The Instigator
impactyourworld89
Pro (for)
Losing
43 Points
The Contender
Harlan
Con (against)
Winning
48 Points

Should we bring back the Bible in our school system?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/9/2007 Category: Education
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 4,434 times Debate No: 189
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (54)
Votes (29)

 

impactyourworld89

Pro

My question to you is, should the Bible be brought back into our school system? Before the early 1960's, the Bible was a primary textbook in the classroom, but now the Supreme Court has ruled this unconstitutional. What do you think of this opinion, and do you think this aligns with the founding father's view of religion in schools? Why?
Harlan

Con

Implodeyourworld89,

The public school system is funded by our government, which does not pass laws respecting any religion. As far as our constitution goes, It is undoubtedly unconstitutional. Using the bible as a "text book" would be helping to convert children, and that is wholly unfair, for a mandatory, government-funded school system. Having bibles in the school system is no more constitutional than forcing kids to give prayers.

The purpose of the school system is to educate the students. Regardless of your religious views, you must acknowledge that any sort of religion has a clear distinction from reality and science. This distinction is irrefutable. Giving kids bibles would be clearly contrary to the purpose of school systems. The classroom is a place for facts, not wild theories of non-tangible, all-enveloping entities. No offenses to you're religion, but it is not science, it is myth.

Privately owned schools can certainly have bibles, because private schools are not mandatory. Churches can have bibles, because that is the purpose of churches, and they are thankfully not government funded. But public schools? That is nor acceptable.

Some people will argue that it is just to provide understanding of culture, but most young children will eat any thing thrown at them, so it would certainly be converting them.

Whether or not children are exposed to bibles or not is up to the parent, and the parent alone, and therefore it should be kept in the home, or the church, or much anywhere simply as the government is not endorsing it.

IF you give a kid a book that says something is "right", you are indeed contributing to convert them to the ideas and beliefs of the book.

-Harlan
Debate Round No. 1
impactyourworld89

Pro

Harlan, Thank you for accepting my debate

First I would like to point out that I may not have made myself clear. I'm not saying that a Bible class would be mandatory for graduation. (I'm sorry if that was not made clear) But I do believe that it should be opened up as an elective, taught in a world religions class or offering the "Divine Creator Theory" as an option for how the world came into existence.

Let's break down your argument.

"It is undoubtedly unconstitutional" How can you say that? The founding Fathers intended religion to be in schools. If you look at the writings of the men that wrote the Declaration and the Constitution, you can clearly see that what we have now was not their intent.
Fisher Aimes, the writer of the first amendment said, "The Bible should not only remain in schools, but it should be the primary textbook".
Gouverneur Morris, the penman for the Constitution said, "Religion is the only solid basis for good morals. Therefore, education should teach of religion and the duties of man toward God"
Now, you might say, I am picking the best ones out, but we can agree that Benjamin Franklin was one of the least religious of the bunch. He said "You can't have a culture without God".

"most young children will eat any thing thrown at them, so it would certainly be converting them." Isn't that what the government is doing right now? In science classes, you are taught that the world is millions of years old and that we evolved from monkeys. But that is just as much of a theory as Christianity is.

Also, not allowing religion in the classroom is actually forcing religion. Atheism is actually the religion of practicing no religion, so by not allowing Christianity, you are forcing atheism.

- Impactyourworld89
Harlan

Con

Hello,

"I do believe that it should be opened up as an elective, taught in a world religions class or offering the ‘Divine Creator Theory'"

The government should not provide ANY funding to the converting of kids to Christianity, noe should a child who is in the elective's academic success depend, even the slightest bit, on whether they agree with Christian beliefs and knowledge of Christian myths. And let me stress that they are myths and nothing more.

"The founding Fathers intended religion to be in schools. If you look at the writings of the men that wrote the Declaration and the Constitution, you can clearly see that what we have now was not their intent."

NO they didn't. You're above statement is factually flawed: The word god cannot be found once in the constitution. You must concede that our constitution does not promote any sort of belief in any mythical god. Also, the declaration of independence was written by Thomas Jefferson, and therefore that is not plural. There was only one founding father that ever wrote god into a document that was on America's behalf, and that was Thomas Jefferson, he can hardly account for the rest of the great men who started this country. For the record, though, Thomas Jefferson was a great man. The declaration of independence is not even a legal document, however.

Benjamin Franklin wanted to have prayers said at the constitutional convention, but the convention strictly denied this request. What then does that say of the majority of the founding fathers? Should we not look back to their decisions? Are they not supposed to set the grounds for America?

"In science classes, you are taught that the world is millions of years old and that we evolved from monkeys. But that is just as much of a theory as Christianity is."

I knew you would say that. Evolution and the big bang are backed up by many facts. They, however, have NOT been disproved, and therefore, despite the fact that they are theories, are valid to teach in the school system. The fallacious myths of Christianity, however, are 2000 years outdated. They have been disproven time and time again. The god hypothesis has been disproven inside and out in scientific discoveries of the last 2000 years. The science of Christianity has been so thoroughly disproven, in fact, that it is not even deemed science anymore. WE live in the twenty-first century, we live in the information age; these outdated myths that go back to biblical times are no longer even feasible. Regardless of you're own beliefs, for I know this is a touchy subject, you must admit, with an even, clear, un-contradictory, un-denying of facts, mind, that it HAS been disproved.

