The Instigator
Pro (for)
4 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
2 Points

Religion has been, for the most part, a highly negative force in the world.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/6/2015 Category: Religion
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 786 times Debate No: 67896
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (18)
Votes (1)




Premise: Religion is a dangerous aspect of human life. Keeping it away from essential spheres of human life such as education, politics, healthcare etc., is of utmost importance.
The one who accepts this challenge is expected to refute this statement.

First round is preferably for acceptance, but I don't mind if the con begins his/her arguments right away. There are no specific rules for this debate.


I accept.....
Debate Round No. 1


Firstly, I would like to make it very clear, that I am not claiming religion to be the only cause for the atrocities throughout the history of human civilisation. Neither am I saying that atrocities will not take place in the absence of religion. Religion may give people a false sense of comfort(in my opinion), but the violence and bigotry that people do in it's name are far worse than the warm fuzzy feeling people get by having faith in an all powerful being. Violent people and psychopaths will continue to do violent and psychopathic things. But only religion and faith can make otherwise good people do bad things, by convincing them that they are morally correct. Following are the main reasons why I believe religion has been a very bad influence on the world.

1. Terrorism, Violence and abuse

These may be the most cruel, horrifying, and disgusting things a living being can ever experience. Recent events in France have shown us how harmless satire is responded with violence and murder. Religion causes people to fly themselves into buildings, and has been used as basis for mass genocide. Women and children were raped, people were enslaved, all justified by books with fairy tales written by people with primitive minds who probably also thought the Sun and stars revolved around the Earth. These could have been avoided to a great extent if religion did not exist.

2. Political influence

Religion is highly influential political processes and is a huge threat to some of the most vital human rights, such as the freedom of speech and expression. The rights of people in the minority such as the LGBT community are squeezed to such a limit that it leads to alienation, depression, and in many cases also death. Just because people are born different or choose a different way of life, they must not be subject to discrimination or mental torture which is often based solely upon religious beliefs. There is no logical, rational or medically relevant reason for which LGBT people should be denied equal rights. Thus the reason behind governments denying such rights is because they are full of irrational bigots who base their opinions and morals on religious beliefs. When religion comes in the way of human rights, then I'd say it becomes a negative force in the world.

3. Education and Scientific thought

No one has the right to impose their beliefs onto others. Religious parents send their children to religious schools and hence impose non-scientific and irrational beliefs, which, in essence is child abuse. Most religious educational organizations such as catholic and Islamic schools censor proven scientific facts such as evolution from science textbooks, which causes children to be unaware of scientific advances which contradict with the teachings of religious institutions. Home-schooled children are taught lies about the origin of species and the universe, which is absolutely unacceptable. When such children go to college, they are alienated by others due their primitive thoughts, and college education mostly fails to incorporate scientific thought into these students.

4. Medicine

Primitive ideas about human biology and religious beliefs cause people to make wrong medical decisions, which leads to injury and death in many cases. People often do not consent to medical treatment just because it contradicts their religious ideas. They often come to think that they are protected by a higher power, or have the incorrect idea of going to a better place after death.When religious parents make such decisions for their minor children, they often die.

The pope made ridiculous assertions, that condoms are wrong, and worsen AIDS, which led to 2 million more AIDS deaths of people who sadly believed his words.

Religion hence makes making rational medical decisions hard, if not impossible, for religious people.

These are the main reasons why the world will do much better without religious institutions which promote unscientific, immoral, filthy and dangerous thoughts and actions.


I thank Atheist1096 (Pro) for this debate. As introduction, I would say, blaming religions, ideologies, philosophies for bad things happened to human kind is little bit silly (or fallacious). Because religions, ideologies or philosophies can do nothing by themselves, it is the humans how implement these things. Therefore blame is on humans, not ideologies or religions.

