The Instigator
OliviaMoon
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Tulbakra
Pro (for)
Winning
5 Points

Religious Faith

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Tulbakra
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/11/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,265 times Debate No: 36588
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (11)
Votes (2)

 

OliviaMoon

Con

I have an aversion to religious faith, meaning, I don't just look at it as a harmless mistaken belief. I look at it as a great moral evil. It sets up fallacious beliefs about God, creeds, ceremonies, rituals and prayer and it connects these things with the good of humanity or morality. These dogmas are then accepted as substitutes for real virtue. Religious faith encourages the worship of and obedience to an unknown deity, his only 'goodness' measured in something other than human terms. The Abrahamic God is completely immoral by any human standard.
Tulbakra

Pro

Hi, I am tulbakra, and I accept your debate. I am arguing pro, that religion is harmless.
First I must say that I am a soft atheist, meaning I believe god does not exist because people who claim he exists have not provided any evidence and the burden of proof is on the one who asserts things.

First, I am curious as to how you define morality. The bibles key messages, thou shall not kill and love thy neighbor do not strike me as negative messages. All instances of the bible being misused, the crusades, and the inquisition, etc, would be seen as abhorrent to any modern religious person. I doubt there are many Christians who would support another inquisition. Sure god has done some abhorrent thing, such as ordering the Hebrews to butcher every last one of the Canaanites, but that really isn't the point. Most religious people do not believe that act was justified. In addition, most modern wars are fought for oil and money, not religion. Most religious people, as naive as it is, feel connected and happy when worshiping. Do you really think that religion, something that provides meaning, is really a bad thing?
Debate Round No. 1
OliviaMoon

Con

I would define 'morality' as a human concept based upon questions about happiness and human suffering. This coincides with Sam Harris' definition in 'End of Faith'.

I want to respond also to your questions about the Ten Commandments as a moral code. The first 4 commandments actually have nothing to do with 'morality' in terms of happiness or suffering. The 5th - 9th commandments are found in every culture throughout recorded history suggesting that this ideas about societal formation are more innate in the human species than anything else. The tenth commandment addresses 'coveting' of thy neighbors belongings including his livestock. One would seriously question whether the creator of the universe wouldn't have something more important to worry about than such an insignificant thought crime. Consider that no Old Testament laws forbid child abuse, for instance. This did not concern the 'creator'?

Most people defend the teachings of the Christian faith by citing the teachings of Jesus; however, he taught nothing original. The Golden Rule, for instance, was taught by Zoroaster, Buddha, Confucius, and Epictetus. Those who cite the few good things that Jesus had to say tend to forget that the bible was used for 500 years to justify torture and execution. It can be interpreted to mean whatever the temporal authority wants it to mean and this is one of the inherent dangers of 'religious faith'.
Tulbakra

Pro

I do not agree with your definition. All humans have values that transcend simple utilitarianism. For instance, would you execute an innocent man to prevent a crowd from rioting, potentially killing others? Of course not. If they do that, they are held responsible for their actions. Punishing innocent people is wrong, no matter what. The fact that many of these values are found in many religions only proves that religion is a major force for good.

And again, we are not debating whether or not the bible presents unethical messages or whether religion has historically been a net source of evil or of good. We are debating whether religion today is a net force for good or evil. And just because Jesus's teachings are not original does not make them wrong. His teachings today inspire many people do virtuous things. Your really missing the point, the commandment condemns jealousy, and tells people to avoid jealous feelings. Back then, child abuse was not a big deal. It was everywhere, and part of society.

Sure, but that was a long time ago. The question is whether or not religion is a force for good today. Many churches, synagogue's, and mosques run charity operations and many humanitarians are religious and use the bible for inspiration to continue their work. Many people use the bible as a moral code, and even if it does not come from god and these people are deluded, it still shows them how to live an ethical life.

And as Carl Jung said, "The decisive question for man is: is he related to something infinite or not?" Spirituality is very important to humans and many people switch from theism to atheism or vice versa in their quest to understand their connection to the universe. Do you really think those people who believe in god because it keeps them happy by promising an afterlife,, do you really think it is evil? Foolish perhaps, but immoral? Because face it, all humans fear their death, you, I, and everyone else all fear the day when all our collected knowledge and experiences is lost forever, when we can no longer see, hear, smell, touch, taste, or think. Those people who rely on the afterlife to avert their fear of death, is that immoral? And people are very different. Some people are rational and empirical, some people intuitive and spiritual. I am assuming you are rational, so can you really say that those people are evil?

Religion provides meaning and averts the fear of death, as well as providing a moral code and inspiration which allows people to do great things on this planet. Religion is a part of cultural heritage. Spirituality is important to many people. Could you really say that all of this is immoral? I don't think it is.
Debate Round No. 2
OliviaMoon

Con

OliviaMoon forfeited this round.
Tulbakra

Pro

I extend my arguments.
Debate Round No. 3
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Tulbakra 4 years ago
Tulbakra
calm down. I don't even beleive in god. Stop being a crazy, militnat athiest. Part of being a god person is respecting other's religions.
Posted by hikarijon 4 years ago
hikarijon
well that outcome was a real shame and clear indication that the biblical reference to lost sheep is alive and well....looks like the flock continues to wander aimless and duty bound to its mythical master
Posted by hikarijon 4 years ago
hikarijon
Olivia, thanks for the kind words...but Solomon, really? paranoia?

Science is not interperatable, the problem with religious people is that they breed seperatism, not once have I stated that science is a replacement for religion, it just has its relevant place in the world as we know it, religion does not, it encourages seperatism. Look, let me spell it out for you, thanks to a (lets not say scientific for a moment) more educated world we now know that we all occupy the same rock, there is only water seperating us and to be totally honest it really doesnt seperate us totally, if we drained all the water away we could walk from one part of the rock to another therefore we are not actualy seperate. We use our imagination to give us boundaries...if we had the internet a few thousand years ago then certain British invaders (sorry I mean explorers lol) would not have been frightened by a few dark skinned natives (I can't beleive I just used the word native as we are all native lol) and their supernatrual, all powerful knowing lead the Brits to beleive that these 'savages' were somehow different....a little education would have gone a long way. But no, (if you stay with me here) people use religion to fill in the gaps ....pretty large gaps, it actually gives humans a sense of superiority without actually stating it...which bible (I use the word in a broad sense) states that we arall the same including the animals, insects etc (oh I forgot it was written in a human context) Have you ever stopped to wonder why a cat has two eyes, a nose, teeth, gums, a tongue, breathes oxygen etc etc etc...think about that for a minute, or an hour or a few days (whichever is appropriate to you).....we know things now that we didnt before, time to let that go and use that time for more productive means, dont sit there using religion to fill in the gaps when all seems lost and we need a virtual/spiritual shoulder to cry on....get off your behinds and use the time to fix the problems
Posted by Solomon_Grim 4 years ago
Solomon_Grim
You state that the good overcomes the bad, but it usually doesn't work that way. We don't see how people died at the hands of scientific destruction devices and think: at least we have medicine. The good and the bad must coexist. Like religion. Gandhi, led by the religion, freed India. Martin Luther King Jr., a preacher, help bring equality to blacks. America was started by religious immigrants. Many of the founding fathers were religious people. You must look on the good and bad. There are times when I see a religious group and think that they are awful people, but not the whole religious group. There are also times when I see bad scientists and think that they are awful people, but not science. The majority of religions teach peace, love, and charity. You can't look at the bad and say that everything bout it is bad.

Also, by your own thought, money, power, and government should also be seen as evil as they do many bad things.
Posted by OliviaMoon 4 years ago
OliviaMoon
Science may have provided tools at times, but religious beliefs almost always provided the 'why' of murdering and war. During the Inquisition, for example, some of the most bizarre implements of torture ever devised were invented using the technology or 'science' of the time. The implements were utilized to torture people b/c of the religious beliefs of the torturers.

Yes, the atom bomb was developed scientifically and one could argue that it ended WWII, but I will not take that tactic. Rather, I say, science has also eradicated disease, increased human life span from 35 years to 70+ years in the last century, sent us to the moon, delivered photos from Mars and the Hubble Space Craft, provided vaccines, given us television, telephones, Internet access, computers, cell phones....should I go on?
Posted by Solomon_Grim 4 years ago
Solomon_Grim
Science has been used for bad things many times over. Science has always been the weapon to kill with. It was a group of scientists that sat down and asked themselves what they could make to deliver ultimate destruction upon human kind, and they made with the atom bomb. Science makes new ways to make humans suffer all the time. It is also the motivation for many people to be racist and sexist. Go to any website that talks about how females are inferior, or how blacks are inferior, and you will see plenty of science.

I've seen great things happen with religion. I've seen people be hopeful in sickness, or people that are fine with death. I know people who aren't bothered with death. They are comforted when family members die or when something horrible happen. If you meet someone who is truly a good Christian, you will see how happy s/he is, even in bad times.

If you want to judge how bad religion is based off of the bad things it has done, than don't ignore science's bad side. Religion, real or not, gives hopes and happiness. Science gives us medicine and good homes. Religion has given us the crusades and extreme cults. Science has given us paranoia and mass destruction. At very least, you must say that we are on the same level.
Posted by Solomon_Grim 4 years ago
Solomon_Grim
Science has been used for bad things many times over. Science has always been the weapon to kill with. It was a group of scientists that sat down and asked themselves what they could make to deliver ultimate destruction upon human kind, and they made with the atom bomb. Science makes new ways to make humans suffer all the time. It is also the motivation for many people to be racist and sexist. Go to any website that talks about how females are inferior, or how blacks are inferior, and you will see plenty of science.

I've seen great things happen with religion. I've seen people be hopeful in sickness, or people that are fine with death. I know people who aren't bothered with death. They are comforted when family members die or when something horrible happen. If you meet someone who is truly a good Christian, you will see how happy s/he is, even in bad times.

If you want to judge how bad religion is based off of the bad things it has done, than don't ignore science's bad side. Religion, real or not, gives hopes and happiness. Science gives us medicine and good homes. Religion has given us the crusades and extreme cults. Science has given us paranoia and mass destruction. At very least, you must say that we are on the same level.
Posted by hikarijon 4 years ago
hikarijon
er hellooooo, science has a great thing going for it, when it's wrong it asks 'why?'...can it be proved or not?...is it measurable etc?. Being wrong is what makes things progress. Science does not just take critisism and then brush it under the carpet as 'Gods way so just accept it' we learn from things by getting them wrong, religion just tells everyone that this is fact without backing any of it up and then has a go at science for all the ill it has done to the world, I think if you weighed up the pro's and cons then you wouldhave a better view of science, it is the word we give to progress through innovation and ideas, mistakes and learning from those mistakes.

Now I am aware of one particular religion that murders people when they question it, I'm not sure Einstein would have murdered a bright young student who challenged his theory of relativity...lol, he even admitted its only a theory...something to go on until proven wrong or right....tell that to your local priest lol
Posted by OliviaMoon 4 years ago
OliviaMoon
In response to hikarijon...thank you. I think it is of utmost importance to spread this message. I appreciate your response.

In response to Solomon Grim, 'several bad things' is a bit of an understatement, don't you think? Consider that religion is responsible for suicide bombers, 9/11, the Crusades, the Inquisitions which lasted for five centuries, the 'witch' hunts and burnings, the Indian partition, the Israeli/Palestinian wars, the Serb/Muslim massacres, the persecution of the Jewish people as 'Christ killers', the wars in Northern Ireland, obscenely rich televangelists who prey on the gullible, the Taliban, Al Queda, public beheadings in the Middle East, flogging of women in the Middle East, the Westboro Baptist folks, fighting over gay rights, delays to stem cell research, the list is extensive.

Certainly, the the wrong hands, 'science' can also be misused. Science, however, refers to a process of inquiry. Religion is, by definition, acceptance of divine command. Who is to say when they message is misinterpreted? Therein lies another problem...
Posted by hikarijon 4 years ago
hikarijon
I totally agree with you, it is an evil in itself.

The problem we have is that religion actually plays an almost genetically imprinted part in our modern society...we have laws based on it even! In which court of law is theory allowed to take part in such vast amounts? There is a reason they call it theism...yet just today I saw a local priest driving a brand new Mercedes S-Class.....really? does he work, produce, heal, grow food or provide anything other than a theistic shoulder to cry on? wow, I work my behind off and I don't have a Mercedes S-Class...something is very wrong here ...keep the debate going, wake them all up
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by gordonjames 4 years ago
gordonjames
OliviaMoonTulbakraTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct against CON for FF Con never answered Pro's question "Do you really think that religion, something that provides meaning, is really a bad thing?"
Vote Placed by GOP 4 years ago
GOP
OliviaMoonTulbakraTied
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: FF