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That religion should be taught in schools

11 points
0 points
JohannesJohannes (PRO)
Hello, first of all, I would like to thank my opponent for their participation in this debate, I think it should be an interesting one.

I think it lies with me, PRO, to prove to you that there is something worth learning about religion just like math, science, history or any other subjects that are already taught in schools. But you might be asking, "Why would we teach something in school that is entirely up to one's own personal beliefs?". Well, to be clear, I am arguing that schools should be teaching religion, not faith. Certainly, it would be ridiculous for a school to try to convince their students that a certain religion is the one they should put their faith into, that would be idiocy. All I want to do is show you that religion is really like any other subject in school if you're not religious, but if you are, it's the most important one.

One reason religion should be taught in schools is that it plays a very important aspect in world history as well as current events today. Religion has been and is one of, if not the, most important thing(s) in people's lives, it determines what they do, what they think, and why they do and think those things. Thus, understanding these religions can give you further insight into why certain historical things have happened the way they did and perhaps how current events might play out in the future.

Another reason religion ought to be taught in schools is that, simply, it is better to be aware than ignorant. America is one of the most woefully ignorant countries in the world when it comes to religion. Most people, even those who are religious, cannot answer basic questions about the most popular religions in the world. Considering that the vast majority of people in America are religious, this is clearly a problem. To not be able to understand your religion is to limit your faith, thus, I would argue that a lot of our country is currently limited in their faith of whatever religion they believe in because of this lack of religious occasion, which is extremely unfair to them. Even if you aren't religious, you need to know what these religions say so you can have reasoning for your atheism/agnosticism. 

I think what you're trying to get it is that religion is a subjective subject where a teacher would get up in front of a class and praise the Bible or Koran or something like that. The religion class I'm talking about is really like any other class -- instead of equations for math, basic tenants of religions, instead of names and dates for history, where did the religion originate and what are its beliefs, instead of literary themes, what the central literature of a religion says and is based upon. Religion is truly like any other subject, but infinitely more important if you actually are religious, because, it's not just your education being affected --  it's your immortal soul.

To summarize, religion is really just like any other subject that is already universally taught in schools. America, as a whole, has an ignorance problem when it comes to religion and certainly, you would agree that it is better to be informed rather than uninformed, especially on something as essential, fundamental, and paramount as religion. Thus, whether you are religious or not, being educated never hurt anyone.

Now, I would like to thank you for your time in reading what I have to say, and to you, CON, I would leave this question: What is it about religion that makes it not worth teaching in schools?

I look forward to a response.

Return To Top | Posted:
2018-12-02 06:24:02
| Speak Round
piotr skrzyppiotr skrzyp (CON)
Welcome all. First of all i would like to thank my opponent. It is my pleasure to debate with You. 
Im Christian, but im also human and i have to be also realistic.
My house proudly stands for statment that religion should not be taught in schools at least in current forms.
Im also very simple man thats why Im going to try explain my point of view as best as i can in couple key arguments. 

" Without morality we are going to be animals"
This is what, is almost always being said by priests and conservatives.
Is it true ? Of cours it is not ! In fact most of wars and acts of terrorism is caused by religions.
Extremists can not understand that there are some peopel who does not belive in Great Allah or in great teachings of Budda (Myanmar currently)
 or in Jesus (inquistion), even peacefull India have dark parts after gaining independance.

So do all of those peopel from all of the world born as evil demons ?

Once again no ! They had been taught to be like that and belive in just one (only one) religion. Without even asking for proofs. (Typical for regimes and communist teachings isnt it ?) 

First things first, lets look what my opponent said :

"Well, to be clear, I am arguing that schools should be teaching religion, not faith."
Looks like You agree with me. I think schools schould teach about all religions. Thats really making whole debate more convenient.  Schools should not teach faith !
Your point of view claim to show that religion lessons in school taugh kids about history mayby even other religions instead of forcing kids to faith. That is for sure huge lie. Reality is very diffrent from Your words. You confuse religion and ethic lessons/ moral science.
 Ethic teaches about all religions, traditional values and morality without additional muslim/church/so far so on, censorship.
In countries like Pakistan, where you can find lessons about love to all peopel ? In Izreal where You can find lessons about love to muslims ?Nowhere. In both of those examples religion lessons are huge part of daily school life indoctrination. Indoctrination of course could be good. Spreading good values among kids is great, but still it spreads divisions. 

1) "One reason religion should be taught in schools is that it plays a very important aspect in world history as well as current events today."
Is really religion more important then history lessons ? Without religion there would be more time for math, pshe, art, chemistry or english lessons.
What is more, I think "current events" and "very important aspects of history" are not really objectively discussed durning religion. Once again i would like to remind current state of Muslim countries. Do they care about teaching kids how to love others peopel or even how to prevent Islam terrorism ? They do not even recognize problems with radicalism.

2) "Another reason religion ought to be taught in schools is that, simply, it is better to be aware than ignorant."
This argument is just disgusting and it is huge insult and abuse. I feel really sorry for all resentful peopel who instead of propaganda attended or attend to moral science. Is it really such a big sin to learning more instead of learning less from unbelievable source? 

3) "Religion is truly like any other subject, but infinitely more important if you actually are religious, because, it's not just your education being affected -- it's your immortal soul"
I would like to point out "if you actually are relgiouse" What if kids dont want to ? Should those kids be killed ? What if i want to learn about other religions ?
Should  Should curiosity be punished ? What is actually being religious ? Is it killing for God ?

"What is it about religion that makes it not worth teaching in schools?"
In fact i think religions are important to humans and we should not reduce ourself to one religion but learn about every aspect.
That is exactly what ethic lessons do.

My statement is 3x More !
+ More learning about all other religions !
+ More objectively !
+ Tolerance and understanding of each other instead of hate !
And guess what ? That is exactly what ethic lessons do.

Arguments :

To sum up my first argument is : Religion lessons in current form leads kids only to blindly beliving (without asking why i cant talk with muslims or any other religion minority (Quran)) which is connected with growing number religion radicals (Africa, Asia).

Secondly (for example Quran, Church teachings) : Religions teach kids to dont talk with other religions minorities and spread social divisions instead of connecting peopel

Thirdly: Without Relgion lessons there would be more time for more complex subjects (if you decide to remove them). 

And the most important : Moral science and Ethic lessons taugh kids tolerance, understanding of each other, philosophy, removes radicalism.

For now thats all, thanks for attention. Have a great day or night everybody. Huge thanks for my rival who is im sure good person and want to defend traditional values.

Return To Top | Posted:
2018-12-02 09:49:25
| Speak Round
JohannesJohannes (PRO)

Hello again everyone, many thanks to CON for their punctual response. But, let's proceed with the debating,

To address the quote, "Without morality, we are going to be animals"

To address the quote, "Without morality we are going to be animals". I never really stated this in my argument and the problem with extrapolating this to 'priests' and 'conservatives' is that you're not talking to those priests and conservatives, you're talking to me. However, I think I would agree with this to a small extent because there is something intrinsically religious about the human person, and to throw that away is certainly destructive, but I don't think it makes you a feral animal or anything like that. On this same point, you argue that religious radicalism is responsible for most wars and terrorism. Certainly, I would agree with you here in regards to terrorism in light of its sole perpetrator to seemingly be radical jihadism. The war part is debatable because a lot of wars are started over political issues as opposed to religious issues but this entire point is sort of arbitrary in my opinion anyway. 

I think your real point here is that religion does more harm than good because it is often interpreted radically and that teaching religion in schools would only further this phenomenon. Here, is where I would disagree with you. First of all, pretty much any ideology is going to have some radical interpretation -- that's just a given, there will always be people who take something to the extreme. Secondly, I think you could actually limit this radicalism by further, proper, education of religion. I think we can both agree that, for the most part, radical interpretations do not reflect what a religion actually says -- so how do you stop wrong interpretations? Education! If you're concerned with religious radicalism maybe you should also be concerned with educating people on religion to avoid this sort of radicalism. Also, in this paragraph, you compared the Spanish Inquisition to terrorism. I'm not going to defend the Spanish Inquisition or anything but I am going to defend Christianity because it seems (to me) that this point is comparing Christian 'terrorism' to that of Islam's. The Spanish Inquisition lasted over 350 years and killed, in total, somewhere between 3000-5000 people -- which is about 1 person per month, also the only way you were killed under the Spanish Inquisition is if you didn't apologize for your blasphemy -- which you were given multiple opportunities for. Certainly, this is not comparable to things like Islamic terrorism. I realize this has nothing to do with the argument but I just wanted to assert this in defense of Christianity.

