The Instigator
Rockylightning
Pro (for)
Losing
12 Points
The Contender
Kinesis
Con (against)
Winning
15 Points

Religion does more harm than good.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
Kinesis
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/30/2010 Category: Religion
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 10,886 times Debate No: 11591
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (27)
Votes (5)

 

Rockylightning

Pro

Resolved that Cristianity does more harm than good.
Definitions:
A religion is a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a supernatural agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

http://dictionary.reference.com...

I would like my opponent to open her arguments first, clearly taking the affirmative side. I will take the negative.
Kinesis

Con

For clarification, I am Con the resolution despite my opponent mistakenly requesting his opponent take the affirmative side. I will therefore be negating the resolution 'Religion does more harm than good'. Since I am Con, my opponent will have the burden of proof, although I will nevertheless put arguments forth against the resolution. I will focus on Christianity.

-> Religion could lead to salvation <-

I will not do what most people would do in this kind of debate and focus merely on the worldly benefits of religions, but put forth the possibility that religions could lead people to an eternity in heaven. The vast majority of people in the world believe in a higher power of some kind and the majority of those believe in an afterlife (or reincarnation). These often *infinite* rewards, if true, would automatically outweigh any harms Pro puts forth.

So, what reasons do we have to believe they are true? Well, a study here shows that 75% of youths believe in a higher power, and further that many of those beliefs were due to them having a transcendent experience. [1] To deny the veracity of these experiences is to claim to know the mental state of literally billions of people, which is absurd. These experiences clearly point towards a higher power.

In addition, there are many reason to think that events which attest to the truth of Christianity are true. For instance, the three facts about the resurrection of Jesus that are accepted by the majority of NT scholars:

1. The tomb was found empty by the women followers of Jesus three days after his crucifixion.
2.The disciples of Jesus held that they saw the risen Jesus after his crucifixion.
3. The original disciples help strongly to the belief that Jesus really did rise for the dead - so much so that they were willing to die for their faith. [2]

To interpret these facts as attesting to Jesus' resurrection explains them all with ease, and so they count in favour of the truth of Christianity. If Christianity is indeed true, then its followers are headed for an eternity of bliss and happiness, which would outweigh any evidence put forth for the harm of Christianity.

-> Christianity teaches good things <-

Jesus taught many principles which would be considered extremely benevolent by the majority of people today. Jesus taught that people should love both their neighbours and enemies. He taught people they should give to the poor and feed the hungry. He espoused what in popularly known as the 'golden rule' (do to others what you would like to be done to you).

The Ten Commandments provide a specific, clear and moral basis for people to live their lives, ordering people, for instance, not to murder others, not to steal or commit adultery and to respect your mother and father.[3] Pro may disagree with some of the ten commandments, but at the very least he cannot deny that it teaches many good precepts. It is clear then, that Christianity provides a good standard by which to lead ones life.

-> Christians and charity <-

It is clear from the evidence that Christians consistently give more and participate more in charitable work that non-believers. Charities help people around the world, such as the Catholic CAFOD [4] and Christian Aid [5] which do enormous amounts of good around the world, are often Christian. In the book 'who really cares' by Arthur Brooks, it is found that conservative religious people donate more, give more blood and more time to charitable causes than secular liberals and non-believers. [6]

-> Conclusion <-

To affirm the resolution, Pro must prove that Christianity is false, thus refuting the argument that Christianity could lead to salvation; he must show that Christianity does not provide a moral basis for one's life, and he must also address all the Christian charities in the world. He must also erect his own case which demonstrates that religion does a great deal of harm in the world. Until he does, we can safely conclude that the claim that Christianity does more harm than good is false.

[1] http://www.csmonitor.com...
[2] http://doesgodexistdebate.blogspot.com...
[3] http://www.allabouttruth.org...
[4] http://www.cafod.org.uk...
[5] http://www.christianaid.org.uk...
[6] http://www.amazon.com...
Debate Round No. 1
Rockylightning

Pro

Rockylightning forfeited this round.
Kinesis

Con

Please don't forfeit the rest.
Debate Round No. 2
Rockylightning

Pro

Thanks for the clarification.

