Is religion justified?
In this debate I hope that we can discuss topics such as the validity of religion, the utility of religion and the impacts and causes of religion. Anyone is welcome to participate if you think that religion should not be eradicated.
My opponent has failed to provide any rules and definitions for the debate, so I shall set them forward.
Firstly, the name of the debate alludes to its "justification", which is highly subjective. All ideologies are justified, as they are responses to some desire or phenomena that occures naturally within society.
Justified: "having, done for, or marked by a good or legitimate reason."
I will be strictly adhering to this definition, and I welcome my opponent to do the same.
If you would like to argue semantics, in which the title is poorly worded and the debate is already lost in my favor, then I am willing to do that. In retrospect, if you are willing to argue the positive and negative benefits of religion, I would only do it in the case of adhering to the debate topic, which is "Is religion justified?"
Please, do not post new argument in the concluding rounds, for the sake of being able to rebutt them.
I would also like to define that justified can mean a whole array. Whether it is justified reasoning or justified conlusions or even justified in terms of basic human nature. As Con, your stance is that NO, religion is not justified. As Pro, my stance has to be the opposite.
You may begin your argument and opening points.
I would like to thank Pro for defining "justified", and I completely agree with his definition. Basically, the BoP is on me to prove that religion does not have a good reason to exist while Pro has to prove religion has good reason to exist. Do note that the topic of the debate is "Is religion justified?" and not "Was the creation of religion justified?". These are two different topics, and I want to concentrate on only religion now, in the 20th century. The BoP is shared between both Pro and I in this debate. Now let me start with my arguments. I shall provide concise arguments for the first round and I hope to elaborate on them as the debate continues. Here they are:
1. Religion is not true. I think that religion is unjustified simply because it's not true. There is no evidence for the ontological evidence of a god, which is the main claim made by religion. I'm sure Pro would agree with me on this point, since he has pointed out he is an atheist. Since religion's claims are untrue, I find no reason for anyone to believe in them, making religion unjustified.
2. Religion can lead people to behave irrationally . Religion makes many claims (apart form the existence of a god/gods) that are simply untrue, which can lead people to believe in unjustified things that can potentially be harmful. Seed faith, faith healing and the idea that god has a plan for everyone are just some examples I hope to elaborate in further rounds.
3. Religion restricts ideas and limits our thinking. One of the main ideas of religion is belief based on "faith", by definition, belief without evidence. It leads to a lack of respect for evidence and the scientific method, and a "lazy" method of thinking. The God of the Gaps idea is one such example of a logical fallacy perpetuated by religion. It leads people to stop searching for answers and be content with not knowing.
These are the main arguments I wish to discuss. Pro is welcome to add any other arguments to this debate. The format of the debate is open; Pro is welcome to rebut my points, provide his own arguments or do both in the next round. I look forward to an interesting debate.
Firstly, I would like to state that my oppponent has done this debate before, and has lost.
Both his opening statement and his round 1 argument are copied from the other debate.
With this aside, I shall list my arguments as to why religion is justified, as well as to why religion shouldn't be eradicated.
1. Freedom and Individualism
I do not know by which standard you are judging religion, but I shall use the American standard, more precisely being the Constitution. Under all written documents pertaining to the United States and its people, they are free to practice any religion they would like, as is their right.
Your callous statement that religion not only lacks justification, but should be eradicated, lacks any proof or logic whatsoever.
Upon looking at your profile, you seem to value individual freedoms. Why is it that you cannot compensate freedoms for people who may have faith in something you find illogical?
2. Social Benefits
Religion, as a concept itself, has been known to have social benefits. These benefits are the ability to assimilate well into
social circles based upon the premise of a mutual belief in the same variation of faith. It also allows for the creation of greater communities with which religion can be its center.
Morality, being a subjective phenomena, is not something that can be enforced by a subconsciosness. It is either enforced by the state, as laws, in which you are guaranteed negative freedoms that others cannot take away, or as morality, through certain religions.
At least in the case of Christianity, moral values are outlined quite explicitly and are not to be tampered with. The punishment for breaking and going against these values is quite drastic, but you are also given the ability to repent your sins, depending on what branch of Christianity you practice.
The biggest misconception in your argument is one in which you state outright that ALL religion is unjustified and useless, and should be eradicated, which is quite frankly a fascist principle.
Scientology has its own church, and many argue that it is a religion. In your ideas, Scientology would not be by any means a religion that should be eradicated.
You need to outright list which religion you are discussing, as many are moderate and accept these scientific values. You see, the main idea in your argument doesn't seem to be that religion itself is bad, but that the people who practice these religions are irrational and illogical in their thinking.
Religion is just a belief. Whether you are a Muslim, Christian, Jew, Buddhist, Taoist, etc, you have some core set of beliefs that enables you to brand yourself of this religion.
