want to engage me in my educational topics or consider the information I'm offering, then that is their problen and they can simply ignore my debate topics.

That's not being rude, it's being Informative.

There's a difference!

Now it's your turn! :-D~
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you for the speedy reply.

Your argument brings this into a whole new sphere of debate. Do you even have the power to educate people of scientific knowledge when, perhaps, they chose to explain phenomenon in their own way instead of the logical way?

Religion provides comfort for those in the darkest days of their lives so do we, as fellow humans, have the right [or in your opinion responsibility] to change their views and take away their only source of comfort?

Fact: The world is becoming more and more secular, exponentially in some places like here and New Zealand. There have been no statistics so far to dispute this movement, nobody on D.O have been able to bring any to bear.

This is indeed an undisputable fact and as such, I shall not dispute it.

Fact: There is no verifiable evidence for the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ as Yet, and there is likely none to be found.

Documented by Tacitus

“Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus.”

This, if you aren't aware, is a documentation of the crucification of "somebody" who lead the Christians and as a result suffered crucification.

The Ossuary

Despite being called a fake and then being called an evidence-in-investigation, The Ossuary states "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus." Now this isn't much to go nuts over until you remember the historical names.

Jesus's Embarassing Death

Crucification was not particularly good and proud way of dying. It is pretty hard to be noble when you are nailed to a piece of plywood. So, if we had an ancient fiction writer looking to gain a few ducats by making up a story of a "hero religious figure" dying, it probably won't be by nailing.

And finally, it is just plain silly to assume that Jesus of Nazarath did not exist. Even if he was not the historically godly figure, he probably did walk the Earth before. Besides, we could easily be talking about a Jesus who lived in Palestine roughly two millennia ago, had a very small following of people studying his views, was killed by the government, and whose life became pivotal to some of the world's largest religions. (Link for this sentence

The resurrection, however, very likely did not happen. This does not in any way rule out Jesus existing and in no way does this fact that you provided refute my argument of people not having the right to force one's beliefs onto another.

Fact: Neurology is exposing many OBEs and NDEs as being nothing more than Hallucination, researchers trying to prove this wrong have been at it for over 25 years, without bringing any evidence to prove me wrong. If somebody can in Debate.Org, then I'll be very grateful to them.

Again this serves no purpose in the context of this debate. Regardless of whether or not one's beliefs are accurate, do we have the right to change their minds when their opinion does not affect us?

"I'm a student of reality." was a quote provided by the Pro side.

If you truly were a student of reality, you would realize the reality of the world and life is that people do not give two shakes if you are Atheist, Buddhist, Catholic, Christian etc. So long as you can accept their beliefs as their own and leave them be, we can all coexist.

Being informative can be wonderful- and it is. But there is better ways of doing it instead of flaming debates with a topic of
or of

Many people structure their lives around religion and you have 0 right to refute that. Religion is written into our race. So is Creationism. And in neither of them does it state go out and tell the other they are wrong, morons and are basically no goods.


And my final argument is that the whole argument you provided above has nothing whatsoever to do with this debate topic. The topic is "Is it ever okay to force one's beliefs onto someone else?" and not "Is religion real?"

I look forward to your arguments


Thanks to Con for his reply: Though as far as belief in religion goes, I am in agreement with Sam Harris's view, entirely!

He gives great food for thought, and as far as comfort to those dying goes.

On Fear of Death:
A study from 2012:;

On Tacitus, born around CE56: He did not pen any of his history until at least 70 years after the death of Jesus, thus he, nor anybody he knew was a direct witness with any clear memories of the death of Jesus.
Like Saul/Paul, he gained all his knowledge form second hand anecdotes.
These cannot be presented as verified, impartial witness accounts to the Life of Jesus.
The rest of your statements still bear no IMPARTIAL WITNESS ACCOUNTS for Jesus! Truthfully, you should give up on this, because I can assure you that it is an ABSOLUTE FACT, that no external impartial evidence exists, researchers have been searching for nearly 300 years without finding anything.
Such Evidence doesn't exist: All the extra evidence you came up with is Subjective Evidence, which cannot count as Verified Objective Evidence.
Proof must be from only Verified Objective Evidence, Subjective Evidence is like NDEs and OBEs, are just Illusions. Belief in Subjective Evidence as Truth is what is called a Delusion. Religion is Thus defined as a Delusion.

This is what I and Sam Harris are against.
We believe in getting the Public Thinking, and then providing them with either Verified, Objective Information or pointing them in the right direction to finding such evidence, as neither of us are experts in any fields, not even our own, we still have a lot to learn. Living is really about learning good information, rather than soaking up the bad information that is offered by religions.

