The Instigator
janetsanders733
Pro (for)
Losing
1 Points
The Contender
MysticEgg
Con (against)
Winning
17 Points

Agnosticism and Atheism are mutually exclusive

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
MysticEgg
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/4/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,153 times Debate No: 45145
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (10)
Votes (5)

 

janetsanders733

Pro

I will be arguing that Atheism and Agnosticism are mutually exclusive. My opponent will be arguing that that they are not mutually exclusive. I would also like to thank Con for accepting this debate.Round 1: AcceptanceRound 2: Opening ArguementsRound 3: Rebuttals/Conclusion
MysticEgg

Con

Thanks to Pro for challenging me to this debate today; I hope it will be enlightening.

However, I feel like I must warn the audience:

THIS DEBATE WILL, MOST LIKELY, REVOLVE AROUND SEMANTICS (AT LEAST IN PART).

Therefore, I hope that the audience can overlook this fact for the debate. I understand that normally, people tend to reduce points for semantics. Still, this is an exception.

I will also be providing some definitions:

Agnosticism - "the belief that the truth values of certain claims—especially claims about the existence or non-existence of any deity, as well as other religious and metaphysical claims, are unknown or unknowable."[1]

Atheism - "disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods."[2]

Mutually exclusive - "contradictory, not-compatible"[3]

I eagerly await my opponent's first argument(s)!


Thanks,

J

Source(s):

[1]http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2]http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...
[3]http://www.thefreedictionary.com...

Debate Round No. 1
janetsanders733

Pro

Now my opponent is right, that this debate will encompass semantics, so I hope that the audience of voters can bear with us for it might be confusing.

However, I think this debate will be short since it is just a matter of semantics.

Resolution: One can’t be an agnostic and atheist for the terms are mutually exclusive.

To begin, I would like to define Agnosticism and Atheism.

Agnostic :

According to the Oxford Dictionary, an agnostic is: a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God or of anything beyond material phenomena; a person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in God.

Atheism:

According to the Oxford Dictionary, a person who disbelieves or lacks belief in the existence of God or gods.

Now, I want the audience and voters to look at the portion of the text that I highlighted because this is very important in discussing why atheism and agnosticism are mutually exclusive.

According to Urban Dictionary, an agnostic atheist encompasses both atheism and agnosticism.

Agnostic Atheist:

“A person who holds the view that the existence of a deity cannot be proven nor disproven, but personally leans towards the idea of there not being one. In this case, agnostic is an adjective. "Atheist" has to do with belief, and "agnostic" has to do with knowledge. Two completely different animals, but can be applied to each other. Basically, a person who doesn't know and doesn't believe.”

Problem:

It seems the skeptic has a dilemma here. Remember the highlighted definition of agnosticism strictly says “a person who claims neither faith, nor disbelief in God.”

And remember the definition of atheism said “a person who disbelieves or lacks belief in God.”

The problem is that my opponent, as well as other skeptics who call themselves “Agnostic Atheist” want us to believe that these two are in fact not mutually exclusive. However, if we look at the definition of agnostic atheist “a person who doesn’t believe, and doesn’t know” it is clearly a violation of itself.

If you’re an agnostic then you don’t believe God exists, nor do you disbelieve God exists. You are “neutral” in your Judgment. But the moment you disbelieve in God then you have automatically gone over and above agnosticism and now into Atheism. Or the moment you believe in God, then you are now a Theist.

If you’re an atheist, then you disbelieve in God, and you have some sort of reason for thinking that God does not exist. You may not have absolute certainty, but that doesn’t make you an agnostic since you aren’t claiming that you believe the existence of God to be unknowable. You may argue that you have strong reasons (Strong Atheist) for thinking that God does not exist. Or you may have weak reasons(Weak Atheist) usually emotional for thinking that God does not exist. But the point is that you aren’t being neutral in your judgment like the agnostic is.

Also there are at least two question that remain for the Agnostic Atheist
1. Is there a God or not?

2. What is your conclusion? God does not exist or God is unknowable?

You see the agnostic atheist can’t answer these two questions because they really don’t have a steady and solid conclusion. Either your conclusion is God does not exist or you don’t know if there’s a God or not.

You can’t consistently hold the conclusion “I don’t know, but I don’t believe”. For that really leaves the believer, as well as the un-believer clueless as to how to verify your position. It would be impossible to verify the position of “Agnostic Atheist” since there is no conclusion.

My opponent needs to show how we can verify the position of “Agnostic Atheist” since it doesn’t have a conclusion.

Sources:

[1] http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...

[2] http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...

[3] http://www.urbandictionary.com...

MysticEgg

Con

Many thanks to Pro for his opening arguments. Allow me to respond below:


Essentially, my opponent is arguing that the definitions contradict each other, so it is illogical to claim to be an agnostic and an atheist at the same time. I will run through his post and break it down for my full rebuttal. However, I won't just copy and paste my opponent's argument as one large quote, which is broken up by my rebuttal. Instead, I will trust my audience's short-term memory skills! (And only quote when necessary). So:


My opponent starts his argument by defining an "agnostic" and "atheist". No need for semantics here! I agree with these definitions. Indeed, I even congratulate my opponent for using the Oxford Dictionary, as oppose to Merriam-Webster!

While I don't see anything wrong with my opponent's definition of "Agnostic atheist", I would caution him against using the Urban Dictionary, because:

a) There are often multiple and contradictory posts. And
b) It is not written by professionals or experts.

Bear in mind, this isn't a criticism, but I would be wary of using an un-official dictionary. Moving on...

To quote my opponent: "If you’re an agnostic then you don’t believe God exists, nor do you disbelieve God exists. You are “neutral” in your Judgment. But the moment you disbelieve in God then you have automatically gone over and above agnosticism and now into Atheism. Or the moment you believe in God, then you are now a Theist." _ Pro

The problem lies with the following fact: the adjective's meaning stems from the meaning of the noun. I am sure that my opponent will agree; you cannot modify the adjective as it suits you! So, to find the true meaning of the word "agnostic" (being used as an adjective), we must examine the meaning of it's root: agnosticism. I defined that in round one, but I will define it again here:


"the belief that the truth values of certain claims—especially claims about the existence or non-existence of any deity, as well as other religious and metaphysical claims, are unknown or unknowable."[1] Where, I ask my opponent, does it say anything about believing in a deity? The only belief involved in agnosticism is pertaining to the truth values of certain claims.

The belief is in the truth of the claim; not the claim itself. So, with this in mind, when my opponent says:
"If you’re an agnostic then you don’t believe God exists, nor do you disbelieve God exists." he is actually being very deceptive. Most often, those who describe themselves as agnostics will affirm that they do not believe nor disbelieve in a god, but that is not because they are agnostics! If it was, then it would relate to the definition.

It doesn't.

OK, so there are two questions the audience could be wondering at this point:

1 - Why does the definition of "agnostic" according to the Oxford Dictionary itself, state the following: "[...]a person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in God."[2]?

The answer to this lies within the use of the words "faith" and "disbelieve". These are attempting to say: "not gnosticism", in the same sense that you don't want a definition of "red" to say "not blue". Faith is referring to a gnostic theist and disbelief is referring to a gnostic atheist.


This is important, as gnosticism (in the normal use) is almost the complete opposite of agnosticism![3] It is slightly misleading, but not impossible to understand.


2 - OK, so what does make the agnostic say that s/he doesn't believe/disbelieve?

The answer: [a]theism. While most might not realise it, this is, by definition, where the belief claim (or lack, thereof) comes from! Agnostic has a tight definition and is so often warped into things like "someone who isn't sure" that misunderstandings like this can all too often occur. This leads me nicely onto my own contention, as it were.



Contention 1: Nothing contradictory

So, since we have established that [a]gnosticism is to do with knowledge of claims, and [a]theism is to do with the belief in said claims, we can draw up the following definition of an agnostic atheist:

"Someone who claims that the knowledge of the existence of a god is unknown and/or unknowable and someone who does not believe in a god."

A question to my opponent: What part of that definition of an agnostic atheist (given above) is contradictory?


You cannot claim that an agnostic is someone who doesn't disbelieve in its primary sense of the word, as is has zero to do with belief in claims. I cannot stress this enough. If you do claim that to be the case, then the noun "agnosticism" has to have something to do with belief in claims. (The only obvious reason why "doesn't believe" was in the definition of agnostic was because it is more aesthetic than "not a gnostic" [Because that would be real helpful, huh? ;D].)

To finish off my case with a polite flourish, let me answer Pro's questions:

1) I don't know.
2) My conclusion on the existence of a god is that I do not know whether one exist, but I do not accept any "evidence" for one that I have seen, thus far.
2b) I do not know and it appears to be unknowable. It is interesting that you used "or" as if that is contradictory. Belief =/= knowledge.


"[...] the agnostic atheist can’t answer these two questions because they really don’t have a steady and solid conclusion. Either your conclusion is God does not exist or you don’t know if there’s a God or not." _ Pro

Not only can I answer these questions, but I just did! :D "My conclusion" cannot be both, true. To say that "God does not exist" is to assume gnosticism, but to say "you don't [and cannot] know" assumes agnosticism. Still, that's a strawman, because I would say: "I believe that a god doesn't exist", which doesn't assume gnosticism and therefore, it is valid to claim both, with the "I believe that" added. Voila!


I eagerly await my opponent's response(s)!


Many thanks,

J

Source(s):

[1]http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2]http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...
[3]http://freethinker.co.uk...






Debate Round No. 2
janetsanders733

Pro


"Where, I ask my opponent, does it say anything about believing in a deity? The only belief involved in agnosticism is pertaining to the truth values of certain claims."


Right, but it also involves the existence of God as well. Remember I posted the definition of Agnosticism from the Oxford dictionary when pertaining to the existence of God an agnostic is quote: “a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God or of anything beyond material phenomena; a person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in God.[1]



The belief is in the truth of the claim; not the claim itself. So, with this in mind, when my opponent says:


"If you’re an agnostic then you don’t believe God exists, nor do you disbelieve God exists." he is actually being very deceptive. Most often, those who describe themselves as agnostics will affirm that they do not believe nor disbelieve in a god, but that is not because they are agnostics! If it was, then it would relate to the definition.”


No, it’s because they’re agnostics that’s why they don’t have a belief or non-belief in God. They are “neutral” in their judgment. I am not sure what my opponent is meaning here… this is somewhat of a non-sequitur. If they’re not agnostics then what are they since they’re keeping with the standard definition?



So understood the term that my opponent is using here would encompass agnostics and traditional atheists, along with those who think the question meaningless (verificationists). As Antony Flew confesses,



the word ‘atheist’ has in the present context to be construed in an unusual way. Nowadays it is normally taken to mean someone who explicitly denies the existence . . . of God . . . But here it has to be understood not positively but negatively, with the originally Greek prefix ‘a-’ being read in this same way in ‘atheist’ as it customarily is in . . . words as ‘amoral’ . . . . In this interpretation an atheist becomes not someone who positively asserts the non-existence of God, but someone who is simply not a theist. (A Companion to Philosophy of Religion, ed. Philip Quinn and Charles Taliaferro [Oxford: Blackwell, 1997], s.v. “The Presumption of Atheism,” by Antony Flew)



Such a re-definition of the word “atheist” trivializes the claim of the presumption of atheism, for on this definition, atheism ceases to be a view. It is merely a psychological state which is shared by people who hold various views or no view at all.[3]






1 - Why does the definition of "agnostic" according to the Oxford Dictionary itself, state the following: "[...]a person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in God."[2]?



The answer to this lies within the use of the words "faith" and "disbelieve". These are attempting to say: "not gnosticism", in the same sense that you don't want a definition of "red" to say "not blue". Faith is referring to a gnostic theist and disbelief is referring to a gnostic atheist.”



1) No, the word “Faith” can mean trust or belief in God. They are saying that the agnostic does not believe in God or disbelieve in God. [2]




“2 - OK, so what does make the agnostic say that s/he doesn't believe/disbelieve?


What makes the agnostic “neutral” is because of a lack of evidence. However, lack of evidence is not a sufficient warrant or reason to be an atheist.


“1) I don't know.


2) My conclusion on the existence of a god is that I do not know whether one exist, but I do not accept any "evidence" for one that I have seen, thus far.


2b) I do not know and it appears to be unknowable. It is interesting that you used "or" as if that is contradictory. Belief =/= knowledge.”



1) So then what my opponent is affirming here is Agnosticism. He doesn’t know if God does or does not exist.


2) This hardly makes any sense at all. My opponent doesn’t know, but doesn’t want to accept evidence for God?


2b) Not necessarily true, a belief = knowledge if the case that the belief is, in fact, true, and the believer must have justification for the belief. A belief is ``justified" if and only if the input to the function is accurately represented in the output.[1]





“Not only can I answer these questions, but I just did! :D "My conclusion" cannot be both, true. To say that "God does not exist" is to assume gnosticism, but to say "you don't [and cannot] know" assumes agnosticism. Still, that's a strawman, because I would say: "I believe that a god doesn't exist", which doesn't assume gnosticism and therefore, it is valid to claim both, with the "I believe that" added. Voila!”



So now it sounds as if though my opponent is not really an “Agnostic” per se, but an atheist, for he does not believe in the existence of God. Now my opponent must give some reasons for thinking there is no God. He doesn’t have to be absolute certain that he’s right. All he has to do is show that the existence of God is logically incoherent or impossible.



Knowledge and Belief:


A statement of belief contains one or more characteristics' values matching in full or in part the values for representandums. The output of a process or set of processes provides a representation of the input to the processes. We can therefore describe a percept as the set of values in this output; it is essentially the information in the output of a process about the input. A perceiving function, f(),provides a percept, f(x), about input x. Belief is thus transmitted through the hierarchy.



For a belief to be knowledge, it must be the case that the belief is, in fact, true, and the believer must have justification for the belief. A belief that is true but for which we have no evidence cannot be described as knowledge.


So the question still remains: Is my opponent’s belief true or false? If it’s true, then he needs to provide some justification for thinking it’s true. If it’s false, then he takes it by “blind” faith.



Conclusion:


If my opponent does not believe the proposition “God does not exist”, then he is not an atheist. He’s either a Theist or Agnostic. But there’s no in between because as I said before, his conclusion is inconsistent with his premise, I therefore contend that the proposition “Agnostic Atheist” is logically incoherent and invalid because it does not have a steady conclusion. My opponent has also made some classification errors, as well as wrong distinctions. He hasn’t really verified his position of “Agnostic Atheist” to be true. I want to thank my opponent again for accepting this debate, and wish him the best:D


MysticEgg

Con

Thanks to Pro for finishing his side of the debate. I'm going to follow suit! However, I must warn the audience, to help bar any further misunderstanding, I am going to be very blunt. This isn't an attempt to insult Pro, just removing the padding of what I might normally do, as if this was a forum. This way allows me to be far more direct and to the point. (Also, where are the sources Pro claimed to have?)


My opponent starts by claiming that the definition of "agnostic" (not agnosticism, which Pro incorrectly stated) does encompass belief as well as knowledge of claims. This claim rests on four words: "neither faith nor disbelief".[1]

I proposed during the last round that these were being used as plugs to say "not gnosticism". My opponent has ignored this suggestion entirely and has instead resorted to turning the words bold. (Not an insult, please bear that in mind, merely an observation.)

I will, therefore, defend my suggestion and show how it is better than my opponent's.

Rebuttal 1 - The words "faith" and "disbelief", when being used in the context of source 1's definition[1], are plugs for "not gnosticism".

This can best be illustrated by turning to the root word of "agnostic"; "agnosticism". Once again, I am forced to define "agnosticism": "the belief that the truth values of certain claims—especially claims about the existence or non-existence of any deity, as well as other religious and metaphysical claims, are unknown or unknowable."_Wikipedia[2][3][4][5].


This has nothing to do with belief in said claims, just a belief in the truth values on them. Now, we are back where we started, but this is where the true rebuttal kicks in. To avoid continuing the game of "Yes it is; no it ain't" which has been started, I will now prove how my opponent's rebuttal is weaker than my suggestion.

If my opponent's rebuttal stands, then the word "agnostic" takes meaning from other sources which Pro has not demonstrated/ He has merely quoted the definition. This would leave people scratching their heads as to why this is so.

If my counter-suggestion of "these are being used as plugs for "not gnosticism"" stands, then the problem goes away. Inductive logic tells us that my suggestion is more withstanding than my opponent's.

To end this rebuttal, I will further defend this position by drawing the distinction between "disbelief" and "non-belief (a.k.a. lack of belief; unbelief)". On a basic level, they appear to mean the same thing. But, if they are true synonyms, then why do definitions like "atheism" repeat themselves, by mentioning both[6]?

The answer: There is a distinction. People tend to agree that "disbelief" refers to gnosticism (i.e. the claim: "I positively reject that there is a God; there is no god."), whereas non-belief/lack of belief/unbelief refers to agnosticism.[7][8]

This proposal not only further demonstrates why my suggestion of "disbelief" does not refer to agnosticism de facto, but also makes the problem of "Why'd they put both in?" go away, for certain definitions.


My opponent claims: "[...] it’s because they’re agnostics[;] that’s why they don’t have a belief [n]or non-belief in God"_Pro. If my opponent had said "disbelief", I would agree here, but my opponent has decided to switch words. He said "non-belief".

Now, "disbelief" is the positive rejection of a claim and implicitly claiming knowledge of the subject; that's gnosticism.
"Non-belief" is just the negation of the claim "belief". So, it is perfectly valid for an agnostic to hold to having non-belief. Pro switches words whenever it suits him; it seems to be so, in any case.


Pro also claims that atheism can only equal disbelief, because on any other definition: "atheism ceases to be a view."_Pro. This claim is interesting in that it assumes atheism has to be a view. If, as my opponent points out, the technical definition would hold it not to be a view and merely the negation of theism, then so be it. Here, my opponent just makes an assumption and assumes the audience are just going to follow it through.


Pro also claims that "They are saying that the agnostic does not believe in God or disbelieve in God."_Pro Half correct. An agnostic cannot disbelieve, as I have already demonstrated, but they can still believe in a god. All they have to do is realise that the truth to the claim "there is a god" is unknown or unknowable.

Pro does answer the second question, too. But I will respond to this further on.


The following are Pro's answers - followed by my responses - to my initial answer of Pro's questions.


"So then what my opponent is affirming here is Agnosticism. He doesn’t know if God does or does not exist."_Pro. Correct, but only because it doesn't imply atheism or theism in my answer alone.


"This hardly makes any sense at all. My opponent doesn’t know, but doesn’t want to accept evidence for God?"_Pro. To respond to this properly, I shall quote myself from round two:

"My conclusion on the existence of a god is that I do not know whether one exist, but I do not accept any "evidence" for one that I have seen, thus far."_Con. Pro's response starts with the bare assertion fallacy and follows it with a straw man. While it is true that I do not know, I will accept any evidence when it starts presenting itself to be accepted. In other words, my use of the word "evidence" in round two was clearly used in combination with quotation marks! It is not that I don't want to accept any evidence; it is just that I have not seen any.


"Not necessarily true, a belief = knowledge if the case that the belief is, in fact, true, and the believer must have justification for the belief. A belief is ``justified" if and only if the input to the function is accurately represented in the output."_Pro. I agree, here. Concession on this point.


My opponent now goes onto about the last third of his debate, which is really one large red herring fallacy. While making the distinction between knowledge and belief (and when there is none) is all very well, my opponent's boils it all down to this conclusion:

"So the question still remains: Is my opponent’s belief true or false? If it’s true, then he needs to provide some justification for thinking it’s true. If it’s false, then he takes it by “blind” faith." AND "If my opponent does not believe the proposition “God does not exist”, then he is not an atheist. He’s either a Theist or Agnostic. But there’s no in between because as I said before, his conclusion is inconsistent with his premise, I therefore contend that the proposition “Agnostic Atheist” is logically incoherent and invalid because it does not have a steady conclusion."_Pro

My belief in terms of what? My agnosticism or my atheism? Pro has not shown how they contradict. Indeed, his best shot at it, he completely ignored! (He ignored my question about what part of the definition was contradictory.) Assuming my atheism, I cannot demonstrate it to be true nor false. Nor do I believe that anyone else can do the same. Therefore, I need not provide any justification, nor do I take it by blind faith! However, I do believe it to be the most logical position, but I do not have the arrogance to proclaim it as the truth. My opponent has presented a false dichotomy.


Next, my opponent straw mans the term "atheism" and takes it to mean "the belief that there is no god", which is actually gnostic atheism. Since we are dealing with agnostic atheism, this is a straw man. His only justification for that definition of atheism is one from personal incredulity. I refuted that above, further up my argument.


Conclusions

Pro has failed to meet the burden of proof required of him. He has consistently switched words as if they were synonyms, straw manned my arguments, devoted ~one third of his last argument to a red herring, and has completely ignored the crux of my last argument, which was summarized as the following question:


((""Someone who claims that the knowledge of the existence of a god is unknown and/or unknowable and someone who does not believe in a god."))

A question to my opponent: What part of that definition of an agnostic atheist (given above) is contradictory?"_Con.


Lastly, I have shown how inductive logic and semantics support my case, revealed the fallacies Con has committed, and refined my case (such as question 2b) when my logical errors were correctly accused of me. I have also refrained from straw manning my opponent's case and my coup de grace has gone untouched by Pro!


However, I would like to thank my opponent, janetsanders773, for an entertaining debate on semantics; I never thought it could be so much fun! :D I would also like to thank the audience and the voters.

As a personal note, this debate originated on an opinions section, moved to an irrelevant forum, moved onto a relevant forum, and lastly onto here! So, a pat on the back for me and Con, for sorting this out like (educated) men! :D

Many thanks and all the best to you!

J

Source(s):

[1]http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...
[2]http://en.wikipedia.org...
[3]Hepburn, Ronald W. (2005) [1967]. "Agnosticism". In Donald M. Borchert.The Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Vol. 1 (2nd ed.)
[4] Rowe, William L. (1998). "Agnosticism". In Edward Craig.Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Taylor & Francis.
[5]"agnostic, agnosticism". OED Online, 3rd ed. Oxford University Press. September 2012
[6]http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...
[7]http://answers.yahoo.com...

[8]http://www.harvestmessenger.com...



















Debate Round No. 3
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by janetsanders733 3 years ago
janetsanders733
no Problem:DDD
Posted by MysticEgg 3 years ago
MysticEgg
I just realised, that should: "me and Pro" in my last round. :\
Posted by janetsanders733 3 years ago
janetsanders733
@MysticEgg Why thank you great chap! I will be prepared for tomorrow. ..........................................................................o_o
Posted by MysticEgg 3 years ago
MysticEgg
Nice opening case, Janet. I probably won't respond tonight as I'm quite busy. However, be very afraid! For tomorrow, you will be blown away!
Posted by GodChoosesLife 3 years ago
GodChoosesLife
This is an interesting debate so far..
Posted by janetsanders733 3 years ago
janetsanders733
@tophatdoc haha yep"D
Posted by Tophatdoc 3 years ago
Tophatdoc
Interesting, atheism is a bold belief in many respects. This will be a confusing debate.
Posted by janetsanders733 3 years ago
janetsanders733
@KaleBevilacqua that's not necessarily true. There is always a reason to believe something or to not believe something.
Posted by KaleBevilacqua 3 years ago
KaleBevilacqua
A belief doesn't have to be verifiable in order to be a belief.
Posted by MysticEgg 3 years ago
MysticEgg
Why'd you cancel it?
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 3 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
janetsanders733MysticEggTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro effectively concedes the debate by making the following statements and ignoring the definition of agnosticism. "Right, but it also involves the existence of God as well." and "So now it sounds as if though my opponent is not really an ?Agnostic? per se, but an atheist". These statements show that Pro is not convinced with the debate proposition, or at least did not get the point across. As such argument points to Con. Regarding sources, I will give this as a tie as it was a semantics debate, I do not inks its fair to go either way. S&G is tied. Conduct is tied. Thanks to both for a very entertaining debate.
Vote Placed by Mikal 3 years ago
Mikal
janetsanders733MysticEggTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: This is essentially a hard argument for pro to win. He had the burden of proof and it was a rough one to hold to. Con was able to lay this out logically and show they may not be mutually exclusive. I felt as if that was the issue with pro. Pro had a positive burden to show they are without a doubt mutually exclusive, all con had to do was provide reasonable doubt, and i felt he accomplished it.
Vote Placed by zmikecuber 3 years ago
zmikecuber
janetsanders733MysticEggTied
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Total points awarded:12 
Reasons for voting decision: This is very close in my eyes. I'm giving Pro S/G since his arguments were easier to understand. Sources go to Con, since he used more of them, and used Encyclopedia of philosophy. I was a bit surprised to see Urban Dictionary or Yahoo answers used. As far as the actual arguments themselves go, I'm not sure, so I have to leave that as a tie for now. I may re-read this debate, much slower, to try and really perceive the arguments if I get the time. Good debate to both!
Vote Placed by Tophatdoc 3 years ago
Tophatdoc
janetsanders733MysticEggTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: I reread this debate twice after reading it once to make sure I understood clearly. Pro made the resolution so that he had the burden of proof. Which was a mistake on his part considering he was debating definitions. From what I observed he failed to meet the burden of proof because he was unable to prove that atheism and agnosticism are mutually exclusive. Both sides provided valid sources so no receives the source point. Conduct seemed acceptable on both sides so no conduct point. Good luck to both sides in future debates.
Vote Placed by theta_pinch 3 years ago
theta_pinch
janetsanders733MysticEggTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro has failed to meet the burden of proof required of him. He has consistently switched words as if they were synonyms, straw manned my arguments, devoted ~one third of his last argument to a red herring, and has completely ignored the crux of my last argument-con Con gets conduct for the strawman, redherring, and switching words done by pro. Con showed that his reasoning was more sound than pro's with it resolving problems that pro's arguments brought up so con get's arguments. Con was the only one to use non-dictionary sources so con get's sources.