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Is religion a force of evil in the world?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/10/2015 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 726 times Debate No: 78558
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Religion looks forward to the destruction of the world, perhaps half aware that its unsupported arguments are not entirely persuasive, and perhaps uneasy about its own greedy accumulation of temporal power and wealth, religion has never ceased to proclaim the Apocalypse and the day of judgment.
Religion comes from the period of human prehistory where the bawling and fearful infancy of our species, and is a babyish attempt to meet our inescapable demand for knowledge (as well as for comfort, reassurance, and other infantile needs). Why do religious people look so forward to the annihilation of everyone? That seems to be so callous and inhuman.

Faith is the surrender of the mind; it"s the surrender of reason, it"s the surrender of the only thing that makes us different from other mammals. It"s our need to believe, and to surrender our skepticism and our reason, our yearning to discard that and put all our trust or faith in someone or something, that is the sinister thing to me. Of all the supposed virtues, faith must be the most overrated.

Now of the commandments, the first two or three are entirely about fearing the author of the audits, entirely about being terrified of someone you"re enjoined to love. I don"t know about you, but the idea of compulsory love has always struck me as a bit shady, especially if you"re ordered to love someone who you absolutely must fear. So, the first three are: look out for me, and keep at least one day of my way or you"ll be terrified full-time.
Is it too modern to notice that there is nothing [in the 10 commandments] about the protection of children from cruelty, nothing about rape, nothing about slavery, and nothing about genocide? Or is it too exactingly "in context" to notice that some of these very offenses are about to be positively recommended?

is it moral to believe that your sins, can be forgiven by the punishment of another person? Is it ethical to believe that? I would submit that the doctrine of vicarious redemption by human sacrifice is utterly immoral. I might, if I wished, even if I didn't know you but I just loved the idea of you (compulsory love is another sickly element of Christianity), I could say if I really loved someone who had been sentenced to prison if I say I'd serve your sentence, but I can't take away your responsibilities. I can't forgive what you did, I can't say you didn't do it, I can't make you washed clean. The name for that in primitive middle eastern society was "scapegoating." You pile the sins of the tribe on a goat, you drive that goat into the desert to die of thirst and hunger. And you think you've taken away the sins of the tribe. This is a positively immoral doctrine that abolishes the concept of personal responsibility on which all ethics and all morality must depend.
It has a further implication. I'm told that I have to have a share in this human sacrifice even though it took place long before I was born. I have no say in it happening, I wasn't consulted about it. No, no, I'm implicated in it, I, myself, drove in the nails, I was present at Calvary, it confirms the original filthy sin in which I was conceived and born, the sin of Adam in Genesis. Again, this may sound a mad belief, but it is the Christian belief. Well it's here that we find something very sinister about monotheism and about religious practice in general: It is incipiently at least, and I think often explicitly, totalitarian. I have no say in this. I am born under a celestial dictatorship which I could not have had any hand in choosing. I don't put myself under its government. I am told that it can watch me while I sleep. I'm told that it can convict me of"here's the definition of totalitarianism"thought crime, for what I think I may be convicted and condemned. And that if I commit a right action, it's only to evade this punishment and if I commit a wrong action, I'm going to be caught up not just with punishment in life for what I've done which often follows axiomatically, but, no, even after I'm dead. In the Old Testament, gruesome as it is, recommending as it is of genocide, racism, tribalism, slavery, genital mutilation, in the displacement and destruction of others.
Only toward when Jesus, makes his appearance are those who won't accept the message told they must depart into everlasting fire. Is this morality, is this ethics? I submit not only is it not, not only does it come with the false promise of vicarious redemption, but it is the origin of the totalitarian principle which has been such a burden and shame to our species for so long. I further think that it undermines us in our most essential integrity. It dissolves our obligation to live and witness in truth.

