The Instigator
Con (against)
4 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
0 Points

Religion is a bad thing

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/25/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,715 times Debate No: 41222
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (17)
Votes (1)




I believe that religion is not a bad thing at all.

My main 3 arguments are...
1) All "religious conflicts" throughout history actually had underlying political, economic, or social causes
2) Religion has given people a sense of purpose, direction, and fulfillment for ages, as well as encouraged moral behavior
3) The existence of God doesn't contradict science at all, and thus does NOT promote the rejection of education

I'd also like to clarify that the majority of theists do NOT take scriptures such as the Bible and Koran literally. They view them as books of fables (short stories with morals) and believe in science, separation of church and state, and all modern standards of morality.

I look forward to hearing your argument.


First off i'd like to thank you for debating with me on this matter.

1. I'd like to point out that whilst many of the world's religious war's do have underlying meaning such as politics or social causes, I would like to argue the fact that religion is used to cloud our judgement of what some minoritys consider acceptable. Take the Jihad regime for example.. they believe they are natural born fighters and that if they die, it does not matter as Allah has a better life waiting for them ahead. For a lot of people, this is used as a Pro if you'd like when they are coaxed into commiting a suicide bomb attack, this way of thinking is not acceptable as there is not a life after death as far as can be proved,

2. Whilst religion has encouraged moral behavior and gave people a sense of direction and purpose, you have too see the bad side to these things. There are a lot of people who turn to their God in their worst time of need, and do not believe they get the response they deserve for putting faith into God. When you actually think about it... What has god done for us? Did God cause the recent Typhoon in the Philippines? Did God cause the 60 tornado's that happened in America not too long ago? No, he did not. Natural disaster's created them two awful things that happened in this world, yet God could not stop it, nor create it.

3, When you say "The existence of God doesn't contradict science at all, and thus does NOT promote the rejection of education" can you elaborate on this? The existence of God completely contradicts science in it's self. We have proved science is the creation of life, science is the creation of this planet and everything around us mechanically and structurally. The plagues that happened in Egypt in the Bible, can all be explained as a natural act of science.

I in no way deny the fact that people should be allowed to believe in God, or their own religious beliefs, but i do believe it is a bad thing that we let religion decide so many things for us in life. In other countries, HIV is a enormous concern as a lot of people believe contraception is ludicrous. When actually, it could be contraception that saves the lives of many. In some countries people fast and starve themselves for religious seasons, and in other countries people are not allowed out of a Sunday. Our world is far too economically and scientifically developed for our judgement to be clouded by a belief, not a fact.
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you for your argument, Pro.

1. You said that "religion is used to cloud our judgment" and then went on to use the example of Muslim Terrorists. Terrorists are not doing what they are doing for Allah, even though they would like to think Allah would approve of their actions (in reality, their killing very much goes against Islam's message of love and peace). They are doing it because they are xenophobes who are scared of the westernization of the Middle East. Their conception that they will get into heaven may serve as compensation for their suicide missions, but there have been thousands of people throughout history who have willingly given their lives for a purely secular causes with no promise of heaven, and these extremists are just as passionate about keeping the Middle East completely according to traditional lines.

2. This isn't a debate over whether or not God exists or not. If you would like, I can give you theological reasons for all the examples you gave, but you didn't actually disprove that religion encourages morality and makes people happy.

3. How does God's existence contradict science? God created the universe with its laws of nature. Some things that haven't been explained by science that would be explained by the existence of God. What causes Gravity? Strong force? Mass? The concept of "energy"? All of those fundamental forces of physics can be explained by a divine force's presence. God even plays a role in evolution. One of the base premises of evolution is that random mutations happen in an organism's DNA. What causes those mutations? Science doesn't explain the concept of "chance".
Science is the discovery of God's Creation, while Religion is the process of trying to reach God. They have pretty much nothing to do with each other and thus, aren't mutually exclusive. God's existence itself cannot be proven using the scientific method, but that is only because God is metaphysical. He is a divine consciousness. Not a material concept that can be revealed by simple experiments. He can only be revealed when he himself chooses to do so. And he done so to billions of people in the form of spiritual experiences.

You concluded that our world is too developed to keep believing in God. However, billions of people do exactly that perfectly well; they believe in God at the same time as believing in science and all other standards of modernity.

I eagerly await your next argument :)


You're welcome, Con.

1. Whilst I agree with some of what you are saying, I do not agree with it all. I can use a different example if you would like? How can any parents in this world be able to believe it is okay too stop their sick children from getting the help or medicine they need because they believe it is not God's way. There was a story about this in the news not too long ago... and the Judge ruled that the child needs the medicine and treatment and WILL have it regardless of what his parents believe. So yes, i stick with what I say, "religion clouds our judgement" because it does. How can people in this day and age, after seeing the advances in medicines and procedures by our wonderful scientists, doctors & nurses, decline any type of treatment for their very ill child in the hope that "God will fix it". This is what i conceive as clouded judgement.

2. I don't disapprove that religion encourages morality and makes people happy. But, we are not talking about the whole world as a population, we are talking about small minority of people who can stay morale and happy, thoroughly because of religion.

3. "God created the universe with its laws of nature." This is your opinion, this is not a fact. My opinion being, God did not create the world, or the humans or animals that live in it. I'm pretty sure one of the things you learn in school is straight away is Science, gravity, masses etc... a divine force presence causes all this??? I do not think so. Everything your saying, there are scientific explanations for. You genuinely think God is the cause for mutations in DNA? Mutations can happen in any type of growth. Everything is individual in it's own way, and there are no 2 people in this world exactly a like. Point being, we all grow in different ways, mutations cannot be determined. I actually can't believe what your saying, God created science. If you think for one minute how far this world has come or developed is down to God then so help you. We have done years and years of trials and error's. Getting things right and wrong and finding ways to improve. We started off as neanderthals and now look at us. God did not create everything around us. Everything material that your sitting on or using or wearing now was created by humans. From years of brilliant minds, hard work and fails. Clothes, shoes, money, processed food, water via tap's, electronics that your using now, are far to complex to be designed by God. This is allll science, the work of the amazing human brain. No God cannot be proven, when has it ever been proven? proved by a couple of books wrote hundreds of years ago, by people saying they saw something magnificent? God created us all... but Jesus, his son, was born via natural birth apparently. Science clearly proves that it takes a fertilized egg to create a human, not God sending an angel to tell Mary she is going to carry his child. That is my opinion. Again we are debating that God does or does not exist, when that is not the topic of this debate. The topic being is religion a bad thing? Yes.

We have a socially diverse economy, everywhere you go we are divided. Weather we accept that division is a different story. Men, woman, children, black, white, asian, european and i could go on for ever about categories that we are non adversely dropped into. Why worsen this situation by adding to the mix? Protestants, Catholics, Atheists, Buddhist's, Rastafarian's, Muslim's and Hindu's. Are all more groups that we are put into, with completely different beliefs. As a result of this, we have wars. Irish Civil War? Based purely on a divide in religion. Our world, has enough problems, with illness, natural disasters, poverty and everything else that goes on it in, and then we do things like subject our women to years of misery and torment by forcing them to marry people they do not love, or force them to marry people triple their age because it co-insides with what they believe. There are places in this world, who simply cannot find answers for the terrible things that have happened around them, so they put it down to witch craft. I think some people need to believe in something to make them feel like they have a purpose or answers, and i do not have any argument with that. But it is a bad thing that all over this world, decisions are made in every day life that are horrendous, just because of religion.

No, i did not conclude that our world is too developed to believe in God. I concluded that our world is too economically and socially developed to let any decision making especially major decisions such as war to be clouded by religion or a belief. I would like to underline the fact I said in no way do I deny people their rights to believe in their own religions.
Debate Round No. 2


1. I already pointed out that most Christians do not take the Bible literally, and therefore would not expect a miracle to save their child from sickness instead of buying medicine. God does not promote idiocy; the best help is self help. There are very few theists who would do something so stupid, and they are probably the people who are generally uneducated, anyways.

2. I did NOT say that religion is the sole cause of morality and happiness in theists. I'm sure that most theists have plenty of other sources of pleasure and would probably not go around killing people if they didn't have a religion. However, religion does undoubtedly encourage morality, and most theists say that religion is an important part of their personal lives.

3. I would like to bring us back to the topic at hand of whether or not God's existence contradicts science. You did not prove that his existence contradicts science. You did, however, provide several faulty arguments on why he can't exist:

-It is actually widely accepted among theists that God created the universe with its laws of nature

-You said "everything your saying [gravity, mass, energy], there are scientific explanations for,".
No. There aren't. The ones that are out there are completely theoretical, so it is equally valid to believe that God is responsible for them instead

-You said "...we all grow in different ways, mutations cannot be determined,".
Science has not explained how mutations just "randomly" occur at the molecular level. The presence of God explains how that happens.

-You said "God did not create everything around us,".
Yes he did. He created all the atoms in the universe though the process of fusion. "Wait," says the atheist, "gravity is what causes fusion in the first place!" Well, what causes gravity? Atheists don't have an any more valid answer than the theists. Theists believe that gravity is the sign of a divine force.

-You seem to think that the universe is too complicated for God to have created. That is total nonsense because
1) God is all-knowing and all-pervading and
2) It is just as unlikely, if not more, for such a complex universe to have assembled itself purely by chance.

-You said "[God has only been] proven by a couple of books wrote hundreds of years ago,".
Who says that is what all theists base their faith in God solely on such books? I specifically stated that most theists DO NOT take the Bible or Koran literally. While those books may have served as inspiration to believe, the main reason for theists to believe in God is because they have personally felt God's grace and love. They have had their own "magnificent experiences"; they aren't just going off of others' accounts.

-You concluded by saying "the topic being is religion a bad thing? Yes."
How did any of that fallacy you spouted prove that religion is a bad thing? You failed to prove that the existence of God contradicts science.

The divisions between various religions do not cause conflict. As I stated before, all "religious conflicts" actually had underlying political, economic, or social causes. I will now proceed to reveal the underlying cause behind each of the examples of "religious conflict" that you gave:

1) The Irish Civil War (1922-23): it had barely anything to do with religion. It was a fight between 2 Irish nationalist parties over the terms of the Anglo-Irish Treaty. One side accepted the treaty, while the other side didn't. While certain religious groups did tend to side with either side of the war, it was all mainly fueled by nationalism.

2) The degradation of women: I am assuming that you are mainly talking about the kind of stuff that we hear about in the news from Afghanistan. The reason is simple: the Taliban rules Afghanistan through terrorism, both against men and women; 80% of all deaths in Afghanistan during the year 2012 were either directly or indirectly inflicted by the Taliban. The Taliban justifies its actions with a couple of obscure lines from the horribly misinterpreted Koran, but in reality, they are nothing more than a cruel, corrupt, greedy militaristic regime with purely materialistic goals that Allah would most definitely disapprove of.

Religion is a great thing for people to believe in; it gives them a sense of happiness and fulfillment, and encourages morality. Some groups try using religion to justify their horrendous causes and stupid wars, but in reality, they all have completely materialistic goals in mind, and the actual tenants of religion directly contradict their actions.

Back to you, Pro.


1. As you keep saying, I see you had another debate going about taking the bible literally. If your saying most Christians do not then why do you? Your telling me God created the world in 7 days and all the rest of it, but genuinely where is your proof? No, it isn't a few, a lot of people blame God for their actions. Would you like a few examples? This was posted in the Washington Times, - "CHICAGO, July 24, 2012 " George Zimmerman does not regret anything he did the night he ended Trayvon Martin"s life. He believes it was God"s plan and that it is not his place to question it. Martin"s parents believe God"s plan in no way meant for their son to die a young, violent death." Can you really justify people blaming God for their criminal activities? And don't try to tell me this is a small minority or that it barley ever happens because it happens all the time.

2. Yes, people do have plenty of other things in their life too keep them happy. As i said before I do not deny the fact it causes some morality.

3. Several faulty arguments? I think you will find all of the arguments I am putting forward are very realistic. Just to put a little knowledge into your mind... The Big Bang

Most astronomers believe the Universe began in a Big Bang about 14 billion years ago. At that time, the entire Universe was inside a bubble that was thousands of times smaller than a pinhead. It was hotter and denser than anything we can imagine.

Then it suddenly exploded. The Universe that we know was born. Time, space and matter all began with the Big Bang. In a fraction of a second, the Universe grew from smaller than a single atom to bigger than a galaxy. And it kept on growing at a fantastic rate. It is still expanding today.
As the Universe expanded and cooled, energy changed into particles of matter and antimatter. These two opposite types of particles largely destroyed each other. But some matter survived. More stable particles called protons and neutrons started to form when the Universe was one second old.
Over the next three minutes, the temperature dropped below 1 billion degrees Celsius. It was now cool enough for the protons and neutrons to come together, forming hydrogen and helium nuclei.
After 300 000 years, the Universe had cooled to about 3000 degrees. Atomic nuclei could finally capture electrons to form atoms. The Universe filled with clouds of hydrogen and helium gas.

Is it widely accepted among theists, Where are your statistics?

How does the presence of God explain mutations? A mutation is a permanent change in the DNA sequence of a gene. Mutations in a gene's DNA sequence can alter the amino acid sequence of the protein encoded by the gene.
How does this happen? Like words in a sentence, the DNA sequence of each gene determines the amino acid sequence for the protein it encodes. The DNA sequence is interpreted in groups of three nucleotide bases, called codons. Each codon specifies a single amino acid in a protein. That has nothing at all to do with God.

Your going on about divine force and divine consciences but where is all this in everyday life? The criminal statistics are immense, where is the divine conscience in that?? The universe is the universe for obvious reasons, it never ends. It is eternal space. I don't think God created an eternal space with billions of stars and plants, materials, temperatures, and a multitude of gases, to create humans on earth and let us live there on one planet? Forces are part of nature, and they can be explained. Newtons law's, Kepler's law's, the Doppler effect and Sersic's law are all good things for you to have a read of.

It was not purely by chance it was purely by science and astrophysics.

Then go on feel free too tell me what they do base their faith on? because nobody on this planet was there too see actually see anything that was wrote down in any bible. So you tell me where the reliance is in that? Your saying they don't get taken literally but you are taking them literally! Your the one spouting off about a divine presence that can't be proven. Did you not see the explanations I gave you at the bottom of round 2? That's something for the voters to vote on, I think the variety and range of religious causes serious conflicts. As it did and has done for hundreds of years. Politics is what you want these wars to be about, they are not. You said yourself about fighting westernization, and why is that? because it is against their religion!

If you go to Ireland this very day you automatically see the divide between protestants and catholic's.

You think this is just in Afghanistan??? This is all over the world our woman are degraded! I don't suppose you need me to provide examples of woman being degraded or you can you do the research on that yourself?

As i said before, I do not deny the fact people should be allowed to believe in whatever they choose to. But I am fighting my corner and proving my point which is -
"It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone to believe anything upon insufficient evidence
W. K. Clifford (1879)" You have insuffienct evidence for your theories but I could sit here all day and provide you endless examples of why religion is a bad thing and why god does not exist. But that it what a debate is. Putting everything down to God is basically closing your mind. There's no imagination, explanation or wisdom in that. Everything happens for a reason. We create the situation we live in and it's like everybody believes what they are told to! You sound like the type of person that has had this drummed into you. Broaden your mind.

Your turn, Con.
Debate Round No. 3


1. What? I do NOT take the Bible literally... I'm not even Christian!!! Don't assume things...
You claim that many people commit violence in God's name. However, like I said in round one, just because they use God's name doesn't mean that they truly believe that they are doing it for religion. If they do truly believe it, then they are complete idiots because their religion actually directly contradicts killing people.

2. There is no further need to argue over this point, since you have already accepted it: religion helps people with their sense of morality and personal fulfillment.

3. Well, I was able to give a valid rebuttal to each of your "proofs", so that does indeed make them faulty until you can give further proof for your points

-I do not understand why you are explaining the Big Bang theory to me. I already know what it is and how it works. The basis of the Big Bang is that everything started from that single dense "bubble". But where does that bubble come from? No one knows... Theists can say that God created the bubble, but then atheists can pose the question of where God comes from. The simple truth is that no one can answer such questions about the beginning of the Universe. Not yet, at least...

-There are no valid statistics available for how many theists believe in science, but if you think about it logically, it becomes evident that most theists (in the US, at least) do. Roughly 80% of the US population is religious in some way. Most of them went to school in the United States, learning about purely secular biology, chemistry, physics, and astronomy. Very few of them rejected it in favor of Biblical "science". The logical conclusion to draw is that most of them were perfectly fine being religious and believing in science at the same time.

-Once again, you are explaining a concept to me which I already understand. I know how protein synthesis within cells works. However, nothing in that explanation shows WHY mutations happen. How could such a perfect process mess up? Scientists say that it happens randomly. Theists say God did it, and there is no scientific evidence that can contradict the theistic theory.

-You said "Forces are part of nature, and they can be explained"
No. They cannot. Explain to me what causes gravity. The only theories that scientists have are pure speculation and are no more valid than the theory that gravity is a manifestation of God's presence.
What about energy? Mass? All of these concepts are inexplicable in terms of science, and are the basis for all the other natural forces you mentioned (Kepler's law, Doppler Effect, etc.). Science has no better explanation for these fundamental forces than religion does.

- Theists base their faith in God on spiritual experiences; experiences where a human becomes fortunate enough to feel God's love and grace. Atheists claim that spiritual experiences don't exist, and that they are mere confirmation bias or hallucinations. But how can they claim that when billions of people around the world and throughout history can collectively claim that they HAVE had such experiences?

-I am not saying that there is no divide in Ireland between Protestants and Catholics; however, this divide is more of a nationalistic one as well. Ireland is traditionally Catholic, whereas their English conquerors are traditionally Protestant. The conflict stems not from their religious roots, but from their nationalistic roots.

