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THBT religion has a detrimental effect on the modern world.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/24/2015 Category: Religion
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 418 times Debate No: 80078
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
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Religion covers all organized religions. Catholicism, Hinduism, Islam etc. The Modern world I will define as beginning in the late modern period, after the Industrial and French Revolutions.

If you want to start the debate, you may present your arguments in your round and forfeit the last round. If not, just accept. Last speech in the debate will be for rebuttals only. Good luck.


I accept. Never done a debate on religion but I think I can do this

Just to be clear I want to provide a definition before he debate begins just so we agree on the definition of detrimental: causing damage or injury. [1]

My opponent can provide a counter definition if he wants in his opening round, but that's a key word, so I wanted to provide that.

Now, let the debate begin, and good luck to my opponent.
Debate Round No. 1


Ladies and gentlemen, today I seek to show that religion has a detrimental effect to the modern world, that it has an overall negative impact, and the world would be better off with it disappearing today. I will argue that "detrimental" refers jut to a negative overall effect. While I accept the contributions of religion to the formation of early society, I argue the place for religion is gone. Additionally, I make a claim that the religions today cannot separate themselves from their roots in scripture, and are still held accountable to them as that scripture inspires groups that, while on the fringe, are still caused by them and their influence.

1.Religion opposes progress, social and scientific.

Today, in the modern world, there are a number of rights and concepts we find to be indisputable. Religion opposes black emancipation, women's rights, and enforces a series of assertions on the world and the law within their scripture. Let's look at the religious text with arguably the most influence on the world. The Torah, the foundation of all the Abrahamic religions.

Slavery: Leviticus 25:44-Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids.

Women's Rights: Exodus 21:7 (Sell your daughters as slaves) -And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do.
1 Timothy 2:12 (Also they can't talk)-But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

So clearly, the old testament of the major religions of the world opposed such concepts that we today see as fundamental. While much of the world ignores these parts, groups like the Islamic State show it is still taken seriously and is a serious threat. The social pressures levied against gay people shows this.

On the scientific side, religion denies Evolution simply based on their scripture. Religion has, historically, opposed scientific advancements. Galileo Galilel, as a noted example. That has not ended. We have reached a point where religion is actually harming the health of people. Jehovah's witnesses refuse blood transfusions, and there is a myriad of deaths caused by parents attempting to heal their children with prayer[1].

2. Religion inspires fanaticism.

The Islamic State, Al-Qaeda, the Lord's Resistance Army, from the bombing of the WTC on 9/11, to the attacks on abortion clinics, religion incites violence. In a day and age when religion does not bind people together, when peoples do not form under the banner of the Holy Roman Empire or a Caliphate, religion merely serves to further divide people. Violence due to religion has been a hallmark of the Middle East in the modern world, and it exists nearly everywhere, albeit at varying levels. Religion has led to conflict and separation in places with diversity, simply due to religions not accepting others of their kind. Religion today causes more separatism than it does unity.


Good luck for the next round.


Thank you for that good start to the debate. I hope I can make this interesting. Anyway, I'm going to be making some contentions first, and I will follow that with a rebuttal to my opponent's case.

People who claim a religion are more likely to give to charity:

According to The Chronicle of Philanthropy, 65 percent of the people who claim a religion give to charity. Conversly, 56 percent of people who do not claim a religion give to charity. It's about a 10% difference, but that is statistically significant and cannot be ignored as an important point. [1]

Certain religions even have mandations to give to the poor. Several verses in the New Testament teach that Christians should give to the poor. Muslims have Zakat as one of the five pillars of their faith, which is a teaching that the rich should cleanse themselves of some of their money and give it to the poor.


Faith based institutions bring several signficant benefits.

Catholic Hospitals:

Catholic hospitals make up a little over quarter of the world's health care. They are all non profit, and they never turn anyone away. These institutions represent a significant part of society, and they are an overall positive social force. [2]

Faith-based schools:

Faith-based schools are actually more advanced than public schools in a lot of areas. First of all, faith-based schools have greater overall diversity than public schools do, enrolling proportionally similar percentages of ethnicities in comparison to the U.S. population. [See pages 15-17 on source 3]

One of the second significant benefits is that faith-based schools tend to be better for historically disadvantaged students, scoring at grade levels beyond their public school peers [see page 24 in source 3]:
  • 1.7 grade levels ahead for black students
  • 2.5 grade levels ahead for hispanic students
  • 1.6 grade levels ahead for low-income students

Judging by the evidence, it's easy to conclude that faith-based schools are actually better for the population than the public schools are.

Religion tends to improve people's health and happiness:

Catherine Sanderson, psychology professor at Amherst College, says that religious beliefs "give people a sense of meaning," and "it gives a sense of well being or comfort." While she goes on to say that, of course, these feelings aren't completely unique to religion, it is still important to realize that religion carries these benefits inherently. She says that the benefits religion provides are important to a person's emotional and physical health. [4]

Now, as that concludes my case, I'm going to be addressing my opponent's case.

First, I would like to make an observation. The resolution is to examine the overall effect that religion has on the modern world. That means that my opponent is tasked with providing a statistical significance in his claims, not just a claim that certain aspects of religion are harmful. I can claim that, because some people are allergic to strawberries, strawberries have an overall negative impact on society. I must attach some sort of statistically significant figure to back up that claim.

Moving on to my opponent's first contention:

My opponent's first claim is that religion hinders progress socially.

To back up this claim, he says that religion opposes black emancipation. However, the evidence he provides to support this claim, doesn't actually support his claim. To begin, this verse would have to specifically say that blacks were the specific slaves. To assume that "slave" is the same thing as "black" is actually very stereotypical and borders on racism. Slaves could have been any color, and they weren't slaves under the same kind of definition we might think of today.

Slavery in the Old Testament was actually used to fight poverty, make peace, or have a daughter marry into a family. [5] Slaves were provided for, in the sense that they were given a home and food in return for the work that they did. Honestly, it was just a way for the poor person to skip the middle man in purchasing. Instead of making a little money then buying a little bread at the market, they could work for someone and receive housing and food in exchange for that work. Aside from that point, slaves were released after every 6 years. [6]

My opponent also says that women are not allowed to teach according to the Bible. This is, again, a misinterpretation. Paul explains just a little better in 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 "34Womenf should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. 35If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church." From an exegetical standpoint, you must understand that he is not speaking to our culture.

In these verses, Paul is essentially trying to say that a woman shouldn't speak in church; because, largely women in those societies did not know anything that the men didn't already know. Thus, a woman teaching or asking questions would more than likely just slow down a church session. Timothy, being one of Paul's prodiges, would've already known this.

The bottom line is this: a woman was not allowed to speak, because she could ask questions that her husband could just answer at home. Instead of interrupting the service to ask "so how many disciples did Jesus have?" she could just ask her husband. The problem we face today is taking this out of the context of the original society being written to. In the modern day, I have no doubt that Paul would've just left that out.

In fact, according to the Bible, God specifically chose several women to be leaders. [7]

Even if you disagree with the defense I've presented, my opponent still hasn't technically connected his argument with its statistical effect on the modern world.

This actually brings me to the next part of my rebuttal, regarding statistical signficance. This entire first contention can only possibly apply to 32 percent of the entire world. [8] My opponent must also prove statistical signficance among that 32 percent. Claiming Bible verses or citing one pair of mentally ill parents does not make up a signficant enough statistic to affirm the resolution.

My opponent's second claim regards fanatacism:

I'm going to make this brief, as I'm running out of character space. Essentially, this argument is non-unique. There will always be fanatics. Religion is just a belief for them to hide behind, but they could also use secular beliefs like anarchy, imperialism, materialism, etc.

Not to mention, my opponent has not provided statistical significance here, and the Muslims he references make up a 10th of the Muslims in the world. [9] The Shia Muslims are the fanatics, and the Sunni Muslims are actually very peaceful and oppose the fanatacism.

As far as the argument on unity goes, people place each other into cliques by nature. It's just something we do. We classify and divide. It happens in high school, it happens at work, and it happens in social interactions. This is not unique to religion in any way. It's just another thing that religious people do that's wrong, but the rest of us do it too.

Thank you for reading, I wish my opponent luck.









Debate Round No. 2


Poiyurt forfeited this round.


My opponent and I have agreed to postpone this debate to be on another day. Please do not vote.
Debate Round No. 3


My opponent and I have agreed to postpone this debate for another day. Please do not vote.


Thanks for reading.
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Poiyurt 1 year ago
Alright, thanks!
Posted by Jonbonbon 1 year ago
That's fine. Challenge me when you're ready, then let's copy our rounds exactly and pick up from there. Copy and past this into the debate (as your next argument) that says "My opponent and I have agreed to postpone this debate for another day. Please do not vote." I'll do the same thing.
Posted by Poiyurt 1 year ago
In retrospect, I should not have suggested such a complex debate during exam period. Would you mind if I forfeited this debate and offered a rematch in a week or so?
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