The Instigator
Haroush
Con (against)
Winning
20 Points
The Contender
Charliecdubs
Pro (for)
Losing
8 Points

Atheism is not a religion

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
Haroush
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/8/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,285 times Debate No: 51926
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (31)
Votes (6)

 

Haroush

Con

I will refute the position that atheism is not religion. Therefore, I have to prove it is a religion beyond a reasonable doubt and you must defend your position that it isn't a religion. So, first present your case that Atheism isn't a religion and I will give my rebuttal.
Charliecdubs

Pro

I suppose to start I'll just explain what atheism is and then see if that gets the ball rolling in the right way. First of I would like to clarify atheism is just a term. Other than views on religion (which can still vary) atheists do not necessarily have anything else in common. There are no tenets or rules or things you have to do to be an atheist in a definitive sense. Here's why; atheism is the default position to religion, it makes no claims where as a religion is making a claim. For some reason people think Atheism = I believe there is no god. This is not true because Atheism=I do not believe in a god. The best analogy I have heard is from Mr. Dillahunty on the Atheist Experience. Picture a court case where someone is being tried for murder. The only two possibilities are that they either are guilty or innocent. However what is being determined is whether the evidence can show that they are guilty or not. The only possibilities again are guilty or innocent but the actual options are guilty, innocent or not guilty and guilty/not guilty are the only verdicts that are being decided. By saying the evidence does not show they are guilty is not the same as saying they are innocent. This is atheism, religion is making a claim, the individual finds there is not enough evidence or reason or logic etc.. to confirm the claim, thus the individual takes the default position of atheism or not guilty, not proven. This does not mean the atheist is saying there is no god but that there is nothing to prove one. There is absolutely no faith or belief taken here it is simply "I am not convinced this religion is true based on what you have told me". We are all agnostic about god(s) in atheism (not that there aren't people who believe there is none) which is why it is often said agnostics are atheists but don't know it. Again atheism is making no claims only saying that that person finds the claim is not believable based on what has been brought to attempt to prove it. And to clarify again there are no statements of belief being made, no claims at all. And to continue further remember that the god or deist argument is only part of it, it is the THEIST argument that is of the greatest concern. The claim that there is not only a god(s) but that everything a particular religion says about it is true=theist. Not accepting this claim=atheist. And to re-affirm the begging point atheism is just a term to describe someone who has no supernatural beliefs it does not say anything else about them. Most people in this world have a religion say they feel not having one must also be a category because having no system of belief at all is an extreme dissonance they can't understand generally. I think this should be a good start here.
Debate Round No. 1
Haroush

Con

First off, let me thank my opponet for accepting this debate. Now, let me begin with my rebuttal..

Here in my opponet's opening statement he says,"Atheism is the default positiion to religion.." He continues on to say this,"...it makes no claims where as a religion is making a claim." Now, tell me something everyone... Doesn't this seem odd to you that "it (atheism) makes no claims"? Isn't the phrase, "there is no god" a claim? Think about it..

"For some reason people think Atheism = I believe there is no god. This is not true because Atheism=I do not believe in a god."

So,here my opponet is trying to say,"I don't believe there is a god." The problem with this is, it is an agnostic view, not an atheist view. This being said let's go over the definitions for atheism and agnosticism.. The official definitions, that is.

Atheism - a : a disbelief in the existence of deity b : the doctrine that there is no deity c: the belief that there is no God

Agnosticism- 1
: a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and probably unknowable; broadly : one who is not committed to believing in either the existence or the nonexistence of God or a god

2 : a person who is unwilling to commit to an opinion about something <political agnostics>


http://www.wordcentral.com...

http://www.merriam-webster.com...

http://www.merriam-webster.com...


This being said, I must ask my opponet an important question.. Are you sure you are an atheist?

"Critique and denial of metaphysical beliefs in God or divine beings. Unlike agnosticism, which leaves open the question of whether there is a God, atheism is a positive denial. It is rooted in an array of philosophical systems."

Now my opponet quotes Mr.Dillahunty,"Picture a court case where someone is being tried for murder. The only two possibilities are that they either are guilty or innocent. However what is being determined is whether the evidence can show that they are guilty or not. The only possibilities again are guilty or innocent but the actual options are guilty, innocent or not guilty and guilty/not guilty are the only verdicts that are being decided. By saying the evidence does not show they are guilty is not the same as saying they are innocent. This is atheism.."

Here, Mr.Dilahunty is clearly seems confused as he is holding more so an agnostic view and saying,"Well, I am not sure if I am right or wrong." This is what he is saying. Clearly, he is absolutely confused.

"We are all agnostic about god(s) in atheism (not that there aren't people who believe there is none) which is why it is often said agnostics are atheists but don't know it."

Here my opponet makes a complete fallacy as the official definitions I presented prove so. I will refrain from responding to the rest of the opening statement as I don't feel there is a need to at this point.

Now, I want to focus everyone's attention on the official definition of religion. Here it is...

Religion- 1
: the belief in a god or in a group of gods

2 : an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or a group of gods

3 : an interest, a belief, or an activity that is very important to a person or group


Do I really need to go into explanation of how this," Atheism - a : a disbelief in the existence of deity b : the doctrine that there is no deity c: the belief that there is no God " and the definition of religion go together?

http://www.merriam-webster.com...








Charliecdubs

Pro

Ok and thank you for being so organized! Ok well to continue it seems you have taken the view atheism is a belief there is no god and then said I was confused. As I said someone can say they believe there is not one but that at he heart is not what atheism is, again it is the not guilty verdict not the innocent one. I know you think this is strange but again even up to the point of Webster dictionary the misconception is there that atheism is "I BELIEVE..." this again is not so. I am concerned how you asked "everyone" if this makes sense it seems society is really caught in this trap of believing atheists are making a religious claim. If you are an agnostic you are also an atheist. This point has been made by not just Dillahunty (who you brushed off as confused...?) but Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Denette, Sam Harris and other reputable atheists. I can say I am fairly certain that there is no god but will always have to be in theory agnostic about about but in practice will go about life as though there is not one. Again to clarify you used ONE definition that does not fit what the actual group, nor many scholars say it is and you completely ignored the point made at the beginning when I said agnostics are atheist and just don't know it. Theism=there is a god(s) and certain belief in it(them) Atheism=not believing in a god(s)/not holding beliefs about it(them). There is at no point a need to believe there is not one.This has just been explained to you in my previous statement and then you pulled up exactly what I told to misconception was then acted as though you knew better. I really fear you started this debate with the presupposition that Atheism=believing there is no god. Also I am confused why you even bothered to bring up a source in this. Either not having beliefs is a religion or it isn't, that is what we are debating. Again I already explained that Atheism is in no way demanding you believe there is no god and yes many non-atheist thinkers/scholars etc have made the fallacy (as you have) of saying that. I am sorry but you just asked an atheist if they were an atheist.... you really cannot repeat this fallacy again I do no want to bother to repeat this I can go find a dictionary that says what I am saying and that still isn't the point. Please stick to the topic as I am. Not wishing to sound crass I just can't be bothered with people who have to be corrected twice. Atheism=I do not have super natural beliefs. Is that a religion, YES or NO and why? Please stay on topic this time, if you do not I will have to leave this debate.

https://www.youtube.com... This guy is somewhat eccentric but he gets the point down right

Since you asked I will. Those of you reading lets think here, if the atheists are saying atheism is not having any religious or supernatural beliefs and there are as well dictionary definitions along with that and you know actual atheists disagree with my opponent is there a point to arguing definitions or should my opponent actually give an answer to the actual topic?
Debate Round No. 2
Haroush

Con

So, let's get right into it...

"Ok and thank you for being so organized! Ok well to continue it seems you have taken the view atheism is a belief there is no god and then said I was confused. As I said someone can say they believe there is not one but that at he heart is not what atheism is, again it is the not guilty verdict not the innocent one. I know you think this is strange but again even up to the point of Webster dictionary the misconception is there that atheism is "I BELIEVE..." this again is not so. I am concerned how you asked "everyone" if this makes sense it seems society is really caught in this trap of believing atheists are making a religious claim."

When we debate.. It is imperative that you address the audience with your informal opinion. This means including evidence (sources). Also, I still feel my view point on this topic (and on the authentic definitions) I presented are in fact accurate.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

"If you are an agnostic you are also an atheist. This point has been made by not just Dillahunty (who you brushed off as confused...?) but Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Denette, Sam Harris and other reputable atheists."


To be blunt, I only was addressing you and Mr.Dillahunty, no one else. Now, if you want to present your evidence to me, and the rest of us these people made the exact same point as Mr. Dillahunty... By all means, please do so.

_____________________________________________________________________________

"I can say I am fairly certain that there is no god but will always have to be in theory agnostic about about but in practice will go about life as though there is not one. Again to clarify you used ONE definition that does not fit what the actual group, nor many scholars say it is and you completely ignored the point made at the beginning when I said agnostics are atheist and just don't know it."


Ok. So, before I go on to constructively criticize you, please know this.. The topic of this debate is "Atheism is not a religion". This being said, since there is more than one authentic definition of religion, I have the choice of which definition I wish to use to rebuttal your opening statement. This being said, I am not claiming atheism is a religion based on this definition...

1 : the belief in a god or in a group of gods

2 : an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or a group of gods

(Which both of these definitions are pretty much the same thing in the sense of "a belief in a god or gods" )

but on this definition...

3 : an interest, a belief, or an activity that is very important to a person or ggroup.


Now maybe you feel this is unfair, but there was no rules set up we use a specific definition for atheism. This being said, I am not breaking any rules here.

____________________________________________________________________

"Again I already explained that Atheism is in no way demanding you believe there is no god and yes many non-atheist thinkers/scholars etc have made the fallacy (as you have) of saying that."

It's odd you make this claim, but to be honest, if you want to try to attack the credibility of these non-atheist scholars, go right ahead. Just present the evidence.

_______________________________________________________________________

"I am sorry but you just asked an atheist if they were an atheist.... you really cannot repeat this fallacy again I do no want to bother to repeat this I can go find a dictionary that says what I am saying and that still isn't the point. Please stick to the topic as I am. Not wishing to sound crass I just can't be bothered with people who have to be corrected twice. Atheism=I do not have super natural beliefs. Is that a religion, YES or NO and why? Please stay on topic this time, if you do not I will have to leave this debate."

This issue I address earlier on this post.

____________________________________________________________________________

"Since you asked I will. Those of you reading lets think here, if the atheists are saying atheism is not having any religious or supernatural beliefs and there are as well dictionary definitions along with that and you know actual atheists disagree with my opponent is there a point to arguing definitions or should my opponent actually give an answer to the actual topic?"

Here my opponent argues atheism isn't a religion in the sense of this definition;

1 : the belief in a god or in a group of gods

2 : an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or a group of gods

(Which both of these definitions are pretty much the same thing in the sense of "a belief in a god or gods" )

When I am in fact, arguing atheism is a religion in this sense; 3 : an interest, a belief, or an activity that is very important to a person or group.

This being said, my opponent has failed to defend the notion that atheism is in not a religion.

Before I finish up, I have one more question for my opponent,.. Why is atheism based off of a theory of materialism according to the ancient Greek philosopher Democritus?

Theory - : an idea that is suggested or presented as possibly true but that is not known or proved to be true

Finally, I thank everyone for observing this debate and hope you enjoyed reading it. Most importantly, I thank my opponent for debating me on this topic. Much respect from Haroush.


Side note: My opponent and I both have spelling and grammar mistakes so I ask everyone to not give either of us points for spelling and grammar.

http://www.merriam-webster.com...


http://www.merriam-webster.com...



Charliecdubs

Pro

Well to begin I am not sure why you are confused about this. Definition (a) that you gave actually agrees with what I am saying so the evidence is already there, just because religious people confuse atheism with anti-theism is not my problem. You have been unable to explain why not being a theist, an atheist, is a religion. All you did was make an assertion based on only one part of a definition you found convenient or rather the lingo or slang alternatives.

You have not been able to say why having no supernatural beliefs or god claims (atheism) is a religion where I clearly laid out reasons why.

Atheism- asserts nothing about the supernatural, makes no claims about god(s) or has a system of belief and has absolutely no concept of faith.
Religion (theism) does the opposite which is why I am saying atheism is not a religion.

Now you could have said since religion is an extremely broad concept to which there actually is no official definition to describe all religions overall you could have simply said maybe a religion does not need all those components and that atheism still could fit in there somewhere but rather you committed the same fallacy twice after it had been clearly explained to you and then as "proof" you got a definition that agreed with me, definition (a). Atheism and agnosticism (as explained to via evidence, video, reasoning) are not mutually exclusive terms. You have the idea that anti-theism (statement that there is no god) is the same as atheism (no belief in a god). But then again any dictionary will tell you this. You said there where no rules but you should stay on topic.

Atheism is not being a theist thus not having a belief in the supernatural or god(s)

Is this a religion? Well I gave a clear reason why not. You however failed to do this. If you wanted to talk about anti-theism you should have said so.

So those of you who will vote think here. I presented why atheism is not a religion because it has no beliefs about god(s) or supernatural and requires not doctrine. It is just the term we use to categorize non-believers. Not one thing my opponent said challenged this. If he did not challenge this with anything and only showed that they do not understand difference between atheism and anti-theism. So why should they get credit if they couldn't even stay on topic? Either not having a religion/supernatural beliefs/beliefs about god(s) is a religion or it isn't. I told you why not, my opponent did not. That's all there is to it.
Debate Round No. 3
31 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Haroush 2 years ago
Haroush
Lol at Romani.
Posted by Romanii 2 years ago
Romanii
HOLY SH*T... bladerunner060's RFD is one of the longest I've seen on this site... second only to that of tulle's and bluesteel's...
Posted by Haroush 2 years ago
Haroush
Ok :) I'm a gummy bear!
Posted by donald.keller 2 years ago
donald.keller
I'm going to read this tomorrow :)
Posted by Haroush 2 years ago
Haroush
Nooooo! Lol
Posted by Fanath 2 years ago
Fanath
That's my old account of course...
Posted by Haroush 2 years ago
Haroush
Ughh :( Why Dudestop? Sorry... I hate life sometimes.
Posted by Fanath 2 years ago
Fanath
Love u 2 Haroush, <3

By the way, you could just call me DudeStop if we ever meet somewhere again.
Posted by Haroush 2 years ago
Haroush
Btw, I apologize Fanah for accusing you of being the one vote bombing the debate in the first place. Honestly, I seen Sagey's vote and I became irritated after seeing that. I just can't stand it when people don't vote from a judicial point of view and more so from a personal point of view.
Posted by Haroush 2 years ago
Haroush
Thank you Bladerunner... You made some great points and gave me some areas to work on when it comes to debating. I definitely see my faults in this debate.. I could have done better as well as Pro.
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
HaroushCharliecdubsTied
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by Dan4reason 2 years ago
Dan4reason
HaroushCharliecdubsTied
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Reasons for voting decision: This was a rather interesting debate despite the fact that pro clearly did not do a good job defending his case. Pro completely mixed up atheism and agnosticism and listing off people who agree with you is not a great argument. Con on the other hand argued concisely and well.
Vote Placed by Sagey 2 years ago
Sagey
HaroushCharliecdubsTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Firstly the dictionary reference Con sourced is Wrong, the literal translation of Atheism (from Gk Atheos) means "Without God". so there is something wrong with the reference. Without God could mean any person who does not even know a God exists. Not just those who disbelieve in God. So from my own extensive knowledge of the subject, I cannot be convinced by Con's dictionary Source, the source appears to be heavily Biased and incorrect. Proving that Merriam-Webster is a biased Dictionary which I've known for a decade now. I prefer less biased and conceited sources. CultOfdusty I like, as he also covered the fact that Atheists have no set doctrines to follow, thus it is not a religion. Con's definition included "disbelief" which is different to a belief in non-existence, thus not a doctrine, so disbelief does not signify a religion as Pro argued. Con did not provide any evidence against this by showing a set of doctrines followed by all Atheists.
Vote Placed by Romanii 2 years ago
Romanii
HaroushCharliecdubsTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro's main problem here was that he was mixing up the definitions of atheism and agnosticism... and to support his contentions all he did was list off a bunch of philosophers who agreed with him, which doesn't really prove anything...
Vote Placed by MartinKauai 2 years ago
MartinKauai
HaroushCharliecdubsTied
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Reasons for voting decision: CON's strongest and only real point in demonstrating that atheism is a religion: "When I am in fact, arguing atheism is a religion in this sense; 3 : an interest, a belief, or an activity that is very important to a person or group." By this reasoning, so is being a Seahawks fan. PRO's best point: "Atheism- asserts nothing about the supernatural, makes no claims about god(s) or has a system of belief and has absolutely no concept of faith." Which essentially refutes everything CON is saying with his cherry picked and archaic definitions of atheism being a propositional claim. Most dictionaries are behind the times, and in this case (he would not be the first) CON unapologetically uses this to his advantage. I hate giving sources points to someone I disagree with, but Pro totally blew it there. As much as I love Dillahunty, you should not post links to YouTube.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
HaroushCharliecdubsTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Sorry Pro, but you're pretty blatantly conflating atheism and agnosticism. There is a line between the two, and you haven't done enough to prove that it doesn't exist. You did bring up one thinker who agreed with you, but I found Con's rebuttal compelling, and when you listed off a number of other thinkers who agreed, it would have been appropriate to state what they said in order to support your point. As it stands, the only arguments you have on the table are in support of agnosticism not being a religion. You say that Con is cherrypicking the definition, but he provides the most meaningful analysis of why that definition should function as the one I use in this debate. If you wanted to support a different one, you had to provide reasons to uphold it that rivaled his. I'm also giving sources to Con, mainly because he provided the most important ones in the debate. I'd give S&G for those walls of text from Pro, but as Con stated not to, I will abstain.