If you"re going to be a serious grown-up person, and appear to defend religion mainly catholic church, you simply have to start by making a great number of heartfelt apologies and requests for contrition and forgiveness. Now you might ask. You"re fully entitled to ask, who am I to say that? Well, in the jubilee millennium year of 2000 the Vatican spokesman Bishop Piero Marini said, explaining a whole sermon of apology given by His Holiness the Pope, given the number of sins we"ve committed in the course of twenty centuries, reference to them must necessarily be rather summary. Well I think Bishop Marini had that just about right, I"ll have to be summary, too. His Holiness on that occasion"it was March the 12th, 2000, begged forgiveness for, among some other things, the crusades, the Inquisition, the persecution of the Jewish people, in justice towards women, that"s half the human race right there, and the forced conversion of indigenous peoples, especially in South America, the African slave trade, the admission that Galileo was right, and for silence during Hitler"s Final Solution or Shoah. And it doesn"t end there, there are smaller but significant"equally significant"avowals of a very bad conscience. These have included regret for the rape and torture of orphans and other children in church-run schools in almost every country on Earth, from Ireland to Australia. These are very serious matters, and they"re not to be laughed off by the references to the occasional work of Catholic charities. I think that there will be an apology for what happened in Rwanda, the most Catholic country in Africa, where priests and nuns and bishops are on trial, for inciting from their pulpits and on the Church"s and radio stations the massacre of their brothers and sisters. Staying in Africa, I think it will one day be admitted with shame that it might have been in error to say that AIDS is bad as a disease, but not quite as bad as condoms are bad, or not as immoral in the same way.

If God exists, we have to do what he says, if he doesn't, we can do what we like. Now just apply this in practice and theory. Is it not said of God's chosen people and is it not said to them by God in the Pentateuch that they can do exactly as they like to other people? They can enslave them, they can take their land, they can take their women, they can destroy all their young men, they can help themselves to all their virgins, they can do what anyone who had no sense of anything but their own rights would be able to do, but in this case with divine permission. Doesn't that make it somewhat more evil?

On the empirical evidence, so-called adduced, that a religious faith can lead to greater health and well-being, I, in a sense, do not doubt it. In other words, I can easily imagine those who think they are the special object of a divine design, feel better for thinking so. If you're going to claim this for one, how are you not going to claim it for all? Do we not hear incessantly that the Hamas organization in Gaza is a provider of welfare to the poorest of the poor? For all I know, it's true. It not only says nothing about the validity of their theology, but it must say a certain amount at least about our willingness to think wishfully,They say "Don't judge religion by its fundamentalists and its extremists." No, why should I? I don't have to. I judge it by its foundational texts and I judge it by the statements of its authorities. Take a case from the Muslim foundational documents, the Hadith, which have equal conical authority. They say if someone becomes an apostate, leaves or changes their religion, they must be killed. The sentence is death. Don't anyone be telling me that's a metaphor.
Back to the cure for poverty--It eluded people for a long time--is called the empowerment of women. If you give women some control over the rate at which they reproduce, if you give them some say, take them off the animal cycle of reproduction to which nature and some religious doctrine condemns them, and then if you'll throw in a handful of credit, the floor of everything in that village, not just poverty, but education, health, and optimism will increase. Try it in Bangladesh, try it in Bolivia, it works. Name me one religion that stands for that. Wherever you look in the world and you try to remove the shackles of ignorance and disease stupidity from women, it's invariably the clericy that stands in the way.

Divine permission given to people who think they have God is on their side enables actions that a normal, morally normal unbeliever would not contemplate. The mutilation of genitalia of children, who would do that if it wasn't decided that God wanted it? Morally normal and intelligent people find themselves saying fatuously wicked things when this subject comes up. The suicide bombing community is entirely faith based. The genital mutilation community is entirely faith based. Slavery is mandated by the Bible.

I ask you, name me an ethical statement made or an action performed by a believer that could not have been made or performed by a non-believer.

Human decency is not derived from religion. It precedes it. Take the risk of thinking for yourself, much more happiness, truth, beauty, and wisdom will come to you that way.
Thank you!


