The Instigator
JohnHamishWatson
Pro (for)
Winning
4 Points
The Contender
Sukati
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Religion is the cause of many of the world's problems

Do you like this debate?NoYes+2
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
JohnHamishWatson
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/1/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,777 times Debate No: 58410
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (5)
Votes (1)

 

JohnHamishWatson

Pro

Looking at many past and current problems in the world, I believe that Religion causes many more problems in the world than people may think.
Sukati

Con

Before I begin, I like your profile picture Pro!

I will be arguing that religion does not cause the world's problems.

Let's set some definitions.

Definitions:

Religion is defined as the belief in a god or in a group of gods [1. http://www.merriam-webster.com...] Cause means something or someone that produces an effect [2. http://www.merriam-webster.com...] World is defined as theearthorglobe,consideredasaplanet [3. http://dictionary.reference.com...] Problem means something that is a source of trouble [4. http://www.merriam-webster.com...]

Interpreting definitions:

The resolution is saying that a belief in a God (or Gods) produces many of the earth's trouble's. However, this is very vague. The only problems that planet earth has is global warming, pollution and Justin Bieber (half-serious about JB). Pro may correct me if there is more, because I would be glad to add to the list, as long as it pertains to earth's problems.

What Pro must prove:

Because Pro is the instigator, he has full Bop. In order to fulfill is Bop, he must show that religion is the cause of things that harm earth such as global warming, pollution, etc.

I view this debate as a science experiment. An experiment is atest,trial,ortentativeprocedure;anactoroperationforthepurposeofdiscoveringsomethingunknownoroftestingaprinciple [5. http://dictionary.reference.com...]

Most experiments use controlled and independent variables. The controls are what stay the same, and the independent variable(s) are the things that you change. What we are going to do is have the earth be the controlled variable. Religion will be the independent variable.

The results of this test will show us what the cause of earth's problems.

Here is a layout of what Pro must show (backup with evidence) in order to prove that religion causes the world's problems:



What Con must prove:

I argue that religion is not the cause of the world's problems. In order to win the debate, I must negate Pro's arguments, and provide evidence that disproves the resolution.


Here is a layout of what I must show (backup with evidence) in order to prove that religion is not the cause of earth's problems:



I wish Pro best of luck as I now turn the debate back to Pro.
Debate Round No. 1
JohnHamishWatson

Pro

Before I say anything else, I would like to define what I meant by "problems in the world" is any type of problem that involves either the actual planet OR the people of Earth. This includes conflict between the people and religious intolerance, as an example. It is not limited to the literal Earth, and instead includes the population as well.

Religion Causes Environmental
Issues:

Environmental problems that we face in our world today have only one cause: people. By twisting the truth, we have seemingly justified the creation of gas-belching machines that pollute our ozone layer every day, or destroying a forest so its resources can be utilized for commercial reasons. Our economic and industrial world has progressed in so many ways, and is much different than it was centuries, decades, and even just years ago. Yet the further we go to make our own lives easier and more enjoyable, the more we pollute the only planet we have thus far. A multitude of religions have used their fallacious religious values to defend their environmentally polluting actions.

Human beings will go to great lengths to justify their behavior, sometimes even misinterpreting their own religious text so that they may pretend that polluting the environment is their gods', or God's, will. For example, many Christians use their own foolish misinterpretations of their Bible to claim that they may exploit the Earth as they please. According to The Encyclopedia of Earth Organization, "The famous essay published in Science in 1967 by Lynn White, Jr., stands out as condemning the prevailing interpretation of the Bible in Christianity for humans to multiply and dominate the Earth as the primary cause of environmental crises. His analysis generated a major controversy that continues and stimulated the growth of the fields of environmental ethics and ecotheology." The Bible has been edited and rewritten so many times that it is easy for it to be misinterpreted by Christians who are not aware of the environment around them. Many truly believe that God wanted for us to mine the Earth for resources so that we can survive and thrive in our continually advancing world.

