The Instigator
TheJuniorVarsityNovice
Pro (for)
Winning
3 Points
The Contender
Emilrose
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Babies are atheist

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
TheJuniorVarsityNovice
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/24/2015 Category: Religion
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 6,301 times Debate No: 77948
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (444)
Votes (1)

 

TheJuniorVarsityNovice

Pro

Unless there is confusion on what babies are this should be pretty straight forward. No trolling, the definition of trolling is completely up to me. The term athiest is up for debate. no new arguments last round. first round for acceptance, bop shared. The question at hand is, what does it mean to be an athiest? 48 hours to respond.
Emilrose

Con

Accepted.

Thanks Pro for selecting me as an opponent and good luck; I look forward to seeing your opening arguments.

As Con I will of course be arguing the resolution: "babies are atheist". In showing on a general scale that babies are in fact not atheist(s) [note that by the resolution, Pro is referring to all babies in the world] the position of Pros will thus be negated.
Debate Round No. 1
TheJuniorVarsityNovice

Pro

Thanks for accepting Emilrose, should be a great debate.


...we'll start this off in Vi-spex terminology:

atheism = a + theism


a = no, absence of, without, lack of; not[1]

theism = belief in a god or gods

atheism = lacking/without the belief in a god or gods


(+)Belief - A belief that something Does exist
(-)Belief - A belief that something Does Not exist
(0)Belief - The lack of any belief on the subject; ignorance.


So from this we can see that the Only thing atheism means is "Lack of a (+)belief in a god or gods"...Those people who do not know about the concept of god have a (0)belief in god. They still lack a (+)belief, and thus are still atheists. The same rings true for babies...


logical proof

1.)There are 3 types of belief: (+), (0), and (-)

2.) According to the roots and definitions I have given, atheism simply means, "Lack of (+)belief".

3.) These three types of belief are mutually exclusive, meaning someone cannot hold multiple beliefs without a logical contradiction. So in other words, you can't believe god IS and IS NOT real, you cannot believe god Does exist and hold No-Belief about his existance...ect

3.) If someone has a (-)belief about god then they DO "Lack a (+)belief", and are thus atheist.....If someone has a (0)belief then they DO "Lack a (+)belief", and are atheist as well.

4.) Babies lack a (+)belief


5.) babies are atheist



sources

[1] http://wordinfo.info...




Emilrose

Con

Emilrose forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Emilrose

Con

Apologies for the forfeit in the previous round, DDO had shut down the site for maintenance when I tried to post.


Why Babies are not Atheists

Firstly and perhaps most importantly, a baby is not aware of the concept of a god or gods--therefore it logically implausible for it to be an atheist. Even if we're to base it on Pros definitions that atheist simply means 'lack of belief', it is still not possible. Lack of belief would require that the individual has prior knowledge of what they're *not* believing in, while babies simply do not have that. Technically, a baby neither believes or disbelieves on God[s] because once again: it does not know who or exactly what a God[s] is and has yet to reach the mental capacity to become aware or find out.

Another factor is that the word 'atheist' is a self-described term, one can actually only properly determine if a person is an atheist if that person states it or at least gives clear indication of possessing atheist views; such as advocating for the non-existence or God or attempting to disprove the potential existence of God. A baby is naturally incapable of both things.

Generally, a baby can in fact only start saying formed words at around nine months--which is three months from them being a year old and not that far from them actually being considered a 'toddler' and not a 'baby'. The words that usually come from its mouth are things like 'mama' or 'papa', or in my case my pets name at the time, it's certainly not things like 'I am an atheist' or 'there is no God', or even 'I have a lack of belief in God'. As stated, these would be the only terms in which we could determine that the baby was indeed an atheist.

Alluding again to my first contention, a baby is born into this world with a completely fresh mind--upon being born it knows nothing of religion, God, or lack of God. These concepts can only be learned when its mind begins to form and when it has the mental capacity to become more aware of its surroundings, and the fact is that this occurs after it is no longer a baby. I'd point out to Pro that a baby becomes a toddler between 12-18 months [it depends on when they learn to walk] which overall is a considerably short period of time. Once more, a human life under 18 months cannot not be an atheist, largely due it not *knowing* about God's [potential] existence or [potential] non-existence. It cannot believe or not believe, or have lack of belief in God for this very reason.

Pro outlines in round one that 'the question at hand is, what does it mean to be an atheist', simply put it means:

-You're aware of the concept of God.

-You're aware of teachings relating to God.

-You have made the conscious choice to either not believe there is a God, or have 'lack of belief' in God.

Pro has evidently failed to recognize that the 'lack of belief' definitions he's based his position on *still* suit my case, because that 'lack of belief' would require some awareness and knowledge of the subject matter. A baby cannot mentally *think* that it has a 'lack of belief' in God and is therefore an atheist, and as I've highlighted, it cannot verbally *say* that it has a 'lack of belief in God and is therefore an atheist.

I also pointed out in round one that for Pro to *prove* his argument and affirm his resolution, he would have to show that all babies in the world are atheists as he is implying 'babies' on a general basis--that is part of his BoP.

Debate Round No. 3
TheJuniorVarsityNovice

Pro

RR&R

Before I start I would again like to thank Emilrose for debating me…..Also, the next round shouldn’t have new arguments, and should only be for refutation. If Emilrose makes new arguments they shouldn’t be considered because I can’t respond to them.

Ignorance

My opponent Emilrose, hasn’t refuted my claims, rather, has tried to argue that even under my own definition for atheism I must lose, its just the opposite. Emilrose has given us a response that simply isn’t sufficient.

Emilrose’s main argument is that in order for a person to be an atheist they must know about the concept of god, which then allows them to determine if they disbelieve or believe in this god. However this notion clearly doesn’t take my definition into account, althout Emilrose has repeatedly said this argument is a refutation of mine it simply is not. My argument specifically defines lack of belief to be either a disbelief or a straight up lack of belief meaning you simply have no belief about the subject.

If we dive deeper into this (0)belief we can see that there are multiple possibilities of people who have it. One type knows about god, yet they simply haven’t decided to which they believe thus they have no belief, another, as I have clearly defined it last round, is completely ignorant of the topic thus they must have no belief. In any case, there are multiple ways a person can have a (0)belief in god but my main argument is that because babies are completely ignorant of the concept of god, they must have a zero belief in him. So the most common way babies are atheist is that they are ignorant. My opponent has made several statements about lack of belief which are simply incorrect, you can easily tell by changing the phrase “lack of belief” to “ignorance” and the statements become nonsensical:

“[Ignorance of god] would require that the individual has prior knowledge of what they're *not* believing in, while babies simply do not have that.”

“Alluding again to my first contention, a baby is born into this world with a completely fresh mind--upon being born it knows nothing of religion, God, or [ignorance] of God. These concepts can only be learned when its mind begins to form and when it has the mental capacity to become more aware of its surroundings, and the fact is that this occurs after it is no longer a baby.

“a human life under 18 months cannot not be an atheist, largely due it not *knowing* about God's (potential) existence or (potential) non-existence. [A baby] cannot believe or not believe, or have [ignorance of] God for this very reason.”

“Pro outlines in round one that 'the question at hand is, what does it mean to be an atheist', simply put it means:
-You're aware of the concept of God. [(this directly contradicts the notion of ignorance)]
-You're aware of teachings relating to God. [(why the teachings?)]
-You have made the conscious choice to either not [dis]believe there is a God, or have [ignorance of] God.”

“Pro has evidently failed to recognize that the 'lack of belief' definitions he's based his position on *still* suit my case, because that [ignorance of god] would require some awareness and knowledge of the subject matter.” – It literally requires the opposite of knowledge as ignorance is lack of knowledge and thus belief.

“A baby cannot mentally *think* that it has a [ignorance] in God and is therefore an atheist”

None of these remarks even remotely make sense. Ignorance is very clearly the lack of knowledge, in this case about god, thus the lack of belief in him, which proves my point. Thus I extend my logical proof as fully accurate.

Atheism as a self-described term

Emilrose argues that the only way we can actually determine if a person is athiest is if they tell us. I can’t believe this to be true, and neither should the judges. Emilrose has simply asserted this without rhyme or reason, meaning this isn’t even an argument. While it is true that technically we can’t know if a baby is athiest, without the hard evidence the emilrose must provide in order to substantiate this claim, we can soundly assume that because babies most likely only learn things as their brains develop, that they are ignorant of god and thus are atheists. Again, it is fully possible that babies have some divine insight at birth which they lose and forget as they get older however it is also possible that the universe came into existence ten minutes ago and all of our memories are false. Until such a claim is proven, assume that babies are ignorant at birth. Thus disregard the arguments on when babies can form words.

BOP shifting

I was hoping I wouldn’t have to argue semantics about what baby means.

Even dead babies lack belief

The formal definition of “atheist” as defined on google is “a person who disbelieves or lacks belief in the existence of God or gods.” Therefore, even if Emilrose tries to make a shifty argument that not all babies are atheists disregard this. Unless she can prove that it is possible that babies can have a (+)belief in god we can soundly assume all babies are atheists, its her job to prove this as it would be her claim. Furthermore technically, according to this definition, even a dead baby is atheist because a dead baby still lacks a (+)belief in a god or gods, its has no belief because it would be impossible for it to have any beliefs about anything. This is not the core of my argument however if Emilrose goes for more semantical arguments, I still win on this.

The res. simply means multiple babies, with a trend leaning towards most being atheist

The resolution never clearly says that all babies are atheists, in fact a strict interpretation of the resolution shows that it only means that multiple babies are atheist, which can be soundly assumed given the logical proof, at least two babies are athiest. But also, in normal conversation it might mean that most babies are atheist which must be true.

Semantics

The first round limits semantics, if any overtly semantical and perhaps overly specific arguments are made by my opponent about the definition of baby I encourage the voters to stick to their intuitional understanding of the resolution and not entertain these arguments, as they are simply a way to disregard my main logical proof.





P1) All people who have a (0)belief in god are atheists

P3) All babies are ignorant of god

C1) Thus all babies have a (0)belief in god

C2) Thus all or at least multiple babies are atheists.

C3) Thus the resolution is affirmed.

Emilrose

Con

Thanks Pro.

Firstly, it's noted that this round is not reserved for *new* arguments; rather as Pro as done in his last round, I will merely build on my main argument. I'd also remind voters that Pro did not explicitly outline that no new arguments were to be introduced in round four; though I accept that they can't. It would benefit Pro to give a clearer debate premise in the future, however. If new arguments are not to be given in round four, he should state that in round one--it just makes for a more organized debate.

Rebuttals:

Before proceeding to the rest of rebuttals, I will highlight that this round was reserved specifically to refute Pros argument as I was not able to post my main case in round due to DDO being shut down in what was pretty much all late afternoon my time. So, Pros argument and his rebuttals to my argument will now be responded to:

Pro begins my noting that my response 'simply isn't sufficient' without really elaborating on why it isn't, instead he's just stated that I've tried to argue under his own definition 'that I [he] must lose', but anyone who has read or will read this debate can see that this is not the case. Rather I've just pointed out the basic flaws within Pros argument.

Which are: that babies do not have any existing knowledge of God, and are therefore not atheists. Simply put, they are neither atheists or believers. And once again, even if we're take Pros definition of 'atheist' into account, babies still do not classify as one. Most significantly, one has to keep in mind what the 'lack of belief' is in--God. To have a 'lack of belief' in God, you still have to have an idea and awareness of what God is. Otherwise that 'lack of belief' doesn't apply to atheism or God and can pretty much mean anything.

But I will reiterate again, Pro is specifically arguing about 'lack of belief' towards God. And to have a 'lack of belief' towards God, it's required that you actually know what God is. Babies do not have any perception of God, and are therefore not atheists.

To give another example, one can't simply say 'I have a lack belief in the devil', without actually having *some* idea of what the devil stands for.

Pro in fact argues himself that 'babies are completely ignorant in God', it is because of this that they are neither atheists or theists. To have 'zero belief' in something [in the example, God] you at least have to be know what it is that you have 'zero belief' in. The most significant aspect to atheists is that it is exclusively about having no belief [or even lack of belief] in God; the key thing being that you're aware of what it is that you're disbelieving in.

As I explained in my opening argument, babies do not have the intellectual maturity or ability to decipher what God is and what atheism is. As I also explained, even if we are to go by Pros definition of 'lack of belief', they still have to have some knowledge of what that lack of belief is about. You can't decide that you 'lack belief' in a thing/being that you know absolutely nothing about.

Regarding Pros rebuttals to my argument about lack of belief, it is rather his case that does not make any sense, mainly due to his failure to affirm his position and convincingly show the connection between babies and atheism.

BoP

As Pro, it was on him to *prove* that babies are atheists or at the very least, provide a strong argument showing them to be atheists. However, he has entirely failed to do this.

Pros whole first argument is based on semantics and definitions only,as anyone who reads this debate will able to see. Instead of including supporting arguments for his case, he's relied exclusively on definition[s] of atheism and not made any real case in favour of his position. More is required from Pro, the affirmative in this debate, than to just copy and paste some dictionary definitions. Once more, he has to provide an actual argument and expand on his stance--which is that babies are atheists.

He's had multiple chances in this debate to show exactly how this is so, but again: he has not. Definitions when presented alone do not prove anything--and it's the very minimum for Pro to give arguments in support of them.

Exclusively using '=' terminology offers nothing in terms of affirming the resolution or showing yourself to have a more convincing stance. Anyone can say:

Babies=lack of belief.

Lack of belief=babies.

Naturally however, it is only an assertion that means nothing and thus proves nothing.

In round three, Pro asserts again asserts that 'babies are ignorant of God' and that 'thus babies have (0) belief in God' following with 'thus all or at least multiples babies are atheists'.

Does this prove anything? No.

Does it conclusively show that and how babies are atheists? No.

They are mere assertions/statements and not arguments that are supporting with anything. This aspect of Pros argument has already been refuted, but I will address them again

It's acknowledged by both Pro and I that babies are 'ignorant of God'--which is the primary contradiction in Pros argument.

Because babies are ignorant of God, they do thus not know what God is and or have any theological or theistic knowledge. If you were to converse with a baby about God, it would have completely no idea what you mean as it does not have that basic comprehension or ability to grasp certain and learn about certain things. Most importantly, it can neither disbelieve or believe in God, because it has 'zero' knowledge of God. Pro has entirely overlooked the fact [which I've previously argued] that you can only disbelieve or believe in something if you know what it is that this belief or lack of belief is being directed towards, otherwise one cannot decide whether they disbelieve or believe; or are simply neutral towards it.

Regarding his second contention, Pro has [again!] just made a broad assertion about 'all or at least multiple babies' being atheists.

The first problem with this is that he has not proved or showed that 'all or at least multiple babies are atheists' and that the term 'multiple' could actually apply to any number that is made of more than one individual part.

Even if Pro was to show that two babies are atheists; which he of course hasn't done, he wouldn't be affirming his resolution or proving anything due to the fact that he is arguing babies on a general basis. He would in fact only *prove* his position, if he explicitly put 'two babies' or perhaps if he was really going to go wild, 'three atheists'--otherwise his 'multiple' statement means absolutely nothing and he has NOT showed that babies in general are atheists.

Therefore, the third contention stating that 'thus the resolution is affirmed' is wholly inaccurate by Pro.

For the following reasons:

1.] Failure to prove or show how babies are atheists.

2.] Exclusive reliance on dictionary definition.

3.] Exclusive use of semantics in argument.

4.] Failure to prove that it is babies on a general basis that are atheists.

-I could go even further and point out that Pro has failed to show how even one baby is an atheist.

==Conclusion==

As Pro has not fulfilled his BoP or affirmed his resolution in showing that babies are atheists, I advise that all voters vote Con. Not only have I provided an argument without relying solely on definitions and semantics, I have refuted all of Pros points.


Thank you for reading and vote CON.

Debate Round No. 4
444 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Vere_Mendacium 1 year ago
Vere_Mendacium
hldemi said everything I attempted to vote for, except that I wasn't around to defend my RDF to great lengths, and as such was deleted. I did however give points to Pro to sourcing, and I can understand how this may have been a stretch, given how both left a HUGE gap of sourcing where needed, specifically to cognitive capabilities or otherwise of babies (which 'babies' also needed to be clarified [age], as the concept of 'belief', as recent research will show, begins forming in a primitive, however substantive, manner within even a few months). For the record, 'lacking' knowing/believing something doesn't require that someone has to be aware at the time that they lack, it in order to lack it,, they simply must have the capacity, either currently or potentially, to lack/not lack belief. This falls into the unknown-unknowns realm. Now, rocks cannot have/lack believing something, because rocks have no capacity, nor potential for capacity, to believe, let alone think,,,, but anything that has/will have cognitive capabilities to lack believing/understanding/knowing something, can believe/not believe . Now I know the next response would be,, "well what about a sperm,, it has the potential!",,, but no,, well not yet,, not a likely potential,, a sperm, like a cell or bacteria, does not qualify to have the likely potential for cognitive ability, as a sperm has no cognitive sensory input channels, yet a baby, with eyes, ears, brain and consciousness, does/will (to a degraded degree, but still a degree). Example, does a baby believe that it's care giver can be trusted? The next question should be could a Christian man who suffers brain damage and complete brain 'death' still be considered a theist? Or, is a brain-dead baby an atheist? I concede, semantics ruined this debate from reaching its full potential,, that and site maintenance, but the scientific sourcing was not there, yet reasoning in the end was for Pro.
Posted by hldemi 1 year ago
hldemi
" My point was that to actually 'lack belief' in a subject you are very obviously required to know what that 'subject' actually is."

Not at all. You cant force it to be true by repeating it. Do you need to know what black hole is in order not to have opinion about black hole ? Same with belief.

