The Instigator
Grif
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Cliff.Stamp
Pro (for)
Winning
3 Points

Is religion really worth it?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Cliff.Stamp
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/19/2011 Category: Religion
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,123 times Debate No: 14861
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)

 

Grif

Con

This debate is my first so bear wit me.
I am against religion because i don't see the point. I used to be a christian but the more i got into it thought it was worthless. The main reason is that we as humans have gone through so many religions i don't think we have come close to all of them. We call Greek religion mythology. Wouldn't that make all of them myths and legends. Are we really that scared that we have to try to explain things that we don't understand by saying this god did it or this god doesn't agree with it. Instead why don't we invest our time and money in science that has done a lot more for than human race than religion ever has. All religion has done is create wars and other related topics. So yes i think religion is a waste of our time and a way to make us do something called human kindness which, believe or not, we are supposed to do that anyway.
Cliff.Stamp

Pro

To clarify, the resolution appears to be :

"I used to be a christian but the more i got into it thought it was worthless."

Definitions :

1) Worth - The quality that renders something desirable, useful, or valuable [1]
2) Relgion - A personal or institutionalized system grounded in belief and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.[2]

"The main reason is that we as humans have gone through so many religions i don't think we have come close to all of them. We call Greek religion mythology. Wouldn't that make all of them myths and legends."

It is true there are many Religions, and some of them have been completely abandoned and others have few if any followers alive today.

It is clear that Religion as both the belief system and the institution has evolved significantly throughout our history. However simply because it changes could not possibly be an argument that it should be abandoned. Consider at one time science asserted that objects fell to the earth because they "belonged" there[3]. We now do not hold to these assertions and in general it is known that science constantly changes and what we used to think we no longer do, does that mean it is worthless simply because it is not as it is in the past?

"Are we really that scared that we have to try to explain things that we don't understand by saying this god did it or this god doesn't agree with it."

While it is indeed common to argue from ignorance, a recently example of that is when Bill O'Reilly interviews Richard Dawkins and it is very obvious that his perspective is an argument from ignorance/fear, not all Religion is so founded. There are many logical arguments for a God and there are those that follow a Religion as that is where logic leads them. One of the most popular Christian apologists currently is William Lane Craig who commonly uses the Kalam Cosmological arguement to prove the existence of God[4].

But lets go back and actually look at that argument (fear) and the definition of worth. If there are people who turn to a belief in an afterlife simply because it gives them hope and they can move through the suffering they experience because Religion allows them to belief that there has to be some purpose and this provided them with the hope they need to endure their pain and be productive, does this not satisfy the definition of worth?

"Instead why don't we invest our time and money in science that has done a lot more for than human race than religion ever has."

There is nothing preventing both. Noted evolution advocate, Ken Miller is a professor of biology and a Christian, and he is outspoken not only in regards to evolution (he was a primary witness at the Dover trial) but also that it does not contradict with him being a Christian.

In regards to science vs religion in regards to harm, wars, etc., just consider if we removed all of science, no bombs, no guns, not even bows or slings - we obviously would have less means to commit violence, does this mean that science by allowing the invention of guns, bombs, and of course nuclear weapons -causes- the violence?

Yes there are people who given Religion can turn that into a tool for harm, the same people can turn science into a tool for harm as well. Consider the Standford Prison Experiment[5] where normal people suddenly became very aggressive even violent simply because of the situation, does that mean we should abolish prisons and all other institutions where there is a division of power which can lead to abue?

Or consider the famous Milgram Experiment[6] where regular people would give other people shocks far beyond pain and into a situation threatening harm simply because a "professor" said it was important for the experiment. Again, what does this say about the source of evil/harm and could this be used to argue that a researcher is inherently evil simply because if they abused their position they can cause harm, obviously not.

Consider also something like Jainism, which devotees adhere to total non-violence, always speak the truth, can not steal, are monogamous, and practice detachment from possessions (do not covet)[7]. It is hard to see how such a Religion would have no worth.

[1] http://www.thefreedictionary.com...

[2] http://www.thefreedictionary.com...

[3] http://farside.ph.utexas.edu...

[4] http://www.philosophyofreligion.info...

[5] http://www.prisonexp.org...

[6] http://faculty.babson.edu...

[7] http://www.religioustolerance.org...
Debate Round No. 1
Grif

Con

However simply because it changes could not possibly be an argument that it should be abandoned. We now do not hold to these assertions and in general it is known that science constantly changes and what we used to think we no longer do, does that mean it is worthless simply because it is not as it is in the past?"

Yes I agree with that but also with science changing its changed because we found something proving the earlier law. With religion it changes for whoever is writing it. With that said there is a lot of common things it most religions. one example is o course Roman to Greek. Also while this mythology there is a story in Babylonian myth that almost exactly tells the story of the great flood in the bible right down to the animals. this common stories in most religions leads me to believe that a lot of the religions just take ideas from other religions and turn them for theirs.

"Are we really that scared that we have to try to explain things that we don't understand by saying this god did it or this god doesn't agree with it."

When I said this I had no prier knowledge that Richard Dawkins used this and I believe most nonreligious people come to this conclusion.

"If there are people who turn to a belief in an afterlife simply because it gives them hope and they can move through the suffering they experience because Religion allows them to belief that there has to be some purpose and this provided them with the hope they need to endure their pain and be productive, does this not satisfy the definition of worth?"

When saying does this satisfy the definition, yes it does, but I believe that worth is also for someone to judge for themselves. when I say it is worthless all I'm saying is I see know worth. For some people religion gives them a reason to live or to do good things, and if it works for you then that's fine. I just think why do you need to use religion to get through pain, when I've gone almost to suicide many times and never once did I need religion. For pain I think it is more of the community in a church that helps.

"In regards to science vs religion in regards to harm, wars, etc., just consider if we removed all of science, no bombs, no guns, not even bows or slings - we obviously would have less means to commit violence, does this mean that science by allowing the invention of guns, bombs, and of course nuclear weapons -causes- the violence?"

Yes we would have less means but that also would mean 3/4 of the worlds population would be dead. Science has given us the tools but we chose to use them that way. Now religion is a cause of a lot of violence. Look at the Holocaust as a recent major event. Nowadays religion is not a big cause as it used to be back in the times of Persia and such, I think we can agree with that.

"Yes there are people who given Religion can turn that into a tool for harm, the same people can turn science into a tool for harm as well."

They don't use religion as a tool they use it as a reason. That's one reason I don't like it because it has become corrupt over the years, I Think we can agree about that.
Now I don't think we should abandon religion because a lot of us depend on it, so just dropping it would have horrible consequences.
Cliff.Stamp

Pro

"Yes I agree with that but also with science changing its changed because we found something proving the earlier law."

Yes, that is generally how science advances ideally, and Religion as well has similar vectors. Consider for example William Lane Craig who is one of the most outspoken protagonists for Christianity. He is a theistic scholar and his position is based on his background in analytical philosophy. He has for example reinvented the Cosmological Argument for God and removed one of the classic weaknesses.

Note that Science as well also has the same issues with personal bias and irrationality as issues, Einstein's well known rejection of Quantum Theory for example lead him to ignore current facts and experiment simply because they did not fit with the way he thought the universe should be, this is not because science is inherently irrational, just that he was at that moment. Then there is the problem of paradigm shifts as noted by Khun.

The two are not as different as it may appear.

"...leads me to believe that a lot of the religions just take ideas from other religions and turn them for theirs."

This is certainly true, but consider for example the idea that all Religions are just aspects of the one true Religion. As man is imperfect he is in a constant quest for enlightenment and through diversity ends up with each individual on a different path. This is a well known principle of communication in that any time an individual receives a message their understanding of it is influenced by their paradigm, what they think and understand, how they view the world. This is why one constant message can end up being received as many different messages by many different people, but note the message was actually the same in each case.

".... never once did I need religion."

Fortunate that you were able to persist but not everyone can. My wife gets headaches that she is sensitive to and on occasion will take pain medication so she can move forward in peace. Would it be a valid argument for me to assert that pain medication has no worth simply because I have never used it?

"Science has given us the tools but we chose to use them that way. Now religion is a cause of a lot of violence. Look at the Holocaust as a recent major event."

Are you really going to argue that if Hitler was an atheist the Holocaust never would have happened?

"They don't use religion as a tool they use it as a reason."

Exactly, and it is the person who finds a reason that fits with them, what they want to see, what gives them purpose and direction. It is not like everyone who would read the Quran would suddenly drop everything and run to join Bin Laden.

Religion is just information, nothing more, it is up to the person to decide how to act on that information. It is also a very critical part of who we are, and there are some very interesting questions which we need to explore to understand ourselves.

For example is Daniel Dennet's hypothesis correct that we as a species are essentially "hard wired" for Religion, that we will develop it because we evolved to do so? If this is true what does it mean about the nature of Religion itself and what does it mean about us as a species? By understanding this we understand Religion and thus better understand ourselves - it is obvious that has worth don't you agree?

"Now I don't think we should abandon religion because a lot of us depend on it, so just dropping it would have horrible consequences."

Then how can you say it is worthless?
Debate Round No. 2
Grif

Con

Grif forfeited this round.
Cliff.Stamp

Pro

Unfortunate.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by rockergirl360 4 years ago
rockergirl360
I have to agree on Grif with this whole debate. Religion, let's say Christianity for example, this religion has caused problems for the over all struggling economy. Religious people shouldn't depend on God or Jesus so much for their problems with money, jobs, etc to think it will make it all better, it wont. People should focus mainly on bigger things then religion since the economy is struggling and having effect on its people, so in my opinion, religion isn't worth it in this time period.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by BillBonJovi 6 years ago
BillBonJovi
GrifCliff.StampTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro gets my conduct point because Con forfeited, all arguments were a bit hard for me to agree with, Pro was the only one that provided reliable sources.