You can be religious and not believe in God, or even practice a religion that has no God in the first place.
All religions are is a set code of laws that govern people subconsciously, and the only detriment to one's self is punishment in the afterlife.
1. When I discuss religion, I refer to organised religions, such as Christianity and Islam, not personal ones like deism. In fact, to make things simpler, why not just use Christianity and Islam as examples for this entire debate? Would Pro mind me doing that?
Anyway, it is true that according to the American constitution, people have the right, by the law, to adhere to whatever religion they want. However, this has no relevance in this debate as it only shows the American constitution (or its creators) think religion is justified, and provides no explanation as to why religion is or is not justified.
It is true, as Pro has pointed out, that I value individual freedoms. Do I value freedom of belief or faith? It could hardly be otherwise. i cannot control what other people think or believe in. But, semantics aside, I actually do not agree with "freedom of belief". That is, I do not think people should be allowed to believe whatever they want. If that is the case, a huge majority of the people would be believing in incorrect things. For example, people may think cats are witches in disguise, 1+1=3 or that maggots are born from rotten meat as people used to in the past. There is a reason why formal education systems were created. They were to eradicate ignorance and educate people on the absolute TRUTH (or as far as we know it). Otherwise, people would be believing in all sorts of crazy, illogical things. And if people don't understand what's true, how can they allow for societal progress? If we don't understand how the world works properly, how can we improve the human condition or attempt to improve it?
2. If religion is not true, which is the case, then no matter how useful it may be, it is still unjustified. If a belief is wrong, why should anyone hold such a belief? I shall quote from Bertrand Russell here, "Well, there can't be a practical reason for believing what isn't true... either the thing is true, or it isn't. If it is true, you should believe it, and if it isn't, you shouldn't. And if you can't find out whether it is true or not you should suspend judgement... it seems to me a fundamental dishonesty and a fundamental treachery to intellectual integrity to hold a belief because you think it's useful and not because you think it's true." 
This contends Pro's second point of religion having "social benefits". The thing is, believing in something that is not true simply because it is useful is irrational and unnecessary, as Bertrand Russell should have pointed out. Furthermore, my opponent has not even provided any evidence, such as statistical evidence, to prove that his point on social benefits holds water. And even if it is, that would not be a reason to believe in religion or say that religion is useful. Beliefs are not like clothing; you can't choose them just based on comfort on utility, you have to choose them based on truth. And, put simply, religion is not true.
3. I hate to say this, but Pro is absolutely wrong when he says it is possible, or normal to get morality from religions like Christianity. First of all, as I have just pointed out, it is irrational to justify religion based on utility and not truth. Additionally, people don't really get morals from religion. There is no statistical evidence that shows religious people are any more moral than atheists. PEOPLE WOULD BE MORAL WITH OR WITHOUT RELIGION. That's the most important point to note. And, if religion does not prove morals, then it is useless and unjustified.
In the Bible, there are many "moral rules". Some good ones are the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount. Absolutely beautiful and wise teachings. On the other hand, there are rules that say people who work on the Sabbath should be stoned (Exodus 31:14)  and ask for the submission of women (Corinthians 34:14) . So, how do we decide which of these rules to follow? The thing is, we already know, intuitively, which rules to follow and which not to. We human beings are moral creatures. We understand morality even without .religion. That's why we choose to listen to the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount instead of the other two (keep in mind all of these are from the Old Testament).
If you think it is true people get morality from religion, here's a moral dilemma. God says killing is wrong (as per the Ten Commandments). This could mean two things. Firstly, killing is wrong and that's why god says so to remind people of the fact. Secondly, killing is wrong because god says killing is wrong. The first would be admitting that morality is separate from religion as "wrong" is separate from "god" while the other would be blind faith and following, which is irrational. Take a pick.
4. In my idea, Scientology actually WOULD be a religion to be eradicated. Any ideas or beliefs that are untrue deserve to be eradicated, and Scientology's ideas are untrue and unjustified. When I say "religion", I mean organised religion and all religions.
Religion is the one that causes people to behave irrationally. The God of the Gaps fallacy is an example that many religious people fall for. This fallacy is caused by religion, and is not the case that the people themselves are illogical or irrational.
5. Pro says "religions are a set code of laws that govern people subconsciously". I agree, but the question is whether those laws are justified. As I have pointed out, the Bible says stoning people is OK and oppressing women is fine; do you follow those laws? Most of what religions claim are unjustified and untrue. If you want real laws, laws should be thought up and carefully planned instead of arbitrarily created by religions to be followed.
 - https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com...
 - http://biblehub.com...
 - http://biblehub.com...
My opponents entire argument rests on a semantics issue.
Do not stray away from this, as that will make your entire opening and the debate argument nullified.
Do you understand what justified actually means?
It is neither according to any rules nor to any sense of decorum to change the topic and descriptive borders of a debate halfway into the discussion itself.
Firstly, it is not your choice to label what is religion and what is not.
A religion is an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to an order of existence. 
You see to have religion and its justification mixed with whether or not it is TRUE, and you see, that becomes a debate about specificity and semantics.
Firstly, for your premise and therefore argument to be true, you need to not only prove that your selected few religions (Christianity and Islam) are true, in an objective sense, but also that religion itself is unjustified.
And you see, justified is a relative term. The Holocaust was justified in the eyes of the Nazi party and many Muslim supporters, but not in the eyes of the Jews or of freedom craving individuals.
Slavery was justified in the eyes of racialists and plantation owners, but not in the eyes of the slaves or, once again, freedom craving individuals.
1. Firstly, your assertion is purely false and utterly subjective. You find that religion is not only unjustified, but also needs to be eradicated. For this to be true, you would need to maintain a list and process in which the eradication of all religions will occur. If this happened in modern day, you would not only need mass propaganda, but you would have to circumvent the individual liberty and freedoms of each and every single religious individual on this Earth.
2. Religion, but all senses, is a justified phenomena. Religion is a means to an end. It is hope for the person with lack of it. It is a way of sensing something greater in the afterlife, as not all individuals believe that after you pass away, the only thing waiting for you is your decomposing body, being eaten alive by maggots.
3. SOME religions, such as Christianity, have inspired quite a lot of altruism and charity in the modern day. Do not argue that religion itself is immoral or unneeded to the general populace on the premise that a few religions have been used as a justification for vile acts of violence and terrorism.
My opponent callously states that, "because religious claims are not true, I shall dismiss religion as something lacking justification". That is not the case under any circumstances.
complete trust or confidence in someone or something 
Your second argument and assertion is one in which you find that religion is not rational and therefore leads others to believe irrationality and to behave in an irrational way.
Many rational individuals have also been religious individuals, so your overgeneralized assertion does not hold true.
Your third contention is that religion limits our thinking, which I find to be incorrect.
The majority of brilliant scientists and thinkers of history have been religious. There has also been Sir Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Aristotle, and many others.
"Nature is none other than God in things…"
Your also foolishly state that religion leads to individuals who reject and disrespect the scientific method and theory. This is absolutely false and confounded in no factual evidence whatsoever.
I would like you to know, as well, that your reasoning for "a reason why formal education systerms were created" is not correct. The first formal education systems taught religion and faith based reasoning and practices.
First Formal Quoted Rebuttal
"And if people don't understand what's true, how can they allow for societal progress? If we don't understand how the world works properly, how can we improve the human condition or attempt to improve it?"
Firstly, can you tell me of a society in which every individual, regardless of their faith, is logical and rational? Can you tell me of a society in which every individual works for the common good, willingly and selflessly? No, you cannot.
You see, your debate is highly subjective and grounds for scrutiny. Your entire argument is flawed and based on one major fallacy: False Cause.
Your argument rests on the ideal that religion aids impracticality and irrationality, and that it breeds this. The only argument you could make and maybe support, is one in which religion itself is impractical, not the people and all of its practices.
Let me explain the False Cause fallacy to you. It basically states that correlation is not causation. If a few religious people are irrational, that is not caused my religion, it is caused by their own mental scope. Just like if a few atheists, such as yourself, are irrational, it is not caused by their atheism, it is caused by their mental scope.
73% of Americans' charitable donations are to religious institutions. 55% of them state that their charitable ways is fueled by religion.  I am sure that we can both agree that charity is by no means a bad endeavour, and aids the betterment of many people's situations.
Second Formal Quoted Rebuttal
"Well, there can't be a practical reason for believing what isn't true... either the thing is true, or it isn't. If it is true, you should believe it, and if it isn't, you shouldn't. And if you can't find out whether it is true or not you should suspend judgement... it seems to me a fundamental dishonesty and a fundamental treachery to intellectual integrity to hold a belief because you think it's useful and not because you think it's true."
You cannot use a quote as 3/4th of your stated argument. This quote is just opinion, and is not of any relevance whatsoever.
This entire assertion, as illogical as it is, rests on the assumption that the key balance of religion and many different religions, such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, etc. - is that of a deity. Many Christians believe is a wide array of Christian principles but not God.
Second, there is absolutely no proof, tangible or imaginary, that God is real. There also is no proof that God is not real. It is arguing a negative, which is fallacious in itself. That is why it is called faith.
Third Formal Quoted Rebuttal
"This contends Pro's second point of religion having "social benefits". The thing is, believing in something that is not true simply because it is useful is irrational and unnecessary"
Firstly, you ask me to name social benefits. Upon naming an umbrella term, you respond by stating ACKNOWLEDING that I am right, and that there are social benefits, but then stating that since those benefits are illogical, they are not useful.
What kind of voluntary benefit, charitable or not, is illogical? Please explain further.
I would argue more but I am running out of characters. I think even in this round I've sufficiently revelead the fallacious arguments and mistakes made on behalf of my opponent.
Pro says I have "religion and its justification mixed with whether or not it is true". That is not my intention, nor have I done that. This debate, as I pointed out in Round 2, is about whether the existence of religion is true or not. One of my many contentions is that it is not justified since it is not true. Therefore, religion being not true does matter in this debate.
Pro also points out "justified" is a relative term. It could hardly be otherwise. That's why we're having a debate here. I think it is unjustified, Pro thinks it is justified. Debate on. Saying something being justified is subjective does not help either side of the debate and only fuels the debate.
Contentions (Addressing Pro's rebuttals)
1. Pro says "You find that religion is not only unjustified, but also needs to be eradicated. For this to be true, you would need to maintain a list and process in which the eradication of all religions will occur. If this happened in modern day, you would not only need mass propaganda, but you would have to circumvent the individual liberty and freedoms of each and every single religious individual on this Earth. " This has to be a misunderstanding. I would need to do this if I wanted to eradicate religion. This debate is not about whether I can or cannot eradicate religion. Pro has pointed out I can't. This debate is whether religion should or should not be eradicated, which is a different question.
2. Religion's claims are wrong. I will say it here and now: Most of the claims, especially those with regard to spirituality and theism, are incorrect and untrue. I challenge Pro to show me important religious claims that are true; the BoP is on him. And if Pro cannot do that, then I have proved religion should not be believed in and is false. And if that is the case, why believe in it? It is impossible and unnecessary to believe in religion based on utility and not because of its ontological truth. One of the definitions of "belief", by the Oxford Dictionary, is "Something one accepts as true or real; a firmly help opinion."  One cannot "accept something as true or real" simply because it is useful to do so. One can only do that if that thing is truly real.
The point is, believing in religion based on utility is irrational and unnecessary. Thus, all of Pro's talk of religion being helpful, contributing to people's morals, allowing for societal benefits, all do not make sense. Even if religion is useful, its existence is still unjustified because it's not true, and there's no reason to believe something that isn't true.
3. What I said with regard to morality and religion is that religion does nothing to aid morality. I explained what I meant with regard to Bible passages in the previous round that all humans have innate morality without religion. You are a theist, I'm an atheist. We're both moral. Statistically, there is no distinction as well.
One of the reasons why religion lacks justification is because it is not true, as I have said previously. Most of the claims made by most religions simply are untrue. I could use examples from a few religions here:
Christianity - Adam and Eve
Christianity - Seven days of creation
Christianity - Great Flood
Christianity - Sodom and Gomorrah
Islam - Muhammad flying to heaven on a winged horse
Islam - Muhammad received messages from Allah on a mountaintop
Buddhism - Reincarnation as greater or lesser beings
Buddhism - The idea that all living things are connected through a collective consciousness
Most religions - A god exists
These are just a few examples of claims made by religions that are incorrect. There are very few main claims made by religions that are true.
4 and First Formal Quoted Rebuttal. I claimed religions caused people to behave irrationally. I shall point out why now. First of all, I shall accept that there are both logical and illogical atheists and theists. In fact, I shall list four examples of such people, respectively.
Logical atheist - Nietzsche
Illogical atheist - Stalin
Logical theist - Alhazen
Illogical theist - Ted Bundy
I shall explain why I have done so as I explain my arguments. Pro's contention is that people will be irrational or rational naturally, people are just like that, and religion does not make people any more irrational. This is where I have to step in and disagree.
Let's take a look at logical theists like Alhazen. He was indeed a genius philosopher and scientist who was religious. But this is where Pro might have made a non-sequitur. Just because Alhazen was religious, doesn't mean his religion caused him to be any more rational. He would have been rational and intelligent with or without religion. Pro cannot provide evidence to show that Alhazen was intelligent because of his religion. All he can do is point out Alhazen was both logical and religious. Correlation does not mean causation.
That aside, let's look at some other examples like that of Galileo. This, I think, is a clear example of a case where religion hindered logical and rational thinking in favour of itself. Galileo's works on heliocentrism were banned by the Church because it went against the Church's teachings of the Earth being the centre of the universe. This time, it was clearly religion that hindered logical thought. It didn't want its teachings to be undermined. You can't say it was the fault of individuals. It was because Christian doctrines, which are the backbone of the religion itself, were contradicted by science.
So what do we have now? We know that there are logical theists like Alhazen, but he wasn't logical because he was religious. We also know there are cases like that of Galileo where religion clearly violated logical thinking because of its dogma. This has to leave one with the conclusion that religion is unjustified because it sometimes hinders logical thinking. Pro has provided many examples of religious scientists, but that is a non-sequitur because it was not their theism that caused them to be logical. On the other hand, religion can sometimes be harmful. If religion, sometimes, in the case of people like Einstein, is useless and does not affect logical thinking, while sometimes, like in the case of Galileo, affects it very much, then it is obvious it deserves to be eradicated.
Second quoted formal rebuttal
That quote is a relevant opinion as points out my stand. It is illogical and unnecessary to believe in something untrue simply because it is useful, which is what Pro has been trying to ask for : Belief in religion because it provides morality, makes one kinder, etc.
As I have pointed out, Pro is wrong in saying that "This entire assertion, as illogical as it is, rests on the assumption that the key balance of religion and many different religions, such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, etc. - is that of a deity". Most religious claims, theistic on nature or not, are untrue.
When there is no proof of the affirmative or negative, such as in the case of god, the logical thing to do is suspend judgement. The BoP is on the affirmative to prove god exists. If the affirmative has no evidence, then it cannot be proven and judgement should be suspended.
Third Formal Quoted Rebuttal
My point is that religion may have benefits, but these benefits do not make religion any more justified. The most important thing about a belief is whether it is true or not. If it is true, believe it, if not, don't. Simple as that. The utility of religion is not in question here, it's religion's validity, which Pro has provided no evidence for.
Religion provides us with no benefit we would not already have. People are moral with or without religion. We are kind with or without religion. Religion does not make us any more logical and can even affect logical thinking. That's why I say the existence of religion is unjustified.
I look forward to Pro's response.
 - http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...
The topic of this debate is: "Is religion justified"
It sure is.
Religion has been one of the first organized beliefs other than government. From totemism to polytheism to monotheism, it all evolved through societal trends.
Since there was an absense of science, religion was there to fill the void. Religion, in most cases, is the explanation to why an event occurs that can be considered outside of humanity's reach. So by formal definitions, it is justified.
Once again, you make the claim that religion is not true, because it is irrational and illogical. For one, you would need to explain every single religious affiliation every assembled, including Pastafarianism, since you are using religion as an umbrella term.
Additionally, religion holds quite a lot of truth. It's mere creation and existence of the entity of religion itself shows its truth.
Stating that "logic and reason" make something false, would be the same argument you could make for Socialism or Marxism. Since they are illogical economic and socio-political theories, their existence itself is unjustified, accorinding to your logic. In retrospect, each of them still exists, was was shared by quite a lot of people, even today, therefore it's existence is by that mere point completely justified.
I do not appreciate when an opponent tries to change the topic of the debate in the middle of the debate itself, as I always accept debates on the premise that the first round and all that is stated is what will be debated further for the remaining rounds.
To eradicate religion itself means to force ideals upon others. It is not your right nor your place as a being to force your opinion on another human, just as I would guess that you wouldn't appreciate religion being forced upon you. The point of freedom and diversity of opinion is that people are free to believe what they would like.
For you to call such a broad term illogical, and then state that it is illogical just because a few religions believe in God or multiple deities, is illogical itself.
Eradicating anything is nearly relative to fascism. Every single Fascist and Communist state has sponsored anti-theism and gotten rid of all organized religion.
A right is not something you get to choose to extend to others. You cannot state "I belive in freedom of speech, but only for people who I agree with" - because then that is no longer freedom of speech. It is the same with religion. In almost every Democratic country, the ability and freedom to practice religion is explicitly outlined in their written documents, or Constitutions.
To eradicate religion would violate almost every Constitution of every single Western nation, including the United States. People are free to choose and believe whatever they'd like.
First Quoted Response
"This has to be a misunderstanding. I would need to do this if I wanted to eradicate religion. This debate is not about whether I can or cannot eradicate religion. Pro has pointed out I can't. This debate is whether religion should or should not be eradicated, which is a different question."
This just lost you half our your debate. You clearly stated in Round 1 that religion needs to be eradicated. Your entire following arguments revolved around the lack of reason and logic in religions. Then you go on to state that I have in fact disproved you in respects to your ability to eradicate religion. You try to turn the tables by stating that the debate isn't about whether you could but whether you should.
Why do you pride logic when your debate just went from fact to opinion? Factually, you cannot eradicate religion. If you are for such a heavy emphasis on fact, then you shouldn't make opinionated arguments.
My opponent admits that I was correct in the idea that religion cannot be eradicated, and proof of this is also shown above. He then replies with an opinion, which further proves my idea that his argument is hyprocritical to his views, as he illogically uses unreasonable opinions to state that something he believes is illogical and unreasonable should be eradicated.
He then goes to state that religion has direct effects on one's mental capacity, and that it impaires their judgement and ability to concieve complex scientific theories. - He has shown absolutely no evidence of this.
Pro first states that "Religion has been one of the first organized beliefs other than government. From totemism to polytheism to monotheism, it all evolved through societal trends.