"For example, one can't conclude that they lack belief in something without at least some prior knowledge towards it. A subject simply isn't a subject otherwise."

Subject is a subject no matter if you are aware of it or not. Black hole is a black hole no mater if I am aware that they exist. And I have no belief in black holes since I don't know they they exist (is an example )

" All I had to show was that they were neither theists or atheists because they are not able to comprehend the existence or non-existence of god[s]."

Under Pros definition there is no any other option. You either have belief in God or you lack belief in God. There is no any other option.

"Hm, then SURELY it's impossible to determine if they are atheists? Since 'you cannot even interact with them in order to find out'?"

Very false. Because it was you that argued that they babies know anything about Gods existence. You both agreed on that. So He does not need to argue it at all. It simply fits his definition of atheism that you also at a point agreed upon.

You helped him to win.

"Pro did not have an easy case, once again: the BoP was shared and it was on him to affirm the resolution and include more than just dictionary references. I will keep repeating that until you actually get it."

Under his definitions of atheism this is impossible to win. Its so easy it wasn`t even a debate worth having. Its basically truism.

1.Atheist is person dont having A
2.Babies do not have A
Conclusion: Babies are atheists.

You accepted premise 1 so He does not need to defend premise 1.
You attacked premise 2 and I wrote why it was not sound argument. So his conclusion stands
Posted by Emilrose 1 year ago
Emilrose
You didn't explain these reasons adequately, however. My point was that to actually 'lack belief' in a subject you are very obviously required to know what that 'subject' actually is.

For example, one can't conclude that they lack belief in something without at least some prior knowledge towards it. A subject simply isn't a subject otherwise.

It was not my requirement to prove that babies were theists, either. All I had to show was that they were neither theists or atheists because they are not able to comprehend the existence or non-existence of god[s].

It was Pros task to prove that babies were atheists--which he absolutely did not do. You've failed to *equally* adress each argument and acknowledge the fact that Pro ultimately failed to provide a viable case of his own. Your last comment just confirms how biased your vote is, especially in stating that it is 'impossible' to determine if babies are theists. Hm, then SURELY it's impossible to determine if they are atheists? Since 'you cannot even interact with them in order to find out'?

Pro did not have an easy case, once again: the BoP was shared and it was on him to affirm the resolution and include more than just dictionary references. I will keep repeating that until you actually get it.
Posted by hldemi 1 year ago
hldemi
Im really wondering if someone is gonna vote snipe this in last minute haha ...
Posted by hldemi 1 year ago
hldemi
You didnt.
If an argument is valid, and all the premises are true, then it is called a sound argument. Your premise that "babies need to know what hey lack belief in" in order to lack belief in it, is simply not true for the reasons I explained in my RFD.

Pro had very easy case. Since all He Had to argue is that babies do not know anything about God. For that very reason they lack belief in God. Its just like opinion. You lack opinion about something that you dont know anything about. Its very very simple.

You would need to prove that Babies are theists in order to win. Which is impossible since you cannot even interact with them in order to find out.
Posted by Emilrose 1 year ago
Emilrose
Still a bad vote.

To say I 'didn't provide a sound argument' is ridiculous. What argument did Pro provide exactly?

Aside from his exclusive use of semantics and definitions, which btw, do not prove or give any evidence for babies actually being atheists.
Posted by hldemi 1 year ago
hldemi
Wink wink :D
Posted by Emilrose 1 year ago
Emilrose
Just as I expected...
Posted by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
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>Reported vote: hldemi/ Mod action: NOT Removed<

3 points to Pro (Arguments). Reasons for voting decision: RDF in comments section.

[*Reason for non-removal*] This vote appears to be sufficient, making clear that the voter actually read through the debate. Votes are not required to be exhaustive to the point that they cover all arguments made in the debate, and while that is usually preferred, it is not the place of moderation to ensure that all votes are complete in their evaluation of all arguments.
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Posted by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
****************************************************************
>Reported vote: Vere_Mendacium/ Mod action: Removed<

5 points to Pro (Arguments, Sources). Reasons for voting decision: Take away: Not believing, with having a capacity to believe, even if not yet (baby), still allows X-theism.

[*Reason for non-removal*] (1) Neither sources nor arguments points are explained in this RFD. (2) The actual explanation just appears to be what the voter took away from the debate. It doesn't even seem particularly applicable to the debate, just a conclusion that may or may not have anything to do with the topic. I can't even discern what this RFD is actually saying, or why it would result in the awarding of points to Pro.
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1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by hldemi 1 year ago
hldemi
TheJuniorVarsityNoviceEmilroseTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
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Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: RDF in comments section.