Atheism has not been dsiproven, Christianity has. Science and facts agree with atheism, but not with Christianity. Atheism is the opposite of religion, therefore, quite logically, is not a religion. A teacher is not allowed to tell someone straight out, that their religious beliefs are un-true, they only can tell them FACTS, and then let the kids make conclusions. It just so turns out that facts rarely agree with far-fetched myths.
Debate Round No. 2
impactyourworld89

Pro

"You must concede that our constitution does not promote any sort of belief in any mythical god" Did you forget to see the part of the first amendment, "nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof"? That clearly shows that we have the freedom to express our beliefs ANYWHERE. The government should not be allowed to prohibit this. Therefore we should be able to discuss Christianity, pray at our own graduations and football games.

"the declaration of independence was written by Thomas Jefferson, and therefore that is not plural" He may have been the penman for the Declaration, but there were 56 men that ultimately contributed to it. They all knew they were going to be hung for it. Thomas Jefferson did not have more of a price over his head just because he wrote the words down.

As far as your argument for the founding fathers view on prayer, During the first session of Congress, they called for a prayer. The founding fathers ended up praying and studying the Bible for 3 straight hours, and did this at the start of each session.

Your argument for evolution vs. Creation is a moot point. They are both theories, both cannot be 100% proven. Saying as this is the last round, I'm not going to start the debate, Creation vs. evolution. We could go on all day about that, but it's a completely different debate. My point in bringing it into the debate is that you say that kids will believe anything they hear and right now evolution is all we are hearing. Talk about converting. They need to be taught side by side noting that they are both theories and giving kids a chance to choose for themselves.

"We are talking about what the CONSTITUTION says and NOT what their WRITERS ever said or wrote in previous documents"

As I said before, the Constitution says that we have free exercise of religion, but on top of that, we can look at what the founding fathers said on this subject. In the US Congress, they have what they call legislative intent. This documents everything that was said when debating so that if there is any disagreement as to the intent of the law passed, they can go back and see exactly what everyone said. The Supreme Court uses this to determine intents of bills. This goes all the way back to the 1st Congress when they were debating the 1st amendment. Everything that they said was there. No where in the time they were debating will you find the phrase Separation of Church and State.
Harlan

Con

IMplodeyourworld89,

You're first paragraph has no relevance here. Kids are allowed to pray at school, it's just that the school should not fund the praying, or purposefully try to make them pray. You seem to think that "nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof" means "god is real and you should all pray to him", well that is mistaken. It is not "promoting" the belief in a mythical being, it is saying that you can worship a mythical being if it is in you're desire to do so.

"He may have been the penman for the Declaration, but there were 56 men that ultimately contributed to it. They all knew they were going to be hung for it. Thomas Jefferson did not have more of a price over his head just because he wrote the words down."

You seem to have misunderstood my point. I am saying that we should not base our GOVERNMENT SYSTEM on something ONE PERSON wrote in a NON-GOVERNMENT document. At the time of the writing of the declaration, "the US" did not even exist yet, therefore, our government's decisions should be based upon the constitution. Any valid lawyer would tell you that the government makes legislation based on LEGAL DOCUMENTS, and not un-official, pre-America, documents written by single individuals.

"Your argument for evolution vs. Creation is a moot point. They are both theories, both cannot be 100% proven."

Once more, you've missed the point, NOTHING can be "100%" proven, that is the whole idea of theories: you cannot prove them, but you can disprove them, and then you come up with a new idea. Evolution has not been disproved, the belief in mythical gods, HAS been disproved.

"Talk about converting. They need to be taught side by side noting that they are both theories and giving kids a chance to choose for themselves"

We should provide FACTS and THEORIES THAT ARE NOT 2,000 YEARS OUTDATED, and then decide what conclusions they may draw from the most feasible theories and FACTS. Sorry, implodeyourworld89, but this is how science works: Someone makes a theory, someone disproves that theory and makes a new theory, the process repeats into infinity of the pursuit of wisdom. Once a theory is disproved, we must abandon it, and especially not teach it to our kids. I will re-state, this is clearly contrary to the purpose of school. If you wish for someone to preach about myths to your kids, take ‘em to a church or a private school, but our government has not right to fund it.

Congress shall make no law respecting any religion….That is indeed separation of church and state. It would be respecting Christianity.
Debate Round No. 3
54 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Harlan 9 years ago
Harlan
Thanks for the feedback, alpine.
Posted by HatedvsLoved 9 years ago
HatedvsLoved
I like your last sentence.

"And as for verbally attacking you... Well my only defense is that I didn't do it verbally, I did it writing-ly."

Very smart.
Posted by hattopic 9 years ago
hattopic
Lydie-

First off when I said people like you, I meant mainly you and Harlan.

Yes, I am saying that creationism can't be disproved, personally I don't think it has any more merit than anything else.

And I'm still confused how you extrapolated that I was talking about schools. My bone to pick with Harlan was that Creationism can't be disproved, and that it's based on scientific data. I'm not saying it should be taught in schools. Call it an abstract with no impact.

For example: A person can be against abortion morally but still agree that the government has no right to interfere with citizens choices.

OR in this case, one could respect religious beliefs while still respecting the separation of church and state. Creationism is based on scientific facts with an understanding of an underlying belief. That belief is personal, and shouldn't be forced upon others.

Creationism is NOT based on the fact that

"it is just ¨too unlikely¨ that life generated on its own"

Creationism is based on scientific data. Creationism is also based on belief. Creationism is not based solely on the fact that it's unlikely life started spontaneously.

You say you're open minded about religion, but then you go on to claim that religion can have no scientific basis.

Huh? How's that work? Religious beliefs can be based on scientific principles. Creationism is based on scientific principles. For example, http://www.rae.org... & http://www.rae.org.... Those website offer an explanation for how the Grand Canyon was formed, and are backed up with scientific data. Whether or not you agree with that data is a different story.

And as for verbally attacking you... Well my only defense is that I didn't do it verbally, I did it writing-ly.
Posted by alpineseven 9 years ago
alpineseven
Though this debate was not about Evolution and Creation Harlan gave absolutally no reasons to why Creation has been disproven. Both debated well but Calling Christianity a myth ruined your side for me harlan. Evolution has had as many or more points against it as Christianity. Darwin said this "If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down." well they did demonstrate that with the bacterial flagellum. it is a compex organ that is so simple it could have never formed without successive, slight modifictions. Im must saying in that case Evolution would be considered a myth...
Posted by griffinisright 9 years ago
griffinisright
PREACH IT impactyourworld89! PREACH IT! Good points.
Posted by Harlan 9 years ago
Harlan
You can disprove a theory, but not prove it.
Posted by impactyourworld89 9 years ago
impactyourworld89
You are saying that creationism can be disproved, or rather cannot be proved so it should not be taught in schools. There is no logic to that. Evolution is just as much of a theory as creationism is and yet it is in schools. Please don't say that it is more accepted because it isn't. If you can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are a product of evolution, I will have to agree with you that it should be the only belief taught in schools.
Posted by Lydie 9 years ago
Lydie
Hattopic...

ouch. I wish you wouldn´t put me in some category of ¨people like you¨

But so you are telling me, that Creationism can´t be disproved. therefore saying that it has some merit...?

But really the assumption that eventually the argument would relate so schools is logical. Because if the theory did have scientific merit, it would be the next step to teach it in schools, right? It´s kind of grounding the argument back in reality, so after we´ve debated it...what do we do with what we found? But I think I just skimmed the debate, read the section on schools then replied to your comment.

Creationism is based on the fact that is just ¨too unlikely¨ that life generated on its own, its just ¨too unlikely¨ that the human brain, with all its many wonderous functions developed on its own, that a flood acually can be traced in historical records. Sounds like people trying to justify something they already think.

No. I feel that I am open minded about religion.
But please understand that when religion tries to pass for science, its a different issue. Of course you can´t disprove that adam and eve were created by god, and women tempted man to eat the apple given to her by the devil...but the only way you could PROVE it is through religious texts, and thats not good enough. There are endless amounts of things we can´t disprove. endless. that doesn´t mean theyre true, or should be given merit.

I didn´t try to post generic arguments. But honestly! you said that a canyon could be created by a FLOOD. Now thats not just something that can´t be disproved, that actaully goes AGAINST logic.

And in the future, don´t verbally attack fellow debaters! It takes it to a level it doens´t need to be at. You feel I´m lacking in knowledge? Teach me something, don´t beat me with a stick!
Posted by VbPeppermint 9 years ago
VbPeppermint
At least they still respect religious belief rather than attacking it: "moment of silence" before the pledge
Posted by hattopic 9 years ago
hattopic
Lydie-

For the record, I'm not a creationist, and I think creationism is complete bull. However, there is evidence to support it, and that evidence can't be dismissed simply because you disagree with it.

"ok well if teaching with religious books is ¨respecting¨ a religion...are we gonna be teaching from the Quaran, Confucious, Buddha, and Joseph Smith? I don´t think so."

What? Does that have anything to do with what I said at all? My point has nothing to do with the public education system. I never mentioned public schools. My argument with Harlan is that creationism can't be disproved. What does that have to do with schools? The fact is both you and Harlan made the same error. Here's what I think happened:

-You saw someone saying creationism can't be disproved
-You assumed that person was a religious nut who thought that religon should be taught in school
-You were outraged and posted several generic arguments as to why religion doesn't belong in schools.

What really bothers me about people like you is that you call religious people close minded and then turn around and make fun of them for having beliefs that are different form yours. You're just as close minded as a religious zealot, but you justify yourself based on the scientific beliefs of today.

In the future, why don't you try to read and comprehend what you're arguing against, instead of just parroting arguments that have nothing to do with what's being talked about.
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