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Secular Government

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/7/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 355 times Debate No: 76304
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
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This debate is about secular government and whether a secular government is more beneficial to a society than a theocratic government. In order for a better understanding of the topic, definitions for the terms in question will be provided to simplify the context of the debate for both contenders.

Secular - accepting of all religious while not particularly devout to one ; a system by which church and state are separated.

Beneficial - Having more benefits than costs (or rather more pros than cons).

The format of the debate will be as follows:

[1] Acceptance
[2] Opening statements (no rebuttals permitted)
[3] Rebuttals
[4] Conclusions

The debate is open to all debaters, and the first debater to take the challenge must agree to the following rules:

1) The utilization of first person pronouns is prohibited (exception being the the first and fourth round).
2) Purposefully disregarding the seriousness of the debate and otherwise "trolling" is worthy of an automatic loss and closure of the debate.
3) All quotations and citations from internet articles, books other forms of literature related to the subject must be appropriately cited following the argument with a direct link to the quoted text.

If the debater agrees to these contentions they must specifically state so in the acceptance round.


No, I believe that a theocratic Government is more efficient in tackling all its problems than a secular government because in a secular one, the governing body has to take into consideration the postulates of all the religions in play and see to that the rules or laws governed do not stand in the way of people following their religion. This creates a lot of specifications/restrictions which a law has to adhere to, and hence reducing the flexibility it should. The main purpose of a legislation is lost as it aims more for not offending the public rather than spearheading the issue at concern. Whereas a theocratic government has only one set of rules or ideologies to follow and their deliberations can actually resolve the problems at hand.
Debate Round No. 1


Before I begin I would like to state my thankfulness for your acceptance of my debate. I would also like to wish you the best of luck.

I. Concept of Secularism

The very idea of secular government is beneficial to a society in its own virtue, a federal separation of church and state eliminates the found of abhorrent laws that were founded on the religious laws of a leader or majority of people within the designated area said leader or people are. Secularism is not necessarily established to abolish religion nor to prohibit the free practice of religion, in the fact the sole purpose of government secularism is to respect the religious and non-religious beliefs of all citizens.

An appropriate country to use for the impact of secularism would be the United States. As time passes, the United States' populace seems to conform to progressive and religiously unaffiliated ideologies, as the number of religiously unaffiliated persons in the country has tripled since 2007, and the number of progressives has rocketed by about 10%. As of 2014, the Christian faith lost 8% of its population to the unaffiliated spectrum. And since then, to corroborate the two as opposed to senselessly letting the two ideas remain afloat, the country has collectively become more progressive as this passes, and laws such the Kansas and Indiana law which permit business owners to deny services to individuals based on religious values have grown to become more frowned upon. As people understand more and more that in owning a business you are selling a product or service to the public in exchange for money, which would inherently make your business public - regardless of exactly how 'private' you, the business owner, feel it is - many Conservatives argue that this is the government infringing on the rights of religious individuals who hold their religious customs strong to themselves, but yet they fail to realize the detriment of allowing service cuts to minorities, and how much worse off the country would be if businesses could hypothetically deny services. And they also seem to realize that owning a store in which customers enter for services, is strictly business, and like bosses will tell their employees, keep the private life and beliefs out of the work place - it is unprofessional and controversial to spill your personal views and life story into the working environment, and it commonly disrupts the work of the work place, which can influence other workers to set a pause to their work in order to converse, or in some situations, to argue.

II. Theocratic Oppression

It isn't hard to understand that in more religiously conservative governments, regimes, and nations in general, religious oppression, racial profiling, and marginalization based upon the religious laws of one person or another, that oppression and lack of public opinion, as well as effectiveness, is lacking. For example, the state of Texas in the United States. Texas is a very conservative [both politically and religiously] state, and the population of Texas is often faced with profiling, discrimination and denomination of their most basic rights to freedom of opinion, expression and religion [or lack thereof] as hence forth granted to them in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Most working class citizens in Texas are Central Americans, but a large variety of them receive demonizing pay from the local law enforcement, as well as the American system as a whole. In Texas, a local bar had refused to give access to services to an Islamic woman on the basis that her beliefs contradicted that of their own, and that they were also a terrorist because of their religion. In an ideal secular nation, that would not be allowed because being professional and owning a business where you are obligated to provide for the public based on your occupation, you are not allowed to mix business and religion, nor class, race, sex, sexuality or anything of the sort. In your eyes as the owner of a business, you are to uphold the belief that all customers that enter your store are in fact customers regardless of the aforementioned factors.

