The Instigator
1lwalker
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
v3nesl
Con (against)
Winning
8 Points

Atheists Are A Force For Good In This World

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
v3nesl
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/10/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 652 times Debate No: 66706
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (2)

 

1lwalker

Pro

1st round: Acceptance.
v3nesl

Con

So, I guess I just accept here? I accept.

In case I'm supposed to state my position, let me clarify what I think I'm debating: I'm certainly not arguing that atheists can't do good. Obviously atheists can do good and evil, same as anybody else. So the premise has to be more along the lines that atheism is good, so that being wrong about the existence of God somehow biases one towards being a force for good. I will argue that if we take the atheist viewpoint, "good" becomes meaningless, and if we take the theist viewpoint, it's quite a stretch to argue that being wrong somehow makes one a better person.
Debate Round No. 1
1lwalker

Pro

I suppose I will start with something simple: if the ideas are correct. If Christians are correct, then many people will be eternally condemned. If atheists are correct, then nothing will happen. I could go on all day about reasons and never get anywhere in life. Atheists CAN do good, and that is something we agree on. What you and many people are most likely wondering...WILL they? Well, while everyone was busy building temples, atheists were the people who did something productive towards the future of the world. They are the reason that mankind has advanced further than ever, with all our modern technology. And yet, they are still ridiculed simply for being what they are...atheists. Is that fair? No.
v3nesl

Con

Well, I quite disagree with the claim that mostly atheists did worthwhile things while theists were building temples. For starters, many of the Christian temples are works of art. I have an atheist friend who said of some of the duomo's of Italy, "If I believed in God, this is how I'd want to express my admiration". But Christians didn't just build temples, they also built hospitals and orphanages, and figured out that the earth actually rotates around the sun, and is held in place by the very same force that makes an apple fall to the ground. Not enough people realize that the golden age of science was founded on a Christian perspective - it was worshiping a reliable God of laws that led them to expect the reliable laws of nature.

But this is all jumping way ahead, without building a foundation for what 'force of good' might even mean. Let me start with an example. Here I type a letter: "F". Now, is this letter F good or bad? You might have two very legitimate reactions to that. The first would be to claim it's a nonsensical question (and I mean 'non sense', not 'stupid') - letters are neither good nor bad, they just are. The second response would be 'not enough information'. You would say you need context for the question. If the letter is a large red F on a test paper, then F is bad. If F is the first letter in the word "Four", then it's very necessary - without it you have an entirely different word. So the concept of good is either nonsense or requires context. What context can atheism provide for the concept? By what context are the physical acts of mankind either good or bad? Seems to me atheism is explicitly denying the metaphysical context. Now I agree that admitting the metaphysical is not admitting God, but as a practical matter I think that's a distinction without a difference. So that leaves the atheist with the 'nonsense' option. By a scientific materialism viewpoint, good is just a pattern of neuron firings in the brain, not categorically different from a sense of motion or heat. It's a more indirect reaction to stimuli, that's all. And by an evolutionary viewpoint, good is merely a pattern of neuron firings that got selected over time. Presumably it somehow tends towards survival or reproduction.

So the atheist either has no real basis for claiming to be good, or isn't actually saying much of anything at all. It is only the theist, or at least someone willing to admit to a metaphysical dimension, who can claim that there is a "should be" to our actions, and one is either conforming, or not.

And, perhaps I should leave this until closing, but if we do find the existence of true good and evil in the world, then we must look for a metaphysical dimension, and most likely for a God.
Debate Round No. 2
1lwalker

Pro

1lwalker forfeited this round.
v3nesl

Con

Well, okey dokey then. That was a short debate.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by v3nesl 2 years ago
v3nesl
Boy, a lot of interest here. Sounds like this should be a forum thread instead of a debate.
Posted by BigMouth63 2 years ago
BigMouth63
The Contender please argue against the statement posed and don't twist it to suit your own agenda. There is no evidence that God(s) exist other than a concept conceived in the minds of "men" (mankind) and therefore there is no "wrong" that can be attributed to athiests.
JayConar, by your comment are you implying that to be an atheist means that you have no morality, and that believers are morally superior?
Posted by missmedic 2 years ago
missmedic
Religious faith is an unreliable path to knowledge and truth.
Faith is Unreliable & Unreasonable and can not be used consistently, unlike logic and reason.
Religions are used to justify hatred. And religion has no bases for objective morals.
Posted by Dagen 2 years ago
Dagen
I think she means that atheism isn't going to disappear as a belief. Like "there will always be Atheists around".
Posted by JayConar 2 years ago
JayConar
Acceptance in the first round usually implies acceptance only. However, I too am unsure about the title of this debate. It could be construed that atheists are here said by pro to be a 'net positive force' compared to the general population, or that it is morally 'better' to not have religious beliefs. I'll be interested to see where Pro goes with this but, personally, I agree with her if she means either of those things.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Blade-of-Truth 2 years ago
Blade-of-Truth
1lwalkerv3neslTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct - Con. Pro forfeited the final round which is rarely acceptable behavior in any debate setting. S&G - Tie. Both had adequate spelling and grammar. Arguments - Con. I'm not counting the arguments presented by Con in R1 due to that round being meant for acceptance only. Still though, Con was able to provide rebuttals to each point raised by Pro, whereas Pro failed to adequately respond to Con's counter arguments. This is seen when Pro presented claims which really require proof such as the claim that atheists are responsible for the progression of technology. In the end, Pro failed to present any rebuttals against Con which left his arguments standing unchallenged. Thus, Con wins arguments. Sources - Tie. Neither utilized sources in this debate.
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
lannan13
1lwalkerv3neslTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture