The Instigator
Mr_Jack_Nixon
Con (against)
Losing
5 Points
The Contender
Danielle
Pro (for)
Winning
33 Points

Should religion exist?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/23/2010 Category: Religion
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 4,014 times Debate No: 11492
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (15)
Votes (6)

 

Mr_Jack_Nixon

Con

Ok , First I would like to point out that this is not an argument about WHETHER religion exists but, rather, SHOULD it exist. By religion I don't mean the practice of it I mean what it represents (i.e. God, Jesus, Buddha, Alla, etc.). I wish whomever I face good luck and let the games begin.

Firstly, I would like to start my first point, that it does not hold people accountable to their actions. For example it is commonly known that if you do something bad alls you have to do is repent and your God will be okay with it. Since people consider this the highest authority, this is all that matters to them. So people get in the mind frame that if they ever do something wrong, they only have to pray to be forgiven, instead of thinking about the actual consequences such as jail, fines, etc. This attracts more people to follow it and be trapped by its negative effects, and create even more negative temptations.

Secondly, it teaches people to go by other peoples morals instead of their own. People must create their own morals if they are to self actualize and become the person they socially should be. Religion induces morals that are either their gods, other important religious people, or others who follow the religion. This means that people begin to follow other people thoughts, morals, and ideas and become extremely vulnerable to corruption. This I will get to in my last point and also it does not allow people to be original.

Finally, and most importantly, religion destroys almost everything it touches. It admittidely does have some good aspects, those good things are completely destroyed later on. This may be because of religous persecution, ostrasization b/c of religion and war. The majority of all wars are fought over religion, and the reason that a World Order is impossible is because of religion. If religion didn't exist we could all Unite as HUMANS instead of CHRISTIANS, MUSLIMS, ATHEISTS, etc. If we did this we could work together to make third world countries, and poverty, and things bad in general NONEXISTANT. Religion splits us and destroys us.

I wish the opponent good luck.
Danielle

Pro

Thanks, Con, for beginning this debate.

I'd like to clarify that I am not religious nor do I hold any significant religious values. However, I'm arguing the Pro position for the sake of debate, and because I don't think the Con does an adequate job of explaining why religion should be extinct. A religion is a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe. Con makes it clear in his introduction that this debate is not to be about the practice of religion, but what it represents (God or a Creator). So, this debate will focus on whether or not beliefs should be held about God or another Creator of the universe.Thanks again, Con, and good luck!

1. Re: Religion Does Not Hold People Accountable For Their Actions

Quite frankly I'm not sure where my opponent is getting this idea. The Abrahamic God most definitely punishes people for their actions, hence the description of Hell as an eternal punishment for those who reject God and act irredeemably immorally while living. Another example of 'punishment' by religion can be seen in regards to Buddhists who believe in reincarnation. If one acts immorally in this lifetime, their belief is that they are reincarnated and suffer in their next lifetime due to things like karma. So, if one acts wrongfully, they are most definitely held accountable in the sense that they will suffer either in this lifetime or the next. Additionally, religious people don't believe that you should be permitted to act however you want and get away with it just because you repent to God. For instance, many Christians believe in the death penalty, and the idea is usually that you should repent to God for his forgiveness but not expect the same leniency here on earth.

So, in his round, Con makes the mistake of implementing the Christian philosophy that God forgives sinners to account for ALL religions when that is not in fact the case. Moreover, Christians believe that God knows whether or not you're really sorry AND the actual intent and capacity behind your actions, meaning you can't outsmart God - or in other words just act badly simply because you know you will be forgiven. Absolutely no religion preaches that ideal. Thus the argument that there's no incentive to be a good person, or no punishment for being a bad person is false. In fact, most religions promote good behavior and morality, and scare people into behaving appropriately with threats of Hell and other violence. Just look at the Old Testament or Torah and see how vengeful God can be!

