The Instigator
brontoraptor
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Double_R
Con (against)
Winning
9 Points

Atheism is a Religion

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
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...
Double_R
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/19/2016 Category: Religion
Updated: 7 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 470 times Debate No: 89901
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (9)
Votes (2)

 

brontoraptor

Pro

First round: acceptance

All other rounds: anything goes

Double_R

Con

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
brontoraptor

Pro

My first argument concerning Atheism being a religion is that it takes a stance reguarding god(s).

Agnostic:

"A person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God or of anything beyond material phenomena; a person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in God."

Atheist:

"A person who disbelieves or lacks belief in the existence of God or gods."

What Atheism is not is a neutral stance. What Atheism is not is a claim to not know. Agnostic is the claim to not know. Atheism is to take the stance that God does not exist. Agnoticism is to take no stance as to whether God(s) exist.

*

Here is the Cambridge Dictionary definition of the word "religiously".

-If you do something religiously, you do it regularly.

dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/religiously

Used in a sentence:

He debates on debate.org religiously.

--

Richard Dawkins, a leader of the "New Atheist movement is so obsessed with religion that he wrote a book called "The God Delusion" in 2006.

The late Christopher Hitchens, a leader in the New Atheist movement, was so obsessed with religion that he authored a book called "God Is Not Great".

*

And in regards to this point I present my opponent "Double_R.

Double_R has had 4,556 posts as of this point in time. He posts "religiously". He debates religiously about well...religion. He has participated in such thought provoking debates such as:

-Bob the Magic Fairy Exists

-Atheism Has no Burden of Proof

-This House Believes Ontology Necessitates God!

-This shack would state: God has existence in our reality

-Occam's Razor Applies To The Theory of God!

-The ontological argument

-Life is just a game

You get the idea.

*

Many Atheists gather at Atheist churches.

-(excerpt from an article about Atheist churches)

"The number of so-called “atheist churches” more than doubled this past weekend.

On Sept. 28, 35 towns around the world launched new Sunday Assembly groups for secular humanists, freethinkers, skeptics, atheists and agnostics who want a sense of community -- without having to deal with any of the God stuff.

The central idea we have to spread is that we have only one life, which means that life has to be lived to the fullest,” Mano Singham said to a newly-formed godless congregation in Strongsville, Ohio. “There is no second chance, no opportunity to have a do-over, there is no afterlife where wrongs are righted and cosmic justice meted out to the evildoers.”

The U.S. has been a particularly fruitful ground for this type of thinking, with 16 new congregations starting last weekend.

The meetings are filled with songs--Bon Jovi, Journey and Monty Python seem to be favorites--readings, and even a moment of silence where congregants are left alone with their own thoughts.

Some of the congregations intend to organize small groups, where a few people can gather to read books and discuss philosophy."


*

In my opinion, Atheism is a philosophical/ideological belief or decision. Much like typical religion, it has different sects similar to how Christianity has Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Pentacostal, Holiness, Jehovah's Witnesses, 3rd Day Adventists, Mormons, etc.

One particular sect of Atheism is those who practice Buddhism for meditation and look at "inner self", a "spiritual experience", not founded on a god(s).


*

And then there is the "Atheist Muslim". Some Atheist Muslims believe Allah created us, but now He is dead.

m.huffpost.com/us/entry/why-i-decided-to-call-myself-an-atheist-muslim_b_3261226.html

*

There are "Christian Atheists".

"The inference from these claims to the "either meaningless or misleading" conclusion is implicitly premised on the verificationist theory of meaning. Most Christian atheists believe that God never existed, but there are a few who believe in the death of God literally."


*

The point? There is a certain amount of "cherry picking" that happens in each "stereotypical" religion, and it happens in Atheism as well. Just as many Christians, Muslims, Jews, and Hindus have varying beliefs and lack of beliefs, so does Atheism.

*

Atheism is so much of a religion, a faith in the unseen and things hoped for that such scientific conceptualizations such as this do not even move them.

James Gates, Physicist and Science adviser to Barack Obama.

James Gates and his researchers discovered something very intriguing buried within the mathematical equations of super symmetry.

What did they find? They found what he said resembled computer code.

"And it isn’t just random 1’s and 0’s either. Bizarrely, the code they found is code which is used in computer browser operating system software."


James Gates

Double_R

Con

Pro has brought up a series of points, but has yet to make any coherent argument as to why one should consider atheism to be a religion. His strategy thus far has apparently been to list various observations with the hopes that the readers will figure out on their own how any of his points affirm the resolution.

Pro begins by listing the definition of atheist and agnostic. He however fails to recognize that his own definition of atheist states that an atheist is someone who disbelieves or lacks belief in the existence of a God. Setting aside the term “disbelieves” for a moment, the word “or” is critical in this definition because it means that either will suffice. Thus, anyone who does not hold an active belief in a God qualifies as an atheist. Believing God does not exist would certainly qualify one under that definition, but this active belief is in addition to the requirement, not a requirement on its own. Therefore, when we talk about atheists (or atheism) we are talking specifically about the lack of belief in a god, since that is the only factor that determines whether someone is an atheist.

Pro then continues to use a completely semantical definition of “religiously” to make his point. I remind Pro that the debate is about whether atheism is a religion, not whether atheists act “religiously”. What is ironic about this argument is that the word “religiously” is used to equate things to religion that are not about religion, so even the most basic understanding of grammar and word usage refutes Pro’s case.

A much simpler way to go about this debate is to define the word “religion”, since that is the resolution. A simple Google search reveals the following:

Religion: “the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods”
https://www.google.com...

This definition, which is absolutely consistent with what any reasonable person would interpret when reading the resolution negates the resolution. Since atheism is by Pro’s own definition not a belief, it cannot be a religion.

This is why every proceeding argument Pro has made fails. He has provided many examples of atheists doing things that are similar to things religious people do, but he has yet to make a case that anything they do is tied to atheism. I as an atheist, can pray. That doesn’t make prayer a component of atheism. I as an atheist can go to church. That does tie churches to atheism.

Pro has yet to make any argument tying atheism itself to religion, and I have already show how the very idea is not possible. The resolution is self contradictory.

Debate Round No. 2
brontoraptor

Pro

Look at Con's statement.

"Pro has brought up a series of points, but has yet to make any coherent argument as to why one should consider atheism to be a religion."

1)I brought up a series of points.

2)But made no points

*

Con has made an attempt to pretend as though I have made no points, hoping voters will not actually read my argument.

What was shown in argument 1:

1)There are Atheists who attend Atheist churches.

2)Atheists have their own Bibles.

Such as?

-The God Delusion(Richard Dawkins)

-God is not Great(Christopher Hitchens)

-The End of Faith(Sam Harris)


*

Richard Dawkins-

"What worries me about religion is that it teaches people to be satisfied with not understanding the world they live in."

We have shown Con a demonstration of the universe being composed of adinkas, binary Hammin's computer code. Does he care? Nope. Why? It conflicts with his religion.

*

Atheism has become militant and hostile towards other beliefs.

The New Atheist movement has become hellbent on attacking other beliefs, demonstrated on this very forum. They claim "we are not religious!", but guess where I met Con at. The Religion forum. As a matter of fact, I've met a lot of "nonreligious" Atheists in? The Religion forum.

*

So, let's demonstrate this yet again.

The Fermi Paradox

-"The contradiction between the lack of evidence and high probability estimates, e.g. given by the Drake equation, for the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations."

The Drake Equation states that if some kind of Darwinian means is fact, then by probability alone, our galaxy should be teaming with intelligent life. But...not a flicker, not a peep. Looks like it is just us.

Will Con be moved by the information? Nope. Why? It contradicts his religious beliefs and needs.

Con is so religious that he challenged me to this very debate. Think about it. Here are some of Con's debates.

