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Moral and Scientific Objections to Christianity

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/16/2015 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 943 times Debate No: 75382
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)




I do not know how well this will work out, but here is how I am picturing this debate:

Pro gives his moral objections to Christianity. Try to keep it to modern Christianity, but any and all moral objections are welcome

In Rd 2, I will refute the moral objections and give my one single contention.

Pro can rebutt as he desires and we will continue in Rd 3 with cross exams and rebutts.

Rd 4 is closing arguments only


Apologies for late and short round. I have been busy.

I will be addressing this debate from the perspective of unpreferable moral implications of Christianity. I will be taking moral within this debate to regard social behaviors, and general perceptions of acceptible behavior within society. Ergo I will be addressing within this round the utility and harm Christianity causes, rather than whether or not it is 'true'. I may expand in the other direction in later rounds.

C1. Christianity hinders moral thought
Christianity holds numerous moral axions, or imperitives to be true, without any consideration as to the value and socio-cultural impact of such an action today. For example, Christianity often holds marriage to be explicitly between man and woman, and Christianity holds the value of God's grace to be above all else.

This is problematic for those within Christianity since it tethers any and all moral thought to their religion, hence any moral considerations necessarily involke their religion on some level. This causes Christianity to lag behind modern moral values, such as modern stances on same-sex marriage, abortion, equal rights for those of different race or even sex. With society progressing towards liberalism, Christianity effectively weighs down society with it's inherently conservative values.[] Christianity as a result slows down moral progress.

Furthermore, because Christianity hold to imperitives, or axioms, it consequently stops any philosophical inquiry into the validity of said imperitives or axioms. For instance, is the life of a foetus equally morally important as a fully grown human? Without Christianity a healthy dialogue and investigation would follow in determining what exactly it is about humans we find valuable, whether or not it is qualitative or qualitative, and whether or not a foetus would possess such qualities. Moreover investigation would also consider the present day situation, and the moral values of society at the time. Christianity on the other hand would encourage an all-or-nothing approach - either a foetus is a person/human, or it is not, and ignores all the mitigating factors that may or may not be involved.

C2. Christianity entails questionable beliefs/motivations
Christianity by it's very nature holds faith as a virtue, and by definition requires belief in supernaturalism. However both are very much divorced from everyday experience, hence it puts Christians into a position to be more likely to be stock into other supernatural phenomenoa, and to require a lower standard of evidence for accepting claims to be true of a subjective nature. Examples of abhorrent actions, including murder, and other violence caused by a persons belief in questionable supernatural motivations are easy to find.[]

Since religion gives an additional authority on the believing person, actions which are made in accordance with one's pre-existing beliefs are more likely to be exemplified. The most prolific example of course are the 9/11 bombings. Christianity specifically has the first four of its ten commandments as explicit commands towards God - 'don't worship other Gods, make idols of God, use God's name in vain, keep the Sabbath holy'. Whether or not God exists is irrelevant to the issue that this 'divine motivation' entails less consideration of the people who exist first and foremost on Earth, and encourages actions purely on the virtue towards and from belief in God.

Moreover, Christianity contains the fear of living eternity in hell, hence actions are nor purely taken on the virtue of their actual moral value which we can make a reasoned guess into, but on imperitives motivated by avoiding (their believed) eternal torture. An analogy would be having someone with a gun to your head, who will pull the trigger if you displease them - of course you are not going to act in a manner which puts the interests of your fellow comrades as high as it would without that threat in tow.

Out of time, also I need to sleep. I await Pro's rebuttals,m and will expand in later rounds.
Debate Round No. 1


First, thank you to Con for accepting this debate. I was beginning to think I wasn't going to be able to debate this with him

Rebuttal: Christianity hinders moral thought

What is moral? What is good? What is evil? What makes secular progressive liberalism preferable and how does Christianity "weight it down"? In America, we elected Barack Obama seeking a change from the mess that George W. Bush made of the country. In being elected, Obama has allowed SCOTUS to FORCE his will upon the country for whatever reason. I understand this may not seem to coincide with the debate subject matter, but I bring this up to illustrate that government intervention is NOT indicative of a shift in societal morals. These socalled "moral stances" on things such as same sex marriage have not changed because our morals and values have changed, but because of government intervention. Two totally different things.

