The Instigator
Shawn613
Con (against)
Winning
11 Points
The Contender
tudaloo
Pro (for)
Losing
6 Points

Without religion, there would be less war.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/4/2011 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,314 times Debate No: 17404
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (4)

 

Shawn613

Con

Resolved:
If religion did not exist, there would not have been as many wars as there have been.
Defined:
War; the violent conflict between nations or states
Religion; the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods

Point 1: War and conflict is the inherent nature of man and has existed before the creation of religion.

Point 2: Religion is used as an excuse to wage war, but is not the actual cause.

Point 3: The are always differences between nations that can cause war, not exclusively religion.
tudaloo

Pro

I accept the challenge.

I also accept my opponents point 3 for his argument and "war has existed before the creation of religion" from point 1 of his argument as basic fact.

Definitions from dictionary. com:

War: noun
1.
a conflict carried on by force of arms, as between nations or between parties within a nation; warfare, as by land, sea, or air.

Religion
a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.

less: 1.
to a smaller extent, amount, or degree: less exact.

average Joe/Joes:
"noun
an ordinary person or citizen; an average man.

human nature:

"noun
1.
the psychological and social qualities that characterize humankind, especially in contrast with other living things.

legalism:
3.
( initial capital letter ) (in Chinese philosophy) the principles and practices of a school of political theorists advocating strict legal control over all activities, a system of rewards and punishments uniform for all classes, and an absolute monarchy.

Opening argument

Religion. It's all around us and has been seen by the average Joe almost around every corner where he or she lives. Religion in many aspects is one of the earliest sign of humans trying to understand the world around them. Religion as defined by dictionary.com states,"A specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion." As the result of this bewilderment of wondering why we are here, major religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Paganism, and much more came into being as a result. This created a explosion in cultures in every aspect of the average Joes life. All of this bewilderment also in a bad way created tensions between certain religious groups trying to explain aspects of human nature. This leads me to my 1'st point.

Point 1: Religious tensions have and still does existed in human civilizations.

Depending on where or what civilizations you look to in history, In some ways direct or indirect, wars were caused by the tensions. I'm going to use china as an example. One of the 1'st Chinese imperial emperors know as Qin Shi enacted a philosophic reasoning in his empire known as Legalism. Legalism as defined "( initial capital letter ) (in Chinese philosophy) the principles and practices of a school of political theorists advocating strict legal control over all activities, a system of rewards and punishments uniform for all classes, and an absolute monarchy." Qin During the time he ruled saw any other philosophic ideas as a threat to his empire. This lead to the burning of books in china and the burying of scholars at the Hundred Schools of Thought(http://history.cultural-china.com...). Ever since the majority of Qin citizens were followers of Confucianism, this made the population Very mad as it already was and off and lead to the popular uprising led by Liu Bang in 209 b.c and eventually lead to the end of the Qin dynasty. If you want more of a modern example of religious tensions, look at the chaotic country of Sudan. In north Sudan, the majority of the population was Muslim verses the south which the majority was Christian. This cultural difference was one of the driving forces in the civil wars in Sudan and the succession of south Sudan. (http://www.meforum.org...)

Point 2: Religious tensions cause a major chunk of the wars along with the scramble of resources.

If we look to every major known war or conquests in recorded human history, you can see that either it started because of a scramble to resources or religious reasons. I'm going to make separate sections of major wars that were caused by either one

Resources:
Alexander the great conquest: He wanted to
build an empire and the obvious start was to
capture important resources.

WWII in Europe: Hitler wanted to make his government even more powerful, but he needed to invade other countries for resources in order to make a stronger "purer" nation.

WWII in the pacific: The U.S cut off about a majority of japans assets in the u.s. This made japan mad at the U.S and the military government decided to hit the U.S hard at pearl harbor(http://germanyinworldwar2.com...).

Mongolian conquest: Genghis Khan wanted to gain power, but he needed the man power in order to start expanding his area. He made loose forums of alliances and raided villages all around different government owned areas in order to fuel his empire growth.

Religious:

Rise of the Abbasid Calphate

Ever since the Abbasid consider themselves the true successors to Muhammad as opposed to the Umayyads, The Abbasid usually questioned weather or no the Umayyads were following under the footsteps of the prophet Muhammud. This eventually led to war between the Abbasid and the Umayyads and with the Abbasids come out as the sucessors.

The Crusades:
The crusades we're defiantly religious because Pope Urban the II started the trend and i quote from one of his letters, "I, or rather the Lord, beseech you as Christ's heralds to publish this everywhere and to perse all people of whatever rank, foot-soldiers and knights, poor and rich, to carry aid promptly to those Christians and to destroy that vile race from the lands of our friends. I say this to those who are present, it meant also for those who are absent. Moreover, Christ commands it."
(http://www.fordham.edu...)

conclusion:

Based upon points one and two, the points heavy suggest that a major chunk of the known wars were caused by religious tensions. Without the presence of religion, war would rage less on the planet earth.
Debate Round No. 1
Shawn613

Con

I feel the need to mention that as the Affirmative in this debate, my opponent has the Burden of Proof, and it is his responsibility to convince the voters that there would be less war without religion. If I can prove that there would be an equal amount of wars or even more wars without religion, I win.

Point 1: War and conflict is the inherent nature of man and has existed before the creation of religion. Mankind is by nature violent and aggressive. Man does not and has never needed religion to wage war.

Point 2: Religion is used as an excuse to wage war, but is not the actual cause. This is essentially the main point of the debate.

Religion has set up a system that causes its followers to blindly follow the commands of the deity, but since no deity communicates with them, it opens the door for men to claim to speak through God, and control the followers.

War is caused by man, and religion is merely a vessel with which to enact said war. Pro is no doubt a student of history, and he could likely tell you better than I of the endless leaders throughout history who has used religion as an excuse.

Point 3: The are always differences between nations that can cause war, not exclusively religion. Religions are often found in particular regions. Any two states who differ in religion almost certainly differ in nationality and certainly differ in ideology. Any war that has ever been wages in the name of religion could easily be substituted with Race or Beliefs as the flags of war.

Rebuttal:

Point 1: I concede that religious tension has existed and does exist today. I never thought that was a point of any contention.

Point 2: Pro has attempted to pull a fast one, it seems. Pro has taken two different possible causes of conflict(Religious tensions and "scramble of resources), prove one true (resources) and hopes that I will buy into the idea that if he proves one half of a statement true, the other half (religion) must also be true. However, that is false. What he says about resources is true but irrelevant to the resolution, and so he continues after his points about resources as points of conflict throughout history.

Re: Rise of the Abbasid Calphate.

I won't pretend to know much about this particular case Pro has brought up, but I will say that if two different groups of people are willing to go to war over the petty details of dead man who claimed to have communicated with God, then it's reasonable to assume these two groups would just as easily go to was over race, ethnicity or ideology.

Re: The Crusades

My opponent's quote of Pope Urban the II serves to prove my 2 quite nicely. Better than I could have, in fact. You see, as I have said, man has taken their ability to get away with the absurd claim of communicating with an omnipotent God to wage war and expand their empire. Thousands did not die for God, thousands died so Roman would expand their empire. Hell, this is a great example, because Rome is in Italy, historically one of the most important areas regarding the evolution of Christianity, and it is not just a coincidence that Rome was also one of the greatest empires in history.

Conclusion: Quod Erat Demonstrandum, my opponents points exist to serve my arguments better than his own, and my arguments exist to end this fallacy that wars are the will of God, but rather, the will of man.
tudaloo

Pro

definitions by dictionary.com

Cause: 2.
the reason or motive for some human action: The good news was a cause for rejoicing.

excuse:
Noun: A reason or explanation put forward to defend or justify a fault or offense.

Rebutall:

"War and conflict is the inherent nature of man"

My opponent doesn't necessarily go into detail on why war and conflict is "the inherent nature of man." Thus it can be assumed he only assumes this or he has no factual evidence to suggest that humans are warmongers by nature or he is to lazy to make a in-depth argument.

"Religion is used as an excuse to wage war"

By my opponent logic, the wars that were caused indirectly and about three case directly in the cold war by both the u.s.s.r and the u.s.a in order to spread there version of the perfect government philosophy and or stop the other governmental philosophy must of just been "excuses." verses it being one of the main causes of the cold war,(http://www.funfront.net...)

"Religion has set up a system that causes its followers to blindly follow the commands of the deity, but since no deity communicates with them"

My opponent didn't put evidence up to suggest that any sort of supernatural being doesn't exists. Thus he is only assuming this or doesn't have any evidence to back up that claim or was to lazy to write a point about this.

"What he says about resources is true but irrelevant to the resolution, and so he continues after his points about resources as points of conflict throughout history."

I'm sorry about not clarifying on what resources had to do with the resolution.

What I said about resources is related to this argument because if you simply take out religion from the whole idea of war, you are only left with wars that are fought over rescoure locations.

"If two different groups of people are willing to go to war over the petty details of dead man who claimed to have communicated with God,"

This might sound like a shocker, but the ummayad and the abbasid went to war for that reason. You also have to realise that everything back at that time was surrounded around faith.(http://www.touregypt.net...)

"Thousands did not die for God, thousands died so Roman would expand their empire"

My guess is that you are referring to the catholic church when you use the word roman. The catholic church wasn't an empire during the middle ages. The catholic church is only considered a religious institution. However if you always wanted to know why the pope somewhat had of political power, the reason for that was because the pope could determine if you go to heaven or hell. However, the church couldn't control how feudal kings govern there land. If lets say a feudal king gains land in the middle east, he would own that land and not the catholic church. You also need to remember that life back then was surrounded around faith. People were ready in arms to kill for religion.

Conclusion: My opponents opening arguments were half-assed or he or she has no factual evidence to prove his points. My opponent doesn't recognize the fact that life back in the middle ages was surrounded around faith. He also hasn't pointed out proof that no supernatural being don't exist.
Debate Round No. 2
Shawn613

Con

Reconstruction:

"War and conflict is the inherent nature of man"

I'm sorry, I thought you were a intelligent human being and didn't think men were going around making hearts out of macram� and singing Kumbayah at around the same time you were lucky to live to the age of 30. Allow me to humor Pro and give references to that claim: Ancient history (the very beginning of recorded history)[1] began about 5000 years ago. The first recorded war took place 4700 years ago.[2][3] So either that was the very first war ever, or they had been fighting before that. I can't prove, of course, that they were fighting before recorded history because, well, it was pre-historic. I guess I appeal to logic or any sort common sense when I say I believe that there was war prior to history. Otherwise, spears, created 400,000 years ago[4] were just large toothpicks.

"Religion is used as an excuse to wage war"

Forgive me if I have trouble deciphering this butchering of the English language, I'll do my best. I'm going to go ahead and use Pro's definition for "war":

"War: noun
1.
a conflict carried on by force of arms, as between nations or between parties within a nation; warfare, as by land, sea, or air."

Pro no doubt realises that the Cold War wasn't a war by this definition so I have no idea why it's relevant. The Cold War was just a time of great tension and fear but no soldier was ever killed by the opposing side.[5] Not a war so you can't cite anything that lead to it regarding "causes of war".

"Religion has set up a system that causes its followers to blindly follow the commands of the deity, but since no deity communicates with them"

Oh geez, I didn't know I'd have to prove the absence of God. Funny that I happen to know the name of what Pro is doing. It is known as 'argumentum ad ignorantiam'. It's the belief that something is true because you can't prove it's false. For example, if I said, "There's a unicorn playing drums with Godzilla on the dark side of Pluto, and I know this because you can't prove there isn't". True, I can't prove that there isn't a God, but I also can't prove that you're not really a clone made from Adolph Hitler's DNA. Are we to proceed with the debate with that ridiculous notion? Of course not. The nonexistence of proof is proof of nonexistence until proven otherwise, we all know this.

"What he says about resources is true but irrelevant to the resolution, and so he continues after his points about resources as points of conflict throughout history."

I accept your apology. Also, there's a little spell check option to the right of the REVIEW button. Click it once in a while.

What you continue to say, "What I said about resources is related to this argument because if you simply take out religion from the whole idea of war, you are only left with wars that are fought over rescoure[sic] locations", I believe I said that when I said in Point 3. I'm glad that we agree that if you remove religion from war, there would still be war fought over any number of the other valid reasons such as resources.

Pro has demonstrated that he agrees with me and I cannot wait to see him backpedal his way out of this one.

"If two different groups of people are willing to go to war over the petty details of dead man who claimed to have communicated with God..."

I love how Pro rebutted the setup to my point but not the actual point itself. The point was two groups of people, one from Iran and the other from Iraq, who were ready to kill each other even over something as illogical as a difference in religion, would have just as easily went to war over ideology, philosophy or a different way of life. Heck, what is a religion if not an ideology and way of life? And if they wouldn't have gone to war over those two, maybe they would over Pro's reason, resources.

"Thousands did not die for God, thousands died so Roman would expand their empire"

Sorry, I meant to say Rome, but Roman as in Roman Catholic works too, I think. You're inferring I meant that the catholic church was an empire. He goes on from this misinterpreted preposition to rebut a point I didn't make, so I don't see any need to reconstruct said rhetoric.

Re: Pro Conclusion

First of all, "he or she has no factual evidence to prove his points"? I could be a she and you say "he" anyways?

Secondly, I didn't provide factualy evidence to support my points for two reasons: One, you did that for me in your argument so I didn't see the need and two, I didn't think I needed to prove that there are trees in the forrest for people to recognise it as basic, univerasally agreed upon fact, such as you demanded regarding violence being a natural state of man. Third, I DO recognise life at those times was surrounded by faith, but it was also surrounded by grass, so just because there's alot of something doesn't mean it's a cause for war. Lastly, argumentum ad ignorantiam.

My conclusion:

Unfortunatly, because of my opponent's poor deconstruction of my own points, my conclusion in this round is similar to the conclusion I gave in the second round. My opponent has said that if you take religion out of the equation, any war imaginable (as my opponent has demonstrated with Alexandre's Conquests, World War II and the Mongolian Conquests,) would still likely have taken place for reasons such as resources, ideology, territory, et cetera. I agree with that and that idea that both Pro and Con agree on, is the reason why there would be an equal amount if not more war without religion. Such is the preposition that will decide this debate, and it is why I win this debate, barring something incredible by Pro in round 3.

As I stated in th beginning of Round 2, "I feel the need to mention that as the Affirmative in this debate, my opponent has the Burden of Proof, and it is his responsibility to convince the voters that there would be less war without religion. If I can prove that there would be an equal amount of wars or even more wars without religion, I win."

Since we both agree that there would be an equal amount, I win.

P.S. If you prove God exists, I'll forfeit.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2]http://ancienthistory.about.com...
[3]http://forums.about.com...
[4]http://en.wikipedia.org...
[5]http://www.3ad.org...
tudaloo

Pro

I don't have any time to make a closing argument because im working all day today and tomarrow.

Gl man.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by tudaloo 6 years ago
tudaloo
golf scores. i win
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by GMDebater 6 years ago
GMDebater
Shawn613tudalooTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: forfeit
Vote Placed by Rockylightning 6 years ago
Rockylightning
Shawn613tudalooTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro forfeited
Vote Placed by quarterexchange 6 years ago
quarterexchange
Shawn613tudalooTied
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Total points awarded:12 
Reasons for voting decision: The arguments were even, but Pro had sources but forfeited. Con should have brought up the fact that the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Winter War, and the Russo Afghan war were all instigated by atheists.
Vote Placed by ApostateAbe 6 years ago
ApostateAbe
Shawn613tudalooTied
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Total points awarded:24 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro used arguments to make his own case, and Con primarily criticized, made assertions, and shirked the burden of proof.