The Instigator
Nordible
Pro (for)
Winning
5 Points
The Contender
czeekymonkey
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Atheism is NOT a religion

Do you like this debate?NoYes+2
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 2 votes the winner is...
Nordible
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/12/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 425 times Debate No: 56513
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (2)

 

Nordible

Pro

Atheism revolves around the belief that all religion is false and that there is no prophet, nor superhuman being in control or holding influence over the human populace. Whilst many religions believe something similar, that all other religions are incorrect, atheism believes that none are correct. Atheism defies religion in the fact that none of it's members folow the same beliefs and values. To be an atheist is to be free of religious laws, and doctrine as well as to be master of one's own self, thoughts, opinions and speech.
czeekymonkey

Con

The key word here is "belief". Nordable himself stated in his case "Atheism revolves around the belief that all religion is false". While this may be true, the definition of a religion is "a system of beliefs governing the way an individual perceives the universe around them, often linked with the notion of a superhuman or supernatural being." In the case of Atheism, this connection to a superhuman entity is the lack of belief in such a notion. However, it is important to recognise that the lack of belief in a deity or supernatural being is still a form of belief regarding a deity or supernatural being. It therefore satisfies part of the definition of a religion. Let us now examine the other section of the definition: "a system of beliefs governing the way an individual perceives the universe around them". Is Atheism a system of beliefs? Certainly. Does is propose a way to the universe? Yes, through the lack of the existence of a god, and, subsequently, tendencies towards belief in scientific propositions and ideas on the structure of our universe. Does Atheism satisfy the definition of a religion? Evidently. Therefore, from this, can it be stated that Atheism is a religion? Yes.
Debate Round No. 1
Nordible

Pro

As czeekymonkey would like you to believe, to not believe is a belief in itself. Is that not an inherently paradoxical statement? of course it is not, as to be paradoxical is to hold within itself the truth. As opposed to religions, Atheists are not goverened by a strict set of rules but are instead goverened by whatever each individual chooses. Some people within this ideology may conform to aspects of the definition of religion, for example some atheists may embrace a connection to the supernatural, claiming star signs are real and fairies steal your socks. But this does not govern the entire populus of Atheism, it is a mottled but free collective of individuals, thereby defeating the notion that atheism (non-religion by definition) is not a religion.
czeekymonkey

Con

Before I continue my case, I would like to briefly explain some of the background to this argument. Nordible and I are friends and both atheists. We organised this for fun and both of us believe in the affirmative. The more you know.

I would like to rebut some statements made by Nordible. He begins his case by repeating my argument, and then poses the question that this may well be a paradoxical statement. He then states "of course it is not". What is the purpose of this statement? He then goes on to comment on how Atheists are able to have their own individual beliefs, and therefore, by extension, not a religion. He gave examples of how Atheists can still believe in fairies and star signs. I have three responses to this.

Firstly, religious people aren't governed solely by the doctrine of their faith, and not all doctrines must be adhered to. It is often stated that Holy texts are largely metaphors and open to interpretation, indeed, some faiths urge this. To state that religions do not allow for individual beliefs is incorrect.

Secondly, religious people are just as able to believe in fairies and star sign themselves (depending on who you ask, that's exactly what they do). To state that the ability to believe in these things makes you non-religious is false.

And thirdly, even if the belief in individual notions did negate the capacity for religion to exist as part of an individual's belief system, the statement would be redundant and self-contradicting as it would negate the capacity for religion itself to exist, as religion is a personal belief system, and by doing so, would mean that there is therefore nothing to be contradicted in the first place, as religion itself would not exist to be contradicted.

This paradox, combined with the fact that religions do allow for individual beliefs, and that these individual beliefs do not negate the capacity for religion, further prove that, by definition, Atheism still stands a religion.
Debate Round No. 2
Nordible

Pro

I would like to address some flaws made by the opposition as well as some somewhat supportive but incorrect information in the comments. Firstly, the negative has argued that to believe is to make you part of a religion. This is untrue for a number of reasons, most prominently the fact that belief in itself is not an aspect owned by religion, but the belief in a deity or supernatural saviour is. Of course no one is governed in their daily lives by religious doctrines but the fact that they are governed at all, even by some minuscule influence of religion, makes it separate from atheism. Religions do allow for individuals to impose their own interpretations of their doctrine onto their own moral beliefs, so long as the end result does not stray too far from the original concept. Never in my argument did I say that a theist may not partake in such activities as reading star signs, thereby leading me to wonder as to why czeekymonkey attempted a rebuttal. His third argument completely ignores the concept at hand, as stated earlier that belief can be common among both theists and atheists but the specific belief in a deity or superhuman influence is what separates the two. Finally, I would like to address the comment made in support of my argument. If one can truly believe that there is no other intelligent life in a universe that we haven't even begun to explore, where habitable exoplanets exist in nearly every few star systems and that there are millions and millions of these in each of the billions and billions of galaxies that could hold any thousands of different types of intelligent life, which don't necessarily survive by the same means as we do, then I believe that you sir need to re-evaluate your decisions.
czeekymonkey

Con

czeekymonkey forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Uh-Ha 2 years ago
Uh-Ha
The same could be said of Nordable's assertion "Atheism revolves around the UNDERSTANDING.

The Pro conduct of this debate reminds me of mathematicians theoretically 'prooving' that 1 plus one is three, or physasists insisting that black is white....etc etc ad nauseum.As an Atheist, I know damned well that I am defined by my LACK of beliefs, not the other way around. Beliefs neither define me, nor do they play any role in my moral value system. I nrrd no divine intervention or higher power to feel complete, or more human. My Atheism also means I'm not superstitious, nor do I subscribe to silly ideas revolving around ghosts, afterlife, the para normal etc. I was un-moved by the "Blair Witch Project", whilist I saw several of my female aquaintences sucked in.

I'm not much moved by the possibility of life on other planets, however big the universe appears to be. Life proliferates on this planet, and yet we still have only a single species that has reached our level of consciousness. I would say the odds are the same for life on another planet, (one in several hundred billion), and because there are really not that amny 'other earths', (Asimov estimates only 100,000), then the odds are VERY small that one of those 100,000 has evolved for long enough to create sentiant beings like us.

In short, you are better off as an Atheist. No one messes with your head, and nothing sways your opinion until the proof is sitting on the table, in the best traditiond of scientific thought everywhere.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Themba 2 years ago
Themba
NordibleczeekymonkeyTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct- FF in last round
Vote Placed by Cold-Mind 2 years ago
Cold-Mind
NordibleczeekymonkeyTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 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:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Con abused definition. He made negative definition of theism. Valid definition of atheism is, as the word says, "not theism" or "absence of theism".