The Instigator
Oxmix
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Emilrose
Pro (for)
Winning
8 Points

Religious Faith is a Virtue

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Emilrose
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/11/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 891 times Debate No: 63059
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (20)
Votes (2)

 

Oxmix

Con

This is my first debate, so please forgive any problems arising from that.

I am prepared to argue that faith is not a virtue. To get the definitions out of the way so we start on the right path, I suggest we agree that faith is "belief that is not based on scientific evidence" and virtue means "a commendable quality or trait".
Emilrose

Pro

Accepted. Thanks to Con for initiating this debate, and good luck.

I'll begin my outlining some inaccuracies within your provided definitions:

"Faith", it should be noted, can apply to a number of things; not only religious belief.

(Faith)
n.
1. Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.

Oxford Dictionary defines faith with the following terms:

1. Complete trust or confidence in someone or something:
this restores one"s faith in politicians.

This is "faith" in the broadest terms. As you did not state in your definition(s) whether you meant religious faith or general faith, I will provide a religious definition:

2. Strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof.

(1.) http://www.thefreedictionary.com...

(2.) http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...

(Virtue)
n
1. The quality or practice of moral excellence or righteousness.

2. Behaviour showing high moral standards: paragons of virtue.

3. A quality considered morally good or desirable in a person:

(1.) http://www.thefreedictionary.com...

(2.) http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...

Opening Argument

Religious faith, can be a virtue for many people.

An example would be when a (religious) person has experienced difficulty of some kind. To this individual, faith in their religion and their G-d can assist them in overcoming that difficulty, or reaching their goals.

Additionally, religious faith has been huge in the distribution of charity and charitable causes.

A focal point of many religions is giving and providing help to those on need. Religious figures and people of religious faith, have, on numerous occasions done this.

In fact, religion generally requires its believers to uphold a certain moral standing; this can lead to "virtue" and the practice of "virtuous" acts.
Debate Round No. 1
Oxmix

Con

I accept your definition and agree with you that faith can motivate charity, etc.

Virtuous actions can be motivated by virtuous motives (like empathy) or non-virtuous motives (like greed). Therefore, virtue of the motive cannot be assessed by the virtue of the motivated action.

"With or without [religion] you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion."

(1) http://en.wikipedia.org...
Emilrose

Pro

Rebuttals:

"Virtuous actions can be motivated by virtuous motives (like empathy) or non-virtuous motives (like greed). Therefore, virtue of the motive cannot be assessed by the virtue of the motivated action."

In general terms, if a person is giving to charity or providing assistance to those in need; it is largely deemed a "virtuous motive" and a "virtuous" action. Note that it is the action of "virtue" that should assume the greatest precedence.

"With or without [religion] you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion."

The argument is that religion encourages the regular practice of people doing "good things". Giving is something that is fully endorsed by all prominent faiths, this in effect leads to a larger portion of religious people participating in virtuous causes, this in itself is defined as a "virtuous action".

Expanding on round one of my argument, I will further outline that faith can most certainly be attributed to virtue:

Research shows that religious people (I.E people of faith) do in fact contribute more to charity (which is defined as virtuous) than non-religious people. This isn't to say that non-religious people do not contribute to charitable causes, but that the number of those whom are religious that do is statistically greater.

A study commissioned by British media outlet the BBC, found that people of religious belief are more likely to give to charity than non-religious people.

Sikhs and Jews emerged as the most likely to give to distribute their wealth and give to charitable cause(s). Just below were Christians, Hindus and Muslims.

The study, included polling of more than 3000 people of faith and non-faith. Among believers, 8 out of 10 were found to have to given to charity in the past month.

Among those polled, all of the Sikhs and 82% of practicing Jews had given to charity, again, in the past month. Among practicing Christians the figure was at 78%.

Similar studies have also been conducted in the U.S:

For example, the Chronicle of Philanthropy real eased a survey on how much America donates to charitable causes. One significant finding was that those living in religious areas (statistically) tend to give the most.

Topping the list of the most generous states is Utah, which happens to have a sizeable Mormon population. In second place came Mississippi, which is largely Christian.

Such studies show that religious faith, is a large component in exercising virtue and participating in virtuous deeds.

The number of charities established in the name of Judaism, Christianity, Sikhism, and Islam, is significantly large. This, again, is attributed to religion and therefore faith.

(1.) http://www.telegraph.co.uk...

(2.) http://www.jewishcharityguide.co.uk...
Debate Round No. 2
Oxmix

Con

I conceded that faith motivates charity. It can, has, and does also motivate killing, torture, rape, suicide bombing, overpopulation, genital mutilation, slavery, child abuse, environmental disregard, misogyny, loveless marriages, homophobia, racism, animal cruelty, etc.