2. Re: Religion Imposes Morals; People Should Create Their Own Morals

I 100% disagree with this statement. Con is implying that morals are subjective instead of objective. A quick example of how Con is wrong is easily identifiable using his very own examples. For instance, suppose I believe that all girls are good and all boys are bad. According to Con's standards, this would be perfectly acceptable because it's not encouraged by religion - it's something I came up with completely on my own; it has nothing to do with God, and I was able to be 'original' which Con apparently finds important. However, most people would obviously see why this moral stance was wrong regardless of the lack of religious implication or ideals. The point here is that while I agree that God should not be the basis of morality, I disagree that people should be able to determine their own morals, and I understand that in most cases religions try to impose good values.

3. Re: Religion Destroys Everything It Touches

Con concludes his argument by citing that religion is the cause for division; a claim that is easily contrasted in an episode of South Park (lol). As the comedy points out, even if people weren't fighting over religion, they would be fighting over something else. In fact, psychologically humans are dispositioned to find and ostracize an 'Other.' This Other is often an outsider; perhaps someone of a different color, race, ethnicity, body type, occupation, etc. Con mistakenly implies that if there were no religion, there would be unity because Muslims vs. Jews wouldn't exist, for example. However, this conveniently ignores the reality that it would instead become something like France vs. America or Asians vs. Latinos - point being that humans are naturally inclined toward division, and if it wasn't over religion, it'd be something else.

For fun, I'll describe part of the plot from the SP episode which is taken from the Wiki: In the year 2546, the entire world is atheistic and supposedly dedicated to rationality and science, yet atheism itself has splintered into several mutually hostile denominations. Bloodthirsty wars are waged in the name of "Science" and "Almighty Logic;" a very different depiction of the violence-free atheist world Dawkins and other atheists imagined. So as you can see, humans will always find reasons to be disagreeable with one another regardless of their religious beliefs, and that's what this particular episode was poking fun at. Eliminating religion would NOT eliminate the real causes of war.

[[ In Religious Defense ]]

Being religious can positively affect one's physical, mental and psychological well-being. Religious people view themselves as more fit and report better health, more energy, and less pain than the non-religious. They're also less likely to smoke. Additionally, there have been cases where a person's religious beliefs have given them the confidence or personal inner strength to overcome obstacles and challenges threatening their health. Data suggests that participating in religious practices fosters one's health and mental well-being as well, most notably by partaking in public religious participation, and positive religious coping.

Another thing: Consider the fact that psychologists generally agree that being married contributes to one's overall well-being. Religious individuals are found to be more likely to be married, have supportive friends, and be treated with respect. Being religious is also known to contribute to one's creativity and self-expression. Attending church is considered a therapeutic mental break that many people find rewarding and necessary or helpful in some way. Group rituals may additionally provide opportunities for networking. They may also help build and maintain alliances and provide a catalyst for teamwork, perhaps even introducing people to new friends and romantic partners with similar values. Also, working in groups is an extremely powerful resource that can be used to achieve positive common goals - such as working for a Christian organization like The Salvation Army which helps the impoverished.

In conclusion, while religion can be used as an excuse to promote negative ideals, it can also be used as a tool which significantly impacts society in a positive way. Moreover, Con cannot use the bad things that are done in the name of religion to bash religion itself. After all, it was Con who said that this debate was not about practicing religion but the concept of religion in general. We must recognize that not all religious people are fanatical, intolerant or even ignorant. For instance, Christian apologetics try using reason to justify their philosophical beliefs. So in short, since religion is not inherently bad (and Con has not proven it to be so), AND because it has many positive effects, it should not be extinct.

References:

http://www.nytimes.com...
http://evolvingmind.info...
Debate Round No. 1
Mr_Jack_Nixon

Con

Mr_Jack_Nixon forfeited this round.
Danielle

Pro

Unfortunately my opponent has not responded. Please extend my arguments.
Debate Round No. 2
Mr_Jack_Nixon

Con

Mr_Jack_Nixon forfeited this round.
Danielle

Pro

Danielle forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Mr_Jack_Nixon

Con

I am terribly sorry for missing the first rounds, but I will attempt to prove my point in the ones that follow.