Christians are not the only ones to blame for environmental issues. A primary example would be the water pollution in Ganga. The residents of Ganga, who are Hindu, worship the water as their mother. However, the Ganges River is now heavily polluted with human sewage, bodies and cremated ashes, industrial waste, and more. Those who drink, bathe, wash their clothes and dishes, and play in the Ganges River can contract many diseases, such as e-coli, typhoid, tuberculosis, and gastrointestinal bleeding. Fish in the River are on the brink of extinction, and only about 2000 dolphins are left. Yet despite the obvious issues present, the people living in Ganga have faith in the river and continue to worship it, even as they cause these problems. If they took the simplest of precautions to protect the river that they claim to love so much, they could continue to worship the river without polluting the environment and the surrounding life forms.

While many may argue that it is the people, not the religion, that causes these environmental issues, the people polluting our environment do so in the name of religion, and sometimes are not even aware of the impact the pollution has. Many religious rites pollute the air and water around us, such as in the festival Ganesh Chaturthi, where an idol of Ganesh is immersed into the water. The materials that this idol is made of (commonly plaster of Paris) is non-biodegradable, meaning that it won't decay in the near future, if ever. It will continue to pollute the water, along with the paints and decorations adorning it, for a very long time.

While no one can argue that religion causes all pollution, the fact remains that the practice of religion is responsible for much pollution in the world.

Bibliography-
http://www.eoearth.org...
http://www.slideshare.net...
http://www.rwlwater.com...
Sukati

Con

I would like to thank Pro for his quick response and a good debate!

Rebuttals:

"I would like to define what I meant by "problems in the world" is any type of problem that involves either the actual planet OR the people of Earth."

You may add your own definition, however, I provided the definitions of the debate first round. Any definition that you provide is now subject to debate.

Regarding your definition of the resolution referring to the people of earth, the resolution says "of the world's" not in "the world."

Therefore, the resolution grammatically implies that the problems are the planet earth's, not the problems of its inhabitants.

"Environmental problems that we face in our world today have only one cause: people."

Pro concedes that people are the cause of environmental problems.

"A multitude of religions have used their fallacious religious values to defend their environmentally polluting actions."

Because Pro has bop, he must provide evidence of this audacious claim. Pro must provide a list of religions (a multitude) that use their religious values to defend their environmentally polluting actions in order for this statement to be true.

"Human beings will go to great lengths to justify their behavior, sometimes even misinterpreting their own religious text so that they may pretend that polluting the environment is their gods', or God's, will. For example, many Christians use their own foolish misinterpretations of their Bible to claim that they may exploit the Earth as they please."

Your example is just a rewording of what you said before that. The example is not concrete.

"According to The Encyclopedia of Earth Organization, "The famous essay published in Science in 1967 by Lynn White, Jr., stands out as condemning the prevailing interpretation of the Bible in Christianity for humans to multiply and dominate the Earth as the primary cause of environmental crises."

Expand on that idea. What is the prevailing interpretation of the Bible? How would it be the primary cause of environmental crises?

The human population multiplies naturally overtime.

"The Bible has been edited and rewritten so many times that it is easy for it to be misinterpreted by Christians who are not aware of the environment around them."

How do the two go together? Just because it has been translated multiple times doesn't cause Christians to not be aware of the environment.

"Many truly believe that God wanted for us to mine the Earth for resources so that we can survive and thrive in our continually advancing world."

Here is where it gets interesting. Do all the religious people invent cars, build machines and chop down trees in the name of their religion or because God told them to? Or is it scientists who invented these machines because it would make peoples lives easier?

"The residents of Ganga, who are Hindu, worship the water as their mother. However, the Ganges River is now heavily polluted with human sewage, bodies and cremated ashes, industrial waste, and more."

This is a Texas sharpshooter fallacy. The Ganges River is not polluted due to the residents religious preferences. Pro must have data connecting the Ganga residents religious preferences and the Ganga River being polluted. I am a bit ware of the credibility of Pro's sources such as slideshare.

"Yet despite the obvious issues present, the people living in Ganga have faith in the river and continue to worship it, even as they cause these problems."

Religion could only cause this if the Hindu faith called for polluting the river. They may pollute it, but they do not pollute it in the name of their religion. Pro must back up that the people living near the Ganga River are Hindu, and they pollute the river in the name of their religion.

"the fact remains that the practice of religion is responsible for much pollution in the world."

Yes, religious people drive cars, nonreligious people do to. Religious people waste water, nonreligious people do to. Religious people litter, nonreligious people do to. My point is, religious people do not drive cars, waste food, water, supplies in the name of religion.

Conclusion:

I will refrain from posting any arguments, as most of them have been shown in my rebuttals. Pro is the instigator, and the one arguing for a change in the status quo. Therefore, he has full bop. Pro has not fulfilled his bop because I have just rebutted his arguments.

In order for Pro to affirm the resolution, he must show that religious people pollute the world because they have a belief in a god or gods, as I defined in round one. This is not the case.



Debate Round No. 2
JohnHamishWatson

Pro

RCWPD: 2
Thank you for responding so quickly. While I recognize that definitions were provided, I knew for a fact that you had misinterpreted what I had said into something that does not make sense. Saying "of the world's" problems implies that I am talking about the people AND Earth, not specifically the environment. Your interpretation was incorrect, and I felt it necessary to point this out so that you do not continue to make mistakes in your argument. I would also like to point out that while I did admit that people are the cause of the world's problems, they will always be the cause of the world's problems. The reason they cause the problems, however, is what I am focusing on. One arguing that science causes many problems in the world, for example, would that say that people build polluting cars in the name of science and advancement. Your misunderstanding of what I have laid out in my opening argument is perfectly reasonable, and I, as a fair player, simply wanted to point this out to you before you turned this debate into something entirely off topic. Another thing I'd like to point out is that my first argument is only a taste of a much more detailed argument that I will be posting, and is more of a guideline so that you know what to expect that you are up against. One last thing to point out is that while non-religious people cause problems as well, it is quite obvious that there are plenty of acts of pollution made in the name of religion, such as dumping statues of idols into bodies of water, which pollute the environment and are not practices that non-religious people participate in. While it may be an indirect act of pollution, which means that the worshippers do not fully realize that they are polluting the environment, it is still an act of pollution made in the name of religion. I was just hoping to clarify these things for you so that, again, you do not continue to make the same mistakes that you have made thus far.

Continuation of Environmental Aspect:

Residents of Lagos, Nigeria, have recently complained about the noise pollution coming from two places of worship in their community. One of these churches is situated at the front of Block 173 Zone B, while the other is beside Block 174. According to an article about the noise pollution in Lagos, the link to which is located in the bibliography, "Before now, residents say, they enjoyed a serene environment and they looked forward to going home after a hard day"s pursuit. That hope has gone with the winds, as they are now treated to daily noise from their new "neighbors." These new "neighbors, as is obvious, are the two churches now located within the area. The use of loudspeakers and musical instruments projects sound much further than it needs to, and the noisy worship services have kept many a resident awake during the night, as well as disrupting the peace during the day.

One woman went so far as to sue a church, something that many people in the area have neglected to do. "But if the residents of Iba Housing Estate are afraid to speak out, 79-year-old Mrs. Esther Ogunsalu is not. After enduring an alleged 13 years of traumatic noise pollution from the Redeemed Christian Church of God, located on 4, Sogunle Street, Abule Onigbagbo Estate, Ikeja, she sued the church in 2012.

At the hearing, the hypertensive retired matron had told an Ikeja High Court, presided over by Justice Aishat Opesanwo, that the worshippers" noise not only prevented her from sleeping whenever she wanted, it also triggered off her hypertension. She says she spent N200,000 on the case.

The court advised her and the defendant to agree on some terms of settlement to be decided by the two of them. They did, and Opesanwo based her judgment on that.

In reaction, the parish pastor, Mr. Dapo Morawo, denies the allegation that the church disturbed the peace of the community. Nevertheless, he says, the parish has since complied with the judgment."

While the level of noise pollution coming from this church may have lowered, another place of worship, the Evangelical Apostolic Church, has also been a source of complaints from the nearby population. "In a letter addressed to Governor Babatunde Fashola and signed by Mr. Olusegun Olomofe, the residents accused the Lagos State Environment Protection Agency of failing to check noise pollution in their area.

The letter reads in part, "Since the Evangelical Apostolic Church moved into the neighbourhood, its activities have been inimical to the general well-being of the residents and the noise level unbearable. And many elderly residents are not able to sleep whenever their (church) service is in session""

Yet another example of a place of worship keeping nearby residents awake at night when they should be peacefully resting.

While it cannot be argued that religious practices are the ONLY cause of pollution, or even the most common, these sacred religious churches, temples, mosques, and more cause plenty of noise pollution on their own. While they succeed in spreading the word of their God(s) to the members of their church, they also succeed in bothering the surrounding population during the day and night. All of this is done in the name of their God(s) and their religion.

Con's Rebuttals:
An argument that Con could make against my case is that not all churches create noise pollution. However, the subject of debate is that religion causes MANY of the world's problems, not all of them. This means that while MANY churches create noise pollution by using unnecessary loudspeakers and noisy musical instruments, not all churches, or other places of worship for that matter, create noise pollution.

Another point that could be made is that, in some cases, the residents complaining about noise coming from churches and government agencies who respond to those complaints are biased. Other complaints by churches in the area are about the restrictions placed on worship services. "By dictating the time, period and frequency of worship services to religious worship centres, this policy infringes on the rights of citizens to freedom of thought, conscience and religion guaranteed by the constitution of the country," the Lagos state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria said in a letter to the state assembly made available to ENInews."

Other churches have accepted that these laws are in place for good reasons, but are of the opinion that only Christian churches are being targeted, and that the same rules are not in place for other places of worship. "Much as we do not condone excessive noise to the detriment of other citizens, we find it difficult to accept any law which seems to be targeted at churches, while other religious groups which are also guilty, are not penalised," Pastor Barnabas Otoibhi told ENInews."

At a meeting taking place in June with the members of the Christian Association "The head of the assembly committee on environment, John Ogunkoya, promised..... that the house will consider amendments to the noise pollution statute.

He explained that the noise policy applies to all religious groups and organizations in the state but admitted that time and frequency of worship should not be dictated by government agencies."

Looking at the reactions to complaints by religious groups, one can see that an effort is being made to make these new laws more equitable so that worship services may continue in peace, without disturbing the peace of the surrounding residents. But these are only a few examples. All over the world, churches, temples, mosques, and other places of worship are disturbing the serenity of their surrounding community by creating excessive noise pollution.
Sukati

Con

I am on vacation for the weekend and wont have time to complete the argument. I will be back for the final round.
Debate Round No. 3
JohnHamishWatson

Pro

JohnHamishWatson forfeited this round.
Sukati

Con

Sukati forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
JohnHamishWatson

Pro

For your final argument, I would suggest just arguing against my Round Three argument. Thank you.
Sukati

Con

Sukati forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Shadynuk 1 year ago
Shadynuk
It is really quite simple to sort this out - count the dead (if you can).
Posted by JohnHamishWatson 2 years ago
JohnHamishWatson
Sorry, the I forgot the bibliography.
Bibliography:
http://contraculturemag.com...
http://www.anglicanjournal.com...
Posted by JohnHamishWatson 2 years ago
JohnHamishWatson
What I mean by "many" is that one can argue that other factors cause the world's problems, such as politics or economics. However, a large percentage of problems today and in past years, decades, and centuries, have been caused by religion, a fact which, in my personal opinion, cannot be argued with. Sukati, don't go easy on me. I can handle it.
Posted by Sukati 2 years ago
Sukati
I've already used enough semantics so I wanted to give him a break lol.
Posted by Burncastle 2 years ago
Burncastle
Depends what you mean by "many"; is it the majority? All of them? A noticeable fraction?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Splenic_Warrior 2 years ago
Splenic_Warrior
JohnHamishWatsonSukatiTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: I award Pro arguments because he successfully demonstrated his resolution, and conduct because of Con's forfeit.