sorry for forfeiting the last two rounds. Now I will give you my reasons why I think religion should be banned.
1. A lot of wars were caused by religious causes throughout history. The Crusades (Catholic vs Islam), the 30 years war (Protestant vs Catholic), and all the terrorism caused today is because of religion. These wars have been major, and they have left lasting damage.
2. There are religions which do crazy stuff. In South Korea, a few years ago, a small group of people believing in a certain religion, released a poison gas inside a train station in the name of serving their god, causing deaths and injuries. There are extremely dangerous to other people and should be stopped immediately.
I thank PRO for finally opting to post his arguments. He has the BOP, as he hasn't contested, so I will merely refute his contentions. If I do that, this debate is over.
Pro says, " A lot of wars were caused by religious causes throughout history. The Crusades (Catholic vs Islam), the 30 years war (Protestant vs Catholic), and all the terrorism caused today is because of religion. These wars have been major, and they have left lasting damage."
Thee are several claims here, and I'll break them down one by one. First, he notes that there were several conflicts -- Crusades and Thirty Years War -- that dealt with religion, so therefore it should be banned. This is a ludicrous argument. The Crusades took place from 1095 to 1291  -- over 700 years ago -- and PRO seems to insinuate that, even with the way in which societies have advanced, that our archaic event from over 700 years ago can substantiate policy today. That is far from valid, and PRO fails to tell you that societies today, beginning with the United States, separate church and state. That was the focal problem with the Crusades and the Thirty Years War: religion was enforced by and endorsed by government. In the United States, however, church and state are separate. We can see this in various places in the Constitution:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances" .
Article 6, Section 3
"The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States" .
This sentiment is even reflected in Thomas Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptists:
"Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man & his god, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;" thus building a wall of eternal separation between Church & State. Congress thus inhibited from acts respecting religion, and the Executive authorised only to execute their acts, I have refrained from prescribing even those occasional performances of devotion, practiced indeed by the Executive of another nation as the legal head of its church, but subject here, as religious exercises only to the voluntary regulations and discipline of each respective sect."
The point of this contention is to point out the utter lack of parallelism in PRO's arguments. He is speaking of a time when church and government were not separated, but in fact closely intermingled such that, in the case of the Holy Roman Empire at the time of the Thirty Years War, religion was the forced which molded socieites, even so much as it was enforced by the government. In the US, under current law, church and government are strictly prohibited from interacting in any way. Therefore, PRO's argument is completely and utterly ludicrous on pragmatic grounds. PRO also fails to account for evolution in societies over time, along with the fact that his proposal advocates banning religion -- but, even in the time period he describes, the culprit is not religion, but fanatacisim. If people were allowed to freekly exercise their faiths as a private matter, none of the issues PRO suggests would take place would ever materialize.
PRO then asserts that "all of the terrorism that happens today is because of religion." This claim is absolutely ludicrous, and he provides no citation for it at all -- and, consequently, we should discard the contention outright because PRO has the burden of proof. But there are obvious replies to these arguments, aside from the fact that secular terrorism does in fact exist, and one need only look at Soviet Russia to understand this point. First, fantacisim, not religion, is to play. Second, Robert Pape, a political scientist at the University of Chicago, has argued that religion, particularly Islam, is in fact *not* the root cause of terrorism, but rather there are tactical goals at play.
"University of Chicago political scientist Robert Pape argues, for example, that Islam has little to do with suicide bombing. Rather, he suggests, that suicide bombers, wherever they are in the world, are motivated much more by tactical goals. He juxtaposes the suicide terrorism of the (non-Islamic) Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) with Islamist suicide bombing to demonstrate that a desire to end occupation is the common factor rather than religion. Therefore, he suggests focus upon religion is a distraction and that policymakers seeking to stop the scourge of suicide attacks should work instead to address root causes, which he sees as the presence of troops or interests in disputed or occupied lands" .
PRO has failed to prove that religion is the root cause of these problems, and consequently, the fact that these wars were major or even had lasting impacts does not provide for him a case that religion ought to be banned.
PRO remarks, "There are religions which do crazy stuff. In South Korea, a few years ago, a small group of people believing in a certain religion, released a poison gas inside a train station in the name of serving their god, causing deaths and injuries. There are extremely dangerous to other people and should be stopped immediately."
There are severa reasons we should reject this contention outright. First, PRO does not evidence this claim at all, and therefore it cannot possibly carry his burden of proof. Second, even if it WERE true, it is a fallacy of composition. PRO chooses his words such that he says there are SOME Religions which do crazy things, but his proposal is to ban ALL religions. Instead of seeking to ban all religions, he should instead seek to root out radical elements which he believes may in fact pose harms. As I have demonstrated earlier, and as PRO cannot rebut at this point, there are other factors at play, and even when we believe there is a religious motivation, there are often more subtle, tactical goals which underly the problem.
I have completely rebutted PRO's arguments. He has failed to provide a case for banning religion, and has not even addressed the ramifications of his proposal: that the vast majority of religions are peaceful, and he is attempting to wrongfully, without evidence deprive people of their fundamental right to freedom of expression without cause. Consequently, I highly advise that you vote CON, as there is no way that PRO has carried his burden of proof.
Thank you for reading, and thank you to PRO for this debate, albeit a short one.
1 - http://www.metmuseum.org...;
2 - http://www.law.cornell.edu...;
3 - http://www.law.cornell.edu...;
4 - http://www.meforum.org...;