The ability to ramp up your beliefs in direct correlation with the evidence supporting those beliefs is a virtue. Having a moral compass based on an ongoing logical analysis of facts and arguments is a virtue. Faith is not.
Emilrose

Pro

The above examples: rape, killing, suicide bombing, child abuse, animal cruelty, etc, set a lower precedence when compared to the goodness that can (and does) come out of faith.

A religious person contributing money to charity, or offering support to a charitable cause, is more likely to happen than a religious person deciding to kill or participate in suicide bombing and other forms of extremism.

The vast majority of religions and religious people are also strongly against such things.

My main argument has been to outline that faith (as in belief in (a) G-d and a religion) encourages its believers to recognise a set of values that entail virtuous behaviour and practice of virtuous deeds.

Which therefore fits the definition of "virtue" and corresponds with faith being "virtuous".
Debate Round No. 3
20 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Oxmix 2 years ago
Oxmix
Thanks for the constructive comments, bladerunner. I had to really edit down my arguments to make them fit in 500 characters so we didn't get into it as much as I'd have liked. I'll let someone know if that happens again.
Posted by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
Incidentally, I don't usually read comments until AFTER I've voted. Con: That's really weird, and it shouldn't be related to using the type box vs. Copy/Paste. If something like that happens again, message airmax1227 about it. Or message me, and I'll do it for you--but I'm the site president, not a moderator, so I'm not the one who can "fix it", from a site standpoint.
Posted by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
Welcome to Con and to Pro--it seems this is <em>both</em> of your first debates, and I think you both did a fine job.

A few notes to start:

I felt the BoP was on Con, here. Merely setting yourself up as Con does not negate the presumptive BoP--linguistic games are notwithstanding.

In this case, Con had to establish that faith is NOT a virtue. Pro, in contrast, had the burden of rejoinder. This means that the only obligation, as far as I'm concerned, of Pro was to negate the points Con raised. This doesn't preclude a constructive case from Pro--indeed, creating a constructive can often make your own case that much stronger.

As to the RFD, itself.

Con established that faith can and does do negative things. But Pro established that there were positives. I feel as though this debate would have benefited from some more rigor--Con's arguments were short as heck, and Pro's arguments addressed Con's, and made some points about the value of belief in regards to things like charitable giving, but neither side really dug deep into the philosophical notion of faith itself, and whether it was a "virtue". Both sides seemed to focus on effects, which is all well and good, but especially given how really brief this debate was, it wasn't sufficient for Con to make his BoP. And since Con didn't fulfill that, I wound up awarding arguments to Pro.

An interesting debate, and I'd love to see a more rigorous approach from both debaters, either with each other or in some later debate. Both of you seem like you'll do fine moving forward, and I wish you the best of luck.

Incidentally, and unrelated to scoring: I recognize your profile pic, Con, but I've never actually seen the show.
Posted by Emilrose 2 years ago
Emilrose
You're welcome :) Glad it made for a good first debate.
Posted by Oxmix 2 years ago
Oxmix
Thanks for debating with a debate virgin. It was fun :)
Posted by Emilrose 2 years ago
Emilrose
@Oxmix, possibly because you're writing in Debate.Org format.

Try using word processor (or likewise) and then copy and paste.
Posted by Oxmix 2 years ago
Oxmix
Odd. It's limiting me to 500 characters for my arguments, but doesn't seem to be limiting Emilrose. I must be misunderstanding something.
Posted by Emilrose 2 years ago
Emilrose
Dictionary definitions have been used; as can be seen with the outlined links.
Posted by funnycn 2 years ago
funnycn
You should use dictionary definitions. That's the best way to shift it over to your favor. Not by changing the definition.
Posted by Magister 2 years ago
Magister
If virtue is based on morals then faith cannot simply be a virtue because morals are subjective. For example you might think faith is "good" but that does not make faith universally good as I might disagree.
Secondly the debate title is "Religious Faith is a Virtue" and Pro says "Religious faith, can be a virtue for many people.", notice the difference between "is" and "can".
Pro supports her argument stating "Additionally, religious faith has been huge in the distribution of charity and charitable causes.", however the obvious flaw is that Pro is defining something based on a thing it has caused without assessing the other possible effects of religious faith.
Overall Pro's defence of the statement "Religious Faith is a Virtue" is weak as she is using words like "can" in reference to the statement and uses appeal to popularity in phrases like " many religions" ; " religion generally" and "numerous occasions" this does not work with the debate is the statement being debated looks at religion as a whole and what most religions are doing.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Truth_seeker 2 years ago
Truth_seeker
OxmixEmilroseTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: pro defines virtue and then shows how religious people view it. Pro also provides evidence of goodness being displayed by religious people and how it outweighs the bad.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
OxmixEmilroseTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD (Reason For Decision) in comments. As always, happy to clarify this RFD.