I will now refute the attacks made against my points in Round 1.

First, my opponent attack my point that 'religion does not hold people accountable to their actions'. My refutation goes on what the opponent stated himself, that these punishments don't come until much much later. This leaves plenty of time for the individual to 'repent' and be 'forgiven' in their mind. Also, the person would realize that there is such a great span of time between now and this 'punishment' that they would think more of their current actions, rather than their future consequences. It is, perhaps, man's greatest flaw that he values what is currently in his will forgets about what is truly important, like future outcome. Despite all of our ability, it is flaws like these that stop us in our tracks and rip us apart. Religion only magnifies this flaw, and will be our greatest downfall. So it seems that religion does not hold us accountable for what we do. Or more correctly, does not make ourselves hold us accountable.

The Aff states that men should not be able to make up what morals they should have, but says religion provides ones that are good. But logically, if at all, only one religions can be true, so this means the others or all were created by men. So if these religions that are wrought by men do impose good morals that means man does too. The Aff completely contradicts himself in this manner and my arguments hold true. Also, to broaden my point, religion imposes morals upon men. Aff even admitted this. The fact is, is that these morals belong to the religion and not the followers themselves. But when they follow these religions, they forget their own morals, and follow the religions. What make us unique from animals, is the existence of some sort of fiber in us. One that gives us the ability to reason, discipline ourselves, think, and have a sense of being making us unique. When you take this away, we lose our human aspect and become nothing more than machines. We become small pieces of a the puzzle of religion.

Finally, the Aff states that if we were not clashing with religion, we would fight with something else. I would like to address two points. First of all, the Aff admits that war DOES indeed cause conflict. We are debating whether religion should exist and the Aff makes no way of showing why it actually should. He merely points out there are other bad hings in the world as well. I will address this next but this is still a large force opposing religion, that the Aff himself agrees with. Secondly, I must bring up that religion conflict goes on forever. This is because religion is not physical and cannot actually be proven. Other things like race and nationalism are hard facts and peaceful solutions can be found because science can prove they don't prove a threat or nuiscance to each other. Relgion, on the other hand, will never be proven and war will always be made.

I have reinforced all of my attacks and now I will speak against the Aff's outro. He states that religion has good effects on the self. But this is because people realize that life is good and that they can be good and happy to. Atheists can have this too and religionists have no advantage to it. The fact that the majority of people that are religious are married is irrelevant. This is only because religious people are the majority, 71% of the world. So that fact is irrelevant in it self. I hope you now see WHY religion only destroys and why you should vote for the Negative side. Thank you and I look forward to the 5th and final round.
Danielle

Pro

Unfortunately I have been in New York and have limited to no access to the internet, hence me missing the last round (but it's okay because Pro has also missed 2 rounds, whereas I have only missed 1 so far). Right now I'm going to have to postpone my final rebuttal in the hopes that I will have time to type something up before my next round is due. This is difficult because Pro allowed only for 24 hours in between rounds instead of the typical 3 days. However, even with me postponing my round, it will work out that Pro and I have both missed 2 (including this one) so no points should be deducted from me for conduct in this regard. Regrettably, I don't even have time to read Pro's rebuttal at this juncture, so I will get back to you all within the next day or so. Many apologies to both my opponent and the audience.
Debate Round No. 4
Mr_Jack_Nixon

Con

Mr_Jack_Nixon forfeited this round.
Danielle

Pro

As expected, my opponent forfeited another round meaning he forfeited 3 and I forfeited (technically) just 1 - probably due to him setting the debate time limits to 24 hours instead of the usual 72. Some people might consider this bad conduct on his part and deduct points; however, I'm confident that my arguments and rebuttal will speak for themselves regardless of how you feel on the forfeit/conduct matter. Also, I would really like to point out to Con that I am a FEMALE so all of the "he" references need-not apply. Without further adieu, let's conclude this debate...

1. First, my opponent argues that religions don't punish people or consider real punishment to occur until one has died, therefore they should be abolished. However, Con's big mistake is that it is not the job of religions to punish individuals. Instead, the law and the criminal justice system are responsible for implementing punishment to those who wrong or harm society. Likewise, while religion generally encourages good morals and abiding by the law, the 'threat' of punishment still exists even if it's posthumous. So, in conclusion of this point, Con's point about humanity "not caring" about their posthumous is entirely irrelevant. First, whatever punishment religion teaches that occurs in the after-life is far worse than any punishment one could sustain here on earth (ie. Hell)... which should be enough of a deterrent. Second, even if it's not, once again it is not the job of religion to deter crime. A religious group or organization promotes faith and spirituality - not punishment. Again, that is the job of the law and criminal justice system in society, so this point fails.

2. Con writes, "The Aff states that men should not be able to make up what morals they should have, but says religion provides ones that are good. But logically, if at all, only one religions can be true, so this means the others or all were created by men." I think here Con is saying that man created religion, so to abide by their morals is contradictory. Indeed he continues, "The Aff completely contradicts himself in this manner and my arguments hold true."

However, Con is completely wrong. First of all, I never said that morality was man-made. I said it was OBJECTIVE. On that note, one can still be religious and yet adhere to objective morality... or just be religious but contradict their own religious teachings (ie. Christians who are for abortion). Second, Con cannot prove that the basis of religion (ie. God) is not true and man-made. Just because he and I believe that doesn't mean he can use it as an argument without submitting evidence. Third, Con goes off on some kind of non-sensical rant that makes his point hard to respond to...

"What make us unique from animals, is the existence of some sort of fiber in us. One that gives us the ability to reason, discipline ourselves, think, and have a sense of being making us unique. When you take this away, we lose our human aspect and become nothing more than machines. We become small pieces of a the puzzle of religion." Uhh, it's true that humans are different from non-human animals; however, it's not due to some 'fiber' but biological differences including the function of our brain and our ability to reason. Just because religious people might have different beliefs than Con, or believes in God, etc., doesn't make them less human. In fact, I can easily argue that BECAUSE humans are reasonable enough to be religious, it makes them different (higher) than animals. But I don't even want to go there. Nor do I want to get into my theory about how we ARE nothing but machines - lolz.

3. I can't honestly believe that Con is a 29 year old based on the laughable argument he submits. He writes, "the Aff admits that war DOES indeed cause conflict. We are debating whether religion should exist and the Aff makes no way of showing why it actually should. He merely points out there are other bad hings in the world as well." Umm... what?! First, war doesn't cause conflict - war IS conflict. Second, I've proven all throughout R1 why religion should exist by providing a slew of good things that religion does for individuals and society as a whole under the heading "In Religious Defense" where I cited at least 10 reasons. Thus, Con is blatantly lying about what I have done and did not do in this debate. Third, I have in no way changed the subject of this debate! I pointed out that if people didn't fight over religion, they would fight over something else (like race, nationalism, etc.) which is an exceptionally good and valid point which Con has not refuted.

Con's second point of argument 3 is that religious conflict "goes on forever" because religion can neither be proved or disproved. He says, "Other things like race and nationalism are hard facts and peaceful solutions can be found because science can prove they don't prove a threat or nuiscance to each other. Relgion, on the other hand, will never be proven." This is a horrible argument. Science can absolutely disprove many aspects of religion; however, religious people choose not to accept the reality... just as racist people do not accept the reality that their race isn't superior, and nationalists won't accept the reality that their nation isn't greater. So as you can see, this point, like all of the others, completely fail.

[[ Rebuttal ]]

Con literally provides just a few-sentence rebuttal to the handful of paragraphs I wrote in religious defense. Nevertheless, let's see what he has to say. Con writes, " He states that religion has good effects on the self. But this is because people realize that life is good and that they can be good and happy to." Obviously Con has made absolutely no point here. He continues, "Atheists can have this too and religionists have no advantage to it." Once again, Con's horrible grammar makes his statements barely coherent and also entirely irrelevant. Yes, both atheists and theists can be happy. So what? That doesn't address my point cited by scientific research that religious people are happier. My point in that regard was to prove some of the benefits or advantages of being religious.