Bob the Magic Fairy Exists

-Atheism Has no Burden of Proof

-This House Believes Ontology Necessitates God!

-This shack would state: God has existence in our reality

-Occam's Razor Applies To The Theory of God!

-The ontological argument

He is defending his beliefs. It's illogical to defend your "lack of beliefs". He is defending? Beliefs.

*

Con:

" I as an atheist, can pray."

Praying is? Religious.

*

Con:

"He has provided many examples of atheists doing things that are similar to things religious people do"

A rose by any other name is still a rose. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it is a duck.

*

Con tries to make the assertion that Atheism is not a religion because it has many diffent ways of being, no distinct, specific belief.

The same can be said for any religion. Christianity includes Presbyterian, Pentacostal, Catholic, Holiness, Baptist, Methodist, 7th Day Adventist, Jehovah's Witness, Mormons, First Assembly of God, etc. We have Suni Islam. We have Shia Islam. We have Wahhabism. Hinduism has literally 5 million gods worshipped in many different varieties and mixes. We have Buhhdism, Scientology, Judaism, Urantians, Wickens, etc etc...That does not make these people "not religious" simply because their beliefs differ.

Some Atheists, through faith, blindly believe in Darwinian Evolution despite secular scientists such as David Berlinski saying darwinian evolution is a pipedream.

Con says some Atheists are spiritual? But not religious. No, no.

-

Con beats a consistant drumbeat that Atheism is a "lack of belief", therefore not religious.

Let's flip it around. I have a little bit of a " non-lack of belief" in God. Am I religious or not? You know I am. That door swings both ways.
Double_R

Con

The resolution states that Atheism is a Religion. Not only has Pro failed to provide any arguments that lead to this conclusion, he also fails to understand the very basics of what it would take to affirm the resolution. In order to demonstrate that Atheism is a religion Pro needs to define both atheism and religion, and then explain how the definition of atheism fits into the definition of religion. He has made no such attempt.

What he has instead provided, are semantical examples of things being described as religious (due to the similarities they share with things that are actually religious) and examples of things that atheists can fit into, while disregarding that none of these things he discusses are tied to atheism. His central argument could be described as follows:

P1: Person A is an atheist
P2: Person A engages in activity X
P3: Activity X is similar to Activity Y
P4: Activity Y is religious
C1: Person A is religious
C2: Since Person A is an atheist and religious, Atheism is a religion

The flaws in this are abundant and obvious, which I will refute as I respond directly to Pro’s arguments.

Pro begins Round 3 by attempting to make it seem as if I contradicted myself by misrepresenting what I said. I never said that Pro made no points, I said he has yet to make a coherent argument. A coherent argument would require Pro to explain how we get from his points to the conclusion. He never puts this together for us which is why I said that he apparently expects the readers to do it for themselves. Well since Pro has yet to do this, I did above. Let’s see how Pro responds.

Pro claims that atheists “have their own bibles”. First of all, these books do not meet any reasonable criteria to be considered a bible. They are merely written by individuals explaining their own personal observations and making their own personal inferences regarding religion and religious claims. To call that a bible is to call Donald Trump’s “The Art of the Deal” a bible, which is clearly the point where we have departed from the English language.

Second, I am an atheist and yet not only have I never read any of the books Pro cited but my atheism has no necessary tie to any of them. The fact that some other atheist might have the same opinions as myself on various religions claims does not make me a follower of theirs. If that were necessarily the case than every liberal and conservative in America would be considered religious followers of some politician that preceded them. This is once again, another departure from the English language.

Pro claims that I will not be moved by his Fermi paradox and Drake equation, which is evidence of my religious beliefs and needs. No, it is evidence that Pro’s arguments are nonsense.

Pro again tries to use my debate records as evidence that I am defending my religious beliefs. Pro seems to completely disregard the fact that I have done 46 debates to date of which he can only find 7 or so that are religious, so his invalid point still fails.

Pro tries to argue that no religion has any distinct specific belief, which renders my point that atheism has no belief system to be invalid. Pro fails to understand the basics of what it means to be a religion. It is true for example that there are many variations of Christianity, but a simple Google search reveals why that is…

Christianity: “the religion based on the person and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, or its beliefs and practices.”
https://www.google.com...

One is by definition considered a Christian so long as they believe in and follow the teachings of Christ. But those teachings are is subject to interpretation, which is exactly why we have so many different variations.

Atheism does not have variations of beliefs. It has variations of people who fit into the category of being an atheist. The fact that an atheist can believe something does not tie atheism to that belief, just as a conservative believing in UFO’s does not mean that UFO beliefs become a part of conservatism.

If a Christian no longer believes in Christ and stops following his teachings then he or she is no longer a Christian. That is the difference between religion and atheism. For a person to stop being religious they have to stop believing and acting in accordance with their religion. The only way for a person to stop being an atheist is to start believing in a God.

Finally, Pro tries to escape the fact that he must actively hold a belief in God by claiming that he holds a “non-lack of belief" in God. Pro can try and play word games with this all he wants, this does nothing to refute the point I just made. A non-lack of belief is a non-non belief, which is just a very silly way of saying he believes.

In summary, Pro has yet again failed to tie any of his arguments together so we can understand exactly why atheism is a religion. Moreover, he continues to make egregiously false assertions such as the idea that atheists engaging in activity X ties activity X to atheism, or the idea that religions do not require specific beliefs or practices, an idea that contradicts the fact that those beliefs and practices are how religions are defined.

Pro has no regard for the English language, which is why he believes the resolution.

Debate Round No. 3
brontoraptor

Pro

When atheists rail attack theists, they are using the same fervor that the religious use when making their claims against a secular society only in reverse..

I have found that the angriest of atheists can be as religiously insane as a group of Westboro Baptists at a veteran’s funeral or Muslims screaming "Sharia for U.S.A.!"

A definition of religion proposed by Clifford Geertz, defined it as a "cultural system".

-"A critique of Geertz's model by Talal Asad categorized religion as "an anthropological category", saying many religions have narratives, traditions, that are intended to give meaning to life OR to explain the origin of life or the universe."


*

Typically, in my debates with Atheists, They will try to give explanations as to how things originated, whether it be Darwinian Evolution, the so called "Quantum field", Abiogenesis, etc. They are attempting to answer how it all began in an attempt to devalidate "God" as that answer.

I've always found it to be a perculiar thing, the Atheist's attempt to prove God does not exist to themselves, especially in the militant way that is so prevalent today.

If God exists, eternal life exists. One would wonder the motive behind a purposeful attempt to reject eternal life for themselves and those that they claim they love.

So why on Earth, logically, would one seek to destroy the notion of eternal life in their minds? I can think of many reasons. These reasonings make up different Atheist religious denominations.

1)The atheist denomination of guilt. If I deny God, I don't have to feel guilt for things like doing drugs, being an alcoholic, having premiscuous sex, etc.

2)The atheist denomination of anger. I am angry at God because I have lost something or someone imortant to me, and it hurt. Out of anger I reject God.

3)The Atheist denomination of Darwinian Evolutionists. Despite scientists like Davide Berlinski, who is secular and a scientist in the field, saying darwinian evolution is false and pushed by the New Atheist movement with nontheistic motives, even saying it isn't even worth being called a theory, they believe on blind faith in order to justify to themselves somehow that God doesn't exist.

4)The homosexual denomination. I believe "God is against homosexuals", so I reject him because I support or am homosexual.

Etc etc...

*

Buddhism is a nontheistic religion that claims no creator god, and yet it is listed as a religion.


Atheism is a nontheistic religion that claims no god and on faith.

*

On this very forum under "Religion", many people put "Atheist".

*

Question:

Why is it a problem if someone considers atheism a religion?

Question:

How does that hurt the atheists’ claim? It's not saying you can't believe God does not exist.

I don't believe in unicorns, fairies, or flying spaghetti monsters. Richard Dawkins once said Theists are all atheists, we just take our thinking one god further. Fine. Call me a participant in spaghetti monster atheism. I have no emotional appeal if you call me such. Sure I admit it. I am unicorn atheist. Real atheists are SO religious that they begin to get tyranical if you call atheism a religion. Why? Because it is, and they know it. They have deep emotional reasons. When you hate God, you psychologically try to detach from the word "religion", feeling it is inferring you are no different than theists. Atheists want no such attachment to god. Anti-religion is a religion in and of itself.

Here is a site where you can download "atheist pamphlets" to print out and pass out just like relidious denominations do, namely Jehovah's Witnesses.


Here's an article about door to door Atheists that knock on doors to promote atheism.


Tithing: Atheists pay money to help support the spread of atheism.


So far I have demonstrated:

1)Atheists have their own churches.

2)Atheists have atheist pamphlets describing their beliefs to be handed out.

3)They are looking for converts.

4)They go door to door preaching their beliefs.

5)They have literature to support their beliefs, suchas writings by Hitchens, Dawkins, and Harris.

6)It takes a stance on the concept of God, stating "unbelief" or "lack of belief".

7)It has evangelists preaching Atheism such as Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Sam Harris.

8)Con states that it has similarities to religion.

9)It goes on blind faith.

10)Atheists are unmoved even if presented evidence that supports Creationism, by definition, a strong confirmation bias.

11)It has become militant towards other beliefs.

12)On this very forum, under Religion, many Atheists put...Atheist.

13)Some atheists pray or are spiritual, which is religious.

14)Atheists tithe.
Double_R

Con

Pro didn’t address a single argument I made in the last round, and has made it clear that he doesn’t even understand what this debate is about.

The resolution states: “Atheism is a Religion”

In round 2 I provided a non-controversial definition of religion, a definition Pro has yet to even acknowledge let alone refute, which by this point in the debate is essentially a concession. The fact that the definition of religion contradicts Pro’s definition of atheism puts this debate at an end. There are no further arguments necessary by this point to negate the resolution.

Yet, unlike Pro, I will at least grant my opponent the curtesy of acknowledging his points made in the last round as opposed to pretending I am the only one here.

Pro begins with the absurd notion of “atheist denominations”. All pro is doing here is using a word normally used in a religious context, and applying it to atheists. This has pretty much been his tactic the entire debate. The fact that he can categorize atheists has nothing to do with whether atheism is a religion, it is because atheists are people. We categorize people in all areas of life such as politics, dating types, personality types, etc. This is not remarkable, and has absolutely nothing to do with religion.

It is not clear whether Buddhism is a religion but even if it is granted religious status, the fact that there can be such thing as a non-theistic religion does not mean that all non-theistic people are religious.

Pro asks “Why is it a problem if someone considers atheism a religion? How does that hurt the atheists’ claim?”

Answers: It’s not a problem other than the fact that it is not English, and it doesn’t hurt atheist claims. However, it is worth noting that calling atheism a religion is often nothing more than a “tu quoque” fallacy, which is where one attempts to validate their position by asserting that the opposing position is just as weak and/or absurd. In this case “religion” is actually being used in an insulting manner, suggesting that all of the flaws of religion also apply to atheism. Atheists are quick to correct theists when invoking this logical fallacy because they are not the same thing as I have pointed out in earlier rounds. Pro would do himself a favor by reading what I had to say and respond to it.

The remainder of Pros arguments ignore every point I have made by continuing to argue that because Person A is an atheist and carries out action X, X must be a part of atheism. All this takes to refute is to replace the word “atheist” in Pro’s arguments with “conservative”, “liberal”, “Cuban”, or whatever group of people you want and the non-sequitor is made even more clear…

1) [Liberals] have their own churches
2) [Conservatives] have [conservative] pamphlets describing their beliefs to be handed out

Etc…

There is really no point in adding anything else. Pro has completely failed to put together a coherent argument explaining how any of his points affirm the resolution while ignoring every argument I have made explaining why the resolution is wrong.

Debate Round No. 4
brontoraptor

Pro

Religion: A set of beliefs that lead to an overall belief system.

Example:

Christian:
I believe prophetic signs as evidence. I believe Jesus rose from the dead. I believe Jesus was divine. I believe Jesus ascended into Heaven. My belief system? Christianity.

Atheist:
I believe in darwinian evolution. I believe in abiogenesis. I believe in "science". My belief system? Atheism.

*

Con tried to squirm around his religiosity by giving a blanket definition of "religion.

Religion: "the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods."

So Con's claim is he doesn't have a belief but a "lack of belief".

I have a "lack of belief" in God's nonexistance. See how that works? Now neither of us is religious, which is fully untrue because, I am religious.

Con sees sentences. Con sees points, even calling them points, and in a final ditch effort to deflect the claim, has chosen to say the argument is not "coherant". Let's check it out.

Con claims Atheism is not a belief. Why? Because he doesn't believe in a god? But how many beliefs do atheists have in order to support their "lack of belief" in a god? Some believe in darwinian Evolution despite never witnessing a change of kind and the fossil record destroying the theory. This "belief" or "faith" brings forth the very reason for their "lack of belief in a god. Some atheist "believe" in abiogenesis, despite having never seen it. To say atheists have no beliefs is intellectual suicide.

1)Under "Religion" many Atheists put "Atheist" on their profile on this forum.

2)Con has beena part of several religious debates. Not secular debates. Religious debates.

3)There are Atheist churches.

4)Atheists have a preconditioned dogmatic confirmation bias, that they are not interested in anything that challenges their beliefs.(such as beliefs in abiogenesis or darwinian evolution)

5)Atheism has its own literature just as religious people have the Bible, Quran, etc.

6)There are atheist pamphlets to spread the "good news", or would that be bad news?

7)Atheists go door to door to seek conversions through spreading their doctrine.

8) Atheism has become militant and hostile towards other beliefs. They have become fundamentalists and extremists.

9) Con's own words: " I as an atheist, can pray".

10) Con's own words: "He has provided many examples of atheists doing things that are similar to things religious people do."

Con claims a "lack of beliefs". The word "lack" infers that you do believe on some level, otherwise, it's not a "lack". If you believe on some level, you are believing. "Believing" is what makes you religious according to Con himself.

*

Con:
Christianity: "the religion based on the person and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, or its beliefs and practices."

*

Atheism: "the religion promoted by the teachings of Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and Christopher Hitchens, or their beliefs and practices."

*

Con:
"It is not clear whether Buddhism is a religion but even if it is granted religious status, the fact that there can be such thing as a non-theistic religion does not mean that all non-theistic people are religious."

-Based on this we can say not all Theists are religious just because other theists are religious. This would make no one on Earth religious.

*

Con:
"In this case "religion" is actually being used in an insulting manner, suggesting that all of the flaws of religion also apply to atheism."

And they do apply. Atheism has to be based on something, otherwise it's an illogical position. It is based off of concepts like a ""theoretical "quantum field", a theoretical occurence that no one has ever seen and is blatantly inconsistant with the evidence, such as a magical concept called darwinian evolution that rates up there with spaghetti monsters and gremlins. It is based off of another magical creation occurence called "abiogenesis" that has zero evidence and has never been seen. When atheists debate me, they always present one or more of these magical and theoretical, unseen, and nonevidenced concepts of magic.

*

Based on this information, how does Atheism constitute a religion?

D. All of the above.
Double_R

Con

Much thanks to Pro for finally deciding to join us here in this debate. So here we have it, 5 rounds into a 5 round debate and Pro finally gives us his definition of religion:

“A set of beliefs that lead to an overall belief system”

Notice that Pro provides no source for this definition, nor could I find it through any Google search. As far as I can tell Pro made it up, which seems obvious by its remarkable generality. I could easily use this definition to argue that conservatism or liberalism is a religion, which I don’t think I need to explain is absurd.

Pro then characterizes the belief system of an atheist as having belief in Darwinian evolution, abiogenesis, and science (as if science is a separate category). Sorry Pro, science does not = Atheism. Science = Science. No need to explain further.

Pro claims that atheists must have beliefs in order to support their lack of belief. A lack of belief does not require support, but even if I grant whatever Pro means by this statement, the question is: What are these beliefs that atheists have? This is where Pro’s argument collapses. Religion is not a conclusion regarding the existence of a deity. Religion is a specific set of beliefs and practices that are tied to this conclusion. Atheism is not tied to any specific belief, which disqualifies it from being considered a religion, just as theism is not a religion. If evolution for example was a tenant of atheism, then someone who rejects evolution could not be an atheist. Yet as long as we are speaking English, atheism only concerns the question of whether a God exists. It has nothing to do with evolution, or any other belief one could list.

Pro argues that to say atheists have no beliefs is intellectual suicide. No one is saying that atheists have no beliefs, the question is whether those beliefs are a tenant of atheism. By definition (including Pro’s), they are not.

Pro argues that atheism is a religion promoted by the teachings of Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and Christopher Hitchens. I have never read anything I understand to be written by any of these individuals nor have I followed anything they teach. In fact, from the little I have seen of them in debate I don’t consider any of them to be persuasive. So apparently, according to Pro I am not an atheist.

I give my opponent credit for at least acknowledging some of my arguments in the last round, but he still failed to address the most important one… The fact that his own definition of atheism contradicts the claim that atheism is a belief. That combined with his own definition of religion (“A set of beliefs that…”) automatically loses the debate for him by demonstrating the resolution to be a logical contradiction, aka self-refuting.

I could present far more arguments but by this point there is simply no need. To vote for Pro at this point is to either give him credit for arguments he did not make (such as my breakdown for why his definition of atheism amounts to a mere lack of belief) or to say that a self-refuting resolution has been affirmed. Clearly, that is not the case.

Debate Round No. 5
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by whiteflame 7 months ago
whiteflame
*******************************************************************
>Reported vote: Sam7411// Mod action: NOT Removed<

5 points to Pro (Arguments, Sources). Reasons for voting decision: First off, Con had more reliable sources since he backs up the actual definitions that were in question: atheism and religion. When it comes to argument, Pro based his of off semantics( religiously) , and contends that basically since some practices of Athiests are similar to a religion, by having an ideology,. However, that does not define as a religion. A religion is a belief in a divine being, which by definition, is the opposite of an atheist which Con is keen to point out. Pro lacks any coherent argument and has frankly left me confused at what is argument his. Con actively and accurately refutes his fallacies and word games, therefor Con wins argument.

[*Reason for non-removal*] The voter points to specific arguments made by both sides to inform his decision. While the source points are borderline, the voter nonetheless points to the specific effect of the sources and their importance to the debate, thus establishing relevance. In the future, just make sure to mention a specific source as well.
************************************************************************
Posted by Chaosism 7 months ago
Chaosism
@ brontoraptor

That's why I spelled out exactly why I voted the way I did. I invite you to challenge something specific I cited in my reasons that you think isn't right or justified.

BTW - I've voted against atheist in the past; that's not a factor.
Posted by brontoraptor 7 months ago
brontoraptor
Point 754:

Atheist congregation voting
Posted by Chaosism 7 months ago
Chaosism
=+= Reasons for decision: Part 3 =+=
Neither debater displayed poor conduct. S/G to Con; Pro makes frequent spelling/grammatical errors throughout the debate to a very noticeable degree, with such careless and unchecked misspellings as: "reguarding", "Buhhdism", "consistant", "devalidate", "occurence", and so on. Con"s presentation is virtually flawless in this respect.

Sources: most of Pro"s sources are not credible (i.e. Wikipedia and YouTube) and since they support points that don"t support the resolution of the debate, they don"t matter. A strong use of sources in this debate was not necessary, and the only real useful ones were used to cite definitions. I rate this as a tie, overall.

Note to Pro: it"s not a valid debating technique to offer a statement or conclusion and then point to a source. You still have to provide the reasoning in the debate that supports your argument; one doesn"t cite sources so they can make the argument for you! They are intended to lend credibility for your reasoning.
Posted by Chaosism 7 months ago
Chaosism
=+= Reasons for decision: Part 2 =+=
Also, Pro offers a number of Red Herrings and Appeals in a fallacious attempt to equate particular atheists with a religious brush, such as with "The New Atheist movement has become hellbent on attacking other beliefs, demonstrated on this very forum.". This in no way supports the resolution, and is an attempt to characterize atheists in a way similar to the stereotypical notion of religious fundamentalists. This is also true with Pro"s argument regarding atheist churches, which is also addressed by Con with a logical syllogism in R3. Pro never addresses this, and continues to assert his same statements again.

At the end, Pro resorts to numerically listing a series of statements but fails to explain how they affirm the resolution. Although it might be obvious to Pro, it isn"t necessarily the case with people reading the debate. This failure to elucidate renders this points largely moot. Additionally, as pointed out by Con, Pro erroneously conflates atheism with belief in evolution, abiogenesis, and science. This displays Pro"s great misconception of what atheism entails. I could go on commenting on what"s wrong with what Pro asserts, but I"m trying to adhere to what Con has pointed out.

Arguments, without question, go to Con.
Posted by Chaosism 7 months ago
Chaosism
=+= Reasons for decision: Part 1 =+=
In this debate, Pro has the Burden of Proof for the resolution and must affirm that atheism is a religion, not just that *some* atheists can be considered religious, but that atheism is, in of and itself, a religion. Pro"s strategy, as observed strongly in the first round, consistent of stating several points, none of which he actually explains how it supports the resolution. For example, Pro brings up Muslim and Christian Atheists seemingly arbitrarily, and doesn"t explain at all how this affirms the resolution. This observation is shared by Con. Additionally, Pro provides a straightforward definition of "atheism" at the beginning, but doesn"t at all address how that implies religion. Con uses this definition, specifically the "or lack of belief", to provide strong refutation to the resolution.

Throughout the debate, Con constantly highlights Pro"s use of logical fallacies, such as Equivocation and Hasty Generalization, in an attempt to affirm the resolution. A definite example of the both the former and the latter is when Pro attempts to employ the colloquial usage of "religiously" to portray the "religious" behaviors of some atheist (Equivocation). Even if this was true, to assert that all of atheism is a religion because *some* atheists profess their atheism and zealously advocate it is where the Hasty Generalization fallacy is committed.
Posted by Skepticalone 7 months ago
Skepticalone
If this debate is unvoted and the voting period is nearing it's end, remind me to vote...if I haven't already.
Posted by CAHAL101 7 months ago
CAHAL101
i don't think atheism is not a religion I'm a very faithful person so yah
Posted by zookdook1 7 months ago
zookdook1
Atheism is a belief system as much as baldness is a haircolour and 'off' is a TV channel.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Chaosism 7 months ago
Chaosism
brontoraptorDouble_RTied
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 Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Given in comments.
Vote Placed by Sam7411 7 months ago
Sam7411
brontoraptorDouble_RTied
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: First off, Con had more reliable sources since he backs up the actual definitions that were in question: atheism and religion. When it comes to argument, Pro based his of off semantics( religiously) , and contends that basically since some practices of Athiests are similar to a religion, by having an ideology,. However, that does not define as a religion. A religion is a belief in a divine being, which by definition, is the opposite of an atheist which Con is keen to point out. Pro lacks any coherent argument and has frankly left me confused at what is argument his. Con actively and accurately refutes his fallacies and word games, therefor Con wins argument.