Irrational, non-knowledge or anti-knowledge, such as Tacitus and Josephus are nowhere even close to being proof of the life and Christian claims of the life of Jesus. To try and paint hearsay, anecdotal evidence such as theirs as verification of Jesus, is entirely Irrational.

We are about giving people Truthful Information, that can be independantly Verified. Nothing in the basis of Christianity can be independantly verified.

Sure, some people believe it is nice to let people believe in absolute nonsense, such as the false historical knowledge contained in Christianity, Islam, and many other religions, but, children pick up these and believe them as truthful, only to be scorned when they face the real world where real knowledge is prevalent. These children become disadvantaged, because of the nonsense fed to them by their religious parents and chlerics.
This especially applies to religious, home schooled children, especially those raised by Creationists.

It really is not worth holding the Knowledge Advancement of the entire world and future Children back because of hurt religious sensibility.

To do so is Utterly Ridiculous.
I know for absolute certainty that Sam Harris agrees with me!

Don't You Agree?
Debate Round No. 2


Thank you for another well researched argument.

Due to time constraints my rebuttal will be extemely short.

84% of the world are religious or have religious affiliation [Washington Post]. Yet that did not appear to hinder expansion of knowledge. School teachers from math to even Biology are religious. That does not stop them from teaching their subjects well. Religion has had no bearing on knowledge [if there was please provide me with evidence]. In fact, religion has appeared to have no negative side effects [besides the corrupted radical religions] on the people. Contrarily, during times of grief or a time especially hard on them, they can rely on their beliefs to be a listening ear and a guiding hand.

In the end is it really that useful to be well versed in science or is it better to believe in something and always have something to look forward to?

We have no right to take away their right to happiness, however that may be achieved in their particular case

I look forward to your closing argument


Thanks Con.
It seems you are going for the record of the shortest replies in the history of D.O
You appear to be a person with very little time on your hands.
I was the same a month ago, though work has slackened off a little recently.

Con stated: "Yet that did not appear to hinder expansion of knowledge. School teachers from math to even Biology are religious."

That is not a proper appraisal of History, considering the dark ages where Christianity, namely Catholicism attempted to destroy all knowledge that challenged their dogma.

Now Islam is trying to deny or destroy public knowledge that opposes Islamic history concerning their own faith.
Thus the protests at documentaries and books that conflict with their version of their history.
Catholicism has been doing this surreptitiously for centuries.
Real history completely disagrees with that documented and taught in the Catholic Encyclopedia, which has been mostly fabricated by Apologists (or Liars).

I'm certain that the NCSE (National Center for Science Education) completely disagrees with Con: As Con's statement flies in the face of current problems the NCSE is having with Young Earth Creationism holding the sciences of geology, anthropology and archaeology back in the dark ages in certain states, such as Kentucky and Texas.

I totally agree with Con: in his statement: "In the end is it really that useful to be well versed in science or is it better to believe in something and always have something to look forward to?"

If everybody on earth was just living life peacefully and adhering to their own beliefs, whether they be religios or non-religious, I have absolutely no issues with. Con is perfectly correct there.

The problem with most common Monotheistic beliefs is that they continually Proselytize and Indoctrinate.

Proselytizing and Indoctrination is defined as: "Forcing Their Beliefs Onto Others."
Especially Indoctrination.

I'm neither trying to Indoctrinate anybody, nor am I Proselytizing.
I am simply posting Ideas and posing Hypothisese that makes people think, hopefully differently to what they had been thinking in the past. This is what education is all about, lateral thinking and rationalizing.
Not just accepting stuff, because some son of a carpenter stated it over 2 millenniums ago.

When those that have studied his writings and genuine history, know full well that he possibly borrowed those ideas from people he met in his youth.

Yes, people can believe whatever they want to.

Though I'm actually on Cons Side and not against him in this debate.

It is wrong to force your ideas onto others, so I lose this debate!

Thus almost all Established Christian and Islamic Organizations are Wrong in Indoctrinating and Proselytizing Others Into Their Delusional Belief Systems.

I appreciate those Christian and Islamic, plus other Faiths, that do not Proselytize nor Indoctrinate Others, though they are Rare.

I believe Con should take a closer look at this Sam Harris clip, to understand why Established Religions are not good for humanity. Thus Indoctrination into them can be harmful.
These religions should not be allowed to proselytize nor indoctrinate others, especially children.


Two things that I'm not doing here!
I'm merely putting up debates and comments that hopefully get those reading them, doing some real research.
Quite often my concepts are Wrong, Though I won't apologise for that, because posting wrong concepts gets people researching to find and tell me I'm wrong.

That's one thing I enjoy about teaching others, especially when they come back and verify myself as being wrong with tangible, verified, objective Information/data.
That demonstrates that the person has really done good research.

To be told I'm wrong by people who simply Assert I am Wrong without any verified, tangible/objective data to back that assertion up.
Only demonstrates that the person making the claim that I am wrong is a Naive Bigot who cannot be bothered researching properly and simply wants to demonstrate their bigotry.

Prove me Wrong with genuine validated evidence and I'll totally respect your Intellect and consider you a giant among Humans.

But Remember: I'm actually another PRO in this debate!

You simply misunderstand my methology.

Debate Round No. 3
82 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Sagey 2 years ago
Human History has really been a Battle between INTELLIGENCE vs SUPERSTITION.
Superstition and Intelligence are diametrically opposed mental processes.
Posted by Sagey 2 years ago
Thanks Romanii, I did as well.

Though I've witnessed families, mostly Catholic where the children were raised to be good for Fear Of God as a control mechanism, they were often large families, such as my neighbour when I was a child who had 15 children, all indoctrinated into such fear. Similar to the fear demonstrated by Theistic family on The Simpsons where Ned Flanders had his children fearing God.
That doesn't seem wrong to many Christians, but, trust me, it is certainly child abuse to teach a child that God or another spirit like Satan, will punish them for not being good.

Yes, you did teach me a lot, too.

All the best to you and your family Romanii!
Have Fun!
Posted by Romanii 2 years ago

No one said anything about threatening a small child with eternity in Hell. That would be quite stupid of a parent and is akin to threatening a child with beatings.
However, most parents don't indoctrinate like that. I remember that as a child I was only taught that God loves me and that there are some basic rules I have to follow to be his "gursikh" (Indian word roughly translating to "saint", but not really). I don't remember any sort of irrational fear being instilled in me.
Again, I think you are thinking of fundamentalist religious indoctrination.

I am sure that your daughter is brilliant. I'll take your word for it.
And I hope you'll take my word for it that I know some religious people who are also brilliant.
Whether or not you daughter would have turned out to same if she chose to believe in God, I can't say for sure, but I am sure that anyone has the Potential to reach such a level regardless of their belief/disbelief in God.

I sense that this mini-debate is coming to a close, so let me just finish up by saying that it was very fun and I definitely got a better understanding of the atheistic perspective on things. I certainly hope you got something out of it too :)
Posted by Sagey 2 years ago
My eldest daughter is just like myself, we both abhor Nonsense!
She even attacks me if I spout Nonsense.
She has a much higher IQ and Rationality than I.
She is the Einstein of the family, with likely a higher IQ score than Einstein.
Her boyfriend has a measured IQ of 160 and he cannot beat her in Rationality games.
As she chooses partners on how much they can challenger her intellectually.
Which has upset many guys who thought they could win her over on looks and male charm, since she is also extremely good looking and a bit of an athlete as well, having been a sport champion as well.

She's a scientist and a medical practitioner as well, so her lack of indoctrination has served her well

If I had indoctrinated her into a stolid, irrational, belief system to control her behavior as a child, very likely she would not achieve such high rationality nor position in science and medicine.
Posted by Sagey 2 years ago
The Christian parents should only tell their children that they believe in God, but there are others who do not.
Parents should never try and use their Religion to control children's behavior.
Because doing that is Indoctrination.

Simple, isn't it!
Posted by Sagey 2 years ago
Possibly Romanii: Though telling a child that God definitely exists and if you don't please this God, you will go to Hell and Burn For Internity. That is definitely Indoctrination, it instills Irrational fears into the minds of Children. Parents do this, Sunday School Teachers also do this.
My Sunday School Teacher tried, but I had read up on the same Bible stories that she was trying to teach us and her versions were stupid. So I thought my Sunday School Teacher is an idiot, so I didn't listen to her.
Having an IQ of around 150 and already a fluent reader at 6 years of age, helped me avoid the Indoctrination that others received from her.
Others in her class were not so lucky and one of my friends from that time is a severely Indoctrinated Idiot that it is impossible to re-educate. Like that other D.o. member I mentioned previously.

So even that form of introduction to God and using God to control children's behavior is Indoctrination.
I never mentioned religion to my children until my eldest daughter came home wanting to attend Religious Instruction with her friends at 8 years of age.
I gave her the Encyclopedia reference to Christianity and let her read that first.
She was kicked out of RI the second week for criticizing the Instructor and sent to the principle.
The principle already knew my daughter as one of the most talented students in the school and agreed with her criticism of the RI instructor and told the Instructor to accept her back in class.
My daughter came home crying, thinking she had turned her religious friends against herself.
Yet, she cannot hold back on criticizing nonsense and did it again. To her surprise the entire class backed her criticism. The instructor complained to the principle who simply replied: If you cannot handle criticism from an 8 year old girl, you shouldn't be here.
The RI instructor resigned 4 weeks later and nobody took her place that year.
None of my girl's friends stayed Christian.
She did well!
Posted by Romanii 2 years ago
Based on the contentions you are bringing up, I think we are operating on two different definitions of religious indoctrination.
I am talking about parents simply teaching their children that God exists and all he's done for us, along with the traditions or whatever that come with a religion.
I think you may be thinking of telling a child to believe in the Bible as God's word and take every word of it literally.

I agree that the second type of indoctrination can create idiots by teaching children to dismiss real evidence for a 4000 year old book.
But the first type is completely harmless. What is so thought-limiting about just believing in God? That is like believing that the Universe has a conscious essence. You can still be a critical thinker who accepts science and questions things while believing in that. I know many people who are.

There are dumb atheists just as there are dumb theists. And there are brilliant theists as there are brilliant atheists. Belief/disbelief in God really has no direct effect on overall intelligence.

Your meta-cognitive evolution theory is valid and would make perfect sense in a Godless universe.
As I mentioned, I have considered Atheism before, and honestly reading that theory made me momentarily reconsider my beliefs, but my spiritual experiences have proved to me that God exists.

You say that all spiritual experiences are hallucinations. And you have backed up the possibility with valid scientific evidence. But you simply can't prove that they are all hallucinations. And nor can I prove that they are all real experiences.
So let's just go with our own beliefs and agree to disagree on the issue of God's existence.

As for you contention that USA doesn't have an effective government, I agree with you. However, I don't think it is an effect of religious indoctrination as much as it is an effect of politicians who have never heard of the word "compromise" before.
Posted by Sagey 2 years ago
Yes, my previous last comment is why the US can never get good rational Government.

Even Obama is a little Irrational, but that is as Rational as the US can possibly get.
If Obama was completely Rational, he couldn't make office.

Such is the Stupidity Of The US.

The US sucks as a Rational, Secular Nation.
It's a Nation governed by Loony Tunes.

Which is where most of it's problems arise.
Posted by Sagey 2 years ago
Actually, there are dozens of politicians and public figures, that can be excellent examples of Indoctrinated humans who cannot even perform basic Rationalization due to contaminated mindware from Indoctrination.
I.e. Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, George Bush, Pat Robertson, who all have entirely Irrational stances and beliefs that even a basic (what is called by many as Common Sense) rationalization would destroy their stances and beliefs.

Essentially Indoctrination creates Idiots.
Those are all examples of this FACT!

That was a cruel and inhuman thing for their Parents to do, make their children into Idiots for all their Lives, by indoctrinating them into Belief In Their Cults.

Had Sarah Palin not been indoctrinated, but still had her political drive, it's highly unlikely that she would be seen by many as a complete loon.
She would instead, very likely be a highly Rational, thoughtful politician.

Though considering the US stupidity, she wouldn't achieve a political position as an Agnostic.

Because US supports mainly Indoctrinated Loons.
Posted by Sagey 2 years ago
@ Romanii:
I and many Psychologists/Neurologists disagree entirely with your statement: "Indoctrinated children will undoubtedly reconsider their beliefs once their brain starts to develop. Based on their own conclusions, some will become atheists, and some will remain theists."

No, the mind does not work that way, just as a physically abused child will never remove the effects of the abuse, even when they reconcile their childhood later in life.
The Formative years 5 to 10, will have a lifelong affect on a child, regardless of how much they can recover as an adult with their adult brain.

If a child has been indoctrinated into avoiding evidence, it will never consider evidence, no matter how much you try to present evidence to them. Janetsanders is an excellent case of this.
Indoctrination cantaminates mindware for the life of the individual, it introduces Irrational fears (fear of God and spiritual non-existent demons) that will damage that child's development for its entire life, even as an adult.

Indoctrination is a cruel, and divisive form of Child Abuse.
Contaminated mindware is extremely hard to de-contaminate, in many cases, such as Janetsanders, it is absolutely Impossible.

There is certified evidence that Indoctrination, creates an Individual who is incapable of Learning and will never become Skeptical, critical nor Rational enough to ever make the best choice.
Their choices were made for them through Indoctrination before they reach their teens.
Those choices will damage their potential for Life!
Many may suicide because of the fears and concepts Indoctrinated into them (i.e. Virgin Suicides)

Indoctrination of Children is Definitely Child Abuse.
There can be no other Judgement of it.
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