The Instigator
jayteescout
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
TheTraditionalist
Con (against)
Winning
13 Points

Agnosticism over Atheism.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
TheTraditionalist
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/19/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 787 times Debate No: 28417
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (2)

 

jayteescout

Pro

I believe agnosticism is a much more respectable position to have over atheism. This debate is about everything having to do with these two beliefs, and basically which is better and more respectable. All I ask is that a knowledgeable, level headed person join this debate who is modestly educated on the beliefs of Atheism. And that they speak in english, nothing that only someone who has a degree in religion could understand.
This is my first debate and I may not be as good as some but please bear with me. Thank you.
TheTraditionalist

Con

Introduction:

I would like to thank my opponent for creating this interesting debate, and wish him the best of luck.

In his opening remarks, my opponent establish the ground on which this debate will be conducted; he expressed that it was his objective to affirm the resolution that "...agnosticism is a much more respectable position to have over atheism." In this round, I will move to affirm that agnosticism is NOT the more respectable belief to hold. Before I begin my arguments, I would like to get a few obligatory definitions out of the way.

Definitions:

Atheism - In its most inclusive sense, atheism is the absence of belief in the existence of gods, deities, or the supernatural. [1] It is important to note that while all those who outright reject the existence of gods, deities, or the supernatural are atheists, not all atheists outright reject the existence of gods, deities, or the supernatural. What can be said of all atheists is that the reject the belief in deities, gods, and the supernatural; this is a very important distinction to make.

Agnosticism - In a religious context, Agnosticism is the belief that claims about the existence or non-existence of any deity, as well as other religious and metaphysical claims are unknown and (so far as can be judged) unknowable. [2]

In his opening statement I am going to make the assumption that Pro is using respectable synonymously with the rational.

Now, let the arguments commence.

Contentions:

The major distinction that can be made between Atheism and Agnosticism is primarily one that concerns knowledge; one school of thought holds that religious and metaphysical claims are unknowable, while the other does not necessarily hold that to be true. I would like to ask my opponent why this is the more rational and/or respectable position to hold. I would also like to ask him what evidence or arguments can be offered to support this.

An atheist who is not an agnostic may look at the issue of what we can and cannot known, and assert that they believe that religious and metaphysical claims are knowable. What is interesting is that this may not necessarily mean that they believe affirmatively that gods/deities/the supernatural do not exist; it is possible for an atheist to be Gnostic, yet not hold to the belief that they know with certainty that a god does not exist. How is this position any less respectable than the position that knowledge of the supernatural and metaphysical is simply unknowable?

Sources:

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 1
jayteescout

Pro

jayteescout forfeited this round.
TheTraditionalist

Con

"As you stated, agnosticism believes religious and metaphysical claims are unknowable. And atheists don't necessarily hold that to be true. Meaning that atheists believe that wether or not religious claims are correct might be knowable. The reason agnosticism is more rational is because it is completely irrational to say that religious claims are knowable. We understand god to be a being/presence that, among other things, is able to defy scientific laws. Since the only way we humans know of proving or disproving theories is scientifically, and god defies science, we cannot prove wether or not god exists."
  • The Scientific method is not the only way that humans can try and understand the world around them. A scientific argument is empirical in its nature, but we can still try to understand the world around us using deductive and inductive reasoning.
  • There are various non-scientific arguments against the existence of god, they include: the problem of hell, the omnipotence paradox, the problem of evil, and many others http://en.wikipedia.org...
  • If god were not acting upon the physical realm then it is true that god would not be able to be empirically tested for, but that in and of itself poses a problem; agnostics would then only be able to state that only god we would be unable to know about would be an immaterial, and incredibly deistic god. The likelihood of his or her existence would be on par with that on an immaterial and invisible wookie that does not exist in the physical realm. How is it less rational to reject the belief in either of these things than to just remain indifferent towards as self identified agnostics would?
Debate Round No. 2
jayteescout

Pro

jayteescout forfeited this round.
TheTraditionalist

Con

Please extend all of my previous arguments.
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by jayteescout 4 years ago
jayteescout
Great idea!

"why [is] this the more rational and/or respectable position to hold[?]"
As you stated, agnosticism believes religious and metaphysical claims are unknowable. And atheists don't necessarily hold that to be true. Meaning that atheists believe that wether or not religious claims are correct might be knowable. The reason agnosticism is more rational is because it is completely irrational to say that religious claims are knowable. We understand god to be a being/presence that, among other things, is able to defy scientific laws. Since the only way we humans know of proving or disproving theories is scientifically, and god defies science, we cannot prove wether or not god exists.
Posted by TheTraditionalist 4 years ago
TheTraditionalist
Can you just post your argument in the comments section?
Posted by jayteescout 4 years ago
jayteescout
Sorry about not responding, I can start a new debate if you want?
Posted by devient.genie 4 years ago
devient.genie
Agnosticism is putting the probability of a god on par with its improbability. This isnt a simple coin flip 50/50 proposition.

Is the liklihood of leprechauns at the end of rainbows on par with its improbability? So being agnostic to leprechauns is somehow a better position?

Bigotry 11:14--Atheist is a bogus word. There is No word for someone who does Not believe in astrology or horoscopes, there is Not a name for someone who doesnt believe leprechauns are at the end of rainbows, there is Not a name for a person who does not believe there is a tea pot orbiting the andromeda galaxy. Why is there a name for someone who does Not believe the reason for everything is a homophobe :)

GrowUp 16:1--The best words for "nonbelievers" in leprechauns at the end of rainbows, are sane and logical, the same words should be used for those who are nonbelievers that the reason for everything rested on the 7th day and can convict you of thought crimes :)
Posted by stealspell 4 years ago
stealspell
Nothing major. I'd reword it in your next response and maybe give Pro a heads up.
Posted by TheTraditionalist 4 years ago
TheTraditionalist
Sorry about that, I tried to change the structure of the sentence and clearly botched it. :-/

Lol, I'm sure most agnostic are aware of the religious claims that are floating around there. Thanks for pointing that out.
Posted by stealspell 4 years ago
stealspell
Con,

Agnosticism - In a religious context, Agnosticism is the belief that claims about the existence or non-existence of any deity, as well as other religious and metaphysical claims are unknown and (so far as can be judged) unknowable. [2]

This is false. You copied this incorrectly from the Wikipedia article. Claims *can* in fact be known. It's the truth value of the claims that are disputable.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Clash 4 years ago
Clash
jayteescoutTheTraditionalistTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Full forfeit.
Vote Placed by DoctorDeku 4 years ago
DoctorDeku
jayteescoutTheTraditionalistTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit