Instigator / Pro
Points: 13

Christians are Delusional


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Points: 18
This debate will be focused around whether or not Christians are delusional. For the purposes of debate, we will be assuming that reality is real/true (no brains in jars or other baseless philosophical nonsense). With that presupposition in place, good luck to my competitor.
delusion: an idiosyncratic belief or impression that is firmly maintained despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality or rational argument, typically a symptom of mental disorder.
reality: the world or the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them.
rational: based on or in accordance with reason or logic.
Round 1
Magic: the power of apparently influencing the course of events by using mysterious or supernatural forces.
Supernatural: (of a manifestation or event) attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature.
Christian: a person who has received Christian baptism or is a believer in Christianity.

^Google was the source of definitions

All Christians believe in one or more of the Christian tenants objectively centered around magic. Though the attributed tenants differ from denomination to denomination, every known denomination subscribes to at least one or more magical Christian tenant. Whether it's Jesus's resurrection, Creationism events, a thought policing dictator (God), answered prayers, talking snakes and donkeys, burning bushes, a staff parting a sea, a global flood, walking on water or turning water to wine, they all are considered by definition to be magic.

Nothing in our observable reality demonstrates magic is real. Furthermore, holding a belief in it, despite contradicting scientific evidence and observation, is absurdly disjointed from reality. Nonetheless, Christians still believe various magic based tenants of Christianity.

Hence, Christians are delusional by definition. 
According to the definition of delusion that Pro outlined in the description, a delusion has to be both “idiosyncratic” (idiosyncratic tendencies are unusual or strange, and not shared by other people [1]), “contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality” and is “typically a symptom of mental disorder”.

  1. Christianity is not idiosyncratic:
    As an idiosyncratic belief is necessarily unusual or strange, a belief in Christianity in America can, by definition, not be a delusion as it is neither strange nor uncommon. In fact, according to a 2015 Pew Research Center poll, 76.9% of Americans are Christians and around 2.3 billion people globally are Christians [2]. Therefore, a belief in Christianity is quite certainly not a delusion as it is an ordinary and conventional belief, particularly in Pro's country of residence (America) but also globally.

  2. Christianity is not contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality:
    Religious beliefs are generally considered to be unfalsifiable, therefore it seems strange to suggests that a Christian belief is "contradicted" by any form of empirical evidence as they should, by definition, not be able to. Science is concerned with the material and has nothing whatever to say about the spiritual (if something of that form does exist). Additionally, Pro ignores the term "generally". Is Christianity "generally contradicted"? It certainly isn't in the United States where Christianity is generally accepted as reality. Atheism, on the other hand, would be a delusion if one only relied on this part of the definition as according to another Pew Research Center poll [3], there were approximately 1.1 billion religiously unaffiliated people globally which is a clear minority compared to the other 6 billion humans in the world [4]. Clearly Pro would not be willing to entertain the notion that atheism is a delusion (as is ironically suggested in 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12 [5]) and for the same reason, Christian belief ought not to be considered a delusion. Christianity is not generally rejected and even if it were, it would hardly be sufficient grounds for considering it a delusion.

  3. Christian belief is explicitly excluded from the classification of delusion in the DSM-IV:
    Professor of psychology Matt J. Rossano pointed out that religious belief is necessarily excluded from the classification of delusion:
"A false belief based on incorrect inference about external reality that is firmly sustained despite what almost everyone else believes and despite what constitutes incontrovertible and obvious proof or evidence to the contrary. The belief is not one ordinarily accepted by other members of the person’s culture or subculture (e.g., it is not an article of religious faith)."  
- APA Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, DSM IV-TR, p. 821

Furthermore, he cites three additional reasons why Christianity is inconsistent with the classification of delusion:

(1) its general notions and practices are not obviously contradicted by evidence,
(2) it requires very little mental effort to sustain most religious notions,
(3) it encourages community integration which promotes healthy psychological functioning. Indeed, most empirical studies confirm that religious people tend to be happier and healthier, as well as financially, socially, and interpersonally more successful than their non-religious counterparts — wholly inconsistent with the religion-as-delusion theory. [6]
Therefore, it is evident that religious belief is inconsistent with the classification of delusion, as it is excluded from the definition, not easily contradicted using empirical evidence or logical reasoning and generally does not cause serious distress or harm.

