The Instigator
nonprophet
Pro (for)
Winning
20 Points
The Contender
Benshapiro
Con (against)
Losing
13 Points

Atheism is the default position.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 9 votes the winner is...
nonprophet
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/16/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,308 times Debate No: 52384
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (120)
Votes (9)

 

nonprophet

Pro

First round is for acceptance only.

For this debate, it must be accepted that the definition of Atheism is "The Lack of the Belief in a God".
Debate Round No. 1
nonprophet

Pro


Atheism is the lack of a belief in a god. The moment we are born, we have no beliefs at all. All babies are born Atheists.
That's why it's the default position. The only way to be a Theist is to learn what a God is and
choose to believe in it.
That means you must BECOME a Theist from the default position of being an Atheist.
Nobody is born a Theist.
If you lose your faith in a God, you automatically (without having to choose to) go back to the
default position of being an Atheist.


It's that simple.
Benshapiro

Con

This is a very simple rebuttal.

Lack of belief entails the knowledge to lack belief. I wouldn't assume you lack belief of the Chakablaka tribe in Africa because you didn't have any knowledge of it the same way a baby can't lack belief in God without having the knowledge to reject that belief.
Debate Round No. 2
nonprophet

Pro

My worthy opponent claims, "Lack of belief entails the knowledge to lack belief.".
That has to be the most ridiculous logic I have ever come across.

Do non-golf players have to know what golf is, in order to be non-golf players? Of course not!
If you have never heard of the game and don't know what it is, you are a non-golf player. You don't have to learn golf, study it, know the rules and own clubs to be a non-golf player!

Do non-Chinese speakers have to know Chinese, in order not to speak Chinese? Of course not! If you have never heard of Chinese, you are a non-Chinese speaker. You don't have to learn Chinese, study it, know the words and grammar in order to be a non-Chinese speaker.

Do atheists have to know what god is in order to not believe in god? Of course not! You don't have to learn what god is and study the Bible in order to not believe in god.

When you "lack" something, you don't need to know the thing you lack in order to lack it.

If I have never heard of the Chakablaka tribe in Africa, it would be impossible for me to believe in them. I don't have to be told about them and study them in order to not believe in them.

If you lack knowledge of something, you automatically lack belief in it.

My opponent wants to turn the logic around and claim that you must have knowledge in something in order to lack belief in it. It's true that you need knowledge of something in order to believe in it, but you don't need knowledge of something in order to lack belief in it!

An atheists lacks belief in ALL gods, even though it would be impossible to find out and study every god that ever existed. It's not the atheists' job to disprove gods. The burden of proof is on those who make the positive claim for a god's existence. The only time an atheist leaves the default position of atheism, is when he or she is not only told about a specific god, but also given demonstrable, convincing evidence that such a god exists. Without the knowledge of the definition of what a specific god is and without demonstrable, convincing evidence to prove the god exists, an atheist stays in the default position of not believing (lacking the belief) in a god.

https://www.youtube.com...

5:45-7:05

Since this is my last chance to say something about the topic, because my opponent will get the last word, I would like to point out that adding another (different) augment in the last round without me able to comment on it, would not be fair.

I'd like to thank my opponent for accepting this debate. I hope it was as enjoyable and educational for him as it was for me.
Benshapiro

Con

A-theism is the antonym of theism. Theism is the belief that God exists.

An atheist requires knowledge of God to lack belief. You are confusing deliberate lack of belief with ignorance.

Ignorance:
"he acted in ignorance of basic procedures"
synonyms:incomprehension of, unawareness of, unconsciousness of, unfamiliarity with, inexperience with, lack of knowledge about, lack of information about; More
lack of knowledge, lack of education, unenlightenment, illiteracy;
lack of intelligence, stupidity, foolishness, idiocy
antonyms:understanding, familiarity, knowledge, education

Here's the definition of agnostic:

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

If anything, the default position is agnosticism rather than atheism but even this isn't the case. All people who don't have the awareness to make a conscious choice about their beliefs are ignorant but if their beliefs had to be classified it would fall under agnostic.

You made a lot of examples like these: "Do non-golf players have to know what golf is, in order to be non-golf players? Of course not!"

Here's the fail in your logic. Non-golf players have an undecided position toward golf. They wouldn't lack the desire to play golf as a default if they'd never heard of the game.

I appreciate the time my opponent has put into this debate but hopefully I've made it clearer for him that atheism requires the knowledge to lack belief. If any default position is considered out of ignorance it would agnosticism. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 3
120 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Fanath 2 years ago
Fanath
@Chaos: I'm aware of that. Just pointing out how him "Just pointing out a flaw in Christianity" is actually a misunderstanding on his part.
Posted by Benshapiro 2 years ago
Benshapiro
Skeptical there is a difference. It's incoherent to say that the default position is lacking belief. The default position is ignorance or unawareness.
Posted by nonprophet 2 years ago
nonprophet
Everything has to be a joke around here. They should rename it JDO
Posted by PeacefulChaos 2 years ago
PeacefulChaos
@Fanath - I'm sure he was joking around.

Not to mention that I'm also sure nonprophet has been exposed to the Bible before. Based on his picture, username, and consistent arguments, it looks as though he rejects the Bible.
Posted by Fanath 2 years ago
Fanath
"Very well done in this debate, nonprophet. Also it is said that if you don't believe in God you are gonna go straight to hell. So I guess you're doomed from the start if hell was real"

Not true. The bible clearly says that if someone was not exposed to the bible or did not wasn't able to understand it's texts then you are tested on how you would react to it in the afterlife. People who deny the bible are the one's going to hell.

Your flaw isn't really a flaw at all apparently.
Posted by SkepticalStardust 2 years ago
SkepticalStardust
Benshapiro, you lost when you agreed to the definition. You're saying that there's a difference between lack of belief and not having the ability to believe in something. If I don't have the ability to believe in something, then I have no choice but to have no belief in it. Having no belief in something is to lack belief in something.

A cat cannot believe in a god, which means a cat lacks belief in a god. Regardless of whether there's intent or not, a cat lacks belief in a god, which is the definition you agreed to of being an atheist.

By the way, agnostic applies to knowledge. An atheist can be agnostic or gnostic and a theist can be agnostic or gnostic. An agnostic atheist lacks belief in god, but doesn't say that there is not god. A gnostic atheist lacks belief in god and says that there is definitely no god.

Not accepting "A" isn't the same as accepting "Not A". Lack of belief is the lack of a claim, not a claim itself.
Posted by A_Flying_Toaster 2 years ago
A_Flying_Toaster
Oh no man! Big misunderstanding. I wasn't using that threat. I don't believe in hell or anything. I'm an atheist. I was pointing out a flaw in christianity.
Posted by nonprophet 2 years ago
nonprophet
Prove hell is real, first.
Posted by A_Flying_Toaster 2 years ago
A_Flying_Toaster
Very well done in this debate, nonprophet. Also it is said that if you don't believe in God you are gonna go straight to hell. So I guess you're doomed from the start if hell was real. :P
Posted by Fanath 2 years ago
Fanath
It's more like someone who thinks god may be real, but is kind of unsure. Just like an agnostic atheist thinks god may not be real, but isn't exactly sure. It's like saying a "weak" atheist or a "weak" theist.
9 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Vote Placed by proglib 2 years ago
proglib
nonprophetBenshapiroTied
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Reasons for voting decision: This debate was enjoyable, if not particularly sophisticated. IMHO, Con could have turned this around if he had offered his definitions of atheist and agnostic in the second round rather than the final round where no rebuttal is available. (I borrow this point from @mrsatan, appropriately enough...:) While Pro gets confused about the difference between lack of ability and lack of belief (as @mubaracus makes clear), his definition of atheism as being simple non-theism and his point that one CANNOT believe in something one is ignorant of carry the day for me.
Vote Placed by mubaracus 2 years ago
mubaracus
nonprophetBenshapiroTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I found pro line of reasoning to be illogical and Con articulated the lack of logic in his argument very well. Simply put, one cannot say they lack belief in something they do not know. I will admit, this is a confusing and convoluted idea. However, it is logical. One needs to be aware of something to have a disposition about it. The list of examples Pro uses to refute Con are fallacious; they each argue a different idea. "Do non-golf players have to know what golf is, in order to be non-golf players?" Playing golf is an action not a disposition. "Do non-Chinese speakers have to know Chinese, in order not to speak Chinese? Of course not!" Speaking Chinese is an ability. The belief in God is a disposition, a choice. One needs to be aware of what God is to express this disposition. There are counters to this argument but they are easily dismissed by Con as he clarifies what it actually means to be an atheist, theist, and unaware.
Vote Placed by SNP1 2 years ago
SNP1
nonprophetBenshapiroTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro successfully showed how atheism was the default position while Con tried to twist what different words mean.
Vote Placed by ConservativePolitico 2 years ago
ConservativePolitico
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Reasons for voting decision: Con successfully showed that the "default position" that people are born with is not atheism. He rightly points out that atheism is the opposite of theism, meaning you have to have knowledge of both in order to pick one. Babies cannot actively disbelieve in God if they do not have the concept of God. The belief that Pro is trying to describe but fails at is agnosticism. If this had been a debate about being agnostic Pro would have won but his logic and definitions just don't support atheism. A win for Con.
Vote Placed by Wylted 2 years ago
Wylted
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Reasons for voting decision: Con needs to really pay attention to how words are defined in round 1 before accepting debates, and really try to understand the meaning of the word. Arguments to pro. Conduct to con. It's one thing to debate semantics, it's quite another to have semantics and unfair ones at that be the entire basis of your debate and arguments.
Vote Placed by johnlubba 2 years ago
johnlubba
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Reasons for voting decision: Close call but I feel that Con provided well thought out definitions of his opponents arguments, especially the fact that A-theism derives from theism and thus requires one to have knowledge of what theism is, to claim to hold an atheistic position, Pro also states that to have NO knowledge of a certain thing makes it impossible to believe in it, ( The chabalaka ) Then the same can be said of atheism, if you have no knowledge of God, that would mean you lack belief in God by default. Con then claims that Pro is confusing lack of belief with ignorance, when in fact I can not see the difference in this case, having no knowledge of something could be defined as ignorant and also lacking a belief in my perspective. I think Pro just edged this one.
Vote Placed by mrsatan 2 years ago
mrsatan
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Reasons for voting decision: Personally, I consider saying, "atheism is the default position", to be an oversimplification. The default position would be "a lack of belief in anything". While one can argue that this includes atheism, it does not center on atheism (or on any other specific thing). It is utterly meaningless to say one is an atheist if they've never even considered the subject. However, by the framework of this debate, I give arguments to Pro, as one does start out lacking a belief in God. Agnosticism, and gnosticism, are both irrelevant here. They would not be a part of the default position of no beliefs, as both are beliefs concerning knowledge. I would give conduct to Pro because Con started a new argument in the final round, but I'm opting not to due to that arguments irrelevance.
Vote Placed by PeacefulChaos 2 years ago
PeacefulChaos
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Reasons for voting decision: This quickly devolved into a debate of semantics, but nonetheless Con managed to differentiate ignorance from lack of belief. I feel like Con should have expanded more on his argument, however, and explain why non-belief would require knowledge. Benshapiro simply ended up stating the definition of ignorance but did not go beyond that and prove how non-belief necessitates knowledge; thus, Pro seems to have superior arguments due to Con's failure to support his own argument.
Vote Placed by Sswdwm 2 years ago
Sswdwm
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Reasons for voting decision: Interesting arguments from Con. I think Con wins by a hair, helped a lot by his final round definition but it was a pretty short format debate so all is fair. Pro didnt effectively distinguish between ignorance and disbelief, or didn't argue that both should be considered under the same label. Ether way the point passed.