The Society met on November 10 to examine the question Resolved: Religious belief has hindered the progress of mankind.
Mr. Rich Rinaldi and Mr. Warren Wilson, making his induction, spoke on the affirmation. Ms. Emma Green and Mr. David Edgar, making his induction, spoke on the negation.
Mr. Wilson began by establishing definitions and pointing to specific points in history where religious belief hindered progress. Mr. Edgar countered by showing that religious belief is different from religion, and that there are two basic ideas that define religious belief in the Abrahamic tradition: an omnipotent God and the Golden Rule. Mr. Rinaldi discussed the role of religion on social and scientific progress. Ms. Emma finished the keynote portion of the evening by warning the Society against commencing on a “bucket debate.” She proceeded to discuss the role of religion and society, arguing that “faith is a permanent condition.”
Mr. Miller began the floor portion of debate, arguing that ideas have not truth value, whereas belief is static and influenced by truth values, and thus hinder progress. Mr. Arber countered by discussing the role of religion on the real world, citing the development of political theory. Ms. Lexi Cotcamp (MSB ’15) argued that religious is what drives us to action, and thus drives progress.
The Society voted 28-40-8 to negate the resolution.
The best speakers of the evening, as chosen by the keynoters, were Mr. Chris DiMisa (COL ’15), and Mr. Scott Garosshen.
The Society inducted Mr. Wilson and Mr. Edgar.
Peter A. Prindiville