The Instigator
Ozzyhead
Pro (for)
Losing
5 Points
The Contender
TheWarrior
Con (against)
Winning
7 Points

An agnostic is also an atheist

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
TheWarrior
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/29/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 717 times Debate No: 51199
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (3)

 

Ozzyhead

Pro

First round is acceptance.
Definitions are as followed:
Agnostic: a person who holds neither of two opposing positions on a topic
Atheist: Someone who does not accept any claims that a god exists
If my opponent disagrees, then please do not accept until we resolve the matter via the comments
No plagiarism
No foul language
Wikipedia is an okay source, however, if I find a reliable source that is not an encyclopedia that contradicts the Wikipedia article, I will present it in the round following, and I request the voters to take in consideration the Wikipedia article that has been contradicted.
Round one, as mentioned, is acceptance and rules
Round two is arguments
Round three is rebuttals
Round four is a friendly farewell and a thank you to everybody who watched and also a round in which we discuss what we have learned from the other debater.
TheWarrior

Con

I accept and look forward to an interesting debate.
Debate Round No. 1
Ozzyhead

Pro

First, let me tell people what an atheist is in depth:
An atheist is someone who does not accept any claim of a god existing. An atheist does not have to accept evolution as true, an atheist does not say 'there is no god', an atheist does not have to accept the big bang theory as true. An atheist is simply someone who does not agree with a claim that a god exist. Saying that they are absolutely positively sure that there is no god would describe an anti-theist. Atheists have absolutely nothing in common with one another in life style, politics or culture, EXCEPT that they do not accept a claim made that a god exists.
As defined, an agnostic is someone who does not accept the claim of a god. They do not deny the claim, and for the most part, are on the fence about the decision, sometimes leaning towards one side. That being said, an agnostic Christian is someone who thinks that Christianity claims can be true. An agnostic atheist is someone who does not believe a claim of a god is true, but does not reject the claim.
With the definition of an atheist being someone who has not accepted a claim of a god, an agnostic falls under this definition. They do not reject a claim of a god, but they do not accept it. And that is where the line is drawn. The second someone says they do not accept the claim of a god, they have fallen under the category of an atheist.
TheWarrior

Con

I will say an atheist is not an anti-theist. Where an atheist differs from an agnostic is in, that they are willing to accept claims that God does not exist. The atheist usually accepts the concept that God does not exist. They would say that the evidence against the existence of God is far greater the evidence for his existence. So, most atheists I know would say, the existence of God is possible but highly improbable. Whereas, most agnostics I know would say, both the existence and non-existence of God could be possible but neither can be proved beyond a shadow of a doubt. Therefore it is impossible to know whether or not God exists. The difference between an atheist and agnostic is this. An atheist weighed the evidence and found one side wanting, whereas, an agnostic weighed the evidence and found the scale balanced. I will say that agnosticism is more philosophical and atheism is more in the realm of science. This from what I have seen of atheists and agnostics. In order to be agnostic one must clearly reject both sides. An atheist only clearly rejects one side.
Debate Round No. 2
Ozzyhead

Pro

I see what you are saying, but this is purely a debate about how, if the current given definition of both an atheist and agnostic are the ones we know, then logically, an agnostic, someone who can not claim they accept god, which is what an atheist is, is an atheist themselves. (McAfee, David, G. "Mom, Dad, I'm an Atheist)(Mcafee, David, G. Disproving Christianity and Other Secular Writings)
If agnostic does not personally accept a god claim, and does not make up one of their own, then, by definition, they are atheists. As I said earlier, an atheist is not more in to the realm of science. Buddhists are atheists because they do not have a dogma. Atheism is not the rejection of spirituality, only the rejection of claims made by god. And an atheist is not someone who just rejects god. They simply do not agree with a claim given about a god due to the lack of convincing details, or evidence, in their minds. (Patheos.com)
An atheist can also reject the 'no god' claim as well. Generally, atheists are people who have not been convinced that there is a god. Not being convinced does not mean they never will. As an atheist, I say so myself that in the face of evidence, I have no problem considering the claim of a god. An atheist does not always say that there is no god. They may say they do not believe in a god. Rejecting the possibility of a god entirely falls under the realm of anti-theism. By the way, anti-theism is also falls under the atheism, because they fit the definition: not believing in a god. That is the only requirement to be an atheist. My opponent has made a generalization. Actually, a few. Saying "usually" is a word that comes before generalizations. I would like you (and when I say 'you', I mean any reader, opponent, voters. readers of all kinds) to not generalize because it can be insulting to the wrong person. I, being an atheist, have encountered generalizations that are not true to me, and are actually offensive. I do not fit what the conservative republican's definition of an atheist is. I am a good person, I have good morals, I do not worship Hitler, I do not harm other individuals, and I am a very smart person. Do not generalize about atheists. Atheists are average people, and they deserve respect.
Not believing in god is not the same as saying there is no such thing as god. Skeptics is the word. Skeptics do not believe in god (or ghosts, mermaids, goblins etc) but they do not say there is no such thing, or at least by definition, they do not.
In conclusion:
Not all atheists say 'there is no god'
By definition, an agnostic does not accept that god is real, only speculates that it is possible
An atheist does not accept that god is real
Therefore, an agnostic fits the requirements to be called atheists.
TheWarrior

Con

Using the logic you are using an agnostic is also a theist because they do not accept any claims that God does not exist. This is not the definition of an agnostic. The agnostic holds neither of two opposing opinions on a topic. This definition first of all has nothing to do with the existence of God at all. Second we know there are two camps on the existence of God (atheist and theist). To say that an agnostic is an atheist goes against what they stand for which is to not hold either oppinion. My opponent has made a generalization, which he claims to hate, by saying that agnostics are atheists. I do think that some could be considered atheist but not all, especially if they are a true agnostic. This is because, to say they are atheist is to have them on one side which is not what an agnostic is.
Debate Round No. 3
Ozzyhead

Pro

If you do not 100% accept the god claim, then you are an atheist. An atheist is just someone who does not fully accept the god claim. An atheist does not always say that there is no such thing as a god. An atheist simply does not know if there is a god, and will not claim to know that there is one or isn't one. Atheism is also not a position. In a question about claim, the default position is to not accept it. If you do not take up a position, then you take up the default position, which is disbelief. Atheism is the default position of the claim of god. If someone has never heard of gods, then they are atheists. When a missionary goes to a place where no one has heard of a god, and the missionary relays the message to them, they either accept it, deny it, or don't take a position. And the default position of any claim is disbelief, or lack of belief. If someone has never heard of any claim, they are by default in the disbelief position. In any language, the default position is disbelief, or skepticism (http://www.scientificamerican.com...). Not having an opinion or position is disbelief, which is what atheism is. Not accepting something is good enough to be an atheist. If someone has not met their burden of proof (http://www.atheist-community.org...). My last source may have been an atheist group, but along with the scientificamerican page, it makes sense. Not only that, as pointed out several times, atheists aren't biased towards other atheists. Atheists are generally open to any idea, and do not side with one another just because they are similar in their religious (or lack of) beliefs.
TheWarrior

Con

I understand what you are saying. I agree that by these definitions an agnostic can be an atheist. I will say this is not always the case. In the very first round you admitted that there are agnostic atheists and agnostic christians. By admitting this you discounted the entire premise we were arguing. From there on out you tried to prove how and atheist is an agnostic and not how an agnostic is an atheist. You have condemned me for making generalizations and then proceed yourself to make generalizations. I accept that an agnostic can be an atheist but I do not accept that they are. It would have been easier if the premise had been that an atheist is also and agnostic.
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Ozzyhead 2 years ago
Ozzyhead
Belief is acceptance. Thinking it's possible is not acceptance, only leaning towards that way
Posted by Ozzyhead 2 years ago
Ozzyhead
An agnostic does not accept the claim, they only lean towards it. If they fail to positively say that they believe in a god, they are agnostic. By positively believe, I mean that they do not think it's right, they know! Like an anti-theist knows there is no god. If they think, then they do not accept it as true, they only believe it's possible for it to be true. They have not fully accepted it, which is what an agnostic is, which falls under the definition of an atheist
Posted by Keaco 2 years ago
Keaco
If you're talking about "agnostic" as far as theism goes then if they could tell me which god they do believe in we could discuss, if they aren't sure if god(s) exist then they are an atheist...period because they're not believing in one or any.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by medv4380 2 years ago
medv4380
OzzyheadTheWarriorTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: A poorly defined debate because of poorly defined terms, and a poorly worded resolution. A debate over a definition requires a lot of structure and this was too fluid for this kind of a debate. Ultimately Pro undermined their own argument by bringing in Agnostic Atheists and Agnostic Christians. Once it was clearly demonstrated that Agnostic is an adjective that complements any form of belief you've proven it's not equivalent. The only option to recover from this would be to declare that Agnostic Atheist was redundant. Also, once Agnostic Christian was brought in, and accepted because Pro did it the resolution was upended because it admits Agnostic and be Christian which is the opposite of atheist. Con's final round points this contradiction out so Con wins.
Vote Placed by subgenius 2 years ago
subgenius
OzzyheadTheWarriorTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: this was a painful read. the agreed upon definitions were nonsensical and inadequate. The debate concept was interesting but the execution was awkward and unfocused. While it was obvious that neither Pro or Con understood the definitions too well, Con came closer to depicting the reality of the commonly accepted definitions. Webster's dictionary and common sense was ultimately Pro's undoing.
Vote Placed by Actionsspeak 2 years ago
Actionsspeak
OzzyheadTheWarriorTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro won this debate by using the definitions of atheist and agnostic to prove his argument. Also he provided sources