The Instigator
amac112
Con (against)
Losing
21 Points
The Contender
gack1224
Pro (for)
Winning
28 Points

You can only be moral if you believe in a religion.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/16/2007 Category: Religion
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,266 times Debate No: 520
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (17)

 

amac112

Con

Morality is intrinsically based upon what one feels is right. While some people do subscribe to the beliefs of a given religion and/or way of life that does not necessarily make them moral. Morality means that you conciously choose to follow a given path and following something because a religion tells you to means that one can listen and follow the ideas of others but they fail to think for themselves and to follow a path that they feel is right and therefore moral.
gack1224

Pro

A person can be moral without believing in a religion.

I offer the following definitions for this debate:

moral: concerned with the principles of right and wrong behavior and the goodness or badness of human character
religion: the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods

The assumption of the PRO is that in order to be moral, one must have religion. However, it is clear that believing in a greater being does not make someone moral nor does it require someone to be moral.

First off, people who have religion are often of poor moral character. For example, jihadists claiming that a religion (Islam) requires them to kill "infidels" is immoral on the grounds that killing another human being is immoral. While a jihadist may be extremely religious they are not moral because they sacrifice societal morality (what people view as wrong (killing)) for upholding their own extremist interpretation of a religious text. This is selfish because it disallows the potential victims from recourse (they are dead) and immoral because it does not take into consideration the lives of others as moral actors (and dehumanizes them accordingly).

Secondly, often those who claim to be religious (evangelicals and the like) often sacrifice the moral aspect of a text for a forceful and often intolerant view. They choose to often ignore the teachings of tolerance and peace for ideologies of judgment and violence. If you need examples, I will present them in the next round but I think it's evident that extremists who are religiously fervent are often morally inept.

Lastly, belief in a supreme being is necessarily exclusive of moral character because situations and events permit morality to be tested without the incentive or need for a belief. The idea that morality and religion are exclusively linked comes from the belief in a moral human being who preached about how a greater being wants us to live (i.e. Siddhartha Gautama or Jesus). However, people before them could have easily lived a moral life based on the situation at the time and using either a retributive or utilitarian paradigm. They could have weighed a choice based on facts to make a decision that would make anyone and everyone happy. For example, a farmer comes across a field of wild berries. He decides that the berries are plentiful enough to feed himself and many more. The moral thing for him to do is to present the finding to others, benefit them (and benefit him in return) and share in the discovery. However, no belief system would be necessary other than a caring for others and humanitarian mindset.

A supreme being need not be a defining or deciding factor for good moral character.
Debate Round No. 1
amac112

Con

amac112 forfeited this round.
gack1224

Pro

It is unfortunate that my opponent (and instigator) of this debate did not have enough time, for whatever reason, to respond to any of my arguments. I will therefore take this time to reiterate what I've already said and make new arguments if possible.

It is unnecessary for one to believe in a greater being and/or use that belief as an incentive to do what is "right". Furthermore, as in the examples above, doing what one thinks is "right" because of religion is sometimes considered wrong by others living the moral standard of society. It is easy enough to see how those people's lives who have never heard of religion have morality. They simply have invested themselves into another person through caring which offers both immediate (feel good) and long-term (camaraderie/"favorability") results.

I await my opponent's responses to the points I have made at his earliest opportunity.
Debate Round No. 2
amac112

Con

amac112 forfeited this round.
gack1224

Pro

My arguments flow through. Belief in a divine power is unnecessary to achieve moral character.

A secondary reason to vote for me is that my opponent hasn't responded to anything I've said. ;)
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by gack1224 9 years ago
gack1224
You should vote for me regardless simply because I "debated". I won the debate because I fulfilled my responsibility even though I may have misinterpreted my goal. Not my fault that my opponent failed to point it out AT ALL.
Posted by solo 9 years ago
solo
gack... your opponent didn't have to debate to win this one. You debated for him. You should accept the fact that you blundered. It's the responsible thing to do.
Posted by Thoreau 9 years ago
Thoreau
I'm going to have to vote for Con because...that's what the Pro side was advocating as well.

Gack, you might want to check which side you are on before you agree...
Posted by gack1224 9 years ago
gack1224
Meh. Vote on my secondary reason.
Posted by sethgecko13 9 years ago
sethgecko13
From what I read it sounded like you're both in agreement (gack1224 - I think you mistakenly took the "pro" position which would mean that you're arguing that religion is required for morality).
17 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by Mharman 8 months ago
Mharman
amac112gack1224Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: FF>
Vote Placed by U.n 1 year ago
U.n
amac112gack1224Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture.
Vote Placed by Logical-Master 9 years ago
Logical-Master
amac112gack1224Tied
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Vote Placed by Keithinator 9 years ago
Keithinator
amac112gack1224Tied
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Vote Placed by jtm2292 9 years ago
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amac112gack1224Tied
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Vote Placed by oboeman 9 years ago
oboeman
amac112gack1224Tied
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Vote Placed by hark 9 years ago
hark
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Vote Placed by Chob 9 years ago
Chob
amac112gack1224Tied
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Vote Placed by Lacan 9 years ago
Lacan
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Vote Placed by solo 9 years ago
solo
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