The Instigator
jason_hendirx
Pro (for)
Winning
25 Points
The Contender
emmccarty214
Con (against)
Losing
10 Points

Agnostics Should Be Atheists By Default

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/4/2008 Category: Religion
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,392 times Debate No: 4903
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (14)
Votes (8)

 

jason_hendirx

Pro

The most intellectually honest standpoint for anyone to have is skepticism. This is, perhaps, because the ungrounded assumption of the existence or truth of anything is the basis of all intellectual dishonesty. Therefore, when there is no proof of the existence of something, every scholarly principle forces the observer to assume that it does not exist.

Agnostics do not believe that God exists, nor do they believe that he doesn't. They are uncertain, and many do not believe in much of the "proof" that he does exist. This is more or less the definition of agnosticism. Many of them believe this to be the intellectually honest route. What I contend is that because of their lack of proof and ostensible uncertainty, the true intellectually honest stance for them to take would be atheism.
emmccarty214

Con

I respectfully disagree with my opponant. He fails to really understand what causes people to declare themselves agnostics over atheists and vice versa. Atheists believe they have proof God does not exist, while agnostics believe they have proof neither to the claim God is real or God is not real. Next he claims that agnostics do not believe that god exists or that he does not exist. This is just an incorrect statement. Agnostics believe that the forces that govern nature (god) cannot be understood by humans and that we will never be able to understand it. He then goes on to say that for agnostics to be intellectually honest they need to declare themselves atheist. He fails to understand that by declaring themselves atheists they would be claiming something that they do not believe, which would not be intellectually honest.
Debate Round No. 1
jason_hendirx

Pro

>>Atheists believe they have proof God does not exist, while agnostics believe they have proof neither to the claim God is real or God is not real.

This is patently false. I have never met an atheist, or "atheist," however you may be inclined to put it, who believed he had proof that god does not exist. Their arguments have always been that there is an utter lack of proof that god exists, and that much of what is observed can be explained by physical phenomena, and that it is more honest to assume that he doesn't exist because of this.

>>Next he claims that agnostics do not believe that god exists or that he does not exist. This is just an incorrect statement. Agnostics believe that the forces that govern nature (god) cannot be understood by humans and that we will never be able to understand it.

This presupposes the existence of an "unknowable" nature utterly apart from a rather well-quantified scientific nature. This is borderline theism, and therefore irrelevant to, or even beneath, this debate.

The agnosticism that I refer to is a simple lack of desire to commit to either atheism or theism. It's a generic agnosticism applied to the atheist/theist debate rather than the euphemistic theism that you identify.

>>He then goes on to say that for agnostics to be intellectually honest they need to declare themselves atheist. He fails to understand that by declaring themselves atheists they would be claiming something that they do not believe, which would not be intellectually honest.

To say something in accordance with your beliefs is emotionally honest. To say that this equals intellectual honesty is intellectually dishonest. Intellectual honesty has nothing to do with this emotional honesty and everything to do with being in accordance with rationality, empiricism, and skepticism. Belief has nothing to do with any of this.

I simply posit that in the absence of evidence for something, agnostics must assume that it does not exist in order to be in accordance with these intellectual ideals.
emmccarty214

Con

emmccarty214 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
jason_hendirx

Pro

I have said all I needed to say. My "rebuttal" did not count because all it did was emphasize the gaping holes in your logic.

Good day, sir.
emmccarty214

Con

emmccarty214 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by jason_hendirx 8 years ago
jason_hendirx
I would have said almost exactly that, but I was afraid of being impolite. I respect this site too much for that, at least within the bounds of formal debate.

But yeah, agnostics can go frak themselves.

And it's "flying" spaghetti monster. HERETIC
Posted by mega_dez 8 years ago
mega_dez
Being Agnostic means you haven't looked at the evidence long enough or you're too scared to make a decision.

Agnostic is middle of the road wishy washy waffling of making a decision. It's laziness. Non committal indecisive cowards who aren't sure of anything.
Posted by jason_hendirx 8 years ago
jason_hendirx
WE WILL ALL WORSHIP CTHULHU

ALL OF US
Posted by mega_dez 8 years ago
mega_dez
I would LIKE to have evidence of tooth fairies, unicorns, Santa Claus, God, but, as we all know, they're just never around to provide a DNA sample.

Now, go ahead, disprove the existence of the Giant Spaghetti Monster.
Posted by jason_hendirx 8 years ago
jason_hendirx
I understand that being agnostic means that you're unsure. My whole point was that if you're unsure, as in completely because of the complete lack of evidence for something, then you should assume it doesn't exist, period. That was the point of contention that I brought up. A point that no one has seen fit to challenge, well-written comments aside.
Posted by Who 8 years ago
Who
CON should have pointed out that there are agnostic theists. Agnostic meaning they are unsure or believe it is impossible to be certain, theist meaning they believe in a god. Believing does not require that one is certain, in fact its very name seems to indicate otherwise.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

However, CON didn't make that point, and his points were destroyed by PRO, ergo I vote PRO.
Posted by s0m31john 8 years ago
s0m31john
Agnostics are just Atheists without balls.
Posted by Zerosmelt 8 years ago
Zerosmelt
the reason people say they're agnostic is b/c they are afriad of the term atheist

Atheists(just like all the bunnies and kittens) don't believe in God

which is opposed to

Believing there is no god.

agnostics don't know if god exists or not. Well, you can believe that and not believe in god, or believe in god.
theists are agnostics, atheists are agnostics.
Posted by Zerosmelt 8 years ago
Zerosmelt
Agnosticism and Atheism opperate on 2 different level.

You can be agnostic and atheist at the same time.

The word "agnostic" is really irrelevent b/c everyone is an agnostic.
Posted by jason_hendirx 8 years ago
jason_hendirx
emmcartyyyyyy

come out to plaaaaayyy...

emmcartyyyy....

come out to playay...

emmcartyyy....

come out to PLAYAY
8 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Vote Placed by InquireTruth 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by Who 8 years ago
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