The Instigator
SexyCracker
Con (against)
Losing
6 Points
The Contender
Spiral
Pro (for)
Winning
99 Points

Does Atheism really exist?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/17/2008 Category: Religion
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 4,679 times Debate No: 3672
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (64)
Votes (33)

 

SexyCracker

Con

I don't believe in the belief of Atheism, I think if you think about it logically no such a belief can exist, but I am not willing to go in depth with why before I have somebody to debate with. So, who will have at it with me?
Spiral

Pro

I am willing to guess my opponents ‘logic' but not wishing to pre-empt arguments where there may be none, I will leave it my opposite to lay them down.

Theism:
1.the belief in one God as the creator and ruler of the universe, without rejection of revelation (distinguished from DEISM).

2.belief in the existence of a god or gods
http://dictionary.reference.com...

The ‘a' of atheism denotes opposite.

So as a statement of personal expression can it exist? Well at its most basic, any principle can exist as an idea, its relative "truth" is unimportant in its existence. Does my opponent equally believe one cannot be a Hindu, Zoroastrian, or Muslim? Reading my opponents profile, she states her belief as ‘Christian', she too is an atheist in regards to the Roman pantheon of gods, their Greek and Egyptian forbearers, she is an atheist in regards to, Anansi, Quetzalcoatl, Wodan; the list goes on. The point is we, on the largest majority, are all atheists. Those labelled as atheists, just take one further step and remove all gods.

Secondly, is atheism a belief? The difference between the faith of a religion (hence belief) and the stance of atheism, is that atheism derives answers it seeks through rational enterprise, and the ever onward search for knowledge of the universe. Religion is static, atheism is not, religion needs belief to work, and atheism surely does not. It is the rejection of gods through rational explanations of a scientifically based alternative of the natural universe.

A (very) brief history of Western Atheism

Pre-Socratic:
Milesian philosophy (circa 6th Century BC), focused upon the interpretations of the natural world, and the mathematics of solar bodies, at a time when the Greeks still considered planets as divine persons. This led to the development of the Ionian philosophies of a natural universe, which Plato regarded the development of their approach, as a spiritual peril.

Socratic:
There is growing moral disapproval of traditional religion, as seen, for example, in Sophocles, Euripides.
We gain a growing body of the empirical and naturalistic way of explaining events, especially through medical writings (Hippocrates).
Thucydides records war that totally removes the supernatural (as opposed to say Homer).

Hellenistic Age:
Four major philosophies arise; Stoicism (pantheistic), Cynic philosophy – a way of life based upon the doctrine that virtue, interpreted as life according to nature (essentially atheistic), Epicureanism (one of the greatest humanistic and secular philosophies of the time), and Scepticism (forbearer of both the Renaissance and 18th Century philosophies).

Roman era:
This covers 1BC through to the first two centuries of the Christian era. We see an age where although gods are seen as a requisite for moral code, there is a cynicism about religion, which influenced by stoicism, is prevalent through the upper classes that, for all practical purposes, are atheistic (for examples see, Cicerco, Oenomas, Lucian).

Middle Ages:
Covering the 12th and 13th centuries, Aristotle is introduced through Arabian commentators, and gives rise to the nearest thing approaching unbelief. As a whole, the Aristotle translations gave western thinkers, for the first time, a basis on which to construct a full and mature system which is based on ancient Greek, non religious, and rationalistic thought.

14th century; secular ways of looking at the world become more established, leading the way to the advancement of the naturalistic sciences of the 16th and 17th centuries. The naturalistic approach is developed further and the pantheistic ideals of the previous centuries drop out, and a desire to form clear separations of faith and reason emerge. Ockham is an important figure of this time, who criticised metaphysical arguments and proofs in the name of logic.

Renaissance:
15th, 16th and 17th centuries; Copernicus destabilises man's place at the centre of the universe. The secularised approach of man and his environment starts. With the devoted study of the humanists, classical authors began to be read as a whole, and discovered not to be the forerunners of the gospels as per church doctrine, but representative of a way of thought and living unto itself, the birth of near atheistic church sects such as the Unitarians arise. The rise of science and mechanico- materialistic philosophy is during this time.

