Instigator / Pro
38
1529
rating
4
debates
75.0%
won
Topic

Is religion harmful?

Status
Finished

All stages have been completed. The voting points distribution and the result are presented below.

Arguments points
18
0
Sources points
12
10
Spelling and grammar points
6
5
Conduct points
2
4

With 6 votes and 19 points ahead, the winner is ...

Theweakeredge
Parameters
More details
Publication date
Last update date
Category
Religion
Time for argument
Two days
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
Two weeks
Point system
Four points
Rating mode
Rated
Characters per argument
30,000
Contender / Con
19
1668
rating
43
debates
79.07%
won
Description
~ 1,442 / 5,000

To avoid semantics: The resolution roughly translates to: "Do(es) religion(s) cause harm to people? Just as I can not simply provide one example of religion causing harm, neither can my opponent do the opposite. It may be that there are independent religions that cause harm or do not. What I'm more interested in, is, do religions cause more net harm than they do benefit people?

All of this is way too wordy, and not interesting enough, to fit into a topic. That's why the description is here, to further *describe* and elaborate on the debate. Another reason is that I want to attract certain people to this argument, and a more formally worded one would repel them so....

Onwards we go, as the one making the base assumption, I would have to adopt the BoP and provide the initial evidence. I don't necessarily need a specific structure, but please do separate your arguments enough for the audience to follow along.

Some key definitions from Merriam Webster [1]
Religion - " a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices"
Harm - "physical or mental damage : INJURY"
Cause - "something that brings about an effect or a result"

As set in my prior debate, all definitions are chosen via topicality, or how well they fit the subject being described.

I hope I can have an informative, challenging, and fun debate out of someone on this classic question.

[1] https://www.merriam-webster.com/

Round 1
Pro
Claim: Religion is Harmful



Opening Statment:



I have already established a lot in my description but to be clear: The BoP of the initial claim is with myself unless CON makes a specific assertion regarding whether religion is harmful or not. Technically, CON could win the debate by providing a clear reason why my own evidence is faulty and hold the position that Religion doesn't cause harm, which would be the presupposition. This would be considered withholding belief and opposing my stance as the PRO, which would still fit the constrictions of the debate.

I point this out for the sake of honest discourse, even if it does put me as several distinct disadvantages, and I hope that my opponent will consider that while arguing his stance. Further on, I will re-provide definitions for the ease of access to CON and the audience. Afterward, I will present my three cases on why Religion is harmful throughout the debate. Case 1 will outline how Religion harm's via the oppression of LGBTQ+ people i.e: LGBTQ+ Oppression, Case 2 will showcase how Religion foster's rape culture and how this harms people, i.e: Rape Culture, and finally, Case 3 will highlight how religion harms society, i.e: Societal harm by religion. 



Definitions [1]:



Religion - " a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices"
Harm - "physical or mental damage: INJURY"
Cause - "something that brings about an effect or a result"
Physical - "of or relating to the body" i.e "concerned or preoccupied with the body and its needs"
Mental - "of or relating to the total emotional and intellectual response of an individual to external reality"
Damage - "loss or harm resulting from injury to person, property, or reputation"
Oppression - "a situation in which people are governed in an unfair and cruel way and prevented from having opportunities and freedom" [2]
LGBTQ - "an acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or questioning." [3]
Rape Culture - "a term or concept used to describe a culture in which rape and sexual violence are perceived to be common and in which prevalent attitudes, norms, practices, and media normalize, excuse, tolerate, or even condone sexual violence. Rape culture is perpetuated through the use of misogynistic language, the objectification of women's and men's bodies, and the glamorization of sexual violence. Examples of behaviors commonly associated with rape culture include victim blaming, sexual objectification, and trivializing rape." [4]
Societal - "relating to or involving society" [2]
Right - "the power or privilege to which one is justly entitled"

As mentioned in the description I use the most topical definitions of each word, and I ask that any disagreement with the terms provided be brought up specifically by my opponent and the valid reasoning of disagreement.

[Note I: The source number [1] applies to all definitions unless there is an alternative source number beside the said definition.]



Case 1 - LGBTQ Oppression



LBGTQ Oppression would be specifically (using the definitions provided above) be defined as, "a situation in which lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or questioning people are governed in an unfair and cruel way and prevented from having opportunities and freedom" This first case will establish that religion does cause this en masse. In other words, more often than not, Religion will oppress LGBTQ people.


The case of Fulton v. City of Philadelphia perfectly outlines an example of my point: I will be providing the source below [5], but I will also summarize the case for wase of access. 

The Catholic Social Services, a tax-funded foster care agency, asked to establish a constitutional right to deny people children or discriminate against them, due to them being LGBTQ. Specifically, CSS would be able to turn away qualified families, due to the fact that they were LGBTQ. This is clearly an example of LBGTQ Oppression, if CSS would have their way then they would most definitely be denied the right, freedom, of adopting a child. A family qualified to adopt, would indeed be entitled to adopt a child if so they choose. This fulfills the definition of right as well.


Does this case fulfill the term religion, however?


I have defined religion as, "a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices" Not only is the name selfly evident to imply the religion Catholic but if you look under their "Our purposes" tab they also clearly indicate their motivation to be a god. [6] A deductive argument might be:


p1: If an organization uses the label Catholic, then they are most likely Catholic
p2: Catholic Social Services used the label "Catholic"
C: Therefore Catholic Social Services are most likely catholic.


This specific case will be the precedent set for my next points within this case, a microcosm of what I'm about to get into:


The issue explained above has happened in a larger field than even that. Specifically, numerous states are considering or have already enacted legislation on LBGTQ+, discriminating against them due to religious beliefs. [7]


This is so clearly a case of what I've indicated above, religion oppressing and trying to further oppress LGBTQ people. 

Let's do a lightning round, shall we?


The Mormon church?

In addition, the Church will no longer characterize same-gender marriage by a Church member as “apostasy” for purposes of Church discipline, although it is still considered “a serious transgression.” [8]
But the rest of the article says it's been lowered from apostasy, that's good right?

While Church leaders still consider a same-gender marriage by a member to be a serious transgression, it will not be treated as apostasy for purposes of Church discipline. Instead the “immoral conduct in heterosexual and homosexual relationship will be treated in the same way,” he said. [8] 
So... no change then, they are still treating homosexuality as a "bad thing".

(If you would like to argue that: yes, it is a bad thing, then A) That technically wouldn't be within the claim of this debate, so I wouldn't have to respond. It'd be a red herring, or more specifically moving the goal post, B) Irrespective of the morality of homosexuality, it would still be causing harm.)


How about Jehovah's witnesses? They seem nice enough?

“Well I’m one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and we believe the bible teaches sex is for a man and a woman who are married,” Sally says.[9]
That obviously isn't supportive. 


Okay, Catholics are supposed to be more tolerant towards LGBTQ people, how's that coming along?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, a text which contains dogmas and teachings of the Church, names “homosexual acts” as “intrinsically immoral and contrary to the natural law,” and names “homosexual tendencies” as “objectively disordered.” [10]


The Orthodox church? Come on....

 It adds that, “the Orthodox Church believes that homosexual behavior is a sin.”  [11]
That's pretty par the course so.....