A. Terrorism, Violence and Abuse

As ex-USSR citizen I would say, Pro is not aware of what Atheist State by Constitution had done to its people. At least terrorists kill people, but tortures done in the cells of KGB are just unspeakable. Instead of T.V.A. religion gives mercy and justice, like Omar ibn Khattab (r.a., second caliph of Islam), Tariq ibn Ziyad (conqueror of Iberia), Salahuddin Ayyubi (you know who he is), and Barbarossa Hayreddin Pasha (Admiral of Navy of Ottomans) - they all saved Jews and Christians from Jews and Christians.
The terrorist acts done by Muslim is not something traditional, but rather new invention. The best example is Ayman Al-Zavahiri's grandfather, Rabia'a al-Zawahiri - scholar, Imam at Al-Azhar University, one of the authors of Constitution of Egypt, and also Ayman's great-uncle Abdel-Rahman Azzam, was the first secretary of the Arab League. [1]
Does the terrorist acts done by Muslims are caused by Islam? Answer is NO, according to experts. Robert Pape [2] said in one his interviews "a clear strategic objective: to compel modern democracies to withdraw military forces from the territory that the terrorists view as their homeland." [3] Michael Scheuer [4] says almost the same thing. Also he said "I don't consider Osama Bin Laden to be a terrorist. I consider him to be a resistance fighter." [5]

B. Political Influence

Political view of each person is influenced by something. It is not really an argument. And using LGBT as example also is fallacious. In Iran transsexuals are officially recognized, and they can go sex reassignment surgery. As of 2008, Iran carries out more sex change operations than any other nation in the world except for Thailand. [6] Also Evolutionary biology is included in the high-school curricula in Iran (and other Muslim Majority Countries). [7,8]

C. Education and Scientific Thought & Medicine
Islamic History proves Pro's argument on this issue to be false. Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Astronomy, Medicine, Transportation, Logic and etc. exists today thanks to Muslims.
Al-Biruni, Al-Jabri, Nasir Al-Din Tusi, Ibn Sina are just enough to prove my point.
Actually, in Islam, education is a commandment from God (and also, seeking medical treatment [9]). Throughout the history Muslims had high number of public schools, libraries, and hospitals. (But their number rapidly decreased after colonization.)

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[3] - (I suggest you to read this article)
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Debate Round No. 2


Firstly, I do not know how much more I have to stress on the fact, that religion is NOT the only cause for violence, sadness etc.... I have mentioned this before, but you continue to refute my arguments based on the assumption that I am blaming religion for all the bad things that have happened to humans : " As introduction, I would say, blaming religions, ideologies, philosophies for bad things happened to human kind is little bit silly (or fallacious)."

Secondly, if my opponent is trying to assert that religion is benign, then I would like for him to address the issue I raised in the previous round about the Pope and AIDS. Are you trying to say that a bigoted religious ideology did NOT cause the death of almost 2 million deaths? Do you think that the idea that condoms are 'bad' have nothing to do with catholic belief ?

I found it interesting that my opponent takes advantage of the fact that an Atheist ruler was violent to refute my claims about religion, even though I have mentioned that violent people will always do violent things. It is very unfortunate what citizens go through during a dictatorship. This makes dictatorship very dangerous, and blaming atheism(or any religion for that matter) for it, is wrong. This is why I did not mention the fact that Hitler was a Catholic in my leading argument.

The idea that Islam is a peaceful religion is a false one. Did you know, that in most Islamic countries the punishment for apostasy is often the death penalty?
"Twenty-three Muslim-majority countries, as of 2013, additionally covered apostasy in Islam through their criminal laws.

According to critics, punishment for apostasy in Islam is a violation of universal human rights, and an issue of freedom of faith and conscience."

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights has included freedom of religion, as part of Basic Human rights.

To prove that the recent occurrings in France are derived from religious law, here is a quote from the Quran :

Those who annoy Allah and His Messenger - Allah has cursed them in this World and in the Hereafter, and has prepared for them a humiliating Punishment. Truly, if the Hypocrites, and those in whose hearts is a disease, and those who stir up sedition in the City, desist not, We shall certainly stir thee up against them: Then will they not be able to stay in it as thy neighbours for any length of time: They shall have a curse on them: whenever they are found, they shall be SEIZED AND SLAIN (without mercy).

" Quran 33:57"61
In what way is to seize and slay a peaceful religious ideology?
So, I would like to ask my opponent this question : If religion grants an individual the right and moral standard to do an immoral thing (by the standards of the masses), then would we not be better off without it?

