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The Contender
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Does "Atheism" mean "unbelief or lack of belief in God" or "there is no God" ?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/23/2012 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,953 times Debate No: 25244
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (47)
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I am expecting some good atheist apologist to take up the challenge.

Rule: Do not use wikipedia or some poor website source as dictionary to back your claim. Try quoting from authentic sources, that would be the Encyclopedia of Philosophy or something like that. Also do not quote some pseudo scientist's book as a philosophy source. No equivocation.

This is the opening statement of round (1)

I am going for "Atheism means a positive claim and belief that there is no God" as opposed to the misdefinition by new-atheism movement that it means "lack of belief in god", which is actually agnosticism, and not atheism. The purpose of this debate is to remove the big misconception is today's new atheist generation about the meaning of atheism, which worth being addressed.

You do not need to prove whether atheism is true or not. The topic is on the meaning of the position of Atheism. All you need to support is to support the other contention. If I don't find an atheist or agnostic opponent who does so, then those who slightly disagree with the meaning of "atheism", and those who are have some disagreement with or arguments to share are welcome to take the challenge.

Proof for my contention that "Atheism" means a positive belief; there is no god, or that at least the position asserts the proposition of God's existence is a meaningless :

Both the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary of Current English and Webster's New World Dictionary define "atheism" as the "belief that there is no God."

The Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary of Current English defines "atheist" as a "person who believes that there is no God."

The Encyclopedia of Philosophy contains an article on "Atheism" by Paul Edwards. Edwards has this to say about the definition of "atheist":

According to the most usual definition, an "atheist" is a person who maintains that there is no God, that is, that the sentence "God exists" expresses a false proposition. In contrast, an agnostic maintains that it is not known or cannot be known whether there is a God, that is, whether the sentence "God exists" expresses a true preposition. On our definition, an "atheist" is a person who rejects belief in God, regardless of whether or not his reason for the rejection is the claim that "God exists" expresses a false proposition. .

References :

Philosophical sources that show Atheism is The "Belief that God does not exist"

Dictionaries giving the definition of the word atheist:

Youtube videos about atheism being a belief, not a lack of:

Dr William Lane Craig states:

There is an important logical difference between believing that there is no God and not believing that there is a God. Compare my saying , "I believe that there is no gold on Mars" with my saying "I do not believe that there is gold on Mars." If I have no opinion on the matter, then I do not believe that there is gold on Mars, and I do not believe that there is no gold on Mars. There's a difference between saying, "I do not believe (p)" and "I believe (not-p)." Logically where you place the negation makes a world of difference.

But where your atheist friends err is in claiming that atheism involves only not believing that there is a God rather than believing that there is no God.

There's a history behind this. Certain atheists in the mid-twentieth century were promoting the so-called "presumption of atheism." At face value, this would appear to be the claim that in the absence of evidence for the existence of God, we should presume that God does not exist. Atheism is a sort of default position, and the theist bears a special burden of proof with regard to his belief that God exists.

So understood, such an alleged presumption is clearly mistaken. For the assertion that "There is no God" is just as much a claim to knowledge as is the assertion that "There is a God." Therefore, the former assertion requires justification just as the latter does. It is the agnostic who makes no knowledge claim at all with respect to God's existence. He confesses that he doesn't know whether there is a God or whether there is no God.

Antony Flew confesses,

the word ‘atheist' has in the present context to be construed in an unusual way. Nowadays it is normally taken to mean someone who explicitly denies the existence . . . of God . . . But here it has to be understood not positively but negatively, with the originally Greek prefix ‘a-' being read in this same way in ‘atheist' as it customarily is in . . . words as ‘amoral' . . . . In this interpretation an atheist becomes not someone who positively asserts the non-existence of God, but someone who is simply not a theist. (A Companion to Philosophy of Religion, ed. Philip Quinn and Charles Taliaferro [Oxford: Blackwell, 1997], s.v. "The Presumption of Atheism," by Antony Flew) Read more:


Thanks go to Jacob_Apologist, my opponent, for starting this debate and accepting my participation in it.

The first thing I want to establish, is that I won't specifically be refuting the idea that atheism means a positive belief in the non-existence of God, rather I will be defending the idea that the word "atheism" refers to both (or more accurately, either) definition, that it means "lack of belief" in some contexts and "positive belief in no gods existing" in another.

Anyone who has opened up a dictionary is aware that words can have multiple meanings. You can park your car in a park, or use a baseball bat to swing at a the flying mammal known as bat. Even my opponents own definitions show that in some cases [1]. This is how it is with atheism, and even some of my opponents sources agree with that atheism can be either someone who believes god does not exist, or someone who disbeliefs in God's existence [2]. I do find it strange that my opponent would list definitions that specifically show that the definition can be more than he claims it is, including the paragraph by Antony Flew that seems to describe him discussing how people misunderstand the term atheism. How, in his words, an atheist "becomes not someone who positively asserts the non-existence of God, but someone who is simply not a theist". He claims the assertion that it only refers to those who explicitly deny the existence of god is "an unusual way" of defining he word.

Now my opponent asserts that "lack of belief in god" is the same thing as agnosticism. This is a grave misstep, as agnosticism says absolutely nothing about what a person beliefs, but rather refers to what knowledge the person asserts they have (or more specifically, what knowledge they assert they can't have). It is the position that one can't know whether or not god exists, not that they merely disbelieve [3].

Imagine a friend brings to you a lockbox, which is locked of course, and tells you that there is a specific object inside of it. Now, you have no means of opening the box, and in your experience, the testimony of your friend has proven unreliable, even for simple matters. You have a few options, you could disbelieve your friends claim due to a lack of reliable evidence, or perhaps you could reason that the object your friend claims is in the box is too large to fit inside of it, so you would have a positive belief that the object does not reside in the box. Both of those positions relate to atheism, in both situations, the person does not believe the proposition and rejects the evidence for the position. What you wouldn't be is agnostic, as it is a knowable prospect, you just have to find a way to open the box somehow and look in. If the person felt the box was unopenable and no one could ever check what was inside, while also believing it was logically possible for the item to be contained in it, then that person would be agnostic on that issue.

The problem with my opponents position (besides the factual and historical issues that is), is that it is guilty of the fallacy of excluded middle. It forces the non-believer into one of two extreme positions and eliminates the middle ground. Either the non-believer has the burden of proof and must prove God does not exist, or they are merely "uncertain". It seeks to remove the vast majority of atheists who argue that there is no valid evidence for God, therefore belief in god is not justified. Therefore they don't believe. We don't do this with other types of positions. If you don't believe in Bigfoot, we don't demand you prove Bigfoot doesn't exist or call you "agnostic" on Bigfoot.

So I would ask my opponent: Since agnosticism isn't "a lack of belief", what word would he use to describe someone who rejects all the evidence for the existence of God, but does not believe they can disprove every possible conception of God ever imagined?

Again, I thank my opponent for starting this debate, as well as his time. I look forward to the next response.




Debate Round No. 1


I thank (Con), for taking up the challenge and presenting a good case for his position. Let me clarify that I took most of those link as evidences; from a facebook page “atheism is actually a belief’s” description.
Also, let me clarify the purpose and point of initiating this debate. Someone might be thinking why am I being so dogmatic on this term “atheism,” what’s the fuss about the meaning of it? The point is, it makes a great deal of difference when analyzing, studying our philosophical worldviews and positions. The main reason for debate on this word “atheism” is only because of the misuse of the term by new-atheists; those of the adherents of new-atheism movement.

We would often find those naïve non-philosophical atheist speakers and authors misusing the term ‘atheism’ and evade their burden of proof to justify their radical and knowledge claims: There is no God. The debate on the meaning of this term is essential, before one debate on Atheism vs Theism or Christianity. I feel the need to save the meaning of the word from getting lost, and even to help the self-professing atheists to know the philosophical implications of their position.

I am not basing my position on equivocation. Such as the different meanings words have like; bat, park, contract etc. Nor am I making this case on the etymology; where the meaning of the word has totally and universally changed from what it meant to be originally for example:
Artificial:This originally meant ‘full of artistic or technical skill’. Now its meaning has a very different slant.
Nice:This comes from the Latin ‘not to know’. Originally a ‘nice person’ was someone who was ignorant or unaware.
Awful :This meant ‘full of awe’ i.e. something wonderful, delightful, amazing. However, over time it has evolved to mean exactly the opposite.

