The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
4 Points

Agnosticism can not support its claims with facts and evidence

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/29/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,766 times Debate No: 43087
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (23)
Votes (2)




I will be arguing Pro that Agnosticism is not based on facts or evidences to support its claims. Con will be arguing that Agnosticism does have evidence to support its claims.

Round 1: Acceptance

Round 2: Opening Arguments

Round 3: Rebuttals to Opening Arguments/Conclusion



I happily accept Pro's challenge, and look forward to what I'm sure will be a spirited debate.

As an agnostic, I believe that not only are there good reasons to maintain such a philosophical position, but that the evidence is clearly and heavily in favor of agnosticism over faith.

Before I post my opening arguments in the second round of our debate, I would like to give some history about my agnosticism and what lead me to this never-ending search for truth and knowledge that I began several years ago.

The story of my agnosticism began on a cold, dreary day in 1992 in Kittanning, Pennsylvania. It was in this year in my brother's house that I became a born-again believer in Jesus Christ after my then-sister-in-law led me through the sinner's prayer. Immediately, I felt like a river was rushing through my body; a river that began washing away years of every negative aspect of my life and carried me closer to Jesus Christ. On that day, my spiritual life began and I began to immerse myself in Jesus' teachings, life, and most importantly, his death and resurrection.

As I continued my walk with Christ, my relationship and burning passion to become more like him grew. Shortly after I moved to Hampton Roads, Virginia, I began searching in earnest for a God-fearing church, and it was through a friend that I finally found one. I began attending Bethel Baptist Church in Chesapeake, thirty miles from where I lived. So, nearly every Sunday and every Wednesday for over three years, I spent much of my free time at Bethel Baptist, growing in my faith and continually seeking God's direction for my life.

Years passed and I enrolled at Penn State University where I studied Geography. Immediately after graduation I was offered a job with an international engineering firm where in Maryland. Since I worked evenings, it was during the long nights after work that I would spend my time challenging my faith. I became so sure of what I believed that I started to have online debates with non-believers in the hopes of converting them. After all, I had the truth of God's Word on my side. There was absolutely no way I could lose.

But losing is exactly what I did. I lost nearly every debate I had on everything from evolution to the resurrection. And more often than not, when someone would hand me evidence that challenged my Christian worldview, I ignored it. As a result of losing those debates, I began to question not only what I was told about the Bible, but Jesus Christ himself.

At first, I simply believed that at one time, I believed that the Bible was pure and perfect, but through hundreds of years of translations and mistranslations, it lost its original meaning. But I wondered, if Jesus is who he says he is, why couldn't he preserve his word even today? In spite of the questions I was asking, I considered my faith to be strong. But over time, those questions became more pointed.

Ultimately, it was my love of science, particularly astronomy, that led to the erosion of my faith. And when the questions I had could yield no answers without greatly stretching the truth, I knew something was very wrong with Christianity. Finally, I asked a question of my former sister-in-law, the one that led me to Christ, that my faith finally became extinct. When I asked her a question that was simply too difficult for her to answer, she replied that I just need to stop asking so many questions and just believe. That was the final nail in the coffin of my faith. So on a cold November day in 2007, after three slow and often painful years of asking questions and not finding answers, I deconverted from Christianity and became an agnostic.

I have a lot of atheist friends who persistently try to persuade me to make the next step into atheism, but I refuse to do so. I remain agnostic for one reason; I do not know if God exists, whether God be a he, she, it, they, or simply some mystical force.

I maintain that agnosticism is a respectable and honest position to be in, and contrary to Pro's statement, is based on facts and evidence.

I look forward to Pro's opening arguments.
Debate Round No. 1


What is Agnosticism?

According to the Oxford dictionary[1], 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.”

From the mid- 19th century: from a-1 'not' + gnostic. In the Latin it simply means to have “no knowledge”. However, it is obvious that my opponent has knowledge as a human being. I consider my opponent to be a rational, intelligent, individual. My argument is simply saying that his proposition or what he holds to be true, mainly “agnosticism”, is irrational and false.

The Impossibility of Agnosticism

Agnosticism is a self-defeating or self-refuting proposition. Why? Well as we can see above, the proposition “We can’t know if God does or does not exist”, is actually making a knowledge claim that requires justification. However, it would be impossible for my opponent to show how he knows that we can’t know if God exits or does not exist since his worldview means to withholding knowledge. Thus he would violate his own claim making it self-defeating because he has knowledge of not having knowledge for the existence or non-existence of God.

No Point of Reference

Agnosticism does not have a point of reference to verify its claims simply because it is a self-contradiction in terms. I will explain down here below.

  1. 1. It violates the Law of Non-Contradiction- There are three versions of the Law of Non-Contradiction: an ontological, a doxastic and a semantic version. Agnosticism does not really have anything to do with the ontological version of the Law of Non-Contradiction since the ontological version is referring to objects. But, Agnosticism does violate the doxastic and semantic version of LONC. The Doxastic version says that “It is impossible to hold (suppose) the same thing to be and not to be (Metaph IV 3 1005b24 cf.1005b29–30).” An alternate way of understanding the second formulation is to treat it not as a descriptive claim about human psychology, but as a normative claim, a claim about what it is rational to believe. On this view, it is not that Con cannot believe that x is F and not F &c, but that Con cannot rationally do so. Therefore, Con can’t rationally hold Agnosticism as true since it is a knowledge claim about not having knowledge. Now to the Semantic version of the LONC. The semantic version is that “opposite assertions cannot be true at the same time”. My opponent can’t now and know at the same time. [4]
  2. 2. Origins: Science may explain the process by which we got here; however, Science can’t explain the reason why we are here, and where we came from in relation to the big bang. All Science says is that we got here and that’s final. Agnosticism can’t account for where we came from since it is unsure of our beginning.
  3. 3. Meaning: There is no ultimate reason to explain why we exist if Agnosticism is true. Life would become absurd. That doesn’t mean that my opponent can’t live a happy life, but what it means is that my opponent can’t live consistently and objectively because his worldview can’t tell him the reason for why he exists. Agnosticism can’t give us an objective reason or purpose for human existence.
  4. 4. Morality: If God’s existence is disputed, then we can’t really have a sound foundation for why or where objective moral values and duties come from. That is not to say that my opponent can’t uphold moral values or duties, but that my opponent would have no reason to since his worldview doesn’t have any standard to place them on. Morality would be preferences on my opponent’s worldview.
  5. 5. Destiny: If God’s existence is unknown, then there really is no afterlife. Again life would become pointless and absurd because on my opponent’s worldview there is nothing to really live for since death is the end of all things. There would be no objective reason to live life as an agnostic.

Why the Judeo-Christian worldview?

Only in the Judeo- Christian worldview do you see a consistency because it has a point of reference to account for the 4 main questions in life: How did I get here? Why am I here? What am I worth? And Where am I going? Also the Judeo-Christian worldview, is the only worldview that has a point of reference to confirm itself through: history, science, prophecy, and archaeology.

Origins: As I said earlier, Science can only tell us the process by which we got here. But it can’t tell us from where we came from. It can only explain life up until the point of the Big Bang. There must be a timeless, immaterial, space-less, metaphysical necessary being

Meaning: The ultimate purpose for all man-kind in the Judeo-Christian world-view is to be in a relationship with God. However, man broke that relationship and fellowship with God through his sin. It is only through Christ can that be restored. Jesus of Nazareth claimed to be the Son of God and proved it through his death and resurrection 2000 years ago. He is the only one who restored that relationship that man couldn’t.

Morality: God must be necessary for objective moral values and duties to exist. The ten commandments are best summed up as sacred. Your life is sacred. Your property is sacred. Your marriage is sacred. Your time is sacred. Your worship is sacred, etc. Now of course that doesn’t mean that people didn’t know morality before the Ten- commandments, everyone knows right from wrong because the law is written on everyone’s heart. God is the ultimate standard for objective moral values and duties to exist. Morality is the single most empirically provable fact. We come to know moral values and duties from our five senses. It also makes since that God would be necessary for objective moral duties as well. Moral duties can only arise from an authority figure. Our moral duties reflect God’s nature because God is good, therefore, it logically follows that God’s command’s would be good in order to reflect his nature. Only with an objective moral-law giver (God) can you explain why objective moral values and duties exist.

Destiny: On the Judeo-Christian worldview, do we see hope be defined for all mankind objectively. Because Christ died on the cross for all mankind and because he was resurrected from the dead, mankind can have eternal life if they believe in Jesus as their Lord and Savior. He will give them eternal life. That is true hope. (John3:16).

Science: There must be a God who exists to explain all the fine tuning of the Universe.[3]

History: The Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus are based on overwhelming, established, objective historical facts. Jesus’s Crucifixion is attested to in the 4 gospels as well as 9 secular sources within 150 years(Josephus, Tacitus, Suetonius, Pliny the Younger, Lucian,etc.). Jesus resurrection is based on 4 historical facts as well. The majority of Ancient historians and New Testament scholars, whether religious or non-religious agree upon 4 facts that happened after Jesus was crucified.[3]

  1. 1. The burial of Jesus:

Jesus’ burial is attested in the very old tradition quoted by Paul in I Cor 15 3

The burial story is part of very old source material used by Mark in writing his gospel.

As a member of the Jewish court that condemned Jesus, Joseph of Arimathea is unlikely to be a Christian invention. There was strong resentment against the Jewish leadership for their role in the condemnation of Jesus (I Thess. 2.15). It is therefore highly improbable that Christians would invent a member of the court that condemned Jesus who honors Jesus by giving him a proper burial instead of allowing him to be dispatched as a common criminal.

  1. 2. The empty tomb

The story is simple and lacks signs of legendary embellishment.

A woman’s testimony was discounted in first century Palestine stands in favor of the women’s role in discovering the empty tomb.

The earliest Jewish allegation that the disciples had stolen Jesus’ body (Matt. 28.15) shows that the body was in fact missing from the tomb.

3. The post-mortem apperances

The appearance traditions in the gospels provide multiple, independent attestation of these appearances.

Skeptics like James the brother of Jesus did not believe in Jesus during Jesus lifetime. and Paul the apostle persecuted Christians until Jesus appeared to him. James became a Bishop of Jerusalem, and Paul became a leader in proclaiming the gospel to the Jews and Gentiles.
4. The origin of belief in disciples:

The appearance traditions in the gospels provide multiple, independent attestation of these appearances.

Their leader was dead. And Jews had no belief in a dying, much less rising, Messiah. The Messiah was supposed to throw off Israel’s enemies (= Rome) and re-establish a Davidic reign—not suffer the ignominious death of criminal.

Despite all this, the original disciples believed in and were willing to go to their deaths for the fact of Jesus’ resurrection. Luke Johnson, a New Testament scholar from Emory University, muses, “some sort of powerful, transformative experience is required to generate the sort of movement earliest Christianity was . . . .” N. T. Wright, an eminent British scholar, concludes, “that is why, as a historian, I cannot explain the rise of early Christianity unless Jesus rose again, leaving an empty tomb behind him.”

Gert Ludemann, the leading German critic of the resurrection, and atheist himself admits, “It may be taken as historically certain that Peter and the disciples had experiences after Jesus’ death in which Jesus appeared to them as the risen Christ.”

Prophecy Jesus fulfilled 351 Prophecies in the OT From his birth to his life, death,resurrection.








There are good reasons to maintain agnosticism and the evidence is firmly in favor of agnosticism over faith. I would like to begin my opening arguments in defense of agnosticism by first challenging Pro's position that agnosticism is not based on facts, then challenging Pro's position of faith.

Agnosticism Further Defined

Pro began his opening argument by giving a definition of agnosticism. In spite of the definition he shares, Pro seems to have a fundamental misunderstanding of what agnosticism is as he indicates that agnostics promote "opposite assertions cannot be true at the same time." It is then necessary to further define agnosticism.

The term agnostic was coined by English biologist Thomas Henry Huxley in 1869. However, the primary hallmarks of agnosticism were recognized as early as the 5th century BCE. [1] As a philosophical position, agnosticism maintains that God or gods are unknown, meaning that agnostics do not know whether or not they exist. Agnosticism, theistic or atheistic, simply begins from a position of neutrality and makes conclusions based upon evidence, or often the lack thereof, with respect to any given deity.

As denoted above, there are varying types of agnostics. For instance, one could be an agnostic theist, meaning that one could believe in God, but not know it for sure. On the other hand, you could be an agnostic atheist, meaning that you believe that God does not exist, but you don’t know it for sure. [2] It’s really that simple. My opponent is trying to make assertions about agnosticism that simply aren’t true.

Finally, although the number of nonbelievers, among them agnostics, is small, the number is growing. [3]

The Plausibility of Agnosticism

In his opening argument, Pro states that agnosticism violates the Law of Noncontradiction, which is the second of the Three Classic Laws of Thought. I contend that this statement is more evidence that my opponent misunderstands what agnosticism is. Further, the Law of Noncontradiction was co-proposed by Bertrand Russell, a well-known atheist, as a mathematical theory in the last century [4]. Which begs the question, why would one of the most famous atheists of all time employ a mathematical theory that has destroys his own disbelief?

Moreover, I believe that Pro's reference to the LONC is a straw man argument because he infers that I simultaneously know and don't know if God exists or anything of his nature. He's absolutely correct when he says that a person can know and not know X simultaneously is an impossibility. So, let me clarify for my opponent: I do not know if God exists. Period. By this statement I am not proposing two opposing arguments as true. Therefore, my position as an agnostic is not in violation of the Law of Noncontradiction, nor any of the Laws of Classical Thought.

It is also perfectly reasonable to doubt the miracle claims within the Judeo-Christian religion. For instance, Pro believes that Jesus' resurrection from the dead is a historic event. But since we cannot repeat such an event, it is reasonable to doubt such an event ever happened. But since Pro is certain of Jesus's resurrection as a historical event, is he just as willing to accept the resurrection claims of other deities such as Osiris [5] or Tammuz [6] as historic?

Agnosticism: The Perfect Reference Point

Logically and philosophically, and contrary to Pro's claims, agnosticism is an ideal, if not the ideal point of reference from which logical thought should begin. As such, it can be viewed as a discipline by which we can acquire knowledge. It begins with no assumptions and ends with logical conclusions. However, many adherents of Christianity, particularly fundamentalist Christianity, begin with the foregone conclusion that the Bible is the absolute and final Word of God.

On one hand, such a philosophical position is understandable. After all, if the Bible really is the Word of God and it is impossible for God to lie, then it should stand to reason that the Bible truly is divinely inspired. But on the other hand, if one approaches the Bible from an unbiased perspective, free from outside influence, as agnosticism does, then it becomes clearly evident that not only is agnosticism the better choice over Christianity, but logically superior. It is indeed the default position. The Bible may have good bits of wisdom scattered throughout its pages, but as it cannot be trusted as a science book or moral guide. That said, there are indeed historical accuracies in the Bible, although much of that history is founded on myth.

Science Supports Agnosticism, Not Faith

My opponent correctly states that science cannot tell us why we're here. I assume that he is referring to the natural sciences when he makes this statement. But if he is trying to project his own thoughts on what the natural sciences should or shouldn't tell us, then he will be sorely disappointment.

