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The Contender
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christianity is a force for good in the world

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/11/2015 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 779 times Debate No: 69810
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (7)
Votes (1)




first round is to accept the challange


I accept - happy debating
Debate Round No. 1


Where to begin in the long list of atrocities caused by the catholic church in the name of the church, I think I'll begin at the turn of the 21st century where this evil institution has admitted that they committed wrongdoing through pope John Paul II long list of apologies on the 12th of March 2000 the 'day of apology'; the pope begged forgiveness for, among some other things, the crusades, the Inquisition, the persecution of the Jewish people, injustice towards women (that"s half the human race right there), forced conversion of indigenous peoples especially in South America, the African slave trade, the admission that Galileo was right, and for silence during Hitler"s Final Solution (1). This is an appalling admission of guilt made by the church of unspeakable heinous crimes that in many instances cannot be forgiven.
And even after this day there is still many issues the church still needs to apologise for such as condemning homosexuals to death, advocating against one of the best techniques we have in curing certain illness with stem cell research and to many more to name.

But don't worry their evil coward ways do not stop there, that very same pope john paul II on 15 November 1989, addressed the 4th International Conference of the 'Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Health Care Workers' said and I quote " it seems profoundly damaging to the dignity of the human being, and for this reason morally illicit, to support a prevention of AIDS that is based on a recourse to means and remedies that violate an authentically human sense of sexuality, and which are a palliative to the deeper suffering which involve the responsibility of individuals and of society" (2) in summary his point is AIDS are bad but not as bad as condoms a gross and ignorant statement.
In September 1990, John Paul II visited the small town of Mwanza, in northern Tanzania, and gave a speech that many believe set the tone for the AIDS crisis in Africa saying that condoms were a sin in any circumstance (3) I have to ask the question how many millions of people this would have killed in the catholic parts of Africa?

Im sorry im new and don't quite know how to cite so ive done my best this way with citations to websites below in numerical order:




I will begin by putting forward my initial arguments and will address my opponent"s points in the following round.

Christianity is the religion based on the person and teachings of Jesus Christ, (1) so to verify if Christianity is a force for good we must first refer to the teachings of Jesus Christ to determine if these teachings will result in favourable outcomes for the population at large.

Some of the core doctrines that Jesus taught on were:

- The Golden Rule, do unto others as you would have them do unto you
- The care of the sick, lonely, poor and destitute
- Forgiveness (turn the other cheek)
- Mercy
- Non-judgement of others (plank in your eye)
- Charity
- loving your enemy

There were individuals and groups that Jesus did not hesitate to criticize and these were the Pharisees and Sadducees that myopically kept to the "law" but had lost sight of the people that it was meant to serve.

Christians who fall short of Jesus's teachings are still "true" Christians, but humans are apt to sin and do incredibly stupid and cruel things to their brothers and sisters both intestinally and unintentionally - even sometimes in the mistaken belief they are doing so in the name of their God, just as the Pharisees once did.

When one looks back over two thousand years of history it is inevitable that there will be many examples of humans falling well short of the bar that their appointed saviour has set.

Christians look to Jesus as the finest example of how they should live their lives and attempt to do so in their day to day interactions with others. With this as motivation, Christianity established an organised Health and Education system well before the governments and rulers of the relevant countries had an inkling to do so. (3) (4)

Even today 26 per cent of all world-wide health care facilities are managed by the Catholic Church whilst in Australia 21 per cent of secondary school children attend schools run by Christian churches. (5) (6)

The following Humanitarian organisations are only some that have been established by Christians:

International Committee of the Red Cross
Compassion International
Food for the Hungry
World Vision
Samaritans Purse
St Vincent de Paul Society
Salvation Army

William Wilberforce and his colleagues successfully brought the Trans-Atlantic slave trade to a halt as a result of their Christian convictions, whilst also being a founding members of the RSPCA.

Orphanages, maternity care, supplying food and clothing to the sick and homeless, are all callings that both the clergy and their congregation have undertaken through the ages as a result of them emulating the example set by Jesus.

