The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
6 Points

"Babies are born Atheist" is a Fallacious Premise

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/22/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 570 times Debate No: 53095
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (7)
Votes (1)




The premise or conclusion that "Babies are born Atheist" is a fallacious argument, argument from ignorance.

Con can make their contentions known in round 1


Thanks for the topic pro, I gladly accept.

As this debate will most likely come down to one of definitions, I will begin with a few.
1. Atheist- A person who denies or disbelieves the existence of God or gods.
2. Disbelieve- Be a skeptic, have no belief or faith
3. Belief- 1. Trust, confidence, faith. ; 2. Mental acceptance of a fact, doctrine, thing, etc., as true or existing.
4. Faith- Confidence, reliance, belief esp. without evidence or proof.
(All definitions from the Oxford English Dictionary)
I can also logically infer by our premise that this is merely referring to the time during and immediately following a baby"s birth.

Once everything is defined, my contention is simple. A baby is not born believing in anything! A baby does not know of our concepts of a nuclear family, much less of our traditions and theories of divinity. A baby clearly does not know of morality (as you can tell by its actions), much less that some superior power exists outside of and above it. A baby is an atheist- just as he is an "atoothfairyan", an "asantaclausian", and an "aeasterbunnian". The baby simply has no beliefs at all. These, in their entirety, are taught much later (relatively speaking) in life.
Debate Round No. 1


CON defines Atheist as 1. Atheist- A person who denies or disbelieves the existence of God or gods.

If the assertion is Babies DENY the existence of God or gods. It is false in that there is no evidence of such a denial. Making it equally valid to claim "Babies are born Theist" , because the 2 are mutually exclusive, it is a fallacy of meaningless statement.[1]

CON's argument rests on Babies having a disbelief (CON defines: have no belief) in the existence of god or gods. CON supports this presumption with statements of other things a baby may not know.

Some of these statements are off topic but I will draw attention to some of the fallacies. CON states, "A baby clearly does not know of morality (as you can tell by its actions)". This is fallacious as excluded middle (or false dichotomy)[2]. Babies could have an understanding of morality but choose to act in immoral ways.

Fundamentally CON is arguing for the non existence or negation of a belief. "The absence of evidence is not evidence for absence." Generally one attempts to shift the burden of proof from some asserting the negative to a person asserting the positive. A positive assertion such as "Babies are born with a belief in god or gods" Is not a fallacious argument of silence [3], I would contend that evidence has been given that it is at least POSSIBLE for a baby to belief in a supernatural deity. Because it is off topic I will only link to the debate [4]

In closing: I think I have shown that either definition of atheist leads to a false inference that Babies are Atheist. Even if evidence as presented by recent studies (as cited in the linked debate) are ignored. It would still leave the assertion to be a class of meaningless statement, defined as "A grammatically correct sentence may be meaningless if it ascribes properties to particulars which admit of no such properties"

I would like to thank my opponent for accepting. Seeing how this is the last round and I would not have a chance to rebuttal I ask that CON pass or keep his round to rebutting the Argument I put forth in this round. Thank you again aburk903.



I accept pro"s stipulation not to introduce new evidence or argument, but to only defend mine and offer a rebuttal to his.

I would like to begin by pointing out that my definitions stand uncontested, as pro did not offer an alternative. This being said we can continue on assuming that all my definitions are mutually agreed upon.
I obviously claim that babies have disbelief, not denial (passive atheism vs. active atheism). Babies do not have the power to deny anything just as they do not have the power to believe in anything (like a god).

It is a bit outlandish to suggest that babies have an understanding of morality, but purposefully act in immoral ways. Babies act merely in self-interest, and in the interest of survival and comfort. To suggest that there are babies of diverse ethical beliefs, some good and some malicious, is absurd.

In conclusion, pro has failed to present any evidence or logical reason to assume that a baby is born believing in a god (or in anything). Pro did not counter my definitions from the Oxford English Dictionary, but cited some less pertinent definitions from Wikipedia. I also ask that pro"s link to another debate on this website be disregarded as evidence. The statistical data or source itself should have been cited in this debate, not just a link to another debate. Given these definitions, we have no reason to doubt that a newborn baby does not have trust, confidence and faith in some divine entity, and as such you must vote con.

Thanks again for the topic pro. It has been a pleasure debating. Best of luck.
Debate Round No. 2
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Mhykiel 2 years ago
Con clearly makes more convincing arguments that babies are not born being Atheists, or believing in anything for that matter. That would make the resolution true.
Posted by aburk903 2 years ago
Nonprophet, this is not the forum for your personal agenda. In any case, my definition is correct, regardless of what you personally believe. I cited the Oxford English Dictionary, you cited Wikipedia, a Facebook link to Wikipedia, and the home page for a college club that obviously has a bit of a bias. I'm an atheist as well, but fundamentally that label means I do not believe in god, not WHY I do not believe in god.
Posted by Mhykiel 2 years ago

Congratulations @nonprophet your position is unbeatable, it is meaningless statement. You affirm a position and affirm there is no evidence to prove that position true or false. You are untouchable.

Given your logic it is equally valid for me to say I am an Agnostic Theist.

Stop pushing your unverifiable truth on other people and remain silent.
Posted by nonprophet 2 years ago

I am an Atheist. The reason I am an Atheist is because I don't have enough evidence to believe in a God.
I do no claim there is no God. I can not prove there is no God. I just don't believe there is a God.
I don't deny God's existence. I reject the claim that there is a God, based on the lack of evidence.

Your definition of Atheism is either wrong or outdated. In either case, I reject your definition.
Posted by aburk903 2 years ago
I agree that a third round would have allowed for a better debate. However, I gladly accepted your topic under the 2-round parameter as I am merely using definitions, and to drag that out is pointless. I would be interested in hearing those points, but not in the comments. Hate to open a door to mislead some of the voters with less discretion further. Rebuttal to come.
Posted by Mhykiel 2 years ago
@aburk903 Should have given us 1 more round. I did not even touch on Argument of ignorance. Or that an assertion without evidence can be dismissed with out evidence
Posted by Mhykiel 2 years ago
I challenge Saska or Nonprophet
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by DreamSymphony00 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Con clearly makes more convincing arguments that babies are not born being Atheists, or believing in anything for that matter.