Faith doesn't mean the surrender of the mind and reason: From the Muslim point of view, Muhammad (peace be upon him) encouraged the spirit of investigation and analysis of facts. One of the most inspiring verses in the Qur'an is (Verse 4:15): "And He has subjected to you, as from Him, all that is in the heavens and on earth: behold, in that are signs indeed for those who reflect." To reflect is really the scientific spirit, which leads to the understanding and discoveries about Allah's (SWT) creation. This is why Islam was the leading civilisation on science during the Golden Age, until they were ripped apart by war. The Holy Bible says (Proverbs 14:15) "the simple believes everything, the prudent gives thought to his steps." Meaning that Jesus (peace be upon him) also encourages thinking and reasoning to what you want to do. I believe that even religious people can make discoveries like the Muslims discovered lots of maths solutions like algebra and e.t.c. Whilst even Isaac Newton and others managed to make vast discoveries. The reason why today, lots of people say that Africa and the Middle East have a backward society is because those countries have all been torn apart by war and conflict. There are a lot of rumours about Islam being a war-mongering religion, but, doesn't it say in (Quran Verse 2:190) "In the name of Allah, Fight those who attack you but do not transgress, indeed Allah does not like transgressors." Most of the religion I know of, supports, paying to the poor so that they will be able to have enough to eat and drink. So, religion actually wants to decrease poverty because at the time the holy books were written, that was the only way you can decrease poverty.
Religion is in fact the opposite of evil in this world. The fact that you should fear Allah (SWT) or G-d is the same as the fact that you should fear the police because you would get punished for doing bad things... One more thing, the Quran doesn't encourage the killing of apostates, as (Verse 18:29) says: "whoever wills, let him believe, and, whoever wills, let him disbelieve."
Debate Round No. 1
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by JustRushdi 2 years ago
The thing that most Americans accuse Islam of is oppressing women, but I won't even go through the trouble of looking up verses because I have other things to do, so, I advise you to go to a RELIABLE source of information and look it up yourself...
Posted by JustRushdi 2 years ago
That is the question, the IS in Iraq today, is that the religion of Islam or is it the religion of ISIS, a religion entirely different from that of Islam?
Posted by JustRushdi 2 years ago
James Teranov, are you sure that the 'so-called' Muslims who go around bombing innocent civilians are doing it in the name of Allah? Doesn't it say in (Quran verse 5:53) "Whoever kills an innocent soul, it shall be as if they had killed all of mankind. But whoever saves a life, it shall be as if they had saved the whole of mankind." Doesn't it say in (Quran verse 8:61) "if the enemy is inclined towards peace, then you also have to incline towards peace, and trust in Allah, the all-hearer and the all-knower." Even (Quran verse 2:256) says "There is no compulsion in religion, the right has become distinct from error." Meaning that you have no right to forcefully impose religion on someone, as we can see that this is exactly what extremist groups in Iraq and Syria are doing. Sneak attacks like the suicide-bombings we are seeing today are forbidden. Centuries of Muslim commanders including the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) himself has to warn the enemy that a war is imminent, the warning has to be at least 4 days in advance. So don't just believe what the American media like Fox News, Sam Harris and Bill Maher are saying because it is very clear that they don't know much about Islam...
Posted by JamesTeranov 2 years ago
The suicide bombers in Palestine are driven by religious doctrine. Have you read the manifestos of these suicide bombers? Have you seen the videos they make? Have you seen the manifestos they put out? The propaganda that they generate? These are not people in despair. These are people in a state of religious exultation. Who are promised everything. Who are in a state of hope. Who are in a state of adoration for their evil mullahs. And for their filthy religion. It's this that makes them think they have the right to kill others while taking their own lives.

It is to excuse the vicious, filthy forces of Islamic jihad to offer any other explanation but that it is their own evil preaching, their own vile religion, their own racism, their own apocalyptic ideology that makes them think they have the right to kill everyone in this room, and go to paradise as a reward. I won't listen, nor should you, to anyone who euphemizes or excuses this evil wicked thing.
-- Christopher Hitchens

These are all evil religious based doctrines and ones that could not have been done by a non-believer of any religion. I will go back to my question I proposed in the debate:

You are to name a moral action undertaken or a moral and ethical statement made by a believer (I dare say you can do it). You are then to say that you cannot imagine a non-believer making this moral statement or undertaking this moral action.


Think of something wicked that only a believer would be likely to do or something wicked that only a believer would be likely to say. You"ve already thought of it. The suicide bombing community is entirely religious. The genital mutilation community is entirely religious.

Im going back over the same points.. so ill stop there.

So yes I do believe religious is a force of evil in the world and we, humanity will be better off without that nonsense.
Posted by JamesTeranov 2 years ago
The absolute morality that a religious person might profess would include what,
1. stoning people for adultery,

And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. Leviticus 20.10
The Jew brought to the Prophet a man and a woman from amongst them who have committed (adultery) illegal sexual intercourse. He ordered both of them to be stoned (to death), near the place of offering the funeral prayers beside the mosque. Hadith Sahih Muslim

**2. death for apostasy,**

If thy brother ... or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods ... Thou shalt not consent unto him ... neither shall thine eye pity him ... But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. Deuteronomy 13.6-10
"Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him." -- Muhammad Sahih al-Bukhari

3. punishment for breaking the Sabbath?

Whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Exodus 31.14
Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the LORD: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death. Exodus 35.2
They found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day ... and the LORD said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones. Numbers 15.32-36
Ye know of those of you who broke the Sabbath, how We said unto them: Be ye apes, despised and hated! And We made it an example to their own and to succeeding generations. Quran 2.65-66

These are all things which are religiously-based absolute moralities. I don't think I want an absolute morality. I think I want a morality that is thought out, reasoned, argued and discus
Posted by JamesTeranov 2 years ago
Although the debate is over, I should of put more rounds but nevertheless I never said that religion doesn't bring good. In fact I said they "For all I know, it's true"
My point is religion brings more bad than good. For example:
Why does one do the right thing, or what one hopes is the right thing, when no one's looking? Why does a Muslim cab driver go to all the trouble to come back to my apartment building when I didn't have his number to return a large sum of money I left on his back seat, said it was his religious duty. But if I allow him to say that that's his religious duty, what am I going to say when he says it's his religious duty to veil his wife or to blow himself up, or to impose Sharia Law? If you grant it once, you have to grant the whole thing.
Any moral non-believer can bring the wallet back just as the muslim did but a non-believer has no god to tell them to treat women as slaves, stone people for adultery, kill a room full of people all because the mighty allah said so.

You have made numerous claims that religious have made great advancements in science.. I don't doubt that. In fact I never implied the opposite. This debate is talking about the immorality that is in religion.
and yes, Faith DOES mean the surrender of the mind and reason. Is it reasonable to believe n taking women as slaves.
Faith means you believe in something without evidence and if you believe something without evidence then that justifies anything. It can make you do evil things making you believe that they are good.

Like i said yes religion has done charitable work for poverty. I never said they didn't. My point is poverty is the way it is today is because of their doctrines. in this case muslims. I have said it before:
The empowerment of women will not only will it make women equal to that of men but poverty will diminish.

What do you mean of course the penalty for apostasy is death: said by a muslim preacher:
Posted by JustRushdi 2 years ago
Vote for me!
Posted by iqpiblog 2 years ago
evil is popularly associated with the devil and so it is perhaps the wrong term to describe destructiveness

evil does not exist in the universe

the universe is a perfect entity and doesnt contain anything other than harmony and eternal unknowns to uncover

humans commit destruction due to being engaged in just another part of gaining higher enlightenment for our larger entity

enlightenment can only be experienced if we are able to contrast it with non-enlightened existence

our enlightenment began as an entity that learnt to choose truth and love as the path to increased fullfillment

human existence is a miniscule event amongst everything else

we are experiencing further evidence that proves that growth can only occur when we remain loyal to truths only and engage with our various parts with love since however unique and different each part may appear, they are all equally vital and together allow our entity , existence, to occur

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