Of late there has been much Church vs Science debate and discussion, to the point that those that are not inclined to theism blindly believe that Christianity is a road block to scientific progress. History shows us that the lexicon of scientists is absolutely awash with Christians who try to understand the world around us. Christianity and scientific discovery are not two mutually exclusive concepts, and routinely they are bed fellows as Christians have sought to explain the mysteries of their God's creation. (7)

One of the core reasons the Western Hemisphere enjoys such prosperity is that we have legislated these core values into our laws and statutes for all to receive benefit from, no matter what their religious persuasion. (8)

Despite their large atheist populations, countries in Scandinavia have a thriving and happy population as they actively assist those less well off. They treat their prison population with mercy and forgiveness that can go against the grain of our natural human tendencies. (9)

Such countries are held as shining secular examples - as they rightly are. But this is due to them enshrining the same concepts that Jesus taught into their laws and social structures.

When humans put more faith in other doctrines, such as economic rationalisation, the infallibility of the market and forget about the little people, as what occurs in the United States we would expect outcomes that would be at odds with the Christianity of its population.

Despite the human failings of its members, Christianity is indeed a force for good.

2. The Bible, New Testament
Debate Round No. 2


In this round I will start by rebutting my opponent's arguments, and then present new ones.

The core doctrines/ Jesus' teachings that my opponent present all but loving your enemy where around well before christianity came into play, buddhism for example had notions identical to these and was founded well before christianity came about; buddhism been founded in 520 BCE to be exact. (1) Therefore if christianity was not around we would still have these teachings without all the extra baggage that christianity carries along with it.
On the issue of loving your enemy this is known as compulsory love and is a sick element of christianity and can be seen as a similarity to Stockholm Syndrome. "Love your enemy" is also to say to someone of whom you must be afraid, but you must love him, too. If you fail in this duty, you're a wretched sinner. This is not mentally or morally or intellectually healthy, and is an appalling teaching.

Also it appears my opponent wants to take the literalist view on the gospel, therefore he must accept jesus' other teaching such as the one which can be found in Luke 19:11-27 "But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them"bring them here and kill them in front of me."" This is literally authorisation for murder for the harmless crime of non belief and this was used to help justify the 'First Crusade' (2)

To the point of Australian run catholic secondary schools, I know that they did run schools I went to one of those schools St Stanislaus College nicknamed the 'pedophile paradise' one priest charged with 93 offences (3).
Lets go to these orphanages you speak of where Pope Benedict XVI had to issue a dramatic apology to the victims of decades of sex abuse by Catholic priests in Ireland however, it failed to mention the cases of abuse that have emerged in other countries that have rocked the Catholic Church. Priests in Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Brazil, Mexico and in the Pope's former diocese in Germany have been accused of mistreating children (4). From what I can tell these orphanages and schools are 'farms' for these sick priests to abuse children.
Make no mistake the church is a cult filled with pedophiles and virgins whom then have the audacity to tell us how to live our sex lives.

When you list groups of christian charities you lead the impression that had christianity not been around these people would not be doing charitable work "If the only thing keeping a person descent is the expectation of divine reward then, brother, that person is a piece of $hit" - Rust Chole/ Matthew Mcconaughey

However I to can list secular charities that do work for the betterment of man rather than their own selfish aspirations to convert the people they help:
-Amnesty International
-Doctors without Borders
-Foundation Beyond Belief
-Goodwill Industries. Which unlike their counterpart, the Salvation Army which is an evangelical Christian "charity" that is also politically and socially-active promoting their atrocious religion, Goodwill is a secular organization that runs thrift stores coast-to-coast. The list goes on and on (5).

You then go on to claim that christianity is not against discovery or science, I must refer you again to my previous point on Galileo who was imprisoned for letting the world know that the Earth rotates around the sun. Also the church strongly opposes stem cell research the best chance we have in curing spinal problems among many other fabulous benefits.

That we know of there is only one cure for world poverty and it can be phased very simply 'the empowerment of women', go to Bolivia, Bangladesh, or Yemen (6) (7) (8). Give women control over their reproductive cycle make them not just the beasts of burden and beats of childbearing that they become, give them the right to get a paying job and the floor will rise in that community it has never failed anywhere (6) (7) (8), against this one solution the catholic church has turned it's back(9), the efforts of the missionary church's in the third world mean more people die not less.



I am pretty sure that Doctor Evil (1) would say that the Catholic Church gives evil organisations a bad name. Evil organisations do not ask for forgiveness, Evil organisations are not made up of individuals that sacrifice much of their life for others. For all their power and influence the Catholic Church and the combined Christian Churches are punching well below their weight in the evil organisational stakes, so much so that they do immeasurably more good than harm.

Before I go any further, I will point out that the topic of this debate is not whether "Christians have done bad things"; it is whether "Christianity is a force for good". Like any 2000 year old group that has and continues to consist of billions of individuals it will have some blemishes but that still doesn't negate the fact that it's primary focus and outcomes are positive ones.

I will not defend the churches actions it has apologised for and asked for forgiveness. To do so would justify these actions which they dare not be justified.

The Catholic Church may have an issue with condoms, but this must be tempered with the fact that they have a much more failsafe preventative suggestion, that of abstinence, which has been shown to be the most effective way of remaining STD free.

It is quite disappointing that critics of the church's stance on sexual matters do not realise that one of the main reasons for these restrictions (and many others) are for infection control, and these were well in place thousands of years before our knowledge of bacterial and viral biology was known.

It is illogical to suggest those in Africa will not wear condoms because of a Papal decree, yet then ignore the even larger transgression of extra marital sex. The truck drivers who are having sex at truck stop brothels are not forgoing condoms because of the pontifications of the Pope.

Many Africans believe AIDS prevention is the white man's ploy to stop the local population from having more black children by wearing condoms - The President of South Africa infamously down played the extent and existence of AIDS to the detriment of his citizens. (2)

The Catholic Church in this instance are putting forward a solution to manage the issue that has proven to work by those that follow its guidance - they should not be deemed evil for the poor choices people make when disregarding this advice.

Whether some of Jesus' doctrines were in existence in Buddhism or original in thought is irrelevant to whether they are a force for good or not.

Buddhism didn't make its way to the west for many centuries after 520 BCE, so these doctrines would not have been able to be taken advantage of by the general populace who had no access to Google.

As far as baggage goes, you only bring along what you choose to. Christianity is pretty simple, your sins are forgiven, don't sin anymore, be excellent to one another.

The other options to loving your enemy is to hate them, to resent them, to bear a grudge towards them - all of which require negative emotional energy that stops you from moving on. Forgiveness is the key and has been scientifically proven to provide better health outcomes for those that do it. (3)

I would consider it very unwise to interpret a parable to justify killing someone - especially if it goes against the grain of the rest of Jesus's teaching. The parable of the minas talks about Jesus's return and not about our interactions with other faiths in the interim. It is also not a central element of Christianity - if it was the indiscriminate killing of non-Christians for being non-Christians would have been undertaken consistently over the last two thousand years, and this has not been the case. We were tasked to spread the good news, not to slay as we did so.

Western democracies that have a Christian heritage are the most free and open societies in the world where freedom of religion is enshrined in their constitutions and bills of rights.

Sexual crimes committed by the clergy are appalling and unfortunately mirror what also occurs in secular society. Molesting children is not a Christian doctrine and reflects the imperfect nature of humans rather than the values of the Christian faith. Not to justify these actions or downplay their impact on the victims involved, but it would be remiss to not point out that in the USA alone Christian schools educate over four million students. So rather than the picture my opponent paints of a school boy smorgasbord, Christian education benefits millions of children each year. This education is so highly valued that parents without strong, if any, religious beliefs will send their children to these schools to obtain what they perceive as a better educational outcome for the children.

There is no question that non-Christians can do good, but that is not the topic for debate. Christianity motivates people to do good deeds as can be seen the countless institutions they have established for this very purpose and the millions of people and clergy that volunteer, are employed or manage these institutions.

That being said, if we look at some of the secular institutions that my opponent has listed and look at the background of their founders we find that their founders are:

-Amnesty International - Jewish
-Doctors without Borders - Jewish
-Foundation Beyond Belief - Christian (4)
-Goodwill Industries. - Christian (established by a Reverend no less)

My opponent is right; the list does go on and on.

My ironically favourite is Foundation Beyond Belief as it has been set up by a Christian who after viewing the collection plate going around at church realised that atheists did not have the same opportunity to give as Christians did. Not only are Christians motivated to do good, they are motivating and facilitating others to do the same.

Although Amnesty and Doctors Without Borders were founded by Jews I have included them in this list as Christianity was also founded by a Jew and they share much in common.

Christian establishments both teach and treat women, Christian aid agencies provide small business loans and aid to women. Also two of the countries that my opponent listed, Yemen and Bangladesh do not even have a statistically sizable Christian population. This suggests that a lack of Christian values is likely to be the very cause of the gross inequalities and destitution that these countries have encountered.

The great thing about providing education to women is that it enables them to make their own informed decisions and destiny, and this is what we see throughout the world as women are given this opportunity.

To put things once more in context I will revisit the fact that at least a quarter of all health facilities around the globe are managed by the Catholic Church alone, let alone other denominations. So at least a billion people are dependent on Christian supplied healthcare - this figure then grows further when you include all of the secular organisations that were established by either Christians or their Jewish doctrinal relatives.

Christians may oppose stem cell research, not due to its scientific basis, but its ethical basis. Science does not speak to ethics and it is up to members of the population to speak up when they believe it has crossed the line. There are a lot of medical practices that can be justified by scientific grounds, e.g. the forced sterilisation of those of marginal intellect in order to improve the gene pool - but it doesn't necessarily mean it is the right thing to do.

My opponent has repeated his argument in regards to Galileo, which was an ignorant response by not only the church but also the scientific and philosophic community, who did not appreciate the challenge of the scientific understanding of the time. Galileo was a Christian himself and was educated in Christian institutions. His discoveries still stand to the benefit of us all. If it wasn't for these inputs from the Church it is doubtful that he would have come to the discoveries that he did later in life

Despite its hiccups along the way, Christianity is an undeniable force for good.

Debate Round No. 3


Again I shall start by rebutting followed by arguments
So my opponent is arguing that an institution which admitted evils such as the crusades, the Inquisition, the persecution of the Jewish people, injustice towards women (I must stress again that"s half the human race right there), forced conversion of indigenous peoples especially in South America, the African slave trade, the admission that Galileo (If I am confused on this topic as my opponent claims I am why did they feel the need to apologise) was right, and for silence during Hitler's Final Solution. My opponent claims that all this is not evil because they apologised. Come on that's a joke.
What other as my opponent would say righteous organization would authorise genocide the most appalling crime imaginable and allow the african slave trade. The church would shame even the most ambitious psychopath.

My opponent then argued that I am misguided in my arguments towards the question, I have to ask is the church not a main part of christianity? You'll find the answer is yes.

Ahh abstinence also apart of the ABC strategy (1), yes it's true that abstinence prevents AIDS BUT SO DO CONDOMS and for shame to the pope for suggesting they are worse than AIDS. Again I have to ask who are these virgins who have the audacity to tell us how to live our sex lives.

To the truck drivers do I have to refer you again to my reference on what set the AIDS epidemic in Africa out of control, the quote from the pope. He was in Africa a fastly uneducated place compared to these America where I assume these 'truck drivers' are from. Education is also a major player in the prevention of STD's something unfortunately the african community lacks (2). Make no mistake religious moderation is the product of secular knowledge and scriptural ignorance.

On the Catholic churches solution, you're right that is not the evil teaching and I never claimed it was, the evil teaching was 'AIDS are bad but not as bad as condoms'

On Buddhism not making it's way to the West this is because christianity as I have already stated fought tooth and nail to ensure people only followed christianity.

Ahh forgiveness of sins in relation to the sacrifice of jesus known as vicarious redemption, another outrageously corrupt teaching of christianity, it teaches don't worry about your crimes i'll serve your time in prison don't take responsibility for what you have done this is known as scapegoating. It pushes a "gift" on me that I would not want nor ask for, and then threatens me if I don't accept it with eternal torture and separation from my loved ones for eternity. Another grotesque teaching that my opponent has just tried to claim is 'good'. So yes this is what I call as 'baggage'.

Again you bring up love my enemy, do not dare to tell me to love my enemies. I don't do that and I don"t want you doing it for me either. Go love your own enemies. Don't be loving mine. I'll get on with the business of destroying, isolating, and combating the enemies of civilization. Should we love ISIS ha please.

I wasnt the one taking the literalist interpretation that was you I was saying if you wanted to go down that path then that is what you must accept. Again I must refer you to my previous reference and points, this was a core teaching during the time of the crusades.

Back to schools I see again yes I know this I went to one of those schools renowned for it's excellence in education, but we were taught by teachers not the priests even still this does not excuse the abuse and rape of boys at those schools. Staying in America the church in has spent at least $2.2 billion settling litigation related to the crisis, and that there may have been as many as 100,000 total victims of clerical sexual abuse, I have to wonder out of those 100,000 how many were children. And this just up to 2012 (3).

I thought I made my point clear about the christians who do good, they do it out of the goodness of their own hearts not because of christianity and if not do I have to refer you again to the Rust Chole/ Matthew Mcconaughey quote.

I thought it would have been fairly obvious religious types would have set up these secular charities, because the majority of the population is religious. Having said that there must have been a reason they wanted them to be secular, i'd say so there is no secondary motivation to convert those they help. So include these charities in any category you want it makes no difference.

"Yemen and Bangladesh do not even have a statistically sizable Christian population" you must have misread my argument; that was was my entire point where women's right's in these countries has increased poverty has gone down.

The only people who could be opposed to something as beneficial and 'miraculous' as to stem cell research are either the ignorant or religious the fact that religious people think a collection of cells with no brain, nervous system or consciousness (4) is equivalent to a 4 year old girl with spinal injuries sickens me to the core.

"Despite its hiccups along the way" is the most outrageously, gross and immoral statement you have made during this debate to excuse the oppression of women again half the human race, genocide and allowing of genocide, acceptance of slavery, abuse and rape of too many children to count among everything else listed as a "hiccup" is an outrage, and I my opponent should apologise and show some shame.

To my argument
Name one moral or ethical action or behaviour committed or carried out by a believer that could not have been committed or carried out by a non believer, it cannot be done. Now name one immoral or unethical action or behaviour that has been committed or carried out by a believer that could not be done by a non believer and you can think of some straight away.

To end with a quote from Steven Weinberg "with or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion"

To keep it fair I propose no new arguments should be allowed in the 5th round



To clear up any confusion, in my earlier arguments I did not imply that what members of the church did was not wrong, rather I said that if an "organisation" was "evil" as my opponent has termed them, they would not have apologised.

Once again in regards to Galileo, putting him under house arrest was unjust, but the church's foundational contribution to his education has resulted in an amazing scientific legacy. This good is mirrored millions and millions of times over with the education provided to other scientists (Christian and non-Christian alike) and the general population. Even my opponent is constructing his arguments from skills that he no doubt learnt from his education in well regarded religious school.

If the Church is an "Evil organisation" as my opponent suggested it really needs to get it's mission statement revised and circulated. Its members who are feeding the poor, assisting prostitutes, providing health care and teaching children have not yet got the memo and are continuing to be a force for good.

There is no organisation or country that has been around for two millenia that doesn't have some questionable history - Humans are apt to err - State run orphanages fair no better in regards to abuse of children for example (1), neither do nation states when engaging in war or colonisation - it is systematic of the nature of humans.

The Church is part of Christianity, my opponent is raising points that demonstrate that the church and its members have done wrong in the past - this is not in dispute. But the question at hand asks if Christianity is a force for good and my opponent has not refuted the fact that the health care, the education, the assistance to the poor that Christians and their institutions provide is not good

My opponent has also failed to refute that western democracies that fully embrace the main aspects of Christian teaching - even when this is done within a secular context - are the happiest and wealthiest countries in the world. When nations expand on what Christianity has established, social welfare, health care and education, nations thrive.

My opponent has conceded the point that abstinence is an effective form of infection control - this is a scientifically verified precaution and this is what the Catholic church has advised people to do.

African truck drivers (Africa does have trucks) do not give too hoots what the Pope says - if they heard him at all. If they are not going to listen to the Pope in regards to not cheating on their wives, they are not going to listen to what he says about condoms. As mentioned above, my opponent has already conceded that the Pope's good advice is effective in stopping the spread of STD's.

Re Buddhists, the originality of Jesus's teaching does not negate the benefit of it and it being a force for good

Having sins forgiven does not mean that you don't accept responsibility for them - you reap what you sow. Having a feeling of redemption, and freely forgiving others leaves your conscious clearer than it would be otherwise, better enabling you to move forward in life without bitterness and regret that can plague and tarnish all future decisions and relationships you make.

Not having this peace of mind means that you could live a personal hell and not enjoy the best (and only) life you can.

I am unsure why my opponent believes one would have baggage with Christianity - you either believe and you get all the benefits of the club. If you choose not to believe in Christianity, the existence of hell is not a threat.

One of the reasons Jesus was killed was that his teachings were counter intuitive and controversial. My opponent appears offended by the mere suggestion of being free with forgiveness and loving your enemy when this is the most effective ways of dealing with conflicts long term. If we look at all the international hot spots, or our own personal hot spots, continuing hostilities only makes things worse. The cycle of violence and hate continues from generation to generation. This is the inter generational evil that Christian doctrine is designed to negate.

Fundamentalism and legalism never result in good outcomes, and this is once again Jesus's strength - he cut through the legalism of the day and lays out some pretty easy guidelines. It is still surprising that people get it so wrong to fuel their own selfish desires.

It is conveniently logically inconsistent for my opponent to attribute the bad things Christians do, to their faith, whilst attributing the good things to only the goodness in their heart.

The fact that my opponent is not surprised that it will be "religious types" that have founded recently established secular organisations - some targeted specifically towards atheists - speaks volumes about the good Christianity creates and the almost unconscious expectation that they would do such things.

It is no coincidence that countries such as Yemen and Bangladesh are in the state they are in. As my opponent has demonstrated as they continue to enact the same policies that Christian organisations have established via improved education, provision of social services and health care we will continue to see their well being increase in leaps and bounds.

In regards to the two quotes that have been used:

"But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion"

This first one is often used and quite tiresome really. All manner of things can make "good" people do evil things...greed, jealousy, race, nationality, language, land, money, political and economic views, even the football team they support. When you have so many other factors at play, it becomes difficult to categorically determine that actions are religiously motivated.

More to the point it is generally bad people using religion or their position in that religion as a lever to justify their actions. Just as the Pharisees did that Jesus consistently rebuked, and what ISIS are doing currently.

In regards to the Rust Chole/ Matthew Mcconaughey quote

Even if a person is deemed a "piece of sh*t" for their motivations, their motivations are causing them to do good and thus this aptly demonstrates how Christianity is a force for good.

This quote written another way would read "for evil people (ie "pieces of sh*t") to do good, that takes religion"

In relation to the Hitchens challenge it is also a tiresome bit of rhetoric. Of course if you are a believer and hold beliefs that non believers don't, you could commit an act that you may deem un-ethical or immoral. But if we are talking from a standpoint of absolute morality this doesn't apply. If moral absolutism is not considered, the challenge is still quite meaningless as a non- believer can do the very same thing as a believer, with the exact same outcomes - but one is considered moral, the other not despite the identical external impacts of their actions. The question posed puts a higher standard of behaviour forward for the believer.

My opponent would make a more convincing argument by not relying on easily dismissed sound bites. Those that have a distaste for religion tend to swallow these up hook line and sinker with no critical thought simply as they play to and reinforce their own prejudices.

Stem cell research is an entirely different debate topic in itself, but considering that governments have legislation in place to control aspects of this research suggests that there are very real ethical considerations. It is understandable that the church would have similar valid concerns to ensure that the ends does not justify a questionable means.

In regards to "hiccups", all through this debate I have not denied that Christians have done harm and have not tried to justify these actions or excuse them.

Just as the immeasurable good that Christianity has done does not diminish the harm certain individuals have felt - similarly these chapters in the Church's history do not diminish the fact that Christianity has been, and continues to be, a significant force for good in the world.

Debate Round No. 4


For the conclusion I shall only reiterate my previously made points
It should be clear that as stated in my previous references/arguments that if christianity never came to be common core principles such as mercy and compassion which predate christianity altogether would still exist thus christianity only has given an 'illusion' that this is due to their teachings.

Also as I have shown the teachings which derive solely from christianity are often in fact corrupt teachings with teachings such as the threat of conversion or hell when taught to children is tantamount to child abuse.

Only the faithful can claim acts like outright murder to be a force for good and also truly believe what they are doing is 'good'.

Adolf Hitler is well renown for rebuilding the german economy something which can be seen as 'good' but no one would dare claim Adolf Hitler was a force for good, a bad deed does not wash away the good, nor the good the bad; thus as I have clearly shown christianity is responsible for much more bad than good.

It must also be noted that no amount of apologies can wash away the harm committed committed by near 2000 years of abuse, and a mere apology does not right the wrongs or negate the evil behind the deeds as my opponent has tried to show it does.

If christianity is as 'good' as my opponent claims and is the bedrock for western society to lean upon, why have such unspeakable atrocities been carried out through it. If they are prone to error like the rest of society then what is the point of it in the first place.

We can have rich and fulfilling lives without having to believe things based on insufficient evidence which is literally the definition of faith.

As I have shown religion has the capacity to silence critical thinking and create blindness in entire groups of people. It can infect the minds of followers so completly as to allow the most egregious sexual acts against children and others go unchallenged for centuries.

I believe my opponent tiptoed around and made misleading counter points to many of my direct questions, arguments and points in order to avoid the truth behind them and mislead the voters, and you the voters should not be fooled by these cheap parlor tricks.

Something which I think should have become obvious throughout the debate is the fact that there was a time when having this debate would have been life threatening for the side of con (my side), and it is only now after the church is starting to loose it's power do they come to us with a smiling face offering us friendship in place of totalitarian dominance.

Through all the arguments and counter arguments I have presented I think it is unquestionably clear that christianity is NOT a force for good in the world, however I hope one day that I can come back and argue the opposite but until that day this is where I stand.

I'd like to thank my opponent for this rigorous debate, as it is a topic I am very passionate about and I feel it's a conversation that needs to happen.

To the voters whether christian or other when voting I believe you should look at the arguments objectively and not allow your own pre conceived ideas influence your votes as I believe I have made the stronger case.

Thank You for reading


In conclusion my opponent has failed to refute that Christianity and its adherents have and continue to be a leading force of good for the world.

Christians have established Primary, Secondary and Tertiary educational institutions. Christian organisations every day educate millions upon millions of children (male and female), many from disadvantaged backgrounds and provided the model for state run universal education.

My opponent has conceded that these educational institutions often are considered higher than their state run counterparts.

My opponent has honed his critical thinking skills in a Christian school, it is therefore illogical to claim that Christians propagate ignorance when they actively create institutions that aim to do the exact opposite

My opponent strongly believes in education, and thus even though some Christian principals have pre-dated Jesus - their effective teaching of them by the Christian movement has propagated good where it otherwise would not have occurred.

When faced with a substantial list of Christian scientists my opponent has referred once again to Galileo, who himself received his education from a Christian institution resulting in the opportunity for him to discover what he has become renowned for.

Christian organisations run over a quarter of the health facilities on the planet that supply health care to both men and women.

Secular governments that initiate policies that most accurately reflect the Christian heritage of their populations and the teachings of Jesus are the happiest and healthiest societies.

My opponent has used non Christian countries to effectively demonstrate the detriment nations inflict on themselves by not applying Christian principals.

My opponent has conceded that the advice given by the Pope is the most effective way in which to limit the spread of STD's including AIDS.

I have demonstrated that all manner of justifications other than religion exist that can be used to alleviate the guilt of "good" people from doing heinous acts.

Although the church and its members can do wrong, the fact that they recognise this and apologise for it suggests strongly that being an "evil organisation" is not one of their goals.

Christians rightly recognise that we are all sinful, my opponent does not recognise this, hence the surprise that Christians can perform actions they should be regretful for.

My opponent provided examples of secular charitable organisations set up by Christians and their Jewish doctrinal relatives that demonstrated that even in a secular context Christians create avenues and model behaviours for their secular friends to follow.

The fortunate truth is that Christian influence has seen the establishment of institutions that have provided care, health, food, shelter, education, and guidance to the most vulnerable and also the general public. These institutions have well pre-dated what we have now come to expect from our secular governments.

It is easy to be dismissive of this as this is what we come to expect from living in our modern liberal societies - but if you look to see what separates ourselves with all other countries around the globe that do not share in our abundance is our shared Christian heritage.

Christianity and its core teachings have always been, and will always be a force of good.

Vote Pro - because its the right thing to do.

Thanks to my opponent for a most enjoyable debate.
Debate Round No. 5
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by whiteflame 3 years ago
RFD (Pt. 1):

I'm going to change up the format from my usual one and focus mostly on an overview of the debate. The decision itself won't actually take long, so I'll focus on feedback.

1. Topic/Burdens

I re-read the topic a few times, and honestly, there are a lot of ways this could be interpreted. Con went for the broadest interpretation (Christians as a whole have been a force for good in the world), but I think that I would have bought several other views of the resolution. For example, why should I be looking at any actual Christians and their actions? We're talking about the religion here, not the people. I thought that was where Pro was going in the early rounds, bringing the focus solely on how the religion is structured and what it brings to people directly as opposed to how it's interpreted, but Pro never argues that that's how I should interpret the resolution. Another possibility here would have been to argue that "is" is a temporal term, forcing the discussion to focus on what kind of force Christianity is in the world today. That would have invalidated all of Pro's historical analysis and required that the focus stay on current events (schools, charities, etc.), and might even have made the recent apologies a big factor, showing that they're different now than they were then. I start to get some analysis on this in R4, though, which is a tad late to bring it up.

