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Faith Schools Should be Banned

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/18/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,418 times Debate No: 39126
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
Votes (4)




I will be arguing on the side that Religious education for children or young adults is unhealthy because of the acceptance at that age. A child will accept on religion just as easily as it will another, just as they will puke the first time eating a banana, having being told that banana's are poisonous for their whole lives.
This is not a debate, or an attempt to outlaw religion in any way, it is simply removing from the education, because it does influence it very strongly.


Since we are going to be debating religious education, I find it necessary to define Religion.
The Webster's New World Dictionary defines it as so "1. Belief in or worship of a God or gods 2. a specific system of beliefs, worship, etc., often involving a code of ethics"

I personally think more towards "a specific system of beliefs, worship, etc., often involving a code of ethics" when I think of Religion.

However, I would like to ask you to specify so I can understand the argument clearer, now onto the argument.

All religious beliefs have direct influence on how people act in their day to day lives. Thus we can gather that understanding them is the key to understanding why people act as they do. If this is true than removing religious education will keep back vital information that will not only help decode history, but will as help decode the actions of the present day.

Therefore, rather than remove religious education we should encourage a FULL education, that shows all the different viewpoints throughout history and now giving the student a full understanding of the different sides of the issues that are being debated today.

Even if you only view religion as a belief in God, you still must realize that the beliefs surrounding God have had massive influence on the world. Whether it be the polytheistic Greeks or the Monotheism of Christianity and Islam. Those idea's are still the reasons for debate and discussion throughout the world. it would be simply irresponsible to leave out such vital parts of today's culture.

As for your fear of being influenced by a single Religion through education I would argue that:
1. It is the responsibility of the school to give an account of ALL viewpoints, not just one.
2. In Reality a religion is not caught from education as much as from friends, relatives, or entertainment, we should really be more concerned with teaching them to recognize other viewpoint rather than blind them too them.

So in closing I would ask a few questions.
1. What do you define a Religion as?
2. do you deny its influence on today's culture and issues?
Debate Round No. 1


You make an interesting point of the increase of religious influence within the educational system. I have no problem with churches, or family devotions, because they typically do not impede upon the rights of the general public, without their consent. It is fantastic I believe to inform the students of different types of worldviews and religions, as long as it does not take the place of facts, is detached from other classes, and does not hinder different and possibly incompatible ideas/theories. Although, I must say, larger problems do in fact arrive when religious institutions adopt one religion and treat it as the truth that trumps all opposing and scientific discovery.
As for what I see religion as: I see it a person's view of ultimate truth, and how they interpret reality, usually involving some sort of divine god/deity. Again, thought crime should not be punished, but it is very evident that the curriculum within the schools is purely unscientific in nature. These faith schools are only willing to go so far within the scientific world. For example: evidences which uphold the "Big Bang Theory" or the "Evolutionary Theory" are most times not even taught in these schools because they not only don't support their position, but are completely incompatible with them. Even if these topics are brought to the surface within these religious educational institutions, they are twisted, misrepresented, or misunderstood, so the child is without a comprehension of the subject, of which is required in the public system of education.
In conclusion, I would also like to ask some questions, as to have insight as to why it is acceptable. Would crime rates go up due to lack of morals within education? I can hardly see a correspondence between the morals someone is taught within a religion, and that of which is law, keeping the population in line. Is understanding of basic principles of Biology unnecessary in education, if so, how can those children expect to keep up with the academic levels of those who do know, accept, and put this knowledge to use? Not only does this leave the children forced into these institutions unable to distinguish fact from falsehood, but they miss out on an essential part of understanding this world that we live in. Finally, would you agree that it is harmful or detrimental for the child or society by this sort of indoctrination? Why or why not?


Since you have defined religion as "a person's view of ultimate truth, and how they interpret reality, usually involving some sort of divine god/deity" I feel it necessary to point out the logical contradiction this has with your previous statement "It is fantastic I believe to inform the students of different types of worldviews and religions, as long as it does not take the place of facts" the issue here is that you seem say that truth could be something other than factual. by this logic you would be saying that popular scientific theory is to be taken as more true than truth.

Now, before we go any further I must congratulate you: You have managed to touch on several very hotly debated topics. First, In regard to Science, particularly biology, you seem to indicate that everyone MUST accept the idea's put forward by evolution as fact. Second, morals, Religion does not only define morals, it gives a basis for why those morals should be followed, for example: if you tell someone that they should steal just because you said so they are not very likely to listen, if you invoke a higher power though, someone who can enforce that rule, it is much more likely he will not steal. You could say the state is this higher power, but in the end that fact that the state is made of human beings, able to make mistakes, you see the need for a more infallible power. but that is a debate for another time.

