The Instigator
MattOptimus
Pro (for)
Winning
6 Points
The Contender
harrytruman
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Do Atheists think? (Pro/For) or do they not think? (Con/Against)

Do you like this debate?NoYes-1
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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
MattOptimus
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/28/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 791 times Debate No: 80287
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (20)
Votes (1)

 

MattOptimus

Pro

Of course Atheists think! In fact, 49% of the entirety of the Scientific community deny the existence of a God or Gods. Slightly less than half of the greatest thinkers alive today are Atheists. The reasons you give are not even reasons the average Atheist would cite for becoming an Atheist. We know that Komodo Dragons, Monkeys, and The Sphinx all exist because there's empirical evidence for all those things. There isn't empirical evidence for Gods because nobody has ever seen one and can prove it.
I have no doubt that you believe what you believe for some reason, but don't attempt to say Atheists don't think when we clearly think very critically about the world around us. I think some critical thinking would do you some good too.
harrytruman

Con

Have you ever seen anyone of them?
Debate Round No. 1
MattOptimus

Pro

Have I ever seen any of what? Can you clarify? And I'd appreciate it if you actually made points.
harrytruman

Con

I never denied that they (Atheists) actually think, i did however question whether or not they think about what they get told (The Big Bang Theory and Evolution) before they believe it, obviously they think, but not about this, truthfully, atheists think more about what they are told than many Christians, (Who blindly go with cults and believe things such as the Universe being 6000 years old even though the bible never says that),but on the other hand, some one else doing worse is no excuse to not think more, both sides (and i can say this from experience) have a legitimate issue of flaming and straw man arguments, which is what this debate is, as I never suggested that atheists do not think (like my opponent is suggesting) but that they (like many Christians) do not consider what they have been told before believing it, as far as I'm concerned it is agnostics who are the least prone to present straw man fallacies and to flame, this is due in part to the fact that agnostics assess the reality more than Christians or Atheists, they believe either that there might or might not be a god but there is no way to tell, or that there is a god but that he is too big to be confined to the little sliver of desert in Palestine and a few places in Greece and Egypt, this is where hypocrisy comes in, Atheists have just as much proof that god doesn't exist as Christians do that he does, yet they both accept the correlating belief, as an example, Christians create for themselves doctrines that are not biblical in the slightest (Such as Mormonism and Calvinism), while Atheists create for themselves unprovable theories (Such as The theory of Evolution or the Theory of Relativity), and despite this, Christians (Though many of their doctrines are blasphemous) accuse Atheists of Blaspheme, while Atheists (Even though they believe things with no proof) accuse Christians of believing things without proof, hypocrisy, flaming, and straw man facilities are legitimate problems in both groups.
Debate Round No. 2
MattOptimus

Pro

I agree with you that both Christians and Atheists commit logical fallacies at times, but I am not straw manning you. Did you not make a post titled "Atheists dont think" and reply to it stating "No they donty"? That post is the entire reason I began this debate in the first place.
Second, I take issue with the statement "...while Atheists create for themselves unprovable theories (such as The theory of Evolution or the Theory of Relativity)". Atheism does not require anything from you other than a lack of faith in a God or Gods. Being an Atheist does not automatically mean you subscribe to those theories.
That said, I am an Atheist that does subscribe to the theory of evolution, but I do not take it as fact. There's a reason it's the "theory" of evolution and not the law of evolution. While not all the puzzle pieces have been found, many are already in place. I'll link below some proofs that have been discovered.
Thank you.

