The Instigator
nrpaul1015
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
MBF
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Separation of Church and State: is it needed.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/22/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 416 times Debate No: 55273
Debate Rounds (4)
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nrpaul1015

Pro

I say absolutely yes. Religion will corrupt politics and will cause countless debates about the one main religion, rights of other religious groups, and so on and so forth. If separation of church and state was abolished from the constitution, it would add a lot of controversy to the already busy government of our nation.

Religion has no place in congress.

I will hear all arguments and look forward to your argument on the subject.
MBF

Con

The Establishment Clause consists of the following: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." It is followed by the so-called free exercise clause: "or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." The problem with the argument in favor of motion that the vaunted separation of church and state is needed, is that arguably the United States--and extremely pluralistic and dynamic and successful republic--has never employed one, much less needed one. Let's be clear, first of all, who carries the burden here: The argument in favor of the motion must convince you that a barrier between the church and the state, (whatever that means, and I'll get to this later) is not merely desirable, or nice, or a good idea, but absolutely necessary. That without it, one might fear the springing up of vile theocracies in our midst. Never-mind the bit about republics or some shade of representative democracy at the very least--after all "needed" needs a whom, and one infers the backing of power to enable it. So I ask you: Where is the theocracy in Washington D.C.? For that matter, where is it in the hearts of those constitutional monarchies, which operate, at least officially, by the arcane yet undeniably theocratic notion of the divine right of kings, and moreover in countries such as Britain where there was indeed an 'established' or officially sanctioned church; the Anglican, in that case. The answer is clear: Because the separation of Church and State was not needed in order for there to thrive a open and liberal democracy or republic or, in any case a state that is sufficiently good enough to convince the majority of their voting populace to stay home because they are so fat an sanguine, they couldn't be bothered to get in their mini-vans or lorries and drive two blocks to the nearest poll to press a button or pull a lever to significantly change the course of things. And so I ask you to vote against the motion.

You should vote against it, because the very proposition does not even jive with how things operate today in those very corners of the earth that humans live so agreeably they tout the freedom to kill themselves by overeating. And I ask you to vote against the motion because, after all, who needs another ivory tower atheist telling you about how terrible they are having it that they heard some dreadful prayer before their teenage girl's lacrosse game? Amid these shockingly obsequious displays of self pity I always sense these people want freedom from expression, and not the freedom of expression in their various constitutions. Yes, self-absorption has reached heretofore unknown heights.

But I also have ancillary reasons for you to vote against it: It doesn't mean anything. Say you vote for it. Add that un-ticked box on a list of un-ticked boxes that extend as far as that pessimistic, and I say, myopic eye can see. Put it beside terrorism, immigration reform, global warming, the war on drugs, European debt, and all the other so-called crises that are happening now and By God (or not) something must be done about them. The essential problem with these crises is that they rely on shaky assumptions, and characteristically somehow all theoretically culminate in the absolute eradication of all life on earth. Call me a skeptic, but millennarian catastrophes, or anything projecting massive new world orders into the distant future, strikes me as the sadist fantasy of the sheltered nerd everywhere, in all times: 'Anything but this--I'd rather watch the world burn!'

I would also rather like to know what it is those in favor of the motion envisage as a smashing success. What does that complete separation look like? What does that mean, for that church to be separated from your state? I can tell you this, what it means to you, will mean something utterly dissimilar to Joe Sixpack, and so fourth. So if the motion's "it" is needful at all, mustn't "it" encompass all these meanings, no matter how inconsistent or self-contradictory? For instance, if separation of church and state to me meant, 'all Churches must be at least 500 miles from the nearest capital building,' and to John down the road it meant, 'all churches must be located in the state of Delaware,' logically speaking this would cancel out the possibility that Churches may exist at all in America. What of this proposition? There is no common language.

Finally, statutory and especially Constitutional interpretation is fraught with ambiguity. This is so because those who write constitutions typically aim at writing frameworks, and not detailing every last contingency that might arise. And so I point your attention again to the Establishment Clause of the American Constitution. Is this not the very picture of ambiguity? What does it mean, for instance to 'establish?' What law does 'make no law respecting' contemplate? You may have some rule of construction, but these are always arbitrary. And with respect to my Delaware church example, supra, how do you square the theoretical inability to have a church at all with the exercise clause's rule against prohibiting the free exercise of religion? It's a square circle. It won't hunt.

And so I ask you to vote against this meaningless white noise. I urge you to vote against it, and vote against anything which masquerades as reason but consists only of empty platitudes to stack upon an alarmingly tall pile of such rubbish.
Debate Round No. 1
nrpaul1015

Pro

I care not for a long and drawn out argument. All i need is one question answered well and I will change my views on the whole subject mater.

If separation of church and state were to be abolished, what will be the one main religion of our nation.

Answer wisely, there are plenty to choose from. And those you neglect to choose, what about their rights, why isn't their religion the "One"? This is a very slippery slope my friend. Wouldn't it be easier to keep the drama of religion out of our already troubled government?

I say again, because of the multiple views of multiple religions, one religion should not be the highest and any religion should be able to use arguments that hold up in congress.

Thank you.
MBF

Con

I don't feel the second round answer of the individual in favor of the motion was at all responsive on any single point which I raised. They forget the point of debate is to persuade more than just those who raise the question, and furthermore they ignore the response.

Indeed, the argument in favor of the motion raises only the conclusory notions that (1) there actually is a separation of church and state in countries that are considered secular havens of representative governance, and (2) assuming the the separation actually exists, defines it, again in conclusory terms, as necessary. This is obviously circular reasoning!

Thus, I urge you to vote against the motion.
Debate Round No. 2
nrpaul1015

Pro

nrpaul1015 forfeited this round.
MBF

Con

MBF forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
nrpaul1015

Pro

nrpaul1015 forfeited this round.
MBF

Con

MBF forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
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