The Instigator
Tommy.leadbetter
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
HeWatchesYou
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Religion against tyranny

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/20/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 469 times Debate No: 46381
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
Votes (0)

 

Tommy.leadbetter

Pro

Without religion, there would be extreme tyranny.
HeWatchesYou

Con

I would have to disagree with my opponent. Religion has caused leaders to order murder, has brought genocide and has started unnecessary "holy wars." In the past, and even today government officials have killed opponents of the installed state religion, and therefore religion does not protect but cause tyranny.
Debate Round No. 1
Tommy.leadbetter

Pro

Okay so firstly lets look at 'tyranny'.

Human cultures naturally produce leaders, in our natural state (hunter-gatherer) the leaders would be the most powerful, or the oldest, or the 'religious' shamans or other combinations of these. Each society would be slightly different, some even having no leaders. However, culture dictates which kind of leaders will emerge, and yet we humans have the capacity to be any kind of ruler. Because these societies where tiny in comparison to post agricultural societies, the relationship between the leaders and the rest of the people was very different than it is even in societies 5000 years old.

Primates have culture. Robert Sapolsky, neurologist and behaviour intellectual, was studying a troop of Baboons that had a clear hierarchy, which was typical for baboons. The leaders where bullies and dominant, like in many human groups, but one day a freak incident caused all the dominant baboons to die. A culture of care and co-operation emerged in the troop that last till this day. Even when new, aggressive baboons made their way into the troop, they quickly learned how to fit in. So this demonstrates that we also, may have an infinite number of ways that we could organize a community. And also we know that we are capable of any amounts of cruelty, if the situation lets it, if we have learned anything from Milgram and Zimbardo. So what does all this mean? Well it will come together just bare with me. So we know that humans are capable of extreme tyranny, indeed we are drawn to it one might say.

So, once agriculture kicked in and societies started to change, so did our relationship with the leaders. Population skyrocketed and life changed for everybody. There was more work to do, and harder because of the population boom, and people didn't like doing all the hard work (harder and more toilsome than hunting, remains of people from this time show pre-agricultural people to have worked far less). Also, one person could now produce enough food for 10 people, rather than only enough for themselves and maybe one other. So because of this and other factors, most societies became split into the leaders and everyone else, and this split widened.

So, once leaders became estranged to everybody else, they began to become more and more 'dominant'. For, unlike the pre-agricultural societies before, the population was so big that the leaders could spend their whole lives never even seeing a poor person if they chose not too. So, as we know from psychological studies (Milgram, Zimbardo and many more) if you don't know the people or see the atrocities they are much easier to commit. So these leaders go on to think they are the best without limits. Without limits is the key thing here, a human mind has no inbuilt philosophy, it would not know that to be essentially a 'god' yourself was wrong. Indeed how do we even know, because does morality even exist? So these people have nothing to tell them to hold back in their own minds, and once their advisors are scared of them, neither will they. Just to illustrate how extreme this can actually be in the real world, just consider this. 50,000 humans work to the death for 50 years to build a house for 1 DEAD man! (Egypt) History has so many examples as this I would even say that history is the story of these men. To bring it up to date: Middle Ages Europe, barons allowed to disembowel serfs (normal people) if he wanted to keep his feet warm: Kim Jon forces everybody to have his handbook of sayings, and if youve watched anything on North Korea you would see the levels he has got too.

So once humans started living in these societies, dictators arose. There is nothing to stop a dictator, apart from another dictator. You must try to forget everything you have been brought up with, ino this is impossible, but you need to do so in order to understand the mentality of other people. We cannot understand why are neighbours behave in certain ways, how do we understand an ancient culture and the mind of someone who has been brought up to believe in his own superiority? We cannot. But I believe it was like the law of the jungle, strongest wins. There is no concept of 'rights' as we know them today. So we know that in these cultures extreme dictators (by our standards) emerge and seemingly have no limit. There is nobody to stop them.

Dictators getting worse and worse...

Its a spiral, once you treat people badly, you fear retaliation. So you scare them a bit more, and feel more fear of retaliation, so you scare them more, and so on and on. Once you, as a dictator, are fully aware that if given the chance most people would kill you and hate you, you become yet more paranoid and thus more controlling. For instance look at Kim Jon, there is not turning back now. He could not just decide to retire and stop being on edge, he would be killed. So dictators, if they are bad, will get worse and worse. I must add, many kings (dictators) where good people, not all where tyrants.

So what about religion? Well I will not get into the origins of religion, but I will focus on Christianity as a factor in reducing the chances of dictators. Islam I have not studied and so cannot comment. So as i have said, there is nobody to stop these dictators and the dictators get worse and worse. So the only thing that challenged the dictators was the church. There are many examples of this. Dictators who crave power want to be the only one that matters, they cannot stand the idea that there is someone (god) above them. That is why many dictators burn books and destroy centres of learning and worship. It is a phenomena that occurs almost systematically in any dictators career, it is very predictable. So not only is the dictator humbled, but the person above him preaches 'turn the other cheek' and 'love thy neighbour'. Indeed kings and the church battled with each other throughout the middle ages, typically the bad kings where attacked by the church. Also the Pope played a major role in solving disputes, preventing war, and quelling dictators. (when I say dictators I mean bad ones, for every ruler was a dictator in those days) If somebody felt hard done to by the king, the only people they could turn to would be the church. No wonder dictators hate religion, it challenges their authority. So I believe that without religion, the dictators would of improved and improved their position and security of their position. I believe the world still would be like it has been 300 years+ ago and that the leaders would remain as different as they where then to the rest of us for hundreds of years after now. For even 90 years ago many children in England had no shoes and the elite didn't even have to dress themselves. And this is England!

So I know the old argument of the Crusades and various problems we have now, but i look at it in a different way. For one, I believe that religion can act as a barrier between nations, making it harder to mix and perhaps more likely to war. But I believe that we are missing the real issue here, we cannot see the wood for the tree's. I mean, the biggest worry that I would have as a common man in any time before 1900, would be what my leaders where like. Not how we interacted with other nations, indeed that can not even be very relevant to the common man. People in your position often go on about how it causes friction BETWEEN nations but I believe that the relationships WITHIN nations are the most influential and relevant to the most number of people. And I believe that religion has acted as a force against the natural instinct of leaders to become wicked and abusive leaders who create horrible conditions for the common people.

So my main point is this last one above. That in reality, what matters most to you in those times, is your treatment by your leaders. And religion helps prevent extreme dictators and so make treatment for the common man WITHIN a society, better. And thus, reducing tyranny.
HeWatchesYou

Con

HeWatchesYou forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Tommy.leadbetter

Pro

I will leave you to respond to my previous point
HeWatchesYou

Con

HeWatchesYou forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Tommy.leadbetter

Pro

and again
HeWatchesYou

Con

HeWatchesYou forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
Tommy.leadbetter

Pro

Tommy.leadbetter forfeited this round.
HeWatchesYou

Con

HeWatchesYou forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Theunkown 2 years ago
Theunkown
Tommy, wanna debate this (I wont forfeit :D)
I will of course be con
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