The Instigator
voltairelines
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
LosLambda
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

The World is Better Off Without the Catholic Church

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 0 votes the winner is...
It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/27/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,410 times Debate No: 28673
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
Votes (0)

 

voltairelines

Pro

Is the Catholic Church a good force in the world today? In other words, is the world better off without it? I will be arguing for the resolution, affirming that the world would be a better place without the existence of the Catholic Church.

The debate will start in Round 2. I'd like to, in advance, thank my opponent for his or her willingness to debate this topic with me.
LosLambda

Con

I would like to open my argument with a thank you to the Pro for allowing me to participate in this debate and a sporting good luck :)
Debate Round No. 1
voltairelines

Pro

Thank you so much for accepting this debate.

In this debate, I will have three major points that lead me to the conclusion that the world would be much better off without the existence of the Catholic Church. These are: the oppression of the homosexual community globally, its horrible opposition to the use of contraceptives, and the institutional molestation of young boys.
In the last few decades, the Catholic Church has doubled down on its efforts to discriminate and oppress those who are peacefully searching for love with a member of their own sex. One of the most recent instances of this discrimination is present within its opposition to a UN resolution which would decriminalize homosexuality. All this resolution would do is make it so that countries cannot make homosexuality and homosexual acts a crime -- over seventy countries take such positions at the moment (2). However, the Vatican"s UN representative decried the motion. This man, Archbishop Celestino Migliore, actually claimed that the proposal would lead to discrimination of heterosexual relationships, and that the resolution would, in fact, lead to states recognizing gay marriage. What an ignorant and terrible position! The United Nations representative from the Vatican wants to keep thousands of people, every year, being jailed or killed by their governments because of their homosexuality. The Catholic Church, using its enormous influence, deterred countries from decriminalizing the very act of being homosexual. Keep in mind, a significant portion of these countries which criminalize homosexuality are Catholic, who take the word of the Vatican with extreme value. The Vatican is encouraging and borderline endorsing the imprisonment and lawful killing of homosexuals. Why would anyone want an institution that acts so wickedly?
However, this is not the only example of the Catholic Church opposing the rights of homosexual men and women, without even considering the money it has poured into stopping the progress of gay marriage movement. In the 1990s, a statement was issued regarding discrimination of homosexuals in employment in the United States. This statement includes, "Such initiatives, even where they seem more directed toward support of basic civil rights than condonement of homosexual activity or a homosexual lifestyle, may in fact have a negative impact on the family and society... Even when the practice of homosexuality may seriously threaten the lives and well-being of a large number of people, its advocates remain undeterred and refuse to consider the magnitude of the risks involved." (3) I have to wonder, can the Catholic Church be morally serious while holding this position which it has not recanted? I do not understand how any Catholic priest could look a homosexual person, in the face, and utter something so hideous. The Catholic Church, using its immeasurable influence, is stating that homosexuals should not be given their civil rights because it may "seriously threaten the lives and well-being of a large number of people".
Next, as previously stated, the Church has also used that influence in order to oppose the use of contraceptives, like birth control or condoms. The Pope and his missionaries, go to Africa to preach about the immorality of condoms and the like. Africa, a country plagued by the horror of AIDS. Christopher Hitchens put it nicely, "(The Pope says) Yes, AIDS is bad. But not quite as bad as condoms are bad, or not quite in the same way." (4) The Church says to have sex without contraceptives or (the incredibly impractical, which it knows) not to at all. So, people do this -- they have sex without using condoms, and contract HIV. By claiming that the use of contraceptives is immoral in every way, shape, and form, the Pope"s influence has led to the death of thousands, if not millions, of his fellow Catholics in Africa. The only qualification of his position was in 2010, when he said it could be used sometimes in order to prevent HIV infection (5). But what the Pope did not do is change his position on the morality of condoms. He still did not say it was permissible, or moral. And the death of Catholics from AIDS goes on and on.
Since 2001, a myriad of cases have turned themselves up charging that an official of the Catholic Church has molested a child between the ages of 3 and 14 (6). But this is not to say that institutional molestation has not happened before 2001. From 1992 to 2002, the Archdiocese of Boston has quietly been able to settle almost 70 different cases of papal pedophelia. The next year, when that information was released, he had to fight over 500 (7). This issue is so serious that an organization, SNAP, had to be created: Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. But these are not the actions of a few bad priests. "Hundreds of priests accused of abuse have been moved from country to country, allowing them to start new lives in unsuspecting communities and continue working in church ministries." (8) Take the case of Reverend Frank Klep, a man who is convicted of child molestation and is on the run from several other charges in his native Australia today. The Church took this guilty pedophile and placed him in other countries to escape such charges, including the Samoa, which Australia has no extradition treaty. An institution which performs such awful actions has no place in the world.
So let us sum it up.
The Catholic Church still seriously discriminates against homosexuals all over the world -- taking the side that laws which criminalize homsexuality itself should not be banned globally.
The same institution"s opposition to the use of contraception, particularly in that of AIDS-plagued Africa, has led to the death of thousands of its followers.
And these actions are all committed by the same group which has practically had an epidemic of institutional molestation of young boys.
Without the Catholic Church, it is obvious that millions more would be enjoying their civil rights, and many more would be in approval of that. Without the Catholic Church, millions more people would have been able to live longer lives, by using contraception. Without the Catholic Church, thousands of young boys would not have to experience the trauma of being abused by a trusted and respected official.
It is crystal clear that this Church has no place in this world. And this is all without speaking of the Church"s influence against gay marriage, against funding for HIV/AIDS research, against funding for stem-cell research, and many more tragedies; the occasional donation to charity does not excuse any of these atrocious actions.