Now as far as science goes I feel the need to point out a few things. You speak of evolutionary theory as if it were some uncontested fact, but you must see that if any God based religion accepts it they might as well declare themselves false. Also, you speak of bias, you do realize that the Theory of Evolution was hypothesized and pushed for by Naturalists, which is, by your definition of religion, a religion. That would be telling them to teach that their worldview is false. The basic ideology of Biology is still taught in Religious schools, the function of cells, classification of organisms, Mendelian genetics, even evolution is still taught, but unlike public school textbooks these textbooks bring out the contesting theories of Intelligent design and Creationism in contrast too Evolution.

You mentioned Indoctrination in these institutes, but in the public institutes they only teach the naturalistic theory of Evolution, an mention of Religion gets you expelled. I would say that Religious schools are giving a MORE complete view of science than the public schools.

Finally, on the subject of indoctrination, is it indoctrination if the parent chooses to teach their child these ideas. Most Religious institutes are founded on the want to have their children taught more than Naturalistic science.

so to sum up my points are
1. Public schools conceal more information than Religious ones
2. the parents have a right to chose which philosophy is taught to their kids
3. Biological Science is not only Evolution to someone with Religious ideas.
4. Morals are supported more completely by religious truths

My questions to you are
1. Is it right to force someone to listen to only one interpretation of science?
2. do parents have the right to choose what Philosophy is taught to their kids, be it direct or indirect?
Debate Round No. 2


I would like to point out what you point out as a blatant contradiction was compatible because they both address different aspects of learning and accepting. By saying a person's ultimate truth is something that they believe. What I mean by saying this is I may believe with all my heart that I have a pet dog, and whether that is true in reality or not, I "know" it is true because it is what I believe. This can be seen because all religions "know" that they are true, and that others are wrong, most of the times with no evidence for their position. As for learning about different worldviews and religions, it is very compatible and beneficial, because it is detached. While learning about a certain religion while not identifying as a part of it, you are able to examine it with a discerning eye that a loyal believer in that religion may not be able to. So you see, the belonging to a religion puts on a veil of alternate truth on the believers mind, while studying their religion from a detached standpoint can prove to be a very educational and interesting topic.

Now, onto the other topics as discussed with the public education system. The "Evolutionary theory" is fact just as much as gravity and the heliocentric nature of our (or any) solar system. They are all theories, because they have an enormous amount of evidence supporting them, but you cannot actually see it occurring. "Fallacies" that are found within the evolutionary theory are simply components that are twisted to fit one's personal agenda, or to become compatible with someone's religion. Don't you think the theory of gravity or heliocentric universe would be attacked if it directly opposed the majority of modern religion? All of these theories especially the latter, are "proven' using high-scale mathematics and observation. "evolutionary theory" is based on observation of change over time, and the mathematics to show how long these changes take place. If all of these theories are based on the same type of reasoning to discern authenticity, I conclude, they are all under the same amount of risk if religious groups find fault in them

Morals... I do have morals, and yes, I do believe that make a greater society. The fact that religion gives people things to and to not do is none of my business as long as it doesn't effect me negatively. You say that religion gives reason for why these rules should be followed, but it should go without saying that there are valid reasons for governmental laws as well. At least with laws from the government you can see the punisher, and not simply "believe" that you will receive punishment from some supernatural entity. Mankind, as well as every other species has a sense of "right and wrong", anything that is good for their species would be considered moral. This is why animals are not constantly killing their own species, as humans say they would do if their religion didn't keep them in line. Also, I would like to bring up there can only be a very small portion of religions that are true if any at all, due to the exclusivity shown in most of them. This meaning that the majority are man- made decisions are fallible, so these religions must also be fallible. With this in mind, the majority of religions have very similar moral codes, and most of them if not all, are false. I would say that this does indeed give weight to the face that humans, and other species have a type of moral awareness.

You claim that it somewhat undermines the validity of the evolutionary theory because the naturalists endorsed it in it's early stages of becoming a respected idea. The fact that this was a part of their "religion" does not lessen (or augment) it's authenticity, it simply shows that different religions have different opinions. The consideration of people's personal views are irrelevant, because their subjective view of reality is detached from the true objective morality. Yes, you are correct in saying that the layout of a cell, and many others scientific wonders are brought to light within these institutions. But that is because they are not incompatible with the religions, and sometimes are used to show the complexity of the world, and why their religion must be true because of it.

Te reason that the naturalistic universe is explained in public education is because it is the only type of information that is held with a significant amount of evidence. Religion cannot be taught as fact because, it simply is not, or if it is it simply is not plain enough to convince anyone it is, or even which one it is. Do you really think it is indoctrination if it is all fact, and heavily supported theories? I can't seem to make that connection because of the amount that the evidence changes for the different sides. I would like to say expelling is not a step taken towards the teaching of intelligent design, as long as it isn't pointing to it as the truth, but only as a possibility that we do not have enough evidence yet to reasonably confront.

Finally on the subject of right to indoctrinate. This is a very tricky topic because it treads thin waters between a child's rights and the rights of the parents to raise that child. I would say they present it as a possibility, but I realize that is to much to ask. I would find it hard to live a lie, if you are denying the possibility of alternate truth. To answer your first question: I do not think it is an interpretation of science, as much as it is what we know, and how it effects us. You could easily say the same thing about reading, math, language, or any other mandatory subject in the public education system, they are necessary because of the implications they hold for us and the rest of society. Example being, a large amount of current medicine was discovered using knowledge stemming from evolution, and adaptation to medicine through repeated attempts of vaccination.


The first thing I would like to point out about your argument is your statement regarding the scientific view of Evolutionary Theory. You are wrong when you say that Evolution is proven to the same level as Gravity or the heliocentric nature of our galaxy. If you look back at your science textbook, the first chapter will likely explain the scientific method, which in summary goes like this, educated guess/hypothesis, theory, scientific law. Evolutionary theory is a theory, meaning it has been studied intensively but it has not reached the point of absolute scientific law.

Now, I am not going to start debating whether or not evolutionary theory is true or not as you seem to be trying to force on me, but I will debate you on the subject of bias. You have already stated that religious organizations bend the facts to fit their own agendas, hate to break you bubble but so do the "science textbooks" do so also, don"t believe me? Here is some proof:
Also, the writer of this article is an evolutionist not a creationist or proponent of religious ideas:

So as you can see, the peppered moths example which has been used in textbooks for years was a hoax, the worst part is that it is still in most textbooks despite the fact that it is a hoax, and the books do not tell the reader that the pictures and theory are a hoax. Not only that but there are other theories that could easily be taught alongside evolution that are completely left out. For instance, if you think Creation-science is too religious then look at Intelligent design, its simply states that he universes first cause was intelligent, its doesn"t ask to look at the designer as a God, or even to worship him, and its doesn"t even necessarily mean evolution should be rejected.
Now you are probably going to try saying something along the lines of there is more support for evolution, which is true. However, according to this poll 47 percent of the American population believe a god was involved in the formation of the universe, whether through evolution or not: (I came to this number by adding the 2012 values for God Created and God guided evolution)
With this stated I would like to ask two Questions. First, who writes the textbooks for public schools? Can we be sure they are not biased?
This issue is this. It is impossible for anyone to be completely objective, everyone is biased, thus no matter what you do the textbooks and the teachers will always let slip their worldview. With a public education system you can never be sure what the worldview of the textbook writer or the teacher will be. In a Religious organization you can be sure which viewpoint is being given rather than in a public school where you cant being completely sure.
Finally before I close, I will address morals. This issue of moral without backing higher than human authorities is this. You showed us how man made decisions are fallible, thus even decisions made by a court are fallible. Now we have a problem, who should I believe, fallible me or fallible them? With most Gods you get an infallible base for morals, rather than the relative believe whomever has the bigger stick issue. You may say that this causes more problems and debates than it solves, but because everyone has a basic moral awareness that defines SOME but not ALL morals, leaving eternal gray zones that will be debated over. However in this subject this has no weight as moral and religious ideas are first caught at home, and then either changed or solidified though education.

To end I will ask a few questions.
1. who decided what is taught?
2. do you really in the face of this evidence deny that public textbooks bend facts?
3. who has is the ultimate guide of a child"s education; the parent or the state?
4. how will you avoid bias among a race that is already biased by nature?

I wish to encourage you to make your answers very clear as this is your last argument.
Debate Round No. 3


Firstly, I would like to contradict your statement claiming that the evolutionary theory is somehow on a different level then other commonly accepted theories within the scientific community. There is an absolutely enormous amount of evidence for evolution, and not a shred of evidence to support intelligent design, although I will admit, it is a somewhat attractive idea. You also say the evolutionary theory is only a theory, but that simply means that the is tremendous evidence for it, but it is not technically a fact because it can not be seen occurring, just like the others I have mentioned. The fossil record is proof that evolution is true, although some of the details are still being disputed.

