The Instigator
Davewerty
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
vbaculum
Con (against)
Winning
22 Points

Atheism is illogical

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
vbaculum
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/12/2010 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,717 times Debate No: 14019
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (13)
Votes (5)

 

Davewerty

Pro

I thank ahead of time to who ever accepts the debate.
I am not debating the truthfulness of other religions but solely on the fact that atheism is illogical.

Atheism-in a broad sense, is the rejection of belief in the existence of deities.
Richard Dawkins is a renowned atheist
He argues that no one can prove there is a God, he often references to a God as being a Spaghetti monster or a flying teacup.
He rejects all existence of a supreme Deity.
My main argument is that Atheism is contradictory .

How can an atheist argue that there is no definite way to prove a God exists and then say there is definitely no God?
It's simply contradictory.
I just can't understand how an atheist can bash other religion for lack of proof and then say there is 100% chance of no God with lack of proof as well.
It is true that no one will ever have enough proof to prove a God does or does not exist.
I just think it would be more rational to be skeptical on the existence of a God.
vbaculum

Con

Thank you, to my opponent, for bringing up this interesting topic.

It's not true, as my opponent contends, that Richard Dawkins argues that no one can prove there is a god.
In The God Delusion, Dawkins coins the phrase "Temporary Agnosticism in Practice" (TAP).
TAP is "the legitimate fence sitting where there really is a definite answer, one way or the other, but we so far lack the evidence to reach it".

Dawkins claims this form of agnosticism is appropriate for scientific mysteries such as the Permian extinction.
Dawkins argues that agnosticism of the existence of "God" falls in the TAP category as well.
He goes on to say that the question of the existence of a god is a scientific one to which we may one day know the answer. In the meantime, he contends, we can say something meaningful about the probability of his existence.

Dawkins also does not say "there is definitely no God".
In The God Delusion he outlines a "spectrum of probability" designating levels of certainty in "God" from 1-7:
Category 1 is a "Strong theist"; a person who believes he or she simply knows that God exists. Category 1's antithesis is category 7: A "Strong Atheist"; a person who says they know that "God" does not exist. Categories 2-6 represent the intermediary levels of commitment to a belief in a deity. Dawkins rates himself as a 6: "I cannot know for certain but I think God is very improbable, and I live my life under the assumption that he is not there.".

Dawkins says of category 7 "I'd be surprised to meet many people in category 7, but I include it for symmetry with category 1". I agree with Dawkins on this. I don't believe I know of anyone in this category either. I believe that Richard Dawkins is a fairly representative atheist and that most people who call themselves atheists would put themselves in category 6 with Dawkins. It would be interesting if any of the atheist reading this would rate themselves as a category 7.

Con said "How can an atheist argue that there is no definite way to prove a God exists and then say there is definitely no God? It's simply contradictory."

I have proven this wrong if by "atheist" Con means Richard Dawkins or any given atheist with a similar epistemology to Dawkins. I have shown that Dawkins does not rule out that there is a way to prove that "God" exists.
I have also shown that Dawkins does not "say there is definitely no God". In order to regain his footing, Con will need to provide some representative examples of atheists who assert that:

A "There is no definite way to prove a God exists."
and
B: "There is definitely no God."

On a side note, Con said: "I just think it would be more rational to be skeptical on the existence of a God."
I think this is all atheism is.

Note: All of the above references I made to Richard Dawkin's writtings on this subject can be found in The God Delusion in the chapter "The Poverty of Agnosticism". The first part of this chapter is on-line[1]. Unfortunately, you will need to obtain the book itself to read the complete chapter.

[1] http://books.google.com... (page 69)
Debate Round No. 1
Davewerty

Pro

Rebuttal-----
What I had perceived, the Con's main argument is that many skeptics call themselves Atheist, when they are not actually atheist. Simply because if they were atheist they would not be skeptical.
This statement is very true. Why people would then proceed to claim themselves as Atheists I am unsure of.

Perhaps I should narrow my debate statement to "true" atheism, or a "7" atheist as the Con referred to in Richard Dawkin's God Delusion.
When I say true I mean by definition:in a broad sense, is the rejection of belief in the existence of deities.
In other words certainty in an absence of a God.

From what "true" atheism is and what Con had explained, I can safely conclude that most people who claim themselves to be Atheists are not actually Atheists but a skeptic on the existence of God, with a ranging confidence of disbelief. It would be more understandable if the self-proclaimed "Atheist" would call them self an Agnostic, simply for a lack of better words.

Now if the con would like to debate whether or not "true" atheism by definition is illogical I would gladly proceed.
If not, I think we can both agree on the common misconception of the term Atheist and that "true" atheism is indeed illogical.
vbaculum

Con

Pro defines a true atheist as someone who knows for certain that there are no deities. I asked Pro to give me an example of an atheist of this type but has not so far. The atheist Pro refers to doesn't seem to exist. So if atheists don't exist then why do so many people call themselves atheists (as Pro wonders)?

Probably the best answer is that there is simply a general misconception of the term. The definitions that dictionaries provide don't help much either.

English gives us the theist-agnostic-atheist trichotomy and people think they have to pick one. This trichotomy obscures in theology what is common sense in all other domains. Namely that: Those who make claims have a burden of proof and that, to quote Carl Sagan, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence"."Atheist" is just the word people use to refer to those of us who recognize that religions make extraordinary claims and yet provide the worst kind of evidence for those claims.

Notice that there are no words for those who don't believe in other extraordinary claims like those of astrology or alchemy. Yet, for some reason, those who are doubtful of theological claims get a special word. Even people in the "unsure" category of theological claims get their own name too. Why is this?

Pro wanted to argue that atheism is illogical. His atheism is one that nobody seems to adheres to. Therefore, I don't think he has proven that atheism is illogical. Also, Pro didn't require that I use any particular definition of atheism at the start of the debate.

I won't argue that his atheist is logical because his atheist doesn't exist and there is no point in defending a strawman.
Debate Round No. 2
Davewerty

Pro

Well then I believe this debate is over.
Apparently there is no such thing as an atheist and people just call themselves it for a lack of better terms.
Perhaps there should be a designated word for this, other then agnosticism or atheism.
And I did state the definition of atheism in my first argument, but that is besides the point, the debate is over.
thank you con.
The whole debate was much simpler then I conceived and a bit of a waste of time.
Thank you anyway.
vbaculum

Con

Though its odd that we have the term "atheist" as I stated in round 2, it's seems impossible to be without it. Since religion has done so well in the past at monopolizing the zeitgeist, those who challenge religion are a rare and relevant group of people. It's only natural that we have a word for this group.

In the future, when the simplistic accounts offered by religion of how the world works have been forgotten, all people will be "atheists". But along with the absurd claims of religion, the word atheist will disappear as well since there will be no need to distinguish between the religious and the non-religious.
Debate Round No. 3
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Man-is-good 5 years ago
Man-is-good
"In the future, when the simplistic accounts offered by religion of how the world works have been forgotten, all people will be "atheists". But along with the absurd claims of religion, the word atheist will disappear as well since there will be no need to distinguish between the religious and the non-religious."

Nice way to conclude the debate. Plus, I think atheism is LOGICAL. With the advent of technology, and the introduction of newer theories that have increased our understanding of the world, [for some people] there is no need to attribute our lives to the work of god. Even the "fallacies" and "contraditions" of life and religion can support this.
Posted by annhasle 5 years ago
annhasle
RFD:
Before and after agreed: Con -- I AM an atheist for logical reasons. :P
Conduct: Tied - no conduct violations
Spelling and grammar: Con -- he had a higher proficiency while stating his case. This *was* close but I felt that Con pulled it off with his grammar as well.
Convincing Arguments: Pro never substantiated his claim that atheism is 'illogical' so Con won this hands down.
Reliable Sources: Tied -- self-explanatory
Posted by Puck 5 years ago
Puck
@ Silver_Falcon

Yeah, except agnosticism is a knowledge claim. Knowledge claims are applied to belief claims not the other way around - which is why I prefer the term weak atheism to agnostic atheism.
Posted by losedotexe 5 years ago
losedotexe
It's not a rejection of a deity ; it's a lack of a belief in a god, gods, goddess, goddesses, or other deities.
Posted by Silver_Falcon 5 years ago
Silver_Falcon
I think gizmo1650 has more widely accepted definition of atheism and agnosticism. Thus I must agree with con saying pro is attacking strawman.
My opinion is that most athiests are skeptical towards existence of deities on basis of logical inconsistence of believers describing their "gods". - For example acting omnipotent being.
I do not think such stance could be fully described as just an agnostic. Agnostic can be even a believer. See http://en.wikipedia.org... therefore atheist does not need to mean "hardcore atheist". See also "practical atheism" or apatheism: http://en.wikipedia.org...
Posted by gizmo1650 5 years ago
gizmo1650
An atheist is anyone who cannot answer yes to the question "do you believe in god" and agnostic is anyone who cannot answer yes to "do you believe there can be proof for or against god" These are not mutually exclusive.
Posted by devinni01841 5 years ago
devinni01841
I should clarify...
My lack of belief in a god and the opinion that it cannot be proved that a god exists are two separate unrelated beliefs
Posted by devinni01841 5 years ago
devinni01841
It's not that we (and by we I mean "I" because I can only speak for myself) say there is no god.

I believe:
-That there isn't a god
AND
-It cannot be proved that god exists

Also it's not like I can stop anyone else from believing if they want to, so why does it matter?
Posted by nephilim 5 years ago
nephilim
Good God Lord Almighty. The might and grace of God is too vast for our human estimations. Therefor he must exist for without Him we would be Gods.
Posted by annhasle 5 years ago
annhasle
"True" Atheism?

Ugh - No True Scotsman, eh? <shakes head>
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by devinni01841 5 years ago
devinni01841
DavewertyvbaculumTied
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warpedfx
DavewertyvbaculumTied
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gavin.ogden
DavewertyvbaculumTied
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rogue
DavewertyvbaculumTied
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