Sources:
1 --
http://uk.reuters.com...
2 -- http://www.independent.co.uk...
3 --
http://www.ewtn.com...
4 --
http://www.amindatplay.eu...
5 --
http://catholicism.about.com...
6 --
http://usatoday30.usatoday.com...
7 --
http://www.boston.com...
8 --
http://usatoday30.usatoday.com...
LosLambda

Con

I would like to acknowledge the frustration of the Pro debater that he/she apparently has with the Catholic Church. I can definitely related to that frustration as one too many times to I see this particular form of religion in places where it should not have any influence at all.

The real question here is whether or not the Catholic Church should be as powerful and influential as it is today, and whether or not the influence is a benevolent or malevolent force in society.

Well, as history dictates, the Catholic Church has been in the midst of quite the amount of controversy throughout its relatively short history (compared to the history of humans).

As I view it, the Catholic church in particular is like the overprotective mother that wants to protect its children from anything negative towards their children. The intentions of the views and actions of the church are mostly within good intentions. Now are those actions and stances good ones.. some yes, some no. Unfortunately as a society, where the Church has a predominant influence on the media and world governments... these opinions may be a little overbearing. It is alright for them to have these opinions, but it is their power which affects society based on these opinions is the real trouble.

In a short answer... no, the world wouldn't be better off without church. However, it wouldn't be better even if the church stayed. There would be no effect if we got rid of the church now. The anger and frustration should be directed at how can we limit the power of the church, not destroy it. Just because someone or some entity has an opinion, it doesn't give anyone the right to completely get rid off it...

So in the case of their stance of homosexuality and opposition of contraceptives, I am OK with them having the opinion... However, I do not agree with how much influence they have... even having their own seat in the UN (that's ridiculous) and it is that power we need to fight off. They have conservative views and should have their own right to share an opinion, but not at the scale they are currently sharing it in.

In the argument of the molestation of the little boys... I completely agree with you that it is completely disgraceful. However, it is not the church as an entity you should blame but the individuals within the entity you should point the finger at. Granted, there should be more tests that the church can make so these creeps don't get into the religious system. It really is ashamed that those events have happened.
Debate Round No. 2
voltairelines

Pro

The Con debater certainly is correct when he or she states that I have frustration with the Catholic Church, and for the reasons I mentioned. It has hurt people so much more than it has helped.