Again, I must ask what is good and what is evil? Matt Slick, of has the best rebuttal to this []. Consider Epicurus. Epicurus made four statements on God and Evil:

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

This is easily refutable. I will do it just like Matt Slick did. Con asserts that Christianity "lags behind modern moral values". Let's look at how Matt Slick answers this:

1. Evil is not defined. Therefore, the assessment of the statements cannot be validated

What Matt is referring to here is Epicurus' statement on evil. What is evil? It is not defined. Likewise my question to Con is what is moral? Con may have hinted at this without actually outright saying it. I don't know

Now let's look at Matt's second rebuttal to Epicurus:

2. If evil were defined, what would justify the definition as being the right one?

I would like to ask Con the same thing. What can he offer to justify his assertions that secular morals are right and Christian morals are wrong?

To make this more difficult for Con, I offer this example:

Person A is the head of a Manson Family type cult. Person A, unlike Charles Manson though, likes to participate in the killings his cult commits

Person B likes to rob banks

Person C likes to creepily hang out in front of the middle school every day in hopes of luring one of the children to get in a car with him so that he may abuse them.

Now here are two questions I will pose to Con:

1. Which person described above, according to secular views. would be considered moral?

2. Why?

Through Christian morals, we realize that the answer to the first question is, none of the above. The answer to the second question is the Bible forbids it. God forbids it. A simple question requires a simple answer. No matter how simple the answer is, Christian morals give an answer. Secular morals do not

Con also brings up abortion. Is the life of a fetus equally morally important as a fully grown human? Without Christianity we truly cannot answer that, because according to Christian morals, ALL life is valuable. Every life has a purpose and every life should be given a chance to fulfill that purpose. There is no "healthy dialogue and investigation" needed. How can con argue that not every life is valuable without coming off as cold and callous?

Rebuttal: Christianity entails questionable beliefs/motivations

As for Con's claim that Christianity or "belief in questionable supernatural motivations", when a crime of murder or other violence is committed by someone who claims "God made them do it", more often than not, the Christian community condemns the crime. How can an adherent to a peaceful faith commit something so heinous and not be condemned? Couple that with the fact that those instances are pretty rare, and Con has no legs to stand on.

I like Con's last paragraph as it gives me a chance to pose a question I don't get to pose very often. He talks about eternal damnation. We both agree that is bad. The parallel I will draw is this:

I can only assume that Con's parents love him so I would ask con to think back to his childhood. Has he ever done anything to make his parents upset at him? Was he punished? Did his parents stop loving him when he was punished? Probably not. The same is somewhat true for Christianity. There is an out though. All you have to do is repent of your sins and accept Jesus Christ as savior and none of that is any longer a "threat".

Now that I have successfully refuted the moral objections to Christianity, I pose one question as my contention:

C1: given the above explanations as satisfactory to fulfill the requirement of refuting moral objections to Christianity, why do the scientific objections matter?


Con has not provided any positive contentions, thus it appears he will be focussing mostly on defence within this debate. Which is fine, however in the process he forfeits the right to direct the debate in the direction he so chooses. Note that I did not actually present the problem of evil within this debate (which Con attempted to address – my arguments address moral problems in general with the nature and practice of Christianity.

C1. Christianity hinders moral thought
Con argues that government intervention causes changes in moral stances. Well if that is the case then I fail to see the problem here, since if people’s values change, regardless of the cause of such, then people are going to want different things. Given that virtually any and all moral thought comes back to societal interests & desires, then this should be hardly surprising.

I am not obliged to answer the loaded questions of “what is good, what is evil?”, since such a question doesn’t necessarily have a coherent answer. Moral thought extends far beyond simplistic moral imperitive philosophy that is prevalent in Christianity. Contextualism for example rules actions preferable or less preferable depending on context, social contract theory looks at how we maintain and value our current social construct. Even applied ethics compatible with nihilism or relativism are possible and all would have something to say about what we ought to do. My argument was that Christianity hinders investigation into the question of applied and meta-ethics.

Thus, regardless of how “good” or “evil” are defined, my point stands. Christianity promotes a one-dimensional manner of thinking which is intrinsically divorced from the values of people on Earth right now – leading to actions for the apparent benefit of a being with questionable epistemological integrity. IF one was going to centre their entire moral philosophy over something which is so powerfully motivating, yet so demonstrably questionable, then that leaves the theist in a morally dangerous position. I cited examples where religious motivation had demonstrably destructive consequences. Hence the fact that it promotes such is not something that can be realistically denied.

1.Evil is not defined. Therefore, the assessment of the statements cannot be validated

The definition of ‘evil’ is irrelevant here, since moral frameworks do not mandate it to have a meaning.

2. If evil were defined, what would justify the definition as being the right one?

Again, irrelevant, and the point of “secular values being right and Christian values being wrong” is a complete red herring. The very notion of “values being right” is loaded as it presupposes some naïve notion of moral realism – and I am tempted to retort here that this is a clear demonstration of exactly my point. Con seems unable to entertain the notion of other moral systems apart from naive realism that Christianity advocates.

Moral philosophy addresses the questions of moral motivations, “why” we should, and “ought” to do certain actions, preference, desires, values, and what would be the most preferable social constructs and effect execution of law and justice, etc.

1. Which person described above, according to secular views. would be considered moral?

This entire question is a red herring, and on most philosophies are equivalent to asking “what is the colour of jealousy”, since asking for the brute “moral or immoral value of an act” is incoherent.

Christian morals give an answer. Secular morals do not

This again completely misses the point of the contention (hence a plain red herring), since it regards moral thought, rather than the moral systems themselves. Also even if it was the case that secular morals give no answer (and many such systems would not, since the very question itself would be nonsensical as already argued), then Pro is essentially stating that “using a bad answer is better than accepting you don’t have a good one”. Given that our morals dictate what our actions are, then the person who errs on the side of caution is going to be less prone to destructive actions than those who go with the first answer they get. This also affirms exactly my point – Con is willing to accept an answer and ignore any and all moral thought on the issue first. It hinders moral thought.

Without Christianity we truly cannot answer that, because according to Christian morals, ALL life is valuable.

This is a complete non-sequitur, the conclusion “without Christianity we truly cannot answer that” does not follow from the premise “because according to Christian morals, ALL life is valuable.” Just because Christianity can claim an answer, from one narrow perspective, doesn’t follow that others cannot. That is a blatant logical fallacy of affirming the consequent.

There is no "healthy dialogue and investigation" needed. How can con argue that not every life is valuable without coming off as cold and callous?

If this is representive of Christianity’s position on moral thought, then I would highlight this as a blatant example of hindrance of such moral thought. Con is unwilling to even entertain the notion that not every life is valuable, for example.

C2. Christianity entails questionable beliefs/motivations

Note that I only provided a handful of obvious examples, Christianity in fact does have a very profound effect in virtually every area of moral judgement and societal values. See following table of a 2011 Pew Survey:[]

Clearly increased Catholicism causes increased conservativism, and consequently skewed values over multiple sects. Given these are a % of a large US population, it’s hardly insignificant.

Further, Con pretty much concedes that said questionable beliefs puts one in a position of self-assumed authority, and hence executing destructive acts from that authority that would not have been possible without it. It doesn’t matter whether or not the Christian community generally condemns it, since that is not the point being made here (this is another of Con’s red herrings). Less destructive acts, yet prevalent are the innumerable Bible belt homosexuals frequently demonised by said families on religious grounds, for example. [],

Note that I never said hell was bad, I only argued it is a device for fear, and hence moral motivation. It gives people powerful motivation to perform actions where that would not have done otherwise. It removes one’s ‘erring on the side of caution’ where it would not have without that belief. Hence, the epistemologically questionable belief in hell ‘forces a person’s hand’ in action – and given my points made in C1 – that Christianity hinders moral thought – it entails actions that are often destructive, and far against the interests of the vast majority of people.

Note that Con’s argument from salvation only applies to those who adhere to salvation purely via. faith, it does not apply to any who believe in salvation via. works. Moreover Con implicitly concedes that this fear does indeed exist. He would need to argue that the fear of hell positively doesn’t exist for Christians to rebut my arguments. Moreover, given Pro’s response to this, he has inspired another brief contention relevant to this debate.

C3. Christianity is a mind-trap

Believers in Christianity have a belief in hell, either via. works or purely by faith. Even if a Christian feel safe from hell by faith, it leads to another problem. It traps the person within his existing belief set of Christianity. It makes it risky (from the Christian’s perspective) to entertain ideas outside of Christianity, since it would entail losing one’s faith, and hence leaving them vulnerable to eternal damnation in hell. Thus, the Christian would be unwilling (and sensibly so, given the state of the belief system he is in) to undergo free philosophical thought.


I have absolutely no idea what Con’s argument/question/statement is supposed to mean.

