The Instigator
jar2187
Pro (for)
Winning
21 Points
The Contender
headphonegut
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

All Agnostics Are Atheists

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/10/2011 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 999 times Debate No: 16406
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (3)

 

jar2187

Pro

I will argue that all agnostics are actually, in fact, atheists (and not the other way around)...

My argument:
There's a difference between "knowledge" and "belief". For example: I can know that a black cat has four legs. I can have this knowledge despite any other beliefs I might have. I can believe that 1) This black cat will land on his feet if scooted off the table, and 2) This black cat is bad luck because it is black. And we can have many more beliefs despite the knowledge of it we have.

An agnostic is one who does not know if a god can or does exist (a = without, gnostic = belief). No one knows for certain of a god's existence (especially for the way god is defined), which makes us all agnostic. However, you can still have a belief about something, despite the knowledge (or lack thereof) that you have of it. An atheist is one who does not believe in a god (a = without, theist = god-centered belief).

Now, of course, there seems to be no logical contradiction between 'belief' and 'knowledge'. Thus, it would appear that one can believe and not know that there is a god, and know yet not believe in a god. Yet, I counter that one cannot believe in something which has no knowledge of. That is, if one does not know if there is a god, then it seems inconsistent to say that one can believe in a god. How can one be sure that there is a god to believe in? Which god is it that we do not know? And if it is a specific god, how can we know this much about it? The 'god's name' may be non-sequitor concerning when determining whether or not existence can actually pertain to it.

That is, one will surely fall for the fallacy of ignorance if they do not know if a god can exist yet believe that there is one. Therefore, all agnostics are atheist.
headphonegut

Con

Thank you for starting this debate

An agnostic is person who holds that the existence of the ultimate cause, as god , and the essential nature of things are unknown and unknowable, one who believes that it is impossible to know whether there is a God or one who is skeptical about the existence of God.

In these definitions their is a common element a lack of knowledge an concession to to their being a possibility of the existence of god. An atheist would tell you if you were to ask him that he does not believe in god. If you were to ask a christian or most religious persons if their was a god they would say yes. They both lack knowledge of whether their is or is not a god but they have a sort of faith that their answers are correct. Agnostics to not have such a faith such willingness to answer in the affirmative or the negative they simply concede that their is no way of knowing whether a god exists.

R1 - Knowledge v belief -
I am in agreement with my opponent that their is a difference between knowledge and belief but he then goes on to say "there seems to be no logical contradiction between 'belief' and 'knowledge'" of course this we know is false my little brother believes that their is a Santa Claus I do not I have knowledge that in the north pole their is a high probability that people living their will most likely die from freezing to death I also know that rein deer will definitely die from freezing to death I also know that it would be insanely difficult to find food, it just makes it that much more unlikely to believe that santa claus exists when we say he defies physics. knowledge =/= belief

sorry for posting so late
Debate Round No. 1
jar2187

Pro

I would like to thank my opponent for participating in this debate. I appreciate his responses and rebuttals…

“Agnostics to not have such a faith such willingness to answer in the affirmative or the negative they simply concede that their is no way of knowing whether a god exists.”
The common misperception is that if one does not know, then belief is irrelevant. However, it is not. You either know or not. You either believe or not. If you don’t know if any gods exists, you don’t believe in any god.

“I am in agreement with my opponent…but he then goes on to say "there seems to be no logical contradiction between 'belief' and 'knowledge'" of course this we know is false”
Of course it’s not false. You can believe and know X. But you cannot not know X, yet believe in X. That would be incoherent. This is my point.

“…my little brother believes that their is a Santa Claus I do not I have knowledge that in the north pole their is a high probability that people living their will most likely die from freezing to death I also know that rein deer will definitely die from freezing to death I also know that it would be insanely difficult to find food, it just makes it that much more unlikely to believe that santa claus exists when we say he defies physics…”
…is slightly incoherent. But from what I can gather, my opponent is still in agreement with me.

I thank my opponent for his rebuttal, and urge him not to apologize for his supposed tardiness. He did not forfeit and therefore was timely. Thank you.

Sources:
[1] Atheism: http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] Groiler’s Encyclopedia of Knowledge: Atheism
[3] Kai Nielsen: Atheism
[4] Paul Edwards: Atheism
[5] Williams L. Rowe: Atheism
[6] Austin Cline: Buddha and Atheism: http://atheism.about.com...
[7] Agnosticism: http://en.wikipedia.org...
[8] Groiler’s Encyclopedia of Knowledge: Agnosticism
headphonegut

Con

headphonegut forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
jar2187

Pro

Extend my arguments.
headphonegut

Con

headphonegut forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by headphonegut 5 years ago
headphonegut
Vote pro
Posted by XimenBao 5 years ago
XimenBao
Every once in a while you see a definitional debate where you wonder if either side has at least skimmed the wiki articles on the relevant terms. This is one of those times.
Posted by wjmelements 5 years ago
wjmelements
1 to 6 months.
Posted by jar2187 5 years ago
jar2187
Fix to what?
Posted by socialpinko 5 years ago
socialpinko
D@mn you wjmelements! I want this!
Posted by wjmelements 5 years ago
wjmelements
"The voting period will last indefinitely."

Fix and I'll accept. If someone beats me to it, send me a duplicate challenge.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Cat47 1 month ago
Cat47
jar2187headphonegutTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by Amveller 5 years ago
Amveller
jar2187headphonegutTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: default win
Vote Placed by XimenBao 5 years ago
XimenBao
jar2187headphonegutTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: forfeit