The Instigator
Silly_Melon
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
A341
Pro (for)
Winning
12 Points

You can be good without God.

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 3 votes the winner is...
A341
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/13/2015 Category: Religion
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 435 times Debate No: 78649
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (3)

 

Silly_Melon

Con

Hello, as my first debate I would like to debate whether you can be good without God, as many atheists claim. I will be arguing from a Biblical perspective, that Humans are inherently sinful and the only way to redeem yourself is through Christ. My opponent will argue that you can be good without God. Good luck!
A341

Pro

Morality, specifically a moral compass seems to be something which is fairly inherit to humans. This is because of various selection pressures which have caused a tendency towards what Kropotkin termed mutual aid. Forms of basic morality have been demonstrated in multiple non-human species [1] [2]. Because of this I would posit that human morality is not only possible without a god but a natural human behavior likely not hugely effected by belief in a deity.

There is also the issue of atheists being under represented in groups considered to have performed immoral actions (rape, murder ect [3]. Now this is likely nothing to do with theism and rather the socio-economic factors that differently effect various religious groups however it does show that atheists are almost certainly no less moral than their religious counterparts.

And for what it's worth even the bible admits that people who don't believe in god can be moral [4].

[1] Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution by Pyotr Alexeyevich Kropotkin
[2] Nice Guys Finish First, The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins
[3] http://www.patheos.com...
[4] Romans 2:15
Debate Round No. 1
Silly_Melon

Con

Thank you for your good argument, I hope I will be able to disprove it:

It is true that all people show some for of morality, however, that does not make them good. Even the most evil people in history are moral in some way. For instance, what about Al Capone, who started Soup Kitchens during the Great Depression? Having some form of moral compass doesn't make you good. What is happening is that we are simply raising the bar above us:

"Yeah, I do some pretty bad things, but I've never committed adultery! So don't you say that I'm evil!"
"Well, I do cheat on my wife sometimes, but so what? It's not like I've murdered anybody!"
"I murder people all the time! And it feels good! Hey, what are you looking at me like that for? Don't worry, I've never raped anyone, people who do that are the scum of the earth!"
And so on and so forth...

I see you've quoted Romans 2:15, however you have taken it out of context, not showing Romans 2:14 the passage before it.

I would like to see you name one Non-Christian, let alone Atheist, who has not done evil.

I look forward to hearing your reply.
A341

Pro

Thanks for the response.

On the quick topic of Romans 2:14, it doesn't change the meaning of Romans 2:15. In fact it says pretty much the same thing:

"(Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law." [1]

Anyway on with the other points you've made. Good is essentially being used in the same way as moral in this debate, moral being following morality so yes exhibiting morality and following it does make you a moral person. The example you give of Al Capone (interestingly a christian [2] ) is one of a person exhibiting tendencies towards morality but not consistently following it.

On the subject of atheists who are generally not considered to have "done evil" I do not think you could say that a third of the British population are evil, this is a label which is usually applied in very unusual circumstances and to apply it to well over 100 million people (it's difficult to get precise numbers for the number of atheists as it is usually non religious that is mentioned rather than atheist, non religious being a label which includes many non affiliated theists like me) renders the term meaningless.

Seeing as evil was a concept that had a meaning before the founding of modern Christianity in the 4th century AD it is ridiculous to claim that all non Christians are evil.

My argument boils down to:

1. Morality is an innate human behavior more or less unaffected by religious affiliation.
2. No empirical study has ever shown theists to be substantially more immoral.

On the subject of three things you single out as being immoral, murder, rape and adultery (things I would agree are immoral) theists are over represented in these groups. For instance increasing religiosity leads to higher rate of adultery [3].

[1] NIV bible Romans 2;14.
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org...
[3] http://studysites.sagepub.com...
Debate Round No. 2
Silly_Melon

Con

Silly_Melon forfeited this round.
A341

Pro

I guess I win then.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by roguetech 1 year ago
roguetech
To correct my vote comment, I mispasted the wrong quote for Con's premise. Rather than:

>all people show some for of morality

it should have been:

>people show some for of morality, however, that does not make them good
Posted by roguetech 1 year ago
roguetech
Seriously 165 days remaining for voting?? Wtf is up with that?!
Posted by LostSoul88 1 year ago
LostSoul88
*raises hand* Moral and not evil atheist present!~

This topic intrigued me, and so far I'm satisfied with how the debate is going, on account of both sides (I was particularly happy when Kropotkin was mentioned). As a prior Christian and current Atheist, I find this an interesting debate. I would like to point out that Christians themselves aren't excludes from "evil" or sinning- humans will always make mistakes. But a moral compass is crucial for good in the first place, is it not?

I'll wait to see more from this debate, toodles!~
Posted by Jenima 1 year ago
Jenima
You can be good without God, but you need to pick a side. Though, if you're good you could get your energy drained by someone who is in fact, negative aka bad, that's why you would need to protect yourself, your energy basically..but I wouldn't Google any protection prayers if I were you.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by roguetech 1 year ago
roguetech
Silly_MelonA341Tied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Con stacked the deck, by creating a non-dichotomy between Con position "Humans are inherently sinful" and Pro position "you can be good without God". Given the title of the debate, I hold the standard of Con to demonstrate "you can [not] be good without God". Con's entire argument rests on a premise in Round 2, "people show some for [sic] of morality, however, that does not make them good". I'm disappointed Pro did not address that rather bizarre logic; I would have defined "morality" as "a system to evaluate good and bad". Pro has the edge on grammar, but Con did well enough to not penalize. Pro provided sources, and had better arguments.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 1 year ago
dsjpk5
Silly_MelonA341Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: Con ff a round, so cinduct to Pro.
Vote Placed by Phenenas 1 year ago
Phenenas
Silly_MelonA341Tied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Con based his argument on extremes and absolutes, referring to the Bible but not citing any specific passages. His challenge of "name one non-Christian who has not done evil" was rather vague, as he neglected to mention any Christians who have done evil. Their grammar was relatively equal. Pro gave a slightly better argument, and at least cited actual sources and statistics.