The Instigator
David12N
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
byaka2013
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

The World Would Be Much Better Without Religion

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/24/2017 Category: Religion
Updated: 9 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 330 times Debate No: 101359
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (0)

 

David12N

Con

I am generally interested in the answer. I have decided to choose Con because I think the world would not be much different than now. I would argue that many of the common reasons cited against religion may not be accurate. I do think there is often strong views held on both sides that do not move the debate forward. I am not arguing that religion never does wrong but that the negative impact on the world may be overly exaggerated and some of the good downplayed or ignored. If you can cite actual evidence for your position that would be great.
byaka2013

Pro

Religions can be taken to an extreme. To be fair, so can any belief set. But religion is an outlier. There have been several wars caused by religion (https://en.wikipedia.org...), and this often leads to a bias, especially in media and politics. Without the Bible condemning the stoning of gays, LGBTQ equality could've happened centuries ago. While I admit that religion has inspired many things such as famous paintings, I think it would be better for the critical thinking skills of the world, and also the imagination of the artists (otherwise they are overrated). Religion causes people to think without acting, although sometimes there are benefits, such as with Buddhism. Most religions seek power, and though there would obviously be some consequences as a result of no religion, the pros of no religion outweigh the cons in my mind.
Debate Round No. 1
David12N

Con

Thanks so much for taking the debate.

I agree with you that there has been wars because of religion but most wars are not caused by religion. At least according to the "Encyclopedia of Wars, " http://www.huffingtonpost.com...

You raise a good point about LGBTQ equality. The below article does say religion can fuel anti-gay beliefs but it says it depends on specific things. It depends on what type of a religious person you are etc. Plus, other factors can also make people hold anti-gay views http://www.patheos.com....

I found it interesting that there have been societies that have been anti-gay and they have not been Christian or Islamic etc. And non-religious reasons have been given for the anti-gay position, culture for example. http://www.politicalforum.com....

I think the science argument can be countered a bit more strongly. Yes there are Christians out there that believe the world is only thousands of years old, etc but the church is not as anti-science as some people believe. The Catholic Jesuits played a big role in developing science. Islamic people played a big role in medical science breakthroughs,

I think critical-thinking is not something that exists only on the atheistic side. I think you would also find some atheists that do not use critical thinking. When people say there is no evidence that religion makes people do good things or that religion has not done any good. {I am referring to Richard Dawkins here} That is not an objective view because if he had looked at it objectively he would see that there is evidence and there are some good things.
byaka2013

Pro

I would just like to point out that you simply made rebuttals (they were good, however) to my claims without actually really pointing out how religion would be mostly good for the world. While religion certainly helped inspire science, it also set it back. Just look at Galileo: https://starchild.gsfc.nasa.gov.... Sure the church may not be really anti science now, but they certainly were back in his time.

Let's look at pagan religions. They let people (like Vikings) do great but also bad things. And even older religions such as the Egyptian gods have really contributed to an Authoritarian society, where the pharaoh was considered a god. So, again, until you provide lots of evidence religion would be good, I stick with my position that the pros of no religion outweigh the cons.
Debate Round No. 2
David12N

Con

I might not have to prove that religion would be mostly good for the world. I think I might just have to prove that the world would not be significantly better without it. Correct me if I am wrong.

I would argue that the evidence would show that most of the problems in the world would exist with or without religion. Poverty, disease, accidents, most wars, some terrorism, violent street crime, drug and alcohol issues, etc. The top ten leading causes of death is not religion for example.

There are some studies that say that some high risk people are less likely to do bad things with religion in their lives {although religion can contribute to bad as well and the studies might not be 100% convincing}. I would also say that religions that discourage people from drinking are probably reducing alcohol related crimes. {Maybe}.

There are also many charities started and supported by religious people {although there are non religious ones}.

So, I would say that given most of the problems in the world would exist without religion and religion does at least some good that might suggest that the world would not be much better off without religion.

Hope that made sense.
byaka2013

Pro

Religion has unleashed the terms holy war and blasphemy into the world. I feel like this debate has mostly been focusing on the major 5 world religions, so let me elaborate by expanding that. Some 'pagan' religions (which also count) cause(d) people to worship people as if they were gods, and not letting anything get in the way of that. Islam does generally discourage drinking, but the ideas in older mythologies led to the rise and fall of empires. Treating it as though the world would be better focuses on the good whilst not realizing the following:
According to https://www.godisimaginary.com... (I could not find the primary source), higher belief rates correlate with lower iqs, higher STD rates, and homicide rates. The first image on https://www.pinterest.com... (combined with other sources like the World Peace Index) states that on average, the less religious your country, the more peaceful.
Of course, these correlations aren't everything. I argue that religion does some good, especially in the past. But now, I feel as though it is quite the opposite.
Debate Round No. 3
David12N

Con

You make an excellent point about the non-major religions of the world.
What damage {and/or good things} did they do especially in earlier history when they were the mainstream religions is a good question.

I do think the second part can be countered. As you point out, correlations are not everything. I do think it shows that religion is not needed to have a lower crime and more peaceful place. I would argue though it is not the case that the issues in America are linked mostly to religion. There are many reasons why the US has higher rates of crime and health issues than say Norway. Poverty, sub-par health care system, etc. Therefore, I think the data can't argue that it is religion that causes those problems. And it should be noted that the crime rate in much of America is actually lower than it has been. It is also worth pointing out that people like Professor Steve Pinker note that the world in general is becoming a better place. Less people dying in wars, etc. The point I am hopefully making is that we don't need to get rid of religion to reduce crime and war because it is happening now.

I don't think there is strong evidence to suggest that the main reason kids in foster care are more likely to end up in trouble with the law is because of religion. No evidence that a person who commits crime because of drug or alcohol issues is doing so because of religion {although there may be some cases where their use is linked to religion issues. For example, being told by the church that there is something wrong with you because you are gay, etc}. Poverty which is linked to things like high rates of teen pregnancies and some crimes is not caused mostly by religion.

I would argue over the last few centuries at least, religion has not been the cause of most of the problems in the world. Therefore, getting rid of it is not going to make the world a better place.

Looking at the earlier religions and its impact on the world back then might be different.
byaka2013

Pro

I want to end this debate by mentioning I don"t want to get RID of religion- that Stalin like attitude would not work- you can"t destroy or remove an idea. I would argue that, as you said, religion is not needed for a lot of things- it"s not needed for a lower crime rate or anything else really.

I don"t really have anything to add beside rephrasing what I already said, so here are some links posted in the comments.
https://en.wikipedia.org... links religion and schizophrenia, as some "religious episodes" are similar to schizophrenic ones.
http://www.academia.edu... tells us how psychopaths can use religion as an excuse for behavior.
http://www.academia.edu... shows that the Bible has a lot of propaganda, used to promote the religions growth in the past.

I plotted data from https://en.wikipedia.org... and https://en.wikipedia.org... into a correlation coefficient calculator. Countries were Ireland, Tanzania, Burkina Faso, Estonia, Venezuela, Luxembourg, Sri Lanka, Iraq, and Australia. The correlation of positive religion views to homicide is .2506 (admittedly not much, but probably higher if I included more countries). The CC of negative views to homicide is -.244 (less correlated than positive, but this would probably be *de*creased with more countries).

So, conclusively, I think religion has caused major setbacks, harm, and problems which it did not make up for in terms of good results. Thank you to my fellow debater and any voters.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by romanpiso 9 months ago
romanpiso
Organized religion was created by ancient royalty as a form of psychological warfare used against non-royals; to make them ignorant & superstitious, and therefore, easier to control & manipulate.

Religion is much more harmful than most people have begun to realize; in many ways and on several levels.

'Spiritual, But Not Religious' Can Be More Dangerous Than Outright Religious Belief
http://www.theguardian.com...

Beware Of 'Spirituality' As Opposed To Simply 'Religious' (Mental Illness More Likely In 'Spiritual' People)
http://www.dailymail.co.uk...

OCD: Religion & Risk (Religious Fundamentalism & Religious Fanatic Radicals, Terrorists, Psychotic Behavior, Etc.)
http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk...

Why Religion Can Cause Mental Illness (Many Sources & Much Research Cited)

Religion & Schizophrenia
http://en.wikipedia.org...

How Psychopaths Use Religion
http://www.academia.edu...

Religion Is Not Benign
http://www.academia.edu...

Religion Is A Mental Illness (Research Study By Kathleen Taylor, Oxford University Neuroscientist)
http://www.huffingtonpost.com...

Religious Tolerance Is Propaganda
http://www.academia.edu...

Rhetoric & Propaganda In The New Testament.
http://www.academia.edu...

Angry & Vicious Bible God Causes Mental & Emotional Problems For Believers
http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
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