  • 4. Surely not all Christians are delusional:
    As I have pointed out before, there are approximately 2.3 billion Christians. It is likely that some of them are delusional, however, it seems ludicrous that all 2.3 billion (Pro clarified in the comment section that the debate resolution does refer to all Christians, i.e. Pro has to show that all Christians are delusional) Christians who hold vastly different religious views are delusional. Professor Jordan B. Peterson, for example, believes that Christianity contains a higher, perhaps metaphorical, truth which expresses itself in the psychological significance of the Christian stories and he argues that the probability that someone who asks him what his religious faith is construes "belief" or "God" in the same way that he does is "virtually zero" [7]. Finally, the Christian philosopher Paul Tillich argued that religious statements are not to be understood literally but rather symbolically. Neither Prof. Peterson's, nor Prof. Tillich's beliefs are falsifiable and can thus not be shown to be false and are vastly different from what many other Christians believe. Therefore, claming that "all Christians" are delusional is an assertion that is evidently wrong.

    In conclusion, Christianity does not fit the definition of delusion in several different ways as it is neither idiosyncratic, nor contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality and is inconsistent with the psychiatric classification of delusion. Furthermore, the claim that all Christians are delusional necessasitates that Pro shows that not only every one who believes every single word of the Bible literally, but also more moderate Christians and even those Christians who take an entirely non-literalist approach to Christianity are delusional.

    I will address Pro's arguments in the second round to ensure fairness as I would otherwise have one more round for rebuttals than my oponent.


Round 2
First off, thanks for accepting the debate. I’d like to compliment you on your opening round; I think you did a fantastic job and I’m really excited to continue this debate.

1 - Christian beliefs are idiosyncratic:

Christian beliefs are inspired by Christian doctrines and encapsulated by their particular denominational religious world view. The beliefs held as a result of this world view are idiosyncratic to Christianity, where they were derived initially. Idiosyncratic in its most basic basic definition, simply means peculiar or individual to something [1]. Their beliefs are idiosyncratic to Christianity, much like Muslims beliefs are idiosyncratic to Islam. If you remove Christianity, their beliefs would lose their foundation; therefore, the beliefs are derived directly from Christianity, and not shared among non-Christians.

2 - Christianity is contradicted by reality:

You mentioned that Christianity, especially in the US,  is accepted as reality, but that is untrue. Reality is the world or state of things as they actually (demonstrably) exist. Just because a large number of people are indoctrinated into mass delusion, it does not make that the officially accepted reality, because that reality cannot be demonstrated to exist. There are x billion Muslims, does that make their reality real?

Some religious beliefs are supernatural and unfalsifiable; however, that places them outside the bounds of reality and physicality. Science, the foundation of our modern world, operates on the natural. Reality, as previously defined, is the world or state of things as they actually exist – aka physicality. Unfalsifiable proclamations about reality that have no testable mechanics in reality would not be considered real or rational - it would be supernatural.

Setting that aside, I can go a step further. There are direct proclamations about reality that are made by Christian doctrine that is contested and falsified by science.
  1. For example, science has unearthed enough about chemistry and biology to allow us to extrapolate that someone who has been stone-dead for 3 days in a cave cannot be resurrected by any natural means (Mark 16:5-7). Note, there are different contradicting accounts of resurrection in the Gospels, but all the accounts make the proclamation of resurrection, which is what I am contesting.
  2. Scientists, through radiometric carbon dating, can demonstrate the world is older than 6 thousand years, contradictory to the extrapolated age from Genesis [4].
  3. Scientists, with their latest understandings in biological speciation and genetics, can demonstrate Adam and Eve never existed [8].
  4. A miracle would require the suspension of natural laws, and science, at the very least, detect this.

I could go on and on, but my point is simple: there are some falsifiable claims made by religion that can or have been falsified. At the very least, many claims can inductively be determined to be irrational, yet Christians still believe them. I will concede that views among Christian denominations vary; however, all Christians do believe in the resurrection of Jesus and life after death, at the very least. Most Christians also believe other supernatural/magical non-reality based tenants.

Therefore, I continue to contend that Christians maintain their beliefs, despite irrationality, scientific implausibility and/or falsehood.

3 - Christian beliefs are delusional:

I find it rather curious why you are using the DSM-IV and not the most recent DSM-V [2]. Christians are and have been commonly known to speak directly to invisible divinities, speak in tongue, be possessed by demons, witness personal miracles and many other socially abnormal delusional traits that would be categorized as delusional in any other situation. In addition, as aforementioned, they hold beliefs that are directly contradicting to known science and reality: such as magical resurrections, and other non-reality-based beliefs centered in magic. They hold beliefs about eternal salvation, eternal damnation, souls, afterlife resurrections and many other non-supported ideologies [3].

In response to your arguments regarding the DSM criteria:
1.       Several Christian beliefs are contradicted by evidence, as I previously aforementioned.
2.       It requires indoctrination and often weekly congregational communions and commitments.
3.       It can also obstruct science (stem cell research [6]) and politics (same sex marriage [7]), and inspire genocide [5]. I’m not saying it always does, but it can and often has had negative effects.