In response to your rebuttal on my first point, that I am drawing a distinguishment between religion and faith

On your rebuttal to my point, "Well, to be clear, I am arguing that schools should be teaching religion, not faith.", I think like you established, that we both agree schools should not force faith upon their students. However, you seem to think that religious education does come with this sort of forced-faith. Again, I would have to disagree with you. We have a standard for how certain subjects are taught, in America, it is called common core, this means that when you're learning Geometry, you have to learn x, y, and z. I don't see why it should be any different for religion. You seem to think that if religion were taught in schools, it would be entirely up to the teacher to say and teach whatever religion they personally believe in and to refute all other religions. To this I would say, is a math teacher who only likes Algebra and hates Geometry and Calculus allowed to only teach Algebra? No! You have to learn everything, this is exactly how it would be for religion. There would be a set course outline just like for any other scholastic subject that, if it were up to me, would outline the history, central tenants, and beliefs of major religions throughout the world. I realize that what you are trying to say is that religion is slightly more complicated, in terms of educating, than other subjects because there is an aspect of faith and belief that goes into it that doesn't go into Math, English, Science, etc. However, I'm saying there should, and would, be a separation from teaching faith and religion. 

Let's use me as an example, I attend a Catholic high school that runs from 7th grade through high school (12th grade). Religion is a mandatory subject all the way through. Despite my school being Catholic, (although, obviously, I have learned more about Christianity than any other subject) I have learned about many of the major, and even some minor/historic religions throughout my years at the school. Furthermore, many of the people who attend this school aren't Catholic, does the teacher try to indoctrinate them with the Catholic faith? Of course not! No one is forcing faith, its simply, like I have said, just like any other subject and is treated that way. Also, to further my own argument, my faith in my own religion, and ability to defend it, is much stronger than it would be without any sort of religious education. So, again, we see the universal benefits of religious education.

On your comments towards my assertion that "One reason religion should be taught in schools is that it plays a very important aspect in world history as well as in current events today."

In regards to your next point refuting my statement, "One reason religion should be taught in schools is that it plays a very important aspect in world history as well as current events today.", I never said religious history is more important than regular history, I simply noted that it is also important. So, I'm really just trying to say that, like all the other subjects that are already taught, religion is worth being taught too. I think you're trying to make a distinguishment between religion and other subjects, and this history example was to try to show you that religion coincides with a lot of other scholastic subjects, and thus, isn't so different, so why not teach it too? Here, you bring up the perpetuating example of Islamic, Middle Eastern, countries and how their education of religion would just be propaganda and true indoctrination of Faith. To that I would say, I never said it wouldn't be. I'm arguing that it should be taught in America, or countries like it, that can properly and sensibly regulate the education in their country, which, clearly, most Middle Eastern countries would be unable to do.

In defense of my statement that "Another reason religion ought to be taught in schools is that, simply, it is better to be aware than ignorant"

On your next rebuttal to my point that, "Another reason religion ought to be taught in schools is that, simply, it is better to be aware than ignorant.", to be honest I'm struggling to even understand what your point is here. You keep bringing up moral science and ethics lessons as alternatives to religion when, in reality, religion literally includes these. Where do you base your morals if not religion? Where do you base your ethics if not religion? I don't see a situation in how you can teach morality and ethics without touching on religion. So, please clarify your point here further. Also, I'm not sure whether you're trying to argue whether religion is propaganda or whether education of it would most likely be propaganda, either way, you seem to be arguing from a lot of hyperbole and just kind of assuming that religious education would be really radical, i.e. you keep sighting Islamic countries, and extreme, i.e. you keep assuming that religious education would just be forced-faith when I have tried to show you why it wouldn't have to be like that. So to conclude this point, I think if you need to result to immediate hyperbole to show why something would be bad, maybe the basis for your argument is already weak. Also, I still don't see how it would be better to not be informed about religion than to know what the major religions say and believe and what their history is.

To address my argument that "Religion is truly like any other subject, but infinitely more important if you actually are religious, because it's not just your education being affected, it's your immortal soul" as well as the insinuation that I want non-religious students to be killed

On your final rebuttal to my point that, "Religion is truly like any other subject, but infinitely more important if you actually are religious, because, it's not just your education being affected -- it's your immortal soul", all I am trying to say here that religion is like any other subject taught in school, but, if you are religious there should be an added incentive for you to want to learn it. Obviously, some kids will not want to learn religion, guess what? Most kids don't want to learn math and science either. If we let kids define the world than everything would be based upon immediate gratification -- that's why people don't realize the benefits of their education until they mature, everyone hates school growing up for this reason. Also, I'm not really sure why you're asking if these kids should be killed or if curiosity about philosophy and all that stuff should be punished. I never said anything close to this and I'm not even sure what your point should be. So to clarify, I think everyone, religious or not, should learn religion because if you are religious, obviously it's good to learn about your religion, and if you're not, you should at least know what the religions you claim to not believe in say so that you have actual reasoning for it, because, as you have mentioned, blindly following a religion is detrimental. Also, I don't think curiosity about philosophy and things like that should be punished, I think they should be celebrated. Furthermore, philosophy is a huge part of religion, so, again, I'm not sure what your point is here. You also ask me, what is being religious. Being religious is simply just having a belief or faith in a certain religion -- thus to say you have to be religious to be educated on religion is idiocy. That's like saying you have to believe the Earth isn't flat to learn why the Earth isn't flat.

On your response to my question, "What is it about religion that makes it not worth teaching in schools?"

In regards to your final response to my closing question, "What is it about religion that makes it not worth teaching in schools?", you seem to want to substitute religion for Ethical lessons because you think religion class would only teach one certain religion. I kind of addressed this earlier when I said, ideally, there would be requirements of a religion course, just like any other course, that would educate on all sorts of religions -- perhaps some more than others but enough to where you get the gist of the main ones. Also, again I kind of mentioned this earlier, I think religion does include a lot of ethics and thus, ethics lessons. I think by making this substitution that ethics and morality are important, you're really supporting my argument because religion includes these things. It's interesting to me that you think we should learn ethics and morality, but not religion. This seems illogical.

Some closing remarks

To address another minor point you kind of hinted at, that teaching religion would take away from the other subjects. Again, I think this kind of coincides with my point that there is a standard for each subject that is taught. For math you have to learn certain things, for history, you have to learn certain things, for religion you would have to learn certain things. Adding an extra course would not, in any noticeable way, take away from other subjects, perhaps you would have to move a little bit faster each class to make up for the five or so minutes you're giving up to add another class to the day but I think this 'take away' is negligible, especially when you consider the benefits.

To conclude, at least for me, you have not shown why religion isn't worth learning, why it wouldn't be better to be educated on religion as opposed to uneducated, and what distinguishes religion between the tolerance you claim comes with ethical lessons and moral sciences. Does religion not include ethics in morality? If it doesn't, why is this?


Thank you for reading and for the response, although I disagree with the basis for a lot of your points and logic, I think this sort of discussion is important. I look forward to your next rebuttal.

Return To Top | Posted:
2018-12-02 12:57:09
| Speak Round
JohannesJohannes (PRO)
It is unfortunate that CON has forfeited the second round, especially considering that I am left with nothing to respond to for my own final round. Nevertheless, I think the discussion that was had was productive and that this topic is certainly a very interesting one overall. Thank you for your reading and consideration. 

Vote PRO!

Return To Top | Posted:
2018-12-05 13:51:57
| Speak Round
JohannesJohannes (PRO)
Guess this was set to 4 rounds, not 3. Either way, I'll restate that CON's choice in forfeiting was disheartening. I think the discussion on this topic would've been productive.

Vote PRO!

Return To Top | Posted:
2018-12-08 14:44:35
| Speak Round

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For further reference for any similar debate you two might have on this subject. According to the Encyclopedia of War, out all 1,763 known and/or recorded wars, only 123 (6.98%) of them were on a religious basis (either caused by or fought for).
Posted 2018-12-21 09:47:36
The judging period on this debate is over