As the Con debater states, "The real question here is whether or not the Catholic Church should be as powerful and influential as it is today, and whether or not the influence is a benevolent or malevolent force in society." I agree. I am not arguing its influence should be limited. I am arguing that the world would be much a much better place if it suddenly disappeared.

I also apologize if I equivocated when I wrote the resolution, which I do not think I did. The Con Debater wrote, " Just because someone or some entity has an opinion, it doesn't give anyone the right to completely get rid off it..." As I previously mentioned, I am arguing that if the Church suddenly disappeared, the world would be a better place. Not that the entire world should go and actually attempt to disband the Church.

"It is alright for them to have these opinions, but it is their power which affects society based on these opinions is the real trouble." I agree, and this was made clear in my previous argument. It is perfectly fine for one to hold opinions identical to that of the Catholic Church’s; however, when the Catholic Church actively oppresses homosexuals because of those values among many other things, it cannot be called a good force.

“In a short answer... no, the world wouldn't be better off without church. However, it wouldn't be better even if the church stayed. There would be no effect if we got rid of the Church now” The Con debater does not provide any evidence as to why this is the case. I provided numerous sources of evidence and reasons as to why the Catholic Church will continue to be a negative influence in society. It still denies the civil rights of so many, while also paving the way for the death of so many of its followers to HIV and AIDS, not to mention the institutional molestation of young boys. All these clearly add up to a world which would be better without its presence.

And if the Con debater does not believe the world would be worse off without the Church, then why does he or she take the Con side? I wholeheartedly disagree with his statement that there would be no effect, as is evident in my original argument. If it did disappear, millions of people could use and have access to contraception without a fear of going to hell, and not contract HIV, for example. If it did disappear, millions of people could live in a society where they at least feel a little less discriminated against because of who they love. If it did disappear, thousands of kids childhoods could be saved from a potential sexual assault by a priest who knows that he can get away with it.

I do blame the entity of the Catholic Church for the institutional pedophilia that has occurred. I blame its people as well as their institution through which they achieve those means. And, if the Catholic Church suddenly disappeared, the molestation would end, if at least not die down. The perpetrators of those hideous crimes would not have a support system where they could continue molesting children because they were moved to different countries and places, and escape justice.

The opposition to this resolution has not provided any evidence that the Catholic Church is not a bad influence in the world. Instead, the opposition has had no refutation to the issues addressed in my original argument, only concessions.

All the arguments with which I debated in the first round still stand clear. Without the Catholic Church, it is obvious that millions more would be enjoying their civil rights, and many more would be in approval of that. Without the Catholic Church, millions more people would have been able to live longer lives, by using contraception. Without the Catholic Church, thousands of young boys would not have to experience the trauma of being abused by a trusted and respected official.

It is already crystal clear that the Catholic Church is not a good force on Earth.
LosLambda

Con

Well, these 'concessions' that I talk about are the only things necessary to counter this argument since there is more than one answer to your statement "The World is Better Off Without the Catholic Church"

I could argue that there there would be no effect, which I have and still will.

And I could argue that there would be a negative effect... which I won't argue because there wouldn't be a negative effect. People are still going to believe what they want to believe... if the Church fell tomorrow, there will still be some people who believe what the Church says and take it upon themselves to start another version of the church... and so on!

Anyways...

The implications surrounding the foundation of you question told me that you want the Church to just go away... I'm sorry I didn't understand what you meant.

A case for the disappearance of the Church would be as I said earlier... you can take the organization away from the people, but you can't take away their beliefs... and since their beliefs are what drive the cause... there will still be groups of people and powerful people that will block the rights to homosexuality and contraception... it is to embedded with society's core for it to be vanish along with the Church.

"It still denies the civil rights of so many, while also paving the way for the death of so many of its followers to HIV and AIDS, not to mention the institutional molestation of young boys. All these clearly add up to a world which would be better without its presence." Well, the church really doesn't do the denying... it is the people that share those beliefs in powerful places that deny the people those particular rights... not the church, so once again... no effect if the church vanished, not the people who have the beliefs.

As for the pedophilia in the church... it was wrong of them to handle it the way they did...
However, if the church was gone... wouldn't those same people who molested boys molest even without the Church? They were only using the Church as a portal of some sort to get access to the under-aged children, which sounds morbid, but unfortunately true... those sick people. But just because the church would be gone, it doesn't mean there would be a significant reduction in molestation. That sir is a fallacy! I agree that they generally aren't a good force... but the world would not be better off to without them... nor would they be worse off... it is neutral

And that neutrality I feel is an equal side to be held... there are three sides to this debate!

Respectfully,
~LosLambda

p.s. please just call me LosLambda, not Con or opposition :)
Debate Round No. 3
voltairelines

Pro

There certainly will still be groups which claim that homosexuality and contraception are wrong. But as LosLambda states in his first argument, “...I do not agree with how much influence they have.” If another group started what the Catholic Church did after the Church disappeared, then it would be incredibly hard to reach the position of what is probably the most influential institution in the history of the world. The Catholic Church is trusted, which is one of the things that allows for the horrible papal pedophilia. If the Catholic Church disappeared, then the obstacles preventing a myriad of beneficial things would disappear. As I said earlier, barriers would be lifted for stem-cell research, funding for HIV/AIDS research, access to contraception (which is essential to the only known cure for poverty, the empowerment of women), and the list goes on. LosLambda said it himself/herself. The influence that is currently held by the Catholic Church would not suddenly be gained by an institution with similar values in the course of a week. Or a year. Or ten years. Probably more than a hundred.

“...it is the people that share those beliefs in powerful places that deny the people those particular rights... not the church, so once again... no effect if the church vanished, not the people who have the beliefs.” If the church vanished, the people who have those beliefs and were actively seeking to oppress others would not be in places of influence or power. The Vatican has its own ambassador from every country. It has a representative in the United Nations. The people do this through the Church.

As to the molestation, it is not a fallacy to say that molestation would be reduced. These are not just the acts of a few bad guys -- they are priests. Children constantly and consistently return to these priests to speak to them, to open up to them, to share and talk with someone whom they believe is a respected and trusted official. And it is this way, in this position of power with children, that priests convince children to do horrible things with them or force them to. They literally have a supply of children coming to them, and trusting them -- only because they are a priest. They also know they have a safety net -- the largest institution in the world behind them to save them if they are ever caught. As I stated earlier, between 1992 and 2002, in Boston alone, almost 70 cases were quietly settled regarding priests sexually abusing children (1). If the Catholic Church disappeared, then these people would not have the credibility which leads to the horrible things that they do.

The arguments I posited in the first round still stand. Without the influence of the Catholic Church, of which no institution could equal within hundreds of years, the fight towards social equality for homosexuals would be that much closer. Millions of more people could use contraception without any kind of moral dilemma, allowing for less HIV/AIDS and unwanted pregnancies. And a lot more young boys would probably feel safer. If the Catholic Church continues its life, which it will, they will continue to oppress millions of innocent homosexual people, leaving them to die and be imprisoned in Catholic countries. If the Catholic Church continues its influence, how many more Catholics in Africa will die of HIV/AIDS because their Church said it was wrong? Without such an institution, these people could feel safe using contraception. If the Catholic Church continues its work, how many more boys will have to experience the betrayal of a trusted figure? If it disappeared, then one could argue that the effects would be minimal. But it is almost without doubt that the effects would be beneficial.

Respectfully,
voltairelines.

Thanks so much for doing this debate with me! I enjoyed it a lot. For lack of a better phrase, good game. :)

1. http://www.boston.com...
LosLambda

Con

And I would like to formally end this debate... Thank you for reading this and once more a good luck to us both!
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by voltairelines 4 years ago
voltairelines
Good stuff indeed ;)
Posted by LosLambda 4 years ago
LosLambda
Good stuff :)
Posted by voltairelines 4 years ago
voltairelines
Of course! Jermaine Clement.
Posted by LosLambda 4 years ago
LosLambda
Is Voltairelines' avatar a picture from the guy in Flight of the Concords?
No votes have been placed for this debate.