My opponent's post stating that Atheists don't think: http://www.debate.org...
Proofs of Evolution: http://evolutionfaq.com...
harrytruman

Con

Before I go to my debate, I want to reinstate that I did not mean to say that atheists do not think, but that they do not think enough.
I can see that I oversimplified my own debate, so here is the comment you are referring to (I will elaborate it afterward);
"I never saw a monkey in my life, or a komodo dragon, or the sphinx, but I know they exist, pretending like "if God exists some crazy event will happen" is insanity because that would not be the results of a God, what you will notice is a crap loaf of natural anomalies, and there are!"
Now we will break it down so I can elaborate
1.I never saw a monkey in my life, or a komodo dragon, or the sphinx, but I know they exist.
2.Pretending like "if God exists some crazy event will happen" is insanity.
3.Insanity because that would not be the results of a God, what you will notice is a crap loaf of natural anomalies, and there are!"
So here is my elaboration;
1.I meant to point out that seeing something is not the only way to prove it.
2.I was trying to address what I concluded as a popular Atheist belief, that to prove gods existence, he would need to prove himself through a series of undeniable miracles such as flaming monkeys with three eyes raining from the skies.
3.I meant to say that god would cause anomalies in the process of interacting with reality, and that said anomalies would prove the existence of god. I should have included in this comment, that atheists (as all humans, with Christians being no exception, do often) would most likely use said anomalies to prove one of their theories, that both groups will (and have) used the same evidence to support their beliefs, that both Atheists and Christians (in the process of using evidence to supporting their own preconfigured beliefs.), will come to two separate conclusions.
With the rest of this debate, I would like it to be handled through the scientific process, this is as follows:
1.Form a question (In this scenario said question would be "Is there a god?")
2.Gather Information (For these circumstances this particular step should actually go directly after step 4 and before step 5)
3.Form a hypothesis (My hypothesis is that there is a god)
4.Design the experiment (Analyze the situation, what would the world be like if there is a god, what would the world be like if there is not a god?)
5.Test the experiment (Which qualifications does our world fit, does it meet the qualifications of the world where god exists, or the one where he does not?)
6.Review the results (Which world ours fits the qualifications of is the correct reality)
7.Make a conclusion (We may now conclude whether or not god exists)
So before this I would like to bring up a few points;
Now there is another problem, you say that some atheists (Including yourself) don"t hold evolution or the theory of relativity as true, but you are yet to provide alternative, you don"t believe in creationism, or evolution, so how then did the universe and humanity come into existence.
I would also like to state that as long as there is a number of unexplained events that you and other atheists fail to provide an alternative to (As opposed to creationism), then there is always a room for the possibility of god.
Though you do not accredit yourself to either creationism or evolution, you still say there is no god with the same certainty, and the same amount of proof, as theists say there is a god, hence, still making an unprovable theory.
I see nothing remarkable in the theory of evolution, in fact there is a major amount of flaws, so much so it has earned itself a level of hilarity for the fact that people went with it for 135 years, for one is the fern, according to evolution, ferns "evolved" to grow flowers because growing flowers is a more favorable trait than growing spores, but if this is the case, then why did the fern with spores survive and not the ones with flowers.
I would also like to take this debate as an opportunity to make yet another point, a popular belief among atheists is that religion causes mass genocides, to refute this I would like to bring up the events at Nanking, though the Japanese did not attribute themselves to any god, they still pillaged, plundered, stole, killed, and destroyed etc.
As another example, the hundreds of thousands of guillotined people during the French "Reign of terror" were also not attributed to "The Name of God", in fact they illegalized all religions, and many of those people were killed for attributing themselves to Christianity.
So now we may go onto the subject of the scientific process we just went through, this process will not prove that god exists, it will however (if I win) prove that it is possible for god to exist, and at the most prove that it is probable.
I would also like to state, that (contrary to popular mythology) Christianity does NOT mandate you not question what the Bible says, in fact I remember Jesus saying repetitively things like "test me on this", and "the truth (If you will notice he says truth not religion) will set you free", and his main point in his teachings is NOT to believe what the majority say, or to just go with what the church and the pastors say, and many times actually REBELLED against popular belief.
As a critical thinker (Or at least a person who is trying to be a critical thinker) I must accept BOTH POSSIBILITIES.
So now I will quote you, and rebut everything you said;
(Anything Italicized is your words)
I agree with you that both Christians and Atheists commit logical fallacies at times, but I am not straw manning you. Did you not make a post titled "Atheists don"t think" and reply to it stating "No they don"t"? That post is the entire reason I began this debate in the first place.
Yes you are right, I did in fact flame atheists, which is why I elaborated all my statements to my knowledge.
Second, I take issue with the statement "...while Atheists create for themselves unprovable theories (such as the theory of Evolution or the Theory of Relativity)". Atheism does not require anything from you other than a lack of faith in a God or Gods. Being an Atheist does not automatically mean you subscribe to those theories.
Though Atheism does not instantly subscribe you to believe them, (I can say this from experience) they are the most popular theories among atheists, and nevertheless, not believing in god is unprovable on its own, regardless of The Theory of Evolution or The Theory of Relativity.

That said, I am an Atheist that does subscribe to the theory of evolution, but I do not take it as fact. There's a reason it's the "theory" of evolution and not the law of evolution. While not all the puzzle pieces have been found, many are already in place. I'll link below some proofs that have been discovered.
Thank you.
According to Webster"s Dictionary, subscribing and believing, they are the same.
"Subscribe
səbG2;skrīb/
Verb
Past tense: subscribed; past participle: subscribed
2.
Express or feel agreement with (an idea or proposal)."
Debate Round No. 3
MattOptimus

Pro

Since we only have this remaining round, I would not mind continuing this in another debate. I'd also like to respond to some rebuttals you made.

"Now there is another problem, you say that some atheists (Including yourself) don"t hold evolution or the theory of relativity as true, but you are yet to provide alternative, you don"t believe in creationism, or evolution, so how then did the universe and humanity come into existence."
I don't hold the theories of evolution or relativity as fact, but I do see them as possible truths. I'm a very agnostic person in the sense that I don't hold many things as fact, I only hold certain possibilities as more likely than other possibilities. I know that's somewhat convoluted, but that's how I see the world. It's impossible for an Atheist to believe in creationism, since creationism requires a creator. Evolution is simply the only logical answer to the question of how we are what we are now. Also, we don't need an answer just yet. I see nothing wrong with not having an answer at all times, in fact I think that's the origin of religion (ie attempting to answer the questions of the world)

"I would also like to state that as long as there is a number of unexplained events that you and other atheists fail to provide an alternative to (As opposed to creationism), then there is always a room for the possibility of god."
What unexplained events are you speaking of? If you like we could do another debate on that subject.

"Though you do not accredit yourself to either creationism or evolution, you still say there is no god with the same certainty, and the same amount of proof, as theists say there is a god, hence, still making an unprovable theory."
Atheists (on average, I can't speak for all Atheists) do not deny that there is any possibility of a god or gods, we just don't put faith in it. There's a possibility, yes.

" ...for one is the fern, according to evolution, ferns "evolved" to grow flowers because growing flowers is a more favorable trait than growing spores, but if this is the case, then why did the fern with spores survive and not the ones with flowers."
This tells me you may not know fully how the evolutionary process works. (Visual aid: http://prntscr.com... ) Think of it as the tree you see there. One form of the fern, in this case the spores, was the best form for the environment it was in. Then, somehow fern spores were transported to another environment in which spores were not the best form of a fern. Thus started a long process of mutations and changes in the structure in the fern, transitioning from one reproductive form to another until it arrives at flowers. Just like a tree, when a species branches off and evolves into another form then that original species stays in place until the ecosystem it inhabits changes, thus making the original form obsolete. At that point the original fern will have to either evolve into a new form or it will become extinct. In closing, ferns with spores survive because in the ecosystem they're in they still survive.

"I would also like to take this debate as an opportunity to make yet another point, a popular belief among atheists is that religion causes mass genocides, to refute this I would like to bring up the events at Nanking, though the Japanese did not attribute themselves to any god, they still pillaged, plundered, stole, killed, and destroyed etc.
As another example, the hundreds of thousands of guillotined people during the French "Reign of terror" were also not attributed to "The Name of God", in fact they illegalized all religions, and many of those people were killed for attributing themselves to Christianity."
I'd actually like to have another debate for this, because this would take quite a bit of discussion to make a proper argument for. In short, I'd have to say this. I don't think that religion (or lack thereof) was a cause for genocides such as the German holocaust, colonization of Native American land in America, or communist Russia's genocide of all religious people (which I have a refutation of here: http://prntscr.com... ). All of those genocides had a motive, such as attempting to make an Aryan race or make people more obedient to their country. I wouldn't say it was the religion or lack thereof that caused these, but it did create an environment where those actions could be justified somehow. (ie Hitler stating he was doing God's work in Mein Kampf or Stalin saying Atheism was the best ideology) Any ideology is totally capable of being a healthy and positive feature of a person's life, but when coupled with ignorance and intolerance it can become deadly. This is why ISIS can quote the Quran to justify what they do, but your next door neighbor can be a Muslim be a pillar of the community. The difference between the two is ISIS is ignorant, intolerant, and violent. Your Muslim next door neighbor works at the local homeless shelter and doesn't care if you don't accept Allah.

"According to Webster"s Dictionary, subscribing and believing, they are the same.
"Subscribe
səbG2;skrīb/
Verb
Past tense: subscribed; past participle: subscribed
2.
Express or feel agreement with (an idea or proposal)."
If we're going to get into semantics then fine. Belief holds the connotation that faith is involved with your reasoning. For instance, synonyms for "belief" are faith, trust, reliance, confidence. Synonyms for "subscribe" are accept, endorse, back, champion. Frankly, that's a weak point to include in your argument and brings down your rebuttal as a whole.

Before I dive any deeper I'd actually like to say that if there is a God, it would most likely be closer to a deity than a theity. (I know this isn't a word, but there's no known for a theistic supernatural body other than "god") For this I'll cite a somewhat comical YouTube video by NonStampCollector (Video in question: https://www.youtube.com... ). There are MANY contradictions in the Bible, so this would make it difficult to believe the stories within it. As well as the morals behind a theity that puts free will before protection of their believers. Here's a YouTube video by DarkMatter2525 that portrays the argument better then I could with such little space left.
( https://www.youtube.com... )
Now we get to the scientific process of figuring out if there is a god.
The question: Is there a God?
The hypothesis would be there is a God, since it's much easier to prove a positive than a negative. In fact, it's impossible.
The experiment is where we hit a wall. How would we find God? Or prove he exists? If the Bible is to be believed he's in the clouds, since the Tower or Babel was to reach the "Heavens" where God presides. We know that's not where God is, since we have planes, satellites, spaceships, and probes. Eventually, people came to believe he was omnipotent and invisible. Everywhere yet nowhere. The fact of the matter is it's impossible to create an experiment that would be able to prove or disprove God, or for that matter any theity or deity. The thing is, Science is the study of the physical and natural world. God, if real, is a metaphysical and supernatural being. As for the "experiment" you offered, which is "what would the world be like if there is a god, what would the world be like if there is not a god?" that's not much of an experiment. Because we'd both answer this question differently. You'd say a world with a God would be like this one, because you believe God exists. I don't think the existence of a theity is likely, so I would say a world without a theity is like this one. Science deals with the hear and now. We can't apply the scientific method to something or someone that is neither physical nor natural. Unfortunately it's impossible.

In closing, I'm a little disappointed that the debate itself did not end up being about the title but I did enjoy the discussion. I'd like to welcome you to tag me in any debates you'd like to discuss, and with your permission I'd do the same with you.
Thanks for keeping it civil and respectful, since unfortunately people can get too heated discussing things like religion.
harrytruman

