The Instigator
Hawkeye117
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
james14
Con (against)
Winning
6 Points

atheism is a force for good in this world and progressing the human race unlike theism

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
james14
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/4/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 536 times Debate No: 66392
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)

 

Hawkeye117

Pro

I well betaking the point of pro and con's goal is to prove me wrong that theism is more productive in advancing the human race technologically, scientifically, and a force for world peace and ending bigotry. I wish my opponent luck and con may start the first round with his debate.
james14

Con

Let's look at the debate topic:

"atheism [sic] is a force for good in this world . . ."

How do we define "good"? A simple definition for the adjective form is "to be desired or approved of." [1] However, when using the word as a noun the Merriam-Webster dictionary puts forth the following:

: morally good forces or influences

: something that is right or good

the good : the pleasant things that happen to people [2]

We could simply say "good" is "something to be desired or approved of."

So, after examining what "good" means, it would seem that Pro's claim is that atheism is a efficous means of obtaining what is desirable. We will go into more detail on this later. But even that is going a bit far. After all, what can "atheism" do? Nothing, as it is not a "thing." It is an idea (defined as "a disbelief in the existence of deity" [3]) that has no material standing. Instead, to avoid confusion we ought to clarify and substitute "those individuals who practice the belief of atheism" for "atheism." Pro's main point is that, if atheism were to dominate the globe, more "good," or desirable things would happen than if "theism" (the belief in god or God or GOD or goD or however you wish to capitalize it) were to sweep the world. In other words, the belief system of atheism is more constructive and . . .

" . . . and progressing the human race unlike theism."

And resulting in progress. "Progress" is also a loose term, but here Pro has helped us by clarifying in his argument. Progress here means progress in "advancing the human race technologically, scientifically, and [as] a force for world peace and ending bigotry." Which are all noble goals.
Or are they? The problem is, scientific progress unchecked can lead to terrible consequences (and tons of science fiction). Which leads to my first point:

Number One: Atheism is generally less capable of checking science than is theism.
Here's why: Atheists generally (and I know not all atheists think this way) consider science to be our savior. This is quite logical from their worldview as, without any spiritual or transcendental ideology, all problems are necessarily natural, which means that all solutions are necessarily natural. Science is quite good at addressing the natural. So science is deemed our savior and is allowed to run unchecked.

Unchecked science can lead to eugenics (a kind of human breeding attempt to create a master race), [4] cloning, the creation and destruction of human embryos for research purposes, as well as other policies I would call evil. To go in a more pertinent direction, unchecked science can actually hinder world peace as science produces bigger and bigger bombs. Nuclear holocaust was a very real possibility a few decades ago. What makes us think another Cold War is impossible? One may ask why theists would do a better job of avoiding these pitfalls. The answer is that theists consider spiritual aspects as well as natural aspects of problems. They see sin as a spiritual, rather than as a natural, problem, and feel accountable to God for their actions. I am not saying atheists are not responsible, just that the nature of their belief makes them more likely to wholeheartedly embrace every scientific advancement, which can be a dangerous thing.

So, what other differences does the God v. no God ideology conflict bring up? Both theists and atheists can be good scientists, I agree on that. In fact, to win you will have to prove that theism somehow hinders a person from advancing the human race. This is not the case. Theists consider the world to be a gift from God, given for our use and preservation. Theists also (are supposed to) view others as valuable and "love thy neighbor as thyself." Atheists, on the other hand . . .

Number Two: Atheists Have Nothing to Fear
This title may put the reader off. Is it good to fear? Well, I would not say fear is desirable, but its effects can be beneficent. It is a simple fact that theists believe in an afterlife where some judgement is conducted while atheists believe in nothing but unconscious decomposition. Now, we all know how important speed limits are to insure traffic safety. But if you knew the federal debt had finally crushed our entire government (including, most importantly, the police department), would you be as careful to adhere to them? Does the presence of that police station on the corner slow you down a little normally? My point is that atheists quite simply have no consequences to fear if they enter a school, kill forty kids, and then kill themselves. On the other hand, Christians and Jews and Muslims know they're in big trouble with God if they do so. In fact, a believer's relationship with God will often radically transform their very character, pushing them far from the point where they would even consider doing such a thing. Now, to be clear, I am not saying that atheists normally like to kill people and then themselves. However, according to atheism, when you're dead, it's all over, which means that you really do have nothing to fear after death, so there is no logical reason NOT to kill others and then yourselves if you are an atheist, assuming you are angry at the world.