Please forget the forfeit.
Refutations:

\\\I will not do what most people would do in this kind of debate and focus merely on the worldly benefits of religions, but put forth the possibility that religions could lead people to an eternity in heaven. The vast majority of people in the world believe in a higher power of some kind and the majority of those believe in an afterlife (or reincarnation). These often *infinite* rewards, if true, would automatically outweigh any harms Pro puts forth.///

First, salvation is a lie because it is impossible. If the human race goes on indefinitely, then there will be an infinite number of people in "heaven". Therefore heaven must be infinitely large. This also means that there will be infinite possibilities of people. Therefore there will be exact clones of people. Let me clarify. If there are infinite numbers of people- therefore there are infinite numbers of possibilities. To simplify, lets say there are 10 combination of DNA and RNA that make a human. 10 Different combination multiplied by infinity.
Let I stand for infinity:
10XI=10I
Therefore there would be an infinite amount of people that look the same.
Every one out of 10 would be the same-out of a number of infinity. (Hard math but it makes sense if you look it over)

\\\So, what reasons do we have to believe they are true? Well, a study here shows that 75% of youths believe in a higher power, and further that many of those beliefs were due to them having a transcendent experience. [1] To deny the veracity of these experiences is to claim to know the mental state of literally billions of people, which is absurd. These experiences clearly point towards a higher power.///

The popular opinion is not always the correct one. If 75% of the youth believe in a higher power, could 75% of youths be incorrect? Yes! It's happened before and it's happening now.

\\\The tomb was found empty by the women followers of Jesus three days after his crucifixion.///
According to who? The apostles? The people who supported him? Of course, they probably moved his body. If there was a higher power, than only his soul would have risen, not his physical body, because even the high Christian leaders believe Heaven is a place where spirits live, not physical forms. If you ask me it sounds like a poorly constructed lie fabricated to inspire others to follow this religion.

\\\The disciples of Jesus held that they saw the risen Jesus after his crucifixion.///
Again- we trust the "eyewitness" accounts of people who lived centuries ago? Talk about stating a source. Your basically saying "According to a man who lived centuries ago that has no credentials to prove his honesty- Jesus rose after his crucifixion.

\\\The original disciples help strongly to the belief that Jesus really did rise for the dead - so much so that they were willing to die for their faith.///

Again- they died to prove a point. If Jesus's physical body rose, why dosn't everyone's body rise? Is it because Jesus was god's "son"? Is he getting special treatment from god? Did god love Jesus more than the common man? He let Jesus take his body with him, but we have to go with only our soul? Again, a poorly constructed LIE.

\\\Jesus taught many principles which would be considered extremely benevolent by the majority of people today. Jesus taught that people should love both their neighbours and enemies. He taught people they should give to the poor and feed the hungry. He espoused what in popularly known as the 'golden rule' (do to others what you would like to be done to you).///

Yes, this is good, I cannot argue this. But how many of the people taught abide by them? How come many priests and/or high ranking religious leaders turn out to be pedophiles? Religion has good intentions, but does more harm than good.

\\\The Ten Commandments provide a specific, clear and moral basis for people to live their lives, ordering people, for instance, not to murder others, not to steal or commit adultery and to respect your mother and father.[3] Pro may disagree with some of the ten commandments, but at the very least he cannot deny that it teaches many good precepts. It is clear then, that Christianity provides a good standard by which to lead ones life.///

There are still wars- people steal- parents aren't respected sometimes and people murder. Are these commandments effective? Obviously not. Religion can be misinterpreted, maybe unconsciously, but misinterpreted none the less. Obviously religion is not working, therefore doing more harm than good.

Points-

1. Christianity (and all religion for that matter) limits the human mind

[We] Humans were given the gift of the large brain, we developed tools, we made fire, we have language. All this was limited once religion showed up for the party. Let's think- how many times has an innovator, great thinker, writer, etc. been punished, imprisoned, or persecuted because of what they wrote on a page, or thought, or sung, or invented? Too many.
Let us think back to the good old 1600's, Gallileo Gallilei has just used his telescope to prove the theory of heliocentric solar system and disprove the theory of geocentric solar system. In February 1616, although he had been cleared of any offence, the Catholic Church nevertheless condemned heliocentrism as "false and contrary to Scripture",[10] and Galileo was warned to abandon his support for it—which he promised to do. When he later defended his views in his most famous work, Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, published in 1632, he was tried by the Inquisition, found "vehemently suspect of heresy," forced to recant, and spent the rest of his life under house arrest. Do you call this good? Let's think... the church supported the geocentric system which, the Earth was the center of the solar system, and there was a sphere of "fixed stars" and behind that, heaven. This was supported because the church wanted the people to think that they were the most important, and that god existed behind those stars. But with the heliocentric system, god has nowhere to live-therefore the Church doesn't like this.

2. Creates extremes
Read the text on this page.

http://www.jesuscampthemovie.com...

Even Christianity has an extreme, same with EVERY religion. Is this good? Is blowing yourself up in the name of Allah good? Is brainwashing children to thinking they are in "God's Army" Good? Explain this Kinesis.

The definition of allah boom:
1. allah boom
These two words mark the end of a suicide bomber's life. He or she will scream anything related to their god and detonate their bomb which is attached to their body, sacrificing themselves for religious reasons. It is beloeved that doing so will reward the bomber with 72 virgins in Heaven. ( Or so it is said )

http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://www.jesuscampthemovie.com...
http://www.urbandictionary.com...
Kinesis

Con

I sincerely apologise, since I will not be able to post anything this round. I have neither the time nor the inclination, and shall post next round.
Debate Round No. 3
Rockylightning

Pro

Rockylightning forfeited this round.
Kinesis

Con

I apologise for missing the last round.

--> weird maths <--

Uh...what entails that the human race will go on indefinitely? As far as I am aware, Christianity teaches that eventually the world will end and everyone will be assigned to their various immoral existences. So even if your math was right, and even if it entailed any kind of contradiction (I don't even see why it would), you're working from a false premise.

--> personal experiences <--

Pro believes he knows better than a vast majority of youths. Tell me, has he peered into the minds of all those people? Can he diagnose liars or deluded people from around the world using merely his mind? If not, then I have no idea why he believes he has refuted this point.

--> Resurrection <--

Pro basically argues that the disciples lied to the people, stole Jesus' body and then sacrificed themselves to get the religion going. This is, in a word, absurd. Who would die for something they themselves KNEW was false? Liars make extremely poor martyrs.

--> Jesus <--

Pro admits that Jesus' teachings were very good, but denies that they are out into practise. Well, what about the vast amounts of charity work and good done in the name of Christianity? I provided many, many examples in the last round and Pro has not addressed them.

The paedophile priests is quite horrific, but in comparison to the hundreds of thousands (if not more) helped by Christianity, it's insignificant. Also, those people are certainly not Christians as described by the NT, so Christianity can't really be blamed for them.

--> Commandments <--

Just because some people beak the commandments doesn't mean they lack any impact as a whole. As stated, they give a moral basis for one to live their life. If such absolute barriers are removed, or had been removed in the past, many people would have been adrift without any moral code, no doubt doing as they pleased.

--> Hindering of science <--

It is true that Christianity has hindered science in the past (and does so today). However, is this really a bad thing? It is likely that sometime in the future, as nuclear and biological weapons become easier to produce, that some mad faction will attack the human race or release some kind of devastation on the world. There could be nuclear war. The human race will, most likely, be completely wiped out some time in the future by our own technology. So is hindering science really a bad thing?

--> extremists <--

Yes, there are extremes to religion (just like any ideology). This does not make it rotten as a whole.
Debate Round No. 4
Rockylightning

Pro

Just to clarify, I forfeited the round on purpose, because Kinesis basically did the same.

\\\Uh...what entails that the human race will go on indefinitely? As far as I am aware, Christianity teaches that eventually the world will end and everyone will be assigned to their various immoral existences.///

I do not understand this point.... please clarify in the next round.

\\\Pro believes he knows better than a vast majority of youths. Tell me, has he peered into the minds of all those people? Can he diagnose liars or deluded people from around the world using merely his mind? If not, then I have no idea why he believes he has refuted this point.///

I am not saying youths do not believe in a higher power. I am saying they are wrong.

\\\Pro basically argues that the disciples lied to the people, stole Jesus' body and then sacrificed themselves to get the religion going. This is, in a word, absurd. Who would die for something they themselves KNEW was false? Liars make extremely poor martyrs.///

YOU of all people talk about absurd? Tell me why/how only JESUS's body rose to "heaven" and why everyone else's body gets cremated or stuck into a ditch! Does god only favor his son? And yes there have been worse conspiracies proven true than the one you defend.

\\\Well, what about the vast amounts of charity work and good done in the name of Christianity? I provided many, many examples in the last round and Pro has not addressed them.///

Let me address that now. Charity is great, don't get me wrong. But you must also account for the bad things. Let's compare: Church gives to charity; then church imprisons Gallileo; Church gives to charity; Church rules the dark ages where they keep books and learning tools away from the people so to keep power; Church gives to charity; many priests/ high church officials are revealed as child molesters. The cons completely outweigh the pros!!!

\\\Just because some people beak the commandments doesn't mean they lack any impact as a whole. As stated, they give a moral basis for one to live their life. If such absolute barriers are removed, or had been removed in the past, many people would have been adrift without any moral code, no doubt doing as they pleased.///

First, these commandments were to restore peace in a world that was full of war, war has waged between Christians and others for eternity. The crusades, the inquisition, the list goes on and on! These commandments may contribute to better household and local manners, but on the global scale make a small dent in the violence. Obviously we cannot learn from this.

