The Instigator
diety
Pro (for)
Losing
14 Points
The Contender
Logical-Master
Con (against)
Winning
28 Points

Agnostics vs Atheists

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
Logical-Master
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/2/2009 Category: Religion
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,632 times Debate No: 8075
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (9)
Votes (6)

 

diety

Pro

Hello everyone. This debate is about what is more sensible, being an agnostic or being an atheist. I am taking the side of the agnostic. I ask that whoever takes this debate be an atheist, otherwise you automatically lose.
Logical-Master

Con

Greetings. I would like thank my opponent for starting this debate and wish him the best of luck in the proceeding rounds.

Whereas my opponent believes that it is more sensible to be an agnostic, I negate this by pointing out that my opponent is comparing apples and oranges. Atheism is merely the lack of belief in a deity whereas an agnostic is one who claims to lack knowledge (or to be more precisely, evidence that there is a deity). Basically, one can be an agnostic AND an atheist as belief and knowledge are not the same. This would make any comparison pointless and allow us to conclude that they are at best equal since neither is truly better.

Additional contentions may be provided in the next round depending on my opponent's response.

Ta Ta for now. :D
Debate Round No. 1
diety

Pro

Thank you Logical Master for accepting this debate.

You cannot be both an agnostic AND an atheist because the two are contradictory (otherwise I don't think they would be two separate categories). An atheist strictly denies existence or the possibility of existence of all deities period. An agnostic says there is no proof for or against the existence of a deity, so we really don't know (therefore the existence of a diety MIGHT be possible)

I am arguing that it is more sensible to be agnostic simply because atheism is built on an argument of ignorance. It assumes that because no deities have been proven to exist, there are no deities. That's almost like saying just because we haven't seen or proven the existence of extra-terrestrial life that means that there are no such things as aliens.

Keep in mind that whatever we deem a deity doesn't necessarily have to have created the universe or even be responsible for the creation of life. It just simply must have immense power and be immortal.

For what I know, we're not so far off from being deities

;)

I rest my case for now.

http://en.wikipedia.org...
Logical-Master

Con

RE: "You cannot be both an agnostic AND an atheist because the two are contradictory (otherwise I don't think they would be two separate categories)."

http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://atheism.about.com...

Quote from second source: "Thus, it is clear that agnosticism is compatible with both theism and atheism. A person can believe in a god (theism) without claiming to know for sure if that god exists; the result is agnostic theism. On the other hand, a person can disbelieve in gods (atheism) without claiming to know for sure that no gods can or do exist; the result is agnostic atheism. "

RE: "An atheist strictly denies existence or the possibility of existence of all deities period."

Correct.

RE: "An agnostic says there is no proof for or against the existence of a deity, so we really don't know (therefore the existence of a diety MIGHT be possible)"

Absolutely.

However, ask yourself something: How do these two definitions contradict each other?

For instance, if I deny the existence of someone more arrogant than myself, but admit that it is possible . . . would you claim I was contradicting myself? Or better yet, if I told you that I did not believe that I'd win the lottery with my lottery ticket tonight, but admit that winning was possible, would tell me that my claims can in no way be made together?

What I'm dictating is that the case is the same here. Atheism is merely the lack of belief [I would say "doesn't believe or believes not", but I don't feel like being dragged into semantics in the comment section. ;) ] in a deity; it is not the claim that a deity absolutely doesn't exist or that one KNOWS without a doubt that this is the case. What my fair opponent is thinking of is gnostic atheism.

RE:"I am arguing that it is more sensible to be agnostic simply because atheism is built on an argument of ignorance. It assumes that because no deities have been proven to exist, there are no deities. That's almost like saying just because we haven't seen or proven the existence of extra-terrestrial life that means that there are no such things as aliens."

Not at all. People in general have all sorts of reasons for becoming atheist. There are some who are atheist because they believe they themselves have proven God to be nonexistent (i.e. Ragnar Rahl). Heck, one of the most recent debates on this website is from someone who believes they have disproven theism. My opponent's problem is with certain atheist and not atheism itself . . . ergo, his argument is revealed to be the red herring fallacy in action.

RE: "
Keep in mind that whatever we deem a deity doesn't necessarily have to have created the universe or even be responsible for the creation of life. It just simply must have immense power and be immortal."

Oh absolutely. Though how is this relevant?

RE: "For what I know, we're not so far off from being deities"

If that is the case, then by my opponent's rendering of the subject. agnosticism would be equally faulty granted that it is insisting that there is no evidence to make a conclusion, in spite of the evidence clearly being in front of us (quite literally).

And that'll do it for now.
Debate Round No. 2
diety

Pro

Alright then

"RE: "An atheist strictly denies existence or the possibility of existence of all deities period."

Correct."

Yet, an agnostic doesn't deny anything, but just claims to lack knowledge.

Now, you made a sneaky attempt to try and coin the term "agnostic atheist."

However there is a difference between an "agnostic atheist" and an atheist. You see, where an atheist is in strict denial, an agnostic atheist simply doesn't "believe" in a deity, but claims to lack definite knowledge of this and therefore opens up the door for possibility.

Atheism alone doesn't imply knowledge or lack of knowledge, just lack of belief. Mere lack of belief without knowledge to back it is just like belief without knowledge to back it: it's an argument of ignorance. Perhaps atheism and agnosticism aren't contradictory, but that still doesn't make them equally sensible. Atheism comes in many variations, and although agnostic atheism is one of them, gnostic atheism is another....

Let's ask ourselves this question:

Do ANY deities exist

A pure theist would say yes, a pure atheist would say no.

But why?

Well, the truth is we don't really know, so both claims would lack evidence to prove such a thing. Logic favors agnosticism. And though agnosticism would be logically sound without the addition of atheism, atheism isn't logically sound without the addition of agnosticism (hence the term "agnostic atheism")

:)

Well that's all the time I have for now.

Peace
Logical-Master

Con

RE:"Yet, an agnostic doesn't deny anything, but just claims to lack knowledge."

Only if this agnostic is not also an atheist. :)

RE: "Now, you made a sneaky attempt to try and coin the term "agnostic atheist." "

Hmm? I don't see how it would be qualified as sneaky. The terms I've been using are well established as confirmed by the sources which I posted in the previous round.

RE: "However there is a difference between an "agnostic atheist" and an atheist."

As much as a difference as there is between a tree with branches and leaves and a tree with branches without leaves I suppose.

RE: "You see, where an atheist is in strict denial, an agnostic atheist simply doesn't "believe" in a deity, but claims to lack definite knowledge of this and therefore opens up the door for possibility."

How is not believing any different from strict denial? I mean sure, one can use semantics to place heavy emphasis on "strict", but that's not what we're here to do. ;)

The fact of the matter is that atheism is limited to two positions (well actually, three if we include the incredbly small sect who is apathetic to the "knowledge" aspect): Gnostic atheism and agnostic atheism. The kind of atheism whom he refers to would be classified as a gnostic atheist as an individual of this stance is of the mindset that there is no possibility; that he/she KNOWS that God does not exist.

My point being is that atheism alone is not something which does not open the door for possibility, contrary to what my opponent has been insisting throughout this debate.

RE: "Atheism alone doesn't imply knowledge or lack of knowledge, just lack of belief. "

Precisely my point. Atheism alone says nothing about knowledge.

RE: "Mere lack of belief without knowledge to back it is just like belief without knowledge to back it: it's an argument of ignorance."

Whoa whoa whoa. Lets stop right there. Who said there was no knowledge? Atheism merely states nothing about knowledge, but it does not mean that one is not basing their belief or lack of belief on knowledge. When one claims to be an atheist, ALL we know so far is that this one individual does not believe in the existence of a deity. We know nothing else. If I say I believe my "would-be" girlfriend is a good person, you don't know whether or not I am basing this claim of belief on experiences or faith alone. Belief says nothing about knowledge, but that most certainly does not imply that there is no knowledge.

The reason I went about defining the two halves of atheism (gnostic and agnostic) was to clarify on this matter.

RE: "Perhaps atheism and agnosticism aren't contradictory, but that still doesn't make them equally sensible. "

Well it's either that or we are left with concluding that they simply cannot be compared. The purpose of my arguments in this debate was to show that my opponents reasons for concluding that one was better (which I had known since R1) than the other was faulty given that his rendering of both ideas (agnosticism and atheism) was faulty.

RE: "Logic favors agnosticism."

Not necessarily. Seeing as how we've both agreed to use the "lack of belief" paradigm on atheism, one could conclude that you are an atheist. In addition, if we are both to agree to the notion that there is no evidence, having a lack of belief is logically justified. :D

RE: "atheism isn't logically sound without the addition of agnosticism (hence the term "agnostic atheism")"

The only attempt at supporting this claim (that atheism is illogical) of which I've seen is the "argument from ignorance" point (which concludes that atheist believe there is no god since there is no evidence). As can be indicated in my second round, I've already trounced this argument by pointing out that not all atheist are atheist for the same reasons (many gnostic atheist have insisted that they have evidence and argumention which disproves God and there are many who are simply agnostic atheist--whcih my opponent agrees as being a logical position). Thus essentially, the above is simply ad nauseum. My opponent fails on the grounds they he has yet to dispute my contention on this matter.

CONCLUSION: The mere fact that my opponent even agrees that any form of atheism is logical should demonstrate that he acknowledges the problem with his argument. He makes assumptions on what it takes to be an atheist, only to end up ignoring the flexibility of this position. It can very easily meet the ideas which agnosticism proposes, hence why I've argued that there is equality (of course, one can go about saying that they are not comparible based on this information).

In any case, I've established that there is no reason for us to conclude that agnosticism (at least from how my opponent has rendered it) is greater than atheism and thus urge that you vote CON.

Thanks for the debate. :D
Debate Round No. 3
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by Rob1Billion 7 years ago
Rob1Billion
yeah that's usually where you'll find the lord - his drinking problem has been getting worse.
Posted by Logical-Master 7 years ago
Logical-Master
Well it went like this:

I walked into a local pub, pulled up a seat and noticed him right next to me. Before you know it, one thing led to another and I was saved! :D
Posted by Rob1Billion 7 years ago
Rob1Billion
where did you find him?
Posted by Logical-Master 7 years ago
Logical-Master
I was an atheist during the time of this debate, but found the Lord shortly afterwards. :D
Posted by Rob1Billion 7 years ago
Rob1Billion
logical master I'm sorry you automatically lost - your not an atheist. Tough break man.
Posted by Icarus57 7 years ago
Icarus57
A little rash to demand an atheist contender, though you might have been a little keener as to "prefer" an atheist opponent.
Posted by resolutionsmasher 7 years ago
resolutionsmasher
Which is why LD debateing is so cool
Posted by Alex 7 years ago
Alex
You don't automatically lose it isnt absurd to argue the side you don't believe in
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
"I ask that whoever takes this debate be an atheist, otherwise you automatically lose."

Actually, anybody should be able to defend this position, regardless of whether or not they are atheist. You've already lost the conduct point.
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by Tatarize 7 years ago
Tatarize
dietyLogical-MasterTied
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Vote Placed by Rob1Billion 7 years ago
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dietyLogical-MasterTied
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dietyLogical-MasterTied
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dietyLogical-MasterTied
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dietyLogical-MasterTied
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Vote Placed by Logical-Master 7 years ago
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dietyLogical-MasterTied
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