Again, I am not asserting that religion causes all violence. But, lack of a religious standard of morality will make people actually consider what they are about to do. Blind belief causes people to forget their own moral standards, which is why religion is dangerous.

I was shocked when my opponent tried to justify the acts of Osama Bin Laden in an attempt to refute the terrorism argument. I can hardly dignify this argument with a response. I would like a clarification from my opponent as to what he meant. Again, terrorists justify their acts with faith based morality, based on religion. This is my objection.

My opponent's rebuttal of the LGBT issue is equally shocking:
" In Iran transsexuals are officially recognized, and they can go sex reassignment surgery. As of 2008, Iran carries out more sex change operations than any other nation in the world except for Thailand."

This is Iran's status regarding this issue :

"Since the 1979 Iranian revolution, the legal code has been based on Islamic Shari'a law. All sexual relations that occur outside a traditional, heterosexual marriage (i.e. sodomy or adultery) are illegal and no legal distinction is made between consensual or non-consensual sodomy. Homosexual relations that occur between consenting adults in private are a crime and carry a maximum punishment of death (though not generally implemented) "

"Sodomy (lavat) can in certain circumstances be a crime for which both partners can be punished by death. If the participants are adults, of sound mind and consenting; the method of execution is for the judge to decide."

"The punishment for lesbianism (mosahegheh) involving persons who are mature, of sound mind, and consenting, is 50 lashes. If the act is repeated three times and punishment is enforced each time, the death sentence will apply on the fourth occasion. (Articles 127, 129, 130) "

"Some human rights activists and opponents of the Iranian regime claim between 4,000 and 6,000 gay men and lesbians have been executed in Iran for crimes related to their sexual orientation since 1979. According to The Boroumand Foundation, there are records of at least 107 executions with charges related to homosexuality between 1979 and 1990. According to Amnesty International, at least 5 people convicted of "homosexual tendencies", three men and two women, were executed in January 1990, as a result of the Iranian government's policy of calling for the execution of those who practice homosexuality"

"The Iranian state media have shown their hatred toward homosexuality on many occasions, and no press or other media outlet in Iran is allowed to support LGBT-rights. For example, the Iranian state media has stated that believes homosexuals are deviant individuals who have, for some reason (psychological, social or physiological) deviated from the balanced and natural human condition and need help and support to stop sinking any further into the 'swamp of immorality'. Iran's PressTV has a plagiarised comment policy that expressly forbids homophobia "

Why should people who are born different undergo surgery to change their appearance just so they can be acceptable to you? Why do they need to change themselves at all? I don't think my opponent knows that homosexuals also come under the category of LGBT. Does my opponent think homosexuality should be cured with surgery too? The notion that LGBT people should be denied their basic human rights is unacceptable. My opponent says, that : "Political view of each person is influenced by something". I agree. So my question to my opponent is, is there any political, logical, rational, social or medical reason for which you can moralize depriving equal rights to LGBT people? If not, then the only reason that remains, is religion, which is why I am against it.

On the education debate, I realize I gave evidence for catholic schools censoring evolution. So here you go. An Islamic school that censors evolution and discriminates the girls from the boys :

My opponent basically lists most of the branches of science, and claims that they would not exist without Muslims. Science is not derived from just one group of people. The fact that some great scientists were Muslim is irrelevant. In fact, it would be a statistical anomaly if there were no great Islamic scientists throughout history, as Islam is a widely followed religion.
The fact that scientific facts contradict religious ideas is one of the main reasons why religious schooling should be prohibited. If some Islamic schools teach evolution as part of the curriculum, then it is a good thing. The fact is that in many of the places, they don't. Evolution is not a religious idea, and my opponent is clearly in favour of scientific thought. So religion should have nothing to do with science education. If science can be taught without the need for religious ideologies, then why risk polluting children's minds with incorrect religious teachings?

My opponent says : "Actually, in Islam, education is a commandment from God (and also, seeking medical treatment [9])."