While transgender issues do not yet have formal treatment by a council of bishops, gender reassignment is condemned as an affront to God's design for each individual. [11]
Homosexuality and Transgenderism? What else?

The Eastern Orthodox Church does not perform or recognize same-sex marriages. According to a statement by the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops, "The Orthodox Church cannot and will not bless same-sex unions. Whereas marriage between a man and a woman is a sacred institution ordained by God, homosexual union is not." The Orthodox Christian teaching on marriage and sexuality is "firmly grounded in Holy Scripture, 2000 years of church tradition, and canon law, holds that marriage consists in the conjugal union of a man and a woman." It adds that, “marriage is necessarily monogamous and heterosexual." [11]
Polygamy AND gay marriage, how obviously not tolerant.

The Eastern Orthodox Church does not ordain openly LGBTQ people [11]

Now for the obvious question. Does not accepting LGBTQ people or considering them necessarily immoral oppress them? Let me remind CON of the definition I have provided. "a situation in which people are governed in an unfair and cruel way and prevented from having opportunities and freedom" A big problem is that I only vaguely defined freedom. 

Article 2.
 
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty. [12]

Article 16.

(1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
(2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State. [12]


That would clearly indicate that any religion refusing to marry a gay couple is refusing a right. And acting in an unfair and cruel way. How about thinking that a huge part of someone's life is necessarily evil, and judging them for that? Also oppressive. Both of these concepts clearly fit within the definition of oppressive I have set out. It would be a ridiculous moving of the goalposts (as I have previously pointed out) to attempt to declare LGBTQ people as NOT in the right. 

REGARDLESS, harm is being done to people. "Aha!" You may or may not declare, "You haven't explained why oppression is harmful!" From a debate and BoP stance this is obviously correct, but it also very intuitive. Let's get into the nit and gritty.

Due to these factors, LGBT persons who mature in a religious community context report experiencing increased discrimination and internalized homophobia (i.e., negative attitudes, beliefs, feelings, and stereotypes about LGBT people that is directed inward by someone with same-sex attraction or feelings of discontent with one’s biological gender [13]
[Note II: I also do notice that the study also points out that mental health is typically steady or improved by religiosity. That is not against my claim, my claim is that Religion generally causes harm. And it does, as I have demonstrated.]

The study goes onto note that internalized homophobia, which is widespread throughout religion due to the concept that it is inherently immoral, leads to higher suicidal thoughts.

Internalized homophobia was found to be associated with two of the suicide outcome variables. A higher rate of internalized homophobia was associated with a higher odds of reporting suicidal thoughts in the last month (OR=1.193, 95%CI=1.114–1.278) and reporting chronic suicidal thoughts over fleeting thoughts (OR=1.271, 95%CI=1.093–1.479). Internalized homophobia was not found to be significantly associated with suicide attempt in the last year. [13]
I do believe I have fulfilled my BoP for this case.



Conclusions



In summation, I would like to say firstly, thank you CON for your patience so far. I am also grateful for your acceptance. To the debate: I will argue my second and third cases throughout the second and third rounds respectively. I do this to avoid what may be colloquially known as shotgunning or shoving case after case into my opponent's face. That will not be necessary. We have 30,000 characters each round, of which, there are 5.

As I concluded in my case, I do believe that religion has committed major harm by oppressing LGBTQ individuals and that I have fulfilled my corresponding BoP.  I would indeed argue that religion is responsible for the harm that has been committed on LGBTQ throughout the recent century [14]. As I have fulfilled both my BoP and presented my case I would ask the voters to vote PRO!

I do look forward to my opponent's rebuttals and constructive cases and will continue to my sources. 



Sources:


Con
To push me, I can literally submit an argument in the 1-second mark. No? I am not doing that. It would be a pure waste of time waiting hours. The real deal starts below.

Structure

I will first summarize my opponent's structure in succinct claims.

  1. Hating LGBTQ+ is bad;
  2. Religion, in general, hates LGBTQ+;
  3. Thus, religion is bad.
Then, I will state mine.

  1. The boundaries of a defined "harmful" thing
  2. Religions help more than it harms
  3. Religion, thus, is not harmful.
Contention 1: "Harmful"?

So, How can a thing be considered harmful? Definitely not of my opponent's vague definitions, because then the savior and freer of the people should be considered harmful just because he annoyed his classmates in 2nd grade. According to my opponent's definitions, anything that did any harm at any given scenario would be considered harmful, which is false. I object. As a result, I shall define it:

Harmful: When the harm it has done or would do surpass the good it has done or would do.

Now, note that I am not a theist of any kind, and I believe religion is generally helpful more than harmful. This is the same reason that I would not like to live in Russia(Opinions, guys, no racism here), compared to the US, or Japan, or China; but nevertheless, it has done more good things than bad things.

Conclusion(s)
  • Harmfulness is defined by relativity, and if I prove that religion has done more help that would surpass its "hate for LGBTQ+", then Con wins. If they balance out, then at least it is not harmful, meaning that Con still wins.
Contention 2: Religion is helpful.

Pro not only failed to give a proper definition for the most vital term of this debate, but he failed to give any time restrictions. This would mean that he needs to prove out of all 4,000 years or more of religious history, religion is more harmful than helpful. I may understand how religion may cause harm today, but either way, Pro's BoP stretches all the way to when religion just started and all and all and all. Coronavirus(COVID-19) is the most prevalent disease currently, but comparing to others, there are deadlier ones(For example, the Spanish Flu[1]), despite they are basically nonexistent nowadays.

I have already disproven pro that he did not fulfill his BoP, but I would look like a reproductive organ for taking advantage of this. As a result, I will write actual fillers that seem as if Con bears the BoP and he needs to justify it, even if in real life there is none.

LGBTQ+ Case made by Pro
I am attempting to debunk Pro's entire spaced-out wall of text with a few lines. Again, Pro's resolution would signify that he needs to prove all the time humans have religions, not just impact now. 

Until the 20th century, Homosexuality is basically a mental disorder and it is considered bad[2]. Obviously, we think otherwise in the year 2020, but the worldview, from the overall society and the scriptures within the holy books of all different religions, are basically consistent, excluding those who discriminate not against LGBTQ+, which are even better and are ahead of its time.

Let's just imagine all those religions are basically pervasive bigots(which they aren't), then what percentage of people now will be discriminated against(being LGBTQ+)? [3]According to studies, only about 3% of people identify as Homosexual or Bisexual, etc. [4]Overall in the US, only 4.4% of the people identifies as LGBT. Let's just stick to 6%, when in reality it is even less than that.

[5]84% of the world is religious, with only 16% being atheist or its likes. [6]Also, 50% of the Christians are catholic, making that 15% of the world catholic. Pope Francis, the religious head of Catholic Christianity, spoke out that being LGBTQ+ is no sin[7]. The bible doesn't even specify that being LGBTQ+ is really a sin[8], only interpretation. Then you got all these other religions, Buddhism[9], Hinduism[10], etc, who gives not a damn about LGBTQ topics in its purest form. Overall, only 22% of the population from Islam hates homosexuality, really. Just like Islam does not consider terrorism moral and good, all terrorists from Islam are bad apples, and so all Christians that hate LGBTQ people are also bad apples.

I have disproved Pro's entire case in like 4 paragraphs. Vote me guys.

Religion is mentally helping

Religious people are often more healthy and better mentally. It generally has more benefits[11]. Religion benefits over 80% of people and harms only 4.4% at most, according to at least this stage of the debate.

Being healthy is good? Yes, and religions do just that. 

At one point or another, Religion is more prevalent than Atheism[12]. Well, if they are bad, then why, in over 2,000 years of belief, criticism only arises not 1000 years ago? Outdated beliefs suit outdated folks. 2,000-year-old beliefs suit 2,000-year-old people folks. Since Pro's resolution never even said that outdated folks don't count, I clearly have the higher ground, theweakeredge. 

Conclusion(s)
  • Religion benefits at least 80% of the people and at most harms 6% of the people, according to this stage of the debate;
  • Pro never specified the time is now, so I can include the past as my side's examples;
  • I have disproven pro and proven mine. Vote Con.
Sources

Please click on the links to access sources. Relevant bracket-labeled number signs are put above.
Round 2
Pro
Opening Statement R2

My opponent has clearly pointed out some inherent flaws within my previous argument, let's get to addressing them, shall we. Overall the structure of this argument will be thus:
  • Definitions and Contentions within them
  • The LGBTQ Case-Rebuttals and Extensions
  • Fulfilling proposed BoP
  • Rebuttals for Constructive
  • Constructive
I will now address something, last time I said I would have 2 other specific cases, for now at least, I will focus on separate cases elaborated below. I believe that these new cases will better fit my opponent's clarification of the resolution. Let's jump directly into the definitions then

Definitions

My opponent has pointed out one definition that they find contention with, thus the rest will be considered fine, and I will assume he has accepted them until CON says otherwise.

CON has decided that my previous definition of HARMFUL was not fit to the debate and has proposed a new definition. For reference:

My definition - Wait I never actually defined harm. Well, I suppose I should do that now.

Harmful - Something which causes harm
Harm - "physical or mental damage: INJURY"

CON's definition - Harmful: When the harm it has done or would do surpass the good it has done or would do.

I disagree. What CON is describing would be: Net Harm. Now that is a goal post of the debate, but it does not go as far as replacing the term harmful. It simply means that by the end of the debate I must demonstrate net harm. This doesn't change much or even rebut CON's case below. It is simply a semantic clarification of the goal post. 

I do disagree with my opponent's conclusion however, for convenience I'll provide it below:

Conclusion(s)
  • Harmfulness is defined by relativity, and if I prove that religion has done more help that would surpass its "hate for LGBTQ+", then Con wins. If they balance out, then at least it is not harmful, meaning that Con still wins.
As it was currently it is true that the CON only has one case to "debunk" but is not true necessarily that this will remain the case. I will address the other, more hypocritical point of this below.

Rebuttals & Responses to Contention 2

Con starts by stating that I had never specified the time limit, meaning that he could bring up past examples of Religion being helpful to provide more credence to his case. This should go without saying, but this applies to me as well. I can just as well find examples of religion being harmful in the past, and use them. I don't disagree, so I suppose I'll just go along with CON's logic for this one. 

Just kind of a funny note

I have already disproven pro that he did not fulfill his BoP, but I would look like a reproductive organ for taking advantage of this. As a result, I will write actual fillers that seem as if Con bears the BoP and he needs to justify it, even if in real life there is none.
Though CON says this, nothing previously has actually made this true, at this point he has done nothing to substantiate the claim. Therefore he does still have a BoP to fulfill. He does eventually fulfill it, just kind of weird that they completely jump the gun with this claim.

Counter Rebuttal


 Pro's resolution would signify that he needs to prove all the time humans have religions, not just impact now. 
Again I disagree, my resolution does not discard this implication, but that is all it is. An implication. My resolution "Do(es) Religion(s) cause harm" does not specifically signify Only Current Religions not Religions throughout time. CON seems to be making a lot of small flaws within his rhetoric, I wonder why I continue to point this out? 



Until the 20th century, Homosexuality is basically a mental disorder and it is considered bad[2]. Obviously, we think otherwise in the year 2020, but the worldview, from the overall society and the scriptures within the holy books of all different religions, are basically consistent, excluding those who discriminate not against LGBTQ+, which are even better and are ahead of its time.
This point is fascinating, incorrect though the implications being attempted to be drawn from it are. Regardless of what religions or even the world think, harm is being done to those individuals. My BoP does not rely on the individuals being harmed mentally stable, though I would like to point out that my opponent and I agree that they are typically are in this case. 

My opponent has a paragraph of sources that aren't technically wrong, so instead, I'll just rebut it here:

Judaism

Orthodox Judiasm views homosexual acts as sinful.  [1]
Next Christianity:

 Most Christian denominations welcome people attracted to the same sex, but teach that homosexual acts are sinful.[18][19] These denominations include the Roman Catholic Church,[20] the Eastern Orthodox church,[21] the Oriental Orthodox churches,[22] Confessional Lutheran denominations such as the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod[23][24] and the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod,[25][26] the United Methodist Church,[18][27][28][29] and some other mainline denominations, such as the Reformed Church in America[30] and the American Baptist Church,[31] as well as Conservative Evangelical organizations and churches, such as the Evangelical Alliance,[32] and fundamentalist groups and churches, such as the Southern Baptist Convention.[33][34][35] Pentecostal churches such as the Assemblies of God,[36] as well as Restorationist churches, like Jehovah's Witnesses and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also take the position that homosexual sexual activity is sinful.[37][38] [1]
And.. whew boy, it's catholicism. 

The Catholic Church teaches that those who are attracted to persons of the same sex are called to practice chastity,[66] just like everyone else has to before they get married.[67] The Catholic Church does not regard homosexual activity as an expression of the marital sacrament, which it teaches is only possible within a lifelong commitment of a marriage between a man and a woman. According to the Church's sexual ethics, homosexual activity falls short in the complementarity (male and female organs complement each other) and fecundity (openness to new life) of the sexual act.

The views of the Catholic Church, which discourages individuals from acting on sexual desires that they believe to be sinful, and harmful to themselves and others, both physically[68] and mentally. As yet there is no evidence the church is willing to bend on this issue; until then the evidence cited here demonstrates the Catholic Church is unaccepting of homosexual behavior, regardless of what pew studies of parishioners individual views may suggest.[69]
The teachings of the Catholic Church on same-sex attraction are summarized in the Catechism: [1]
This is fun, I see why my opponent likes using Wikipedia as a source.

Basically what this arguing is that while the Catholic church says its accepting of homosexuality this is untrue. The church also say that people who are gay, pardon me for my crass language, shouldn't have sex. Yup. They just tell the gay person to not be sexual at all. As my source above points out, this is fundamentally harmful to the people being affected. [1] 

This easily puts serious skepticism to my opponent's central support to his claim within this section. Considering that Catholics are 50% of Christians. 

Let's keep on going though, we have 30,000 characters, let's use em. 

Latter-day Saints, what say you?
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that no one should arouse sexual feelings outside of marriage, including those towards members of the same sex.[71] The LDS church recognizes that feelings of same-sex attraction may not change or be overcome in this earth life, and expect all un-married members, gay or straight, to abstain from any and all sexual relations outside of heterosexual marriage.[72] [1]
Islam, let's check it?
All major Islamic schools disapprove of homosexuality.[79] Islam views same-sex desires as an unnatural temptation, and sexual relations are seen as a transgression of the natural role and aim of sexual activity.[80] Islamic teachings (in the hadith tradition) presume same-sex attraction, extol abstention and (in the Qur'an) condemn consummation.

Indian Religions?
Among the religions that originated in ancient and medieval India, including HinduismBuddhismJainism and Sikhism, teachings regarding homosexuality are less clear than among the Abrahamic traditions, and religious authorities voice diverse opinions. In 2005, an authority figure of Sikhism condemned same-sex marriage and the practice of homosexuality. However, many people in Sikhism do not oppose gay marriage.[86] Hinduism is diverse, with no supreme governing body, but the majority of swamis opposed same-sex relationships in a 2004 survey, and a minority supported them.[87] Ancient religious texts such as the Vedas often refer to people of a third gender known as hijra, who are neither female nor male. Some see this third gender as an ancient parallel to modern western lesbiangaybisexualtransgender and intersex identities. [1]
A mixed bag then, we can dismiss that, seeing as it essentially contended within it itself, all throughout it. 

I have clearly pointed out a pivotal hole in my opponent's rebuttal. Just because a religion says its tolerant, doesn't mean it's actually tolerant In fact, some religions are so blatantly still against it, that a modicum of further research would reveal this as true. 

My case from before still stands.

I extend all previous points from my first case.

Rebuttals for CON Constructive

Here, my opponent says:
Religious people are often more healthy and better mentally. It generally has more benefits[11]. Religion benefits over 80% of people and harms only 4.4% at most, according to at least this stage of the debate.
This is ignoring the case from the past, however.

According to the Encyclopedia of Wars, out of all 1,763 known/recorded historical conflicts, 123, or 6.98%, had religion as their primary cause.[1] Matthew White's The Great Big Book of Horrible Things gives religion as the cause of 11 of the world's 100 deadliest atrocities.[2][3] [2]

Adding all of the deaths from every war and taking the necessary percentage, I calculated 42 million deaths caused by religious wars [3], considering the average household is 3 people [4] (probably more considering the amount of kids people had back then, but this is a low-end calculation), that is at least 126 million people harmed by religion. It's also commonly known that people have friends or other people that care about them outside of their family, due to the wide ranges of history, let's only add 3 per initial person, or an additional 126 million. That is one friend per family, who would also be harmed. 

A total of 452 million people harmed by religion, due to the death of someone caused by a religious war. 

{This also kind of establishes a case for harm by religion)

To actually rebut their actual point, the study they use it incredibly vague. Not to mention the benefits it specifically attributes to religion could easily be attributed to community [5] Not only that, but half of its claims aren't even from a vague source, only one of its claims are even attempted to be sources. 

Conclusion(s)
  • Religion benefits at least 80% of the people and at most harms 6% of the people, according to this stage of the debate;
  • Pro never specified the time is now, so I can include the past as my side's examples;
  • I have disproven pro and proven mine. Vote Con.
The first point is untrue, as he still has not fulfilled his BoP sufficiently. The second point has only been taken advantage by myself, and I have already demonstrated the last point untrue. 

Case 2 - General Harm

Theres the child abuse religion causes and caused [7] [8]

We should have learned this already from the terrible child abuse crisis, where clergy harmed children, and then the children’s abuse was hidden and denied by people running the churches. Despite this terrible history, the harm continues. [7]

Religiously-based psychological abuse of children can involve using teachings to subjugate children through fear, or indoctrinating the child in the beliefs of their particular religion whilst suppressing other perspectives. Psychologist Jill Mytton describes this as crushing the child's chance to form a personal morality and belief system; it makes them utterly reliant on their religion and/or parents, and they never learn to reflect critically on information they receive. Similarly, the use of fear and a judgmental environment (such as the concept of Hell) to control the child can be traumatic.[4] [8]
There are people still going to church even during coronavirus, and not taking the proper precautions [7][9]

This harm is apparent in the recent decisions by some churches to hold services even after a state has said it is dangerous for anyone to meet in person. The states passed stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders to keep people safe. Nonetheless, some pastors argue that church is the place where people heal. Others insist that the meeting bans are an attack on religious freedom, and that such meetings are absolutely protected by the First Amendment. “[O]ne of the church congregants said she believed she would not contract coronavirus because she is ‘covered in Jesus’ blood,’ and that she is not concerned she could spread it to anyone else.” Another pastor said “God will shield us from all harm and sickness, . . . We are not afraid. We are called by God to stand against the Antichrist creeping into America’s borders. We will spread the Gospel.” [7]

This, however, was no municipality-versus-state power struggle. A concerted effort to protect religious freedoms is playing out across the country in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, frustrating efforts by public health officials to enforce social distancing per federal guidelines and slow the spread of the deadly virus. [9]
Then the religious wars, that I'm kind of reusing sooo...

According to the Encyclopedia of Wars, out of all 1,763 known/recorded historical conflicts, 123, or 6.98%, had religion as their primary cause.[1] Matthew White's The Great Big Book of Horrible Things gives religion as the cause of 11 of the world's 100 deadliest atrocities.[2][3] [2]

Adding all of the deaths from every war and taking the necessary percentage, I calculated 42 million deaths caused by religious wars [3], considering the average household is 3 people [4] (probably more considering the amount of kids people had back then, but this is a low-end calculation), that is at least 126 million people harmed by religion. It's also commonly known that people have friends or other people that care about them outside of their family, due to the wide ranges of history, let's only add 3 per initial person, or an additional 126 million. That is one friend per family, who would also be harmed. 

A total of 452 million people harmed by religion, due to the death of someone caused by a religious war. 

{This also kind of establishes a case for harm by religion)

To actually rebut their actual point, the study they use it incredibly vague. Not to mention the benefits it specifically attributes to religion could easily be attributed to community [5] Not only that, but half of its claims aren't even from a vague source, only one of its claims are even attempted to be sources.

That ends my second case. 

Conclusion

Not only has CON failed to show any substantial rebuttals to my case, but his own is wrought with a lack of substantial sourcing. Another problem for the CON in this argument is that I was using the lower numbers, which means the numbers used in my Religious wars segment could have been anywhere from doubled to tripled. I pointed out several semantic flaws to establish how my opponent makes assumptions that undermine his case.

The resolution does not imply religion over all of history any more than it does only current religion. I only accepted that assumption, which it is, because it is actually beneficial to my case. The BoP has not expanded per see, just the amount of evidence I can use to prove my point. I hope for a good rebuttal from CON. Good luck, and Vote Pro. 

Con
Rebuttal: LGBTQ+ Individuals and religions

Pro has specified clearly that he proves religions of all times. This would basically mean that within the times in which Homosexuality and LGBTQ+ activities are generally not accepted, religious hating of Homosexuality is still of no harm, considering they are no different than sinners. This creates nothing bad as only if the net harm of the religion compared to the average of the society surpasses its net good, it is then considered harmful. Killing people that are thought to be just to be killed would be of no harm considering that their opinions on a topic are the same as the rest of the society, which is no net harm.

This is on top of that the bible does not even mention that the homosexual relationship forbidden are relationships of love and nurture, but those of lust and adultery[1]. Of all the bible verses mentioned, none contained the word "Homosexuality" in the original text as the term is coined after the bible was written. In other words: God does not forbid loving and nurturing relationships between men, but that of immoral sex. The hatred of Homosexuality is basically not an actual Biblically intended quality and it is possibly misinterpretation to appease the reactionaries. Saying that religions hate homosexuality while it not even being a bible-intended quality, is basically like saying because most men(over 50%) masturbate[2], so it means some of the religious men do that(Less than 20% of the world is irreligious), and it might mean that Religious definitely are open about masturbation, despite it is often not[3]. More than that, most Christians are open with Homosexuality, with 70% of Catholics accepting[4]. If 50% of the population accepts a group that they used to dislike, it means society has changed. The future is now, old man.

So we have most of the population having a religion where the hatred of LGBTQ people are only of misinterpretation and mistranslation, and that most Christians are accepting of them, it means that most people in the world accept them. If you are gonna use only the rest to represent the religious group, then it is the same as representing the entire socialist group with Troskyists[5], which is definitely not true, and it is a fallacy by composition[6]: Using the part to represent the whole, especially when the part is less than half. The part that hates homosexuality and etc is no longer representative of the whole group of religious individuals.

I shall move on, shall we?

Rebuttal: Wars?

Religious wars are against the teachings of most religions, and thus attributing conflicts in the name of God should not be counted as religions being harmful. The foundation of a city is bad vs the citizens being bad are two different things. Me ironically killing someone in the name of the most peaceful lord of religion should not be attributed under religion[7].

Pro also mentioned global pandemics and people not wearing masks. Again, just because a group of raised religious guys masturbates doesn't mean it is a good thing in general and/or representative of the entire protocol. Obviously, the people going to church with no proper precautions is not of the teachings of the bible[8], and attributing it to the religious would also be incorrect. Bad apples =/= Bad system, and the fact the police killed black people doesn't mean the police's purpose is tp murder black innocent people. Yes.

Again, I have sufficiently rebutted my opponent's case. I look forward to my opponent's next response.

Round 3
Pro
Preamble - ROUND 3

Here we begin the Round 3 after the 1st counter rebuttal from my opponent. Specifically over some of the contentions we've gone over, firstly: my opponent has dropped definitions, and I will thusly add it (Extend it, or in other words my opponent has conceded that point). I will be providing my own counter rebuttal in a dual prong fashion. 

  1. Individuals being "unaccepted" means they can't be harmed? 
  2. The Bible's Perception & Fallacies
  3. Wars (Re: Counter Rebuttal)
Afterward I will summarize why my opponent has not fufilled his BoP and point out exactly what fallacies he has been using and what this means about his argument in general. Finally I will be providing my last Case (Case 3), and then summarizing my position of this round

{Note I: Despite the fact I mentioned different cases, the fact that I never actually provided my reasoning, they can simple be discarded as unexplained claims, thank you) 



Contention 1 - Unacceptance equal inharmable?

CON has reestablished the "fact" that the resolution directly implies either a current or past state of history. 


Pro has specified clearly that he proves religions of all times. 


Though I accept this "implication" as a matter to settle semantics before they begin, he is still making assumptions based on his subjective perception of the resolution. Though he is correct, I did indeed prove for "all of time" and I will not be dismissing this case.

His next central claim is such:


 religious hating of Homosexuality is still of no harm, considering they are no different than sinners.


This is incorrect for several reasons: Firstly let's clarify the claim:

p1: Sinners cannot be harmed by religion
p2: Homosexuals are considered sinners
CON: Therefore Homosexuals cannot be harmed by religion

This is indeed a valid argument, all of the premises support each other and logically lead to the other, but it is not a SOUND argument. [1] As not all of the premises are true. Specifically premise 1 is incorrect (although CON points doubt to the second premise 2, invalidating his own argument) first let's define the terms. 

Sin: an offence against moral or religious law & Sinner is thusly: A person who sins. [2] As such his claim is that Sinners cannot be harmed. Why? What justification do you have to establish this claim? I will provide evidence to the contrary, according to the bible:


For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God [3]


From here we can establish that ALL people are sinners via religious law, therefore ANY person who can be harmed is also a sinner. Is this true?

According to my previous definition of harm: "Harm - "physical or mental damage: INJURY" Which you dropped in your rebuttals, therefore accepting it, is clearly demonstrative. Knock your hand against a rough door, scrap your knee, the millions cases of depression, all of these are demonstrations of harm [4] Just from this we can clearly see that one of the category ANY can be harmed, therefore debunking CON's claim. 


This creates nothing bad as only if the net harm of the religion compared to the average of the society surpasses its net good, it is then considered harmful


You have not proved this, you actually dropped it, and whenever we discussed it we were clearly talking of the net harm of RELIGION specifically not compared to society. This is blatant shifting of the goal post. 


 Killing people that are thought to be just to be killed would be of no harm considering that their opinions on a topic are the same as the rest of the society, which is no net harm.


This is also incorrect, you have already accepted my definition of harm via you dropping the point, I have clearly established harm taking place. 



Contention 2: The Bible Perceptions & Fallacies


This is on top of that the bible does not even mention that the homosexual relationship forbidden are relationships of love and nurture, but those of lust and adultery[1]. Of all the bible verses mentioned, none contained the word "Homosexuality" in the original text as the term is coined after the bible was written. In other words: God does not forbid loving and nurturing relationships between men, but that of immoral sex


I have a source which is both more scholarly and directly contradict the statement "supported" by your first source. Reading into and studying 7 specific verses and how they are used to condemn homosexuality [5] Not to mention, regardless of what god does or doesn't forbid, has no impact on what people have ACTUALLY DONE. I have already established in my previous arguments how religion has caused massive harm to these individuals and you have not adequately rebutted the point.
 

So we have most of the population having a religion where the hatred of LGBTQ people are only of misinterpretation and mistranslation, and that most Christians are accepting of them, it means that most people in the world accept them


You have not demostrated this. I rebutted this in the second round, and you provide no counter rebuttals here. You are making a false claim very blatantly here. The only "rebuttal" CON actually uses here is directly following it:


 If you are gonna use only the rest to represent the religious group, then it is the same as representing the entire socialist group with Troskyists[5], which is definitely not true, and it is a fallacy by composition[6]: Using the part to represent the whole, especially when the part is less than half. The part that hates homosexuality and etc is no longer representative of the whole group of religious individuals.



Incorrect, we have already established that CATHOLICS are a majority of Christians, and a that a majority of them are religious, as a MAJORITY of them are oppressive towards homosexuality, we can apply that it is TYPICALLY true that religion is oppressive towards homosexuality. This is how we say that, say, Nazi's are bad. Maybe not all of them actually believe the ideology, or even did bad things, but the MAJORITY of them did both.  

As such it is not a fallacy of composition, merely attributing the majoritive characteristic to the majority. Not assigning a characteristic of an individual person to the whole, this is a fallacy fallacy. [6] Though a better definition would misattribution of a fallacy. 



Contention 3 - Wars (Counter Rebuttals)

The CON goes on to claim that because wars are teachings that they should not be considered harm? 


Religious wars are against the teachings of most religions, and thus attributing conflicts in the name of God should not be counted as religions being harmful. 

To present as a syllogism:

p1: Teachings of religions cannot be harmful
p2: Religious wars are mostly teachings of religion
CON: Therefore religious wars can not be harmful.

This claim suffers from the same flaw as my earlier syllogism. It is indeed Valid, but not sound. You have not demonstrated p1. What about teachings inherently make them unable to be judged as "harmful"? Unless they object for the sake of semantics, CON's history and debates show that he condemns Nazi Germany and Hitler's teachings. Why are Hitler's teaching's harmful and not religion's? 

My opponent has not demonstrated this as a fact, and this specifically would be a non-sequitur, which I have sourced in a separate round. CON has somehow come to the conclusion that because the teachings are religious, they are not capable of causing harm, this does not logically follow. In other words, a non-sequitur. 

My opponent goes on to claim this:


. The foundation of a city is bad vs the citizens being bad are two different things. Me ironically killing someone in the name of the most peaceful lord of religion should not be attributed under religion[7].

Firstly, his source is basically an opinion article, and I would like to know exactly to what he is referencing, I did read it however. It's central claim is that Religion is not evil due to the ending of religion. It has contradictory claims that while bad things are ending due to religion, religion is becoming less so. I agree, the good things are because religion is becoming less so [7]. There is no evidence that people are killing someone in the name of a peaceful god, and even if they were it would not matter.

We are debating the harm of religion, not of there gods. Again, a shifting of the goal post. 


Pro also mentioned global pandemics and people not wearing masks.

He uses these justifications, or example:

Obviously, the people going to church with no proper precautions is not of the teachings of the bible[8], and attributing it to the religious would also be incorrect. Bad apples =/= Bad system, and the fact the police killed black people doesn't mean the police's purpose is to murder black innocent people. Yes.

I will agree, that while it is not the citing of the church, it is correlation based on my last source, just as the systematic, disproportionate, murder of African Americans [8] indicates a problem, or net harm, with the system. 

Basically: Maybe religion doesn't explicitly tell their members to not wear masks, principals such as:

Saying, “If you will diligently listen to the voice of the Lord your God, and do that which is right in his eyes, and give ear to his commandments and keep all his statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you that I put on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, your healer.” 

You shall serve the Lord your God, and he will bless your bread and your water, and I will take sickness away from among you. 

Who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, [3]


This implies that believing in god will somehow cure you of sickness, and will correlate to my previous source. This last rebuttal is debunked.

In other words, no, CON has not fulfilled his BoP.



Faltering of CON

I mention that CON has not fulfilled his BoP, just above actually, but what does this mean per se? The burden of proof can be simplified to mean: The burden of delivering the proof is on the argument which makes claims/assumptions. This isn't true to all claims, agreed presuppositions and inherently true statements are obvious exclusions from this BoP. 

Specifically my opponent will need to demonstrate that Religions do not cause net harm, not necessarily that they cause a net benefit. As such he would have to either: A) Rebut all of my constructives adequately, and/or B) provide enough constructives to make his case. So far, I have defended my points to rebut his, and rebutted all of his contructives, therefore he has not fulfilled his burden. 

Throughout these few past rounds, I have, almost in a sense of being off topic, mentioned small fallacies. Maybe an inconsistency in reasoning, a misunderstanding of the resolution. Maybe even a bigger fallacy. From what I have seen, CON is most often committing non-sequiturs and moving the goal posts fallacies [9].

What these basically mean is that CON has, on multiple occasions (frequently even), used a set of facts or information to come to a conclusion that does not logically lead, and from there tried to justify his non-sequitur by moving the goal post. Or in other words moving what CON or PRO have to prove in order to be the 'victor's' of the debate.

I only mention this to point out the bad conduct of said opponent, while I have had an enjoyable enough time. It is frustrating to see CON try to bring or use points he's already dropped to justify a new argument. Please take this into consideration voters. 



Case 3 - Forced Convertion of Natives on Colonies

As we have previously established, Catholicism is one of the majority sects of religion, with nearly a billion members. One of the most widely accepted truths of Catholicism is how it was forced upon indigenous people.


 Many Catholic head figures, including Pope Leo XIII praised Columbus for bringing the truth to the Natives. Although the spread of religion can be seen as a good thing, his actions were harmful towards the Indigenous people. [10]

The result we see from this mass forced indoctrination is an inherent loss of culture. This will mentally harm these people, ruining traditions, family property, and all sorts of thigs inherent to THESE people. [11]

This is an obvious harm, caused by religion, to a clearly defined group of people.  But just to kind of show a quote:


“The majority of the kids I went to school with are dead,” says Manny Jules, “because of the experience they had, the abuse.” [12]

This quote demonstrates my point spectacularly, of the harm, religion has caused these people. 



Conclusion

To summarize: I have fulfilled my BoP, I have demonstrated a net harm caused by religion, and my opponent (thus far) has not rebutted it in a valid manner. I welcome all further rebuttals and constructives from the CON however, and look forward to their next arguments. I do believe however that my opponent has made several and easily noticeable fallacies within his logic leading to, what I believe to be, misconduct via moving the goal posts.

The opponent has no presented no further constructives, and as such this will be my final constructive. I want to do this that way both debaters have sufficient time to address each point, I would ask that the CON not make further Cases in the last two rounds, but he is not prohibited from doing so due to my nativity whenever I made the description. 

For the reasons above, please vote PRO!
Con
Sorry for the late argument.

1: LGBTQ+ and Harm

p1: Sinners cannot be harmed by religion
p2: Homosexuals are considered sinners
CON: Therefore Homosexuals cannot be harmed by religion
I never stated that sinners cannot be harmed by religion. However, religion had never stated the organized hatred of someone, at least nothing Pro has brought up. We know that religion hates people who do harm to others, such as thieves and murderers, but it is also stated that the "LGBTQ+" people that Christianity had hated are lust-and-violence relationships, which is the equivalent of two heterosexual persons having a non-loving one-night-stand. The term "Homosexuality" wasn't coined until after the Bible was written. Plus, upon one of my sources, 70% of the Catholics are accepting of LGBTQ+. The worldwide average of accepting homosexuality for Christians has rung up to 54%, so these can be concluded:

  • If we go with the scripture, the Bible never hated loving relationships between two men, etc.
  • If we go with the population, then most Christians are accepting of LGBTQ, etc.
According to my previous definition of harm: "Harm - "physical or mental damage: INJURY" Which you dropped in your rebuttals, therefore accepting it, is clearly demonstrative. Knock your hand against a rough door, scrap your knee, the millions cases of depression, all of these are demonstrations of harm [4] Just from this we can clearly see that one of the category ANY can be harmed, therefore debunking CON's claim. 
Well, this is unfair. My opponent is stating "harmful" possibly as any harm. So as long as it did any amount of harm, it is harmful. Is it right though? Possibly not. If the world savior accidentally ran a red light 50 years ago, then it would be categorized as "harmful" under my opponent's present definition, which is not true. On the contrary, I could just say a serial killer is good because he threw one single dollar to a homeless man in 3rd grade, which is also untrue. As a result, to keep it fair, we must debate NET HARM: More harm than good. Proving that one thing did any amount of harm at any given time is unfair and it is possibly critiquing the resolution.

You have not proved this, you actually dropped it, and whenever we discussed it we were clearly talking of the net harm of RELIGION specifically not compared to society. This is blatant shifting of the goal post. 
Wanna me to prove how religion is more good than harm then?

2: Net good

According to the Pew Research Center, Religious people are more likely to be happy, and less likely to do drugs. They also are more likely to participate in voting action[1].

Religious people also feel closer to their families and are more likely to donate to charity. They are also less likely to throw tempers or tell lies. Also, they are more likely to consult people they trust for knowledge[2].

Religion can make you healthier physically and possibly mentally[3].

Well, maybe those cannot directly counter that religion has caused wars waged against millions of people, but so did China. Mao has killed millions within the revolution, but look at what China is now![4] I may not lay a finger on negating the bad things religion has done in the past, but the fact religious people have an overall healthier lifestyle is already proof why religion is good.

My opponent extended that over 400 million people have been killed, but also ignores that it bettered the lives of billions, on that the religious lifestyle is healthy. 

Round 4
Pro
Preamble - ROUND 4

To those counting, here is round 4 of the debate, “Is religion harmful?” Something to note would be that my opponent has seemed to have ignored previous arguments and even restate arguments that I have already debunked without providing any further argumentation. This observation is critical to the trend of misconduct my opponent has committed throughout the debate, and I only point this out for consistency’s sake.

I will go on to clarify the structure of this round for my side. I will first tackle my opponent’s counter rebuttals, dismissing those that I have already debunked, and providing new refutation to those I have not. Next, I will argue against his new constructive, and provide my general rebuttal to the contention. Within said rebuttal I'll provide a contention specifically to note the doubt on his sources. Finally, I will wrap up this round with an extension of earlier cases, summation of the round, and (finally) post sources. 


To rebut his counter rebuttal I will attack with 2 contentions

    1. “Sinner” Harmed Syllogism Defence
    2. Harm and Harmful vs Net Harm (Re)


To rebut his case I’ll provide 2 rebuttals

    3. Rapid Fire Benefits Rebuttal
    4. Wars (Re)


To repeat myself slightly: I will then make an almost separate argument, about the reliability of CON”s sources, and what they actually say, think of it as almost another rebuttal. After that, I will make a brief list of all of the points CON has dropped and I will extend. Then I will sum up my thoughts as I usually do and (Much to my embarrassment and thankful to the understanding CON) post all sources I have neglected to post in the actual debate rounds as well as the sources for this argument. 

Let’s begin then.



Contention 1 - “Sinner” Harmed Syllogism Defence


CON begins by quoting my syllogism and attempting to destruct it, claiming:


“I never stated that sinners cannot be harmed by religion. However, religion had never stated the organized hatred of someone, at least nothing Pro has brought up.  We know that religion hates people who do harm to others, such as thieves and murderers, but it is also stated that the "LGBTQ+" people that Christianity had hated are lust-and-violence relationships, which is the equivalent of two heterosexual persons having a non-loving one-night-stand. “


I have already established why oppressing LGBTQ people is considered harmful in a previous round, the first round to be clear. CON also refuses to list any sources to back up his claims here, to be fair I even checked the comments, but no sources were listed. Regardless of this, we know that irrespective of what religion thinks LGBTQ people do, they are still harming them. 

As I have established time and time again, not only has religion never given us a valid reason to actually consider LGBTQ people sinners, but even if they were I’ve already given an argument why all people are sinners, and how they can be harmed.

To summarize my points here:

  • CON has conflated hatred with oppression, which is the case I used to justify religion harming LGBTQ people.
  • CON has failed to actually demonstrate a core point with any sources
  • CON has made a category error, all people are considered sinners and as such, it wouldn’t matter even if LGBTQ people were sinner’s it would still be harm

Next, my opponent claims:


“Plus, upon one of my sources, 70% of the Catholics are accepting of LGBTQ+. The worldwide average of accepting homosexuality for Christians has rung up to 54%, so these can be concluded:”


This is another argument I have rebutted in a previous round, as it is shorter than the last argument I had already mentioned I’ll quote it here:

Just because a religion says its tolerant, doesn't mean it's actually tolerant”

It is as if CON is blatantly ignoring my past rebuttals, and just restating arguments he has already made. Essentially ignoring my argument. Basically what my quote is summarizing is that while Catholics claim to be tolerant of homosexuality, they actually forbid its practice. This was sourced in ROUND 2 of my argument. Next, CON summarizes his points:


  • “If we go with the scripture, the Bible never hated loving relationships between two men, etc.
  • If we go with the population, then most Christians are accepting of LGBTQ, etc.”


Once more, my previous arguments have disproved the first point, and I have rebutted the second one within this round and the second. These “rebuttals” are nothing more than a repeat of arguments I have already rebutted with nearly no new argumentation. 
 
 

Contention 2 - Harmed and Harmful vs Net Harm


Just as I did with my previous argument I will start with a quoting of my opponent’s central claim:


“ If the world savior accidentally ran a red light 50 years ago, then it would be categorized as "harmful" under my opponent's present definition, which is not true.”


My opponent does provide more than one example this time, and as such I will show it below:


“ I could just say a serial killer is good because he threw one single dollar to a homeless man in 3rd grade”


CON goes on to say that we must debate net harm, instead of pointing out clear examples of harm. Must I explain? Indeed I must, let’s establish what exactly CON is saying. That a single occurrence of harm does not demonstrate the overall harm of an individual and that one occurrence of good behavior does not demonstrate overall good.

There are several problems with this argument: For starters, even if the “world savior” was the one who ran the stoplight, his world-saving status does not inherently cancel any harm they committed. They still ran a stoplight, they still could have very well caused harm. Same to the serial killer, indeed they did one good action, and they still would have done one good action even with the copious amounts of harm they did.

But even my arguments are “flawed” in the sense that they aren’t necessary. We are not debating an individual occurrence of a one-person causing harm. No, we are speaking of a huge collective of people oppressing millions of people for years! Not only has one of the metaphors already been used, but neither are they valid analogies. They do not describe the argument at hand.

CON’s entire basis for arguing net harm in individual rounds has thus been dismantled and dismissed. I shall proceed to his constructive on the net benefit of religion



Contention 3 - Rapid Fire Benefits


My opponent makes 10 claims of the benefit for religion


  1. Happier
  2. Less likely to do drugs
  3. More likely to participate in voting action
  4. Feel closer to family
  5. More likely donate to charity
  6. Less likely to throw temper tantrums
  7. Less likely to lie
  8. More likely consult people they trust for knowledge
  9. Healthier physically
  10. Healthier mentally

While this isn’t relevant to my rebuttal per se, it should be noted that CON introduces 10 points for contention here instead of the first round, shotgunning me with point after point. Whereas the most I provide are 3 points within a larger argument. Just bad form to point out. 
Let’s separate these claims into one of two categories: Not relevant or Further research is required. I would split it as so:
Not relevant are claims that don’t necessarily prove a benefit to people (Benefit is defined as something that produces good or helpful results or effects or that promotes well-being )


  • Less likely to do drugs. - To be clear this is never specified what kind of drugs, in fact, I can’t even find drugs mentioned in the first source as he lists. For all I know CON could be writing about medicine and medicine has been clearly demonstrated to have benefited [1], why would using less of them be conducive to more benefit? 

  • More likely to participate in voting action - Why is this a benefit? Let’s say CON would vote conservative, then more likely to vote could mean democratically, which would be a harm from CON’s view. Not only does CON not explain why this is a benefit, but it is subjective enough to be either-or. 

  • Less likely to lie - Again this has not been demonstrated to be a benefit by the CON, and new research is saying that lying can be a good thing [2]. This sufferer from the same problem the first item on this list had, it’s not explained and it could be a harm. Not to mention that it could be taken subjectively enough to flip flop as well.

  • More likely consult people they trust for knowledge - Why is this a benefit? People they trust could be anybody. For all CON knows they trust a conspiracy theorist or misinformed people. I think we would both agree that trusting someone isn’t enough to make their knowledge true. 

That is four out of the ten arguments dismissed for relevance, time to move on to the one’s which require further research, and in other words, my sub-contention: Sources



Contention 3.5 - Source Confusion


This contention is concerned with the other 6 points in the list above, and what their sources say about them. As such I will separate them via source:


  •  More likely to be happy is listed under source 1 [3]
  • Religious people are more likely to feel closer to their families, donate to charities, and throw temper tantrums are under source 2 [4]
  • Religion can you make better physically and mentally are under source 3 [5]

1. Let’s dive into our opponent’s first source and what it specifically says about being more likely to be happy. Firstly, the graph is a chart of self-reportedly being happier. Just to specify, and is divided into 3 categories in 26 different countries.

The three areas such: Unaffiliated, Inactively religious, and Actively religious. Taking the average of all three points, 29.52% of inactive religious people self-report as happy, 29.64% of unaffiliated people self-report as 29.64% happy, and 35.32% of people self-report as happy. This would mean that a majority of religious people wouldn’t get this benefit at all! [3]

Not to mention that the active category only has 6% more than the unaffiliated! That is barely a benefit at all, and most definitely doesn’t speak enough to consider it a net benefit. 


2. Next let’s go into the second source and see what it’s all about.

The claim is that religious people are more likely to feel closer to their families, and the percentage shown is a 17% gap. 30% not highly religious to 47% highly religious. While this still isn’t a majority of religious people, it is closer, but there is a far simpler question to ask. Why does it matter? Of course, people who are highly religious are closer to their families. 

The source defines highly religious as:


“..those who say they pray daily and attend religious services at least once a week” [4]


Typically we would agree that people who go to church are more likely to have other members in their family who also go to church, so of course, they meet their family more often. The same could be said for any community that gathers weekly, it would not be exclusive for religion. 


The second claim under this source is that religious people are more likely to donate to charity

What the source doesn’t say is how many hours on average, how many donations, which charities, and not to mention that this all self-reported, and not verified. Which charity does matter, as there are charities who take a large percentage for profit or even scam charities? [6]


Finally, the last claim the source supports the fact that religious people are less likely to lose their temper. 

While 57 and 59 percent are the majority they are only just, and not to mention, it is again self-reported and not double-checked over even verified. But besides that at all, what about righteous anger? What about hatred towards others? What about rudeness towards others? 

How can we at all compare this, or quantify this as a “benefit”, not to mention that it is not compared to the non-religious? In fact, your source says bluntly,


I think that debunks that claim well enough. 


3. The final source is cited for the claims that religious people are more physically healthy and possible healthier mentally. 

First to go over the healthier mentally, The two sections there that don’t contradict themselves or aren’t something we already have gone over are soothed anxiety and protects against depressive symptoms. Going to the soothing anxiety portion of the research we can see that the doctors only suggest the fact that believing in a god is the reason why they are like this. 

We also are not told their sample size of either group, nor anything more specific than, “two experiments,” the results and experiment themselves are listed, however, and it might be said that a belief in hell might contradict the findings of the experiment. [7]

This could be said to be the same in the depressive protection, but no specific study is cited or linked. Given that the data is true, one could say that that effect may be mitigated by the fact that 2/3s of Christians feel doubt in their god [8], so the fact that the “study” apparently linked it to the belief in god is telling. 

Finally to address the supposed physical benefits of religion. 

The benefits listed are less than what they seem, the one about going to the doctors? It is simply a 15% increased chance of getting a mammogram, though it could also be the fact that more and more advertising regarding getting a mammogram done is becoming prevalent? [9] 

The next case is on low blood sugar, and is only tested in Norway? As mentioned in the article itself, Norway isn’t particularly religious and would in no way represent the majority of religious people, nor their physical attributes, and that is enough to debunk that claim. 

 

Contention 4 - Wares (Re)


As I have and will continue to do, I will start this contention off by giving his argument. 

Well, maybe those cannot directly counter that religion has caused wars waged against millions of people, but so did China. Mao has killed millions within the revolution, but look at what China is now![4] I may not lay a finger on negating the bad things religion has done in the past, but the fact religious people have an overall healthier lifestyle is already proof why religion is good.”


CON openly admits that he cannot refute the point that hundreds of millions have died at the hands of religious war. But then tries to compare it to the war caused by china? First of all irrelevant and second of all CON tries to tie it in with the fact that religious people live healthier lifestyles? CON never once established the lifestyles of the people of China, nor did CON actually prove that religious people live healthier lifestyles. 

Next, CON claims that I’ve ignored the betterment of billions, which isn’t true, as CON has not established that billions are better. They fail to do this with every source, and what the sources do say are not at all representative of the majority of religious people, or even of one religion! The CON has not fulfilled their burden of proof. 



EXTENSIONS


  • LGBTQ Oppression
  • General Harm
  • Wars
  • Forced conversion of Natives

All of these cases have been extended.

I would also take this time and this contention to extend my argument “Faltering of the CON” As not only did they not rebut or even touch this point, but they gave me even more ammunition. Such as: Reusing arguments I have already rebutted without providing new argumentation, making a false comparison, shotgunning arguments. 



Conclusion


My BoP remains intact as fulfilled, as CON was not able to effectively rebut my arguments this time either. Not only that, but CON has failed to fill their BoP and has therefore not reached their goal post. In contrast, as my BoP has been filled, I would have reached my goal post. The problems from last round are only added to with some of the CON”s argumentation. 

A constructive was presented this round, but the claims were so lightly sourced, it wasn’t difficult to deconstruct. This isn’t to say I haven’t enjoyed the debate, I do look forward to my opponents next rebuttals. However, I do think for the reasons listed above that CON has not sufficiently filled their requirement to win.

Please vote PRO!



SOURCES:



ROUND 2: 


ROUND 3: 

Con
I concede and I thank Theweakeredge for a great debate.
Round 5
Pro
Closing Statement

As I am sure the voters are aware, my opponent has conceded the debate, and given me the veritable victory. I would also like to thank Intelligence_06 for a great debate, and a fun time in general. I hope that, regardless of concession, I have given the voters enough reason to doubt my opponent's case and accept mine. This debate was a good time in general and I look forward to debates in the future of this format. 

Thank you, my opponent, readers, and voters for following this debate. One more time, Vote Pro!
Con
Vote Pro. He had presented a very strong case. I thus end this debate here.