Atheism is the default position
First round is for acceptance only.
I'll accept. Thank you for the challnege.
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.
| Opening |
I myself believe that the default position is a unique position that is different from most (if not all) other existing positions. This does mean that it’s not the same as Atheism, though might have a similarity to it (e.g. lack of a particular belief about God).
Discussion on Judicial Criteria
The criteria on who to vote in favor for shuld be based on "difference". The topic title states “Atheism is the default position”, obviously saying that the default position is the same. Therefore, if there is found a "difference" in the atheistic position, then vote in favor of my position (Con) If there is not found any difference, vote in favor of my opponent’s (Pro).
| Constructive |
1) The Default Position is a unique Position
Comparison of different positions
The Atheistic Position
“To you I'm an atheist; to God, I'm the Loyal Opposition.”
The thing with the default position that differs with atheism, is that atheism can believe in something, but the default position does not believe in anything. For example, atheists can believe in things such as science, religion, scandalous sex, etc. But the most relevant belief to this debate is the belief that “god does not exist”. This particular belief can be native to atheism, but is not so with the default position for it believes nothing.
The Agnostic Position
“The mystery of the beginning of all things is insoluble by us;
The agnostic position typically believes that you can’t know if God does or doesn’t exist (Which may or may not be true). But none the less it is a “belief” that you can’t know if God exists or not. So this position differs from the default position because it can believe something (though lacks knowledge).
The Theistic Position
“I once wanted to become an atheist, but I gave up - they have no holidays.”
This position obviously believes something, therefore it is not the default.
The Default Position
Pro said that when we are born we have no beliefs at all. This is what I believe the default position is, a position of no beliefs. So it’s not the exact same thing as atheism, as atheism lacks a single belief, the default position lacks ALL beliefs. Are they similar? Yes. Are they the same? No. There is a distinct difference between the quantity of some and all.
| Rebuttal |
If you lose your faith in a God, you automatically (without having to choose to) go back to the default position
“We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever
That’s not necessary true. If you lose faith in a God, it could be simply because you want to serve a different God not necessary go back to atheism. (e.g. Thor to Ra) Remember, the accepted definition for atheism is the lack of belief in “a” god, not all gods. So atheism is compatible with theism, apparently I’m an atheist theist. I’ll explain how this is true.
Statement 1: I lack belief in a god.
True. I do lack belief in Apollo (Greek god). So there is a god that I lack belief in, Therefore I’m an atheist by the accepted definition.
True. I do believe in the Christian variant of God. Therefore I’m a theist.
Ah, yes. The English language. I should have known this would be a debate about English, not atheism.
OK well, I have to agree that the "lack of" something, is indeed, the default position, depending on the topic.
The lack of an oven is the default position when it comes to baking
The lack of vehicles is the default position when it comes to transportation.
When it comes to religious beliefs, atheism is the default position (the lack of belief in a god)
My opponent wants to define the default position (of everything) as the lack of everything.
I can't argue that. but the topic is not everything. The topic, is religious beliefs, because the title of the debate is
"Atheism is the default position" (of religious beliefs). Yes, the words "of religious beliefs" are left out, but implied.
Atheism wouldn't be the default position of music or any other topic, but religious beliefs.
Since we agreed that the definition of Atheism is "the lack in the belief in a god", it should be clear that we are talking about the default position of religious beliefs, not everything.
When it comes to the agnostic position, it would be impossible to say for sure what we may learn in the future.
To say that we "can't know" if a god exists is false. You can say you don't know, but that may, or may not change. depending on the available evidence. I don't know what any of that has to do with atheism or the default position since atheism has something to do with belief while agnosticism has something to do with knowledge. They are different. I agree with my opponent when he says "So this (agnostic) position differs from the default position because it can believe something (though lacks knowledge)." So why bother to bring it up?
I also agree with my opponent that the theistic position "obviously believes something, therefore it is not the default."
Again, why bring it up?
My opponent then goes on to say "I believe the default position is, a position of no beliefs."
If we were talking about the default position for everything, I don't agree.
Beliefs aren't everything. A baby may be born without beliefs, but a baby is born with vision and hearing.
So, when it comes to senses, a baby is not the default position. Something that lacks senses would be the default position on that topic.
My opponent claims, "the default position lacks ALL beliefs". If we are talking about the default position of everything, then it must lack everything, not just beliefs. The singularity from which the Universe expanded from, would be the default position of everything, since it lacks everything including time and space.
However, I will go back to say that the topic here isn't the default position of everything. It's the default position of religious beliefs, which is atheism as defined in the first round.
My opponent goes on to argue my point of
"If you lose your faith in a God, you automatically (without having to choose to) go back to the default position"
I stand by that statement.
My opponent's argument is "you (may) want to serve a different God not necessary go back to atheism."
Changing your belief is not the same as losing it. I also want to point out that since atheism is the default position, you do not "want" to go back to it. It's automatic once you lose all beliefs in gods. You may "want" to stop believing in a god, but once you do there is no requirement to go back to atheism, it's as automatic as letting go of a rubber band and watching it snap back to its default position of the lack of being stretched.
The analogy of a rubber band will also work in saying that stretching it in a different way is not the same as not stretching it at all. You can stretch a rubber band in all kinds of ways the same way you can believe in all kinds of gods. The default position is the lack of the belief in a god like the default position of a rubber band is the lack of the stretch of it. Switching from god to god is like stretching from circle to square. Different positions, but not the default position.
Now the use of the statements my opponent uses is another play on words. "The lack of a belief in a god" has the same meaning as "the lack of belief in all gods." Of course you can get technical, but we are talking about clear meaning.
When someone says "I'm tired", it's obvious that the person saying that. isn't talking about their name.
If a person says "I'm Bob", it's obvious they are talking about their name without them having to say specifically "my name is Bob".
This attempt on word play in a debate may be fun and amusing, but has no value when seeking the truth.
"The default position" when applied to atheism is referring to the default position of religious beliefs without having to specifically say it.
If we are here to play games, I'd rather be playing baseball. If we are here to learn and seek the truth, then let's be honest and stop with the games.
| Opening |
Discussion on Judicial Criteria
Since Pro did not comment, I will take that as an agreement with the criteria.
| Constructive |
The Default Position is a unique Position
My opponent wants to define the default position (of everything)
Not everything, speaking in terms of beliefs. Saying that the default position is the absence of beliefs, not necessarily everything. Baby senses is not what I’m talking about, what a newborn baby believes is what I’m talking about, and it believes nothing. Atheists on the other hand do not always believe nothing, but sometimes carry religious beliefs.
Okay, I think I see your fallacy here. Atheism is not the absent of religious beliefs, it’s the absent of a particular religious belief (belief in god). For example, Buddhism is a religion and is atheistic as it lacks a belief in God. Many variations of the UFO religions (e.g. Scientology & Raelism) can lack a belief in god. Some atheists do seem to believe in magical monsters (e.g. flying spaghetti monster) though I’m not certain if it’s just a prank on religion, or they really do believe (hard to tell with pastafarians). Also, there are atheists that do believe in the supernatural, such as you evolved from a rock (some variants of evolutionist).
If you think that atheism is the lack of religion, that’s entirely incorrect. In fact, there are some atheist mega churches that are rising these days.
So atheism is not the default to religious beliefs, as the default would be the lack of all religious beliefs. (A unique position) not the lack of one belief
I brought it up because I was comparing all the major positions with relevance to the belief in god. And showing how they differed from the default. I was trying to show it being “unique”, not just to atheism.
| Rebuttal |
If you lose your faith in a God, you automatically (without having to choose to)
go back to the default position
I think your just thinking of a certain brand of atheism, particularly the non-religious variety (which is not always true about atheists). You’re not considering atheists that are pantheistic or just plain religious quacks. So when the rubber band snaps back it could snap back to the religious end of atheism, not the non-religious end (default position).
Now the use of the statements my opponent uses is another play on words.
Yes, I do quarrel around with the words to make a point about using strict definitions. You don’t seem to understand that it doesn’t really matter what the definer meant, it’s how people want a word to mean. You defined it that way because you (or someone else) wanted it to mean it that way, not that it actually means that.
When the word atheist was coined, it probably meant something more along the lines “a person who believes there are no gods” because the suffix -ist (athe-ist) indicates the word is a doctrine, not a lack of belief. For example amoral means (not + morals), however the word amoralist (not+ morals + doctrine) means someone who believes there are no morals (not that your born without morals). What your doing is having the prefix (a-) mutilate the meaning of the suffix (-ist) when the prefix is only supposed to modify the meaning of the root word (theos, as in [a-the-ist]) not rape the meaning of the suffix (-ist).
You can research the meaning of the suffix if you don’t believe me. And yes I’m aware that it can mean something along the lines of someone who “does” something (e.g. pianist, contortionist)
Yes, I know that I accepted the definitions. And i'm not arguing that I should win because of bad definitions (as I've agreed to accept them for this debate) The definition is applicable in this debate, but doesn’t really work outside of it. (Maybe useful to some clusters of atheists who want to have it mean that way) If that definition is used, you will spawn some “atheist theist” because some people will want to be both. If you’re wanting a better definition to what I think you’re after would be the “absence of belief in any god and goddess.” But that isn’t atheism (its closer to nontheism)
This attempt on word play in a debate may be fun and amusing, but has no value when seeking the truth.
If we are debating the truth, have you considered at all that this isn’t atheism we are debating? That the definitions might not accurately represent atheism? I know you might scoff at the idea… who knows, maybe we both are wrong about atheism. Or maybe it’s just you.
I think my opponent is just bringing up a bunch of red herrings and irrelevant facts.
The debate is "Atheism is the default position"
I'll admit that atheism is not a lack of religion. So what? I don't see what that has to do with the default position.
Whether the default position is unique or not is irrelevant.
Buddhism, Scientology, Raelism, Pasatfarianism, Pantheism, etc., are all irrelevant.
My opponent said, "So when the rubber band snaps back it could snap back to the religious end of atheism, not the non-religious end (default position)."
I will argue that both "ends" of atheism (religious and non-religious) are BOTH atheistic, and both within the default position.
Again the debate is "Atheism is the default position". Religion is irrelevant.
Let's take the word "atheism". The suffix is "ism". Other words with that suffix include communism, socialism, Catholicism, etc.
My opponent claims "the prefix is only supposed to modify the meaning of the root word"
So, does that mean atheism is an "ism"?
"Ism" is a derived word used in philosophy, politics, religion or other areas pertaining to an ideology of some sort, sometimes with a derogatory sense.
Atheism is NOT a philosophy, political view, religion or ideology.
The "A" in atheism actually means atheism is a non-ism, no matter what root word you use.
Basically, my opponent is grasping at straws, trying to throw in red herrings and other irrelevant things to see if anything sticks. Everything my opponent brought up is irrelevant to the fact that atheism is the default position.
The perfect example of this is when my opponent said "If you’re wanting a better definition to what I think you’re after would be the “absence of belief in any god and goddess.” But that isn’t atheism (its closer to nontheism)"
Why bother saying that? We both agreed that atheism was the lack of the belief in a god.
I don't care about other definitions. We are not talking about nontheism.
It's just saying something for the sake of saying it. I will not let it confuse the matter.
My opponent failed to provide any evidence that atheism is anything other than the default position when it comes to beliefs in gods.
Thank you for the debate.
That’s not entirely correct. There’s a lot (if not the majority) that consider believing in a god is like believing in leprechauns, even some refer to god as a virus or delusion (Richard Dawkins) this comes from an ideology. There are churches and entire organizations devoted to spreading atheism itself (as I pointed out earlier) this is religion because there are tenants that specifically spread the belief. There are obviously political views with atheists when it comes to science and religion, as atheists are notorious at using political influence to keep religion out, especially in the classroom. And for philosophy, there are plenty of atheists that believe that god is logically impossible, the internet is riddled with webpages devoted to disproving all gods (usually with bad reasoning). Granted atheists each have a different brand of philosophy\religion\ideology, but atheism is not lacking with these things.
Atheism is a doctrine, it’s a belief there are no gods. Yes, the accepted definition for this debate of atheism is the “lack of belief in a god.” This is a bad definition. This definition is only telling you what it isn’t, not what it is. For example, if you define apples as “not blueberries”, does this mean that the apples are green beans? Well, green beans aren’t blueberries, so yes, green beans are apples… NO! This is just wrong. Don’t you see? With the same logic (atheism being default) this is correct that apples are green beans. The problem is that you have a bad definition to begin with, I’ll call it a pseudo-definition because it’s not a genuine definition (it doesn’t tell you what it really is, but what it isn’t. it’s completely useless.)