When special exclusions need to be made in the DSM to exclude individuals, who would otherwise meet the criteria, I would argue this further illustrates my point. This is an purring example of the corruption it’s had on our society, and the state of denial and mental compartmentalization that is demanded in order to tap dance on the knife blade of their narcissistic societal expectations.

4 - All Christians are delusional:

Your argument that Christians cannot be delusional because of their mere numbers is an ad populum argument. Mass delusion is possible, and number statistics does not lend to the arguments truth.

Christian is a word used to describe a member of Christianity, which is a set of doctrines encompassing a religious world view and belief system. The various denominations do differ, but they all share a common foundation. Christian doctrine encompasses beliefs based in magic (resurrections, miracles, etc), and all established denominations share one or more of these beliefs.

If a person doesn't wish to follow or believe the Christian doctrines, that's perfectly fine; but they are then not a Christian by the definition of the word. They are simply a person who amalgamated a few Christian ideas (like Islam borrowing Judaism ideas, and Judaism borrowing Zoroastrian ideas, etc).

So when I say "all" Christians believe in magic, I am referring to all people who belong to an established and recognized Christian denomination.


I'm going to devote this round to rebutting my opponent's arguments in favour of the resolution and use my third round to defend my own arguments, similarly to Pro, to ensure fairness (i.e. so that we have a similar round structure).

Pro's sole argument in favour of the resolution is as follows:
  • P1: All Christians believe in magic.
  • P2: Someone who believes in magic is delusional.
  • C: Therefore all Christians are delusional.

While the argument is indeed valid (if all premises are true, then the conclusion must be true), there are several reasons to believe that the premises are not true:

  • Premise 1 Rebuttal:

    1. Magic only refers to "apparent" influences:
    The definition of "magic" that pro cited "Magic: the power of apparently influencing the course of events by using mysterious or supernatural forces." only applies to apparently influencing the course of events. Therefore, if there was an actual influence occurring (e.g. if Jesus was actually resurrected), then it follows that it is necessarily excluded from the definition as only apparent influences are considered magic. So, unless Pro can show God definitely doesn't exist and could definitely not have performed these miracles, then it follows that most Christians do not believe in magic, even by the broadest definition of magic and would therefore not be considered delusional according to Pro's argument as the conclusion would not follow from a false premise.

    2. Some Christians do not believe that there is a literal God that performed literal miracles:
    According to Pro, "All Christians believe in one or more of the Christian tenants objectively centered around magic." this is however factually incorrect. As I have pointed out in my second round, there are some Christians who take an entirely metaphorical or symbolic view on Christianity. Furthermore, Christian Mystics focus on developing a spiritual relationship to God, rather than on literal interpretations of the Scripture. Since Pro has to BoP to show that not just some but all Christians are delusional, Pro has to show that those who take a metaphorical, spiritual and entirely non-literal approach are also delusional.

In conclusion, Pro's first premise fails on several counts as 1) They are based on the assumption that the Christian God does not exist as if he did, the Christian miracles would not qualify as "magic" as they would actually rather than just apparently have happened, and 2) There are some Christians that do not believe that any of the Christian miracles literally happened, therefore it necessarily follows that not all Christians can believe in magic. As Pro's first premise is faulty, the conclusion does not follow and therefore Pro's only argument in favour of the resolution (that all Christians are delusional, as was clarified by Pro in the comment section) is not sound and therefore does not support the resolution and Pro does not fulfill his BoP.

Round 3
I would like to say thank you to my contender for the fun debate. Although our views conflict, you did a great job representing your end of the debate, and I respect you for that.

That being said, I will jump into my final rebuttal/argument/conclusion:

Premise 1:

My opponent has conceded that if this premise is true, then my conclusion regarding Christians being delusional is true.

Christianity’s core beliefs:

I would contend that a true Christian believes in the messianic Christ figure, as well as his death and resurrection. At a bare minimum, that is one, shared tenant among all established and recognized denominations of Christianity [1][2][3]. Christian views, particularly of Jesus, are derived from the canonical Gospels and new testament letters, such as the Pauline epistles. Additionally, this is a core component of Christian creeds as well [6]. Any apostate version that does not share these core tenants, would simply be a religion that amalgamated some of its doctrine from Christianity. Paul, in one of his letters to Corinth, wrote “If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith [1 Corinthians 14:14][4]. This, clearly demonstrates the necessity of Christ’s resurrection for Christian theology.

Depending on the Gospel you read, the resurrection account’s claims vary. So, to be fair, I will keep the most basic shared premise collectively proposed by Christian doctrine: Jesus existed, he was crucified, died and was resurrected by God.

Scientific understandings in biochemistry and other fields can demonstrate that resurrections are naturally impossible.

My contender argues that magic, by definition, only “apparently” influences the course of events. If this is true, this would mean the course of events happened naturally, negating God’s hand in the work, and contradicting core Christian theology. If God only apparently resurrected Jesus, it would mean he didn’t really do it; this would imply it occurred naturally, which violates the laws of nature and science. Assuming Jesus did resurrect, that would imply Jesus spontaneously just woke up from fatal injuries, rigor mortis and biochemical decay after 3 days in a hot desert cave and walked it off. After the transpiring of his zombie-like appearance events, his following ascension to heaven was merely apparent. This entirely contradicts Christian theology, and it’s not what Christians are referring to when they are discussing these miraculous events. Once again, as Paul stated (paraphrasing), if Jesus was not resurrected, Christianity is moot.


A miracle violates the laws of nature; if it didn’t, it wouldn’t be miraculous. It’s an event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws, and is considered to be the work of a divine agency; a divine agency which has no established proof of existence. A miracle is synonymous with magic when used in its typical Christian colloquial usage. Christians, of course, will often reject this premise, because the word “magic” inflammatorily connotates it’s ridiculous nature.

Christian scripture is littered with magic – speaking universes into existence, talking animals, creation of humans from clay and ribs, the breath of life, prophecies, turning water into wine, curing incurable conditions, resurrections, global floods, and the parting of seas, to name a few.

Whatever the miracle-based belief is, its essence is supernatural and magical. To believe a miracle, one must dissociate themselves with reality and compartmentalize the irrational and unfounded claims of their religion from their objectively observable reality. Paraphrasing Carl Sagan, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. It is irrational to believe something that is not based in reason or evidence, which references back to delusion.

Paul’s entire Gospel is based on delusion:

Paul confesses in Galatians that his Gospel’s source is divine revelation [5], which is equivalent to “hearing voices”, and would be considered delusional by any modern standards. These are the same Gospels that serves as the basis for modern Christian theology. One could extrapolate from this that Christianity’s foundations were derived from delusion.

Paul: “For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ” [Galatians 1:11-12].


In summary, Christians are delusional because, in one or more ways, they believe in magic, despite its irrationality and contradiction with reality. Many of their core views, as previously aforementioned, are derived from other delusions [Galatians 1:11-12]. They maintain those beliefs in spite of rational argument, contradicting demonstrable scientific evidence and a contradicting objectively verifiable reality. I would argue that this by definition of the word makes them delusional, despite any special pleading circumstances listed in the DSM.


[1]: Jackson, Gregory Lee, Catholic, Lutheran, Protestant: a doctrinal comparison 1993 ISBN 978-0-615-16635-3 Part One: "Areas of Agreement", pages 11-17
[2]: The Orthodox Church: An Introduction to Its History, Doctrine by John Anthony McGuckin 2010 pages 6-7
[3]: Basic Christian doctrine by John H. Leith 1993 ISBN 0-664-25192-7 pages 1-2

I would also like Pro for debating me on this topic, this has been an enjoyable debate and has
hopefully changed some people's views.

Defence of Rebuttals:
  • 1 - Christian beliefs are not idiosyncratic:
    After I outlined that Christian beliefs are not idiosyncratic (the definition I gave was "idiosyncratic tendencies are unusual or strange, and not shared by other people [1]". Pro, on the other hand, claims that Christian beliefs are nonetheless idiosyncratic as they are "idiosyncratic to Christianity". Pro cites "google" as his source for this, presumably as to avoid a more specific analysis of his definition of idiosyncratic as he claims that "in its most basic definition it simply means peculiar or individual to something" where Pro gets the "to something" from remains unclear as when clicking on his source one merely gets "relating to idiosyncrasy; peculiar or individual.". There are however several reasons (other than that his own source does not correspond to his definition) reasons to reject his interpretation of "idiosyncratic". Firstly, if idiosyncrasy in the definition of delusions referred to "individual to something" beliefs, then it would be redundant. Every belief is "individual to something", whether it be a specific culture, country, religion (such as Christianity which has 2.3 billion members, which makes the use of the word "individual" questionable) or even a species (every single known belief is "individual to humanity" and not shared by any other species). Secondly, other definitions of the term "idiosyncratic" clearly contradict Pro's interpretation. "idiosyncratic tendencies are unusual or strange, and not shared by other people [1]" for example clearly specifies "unusual", "strange" and "not shared by other people" which suggests that in this case, it refers to beliefs that are specific to a few individuals and uncommon in most people. Therefore, as Pro's interpretation of "idiosyncratic" is inconsistent with the source he has provided, his interpretation of the term would make it entirely redundant and it is directly contradicted by precise definitions of the term, his interpretation should be rejected. This alone leads to the conclusion that Christian beliefs can not be delusional as they are not idiosyncratic and is thereby sufficient to disprove Pro's thesis on its own.
  • 2 - Christianity is not contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality:
    Despite Pro's own definition of delusion and the source that he himself cited in favour of it, Pro tries to redefine delusion to be "beliefs contradicted by reality", whereas his definition reads "an idiosyncratic belief or impression that is firmly maintained despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality or rational argument, typically a symptom of mental disorder." Pro thereby dodges the fact that whether a belief actually corresponds to reality is entirely irrelevant to the definition of delusion. The definition of delusion is merely centred around beliefs that are in conflict with what is generally considered reality. Pro furthermore argues that it is untrue that Christianity is generally accepted as reality in the US. This is however easily disproven by the fact that a clear majority of the American population believes in Christianity (around 75% [2]). Pro attempts to redefine another part of the definition to fit his narrative of all Christians being delusional and later even claims that the word “magic” inflammatorily connotates it’s [Christianitiy's] ridiculous nature.", this suggests that Pro's motive is to ridicule Christianity, apparently using any means necessary even changing the definitions of several words (delusion & magic), which I hope is neither taken personally, nor seriously by any one.
Pro finally argues that some claims of Christian doctrine are falsified by science. Pro thereby ignores that science can not decisively falsify supernatural claims which is noted by prominent atheists (e.g. Bertrand Russell's five-minute hypothesis states that the universe sprang into existence five minutes ago from nothing, with human memory and all other signs of history included [3]. While scientific evidence suggests that the universe did not just spring into existence out of nothing, Russell's thought-experiment is nonetheless unfalsifiable as every possible objection such as us having memory of more than five minutes ago can simply be done away by claiming that is has been created alongside the universe five minutes ago and that all other evidence that suggests an older universe was similarly created alongside it. This demonstrates that an infinite amount of qualifications can be added to any supernatural claim to do away with any possible objection). Furthermore, Pro makes several claims that are unsupported by any sources such as that "there are different contradicting accounts of resurrection in the Gospels" although they are surely not self-evident to the millions of people that believe the word of the Bible to be literally true [4]. Additionally, Pro goes on to cite young earth creationism (the belief that the earth was created six thousand years ago) as evidence in support of the thesis that all Christians are delusional, this is clearly not a widely held belief as even in the most Christian country (America), merely 40% of the Christians take the Bible literally [4] and even among the Biblical literalists the figure of six thousand years is contested. In conclusion, supernatural claims can not be decisively falsified by science as they are by definition outside the realm of the natural world (although we can show some beliefs to be less likely to be true than others) and Pro continually ignores that the majority of Christians take a non-literalist approach to the Bible and that some take an entirely symbolic or metaphorical approach to Christianity. Therefore, it does not follow that Christianity is delusional as it is false are not generally accepted as reality and as it is furthermore not entirely clear that Christian beliefs are not true (although appeals to the best explanation can in some people's opinion justify believing in a materialistic world instead).
  • 3 - Christian belief is explicitly excluded from the classification of delusion in the DSM-IV:

    Pro claims that speaking in tongues, being possessed by demons and "other socially abnormal delusional traits" are "common" to Christians. Pro does not support this claim with a source and I find it difficult to come up with a source that investigates how high the proportion of Christians is that believes to have been possessed by demons. I would argue that this might be related to the fact that it is extremely rare, I for one can not recall ever having met anyone who claimed to have been possessed by a demon and although this is just a case study, I'm reasonably confident that everyone who reads this debate has not met considerable numbers of people that believe to have been possessed by demons. Other than that, Pro claims that because "special exclusions" were made in the DSM, this "further illustrates my [his] point". How this follows is unclear to me as in the relevant quote that I cited in round one, no "special exclusion" is made for Christianity, rather it is used as an example of a belief that does not qualify as a delusionbecause it is ordinarily accepted by other members of the person's culture. Clearly, no special exclusion is made, rather the diagnostic criteria are outlined and religious belief is then invoked as an example that does not fit these criteria.
  • 4 - Surely not all Christians are delusional:
    Pro's claim that me pointing out that it is incoherent to claim that 2.3 billion people suffer from delusions is an ad populum argument is flawed as one of the classification criteria in abnormal psychology (which delusions are a part of) is statistical infrequency [5]. According to the statistical infrequency definition of abnormality, behaviour is classified as abnormal if it is rare or statistically infrequent, with 75% of Americans and 2.3 billion people globally sharing the Christian faith, it is evidently neither rare nor infrequent and therefore not abnormal by these standards.
Pro furthermore claims that all Christians subscribeto a particular doctrine and that all Christian doctrines encompass beliefs based in magic. Pro again provides no source to back up this point which make his claims hard to take seriously at face value as I have given examples of people that neither subscribe to a Christian doctrine, nor take the Bible literally throughout this debate. The clinical psychologist Jordan B. Peterson whom I have mentioned in my opening argument, for example, takes an archetypal and metaphorical stance to Christianity and said that he is not sure whether Jesus resurrected [6] and nonetheless he is described as a Christian by popular media [7], self identifies as a Christian [8] and even Wikipedia describes him as a Christian [9], therefore it seems reasonable to accept that Prof. Peterson is a Christian by any reasonable standard. By excluding Christians that take a non-literalist approach to the Bible, which would exclude 60% of all American Christians, Pro commits a No True Scotsman Fallacy by excluding all individuals from being Christian that do not fit his pre-conceived notions of being "believers in magic". Furthermore, Pro ignores Christians such as the American "cultural Catholics" which make up 9% of all American Christians [12], who in some cases even identify as atheists and therefore do not share any beliefs in the supernatural [12] and of which 40% do not share a belief in Jesus' resurrection either [12].
In conclusion, Pro fails to argue that all Christians are delusional as his sole argument in favour of the resolution is that all Christians believe in magic, which is wrong on several counts as the majority of Christians does not take the Bible literally and even those that do, do not “believe in magic” as what they are believing could be true for all we know and thus does not fit the definition of magic. Furthermore, to justify the (presumably provocative) claim that all Christians are delusional, Pro has to redefine the word “idiosyncratic” in the definition of “delusion” that he himself provided, which fails as it is contradicted by his own cited source, it would make the term redundant and as other definitions clearly outline that idiosyncratic refers to individual tendencies, not tendency that are individual to whole groups. Additionally, Pro neglects those Christians that take a non-literalist approach to Christianity (60% of the American Christians) throughout the entire debate, as they would not be considered delusional even if all of his arguments were sound which alone is sufficient grounds for rejecting the resolution that all Christians, without exception, are delusional.
[6]:  minute 1:50
[8]: 0:00

Why is mine the only one that didn't get reported? lol
--> @Wrick-It-Ralph
Vote Reported: Wrick-It-Ralph // Mod Action: Not Removed
Points awarded: 3 points to pro for arguments
Reason for mod action: The vote is sufficient
--> @Athias
I removed your vote by mistake when I meant to remove the one below you. I apologize for this
--> @Melcharaz
Vote Reported: Melcharaz // Mod Action: Removed
Points awarded: 5 points to con for conduct and sources
RFD: While Pro did well to stipulate definitions in the very beginning, he failed to stipulate the meaning of "idiosyncratic," a major component in the description of delusion, the subject over which they argue. Con did well to stipulate the definition of idiosyncratic, thereby taking command of the description of "delusion." As far as I'm concerned, since Con won the semantics debate over the term, "delusion," he won the debate, since the subject over which they argue is "Christians are Delusional." However, if we extend the arguments beyond semantics, Con still provided more substantive arguments, particularly when he distinguished the concerns of Science and Religion. Pro focused far too much on scientific authority, which may have been valid had he established reality is subject to the domain of science. This was close, but eventually, I award "more convincing arguments" to Con.
Reason for mod action: The voter fails to meet the standards set forth by the COC here:
See below. Neither arguments nor sources are sufficient.
--> @Athias
Vote Reported: Athias // Mod Action: Not Removed
Points awarded: 3 points to con for arguments
Reason for mod action: The vote is borderline, but it is more sufficient than not so we will let it stand. If you have any problems or objections, please DM me.
ent. In order to award argument points, a voter must explicitly, and in the text of their RFD, perform the following tasks:

Survey the main arguments and counterarguments presented in the debate
Weigh those arguments against each other (or explain why certain arguments need not be weighed based on what transpired within the debate itself)
Explain how, through the process of weighing, they arrived at their voting decision with regard to assigning argument points
Weighing entails analyzing how the relative strength of one argument or set of arguments outweighed (that is, out-impacted) and/or precluded another argument or set of arguments. Weighing requires analyzing and situating arguments and counterarguments within the context of the debate as a whole.
(2) The source point is not sufficient. In order to award sources points, a voter must explicitly, and in the text of their RFD, perform the following tasks:
Explain, on balance, how each debater's sources impact the debate
Directly evaluate at least one source in particular cited in the debate and explain how it either bolstered or weakened the argument it was used to support
Must explain how and why one debater's use of sources overall was superior to the other's
Mere appeals to quantity are not sufficient to justify awarding sources points.
(4) The conduct point is not sufficient. In order to award conduct points, a voter must explicitly, and in the text of their RFD, perform the following tasks:
Provide specific references to instances of poor conduct which occurred in the debate
Demonstrate how this poor conduct was either excessive, unfair, or in violation of mutually agreed upon rules of conduct pertaining to the text of the debate
Compare each debater's conduct from the debate
Misconduct is excessive when it is extremely frequent and/or when it causes the debate to become incoherent or extremely toxic.
--> @killshot
we all do. It's just habit.
--> @Wrick-It-Ralph
haha secular amen!
I'm an atheist but I still use colloquial phrases like "oh my god", "thank god", "amen", etc..
--> @killshot
Amen to that...…. wait Secular Amen?
--> @PsychometricBrain
I agree with @wrick here.. He should have the ability to cast HIS vote without being molested or interrogated for it. I'm thankful that he chose my side to fall on, but I would have no hard feelings if he chose yours - it's his opinion. @Mel and others choose to side with you. I'm not upset with them or holding a grudge because they have a different opinion than me. Nor am I interrogating them demanding justification for their opinion. I said what I had to say in the debate, and they are welcome to form whatever opinion they want from that. What you're doing I find childish, disrespectful and unprofessional.
Telling you to stop harassing me for my vote is not an ad hominem attack. You were being unreasonable and I don't need to explain my vote because I wrote a giant paragraph in my vote that tells you everything you need to know. You're just flaming and being a troll and disrespectful. You weren't just interrogating my ideas, you were telling me my vote was wrong which is bad form on your part. The difference between what I did is that I told you I respected your vote and addressed something separate from the topic that I wanted to know about your methodology. Never did I tell you your vote was wrong or make any of the accusations that you've made about me.
--> @killshot
I'm not attacking, I'm asking for justification for claims made during a vote which were contrary to the truth. When I noticed that Ralph would rather trade ad hominems and misrepresent the other person, I blocked him.
--> @PsychometricBrain
I have to say, it's rather childish and unprofessional to cry in comments and attack people for their vote when it disagrees with your own opinion. The entire purpose of voting is to get other peoples opinions on it. You don't see me on here attacking @mel for voting against me. It's his opinion, and even if I disagree with it, he's entitled to it.
No way that even compares to the voter flame I just had to experience from this troll.
good I found it. This is the comment that Con mentioned saying I flamed him for voting. Everyone can just judge for themselves if I acted the same as him.
"I can't speak to what the voters decided. But I personally tend not to cite sources unless I need hard mathematical data.
In my worldview, I find sources containing rhetoric to be appeals to authority.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not against rhetoric.
But if I'm going to hear somebody's opinion, I'd rather hear the opinion of my opponent rather than my opponent giving me somebody else's opinion. I don't care if my opponent's use sources but I generally don't.
I gladly accept the source point deduction if it means I get to argue in the way that I find most truthful.
I'm here to change minds and votes are just a bonus because that means that I did a good job at changing minds.
Once again, I appreciate the vote.
I believe the more voters, the better. "
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason for argument points.
Pro's side:
"All Christians believe in one or more of the Christian tenants objectively centered around magic. Though the attributed tenants differ from denomination to denomination, every known denomination subscribes to at least one or more magical Christian tenant. Whether it's Jesus's resurrection, Creationism events, a thought policing dictator (God), answered prayers, talking snakes and donkeys, burning bushes, a staff parting a sea, a global flood, walking on water or turning water to wine, they all are considered by definition to be magic.
Nothing in our observable reality demonstrates magic is real. Furthermore, holding a belief in it, despite contradicting scientific evidence and observation, is absurdly disjointed from reality. Nonetheless, Christians still believe various magic based tenants of Christianity".
Pro established pretty clearly in my opinion that all Christians, at least subscribe to the basic tenants of Christianity. Pro rightly points out that Christians essentially belief in some kind of magic. This is enough in my opinion to warrant that Christians can adopt mass delusions since Pro also rightly points out later that the views tend to be idiosyncratic.
Con's argument had three main prongs. First that Christians weren't idiosyncratic, second that magic isn't magic if it's real, and third that some Christians use metaphors, I didn't find any of these arguments strong and pro showed in future rounds why this didn't follow. Con did a little to show that views weren't idiosyncratic, but not enough to stop mass delusions. Pro also pointed out that there is scientific evidence for mass delusion which helped his case quite a bit here. Con's critique of magic was more a definitional trick and not really practical or in tune with reality. Furthermore, con's examples came from the bible which would have been fine except Con did nothing to support them further aside from assert them ad infinitum. On the metaphors, the problem was that Con was referring to a fringe group and did not make a strong enough effort to show how this could refute pro's claim.
In the end, Pro came out on the winning side of the argument point because pro did not rebut the points enough in my opinion. Pro still had plenty of room off of his initial claims to show his argument reasonable.
Tied on all other points.
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
This is a good old fashioned definitional argument. It mostly comprises of both sides covering the definitions
1.) idiosyncratic
Con argues that as there are 2.3bn Christians, the belief cannot be idiosyncratic. Pro argues that it can be considered idiosyncratic to christianity. Con argues that the definition used by pro is being applied far too broadly - and that other definitions clearly imply that 2.3bn people believing the same thing is not “unusual”.
I think con did better on this point, if felt like pro was very much stretching the definitions used.
2.) contradicted by reality.
Con has two main thrusts - that in Christian majority countries the reality is christianity. The second is that the religious believes are nominally unfalsifiable so they can’t contradict reality. I am not going to consider cons argument against atheism - even if I accept it, it doesn’t prove or refute the resolution so I would consider it non topical.
Pros response is to point out some claims are falsifiable and where they have they have been falsified - and specifically lists a series of the more major ones. I also particularly like the collective delusion argument - for me this leads me to believe that the definition of “accepted reality”, is more rooted in objectively demonstrable reality, rather than any false constructed reality shared by many.
Con raises a definition objection here that pro is arguing against his own definition - I felt pros definition or collective delusion was somewhat more convincing than an appeal to the dictionary - however pros argument that the literal biblical beliefs are not commonly held by even “most”
Christians. This negates much of the falsification pro was raising.
3.) Christianity is explicitly excluded from delusion.
Con cites some specific diagnostic criteria, while pros response is to outline a series of whacky behaviour (speaking in tongues, believe they have witnessed miracles. This point ties in with a few others I will cover in a second.
4.) Magic.
A big part of this debate was characterization of miracles, about the violation of natural law. I feel that this is where pro did a little better. While I feel the term magic was a little bit ad hom, he did a good job of covering the seeming “magic” in miracles based on core Christian beliefs (such as the resurrection), and did well in my view to paint them as absurd - cons primary response was what felt like a shady non response - talking about magic only as an apparent influence: in my view if explliarmus worked in the real world - I would categorize this as magic.
I’m going to start with the most broad definition of this debate resolution - that many or most Christians are deluded - and believe in whacky and irrational claims.
Even If I start here - I feel pro falls short on two points:
A.) That enough Christians hold this irrational belief. I feel pro relied too much on implying that all Christians hold these beliefs in the way he claims.
B.) That the belief is inherently held irrationally - rather than just a belief that isn’t paid too much attention - to the point we could consider it irrational.
IMO con was sufficiently good to prevent pro from establishing even the most limited form of the resolution - and I believe pro was a victim of his own narrowly defined resolution.
Arguments to con: all other points tied.
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Argument (Con):
Pro's basic argument was that Christianity is a delusion because it contradicts reality. Con tried to refute this by saying that not all Christians believe in the things that Pro described, such as resurrections, but Pro made it clear that a Christian believed in the Bible, which says that Christians must believe in Jesus' resurrection. I will give that point to Pro.
However, Con additionally refuted Pro's main claim by showing first how science cannot necessarily disprove supernatural claims, and also why Christianity is not idiosyncratic because it is widely accepted as the truth. Pro laid the definitions in the description, which I always count as a higher power over rounds. I'd advise debators to stick to anything and everything that you put in your description, because I will count it against you if you don't.
Pro tried to say that Christian beliefs were idiosyncratic to Christianity itself, which makes no sense to me, so I cannot give him that point.
One thing I really liked that Pro said is how Christian beliefs can be delusional if the contradicted actual reality. The only problem I found with this is that his original definition of delusion was shown as what goes against what is generally accepted as reality. This is what Con was arguing against, so this didn't really help Pro in the end.
I am giving the point to Con because he focused on the original definitions given in the description, while Pro's points tended to sway from that.
Sources (Con):
Con's sources firstly explain what an idosyncrasy is, and then furthers his claims by showing how Christianity has been excluded from the definition of delusion by experts. Pro's sources did not have much to do with the debate, like when he cites sources about different denominations. Con's showed statistics, which furthered his points much more. That is why he gets sources.
Spelling & Grammar (Tie):
Both parties had some grammatical inconsistencies, but they did not impede the flow of the argument.
Conduct (Tie):
Both parties conducted themselves professionally, so there's nothing else to say here.