The Instigator
nonprophet
Pro (for)
Losing
6 Points
The Contender
Mhykiel
Con (against)
Winning
11 Points

Atheism is the default position.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Mhykiel
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/17/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,080 times Debate No: 52398
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (24)
Votes (4)

 

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".
Mhykiel

Con

Thank you Pro for debating this issue with me.

I am Con to the assertion that Atheism (as defined) is the default position.

What evidence do you have that Atheism is default position?

If a default position is to be defined as the natural state of things: then I would direct Pro's attention to the historical fact that all races of in recorded history had varying degrees of complex theology. This would imply that mankind automatically starts out with a believe in God.

There are some scientist stating there is evidence that the belief in a supernatural deity could be hard wired in human genes. Hamer, Dean (2005). The God Gene: How Faith Is Hard wired Into Our Genes. Anchor Books. ISBN 0-385-72031-9. If this were the case, then Atheism is not the default position but a position that goes against the genes one is born with.
Debate Round No. 1
nonprophet

Pro




My opponent ignored the rules of what the first round is for.
"First round is for acceptance only."
I hereby request that anything said in the first round by con, besides his acceptance, be ignored by voters. 
I will ignore it and not respond to it. If he wants to repost it in the second round, I'll accept it as part of the debate.


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.
Mhykiel

Con

I apologize for jumping the gun I should have just accepted.

Your conclusion is that Atheism is a default position.
Your premise leading to that conclusion is "Babies are born with a lack of believe in God"

My contention is the premise is false. Babies are born with with a brain. The brain has structures and chemical signals that adults interpret as "religious experiences" Babies have these structures and chemicals in their brain and therefore indicate that they believe in God. Babies are theist by default. You can look up tests and interpretations done by Dr. Justin Barret. Or by Dr Olivera Petrovich of Oxford.

((reprint of previous points))

If a default position is to be defined as the natural state of things: then I would direct Pro's attention to the historical fact that all races of in recorded history had varying degrees of complex theology. This would imply that mankind automatically starts out with a believe in God. There are some scientist stating there is evidence that the belief in a supernatural deity could be hard wired in human genes. Hamer, Dean (2005). The God Gene: How Faith Is Hard wired Into Our Genes. Anchor Books. ISBN 0-385-72031-9. If this were the case, then Atheism is not the default position but a position that goes against the genes one is born with.

I think I have made sufficient case that Pro's premise is false or if at the least not validly supported. Being that Pro's premise is false then the conclusion would be false as well. Because it can be shown that a lack of believe in a deity is not the natural starting position of human babies.

I as con am not asserting that a default position is deism, theism or something else. I am making the case that Pro has not shown a valid argument for accepting his conclusion as true.
Debate Round No. 2
nonprophet

Pro

My opponent claims "The brain has structures and chemical signals that adults interpret as "religious experiences" Babies have these structures and chemicals in their brain and therefore indicate that they believe in God."

So how is it even possible for anyone to be an atheist then? If every brain has "structures and chemical signals" that cause them to be theists, it would be impossible for anyone to be an atheist! That's insane.

My opponent then claims, "all races of(sic) in recorded history had varying degrees of complex theology".
I will say that all races in recorded history have a need for answers. Almost everyone has asked the questions "Why am I here?, "Where did we come from?" and "How did it all begin?" Up until modern science, we have not had answers for these questions. Even modern science can only come up with theories based on current evidence.
Up until now, most people who didn't have the answers, conveniently answered, "god did it".
This is what's known as the "god of the gaps".
How does thunder happen? The god, "Thor" did it. How does the Sun rise? The Sun god does it.
Of course now, we don't need Sun gods or "Thor", because, with science, we understand how lightning works and the Sun rises.
The more answers science comes up with, the less we need "god" as the answer for our questions.
Even when science doesn't have an answer, we now realize that it's better to say "I don't know" rather than "god did it".
So, even though mankind used to routinely use the "gods of the gaps", it doesn't mean mankind automatically starts out with a belief in God. Mankind just wants answers and uses god, instead of admitting "I don't know". That s what is really "hard wired in human genes"...the inability to admit "I don't know".
Atheism is the default position. Theism is just a position that goes with the genes one is born with for needing answers.

There is no demonstrable evidence for a god. There is no convincing proof that a god exists. To accept the idea that there is a god, without proof, is not logical. It would be illogical to claim that the default position is deism, theism or something else (unless "something else" was atheism), because god can not be proved to exist!

My opponent is trying to use the "god of the gaps" as proof that atheism isn't the default position.
The burden of proof is on those who make the POSITIVE assertion.
My opponent claims that babies are born theists. His evidence for that is his claim that "The brain has structures and chemical signals that adults interpret as "religious experiences". My opponent offers no evidence that babies also interpret the chemical signals as "religious experiences". Babies don't even know what the concept of "religion" is!

My assertion that Atheism is the default position, is based on the fact that all babies are born atheists. My opponent failed to prove otherwise.

I want to thank my opponent for the debate.

Mhykiel

Con

I don't think Pro has satisfied the burden of proof that logically leads one to accept "babies are born atheist". I offered some evidence to the contrary, but my closing remark was that evidence for babies lack a believe was inconclusive. The third option would be an agnostic approaching stating that there is no way we can know if babies share a believe in God.

Pro states "So how is it even possible for anyone to be an atheist then? If every brain has "structures and chemical signals" that cause them to be theists, it would be impossible for anyone to be an atheist! That's insane"

My example of the brain structures does not lead to impossible for anyone to be atheist. Just like babies have the natural default position to poop and pee on themselves, but they grow up and make a decision to use the bathroom. Then the analogy would follow is that Atheism is a conscious decision made.

Thank you for inviting me to debate. I liked the rebuttal saying the God gene was evidence for us being hard wired not to say "I don't know" I found that line interesting
Debate Round No. 3
24 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by nonprophet 2 years ago
nonprophet
I'm not a sore loser, because I don't care about votes, but the voters here are insane, Mhykiel couldn't even abide by the rules.
Posted by Mhykiel 2 years ago
Mhykiel
Well the debate is over with now. It's up to the voters to decide what position is more valid. Thanks for the debate again tho nonprophet
Posted by nonprophet 2 years ago
nonprophet
@Mhykiel Your points are flawed

1. If you can't tell either way if a baby can or can't have a religious experience, the DEFAULT position is that he/she CAN'T until proven that he/she can.

2. Wrong. If ALL all cultures have created theological systems, atheism wouldn't exist at all!
I already explained that people desire answers and use "god" to answer everything they can't figure out.
So they didn't created theological systems. they created ways to cheat and get an answer they can live with.
Posted by Mhykiel 2 years ago
Mhykiel
The point I was making was babies have the brain structure and chemical to have what adults interpret as a religious experience. Weather babies do or don't have such experience is UN-verifiable. It was the hole in your argument. You can not proof through evidence or logical inference Babies have no believe in a deity.

2nd If humans are born Atheist, you would expect some at least isolated cultures to have no deities at all. But history has shown all cultures have created theological systems.

Those were my points.
Posted by nonprophet 2 years ago
nonprophet
So much for "automatic win" from accusers.
Posted by nonprophet 2 years ago
nonprophet
Sagey's vote is wrong since he is basing it on a false assumption that agnosticism and atheism are mutually exclusive.
If a baby is born agnostic, that has nothing to do with whether a baby is an atheist or not!
Posted by nonprophet 2 years ago
nonprophet
@Valtin Agnosticism and atheism are not mutually exclusive. You can be both.
If a baby is born agnostic, that has nothing to do with whether a baby is an atheist.
Posted by Valtin 2 years ago
Valtin
@Nonprophet In a sense babies are born, hmm, agnostic, they know that there is something out there but they do not fully understand it as Sagey said.
Posted by nonprophet 2 years ago
nonprophet
Both Mhykiel and Valtin came up with some nonsense about babies having "religious experiences" due to some kind of chemical reaction in the brain.
Can somebody show me which apologetic website they got this from?
Posted by nonprophet 2 years ago
nonprophet
@oculus_de_logica
How convenient for you to ignore the definition in the dictionary you don't agree with!

2.
disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by IslamAhmadiyya 2 years ago
IslamAhmadiyya
nonprophetMhykielTied
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Reasons for voting decision: My vote goes for Con cause his argument about history and how many civilizations had complex degrees of theology got me, that is a good argument.
Vote Placed by Brendan21 2 years ago
Brendan21
nonprophetMhykielTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I believe pro wins this debate fairly easily. He explains clearly that babies/humans need to be taught some thing in order to begin believing it. Con's position is essentially, humans have inherent knowledge of god/gods. Then why do they differ drastically from region to region and why has religion continued to evolve through out time??
Vote Placed by AlextheYounga 2 years ago
AlextheYounga
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Reasons for voting decision: Both could have done better but pro made more convincing arguments. Con could have made a good argument but fell a little short. I have to give it to pro
Vote Placed by Sagey 2 years ago
Sagey
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Reasons for voting decision: Con's argument made stronger points than Pro's, as Pro did not cite any evidence to comments like babies are born with no beliefs at all, babies could be born with a sense that something is out there, but they don't as yet fully understand it, so in that case they are born agnostic, in that there may be some extremely powerful divine entity, but this entity is unknowable. Though Pro's line: "Atheism is the default position. Theism is just a position that goes with the genes one is born with for needing answers" sort of sent me cold, Genes?, Born? If Theism goes with the Genes, that makes Theism the default position?? Hmm. I think that was badly composed. I'm on Pro's side, but pro had better make the argument's stronger and at least cite some evidence for Assumptions.