You quickly attempt to turn my own words against me by trying to use an equivalent example of science bending facts to fit their own agenda. The fact of the matter is, some experiments have variable that are not taken into account, and they are performed incorrectly, or get results that may not usually occur. I have heard of the peppered moth experiment, but have not actually seen it in any official textbooks. The fact of the matter is, even if this one incident did turn out to be nothing more then a hoax, there are countless other experiments of which provide the same results because Micro-evolution has certainly been proven because the changes and actually be seen, while Macro- evolution cannot be directly seen. Also taking down Darwin doesn't necessarily discredit the evolutionary theory. If Darwin said his theory was false (like many people say he did, but that was just a rumor made about him many years after he was dead), it would still not discredit it because he did not invent it, he simply theorized and pointed out the possibility of it's reality. The issue at this time for Darwin though, is that there was very little evidence for Darwin to work with at the time, compared with what there is now. Besides, even if the peppered moth experiment is used in textbooks, it isn't lying because micro evolution like that does occur in reality.

Now onto your view of alternate theories that could possibly be taught along with evolution. I agree, the intelligent idea may be presented as something that many people believe or even an idea, but there is no reason to present it as fact because there is no evidence to support that claim. My point in all of this is that education should be based on the facts that we know, and also the theories of which we can make reasonable conclusions to arrive at facts. I hate to seem callous or ignorant, but in terms of number in relation to popularity, this means little to nothing. Majority consensus does not automatically equal truth, although I see your point that the majority of the population sees it a possibility or even the most probable. Even if 100% of people in Iraq are Muslims, it does not give validity to their held standpoint. With this in mind, no extra elbow room, I believe, should be given to the idea, simply because I large amount of people view it as favorable of possible. The people writing the textbooks for these schools, are not scientists themselves, but the information they receive is given to them by scientists, and is peer reviewed by other professionals, unlike much of the material in faith based schools of which are based on ancient holy texts. For the question of whether they are influenced by bias, it is highly unlikely. It is common knowledge that about 93% of scientists are agnostic or atheists, while the remain 7% are some sort of theist. It would have to be a gigantic conspiracy for these scientists to get away with such large bias, because even much of the 7% agree with theories such as "evolution" and the "big bang".

Asking if a parent should be able to bring up a child how they want, again, is tricky business. It may be compared to whether a country can govern it's people how it pleases, and I think we all know that can get out of control. But to directly address the question: "who has is the ultimate guide of a child"s education; the parent or the state?", I don't believe it is one or the other, and let me explain why. I expressed my approval earlier for churches because they do not actually replace the education. Now, both the parent and the state play a role in this, the state, has scientists inform these writers of modern scientific discovery, so that it can be recorded and made available for students. The parent may choose to take their child to church if they so please, as long as that child isn't missing out or being mislead. So shorten the answers, the "state" educates the student on scientific discoveries, the parents may do whatever out of the school, as long as the child is receiving the vital information. It is vital because to grow as a society, we need to be able to be on the same page, which is exactly why the scientific community has progressed so much in recent years. Last question: "how will you avoid bias among a race that is already biased by nature?" bias is inevitable, that is already known, but whether it is evident or not, the facts remain the same, and personal opinion cannot personally influence that. The fact is that bias does exist more strongly within the religious world because they look for anything to support their beliefs, whereas science usually looks for truth, wherever it may lead.

1. Do you believe a lack of understanding of the scientific world is detrimental to society?
2. Can Intelligent Design really be "taught" in class, even when there is not evidence?
3. Should Children be able to choose whether to be introduced to this type of learning? I lean towards no.

Anyways, it has been a pleasure debating with you, as this is my first debate to participate in. I hope you respect my opinion, as I do your's and hope to in some way influence your standpoint.


Alrighty, lets finish this up. I am going to tackle this last argument a little differently as it has been exposed to me just how off topic this debate has gotten.

The Original intent of this debate was to support or deny the resolution that "faith Schools should be banned" however, during our debate we have left this topic to debate the legitimacy of the Theory of Evolution. So, for this last argument I am not concerned with the truth of the theory, but rather how it is being portrayed.

In your last argument you put forward that the theory of Evolution was proved to the same extent as the Law of Gravity. This is not true. The fact is that though the Theory of Evolution is backed up by a lot of evidence it is not "proved." The reason that I put proved in quotations is that by its nature science cannot prove anything, not because it is flawed but because we are infinitely finding more information about the universe, thus all theories and even laws are subject to being changed due to new information. The theory of Evolution differs from the Law of Gravity in one respect, Evolution is declared a law by which other theories must be measured, whereas with gravity you must make sure your theories don"t contradict.
Now the reason that you stated that Religious schools should be closed was that it forced as child to be taught only one viewpoint. The issue with this was that this is once again not true. A Childs viewpoint or worldview is usually gotten from the parents not the school.

Another reason you said that they teach science according to their own agenda and bend facts. This is also incorrect. In the time we have been debating I got a hold of a Biology textbook commonly used by faith schools, the Apologia Curriculum. It presented the Theory of Evolution and the evidence, but is also presented the other interpretations of the Evidence. Now, to contrast in public schools, they teach only one viewpoint, that of the state, and as you have already told me the people who define the states interpretation of evidence are 93% atheists. This means that the viewpoint taught in schools is primarily atheist. Also, the scientific hoax I showed you was not a wrong variable or wrong setup, the Scientist GLUED the moths to the tree, when by habit they don"t land there, plus forcing the wings open therefore he didn"t make a mistake, he purposefully forged evidence. This evidence is in most high school textbooks today, even after its exposure.

In you last argument you told us that the parents teach what the state tells them to. I don"t think I really need to elaborate that statement. If there was ever a more compelling opening for indoctrination, that is it. It is the right of the parent to choose how to teach their children, and to teach them what they believe, even if they believe that what the state teaches is erroneous.

Onto your questions:
1. Do you believe a lack of understanding of the scientific world is detrimental to society?
Yes, this is why the public school system is flawed, it doesn"t give a full view of the scientific landscape.
2. Can Intelligent Design really be "taught" in class, even when there is not evidence?
Yes, because there is evidence, however, a state controlled by atheist would not be able to accept that evidence, thus is why it isn"t taught.
3. Should Children be able to choose whether to be introduced to this type of learning?
Yes, I do believe the child should have a say, but firstly, I have already pointed out that most children will opt for the belief of their parents, the parents are much more likely to understand what their child needs than the state. Thus the reason why most Religious institutes are actually in cooperation with a homeschooling system.
This brings me to my closing statement. The reason most religious institutes are religious in the first place is because they are formed by parents trying to create the most optimal environment for their child to learn. Because the state cannot know every single child well enough to create this and because of its atheistic bias, these families create these schools. On a finale note, in order to ban religious schools would require a ban on homeschooling, therefore forcing everyone to adhere to the states viewpoint.

Anyways, I have enjoyed this intellectual discussion and look forward to more. Until then, happy debating!
Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Ragnar 5 years ago
Heavily siding with con on this, even if I find some of the votes for his side questionable.
Posted by TryingAtLogic 5 years ago
"Breach of separation of church and state," said the atheist.
Posted by TheOncomingStorm 5 years ago
The government doesn't have a constitutional right to take away private schools. The precedent will be that if the government doesn't like your organizations stance in religion they can shut you down. This is certainly a violation of the first amendment no matter how justifications may be made. Faith schools are a choice, therefore they do not harm anyone inherently. Generally they actually have a very good learning environment due to teachers who don't have tenure and smaller classrooms. There is no adequate justification for banning faith schools.
Posted by Quatermass 5 years ago
Faith schools should be banned on account of the fact that the education system of faith schools cannot be guaranteed to be 'well-rounded' and 'fairly' cover all subjects without emphasis being placed on 'faith' and 'religion' and 'the supernatural'. There is no guarantee that a child attending a faith school would receive the necessary education to prepare them for life in the world.
Posted by SFow2804 5 years ago
The debate has quickly shifted from the legitimacy of faith schools to the validity of evolutionary theory. Whilst this merely serves to highlight the main argument between opposing sides of the general debate, it is far from the central issue. To contribute to the Pro position, that I also adopt, I would add that religion being a personal choice should be kept wholly separate from the education system. In particular, the state-funded indoctrination of generation after generation of vulnerable minds is an abhorrent practise for a so-called civilised Western society.
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Vote Placed by HoneyBadger 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: I liked his arguements much more.
Vote Placed by Juris_Naturalis 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro went off topic
Vote Placed by neveragain 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Burden of proof not met by pro.
Vote Placed by johnnyvbassist 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Though this argument got off topic Pro never met the burden of proof, but rather made the issue personal. Just because Pro's preference removes faith-based schools does not give good reason to abolish them. He also never made points to prove his thesis that faith based schools indoctrinate children. There are many children who go to faith based schools and then leave the faith later. Con never showed the benefits of faith based schools, but did rebuttal well.