The Instigator
holden15
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
randolph7
Con (against)
Winning
18 Points

Religions are just stories that have been altered and changed throughout history.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 7 votes the winner is...
randolph7
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/9/2011 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,851 times Debate No: 17844
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (7)

 

holden15

Pro

You'll have to forgive me, as this is my first debate.

I would like to argue in favor of religion being 'just' a story. If while growing up, you were taught that the Harry Potter stories were true, and you were brought to church to read Harry Potter verses, and pray to Harry Potter at your bed side at night, then if you came across your current God's book now in your life (such as the Bible), you'd disregard it as fiction...

The point I am trying to make is that if you assume the Bible never existed, and another fictitious story was put in its place and was told to be the words of a God, then that story would be worshiped just the same.
randolph7

Con

Thank you pro for allowing me the opportunity to debate this with you. Also, welcome to DDO!

Pro argues that religions are ‘just' stories. I argue that religion as defined below is not told for amusement nor has pro proven that religion is imaginary. The burden of proof for this assertion is on pro.

Pro also makes the false analogy between religion and "Harry Potter" in assuming that "Harry Potter" if it was as true as the Bible that it would be worshipped.

=== Definitions ===
religion:
the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power , especially a personal God or gods

story:
1 an account of imaginary or real people and events told for entertainment

Sources:
[1] http://oxforddictionaries.com...
[2] http://oxforddictionaries.com...
Debate Round No. 1
holden15

Pro

Thanks Con for the warm welcoming

1) The definition of religion was defined by humans, based on the belief of religion. Christianity, or Judaism for example would not exist if it weren't for the scriptures passed down along history. Without the "words of a God", there would be nothing worth passing down. The passing down of these words has created religion as we know it today. The definition is only there because of the "stories". Due to this fact, I would like Con to take their argument from a different approach, and try to disprove my approach.

2) I do not know if Con is religious, but I would like Con to answer this question as if they are religious, for the sake of argument. If you are now a Christian, and Christianity never existed and you were brought up and told "Harry Potter" were as true as the "New Testament" is today, would you worship it the same? Would you honestly assume "Harry Potter" as fiction, even if it were the only thing you were taught, just as the Bible is now?
randolph7

Con

Definition of Religion & Stories
I’m not sure who pro thinks should define the word “religion”. Pro didn’t disagree with the definition so much as saying the definition wouldn’t exist without religion existing. However, what isn’t obvious is that they are just altered stories as defined in R1.

In Native American religions, there is no separation between the physical and the spiritual. To these Native Americans, the oral traditions are helpful but not essential to their belief system. In fact these religions have been resurging despite having lost most of their oral tradition [1].

Worship or Not to Worship Harry Potter
You assume that even if one believes the Harry Potter story was true that one would believe in “Harry Potterism”. Many things that are true are not worshipped. People who hear true stories have become Christians. Religion is more than just "altered stories".

Source:
[1] http://www.britannica.com...

Cheers






Debate Round No. 2
holden15

Pro

It's not a matter of who I think should define the word religion. It's a matter of fact, that humans created and defined our religions. Unless a God performs a miracle in modern history, where there is factual evidence of its existence and scientific facts that it has occurred, then it's nothing more than a story.

You're taking my Harry Potter scenario and misconstruing it. I simply said, "If while growing up, you were taught that the Harry Potter stories were true, and you were brought to church to read Harry Potter verses, and pray to Harry Potter at your bed side at night", just as you or someone of Christian faith worships the Bible now, then you would not be able the tell the difference between this fictitious scenario of Harry Potter worship, and reality of Bible worship.

You can replace the Bible with any story, if I raise a child and tell them to believe this story or burn in eternal Hell, then they'll more than likely believe it. Some won't believe it, sure, people like me.
randolph7

Con

Myth would be a better word to describe the "stories" in the Bible, but even if we call religion just stories Pro has not proved they were altered or changed throughout history. Pro didn't even attempt to do so. Furthermore, I showed a small example of religion surviving even when their "stories" don't. This shows that religion is much more than the myths.
Religion provides a community, culture and a way of life for people that believe. Religion provides comfort for the sick and dying, gives hope to those who's loved ones have passed. Religious charities are the largest source of philanthropy in the world.
Religion is much much more than "just stories that have been altered and changed throughout history."
It is Pro who has taken the religion scenario and misconstrued it. The only "proof" pro offered is a hypothetical anecdote of what if Harry Potter was taught as religion to me. The Bible itself sets a moral code in the 10 Commandments. Religion is a way of life NOT a story.
Thanks
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by NoelBlueheart 5 years ago
NoelBlueheart
Firstly, you fail to realize that there are religions like Buddhism and some pagan sects that are not founded on stories of any kind. So please don't use the word "religions" as if you can put all religious people in a box and stamp a label on them.

Secondly, you make a mistake of not being clear as to which stories in the Bible you are referring to. The Bible is composed of many different stories and books by numerous authors. Likewise, the Bible is a complex document, and you cannot be black-and-white with it and brand it either one thing or another. You cannot conclusively label the entire book as just "stories". True, the Bible does include Hebrew mythology but it also has historical events and persons, letters to churches, Hebrew laws, and other substances of validity. So which part exactly are you referring to?

I suggest you do more serious study into the Bible before you make such broad claims and generalizations about it.
Posted by Calvincambridge 5 years ago
Calvincambridge
One wouldent have to worship harry Potter if the stories were true the Bible specifically demands humans to worship YHWH. Harry Potter does not ask that in his book therefore it would not be required in "Harry Potterism". Pro poor example.
Posted by randolph7 5 years ago
randolph7
My last argument was exactly 1000 characters. A lot of content was left on the chopping block :)
Posted by holden15 5 years ago
holden15
Indeed, it is :) But it makes it interesting and gets to the point quickly.
Posted by randolph7 5 years ago
randolph7
wow that is almost impossible to get an argument into 1000 characters. Was that intentional?
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by ReformedArsenal 5 years ago
ReformedArsenal
holden15randolph7Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro's arguments were ridiculous and his conduct was unprofessional to say the least.
Vote Placed by imscrappy 5 years ago
imscrappy
holden15randolph7Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro left himself open by permitting Con to define religion, got wrapped around the axle with arguing its definition, and never got around to making any compelling points to support his assertion that religions are merely stories that have evolved over time.
Vote Placed by Tim_Spin 5 years ago
Tim_Spin
holden15randolph7Tied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Not very good by either debater, though it is good to see new debaters on this site. Pro's argument only added up to an interesting yet unpersuasive thought experiment. It does nothing to show that no religions have worthwhile evidence to back them up, only that people all too often belief things based on their upbringing alone.
Vote Placed by ApostateAbe 5 years ago
ApostateAbe
holden15randolph7Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: "You can replace the Bible with any story, if I raise a child and tell them to believe this story or burn in eternal Hell, then they'll more than likely believe it." I take this as a concession. Belief in hell is required for the subsistence of religion, but if you replace the Bible with Harry Potter, then you either no longer have have belief in hell or belief in hell must be supplied by something external to the story.
Vote Placed by Man-is-good 5 years ago
Man-is-good
holden15randolph7Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: This debate was poorly done. Neither arguments were compelling or close to convincing. However, randolph7 did have sources, but in terms of spelling, conduct, and argumentation, was even with holden15.
Vote Placed by izbo10 5 years ago
izbo10
holden15randolph7Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: defining out of something is not a valid argument
Vote Placed by kohai 5 years ago
kohai
holden15randolph7Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: This was a poor debate. Since con was the only one who used a source, I must give the source point to him.