The Instigator
Dawg_Face
Pro (for)
Losing
6 Points
The Contender
KnowItAll
Con (against)
Winning
13 Points

Religion is the root of all evil.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
KnowItAll
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/25/2011 Category: Religion
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,654 times Debate No: 16128
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (5)

 

Dawg_Face

Pro

Since the dawn of man religion in one form or another has played a detrimental role to the shaping of our civilization. My point will be that people feed off of one anothers fears and have created the biggest folly in human history.
KnowItAll

Con

I am pleased to take part in this debate. I will debate that religion has been shown to be more positive than detrimental and that fear is an emotion that can be entirely removed from religion.
Debate Round No. 1
Dawg_Face

Pro

Since the dawn of man religion in one form or another has played a detrimental role to the shaping of our civilization. My point will be that people feed off of one anothers fears and have created the biggest folly in human history.

I would like to thank my opponent, Knowitall, for accepting this debate. This is my first of such events and look forward to many more.

Religion has been used for millenniums to control the mass population. Sine we, as a species, were still in our caves afraid of the dark, it has been the trump card for zealots and leaders alike in an attempt to keep humans under control with the fear of where they go in the afterlife. This mind state has been breed, beaten, and imposed onto people for countless different reasons by countless different secular religions.

Wars have been waged and lives have been lost by the billions in an attempt to push people towards the idea that there is a great, omnipresent, imaginary being in the sky that watches over everything we do. If we follow heel - toe to what is considered right by the masses then we are granted eternal life floating on a cloud and/or different dimension. If we are "heathens" and do not follow said masses idea then we will spend an eternity in a place of fire and brimstone.

The Dark Ages, Spanish Inquisitions, Crusades, Salem Witch trials, Third Reich/Nazi movement, manifest destinies and most war campaigns, just to name a few, have been in an attempt to get "Sub-humans" up to par with conquering nations beliefs in said imaginary friend. It is estimated that over 809 million people,(1) (Surely not an accurate representation.) have lost their lives because of their lack of faith.

1. http://bookrate.wordpress.com...
KnowItAll

Con

I thank Dawg_Face for creating this debate.

I will begin my attacking his statement that "Wars have been waged and lives have been lost by the billions in an attempt to push people towards the idea that there is a great, omnipresent, imaginary being in the sky that watches over everything we do." In order for this statement to be true one must take every war from the start of recorded history to the ongoing conflicts of today.

However, I would like to address the examples he provided in his opening statement. The Nazi movement was not directly attributed to religion but rather politics. Depending on estimates 5 million or more Jews were killed during the Holocaust. However, Hitler did not murder the Jews in the name of any religion but rather as he deemed Judaism along with Communism as the two greatest threats to mankind. In order to tie Holocaust to religion one must prove that the Holocaust was waged in the name of a religion which cannot be done. One third of the population during the Dark Ages was not attributed to religion but rather to the plague knows as the Black Death which eliminated approximately one third of the population. If all estimated deaths are tallied between the Spanish Inquisition and Salem Witch Trials the tally is less than 200,000. There are no detailed records of actual deaths attributed to the Crusades.

I'm sure that my opponent will agree that WWI and WW2 were not religious wars. Between the two wars over 90 million deaths can be attributed to the wars. (WWI - Approximately 37 million (http://en.wikipedia.org...) WW2 - Approximately 60 million. (http://en.wikipedia.org...) I'm sure that my opponent will agree that the conflicts of today, or even the last two centuries for that matter are not based solely on religion.

Religion provides a moral code for its followers and many religions have moral codes that differ. I find moral codes contained in Christianity to be good such as ‘Thou shall not murder." (the correct interpretation.) However, there is a major difference between religion and religious extremism. Perhaps most religious conflict stems from religious extremism as compared to religion itself.

People feeding off of each others fear is not isolated to religion. Life Insurance sales people use the fear of what will happen to one's family if he or she should die without a policy. Politicians use fear in order to pass legislation such as the Patriot Act. Parents use the fear of punishment against their children.
Debate Round No. 2
Dawg_Face

Pro

Evil is defined as, "The intention or effect to cause harm or destruction, usually specifically from the perception of deliberately violating some moral code." ( http://en.wikipedia.org...) These "moral codes" according to western civilization are defined predominately by the ten commandments, a set of stones given to Moses at the top of Mt. Sinai by a burning bush.

My opponent has said that, "One third of the population during the Dark Ages was not attributed to religion but rather to the plague knows as the Black Death which eliminated approximately one third of the population." In many cases, the Black Death was attributed to a plague set onto the people by God himself. Therefore, instead of seeking a scientific cause or cure for the Black Death, many people took it as an incurable affliction in which God would either kill or spare them according to the weight of their soul. (good/evil.) This same mindset has hindered the scientific community in the progression of medicines for ages. In todays age, this mindset has also been used to stop the progression of stem cell research because of the "God complex". Dr. James Thompson, a leader in the field of stem cell research has said that stem cells could save hundreds of thousands, if not millions of lives. (http://web.mit.edu...)

My opponent has said that, "Religion provides a moral code for its followers and many religions have moral codes that differ. I find moral codes contained in Christianity to be good such as ‘Thou shall not murder." These moral codes are nothing but more smoke and mirrors as a way to keep people from exacting the revenge that is sometimes due and necessary. I have a scenario, (worst case, of course.) that I would like to give to my opponent and our voters. Let's say that you and your wife come home from a nice evening out. You open your front door to find blood splatters everywhere and immediately go upstairs to check on your children while your wife calls the police. Upon opening the door to your 12 year old daughters room, you find a naked man standing over the body of your child, she's not breathing and is clearly dead. The animal instinct in ALL humans would be to exact swift and just revenge for the death of your loved one but due to "moral and ethical" conflicts derived from religion you second guess yourself, knock the man out, and wait for the police. The man has his day in court and due to a "technicality" is set free after spending less than a year in jail. What do you do? You have already lost your child, your marriage has been on the rocks since that night and the stress has already consumed you and those you love.

In closing, from wars to science, and even everyday living is always affected by religion in some form or another. Religion has cause wars since the dawn of man but their numbers cannot even compare to the amount of lives lost by people that believe that "Gods' will be done".Thank you
KnowItAll

Con

I accept my opponent's definition of the word evil. However, my opponent has failed to point out any of the 10 commandments that can be considered detrimental to society or evil.

(http://www.bible-knowledge.com...) I agree with the moral codes of not stealing and not committing murder, and apparently civilized society does as well as deliberately violating these specific moral codes are punishable crimes. Also, violating a few of the commandments would not be detrimental to society.

The Black Death being attributed to God unleashing the plague does not constitute religion being the root of all evil. This debate centers on whether or not religion is the root of evil not whether or not God exists. Attributing the deaths associated with the Black Death to religion would be the same as blaming all deaths on religion as God has the power to decide who lives or dies. It would also be the same as attributing the death of a Catholic by a Jew in a car accident to religion. There is no correlation. The use of stem cells is a topic for another debate.

My opponent's statement that moral codes derived from religion being smoke and mirrors does not constitute religion being the root of all evil but rather is nothing more than an opinion on his feelings towards religion in general. In his example of the murder of a 12 year old child, the animal extinct would be to exact revenge. Luckily, we are not animals. Knocking the murderer out as opposed to killing him could be a decision based on fear of punishment as in going to prison for life just as easily as it could do with religious belief. I fail to see how the justice system shows that religion is evil. Also, leaving underage children at home alone is a punishable crime called Child Endangerment in many states.

In closing, everyday life for many is affected by religion in various forms. Many donate their time to the soup kitchen run by their congregation, many donate food and clothing and many perform a good deed based on the moral codes provided by their belief in religion. My opponent closed by stating the numbers cannot be compared to the amount of lives lost by people in their belief in God but fails to provide any substantiated numbers. I believe that my opponent has not only failed to prove his statement that religion is the root of all evil but rather attempts to dispute the existence of God while blaming death on religion which was not the topic of debate. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by KnowItAll 6 years ago
KnowItAll
My pleasure and grammer isn't that important to me anyway. If it were'nt for spell check I would be doomed :)
Posted by meowmixxx 6 years ago
meowmixxx
I don't think that anyone could make an intelligent: X is the root of all evil argument. Sorry pro, you argued well, but to pick out one thing as particularly evil ignores every other possible bad thing. For you to say X is the root of all evil, you're making a claim that necessarily X is the root of all evil, which isn't true.
Posted by Dawg_Face 6 years ago
Dawg_Face
Gotcha. Thanks again for accepting this debate Knowitall. It is my first of many more to come. I apologize for my grammar, it seems as if this site in particular doesn't seem to always register key strokes on my board.
Posted by KnowItAll 6 years ago
KnowItAll
Stem cell research should have been addressed in Round 2 not in the closing round. This is topic for a separate debate. Biologically speaking we are all animals. The statement was made in order to separate "animal instinct" from rational human thought.
Posted by Dawg_Face 6 years ago
Dawg_Face
Alright, the battle is over. I understand that but what I don't understand is how my opponent can A: Sathatstem cell research is a different topic when it's very relevant to this debate. B: Say he's not an animal. I'd like to know what humans are then? Plants or Minerals?
Posted by wizkid345 6 years ago
wizkid345
money is one way are goverment controls us. Also what is evil i mean think about it evil was created by religion why else would someone think of killing someone as evil unless someone told him/her it was
Posted by TrenchMouth 6 years ago
TrenchMouth
I thought "The love of money is the root of all evil". Let's see how this plays out...
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by brokenboy 6 years ago
brokenboy
Dawg_FaceKnowItAllTied
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Reasons for voting decision: some religons more than others however i do not believe that religon is the cause it might be instinct it might be something else or it might be that we are stupid enough to continue killing each other
Vote Placed by TrenchMouth 6 years ago
TrenchMouth
Dawg_FaceKnowItAllTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Good first effort by Dawg_Face. He kinda lost me in the 3rd round due to his "Scenario" paragraph. Slight edge to "Know it all."
Vote Placed by Ore_Ele 6 years ago
Ore_Ele
Dawg_FaceKnowItAllTied
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Reasons for voting decision: It was never shown that religion is the root of evil (as in, if there was no religion there would be no evil). And many of the extentions to blame deaths on religion were really grasping at straws, however, those were not adequately argued against.
Vote Placed by Lionheart 6 years ago
Lionheart
Dawg_FaceKnowItAllTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: I believe that religion in general, has been more harmful to the human race than it has been good. Mentally, Socially, Spiritually, and Physically.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 6 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
Dawg_FaceKnowItAllTied
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Reasons for voting decision: "Attributing the deaths associated with the Black Death to religion would be the same as blaming all deaths on religion as God has the power to decide who lives or dies. It would also be the same as attributing the death of a Catholic by a Jew in a car accident to religion." - not unless he was not saved as the medics decided that he was fated. The argument was that religion prevented research into cures not that caused the plague, similar the stem cell argument was relevant