Terrorism doesn't advance either world peace or anything else but death.

Number Three: "Good" is subjective
A Christian could define doing "good" as loving God and loving your neighbor. [5] Or, as doing unto others as you would want others to do to you, which is a major tenet of basically all global religions. What should an atheist define "good" as? Well, advancing the human race, as my atheist opponent has. That's basically it. But while this is a good goal, there is no reason for all atheists to accept it as the truth. With the absence of God and consequences we are reduced to ethical nihilism, which some of the atheists on this site actively forward. From the point of view of the average person uninterested in philosophy, atheism basically gives him free reign to define "good" as he pleases. Some may choose the noble definition, but most will go with hedonism, living for sex, food, success, money, and basically whatever will make them happy. This may point them in a good direction concerning "advancing the human race," but it may just as likely not. Is spending millions of dollars on sports, sports programming, advertisements, and TV deals really "progress"? Theists, on the other hand, have purpose. Some become scientists, where they are no worse than their atheist colleagues, and some (a larger percentage by far than atheists, for obvious reasons) turn to philanthropy, moving to Haiti to help and encourage and, sure, to spread what they see as the "good news." Theism encourages helping others, while atheism encourages helping yourself.

Well, that's all for tonight. I'm sure I'll think of more later, but now I am tired and ready to turn the debate over to Pro, whom I courteously thank as well as all our viewers.

[1] https://www.google.com...
[2] http://www.merriam-webster.com...
[3] http://www.merriam-webster.com...
[4] http://historynewsnetwork.org...
[5] Luke 10:27-28
Debate Round No. 1
Hawkeye117