Just to remind my opponent, I am not against any particular religion, but all of them is general. So the fact that an Islamic doctrine asks people to take medical treatment is, in the big picture irrelevant, and does not make Islam look any better. But even so, there are a lot of patients worldwide who deny medical treatment for purely religious reasons. You can read an entire paper on this topic here :

Since my opponent says that education is mandated by Islam, I would like to know, if 'god' commanded scientific education or religious education. I would also like to urge my opponent to back his claim that public schools and libraries decreased due to colonization. In my opinion the number of schools, libraries and hospitals are increasing:

My opponent has not yet addressed my points about child abuse by parents (home-schooling and bad medical decisions), and I am eager to hear his opinion on these topics.


tahir.imanov forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


Since my opponent has forfeited his round, I have fulfilled my end of the argument by proving that religion has been a highly negative force in the world. Without his rebuttal, I see no need for posting any further arguments.


tahir.imanov forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
18 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by ZenoCitium 1 year ago
I believe we have hijacked this debate so I've created a post here:

I didn't say that you misquoted the pope, only that it's possible he was taken out of context.

Married people are going to have unprotected sex .... it's how families are created.

Honestly, as I see it there are as many illogical and irrational atheists as their are religious people. They are just as egotistical also.
Posted by Atheist1096 1 year ago
Here are more sources that say the same thing.

By now you must be convinced that what the pope said was not misquoted. The population of afica is approximately 1.11 billion. 1/5th of that (which is what you said) is 200 million approximately. So 200 million catholics in africa. Agreed, that 2 million may have been a rounded off or exaggerated number. But, even if the deaths caused by the pope's actions was around 10,000 or 100, it would'nt be okay. The pope is still responsible for this.

Married people can also get AIDS. You can get AIDS from an unsterilised needle too. But it is transmitted more rapidly sexually. So if a man gets AIDS from an unsterilised needle, then has unprotected sex with his wife, they both may get AIDS. Also, you should'nt assume that catholics only copulate with catholics.

Religion is mostly alright if people keep it to themselves. But when people try to impose their religion on others, by giving them the fear of eternal torture. When illogical, irrational and unscientific ideas are adopted foolishly by religious people, causing harm to themselves and the people around them, they must be stopped. I hope I have convinced you that religion causes more harm than good.
Posted by ZenoCitium 1 year ago
I don't consider that a great source. For one, its a commentary. For two, I've found that when articles, like this, have several short quotes from various places and times they are purposefully forcing the context of an individual's speech to fit their objective.

However, the article did provide me with a little better background on your argument. If I understand your argument fully, I'm coming to realize that it is quite problematic. You've made the premise that the Catholics in Africa, which by the way is less than 1/5 of the population, are all so devout that they would risk their lives to stay true to the popes request. On the other hand, those same devout Catholics ignore the popes request for abstinence until marriage?
Posted by Atheist1096 1 year ago
In March 2009, on his flight to Cameroon (where 540,000 people have HIV), Pope Benedict XVI explained that Aids is a tragedy "that cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which even aggravates the problems
Posted by ZenoCitium 1 year ago
"So, first he says that condoms worsen AIDS" -Atheist1096

Please show me where you found this information.
Posted by Atheist1096 1 year ago
From the same side you quoted. He says that condoms are OK for preventing deseases, the exact opposite of what he said previously. Then he says prostitutes can use condoms. Prostitutes use condoms to both prevent deseases and contracapation.
Posted by ZenoCitium 1 year ago
That the pope said condoms make AIDS worse.

Though perhaps what you mean is that the pope asked his fellow Catholics to be abstinent until marriage.
Posted by Atheist1096 1 year ago
Which implication??
Posted by ZenoCitium 1 year ago
Can you prove a source for this implication?
Posted by Atheist1096 1 year ago
So, first he says that condoms worsen AIDS, which is a scientifically WRONG fact, killing millions of people, and then he says later on that there are exceptions : condoms can be used as birth control, or for preventing the spread of STDs. What else do people use condoms for? So first he says a wrong thing, killing millions, and then he implies the opposite, to cover his own butt. He must apologise for this atrocity, but he runs with his tail between his legs
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by lannan13 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:42 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture