The Instigator
rulshok
Con (against)
Losing
99 Points
The Contender
Danielle
Pro (for)
Winning
101 Points

Religion is, in general, beneficial for society

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/12/2009 Category: Religion
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 9,951 times Debate No: 9673
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (22)
Votes (33)

 

rulshok

Con

Hello
LD style debate
Danielle

Pro

Religion -- A set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe
Society -- An organized group of persons associated together for religious, political, cultural... or other purposes

1. Foundation of Society

As the very definition of "society" implies, sometimes entire communities of people are associated together for the specific purpose of celebrating or practicing one's religion. Thus, I posit that religion is generally beneficial for these societies, as it is the basis of their entire foundation.

2. Health Benefits

A) Physical: A new study presents evidence that higher religiosity among the elderly may be due to aging effects as opposed to simply secularization of younger generations. Religious people view themselves as more fit, reporting better health, more energy, and less pain. They're also less likely to smoke. Additionally, there have been cases where a person's religious beliefs have given them the confidence or personal inner strength to overcome obstacles and challenges threatening their health.

B) Mental: Data suggests that participating in religious practices fosters one's health and well-being, most notably partaking in public religious participation, and positive religious coping.

C) Psychological: Human beings crave romantic relationships and partnerships, and psychologists generally agree that being married contributes to one's overall psychological well-being. Religious individuals are found to be more likely to be married, have supportive friends, and be treated with respect. Their spiritual growth is also deemed very healthy in this regard, and moreover, being religious is known to contribute to one's creativity and self-expression. Additionally, attending church is considered a therapeutic mental break that many people find rewarding and necessary or helpful to their well being.

In a social group, trust and loyalty provide a strong glue. Group rituals may additionally provide opportunities for networking. Any friend of my invisible friend is a friend of mine. Community rituals may also help build and maintain alliances and provide a catalyst for teamwork. Being able to work in groups is an extremely powerful resource.

3. Tradition

Most people psychologically value tradition, and even in a progressive society, value traditional ideals. Because 92 percent of Americans are noted to believe in a God, they are able to apply traditional, religious values to their lives which offers them comfort and stability. Now, this is not an appeal to tradition fallacy; I'm not saying that something is right BECAUSE it's traditional. I'm saying that society VALUES tradition.

4. Politics

The study, 'For Goodness' Sake: Why So Many Americans Want Religion to Play a Greater Role in American Life,' has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points. The study found that Americans were skeptical about candidates who talk about their religious beliefs, with 74 percent of respondents saying that those candidates 'are just saying what they think people want to hear.' A majority said it was wrong for voters to consider seriously the religious affiliation of candidates when they decide whom to support.

Asked whether the political system would be threatened if religious leaders and groups were to become more involved in politics, 31 percent agreed, but 63 percent said the system could handle it. 'While there's a wariness about injecting religion into politics, there's also the sense that the system is resilient and will not be hijacked by extremists,' said Deborah Wadsworth, president of Public Agenda.

The study also shows that on average, 65 percent feel politicians should compromise their own religious views for the sake of gay rights, the death penalty, abortion, poverty and welfare to name a few. Further, several economists have linked religiosity with voting and counteracting the effects of childhood poverty. The point here is that while many Americans value their religious beliefs, most aren't in favor of breaching the right and necessary Separation of Church and State.

5. Tolerance and Ignorance

Just because people are religious does not necessarily mean that they will not be tolerant of others. 'There's a paradox in America,' said Jean Johnson, senior vice president and director of programs for Public Agenda. 'So many Americans are strongly religious. On the other hand, they believe there has to be a tolerance for people of other religions.' Additionally, 58 percent of people surveyed in America said it was not necessary to believe in God to have good values. In other words, people don't necessarily assume that those who are not religious, or those who do not believe in their own personal God are immoral people.

6. Science and Evolution

Evolutionary biologist and atheist David Sloan Wilson counters the infamous atheist and evolutionist Richard Dawkins, in presenting a theory that religion is not only pertinent but helpful in terms of evolution. Wilson's rival hypothesis is that "religious groups are products of cultural group selection... A given religion adapts its members to their local environment, enabling them to achieve by collective action what they cannot achieve alone or even together in the absence of religion. Even though elements of religion often appear bizarre, irrational, and downright dysfunctional to believers, when examined closely most of them will make sense."

To support his theory, Wilson offers the case study of the Calvinists in sixteenth-century Geneva. At a time when factionalism and internecine conflict was rending the social fabric of the city, Calvin and his deputies introduced the Ecclesiastical Ordinances. Wilson surveys a wide body of historical scholarship that concludes that "there is little doubt that Calvinism was instrumental in solving the problem of factionalism and helping the city of Geneva survive as a social entity. Basically, it is his finding that morals specifically derivative from religion are the key to restoring social morale.

"Wilson concludes, based upon this data, that at least in this one important case, the Dawkins view is wrong and his hypothesis is vindicated. The Calvinist leaders were not out to benefit themselves at the expense of everyone else. It is simply wrong to say that they got ahead while everyone else suffered. Rather, the opposite is true. Calvinism's dour doctirnes of original sin and predestination contributed to an unprecedented identification of leaders and followers and caused the introduction of checks and balances to curb the suspect tendencies in human nature. To put it in blunt evolutionary terms, Calvinism was socially adaptive."

7. Social Aspects

In the congregation, one is likely to find another not just with similar interests but values as well, which can help one find a lasting friendship and/or romantic partner.

8. Religion

Finally, we must consider the definition of religion. Because it merely refers to a belief about the cause or nature of the universe, one can argue that an individual who has any sort of belief about these things - including scientific or philosophical - can be a religious individual, even if they are an atheist. I posit that these individuals can have great impact on the world in terms of knowledge and theoretical contribution.

References:
[1] http://dictionary.reference.com...
[2] http://dictionary.reference.com...
[3] http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com...
[3] http://www.tulsaworld.com...
[4] http://www.unc.edu...
[6] http://www.nytimes.com...
[7] http://news.aol.com...
[8] http://evolvingmind.info...
Debate Round No. 1
rulshok

Con

I'd first like to thank my opponent for accepting this debate.
I'll start by going over my opponents arguments and move on to my own case.

First on definitions. I disagree with my opponents definition as this definition would include atheists into the religion category. This is most certainly not the case. Atheists base beliefs and arguments on logic, while religious people themselves state that they follow "blind faith". Therefore, religion should be defined as a belief in a supernatural power that influences our world. I have no qualms with the definition of society.

This next bit is incredibly important to my case. WE ARE NOT SPECIFICALLY TALKING ABOUT THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. My opponents case pretty much just addresses the US. We need to look at the world.

2. Health benefits:
A) Fitness in no way correlates to religion. Unless you get a good workout by praying, the act of believing in a supernatural power in no way makes you more fit. Older people who exercise and eat healthily are the ones that live longer lives.
B) Although religion is quite comforting (ie life after death) it also leads to insecurities. Many religious people become very shaken when addressed about their religion, and this belief also leads people to devalue the life they lead. (More on this later)
C) Cross-apply response to B. I will also address this in my case.
3. Tradition
92% of Americans are not hard-liner religious people. Belief in a god does not mean that these people attend church, pray, or otherwise interact with other members of their "faith". This also applies to the community benefits addressed by my opponent.
4. Politics
My opponent only addresses America here. I have three counterpoints.
1. Iran
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has stated that he wants to wipe Israel off the map. Even though this act would be suicidal, he justifies it by saying that a cataclysmic event is necessary to produce the Messiah. He is willing to sacrifice his entire country in a suicide attack against Israel. Stupid? You bet.
2. Al-Qaeda and other extremists
Religious war against the world, kills bunches of people
3. Religion in politics has devastating effects on science
Science is currently developing more advanced medicine and treatments. A religious leader would immediately eliminate stem cells and other controversial methods.

5. Tolerance and Ignorance
I'm pretty sure everyone has had a couple Mormons at their door. And I'm certain everyone has heard of 9/11. That attack was a perfect example of intolerance by Islamic extremists against other faiths. So, while moderate religious people may not be intolerant, extremist groups certainly are. And before my opponent says, we are talking about "in general", these extremist groups affect a huge number of people, and unless my opponent can counter death as an impact, these groups need to be addressed.
6. Science and Evolution
RELIGION IS NOT COMPATIBLE WITH SCIENCE! The basic methods of the two differ so completely that the two cannot merge. Science is based on a scientific method, proof, evidence, etc. Religion is based on dogma and blind faith. Those don't exactly mix. Basically, my opponent is trying to prevent me from throwing around science attacks. Nice try. Because the two aren't compatible, and my opponent is advocating religion, she cannot connect the two.
7. Cross-apply my argument for #3
8. Religion
This is the point where I'm going to pretty harshly distinguish atheists and religious groups. I've addressed how science and religion are not compatible, so now I'm going to explain why my opponent cannot include atheistic contributions to the world as religious benefits. The word atheist. Let's examine it. A-theist. A theist is someone who is religious. An A-theist is someone who is not religious. The word itself makes sure that atheists cannot be included in the religion category. The beliefs of an atheist center around science, evidence, and proof. These beliefs simply CANNOT be incorporated into religion.

Con case:

I negate, religion is, in general, beneficial for society

Observation 1: While society refers to one society, we have to look at the effects that religion has all around the world. Just like if we were debating terrorism is bad for society, we would look at all societies that terrorism affects. In the case of religion, all societies in the world are included.

1. Societies with less religion are better off
Iva Skotch
"The survey concluded that "high levels of organic atheism are strongly correlated with high levels of societal health, such as low homicide rates, low poverty rates, low infant mortality rates, and low illiteracy rates, as well as high levels of educational attainment, per capita income, and gender equality. Most nations characterized by high degrees of individual and societal security have the highest rates of organic atheism, and conversely, nations characterized by low degrees of individual and societal security have the lowest rates of organic atheism."
This shows that societies with less religion are safer, and societies with more religion are actually less safe. This argument alone shows that societies do not need religion for safety, tradition, or anything else. Although it seems like religion would have a positive effect on crime rate, the opposite is true.

A) Denmark is currently counted as the "happiest country in the world". It is also 3rd on the list of least religious. And Sweden is also among the top 3 happiest countries. This shows that religion is not needed for happiness.

2. Negative effects of religion

A) Murder and Death
Al-Qaeda. Iran. Cults all over the world. Other Islamic extremist groups. The Crusades.
-Al-Qaeda. I don't have to explain to you the horrors of Al-Qaeda. These horrors are committed because of religion. Because Al-Qaeda has such a strong belief that Allah will welcome them to paradise and give them X number of virgins.
-Iran. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has stated that he wants to wipe Israel off the map. Even though this act would be suicidal, he justifies it by saying that a cataclysmic event is necessary to produce the Messiah. He is willing to sacrifice his entire country in a suicide attack against Israel. Stupid? You bet.
-Cults. Many cults believe that death is nirvana, and by murdering, they submit more people to its glory. BS, no doubt, but they kill in the name of religion.
-Assorted Islamic extremist groups. Suicide bombers sacrifice themselves to kill "Infidels". They are from an early age taught "tradition", and then sent out to slaughter innocents, who are portrayed as evil, and barricades to Allah's glory. This is harmful to everyone. The bombers, often younger than 18, kill themselves for beliefs that are drilled into them, and others die from the bombing.
-The Crusades. Probably the most classic example of killing in the name of religion, the Crusades caused mass suffering and death, because the "holy lands" had to be reclaimed. This was done through the systematic murder of infidels.

B) Harms to individuals
Practices such as circumcision are currently primarily motivated through religion. These often violate the will of the people being circumcised. This violation of individual will based on religion shows that the people who practice religion only care about what their "God" wants. There is an example in the Bible where God commands one man to kill his son, but later revokes the command. This shows the perverseness of religion.

Finally, I want to state that my case argues the resolution as in general means weighing the good and the bad. My impacts of death and murder, as well as violation of the individual by far outweigh my opponent's social communities impacts.

For these reasons, I strongly urge a vote in the Negation or Con
Danielle

Pro

Thanks.

Con opens by disagreeing with my proposed definition of religion; however, my definition comes from the dictionary. Con cannot change the dictionary definition of a word to suit his position. Though I agree with Con that atheism is generally considered to be the absence of religion, the truth remains that some atheists are spiritual and consider their spirituality a religion. As such, atheists are absolutely relevant to this debate.

Next, Con thinks that my argument has failed because I have focused specially on the USA. I negate, and can and will argue throughout this round that my position in the affirmative is true regardless of where you are in the world. For now, I'll draw your attention to the fact that Con has completely ignored my very first argument, which noted that since sometimes entire communities (societies) are based on religion or worship, that the resolution simply does not apply to these individuals.

2. Health Benefits

A) Con argues that praying doesn't keep you fit. I'd like for him to tell that to the people who do yoga (which is spiritual and often used in/for prayer). Nevertheless, I never said that praying necessarily keeps you fit. I said was that studies show that people who are religious are more fit and overall healthy. It could be a coincidence; however, these studies measure varying degrees of health. One must consider the fact that religion promotes a healthy lifestyle (i.e. condemns sloth or drug use, etc.) and since religious people tend to apply this doctrine to their lives, this correlation makes sense.

B/C) While sometimes religion can make people "devalue their lives" as Con said, it can very easily be noted that religion can also SAVE people's lives let alone bring an incredible amount of value to it. As such, it is Con's burden to prove that religion has more detrimental effects than positive on one's mental and emotional health.

3. Tradition

Con writes, "92% of Americans are not hard-liner religious people. Belief in a god does not mean that these people attend church, pray, or otherwise interact with other members of their "faith". This also applies to the community benefits addressed by my opponent." The fact is, it doesn't matter if these people are "hard line" religious people. These people consider themselves to be religious, which is what really matters - not Con's opinion. To be religious according to CON'S OWN PROPOSED DEFINITION is those who believe in "in a supernatural power that influences our world." People who believe in God fit within these parameters, so my point stands. Moreover, Con never really addressed my point of valuing tradition and why that's significant.

4. Politics

A) Iran - Con notes Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is willing to sacrifice his entire country in a suicide attack against Israel. "Stupid? You bet." Well, yeah... to someone who doesn't hold his beliefs. But what Con fails to realize is that people are willing to fight and die for a plethora of things - not just religion. For instance, politics: The Revolutionary War (and many others) was fought because people believed in a value and was willing to die for that value. So, according to Con's logic on this point, then politics would not be beneficial for society either. Hmm. Regardless, Con proves to be completely off base with this argument even further because the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is merely a political issue with religious implications. The fact is that the UN gave parts of Palestine to Israel without good reason. The conflict in the Middle East is just as much about power, money and politics as it is religion.

B) Extremists - Sure, there are religious extremists... the same way there are criminals in society. The point is that just because there is that extreme few, it doesn't speak for all religious people the same way serial killers aren't a good representation of all of society.

C) Religion in Politics - While Con says that religion has detrimental effects on science, I posit that any country with a separation of Church and State can avoid this issue. Again, this is a political issue - not an issue with religion itself!

5. Tolerance and Ignorance

Con begins by stating that 9/11 was an attack done by Islamic extremists. I cannot believe that Con has the gumption of using extremists to represent religion as a whole. That's like saying because there are black criminals, that black people are bad because some black people do bad things. What a horrible argument! Not to mention that I'm of the camp that believes 9/11 was an inside job, but I digress. Moving on, Con states, "These extremist groups affect a huge number of people, and unless my opponent can counter death as an impact, these groups need to be addressed." Actually, I can counter this quite simply -- The same way some religious few can be responsible for ending life, there are also religious people responsible for SAVING lives and PREVENTING death, i.e. the Christian organizations LifeRise, The Salvation Army and many others.

Additionally, "Religious organizations provide so much of the health care and orphan care in Africa . If the Global Fund is to help countries reach the goal of universal access to AIDS treatment and care, and if every child in a region with malaria is to sleep under a bed net, we need to engage better with more faith organizations" said Dr. Michel Kazatchkine, Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria [1].

Most importantly, you'll notice that while Con accuses me of only representing America, you'll notice that HE only represented Iran in his example. He also didn't respond to any of the points that I made, even if they did apply to America.

6. Science

Lol. Instead of responding to my point about religion being a part of evolution (as advocated by SCIENTISTS), Con very ignorantly proclaims that religion and science cannot mix. That's a faulty argument. First, there are theologians who use logic proofs to back up their claims. Second, religion deals with faith because it is doctrine of the super-natural, whereas science measures the natural (physical laws).

7. Social Relationships

Con didn't reply to this argument at all :)

8. See my opening argument regarding atheists as they pertain to this debate.

--

Con's Case Rebuttal:

First of all, you'll notice that Con didn't cite any sources. This means that his argument was essentially plaigarized and is therefore barely even eligible for consideration in this debate. Anyway, all Con does is provide an uncited statistic noting that people who are not religious are healthier. This merely counters my cited source; there's no reason to value Con's point above mine. Further, in terms of the society, Con's stat ONLY works because people who live in very religious areas live in very POLITICALLY oppressive areas as well, or theocracies. What a manipulated argument. Also, you'll note that Con doesn't mention Puerto Rico as being the 2nd happiest country in the world - and a very religious one at that!

In regard to cults and extremists, I've already discussed why exaggerating and dramatizing the minority is abusive and fallacious. That's essentially all Con does when talking about the Crusades, "Infidels" and Al Qaeda. Plus, once again Con oh so conveniently leaves out the POLITICS behind these "religious" endeavors. Con then notes something like circumcision as being mostly religious; however, conveniently fails to mention that most circumcisions occur because parents find it to be the most common and hygienic route.

Also, while there might be "perverseness" in religion, there is also perverseness in music, the media, etc. Does that mean it's all bad? Nay; Con's entire arguments rest on hasty generalizations. He has conveniently avoided several of my key arguments, and his are weak, at best.

References:

[1] http://www.ccih.org...
Debate Round No. 2
rulshok

Con

Alrighty.
First on to definitions:
"my definition comes from the dictionary. Con cannot change the dictionary definition of a word to suit his position."
My opponents response to my definition. The supernatural is by DEFINITION what religious people believe in. Later on in her case, my opponent says that science is based on the NATURAL. Bing! Contradiction. Therefore, you prefer my definition because with this argument my opponent contradicts herself.

On my opponents first argument, where my opponent says that entire communities are based on religion or worship. That isn't an argument. That just says, these communities exist. NO BENEFITS OR IMPACTS, therefore not applicable.

2. A) Yoga is an exercise form. Therefore, the benefits are gained out of the EXERCISE, not the belief itself. You can do yoga just as well without believing in a god.
B/C) Ok. My opponent makes this argument a wash. A wash is where both sides claim two positions and these essentially cancel each other out. I don't have a burden. My opponent needs to make burdens clear in her first speech, not her rebuttal.

3. My opponent specifically states that the benefits and impacts come from interaction within religious groups and circles. So, if people don't attend, no more impacts. My opponent dodges this argument. Unless religious people have a psychokinetic link to all other religious people, they cannot communicate if they don't meet.

4. Ok. This point is completely fallacious on Pro's part. This comparison between politics and religion is soooo flawed its not even funny. First, politics don't cause someone to SUICIDE ATTACK ISRAEL BECAUSE THEY ARE JEWISH. Politics cause wars yes, but these wars are based on rational motivations.
B) Problem. Serial killers are individuals. The extremist groups are groups, and they take a huge number of lives each year. These groups have just as much of an effect on society as helpful religious people. And my opponent funnily enough, doesn't address the harms of extremist groups, just says that they are "the extreme few".
C)Actually, this is once again a total misaddressed point. I'm saying that mixing religion with science is not compatible. My opponent says separation can handle it. Well, this doesn't address the point that RELIGION IS ALREADY TRYING TO HARM SCIENCE. Stem cell research is just one example where religious people want to stop scientific advance.

5. The gumption of using extremists to represent religion as a whole? Of course not. I'm stating that extremists have a huge impact and kill a great many people. This is intolerance. THIS NEXT BIT IS INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT! As we are arguing "Religion is, in general, beneficial for society", this means what does religion provide that we cannot provide normally. WE CAN GIVE AID TO AFRICA WITHOUT RELIGION! We cannot have Islamic extremist groups without religion.

6. RIGHT HERE. Contradiction number 3. My argument is that science measures the natural, and religion measures the supernatural. Well will you look at that! My opponent agrees. Because the two use different tools to measure different things, they cannot mix. And to say that religion is a part of evolution is just complete BS. How in any possible way does belief in something supernatural mix with a purely natural theory. Whoops. IT DOESNT!

7. Ummmm.... I addressed. Look to my argument to my opponents third point.

8. Opponent doesn't address my response, so she loses this point.

MY CASE:

WHAT THE HELL!
Because I'm not citing any sources, I'm plaigarizing. Thats like saying, look you have blood on your T-shirt, you murdered someone! This idea about living in very oppressed areas is total crap too. THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IS NOT POLITICALLY OPPRESSED!

So on to the argument about how politics are the primary part in all these endeavors. So first, my opponent says the Crusades were a minority. FAIL. The Crusades consisted of a huge number of Christians. So if it was primarily politics, then why pray tell (excuse the pun) did the warriors wear crosses on their shield, pray before each battle, and viciously massacre any man, woman and child that wasn't Christian? The answer is it wasn't primarily politics. My opponent doesn't address the harms I mention here, so those stay as a firm argument in my favor. I am so not dramatizing Al-Qaeda. It affects thousands upon thousands of families each year, and is a huge security threat to the world. The only argument my opponent brings against the cults argument is that it is fallacious and abusive to over dramatize the minority. It is not, not when they affect a great number of people, and not when their existence is tied to religion, without which they would not exist.

Hasty generalizations? I think not. Perverseness in religion is much more pronounced than perverseness in the media. As in, the media doesn't kill people. Religion has, and continues to.

My opponent does not address the last part of my case, which states: "Finally, I want to state that my case argues the resolution as in general means weighing the good and the bad. My impacts of death and murder, as well as violation of the individual by far outweigh my opponent's social communities impacts."
This alone wins me the round, because I have groups and organizations that can only exist with religion.

On to an elaboration on my contention 2, Sub point A.

The Crusades: I quote: "The total number of deaths due to the crusades had been estimated at around nine million"
http://www.geocities.com...
This is gigantic. The number of people slaughtered in the name of religion is vast.
Look to my death impacts in my case. THESE IMPACTS WIN ME THE ROUND!
My opponent makes a hasty attempt at saying that religion also does good. WE CAN DO THIS GOOD WITHOUT RELIGION!

For these reasons, I urge a ballot for Con.

(This is just clarification. I accidentally put four rounds. To make this debate a reasonable length, I ask that the next argument from Aff be voters and reasons why she has won. I will do the same in my last round. Apologies for not seeing this before hand. The last two rounds can either be forfeited, or be a random post.)
Danielle

Pro

Clarifications:

Con begins by stating, "The supernatural is by DEFINITION what religious people believe in." My argument here is that atheists sometimes believe in the supernatural. An atheist by definition merely lacks a belief in God; however, the supernatural encompasses the ideas of ghosts, an after life, reincarnation, a collective unconscious, etc. An atheist can believe in all of these supernatural things, so my argument stands. Moreover, Con implies that I have contradicted myself, but this so-called contradiction doesn't exist. Just because I said that religious people believe in the supernatural, and that science is based on the natural, does not mean that religious people cannot also believe in science or that scientists cannot believe in religion. Con has failed to make any sufficient argument in this regard :)

Arguments:

1) Con says that just because certain societies are based on religion or worship, that this isn't an argument for benefits or impact on said society. On the contrary, I'd argue that societies such as the Christian Legal Society, the Christian Sociological Society, the Christian Philosophy Society, etc. all used Christian-based ideologies to further their individual mission statements, and further, their ideologies are also often the basis for their morality, meaning every time they act in a moral way or do something good in the name of their religion, that they are benefiting society as a direct result of their faith.

2A) Con's statement that yoga is a form of exercise is completely ignorant and FALSE. While it has indeed been commercialized in the west as a popular form of exercise, the reality is that yoga is RELIGIOUS; it's meant for meditation and the alteration of the conscious. Additionally, you'll notice that Con simply failed to counter my point that there are direct correlations between the physical health and religion :)

2B/C) I find it interesting that Con states one needs to make their arguments clear in the first round and not the rebuttal; meanwhile, Con was the INSTIGATOR of this debate and did not even bother to provide a first round argument. Even if he were Con in this debate, he should have restructured the resolution to suit his position as Pro and argue from there. Nevertheless, Con merely tries to distract you here from the fact that he did not refute my POINT, which stated: while sometimes religion can make people "devalue their lives" as Con said, it can very easily be noted that religion can also SAVE people's lives let alone bring an incredible amount of value to it. As such, it is Con's burden to prove that religion has more detrimental effects than positive on one's mental and emotional health. Notice that he did not fulfill this burden either :)

3) The third argument I provided had to do with TRADITION. You'll notice that once again Con dodges this argument, and instead tries to provide a distraction by stating that *I* have dodged his argument that people aren't benefiting from religion unless they meet up with other people in a church or group setting. I don't recall that argument ever having been presented; however, I can answer that at any point in the debate and I will now -- People still benefit from religion even if they don't meet up with others, because the other benefits I've mentioned still apply (health, physical, etc.).

4A) Con next says that my point about religion not being the only reason for war is pointless, because wars based on politics and not religion are rational. First of all, these wars are absolutely rational to believers, so this point is moot. Second, what about Hitler's war? Was his motivation to invade Poland and persecute all the Jews because they were Jewish RATIONAL? No.

4B) Con continues to try and use religious extremists to represent all religious individuals. That is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. Sure there are extreme religious groups that cause harm, the same way there are other groups that cause harm but are NOT a good representation of all people. For instance, the Black Panthers did a lot of harm, but that is not a reason to denounce all black people. Similarly, PETA commits a lot of crimes and does a lot of bad things in the name of fighting for animal rights, but, they are not a good representation or even a norm for all of those who believe in upholding animal rights. Also, you'll note that Con says these extreme groups are responsible for a lot of death, but doesn't provide any facts about this issue. I'd argue that there are other groups - i.e. politicians - who cause the same amount of harm and death each year.

4C) Religion provides answers to many ethical questions. Without ethics applied to science, science can become a danger to humanity. Example: The atomic bomb was tested the U.S. without asking people (New Mexicans) their permission. It could have backfired and led to the death of all of these people... or even all of humanity. Was that ethical? Regardless of your opinion, the point here is that ethics needs to be applied to science somehow. Even if you disagree with religious ethics, it is still one example of an ethical guide the same as Kantian, Utilitarianism, etc. You don't have to agree with them, but they are still ideologies that deserve recognition for what they are. On that note, religious people are not the only people who are against stem cell research. Con is using religious people as a scapegoat, but in truth, many people feel that this research is unethical for reasons other than religion.

5) Con ignorantly claims, "We cannot have Islamic extremists without religion." Lol. Once again, he is scapegoating religion as the only thing that people can be "extreme" about. I've already refuted this point noting politics, extremists who value animal and nature rights, etc. Yes, we can be moral without religion, but we can also be immoral without religion. Con is grasping at straws here :) Maybe the Islamic extremists in particular would not exist had it not been for religion, but others would.

6) Con, I encourage you to refrain from trying to sound smart by making retarded comments and unnecessary capitalization to emphasize your weak arguments, because really, you're failing miserably. If you read my R1 argument AT ALL (or looked at my cited source), you'll see exactly how scientists can and do apply religion to Evolution. Moreover, just because science measures the natural and religion measures the supernatural does. not. mean. that. they. cannot. mix. As *I've already said* there are theologians who use logic proofs to back up their claims (which you did not refute), and, religion and science can exist separately and seek to answer different things. Sometimes they can mix, but where they don't seem to right now (we're not scientifically advanced enough to DISPROVE God, just as theists cannot prove God), science measures the physical laws whereas religion measures the spiritual laws. These are different aims and as such I don't even know why Con is trying to compare the two.

7/8) I've already discussed religion in a social regard, and we discussed atheism in the opening clarification.

- - - -

Con begins by stating that the U.S. isn't politically oppressed. First of all, that's a matter of opinion (I don't have the character space to discuss it, but Con can feel free to challenge me on this if he wants). Second, I mentioned that the EXAMPLES CON GAVE (i.e. Islamic extremists) existed in politically oppressed countries. Point negated.

Second, I never said that the Crusades had ANYTHING to do with a minority. Con, PLEASE CITE WHERE I SAID THAT. I'm lol'ing already because you won't be able to. Nevertheless, you'll note that Con ignored my point about Puerto Rico. Also, he is completely straw manning my argument. I never said that all religious wars are a result of politics. I'm out of characters for now, but will respond to everything in my final round.
Debate Round No. 3
rulshok

Con

First off, my opponent SHOULD NOT POST AN ARGUMENT NEXT ROUND, because this would give her an unfair advantage. (She would have 4 speeches to my three).

1. The problem here is that my opponent doesn't bring up these impacts until last round. Therefore, she is basically being abusive by bringing these impacts forth in her last round. Therefore, you cannot look to these impacts when you vote for the round, as she has not given me sufficient time to address them.

2. Ummmm.... I said that THE BENEFIT from yoga is that your body is getting a workout. Any spiritual or religious part has no impact upon your health.
B/C) Pro traditionally begins rounds. And the fact that my opponent brings up the burden in her second speech is totally abusive, because I have already locked myself into a specific position. I quote my opponent: "As such, it is Con's burden to prove that religion has more detrimental effects than positive on one's mental and emotional health. Notice that he did not fulfill this burden either :)" Why the hell is it my burden to prove that religion has more detrimental effects? I can just as easily say it is my opponents burden to prove that religion has more positive effects than detrimental on one's mental and emotional health. Since these burdens were not brought up earlier, discard them.

3. K. So my opponent's only real refutation is "People still benefit from religion even if they don't meet up with others, because the other benefits I've mentioned still apply (health, physical, etc.)." This is not a refutation to my argument on her contention 3. It is just dodging this argument once again and just saying that even if people don't meet up they still get other benefits. BUT THIS DOESN'T APPLY to her 3rd argument which is about tradition not health benefits.

4a) I can't believe that my opponent has the nerve to say that Iran's crusade against Israel is rational. Or that Al Qaeda's attacks against the US are. Wow! Also, Hitlers war was not politically motivated, it was motivated by racism and hate.

4b) And again my opponent dodges my argument. The argument is that these groups cause more harm than other religious groups do good. Since this went unaddressed, extend it. This alone wins me the round because it proves the resolution in my favor, because when something does more harm than good, it is obviously not beneficial for society.

5) Since religion brings with it immorality, it is more harmful to have religion. If we can have morality without religion, why do we need it.

6) Pro, I encourage you to refrain from trying to sound superior by belittling your opponents, because really, it just makes you look like a douche. My opponent stubbornly attempts to extend her arguments while not addressing the points I have made.

7/8) Just extend my arguments, as Pro really didn't address them.

MY CASE:
First, my opponent goes for the US not being politically oppressed. If my opponent wants to say it is, fine. It doesn't really have an impact on the debate round anyway.
IT DOESN'T MATTER that the extremists exist in politically oppressed countries. My opponent makes a futile attempt at linking these. While we are drawing crazy comparisons, maybe religion is the cause of the political oppression?
Sorry about the Crusades bit. Agreed, my opponent did not say they were a minority, but she never said anything else about them either. Therefore, you extend my Crusades argument as it was never addressed by my opponent.

Reasons to vote Con:
1. Impacts
Con controls the impacts in this debate. Pro brings up a few points about physical health and community benefit. Valid impacts to be sure, but Con has multiple death impacts(Islamic extremists, Crusades) that not only outweigh my opponents impacts, but also go unaddressed by my opponent for THE ENTIRE ROUND.

2. Crusades argument
This argument by itself is enough to vote Con. My opponent never addresses the fact that this war was in fact motivated by religion and resulted in the deaths of 9 MILLION PEOPLE. This shows how dangerous religion can be when it is directed in a large scale effort against people of other religions. If "holy sites" didn't exist, so many more families would still be whole, and those 9 million people would not have died the way they did. To put the deaths of these people in perspective, 6 million Jews were killed in the Holocaust. The Crusades caused just as great suffering and pain as that terrible event. This shows that religion is most definitely, in general, not beneficial for society.

I want to make my position very clear for voters.
I do not believe that an individual is wrong for believing in a God. I think that it is a personal choice and should be celebrated. The only qualm that I have is when massive wars are waged in its name or people blow themselves up in order to go to paradise.

The only way Pro could possibly win this debate is if you discount all my impacts and arguments that went UNADDRESSED by Pro, and then buy all of Pro's arguments. My opponent doesn't even gain any offense from her case, because she does not have good impacts and does not tell you how her arguments say that religion is beneficial.

Therefore, you must sign your ballot Con
Thanks to my opponent for a great debate

PRO SHOULD NOT POST NEXT ROUND IN ORDER TO MAINTAIN FAIRNESS
Danielle

Pro

Con - What the hell are you talking about? We never agreed in the debate, comment section or anywhere else that I wouldn't get to post a final round. If you were so concerned about having an equal amount of rounds, then you should have presented a R1 argument, as you were the instigator after all. Nevertheless, here's my final rebuttal. Good luck!

- - -

1) Con begins by stating that I haven't brought up these impacts (of religion affecting religious societies) until the last round, therefore this is abusive... What?! I have mentioned this in my first point from my very first round! Just because Con can't think of a proper rebuttal doesn't give him the right to make stuff up in this regard.

2A) After I corrected Con's ignorance about yoga being a form of prayer that keeps you fit, Con so rudely proclaims, "Ummmm.... I said that THE BENEFIT from yoga is that your body is getting a workout. Any spiritual or religious part has no impact upon your health." However, you'll notice that on the contrary, what he said exactly the last round was, "Fitness in no way correlates to religion. Unless you get a good workout by praying, the act of believing in a supernatural power in no way makes you more fit." Lol so again, Con basically flat-out lies here as well.

2 B/C) Con continues to dodge arguments by AGAIN stating that I have been abusive by asking him to prove that religion has more bad effects than good effects on one's mental and emotional health. Con asks, "Why the hell is it my burden to prove that religion has more detrimental effects? I can just as easily say it is my opponents burden to prove that religion has more positive effects than detrimental on one's mental and emotional health. Since these burdens were not brought up earlier, discard them." This is crazy talk. First of all, I addressed this in ROUND 1. Second, I *did* prove that religion has more benefits than negative on one's mental and emotional health! Third, Con had the opportunity to answer that question in R3 (this final round); instead he chose to be a chump and again not take responsibility for failing to properly argue his side of the debate.

3) Con stoops low on this one. Basically, I said that people value tradition and as such that brings them comfort and happiness. Con says that most people aren't hard line religious. I said it doesn't matter if Con considers them to be that way; what matters is that these people (according to my cited source) DO consider themselves religious (therefore the resolution and my arguments apply to them). Instead of refuting this, Con just accuses me of dropping an argument and saying that I've dodged his point about tradition. Say what?

4A) "I can't believe that my opponent has the nerve to say that Iran's crusade against Israel is rational. Or that Al Qaeda's attacks against the US are." Too bad. I believe that Iran's crusade against Israel is justified. Unfortunately that has nothing to do with this debate. Moreover, I never said that Al Qaeda's attacks on the U.S. were. Con continues to straw man my arguments and not present anything of substance of his own.

4B) Con says that his point was that these extremist groups cause more harm than other religious groups do good, meaning religion in general is overall not beneficial to society. I negate. Technology can do more harm than good; however, we value science and advancement, and thus that's a risk that we accept. Moreover, Con has provided NO evidence and NO argument to back this up. Listing a few extremists discredits the MILLIONS of lives that faith based groups have saved, sheltered, helped, etc. over the years. Furthermore, Con has ignored MY argument which exclaimed why crazy fundamentalists aren't a good representation for religion as a whole. And finally on this point,
you'll note that despite me bringing this up in the last round, Con has still yet to provide any facts or stats about religious extremists. I'd argue that there are other groups - i.e. politicians - who cause the same amount of harm and death each year. Con failed to respond to that too :)

4C) Con has COMPLETELY IGNORED MY ARGUMENT regarding science and religious ethics. Award it to me.

5) Con writes, "Since religion brings with it immorality, it is more harmful to have religion. If we can have morality without religion, why do we need it." THIS POINT MAKES ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE; there's no point in refuting it. Also, this has absolutely NOTHING to do with my last 5th point, which stated, "Once again, he is scapegoating religion as the only thing that people can be "extreme" about. I've already refuted this point noting politics, extremists who value animal and nature rights, etc. Yes, we can be moral without religion, but we can also be immoral without religion. Con is grasping at straws here :) Maybe the Islamic extremists in particular would not exist had it not been for religion, but others would." Again, since my point wasn't even touched upon, this should be another easily awarded point to me.

6) Con attempts to insult my intelligence and claims that I have not responded to his "argument." His argument was that you can't mix religion and science. To counter that, I gave him a whole explanation (twice) about the contrary and explained how and why he was wrong, along with providing a cited source. You'll notice that yet again, Con failed miserably at trying to refute this point at all... and making me look bad. Haha.

7/8) I've addressed Pro's pointless points several times throughout the debate. He's just illiterate and couldn't find them (though I pointed them out specifically numerous times).

- - -

Rebuttal:

Con says, "IT DOESN'T MATTER that the extremists exist in politically oppressed countries. While we are drawing crazy comparisons, maybe religion is the cause of the political oppression?" Nay. People in Russia are politically oppressed, and they do not live in a theocracy. This point fails. Moreover, my point is ABSOLUTELY relevant, because the injustices Con mentioned in his argument are applied to politically oppressed nations - not religious ones. Fail.

Con also admits to straw manning my argument, and then says, "Sorry about the Crusades bit. Agreed, my opponent did not say they were a minority, but she never said anything else about them either. Therefore, you extend my Crusades argument as it was never addressed by my opponent." Absolutely ridiculous. He completely makes an argument up, and then accuses me of not responding. Readers, please refer to prior rounds to observe how Con completely manipulates this point.

Conclusion:

Impacts/Crusades--> I've provided more overall benefits than Con throughout this debate. Also, Con has provided NO cited sources (despite my pleading) regarding the number of religiously motivated deaths. I maintain that religious endeavors have saved and helped more lives than its harmed. Also, like I said, many of the "religious" wars Con has mentioned have been politically motivated (including Hitler, which he ignorantly claimed otherwise). The Crusades were one bad example of death and destruction, but like I said, religion has been responsible for many more benefits and life saving, including - but not limited to - The Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, innumerable Christian hospitals, etc. Overall, Con has pretty much ignored most of my arguments, straw manned the others, and couldn't successfully refute those he bothered to answer. I have proven that on balance, religion is beneficial to society.
Debate Round No. 4
22 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by LiquidLiquid 6 years ago
LiquidLiquid
Frankly, I would say theLwerd is one of the better debaters on this website, if not in the top 10. The arguments, sources, delivery, all top notch. Besides the first debate of hers I have read, probably due to personal bias, much of her arguments are very convincing.
Posted by GhostWriter 7 years ago
GhostWriter
Good debate. I think CON was the victor though. Pro did okay too....
Posted by Nails 7 years ago
Nails
Spelling tied, all else went to Lwerd.

"I can't believe that my opponent has the nerve to say that Iran's crusade against Israel is rational. Or that Al Qaeda's attacks against the US are. Wow! Also, Hitlers war was not politically motivated, it was motivated by racism and hate."

RFD
I found very little of CONs argumentation to make sense. Rather, I thought CON dodged around many of the major points with logical fallacies like the above quote or 'my opponent shouldn't post a final rebuttal'. I could make a list of all of the arguments PRO made that I didn't hear CON truly adress.

Also, most of the key points that CON makes rely on warrants that aren't there, such as his studies showing atheism has health benefits or his idea that atheism, by definition, can't be religious. PRO had many more sources than CON so I had to err PRO on all matters where the evidence clashed.
Posted by RoyLatham 7 years ago
RoyLatham
A good debate on very broad subject. It comes down to which generalities are best supported. I think Con failed to prvide adequate support that his claims about the negative aspects of religion were either a necessary consequence or the prevalent outcome. Arguments and sources to Pro.
Posted by studentathletechristian8 7 years ago
studentathletechristian8
Looks like you're turning back into a Christian, L ;)

Anyway, I completely agree. I guess the guys on this site don't like the girl on top... Who woulda thunk?
Posted by Danielle 7 years ago
Danielle
Lol. Those numbers don't matter anyway and don't represent a damn thing. I do more serious-minded and challenging debates; not so much fun or silly debates... so. Plus, people excessive vote bomb like crazy whenever someone pisses them off (or has a different political or religious ideology or whatever), not to mention that just because people may debate more often than others does not necessarily make them better debaters. That whole thing is a very useless and unfair representation of the best debaters on DDO. Though I would tend to agree with the current standing, obviously :P ( lol which will surely change in about an hour, I'm sure). Whatev-skies. I just thought it was fun voting in favor of religion this time! w00t! I've done 2 debates this week that were Pro religion and Bible lol who woulda thunk it.
Posted by Vi_Veri 7 years ago
Vi_Veri
Yeah, absolutely looks like it, StAtCr8. I've been watching her and Logical-Master do a dance for first place the last day or two. Looks like some people are mad someone else is on top.
Posted by studentathletechristian8 7 years ago
studentathletechristian8
Are people bombing theLwerd just because she's on top now?
Posted by studentathletechristian8 7 years ago
studentathletechristian8
I voted Pro.

Conduct - Pro. Con should have established the guidelines in the first round.
Spelling & Grammar - Pro. Pro was more organized and had a general fluency that Con did not contain.
Arguments - Pro. Pro clearly affirmed the resolution, while Con did a poor job of refuting.
Sources - Pro. Pro's abundant and efficient sources were good enough to earn a point.
Posted by Kleptin 7 years ago
Kleptin
1. Con's rejection of the definition is flawed.
2A. Con rejects Pro's point without justification, moving away from her point.
2B. Con concedes one point and makes a rebuttal that is weaker.
2C. See above
3. Irrelevant rebuttal as Tradition may simply be defined as faith
4(1),(2),(3). Hypocrisy. Con accuses Pro of using a biased sample and then provides more biased samples.
5. More biased sample.
6. The intellectual basis is irrelevant, only the physical manifestations are. The physical manifestations of Religion and Science are compatible. Church leaders use the internet. Con's argument is fallacious.
7. See above.
8. See #1

There isn't a single non-fallacious rebuttal in all of CON's first round. I'll examine this more in depth later. I smell vote-bombing.
33 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
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Vote Placed by LiquidLiquid 6 years ago
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