The Instigator
AngelOutlaw
Pro (for)
Losing
2 Points
The Contender
gryephon
Con (against)
Winning
4 Points

Atheist vs Agnostic. Is there a difference?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
gryephon
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/6/2015 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 521 times Debate No: 73015
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (5)
Votes (1)

 

AngelOutlaw

Pro

Atheist vs Agnostic. Is there a difference? Yes

As pro usually starts I will state my opinion and why in the second round. If you decide to post your reasons and opinions in the first round (which you can, if you so wish to), then I will state things against your reasons, and state some of my own, if they are not brought up.
gryephon

Con


Hmm i'm assuming here that you're talking about a difference that actually matters. In the sense you’re not talking about say a spelling difference, obviously atheist and agnostic are spelt differently, so I’ll have to concede to protect the reputation of my intellect if this is the case.


If you’re meaning difference as in “can potentially believe something else that is different than the other.” Then it is true that atheism and agnosticism is different. I’m not sure if your meaning in that sense, because if we were having a debate on “atheist vs atheist. Is there a difference?”, then this would be true, some atheists can believe that there is no god, or merely lack a belief in god… their definitions may vary.


Difference in what? Senselessness? Anyone can believe anything, even 2+2=5, cause beliefs don’t have to be necessarily true nor rooted in good reason. So an atheist idiot might be able to believe that he or she is in fact different from an agnostic. But within the realm of reason, agnosticism is unescapable to an atheist. So any reasonable atheist is agnostic.


Debate Round No. 1
AngelOutlaw

Pro

Yes, I am talking about belief wise difference, anyone can clearly see they are spelled different.

I see where your coming from, but my definition of an atheist is "the absence of belief in gods", or to put it simply, they don't believe a god exist. They don't have faith in a god, nor believe they exist as a being and believe they are a fragment of the imagination. My definition of an agnostic is someone who "doesn't claim to know if a god exist". While they don't harbor any faith to the gods, they don't claim they are fake, as an atheist does.

Atheist are more set on belief or believing of something, while agnostic are set on knowledge. So, clearly between the above definitions and the sentence I just stated, it clearly shows atheist and agnostic are different.

And, while I get that you saying , and correct more if I'm wrong, but you're saying that disbelief in a god is disbelief in a god, no matter how you put it. They both don't believe a god exist, so they are the same, but they are not. While they both don't have faith in a god, they both had different viewpoints on whether a god does exist or not. Again, correct me if this isn't what you were thinking, as I may be wrong.

I have a website that explains what I am trying to say better, so if you wish, you can check it out. Which, this is also where I got some of my facts, so it also one of my sources.

http://atheism.about.com...
gryephon

Con






I see where your coming from, but my definition of an atheist is "the absence of belief in gods", or to put it simply, they don't believe a god exist.


Well sure, that’s your personal definition of atheism… But does that mean any atheist that has a different definition ceases to be an atheist if they don’t follow your definition? No, they’re just merely a different version of atheism then you.

That’s kind of the point. Sure some versions of atheism can be different then some versions of agnosticism, and the vice versa is true with agnosticism. But not all versions of agnosticism and atheism are different, there can exist a possible world that atheist and agnostics are the same because people have different opinions on it. So saying that there is a difference between the two is not always true.


And, while I get that you saying , and correct more if I'm wrong, but you're saying that disbelief in a god is disbelief in a god, no matter how you put it.

No that’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying if you disbelieve God there is no point in believing that you can know anything. So I don’t see any reasonable point in thinking that atheist and agnostics should be different. If I were to quit being a theist, I think I would be both an atheist and agnostic because I quit believing in God, because God to me is like knowledge.

Let me explain it this way, what is the greatest possible evidence that reality does exist? Well reality itself, but then the question pops up how do you prove that it’s not an illusion like a dream or something? You can’t, you just simply believe it to be true. What’s the greatest evidence of a painter? The painting. You might ask why not the painter itself? But then how would the painter prove that he is a painter if he never painted anything? So the painting is the best possible evidence. But if a person is skeptic you can’t prove that the painting is the painter’s if he didn’t see you paint it.

Like the painter this is true with the creator. But then if there were no creator of the universe, you have to deal with mindless random existence. The problem is that randomness is a pantheon, as it can randomly explain anything without any explanation whatsoever. So any greatest possible evidence can randomly not be true for some random reason. When you’re dealing with random existence, the question arises why can’t anything randomly exist without explanation? You can’t. So there is no point in believing that you can know anything because things you think you know might randomly be true or randomly not true.

Debate Round No. 2
AngelOutlaw

Pro

True, that is a personal definition, and every atheist is different. There is not solid definition for them, but I decided to go with a personal definition rather than a dictionary definition because the definition in the dictionary is "The doctrine that there is no God". This definition is in The New American Webster Handy College Dictionary. This definition has been said by many atheist that it is wrong, for many reasons, so I decided to not go with the definition.

And, I would also like to point out that there are branches of atheism, but one thing holds through all of this is that they don't believe a god exist, which is what my definition is following.

I get what your saying, as that is true, but I'm not talking about a single branch of atheism or agnosticism, I'm focusing on a fact that that runs through all atheism and all agnosticism, and that fact is what I stated in my first argument. While atheist don't believe a god exist, and they will firmly say they know that a god doesn't exist, and agnostic doesn't know if a god exist. Believing and knowing are two different things, showing that atheism and agnosticism is different from each other, but I cannot say that this for all atheist or all agnostic, as they form their own set of definitions, but for basic definition this is correct

First, thank you for correcting me. "If you disbelieve god, why is there no point in believing that you can know anything." That doesn't make any sense in my opinion. You can disbelieve something, but not know if your disbelieve is true or not. That is what agnosticism is set on. Like I was saying, there are branches of these two things. If you were both an atheist and agnostic, you would be an agnostic-atheist, and vice-versa, but you would not be that, I believe, because to an agnostic, god is not knowledge to them.

Your first paragraph about the best evidence sounds like an agnostic, in a way, because they don't have the knowledge of whether god exist or not, so they claim to not know. They neither claim yes nor no.

Your next paragraph sounds like an atheist, because they claim to know for sure that god doesn't exist. While some may give proof, others do not. They say it because they believe it. It is random.

Your two paragraphs are different from each other, one is about the knowledge of knowing, one is about just saying something randomly. So, you yourself are showing that these two things are different from each other. Atheist claim to know for sure that god doesn't exist, just as a Christian will claim that god does exist. They can give proof, but it might not be true, as you were saying. That is why an agnostic claims to not know.

That is why the two are different.
gryephon

Con





Based on people’s opinions not language

“True, that is a personal definition, and every atheist is different. There is not solid definition for them, but I decided to go with a personal definition rather than a dictionary definition because the definition in the dictionary is "The doctrine that there is no God". This definition is in The New American Webster Handy College Dictionary. This definition has been said by many atheist that it is wrong, for many reasons, so I decided to not go with the definition.

And, I would also like to point out that there are branches of atheism, but one thing holds through all of this is that they don't believe a god exist, which is what my definition is following.”

Okay I’m curious, what reasons show this definition is wrong?

I think I see your problem here. You’re saying that there is no solid definition for them, which I’m interpreting you’re meaning that it’s based all on personal opinion. And you seem to be substituting your personal opinions of what you think atheism is. Well angel I got something to tell you, I’m an atheist that believes in God. I just merely work off of a different definition then you. I’m also a theist too, so it kinda makes me an Atheist-Theist. I lack a belief in most gods, even the pasta kind namely his holy noodleness.



Defining on what’s true about it, but not what it is.

“I get what your saying, as that is true, but I'm not talking about a single branch of atheism or agnosticism, I'm focusing on a fact that that runs through all atheism and all agnosticism, and that fact is what I stated in my first argument. While atheist don't believe a god exist, and they will firmly say they know that a god doesn't exist, and agnostic doesn't know if a god exist. Believing and knowing are two different things, showing that atheism and agnosticism is different from each other, but I cannot say that this for all atheist or all agnostic, as they form their own set of definitions, but for basic definition this is correct”

You’re defining things based on what is true about it, but not what it is. For example 4 is a number, so since it’s always true that 4 is a number we should define 4 as “a number”… So is 22 four? By definition of “a number”, yes it is. So 4 is 22. Don’t you see the problem, your saying what’s true about something and using that as the definition… your confusing truths about the definition with its identity (something that it actually is).

In the case of atheism, it may be true that all atheists lack a belief in god’s existence but this maybe because atheism is the belief that no gods exist (hence why they would lack a belief they exist). If we used that lacking definition, things like bikinis, toothpaste, and babies would be atheists because they lack belief. In agnostics case, it may be true that all agnostics suffer PTSD from changing diapers, but that doesn’t mean agnosticism is PTSD while changing diapers.

Also as a side note, I wasn’t claiming earlier that believing and knowing are the same things… I was saying I believe God and Knowledge are.



Assumption about knowledge

“First, thank you for correcting me. "If you disbelieve god, why is there no point in believing that you can know anything." That doesn't make any sense in my opinion. You can disbelieve something, but not know if your disbelieve is true or not. That is what agnosticism is set on. Like I was saying, there are branches of these two things. If you were both an atheist and agnostic, you would be an agnostic-atheist, and vice-versa, but you would not be that, I believe, because to an agnostic, god is not knowledge to them.”

Well, that’s making an assumption that we can know what knowledge is. It could be just about anything, a box of easter bunnies, double cheeseburgers with ketchup and mayonnaise, cowboy hat with a funky feather and et cetera.

“Your two paragraphs are different from each other”

Well I guess I would sound like an agnostic and atheist to you because I don’t distinguish knowledge and God always like you do.

Debate Round No. 3
AngelOutlaw

Pro

AngelOutlaw forfeited this round.
gryephon

Con

When i found out that the definitions weren't really based on language, but people's opinions, I was trying to exploit that point to point out that words would mean whatever you want them to mean.

But anyway, thanks for the short little debate.
Debate Round No. 4
AngelOutlaw

Pro

AngelOutlaw forfeited this round.
gryephon

Con

oponent has forfeited two rounds, so vote Con.
Debate Round No. 5
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by AngelOutlaw 2 years ago
AngelOutlaw
I am very sorry that I could not finish my arguments. There was a death in my family and in my grief, I forgot about our debate, nor would I think it important enough to finish. But, I did forfeit two rounds, the win should go to con, as it is. Again, I am very sorry I could not finish.
Posted by Death23 2 years ago
Death23
Yes I did suspect that that was your position on the matter. Thank you for clarifying.
Posted by AngelOutlaw 2 years ago
AngelOutlaw
I realized that. I meant to have a Yes after I stated the question again, but I deleted it, and I forgot to put it back on. As you may see now, I believe there is a difference.
Posted by Death23 2 years ago
Death23
At the moment it's unclear what Pro's position on the topic is because the title of the debate is a question as opposed to a statement.
Posted by pixelmagic 2 years ago
pixelmagic
The obvious answer is Yes.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Chaosism 2 years ago
Chaosism
AngelOutlawgryephonTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:24 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit by Pro. Pro failed to adequately support arguments and rebuttals (i.e., why Webster's definition in wrong). Pro should have provided all definitions in the opening round, especially following with a "personal definition" statement. Pro cited the only source.