The Instigator
gelkhoury
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Atheist-Independent
Con (against)
Winning
13 Points

Religion Provides social structure

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Atheist-Independent
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/15/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 664 times Debate No: 65223
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (3)

 

gelkhoury

Pro

Religion is not only a connection to the supernatural dimension but provides ethical guidance to society. It allows for individuals to understand their obligations in a community, whilst also providing social cohesion. Social cohesion would have no foundations without religious belief and expression. The fall of religious belief would also lead to the destruction of culture and tradition, consequently creating a conformist dystopian society.
Atheist-Independent

Con

I accept this debate.
Debate Round No. 1
gelkhoury

Pro

We cannot live in a world were unity is absent, love is only a connection between individuals, and we have no obligation to each other. All of these may become prominent in a world where religious guidance is lost. Take for example the image of hate, if I placed a a group of people on an island (they have no memory of anything) what teaches them that killing each other is wrong and that they must love another.
Atheist-Independent

Con

OPENING ARGUMENT

To start off my argument, I would like to provide the definition of social structure.


Social Structure: On the macro scale, social structure is the system of socioeconomic stratification (e.g., the class structure), social institutions, or, other patterned relations between large social groups. On the meso scale, it is the structure of social network ties between individuals or organizations [1].
While I will acknowledge that religion provided somewhat of a social sturcture, according to this definition, in the past, the point of my argument is to show how it does not do so anymore and that it is not benificial either way.

For this debate I will divide my argument into two fundamental subdivisions, these being:

D1: Religion no longer provides a significant social structure
D2: Religous social structure was never benificial

Lets get started.


D1 Religion no longer provides a significant social structure

According to the definition provided in order for something to provide social structure it must provide economic hierarchy and create a social network. For either of these, the society contructor must have a significant amount of influence over the people. If it does not, the thing in question cannot possibly be considered the sole factor for the structure. While it may have somewhat of an influence, both over the people and the social structure, it is not necisarilly the primary reason.


To prove that religion is not the primary factor for social structure I must show that it has little to no influence over the people (American people for this debate). Graph A fully supports my hypothesis [2].

Graph A:


This shows that the American people think that religion, generally Christianity, is losing influence over the people. Therefore it can be concluded that religion is not providing a significant social structure, at least within the USA.

Another factor for creation of social structure is that it must create economic hierarchy. This contradicts many of the beliefs of Christianity (and many other religions as well). For example within the bible their are numerous quotes supporting charity over economic hierarchy. For example

"Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys "

"Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”

"Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy". [3]

So we get the basic idea. Christianity values the concept of charity, and therefore they cannot possibly support an economic structure needed in a social structure because they support economic equality. Using this logic all Christians should be Communists...


However, the reality of Christianity is different from what they preach (unfortunately). For example, the Pope should technically not have infinite sums of money given that he is supposed to value charity. However it turns out that he does, and the Pope has had this money for centuries. Therefore it could be argued that there is an economic structure within the Papacy with the Pope at the top. This is technically true, however this is not the premise of the debate. The premise is that religion provides social structure, therefore implying that it provides social structure for everyone of that religion. Therefore the Papacy argument does not fulfill the premise because there are many Christians who work within the real world and their economic situation is not at all influenced by religion.

D2 Religous social structure was never benificial

While this division is not a requirement for the debate, I feel like discussing it. To make this easier, I am going to paste a large quote from my own essay on the burdens of Religion. While it does not perfects allign to the subject matter, it does relate.


"Christianity in Europe was not only detrimental to society because of wars and religious tension, but also because it limited the average person’s sense of awareness about the world. The Middle Ages is often called the Dark Ages because of the primitive ways of life that the people lived in. These primitive lifestyles resulted from a lack of knowledge and innovation which can be blamed on the church. The church was the absolute power during the Middle Ages, and it was only able to keep this power because the people that it ruled were never educated enough to question or challenge its dogma. The answer to so many questions was that “God meant it to be that way,” and nobody challenged that response for over a century. Following this logic, innovation could only occur with the decline of the church’s power. Evidence for this is the Renaissance, a period of huge artistic and technological achievement which occurred simultaneously with the decline of the church’s power. Knowledge from foreign lands were introduced after the conclusion of the Crusades. All of this new knowledge about the world was monumental for the Europeans and finally people began to think more about the world and how it works. This questioning of the universe led to the development of humanism, the philosophy that the individual is of great value and that they should constantly question how the world works. Since more people began to reject the church’s original explanations of how the world worked, the authority of the church declined. This decline in the church’s power led way to the Renaissance.

This further strengthens the argument that the lessen the authority of religion the more innovation is likely to occur within a society. On the contrary, however, is the argument that religion was still a major factor in peoples lives during the Renaissance, and therefore it wasn’t the decline of religious authority that sparked the Renaissance. It is certainly true that the people of the Renaissance were highly religious. This is apparent in the artwork of the Renaissance as many famous painters of the time, such as Raphael, Michelangelo, Botticelli, etc., depict religious scenes. However, there are many examples where had the person in question fully believed in their religion they would not have made some of the discoveries that they did. For example, Galileo Galilei was known as a religious man throughout his life. However, Galileo made many claims that would have been deemed “controversial” by the church, most notably was his support for Copernicus’s heliocentric universe. Galileo insisted that the bible was wrong about the formation of the universe, which claimed that it was geocentric. Had Galileo been a religious man primarily, then he never would have questioned what the bible, but because he was first a scientist and then a Christian, he was able to ignore what the bible had to say, and find evidence that proved that the universe was indeed heliocentric." [4]

In essence, what I describe here is that religion back when it provided social structure was detrimental to the society because it prevented technological advance. Therefore since we are making technological advances today it can be implied that religion does not provide social structure because when religion does provide social structure it halts technology.


I await my opponents arguments for the next round.

Sources

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...

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

[3] http://www.openbible.info...

[4] My Religion Essay... don't have a link


Sorry for the massive rant, I hope it made sense!
Debate Round No. 2
gelkhoury

Pro

gelkhoury forfeited this round.
Atheist-Independent

Con

Oh well. Extend all arguments.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Atheist-Independent 2 years ago
Atheist-Independent
Did not intend for it to be so long. Sorry...
Posted by dhardage 2 years ago
dhardage
There was a period when religion determined the social structure and moral code. It was called The Dark Ages.
Posted by cheyennebodie 2 years ago
cheyennebodie
You took God out of the schools, and he left. Murder and corrupted thinking took his place is all I am saying. Since God left, you better put armed guards in the schools.The only thing that will stop a bad guy with a gun now is a good guy with a gun. All the years I was growing up I never heard of any such thing as a school shooting. In fact in a lot of rural schools kids could take their rifles to school and hunt on the way home.Now you arrest kids if they even draw a gun.

Your liberal utopia has some major flaws, would you not agree?
Posted by JayConar 2 years ago
JayConar
Hey, Cheyenne, have you ever tried shouting 'YOU SHALL NOT MURDER' at someone whilst they shoot at you? I hear it's not quite as effective as you might think.

Religion is not the only form of moral structure, how can it be when so many seperate, independent religions seem to follow incredibly similar moral guidelines. There must be something universally connecting it all. Good luck A-I :3
Posted by cheyennebodie 2 years ago
cheyennebodie
You mean what we are seeing in our schools? Ridlin taking the place of corporal punishment. Metal detectors instead of " you shall not murder".Abortion instead of good judgment.

And in government. Every time most of their lips are moving lies are coming out. And they still get elected. Half the country freeloading off the other half.You mean that kind of a breakdown in social structure?
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
lannan13
gelkhouryAtheist-IndependentTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture
Vote Placed by Blade-of-Truth 2 years ago
Blade-of-Truth
gelkhouryAtheist-IndependentTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct - Con. Pro forfeited the final round which is rarely acceptable conduct in any debate setting. Arguments - Con. Pro failed to provide any rebuttals to Con's opening arguments. This allowed Con's challenges to remain standing. Pro thus fails to affirm the resolution. Sources - Con. Pro failed to utilize sources in this debate, whereas Con did.
Vote Placed by Philosophybro 2 years ago
Philosophybro
gelkhouryAtheist-IndependentTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit