The Instigator
JayShay
Con (against)
Winning
21 Points
The Contender
Michael_Sch
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

Can someone be neither an atheist nor a theist?

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
JayShay
Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 2/18/2016 Category: Religion
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 336 times Debate No: 86855
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
Votes (3)

 

JayShay

Con

Greetings.

I (Con) will argue that everybody is either an atheist or a theist. My opponent (Pro) will argue that people can be exempt from these labels. Burden of proof is shared.

Definitions
Atheist: someone who does not believe in gods
Theist: someone who believes in gods

Format/Rules
Serious debaters only please.
No acceptance round; Pro may begin with arguments.
Round 4 is for conclusions only; no new arguments or rebuttals.
No forfeiture.
Michael_Sch

Pro

Agnostic is someone who neither believes or disbelieves in the fact that there are gods. By your definition, those who do not have more than one god are atheist so now the vast majority of the world is in your "atheist" (more than 50% are people of the book which is the Abrahamic god) In fact all major religions have one or no god (Buddhism).

http://www.pewforum.org...
Debate Round No. 1
JayShay

Con

Hello Michael_Sch! Thank you for accepting.

When I tell people that I do not believe in fairies, they usually do not conclude that I must believe in a single fairy just because I used the plural form. I usually define atheism and theism the way I did because it takes into account the many polytheistic religions such as Hinduism. Atheists do not believe in any number of gods and theists believe in any number of gods. I thought this was assumed in writing my definition, so I apologize for any confusion.

I will now respond to my opponent's argument.

My opponent has defined agnostic as "someone who neither believes or disbelieves in the fact that there are gods." This is a very common definition of agnosticism, but unfortunately it is incorrect. Agnosticism is properly defined as "the belief that the existence or nonexistence of a deity or deities cannot be known with certainty" [1]. Gnosticism pertains to knowledge, while theism pertains to belief. The two go hand in hand, as follows:

Agnostic atheist: someone who does not believe in god(s) but does not believe its/their lack of existence can be proven
Gnostic atheist: someone who does not believe in god(s) and is certain its/their lack of existence can be proven
Agnostic theist: someone who believes in god(s) but does not believe its/their existence can be proven
Gnostic theist: someone who believes in god(s) and is certain its/their existence can be proven

As you see, agnosticism has nothing to do with the belief or lack of belief in gods, but rather whether its/their existence or lack of existence can be demonstrated.

Everybody is either an atheist or a theist. Their level of certainty may vary (agnostic vs gnostic), but everybody either believes in god(s) or does not believe in god(s).

I look forward to my opponent's response!

Sources
1. http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
Michael_Sch

Pro

Michael_Sch forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
JayShay

Con

Extend arguments.
Michael_Sch

Pro

Michael_Sch forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Michael_Sch

Pro

Michael_Sch forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by canis 1 year ago
canis
Well. An atheist would be the first person to discover a real god. A theist would kill him..In theory.
Posted by matt8800 1 year ago
matt8800
If the definition of agnostic is an issue, just remove "Agnostic is" from "Agnostic is someone who neither believes or disbelieves in the fact that there are gods." (first sentence of Pro's argument)
Posted by CeluiQuiVoit 1 year ago
CeluiQuiVoit
One can be agnostic,which is i think the most logical "belief" since the existence of God(s) cannot be proven nor disproven.
Posted by Michael_Sch 1 year ago
Michael_Sch
Agnostics are open to the possibility, meaning that they are undecided and do not fit in your grouping
Posted by Petfish 1 year ago
Petfish
A person who only believes in one god would be considered an atheist by your definition.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by fire_wings 12 months ago
fire_wings
JayShayMichael_Sch
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: No arguments presented by Pro.
Vote Placed by lannan13 1 year ago
lannan13
JayShayMichael_Sch
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture
Vote Placed by U.n 1 year ago
U.n
JayShayMichael_Sch
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: Pro made one small argument and then forfeited the remaining rounds. Con rebutted Pros one argument, and made arguments of his own (which were not refuted).