I view these as missed opportunities. Pro allowed Con to dictate how the debate would proceed, and let him take some liberties with the resolution without really challenging him. It seems that Pro had the right mindset for the debate, but didn't articulate the need to follow that mindset. Thus, I'm looking at this debate as it was argued rather than as I interpret it, and as such, I use Con's version.
Posted by whiteflame 3 years ago
(Pt. 2)

What that means remains unclear all the way to the end of the debate. Neither debater discusses the burdens they carry here, no one makes it clear what Pro or Con has to do to win this debate. And it's not obvious. Even if I'm reading the resolution in the way Con wants me to, how do I decide whether or not Christianity is a force for good? I'll get more into this under "Structure," but it would have been a lot better if both sides had been clear about what the resolution was actually asking of them. This is a fact debate " Pro is trying to prove the resolution true, while Con is trying to prove it false. I actually would have bought it if Pro had argued that Christianity only had to be a force for good in some instances to satisfy the resolution, but I don't see that argument being made. So I have to look at the overall issue, and compare what Christianity has done to make the world a better place with what it has done to make it worse, and yes, I have to include all individual actions in this.

2. Structure

Both debaters really need to do more than just list arguments and string out rebuttals. This debate is literally all over the place, with no clear focus and very little effort to determine what makes an action "good" or "evil." In fact, this is often just assumed, with each side allowing the other to dictate the reality, save some arguments regarding other balancing measures (especially in the case of Galileo). All I see is a bunch of separate ideas, and while the unifying themes are somewhat obvious in certain cases, many of the arguments that should be grouped together remain separate throughout.
Posted by whiteflame 3 years ago
(Pt. 3)

And this makes it very difficult to determine who's winning the debate overall. Both of you get so mired in the details of each argument that I rarely get any perspective on what each argument is actually doing. The larger scheme of the debate barely even gets revisited in the final round, where each debater just uses the space to summarize rather than crystallize. Even with the attempts to weight arguments (i.e. saying how many people a given issue affects), I keep feeling like I'm missing the big picture. Numbers are great and all, but I never got a solid idea of the level of impact to those numbers, which wouldn't have been too hard since you guys were often discussing impacts in the form of deaths and destruction.

Actual Decision:

I think what I've said above has made it clear that there are a lot of ways this debate could be judged based on what you guys provided in the way of arguments. The debate is unclear from the outset and only gets murkier as it goes along. I don't see anyone really clarifying the overarching issue, though each side tries repeatedly to clarify individual points.

So, I have some options. I could go through this debate and merely count up the points each side is winning and compare the totals for the determination. However, many of these points are far better linked to their impacts, and some of those impacts certainly matter a lot more than others. That's not to mention that it's difficult to weigh the historical examples against present-day efforts.
Posted by whiteflame 3 years ago
(Pt. 4)

My view on this is that rather than trying to fill in the blanks in the analysis here, I'll just look at my overall perception of Christianity after the debate. Do I feel that Pro has demonstrated that Christianity is a force for good in the world? In some instances, yes, I do. But not in all. I don't think Con manages to definitively show that Christianity is a force for evil, either. Neither side really makes a convincing case. So I'm left with uncertainty, and that uncertainty guides my decision. Since it's Pro's burden to prove the resolution true, and since uncertainty fails to do so, I default to Con. I don't think he handled this debate very expertly, and he certainly was more abrasive than he had to be, but I'm given enough evidence from him to see Christianity as a source for many of the problems that we've experienced in the last 2000 years.

The only point that had me wavering on this was the argument that bad people will use any excuse to engage in bad behaviors. If that argument had come out more clearly from Pro, and the reasoning for why it didn't apply to good behaviors been elucidated, it may well have sealed this debate in his favor. But too little time is spent on this point, and as such, I'm left to believe that Christianity can influence decisions in a negative aspect, and as such, can lead to the evils Con stated.
Posted by BoggyB 3 years ago
Con's second paragraph should be easy to refute. The Pope was indeed right in his statement. He said the only true way to combat disease isn't condoms, but abstinence and family values. He is correct. Con is so easy to ignore what the bible says. If people never had sex until they are married, and stayed married their whole lives, the Aids problem would be much less of a problem than it is or ever was. The Bible taught abstinence and responsability of parents to raise kids to stay virgins until marraige, so if people had obeyed that, the Aids wouldn't be a problem. Cons point is a fallacy.
Posted by hect 3 years ago
has been changed
Posted by gingerbread-man 3 years ago
I'm interested if you change the round to 72 hours - 24 hours is too tight over mulitple time zones.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Given in comments.