Previous Judgments

2018-12-17 09:01:07
xcalibur4ChristJudge: xcalibur4Christ
Win awarded to: Johannes
Without even having to read the whole debate, I could tell that while Johannes knew of what he was talking, 'Piotr skrzyp' seemed to be floundering with his grammar and spelling. My apologies if Piotr has learned English as his second language, but I cannot ignore the fact that it makes it look as if he did not put much thought into his argument. Respect for the English language aside, Piotr's argument was weak and Johannes' was strong. Johannes had many well-thought-out points and Piotr seemed to restate his opinion over and over, just with different words. Piotr also forfeited quite a few rounds at the end. Disappointing, because I was interested to see how the argument was going to end. Johannes won, hands down!
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2018-12-21 09:56:57
dpowell3543Judge: dpowell3543    TOP JUDGE
Win awarded to: Johannes
I'm giving Johannes the points because over all, he had better arguments. His explained and defended his points very well. Piotr's spelling and grammar, wasn't very good and it made it difficult to understand what he was trying to say at times (sorry if it isn't your natural language). Piotr's arguments were also lacking. He didn't say much to defend his points nor did he really explain the reasoning behind his points. This made his arguments seem illogical and empty. Also, Piotr forfeited 3/4 rounds while Johannes did his best to keep going in the debate before finally calling quits. Out side of that it was a good debate over all and I enjoyed reading it.

For Johannes- Something that might be helpful in case you debate this topic for your POV again, is maybe look at places where religion is taught and see how, if at all, that's helped their people.

For Piotr skrzyp- Try to explain your points better. More information would really help your arguments seem logical rather than not. Also, much like what I said for Johannes, but do that in reverse. While Johannes tries to find places where religion is taught in school and whether or not it was good, you can also try to look for those places and see if any harm was done. Also, try not to forfeit any rounds. This will help keep a foundation set for your arguments by giving the voters more reasons to vote for you, but it would also give you more opportunities to refute your opponent's arguments in an attempt to win the voters over.
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2018-12-22 10:05:26
nzlockieJudge: nzlockie    TOP JUDGE
Win awarded to: Johannes
PRO wins on the basis that his arguments were better, more coherent and, most importantly, he didn't forfeit.
If a side forfeits, it is almost impossible to win the debate.

As far as the arguments go, there was actually a lot to not like in this debate, unfortunately from both sides.
In formal debate, such as this, it's pretty important that both sides actually present their sides. Definitions are crucial for this reason. PRO did well by defining VERY CLEARLY what was meant by "Religion", as it pertained to a class to be taught in a school. The critical part was that his model would cover the objective teaching of religion - not seek to convince the students that one religion was the one true faith.

CON seems to have completely ignored this definition, and argued that teaching Faith is bad, something that PRO actually supported. He then appeared to be arguing that Religious instruction in the manner that PRO was talking about didn't exist anywhere in the world - citing Israel as one example.
Again, this is NOT a relevant point, unless he connects the dots for us by saying that BECAUSE it hasn't been done today, it is UNLIKELY to succeed in the Future.
That would have been a weak point, but at least it would have been relevant.

CON's spelling and grammer made his argument almost unreadable, which was a shame.

CON: I understand that English is almost certainly not your first language, but when this is the case, it is doubly important to use the SpellCheck button. I'd also advise making your points shorter and more consise, so as to allow for less interpretation by the reader.
I liked your use of colours and font formatting. That was exactly the right thing to do and made your argument at least readable.

As far as the content, my minor critique is that you need to be careful to stay on point. Read the opponent's argument and make sure they have interpretted the resolution the same way that you did. In this case it appeared that you were simply arguing against the res without even reading his position. That was a shame because it meant that you guys were agreed on the main point you were making, which is that Schools should not be teaching Faith.

The Major critique I have belongs to both sides, although you were definitely the worst. In a one-on-one ARGUMENT, it is often a good technique to tell them what you are NOT saying, but in a formal debate where you are speaking to a group of people who don't get the opportunity to reply, this is usually a losing technique.
As a judge, I don't want to hear what you are NOT saying, I want to hear what you ARE saying.

Typically you will lose me. You also waste characters by making and defending points that are not relevant. If you think your opponent might make an false assumption, let them make it in their own round, using up THEIR character limit and then dismiss it quickly in your round.
That approach leaves you looking much stronger.

There are exceptions to this, of course - but I don't think any of the ones made here, by either side, qualified.

Finally - don't forfeit.

PRO: Nice case. I was happy with the definitions from the first round.
Really the only advice I would give you is to watch your narrative. By this I mean, how easy is it for me to follow your line of thought?

Use less words, don't use negative examples, don't preemptively cut off arguments that nobody has made yet. If your speech LOOKS like your side is the obvious one and doesn't need much explaining, then it sends a message that you are right.

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