-Afghanistan was the primary example of women being degraded, so I used that. There is always an ulterior motive behind the degradation of women, and it is never religion, because religion preaches that all human beings are God's children. Just think back a few centuries to before the women's rights movement. Women weren't being degraded because of Christianity's teachings. They were being degraded because they were considered weak and therefore useless in agricultural/industrial work.

If you believe that people are free to practice religion, then great. You're one step ahead of some atheists, who think that religion is a mental disorder. However, you believe that religion is bad for society, and that is what I intend to disprove through this debate.
"It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone to believe anything upon insufficient evidence."
I don't think you understand, that I'm not believing in God because I was taught to by my parents. My personal spiritual experiences have proved to me beyond a doubt that God exists. This is the same with billions of theists around the world and throughout history. You can't possibly understand such experiences without feeling them yourself, which is why you can so easily disclaim them. I have given a rebuttal to each of your "examples". None of them are valid. You haven't really proved that God can't exist or that Religion is bad for society.

"Putting everything down to God is basically closing you mind... Everything happens for a reason... We create the situation we are in."
We are not closing our minds by believing in God. We are still accepting science in its entirety, and by believing in God, we are also opening our eyes to an entire realm beyond the material world: the spiritual realm. Everything does happen for a reason, and we do create the situation we are in, but God's intervention is always part of the reason and he is the one who determines the situation, in the end.

You seem to have accepted the first two points about "religious conflict" not being caused by religion and religion encouraging morality; you are now only concentrating on proving that belief in God makes you dumber. However, this is impossible because
1) It is impossible to prove or disprove the existence of God via the scientific method and/or logic.
2) Simply believing in God doesn't mean you can't believe in modern science and philosophy.

You turn, Pro...


nicole52 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4


I don't really have anything else to say; I already expressed all my arguments in the last round.
But since this is the last round of the debate, I'm going to go ahead and reiterate them:
1) All religious conflicts actually have underlying political, economic, or social causes
2) Religion encourages morality and has given billions a sense of personal fulfillment
3) You can easily believe in religion and science at the same time, as many theists do


nicole52 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
17 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by nicole52 4 years ago
Thank you contender for highlighting to the commentators why our debate was forfeited on my behalf. I did not have online access for quite a while due to a home move, however, should you create a new debate, please feel free to let me know :)
Posted by Romanii 5 years ago
Just for the voters to know, Pro hasn't been online for a week, so that is the reason that she forfeited the last two rounds.
Posted by Romanii 5 years ago
In other word, religion has the potential to cause harm indirectly. However, I firmly believe that no harm done in the name of religion is the actual result of the religion's teachings, and that any harm done in the name of religion is all based on misunderstanding of religion and human stupidity.
Posted by Romanii 5 years ago
There is only one problem.
I am not saying that religion has never caused bad things before. The misinterpretation of religion has certainly caused somethings to happen which might not have happened if religion never existed (e.g. Muslim terrorism)
I AM saying, however, that religion has done much, much, much more good than bad, and that it is therefore "not a bad thing".
Posted by DudeStop 5 years ago
Con, I'll debate this with you. As long as:

We agree in a good definition of evil. (Pain and suffering??)

BOP would be on me to prove that religion has done bad things based on what the definition we agree on is.

At least 4 rounds... I hate it when It's only two or three with rounds the first round being acceptance...

Agree on what religion shall be defined as.

Posted by Adam2 5 years ago
I agree with con. Not all religions partook in evil acts. Some of the most disgusting elitism was practiced by Protestant country's empires. England, Denmark.
Posted by nicole52 5 years ago
are you joking? read the previous comments over in your head and think about the response you have posted back, i'm not even going to write an argumentative response back too that.
Posted by Bender75 5 years ago
How do you know god wasn't behind the plague, just because science can explain the plague is not a valid argument.
Posted by nicole52 5 years ago
I was simply using an explanation that was clear. The plagues *if they happened* were a major event and while the Bible suggests that they happened because of God, science can prove otherwise. Science can prove that majority of the plagues will have happened through natural causes, while some were caused by the intervention of humans.
Posted by Trainers 5 years ago
Religion is not a bad thing when you know whom you're worshipping without any delusion..
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 5 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: While I do not agree with Con, I believe he made better arguments and as such should win the debate. Additionally, Pro missed two rebuttals by forfeit, so its is difficult to asses who made the best arguments. Pro forfeiting the debate rounds swings conduct in Cons favor as well. Grammar and spelling are tied. Tied points go for sources as none were cited even though Pro did mention some. Fun debate to read, I just wish Pro had not forfeited.