The Instigator
clmcd42
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Mike_10-4
Con (against)
Winning
8 Points

Atheism is more logical than theism.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Mike_10-4
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/13/2015 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 846 times Debate No: 68283
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (2)

 

clmcd42

Pro

I, as Pro, will argue that atheism is more logical than theism.

First, I will start out by talking about burden of proof. Burden of proof is the "obligation on a party in an epistemic dispute to provide sufficient warrant for their position" (1). This means that the person making the positive claim (in this case, theists), have an obligation to provide evidence that there is an all-powerful creator or creators that control the universe.

Therefore, I would like Con to start off by providing some evidence of the existence of whichever god/deity they believe in. If no valid evidence can be given, this would lead to the notion that atheism is more logical than theism.

(1) http://en.wikipedia.org...
Mike_10-4

Con

Thank you Pro for bringing an important subject to the debating floor. I'm looking forward to a mutual learning experience.

The theme of this debate is “logic,” from the title to Pro's first paragraph. I (Con) will “logically” demonstrate the following: Theism is as logical as Atheism; as oppose to the title of this debate, “Atheism is more logical than theism.”

However, Pro took an illogical spin on this debate hinging that the “Burden of Proof” (BoF), pertains to the existence of a God. That is a different debate, unrelated to the logic presented in the title of this debate.

Both Atheist and Theist knows that God is a function of faith, therefore, logic based on metaphysical constructs is in the eyes of the beholder.

And on that note, let's study the logic between Evolutionism vs Creationism.

The late Joseph Campbell (one who studied the evolution of religion) once stated (http://www.brainyquote.com...):

Every religion is true one way or another. It is true when understood metaphorically. But when it gets stuck in its own metaphors, interpreting them as facts, then you are in trouble.”

I (Con) claims to be a Deist: “The belief that God has created the universe but remains apart from it and permits his creation to administer itself through natural laws.”
http://dictionary.reference.com...

Both Atheist and Deist understands the importance of the scientific method to study repeatable patterns in nature and trying to understand our place in the universe, while using those patterns to advance our standard of living. When we understand a pattern to some degree, we classify it as a Law in Nature.

Through science, both Atheist and Deist recognize the current scientific view about the Big-Bang is the beginning of the universe.

Deist believes, like all Theist, God created the universe and everything in it, including the Laws of Nature. From the Deist's vantage point, the Laws of Nature is simply the handwriting of God and the scientific method is a way to read God's handwriting.

On the other hand, for Atheist and those of faith (Theist), including preachers, prophets etc, should be careful when studying man's written scripture about God. We must remember man is fallible, and those who study or write such scriptures may misinterpret of what God wants; therefore, God gets---and, in some cases, God help us all (“72 virgins” upon a suicide-killing of infidels, etc.).

And in saying that, Con hopes Pro will not take this debate in the weeds of man's written scriptures about God.

After creation (the Big-Bang), God's Laws of Nature is the program of the universe for defining the evolutionary dynamics for inanimate and animate operating within God's matrix.

The difference between Atheist and Deist is belief in the event entity before the Big-Bang. Today, the men of science have no empirical evidence of what caused the “Big Bang;” until then, we have those who believe in God (Deist, Theist, etc.)---Creationist, or hypothetical assumptions (Atheist)---Evolutionist.

It is not clear how the Big-Bang is an evolutionary step. Therefore, we Deist, like Theist, like Atheist, has some “logical” opinion on the event entity before the Big-Bang, and this opinion is simply based on faith. However, Pro insists that the BoF of this debate includes the existence of a God, therefore, relative to my belief (Con) the “logical” beginning of the universe being the Big-Bang is one of creation not evolution!

I would like to learn from Pro's arguments how the Big-Bang is a “logical” evolutionary step, a step relative to what?

One of the definitions of evolution follows: “a pattern formed by or as if by a series of movements” (http://dictionary.reference.com...).

A more detail overview of evolution is in the following:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

Since evolution is a function of the Laws of Thermodynamics, Pro needs to demonstrate Thermodynamics existed before the Big-Bang; otherwise, Theism is as logical as Atheism.
Debate Round No. 1
clmcd42

Pro

Con argues that the Burden of Proof does not apply to the existence of a deity. On the contrary, Burden of Proof does apply, as it applies to all epistemic claims. It is illogical to believe in anything without evidence.

Therefore, it falls to me to give evidence that Theism is an epistemic claim. Let's start by examining at the definition of epistemic:

"of or relating to knowledge or knowing" (1)

And the definition of theism:

"belief in the existence of a god or gods; specifically : belief in the existence of one God viewed as the creative source of the human race and the world who transcends yet is immanent in the world" (2)

To summarize, theism is a claim that a god or gods exist. This is a claim to knowledge, which makes theism an epistemic claim, which thereby shows that the Burden of Proof is relevant to Theism.

Most atheists do accept the Big Bang. The Big Bang is a logical belief, due to the multitude of evidence backing it. Deists, however, not only accept the Big Bang, but also declare that a god exists and caused the Big Bang, while atheists do not. However, without evidence of any sort of that happening, it is irrational to believe such a thing.

"until then, we have those who believe in God (Deist, Theist, etc.)---Creationist, or hypothetical assumptions (Atheist)---Evolutionist."

Is Con proposing that a belief in creationism and accepting the Theory of Evolution are the only two paths? Evolution does not concern the creation of anything, life or otherwise. Evolution is merely talking about how preexistent life evolves. Thus, evolution and creationism are compatible beliefs. Also, you are using a common fallacy known as the "God of the Gaps Fallacy" (3). A lack of knowledge about a subject is not evidence for a god.

"the "logical" beginning of the universe being the Big-Bang is one of creation not evolution!"

I think that there is a misunderstanding here on what evolution is. I never claimed, and nor do I believe, that evolution is the beginning of the universe. Evolution, as I explained above, simply refers to preexistent life forms. The Big Bang is what created the universe. I think the part that we disagree on, is the question of "What caused the Big Bang?".

The answer is simply: The laws of physics. Quantum physics allows for quantum fluctuations, which temporarily alter the amount of energy in a point in space, which provided the energy needed to cause the Big Bang (4)(5).

I have some questions for Con:
You claim that you are a Deist, and that a Deist's beliefs are based on faith. What gives you that faith? Why do you have that faith? Do you think that faith without any sort of evidence is a logical belief?

(1) http://www.merriam-webster.com...
(2) http://www.merriam-webster.com...
(3) http://en.wikipedia.org...
(4) http://en.wikipedia.org...(cosmology)
(5) http://en.wikipedia.org...
Mike_10-4

Con

Thank you for your argument. I will demonstrate that Theism is as logical as Atheism; as oppose to the title of this debate, “Atheism is more logical than theism.”

Thank you Pro for the definitions on “epistemic(1) and “theism(2). The epistemic of theism is simply that it is a belief system and that system is real, otherwise, we will not be having this debate. The belief in the existence of a God or not, is the prime difference between Theism and Atheism respectively.

Let's look at a similar example, at one time most thought the earth was flat, a few may have argued the earth was round like all the round objects in the sky. During this period, there were two belief systems due to the lack of empirical data via the scientific method. The logic of their arguments were relatively equal for their axioms did not convince the other population into agreement. Until science gave empirical clarity, then the flat-earth folks faded away.

The same is true with Atheism and Theism. Looking at the surface, without getting into the weeds of competing arguments relative to their axioms, we still have a very large population who are Theist compared to Atheist. This empirical evidence of population size demonstrates neither Atheists nor Theists have scientific empirical clarity to make the other folks fade away.

As for “evolution” Pro seems to be stuck in some classical Darwinian definition pertaining to only life. Today's understanding of “evolution” is at the level of physics having empirical evidence that it started at the Big-Bang, where the Laws of Thermodynamics is the engine of evolution for both inanimate and animate.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
http://www.amazon.com...
https://www.youtube.com...

Think about it, how could you have life without the elements in the periodic table and a planet in the “Goldilocks” zone? They would have to “evolve” from the pure energy state after the Big-Bang; hence, the Constructal Law. It is ironic for a Deist to logically demonstrate the mechanics of evolution, bring forward the latest research, to one who takes the Atheist side of the argument in this debate.

Another interesting fact is the traceability path in the logical formation of theistic belief systems, which is an outgrowth of Morality, which is an outgrowth of life's Unalienable Rights, which is an outgrowth of the Constructal Law, which is an outgrowth of the Laws of Thermodynamics.
http://www.amazon.com...

Due to the 8K limit in this debate, I have presented this traceability path in Round 2 in the following debate: http://www.debate.org...

In summary, the empirical evidence of the diversity of language, belief, and social norms throughout history and today demonstrates morality is the common link in group formation during the genesis of a culture. By the way, throughout the ages, the historical record found not one isolated human culture to be atheistic. This non-atheistic phenomena suggests religious faith based norms (“theism”) are associated with life having higher cerebral faculties during the evolution of life.

I posed the following challenge to Pro in Round 1: Since evolution is a function of the Laws of Thermodynamics, Pro needs to demonstrate Thermodynamics existed before the Big-Bang; otherwise, Theism is as logical as Atheism.

Pro's response follows, “The answer is simply: The laws of physics. Quantum physics allows for quantum fluctuations, which temporarily alter the amount of energy in a point in space, which provided the energy needed to cause the Big Bang (4)(5).”

Stephen Hawking's will take issue with Pro's statement. According to Stephen (http://www.hawking.org.uk...):

Since events before the Big Bang have no observational consequences, one may as well cut them out of the theory, and say that time began at the Big Bang. Events before the Big Bang, are simply not defined, because there's no way one could measure what happened.”

Since we do not know what happened before the Big-Bang, the phrase “more logical,” relative to the title of this debate, is simply relative to one's belief system, until scientific empirical clarity supports one logical argument over the other.

Pro's reference (2) the definition of Theism:

"belief in the existence of a god or gods; specifically : belief in the existence of one God viewed as the creative source of the human race and the world who transcends yet is immanent in the world"

Since we do not know what happened before the Big-Bang, the belief or hypothesis in “god or gods” is the event-entity before the Big-Bang. “... the creative source of the human race and the world;” a Law in God's nature known as the Constructal Law. “... who transcends yet is immanent in the world;” the source of the Laws of Nature, the handwriting of God, “transcends,” yet these Laws are “immanent in the world.”

Pro used the Merriam-Webster's dictionary for the above definition of Theism (2). Using the same dictionary, the definition of Atheism follows (http://www.merriam-webster.com...):

a disbelief in the existence of deity; the doctrine that there is no deity.”

So Theism believes, while Atheism does not believe; the key word is belief.

A scientist who is indifferent in any belief system about the event before the Big-Bang would state, we simply do not know; which is no belief, because it is simply true.

A scientist who is indifferent in any belief system “is more logical then” Theism.

A scientist who is indifferent in any belief system “is more logical then” Atheism.

Relative to the above Merriam-Webster's definitions on Atheism and Theism, Atheism “is more logical than” man's written scriptures about God. The same is true about Theism, for it “is more logical than” man's written scriptures about God.

The binary mode is simply belief (Theism) or no-belief (Atheism), over something they do not know---the event before the Big-Bang which “transcends” the scientific method.

Because of their binary mode in belief, Theism is as logical as Atheism; as oppose to the title of this debate, “Atheism is more logical than theism.”
Debate Round No. 2
clmcd42

Pro

The epistemic claims of theism are that one or more deity exists, and that the deity controls some part of the world. Since these are both epistemic claims, they must be backed by empirical evidence. However, since they are unfalsifiable hypotheses, they can never be proven either way.

Of course there is no empirical evidence to support Atheism or Theism; it's an unfalsifiable hypothesis. I will examine whether or not it is logical to believe in an unfalsifiable hypothesis.

If the human race went through life believing every single unfalsifiable hypothesis ever invented, we would never get anywhere. People would believe that magical intangible unicorns are in control of the world, and that invisible fairy dust makes plants grow. Neither or these are logical claims, due to the fact that they are unfalsifiable.

The God Hypothesis is unfalsifiable. The reason that so many people believe it, is most likely because science does not have a clear answer for some of the things that religion claims to have answers for. However, to claim that as evidence for the existence of a god would be to use the Argument From Silence Fallacy, which I will get to in a bit.

Con brings up the fact that no isolated human culture has been atheistic. The reason for that is fairly simple. As a naturally curious species, humans always try to find answers for the things they do not know. Up until around mid-late 19th century, there just was not enough known about the universe to contradict claims made by Christianity or Islam. Now that our technology has gotten more advanced, we have been able to discover new things about the universe that indicate no need for a supernatural deity. Atheism has progressively spread more and more since these recent discoveries, with a widespread drop of 9% in religiosity from 2005 to 2012 (1). As we are gaining new knowledge all the time, there is a definite correlation between the knowledge gained over the past 50 years or so, and the increase in atheism. The more we learn, the more atheists. That would suggest that it is actually atheist norms that have higher cerebral faculties.

For something to be illogical (or simply provide no evidence, in which case it would be illogical to believe in), it must use logical fallacies. I will cite some logical fallacies that the theists/deists use to verify the God Hypothesis.

Argument From Ignorance Fallacy (2) - The God Hypothesis claims that there is a deity, and because it has not been proven wrong, theists and deists consider it to be correct.

Argument From Silence Fallacy (3) - Theists and deists claim that god exists, due to the absence of evidence of what caused the Big Bang.

Con seems to think that the issues of The Big Bang and Thermodynamics relate to Atheism and Theism. An Atheist is not required to accept any science that they don't want to. Atheists simply lack a belief in God. However, as a proponent of science, I will support my claim about quantum fluctuations more, although it does not prove anything about which is more or less logical (or, as the case might be, the same amount of logic).

Since Con's only refutation thus far is to cite Stephen Hawking, and to make the claim that Hawking disagrees with me, I will cite more Stephen Hawking, where he will state clearly that he agrees with me.

"Denouncing philosophy (and religion) as "outdated and irrelevant", [Stephen Hawking] announced that science dispenses with a designer behind nature because the law of gravity explains how the universe "can and will create itself from nothing."" (4)

Stephen Hawking clearly states that the universe "can and will create itself". This is clearly in agreement with my argument. Plus, as an advocate of the Multiverse, Stephen Hawking would probably agree with me that we are most likely not the first universe. Thus, it is entirely possible that our Big Bang was created by a quantum fluctuation that started in another universe, where time had already begun.

Con keeps bringing up empirical evidence, and the fact that there is none that points toward Theism or Atheism, and therefore neither viewpoint is more logical. However, since Theism is the positive belief, an Atheism is a negative belief, or lack of belief, a lack of empirical evidence should, logically, point to a lack of belief.

"A scientist who is indifferent in any belief system “is more logical then” Atheism."

Con seems to misunderstand atheism. There are two types of atheism: Gnostic atheism, and agnostic atheism. Gnostic atheists claim to know 100% that there is no god; agnostic atheists claim that there is no evidence, and therefore no need for a belief in god. An agnostic atheist would not claim to be 100% positive that there is no god, but they still lack a belief in god. I am an agnostic atheist, and so are most scientists. Agnostic atheism is the position of indifference on religious matters. Gnostic atheism claims to know for sure that there is no god, and is therefore a claim to knowledge that one does not have. Agnostic theism, while still not claiming to be positive there is a god, still requires a belief in one. And gnostic theism, similar to gnostic theism, is a claim to knowledge that one does not have. People generally claim to be just agnostic when they lack a belief in god, but consider the word "atheist" as negotively connotated, and therefore will not associate themselves with it.

Summary: The God Hypothesis has no evidence to support it. The God Hypothesis is unfalsifiable. Most theists use logical fallacies to justify a god's existence, and the ones that don't simply do not provide evidence. Thus, believing in a god is illogical.

I enjoyed debating you, and enjoyed being subjected to different opinions than that of my own and that of the opinion of deeply religious. I hope to see you again in the future sometime.

(1) http://redcresearch.ie...
(2) http://en.wikipedia.org...
(3) http://en.wikipedia.org...
(4) http://www.evolutionnews.org...
Mike_10-4

Con

As Pro stated in the second paragraph of Round 3, “Of course there is no empirical evidence to support Atheism or Theism; it's an unfalsifiable hypothesis.”

Therefore, with that said, I (Con) rest my case, that is, Theism is as logical as Atheism; as oppose to the title of this debate, “Atheism is more logical than theism.”

Interesting about the difference between, “Gnostic atheism, and agnostic atheism.” Pro claims to be an “agnostic atheist” where Pro stated, “Agnostic atheism is the position of indifference on religious matters.” Interesting, for us Deist also shares the same “position of indifference on religious matters.”

As for the difference between gnostic and agnostic, relative to theism or atheism simply boils down to the binary nature of belief or non-belief respectively.

Pro stated, “Con brings up the fact that no isolated human culture has been atheistic. The reason for that is fairly simple. As a naturally curious species, humans always try to find answers for the things they do not know.” Hence, the discovery of the scientific method, a way to read the handwriting of God. When man morally follows God's handwriting, improves the standard of living in the fruits of technology, food production, and medicine, the stables of human existence throughout the world today. A compelling example, of what happens when we are morally free to follow such handwriting, with little resistance (Constructal Law), within the awesome machinery of God's Laws of Nature.

Pro referring to “Christianity or Islam” is reference to religious dogma, which is off topic of this debate relative to the term “theism,” as defined by Pro in Round 2, reference (2).

Thank you Pro for the reference to “Multiverse(4) and the atheistic spin on it. From a Deist point of view, perhaps one of those “Multiverses,” may turn out to be the universe of God.

I thank Pro's following closing with one correction, “I enjoyed debating you, and enjoyed being subjected to different opinions than that of my own and that of the opinion of deeply religious.”

I (Con) is not “deeply religious” for I am a Deist who believes in God. “Religion” is not the topic of this debate.

With that said, and in closing, my “agnostic” Friend Pro may one day find God through science. The awesome reality of us having this debate, while experiencing life in this universe out of many, anything may be possible, including the universe of God. So I too, will look forward in meeting Pro again on the debating floor.
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by UndeniableReality 2 years ago
UndeniableReality
@cimrdc42
Unless atheism is subject to a different yet equal or greater source of illogic.
Posted by clmcd42 2 years ago
clmcd42
@Esiar1
If it can be shown that Theism is illogical, without Atheism being subject to the same illogic, then it follows that Atheism is more logical than Theism.
Posted by Esiar 2 years ago
Esiar
I don't think, " If no valid evidence can be given, this would lead to the notion that atheism is more logical than theism.". That would only show that his belief is illogical, not that Atheism is logic.

That be like saying, "If I can show that everyone hates your favorite movie, that proves everyone likes my favorite movie."
Posted by UndeniableReality 2 years ago
UndeniableReality
@hayhen13

Wylted didn't present a theory, but I would say he is correct in the basic premise of his statement. Logic does not solely determine truth. Truth isn't required to be the most logical explanation of something (sometimes simply because we don't have the requisite information to evaluate correctly how logical it is relative to alternative explanations), but generally speaking, the truth is still sufficiently logical.

Also, of course lies can be logical. Today I went to the store to buy some milk. What's illogical about that?
Posted by hayhen13 2 years ago
hayhen13
Wylted,
Then according to your theory, things that are untrue, lies are logical. Lies cannot be logical.
Posted by Wylted 2 years ago
Wylted
Theism doesn't have to be true to be more logical.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by The-Voice-of-Truth 2 years ago
The-Voice-of-Truth
clmcd42Mike_10-4Tied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Stated above.
Vote Placed by 1Credo 2 years ago
1Credo
clmcd42Mike_10-4Tied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro failed to shoulder the burden of proof and did not provide adequate responses to Con's refutations.