The Instigator
Death23
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
8elB6U5THIqaSm5QhiNLVnRJA
Con (against)
Winning
11 Points

Agnostics are atheists

Do you like this debate?NoYes+1
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
8elB6U5THIqaSm5QhiNLVnRJA
Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/8/2015 Category: Religion
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 540 times Debate No: 74966
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (10)
Votes (3)

 

Death23

Pro

Resolution: Agnostics are atheists

Round 1: Acceptance only

Voters: ELO minimum of 2000 to vote.
8elB6U5THIqaSm5QhiNLVnRJA

Con

Agnostics are fools, atheists are right.

I won't bother proving that though. Instead I'll prove that agnostics are not atheists.
Debate Round No. 1
Death23

Pro

Basic Argument:

P1: Any person who believes that the existence of any god cannot be known is an agnostic.

P2: Any person who believes that the existence of any god cannot be known does not believe in any god.

C1: Agnostics do not believe in any god.


P3: Any person who does not believe in any god is an atheist.

P4 / C1: Agnostics do not believe in any god.

C2: Agnostics are atheists.


These arguments are valid. If P1, P2, and P3 are true, then C1 and C2 are also true. I assert the truth of P1, P2, and P3. However, in order to avoid debating factual assertions which both my opponent and myself agree are true, I will support only those premises which my opponent disputes in this round.

8elB6U5THIqaSm5QhiNLVnRJA

Con

P2 is totally and utterly untrue.

Agnostic Theism is a very real thing.[1]

P4 is therefore also untrue.

The existence of gnostic atheism[2] in addition to agnostic Theism (as was already mentioned) mean that not only are people who think God's existence cannot be known capable of being both Theistic and atheistic but furthermore people who either believe, or don't believe, in god are capable of admitting that their belief does not equate to knowledge and is an opinion they hold as opposed to an objective fact.

Before I continue on that line of thinking, I want to point out that Pro completely ignored the existence of Deism.[3] Deism is the view that God exists as a creator of all things but not as a moral guide. Therefore, Deism is neither Theism nor atheism[4] and, just like Theism and atheism, has both gnostic and agnostic variants of it.

I'm now going to display an image and then expand on what it conveys:



This image explains the four ways that one can lean regarding belief in God (ignoring the Deistic god being a viable option as well).

So, let's take atheism to be North, Gnosticism to be East, so on and so forth. What we find is that if you have a compass and it points North, it is not necessarily pointing East or West of North. While it isn't directly comparable to a compass (as we as dealing with digital variants as opposed to analogue ones), it certainly is a good analogy to take on the matter. Think of it as more of a Y-axis and X-axis, one does not have any impact on the other but both are necessary to pinpoint where one lies on the spectrum.

I will now go into Dawkins' scale of belief[5][6]. On Dawkins' scales there are even variants in between the gnostic and agnostic variants of Theism and atheism. According to Dawkins there even exist a middle variant which one may call "pure agnosticism" that leans neither to Theism nor atheism (hence there being 7 possible results on his scale, as opposed to an even number which would be half Theism and half atheism).

If we combine all this knowledge and reread Pro's debate what we find it this:

P1: Any person who believes that the existence of any god cannot be known is an agnostic.
P2: P2: Any person who believes that the existence of any god cannot be known does not believe in any god. can either believe in a god, not believe in a god or be totally impartial.
C1: Agnostics do not believe in any god. P3: Only 3 out of 7 results on Dawkins' scale involve an agnostic not believing in any god.
P3: Any person who does not believe in any god is an atheist. P4: A person who does not believe in any god is either an agnostic atheist, a gnostic atheist or a totally impartial agnostic.
P4 / C1: Some gnostics and some agnostics do not believe in any god while others do.
C2: Some agnostics happen to be atheists and some atheists happen to be agnostics but there are certainly exceptions to agnostic atheists (and they are in the majority).

[1] http://atheism.about.com...
[2] http://www.patheos.com...
[3] http://www.gotquestions.org...
[4] http://www.infoplease.com...
[5] http://www.eoht.info...
[6] https://shadowtolight.wordpress.com...
Debate Round No. 2
Death23

Pro

I would like to finish this debate but I don't have the time. I shouldn't have set the response time at 24 hours. if you are agreeable, then I would like to create a new debate with identical settings except that the response time would be set to 48 hours. we could copy paste our rounds, and conclude the debate there. if you are not agreeable to this. or something similar, then I offer to forfeit.
8elB6U5THIqaSm5QhiNLVnRJA

Con

I am agreeable but I'll win it anyway and see no reason for me not to get the win via votes for this debate too.

I never advertise my debates in the forums or to people unless they seem very significant to me so don't worry about that.

If people vote, they vote. It's up to them.

I conclude that agnostics are not (necessarily) atheists.
Debate Round No. 3
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Death23 1 year ago
Death23
The continued debate is available here:

http://www.debate.org...
Posted by Death23 1 year ago
Death23
I will post the debate information here when it's available.
Posted by evospireX 1 year ago
evospireX
BTW, Furyan's comment that every believer is agnostic is very much incorrect. I can stand here and tell you for a fact that God exists. #experienceJesus
Posted by evospireX 1 year ago
evospireX
I tell you the difference! Atheists simply believe there is no God. On the other hand, agnostics question the existence of God, and believe that humanity will never know for sure whether there is a God or not.
Posted by canis 1 year ago
canis
Whatever. A santa. A dragons. A whatever.. But never A is.
Posted by Biodome 1 year ago
Biodome
Con, in what way are agnostics fools? They are simply honest about their lack of knowledge on God or any other deities. It is more rational to be an agnostic atheist, than to be a gnostic atheist, because it admits the tentativeness of their position, which makes it more scientific than blind belief or disbelief.
Posted by Furyan5 1 year ago
Furyan5
lol believers by definition are agnostics. They believe God exists but have no proof. Therefore if agnostics are atheists then everyone is an atheist. This should be an interesting debate.
Posted by Biodome 1 year ago
Biodome
Interested in the challenge, as long as you provide definitions.
Posted by RoyalFlush100 1 year ago
RoyalFlush100
I might be interested in this, but definitions of both terms need to be provided before the debate would start.
Posted by SNP1 1 year ago
SNP1
Define agnostic
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by AndyHood 1 year ago
AndyHood
Death238elB6U5THIqaSm5QhiNLVnRJATied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: I would have awarded conduct to Pro (for not unjustly calling anybody "fools"), but Pro lapsed by being unable to complete the debate - tied on conduct. I couldn't find much between the two for spelling or grammar - tied. Technically Con should have put "means" instead of "mean" (to agree with "existence" in the first big paragraph of R2 but this was too minor to lose a point. Sources was an easy decision: Pro didn't use any! Bringing us to the all-important convincing arguments: Con had to win this for the simple fact of highlighting the existence of Agnostic Theists; knowledge and belief are not always bedfellows! Of course, if human beings were perfectly rational creatures, this could not be; would that we were, would that we were!
Vote Placed by UndeniableReality 1 year ago
UndeniableReality
Death238elB6U5THIqaSm5QhiNLVnRJATied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con effectively refuted Pro's argument and Pro did not continue the debate,
Vote Placed by Biodome 1 year ago
Biodome
Death238elB6U5THIqaSm5QhiNLVnRJATied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: I've been following this debate since the start, so I guess I'll cast a vote, especially since Con didn't mind. It seems that Con clearly wins on the arguments, because he has successfully shown that Pro's premises, and therefore conclusions, are false. Also Con demonstrated proof that agnostics can be both believers, disbelievers, and neither. Pro never rebutted any of these, and conceded in the last round due to lack of time. This is clearly a win to Con.