Since there was an absense of science, religion was there to fill the void. Religion, in most cases, is the explanation to why an event occurs that can be considered outside of humanity's reach. So by formal definitions, it is justified."
First of all, just because religion has been one of the first organised beliefs does not make it justified at all. Slavery and human sacrifice were some of the first organised rituals of mankind, but that doesn't make them justified. Just because a belief has a long history doesn't mean its existence is justified.
Also, Pro correctly points out that religion was there to "fill in the gap" when science could not. I couldn't agree more. And that's exactly why it's unjustified. Now that we have scientific answers, we no longer need religion. The existence of religion IS (Present tense) unjustified. In the past, its creation to answer basic questions might have been necessary and justified, but currently, in the 21st century where we can find most answers ourselves, it's not necessary. And even for the questions we can't find answers to with either science or religion, then the logical thing to do would be to suspend judgement until we find an answer instead of religion trying to make claims with no basis.
I pointed out most main religious claims are untrue. Please refer to them in my previous round's arguments. There are very few things that religions claim that are substantiated by facts and evidence. Pro says "It's mere creation and existence of the entity of religion itself shows its truth." That's a complete non-sequitur. Just because a belief exists does not make it right. You could say black discrimination, for example, was a belief that existed for a long time, but that doesn't make it true in the slightest.
I said "Logic and reason" make religion false because religion fails to pass the test of logic and reason. The claims it makes are unsubstantiated, without evidence, and its way of thinking, thinking by faith, is illogical and is not the way to find the truth.
Pro then goes on to discuss the rights of individuals to hold beliefs. Pro points out that "It is not your right nor your place as a being to force your opinion on another human". Here's where I disagree. If a person believes in something that is wrong, I think we should have the right to correct and criticise his ideas, don't you? If a person believes 1+1=3, we should correct him and tell him the true, shouldn't we? If a person thinks Blacks are genetically inferior to Whites, we should criticise and correct his beliefs, no? If a person thinks that dragons exist, we should question his beliefs, shouldn't we? The bottom line is, if a person believes in something that is incorrect, we should educate him on the truth. If people don't learn the truth, then what are they to learn? Pro calls this "forcing ideals" upon others. That's a harsh way of putting it, but yes, that's what I suggest we do. Is that not basically education? We teach children a set of truths based on what we know. Why can we not do the same for grown adults? If people believe in something that is incorrect or unsubstantiated, then I contend we indeed do have the right to ask him to change his beliefs and tell him the truth.
If everyone just believes what they want to, few will actually believe the truth. We don't want a fascist system in place where people aren't allowed to voice their views. Everyone should be able to voice their views. Pro says my view is that "I believe in freedom of speech, but only for people I agree with". That is incorrect. I believe in freedom of speech for everyone. But, if what you believe is incorrect, then we should be able to correct you and tell you the truth. Only by learning the truth and understanding the world we live in can society progress.
Pro finally points out "To eradicate religion would violate almost every Constitution of every single Western nation". This argument has no impact on the debate whatsoever. This debate is whether we should or should not eradicate religion, not whether, based on current laws, we are able or unable to do so. To end off, Pro says "People are free to choose and believe whatever they'd like." That's true. It could hardly be otherwise. But, once again, if people believe in something that is incorrect, then we should be able to correct his views.
I now quote from Pro here: "This just lost you half our your debate. You clearly stated in Round 1 that religion needs to be eradicated. Your entire following arguments revolved around the lack of reason and logic in religions. Then you go on to state that I have in fact disproved you in respects to your ability to eradicate religion. You try to turn the tables by stating that the debate isn't about whether you could but whether you should. "
This is utter nonsense. Pro says I stated in round 1 religion needs to be eradicated. This is simply untrue. In round 1, I said
religion SHOULD be eradicated. I'm not saying it needs to be, nor did I say I have the ability to, but I'm saying, theoretically, it SHOULD be. I will say it here loud and clear, I am currently able to eradicate religion. I concede that. But this debate is about whether religion SHOULD or SHOULD NOT be eradicated. To any voters, please read my Round 1 statement again to see whether it is Pro or I who is lying here.
The final quote from Pro is : "He then goes to state that religion has direct effects on one's mental capacity, and that it impaires their judgement and ability to concieve complex scientific theories. - He has shown absolutely no evidence of this.
I never stated religion has direct effects on one's mental capacity. All I said was that religion can hinder scientific advancement and ideas. The example I provided was that of Galileo, whose works on heliocentrism was criticised and barred by the Church because it was deemed offensive. It was banned because it went against the Church's religious scriptures. Thus, scientific advancement was hindered by religious dogma. This is a clear example of how religion can hinder scientific advancement. But don't get me wrong. I never said religion ALWAYS hinders scientific advancement. On the contrary, there are many religious scientists and philosophers throughout history. My point is that religion OCCASIONALLY CAN hinder scientific advancement, such as in the case of Galileo. And I think of that there is no doubt.
