The Instigator
Question_Mark
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
OneElephant
Con (against)
Winning
15 Points

Atheism is a religion.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
OneElephant
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/27/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,046 times Debate No: 24888
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (17)
Votes (6)

 

Question_Mark

Pro

Well, this will be my first debate on this site, and I just felt having a religious debate to kick it off.

I would prefer Con to be someone who takes this debate serious (i.e not forfeting the debate).

Also, whoever accepts this feel free to give me suggestions and comments on how I am doing, if you so wish.

First round will be for acceptance, obviously. And I don't feel as if any words need to be defined, but Con may do so if he/she wishes, as long as the respective definitions are reasonably true.
OneElephant

Con

I accept and wish my opponent the best of luck. I'm fairly new as well, but welcome to the site!


===Definitions===

Atheism: Disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings [1]
Religion: A set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe [2]


===Sources===

[1] http://dictionary.reference.com...;
[2] http://dictionary.reference.com...;
Debate Round No. 1
Question_Mark

Pro

Thanks for accepting, OneElephant!

My argument will simply be positioned as premises and a conclusion logically made based on those premises.

Premise 1: The definition of religion, in this debate as reaosnably decidied by both parties, is "a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe."

Premise 2: All atheists have decided upon a differ cause, nature, and purpose of the universe then theists have, although this may vary between atheists just as it may vary between theists.

Conclusion: Thus, atheism *is* in fact a religion.


Good luck to you, OneElephant.
OneElephant

Con

I thank my opponent for his arguments.

If I understand correctly, my opponent's argument is thus-


1. Theism is a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe.
2. Atheism shares similarities to Theism.
3. Therefore Atheism is a religion.


I think the problem with this argument is that it's basic premise is flawed; Theism is not a religion. Theism is simply belief in one or more supreme dieties [1]. Because of this, while theism may affect your beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose, it is not a religion per se.

Similarly, the belief that there is no god or supreme diety may affect your beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, it's not actually a belief per se; atheists may have different beliefs about these topics, as my opponent, himself concedes.

For these reasons we can safely conclude that Pro's argument is invalid. The resolution falls until further notice.

Thank you.

===Sources===

[1] http://dictionary.reference.com...;
Debate Round No. 2
Question_Mark

Pro

If I understand correctly, my opponent's argument is thus-

1. Theism is a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe.
2. Atheism shares similarities to Theism.
3. Therefore Atheism is a religion.

You are incorrectly assuming my argument is bases that atheism is a religion because it holds similarities to theism. However, my argument, as a simplified version, is as follows:

1) Religion is a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature and purpose of the universe.
2) Atheism shares the definition of religion, although although atheists have belief that the universe was created scientifically, whist theists belief a deity was the cause of the universe.
3) Thus, atheism is a religion.


Your following arguments are based on misinterpeting my arguments, though for the sake of debate, I'll address them, anyway.

I think the problem with this argument is that it's basic premise is flawed; Theism is not a religion.

Theism consists off *all* religions that regard the cause of the universe to be a deity/deities.

Theism is simply belief in one or more supreme dieties [1]. Because of this, while theism may
affect your beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose, it is not a religion per se.

Once again, theism consists of all religions that view the cause of the universe to be that of a deity, so yes, thiesm itself isn't a religion, but being a theist does determine your view of the universe, in that you believe a deity exists.

Similarly, the belief that there is no god or supreme diety may affect your beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, it's not actually a belief per se;

Again, being an atheist determines your view of the universe, in that you reject that a deity was the cause of the universe, or that a deity exists at all.

atheists may have different beliefs about these topics, as my opponent, himself concedes.

Of course atheists have differing opinions of how the universe was actually created, just as how theists, even from the same religious group, have differing opinions on their religion.

The bulk of Con's arguments were based on misunderstanding on my arguments, though I have refuted his claims, regardless.

As this will be the last argument I, Pro, am able to post, I thank Con for the chance for debating me, and wish him the best of luck in his conclusion argument. ;)
OneElephant

Con

I thank my opponent for his arguments, though I believe that they are self refuting;

1. Atheism has been defined as disbelief in a god/gods.
2. Theism has been defined as belief in a god/gods.
3. My opponent concedes that theism is not a religion. It's a factor of religions involving dieties or gods.
4. My opponent does not explain why atheism, which is simply a factor of religions such as naturalism, is a religion if theism is not.

Since BOP is on my opponent for making a positive claim and he has not adequately explained why belief in dieties is not a religion and disbelief in dieties is, I think the vote automatically goes to Con.

Additionally;

1. Religion has been defined as a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe.
2. Atheism is one belief: gods do not exist.
How can one belief be a set of beliefs? To believe that atheism is a religion is simply a non sequitur.

I thank my opponent for this debate. I wish him better luck on his following debates.
Debate Round No. 3
17 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by mark.marrocco 4 years ago
mark.marrocco
RFD - Con successfully separated the distinctions between atheism/theism and religion/non religion in his last response. When he points out that religion is a *set* of beliefs regarding the nature and causes of the universe, Pro's case then fails because atheism is only the single belief, or disbelief, regarding the existence of a deity. It's possible to be an atheistic religious person, I suppose, in that sense, as you might consider a Buddhist an atheist. But that doesn't imply at all that all atheists are religious. I personally describe myself as agnostic, which means I don't subscribe to any strict set of beliefs regarding the cause or nature of the universe, but I could be described as atheistic in the sense that I strongly doubt the existence of any anthropomorphized, personal God(s). With that being said, it was a good first effort Pro, with an interesting angle of approach.

One last concern Pro, atheists don't automatically believe the universe was *created scientifically.* This is a dangerously misleading statement. Sure, atheists like myself are more prone to being open to scientifically investigating the cause and nature of the universe, but we don't think that *science created it.* We created Science, and I think that's a great thing, but the universe was here long before us.
Posted by mark.marrocco 4 years ago
mark.marrocco
RFD - Con successfully separated the distinctions between atheism/theism and religion/non religion in his last response. When he points out that religion is a *set* of beliefs regarding the nature and causes of the universe, Pro's case then fails because atheism is only the single belief, or disbelief, regarding the existence of a deity. It's possible to be an atheistic religious person, I suppose, in that sense, as you might consider a Buddhist an atheist. But that doesn't imply at all that all atheists are religious. I personally describe myself as agnostic, which means I don't subscribe to any strict set of beliefs regarding the cause or nature of the universe, but I could be described as atheistic in the sense that I strongly doubt the existence of any anthropomorphized, personal God(s). With that being said, it was a good first effort Pro with an interesting angle of approach.

One last concern Pro, atheists don't automatically believe the universe was *created scientifically.* This is a dangerously misleading statement. Sure, atheists like myself are more prone to being open to scientifically investigating the cause and nature of the universe, but we don't think that *science created it.* We created Science, and i think that's a great thing, but the universe was here long before us.
Posted by wiploc 4 years ago
wiploc
You make some legitimate points.
Posted by ADT_Clone 4 years ago
ADT_Clone
": A-theism can not be a religion.

Of course it can. It usually isn't, but there's no reason you can't have an atheist religion. I'm told that 25% of reformed Jews are atheists. And most Buddhists are supposed to be atheists. What is Communism, if not a specifically atheist religion?"

You have committed a fallacy of composition in your argument here. The fallacy of composition is when you conclude that a whole has an attribute that some or all of its parts have. In this case, you assumed that these reformed Jews, Buddhists and I assume Communists have the attribute of being apart of a religion, and as you assume they are apart of the whole(atheism) that atheism must also have the attribute of being a religion. This is fallacious rendering your argument a bad argument.

Furthermore, your assumptions are inconsistent. You claim that Buddhists are atheists. Buddhism is a religion, is a form of theism, hence claiming that Buddhists are both theists and atheists is contradictory, hence inconsistent.
Posted by ADT_Clone 4 years ago
ADT_Clone
@wiploc

I would prefer the definition I made, as it is the true definition of the word. Atheism is a-theism, the opposite of theism. An atheist does not believe that God exists.

There are three requirements in order to "know" something:

1. You must belief in it
2. You must be justified in believing it
3. It must be true

In regards to theism(whichever religion you choose) you believe in it, so requirement one is satisfied. You could also be justified in believing in it, especially if millions if not billions of other people and prominent figures believe in it. Also, from the view of an empiricist(who believes knowledge comes from experience), as you said if you experienced God you could be justified in believing it. That can satisfy requirement two, but is it true?

Lets take both sides of this argument. Firstly, lets assume it is true. If it is true, then you no longer simply believe it, you KNOW it. Therefore, your theism would no longer be a religion. If it is not true, then you don't KNOW it, even through experience, therefore your theism would still be a religion.

In conclusion, even if you experience your God, it is still a belief, still a faith. But if it is true, then it is no longer a faith, so the example you brought up is redundant, it serves no purpose to the argument.
Posted by wiploc 4 years ago
wiploc
I sure hope they give us the power to edit our own posts. (This power should not apply to actual debate posts, or to Mafia games.)

If you want the power to edit your posts, make your voice heard. The issue is being discussed in the DDO forum.
Posted by wiploc 4 years ago
wiploc
Corrections:

So, if Jehovah sat down with you, did miracles to your satisfaction, and persuaded you that Christianity is the one true religion, then you still wouldn't be "religious" because your belief would have a legitimate JUSTIFICATION? Religion, then, in your usage, is not belief in god, but rather is nitwit belief in god?

Suffice it to say that this usage was NOT chosen for this debate.
Posted by wiploc 4 years ago
wiploc
ADT_Clone wrote:
: Just like to explain something quickly:
:
: Theism is the belief in a God. A-theism means something along the lines of "not-theism", it is its
: compliment. Otherwise, the complement of the former statement, no belief in a God.

That's a legitimate definition of "atheist": it is in common use and it is found in the dictionaries. It is the definition I like to use myself. It is not, however, the only legitimate definition, nor is it the definition chosen for this debate.

: As a religion requires faith, which is a belief with no evidence,

So, if Jehovah sat down with you, did miracles to your satisfaction, and persuaded you that Christianity is the one true religion, then you still wouldn't be "religious" because your belief would have a legitimate belief? Religion, then, in your usage, is not belief in god, but rather is nitwit belief in god?

Suffice it to say that this usage was usage chosen for this debate.

No, I guess that doesn't quite suffice. When Christians tell me that Christianity isn't a religion because their god is real, I think they're being jerks. You don't want to encourage that kind of behavior by making a similar distinction for them.

: A-theism can not be a religion.

Of course it can. It usually isn't, but there's no reason you can't have an atheist religion. I'm told that 25% of reformed Jews are atheists. And most Buddhists are supposed to be atheists. What is Communism, if not a specifically atheist religion?

: To say that not believing in something is a religion could be considered an existential or similar
: fallacy.

I hadda look it up, existential fallacy. I still don't get it. But I can say this: Atheism is not a religion, neither in plain English, nor according to the definition of "religion" used in this debate.
Posted by ADT_Clone 4 years ago
ADT_Clone
Just like to explain something quickly:

Theism is the belief in a God. A-theism means something along the lines of "not-theism", it is its compliment. Otherwise, the complement of the former statement, no belief in a God.

As a religion requires faith, which is a belief with no evidence, A-theism can not be a religion. To say that not believing in something is a religion could be considered an existential or similar fallacy.
Posted by OneElephant 4 years ago
OneElephant
Mhm, thanks for the RFDs.
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by mark.marrocco 4 years ago
mark.marrocco
Question_MarkOneElephantTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: See Comments.
Vote Placed by ravenwaen 4 years ago
ravenwaen
Question_MarkOneElephantTied
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Reasons for voting decision: If a religion is a set of beliefs about the universe, and atheists have different views about the universe (as Pro said), then atheism isn't a religion.
Vote Placed by wiploc 4 years ago
wiploc
Question_MarkOneElephantTied
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 4 years ago
RoyLatham
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Reasons for voting decision: Non-belief is not a "set of beliefs." Con argued correctly. Someone said, "If atheism is a religion then not collecting stamps is a hobby."
Vote Placed by FREEDO 4 years ago
FREEDO
Question_MarkOneElephantTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con demonstrated that something being a belief does not per se make it a religion. As the definition of religion given states, a religion is a SET of beliefs. Con pointed this out. Pro did not refute this. Pro did not make a thorough enough case to break his burden of proof.
Vote Placed by TheOrator 4 years ago
TheOrator
Question_MarkOneElephantTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I like the attempt at word play from the Con, but his own definition really screwed him over. His definition was for religion, and since atheism meets all those requirements he lost the debate.