The Instigator
hldemi
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
sherlockholmesfan2798
Con (against)
Winning
10 Points

Agnosticism should not be listed under "religion" option in Debate.org user profile

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
sherlockholmesfan2798
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/17/2015 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,091 times Debate No: 77785
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (20)
Votes (3)

 

hldemi

Pro

First round is for acceptance of debate and definitions. If you dont agree with definitions put your definitions in comments and then I will tell you if im gonna accept.

Definitions:

Agnosticism
: A” means “without” and “gnosis” means “knowledge.” Hence, agnostic: without knowledge, but specifically without knowledge of gods.
( Agnosticism is a view of an agnostic. )


Religion:

1. Belief in, worship of, or obedience to a supernatural power or powers considered to be divine or to have control of human destiny.
2. A particular system of faith and worship.

Con is going to argue that Agnosticism should be listed under "religion" option in Debate.org profile

Good luck.

Sources for definitions:

http://atheism.about.com...
https://en.wikipedia.org...
http://dictionary.reference.com...

sherlockholmesfan2798

Con

I accept. Since Pro has not stated a structure for this debate, I will assume the common 4 round debate structure. This is:

Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2:Opening Arguments
Round 3: Rebuttals
Round 4: Rebuttals and Closing Arguments

I have no issue with any of your definitions. If you would like change the debate structure, please inform me of it in the second round.

I look forward to a interesting debate.
Debate Round No. 1
hldemi

Pro

Hi. Thanks for the accepting.

Yeah this structure is fine except that I would like to avoid new arguments in the final round and call that final round - round 4: Rebuttals and conclusion.

Glad that we agree on definitions.

So my opening argument is that agnosticism is obviously not a religion. For pure agnosticism there are no shared ceremonies, rules, commandments, tenets, practices, scriptures, doctrine, prayers, traditions, rituals, rites,beliefs, stories, morals, authority, worship or anything else that defines religion. It not even a belief position. Its a simple admittance of the fact that we got no knowledge of God or Gods.
Also it is important to note that It is a position on one specific claim. That's it.

Now you CAN be religious AND be agnostic, but just being agnostic is not a religion.
So why is this important at all ? Why not still have it under religion label ?
What's the purpose of differentiating knowledge from belief?

Because it is a misleading and tells us nothing about someones particular religious beliefs. If we were able to still define our belief position then it would be fine with me. For example : agnostic atheist or agnostic theist.

The terms are different, the result is that one can be:

An agnostic atheist
(one who doesn't claim to know if there is a God or not, but doesn't believe in one)
A gnostic atheist
(one who does not believe in god AND professes to know that no such god does or could exist)
An agnostic theist
(one who doesn't claim to know if there is a god or not, but does believe in one)
A gnostic theist
(one who both claims to believe in AND know for a fact that there is a god)

The great confusion is made because agnosticism is mistaken with being a religion. So people think that being an agnostic is religious behavior. People clarify as agnostics when asked whether they believe in God and that is not the answer. They were not asked if they know that God exists. And those categorizations as this one in title is certainly not helping to clarify this.

Im gonna stop here for now. Good luck.
(No need for sources since it is extension of definitions that we both agreed upon. )



sherlockholmesfan2798

Con

Hi. I agree with the updated structure. This round will contain no rebuttals, per the terms of the agreed structure. Just my opening arguments.


Opening

I would like to start this by stating the function of the information panel in DDO(Debate.org). The function of the information panel is to allow others on DDO, to know a user better. To know their thoughts and opinions on the world around them, allows us to understand, and humanize the people we debate with. The religion heading, is a big part of that. The religion or opinion one has, gives others a chance to know them. If we were to remove an option, that 3764[1] users on DDO have chosen as their opinion , removes the ability to further understand users on the site. I will go into details now.

Placing

The agnostic option is listed under religion in DDO. Agnosticism being a religion is technically incorrect. However, it is the opinion of god's existence, which is the biggest part of many religions. This means, it is just as important as picking a religion, which makes it very relevant to the religion heading.

Also, the misconception that agnosticism is a religion is popular, which is why the first place many of us would look for agnosticism under the religion heading , making it the perfect placing for the agnostic option.
Function

As said previously, the religion heading helps other users get to know you on this website.This is also the function of the information panel. The agnostic option entirely helps this. The opinion of god's existence is very important to many. Since 3764[1] users have currently listed their opinion of god as agnostic, the removal of an opinion of god, hurts the ability to know many others, and therefore, the function of the information panel.

Closing Statements

The function of the information panel is to help get to know others. The agnostic option in the religion heading, only helps this function. The removal of this option, would only hurt the information panel, which would hurt DDO, which is obviously the undesirable option.


Citing

http://www.debate.org...; (The number here is subject to change)


I had wanted to make this longer and elaborate on my points, but due to the time limits and my life, I was unable to do so. I apologize for this, and will try to elaborate on my points next round. I look forward to my opponents response.
Debate Round No. 2
hldemi

Pro

Thanks for the reply Con.
This round I will rebut Cons arguments.

First lets see in your OPENING what I find problematic.

I agree with all you wrote except the sentence before last sentence. Actually those 3764 users do not know what agnosticism means. If they did, they would never pick it up since it tells us nothing about their religious beliefs. I can be agnostic "any of the other options on the list". I can basically be agnostic "any of the circa 10 000 religions known so far in human history". So that renders agnosticism being totally arbitrary in context of religious belief.

PLACING

Here Con made a case that one being an agnostic is telling us something about one`s opinion of God`s existence. To the extent that is true but it tells us nothing about whether someone still believes is God which should be much more important. Also it tells us nothing about their religious practices. If I read Christian I suddenly know so much about this person. I know he believes in prayer, in miracles, in creator and so many other things. This is why it is so helpful to have religion label under information panel. Agnosticism tells me nothing. It is a position on one specific claim. It is like if under occupation it says "self employed". Ok, but that is not the occupation. You can be self employed anything. Being self employed tells us something about nature of your occupation but in itself it tells us less about someone's occupation then if It were not the option. Which is more helpful : being self employed or being a teacher. What tells me more about someone.

The misconception that agnosticism is a religion is popular I agree but I argue that we should not further support any misconceptions. This whole site is about expanding our horizons, to learn to be accurate, to learn the value and power of words and arguing. Having agnosticism under religion is to me undermining the very integrity what this site is supposed to be.

FUNCTION

Con wrote:
"As said previously, the religion heading helps other users get to know you on this website.This is also the function of the information panel. The agnostic option entirely helps this."

Quite the contrary. It tells us far less then actually putting your religion would tell. Its half the information (far less important half) and the other half which is far more important cannot be set because of this.

Con wrote:

"Since 3764[1] users have currently listed their opinion of god as agnostic, the removal of an opinion of god, hurts the ability to know many others, and therefore, the function of the information panel."

That's like saying that since *** number of people put "self employed" under their occupation removing that option hurts the ability to know them better. It is absurd and wrong.
Only thing agnosticism under religion label on this site tells me is that those people don't understand what agnosticism means.

CLOSING STATEMENT.

I agree that the function of the information panel is to help get to know others. That's why I'm not arguing against information panel. In fact I'm so much for the information panel that I created this debate in order to try to make it more accurate and better. Why ? Because "The agnostic option in the religion heading, only helps this function" to be less viable by accepting and supporting the misconception of agnosticism on the site which very purpose is to help us fight misconceptions. This is in my opinion shameful and ironic and needs to be brought to the moderators of this site to change it . Since how else can we expect people to look into agnosticism more to see why it is not listed under religion of their favorite site. Maybe because it is not a religion.

Since I agree that agnosticism is still some information on God, I think it would be best if one is able to set Agnostic/Gnostic and then put Atheist/Theist . If theist was put then the list of religions would open to be set. This is the right way to do IMO.





sherlockholmesfan2798

Con

I thank Pro for the continuation of this debate. I will now rebut the arguments by Pro in the second round.


Rebuttals

R1.

"Because it is a misleading and tells us nothing about someones particular religious beliefs. If we were able to still define our belief position then it would be fine with me. For example : agnostic atheist or agnostic theist."

This statement implies simply being agnostic isn't a belief point, which is absolutely incorrect. An agnostic believes that humans do not know whether or not god exists, or they have no knowledge of it. This is saying they are not sure whether or not god exists, which is an opinion that is just as important as saying god exists. Getting rid of this opinion, will not help DDO/the information panel.

While it can be misleading, the adverse effects of this "misleading" are minimal to none. However, if we were to remove it, we would be removing a very important opinion. This option has many adverse effects. It is like censorship, silencing the many people who are truly agnostic.

R2. Contradictions

"If we were able to still define our belief position then it would be fine with me. For example : agnostic atheist or agnostic theist.

The terms are different, the result is that one can be:

An agnostic atheist
(one who doesn't claim to know if there is a God or not, but doesn't believe in one)
A gnostic atheist
(one who does not believe in god AND professes to know that no such god does or could exist)
An agnostic theist
(one who doesn't claim to know if there is a god or not, but does believe in one)
A gnostic theist
(one who both claims to believe in AND know for a fact that there is a god)"

This is where my opponent begins to contradict himself. He states that these other opinions on the existence of god, should be under the religion heading. However, these options are also not religions, but would be under a religion heading. Which means, they would also be "misleading". So why are these "misleading" options allowed to be under the religion heading, while others are not? This contradicts his earlier argument.

Furthermore, I urge my opponent to look at the title he chose. He says we should remove the agnostic option from the religion option. Not that we should include others, in place of it. If we were to accept the action he proposes, there would just be no agnostic option, which is, as I said, the silencing of an opinion.

Closing Statement(s)

My opponent states allowing the agnostic option to stay is misleading as it is not a religion, but proposes options that are just as misleading. He proposes DDO moderators silence an opinion because it is technically incorrect. However, the adverse effects of this are many, while the adverse effects of the alternative are minimal. Allowing the agnostic option to stay, serves DDO. Getting rid of this, is the undesirable action.

This has been a fun debate so far, and I look forward to my opponents reply.



Debate Round No. 3
hldemi

Pro

Thank you Con for putting up an interesting debate. I will now rebut the arguments made by Con in round 3. And make my conclusion.

Regarding cons R1

Here Con is engaged in equivocation fallacy since the word belief is used in a different sense regarding agnosticism and theism/atheism. Not being sure about does God exists should not be confused with a belief done with making a truth claim about existence of deity. Me believing that we cannot know something is not the same usage of the word believe as in saying I believe that God exists/does not exist. Former is epistemological and latter is metaphysical claim.

What Con calls belief in context of agnosticism is simply judgment based on facts regarding epistemological truth and belief in context of theism is religious faith or in atheism it is lack of religious faith. Those beliefs are not mutually exclusive so they are obviously not the same.

I don't think that the effects are minimal to none for which I argued in round 3. Even If I was to grant the importance of this opinion, it would still be wrong to have it under religion. I do not argue that we should remove it entirely, I'm arguing that standing by itself it should be not an option under religion label in information panel.


Regarding cons R2

Those other options are statements on belief whether or not God exists. That combined with a knowledge claim which comes from agnosticism part tells us so much more about someone then just agnosticism alone. Also in a case of theism we are talking about religion. While theism is not any particular religion it tells us that that someone is religious just not specified which religion in case (in round 3 I argue that it should be specified in theism subcategory). In a case of atheism we are getting information about someone being non religious. But for agnosticism we cannot tell if that one is religious or not. This is very important. Since how can something that does not address religious belief at all be under the religion tab. Its absurd. Also I agree that atheism is not a religion but it is a statement about not having a religion so it is much more suitable candidate to stay under religion tab in information panel.

"Furthermore, I urge my opponent to look at the title he chose. He says we should remove the agnostic option from the religion option. Not that we should include others, in place of it. If we were to accept the action he proposes, there would just be no agnostic option, which is, as I said, the silencing of an opinion. "

Including others in place of it is a solution to the problem of categorical mistake. If someone has dying urge to define himself as an agnostic He is free to do so. Just not under wrong category. There is option to write about himself and about beliefs to the extent of 1000 characters. So write It down for all you like. Putting wrong option under religion tab is not right way of practicing freedom of opinions. If it was then it should allow all possible wrong and right opinions under religion category. Which is absurd. Not letting some child to put hakuna matata under religion would be silencing an opinion. Not letting trolls have their own satire religions would be silencing their opinions. You cant have double standards here.

Rebuttal of cons Closing statements

I proposed that something which is misleading by itself in a context of specific category "RELIGION" stops being misleading by letting it accompany religious view ( theism or atheism). Just like self employed under occupation is misleading but it is not if it is accompanied by true occupation. For example self employed car mechanic.

"He proposes DDO moderators silence an opinion because it is technically incorrect. "

I propose of either expanding it or removing it from this particular category since it does not fit there by itself. If this was not picked from the list, but left to user to write down then I would not have a problem of user making a mistake. But for site to support this wrong way of thinking is wrong on so many different levels. Also there is infinite possibilities of technically incorrect opinions. Should we include them all ? Information panel loses its purpose then.


CONCLUSION

As Con said, the purpose of information panel is to help us know other users better. That's why we got so many different categories. That's why we need those to be very accurate and cover many different fields of human interests and views/opinions. So giving people technically incorrect option under some category is misleading and what's even worse renders that category arbitrary. When under my religion I put something that neither tells if I'm religious or not, nor which religion I follow then what's the purpose of that category other then letting me be vague on the topic and technically incorrect as an predefined option. I can be agnostic and being religious and I can be agnostic and not being religious. If debate.org is gonna limit users to the predefined list of religions then any technically incorrect option is direct support of this sort of ignorance. This community deserves better so vote for Pro.



I would like to thank Con for participation and some very interesting arguments. Its been fun. I hope that some moderator casts a vote there to see what "officials" think of this.
sherlockholmesfan2798

Con

I thank Pro for his reply. This round will not have any new arguments, but I can include extension of previously made arguments. I will also rebut anything Pro said in the previous round(s).

Rebuttals

R1. Opening

"I agree with all you wrote except the sentence before last sentence. Actually those 3764 users do not know what agnosticism means. If they did, they would never pick it up since it tells us nothing about their religious beliefs."

This is just incorrect. Those 3764 are likely truly agnostic people. If one believes you cannot know the existence of god, that is their opinion of god. It is the conclusion that you are unable to truly know the existence of god.

This opinion is very important. If you believe you cannot know, then you must have gone through rigorous questioning of god, before you came to the conclusion of agnosticism, giving us heaps of information.

Now, Pro also says it tells us nothing on their religious beliefs. First let's define religious belief.

Religious Belief - a strong belief in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny[1]

Technically, it doesn't tell us anything about their religious belief. But if you believe that any option in the "RELIGION" heading must include religious beliefs, then atheism, agnosticism and any of the sub-opinions that fall under these, would have to be removed. That completely blocks the opinion of anyone who doesn't believe in god. This is obviously an unfavourable action.

R2. Opening II

"I can be agnostic "any of the other options on the list". I can basically be agnostic "any of the circa 10 000 religions known so far in human history". So that renders agnosticism being totally arbitrary in context of religious belief."

There is parts of this that are true. You can be "agnostic "any of the circa 10 000 religions known so far in human history"". However, this doesn't mean you can't be purely agnostic, as many are. You can be agnostic Christian. However, you can also be agnostic without believing in the values and principles of Christianity. Agnosticism is a self standing opinion.

In the context of religious belief, atheism is arbitrary too. However, it is entirely relevant to god's existence, which is very important in religion. Agnosticism is an opinion on god's existence. While it doesn't explicitly say god exists, or god doesn't exist, it states the probability on god's existence, which is exactly what atheism or many religions do.


R3. Placing

"Here Con made a case that one being an agnostic is telling us something about one`s opinion of God`s existence. To the extent that is true but it tells us nothing about whether someone still believes [in] God which should be much more important."


I explained this previously. If you are saying you can't know, then there is no "do you believe in god?". It's saying, as a species, we can't know if god exists. My opponent implies this opinion is unimportant, in comparison to a definite belief that god exists or not. Instead, it is a mixture, saying god can exist, but you are not certain he can exist, because we have no knowledge of it.
R4. Placing II

"Also it tells us nothing about their religious practices. If I read Christian I suddenly know so much about this person. I know he believes in prayer, in miracles, in creator and so many other things. This is why it is so helpful to have religion label under information panel. Agnosticism tells me nothing. It is a position on one specific claim. It is like if under occupation it says "self employed". Ok, but that is not the occupation. You can be self employed anything. Being self employed tells us something about nature of your occupation but in itself it tells us less about someone's occupation then if It were not the option. Which is more helpful : being self employed or being a teacher. What tells me more about someone."

The main issue here is that you assume someone must have a religious practice. If you read Christian, you do learn a lot. However, everyone isn't Christian. Some people are genuinely agnostic, meaning they can't add all the details of large book. But it is what they are, and the fact that the details aren't there, doesn't cheapen the value of the opinion.

His self-employed analogy is completely off. Agnosticism isn't a broad heading for many other sub-headings to fall in. It is its own, specific opinion. I'd liken to being a lawyer. You may be a lawyer, in which you generally take on all types of cases. However, you can also be a defense lawyer, in which you specialize in defending you clients. You learn a lot from both either way.

R5. Function

"Quite the contrary. It tells us far less then actually putting your religion would tell. Its half the information (far less important half) and the other half which is far more important cannot be set because of this"

Again, you assume people have to be in a religion. If one is not in a religion, you would rather we learn nothing of them? Instead, we should learn something about them, even if it is "half the information".


"Since I agree that agnosticism is still some information on God, I think it would be best if one is able to set Agnostic/Gnostic and then put Atheist/Theist . If theist was put then the list of religions would open to be set. This is the right way to do IMO."

As put previously, agnosticism is a self-standing opinion. If one is agnostic, they should have the right to share this information. Throughout this debate, I never fought against the inclusion of these other opinions. But, the removal of one popular opinion puts a large limit on the functionality of the information panel.

R6. Misconceptions


"accepting and supporting the misconception of agnosticism on the site which very purpose is to help us fight misconceptions. This is in my opinion shameful and ironic and needs to be brought to the moderators of this site to change it . Since how else can we expect people to look into agnosticism more to see why it is not listed under religion of their favorite site. Maybe because it is not a religion."

My opponent is continuing to contradict himself. He states we should not allow agnosticism to stay since it is not a religion. Following this same line of logic, anything that is not a religion, should not be included in the religion heading as it has an inherent misconception. However, this means any of his other opinions (agnostic atheist,agnostic theist etc), which he has been fighting to be included, should not be included. If we follow this, then any opinion which does not believe in god, would be silent. The impact of this is large and harmful. The impact of a small misconception is minimal.


Closing Statements

My opponent believes we should take down a popular opinion because it provides a small misconception. However, he fights for the inclusion of other opinions that provide the same misconception. His entire plan is contingent on adding the same misconception. I believe that taking down an opinion because it is technically incorrect is much more harmful, and is censorship of an opinion. This is an undesirable operation.

Citing

1.http://www.thefreedictionary.com...


On another note, my opponent has many issues with his spelling and grammar. Placing his arguments in a spell checker reveals many errors.

I thank Pro for what has been a fun debate.
Debate Round No. 4
20 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by hldemi 2 years ago
hldemi
But then I would disregard conduit and reliability of the sources which are important to me. Spelling and grammar would be fine if the threshold was set to the point of understandability of my arguments. Since I can do that with a rule I'm not gonna use "select winner".. "select winner" in my opinion renders this voting system even poorer then it already is.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
I understand that to a degree, but your R4 really wasn't up to the same standard as the previous 2 rounds. If you don't want S&G considered, you could always make the voting "Select Winner" instead.
Posted by hldemi 2 years ago
hldemi
I dont think spelling should matter as long as the every argument was understandable. English is my second language and I dont think that I should be penalized for it unless my arguments were so unreadable to not be understandable at all. But to each his own. Next time I will include in rules that S & G should not be considered when voting unless its so bad that something cant be understood properly.
Posted by tejretics 2 years ago
tejretics
@Whiteflame -

That's what I thought.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
***After extensive deliberation, the removal of Kozu's previous vote has been deemed to be in error. The S&G point was explicated to a reasonable extent, and the difficulties involved in reading certain rounds of this debate warrants the point allocation. While reasonable people can disagree as to what amount of spelling/syntax mistakes suffice to meet the threshold for this point, this vote does meet a basic threshold as stated in the voting guide. As such, if he wishes to add that reasoning back into his vote, he may do so. I apologize for the error.***
Posted by hldemi 2 years ago
hldemi
Anyway where is the Gnosticism under religion tab. That might be my next debate. And Im gonna use same genius arguments that my opponent used. Its related to religious beliefs and all those poor gnostics dont know what to do now.... What are they gonna do... No gnosticism for them to pick... Its censorship of their opinion. Since its such a valuable information...
Posted by hldemi 2 years ago
hldemi
@Kozu It was removed because absence of determiners that you cite doesn"t have such a huge effect on comprehension of my argument. S&G is reserved for more egregious violations than this. As explained by moderator. I dont get whats there to respond to.
Posted by Kozu 2 years ago
Kozu
I'm disappointed my vote was reported before I could respond. I will keep my vote posted while i discuss the validity of it's removal for the S/G point assignment.
Posted by hldemi 2 years ago
hldemi
OMG those votes...
" It offers information related to religious beliefs." Yeah like what ? That I do not have knowledge about existence of God. Who does? That has nothing to do with actual religious belief. Its related as much as me having a foreskin on my penis is related to religious belief. But I guess that what I get when I argue about controversial topics like this.
Posted by hldemi 2 years ago
hldemi
Faith in humanity regained. If I am gonna lose, let it not be for my imperfect grammar.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by TinyBudha 2 years ago
TinyBudha
hldemisherlockholmesfan2798Tied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: pro's issue in this round is not justifying the assumption that what is under the 'religion' tab must represent a real religion. He maintains this assumption through the round while clearly con is trying to challenge this assumption the whole time, con even concedes that agnosticism is not a religion, which I agree with. Con's argumentation that we should keep agnosticism because it still represents a position *about* religion makes the most sense, and goes uncontested. Con argues that agnosticism has value under the religion tab because it lets other users know a person's stance on religion in general, con's only real argumentation against this is that it is misleading, however con also proves that the impacts of it being misleading vs the impacts of removing agnosticism lean more heavily towards removing it. So in conclusion, if this were a debate about whether or not agnosticism is a religion, pro surely would have won, however the debate is specifically about DDO interests
Vote Placed by Kozu 2 years ago
Kozu
hldemisherlockholmesfan2798Tied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: I'm glad both sides agreed on so much, it made it exceedingly easier to judge the few disagreements that did exist. First I'm going to award S/G to Con because I just can't take all of the missing determiners (like "the") and prepositions Pro left out. It gets really annoying for me to have to think of which ones you meant to use, I don't want to think. Now, since both sides valued the same thing (accurately displayed information), I will simply choose whoever made a more convincing argument about whether or not having "agnosticism" as an option gives accurate information. Pro is right when he says that someone who is theist/agnostic is being insufficiently represented, I think Con agrees with that. This however, is not reason to remove agnosticism, but a reason to add others. Con makes a great point that people can be agnostic and not religious. If we were to take this option away, we wouldn't have any information at all for these individuals. For this reason I give arguments to Con
Vote Placed by tejretics 2 years ago
tejretics
hldemisherlockholmesfan2798Tied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: The impacts basically come down to whether agnosticism offers sufficient information that is necessary. While Pro argues agnosticism is not a religion, Con concedes this point and uses completely separate impacts -- agnosticism is *related* to religion, offers information related to religious beliefs, and fulfills the inherent purpose of the "religion" option in the DDO user profile: to get to know other users. Pro's plan fails on impacts and solvency because removing that information, the sole informative part about individuals that are agnostic. Pro argues that his impact is more important, and says information is half the purpose, but I see no justification for this -- Con's argument is backed, and stands with all impacts and solvency. Since Pro is changing the status quo, I have to see sufficient advantage and impacts from Pro -- but Pro fails in solvency since Con's disads clearly outweigh Pro's impacts. As such, Con clearly wins on strong disads that weren't adequately refuted.