The Instigator
Chaotiklown
Pro (for)
Losing
28 Points
The Contender
Geekis_Khan
Con (against)
Winning
36 Points

Agnostic Viewpoint

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/8/2008 Category: Religion
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,927 times Debate No: 3960
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (14)
Votes (20)

 

Chaotiklown

Pro

Simple and plain to start- There are many explanations that people have for where we come from, and why we're here. I move that NONE of them have sustainable proof, that all of these, including scientific viewpoints, are based on assumptions, belief, faith, if you will...
Geekis_Khan

Con

Thank you starting the debate.

As an Atheist, I'll be arguing from the standpoint of Atheism.

Now, since this resolution is simply "Agnostic Viewpoint" with no other clauses, we must assume that my opponent is simply affirming the superiority of the Agnosticism to other systems of beliefs (or non-beliefs). So, since I am arguing from the standpoint of Atheism, my burden in this debate should be to prove why Agnosticism does not hold superiority over Atheism.

Since this can be a touchier subject, I'll ask that no one get offended if I wind up saying something against what you believe. I apologize in advance.

First, I'll refute one of the ideas in your case.

You claim that all "explanations", including scientific viewpoints, are based off of assumption. (I'd like to take this time to point out that I do not have to prove any scientific theory here. I am only attmepting to refute his point by showing how it is not all based off of assumption. But even if this attack doesn't flow though, you'll still have reasons to vote CON as I'm still arguing from the viewpoint of Atheism, which doesn't necessarily accept science.) While I admit that some science makes use of assumption, you're not being fair to say that it's all based off of that. Take the Big Bang Theory. Believe in it or not, it came from simple deduction. We've noticed that the Universe is constantly expanding. We now from empircal research that in order to be in motion, an object must be acted upon. We can also deduce taht since the Universe is expanding, it must have been less expansive at one point. This leads us to the Big Bang Theory, where the Universe is more compact and a force (in this case, an explosion), set it in motion to start expanding. This is scientific theory based off of empirical research and deduction.

Look at another theoyr, such as the Theory of Gravity. We notice that objects tend to attract one another. It is a weak force, but it is there. We also notice that larger objects, such as planets, seem to exert a greater force on any given object. So we get Gravity. Another scientific viewpoint based off of empirical observation, not assumption.

Now, moving on to the main premise of my case. Atheism is not inferior to Agnosticism as you, by rule of thumb, always default to the negative. You claim yourself that all of these explanations are based on basically faith. No afctual proof. If you accept that, then I argue Russell's Teapot; the burden of proof does not lie on the skeptic. If you are agnostic about religious beliefs, then you should also be agnostic about pink unicorns, dragons, and any other mythical creature. No one can prove their existence, but you can't disprove their existence, either.

You see, Agnosticism is the belief that something might be, and it might not be. That there is no proof either way. But just because you can't disprove something doesn't mean you should believe that it might be. You should only believe that something might be when you see some proof for it. Thus, Atheism is not inferior to Agnosticism, as it automatically takes on the negative and only believes that things might be when proof is given. The thing to always remember is that the burden of proof does not lie on the skeptic. It is not an assumption to default to the negative when no proof for a postive exists.

I have fulfilled my burden as the CON debater, and I await my opponent's rebuttal.
Debate Round No. 1
Chaotiklown

Pro

Excellent points Khan, not all of these scientific explanations are BASED purely on assumption. Much of it is seeing our environment and drawing likely conclusions from it. However, we do not know for fact that any specific theory is correct, just as there is no solid proof that a god does not exist- It is an irrefutable POSSIBILITY that a god may exist.
You debate from an Atheist standpoint, but you offer more than one possible explanation for creation. Which means that you are ASSUMING(taking it for granted) that there is definitely no god, based on these POSSIBILITIES that science offers. My Agnostic standpoint does not take anything for granted. Agnosticism simply means to "be at terms" with the fact that nobody knows the true deal with creation at THIS point in time.
As far as the mythical creatures go, it is true that we do not know for certain whether they exist or not- we haven't seen them. However there does lie that small possibility that some of them could, or could have existed. Some things we simply do not have the information to know for sure...
It is MOST DEFINITELY making an assumption to default to the negative with no proof. You need proof to state something as a negative, the same as you need proof to verify something as a positive.
Geekis_Khan

Con

I'll drop the scientific theories argument because it doesn't really matter. As I noted before, it was really more of a sidebar.

I'd also like to point out that I was citing various explanations for creation to note the scientific process and that they are not necessarily making assumptions. It had nothing to do with my standpoint as an Atheist.

Now, on to the real area of debate.

You say that I need to provide proof for the negative. But why? Again, it is the idea of Russell's Teapot: the burden of proof does not lie on the skeptic. Rather, it lies on the person making a claim to a positive. IF you make a claim, it is up to you to prove that claim. But the skeptic is making no claim. They are simply defaulting to the negative. They require no proof for the negative,a s no proof has been offered for anything else. It is not an assumption to rest in the negative; it is simply a default. You kind of went around this point and didn't offer any real argument against Russell's Teapot. You said that the negative has to offer proof, but you gave no reason why.

However, there is a reason as to why the positive should offer proof. The psotive is making a claim. As the claim-maker, it is up to them to prove this claim. On the flip side, people in the negative makes no claim. They just default against unproven claims.

I urge you to vote on the CON.
Debate Round No. 2
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Geekis_Khan 8 years ago
Geekis_Khan
Whether you like or not, proof is kind of important in the realms of debate.
Posted by snicker_911 8 years ago
snicker_911
Oh boy. everytime geekis-what's-his-name debates, it's about 'there is no proof therefore we will all rot in our graves'. great. i'm looking forward to that... XD
Posted by Chaotiklown 8 years ago
Chaotiklown
Alright Kahn, I did exaggerate your statement a bit... I see that we have no way to send personal messages to other users, posts seem to be the only method of critique.

And Beemor, you are right. There really is no conflict between Atheism and Agnosticism. Pointing that out may have been a good idea- I chose only to defend. First debate on this site though, learning as I go:-) Thanks to everyone for all the critique- Kahn, excellent debate, thanks for giving me a good first debate-
Posted by beem0r 8 years ago
beem0r
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Atheism does not clash with agnosticism. If PRO pointed that out, he would have won, especially since CON's arguments were in favor of Agnostic Atheism, not Gnostic Atheism.

However, the fact that both debaters saw conflict means I'm going to vote based on that. At least today it does. Since Russell's Teapot/Mythical creatures were not refuted, I'll have to go with CON on this.
Posted by Geekis_Khan 8 years ago
Geekis_Khan
I didn't capitalize the reallys, sir... And it wasn't brown-nosing. I do appreciate that stuff. I really like it when people at least say why they're voting a certain way.
Posted by Chaotiklown 8 years ago
Chaotiklown
And Kahn, you stated your case well, excellent debate- But sir, please don't kiss up to the people voting...

"I REALLY appreciate you giving the reason for voting against me! I always feel SO confident when I come out of a debate, so I REALLY like it when someone explains why they didn't think I won:-D!"

Let your exhibition of skills remain in the debates. Brown-nosing skill is voted on at a completely different website...
Posted by Chaotiklown 8 years ago
Chaotiklown
Evan, you assume that you know my personal beliefs that did not come out in this debate. It is not that I can't make up my mind about what to believe- I don't think it's necessary to take a standpoint. Only move toward a better understanding. And I'm not weak to the point that I NEED to believe in SOMETHING... Whether you know it or not, you hit the nail on the head. I DON'T think that there's enough to make up my mind about, and I won't delude myself in the meantime...
Posted by Evan_MacIan 8 years ago
Evan_MacIan
As a theist, I'm forced to side with the atheist in this debate. Or at least I'm forced to side with the open atheist, as agnosticism is merely practical atheism without the excuse.

Anyway, I'm kind of disappointed with both sides; because to my thinking there are quite a few arguements for and against theism. I could have voted for an agnostic who couldn't make up his mind between the arguements, but I can't vote for one who doesn't seem to think there's anything to make up his mind about.

In conclusion, because I hold my own personal theory that smurfs are definately NOT spying on me through the ventilation grates in my house, I am bound to vote Con. I hope you will both look into the positive and negative merits of theism next time, as you two seem to be unaware that they exist.
Posted by Geekis_Khan 8 years ago
Geekis_Khan
Oh, and by the way zakkuchan, I really appreciate you giving the reason for voting against me. I always feel confident when I come out of a debate, so I really like it when someone explains why they didn't think I won, even if I disagree.
Posted by Geekis_Khan 8 years ago
Geekis_Khan
Damnnit, that keeps happening. My buddy keeps using my computer when he's over and doesn't log off of stuff. That was me.
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