Now that I've rebutted all of Pro's arguments, I will go on to reinforce my own. The topic of this debate is "Is religion justified?", and more specifically, is the existence of religion justified?
My answer is simply no. Let's examine why.
For something's existence to be justified, it requires two conditions, and a small catch I'll explain later. First of all, it must do something useful. Religion has to prove it is useful and not just sit around doing nothing. Especially since in a lot of Western countries like the USA, it actually feeds on taxpayers' money and does not have to pay taxes.
Secondly, it has to have no, or a minimal number, of disadvantages.
And, if it has both advantages and disadvantages, then for its existence to be justified, its advantages must clearly outweigh its disadvantages. Let's investigate.
Advantages: Religion has show to have absolutely no advantages. That doesn't sound right, does it? Don't people get morality from religion? Doesn't religion have societal benefits? Doesn't religion give people happiness and a meaning in life?
Religion claims to provide these "commodities". But the simple fact that atheists are equally as moral, equally as kind, equally as happy as theists, and also can find meaning in life, shows that this is not true. The bottom line is, religion does not provide us with what we already wouldn't have. We would already have morality and human decency even without religion. We would have happy people who can find meaning in life even without religion. Religion is unnecessary.
Seeing that religion has no advantages, even if it has no disadvantages, it should already be deemed unnecessary since it's essentially "useless", but I'll just look into disadvantages to strengthen my argument.
As I have pointed out a few paragraphs ago, religious dogma CAN hinder scientific advancement and ideas. Examples of this are of Darwin (Evolution vs Creation) and Galileo (Heliocentrism vs Center of Universe). It doesn't always do this, thankfully, but it occasionally does, which is bad enough.
So, seeing that religion has no advantages and in fact has a small disadvantage, should its existence not be deemed unjustified?
This is for the voters out there. I just want to point out what I have done in this debate. First of all, I have demolished some of Pro's claims, such as the fact that religion provides one with morality or that religion does not hinder scientific advancement. I have also shown that most religious claims are incorrect. In terms of sources, I have provided reliable sources wherever necessary. I would also like to point out that Pro's grammar has in fact been unsatisfactory during this debate, with spelling mistakes such as "absense", "impaires", "concieve", and a few others. So, in those aspects, I hope you can vote Pro. Thank you.
I look forward to Pro's response and the conclusion of this debate. I wish Pro the best of luck.
I want to thank Pro for participating in this debate.
"First of all, just because religion has been one of the first organised beliefs does not make it justified at all. Slavery and human sacrifice were some of the first organised rituals of mankind, but that doesn't make them justified. Just because a belief has a long history doesn't mean its existence is justified."
Firstly, slavery is not a human ritual of any sort. It is "a condition compared to that of a slave in respect of exhausting labor or restricted freedom." 
The mere existence of a belief is its own justification. The need for cheap labor led to slavery, therefore its existence is justified. It is quite a simple process.
You first state the broad term of religion as being unjustified, then you switch to 20th century religion, then you start talking about the 21st century.
Religion has been even more justified, according to your logic, throughout history in which scientific advancements weren't heavily made. Religion has remained justified, according to your logic, as great amounts of technology which could have proved evolution or disproved a great amount of religious claims didn't exist.
I said "Logic and reason" make religion false because religion fails to pass the test of logic and reason. The claims it makes are unsubstantiated, without evidence, and its way of thinking, thinking by faith, is illogical and is not the way to find the truth.
Once again, you've used religion as an umbrella term that you have not yet defined. Religion is a set of moral laws and codes, and the existence of an immaterial afterlife as well as a deity is quite prevalent in most monotheistic religions that are popular today.
However, religion itself has no arguments. It doesn't state false truths, in fact it mostly revolves around human action and inaction. It teaches and enforces moral codes, and while you may argue that this afterlife doesn't exist, the fear of eternal damnation is enough to force people into obeying a justified moral code and set of ethics. This is unarguably a positive for society, as it can be used as a conscientious deterrent for society.
Your main argument as to the falsehood of religion appears to revolve around a deity, that cannot be proved or disproved by any means that are in existence today. Regardless of your personal beliefs, there is no way to prove that something immaterial is real, but there is also no way to prove that it is non-existent. It is an entity, an entropy if you will, a force, etc.
Making an argument against religion on the basis that God doesn't exist is a very weak argument in itself, and is also quite contradictory, as you are using no amount of logic and reason to deduce that a deity doesn't exist.
"We don't want a fascist system in place where people aren't allowed to voice their views."
This is a contradiction within itself. To have a fascist system is one in which the views are forced upon others, and those views are seen as true. The very definition of a fascist society, in your terms, would be one in which the ideas of irreligion are forced upon every individual, thereby violating their own human rights.
First Stated Rebuttal
There are two ways in which you can deduce through any form of reasoning you'd like, whether it is inductive or deductive.
First, is the cosmological argument, which is practically an argument from contingency, suggests that because the universe might not have existed, we need some explanation of why it does. As the universe is contingent, then, there must be some reason for its existence; it must have a cause. In fact, the only kind of being whose existence requires no explanation is a necessary being, a being that could not have failed to exist. The ultimate cause of everything must therefore be a necessary being, such as God. 
Second, is the Pascal's Wager, in which the existence of God is not an appeal to evidence, rather, but an appeal to one's own self-interest. It is quite evident that self-interest is a driving force behind the ideals that one creates.
Whether it is in your self-interest to be kind, moral, evil, or violent, it is all up to your own personal choice. The difference is when you try to force these views on others beings, which then becomes a violation of one's own rights.
Second Stated Rebuttal
"But the simple fact that atheists are equally as moral, equally as kind, equally as happy as theists, and also can find meaning in life, shows that this is not true. "
I have never in this debate stated that all religious individuals are moral people. I have, however, stated that religion enforces this morality, though the belief in that enforcement is up to one's own ideas.
You have no substantiated evidence to claim that all irreligious individuals are people of good character, or people with sound moral and ethical views. It is quite evident that even if ONE self-proclaimed atheist doesn't fit that criteria, your argument in those respects immediately becomes falsified.
Then you go on to state that atheists can also find their meaning in life, thereby implying that theists cannot. This is also untrue, as I have found my meaning in life, and I am more than sure many others have as well. The belief in God or belief in religious values doesn't exclude someone from finding their purpose in life. Whether your purpose is to enforce the law, spout useless garbage about why Socialism as a tenet is good, or if your purpose is to educate others on surviving in the wild - you still have a purpose. This purpose wasn't found with the assistance of religion, nor was it more difficult to find due to religion.
Third Stated Rebuttal
You have stated multiple times in your argument that religion leads others to think irrationally.
This is a fallacies argument, and let me state why:
Religion itself can be found to be irrational and illogical. Individuals who hold faith based values in reference to morality and views in an afterlife are not made irrational and illogical as a result. I hold heavy religious values, as well as a belief in God, and I also have a tenet in which I pursue the full application of logic and reasoning rather than the usage of emotion as a justification for arguments.
Religion doesn't affect much of the scientific field. The only idea that is contested by religion is the idea of evolution vs. creationism, and there are quite a lot of sound arguments for evolution, creationism, as well as an application of both. We do not know what existed previously before the creation of the universe, therefore you cannot deduce that evolution is FACT, but is instead of theory.
A scientific theory is not necessarily fact, but a thought that has quite a lot of evidence. Unless all evidence goes in its favor, it is not fact. This is quite a simple process for determining fact from opinion.
Fourth Stated Rebuttal
"Seeing that religion has no advantages, even if it has no disadvantages, it should already be deemed unnecessary since it's essentially "useless", but I'll just look into disadvantages to strengthen my argument."
Please, for the sake of whatever being you believe in, stop contradicting yourself.
You like the usage of fact, yet you decide to completely ignore one side and employ another just for your argument's sake.
Your ENTIRE debate has been theoretical. I have used sufficient evidence and sources as backing to divulge the importance and societal need of religion. I have shown quite eloquently that charitable donations have come mainly from religious individuals and that most charities have been religious institutions, or handled by religious individuals.
You have done absolutely nothing to counter this claim. The reason why, is because this claim is right. It is backed by both facts and reasoning. You cannot disagree that religion, in the present or past, has had some advantages.
"From the natural tendency of the thing. Religion and virtue, in their own nature, conduce to the public interest. Religion is the greatest obligation upon conscience to all civil offices and moral duties. Chastity, temperance, and industry do, in their own nature, tend to health and plenty. Truth and fidelity do create mutual love and goodwill. Religion and virtue naturally tend to good order and more easy government of human society, because they have a good influence both upon magistrates and subjects. Religion makes the people more obedient to government and more peaceable one towards another." 
"Each religion has helped mankind. Paganism increased in man the light of beauty, the largeness and height of his life, his aim at a many-sided perfection; Christianity gave him some vision of divine love and charity; Buddhism has shown him a noble way to be wiser, gentler, purer, Judaism and Islam how to be religiously faithful in action and zealously devoted to God; Hinduism has opened to him the largest and profoundest spiritual possibilities. “ - Sri Aurobindo 
"The stories within the Bible, even if not real, still have a moral to the story. They have meaning, and they are, of course, beautiful pieces of literature and poetry. In this, if you take religion to be a massive metaphor, it has value." 
Vote for Con.
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