We use that definition of yours for fun and play in this debate, but it really isn’t atheism (you’re just confused). There is solid linguistic evidence that shows that it isn’t, because the suffix “–ism” indicates that the word is a belief. If you don’t believe there are no gods and claim that you’re an atheist, then you’re not a genuine atheist.
The definition is supposed to mean what the word means, not what you want it to mean (or some groups opinion). It’s very clear that because the suffix –ism is attached to atheism it is a belief (not lack of all beliefs). If you’re saying atheism is not this, why on earth do you use this word? Why not just simply call yourself a nonbeliever? Instead of confusing the English language.
Let me get this right, you’re saying the prefix does modify the meaning of the suffix? So… the –s suffix in the word atheists means non-plural? No, atheists is plural, the prefix (a-) doesn’t change the suffix (-s). I don’t see why we need to have the prefix a- negate the meaning of the suffix –ism (make it not-ism). I’m sorry, I didn’t create English. You can research and study the morphemes. Atheism is a belief there are no gods. That’s what it literally means. If you got a problem with that, blame language, not me.
Yes it does. As I stated in the judicial criteria, the topic’s meaning is that the default position is the same as atheism. So if I show that there is a difference, then I obviously win the debate. Saying something is unique is like saying it’s different to everything else (including atheism). So being unique has all relevance to this debate.
The reason why I responded about the definition is that you said you were wanting to “seek truth”. I was trying to explain to you that the definitions are bad, which is the truth. If you did not comment that you were seeking truth I may not have done so. I don’t want people being confused that we’re debating something that is true, because we’re not debating true atheism, it’s more like pseudo-atheism because we’re debating a fake definition of it, and pretending that it’s true for fun (at least I am) so that we can figure out in some hypothetical world if where atheism meant something else, is atheism the default position?
It is not a red hearing as herrings misleads or distracts from the relevant or important issue. The important & relevant issue was apparently seeking truth (as you made a big deal about playing baseball). The reason why I commented on nontheism because the accepted definition fits closer to nontheism then atheism. You seem to be confused between the two.
And the other thing you called “irrelevant” (religion) is very relevant. If you are an atheist and have religion, you cannot be the default as it isn’t religious. There is an obvious difference.
No, the default position has no religious beliefs. If you are an atheist, and have religious beliefs you are not default. If you were a non-religious atheist, then maybe. It would be confirming the consequent because it’s not always true, some atheists are not default.
For example, if you’re a Buddhist, and you believe karma or rebirth, then you’re not default, but are just simply an atheist by the accepted definition. Because Karma & Rebirth are religious beliefs. If you are an atheist that believe in the spiritual world but not a God (like Jainism) you are not default because you have religious beliefs.
When you clarified in the last round, you said
"Atheism is the default position" (of religious beliefs).
We are NOT debating the default in terms of “belief in God” only. You explicitly stated that we are debating in terms of “religious beliefs”. Guess what, a lot of religious beliefs have nothing to do with God. For example, if you believe that an alien race called Elohim created the human race instead of a god, that is a religious belief (Raelism). If you believe in SaM47;sāra that is a religious belief. Those beliefs are atheistic. They are not the beliefs of the default position. You cannot be default and believe in these things.
Okay, I think I need to clarify the “difference” between atheism and the default position, because pro doesn’t seem to understand it. The default is the position of no beliefs (because you have no beliefs when born, as pro pointed out in round 2). Atheism is the lack of belief in a god. Default lacks all religious beliefs, the atheistic position only lacks one.
In atheism you can have religious beliefs. In the default position you cannot. The difference is can and cannot, possible and impossible. If you are a religious atheist, you cannot be default. Therefore, the difference is obvious because not all atheists are default (lacking religious belief). Atheism and the default position are clearly different.
There are two basic arguments that I argued. 1) The default being unique and 2) The accepted definitions were bad. The first is important, the second was more of a side discussion that went on because Pro was wanting to seek truth.
As discussed in the judicial criteria, the criteria was “difference”. Pro did seem to agree with it, as he (or she?) didn’t comment on it despite me pointing it out in the last round. What matters is one question, is there a difference between atheism and the default? Yes! Atheism can have religious beliefs, the default position cannot. You cannot be a religious atheist and be default.
“Atheism is the default position” No! There is a difference. Which means you know who to vote for from the criteria, vote Con!
Thank you, it has been an excellent debate. Peace to all, as I know that religious topics can get touchy sometimes.
|Who won the debate:||-|