The Instigator
Darth_Grievous_42
Pro (for)
Winning
21 Points
The Contender
Geekis_Khan
Con (against)
Losing
15 Points

Religious Symbols Ought to be Removed From Public Places

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/10/2008 Category: Religion
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 5,387 times Debate No: 3980
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (14)
Votes (12)

 

Darth_Grievous_42

Pro

This is the topic I was suppose to be debating in the tournament, however, my opponent has yet to accept, so I'll simply debate it for fun.

As Pro, I will be defending that religious symbols ought to be removed from public places, thus the polar opposite of my stance that my opponent will have to defend is that religious symbols ought NOT to be removed from public places. I want to make it perfectly clear that I am in no way personally for nor against my stance, I am simply debating for it. Also, when I say "you" or "your" I am speaking figuratively, not personally attacking my opponent.

Here is the definition of Public: http://www.merriam-webster.com......
And Religion http://www.merriam-webster.com......

There are 3 main reasons why these symbols should be removed from public places.
1) Consideration
2) Fiction
3) Equality

Consideration – You'll note that if you look at my profile I'm agnostic. This means I believe in something, just nothing for certain. However, suppose I am a Satanist (Satanism is a religion, even if you don't agree with it on a personal level). Now I am forced to see Christian crosses everywhere I go. This religion above all others is a direct insult to my belief system. It is simply rude, and degrading, knowing that this religion is held in higher respects than mine, thus degrading not only what I believe but who I am. People who know me know I am a nice and agreeable person, even if they don't agree with my choice of religion. But what you think should not belittle my own thoughts. I have my reasons for believing what I believe just as much as any Christian, Muslim or Buddhist, so why is my faith worth less? This situation, while perhaps more drastic that others, occurs all the time. If any religious symbol is seen outside of its specific place of worship, thus on a public place, it is saying that that religion is better than yours. This is not right. If Satanism was the main religion in America, and a Christian saw an upside down cross, they would feel just as insulted as any religion that is now downcast in the real world. So, religious symbols need to be taken down simply to be considerate. There are designated places where their beliefs symbols can be as presumptuous as they want. But out in the public, where there are hundreds of people who don't necessarily share your views, they have no place. They are insulting and demeaning to those religions that either don't or can't have their own religious symbols put up.

Fiction – In reality, is there a God? This point is not meant to get into a huge philosophical debate (there are already hundreds on this site alone). What I am trying to convey is can anyone do prove that their God exists? Think about it. There are literally thousands of religions [https://www.cia.gov...... list some under religions] shared by millions of people. How can any 1 be the real one? Sure, they will try to defend it, and say they are right. And their proof is… a book? That along with their personal testimonies are about as much proof as they can give, and still it is not definitive and somewhere it will be countered by a differing religion that "is the real one". We, being the small specks of space matter that we are, cannot possibly begin to comprehend any sort of power at work in the great vastness of the universe. So how is it someone can speculate that "they know the entire truth about god"? Really, they can't. They can believe they can, but in reality they really, actually can't. Because their belief cannot be absolute, it can only ever be a belief. By putting up religious symbols outside your respective worship places, you are claiming that you are right and everyone else is wrong. At the same time, all those wrong people know that they are right and you are wrong. It is simply presumptuous to assume you have decoded the answer to the greatest of the Universes questions and that no one else has. Putting out any of your symbols only confirms that pompousness. Until it can actually be confirmed beyond a doubt that you are right (making it fact), your beliefs need to be kept to yourself, in your place of worship. So religious symbols need to be removed as there can be no way of knowing if those symbols stand for is real.

Equality – Now if you looked the CIA site, you'll see 10 religions, one of which is made to cover the practically infinite amount of smaller ones. There are probably thousands in existence. If religious symbols had to be left up, they cannot be restricted to just 1. Rather, every public place that shows even 1 religious symbol must show all of them. This includes, but is by no means limited to: Buddhism, Scientology, Muslim, Islam, Satanic, Flying Spaghetti Monster, Evolutionary, and Carl (my friends self made one). As I said in the above two, no 1 religion can take precedence over another. If they can show their symbols then ALL religions should and must be able to. As you may be able to see, this will create quite a problem monetarily, religiously, and spatially. Because this will create a problem not only for the building owner to pay and make room for who knows how many statuettes and symbols, but also towards people who may not want to see other religions be recognized. So the whole process should be avoided altogether and just have all religious symbols be removed from public buildings.

In summary: Since we cannot know what the ‘right' religion is definitively, no 1 religion can be held in higher regard than another, as it is not only factually wrong but demeans all other religions and their followers as well; so unless all religions are recognized (which is hardly practical) then religious symbols must be kept within their own private domiciles, and taken down from the view of the general public who may or may not share your views.