Con

Yes I will start another debate on that subject; I can cite many unexplained phenomena that scientists couldn"t come up with any forum of explanation to. Ok, so you admit you accept the possibility, while this is a relevant statement, I would like to state that in the 1950s Black holes were considered "Science Fiction", but modern science shows that the Dark Star actually exists, until just recently the Kraken was considered Greek mythology, but now we know that the Greeks were most likely talking about the Giant Squid, in 1899 sending a man to the moon was considered Science Fiction, but in 1969 they were proved wrong, until just recently life existing on other planets was considered "Science Fiction", until a rock from mars was found with fossilized microbes in it, until the 1980s a handheld phone was only in Star Trek, the point is, history is filled with stories where science "proves" things to not exist, but it turns out they do, the only debate against this is that we are more technically advanced then before, but don"t you think that people in the 1950"s considered themselves "More advanced than ever before", but that did not prevent them from deeming things "non-existent" when the reality is that they do.
As to the fern, the way I see it their environment had to be favorable to the fern with spores, but gradually changed, otherwise the ferns would not be able to "evolve" quick enough, and if this is the case, then why did the environmental change affect the area where spores were favorable, environmental change can only happen my either massive natural circumstance (such as a volcano eruption, or an earthquake), or massive unnatural circumstance (humans), either one would affect the world environment, plus fern spores can only be planted near by the fern they came from, seeds can only be transported long distances by either birds or wind, spores are under ground, so birds cannot eat them, and wind will not pick them up.
Alright, I do not understand your stance on my comment, but I won"t ask you because that would delay publishing my debate, and that is not efficient, so the way I see it there is two possibilities, one you disagreed, in which case my rebuttal is after two, two you admitted I was right in which case there is no cause for further debate, so with no further waiting here is my rebuttal;
You cannot pin the atrocities done "In the name of God" on Christianity, the massacre of the Indians for example, trying to say that Christianity is evil because it was used to justify the Indian Massacres would be like someone committing a murder, then the police find the murder weapon, so instead of charging the murdered, THEY CHARGE THE ACTUAL GUN, the truth is is that atrocities such as slavery, the slave masters would have found some form of justification regardless of religion, they used Christianity because EVERYONE believed it, so the justification they used could be uniform, if not Christianity, they would have justified it by something like- skull shapes (What"s that? They did? You mean people will find other justifications besides religion- weird.)
Now I have a few points to bring up, god defiling free will as opposed to "protecting his creations" would be like our government genocide anyone who was related to a criminal or anyone who wasn"t a very good person, then imprisoning everyone else as to "protect them", we do not live in Mexico or China where everyone is "guilty until proven innocent", likewise is god, even if someone is a murderer, we follow democratic and constitutional values, god does the same, if you were to go with this you would have to also testify against trial by jury, and the constitution because we should just arrest someone because "we can"t take any risks", in this sense god has a law code that he must abide by.
And yes I would continue this debate if you have more rebuttals.
Debate Round No. 4
20 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
*******************************************************************
>Reported vote: Bennett91// Mod action: Removed<

5 points to Pro (Arguments, Sources). Con admits atheists do think, and he rambles on off topic and generalizes atheists w/o thinking scientists/atheists doing the work are doing the thinking too.

[*Reason for removal*] (1) The voter doesn"t explain the decision, merely pointing to a problem in Con"s arguments and not assessing any of Pro"s. (2) The RFD doesn"t explain the allocation of source points.
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Posted by MattOptimus 1 year ago
MattOptimus
Yes, I'm going to need to research more on evolution and science in general. Thanks again for the RFD man. Have a good day.
Posted by Blazzered 1 year ago
Blazzered
Indeed that was my mistake. I did in fact mean Con distorted, I say so in the summary for my RFD. My mistake. You did a good job Pro, though I think you should also, just as Con, check the definition of a scientific theory.
Posted by MattOptimus 1 year ago
MattOptimus
"Pro also begins to distort the debate by turning it into a debate about proving Gods existence, and begins postulating that atheists commit genocide in the name of atheism, but again provides no evidence for this......" While the debate did in fact distort into a debate unrelated to the topic, I never said that Atheists commit genocide in the name of Atheism. I'm not certain if you meant to put Con for this, since I deny religion (or lack thereof) directly causes genocide, it's usually an underlying reason while the perpetrators use religion to support what they're doing. Thank you for the RFD though, it's very helpful since this is my first debate on here.
Posted by Blazzered 1 year ago
Blazzered
Where have I lied? I explained my reasons for my vote in my RFD, please read it again more carefully. I did not vote over bias.
Posted by harrytruman 1 year ago
harrytruman
Alright this is getting ridiculous, you have blatantly lied in two debates now to support your own bias! Your comments here are completely and absolutely mindless.
Posted by Blazzered 1 year ago
Blazzered
RFD(3):
Summary:
Pro's arguments still stand at the end of the debate.
Pro provided sources as evidence to prove his claims, making his arguments more convincing and giving him sources.
Pro successfully refuted all of Cons argument pointing out Con's misunderstandings and distorting. He did not dismiss anything of Con's, and addressed all of his arguments.

Con distorted, gave conjecture, and dismissed evidence given by Pro.
Con provided no evidence for his claims, and misunderstands the meaning of an atheist and a scientific theory.
Con ignored the evidence Pro provided of evolution, and did not address it, he plainly dismissed it, showing a lack of conduct.
Con's arguments were all refuted by the end, in which he began discussing starting a new debate in the same topic.

For these reasons I give Pro convincing arguments, conduct, and reliable sources.
Posted by Blazzered 1 year ago
Blazzered
RFD(2)
Round 3 (continued):
Con also continues to show his misunderstanding between the definitions of a theory and a scientific theory. He also ignored the evidence Pro provided of evolution, showing that Con is acting preposterous and is dismissing evidence that is both conspicuous and perceptible.
Due to Con dismissing proof, not even addressing why or how it could be wrong, I give conduct to Pro. I also give sources to Pro since his source is evidence to his claims, while Con has presented no evidence still. Pro also gets convincing arguments since he presented proof to his claims while Con gave conjecture and misunderstands words, thus making his arguments fall upon themselves.

Round 4:
Pro successfully refutes Cons claims, and helps point out that agnosticism is a form of atheism. Pro also begins to cite a source to yet another one of his claims about the process of evolution. Pro also begins to point out the weak points in Cons arguments. Pro then beings to explain the scientific method of figuring out if God exists and how we can conclude he doesn't, though this debate is not about the existence of a god, he did refute Cons distorting argument.
Con starts off with irrelevant trivial facts. Con then states "You cannot pin the atrocities done "In the name of God" on Christianity," when in fact he did something similar, except with atheism earlier in the debate. This shows hypocrisy. After this Con's arguments become irrelevant to the debate topic. Con goes into talking about free will, which is not the debate topic.
Since Con distorted more and did not refute Pro's arguments, nor did he give sources as evidence to his claims like Pro did, I give Pro convincing arguments and sources.
Posted by Blazzered 1 year ago
Blazzered
RFD(1)
Round 1:
Pro starts with logical opening statements. Stating how the reason people reject the claim of a God is due to a lack of evidence. While other things in the world we know to exist, do have evidence.
Con, presents no opening statements, and just asks Pro a question.
Due to Con not presenting any opening statements or arguments, I give Round 1 to Pro in convincing arguments.

Round 2:
Pro asks Con to clarify the question asked.
Con begins to make many claims without providing any evidence, such as "both sides (and i can say this from experience) have a legitimate issue of flaming and straw man arguments," and " agnostics assess the reality more than Christians or Atheists". Con provides no evidence for these claims. Also Con gets the wrong idea of an atheist, when he says "Atheists have just as much proof that god doesn't exist as Christians do that he does", atheists do not claim there is no God. Con does not seem to know the definition of an atheist, and then goes into saying that atheism is a belief. Con also mixes the definitions of a theory and a scientific theory, when he says "Atheists create for themselves unprovable theories", when in fact scientific theory's are, by definition, proven.
I give this round to Pro, since his points still stand, and Con only postulated and gave conjecture.

Round 3:
Pro provides evidence for evolution, but at the same time, he himself also seems to misunderstand the difference between a theory and a scientific theory. Pro did refute the point's Con made by providing evidence.
Con uses God of the gaps, and again provides no evidence to his claims once again. He again misunderstands atheists, by thinking atheists claim there is no god, when that is untrue. Pro also begins to distort the debate by turning it into a debate about proving Gods existence, and begins postulating that atheists commit genocide in the name of atheism, but again provides no evidence for this......
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Blazzered 1 year ago
Blazzered
MattOptimusharrytrumanTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.