Pro

Okay I am quite pleased with my opponent as he is quite intelligent and knows what he is talking about so this well be a good debate. With that said I well start my debate. My opponent first brings up how to define good, and yes good can be manipulated to mean many things but basically what I mean good is the same way we get our morality, public opinion. Now you may ask yourself so does that mean that a mass murder means that we define good by what he thinks yes and no. To know what we find moral and good and immoral and bad is what everyone thinks just like in our society we see someone kills someone we define them as bad, but a member of Al Qaeda that kills an infidel they would define that as good. I later define good as progressing the human race technologically, scientifically, and to help remove bigotry. I believe everyone here except anarchist believe to be good thing.
"Unchecked science can lead to eugenics (a kind of human breeding attempt to create a master race), [4] cloning, the creation and destruction of human embryos for research purposes, as well as other policies I would call evil. To go in a more pertinent direction, unchecked science can actually hinder world peace as science produces bigger and bigger bombs. Nuclear holocaust was a very real possibility a few decades ago."
So my opponent would like to convince you that without a theistic backing science would quote on quote go unchecked by allowing things like eugenics, cloning, the creation and destruction of human embryos for research purposes. Okay lets tackle these things first, starting with eugenics. Eugenics the study/ belief of improving human qualities by having people with positive genetics reproduce and those with negative not. Okay what"s wrong with this eugenics has been going on since the beginning of life animal"s mate with others of its own species to improve its chance of survival of the next generation; even humans even do this today. Humans produce hormones that we can smell, per say, subconsciously and we use these hormones to find mates that have a different immune, system genetics, etc. so that our offspring well have a mix in genetic and immune system defenses that they would inherit from both parents so they would be hardier/ more healthy. And the same why we find people with abnormalities in there body we find them ugly or someone you wouldn"t want to date as if you were to have offspring that offspring would be worse off as it could get those genetic disorders and making them worse off rather then better off. So eugenics is not creating a master race as you say it"s a natural phenomenon that has progressed our evolution to this point and the same with every animal out there. Now you go into talking about cloning. Now what is wrong with this, the only thing one can think wrong with this is "playing god" which people would use as an excuse to keep cloning for happening. The benefits of cloning are vast an one can think of endless reasons why it would be beneficial to us humans such as cloning human organs so that people that are waiting for a transplant for a failing liver or kidney or even a defective heart these people could have to wait months if not years to get a transplant and some don"t even live long enough to get a transplant as they die due to the failing organ. On average 18 people die every day waiting for a transplant that"s 6,570 people die on average every year. The reason transplants are so difficult is that you have to have an organ with the same blood type, mussel type, size and many more factors that complicate the process. Now if we had cloning technology we could take a sample of hosts body clone that and have that person get their own organ than have to wait and possibly die waiting for a transplant. As well as that we could learn more about the human body how to rid certain diseases and many more benefits. Now the creation and destruction of human embryos I can see how this could be a moral dilemma but through their use we could try and possibly solve genetic disorders cure diseases. And then you go on talking about how unchecked science leads to bigger and bigger bombs that"s not sciences fault just like German chemist Fritz Haber figured out how to fix nitrogen from the atmosphere which was later used to make bombs to kill in WWI but his discovery revolutionized how the world feeds its self. Yes it was used to make bombs but now we use it to feed our world same with how Chinese alchemists first made gun powder and used it to make fireworks but when later found by the Europeans was used to make guns and kill people. All these things have great uses and terrible uses none of this is sciences fault, science just finds these facts about the universe around us, but it"s up to us on how we use these facts that have been uncovered. Yes through science we lived and still live in an age where we are threatened by the complete and udder destruction of all life on earth but science just found out how it works we made the bombs and if we use them and kill all life that is our fault and we have no one to blame but ourselves not science. Now you say that I have to prove that theism hider"s science my main point is the Catholic Church and the 1000 years of scientific suppression due to it being blasphemy. We see people like Galileo, Da Vinci, Copernicus and thousands more all due to religion and without it we could have a cure for cancer or the common cold many of things but we will never know due to the suppression of science throughout history.
"My point is that atheists quite simply have no consequences to fear if they enter a school, kill forty kids, and then kill themselves. On the other hand, Christians and Jews and Muslims know they're in big trouble with God if they do so. In fact, a believer's relationship with God will often radically transform their very character, pushing them far from the point where they would even consider doing such a thing. Now, to be clear, I am not saying that atheists normally like to kill people and then themselves. However, according to atheism, when you're dead, it's all over, which means that you really do have nothing to fear after death, so there is no logical reason NOT to kill others and then yourselves if you are an atheist, assuming you are angry at the world."
This is the part of the debate that I am quite disappointed in con as this is where he shows his ignorance. Now Con would like you to believe that an atheist that is pissed off at the world would go out and shoot up an entire school and then kill himself and the atheist wouldn"t care as they wouldn"t have to worry about the wrath of god. Now con try"s to cover his tracks by saying "I am not saying that atheists normally like to kill people and then themselves." But then continues to say that according to atheism you die and have nothing to fear for after you die, then he again goes on and attacks atheism by saying "there is no logical reason NOT to kill others and then yourselves if you are an atheist, assuming you are angry at the world." So con would like to pin the fact on that Atheists are immoral people that if they kill they don"t care. I would like to say again morality isn"t defined by religion but is defined by what the masses think like in our society it is immoral to kill that is how we get our morality and with that said again and since con wants to talk about atheism killing people I would like to bring up all the terrorist acts theism has brought upon such as Al Qaeda, ISIS, KKK, and countless others we see people motivated to do these terrifying despicable acts such as the hijacking of multiple civilian aircraft by Islamic extremists which were latter used to be rammed into the world trade centers and the pentagon all in the name of their religion, the Oklahoma City bombing by Christian extremist in the name of their religion we also see Christian fundamentalists who bomb abortion clinics not very love thy neighbor like there are countless examples of radical religious groups using their religion to kill and using terror tactics to push their religion now as you said Christians, Jews, Muslims know they"re in big trouble with god if they do so, well in their minds all there doing is promoting their religion and doing the teaching of god just like Muslim extremist believe when they die for Allah they well go to heaven and get 99 virgins and then we have the Christian fundamentalist that in the name of god and their religion they bomb abortion clinics, suppress gay rights, and spread bigotry. As we can see even god fearing believers kill in the name of their religion am not saying all but it is out there as we all know. Now back to the point of this section people don"t go shoot up a school because if they die they won"t go to hell and they just don"t care people do this because they have some time of mental disability just like James Homes, the guy that shot up the theater in Aurora, Colorado, who has been tested and is mentally insane. Well that is all I have for now I can"t see how con well respond and I wish them luck.
http://www.americantransplantfoundation.org...
http://science.howstuffworks.com...
http://dictionary.reference.com...
http://www.scientificamerican.com...
james14

Con

Thanks, Pro.

