Believing in Christianity is more beneficial than believing in Athiesm
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Unrated because I'm playing devil's advocate as an atheist. I argue that believing there is the Christian god is more beneficial to believing there is no god.
Christian: one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ
Atheisms: One who believes there is no god, nor heaven nor hell
My argument is simple. Those who believe in Christianity hold the leap of faith that gives them hope and can move through life with greater ease. As research shows, Christians live longer than atheist's on average. The explanations is as such
1) Social participation: "Religious participation often goes hand-in-hand with increased participation in activities and social groups, which might help tackle loneliness and sedentary lifestyles that could also shorten life expectancy. " -- Atheists do not gather together in social groups to defeat loneliness
2) Beliefs affect substance abuse: "religious people being more likely to abstain from alcohol and drug use and other behaviours that could affect life expectancy" -- Atheists do not care about a "God" that looks down upon these factors and a lot only care about momentary pleasure while only amounting to greater suffering in life overall
3) One with the self. As an article about mindfulness notes, "The concept of “mindfulness” is rooted in Zen Buddhist meditation, although it would be a mistake to classify this as a strictly Buddhist discipline. As we’ll talk about shortly, there’s strong support within the Judeo-Christian tradition and the pages of Scripture for the practice of meditation in general." There is much support for this as the same article lists:
The apostle Paul reminds Christians that they’re called to be mindful and live with an awareness of the present (Philippians 2:1-5).
- Prayer is one very practical way Christians apply mindfulness to daily life (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
- Meditation appears in the Bible in the context of spending time studying the Word of God (Psalm 48:9; Psalm 63:6).
- We should look to Jesus and think about true, admirable things (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 4:8).
- Christians shouldn’t let themselves to be distracted by worry about the future (Matthew 6:25-34).
- Scripture teaches us to “take every thought captive” (2 Corinthians 10:5).
- Paul tells us to “be transformed” by renewing our minds (Romans 12:2) and to practice God-honoring thoughts (Philippians 4:9).
As you can see, mindfulness and the focus on Jesus's teachings as well as Godly behavior helps prevent being trapped and constantly in worry. Even Huffington post argues that the Christian practice of praying is helpful. "Research suggests these spiritual techniques are associated with decreases in depression and stress, and may reduce clinical symptoms, especially anxiety."
conclusion: Though I personally believe in the power of science (and hence lack of evidence in Christianity), I think my lack of willingness to jump this faith gap has caused many problems with me being too rational in life. Some things even science can't explain. And sometimes you have to just be confident in yourself without any backing, in order to resolve a problem. The placebo effect goes very far to show that if you believe something, it strongly affects your actions and results. Believing in Christianity means believing in the set of values that help prevent walking down the wrong path. The inherent group nature helps humans socialize among each other, and often, they are close to the Buddhism values that focus on optimism and your own value. As such, Christians have average longer lifespan and helps out depression and mental health. So it is more beneficial than believing there is no god (and taking no action to praise the Christian God).
I will set up some framework, set up my points and then answer my opponents.
1. Any setting of beneficial has to be about the world of the living, and not any afterlife. Since any claims of the afterlife aren't falsifiable, we can't have any meaningful or educational discussion about it. Pro seems to be discussing the real world, so I don't think this will be an issue.
2. Beneficial shall be defined as "resulting in good", as from Oxford Dictionary.
1. Only 34% of white evangelical Christians think homesexuality should be accepted by society. (1) I would argue that, while being Christian might result in a better situation for one's self, it doesn't result in good for society. The very fact that less than half of a group thinks that certain people should be accepted in society shows that they won't result in good for society.
2. Christianity pushes the idea of sexual purity and that only married, monogamous relationships are good. This leads to psychological damage to millions of teens who deal with an intense shame about their hormonal/natural sexual urges, as well as physical issues like body tension and trouble sleeping. (2) Anything that advocates for a specific rule of morality that inherently causes psychological damage can't be good for oneself.
3. The inherent idea of faith, which my opponent semi-defined as "just be confident in yourself without any backing" inherently leads to bad situations of abuse of power. Very simply, if people believe in Christianity without any backing, then this gives an opening of utilizing their faith to cause them to do different things. This can historically be seen as God being a justification for slavery, the crusades, repression of women and the LGBTQ+, the Holocaust, and almost every other bad act in history. The reason is that it's a really easy to gain public support for evil things.
4. Christianity justifies slave morality. Slave morality is the morality of the weak that gives them a personal justification for not actualizing their desires and trying to better themselves. If they don't have to act on their desire and better their life because they tell themselves this is the life that God wants them to live. A Christian doesn't have to justify to themselves why they're not fighting to have better living conditions if they tell themselves they're just being meek. Christianity inherently stops self betterment this way.
1. Any loneliness comes from the systematic discrimination and exclusion of atheists. They are tied for last place as the most disliked group in America (3) I would say this further proves that Christians like to exclude groups of people, but also that atheism is not the cause for loneliness, but unfortunately is dealing with the social symptoms of being a minority group. Also, atheists are 16% more likely to find meaning in hobbies and activities, (4) meaning they build communities outside of religious values, but not that these communities aren't formed.
2. I would argue that being able to use substances as you please without some outside moral code forcing to to not make these decisions leads to a better self. My opponent doesn't really say why drug use is inherently bad, and my answer would be that it isn't. There's millions of people that drink alcohol and smoke marijuana in moderation, and to say that this is inherently bad isn't true.
3. 19% of atheists meditate, (5) so I wouldn't say this is inherently relevant to showing Christians as better than atheists.
Extend my case and answers to my opponent.
I am running out of time so I will just say, just because Christianity is associated with specific beliefs does not mean that all Christians think that way and prevent society from functioning. As atheists also believe in ideas that make society dysfunctional, con's ideas balance out, and we're left with the rest of the activities that Christians do on a regular basis in modern world, that help their lives more. Vote for me.
I'm going to list all the reasons I win, from strongest to weakest.
1. All of my reasons why Christianity doesn't societally result in good goes dropped till it's grouped in one argument. All of it still stands for three unique reasons. Use this as an extension for all my points.
A. It's a new arg and shouldn't be evaluated at all. If you buy this argument, then ignore the rest of this point because it's an answer to the point. If you don't buy the argument, then at least justify that I should be granted the ability to answer it and shouldn't be forced into a lost because of it.
B. Undefined and unwarranted "bads" for society should be valued a lot less. Homophobia, psychological damage from sexual shame, the damage faith causes, and slave morality failing to allow personal growth should all take higher precedence over something so vague and meaningless. What this means is that these societal impacts, since there is no warranted reasons against societal atheism should be also valued over the personal reasons of the aff, which I'll get to later.
C. I would argue atheism has no societal wrong. My opponents inability to find one tangible reason atheism is bad for society stems from the fact there isn't one. His inability to warrant his claim should result in full disbelief of it.
2. Even if you don't buy the first argument, you still should buy the fact he completely dropped all of the reasons his points were wrong. What this means for an overview of the debate is that even if the societal values become a wash, so do the personal values, which means there's nothing to vote on. This means you default Con because Pro hasn't met the burden of proof to affirm the resolution. I'll just in general extend all of my answers to his points because with no answer on the flow at all, I don't need to do any answering to ensure they stand as arguments.
I gave you the overview of the debate in the second point, so vote Con.
Was worried this debate would be about belief in the existence of those competing world views.
Does an atheist believe in atheism or not believe in theism?
Nah, I don't think Atheism and Christianity are a proper dichotomy, being a atheist literally only describes not believing in god. Whereas Christianity has a established moral set of rules.
Yeah? I mean... maybe... I'll think about it.