Couple of the modern dictionary websites I quoted does give an ambiguous definition stating ‘atheism’ as unbelief in God. But those are few one liners misleading sources indeed. Saying atheist is a person who denies the existence of God does in a way means that it is a positive claim, a belief in negation of God’s existence. says – “a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings.” Merriam Webster says “one who believes that there is no deity.” See the Cambridge Dictionary and Encyclopedia2.thedictionary sources that state the thorough and correct explanation of the term. I also quoted those links for all to see them, also the youtube videos. Antony Flew, a philosopher used as a good source who was among the first who testified about the corruption and evolution of the term. Read carefully, what Dr Craig said about him:
Flew said “the word ‘atheist' has in the present context to be construed in an unusual way. …” He mentioned that the word at that time was being used also as a negative position, the disbelief in existence of God, hence equivocate it with agnosticism. After quoting him, Dr Craig wrote:

Such a re-definition of the word “atheist” trivializes the claim of the presumption of atheism, for on this definition, atheism ceases to be a view. It is merely a psychological state which is shared by people who hold various views or no view at all. On this re-definition, even babies, who hold no opinion at all on the matter, count as atheists! In fact, our cat Muff counts as an atheist on this definition, since she has (to my knowledge) no belief in God.
One would still require justification in order to know either that God exists or that He does not exist, which is the question we’re really interested in.
So why, you might wonder, would atheists be anxious to so trivialize their position? Here I agree with you that a deceptive game is being played by many atheists. If atheism is taken to be a view, namely the view that there is no God, then atheists must shoulder their share of the burden of proof to support this view. But many atheists admit freely that they cannot sustain such a burden of proof. So they try to shirk their epistemic responsibility by re-defining atheism so that it is no longer a view but just a psychological condition which as such makes no assertions. They are really closet agnostics who want to claim the mantle of atheism without shouldering its responsibilities.
This is disingenuous and still leaves us asking, “So is there a God or not?”

To correct the mistake of Con, let me remind you the meaning of Agnosticism, as given by the Encyclopedia of Philosophy: "an agnostic maintains that it is not known or cannot be known whether there is a God, that is, whether the sentence "God exists" expresses a true preposition. On our definition, an "atheist" is a person who rejects belief in God, regardless of whether or not his reason for the rejection is the claim that "God exists" expresses a false proposition. ."

Notice, that the position of Agnostic expresses two possible views: (a)it is not known to him at the moment, (b) he thinks it cannot be known ever. The word agnostic literally means without gnosis,-- without knowledge. All uncertain[4], unbelieving positions on the proposition of God are actually agnosticism. Remember that the person who positively believes that God does not exists, also hold unbelief in God, but it is not merely unbelief, rather a knowledge claim and denial of his existence, that the position of Atheism is.

The similar question to what he asked, I planned to pose to the new-atheists on the term “atheism”. Let me ask: It is actually the agnostic which holds mere unbelief, uncertainty and ignorance on the position of God’s existence. If the new-atheists force us to change and redefine the term “atheism” and include the position of agnosticism under the compound term “atheism”, then what new word do you think should be invented to describe agnosticism? It is clear that such redifination of terms makes a big difference.

I'd like Con, to accept my case to be true, and simply change his position, being "Honest", thanks.


I agree with my opponent that definitions are important when studying philosophical worldviews. It is precisely why I am so dismayed to find individuals like Craig & even my opponent who wish to use definitions to disenfranchise the vast majority of the atheist movement by defining them into groups they don't belong in. However my opponent is mistaken, when he claims the use of the term "atheism" is for the purposes of justifying our "radical & knowledge claims". How he thinks a group advocating for a negative position is trying to make knowledge claims is beyond me.

My opponent says he is not arguing from etymology; an interesting point. First he mistakes a few word origins ("awful" did not originally mean "full of awe" as he claims [1]). From an etymological standpoint, the term atheism means "without god", a definition in line with my position. Words have changed drastically from what they were previously understood to mean; while at certain points in history atheism had a more strict definition, this has changed in the past few decades to make it more in line with its actual roots. My opponent opposes this: it is okay to change definitions when he is comfortable with it, but to change it back is something he cannot allow.

My opponent admits that some dictionary definitions are in line with my definition. He describes those definitions as "ambiguous"; I would submit the appropriate word would be "broad". It's a well established definition that incorporates multiple understandings of the word. Those definitions (from reputable dictionaries) are exactly what we would expect to see if my position was correct. This alone should be evidence enough that atheism is not the narrow definition that my opponent says it is, but we're really only showing the tip of the iceberg. When my opponent confronts evidence contrary to his claim, it is "ambiguous" & when it is line with what he believes, it is considered solid.

Here, we see my opponent cherry picking. He has his belief about what atheism means, & the ones that agree with him are right, & ones that disagree are wrong. At this point he gives no rational to dismiss the other definitions except that it would mean he is wrong. Note that my opponent admits words change meaning over time, yet calls a return to the etymological origins a "corruption" of the term.

After that, my opponent quotes William Lane Craig quoting Antony Flew. Now my opponent accurately quoted Craig, but Craig misquoted Flew; "summarizing" his position in such a way to change the language. I encourage you to check the link Pro provided, & compare it to my second link, Flew's actual words [2].

Flew is saying that the term was previously more broad than it is currently. Craig is even correct in stating this was for the purpose of promoting the "Presumption of Atheism" that Flew advocated. The mistake is made where Craig & my opponent ignore the actual intention of this & make the position out to be that God is proven to not exist until proven otherwise. This is inaccurate. Let's look at Craig's conclusion:

"For the assertion that 'There is no God' is just as much a claim to knowledge as is the assertion that 'There is a God.'"

True. The positive atheist claims "there is no god" does have a burden of proof. However my opponent & Craig eliminate an entire philosophical position. What of those who says "Belief in God is unjustified."? I am an atheist. I don't believe in God. While it is possible for God to exist, I see no reason to conclude that. The point is, I am an atheist because I reject all evidence for God, & do not believe in a God, but not because I positively assert that no Gods exist.

Now we come to the crux of the issue. Pro believes the terms "atheism" & "agnosticism" are mutually exclusive. Fortunately for me, I needn't make the case otherwise, for Pro has done so in both posts. In each instance, when speaking of the term "atheism" it is defined in reference to belief & even Pro's own approved definition for agnosticism (as well as the definition I submitted) references knowledge. I am an atheist agnostic. I do not believe in God, but I also believe that it is currently impossible to prove such a being cannot exist (especially in general terms).

Atheism is about what you believe\don't believe & agnosticism is about what you know \don't know. One can believe something without claiming knowledge. One can say "I believe I will go to heaven when I die, but cannot know for certain". In this case, even an Christian can be agnostic; they can believe in God & Jesus without saying they know God or Jesus exists. This goes back further than Flew; George Smith said the same thing a decade earlier [3].

I challenged my opponent as to where individuals such as myself belong, but he ignored that challenge; instead offering his own. His challenge was what to do with the term "agnostic", as they are the ones that truly hold "mere unbelief, uncertainty & ignorance on the position of God's existence". My answer is that agnosticism is fine as it is, a wonderful term for people who claim they don't know whether God exists. For people who don't believe in God, there is atheism. In his challenge, my opponent proves my entire point: that his definition takes those who are quite knowledgeable about the arguments for God & reject them, & labels them as "ignorant". In reality, these people have earnestly evaluated the arguments for God existence & have rejected them, & ignorant is a term designed to disenfranchise them into a position of God's existence being little more than a toss up. I urge my opponent to drop this & accept that there are positions in between total ignorance & total acceptance of a positive belief in God's non-existence.



[3] Smith, George H (1979). Atheism: The Case Against God. p. 10-11.

Debate Round No. 2


“atheism”- The denial of the existence of God. God does not exist. The idea of God is self-contradictory (philosophy-dictionary)

Let me begin with correcting a mistake of Con regarding Flew's quote. Craig did not misquote him, but he quoted from a book that is ‘edited’ by someone where they included the excerpt of Flew in their chapter. That book rightly quoted him, though the link Con gave serves a good purpose here, I recommend all to read his presumptions and deceptive semantics to change “atheism” into agnosticism, he gives the relevant Humpty Dumpty ref of abitary usage of words personal choice in semantics, to show what he is doing. To quote his relevant words that I want to draw your attention:

The word 'atheism', however, has in this contention to be construed unusually. Whereas nowadays the usual meaning of 'atheist' in English is 'someone who asserts that there is no such being as God', I want the word to be understood not positively but negatively…Let us, for future ready reference, introduce the labels 'positive atheist' for the former and 'negative atheist' for the latter.

The introduction of this new interpretation of the word 'atheism' may appear to be a piece of perverse Humpty-Dumptyism, going arbitrarily against established common usage.'Whyever', it could be asked, 'don't you make it not the presumption of atheism but the presumption of agnosticism?'…,,..This point is important, though the question whether the word 'agnosticism' could bear the meaning which I want now to give to the word 'atheism' is not.

Flew reveals his deceptive objectives that he wants to put the term "Agnosticism" under the rug to hide it and invent new terms “positive atheism” and “negative atheism” in place of them.

Con challenges me to define his position as to where he falls: “What of those who says "Belief in God is unjustified."? I am an atheist. I don't believe in God. While it is possible for God to exist, I see no reason to conclude that. The point is, I am an atheist because I reject all evidence for God, & do not believe in a God, but not because I positively assert that no Gods exist”

I repeat and it should be clear till to readers till now, what he explained for his position, it is Agnosticism rather than atheism. This is the whole point what I want all so called new-atheists to learn well; if they hold the above positions then they are not what they call themselves, they are “agnostics” who do not believe in God, uncertain about it. They hold the evidence of his existence is unjustified etc.

The problem with all who stress on for being called as “atheist” by actually holding the position of agnostic; is that they always attempt to give radical and confident arguments proving the non-existence of God (the position of atheism) by attacking theist’s religion and arguments. But when confronted with the BoP they evade it by claiming they just reject belief in God for its unjustified and unproven, they don’t need to give positive arguments disproving him. They don't realize that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. If they maintain skepticism and reject the evidence to be insufficient; their position is actually agnosticism, not atheism. This is when they put their agnostic position as shield of deceit in front of actual atheism, to hide their burden of proof.

Lastly Con tried desperately to differentiate between “agnosticism” and “atheism” to justify the convenient "agnostic atheism" positio. He did it by arguing on the basis of differentiating the agnostic for his “knowledge”; and the atheist for his “belief”. But is this bifurcation in semantics of “knowledge and belief” legitimate? It is not.

He defined that a belief can be uncertain based on inductive reasoning, such as a believer hoping for eternal life but it is a future event, not yet known and deductively certain like a mathematical certainty. Just as much as a person hoping for the Sun to rise tomorrow is a "belief" according to him, as it is inductive reasoning to say “tomorrow sun will rise” it is not a deductive. But this does not at all means that we are agnostic on the position of tomorrow’s Sunrise. Are we?

Words: “Belief” and “Knowledge” actually are peculiarly same; it is only a matter of perspective and semantics where one can use them and limit the context and significance of the words. Here is an interesting read (Truth- Knowledge- Belief

Someone might try to limit and define the context of “knowledge” to be for more immediate beliefs such as the beliefs of basic language, external environment, memory of experience etc. This argument of semantics actually has no effect differentiating atheism and agnosticism.

Atheism= There is no God, is a positive knowledge, claim or belief. It does not equate with agnosticism on any or certain occasions. If someone like Flew wishes to bring new terms like “negative atheism” in place of “agnosticism”. Think about why would they do that, and if the position of Atheism has been compromised and conspired by the new-atheists of the last couple of decades to be “agnosticism” to evade the burden of proof. And if they are consistent enough to maintain another term “positive atheism” for actual ‘atheism’; think what is the need of it at all? The truth is, modern new-atheists are ignorant about their own presumptions and position of Atheism. Atheism is not an ambivalent and new-atheist-friendly position as they think.

I thank HonestDiscussioner for participation and I hope all, specially new-atheists have gained a lot from this interesting debate. I believe, now many of you would ask yourself whether you are really atheist or agnostic, to maintain a consistent position in your worldview.



Keep in mind that my position is that atheism can mean that someone has a positive belief in God's non-existence or someone who disbelieves in God's existence\an individual who holds a negative position. Pro advocates that atheism can only apply to the former group.

In his last response, we have Pro cherry picking a single definition from "The Philosophy Dictionary". A single definition that conforms to his definition is not enough to establish it as the only possible meaning. Earlier he used other sources such as Christian apologists (which could hardly be considered unbiased), & dictionaries (half of which advocated for my interpretation). Contrary to what Pro asserts, there are plenty of philosophy resources available which define atheism directly in line with my position:

"The term “atheist” describes a person who does not believe that God or a divine being exists." [1]

"The non-belief in God." [2]

"Either the lack of belief that there exists a god, or the belief that there exists none." [3]

In his 1903 work Agnosticism, Robert Flint claims "An atheist may deny that there is a God, & in this case his atheism is dogmatic, not agnostic; or he may refuse to acknowledge that there is a God simply on the ground that he perceives no evidence for His existence, & finds the arguments which have been advanced in proof of it invalid." [4 emphasis added] Flint also asserts that agnosticism can be combined with either Christianity or Atheism. Again, this was written in 1903 by a Christian. So much for this being a product of "new atheism".

As far as definitons are concerned, my opponent is mistaken & dogmatically clings to ones that support his position. Atheism has long been considered more than what he claims it to be, & for good reason.

Next my opponent quote mines Flew. Notice there is a ". . ." in my opponents quote, where he skips the rest of the paragraph that states his justification takes place later in the chapter. The "important point" that Flew is discussing is not why his work isn't titled "The Presumption of Agnosticism". Rather, Flew is advocating the Theist defines the proposition of God & advances arguments for that entity's existence. Then up to the Atheist to either refute those arguments or to change their position. [5] Flew doesn't want to put the term agnosticism under the rug, but is offering up a broad range of terms & definitions to adequately address the nuances to belief & the burden of proof.

My opponent then attempts to answer my challenge by asserting there is no difference between someone who rejects all evidence for a proposition & someone who thinks there is good evidence for & against a proposition & those are both the same as someone who thinks the truth of a claim is entirely unknowable. My opponent can be this dogmatic if he wants, but he shouldn't expect everyone else to conform to such a position. I want you to imagine this hypothetical conversation between person's B & N:

B: Do you believe in Big Foot, faeries, & leprechauns?

N: No.

B: Can you prove those things don't exist?

N: Well, no.

B: So you're agnostic then. You're merely uncertain as to their existence.

N: No, I don't believe in them because there is no evidence for them.

B: No, unless you accept the burden of proof, you can only be undecided

According to my opponent, we must be agnostic about almost everything. It is virtually impossible to prove something doesn't exist in any context, except for self-contradictory instances. To follow my opponent's logic is to claim most Christians are also actually agnostic; they don't claim they can prove God exists, despite believing they do. They aren't entirely certain, therefore they are uncertain.

Despite the fact that I've clearly stated my position as being "belief in god is unjustified" & despite that this entire debate is over whether atheism can be a negative position, Pro continues to assert that all atheists are attempting to prove God doesn't exist.

Pro accuses me of "desperately" trying to differentiate between agnosticism & atheism. How citing both our definitions is "desperate" is beyond me. He claims that there is no real different between "belief" & "knowledge", & that it is merely semantics, despite the fact that he has no definition to back him up & his assertion goes against his own definitions. He's another definition of agnosticism from the Department of Religious Studies at U of A: " a philosophical position that admits to having no privileged knowledge concerning whether God or the gods exist; a position of theological neutrality to be distinguished from atheism. " [6] Having the position "belief in God is unjustified" is ANYTHING but "theologically neutral".

His only real attempt to deny the distinction is that my example of how someone can believe but not know takes place in the future. However the example works for past or present beliefs. You can believe Jesus remained dead, but not know he did. You can believe you are currently the best polka dancer in the world, but you may not know for certain that it's true. You may believe there is no teapot orbiting Venus, but you may not be certain.

My opponent offers a perspective that holds belief & knowledge to be nearly the same while claiming no difference between "completely uncertain" & "not 100% certain". Now if you believe this dogmatic assertion that you must choose between complete uncertainty & full belief & knowledge, then by all means vote for Pro. However if you understand that there is nuance to these positions, that someone can reject all evidence for God & reject the proposition of his existence, then I urge you to vote Con.



[3] The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy (2008 ed.).




Debate Round No. 3
47 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by wiploc 5 years ago
Jacob, if you'd undertaken to prove that your definition is better or best, you'd have had a shot at winning. But you tried to prove that your definition is the only one, when in fact common usage and your own sources support more than one usage. Therefore, nobody can reasonably vote for you.
Posted by PabloM 5 years ago
Jacob_Apologist: No, I don't think that, and I never said that. However the voting system does give an indication as to how valid and persuasive the arguments are.
Which is why its a little puzzling to me that you'd enter into the process and then deny the results of that same process.
Put it this way; If by some chance you'd got more points in this debate, you'd be congratulating yourself and perhaps publicising it among your friends as a victory and a validation. Since that's not the case, you cry foul and claim that everyone who doesn't agree with you is biased.

In every issue you're going to find people who agree and people who disagree. If you focus too much on those who agree, you'll fail to understand the point of view of those who don't.
Posted by Jacob_Apologist 5 years ago
PabloM LOL, do you think we instigate debates to do a "truth check" whether or not our position is true, by public votes :D ??
Posted by HonestDiscussioner 5 years ago
He was incredibly confident about the outcome being in his favor. He told m he didn't think anyone would accept the debate "because it was so obvious".

He neglects to understand that while most atheists accept the possibility that there could be something out there that could be called a god, that most do believe that such a possibility would not include any of the religions on the earth right now, especially not the more popular ones.

Jacob, don't you think that it should be atheists, not Christians, that define who they and for what reason? You say it is a prejudice of faith, but they cited actual reasons. You are the one that is prejudiced here, you've basically said as much. You specifically said any evidence that goes against you claim is a perversion, that's just defining yourself as right and calling it a day.
Posted by PabloM 5 years ago
Jacob_Apologist, why did you even instigate this debate if you simply disregard the outcome?
Posted by Jacob_Apologist 5 years ago
the number of votes have nothing to do with validity of the arguments. Its evident that atheists gave their vote based on prejudice of faith rather than objective judgment. The honest atheist of evilbible website too admitted the objective meaning and position of atheism. If u wish to call yourself atheist while holding agnosticism, its your choice, it doesnt change the obj position what atheism is. My sources and his confirm the simple meaning of the terms.
Posted by HonestDiscussioner 5 years ago
No wonder you're losing 13-0. You think that's a well reasoned argument?

"A "lack of belief" definition is a bad definition for many reasons. It is not commonly used. It is not defined that way in any reputable dictionary. It is too broad because most agnostics and babies don"t consider themselves atheists."

He lists all the different places where atheists define themselves that way, then calls it uncommon. He talks about no reputable dictionary defining it that way, yet I (and you) listed several. That's the crux of his argument, that no reputable dictionary defines atheism that way, and yet I showed two different dictionary sources that do.

So again, your argument fails, just as his did.
Posted by Jacob_Apologist 5 years ago

a good insight, an atheist refuting the false-definition of common-atheists
Posted by HonestDiscussioner 5 years ago
Take your time. Just understand it may be 24-48 hours before I post it once you give it to me. Or it could be within a few minutes. Depends on when you get me.

That said, PM me so I can send you my e-mail.
Posted by HeKS 5 years ago
Hi HonestDiscussioner,

Thanks for the offer. I'll probably take you up on it. Unfortunately I think it's gonna be a little longer before I have time to finish the response cause this weekend has been so crazy. When it's done I'll PM you and then I guess anyone subscribed to your debate here who has been commenting will get notified of the new comment with the link.

Thanks again,
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by wiploc 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro undertook to prove that his definition is the only legitimate usage of the word "atheist." Con pointed out that Pro's own sources didn't support that claim. Con showed that his usage is also legitimate. Pro cherry-picked and misrepresented his sources for deception. I don't normally vote source points, but when you misrepresent your own sources, you definitely need penalty. Source points go to the one with the more-reliable sources. Misrepresented sources have negative reliability.
Vote Placed by CriticalThinkingMachine 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by The_Fool_on_the_hill 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Rdf