Unfortunately, Con did not respond to ANY of my other points, including the fact that religious people tend to be of better mental and physical health. Con also did not address my point about religion as a coping mechanism or tool to overcome various life threatening obstacles. Obviously Con did not respond to my point about religions being used as tools to socially network or achieve some kind of goal (like charity). So, in conclusion, I think who to vote for in this debate is quite obvious. Do I adhere to or follow any religion? No. Do I think religions should be abolished? Not exactly... not if they aren't used as tools to hurt or oppress others. However, all of that is irrelevant. The votes should be applied as to who performed better in this DEBATE. Con completely ignored many of my arguments, forfeited 3 rounds, and I've proven why all of his arguments are either weak or irrelevant. Therefore, I think a vote for the Pro is most appropriate.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 5
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Danielle 6 years ago
Danielle
My RFD (reason for decision) was not rude in the slightest. It was straight forward, which is what people want. Also, I have no idea what you mean about refutations in the last round being bad conduct. Refutations in the last round are not only permissible but expected! The only thing you can't do in the last round is present NEW arguments, which I did not. All I did was respond to the points we were already talking about, and re-write the arguments you ignored all-together. I introduced nothing new, hence no bad conduct. Tell me - what would be the point of the last round for either debater if there was "no refutation?"

Also, don't say me not responding was the reason why you forfeit. When I didn't respond, I posted SOMETHING to let you and the readers know that I intentionally could not respond. You failed to do that, so I have no reason to believe that you just simply didn't post as you had done in 2 other rounds.

Regarding another debate, I wouldn't mind; however, I am not a formal debater - I don't do LD, PF or anything like that.
Posted by Mr_Jack_Nixon 6 years ago
Mr_Jack_Nixon
After consideration I changed my vote to a fair one.
Posted by Mr_Jack_Nixon 6 years ago
Mr_Jack_Nixon
I voted completely for myself. Mostly because of the rude comment you posted about WHY you voted for yourself. Debate is for education, not attempting to make others look bad or insult them. I would like to have a new debate with you, one that I won't forfeit. I would like a value debate, though not necesarily LD. I picked the genre so it's only fair you pick the actual topic. Thank you.
Posted by Mr_Jack_Nixon 6 years ago
Mr_Jack_Nixon
Of course I forfeited the round--- you didn't refute anything. And speaking of lack of conduct refutations in the last round are quite frankly wrong.
Posted by Danielle 6 years ago
Danielle
Appreciated. But if you think the spelling and grammar was a tie, you clearly have not read the debate thoroughly :P
Posted by popculturepooka 6 years ago
popculturepooka
Everything to Pro except spelling and grammar.
Posted by Danielle 6 years ago
Danielle
RFD: I gave Pro conduct points because Con forfeited 3 rounds whereas I only forfeited 1 due to Pro's strict time limits. He also ignored many of my arguments and lied about some of the content. I also gave points to Pro for spelling and grammar (for obvious reasons). Con's grammar was so bad that many of his arguments were almost entirely incomprehensible. I gave Pro points for arguments because I disproved all of Con's, and I gave Pro points for sources because Con didn't use any at all whereas Pro did (and they were not biased or unreliable).
Posted by Mr_Jack_Nixon 6 years ago
Mr_Jack_Nixon
My favorite part about being a minor is that i get grounded. :) (not) Im sorry. I will try to refute your arguments. It's good i made this 5 rounds.
Posted by chrisallen 6 years ago
chrisallen
shaping up to be an interesting debate :-)
Posted by Immortal 6 years ago
Immortal
Oh fine. I'll forfeit the first round so you can debate it.
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Vote Placed by philosphical 6 years ago
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Vote Placed by twin 6 years ago
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Vote Placed by loseexe 6 years ago
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Vote Placed by Mr_Jack_Nixon 6 years ago
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Vote Placed by popculturepooka 6 years ago
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Vote Placed by Danielle 6 years ago
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