The natural sciences give us methods of explaining the world around us. [7] Through repeatable, observable, testable, and falsifiable evidence, we are able to make reasonable conclusions about our world and the universe. However, God is outside of space, time, and nature itself. Since God is outside of nature, we cannot observe, falsify, or test God, nor can we repeat the miracle claims in the Bible, such as the resurrection. Therefore, I can reasonably conclude that I do not know if God exists since I am not a spiritual being.

So, the natural sciences draw no conclusions about why we're here, but how we got here. The question of why we're here is philosophical and theological in nature.

But if my opponent believes that the Bible is a science book, then let’s take a look at the story of Noah’s Ark.

If we scrutinize the biblical claims of Noah’s Ark, questions immediately begin to rise. For instance, an adult African elephant drinks about 40 gallons of fresh water per day [8]. Genesis 8:4-5 says that the animals were onboard the Ark for 10 months [9]. If the animals were onboard the Ark for 300 days, and Noah needed to support at least two adult African elephants with at least 12,000 gallons of fresh water in those 300 days, where did Noah get the water in such a saline environment?

Also, the Bible states plainly that insects have four legs [10]. We simply know that this isn’t true. These are just two examples of the laughable attempts by apologists to equate the Bible as a science book. Moreover, the story of Noah's Ark is likely lifted from other ancient tales like The Epic of Gilgamesh and the Akkadian epic of Atra-Hasis.

Science is clearly favors agnosticism, not the Judeo-Christian faith.

Meaning and Life

My opponent infers that, as an agnostic, my life has no meaning. This argument has long been used by theists in their critique of nonbelievers, and is simply false. My life has significance because I give it significance. Believers and nonbelievers alike can all stand on the same beach in Bora Bora and enjoy the beauty of the crystal-clear blue water and sky. It is not for the believer to decide whether or not my life has meaning or if I am capable of enjoying physical beauty. If this life is all we have, then we should make the most of it and leave a better world for our children.

In contrast, my opponent seems to indicate that his life has value due to his faith. Yet, the Bible that he holds so dear tells him that he is a horrible person and that his goodness comes from his god alone. Agnostics would say that is goodin spite his faith, not because of it.

Morality Favors Agnosticism

It is disheartening to realize that my opponent places so much stock in William Lane Craig's teachings. This tired argument is yet another one of Craig's inane and baseless inferences that morality comes from his god alone. It has been so completely eviscerated that only the most willfully ignorant of Craig's followers pay it any heed. His biblical view of morality is so logically fallacious that I wonder if Craig even spent more than an hour reading the Bible at all.

But if Pro wants to insist his god is the author of moratlity, then I have questions for him. Does he believe that it is morally acceptable to beat another human being to death without punishment so long as the person doesn't die within a few days? Is it morally acceptable to kill a rape victim?
Would he, as the Bible commands, kill witches, homosexuals and infidels? Would he sell his daughter as a sex slave? Does he think girls have less monetary value than boys as his god does?

But this is a debate about agnosticism, not morality. If my opponent would like to debate about morality, I’d be more than happy to engage him.

As for the rest of the supposed facts that Pro presents about Jesus, I simply couldn't care less. I am willing to cede that Jesus may have been a real person, although I have my doubts. But divine? Not a chance.


[1] Wikipedia, Agnosticism. Retrieved January 4, 2014,
[2] George H. Smith, (2010). Atheism: The Case Against God. 1st ed. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, p. 10,
[3] Pew Research Center, “Nones” on the Rise. Retrieved January 4, 2014,
[4] Alfred North Whitehead, Bertrand Russell, (1910). Principia Mathematica. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, pp. 116–117
[5] Jan Assmann, (2001), The Search for God in Ancient Egypt, 1st ed. Cornell University Press, p. 503
[6] David A. Leeming, Kathryn Madden, Stanton Marlan, (2010). Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion: L-Z. 1st ed. New York, NY: Springer Science+Business Media, p. 267
[7] Ledoux, Stephen F. (2002). Defining Natural Sciences. Behaviorology Today 5 (1): 34.
[8] Keith Bain, Pippa de Bruyn, Lizzie Williams, Philip Brigg, (2010). Frommer’s Kenya and Tanzania. 1st ed. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Publishing, p. 503.
[9] Genesis 8:4-5,
[10] Levitius 11:20-23,

Debate Round No. 2


Rebuttal to Agnosticism Further Defined

My opponent accuses me of “re-defining” the definition of Agnosticism. However, I gave the correct definition off of the Oxford dictionary. In fact my opponent affirms his position that the Oxford dictionary defined as he says right here “As a philosophical position, agnosticism maintains that God or gods are unknown, meaning that agnostics do not know whether or not they exist.” However, my opponent errs in 2 ways. 1. He assumes that he does not share the Burden of Proof. 2. He assumes that one can hold Agnosticism along with Atheism and Theism. My opponent must shoulder the burden of proof as to why he believes “he doesn’t know” or as to why “we can’t know”. Second, you cannot hold to Agnosticsm/Theism or Atheism/Theism at the same time. Theism is not the ‘default’ position. Also Theism is the belief that God does exist. Either you hold to the position that God does exist(Theism). God does not exist(Atheism). Or we don’t know if God does or does not exist(Agnosticism). You can’t affirm two opposite positions at the same time.

Rebuttal to The Plausibility of Agnosticism

My opponent mentions Bertrand Russell inventing the LONC. Bertrand Russell was an atheist, and the LONC destroyed his own belief because Atheism is self-defeating as well as Agnosticism.

My opponent accuses me of committing a straw-man here, by using the LONC to show how Agnosticism is self-defeating. However, as I clearly showed before, Agnosticism says that we can’t know if God does/does not exist. It doesn’t matter if my opponent affirms a strong or weak position. What matters if the justification for that position. His position is a conclusion based upon “X” amount of evidence. If he believes that his conclusion: “I don’t know”, then he needs to give positive arguments for why he doesn’t know.

Rebuttal to Agnosticism: The Perfect Reference Point

Con just assumes that Agnosticism is superior to Christian Theism. However, Con does not give any arguments for his position of Agnosticism. He again just simply argues against my position and makes baseless assumptions that have no facts to back them up.

Rebuttal to Science Supports Agnosticism, Not Faith

My opponent argues that we can’t know if God exists because we can’t test God through empirical evidence. My opponent also says that we can’t use the direct Scientific method for determining the Resurrection of Jesus. However, there are other things that the Inductive Scientific method can’t prove like: History, Forensics, Mathematical Proofs and Philosophy. In Forensics for example, a Forensic Pathologist wouldn’t go to a crime scene and say “Oh let’s run this experiment again to see who murdered the victim.” Such thinking would be absurd. The question “Does God exist?” is not a scientific, but a philosophical question. When we evaluate the 4 facts: The Burial, the Post-mortem Appearances, The Burial of Jesus, and The Origin of belief in the disciples, we would deduce the 4 facts and come to the most logical inference or conclusion, which is that Jesus must have risen bodily from the dead. Also my opponent uses the old pagan parallel myths to Jesus. However, these have been refuted by scholars and historians 100 years ago in the 19th century because there was no connection.[6][2];

My opponent also accuses me of saying the Bible is a Science book. However, I made no such claim in my opening argument although I will go ahead and address Con’s argument. Genesis 7:12 states that “the floodgates of the heavens” opened, and rain fell for 40 days and 40 nights. In other words, hard rain fell in the region continuously for 40 days. Meteorologically, these factors constitute an unprecedented rain event in a region that averages only 10-20 inches of rainfall per year. No natural explanation exists for a storm so large, intense, or persistent in this region. This would obviously prove that God provided the elephants and animals with enough water and food for 300 days. Remember Elephants also store water in their trunks and bodies, so it wouldn’t disprove the flood even happened. The Hebrews were just as able (and by extension of the same scheme used with grasshoppers, katydids, etc) to regard the back legs of other types of flying insects as being of a different order, of being something different, so that only the first four were called plain old "feet" as only the first four on the hoppers, etc. were called feet, while the others were given a differing name such as "legs above their feet". So there is no conflict in that passage between what we have in science. My opponent needs to read these things in context first. Also, the fact there are other flood accounts would prove that the Biblical story actually happened because the Biblical flood can be verified since we have the exact dimensions of the boat that would support a flood. Other flood accounts fall short and are not verifiable.[1][4][5]

Rebuttal to Meaning and Life

My opponent doesn’t really give any objective reasons as to why human beings exist on an Agnostic Worldview. He simply just gives a subjective illustration of believers and non-believers having fun on a beach. I agree that it would be fun to hang out on a beach, but that doesn’t explain our existence on this planet “objectively”.

Rebuttal to Agnosticism and Morality:

My Opponent seems to have a huge misunderstanding of the Divine Command Theory. The DCT, s essentially teaches that a thing (i.e., action, behavior, choice, etc.) is good because God commands it to be done or evil because God forbids it from being done. However, the purpose of the DCT is to show that there must be an objective moral-law giver in order for objective moral values and duties to exist. The DCT does not argue for a particular Religion or God. WLC is not the founder of the DCT. WLC just argues a form of the DCT. There are many reputable philosophers like Ravi Zacharias, Alvin Plantinga, Saint Augustine, Robert Merrihew Adams,etc. Whenever you raise the problem of evil, you must include God in the paradigm because if you assume there’s such a thing as evil, you must assume there’s such a thing as good. If you assume Good and evil, then there must be a moral law or standard by which to differentiate between Good and evil. If there is a moral law, then there must be a moral law giver(God) who gives human beings that moral law. What I did was take the DCT one-step further and applied it to the Judeo-Christian God because the Judeo-Christian God is the one true God. My opponent hasn’t really offered any arguments for the foundation of objective moral values and duties on his own worldview of Agnosticism. He just simply argued against mine. My opponent also accused God in the bible of atrocities; however, he never cites passages to support his point. Morality on an agnostic and atheist worldview would be “Arbitrary”. The atheist philosopher of science, Michael Ruse, confirms this point:

"The position of the modern evolutionist is that humans have an awareness of morality because

such an awareness is of biological worth. Morality is a biological adaptation, no less than our hands and feet and teeth. Considered as a rationally justifiable set of claims about an objective something, ethics is illusory. I appreciate that when someone says, "love thy neighbor as thyself," they think they are referring above and beyond themselves. Nevertheless such reference is truly without foundation.

Morality is just an aid to survival and reproduction, and any deeper meaning is illusory."[3]

J.L. Mackie, one of the most outspoken atheists of this century agrees, "Moral properties are most unlikely to have arisen without an all-powerful god to create them.”[3]









My opponent hasn’t really given any positive arguments for Agnosticism. All we have seen are arguments against my position of Christian Theism. I have provided objective facts and evidences to support my claims. I gave historical and philosophical evidence. Con has not given any facts or evidences to support his position of Agnosticism, which he was supposed to in this debate. I therefore conclude that Christian Theism is sound because it has a point of Reference to Morality, Logic, History, Prophecy, Science, and Reality.



As I begin my final response, I would like to take this time to stress to my opponent that I did not accuse him of re-defining agnosticism. Rather, I stated that he seems to have a fundamental misunderstanding of agnosticism that requires greater explanation than the definition he provided. I have no problem with the definition he provided, but his misguided perception of what agnosticism is or isn't was necessary to correct.

Also, I would like to further stress that agnosticism is not "knowing" and "not knowing" two opposing statements as simultaneously true. As I stated in my previous response, "I do not know if God exists. Period." Again, this statement is not contradictory. It simply means that from all the evidence that I have seen, whether historically, scientifically, or even philosophically, I withhold my judgment about the existence of God because I personally have yet to see sufficient evidence and cause for belief in such a being.

Finally, I have accepted the burden of proof from the beginning of this debate and have demonstrated that agnosticism is an logically sound. And again, it is possible to for one to be an agnostic atheist or an agnostic theist. Agnosticism is not mutually exclusive to atheism or theism [1]. In maintaining that one cannot be an agnostic theist/atheist, my opponent is committing an Argument by Assertion [2].

On Russell

Pro infers that I stated that Bertrand Russell created the Law of Noncontradiction. I made no such inference. I said that Russell employed the LONC in a theorem of propositional logic that he co-proposed.

Why Don't I Know?

In his last post Pro said, "What matters if the justification for that position. His position is a conclusion based upon 'X' amount of evidence. If he believes that his conclusion: 'I don’t know', then he needs to give positive arguments for why he doesn’t know."

From 1992 to 2007, I was absolutely certain, beyond the shadow of a doubt that I knew who God was, namely Jesus Christ. Even when the evidence against his existence became so overwhelming, I maintained my faith, mostly out of fear of eternal damnation. But after years of looking for the evidence and finding it unconvincing, I left Christianity. This decision was based on my knowledge of astronomy and science, lack of data confirming Jesus as a historic person, parallels between Judeo-Christianity and other ancient religions, and the moral failures of Judeo-Christianity.

I mentioned Noah's Ark was most likely lifted from Sumarian and Akkadian epics like Gilgamesh and Atra-hasis, but I'll provide more parallels in "Religious Trends" below. But before I do, I'd like to follow up on science.

My opponent now seems to infer that the Bible is not a science book. If so, then why hold Christianity as true scientifically? Moreover, is he saying that an elephant can hold 12,000 gallons of water in its trunk? Also, why does the Bible not draw a distinction between locusts and say, ants, flies or ladybugs when it refers to insects as having four legs?

So there are two questions that I would like to my opponent to answer in the comments section. First, does he believe that the Bible is the infallible word of God. Second, does he believe that the universe young, between 6,000 and 10,000 years old?

There are many more items I could touch on scientifically, but I simply can't due to lack of character space.

More on Morality

As I read Pro's description of the Divine Command Theory, I remember why I am often horrified why anyone would continue to use such a barbaric and fanciful ideology as the basis for divine authorship for morality at the hands of the Christian deity. While I am aware that Craig did not create the DCT, once again I find it absolutely appalling that Christians like Pro continue to prop him up as their champion of reason when his arguments are so morally reprehensible and logically fallacious.

Take for example WLC's article, Slaughter of the Canaanites [3]. In this article, WLC creates a breathtaking moral quagmire for himself and his followers. The purpose of his article is to address the nightmarish brutality visited on the Canaanites by the Israelites. Craig's apologetics even stuns some Christians, let alone anyone with a sound moral compass. He states, "So whom does God wrong in commanding the destruction of the Canaanites? Not the Canaanite adults, for they were corrupt and deserving of judgement. Not the children, for they inherit eternal life. So who is wronged? Ironically, I think the most difficult part of this whole debate is the apparent wrong done to the Israeli soldiers themselves. Can you imagine what it would be like to have to break into some house and kill a terrified woman and her children? The brutalizing effect on these Israeli soldiers is disturbing."

It isn't the men, women, children or infants that Craig wants us to feel compassion for, but the Israelite soldiers who butchered these families. This is absolutely outrageous!

But the hole WLC digs for himself gets even deeper when earlier in the article he says, "On divine command theory, then, God has the right to command an act, which, in the absence of a divine command, would have been sin, but which is now morally obligatory in virtue of that command."

I'm a nutshell, WLC commits yet another logical fallacy known as Argumentum ad Baculum, or Might Makes Right [4]. In fact, the entirety of DCT could be viewed such a fallacy. If you or I committed acts of genocide, we'd be on death row, but since it's Craig's god we're talking about here, eh, what the heck? Let's give him a break. Such thinking is abhorrent and absurd!

Also, Con says that I failed to mention any of the dozens of atrocities committed by the god of the Bible. I can only put so much into 10,000 characters, but here are some.

Hos. 9:16, Ex. 21:20-21, Ex. 13:2, Judges 21:10-24, Num. 31:7-18, and Deut. 22:23-29. These are only a handful and I could go on. But ask yourself, is murdering a rape victim morally acceptable? Or is it okay to kill a child who hits their parents?

Also, I think that the fact that my opponent did not answer my previous questions regarding morality proves my point that morality does not come from his god. Rather, morality is perfectly explained as a natural by-product of evolutionary biology [5].

Religious Trends

When we look at the Mediterranean and the ancient Near East around 2,000 years ago, we see that the region was a hotbed of religious fervor. Trade routes in the region allowed for the free flow of religions, which often merged, and usually Hellenistic ideas were the centerpiece.

For example, Serapis resulted from the marriage of Greek and Egyptian religions [6]. And we know that the Romans adopted and renamed the Greek pantheon as their their own. We also know that the ancient Hebrews had a pantheon of their own, from which the war god, Yahweh, became their sole god.

Why then is it so difficult to imagine Persian, Greek, and Egyptian gods influencing the creation of a new god, namely Jesus? Have we become so far removed from our common sensibilities that we lost our critic thought when it comes to religious indoctrination?

Parallels to Christ

This is one of the most willfully ignored problems for Christians who will do anything to ignore the elephant in the room. While I make no attempt to draw parallels between Jesus and seemingly every god in ancient Near Eastern paganism like Acharya S. does, there are nevertheless undeniable similarities between Jesus and others gods.

For instance, Greek mythology tells us that Perseus was born through the virgin Danae, and Romulus was also born of a virgin. Jesus also shares the dying-and-rising god my theme with Osiris, Attis, and Adonis (Adonai?) among others [7]. Jesus even shares the trait of being spared death at birth with Zeus [8]. This list is hardly exhaustive as there are dozens more parallels I could mention.

Moreover, Justin Martyr wrote, And when we say also that the Word, who is the first-begotten of God, was produced without sexual union, and that He, Jesus Christ, our Teacher, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven, we propound nothing different from what you believe regarding those whom you esteem sons of Jupiter." Even an early church father knew that there were similarities between Christ and other gods. Therefore, the fact that there are parallels between Jesus and other gods has not been refuted [9].

I think my point is made. In spite of my opponent's assertion that pagan parallels to Christ are fantasy, they are indeed very real and, at least to some degree, adopted by the early Christians as part of their rituals.


In closing, I thank my opponent for this debate. I maintain that Pro still misunderstands what agnosticism is and I strongly suggest he refrain from WLC's teachings as they are fallacious and often twisted too suit his own sense of morality.

As I suspected, this was a lively debate and I'm glad we had the opportunity to discuss agnosticism, and I look forward to future debates with him.


[1] Dan Barker (2008). Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists. New York. Ulysses Press. p. 96.
[2] Wikipedia. Argument by Assertion. Retrieved January 9, 2014.
[3] Reasonable Faith. Slaughter of the Canaanites. Retrieved January 9, 2014.
[4] Wikipedia. Argumentum ad Baculum. Retrieved January 9, 2014.
[5] Richard Joyce (2006). The Evolution of Morality. Cambridge, MA. MIT Press. pp. 1-29.
[6] Wikipedia. Serapis. Retrieved January 9, 2014.
[7] David A. Leeming, Kathryn Madden, Stanton Marlan, (2010). Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion: L-Z. 1st ed. New York, NY: Springer Science+Business Media, pp. 266-269
[8] Richard FitzRoy Somerset Raglan (1956). The Hero: A Study in Tradition, Myth, and Drama. Mineola, NY. Dover Publications, p. 180.
[9] Leslie William Bernard (1997). Justin Martyr: The First and Second Apologies. Mahwah, NJ. Paulist Press. p. 37
Debate Round No. 3
23 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by wateva232 3 years ago
RFD part 2:-

These 4 questions are very subjective to Pro's own beliefs. Con pointed out nicely how they are completely irrelevant to whether agnosticism is based on facts and evidence. Pro seems to forget that almost all major religions answer the same 4 questions. It is not exclusive to Jesus Christ or Christianity. If you are a Muslim or a Mormon,Muhammad and Joseph smith would also answer the same questions. Agnosticism is not a worldview as pro stated. Using the previous example, belief or disbelief in ET is not a world view.

2. Why Christian/Judeo faith:

I honestly think this is completely irrelevant to the debate. This debate is about Agnosticism and not Christianity or Jesus Christ. Pro should've included it in the first round, as why Christianity is better than Agnosticism or drop it all. This was not supposed to be a Christian/Atheist debate.
However, Con arguments were quite lacking and should've stated that all major religions share similar answer for the 4 questions of life. Con attacked only the scientific aspects of Christianity and left out all the logical arguments that could've stood in his favor.


I thought this was a very tight race. Unfortunately, Pro's argument of why Agnosticism is not based on evidence were very fallacious and subjective. While Con, also did not provide as much to resolve why Agnosticism is based on evidence and facts. The latter part of the debate is a tie for me despite being irrelevant. Con missed a lot of chances in Round 2 and 3 to kill the debate and Pro did not really provide sound arguments.

However, I don't feel it is fair to give the three full points to Con, so I will make convincing arguments a tie and give a conduct point for Con to give him a 1 point win instead of 3. S&G and sources are a tie for me and conduct would've been a tie, but I will give it to Con instead of giving him the 3 points of convincing arguments.

Thank you and good luck next time.
Posted by wateva232 3 years ago

I would like to thank both opponents on such a good read. Been a long time since I've read a debate that was not forfeited or well structured as this one. This debate was based on two propositions, A. Agnosticism is impossible, and B. Why Christian/Judeo faith.
I will dissect and analyze each part separately.

A. The impossibility of Agnosticism:-

Pro's argument relies on that Agnosticism is self defeating because, one cannot know and know. This argument fails logically as Con pointed out and I will give an example. If I claim that extraterrestrials exist, then any sensible position would be an "agnostic" toward such claim. If there is no evidence to point to either direction then the default position becomes agnosticism immediately, otherwise one has to accept the existence of ET only on faith and trust. But one cannot be sure 100% of their existence or not. Thus, you can easily claim you are an agnostic to the existence of ETs or I don't know whether ETs exist or not. Nothing illogical about such position nor is it self defeating, thus the premise proposed by Pro fails.

Con pointed out the faults in Pro's argument and explained how can one be an Agnostic Atheist or Theist. Pro in R3 claimed that one cannot hold Agnosticism with Atheism or Theism, which is quite false as pointed out by Con, that one can easily be Agnostic atheist or Agnostic theist. Using previous example, one can lean towards a certain position. Like I don't believe ETs exist but I don't know for sure.

The third round I thought Pro was overly zealous and not really researching well the topic in hand. Pro claimed "If he believes that his conclusion: "I don"t know", then he needs to give positive arguments for why he doesn"t know"

I read this and I was like wow, I've never heard of a justification for an "I don't know" position.

Lastly, the 4 main questions of life that were proposed by Pro were very subjective as Con pointed out.

Posted by Romanii 3 years ago
First of all, other religions answer those 4 as well.
And second of all, the reason Agnosticism and Atheism don't answer those is because... THEY. AREN'T. WORLD VIEWS!!! They are simply positions on the existence of God. They have no tenets, no doctrines, no mythology, no history.
Posted by janetsanders733 3 years ago
Okay That's why I said a worldview must answer How we got here (Origins) Why are we here? (Meaning) What are we worth? (Morality) Where are we going? (Destiny) Agnosticsm and Atheism can not answer these coherently with corresponding answers and or objectively.

It is only in the person of Christ, do you see all 4 of these answered objectively.
Posted by Romanii 3 years ago
An agnostic may see the world differently from a Christian, but that does not mean that Agnosticism defines their entire world view! There are many other more important factors that influence an agnostic's world view that have nothing to do with God.
Posted by janetsanders733 3 years ago
Theism is not Christian. Theism is simply the worldview that God exists. Christianity is a sub-section of Theism. Agnosticism is a worldview because they see the world differently than someone who believes in God. I'm not going to heaven because of what I did, but because of what Christ did for you and me.
Posted by Romanii 3 years ago
Not necessarily. Many religions, like Christianity, were meant to be guides on how to live life. They weren't just positions on whether or not God exists.
Agnosticism has no tenets outside of its doubt on whether or not God exists. It is not meant to be a world view at all. Likewise, a scientists position on whether or not one particular theory is true does not define their entire world view at all.
Posted by janetsanders733 3 years ago
@Romanii So is Theism. However, They are both worldviews because you see the world differently from a different philosophical position.
Posted by Romanii 3 years ago
Agnosticism is a merely a philosophical position on the existence of God...
Posted by janetsanders733 3 years ago
@Romanii Worldview- a particular philosophy of life or conception of the world. Agnosticism is a philosophical position on life.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by wateva232 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by Romanii 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: This debate was basically divided into 2 parts: Logic and World View. Pro failed in both parts. The logic arguments were faulty and based on misunderstandings of agnosticism. There is nothing illogical about saying that you don't know if God exists. The world view arguments were based on the misconception that agnosticism was meant to be a world view, yet agnosticism is NOT a world view; it is merely a position on whether or not God exists. It has no further doctrine on anything else and thus is not a world view. An agnostic's world view is defined by many things outside of their position on God's existence. For that reason, much of Pro's argument completely falls apart. Con also proved thoroughly that no matter how you look at it, the Bible contradicts science.