My opponent is encouraged to refute all three of these claims and add any of his own which I will then argue against. Any one of these is reason enough to remove religious symbols from public places. I look forward to your responce.
Geekis_Khan

Con

Thank you for starting the debate. For the record, I actually agree with the topic (generally), but I thought your case would be fun to argue, and I really want to see how you defend some of it.

First, I'd like to point out that Merriam-Webster gives multiple definitions of the word public, and you did not specify which one we are using. However, they are all very similar, and are quite in-line with the vernacular. In the context of your case, it seems to mean, quite basically, the opposite of private. Since you didn't specify which defintion we are using, I'm going to debate it from this standpoint. I hope we don't have to waste a round over any definitional disagreements.

Now, here's my entire case:

Isn't a church a public place?

Now, on to attacking your case. You offer three main points. I will refute each of these.

1.) Consideration.
You're basically making the argument that because someone might be offended or insultied, this should be illegal. When did being rude become a crime? It may not be nice, but I don't see any reason why we should be outlawing rudeness. That just seems like the government governing morality.

Moreover, you talk specifically about a Satanist walking around a public place where crosses are displayed prominently, and the insult that he must feel knowing that other religions look down on his and do not accept his religion as equal. Well, other religions will still think this whether or not they can display crosses in public places, and the Satanist will surely know about this antagonism either. The problem here is not the display of religious symbols, it's of the inability of various religious groups to get along. Don't make the displaying of religious symbols your scapegoat.

2.) Fiction.
So just because we don't KNOW that any religion is right, it shouldn't be disiplayed in the public? Just because something is fiction means that it shouldn't be in public places? I'll remind myself to stop reading Stephen King books in public parks.

3.) Equality.
Yeah. You'd have to give various religious groups equal rights to display their religious symbols. I'm not seeing the problem here. The only real problem you assert is a financial burden. But how much does it cost to make a cross?
Debate Round No. 1
Darth_Grievous_42

Pro

You're welcome, and thank you for accepting.

I will accept your definition. I found most of the definitions to be synonymous with each other, and did not think it necessary to clarify, though I see that assumption was wrong. So if public is the opposite of private, we must define private, which we will use the first definition, being:

Intended for or restricted to the use of a particular person, group, or class (http://www.merriam-webster.com...)

Therefore, public must mean not intended for or restricted to the use of a particular person, group, or class.

If this is the case, then churches are not public but private. They are very much intended, and occasionally restricted to the use of a particular person, group, or class. A Christian church is not made for just any person to walk in and do whatever, even if that does happen. Rather, it is made specifically for the use of Christians, not the public. Places like parks, shopping centers, and public offices are public because they are made to appeal to everyone, regardless of race or religion. Churches are in existence for 1 in particular religion (group), meaning that they are private, almost like a club. They will accept members with the proper admission: your faith. So, while people might be able to join, churches are not public, but private. Now that this is clarified, I will proceed.

1a) Not merely insulted my friend, but personally attacked and publicly belittled. It's not just offensive, it is a direct offense. Rudeness may not be a crime, but segregation and outright bigotry. The KKK can go out and have public showings where they can shout out all their racist thoughts to their hearts content, of course with a proper permit, but you don't see flaming crosses and lynched black people publicly because it's directly offensive and wrong. Yet, there are religious symbols, mostly Christian ones, displayed everywhere, which is belittling to other religions by stating that it is above of them, that it alone is right and accepted when it's not. We can't prove it's right, and not everyone believes in it. So it is only a belief (more in 2), and because it's just that is no better than the other plethora of other beliefs. But by having it displayed it sends the message that it is better, it is right, and that you are neither if you disagree.

1b) Religions do disagree, and this is only more reason to get rid of the public symbols. It is intentionally aggravating negative feelings towards each other. Because they will surely never get along, there is no reason to add more kindling to the fire. They are perfectly welcome to share any of their own beliefs in their designated places of worship, but in the public their opinions are only ever opinions. The symbols make the statement that that belief is fact, meaning that your religion, and not theirs, is wrong. So, they can feel what they want, but cannot be allowed to publicly state through their symbols those feelings, as it is degrading and directly hateful.

2) Well, yes! Because it we can't know its right means we cannot state it as fact, which is what religions are doing. Mister King knows that his work is fiction, and you'll clearly see that somewhere in the binding or inside of the cover. But if there was a church of Stephen King, and statues of The Dark Tower in public spaces they would have to be removed. There are many who do not agree with the teachings of King, and may have devoted their life to the followings of Michael Crichton. But because Stephen King has more followers and is more accepted means he's right? How can you prove he is? Have to seen the Gunslinger? Can you prove that phycic Spider exists? No, you can't. If you could, then you would be right. But you can't. Likewise, Christians, Buddhists and Satanists can't prove their selected deities exist, meaning that their beliefs can only ever be beliefs. They are not fact, but the symbols make it out that they are, sending the message that you are wrong. But they can't prove they are right either. Until it is certain that any one religion is THE right religion they have to be held in equal regard, despite individual membership, as no one can prove they are either right or wrong. Until they can, they are equal, and having a public symbol implies something that they clearly are not.

3) Probably not much to make a cross. Then their are the jade Buda's, the many Gold Greek Gods, marble Egyptian ones, brass Jewish Menorahs, etc. You can see that a major problem is not only money, but also space. Hindus alone have 27 Gods, all of which would need to be equally displayed next to the 50 Norse Gods, Jesus and all the Saints, the 24 Aboriginal gods, and the over 100 Aztec Gods, among the countless others. Every public place would need an entire building set aside just for this. That is the problem there. Meanwhile, each of those religions has their own buildings to house their selected statues and symbols. The entire problem should be avoided altogether by removing the symbols that are up now and just having the individual churches for those religions keep their symbols to themselves within themselves.
Geekis_Khan

Con

Geekis_Khan forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Darth_Grievous_42

Pro

How unfortunate that his account was deleted. I was very much looking forward to his responce.

I'll remind the audience that the judging is not on your personal opinion on whether or not religous symbols should be removed, but on which debater defended that stance better. If you feel the need to justify you annonymous vote, I very much encourage you to do so in the comments section. Darth_Grievous_42 out.
Geekis_Khan

Con

Geekis_Khan forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by snicker_911 9 years ago
snicker_911
oooh--i guess that means our country is sexist because they only have pictures of males on the bills. what a shame...?
Posted by scorpionclone 9 years ago
scorpionclone
You must be a Mason if your getting all worked up over it Masons usually do. The Masons are a religion. They have church buildings called the scottish rite of freemasonry, they worship the God they call the lghtbearer. Not the God Jesus Christ.

I'm all for people having thier own relationship with God, but lets be fair. If we can't put mohammed, Jesus, and Budda on the money why should we put masonic religious symbols on them?

Why is this ok?

The Spirit of the law is equality and a "no preference". The government is not being equal with this

Look up the 9/11 20 dollar bill conspiracy and get back to me with your thoughts
Posted by snicker_911 9 years ago
snicker_911
the point is money is used to feed ur dang family, not to stare at and admire all friggin day long! lets just move on already. what a stupid issue to argue about...
Posted by sadolite 9 years ago
sadolite
snicker, My comment wasn't directed at you personally only people who think relgious symbols should be removed from public view.
Posted by snicker_911 9 years ago
snicker_911
I'm glad too. :) It just gives me the giggles when you get all paranoid about it.

The 'In God We Trust' barely shows at all, I mean, it's not like we're shoving it in your faces and forcing you to be Christian!

ma·son Audio Help (mā'sən) Pronunciation Key
n.
One who builds or works with stone or brick.
Mason A Freemason.

tr.v. ma·soned, ma·son·ing, ma·sons
To build of or strengthen with masonry.

Tell me,scorpionclone, what does working with stones and bricks have to do with the symbols on the money?
Posted by Darth_Grievous_42 9 years ago
Darth_Grievous_42
I'm glad everyone ignored how I said:

"I want to make it perfectly clear that I am in no way personally for nor against my stance, I am simply debating for it."

This was my topic for the Online Debate Tournament, and my opponent failed to accept the debate. I only wanted to debate it. Please actually read the arguments, not just judge by the title.
Posted by sadolite 9 years ago
sadolite
People who think religious symbols should removed from public view offend me. I think people who think religious symbols should be removed from public view should also be banned from public view. Why would this argument be any less valid. I've always wondered why it is OK to offend people of faith by ridiculing their faith. But it is not OK to ridicule and offend people who do not believe in religion.
Posted by scorpionclone 9 years ago
scorpionclone
Does that mean we can take the masonic symbols off of our money too? Casue I'm all for that!!
Posted by leethal 9 years ago
leethal
"Is there any earthly reason not to protect it, other than, seeing baby Jesus or a Star of David or a red crescent hurts some people's ever-so-delicate sensibilities?"

Perhaps not, but that doesn't mean the Constitution should be the be-all and end-all when it comes to debates on personal liberties. We could try something really far out there to develop a solution, like, I don't know, using our own brains for once. I think (and all evidence suggests it) that if there were a complete ban of guns in America, the homicide rate would decrease. But doing so would conflict with the Constitution, so it will likely never happen. That was my point.
Posted by Paradigm_Lost 9 years ago
Paradigm_Lost
"Ahhh, case closed, then. If it is protected in the Constitution, then it must be OK, right?"

Is there any earthly reason not to protect it, other than, seeing baby Jesus or a Star of David or a red crescent hurts some people's ever-so-delicate sensibilities?

Seems reasonable to protect the Freedom of Speech and the freedom to freely worship if it does not violate the premise of Clear and Present Danger, and so long as the government are not the one's supporting the effigies and symbols.
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