The Enlightenment:
Also called the Age of Reason; the 18th century, is where an attempt is made to bring all forms of nature, and above all human nature, under the realm of reason and the scientific model. Reason, Law and Nature are the three key concepts of this era. Reasoning arises against the prejudice of atheism as a "fearful state". Scepticism flourishes, and is likewise attacked, notably by the religious elite. Bayle was an important figure in the movement of Scepticism and his followers enlarged his attack on religion, reliably on themes that religion and truth were irreconcilable. Biblical timeline of the earth was challenged, Newtonian assumptions of divine intervention were argued against, and literature attacking religion becomes more frequent (for example, D'Holbach's The System of Nature). Hume and Kant are heavily influential writers of this period; Hume was a sceptic in the Classical tradition (arguing against divinity, design by god, and the rationality of theism), his influence is still considerable, and is seen as the father of the philosophical revolution from this time.

19th Century to present
Feuerbach, author of The Essence of Christianity, argued for turning the study of god into the study of man. Marx stated that man makes religion, religion does not make man. Nietzsche penned the infamous line "God is dead". English intellectuals refrain from the nihilistic tendencies of Nietzsche, failing to see any problem with moral order without the presence of god. Darwin's work, The Origin of the Species, provides science the answers to the development of life on earth, and is arguably the chief contribution to 19th century intellect. John Stuart Mill, publishes several essays refuting religion, Bertrand Russell writes on behalf of science as an agent to understand the universe at large. Religion was seen to be unable to meet the requirements Positivism set on claims of knowledge, and additional reasoning is made with the rise in interest in linguistic philosophy. Our present time, sees Europe, as the predominant area for populations who label themselves as atheist, writers, media, continue to debate religion versus science.

Apologies for any important names I have forgotten.

With that I will leave it up to my opponent to make the case for no atheism.
Debate Round No. 1
SexyCracker

Con

What is the basic Atheistic belief? That there is no god.
There is no god. That is what an Atheist believes in order to be an Atheist.

'There is no god' is an absolute statement. But in order to make an absolute statement, you need to know all the evidence.

Let's take gold in China for example.
Let's say I said "There is no gold in China" that is an absolute statement, that there is no gold in China. So to say that, since it is absolute, that means you would have had to search the whole entire chinese area and know for sure there was no gold in China. you would have had to look under every rock, look at every watch and bit of jewelery, look in everyone's mouth for golden fillings.

it's not much different with the idea of Atheism. An average human holds probably about 1% or so percent of all the knowledge in the world. from the in depths knowledge of science to the knowledge of knowing that there's juice in the refrigerator.
to be able to say the absolute statement "there is no god" you would have to looked at every last bit of evidence in the whole entire world, and would have to hold 100% of the knowledge of the world, instead of the 1% the average human knows.

therefore. you are agnostic, because you do not know.
Spiral

Pro

Atheism is not the belief in no god but the absence of belief in deities. Remember ‘a'?

Belief:
Confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof
A religious tenet or tenets; religious creed or faith
http://dictionary.reference.com...

Atheism, rationally, using the scientific method, seeks to explain the natural universe; this removes the need of god in the daily workings of our life, and that of the universe as a whole. It is held to the standards of proof and testability. It is not a belief; it is the lack of scientific support of a god.

Religions and followers have a "belief" that ignorance is superior to empirical knowledge. Atheists see no convincing empirical or scientific evidence for the mystical and therefore reject the notion as one only originating from our ignorance. There is no similarity between the Atheist philosophical stance in life and that of religion. Atheists accept only facts, whereas religion has no need for them.

"'There is no god' is an absolute statement. But in order to make an absolute statement, you need to know all the evidence."

One does not need all the evidence to make an absolute statement. Let's take a Fahrenheit thermometer for example. Let's pretend I am completely oblivious as to what it does, and I find one in my house. It seems to me that the thermometer is always constant inside my home, but when I take it outside, it changes dramatically. I conclude that it changes because there are more people out there than inside my house. (Let's pretend it's the middle of summer). If we take the time to study and analyse the thermometer, and say, point out the numbers on it, test it in other areas of the house and see that it may change depending on the room even though I'm always the only person in the room. Eventually, through study, I may eventually learn what the thermometer does, but I have already learned what it doesn't. It doesn't read the amount of people. To pretend that it reads people would leave me to always making exceptions for the thermometer. Another test we may be able to do with the thermometer is bring it outside in a different season, like winter. Obviously the amount of people in the world doesn't decrease to a negative number. To take a real life example of this analogy: tarot cards.

"therefore. you are agnostic, because you do not know."

Agnosticism:
An intellectual doctrine or attitude affirming the uncertainty of all claims to ultimate knowledge
The belief that there can be no proof either that God exists or that God does not exist
http://dictionary.reference.com...

My opponent doesn't argue against her own atheism in regards to other religious beliefs, just her own, the irony is rather apparent. Atheism is clearly not agnosticism, it states no absolute uncertainty about knowledge either way, and if proof of god was there it would be rationally considered. Atheists do not believe that we will never know, therefore you can't call an atheist an agnostic. It is a common linguistics error.
Debate Round No. 2
SexyCracker

Con

you think I wanna read that novel you wanna write for an arguement? could you shorten it up a bit? I'm lazy as hell.
Spiral

Pro

My thanks to my opponent for conceeding her position. Clearly atheism has a valid and fruitful existence.
Debate Round No. 3
64 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Conor 7 years ago
Conor
SexyCracker:
Your resolution itself is an idiotic one....Does Atheism really exist?
Of course it does, Spiral didn't even need to write that much to defeat you.
It's an idea, a lack of belief in the gods, which is completely existent.
Posted by Scyrone 9 years ago
Scyrone
Spiral has my vote.

SexyCracker? Learn to read, go back to school, and don't think you are going win merely because you are a "believer". We can clearly see you are a "cracker".
Posted by Geekis_Khan 9 years ago
Geekis_Khan
CON... You're Atheistic about Atheists!
Posted by Gao 9 years ago
Gao
first, Con you did a wonderful job. now. I have to say Athesim is not a belief. it is a set of ideals. also you cannot say atheist do not exist they obviously do.
to debate otherwise, the best you could do is as Father Marcus Spencr once said: "God doesn't believe in atheist thus they do not exist." but even Christians who claim God is a Loving merciful being would disagree with such a claim.
yes atheism exist I'm not saing it's right nor am I saing theism is right. but it is there. go con great debate.
Posted by HandsOff 9 years ago
HandsOff
Just as admirable. Will do.
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 9 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
A proof that there IS NOT a god. Not a proof that there IS. Pay attention. Read the proof.
Posted by HandsOff 9 years ago
HandsOff
"there is no nobel prize in philosophy as far as I know"

If you could prove there were a god, it would be a matter of science, not philosopy.

"In case you didn't notice, Handsoff, I published an informal statement of the proof"

I guess the debate are finally over, after all these years. We finally have conclusively proof there is a god! Thanks Ragnar. When is the book tour?
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 9 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
"If one CAN prove it, I would encourage him to publish the proof. I think a nobel prize of some sort would be in order."

In case you didn't notice, Handsoff, I published an informal statement of the proof, on the internet, in the very comment you quoted but perhaps didn't read.

"Whether people BELIEVE something is provable or not is of no consiquence"
It is in reference to the statement "We all know." If we know A, we cannot believe Non-A.

"I think a nobel prize of some sort would be in order."

Noble prizes aren't awarded for stating the obvious in logical form. Besides, there is no nobel prize in philosophy as far as I know.

here, shall I symbolize the proof? one of them anyway?

An OMNIPOTENT being has all powers imaginable, and can perform any ACTION. CREATING something more powerful than omnipotent is an ACTION. It is not possible to CREATE something more powerful than omnipotent. Therefore, contradiction.

1. O->A (assumption, definition of omnipotent)
2. A->C (Assumption, dare you to defy it.)
3. ~C (assumption, definition of omnipotent)
4. O (Assumption of the existence of God)
5. A (4,1 by arrow out rule of logic.
6. C (5,2 by arrow out rule).
7. C & ~C (6,3, by ampersand in rule, CONTRADICTION, check premises).

There is a proof that unless creating something more powerful than omnipotence would not be an action, God cannot exist.
Posted by tigersandgreenweather 9 years ago
tigersandgreenweather
yeah........atheism doesn't exist.......right...
Posted by Vi_Veri 9 years ago
Vi_Veri
Kierkegaard,

If you have a problem with her debate, you need to be the one to challenge.
33 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by Atheism 6 years ago
Atheism
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