The Instigator
Draco
Con (against)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
thett3
Pro (for)
Winning
14 Points

The world is a better place because of Christianity

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
thett3
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/16/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,371 times Debate No: 65241
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (11)
Votes (4)

 

Draco

Con

Christianity has been the inspiration for many great things throughout the ages. It has also been the cause of some of the worst tragedies in history. This debate is not about the existence of the Christian God, but if the Christian religion is a positive influence on the world.

I will make the point that the bad influences of Christianity far outweigh the good. I challenge an opponent to show me the error in my thoughts on this.
thett3

Pro

Thanks for making the debate, Draco. I accept and look forward to your opening arguments.
Debate Round No. 1
Draco

Con

Thank you for accepting this debate.

First off, I would like to say that I accept the fact that there are good things that have come from Christianity: Drug addicts who have gotten clean through faith, art of all forms, etc. The points that I will be making is that the good effects are not worth the costs. These are in no particular order.

1. Suppression of Scientific Advancement
This was more prevalent in the past than the present, though it does exist. In the past scientists such as Giordano Bruno were burned at the stake for heresy. http://en.wikipedia.org... In modern times people with heretical views are no longer burned at the stake, though science is attacked by theists with pseudo-science touted as actual science.

2. Banning of Contraception
The Vatican has a long standing ban on the use of condoms. This leads to the spread of STDs such as AIDS as well as many pregnancies in poor countries where people cannot afford to have more children. This leads to suffering and death in a great number of both children and adults. http://en.wikipedia.org...

3. Threat of Eternal Torture
The threat of Hell and eternal torture if someone does not follow the tenants of the religion is not only a form of violence, but when used against children, it is outright child abuse. It causes undue mental distress to anyone who believes it.

4. Justification for War
While I understand that politics are the major motivation for these wars, religion has often been the justification. I'm pretty sure everyone has heard the quote "If God is with us, who can stand against us?" This holds true for wars in antiquity as well as modern times.

5. Fundamentalism
Religious fundamentalism, though a minority of Christianity, is extremely damaging to society as a whole. Whether it be from unjustified hate of minority groups such as homosexuals or the willingness to ignore modern education or medicine, it damages not only the people who practice it, but people around them as well.

I think five points are enough to get this debate rolling. Please note that I made points that are evidence based, and I will go into greater detail in any of these if asked.
thett3

Pro

Round theme:

I. The inevitability of religion

Religion can best be understood in the anthropological sense as a cultural expression of contact with a supposed supernatural realm. There is a reason that religious systems spring up in every society. Millenia of human experience regarding religion are confirmed by recent surveys which show atheists to actually be more superstitious than the religiously devout. WSJ explains[1]: "'What Americans Really Believe,' a comprehensive new study released by Baylor University yesterday, shows that traditional Christian religion greatly decreases belief in everything from the efficacy of palm readers to the usefulness of astrology. It also shows that the irreligious and the members of more liberal Protestant denominations, far from being resistant to superstition, tend to be much more likely to believe in the paranormal and in pseudoscience than evangelical Christians."

Every other explanation lacks explanatory power: it needs to be recognized as fact that humans naturally seek answers and if they aren't provided by established religious doctrine, they seek them elsewhere in other supernatural explorations. Thus to win this debate, my opponent must not only show that Christianity is societally *bad* but also that an alternative would be *good* because *every* society is going to have some kind of mythology. The idea of a secular world, ESPECIALLY historically is a pie in the sky idea--we can only debate within the contraints of reality. This is an enormous mountain for Con to have to climb: society evolves naturally, religion included. Con can wax poetics about how terrible Christianity was in the middle ages, or how bad American fundamentalists are today but unless he proves things would've been different if not for Christianity, he loses the debate. The very fact that Christianity is viewed and practiced so differently across time and space is as good an argument for the effects of culture on religious expression as any.

Thus, you presume a Pro ballot: Christianity became and remained popular throughout much of the world because people *liked* it. Christianity is a universalizing and hopeful religion, thus explaining its broad appeal. Con is going to make the argument that many people were forced to "convert" and while this is true, in reality the situation was much more complicated. Most countries that officially converted initially saw only the upper class truly converting while the lower classes and rural populations remained followers of the old ways who were nominally Christians--hence the undeniable pagan influence on the early church. However, Christianity soon became so accepted that the old religions were all but forgotten. Religion is an idea, and ideas can only really survive in a society if that society eventually accepts them. Con needs to prove that his world without Christianity would be better than the world people in traditionally Christian countries actually chose when they were presented the choice between Christianity and other religions.

What Christianity is today is a faith that has evolved with Western society for nearly a score of centuries, criticisms of it are best handled by the society itself looking in the mirror. To blame belief in the divinity of Christ for social ills such as stigma against homosexuality is grossly simplistic and unfair.

II. The real world effects of Christianity

Let me delve into a few more conventional arguments. Campbell and Putnam explain[2] that over 9 in 10 of the most religious Americans (who are overwhemingly Christian) made a charitable donation in 2009, comapred with 2 in 3 for the most secular Americans, and that the average donation size for the faithful was nearly 3 times as large as for the secular. They point out that this charity edge is not limited to the faithfuls own congregations, but even if it was "local congregations are often on the front lines of providing charitable services to the poor and needy through food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters."

Due to the psychological need for religion that I've argued for above, religous people typically have better life outcomes than the irreligious. Forbes explains[3] that people who attend a religious congregation once a week or more live an average of 7 years longer than their counterparts and lists a myriad of other benefits including lower rates of crime and substance abuse. The article goes on to cite an analysis from sociologist Rodney Stark showing that religion benefits the US economy by about $2.6 trillion per year.

You can prefer these impacts over my opponents because they directly link to religion in the United States and thus Christianity, unlike my opponents impacts which are largely cultural as I'll discuss in the next round.

The resolution is affirmed.

Sources:

1. http://tinyurl.com...
2. http://tinyurl.com...
3. http://tinyurl.com...
Debate Round No. 2
Draco

Con

Draco forfeited this round.
thett3

Pro

Extend, vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
Draco

Con

Draco forfeited this round.
thett3

Pro

Extend, vote Pro
Debate Round No. 4
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by TheRussian 2 years ago
TheRussian
Sure haha, I wanted to vote but checked the debate too late. Indeed! The US is predominantly Christian, but the US is no where near representing the entire world! In fact, I would like to debate this topic with you, so if you have interest in such a debate with me, just send me a message and we'll get it done.
Posted by thett3 2 years ago
thett3
Thanks for your interest in the debate, TheRussian.

The reason I made that statement was because the religious in the United States are overwhelmingly Christian. Thus, a positive impact coming off of religion in the US is more or less a positive impact coming off of Christianity as well.
Posted by TheRussian 2 years ago
TheRussian
Pro, you said your arguments are good also because they are directly linked with the US. The title does not specify to the US, it is the entire world.
Posted by cheyennebodie 2 years ago
cheyennebodie
sleep... So, you base the merit of a religion on someone's right to a nasty sex act.Christians are against homo's, but are not stopping them. And why do the homo's come and try to force us to accept them? Suing us if we do not want to be involved in their lifestyle. Homo's are not nice people at all. And come crying to the taxpayer to fund medical research for AIDS.

It seems the whole Homo agenda is to force people not like them to accept them. We christains do not try to be accepted. We actually do not care what people think of us. Your opinion will not make me lose any sleep at all.Nor change what I believe and how I think.

Christians give more to the poor than liberal and ungodly and atheists combined. And believe it or not, we have just as much right for our voices to be heard in government as you do.
Posted by sleepyninja 2 years ago
sleepyninja
How does Christianity make the world a better place? one religion can not make the world a better place nor can other religions. I just think it makes it worse most Christians are against gay rights why is that?
Posted by Draco 2 years ago
Draco
I was referring to the modern world, though historical Christianity of course has an impact on the present.
Posted by UchihaMadara 2 years ago
UchihaMadara
Are we talking about this in the historical sense or in the modern world?
Cuz I would only take this if it were referring to the present.

I am undecided on Christianity's overall effect historically. Honestly, I don't really think it is debatable; a world in which Christianity did not exist is unfathomable-- Western civilization has been profoundly shaped by Christianity politically, socially, economically, AND religiously, most notably with the Roman Empire's conversion and the Catholic Church's influence on Europe in the Middle Ages. History would no doubt have taken a radically different course if Christianity didn't exist, and we don't really have any way of reliably determining what that course might have looked like.

That being said, I think a lot of the historical conflicts which anti-theists like to blame on Christianity aren't actually very religiously motivated (e.g. Crusades, Thirty Year's War, etc).
Posted by Draco 2 years ago
Draco
That's OK. Thanks for your interest anyway. I kept the count low as this is my first debate on this site and I wanted to try and get the hang of this before going all out.
Posted by dsjpk5 2 years ago
dsjpk5
After seeing the limited character limit, I probably won't accept. I'm also already involved in two debates.
Posted by Draco 2 years ago
Draco
It is open voting to decide who would win, but I would assume if you showed that my reasoning was flawed, you would get the votes (and therefore win).
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by TheRussian 2 years ago
TheRussian
Dracothett3Tied
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Total points awarded:33 
Reasons for voting decision: Con forfeited, so conduct goes to Pro. Con also used wikipedia as his only source, which is not necessarily reliable, so Pro wins that as well. Con's arguments, however, were stronger. It was a silly mistake on Pro's part to (even though he had several opportunities) not even address Con's arguments. I believe Con's opening arguments were stronger than those of Pro, and therefore, Con gets 3 points for more convincing arguments.
Vote Placed by 1harderthanyouthink 2 years ago
1harderthanyouthink
Dracothett3Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
Dracothett3Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: ff.
Vote Placed by UchihaMadara 2 years ago
UchihaMadara
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Reasons for voting decision: FF. Very interesting arguments by Pro. It would be cool to see him run it in a debate against someone competent.