Debate Round No. 2


When things such as "what is good?, what is evil?" are moral questions, pro IS obligated to answer Pro has pretty much refused to answer, calling my points irrelevant. This indicates an inabilty to answer a question. I fail to see why Pro cannot or will not answer. I'll take this as a concession.

As for Pro's rebuttal to my contention, I fail to see what was so hard to answer. If this debate was specifically why does God exist or not exist, surely, he would bring up scientific reasons why God does not exist. This debate is very similar. I asked Pro to list his grevences against the morality of Christianity. Which he sort of did. Look at the title of the debate, "Moral and scientific objections to Christianity" I took it upon myself to address the issue of scientific objections to Christianity after I tore down the moral objections. I did not bring up specific scientific objections as there are way to many to state. Rather I asked, given that I have by all means successfully rebutted the moral objections, why would scientific objections matter? This was pretty clear. Simply, stated, once moral objections are answered, do the scientific objections atheists have still matter? Why? I do not know how this went way over Pro's head. I can give him another chance to answer or we can call it a concession on his part,



This debate has been poorly structured by Con, since the rules round mentions nothing regarding scientific objections to Christianity. Moreover "objection" is a loose term, and I gave a specific take on it in my arguments. Pro personally may believe he has refuted my arguments, but instead he has largely completely missed the point of the arguments. Virtually all of his rebuttals are red herring fallacies as a result.

Moral Arguments
Con completely drops my arguments here, so I will leave them to stand as they are. The points I have established are:

1. Christianity hinders moral thought and reason
2. Christianity entails dubious beliefs and hence dubious moral actions
3. Christianity is a self-motivating mind trap

Any one of these should be sufficient to affirm the resolution. Con takes issue that I did not answer his question of "what is evil", ignoring my reasons as to why. The very question is loaded, it is akin to asking somebody "have you stopped beating your wife", when the question itself contains an assumption that one would disagree with. It is that assumption buried in the question of "what is evil" that I take issue with and hence cannot answer. Similarly one cannot answer yes or no to "have you stopped beating your wife" without incriminating oneself.

Moreover the question is irrelevant to all three of my contentions. Hence should rightfully be ignored.

Scientific Arguments
With moral objections affirmed, I am going to fill out the rest of my space with these arguments.

C4. Christianity hinders our ability to comprehend
The persuit of science requires one to take an impartial look at reality, by valuing evidence, and empirically testing hypothesis with observation. If one is not doing all of these things, then one is not doing science. Christianity on the other hand promotes faith as a factual virtue over evidence, and promotes a mindset which is decidedly anti-scientific. Christianity starts with a conclusion (e.g. "God exists" or "God created life, etc" and seeks to find evidence to support said conclusion. This is precisely the opposite to how science works, where it begins with facts, and draws a conclusion from said facts.

All theories in science are tentative, and are subject to continual process of falsification, criqitique, and testing. Christianity on the other hand does not, and cannot do this. There is no way to empirically test supernatural claims, and large weight is placed on anecdotal experiences, authority, and appeals to ancient so-called sacred texts. These are decidedly poor methodologies for decithering any sort of truth from reality, as they fail to put into place the level of controls that a rigorous scientific study would in order to filter out cognitive bias, and any philosophical consideration on inferance to the best explanation.

Therefore, Christianity is scientifically objectionable, in the sense that it promotes a specifically decidedly antiscientific mindset.
Debate Round No. 3


kingcripple forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by kingcripple 3 years ago
Envisage, I know. I would like to apologize. I worked Memorial Day weekend and went through a tornado warning at work and this completely slipped my mind
Posted by Envisage 3 years ago
It looks like this will end in a FF. Tis a shame.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Lexus 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct - pro automatically gets conduct because con forfeited the last round, which is almost never okay | Args - Con was meant to give his one sole contention, although he never does this; I can overlook this as an error in memory, which we all have at times. Pro has a very nice contention one, where he outlines many of the thoughts that Christianity hinders, and I feel as though con's defense to this was very weak. They kept bringing up what I believe is referred to as the problem of evil, although pro never actually said this problem in the first place. Pro in a later round says that religion hinders political ideas, and con's response was empty. Pro brings up that the idea that one may live eternally in Hell if they question their beliefs is never met with a proper rebuttal, and this is a very valid objection to Christianity as a whole. What other kind of religion would force its followers to never change their viewpoints? Overall, args to pro. | sources/s&g - tie.