\\\It is true that Christianity has hindered science in the past (and does so today). However, is this really a bad thing? It is likely that sometime in the future, as nuclear and biological weapons become easier to produce, that some mad faction will attack the human race or release some kind of devastation on the world. There could be nuclear war. The human race will, most likely, be completely wiped out some time in the future by our own technology. So is hindering science really a bad thing?//

Sly move! Last time I checked, the majority of Christians are republicans. And the vast majority of republicans are in favor of increasing our nuclear weapons arsenal. So clearly, if anyone is wiping out the Earth by nukes, it's Christians advertising a righteous cause. And they just don't hinder rocket science, they also hindered the study of the planets, which does not threaten anyone, except them. Yes, science has proven more to us about the universe and life and death in the last 100 years than religion has done since its existence.
http://pollingreport.com...

\\\Yes, there are extremes to religion (just like any ideology). This does not make it rotten as a whole.///

If a religion contributes to making someone detonating themselves in the name of god, then yes it is bad.

1. Religion could lead to salvation \\\REFUTED///
2. Christianity teaches good things \\\REFUTED///
3. Christians and Charity \\\REFUTED///

To conclude my last constructive speech before the rebuttal I would like to present a video. (ABOVE)
Kinesis

Con

I have just returned from a long biking trip, and again I'm short of time. I apologise for not giving this debate the time it deserves (in so far as a cheating, copying, forfeiting opponent deserves a full debate). If readers would care to look through my previous round, they will find a great many points that Pro did not address in his. Also, while his round looks more extensive, it is mostly copied from my round.

Immortality --> your argument required humanity to breed forever. This is not entailed by Christianity, or any world-view we have addressed.

Experiences --> Pro offers no rebuttal. He simply says they are wrong, but gives no reason to think so.

Resurrection --> Pro's points devolve into ad-hominems. Instead of refuting the point, he goes on a rant about how the resurrection is absurd - this is only true if we accept naturalism, which obviously Pro had to prove.

Bad, good deeds --> If we're suddenly going into the past (and the title of the debate implies we look at the present, not the past anyway), then I think a fair case could be made that humanity could never have arisen without a religion for social cohesion. So religion helped created the entire human race in the first place,

The Cons do not outweigh the Pros. A comparatively small amount of rape cases does not outweigh the hundreds of thousands of lives saved and enriched by religious charity work.

Commandments --> Again, we are referring to events in the present with this debate. Religion DOES more harm than good, not it HAS DONE. The point is unrefuted.

Nuclear weapons --> I doubt that America will be the one to unleash nuclear Armageddon. In fact that claim is absurd. It will be some small splinter group without full knowledge of what they are doing.

Extremities --> Again, there are absurd extremes to any ideology (look at the extremes of the political spectrum). This does not make the whole wrong.

None of my points are refuted, Pro has not put any cogent (or original) argument for the resolution. Since he has failed to uphold it, it is negated. Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 5
27 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Rockylightning 6 years ago
Rockylightning
Lol that he can barely refute wikipedia points
Posted by popculturepooka 6 years ago
popculturepooka
Lol at wikipedia copying.
Posted by Rockylightning 6 years ago
Rockylightning
please excuse my french
Posted by Kinesis 6 years ago
Kinesis
Notice the button you have to press when you want to write your next round? It says 'Post MY argument'. Not wikipedia's argument. Not some random websites argument. YOURS.
Posted by Rockylightning 6 years ago
Rockylightning
@Kinesis

Its not the text you use, it's how you use it. And obviously, if I win a debate on wikipedia text, the debate was balanced on he rebuttals.
Posted by Rockylightning 6 years ago
Rockylightning
I forfeited the last round on purpose please not because Kinesis basically did the same.
Posted by popculturepooka 6 years ago
popculturepooka
What the 5 round debate? (-_-)
Posted by Kinesis 6 years ago
Kinesis
Rocky, write your own damn case. It's extremely annoying when large swathes of your opponent's case is copied directly from wikipedia.
Posted by Rockylightning 6 years ago
Rockylightning
ugh sorry- I have been rly busy lately...
Posted by Kinesis 6 years ago
Kinesis
Or one, perhaps...
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by popculturepooka 6 years ago
popculturepooka
RockylightningKinesisTied
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Vote Placed by Rockylightning 6 years ago
Rockylightning
RockylightningKinesisTied
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Vote Placed by sidobagga 6 years ago
sidobagga
RockylightningKinesisTied
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Vote Placed by Marauder 6 years ago
Marauder
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Vote Placed by AnonymousPublic 6 years ago
AnonymousPublic
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