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Religion in the Modern Age

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/29/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 475 times Debate No: 67635
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)




I am aware that this is a controversial topic so lets keep it civilized. This debate is whether religion is needed in this day and age. The pros and cons of it.
1st Round: Accept
2nd Round: Argument
3rd round: Counter-argument
4th round: Closing Statement


Hello, look forward to a debate. Hopefully you'll be able to understand my points. I'm sure it's not perfectly written. New at debating.

Well, the way this statement is worded it's talking about religion in the modern age and if people in general need religion. Not if it is good or bad. Just, is it needed? Well, in the modern age, most religion is very good and harmless. Humans are naturally curious, they want to believe they have a higher purpose, they want to learn. Faith in a higher power has been around and will always be around. If somehow one religion was proven to be correct or all of them false I think it would lead to far more problems, and it may lead to mass hysteria and chaos.

Humans need comfort. People stray away from suicide, harmful substances and alcoholism through religion, whether or not it exists, like the placebo effect. It helps because our brains are wired like that. Most pure scientific thinking leads to killing the unborn trying to rationalize it, or rationalizing genocide to help the population. I think religion is important for the same reason laws are important, they are needed because the human being is flawed. Most people are the same and we are share the same flaws and their are some that are much worse. Removing religion would not get rid of the problem.

Why are people generally nicer around Christmas? It's because people try to fit in society. Churches helped people in Haiti before their own government. Churches have given more donations and money to poor and needy then any other non-profit organization. Is it because people who believe in god are more generous even if it's because they themselves want to go to heaven? It's still the case and what's bad about people donating money, nothing at all. Since atheists believe nothing, most are probably less likely to care about anyone but their own. I'm speaking in generalizations of course and don't mean to use this as an attack.

But it all comes down to, humanity is flawed and religion is something humanity needs, even people that don't believe in a religion almost seem to revolve their whole life against hating god and people who have faith. I think without religion to complain about, they'd go insane. Most cases against religion bring up crusades or things in the far past, or the old testament. But that isn't the modern day and no one thinks like that. Most negatives cases are Muslim terrorists, which would still kill, even if religion did not exist. And hateful groups like the west Baptist church, are publicity machines that don't even follow their own religion and are doing it for attention purely, like PETA and their supposed animal rights group.

I think most religious practices are harmless and religious people in general are more happy, and give more to their follow man. So bad apples aside, I think the human brain needs comfort and that's why religion will always be around, so whether it's good or bad, yes it's quite clear people need it. There thousands and thousands of them, if they weren't needed they'd of been gone and not practiced by more people than not. I also go one step further and say I think it does more good than bad in the modern age and getting rid of it would be impossible and would do more harm than good.
Debate Round No. 1


This is my first debate as well, good luck! Also for the 3rd round I meant rebuttal not counter-argument.

Religion was used for many things throughout history. Primarily it was used to explain the unknown and as a moral compass. It also gave people an identity, a connection with others, and hope. However, in this day and age, all of these things can be given or explained without the use of religion. So really, is there a need for religion?

First off, the explanations given by religion are false. Thunder is not created by the beating winds of the Thunderbird, nor the plague a punishment from God. The explanations given by science are fact. Backed by evidence. Indisputable. And no, science is not a religion, it is defined in the dictionary as "systematic knowledge of the physical or material world gained through observation and experimentation". However, one of the problems with religion is that it refuses to change the explanations given to match those backed by science. Often it will actively try to inhibit the spread of knowledge, as can be seen in Muslim communities in the middle east. Even in the states, in the South there are parents that teach their children Creationism when there is evidence of Evolution. Not only is religion no longer required, if abandoned, a large barrier against knowledge would be removed.

Second, religion was the primary guide to living a moral life. Now education and our empathy serve as an effective guide to an ethical life. And if those fail, there is the law. Those who live their life guided by only their religion can easily become corrupted. Then they will twist those their scriptures to justify their depravity. As is demonstrated by Islamic extremists. Or, even worse, they will commit immoral acts because their scripture is against an idea then justify it because it's right according to their religion. For example, Christian harassment of homosexuals. Again, it can be said that religion is unnecessary, and again, it can be said that without it there would be improvement.

Identity and connection can easily be given without religion. However you could make a decent argument about hope. Hope for a better tomorrow or hope in an afterlife. And it is true that religion can give someone hope. But it is a false hope. There is no guarantee that life will get better just because you believe in a higher being. Or that there is life after death. And people can easily receive hope from other sources. Family, friends, and support groups are just a few sources. Once again religion can be seen as obsolete.

You may want to pass this round since you already gave your argument in round 1.


So you don't want this to be a counter argument? Sorry about that didn't realize. Alright do we both pass round 2 then? I've written my counter point to your first post. I guess I'll post it in round 3 then. I don't really know how/if you can pass. So this is all I will write.

Have a happy new year.
Debate Round No. 2


In your argument you say that most religions are very good and harmless. I agree with that to an extent. Most religions have a noble purpose and message. But it is the fault of man that twists the idea to justify their actions. To the "bad" religious people, their religion is just a tool to do bad deeds. For example, in the Quran, war is repeated 36 times and peace is repeated 67 times. Obviously by sheer inferences it values peace more but the extremists focus on the war part. Thus, religions are harmless, but their believers are not. Without religion there would be one less tool for dangerous people to use. Also you say that humans are naturally curious and that they want to learn, however, religion can actually prevent education as stated in my original argument. Now when you mention that removal may cause hysteria and panic, you are right. But there was also mass hysteria and panic during the American Revolution and other revolutions after that, but the successful removal of British authority led to a worldwide loss of power in monarchies (which was as equally prominent then as religion was and is now) and the development of people led states or the idea of it. Which is better.

In your second paragraph you say that religion gives people hope, but religion is not the only source of hope. There are numerous other sources that may help people more effectively than any belief in a divine being/beings. And you mention abortion in your argument. But what about rape victims? Would you have the child born because the mother's religion forbids abortion and have the child either abandoned or abused because they are a constant reminder of the rape? Also there have been genocides because of religion like when the Orthodox Serbs, Catholic Croats, and Bosnian Muslims slaughtered each other because of religion. Removing religion would not get rid of the problem but neither would keeping religion. But without religion there is one less reason to slaughter people.

You say that people are nicer because they try to fit in to society. However, it would be easier to fit in with society if there were no religions. There is no dominant religion so not everyone fits in, but if there were no religions no one would be excluded because of that reason. Yes, churches do give a lot, however, they keep even more. The American Catholic Church spends around $171 billion/year. Only $4.7 billion was to charity. Also, who do they give the donations to? Non-Profit organizations. Now to refute your statement about atheists being selfish. Yes we don't believe in a laid out moral code, because we have our own empathy and moral code that guides us. We don't need a book to tell us whether this is right or wrong. So your suggestion is simply unfounded.

Your next paragraph has no basis in proof. I am atheist but I don't hate religion, I just question the necessity and logic of it. Also you say that Muslim extremists would still kill, which is true, but without Islam, they would not be able to rally people to their cause in such numbers. To explain, many of these extremists share the same beliefs because it is in the Quran. Jihad, the right to kill infidels, and the belief that the Quran is above the law. Many recruits commit acts of terrorism because they believe that Allah wills it. Without these shared beliefs it would only be a few of the craziest people killing for no understandable (to everyone else) reason.

All in all, religion was intended to be good but it can become corrupted. This makes zealots a menace to ordinary people and is better off gotten rid of. Comfort can come from many places and removing religion won't cause people to all fall in a pit of despair. It is possible, albeit difficult, to remove religion. And there are numerous benefits to a religion free world. It is the fault of religion that keeps many archaic beliefs alive, such as the subordination of women and the homophobia. It divides people, makes them believe that they are superior because they know the "truth". It creates discrimination and prejudice while keeping their believers in a state of ignorance and narrow-mindedness. For the world to progress, I believe the out-of-date belief in the divine must stop.


Post one: Your first paragraph is essentially what religion in the old days was used for by your own words. But we're suppose to be discussing modern day religion, Religion especially Christianity has changed a lot over the years. This is suppose to be about modern age religion. I don't believe science is a religion, but it does rely on many theories usually to be proven wrong over the years and the evidence for evolution keeps changing drastically. And their is a lot of misinformation given by scientists too and the common folk, for lack of a better term, have blindly followed theories. I know the big bang theory isn't quite nothing exploded and everything was created. But so many people I've talked to over the years who don't like religion believed that and will argue that must be right till the day they die. (and it can be twisted and become one a.k.a Scientology. shown to be a big money scam.) I know that's the point of science, and modern day Christianity and science can mix together. There are plenty of Christian scientists. Most religions that I know of, encourage learning and aren't opposed to science. I don't think religion alone would stop the spread of false information.

The whole second paragraph is a false idea, The problem with blaming extremists or harassment on religion, it is just a ruse. People play the blame game and try playing race,sex,disability cards to justify their acts. Online and many instances in the news, I've seen far more of the LBGT movement harassing Christians and the fact you mention Christians like their the main problem with homosexuality, in Muslim countries hundreds of them get hanged, as its punishable by death. I've seen far more protests and hate from their community, for people having opinions different to theirs, and NOT just if they should be able to be married. And I pointed out terrorists kill people because something is wrong in their heads, without religion it would be something else. Lack of religion does not change hateful belief and behavior. If most people had good morals, I don't think laws or religion would have to of been created, we've been in enough wars not created by religion, (and even if they say it was, it most likely was money related.) So, once again, it shows humanity likes seeing blood and likes hating what is doesn't understand, and religion is just another way to justify it to themselves.

This is both the third and fourth paragraph, If finding ones purpose/identity was so easy, suicide would not be as big a problem as it is. People in there 20's,30's,40's still can have no idea why they're here and feel like they is no point. I'm not saying one needs religion to find a purpose, but many people do and many people seem to practice Christianity for the sole purpose of comfort and hope of an afterlife.

A human need and desire that will never go away as I said before. Science can not prove or disprove the existence of god entirely. Families have been aborting their children at increasing numbers, moms have killed their children and they can dump babies in the lake or the trash, their are 153 million orphans without families in the US alone, what hope did they get from their families? I know what it's like to have no friends, and millions of other kids,teens and even adults may have no true friends. And support groups, are not plentiful enough to even put a drop in the bucket, since aren't quite as comforting as the thought of an all-loving god. Depression levels are also increasing as well. False or not is irrelevant to is it needed. Well people with faith in a higher power are happier according to statistics. Religion has not kept around for this long with this many people in it, for no reason. The fact it's still around proves humans need religion.

Post two: The Qu'ran is the best argument for modern day religion being a problem. Looking at the old testament has no worth because the new testament is what Christians follow. But once again your first paragraph is how man is violent. So removing one excuse for them to be violent will solve a problem. So we should remove horror games from stores, then those 2 crazy 9 year olds wouldn't of murdered their best friend to see slenderman? No, they would of come up with another excuse. Removing religion will do nothing to stop people like from the columbine people who asked if you believed in god, you said yes you got shot. Thinking so is completely foolish and does not understand how the human mind works. There is absolutely no practical way to remove thousands of religions. It's already a fantasy to think religion/faith will ever stop being desired. I don't get the point of that analogy. The British treated everyone like dirt and it lead to revolution, removing religions would not even remotely compare to that. Especially if you imply doing it by force, that is complete opposite of what you described. No one would become 'freer' by being unable to believe a higher power exists.

Abortion is a tough issue to debate on its own, but I say adoption since you talk about support groups being so useful one might think you'd support keeping it alive, because the child is innocent it has its mother genes too...Also there is a drastically small percentage of abortions being done by anything other then the reason "I forgot a condom when having sex' and for being a women choice, almost all abortions are paid by other taxes. So don't see how that's right even from an atheist's perspective. And once again, removing one excuse to murder your fellow man does not equal the billions they save in third world countries from starving and dying of disease. It does more good than harm even by your own admission so the few crazy people who are crazy and will not change, vs. hundreds of undernourished children, which is worth keeping around?

People will still use racism, sexism, fetishes, likes, dislikes, where your from, how your hair is, your clothes, your name, everything else to judge you. Most religions preach against it. So how would that at all change how people treat others, not to go into politics, but having a black president has only made race relations plummet, and the more unacceptable things like become acceptable, even more hateful opinions will be turned to others who disagree. Despite where it comes from the source is from Harvard university a liberal school. My suggestion isn't not a generalized fact. I'm right based on statistics. Also the hating religion, go to youtube and look up how many channels do nothing but bash Christians, I can think of a dozen at least. All of them probably have millions of subscribers who like them bashing it. Also look up any Christian song, you will find hundred of comments saying curses to religion and god. This is not unfounded, whether or not its not as bad in the real world. Online does not show the kindness and accepting nature of atheists in general.

As for churches making money, oh no, that's awful. I think you completely misunderstood what you read on these sites... I assume this is your source, yes only 4.7 billion was given to charities, the rest of the 100 billion was given to colleges for education and healthcare. Um...that's still giving money to people for a good cause. More than anyone else, politicians, actors, sport players, everyone. Who else even gives a billion to charities all over the world?

Hilter didn't need religion to rally people to commit mass genocide, he said, 'hey commit mass genocide' and it happened...Yes that was a sarcastic way of saying it. And American born terrorists who haven't gone to a mosque in their lives didn't stop from doing the Boston Marathon bombings.

I realize I ran out of space, but I will say both your posts are nearly identical only saying religion is bad because of people. Then maybe those people are the problem, not religion.
Debate Round No. 3


Well I want to start by saying that my argument (round 2) was to point out that religion is no longer needed because it no longer serves its intended purpose. And I think that you have misunderstood Scientology, it's not based in science. It was created by a science fiction writer.

My argument is simple, humanity has outgrown the need for religion. It no longer serves its intended purpose and can actually check development by inhibiting education or being used to justify oppression.

As can be seen in my first argument, religion is no longer needed because it is rooted in the past. We now know the answers that religion tried to answer, and we have laws that govern moral behavior better than any scripture. So why do we hold on to the past? The main reason that I have been able to find is that it gives them hope. But does that hope, and all the other benefits, make up for all the terrible things that religion enables? My answer is no. Now you may say that it is not religion but people that commit these heinous crimes, which is true, but religion enables these acts. For example, there are a large number of Islamic extremists because of a certain reason. Muslims believe that the laws in the Quran, aka the laws of heaven, override the legal laws, aka the laws of man. Therefore, in the eyes of extremists it is not only right to kill people, it is applauded. This also applies to non-extremists. For instance, christian conservatives have and still argue against gay marriage because it is stated in the bible as "an abomination" (Lev. 18:22) It enables them to hate on homosexuals without just reason. Now, to be fair, these aren't all Christians and Muslims, but should we allow unacceptable transgressions to happen just because there are responsible believers? Once again, no. Religion should be eventually abandoned through proper education and people realizing that they are better off without it.

To expand on how religion inhibits education, when science proves something that directly contradicts the teachings of a religion, the religion fights it. It has to, or else it would undermine the core belief that that religion is the indisputable truth. For example, Christians fight the age of the earth even though scientific dating has proved that it is billions of years old. But they can't have it said that the Bible is right on some things and wrong on others. So they fight it in spite of evidence. Or, despots use religion to justify inhibiting it directly. Like in the middle east, many women are prohibited from gaining an education because organizations like the Taliban believe that women are subordinate, as stated in the Quran.

Now i mentioned how religion gave people hope, and my opponent has stated how belief in an all-loving god is better than my replacements.But I would like to point out that God is not all-loving. God will love you as long as you are not gay, not a sinner, but most importantly a Christian. If you're not a Christian it doesn't matter how great of a person you are, you're going to hell. In fact, nearly all religions are exclusive to certain people. So I still believe that finding hope in this world is better than believing in a divine power. And there are numerous things that could replace religion as a source of hope like nature or music. In fact, anything could give you hope, religion is only one of many.

Now I would like to address my opponents rebuttal. Some of the things you say actually support my argument. In the second paragraph last sentence, you state, "religion is just another way to justify it to themselves." That's what I've been saying. Removing religion would get rid of this excuse. In your 4th paragraph you say that, "The fact it's still around proves humans need religion". That's not necessarily correct. Also it is incorrect to assume that all orphans or friendless people have no means of finding hope. One could find hope in virtually anything, removing religion won't cause a global depression. Your 5th paragraph has a good point about crazy people always finding a way to kill. However religion enables certain acts and causes other believers to sympathize with the perpetrator. No one sympathized with those kids that killed their best friend to see Slenderman. But there are Muslims that sympathize with extremists because they are also Muslim and share the same beliefs. In your Abortion paragraph I don't see the correlation between support groups and keeping the baby. Also, in a study by UCSF (University of California, San Francisco) the women getting abortions often cited multiple reasons, most were trying to be responsible and not bring a child into an ill-prepared household. I doubt your statistic that most women get abortions because they were too irresponsible to use a condom. And it's not as if religions are the only groups that help those in need. There are numerous non-profit organizations such as the Red Cross and the Salvation Army that have a wider reach than many religious organizations. In your next paragraph you are right that people will still and always discriminate. But by no longer having religion there is one less thing to judge people on. You mention that there are tons of people bashing Christians, well a lot more bash atheists because we are the minority. Also when I said that only $4.7 billion was donated to charity I mean only $4.7 billion. The colleges being donated to are private catholic colleges, the health care organizations private catholic organizations. I don't consider it charity when you donate to yourself. Also, you say that the Boston Marathon Bombers never stepped into a mosque but still committed the crime. Although they never stepped inside a mosque they were still, according to the NY Times, " motivated by extremist Islamic beliefs". So they did it because of religion. Lastly, although the people are the problem, religion still enables them.

Thanks for a great debate!


I'm not saying Scientology was whole product of science, But I know people that do believe science = Scientology and you can't really blame them, and I know the pros and con's of science.
Your main argument has been the same and consistent, but still hasn't debated is the person more at fault, then what is around. If not then violence could be blamed on games, books,t.v,movies, anything. One less thing to blame war and violence. Does not help as much as churches have helped with their donations.
Also Christian schools, have a higher success rate and smarter students coming out of then public schools. So them not teaching is clearly untrue.

First paragraph about Muslims, they would not be any less bloodthirsty and violent if religion didn't exist. They're goal is to be feared and gain power. I already mentioned American born terrorists, not being religious, killing people because they wanted to. Religion is a ruse and a poor excuse for acts of crime. And would not remove the killers and crazy people of the world, if religion didn't exist.
Once more you point out, 18:22 Lev to prove a point but, you don't seem to understand Christians do not follow the old testament. They follow the new testament. You point out old things, to show why religion isn't good in modern age. Old does not equal modern.
As I said, private Christian schools are more successful in teaching kids, and religious people are happier and give more money to others. How would anyone be better off?
No Christian school is teaching kids, the earth is 6,000 years old, nor is a modern church. In fact though trying to research it, they're are many Christian cases against it and also explaining how the bible really does not state any time. I looked for verses that say that, and found none. Women being mistreated in Muslim countries, once again without religion it still be happening because the people are crazy. They would not change if we stopped them from reading the Qu'ran.

Your paragraph on god not being all-loving. Remember new testament. Not old. If you believe/accept Jesus in your heart, your forgiven of all your sins. They believe everyone is a sinner and all sins are equal. Homosexuality, I'd call it lust. Lust is a sin, but no one is better then anyone else. All people are sinners even after the fact. People judging are sinning themselves. Humans are hypocrites. Also I'm speaking more from a atheist standpoint. The mere idea of an all loving god and the presence of heaven gives more people comfort then a guy on a phone getting paid for giving you therapy. Nature doesn't care about anything, it just exists. It can be peaceful but nature has natural disasters...Music can be religious and also can be bad for society. Almost everything has pros and con's. My question is, does it do more good then harm, is so. It's a good thing. Also most religions have no exclusion whatsoever. Things like Taoism, or pantheism, Buddhism and everything most people wouldn't point to when they think religion has nothing against non believers. Also I may point out out of the thousands of religions, only 3 of them get complaints. Divide 3 by a thousand see how many religions cause problems...

Your saying religion can be used as an excuse for occasional crazy people leads to why religion shouldn't exist. There have been millions of killers without religious reasoning for their crimes. A dozen people choke to death on ballpoint pens every year, I don't believe removing pens from markets is the answer. It won't not solve anything and it would lead to many people killing themselves, killing others and committing crimes. Because 'why not'? and donations to the poor would plummet which would lead to suffering.

I've pointed out people who are religious are generally happier. So yes we would see a decline in global happiness guaranteed. Also you say, all the orphans and friendless people can find hope, which I don't disagree with but you give no other way they can receive it. I guess repeating friends and family wouldn't help much.

The kids families probably sympathises with their daughter going to prison so that right there is someone. Also just because religion can be used as an excuse to kill, it is not exclusive as I said and it is not the majority or even close to its followers. Even Muslims and terrorist acts do not compare in numbers. As for abortion issue. Support groups like child services among many things that help children/help single parents or families that have kids. The age group of most people having abortions is 20-24. They college age, your telling me lack of thought before sex doesn't factor in with abortion. Most people state, they can't afford the child. If you can't afford kids you shouldn't have sex. Period. It's irresponsible in the first place. It almost never is because of health reasons or rape. Sometimes its as awful as parents or husband wanted it. Also reasons like a negative impact on mothers life, which is selfish not responsible.
A Christian business man founded the red cross...just saying. Also the founder salvation army was a Methodist Reform church goer. And there site talks about god positively, and most likely is still religious. As correct as your statement is those were quite poor examples of support groups being helpful not just religious ones. And even then churches helped Haiti before their own government...they're pretty damn wide spread.
You say more people bash Christianity because there more Christians which therefore means more issue. But to put a different case to prove that incorrect. "The number is bigger therefore the problem is bigger" Who creates more violence? 200 to 1 for black on white crime vs white on black crime. Blacks are the minority yet they cause more crime. Also I do not see many people online or popular atheist bashing Christians on any popular online sites.

I've covered mostly everything you've discussed. I believe religion is harmless for the most part, you believe religion is harmless for the most part. You and I agree killers will still kill. You believe removing a single excuse for their killing will revolution the idea of man and change it. I believe far more good comes from religion and doing that would at best improve nothing and at worse make things much worse...I've done my best to proof my case.

Thank you for this debate. I enjoyed it greatly. I hope you have a good new year.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by vi_spex 1 year ago
science is a religion
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Krazzy_Player 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro's explanation regarding religion was better.