The Instigator
AndyHood
Pro (for)
Winning
13 Points
The Contender
vi_spex
Con (against)
Losing
1 Points

Atheism is a more reasonable position than theism

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
AndyHood
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/27/2015 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,829 times Debate No: 72428
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (166)
Votes (3)

 

AndyHood

Pro

Definition: Atheism is the absence of belief in any god.
(it is not, necessarily, a belief that there are no gods)

Since there is no reasonable evidence for the existence of any god, it is more reasonable not to believe in any gods.

It strikes me that anybody who wishes to argue Con in this debate only has two possible lines of attack:

[1] Provide reasonable evidence that a god exists
[2] Provide a reasonable explanation as to why no evidence exists

I am confident that I can refute any evidence presented for [1] (although I am prepared to examine any evidence and am willing to change my mind if I'm wrong, it's just that I've spent a long time looking at evidence and none I've seen so far is reasonable).

For [2], whilst one may be able to provide a consistent story to justify a "cryptodeity" (a god hell-bent on not being discovered), it is ultimately unreasonable to believe such stories because they lack explanatory power and falsifiability so there is no way to prefer one out of the millions of possible such explanations.

I'm happy to debate anybody on any level, but please... one rule... don't try to shift the burden of proof by altering the definition of "atheism" to include the positive assertion that there are no gods... I'll freely admit that it is impossible to prove that no gods exist - and yet such an admission does not lessen my case... it is equally impossible to prove that no unicorns exist, but I don't let that bother me nor do I allow it to alter the fact that I don't believe in unicorns... and, of course, more relevantly to this debate, I don't let the fact that nobody has disproved unicorns affect my rational judgement that it is more reasonable not to believe in unicorns than it is to believe in them given a complete lack of reasonable evidence. I don't fully understand why we make a special case for gods... it seems to me that it is clearly more reasonable not to believe in any gods than to believe in any given the complete lack of reasonable evidence.

By the way, fair warning: the Kalam Cosmological Argument has been well refuted over the years, don't go there!
vi_spex

Con

belief is theism, religion, belief in god

belief equals god

so i am arguing that atheism is a form of theism in itself, which makes atheism religion, which means that the only better position is agnostisism, as that is the only true position

belief is doubt, and doubt is religion

know=Physical experience=absolute certainty

belief is only relevant when i dont know, so i dont know is always true in this case, which automaticly makes belief false

the reason why belief equates to theism is that, anything i believe is information, and god is information

santa clause is a god that demands that you are good, or there will be no reward... dosnt sound like to much of a stretch does it?

lies exist, i will catch a unicorn later today out in the forest i just know it! it will be black with a gold horn, i will ride it and it will l finally take me away for infinite jadada blabbla...

i dont know god, and only know is true

i dont know unicorns

imagination is false

reality is unbelieved

imaginaiton is unknown

alien dosnt equal true
Debate Round No. 1
AndyHood

Pro

I'm sorry if it seems rude of me but I wasn't able to derive much from Con's round 1 offering. Still, let me take what I think is their key position, and I quote:

----- "so i am arguing that atheism is a form of theism in itself,
----- which makes atheism religion, which means that the only
----- better position is agnostisism, as that is the only true position"

I can't gloss over the contradiction implicit the statement "atheism is a form of theism".
I can only assume that Con meant to say "atheism is a form of belief".
And that can only even *begin* to make sense if Con is using a different definition of atheism than me... specifically, Con is using the incorrect definition of atheism that I specifically warned against:

Definition: Atheism is the absence of belief in any god.
(it is not, necessarily, a belief that there are no gods)

So, Con, please be clear on what you mean... again you only have two choices: either you are blatantly disagreeing on my definition of atheism or you honestly think that a lack of belief in god is a form of belief in itself... and that's simply bonkers. That's as stupid as thinking that "bald" is a hair colour.

Look at it with this made up conversation:
Bob: Hi Mary, do you believe in the Loch Ness Monster (LNM)?
Mary: No.
Bob: Where's your proof?
Mary: Proof of what?
Bob: Your proof that there is no LNM!
Mary: Um, I never claimed to have a proof that the LNM doesn't exist.
Bob: But your lack of believing in the LNM is, in fact, a form of belief!
Mary: No, Bob, no... if I claimed to believe that the LNM didn't exist, you might have a point... but I don't... I neither believe that the LNM exists, nor do I believe that the LNM doesn't exist... I do not have a belief about the LNM. Can you understand that, Bob? Can you?
Bob: No, I can't... there either is a LNM or there is not a LNM, so, which do you believe?
Mary: Oh, Bob; you're right that reality is a dichotomy, but our beliefs about reality are not. Here, look at this jar full of sweets.
Bob: MMMM, those sweets look tasty, what's your point?
Mary: It must either be true that there are an odd number of sweets, or it must be true that there an even number of sweets. Do you have a strong belief either way?
Bob: Umm, well, no, I haven't counted them!
Mary: Bob, do you BELIEVE that there are an even number of sweets in this jar?
Bob: No, I don't... I told you, I haven't counted them!
Mary: Where's your proof?
Bob: What proof?
Mary: Where's your proof that there are an odd number of balls in that jar?
Bob: I never claimed that there were an odd number of balls in that jar.
Mary: But if you don't believe that there are an even number of balls in that jar, you must believe that there are an odd number, no?
Bob: Um, no... I suppose not... I don't believe either claim.
Mary: Exactly! And just the same, I am not a member of the "I believe in Nessy" club (nessyists), but neither do I belong to the "there can be no such thing as Nessy" club (anti-nessyists)... I simply lack a belief about your Nessy (I am an a-nessyist)

So, let's be clear... An atheist does not necessarily believe "there are no gods". That would be a belief system; in fact it wouldn't be anything akin to a religion, even then, but I will concede that to believe in such a position requires faith of sorts. However, the atheist merely DOES NOT BELIEVE IN A GOD. Would you disingenuous theists stop conflating that with "BELIEVES THERE IS NO GOD"? Please!? It makes you look so shifty, cheating with words like that... like you're desperately trying to hold on to a point that you know you've already lost...

Atheism does not necessarily entail any belief at all... as such, it is significantly more reasonable than any system that asks people to believe something without providing any evidence.

Con, you'll need to do better than this... to win you will have to either provide reasonable evidence for a god, or you will have to provide a reasonable explanation for why there is none but it's still reasonable to believe... can you do either?
vi_spex

Con

atheism, is disbelief, belief to the contrary

belief IS theism, therfore atheism is theism

the specifik position of atheism that your warn against, is becasue, its true, and it reveals the religiosity of science

absence of belief in god=know or i dont know

disbelief=belief

there are only 3 possible position on any imaginary claim, belief, disbelief, or acceptance i dont know

without disbelief atheism cant exist, if you believe in science, lacking evidence for a creator of everything, then science is your god

if i tell you i have dragon chained up in my backyard, and you disbelieve my claim, what is your position on my claim?

the reason why atheism is theism, is because they are the same, the theist imagines the evidence and says yes, and the atheist imagines the evidence, and says no, agnostic says i dont know, which is true

i dont know=i have to imagine it

not having belief on an imaginary claim=i know or i accept i dont know
Debate Round No. 2
AndyHood

Pro

Your starting point is flawed: disbelief does NOT imply belief to the contrary. This is just a 100% factual statement: you are wrong.

What irks me a little here is that I spelled out the reason why very clearly. I'll try it again: I have a jar of sweeties in front of me. Do you believe that I have an even number of sweeties in my jar? If not, does your not believing that I have an even number of sweeties imply that you believe that I have an odd number of sweeties?

Or, if this doesn't convince you, how about the courtroom analogy? When a jury finds a defendant "not guilty", does that mean that the jury believe the defendant to be innocent? Not necessarily! All that is required is reasonable doubt... there may not have been sufficient evidence to justify a conviction, even if none of the jury were completely convinced of the defendant's innocence.

Now, notice how we use the words "not guilty" instead of "innocent". Do you see the reason for this? Courts do not declare "we believe this man is innocent", they declare "we do not have sufficient evidence to find this man guilty".

Atheists do not (necessarily) say "we believe there are no gods", they simply say "we do not have sufficient evidence to believe in god".

Lack of belief, disbelief, no belief, absence of belief... however you'd like to label it, do not confuse that with "belief to the contrary".

I could carry on through your ridiculous logical fallacies one by one... I mean, "belief IS theism"? No, no, no, a thousand times, no! Belief IN GOD is theism. Belief in aliens is not theism. Belief that you are an idiot is not theism.

Anybody who states "atheism is theism" is either trolling or they are certifiable. Which is it, Con, are you lying or are you mad?

Religiosity of science? Science is not religious, nor is it about jumping to wild unsubstantiated beliefs... science is a METHOD. It is the combination of hypothesis, controlled experiment, analysis, independently reproduced experiment, peer review and publication. It is our best shot at understanding anything about the universe around us. Science constantly checks on established scientific conclusions, refining, updating or binning old paradigms when necessary. Religion, on the other hand, venerates the musings of iron age philosophers and clings to the old like a baby holding on to his last pacifier.

You say "the atheist imagines the evidence and says no". This is, with all due respect, an idiotic statement. Do you believe in green Martians in flying saucers? If not, does your lack of belief require you to imagine any evidence? You are neither required to say "there is no such thing" nor to provide evidence (imagined or otherwise), in order to state clearly and confidently "I do not believe in little green men from Mars".

In all of your Round 2 offering, I can find but one sensible statement: "the theist imagines the evidence and says yes". True, that! The atheist doesn't have to do any bold imagining... the atheist simply says "I've looked at all of the so-called evidence that theists have presented and I find not a jot of it compelling".

I am an atheist; I do not need to do any imagining to come to this conclusion. Theists telling me that I am employing a belief system really irk me. Are you using an active belief system complete with imagined evidence when you say that you don't believe in fairies, the Yeti, the Loch Ness Monster, Zeus, Thor, Odin, Osiris, angels, devils, little green men from Mars or Russell's Teapot?

I could list 1,000,000 things that you do not believe in (some of which you'll never even have heard of). Would your lack of belief in each of them constitute an active belief system of yours complete with imagined evidence to support your belief to the contrary? Of course not... you may simply say that you haven't seen sufficient evidence to convince you that there is a tooth fairy and leave it at that. You may simply say "I don't believe in Vishnu" and be left alone, without some imbecile telling you that your bold-*** assertion that there is no Vishnu (which you never claimed) is a belief system all its own, complete with imagined evidence and, to top it all, your lack of belief in Vishnu is equivalent to a belief in Vishnu! I think you'd either be annoyed at whoever was spitting this mental dribble at you or consider calling for the men in white coats!

Anyhow, this has turned into a bit of a non-debate, really. Con has not presented any evidence for any god's existence, nor have they presented any explanation as to why there is no evidence - as such, I rest my case that it is more reasonable to take the position of not believing. It would be reasonable, if presented with sufficiently compelling evidence, to believe in a god... but to believe in a god without evidence is neither reasonable nor sensible.
vi_spex

Con

look.. its really simple


if i claim i have a dragon in my backyard, you can believe me, theism, or disbelieve me, atheism, or be an agnostic and accept you dont know


these are the only position when it comes to religion



i have no beliefs



i understand matt dillahuntys position, and its is simple, that its wrong



belief in science, is theism


so im claiming, you are not an atheist, you are theist, fighting another religion



false exist, lies exist.


evidence: you can lie



you can negate the god claim with beliefs in science, religion negates religion, or i accept i dont know, only ways of not believing a claim when aware of it

Debate Round No. 3
166 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by vi_spex 2 years ago
vi_spex
reason+intent=morality

i cant be immoral if i cant tell right from wrong, and i cant be immoral if i have no intent, like a rock
Posted by vi_spex 2 years ago
vi_spex
absolutes=existence
Posted by vi_spex 2 years ago
vi_spex
it is absolute

truth is good, false is bad

the right way, is the moral way, is the logical way
Posted by AndyHood 2 years ago
AndyHood
It is the human mind that introduces the obscure requirement that a hero has a villain, for the story.
It is not a logical absolute.
Posted by AndyHood 2 years ago
AndyHood
Good without evil - like the imaginary heaven
Or within a family there could be good without evil

Hero with no villain - Man vs God!!!
Posted by vi_spex 2 years ago
vi_spex
i was trying a contrast,but its true good cant exist without bad, like Black and white
Posted by AndyHood 2 years ago
AndyHood
Clever soundbites, but both wrong
Posted by vi_spex 2 years ago
vi_spex
without a villain there can be no hero of the story
Posted by vi_spex 2 years ago
vi_spex
good cant exist without evil
Posted by AndyHood 2 years ago
AndyHood
Simple:
Answer this: if there is an omnipotent omnibenevolent God, how evil?

More formally for technically-minded people:

1. If there were an omnipotent omnibenevelent God, there would be no evil
2. There is evil
3. Therefore there is no omnipotent omnibenevelent God
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Gabe1e 2 years ago
Gabe1e
AndyHoodvi_spexTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Con made no attempt whatsoever to rebut Pro's arguments. Pro's argument was vague and really wasn't well constructed, but it did prove some points. On the other hand, Con really made no attempt to prove that the resolution: "Atheism is a more reasonable position than theism," was wrong. In fact, he wanted to prove that the two were the same, which wasn't the resolution at all. Con's case never was a case from the start, and Con stated random stuff like: "i dont know unicorns" and "reality is unbelieved" "alien dosnt equal true" which didn't help his case whatsoever. Pro's case didn't prove the resolution was right, but it was better than Con's, so arguments to Pro, even though it wasn't well deserved. Conduct to Pro because Con made no sense whatsoever. Grammar to Pro because Con made many mistakes. Sources to neither. The Bible is not a reliable source, even though Pro barely used any sources, same with Con. Overall, Pro won, but it really wasn't a well deserved win at all.
Vote Placed by tejretics 2 years ago
tejretics
AndyHoodvi_spexTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Con did not attempt to refute any of Pro's arguments; Pro's case was deeply flawed, but Con did not construct a case at all. Con merely attempted [and failed] to prove theism *was* atheism against Pro's conversation-illustrated Russell's teapot. Con's grammar was poor, with overuse of "=", making it hard to read.
Vote Placed by FaustianJustice 2 years ago
FaustianJustice
AndyHoodvi_spexTied
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Total points awarded:41 
Reasons for voting decision: While incomprehensible as to an argument, Con didn't approach "insult" as a means to a point. Flip side, Con didn't really approach a counter, either. Between the disjointed way in which the attempt at a case was crafted and the complete lack of a case, I must award the more convincing case to Pro, for being both present, and adequately demonstrating the resolution of how evidence and belief tie into a "reasonable" prospect.