The Instigator
RMK
Pro (for)
Losing
6 Points
The Contender
Raisor
Con (against)
Winning
45 Points

Atheists Do Have a Holiday: April 1st (April Fools Day)

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/31/2007 Category: Religion
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 4,005 times Debate No: 1197
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (13)
Votes (17)

 

RMK

Pro

Over the past several decades, there has been more and more press that has uncovered an unrest among Atheists who feel discriminated against their beliefs because of the lack of an "Atheist Holiday" (no joke, this has been brought up in many state courts nationwide).

However, based on this thinking, I am willing to debate the existence of a true atheist holiday. This holiday takes part yearly and is open for celebration. The date is April 1st, also known on the Western American calendar as April Fools Day.

I must first say, and this can be continued in a later argument, that the idea of an atheist being upset/discriminated by a theist holiday makes absolutely no logical sense. The basis of their thinking is the fact that there is no real exsistence of a spiritual being or God. If this is the case, they do not (like they expect us to leave their expressions alone) to partake in any of the festivities that go along with any theist holiday (and no, no one makes you).

The reason behind April Fools Day is as follows:

Consider Psalm 14:1 states, "The fool says in his heart, that there is no God."
Thus, if an atheist says there is no God, then by scripture, he is a fool and April 1st is his holiday.
Raisor

Con

First, let me start by saying that I am not sure what we are debating. What do I have to do to win this debate?

This sounds like you just wanted to poke fun at atheists, not like you had something interesting the argue about.

I searched on the internet for a court case involving the lack of an "Atheist holiday," but could find no reference to an actual court case. What I did find was a myriad of internet JOKES about a case in florida like this, with the punch line of "you already have april fool's day." You say "no joke this has been brought up in many state courts nationwide." Since YOU make this claim, YOU have the burden of proof. Either present evidence for this claim (i.e., the names of some court cases we could reference), or admit that we have no reason to believe these cases exist.

Now, of course "the idea of an atheist being upset/discriminated by a theist holiday" makes no sense. In fact I have never heard of an atheist complaining about the existence of a theist holiday. What they DO complain about is government endorsement of theist holidays. Of course whether this is legitimate or not isn't pertinent to the debate.

As to the "April Fool's Day" Issue:

1) I have never known an atheist to celebrate or consider April Fool's Day an atheist holiday. I have seen atheists celebrate (as a joke) the autumnal equinox and 11/11 (palindrome day). If atheists do not celebrate a day, it seems silly to think that it is a holiday for them.

2) It is extremely ironic to decide "BY SCRIPTURE" that April 1st is an atheist holiday. Why would an atheist holiday be based on scripture?

3) If Christians are justified in deciding Atheists have a holiday on April 1st by Christian standards (i.e., scripture), then Atheists can do the same thing to Christians and say that Groundhog's day is a Christian holiday, because Christians believe in nonsensical and meaningless rituals. Generally the existence of a group's holiday is determined by the group itself, not internet joke.
Debate Round No. 1
RMK

Pro

First, this debate was not intended to be a joke or poke fun at atheist thinking. However, if you are from the opposite point of view, it may appear to look that way in nature.

There are many cases to which this has happened across the country. Honestly, searching the "Internet" for a few moments will not always uncover the treasures of knowledge in which you seek. It usually takes a little more probing.

Must I find the links to issues such as:

~ the atheist family who took their school to court so that the school choir would not sing Christian Christmas songs during the Christmas program (optional participation).

~ the atheist individual who petitioned his child's school to continue schooling during Easter and Christmas break because of religios discrimination.

Do I need to go on with my points, or can you "research" them yourself?

"In fact I have never heard of an atheist complaining about the existence of a theist holiday."

An aquintance of mine, an atheist, just complained to me (a Christian) the other day about the Christmas holiday. Stating that it should not exist based on the assumption that the holiday derives from a myth. This happens on a daily basis in regards to atheist perceptions of theist holidays.

In response to your points:

1) That is the point of this debate. To have a holiday, set by the Western American calendar, that allows for atheists to celebrate their "non-faith."

2) By default, atheists must follow the Gregorian calendar. The Gregorian calendar is rooted in the Christian faith. The following link shows this to be true and explains http://en.wikipedia.org...

I'm guessing you do follow the Gregorian Calendar?

3) Christians could not take Groundhog's Day as a holiday because it has no connections to Jesus Christ. However, like I said before...Consider Psalm 14:1 states, "The fool says in his heart, that there is no God."
Thus, if an atheist says there is no God, then by scripture, he is a fool and April 1st is his holiday.
Raisor

Con

I am not going to touch on the court case issue, as it has nothing to do with whether or not April Fool's is an atheist holiday.

You have provided no reason for why April Fool's day would be an atheist holiday beside your one reference to Scripture.

You must establish why that Scripture should determine when an atheist has a holiday. I could provide you with a citation from Dawkins or Hitchins that says "Christians are fools." Would that make April Fool's Day a Christian holiday?

You say "Christians could not take Groundhog's Day as a holiday because it has no connections to Jesus Christ." I the same way, atheists could not take April 1st as a holiday because it has no connection to atheism. Indeed the fact that you link atheism to the date through scriptures is a striking reason why April 1st would NOT be an atheist holiday. Atheist would try to distance themselves from the connection as much as possible.

Once again, why would atheists be linked to a date through Christian Scripture? That makes as much sense as setting a Buddhist day of celebration based on the Koran.

I have no idea what the Gregorian calendar has to do with April 1st being an atheist holiday. A digression: atheists follow the calendar because it is historical contingency that happens to be used in our society.

Some new points:

You may be right that atheists are fools, but that does not make April 1st the atheistic holiday. Your conclusion is essentially drawn from the following premises:

April 1st is the holiday of fools.
Atheists are fools (so sayeth scripture)
April 1st is the holiday of atheists.

However, a large number of groups are fools (nazi's, flat earth-ists, clowns, people who gamble large quantities of money). So April 1st is their holiday also. This shows that the holiday is not a day designed for atheists "to celebrate their non-faith." The holiday is not exclusively for atheists.

Furthermore, as you state the atheist holiday is "to celebrate their non-faith." Yet April 1st has nothing to do with a celebration of non-faith. It is already steeped in traditions of practical jokes that have nothing to do with atheism (please do not try and make some witty jab at atheism in response). In fact, your own argument shows that the link between April 1st and atheists is not "a [celebration] of non-faith," but their apparent foolishness.

Finally, what is a holiday?
Merriam Webster: "Holiday"

1: holy day

2: a day on which one is exempt from work; specifically : a day marked by a general suspension of work in commemoration of an event

3:chiefly British : vacation —often used in the phrase on holiday —often used in plural

4: a period of exemption or relief

Clearly an atheist could not have 1, a holy day, and April 1st isn't one anyways. April 1st does not meet the criteria of a holiday under 2, because there is still school and work on April 1st. 3 also does not apply because April 1st is not a vacation. Finally, atheists do not receive a period of exemption or relief on April 1st, so it is not a April 1st is not a holiday PERIOD, much less an atheist holiday.
Debate Round No. 2
RMK

Pro

"You have provided no reason for why April Fool's day would be an atheist holiday beside your one reference to Scripture.

You must establish why that Scripture should determine when an atheist has a holiday."

Must I keep repeating the Scripture, which I might add is pretty self explanatory of the above "confusion" you have on the issue?

Psalm 14:1 states, "The fool says in his heart, that there is no God."
Thus, if an atheist says there is no God, then by scripture, he is a fool and April 1st is his holiday.

Get it? April Fools Day. Atheist is fool for not believing in God. Fool...Fools Day? Must I keep hitting on this point each round?

"I the same way, atheists could not take April 1st as a holiday because it has no connection to atheism. Indeed the fact that you link atheism to the date through scriptures is a striking reason why April 1st would NOT be an atheist holiday. Atheist would try to distance themselves from the connection as much as possible."

Once AGAIN, the connection is being a fool. Seriously, it's really not that difficult to pick up on?

"April 1st is the holiday of fools.
Atheists are fools (so sayeth scripture)
April 1st is the holiday of atheists.

However, a large number of groups are fools (nazi's, flat earth-ists, clowns, people who gamble large quantities of money). So April 1st is their holiday also. This shows that the holiday is not a day designed for atheists "to celebrate their non-faith." The holiday is not exclusively for atheists."

Thank you for restating my issue and they can join too if they can be called fools. I may not want to be associated with some of those groups if I was an atheist, but a fool is a fool.

"Furthermore, as you state the atheist holiday is "to celebrate their non-faith." Yet April 1st has nothing to do with a celebration of non-faith. It is already steeped in traditions of practical jokes that have nothing to do with atheism."

Honestly, again?

One word, scripture.
Raisor

Con

First, I would like to ask that voters give a brief reason for decision in the comments.

Now, Reasons I win this debate:

1) April 1st is NOT a holiday (for anyone) as it does not meet the definition of a holiday. If it isn't a holiday at all, it cant be an atheist holiday. I win this debate on this point alone, as my opponent did not dispute this at all. The title of the debate is "Atheists do have a holiday: April 1st;" if April 1st isn't a holiday, then it is impossible for ANYONE to have it as their holiday. Again, this argument was completely ignored by opponent, meaning I win on this point automatically (essentially its an argumentative forfeit on his part for what would equate to "not showing up" on a sports field).

2) My opponent has defined the atheist holiday as a time for atheists to "celebrate their non-belief" (his R2). I pointed out that April 1st has nothing to do with atheists celebrating their non-belief, so it does not meet my opponent's criteria for what an atheist holiday should be. My opponent's only response to this is one word: "scripture." He doesn't elaborate or provide any analysis so I quite frankly don't know how he intends scripture to address this argument. I can guess what argument he might be trying to make (although he doesn't actually make it, he just says "scripture"), so I will address his non-argument here.

While you may be correct that atheists are fools (as scripture states) and are thus tied to April 1st, that does not necessarily make the date an atheist holiday. As my opponent said, an atheist holiday must be a time for atheists to "celebrate their non-belief." April 1st does not do this. I will point out that at no time did my opponent dispute my claim that April 1st had NOTHING to do with a celebration of non-faith. So, since April 1st has nothing to do with a celebration of non faith and since the atheist holiday must be a time for celebration of non faith, April 1st can not be the atheist holiday, despite the tie between atheists and April 1st.

Think of it like this: A group simply having a tie to a certain date doesn't mean that date is their holiday.

ON EITHER OF THESE TWO POINTS ALONE, I win. Both points illustrate how it is not possible for April 1st to be the atheist holiday. These are both offensive arguments for my position that were either dropped entirely or addressed so poorly that they might as well have been ignored.

HOWEVER, if that is not enough to convince the judges (although it should be more than enough):

My opponents entire argument rests on a scripture passage that says atheists are fools.

However, he has provided no reason why a scripture passage has the ability to set a holiday. Why should scripture set the atheist holiday? Why shouldn't a book by Dawkins? What authority does scripture have to dictate holidays? To be blunt: why should we care what scripture says when setting holidays?

My opponent's only answer: "Must I keep repeating the Scripture?"

This does not answer my questions about the relevancy of scripture in any way. Please note that this isn't a case of a poorly developed argument, but a complete omission of an explanation for how his argument matters. My opponent simply doesn't explain how scripture is relevant.

Christian scripture doesn't set Hindu holidays or Islamic holidays, why would it set atheists?

Now you can see that:
1) My opponent provides no convincing reason why April 1st is an atheist holiday
2) It is impossible for April 1st to be an atheist holiday.

As a Judge, you should vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Evan_MacIan 9 years ago
Evan_MacIan
Sorry, Ironhead, I don't really like your tie.
Posted by RMK 9 years ago
RMK
First,

mmadderom, the bozo's and David Copperfield's have everything to do with atheism :)

Second,

IronHead (no pun intended),

I leave my faith out of my professional life. I'm sorry that you take debate.org as a literal interpretation of my life.

p.s. nice tie
Posted by IronHead60 9 years ago
IronHead60
Purely in an intellectual sense, you have to be concerned with our nation's educational system when the proponent of this debate - a teacher (according to profile) - can't see the erroneousness and irony behind his main point of logic:

Consider Psalm 14:1 states, "The fool says in his heart, that there is no God." Thus, if an atheist says there is no God, then by scripture, he is a fool and April 1st is his holiday.

Assuming his profile is correct and the proponent was taking this debate seriously, we have a serious problem here, folks!

Btw raisor, I *loved* it when you called him on errors of logic. I couldn't stop laughing for almost a minute!

Happy new year, everyone.
Posted by mmadderom 9 years ago
mmadderom
April Fools Day has nothing at all to do with atheists nor the dictionary definition of "fool". It's been around since the middle ages, at least, and is a celebration of foolery and trickery (hence all the "April Fools" jokes). "Fool" was a generic term for entertainers. The closest comparison we have today would be clowns and magicians.

It's a day set aside for celebrating the Bozos and David Copperfields of the world. It has nothing to do with atheists.
Posted by beem0r 9 years ago
beem0r
April first _cannot_ be an atheist holiday for a few reasons.

Atheists do not celebrate it.
Atheists are not fools by definition. (If your scripture says so, your scripture is wrong, plain and simple)
As Raisor said, atheists don't care that they don't have a holiday. _A few of us_ care when the government endorses a theism-specific holiday.
Posted by RMK 9 years ago
RMK
I say this because we base our holidays on the Gregorian calendar, a Christian based calendar. Therefore, why would Scripture not be sought when all other theist holidays have some sort of Scripture based connection. Because atheists have complained about their "lack" of holiday, I went with the only logical and scripture based day.
Posted by RMK 9 years ago
RMK
"1) April 1st is NOT a holiday (for anyone) as it does not meet the definition of a holiday. If it isn't a holiday at all, it cant be an atheist holiday. I win this debate on this point alone, as my opponent did not dispute this at all. The title of the debate is "Atheists do have a holiday: April 1st;" if April 1st isn't a holiday, then it is impossible for ANYONE to have it as their holiday. Again, this argument was completely ignored by opponent, meaning I win on this point automatically (essentially its an argumentative forfeit on his part for what would equate to "not showing up" on a sports field)."

That quote makes absolutely no relevent sense. My basic, most simplistic point (that you missed) was that Scripture calls the Atheist a fool. Therefore, I suggest that the date of April 1st (Fools Day) be designated a day of celebration for atheists.

I repeated this numerous times. How many times must one copy and paste the verse from Scripture? To me, it is common sense and does not need elaboration. It is hard to speak to the deaf.

"2) It is impossible for April 1st to be an atheist holiday."

Maybe for you my friend, but with God all things are possible.
Posted by RMK 9 years ago
RMK
Honestly, this wasn't meant as a joke. People asked why this day should be an atheist holiday and I quoted the most accurate documentation I know, the Bible. There soes not need to be another reason for this day.

Simply stated:

The Atheist is a fool, he should celebrate April Fools Day.

It really isn't as hard as many of you are making it out to be. This is easy logic.
Posted by killa_connor 9 years ago
killa_connor
That makes as much sense as setting a Buddhist day of celebration based on the Koran.

Hahaha called out! Your argument implodes on itself and you weren't even really successful at calling atheists fools. You just cited the bible. Is that really going to hurt an atheists feelings?
Posted by RMK 9 years ago
RMK
Happy April Fools you three :)
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