The Instigator
Jegory
Pro (for)
Losing
2 Points
The Contender
4saken
Con (against)
Winning
5 Points

Atheists have as much faith as Theists

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
4saken
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/1/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,068 times Debate No: 33126
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (3)

 

Jegory

Pro

This debate is about whether or not atheists have as much faith as theists.

Definitions:

ATHEIST - Someone who denies the existence of a supreme being or deity

FAITH - Belief and trust in something

THEIST - Someone who believes in a supreme being or deity

I am taking the Pro stance because I believe Atheists do have as much faith as Theists.

Rules:

Round 1: Opening Statement
Round 2: Argument, no rebuttals
Round 3: Rebuttal
Round 4: Closing Statements

I look forward to an interesting debate!
4saken

Con

I would like to thank Pro for starting this debate.
In this debate, I will argue that Atheists don't have as much faith as Theists.

I wish Pro the best of luck. Please present your case.
Debate Round No. 1
Jegory

Pro

I'd like to start by thanking Con for accepting this debate. PLEASE NOTE, this is not a debate about Christian faith or faith in a supreme deity, but faith as a whole. My argument begins below:

Introduction

My belief is that Atheists have as much faith in Theists. My argument will be spilt into three main sections; 1) Faith as a Whole, 2) Faith in Science and 3) Atheism as a Religion.

1) Faith in People

Here, I think the Theist and Atheist views are identical. Here is one definition of Faith, taken from http://dictionary.reference.com... :

1. confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another's ability.

Every person has faith in something or someone, whether they accept or deny the fact. We have evolved as humans to rely on others for our needs; if we had had no faith in others the human race would have died out long ago and that instinctive trust has been passed down to us.

2) Faith in Science

a) Theist Viewpoint

Theists trust in a God or many gods. Here is another definition from http://dictionary.reference.com... :

5. Christian Science. the Supreme Being, understood as Life, Truth, love, Mind, Soul, Spirit, Principle.

Theists trust in God; they have a faith in Him. Theists have faith that the Sun will rise tomorrow, that the plants will grow and that, eventually, we will all die. God keeps the Earth spinning on through space and watches over the entire universe; everything that ever has happened, is happening or will happen is governed by His eternal laws.

b) Atheist Viewpoint

So how are Atheists different? Replace God with science and you have an identical viewpoint:

They trust in science, they have a faith in science. They have a faith that the Sun will rise tomorrow, that the plants will grow and that we will die. Science keeps the Earth spinning on through space and "watches over" the entire universe; everything that has been, is or will be is governed by the eternal laws of physics and nature.

Science has become their god and they have a much faith in it as a Theist would have in God.

3. Atheism as a Religion

i) Science as a God

As mentioned in the above point, atheists can see science as a kind of supreme being, whether it is alive or not.

ii) Preaching

The instinctive reaction to a great discovery or enlightenment is to share it with others. Theist preachers spread the word of the gospel all over the world, and atheists are no different, but go about it in different ways. Richard Dawkins, atheist, has written numerous books about his atheist "beliefs" with the express purpose of converting others to atheism. Why promote something if you have no faith in it?

iii) Death

Here is where a radical difference in faith comes in. Theists have faith in some sort of heaven while atheists have, supposedly, no faith in life after death. What they do have, however, is a faith in death. As depressing as that may sound, they have a faith that there is nothing beyond the grave.

Conclusion

There is irrefutable proof that Atheists have as much faith as Theists. While they do not have faith in a supreme being, they do have faith in others, like all humans, they have faith in science and treat it as a sort of religion.

My thanks to Con for his attention and I eagerly look forward to their reply.
4saken

Con

Thank you for presenting your arguments.
Following the framework in Round 1, now I will present my arguments and I will refute yours in Round 3.

I accept the definition that faith is belief, trust, confidence in general, and I would like to divide "faith" into "reasonable ones" (something you believe because it is reasonable) and "unreasonable ones" (something you believe even if it is unreasonable).

"Reasonable ones"
If something is reasonable, generally people will believe in it no matter whether they are atheists or theists.
Therefore, in this category, atheists and theists are basically the same.

"Unreasonable ones"
I will divide this category into two sub-categories: related to God/religion and unrelated.
When it is unrelated to God/religion, again, atheists and theists are basically the same.
When it is, though, theists have at least one unreasonable belief that atheists lack: the belief in God. The belief in God is an unreasonable belief because there are absolutely no evidence proving that God exists.

In conclusion:
- Atheists are as likely to have faith as theists when it comes to reasonable matters.
- Atheists are as likely to have faith as theists when it comes to unreasonable matters not related to God or religion.
- Theists have at least one unreasonable belief that atheists lack.

Therefore, atheists don't have as much faith as theists.
Debate Round No. 2
Jegory

Pro

I'd like to thank my opponent for his swift reply and interesting argument. I mostly agreed with what he had to say, so my rebuttal will be quite short.

Atheists lack the belief in God

A fair point, but I believe that, instead of focusing on God literally, you have science. As said in my argument, science is that which you have faith in; you have faith in the laws of physics that govern the entire universe. While it may not be a religious belief it is a belief none the less and you have faith in what has been proven by science.

I thank my opponent for his patience and I'm looking forward to his rebuttals.
4saken

Con

Following the framework in Round 1, now I will present my rebuttals:

1) Faith in People
I agree with this point and it has no conflict against my own arguments: When the matters are not related to God/religion, atheists and theists are basically the same.

2) Faith in Science
Pro's argument is "Science is equivalent to God" and atheists have faith in science as a supreme being just like theists have faith in God. But I disagree.
Do atheists treat science as a whole and believe in anything that has a label "Science" on it? Of course not, we treat each matter as an individual and only believe it if there is enough evidence.
We believe that the Sun will rise tomorrow because it is proven that the Earth rotate on its axis with a rotation period is roughly a day.
We believe that the Earth moves through the space because it is a fact, we can observe it.
We believe in the laws of physics because there are countless experiments proving that they are right.
The theories that are not proven will remain as theories and people are doubtful about them.
The ones that are proven wrong or outdated will be replaced with more accurate ones.
In short, atheists do not "have faith in science", they are "skeptical about them". Do theists do the same with their God?

3) Atheism as a Religion
As I have proven that Science is not equivalent to God.
Preaching, by definition, is "delivering a sermon" (http://dictionary.reference.com...). So atheists do not preach.
I don't really understand why "death" has anything to do with "Atheism is a Religion".


In Pro's conclusion in Round 2, he wrote: "While they do not have faith in a supreme being, they do have faith in others, like all humans, they have faith in science and treat it as a sort of religion."
I have refuted both "Science as a God" and "Atheism as a Religion" so it has became "While they do not have faith in a supreme being, they do have faith in others, like all humans", which is basically my own argument.
In his rebuttal, Pro also agree with everything I said except he pointed out that "Science is something like God". Again, I have shown above that it is not true. So my argument stands.
Debate Round No. 3
Jegory

Pro

I'd like to begin by thanking Con for his arguments, abiding by the rules and being civil throughout. This has been a very interesting and extremely enjoyable debate.

Just to clarify, this final round is for final rebuttals and closing statements.

Rebuttals

Faith in Science

I believe that, like Atheists, Theists believe that they also have facts and evidence to support their faith in God. Rather than believing that only science is responsible for everything, they believe that God is in control and uses science to enact this control. Therefore, like Atheists, Theists have faith in (what they believe as) facts and evidence that tie together both science and their faith in God.
While you claim that Theists are not so skeptical about God, there are many who question God's decisions or the accuracy and reliability of the Bible. While, in many cases, they are supported by facts, they can also be considered as "theories" so still can be skeptical about them.

Atheism as a Religion

I consider atheist "preaching", while not delivering a sermon in the literal sense, is still equivalent to Theist preaching in the fact that they are spreading the word about their "faith".
And just to clarify, my argument about "Death" was merely to draw another comparison between the Theist faith and Atheist faith.

Closing Statement

To conclude, I believe that Atheists have as much faith as Theists because they, like all humans, have faith in others, they have faith based on facts, like Theists believe they do also and because Atheism has become a sort of "religion" by way of making science a form of "God".

I'd like to thank Con again for his arguments; I was hard-pressed to find replies to some of them!! In any case I wish Con best of luck in the closing stages of the debate and I hope that we will have the opportunity to debate together again in the near future.
4saken

Con

* Faith in Science

As I've said before, Science is not the same as God. To theists, God is a cause, he is responsible for everything. If you ask a theists, "Who created the Earth?", he will answer "God did", but I doubt there is an atheist saying "Science created the Earth". Because science is not a cause, it is simple a method for us to reach the truth. A method could be right or wrong, accurate or inaccurate. That's why we are skeptical about it.

On the other hand, I don't believe that the theists are skeptical about God. Pro said "there are many who question God's decisions or the accuracy and reliability of the Bible". It maybe true, but in the end, no one questions the existence of God. To them, he must exist and affect us a lot.


* Atheism as a Religion

By definition, in order to be a religion it need "a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects" (http://dictionary.reference.com...). Therefore, atheism is not a religion.

Atheists don't try to "spread their faith". The problem is human is a species that likes arguing. We need to argue with the ones who disagree with us, to prove that we are right and to persuade them that they are wrong. So it may look like we are trying to "convert" them. But it is not true. Just because some atheists look like they are "preaching", it doesn't mean that atheism is a religion.


Conclusion

As I have stated in Round 3, by disproving "Science as a God" and "Atheism as a Religion", I am both refuting Pro's arguments and strengthen mine at the same time. Therefore, my resolution is right: "Atheists don't have as much faith as Theists".

I would like to thank Pro for this debate. It's my pleasure to debate with you and I also hope that we can do it again in the future.
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by 4saken 3 years ago
4saken
Thanks! It's also my pleasure debating with you :D
Posted by Jegory 3 years ago
Jegory
I'd like to congratulate 4saken on a very well deserved win; this really has been a very enjoyable debate!!
Posted by toxicmaniac 3 years ago
toxicmaniac
Interesting argument, i wish i could've done this one. But you can say that i have faith in 4saken.

Doh hoh hoh.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by rross 3 years ago
rross
Jegory4sakenTied
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Reasons for voting decision: CVB geeki. Interesting debate.
Vote Placed by GeekiTheGreat 3 years ago
GeekiTheGreat
Jegory4sakenTied
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Reasons for voting decision: ARYk
Vote Placed by wiploc 3 years ago
wiploc
Jegory4sakenTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con pointed out that atheists are less likely to have faith in wrong stuff, and therefore likely have less faith overall. Pro based his case on atheists thinking science is god, and worshiping it. Con pointed out that this isn't true.