Unfortunately (for him) my opponent lacks a real understanding of what eugenics constitutes. A quick look at the trusty Merriam-Webster dictionary reveals that eugenics is:

: a science that tries to improve the human race by controlling which people become parents [1]

Does Pro think this is good? Eugenics is not a "natural" process, but rather a purposeful scientific pursuit. Forced sterilization would be a good example of negative eugenics. So-called "positive" eugenics would be encouraging people with good genes to become parents. The latter is discriminatory, and, in my mind, is far from positive. Please comment to let me know your reactions to "positive" eugenics. Negative eugenics are obviously wrong, but follow from an atheistic evolutionary perspective. After all, for our race to survive we must ensure it remains as "pure" and strong as possible.

Cloning: Cloning is not a good idea. Really. There's just too much that could go wrong. First, would clones be considered "human"? They would be fully human, but if the government decides to create an army of identical perfect clones we could easily start to view them as the property of the government. This can be referred to as the "commodification" of humans, where we start to see clones as objects to be bought and sold rather than living, feeling people to be respected, not manufactured. In fact, I see that Pro supports the utterly unconscionable practice of commodification when he endorses cloning for the purposes of organ production and medical research(!) Really Pro? You want to create humans, who will be just as alive and feeling as you are, only to kill or cripple them through research and the removal of vital organs? [2] Cloning would also disrespect diversity and would make the human race less diverse. In addition, cloning would result in permanent changes to the gene pool that might or might not be harmful (scientists won't know until they try), and could quite possibly lead to eugenics.

"Yes through science we lived and still live in an age where we are threatened by the complete and udder [sic] destruction of all life on earth but science just found out how it works we made the bombs [sic] and if we use them and kill all life that is our fault and we have no one to blame but ourselves not science."

Well, not quite. The creators of WMD's are responsible for giving us the opportunity to destroy ourselves. If I installed a big red switch in my house with a sign next to it saying: "WARNING! Flipping this switch will blow up the world!" and someone flipped it and blew up the world, then I would be responsible for hooking the thing up in the first place. I think scientists are responsible for foreseeing where their inventions can be used for and stopping short of world destruction. Sure, fusion can be used for good, but couldn't scientists have just stuck to reactors instead of making bombs too? Think of it this way. If we could get a big red switch installed in the White House, should we? I think we should not make bigger and bigger bombs from an objective, non-nationialistic perspective. Sure, if the USSR has them then maybe we should too, but nuclear bombs just shouldn't exist.

Pro's objections to my points only verify that he is the typical atheistic worshipper of science who believes all progress is good, even when that progress results in cloning humans just to grab their organs. The first point, therefore, stands.

Just because the Catholic church at one point got mad about the geocentric theory does not mean theism, in general considered in a progressive and rational sense, at all would hinder science. Remember, we are talking of the worldview, not of institutionalized theism. In fact, Christianity has done a lot to further progress:

1. Galileo, Da Vanci, and Copernicus were all Christians. Theists.

2. So were such great progressors of the human race as George Washington, Martin Luther King Jr., and Locke, as well as other scientists such as Newton, Bell, and Marconi.

3. The Catholic church actually was a great contributer to science (in the main). Matt Walsh writes:
"The Jesuits helped contribute to the development of clocks, barometers, microscopes and telescopes. They theorized about things like human flight, the moon and the tides, and blood circulation. They observed certain astronomical phenomena before anyone else. They did these things as an aspect of their religious pursuits, not in competition with it.
In fact, for five or six centuries no institution funded and supported the sciences more than the Church. They don"t teach that in school, which yet again demonstrates the danger of mixing atheism and education. Atheism has to hide from so much, deny so much, and twist and manipulate so much, because its existence is always jeopardized by the scorching light of truth. To paraphrase CS Lewis, an atheist has to be careful about what he reads and which facts he encounters. There are traps everywhere.
When western scientific knowledge came to places like China and India in the 1600"s, it came by way of Christians and their science-hating Christianity. You"d be hard pressed to find a single bit of modern scientific knowledge that wasn"t discovered, or heavily influenced by, the work of devout Christians.
Do the progressive science lovers, who use the Big Bang to "disprove" God, even know the name of the guy who originally formulated the hypothesis? Well, they think the universe and the human mind came about my happenstance, so I guess it follows that the Big Bang Theory just appeared magically in text books one day. But, unfortunately for them, just like the Big Bang itself, the theory has an originator. His name was Monseigneur Georges Lemaitre. "Monseigneur," for the uninitiated, means "priest" in France-talk." [3]

4. The Church actually preserved much knowledge during the dark ages.

5. Churches, over the centuries, have done much for humans. Traditionally, the church has established schools, hospitals, and universities. All of america's first universities were christian, for one thing. And when did you last see an Atheist Hospital?

Without Christianity we would lack a lot more than a cure for the common cold.

Now Pro says he is dissapointed in me, as "this is where he shows his ignorance." Let's examine how he addresses my second argument: " I would like to say again morality isn"t defined by religion but is defined by what the masses think like in our society it is immoral to kill that is how we get our morality and with that said again and since con wants to talk about atheism killing people I would like to bring up all the terrorist acts theism has brought upon such as Al Qaeda, ISIS, KKK, and countless others we see people motivated to do these terrifying despicable acts such as the hijacking of multiple civilian aircraft by Islamic extremists which were latter used to be rammed into the world trade centers and the pentagon all in the name of their religion, the Oklahoma City bombing by Christian extremist in the name of their religion we also see Christian fundamentalists who bomb abortion clinics not very love thy neighbor like there are countless examples of radical religious groups using their religion to kill and using terror tactics to push their religion now as you said Christians, Jews, Muslims know they"re in big trouble with god if they do so, well in their minds all there doing is promoting their religion and doing the teaching of god just like Muslim extremist believe when they die for Allah they well go to heaven and get 99 virgins . . ."

Most Muslims in America would laugh out loud at the virgins part. I'm pretty sure that's not in the Koraan.

Morality isn't defined by religion. Well, that's debatable. But for now let's skip to what Pro says it is: "by what the masses think." This is where my opponant shows HIS ignorance. So if everyone thinks killing blacks is fine, then it is? If all the Germans want to kill Jews we should just let them? Pro obviously has the origins of morality way off. Then my worth opponant goes off into terrorism, extremism, etc.. Again, we are examing a REASONABLE theism. Pro can't just point to Al Qaeda and say, "Aha!," any more than I can point to evolutionist racist eugenic scientists. And, in the main, major religions endorse the golden rule and the ten commandments and morality. Just about every muslim would condemn Al Qaeda, by the way. In referring to my last argument from the previous round, I would like to again point out that there is no objective "good" from an atheist perspective. To the Christian bomber we can say, "Listen, Jesus does not endorse bombing. You did wrong," but to the atheist we can only say, "Killing people like that is wrong, because it hurts people," without any specific reason why hurting people is necessarily bad.

Okay: people shoot up schools not because they are atheists but because they are mentally ill. To which I say: Not necessarily. [4] Generally, school shooters want to go out with a bang. They are killers who want to make waves. But if they believed God was waiting for them on the other side, would they still do what they did? I don't think so. The blame doesn't rest fully on atheism, but atheism does nothing to prevent it, unlike theism.

So, in the end, all three arguments are upheld, as (3) wasn't even addressed by Pro. Here ya go, with 43 minutes to spare.

[1] http://www.merriam-webster.com...
[2] http://www.councilforresponsiblegenetics.org...
[3] http://themattwalshblog.com...
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 2
Hawkeye117

Pro

Hawkeye117 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Hawkeye117

Pro

Hawkeye117 forfeited this round.
james14

Con

If you can't win, forfeit. Hawkeye surrenders in the face of overwhelming evidential might.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by imnotacop 2 years ago
imnotacop
I'll debate the actual debate topic with you, but not that atheism is simply better at progress than theism.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
lannan13
Hawkeye117james14Tied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture