The Instigator
Elektergeld
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Secular_Mike
Con (against)
Winning
10 Points

Atheism is a religion

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Secular_Mike
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/10/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 769 times Debate No: 61492
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (14)
Votes (2)

 

Elektergeld

Pro

Atheism, or any unmotivated claim that God doesn't exist, is to be considered a religion because it states something we don't have evidences for. Religious is any thought that implies believing without proofs.
Secular_Mike

Con

I accept, however lets look at a real definition of religion.

1.a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

http://dictionary.reference.com...
Debate Round No. 1
Elektergeld

Pro

The adverbs "especially" and "usually" are a clear sign that a specific part of the definition is debated and therefore not acceptable. Let's accept the first part of the definition: "Religion is a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature and purpose of the universe".

Isn't true that atheists claim that the cause of the universe is not God? They certainly claim that it is so. Since no evidence is possible on the existence or not existence of God, this claim is to be considered a belief.
Secular_Mike

Con

First of all I’d like to thank Pro for this debate, and when I accepted I was very intrigued on how his/her resolution was going to be argued.

I do want to aknowledge that I accept the definition that “religion is a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe.” This is the definition that shall be used throughout the duration of this debate.

I am going to assume Pro meant “Isn’t it true that atheists claim that the cause of the Universe is not God?” This is an easy answer….NO. That is one of the most illogical statements/questions that I have ever heard. To give Pro perspective on why I feel this way, I will apply the same logic.

Your religion isn’t Christianity, because isn’t it true that you claim that the cause of lightning is not from Zeus? Therefore you have the same religion as all who do not believe that lightning comes from Zeus. You are azeusians.

A better example might be:

You think God created the Universe? That means you do not believe in the multiverse theory, therefore your claim IS NOT that God created the Universe, but rather that multiverse theory did not. By this logic, your religion is based on the claim that there are not multiple universes.


I hope Pro understands now how insanely preposterous his/her logic is. This is a ridiculous attempt to show that atheism is a religion. In fact, it is the complete opposite. An atheist is someone who lacks belief in a deity or deities. It’s nothing more, nothing less. It is the rejection of the ‘God’ hypothesis. The cause, nature, and purpose of the Universe are completely independent of atheism, as it makes no claims about these topics. My opponent is trying to relate two things that don’t relate. It’s like saying that because you like turkey sandwiches, then your viewpoint on gun control is X. It is nonsensical and thus irrelevent. I am going to assume Pro does not believe in leprechauns. Well then he/she is an aleprechaunist. Technically there would be no difference between an aleprechaunist and an atheist, other than substituting one unsubstantiated claim for another.

To support my last point, here is a quote from Sam Harris from his book ‘Letters to a Christian Nation.’ “In fact, "atheism" is a term that should not even exist. No one ever needs to identify himself as a "non-astrologer" or a "non-alchemist." We do not have words for people who doubt that Elvis is still alive or that aliens have traversed the galaxy only to molest ranchers and their cattle. Atheism is nothing more than the noises reasonable people make in the presence of unjustified religious beliefs [1].”

The term atheist is just a broad term for someone who rejects the unproven claim of a god. There are, however different ‘types’ of atheists. The one that will immediately shoot down Pro’s resolution is an agnostic atheist [2]. A common misconception about the term agnostic is that it lies “between” theism and atheism. Agnostic indicates the lack of knowledge and atheism with the lack of belief. Therefore it is completely reasonable to be an agnostic atheist. They are atheistic because they do not believe in the existence of any deity and they are agnostic because they claim that the existence of a deity is unknown or unfalsifiable [3]. Therefore they make no such claims that a god did or did not create the universe. Agnostic atheists admit that there is no way of knowing, and thus Pro's resolution is refuted. Let's keep going anyway.

Buddhism [4] is a religion that follows a specific dogma that includes karma, and reincarnation (or rebirth). I don’t believe that anybody could logically argue against Buddhism being a religion, and I would invite my opponent to try. The interesting thing about Buddhism, and how it relates to this debate, is the fact that it's an atheistic religion. They do not believe in a deity. That brings up a conundrum for Pro. As a result, I have a question that I would like him/her to answer.

If atheism and Buddhism are both religions, then what religion is a Buddhist?

The answer seems simple enough, however Pro painted him/herself into a corner by stating atheism is a religion. If Buddhists are atheists then isn’t atheism their religion?

I can’t ignore my opponent’s last statement. “Since no evidence is possible on the existence or not existence of God, this claim is to be considered a belief.” This is another logical fallacy that doesn’t take much to disprove. To quote the late, great Carl Sagan, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” The burden of proof lies on the theist because they are the one’s making the positive claim. It is also impossible to conclusively prove that no god exists because the premise is unfalsifiable. There is, however, logically two ways to “prove” a negative claim. 1) Show proof of impossibility. 2) Show an absence of evidence [5]. Since I’ve had to put things into perspective for Pro this whole round, I guess one more time wouldn’t hurt.

What if I said that I believe there is a miniature invisible elephant living in under my bed? According to Pro’s logic, since no evidence is possible on whether or not this mini elephant exists, it is just considered to be a belief. If this is how we decided fact from belief in everyday life, we could pick apart everything and nothing would ever be considered fact. The purpose of me going a bit off topic to acknowledge this last statement was to show yet another example of Pro's flawed logic.

I am very interested to see Pro’s follow up argument and rebuttal. I will be impressed if he/she asserts any substantial affirmation to refute my contention.

Sources

[1] http://www.goodreads.com...

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...

[3] http://www.merriam-webster.com...

[4] http://en.wikipedia.org...

[5] http://en.wikipedia.org...

Debate Round No. 2
Elektergeld

Pro

Elektergeld forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Elektergeld

Pro

Since there is an inconsistency in the premises, I think this debate can't go further. Basically you're claiming that atheism is the rejection of faith, which is clearly not a widely accepted definition. If you just reject a claim without making one or your own you're clearly an agnostic, as the word agnostic itself means this. Atheism is more than rejection. Atheism is a claim.
Secular_Mike

Con

Pro clearly didn't read my last argument. First of all, we did agree on a definition, but even if atheism is taken as a claim for no God, my last argument clearly covered it. I also argued based on the definition that was agreed upon, so I am a bit confused when Pro said there is an "inconsistancy in the premises." Pro stated that I am describing agnostics. Again, that was covered in my prior argument.

Pro still hasn't answered the question. What religion is a Buddhist?

I have no further rebuttals, as Pro has not argued a point that I did not cover.

Extend previous arguments.
Debate Round No. 4
Elektergeld

Pro

Elektergeld forfeited this round.
Secular_Mike

Con

Extend as my opponent FF another round.
Debate Round No. 5
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Garsot 2 years ago
Garsot
Its funny when people speak in absolutes about things they know nothing about. It really is quite humorous.
Posted by Garsot 2 years ago
Garsot
Cheyennebodie, scientists have created living things out of dead things.

http://youtu.be...
Posted by Secular_Mike 2 years ago
Secular_Mike
Missmedic,

You just described most atheists, but not atheism. There are atheists among us that do not believe in reality, and their experiences are just a "figment in one's mind." It's a crazy thought. If you would have read my argument, you would have seen that Buddhists are atheists. Both the Samkhya and the Mimamsa schools of Hindu philosophy reject the existence of a creator god, making them explicitly atheistic from a Hindu perspective. No science used for any of the above examples. There is no "idea" of atheism, just like there is no "idea" that gremlins live in the core of the moon.
Posted by missmedic 2 years ago
missmedic
Atheism help create the modern world. Atheism has taught us to think differently to ask question, and to question everything. Atheism finds it's answers in the natural world not the supernatural. Atheism uses science to find the truth not faith. Atheism requires you to think for your self and not surrender your logic and reason to blind faith and authority. Atheism means trying to behave decently without expectation of rewards or punishment after you are dead. Atheism is relentless and moves in one direction, forward at the cost of the religious and this is something they fear. Our numbers grow there numbers shrink. Call it what you want Atheism is here to stay. Modern education and the internet will help continue this Idea of Atheism, a better way of thinking. Have a nice day and good luck with your religion.
Posted by cheyennebodie 2 years ago
cheyennebodie
Atheism is a religion.It believes in something that they cannot see. When there is one very strong evidence in a being so powerful that he can bring forth life where there was no life.Man , through the religion of science, will stuggle with how life came and try to duplicate life but never being able to do it. They don't like to life creation in their debates, but behind the scenes I know that scientist are just pulling their hair out trying to bring forth life without life already being there.
Posted by cheyennebodie 2 years ago
cheyennebodie
Christianity is not a religion. It has had religions made out of it. It is a covenant between God and man. God and his family. It was religious folks that were against Jesus.Not the common folks. Those living out here in the real world.They even got on him for healing on the wrong day. God created man. Man created religion. The God of the bible is the least religious being in existence.
Posted by funnycn 2 years ago
funnycn
This has been solved already I guess. The majority agrees that it isn't a religion, so now we will know what the votes say.
Posted by debatinglikeman 2 years ago
debatinglikeman
Atheism is not an religion. It's just a group of people that don't have any faith in myths and religion. They don't get together to celebrate the atheism and they don't believe in supernatural forces.
Posted by SnowyOxygen 2 years ago
SnowyOxygen
Is this a joke? Atheism is literally the lack of religion. So saying "atheism is a religion" is just a huge paradox.
Posted by Secular_Mike 2 years ago
Secular_Mike
I meant take believing in a deity OUT in my last post. Anyway I don't want to get too much in this philosophical discussion. It sounds like a debate topic, and I wouldn't want to give my position away :)
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by DoctrinallyCorrect 2 years ago
DoctrinallyCorrect
ElektergeldSecular_MikeTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: To many forfeits by PRO.
Vote Placed by Wallstreetatheist 2 years ago
Wallstreetatheist
ElektergeldSecular_MikeTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Con had much more substantive argumentation, actually used sources, and didn't forfeit. Clear winner here