Instigator / Pro
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Modern Western values owe more to Enlightenment philosophy than to religion.

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After not so many votes, surprise surprise...
It's a tie!
Debate details
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History
Time for argument
Three days
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Two weeks
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Four points
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Description
I will be arguing that the moral, political, and social values of the modern West (meaning Europe, the United States, and other European-derived cultures) are more closely connected to the ideas propogated by 18th-century Enlightenment thinkers than to Judeo-Christian religion. Ideas I will be focusing on include humanism, democracy, science, secularism, human rights, rationality, and progress. My opponent must argue in favor of religion as the primary influence on today's Western values, as opposed to the often anti-religious Enlightenment.
Rules:
1. No new arguments in the final round from either side
2. BoP will be shared between debaters. Each side must attempt to prove that their position is correct.
Structure:
Round 1 = Opening arguments
Round 2 = Rebuttals
Round 3 = Rebuttals
Round 4 = Final rebuttals and summary
I will be taking a risk by allowing anyone to accept. Here's hoping for a challenging and spirited debate!
Round 1
Published:
I thank my opponent for accepting this debate. Best of luck!

Many people believe that religious faith is the very foundation that society is based on. In particular, that Western society is based on the Christian faith and the Hebrew traditions it derives from. Conservatives and traditionalists have used this idea to push some alarmist rhetoric. Because attendance at religious services, and religious affiliation in general, has been declining in the West, these alarmists warn that once religion is gone, society will be overwhelmed by moral depravity, and ultimately collapse. Reactionary thinkers such as Ben Shapiro, Jordan Peterson, and Dennis Prager have all given messages like this.

I will admit that religion has played a role in shaping society. In fact, religion ruled over the Western mind for well over a thousand years. But things began to shift in the 18th century, when thinkers like Locke, Montesqieu, Rousseau, Voltaire, Newton, Hume, Diderot, Paine, Kant, and many more began a conversation about how society can be made better. They saw that religion was no perfect guiding light for civilization, but often hindered free thought, punished so-called heretics and dissenters, stifled the blooming Scientific Revolution, and failed to stop man’s sinful and violent impulses. The Enlightenment thinkers were of course diverse and disagreed with each other on many things, but most could generally agree on this: governments should serve people, respect their rights, and not persecute those who hold different beliefs. We take this for granted now, but at the time these were radical ideas. We hear of no such ideas in the Bible, and Europe for 1400 years until that point was a theocratic nightmare that censored free thought, persecuted non-Christians and those considered the wrong kind of Christian, and stamped on human rights in a way that would make the modern Middle East shudder. Only after the Enlightenment did tolerance and liberalism begin to spread. I will now describe what I see as the three main pillars of modern Western civilization - science, democracy, and humanism - and describe why each of these pillars owes a lot to the Enlightenment and little to religion.

Science

We have much easier lives, comparatively, than ever before in human history. This is all thanks to the advances of science. The Enlightenment fostered a Scientific Revolution, and among their thinkers were some of the greatest scientists of all time: Newton, Leibniz, Halley. They promoted science as a way to improve the human condition, and that it did. We have made advances in medicine, food production, architecture, communication, and technology that were unimaginable in those times. Science has shaped the world we live in today. And it would not have been possible without the Enlightenment’s steadfast commitment to reason, logic, and rational, empirical thought. Even the non-scientists among us believe in the ideal of searching for truth and understanding. Thanks to this search, we know more about the universe than ever before.

But this was not always the West’s ideal. From the time of Constantine until the Enlightenment, the Christian religion has notoriously repressed, censored, and even persecuted scientific thought. The Enlightenment thinkers believed in following the truth wherever it led - the Church wanted to contort all the facts to fit into the current belief system. Free thought has no place in a Christian society. The Catholic Church persecuted Galileo for saying that the Earth moved around the Sun, arguing that this went against the Biblical story of Joshua, who supposedly stopped the Sun from moving. The Catholic Church only changed this stance in *1822*, 200 years later. Only when heliocentric theory was completely undeniable, the Church changed its mind, long after even the common people had. The same fight would be repeated with evolution, and other issues I won’t be getting into. Christianity has not fostered science or rational thought, but has fought against it every step of the way, moving the goalposts when necessary.

It’s a miracle that science was able to succeed under the intolerant eye of the Church. But I have no doubt that the Enlightenment’s secular revolution was an essential step in achieving our modern scientific miracles.  And if it weren’t for religion, perhaps science would be at an even higher and greater level in 2020.

Democracy

An even more essential pillar of the West is democracy. The right of the people to have a say in government is taken by most of us as obvious. Any non-democratic state is rightly considered unjust and tyrannical. If we want to trace that idea back to its origins, we would arrive at the Enlightenment. It was the brilliant John Locke who best argued for democracy, human rights, and toleration in an intolerant world. The Founding Fathers of the American Revolution based their new government largely on his writings - and made sure to separate church and state. And after the French Revolution, the ideal of democracy began to spread throughout the West, throwing off the old chain of monarchy. I will not say that this ideal has been perfectly lived up to. Indeed, many atrocities have been committed in the name of so-called democracy. But this is a marked improvement over what came before, and now we are closer than ever to the Enlightenment ideal of a society in which all people are given a say.

If you open up the Bible and look for passages about democracy, you will find not a peep. This is to be expected, as it was composed in an ancient, theocratic world. But it’s curious that we’re supposed to accept Judeo-Christian values as the very foundation of Western civilization when the most celebrated part of it, democracy itself, is nowhere to be found in the sacred texts. Indeed, religion was often used as a tool to argue against democracy when it was still in the cradle. The absolute power of monarchs was taken as “the divine right of kings”, and defended with pro-monarchy Biblical passages, of which there are many. When the French Revolution kicked in, calling for radical ideas like equality and self-government, the Church denounced it, branding it anti-religious. Only when democracy was a solid reality in the West did Christianity accept it, and in some cases, feebly tried to claim that they invented it first. Christian thought is now perfectly accepted and tolerated in the democratic West, though the Church did not extend democratic thinkers the same courtesy back when they were in power.

Humanism

Humanism, in my opinion, is the prime and greatest pillar of Western culture. The word has some stigma attached to it, and is often misrepresented. It is not some kind of blind worship of humanity, or extolling humans as gods. Humanism is defined as “An outlook or system of thought attaching prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters.” [1] Most people in the West, even those who are religious, find human matters more important than the supernatural. We see the goodness in people, and extend our empathy to our fellow humans, even those from very different cultures and parts of the world. Humanism budded in the Renaissance, but only in the Enlightenment did it fully bloom. Humanism is the cornerstone of the idea of human rights, of freedom of speech and thought and assembly and worship. Only by occupying ourselves with our fellow people, and not with gods, demons, fairies, or ridiculous nationalist ideologies, can we make the world a better place.

Fundamentalist Christian thought, as it was before the Enlightenment and afterward in some stubborn sects, is thoroughly anti-humanist. Thanks to original sin, humans are inherently depraved, wicked, disgusting creatures. There is no point in trying to improve a world corrupted by sin. The medieval worldview held that life is nothing more than “a vale of tears”, a blip of suffering before eternal judgment in the afterlife. With a worldview like that, what is the point in trying to progress or help humanity at all? It is a worldview that obsesses over death and rejects life. I will admit that many of Jesus’ teachings are wonderful examples of humanism, but Christians have been notoriously bad at following them throughout history. In any case, the human rights we cherish today were not spoken of anywhere in the Bible, and instead derive back to Enlightenment thought.

These three ideals, science, democracy, and humanism, are three main pillars of Western culture. Religion has attempted to suppress these ideals from the start, and without the Enlightenment’s revolt against religious supremacy, we probably wouldn’t have them. In his rebuttal, I ask my opponent to either deny the importance of each of these pillars, or argue that they owe more to religion than to the Enlightenment. And of course, give any additional points he wishes.

I now hand the floor to my opponent for his opening argument.

Sources:



Published:
First off, I am going to kind of concede about religion not being the foundation of Western Civilization. But my reason is not going to be what Pro is expecting. My reason for saying this is that religion did indeed keep the West in a Dark Age for several centuries. The Bible, on which Christianity should be based, was largely hidden and rejected during the Dark Ages. The Catholic Church prevented the people from reading the Bible and much less from owning one. To do so was to be tortured until you recanted or were burned at the stake. The Bible actually condemn religion throughout the history in it. So I wouldn't say that religion will destroy our country, for there is still plenty of it. But the lack of following the Bible will as promised in its sacred pages.

Next, I want to add that Catholicism was the dominant "Christian" religion for centuries. However, most of its teachings then, and now, are contrary to what the Bible says. Catholicism was and still is a religion where man is the authority, not God and His Word. If Pro wants to debate on that after this debate I would be more than happy to oblige.

Let me briefly comment on the 18th century. During this century there had been already a building up of free thinking starting in the 15th century with the distribution of the Bible. Indeed the most Protestant country, the Netherlands, was the most free thinking country 150 years before England. Then you gave a long list of thinkers of who most based their thinking on what they had read in the Bible. Locke, Newton and Kant were Protestant Christians who believed, studied and promoted the reading of the Bible. Montesquieu was against organized religion, but advocated the true principles found in the Bible (who can blame is dislike for Catholicism, the most oppressive and controlling religion).1 Thomas Paine considered himself a deist, but saw the Bible as a book with eternal truths.2 A Biblical Christian will also be against organized religion, for organized religion can be oppressive and lead people away from what the Bible says. In fact some of these men studied a trilogy of freedom written by three Hougonouts in the 16th century. These are Francogallia, Rights of Magistrates and Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos which used the Bible to expound their ideas on liberty (I might get more into it later).

Science

The pioneers of science (Newton, Spinoza, Bacon, Barrow, Boyle, Kepler and many others) were motivated to study science by a belief that God had created a natural, ordered universe governed by natural laws He had put in place. They reached this conclusion due to the fact that they could finally read the Bible for themselves. 

Indeed, the Catholic Church did not follow Biblical science. Instead it relied heavily on Aristotelian science. For example Galileo. Galileo actually read the Bible and he argued in his Letter to Castelli that Copernicus's heliocentric system was consistent with the Bible, "I say that this passage [Joshua and the sun standing still] shows clearly the falsity and impossibility of the Aristotelian and Ptolemaic world system, and on the other hand agrees very well with the Copernican one"3 and then he goes on to explain why. He basically is saying that Joshua's perspective on earth was that the sun stood still in the sky, but not that that is what happens. So Galileo actually defended the Biblical teaching of science against the Aristotelian science the Catholic Church was using. (As a side note: Pro probably would say that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, but no one would accuse him of believing in geocentricity).

Though the Catholic Church persecuted some scientists like Galileo the Catholic Church burned more Bibles, Bible translators and theologians that scientists and science books. While Galileo was put under house arrest, William Tyndale was hanged and burned at the stake.

While the Catholic Church submerged Europe in the Greek philosophy of science leaving a Dark Age, the Reformation brought true science to a place of prominence. Indeed, up to sixty percent of those who created science were "devout" Christians while the rest were "conventional" ones. Europe had to break the chains that Plato and Aristotle had placed on science and see science as an objective study of the laws of nature established by the Creator God of the Bible.

It is nihilistic to believe, as most scientists today do, that there are no possible answers to the "big questions", and that we can only have knowledge that is discovered by science. However, the pioneers of science did not think this way. They could study small things because God had already answered the "big question". They believed God had already written answers in nature and they only had to discover what hadn't been revealed.
It is interesting to note that Evolution has a Greek view of science established by Aristotle and Plato that had sunk the world into a Dark Age.

Democracy

I do not know where Pro gets the idea that Locke and the Founding Fathers of the US advocated for democracy. (If Pro is a Democrat I understand why he says that.) Last I checked they all denounced democracy in the strongest terms as being a place where the rabble could take control of government. Instead these men advocated for Republican forms of government. 

I am glad that Pro brought up "the divine right of kings" and its connection to religion because I am going to contradict him by saying that the idea of "divine right of kings" is against the Bible and I will use none other than Thomas Paine's' Common Sense to prove it. When talking about the originating of kings Paine says,
"Government by kings was introduced by the Heathens, from whom the children of Israel copied the custom. It was the most prosperous invention the Devil ever set on foot for the promotion of idolatry. The Heathens paid divine honors to their deceased kings, and the Christian World hath improved on the plan by doing the same to their living ones. How impious is the title of sacred Majesty applied to a worm, who in the midst of his splendor is crumbling into dust ! As the exalting one man so greatly above the rest cannot be justified on the equal rights of nature, so neither can it be defended on the authority of scripture; for the will of the Almighty as declared by Gideon, and the prophet Samuel, expressly disapproves of government by Kings."
Then Paine continues expounding the idea for many pages. His conclusion is that kings are just as much sinners as the common man, so why should he get to command all others.

While Pro gives credit to Enlightenment he doesn't mention the Magna Carta or the Netherlands who stripped kings of rights and gave the people more of a say in government long before John Locke. Let us look at some books on freedom written by Hougonouts that influenced John Locke and Montesquieu. Their books are called the trilogy of freedom. Francogallia was written by Francois Hotman. In this book Hotman says that kings are responsible for to their people for their conduct while in power and that the people should have a right to remove them when violating their duties. He argued that a king should not have the sole power in administering the government, but that the government should be divided in "Three Estates". He considered this assembly the center of government not just to act as counsel for the ruler. He further says that the Bible should be what the rule of law should rely on. Theodore Beza's The Right of Magistrates was one of the original sources for the idea of human rights. Beza said that the peoples first duty is to defend the kingdom even if it meant going against the king. God, he said, was interested in people first and if the king was violating his people rights then the people should depose him. Why is this so? Because human rights come from God and not man. Therefore, no king had the authority from God to violate human rights. The third book, Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos, used the example of King Josiah. When he was crowned king he made a covenant between himself and God to obey Him, followed by a pact between him and the people. If the King stopped obeying God, then the people had the right to depose him.

While the Founding Fathers rejected one established religion, they were not opposed to the Bible being the foundation of society and politics. 
John Adams: Suppose a nation in some distant region should take the Bible for their only law book and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited. . . . What a Eutopia – what a Paradise would this region be!"
Benjamin Franklin: "As to Jesus of Nazareth, my opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the system of morals and His religion as He left them to us, the best the world ever saw or is likely to see."
Patrick Henry: "The Bible… is a book worth more than all the other books that were ever printed."
John Jay: "The Bible is the best of all books, for it is the word of God and teaches us the way to be happy in this world and in the next. Continue therefore to read it and to regulate your life by its precepts."
Thomas Jefferson: "I am a Christian in the only sense in which He wished anyone to be: sincerely attached to His doctrines in preference to all others."
 

Humanism

Pro contradicts himself by saying that Jesus taught humanism yet humanism didn't begin until the Enlightenment. What? I also what to mention that the "Enlightenment Founders", if you will, were very divided on man. Locke, Montesquieu and the American Founding Fathers (also many scientists like Newton and Boyle) believed in the depravity of man and encouraged the Bible to be taught so that man could know what God demanded from His creation. While Voltaire and Rousseau rejected the Bible and became atheists or close to it.

I would like to touch more on Humanism in the next round. As I said this much space doesn't give justice.
 
1. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/montesquieu/#4.5
2. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/paine/#Reli
3. http://inters.org/Galilei-Benedetto-Castelli
4. Excerpt from Common Sense


Round 2
Published:
My opponent and I are in agreement that the Catholic Church’s dominance in Europe was detrimental. However, he still defends religion, but in a different way: asserting that the Bible is the true foundation for the West, and only by following “Biblical” beliefs (which he implies is Protestantism) can we progress. I would be happy to engage with that idea. However, I’m not really interested in what constitutes “true” Christianity, or whether or not Catholicism fits it. That seems irrelevant to the debate.

I will not deny that there had been a current of free thought already building up in Europe before the Enlightenment, since the Renaissance at least. However, I point to the Enlightenment as the time when the buildup finally exploded into radical change, with the American and French Revolutions. The Renaissance made little to no progress in science and human rights, and religion still controlled the state. I respect the Reformation for breaking the spell of total control that the Church cast over Europe, and encouraging people to think for themselves. But on the whole, that period is one of ignorance, superstition, and intolerance. The Protestant societies persecuted Catholics just as often as the opposite. Just look at England, the German states, and John Calvin’s Geneva. And let us not forget that the hatreds between Protestant and Catholic erupted into numerous wars that devastated Europe. Religious zealotry and superstition spiked to even beyond medieval levels. I don't think images work on here, but this site has a graph of how many people were tried or killed for witchcraft per year in Europe [1], and it peaks during the wars brought on by the Reformation.

The period of 1572-1648 was in many ways a black spot on Western history, and brought a screeching halt to the progress that was just getting started in the Renaissance and would be fulfilled in the Enlightenment.

My opponent claims that the great pioneers of science “were motivated to study science by a belief that God had created a natural, ordered universe governed by natural laws … due to the fact that they could finally read the Bible for themselves.” What makes you think that the Bible was the only factor in these people wanting to understand the world? Most of these people believed in God, at least outwardly, since they would be persecuted if they didn’t. But you give no evidence for why the credit for this should rest on the Bible. I would give credit instead to Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press, which allowed faster and easier transmission of philosophy, science, and ideas. Easier access to the Bible was not the cause here, but just another leaf from the same stem.

In fact, many of the thinkers you mentioned were critical of the Bible. Spinoza pointed out Biblical contradictions, took its more supernatural passages as symbolic, and developed his own pantheistic philosophy which suggested that God and the universe were one. Bacon rejected Biblical literalism, and Newton thought Christ was inferior to the Father. These were not orthodox fundamentalists, but freethinkers. These three were accused of being heretics, even Newton, despite his modern reputation as a defender of the faith. I’d remind you that I never said the Enlightenment was only about atheism, but rather about anti-fundamentalism - against a strict, rigid, and unchanging view of religion.

I’ve noticed an inconsistency in your assessment of Catholic science. So you assert that the Dark Ages were brought in by Catholic reliance on Aristotelian science, and only when Biblical science returned was it able to progress. The Dark Ages isn’t a well-liked term by scholars nowadays, but all the traditional historians date it from the 5th to around the 10th century. The transmission of the Greek classics from the Arab world back to Europe, which brought back this Aristotelian science, began in the 13th century at the earliest. Before that, they relied mostly on the early Church Fathers and, of course, the Bible. The common people had no access to it, as you said, but scholars were free to read it all they wanted. I agree that relying too heavily on Greek classics was limiting for scholarship, but not nearly as much as relying on the Bible alone, which brought science to a near-halt for 500 years.

As I argued before, I don’t see how the Reformation “brought true science to a place of prominence”. There are very few scientists of any note in the Reformation era, save Copernicus, whose ideas were largely ignored until the Enlightenment. It was an age of unquestioning faith - not questioning the Church on the Catholic side, not questioning the Bible on Luther's side. Science is about questioning anything and everything, as they did in the Enlightenment.

It seems my opponent is confused on the definition of democracy, in a way I have seen before. He is taking “democracy” to mean extreme mob rule, and assumes that a republic is an entirely different thing. That’s what the Greek philosophers he despises said about democracy, and we call that idea “direct democracy” now. But we can simply turn to Merriam-Webster’s definition of democracy: “a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections”. [2] A democracy and a republic are not mutually exclusive; a republic can be thought of as a type of democracy. On the website, there's even a short section on which the US is that I recommend you read. I don’t know where this myth originated from, but I assume it has something to do with the Democratic and Republican parties. Those parties’ names are just words, and Democrats do not want direct democracy by any means.

I would remind you that Common Sense is a work of propaganda intended to convince a very religious people that monarchy is bad. As you yourself admitted, Paine was a deist with little taste for religion. So this passage is incredibly biased. In what world does Samuel, the prophet who supposedly helped Israel transition from rule by judges to King Saul’s dynasty, disapprove of kings? And even if he might pick one out-of-context verse later, how does that hold up against an entire Old Testament glorifying monarchy? There are plenty of kings who are sanctioned by God: Saul, David, Solomon. Did God change his mind, or what?

The Magna Carta did not give rights to the common people. It removed some monarchical power, yes, but gave it to the rich English nobility. An interesting moment in history, yes, but it did very little for democracy. I freely say that Enlightenment thinkers were influenced by those who came before. How could they not be? I don’t really see your point in talking about the works by Hotman and Beza. It seems you are misrepresenting my position as if I said that democracy, science, human rights were never spoken of until the Enlightenment. I never said such a thing. My position has always been that the Enlightenment was what brought democracy, science, and humanism to the forefront of Western thought and culture. We could follow the chain of influence all the way back to ancient Mesopotamia if we wanted, but that would be pointless.

I don’t deny that many of the Founding Fathers were religious men. But again, the Enlightenment is more concerned with separating church and state than individual religious beliefs. So I will only focus on the John Adams quote that seems to glorify the Bible as a perfect basis for law. First of all, this was written in his personal diary in the year 1756. [3] Surely it’s possible that the man changed his mind, especially since this was before even the Revolution, and long before he would have to give serious thought to creating a nation? Whatever cherry-picked quotes from the Founding Fathers favor theocracy are rebutted by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. No official religion shall be established, and no beliefs shall be persecuted. The Founding Fathers would end up agreeing that using the Bible as a lawbook makes a free society impossible.

Finally, in much the same nature as the paragraph before last, Con makes a false claim that I said humanism wasn’t invented until the Enlightenment. I freely admitted that it was around before, and if you read my argument, I admit that it began as a school of thought during the Renaissance. It just wasn’t until the Enlightenment that humanism conquered the anti-humanist ideas of original depravity, predestination, and other fundamentalist dogma in Western culture. Nuggets of humanism can be found throughout human history, in all cultures, because focusing on human affairs is a universal inclination. But never once did I say that it didn’t begin until the Enlightenment.

I hope Con understands how he has misrepresented my position, and I hope for some further explanation about how the modern West owes more to the Bible than the Enlightenment.

Sources:


Published:
Well I will have to say that Pro missed some of my arguments, has some of his facts wrong and has not jumped over some of my arguments that doesn't fit his theory.

Brief Comment on the Protestant Reformation

I do not say that Protestantism is the most perfect form of Christianity. About the only thing Luther got right was "salvation by faith", though later he added works to it. The same can be said about other Protestant denominations. Many of them never reached the full extent of what the Bible taught, but it was a work in progress as was science and democracy. As the truth of the Bible opened up after being locked by the Catholic Church for centuries the ideas for freedom and science were opened as well. Indeed, the Bible is way more understood today than 500 years ago when men were people were just beginning to read it for themselves. Cons chart for deaths because of religion (which is not the true religion of the Bible) is pale in comparison to the death caused by the religion of Secular Humanism and the taking of God out of society (USSR, Nazi Germany, People's Republic of China, WWI, Imperialism, Vietnam).

Renaissance and Human Rights

I will argue that history has shown that the works of Petrarch, Coluccio Salutati, Lorenzo Valla and Pico Della Mirandola did much to bring Europe to the idea of human rights because their writings are full of why God gives man human dignity through His incarnation and the idea that we are made in God's image. But that is for another debate.

Science

I think it is telling when Pro didn't address Galileo.

Again I will repeat that the pioneers of science were Protestant and the Bible influenced their worldview when doing science and I will keep saying it until Pro proves me otherwise.

Robert Boyle: To him, the Bible was so important that a large part of his funds went to having the Bible printed in several languages. Boyle even said that conflicts between science and the Bible were due to a mistake in science or wrong interpretation of the Bible. "Even when some revelations are thought not only to transcend reason, but to clash with it, it is to be considered whether such doctrines are really repugnant to any absolute catholic rule of reason, or only to something which depends upon the measure of acquired information we enjoy." 1 In A Discourse of Things Above Reason, Boyle writes that he believes that God's attributes can be known by studying God's creation. "I study the book of nature I find myself oftentimes reduced to exclaim with the Psalmist, How manifold are Thy works, O Lord! in wisdom hast Thou made them all!" 2 
Isaac Newton: He wrote 1.3 million words on Biblical subjects. “This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being … This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all; and on account of his dominion he is wont to be called Lord God.” “When I wrote my treatise about our system, I had an eye upon such principles as might work with considering men for the belief of a Deity, and nothing can rejoice me more than to find it useful for that purpose.” He even gave good advice on interpreting the Scriptures, “It is the perfection of all God’s works that they are done with the greatest simplicity … And therefore, as they that would understand the frame of the world must endeavor to reduce their knowledge [science] to all possible simplicity, so it must be in seeking to understand these [prophetic] visions.” If they didn't believe in what he wrote, then why listen to them? Why would they even bother writing? They wasn't forced to write these things, but they chose to because that is what they believed.

I could go on if Pro would not have limited this debate to 10,000 words. I am disappointed.

Pro gives credit to the printing press for bringing knowledge and science of today, but if this were true, that the printing press brings knowledge and science, then the Chinese and Koreans should have been way ahead of Europe.

Pro goes on to say that some of the people I mentioned were skeptics of parts of the Bible. To that I will say that, of course they did. The Bible was just in the process of being read. Even great Protestant figures like Martin Luther, John Calvin and John Knox kept many traditions of the Catholic Church that are not found in Scripture. Like I said before, today we have a better and clearer understanding of the Scriptures since the Protestant Reformation. I will agree with Pro that they were against a strict and rigid view of religion because religion then was more about power and control, but about the Bible, Newton had a positive, but not perfect, view of the Bible as something more than just written by man, he realized it was from God. I will remind Pro that the Bible had been locked away for centuries by the Catholic Church. I discuss how Western Rationality is based on the Bible in my other debate.

Since Pro fails to have provide any sources to back up his assertion that the Catholic Church began adopting Aristotelian science in the 13th century and not before, I will ignore it for now. Also Pro needs to have evidence that scholars besides the Catholic Church could read the Bible. I would agree that scholars were allowed to read the Bible, scholars that were in Catholic schools of thought with strict interpretations of the Bible that would fit with Catholic doctrine (which is not based solely on the Bible and whose teachings contradict it), I could provide sources for this, but we would be moving into the realm of the Catholic religion not being truly Bible based. I would even do it if I had more words.

Democracy

While the US does have a representative form of government I will remind Pro that it is not the only power. The people do not have sole power in our Republic. Our government has three powers the people (Congress), the executive (President) and judicial (Courts). When the Founding Fathers set up the government, originally the Senator were not picked by the people, but by the States, therefore the States had a power. Also to note that the electoral college was not as democratic as it is today, electors were free to vote for their candidate without being dictated by popular or state consent. The Democrats have made America more democratic since the early 1900s something the Founding Fathers would not have favored. Also the Democrats want to get rid of the electoral college creating direct democracy.

Pro states that Common Sense was written as propaganda as if he can mentally read what Thomas Paine was really thinking when he wrote it, a common thing historians do on the left instead of just reading what it written and attributing it as the thoughts that the author truly believed. Though, Paine was a deist and against organized religion (Catholics, Anglicans and Puritans) he was not adverse to the Bible and used it to defend his thoughts on many subjects. In Age of Reason Thomas Paine begins by "a powerful confession of rationalist faith in a divine creator whose design can be appreciated by man in the Bible of Creation, whose principles are eternal."3

Pro states that the Magna Carta did not give the common man any rights. However, this is not true for there were freemen who were peasants at the time and their personal property, including land, was protected. Even the peasants who were under nobles were granted some rights that included protection for their possessions from being seized by the royal government and the protected from heavy fines they could not pay. While I agree it wasn't the greatest it was a step in the right direction.4

On Hotman, Beza and Mornay. These Huguenots based the following ideas on what the Bible's opinion was on government: Francois Hotman argumented for representative government, religious freedom and an elected monarchy all based on the Bible; According to Theodore Beza, the Bible gives people the right to change their government if the magistrates are violating the natural rights that God has given man. Vindiciae contra tyrannos, possibly written by Mornay, was a pamphlet that also used Scripture to promote the idea that had king should only be obeyed as long as he subjected himself to the laws that God had set up. 

On Separation of Church and State. Pro gives credit for this to the Enlightenment, however, this idea was first written about by two people of the Reformation. The first was Martin Luther in the doctrine of the two Kingdoms.5 The other was a reformist of the anabaptist movement, his name was Michael Sattler. He advocated for the protection of the church from the state (this idea was adopted by the Founding Fathers, not protecting the state from the church).

Pro does not give me any evidence by source that John Adams changed his views, therefore what he wrote stands unless Pro can come up with a later quote that contradicts the quote I mentioned. Pro cannot keep putting thoughts into people's heads. Pro also states that the Founding Fathers agreed that the Bible would not make a free society without a source. In contrast I have given him a source that shows that the Founders not only respected it, but applied it to their lives and way of thinking influencing their government making and believed society and the world should read and follow it.

Pro again says that the Enlightenment conquered the idea of original depravity. However, Montesquieu, Madison and Locke all believed in man's sinful nature and that only government founded on the Bible's view of government could rightly fix the sinfulness of man. Again, I could right so much more with more sources.


1. Boyle, Robert. 1690. Reflections on a Theological Distinction
2. Boyle, Robert. 1660. Seraphic Love
5. Madison to Schaeffer, 1821. 1865. pp. 242–43



Round 3
Published:
So far, Con has failed to give any clear evidence for his position. This round, he has relied on lengthy quotes, making outrageous claims with no sources, and then proceeding to criticize me for not using sources on common knowledge. Con’s arguments largely rely on diving into semantics. I will once again try to bring the main question of the debate back into the picture.

Con makes the quaint claim that all the deaths caused by Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, World War I, and others can be traced back to “the religion of Secular Humanism”, and does not give a single source. I am curious what Con’s logic is in connecting these very distinct events to what we defined before as “An outlook or system of thought attaching prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters.”

“Humanist” and “non-religious” are not the same thing. There is a reason I used this wording in round 1: “Only by occupying ourselves with our fellow people, and not with gods, demons, fairies, or *ridiculous nationalist ideologies*, can we make the world a better place.” Nobody in their right minds would call the Nazis humanists. They exalt the state, the Aryan race, and the Führer like gods, while viewing every citizen as a cog in Hitler’s great machine, and their enemies as germs to be killed and scrubbed away. Similar logic applies to Stalinist Russia, modern North Korea, and England under the Puritans.

Con alternates between giving the Bible credit for all the Enlightenment’s accomplishments, and arguing that the Enlightenment’s accomplishments were actually evil. I hope he takes a more consistent position this round.

I did address Galileo, in the very first round. He did not base his ideas on the Bible, but built off the work of another scientist, Copernicus, coupled with his own observations.

“Again I will repeat that the pioneers of science were Protestant and the Bible influenced their worldview when doing science and I will keep saying it until Pro proves me otherwise.”

Why do I have to prove you wrong on that? That isn’t at all what we're arguing about. I never once said that all the Enlightenment figures were atheists. Obviously many of them were Christian, because they were raised in hyper-religious cultures that punished nonbelievers. But what matters for Western cultural thought is not their personal beliefs, but the work they produced. And the fact is that the Enlightenment thinkers, through skepticism, science, and philosophy, struck a fatal blow to the fundamentalist dogma of medieval and early modern times. Since then, religion has never held quite as much sway over Western society. I’m happy to give examples if you need them. The Enlightenment had its contradictions, but when taken as a whole, it laid the foundations for the secular society we live in today. Con can throw as many quotes as he wants at me, but until he uses them to challenge my main argument, I see no reason to address them.

“Pro gives credit to the printing press for bringing knowledge and science of today, but if this were true, that the printing press brings knowledge and science, then the Chinese and Koreans should have been way ahead of Europe.”

The influence of Gutenberg’s printing press is universally acknowledged. [1] And at the time that the Chinese invented movable type, they were ahead of Europe. During the Song Dynasty, they invented paper money, the compass, gunpowder, restaurants, the joint-stock corporation, and multi-stage rockets all before the West. [2] But progress is not inevitable, and for a variety of reasons, China remained relatively stagnant since then. Civilizations have high and low points, and it was a storm of perfect factors that allowed the West to reach the point we are at now. Your assumption that progress only goes up, rather than in ups and downs, is actually a very Enlightenment way of looking at things. Your argument has demonstrated the Enlightenment’s influence.

“I discuss how Western Rationality is based on the Bible in my other debate.”

Here, Con simply tries to refer me to his other debate when it is his duty to explain his reasoning here. He has not given any evidence for how science and knowledge owe everything to the Bible, except for quoting famous smart people who happen to be Christian. That is not enough, and it is not acceptable to simply tell me to read your other debate. At least copy and paste what you have said if it is relevant.

It is very telling that, when I did not use sources to back up my claim that the 13th century brought on Aristotelian science, Con simply chooses not to believe it. This is common knowledge among historians, which does not generally require sources. But I would not ask my opponent to do the research for my point, as that would be silly. So I have here a couple sources backing up my claim: [3] [4] [5] I would ask Con to now return to answering my claim. Am I correct in stating that your view of the Dark Ages is inconsistent, since you say that they were brought along by the study of Greek classics, though the study of Greek classics only returned well after the Dark Ages?

“Also Pro needs to have evidence that scholars besides the Catholic Church could read the Bible.”

In the Dark Ages, there was no scholarship outside the Church. Wikipedia, citing a historical work on the matter, states that “by the 6th century teaching and learning moved to monastic and cathedral schools, with the center of education being the study of the Bible.” [6] If there is any time in history when one’s life truly revolved around Jesus, it’s the early Middle Ages. I believe that if Con read up on this period more, he might grow to admire it.

Con makes an attempt to argue that Democrats want to create a direct democracy. At this point, we’re going down rabbit holes that lead us away from the main topic. I will drop this topic, as well as the John Adams one, since they seem irrelevant to the debate.

Con criticizes the idea of analyzing what historical people were “really thinking when they wrote” things, assuming that this is a practice of left-wing historians. On the contrary, all historians do this. Why should we take everyone at their word and not question it, scrutinize it, or hold it up against other evidence? Think about how many lies and false stories get spread nowadays on the internet. Now imagine how much worse it could have been in an age where you can’t Google something to check if it’s right. It’s the historian’s job not to take everything they read as Gospel, but to examine it under a microscope. Only by critically reading their work can we get a hold on any historical person's character. I wasn’t trying to insult Thomas Paine; the man is one of my favorite Founding Fathers. I know “propaganda” is a word with negative connotation, but see Merriam-Webster’s definition: “the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person”. [7] Because Common Sense was explicitly written to convince the American people that independence from Great Britain is a good cause, it fits the definition.

The free men of Magna Carta-era England, as stated by the article you linked, made up “a small proportion of the population”. And while there were some peasants, they were mostly barons and knights. Rights and privileges have been granted to very small, select groups of people throughout history - there’s little special about this case. The difference is that the Enlightenment promoted equal rights for all people. At the time, thinkers mainly applied this logic to white men, which is a blemish on the Enlightenment. But in modern times, civil rights groups have updated the egalitarian philosophy and way of thinking that arose in the Enlightenment to promote equal rights for everybody. Now, we are closer than ever in history to an equal society, though we still have a long way to go.

Con again repeats the fact that people talked about ideas that the Enlightenment made famous, like separation of church and state, before the Enlightenment. I have already addressed this tactic and explained why it doesn’t work as an argument. The Enlightenment brought these ideas into the public eye, and that’s what matters.

I have given Con evidence that the Founding Fathers built separation of church and state into the country from the beginning, and that is the First Amendment of the Constitution. Their personal beliefs are not relevant to the debate, despite Con’s repeated attempts to focus on them. It is entirely possible to be religious while believing in secularism, science, and church-state separation. What matters is not the personal lives of Enlightenment thinkers, but how society has reacted and responded to their ideas. Locke and Madison’s belief in original sin have had little impact on us, but their belief in democracy has shaped our world today. Unless Con can give a good reason why famous people’s religious beliefs count as evidence, or are relevant to the discussion at all, I will ignore them from here on out.

Sources:
Published:
Pro attacks me for not getting to the bottom line of proving why the Bible and not Enlightenment is the cause for our Western Civilization and I responded that 10,000 words doesn't do justice to rebutting all of Pro's inaccuracies and trying to give a comprehensive study of how the Bible is the foundation of Science and Representative government. I have shown throughout the above arguments why the Bible is the foundation, that Pro doesn't accept them as valid is his problem, not mine. I will in these sections explain again why the people he calls "humanists" were again basing their beliefs on the Bible.

Science

In Genesis 1:27-29 the Bible says that man is to have dominion over all animals. This idea is what inspired the Royal Society of Science to begin to reestablish dominion over things.1 These religious scientists believed it was their duty to show design in nature to promote the God of the Bible. They believed in a rational and ordered world regulated by natural laws that the God of the Bible had set. As people became more biblically conscience as they read the Bible, it inspired them to pursue science for biblical reasons. The greatest scientist got their idea of natural laws of science from their belief in a law giver that set the laws in place. In the Tao of Physics Fritjof Capra blames judeo-christianity for today's science because people like Descartes and Newton believed that the God of the Bible had established laws of nature and that showing this evidence was their highest aim of their scientific work.2 Another author, Alfred North Whitehead, in his Harvard Lowell Lectures, affirmed that science had come from the the biblical idea that is was a product of "the intelligible rationality of a personal being."3 This was also confirmed by Joseph Needham. They give credit to the Biblical view of science for the scientific culture. Men who dabbled in science in ancient times never tried to empirically verify their explanations, not even Copernicus. However, Isaac Newton, a deep Christian, made a model for the orbit of planets because of gravity.  
Man began to obey the command of having dominion over nature once they could actually read the Bible.4 

Even though the Catholic Church promoted Aristotelian science, it really was not anti-science. Though the Church persecuted scientists, they are far more guilty of burning Bibles, Bible translators and theologians than banning science books or harassing scientists. The Catholic Church didn't kill scientists because of the science, but because of theological, moral, social, personnal, political or administrative disagreements. Most scientists that went against the grain were not killed. Why? Because the scientists worked in Church universities. The Churches persecution of scientists that were not in line with the belief systems is nothing different than in today's universities or industries that treat scientists unjustly. But this was a problem with the Catholic Church and justice not with science. Just look at Galileo who was highly honored and respected in Rome even while being investigated. Galileo's problem wasn't that he promoted and defended Copernicus's heliocentric theory with the Bible as evidenced in his Letter to Castelli, but that he belittled the Aristotelian scientists. At first the Inquisition dismissed his case until he wrote Dialogue on the Two Great World Systems which really infuriated the the Aristotelians. Though Galileo was a personal friend of Pope Urban, he was sentenced to house arrest in the home of the archbishop of Siena and then returned to live in his villa, not because of his science or theology, but because he mocked his protector (Pope Urban) by refusing to heed his advice. However, this punishment is pale in comparison to what happened to William Tyndale who was hanged and then burned at the stake.

Did the Church abuse its power? Of course, but that doesn't mean that the Bible is against science just like government isn't against justice just because of kings, presidents, dictators and courts have abused their power.

Pro states that Christianity did not promote science between the 1st and 5th centuries, which I will say is true. However, the reason is quite obvious. From the 1st to the 4th century, to be a Christian was to be put to death. Christians couldn't start universities or have the liberty to promote scientific theories based on the Bible. It wasn't until Constantine in the 313 that the Christians had freedom and the Catholic Church is formed in 380. Twenty years later, the Catholic Church is promoting Aristotelian science. The Catholic scholars would study science, not to learn about it to accumulate data, but to learn virtues. Example: ants were studied to teach diligence, not to find out about their structure, way of living, ect. Church fathers like Origin, Jews like Philo and Alexandrian Christians adopted the Greek way to study writings, allegorically. The above mentioned people did the same with the Bible giving it an allegorical (interpreting the Bible as they wanted instead of exactly what the Bible says instead of a literal meaning. However, when Christianity, by the Reformers, returned to reading the Bible literally, science was able to prosper.5 I have already shown how Boyle and Newton promoted the Bible as a sourcebook for science.

Galileo and Francis Bacon both said that the Bible and nature had to be studied in order to better know God. "For our Saviour saith, "You err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God;" laying before us two books or volumes to study, if we will be secured from error; first, the Scriptures, revealing the will of God; and then the creatures expressing his power: whereof the latter is a key unto the former: not only opening our understanding to conceive the true sense of the Scriptures, by the general notions of reason and rules of speech; but chiefly opening our belief, in drawing us into a due meditation of the omnipotence of God, which is chiefly signed and engraven upon His works."6 "For the holy Bible and the phenomena of nature proceed alike from the divine Word the former as the dictate of the Holy Ghost and the latter as the observant executrix of God's commands."7. Galileo also said that "the Bible cannot err."7

Of course the Founding Fathers believed in "the laws of nature and nature's God" when signing the Declaration of Independence. Europe adopted the position that the study of the law of nature were objective because of the biblical inspiration of God's creation. Because they knew that God had created, this solved the problem of big questions like where do we come from and allowed them to focus on the small, specific questions. They now wanted to study what was not revealed in Scripture, but what God had written in nature.8

The Bible's view on creation, sin, the curse and salvation were very important for science. Because God came as a man and died for our sin and set us free from sin, man has the promise that creation can be made good. As Francis Bacon said, ""Man by the Fall fell at the same time from the state of innocence and from his dominion over creation. Both of these losses, however, can even in this life be in some part repaired; the former by religion and Faith, the latter by arts and sciences."9

Paracelsus 10, Sir Thomas Browne 11 and Tertullian 12 all believed that the study of nature was the study of God's creation and was just as important or even more so because God created before he wrote.

For scientists and theologians after the Reformation nature was possible to study the Bible and nature because God was the creator of it and we were made in His likeness and can understand nature the way God understands it. The scientists were studying nature to give glory to God because they read in the Bible that everything exists for the glory of God (Rev. 4:11) and the heavens declare God's glory (Psalm 19:1). The Protestant Reformation brought a desire to know the truth of science through the author of all Truth.

"Why should we take everyone at their word and not question it, scrutinize it, or hold it up against other evidence? Think about how many lies and false stories get spread nowadays on the internet."

Then I say to those who will vote, How do we know that Pro believes anything he is saying? Should we take his word for what he believes is true in this debate. Maybe he is really a Christian that believes the Bible, but secular society is pressuring him to believe in humanism. If that is the standard he is going to place on scientists and our Founding Fathers and what they wrote then it should be applied to Pro as well.

Well, I wish I could have gotten to liberty and humanism, but I couldn't because 10,000 words are not enough for this subject. This is a brief account of why the Bible is the foundation for Western Science.

1. History of the Royal Society by Thomas Sprat
2. Tao of Physics by Fritjof Capra
3. Science and the Modern world: Lowell Lectures, 1925 by Alfred North Whitehead
4. The Bible, Protestantism, and the Rise of Natural Science by Peter Harrison
5. Ibid
6. The Advancement of Learning by Francis Bacon
8. Biblical Origins of Modern Secular Culture by Willis Glover
9. Novum Organum with Other Parts of the Great Instauration by Francis Bacon
10. The Bible, Protestantism, and the Rise of Natural Science by Peter Harrison
11. Religio Medici by Sir Thomas Browne
12. Adversus Marcionem by Tertullian
Round 4
Published:
We have come to the final round. Here, I will give my last rebuttals and give a brief summary of the debate, and why I believe I was successful in defending the resolution. I will not give any new arguments, per the rules, and ask that Con do the same.

So when I asked Con the simple question of offering proof for the question he came here to debate, he claimed that 10,000 characters is not enough for it. This is the first time on this site I’ve ever seen somebody make such a complaint. And it does not relieve Con of the responsibility to argue his side. Perhaps my opponent would not have these concerns if he had spent less characters typing out unrelated quotes. Throughout the debate, Con has only hinted and insinuated at how the Bible has shaped Western values, never really stating his position directly in clear terms, and I would ask that the voters take this into account.

Con asserts that the scientists around the Enlightenment were only doing what they did because of the Bible. Sure, Descartes and Newton would have viewed science and philosophy as “uncovering God’s natural laws that govern the world”, because nearly everyone in the West at the time believed in God. But why does that mean the credit goes immediately to the Bible? If the Bible is so inspirational for science, why did it shut down scholarship from the 5th to the 10th centuries (not the 1st and 5th, as Con apparently misread)? Why did many of these thinkers begin to point out the flaws and errors of the Bible? The Bible is a book filled with inconsistencies, contradictions, and absurdities, and it's no coincidence that soon after it became widely available to the common man, they began to notice and point out its flaws.

It is wrong that no ancient scientists tried to empirically verify their thought. Eratosthenes, in the 3rd century BCE, calculated the circumference of the Earth by planting a rod in the ground at two different locations and measuring its shadow. And it can be said that “man had dominion over nature” long before the Bible was written. Humanity had tamed the wilderness with agriculture, and herded and commanded wild beasts long before Genesis was penned. Con has a revisionist view of history where everything bad can be attributed to atheism, paganism, or Catholicism, and everything good is caused by the Bible. This is a simplistic notion unsupported by any modern historians, and Con’s “evidence” for this position has been consistently vague and contradictory.

As stated before, I pointed out that Christianity made very little advances in knowledge from the 5th to the 10th century, but Con somehow came out with the 1st and 5th. Of course Christianity was persecuted for the earlier portion of this time, but during the reign of Constantine not only did Christian persecution end, but Christianity was made the official religion of the Roman Empire. This happened well before the period I was referring to. I’m surprised that Con made such a serious mistake, and after he asked for sources about when Catholic Aristotelianism began, that he completely ignored the sources I gave. Con seems to ignore whatever facts do not fit into his worldview.

Con ends mostly by throwing together a bunch of religious-sounding quotes from historical figures, a practice which I denounced in no uncertain terms last round. I asked him for his reasoning about why this is a convincing method of argument, and he made no answer. So, I will keep my word and not reply to his quotes.

“How do we know that Pro believes anything he is saying? Should we take his word for what he believes is true in this debate… If that is the standard he is going to place on scientists and our Founding Fathers and what they wrote then it should be applied to Pro as well.”

Con seems to be confusing a healthy skepticism with absolute nihilism. I have no doubt that the users of a debate site are familiar with critical thinking and do not equate doubting someone’s words with doubting reality itself. That is a strawman of Con’s own making.

For my final summary, I will be brief. From the beginning of the debate, I have set out the standards I wish to argue by, and I have adhered to them, despite my opponent's attempts to undermine, move the goalposts, and go down rabbit holes. I stated that modern Western values consist of three main pillars - science, democracy, and humanism - and that these arose mainly due to Enlightenment thought. Con was free to directly challenge these pillars at any time, but he only engaged with the main topic in unsubstantiated arguments that science and democracy were caused by the Bible, ignoring when I asked why, and devoting one sentence to attacking humanism with no elaboration. It seems he focused more on small, individual arguments that cropped up, ignoring the big picture, and sometimes even getting the details of my statements wrong. He has relied again and again on simply quoting religious historical figures, ignoring me whenever I explained why such a thing is irrelevant to a debate about where modern values come from. I did my best to answer him as thoroughly and clearly as I could, and defend my resolution wherever applicable. I would ask the voters to take all this into account.

I thank my opponent for this debate, despite its problems. I now give the floor to him for the final round.
Published:
I will thank Pro for this debate. I will accept adding arguments.

I still insist that 10,000 words were not sufficient to put down everything I wished to present. I could not successfully show the problems with humanism because of this very limited amount of space. I tried to argue my side without enough space to go into more detail to expound on why the Bible influenced science and representative government. I did the best job I could and really got to the bottom of science and how the Bible caused the Founding Fathers of science to do experimental work.

I don't need to answer again why Newton, Boyle and other gave credit to the Bible. They were not only Christians, but in their own words they gave credit to the Bible. Pro is trying to say that the scientists didn't believe what they wrote which is really unfair to them. Therefore, Pro, is automatically discounting what these men wrote. Again, Pro wants us to believe what he says is what he believes, but what the Founders of Modern science said, they didn't believe. Pro instead attacks the Bible on subject matter that has nothing to do with this debate. If he wants to attack the Bible's coherency and logic I suggest he do so in another debate for that purpose, but there is no doubt that the scientists study of science in the decades after the Reformation were due to the Bible.

I do not deny that Eratosthenes and other made impressive achievements, however, they didn't develop a culture of science. They made accurate observations, but they never modeled the world. They never attempted to empirically verify their explanations. Without an explanation one can have facts but not science. Genesis was written about 1440 BC and since the Bible is true, man had dominion over the animals because God gave man that authority and all humans have followed through with it. Pro asserts my evidence is vague and contradictory yet hasn't been able to rebut it with many sources. However, I have used many original and secular sources to backup my side.

As I explained in Round 4, during the 5th-13th century the Catholic Church adopted a Greek form of interpreting Scripture as allegorical instead of literal, which stopped the study of science and I gave sources for that. That Pro didn't read carefully is his problem, not mine. However, after the Reformation, when the Protestants stuck to a more literal translation of the Bible, science prospered and I used the quotes of scientists and historians to back that up.

Pro does a big disservice to the men who wrote those quotes by saying that original sources are irrelevant. Only what "modern "historians say is true. To that I have to ask, What if modern historians are biased and the thing they most don't want to do is give credit to the Bible. I stick to original sources and give full credit to the Founding Fathers of science for telling us themselves how the Bible influenced them to study science.

Pro presented his arguments and I rebutted them and tried my best to show why these things came about from the Bible and not secular thinking. I tried my best to make a coherent case on why the Bible influenced science and representative government. I really wanted to get to why secular humanism is not a correct belief to bring about science and representative government for it actually led to Robespierre and Napoleon in the French Revolution which is clearly documented. One can see a big difference between the Bible based American Revolution and the secular humanistic French Revolution, but I won't go into more detail per Pros request. (I might make a debate on it, however).

I really wish that Pro would have had more than 10,000 words, but I realize it was my fault for not looking at the number of words before taking the debate. 
Added:
--> @BiblicalChristian101, @Phenenas
Forgot all about this one. Sorry it went unvoted.
#8
Added:
--> @BiblicalChristian101
I'm surprised that no one listed what those Modern Western values are. If they had been listed, we would have been able to see that every one of them has corollary in Bible.
Every western value is based on the axiom that all men are created equal, and the men who expounded it used God, if not always as an entity, but as a concept to ground the idea of intrinsic, inalienable rights. It is actually the enlightenment philosophy that owes more to Christianity. Hat tip to con.
#7
Added:
I don't think this debate will do justice to the theme. Though I am debating this I have another one on the same subject that will go more in depth if anyone is interested. I have it titled The Bible is the Foundation of Western Civilization.
Contender
#6
Added:
hol up
#5
Added:
--> @Phenenas
Secularism is not anti-Christian.
#4
Added:
--> @Dr.Franklin
There was certainly philosophy in the late Roman Empire, but nothing like that of the Enlightenment. Historians consider the Enlightenment to have started in the mid-late 17th century, at the earliest.
Also, do you not realize that religious skepticism and secularism were the Enlightenment's defining characteristics?
Instigator
#3
Added:
enlightenment philosophizes goes back to christian rome
CHRISTIAn rome
#2
Added:
This is a really cool one where I don't have a particular opinion. I might've taken it but I'm too busy atm. Looking forward to following this one though
#1
No votes yet