And to reiterate, a big misconception many hold about secular government is that it installs atheism and agnosticism into the system. Yet the point is to disregard religion [or lack thereof] as a component of politics and government and just completely disconsolate it, unless of course bringing up a situation where religious rights are actually brazenly being infringed upon [e.g business owner kicks out Muslim because they're Muslim, justice system steps in and penalizes business owner].

Another example of theocratic oppression would be the Middle East in a present setting. The political tension between Israel and Palestine is very heavily involved with the religious and cultural differences between the two countries. Many think of Israel as more of a Zionist country, while others think of Palestine as a victimized Islamic/Christian country holding more peaceful values. But the profiling in Israel [whether it is agreed with that Israel is Zionist or not] is caused by religious and racial difference. Israel weaves its way into the motif of religiously fundamentalist countries/theocratic governments being strict on their beliefs and very strongly demonizing its religious opposition. As Israel heavily condemns the faith of Islam and many of its followers are arrested, killed or deported in fear that simply holding the Islamic values is a threat to the security of the country.

Another prime example of theocratic government would be Nazi Germany. Though it also appears the most common example, a driving force of the NSDAP was to enforce the religious supremacy of Christianity upon religious minorities in Europe [included Jews, Muslims, etc.], it should be acknowledged in this conversation that Hitler's repressive Fascist regime for the most part [within its High Command especially] held sincere religious beliefs. Hitler giving benefits to the Christian populace and revoking the benefits when the person in question was of a different religion only goes to show what theocratic countries truly behave like.

III. Empowering of Religious Corruption

In the 1500s in Europe, the Catholic Church was the backseat government in its own way. For the monarchs of Europe passed all of their laws and actions through the church hierarchy before actually putting them into practice, as apparently it was culturally required that monarchs did such. The church was also given the power to accept money in exchange for the repetence of sins. Meaning someone could run around raping and murdering, and as soon as they slip the local priest some money their sins are "forgiven".

With governments that run solely on religion [in this case theocratic regimes], religious corruption tends to be more of a problem.

IV. Lack of Effective Rule

The thesis being made is that theocratic government is not *effective*, which shall be proved in this section of the argument.

To begin with, all theocratic governments in the past were faced with irrefutable loss in war, had suffered serious opposition from the inside, and were consumed by absolute atrocities that were allowed in the streets. The Third Reich collapsed after a mere six years of war, the rebellion against the church, formally titled the 'Protestant Reformation' lead by Martin Luther also dismantled the political [absolute] power of the church in Europe, within a hundred years or less of American's existence, the government became significantly less religiously-involved. While Middle Eastern powers still hold strongly conservative religious values and still maintain religious influence in their countries, they are constantly faced with war.



I would like to keep this short and uncomplicated. Firstly, thank you for putting up the idea for such a debate which people in their right minds would not accept, as suggested in one of the comments. Good luck to you too, may the best man win.

I-Rebuttal of your argument
(1) You mentioned that the number of progressives and size of the unaffiliated spectrum has seen a rise in the previous 10
years or so. Are we trying to make the world secular, or religion free?? A world where we do not believe in someone
but ourselves, where nobody is accountable to none. At least the fear of God in people puts leash on their
behaviour. Imagine the unprecedented rise in crimes of all sorts when religion is absent from our lives.

(2) I appreciate the writeup about the functioning of the small scale businesses and society as a whole. May I remind you what the topic of the debate was?? It specifies the functioning of a secular government and not a secular society. Government administration and law enforcement is to be debated upon, not beliefs. Moreover, ideologies of an individual will and definitely will be implemented by him/her on a daily basis, be it a theocratic government or a secular one, be it permitted or not, and that's the stark truth my friend.I reside in India, the biggest secular, democratic nation of the world, and trust me when I tell you, the world is not black and white, it resides in the shades of grey, meaning that people will do what they want to do, nothing can stop them. So secular nation or not, stopping people from following their beliefs would spell disaster for you.

(3) Coming to the topic of Texas, or, a "theocratic oppression" as you say it, is just limited to a state and not the country. Exposure to the world has created awareness in people which has instilled a quality of religious tolerance and hence the oppression you talked about is on the decline as I type out this sentence. Alarmingly the United States of America has a bigger issue to resolve and that is Inter Racial Discrimination. It's more widespread than one can imagine.

(4) Discrimination against Islam followers is purely an individual's lunacy and IS NOT professed by Texas, or any nation for that matter. You cannot blame a person's sociopathic apathy on the Government which rules there. These are solely the faults and responsibilities of the society.

(5) Have you heard that the next world war is going to happen over water?? Similarly, someone who wants to fight, does not need a justifiable reason to do so. Israel-Palestinian conflict is NOT due to any kind of theocratic reasons, it was due to the empiristic intentions. The remaining key issues are: mutual recognition, borders, security, water rights, control of Jerusalem, Israeli settlements, Palestinian freedom of movement, and resolving Palestinian claims of a right of return for their refugees. Do we see any religious issues over here, I think NO.I would politely ask you to get the information correct

II) My stance

Today's Democratic Party is anything but secular. Instead of standing up for our secular democracy, many have adopted a path of pandering to the religious. There are some very fundamental flaws in secularism and democracy. And this is the issue of right and wrong itself. The issue of fairness and justice. Who decides what? How do we decide? Each group in the state will have their own notions of right and wrong. For example, staunch christians wont want to legalize prostitution. But liberals would. So who's right? In the secular system, we all have to agree to suspend our own (groups') notion of right and wrong and debate these issues together to come up with the laws that we will use to govern ourselves.To decide on laws governing humans, you will need tremendous knowledge about the human condition, mentality, human interactions and interdependence between each other as well as the environment and the nature of Man itself. Can we claim this? Even the best minds in all the related fields agree that our knowledge of those fields can only barely scratch the surface and never will really get the whole picture. So we try our best? Is this a fair and just course of action? Obviously not.

III) Standing for theocracy
The word theocracy of course indicates "religion" and brings to the minds of many, the Afgan Taliban, or at minimum, the Muslim religion resembling something like what exists in Saudi Arabia, or one of the other Middle Eastern countries.

Religious rule, according to views of those who worship at the altar of democracy like multitudes of Americans, is uncivilized, backwards, stone age, and neanderthal. They who hold such views, are themselves also religious in their defense of democracy, and are fanatical in fighting and defending it, having no compunction in lying, subterfuge and hypocracy while doing so. Democracy is the peoples right to corrupt, pornify, and defile ones own nation/country, under the guise of "freedom" or "freedom of expression", while simultaneously being protected by the government from any consequences of their actions.

The advantage of a theocracy is that all members of the society theoretically share a set of common values and traditions and are compelled to obey the chief ruler, who is considered immortal and infallible. This helps ensure a cohesive society. Historically, theocracies have often succeeded in creating vast empires. The Egyptian, Mayan and Aztec empires all had theocratic governments.
Debate Round No. 2


TheSatiricalAnarchist forfeited this round.


All in all, I would want to conclude by saying that even though the predominant notion or popularity of secularism, we see that it does more harm than good as cited by the arguments in the previous round. Theocracy is gaining its lost followership and widening its base in socio and geo-political area. Revival of religion based government is not too far in the future and we may see its awakening any time soon, sooner than we predict. This case is all about buts and ifs so, until and unless we are not sure that secularism is our only, I repeat, only option, without the faintest glimmer of doubt, vote for con

Vote for con.
Debate Round No. 3


TheSatiricalAnarchist forfeited this round.


All to be said has been said.
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by TheSatiricalAnarchist 1 year ago
I do not have the time to commit myself to this debate. However, I look forward to being able to debate with you again the future.
Posted by Mike_10-4 1 year ago
This debate's definition of "Secular" is new.

Secular, "accepting of all religious"," sounds more like an oxymoron.
Posted by skyfish 1 year ago
no one in their right mind will take this debate... but that does not stop many who support mixing religion with public policy.
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