The Instigator
Tatarize
Pro (for)
Winning
63 Points
The Contender
jmlandf
Con (against)
Losing
28 Points

Evolution is not part of atheism.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 13 votes the winner is...
Tatarize
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/21/2008 Category: Religion
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,948 times Debate No: 5482
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (17)
Votes (13)

 

Tatarize

Pro

Despite common claims that evolution is simply preaching atheism, this is not the case. Evolution is a well established and evidenced theory which explains the progression, form, organization, and distribution of all the life on this planet without the need of any outside forces. Atheism is simply the lack of belief in God. There were plenty of atheists before Darwinian evolution became widely known and easily properly understood as the mechanism for the design of life.

While there is some congruity between having a firm and robust theory which allows us to understand all life on the planet without needing to genuflect to God and not believing in God. They are completely different.

Ken Miller: Ken Miller is a theist and a world class biologist who fully understands evolution.

Raelians: Raelians are a religious group who believe that aliens created Earth and the life on this planet. They don't believe in God and thus are atheists while they believe in creationisms and often deny the basic science behind evolution.

Without overlap between the two it seems remarkably hard to show that evolution is part of atheism. Further, atheism is only a lack of belief in God giving it a total of 0 claims needing to be accepted by all atheists for them to be atheists. With zero claims and evolution being one claim, it's once again a nearly impossible argument to make.
jmlandf

Con

Well I intend to prove that Evolution IS part of Atheism. This isn't to say that ALL Atheist believe in Evolution or ALL Evolutionist believe in Atheism, but to say that evolution isn't deeply rooted in Atheism or at the very least a part of Atheism is incorrect.

Contention 1 Most all Atheist believe in Evolutionary Theory, I will offer references if disputed.

The very fact that most Atheist accept Evolutionary Theory associates evolution as part of atheism.

Contention 2 Most "PROMINENT" Atheist support Evolution in a sort of religion or reason to replace religion

Eminent scientific philosopher and ardent Darwinian Atheist Michael Ruse has even acknowledged that evolution is their religion. Michael Ruse says "Evolution is promoted by its practitioners as more than mere science. Evolution is promulgated as an ideology, a secular religion—a full-fledged alternative to Christianity, with meaning and morality. . . . Evolution is a religion. This was true of evolution in the beginning, and it is true of evolution still today." Reference; Ruse, Michael, "Saving Darwinism from the Darwinians," National Post (May 13, 2000), p. B-3.
Debate Round No. 1
Tatarize

Pro

Evolution is not part of atheism. The easiest path to atheism is to realize that theism has no valid reason to be believed. Atheism is simply the noises reasonable people make in the presence of unjustified religious beliefs. Just as I am an Asanta Clausist I am an atheist. Just as I don't believe in God I don't believe in the tooth fairy. No part of my non-belief in leprechauns is contingent on my belief in tectonic plates, just as no part of my atheism is because of my belief in biological evolution.

Evolution is deeply rooted in strong scientific evidence, atheism is the realization that most people who blather on about religion are cracked and more swayed by what they want to be true rather than the evidence. Evolution is the best theory we have for understanding life on this planet explaining a massive amount of data in a very easy to understand theory. Atheism is not believing that "invisible man done it" is a compelling idea.

While many and perhaps even most atheists accept the theory of biological evolution that doesn't make it part of atheism. Many atheists believe the sky is blue and that gravity makes things fall to the ground. Are the theories of optical light scattering and gravity therefore atheistic?

Michael Ruse doesn't speak for me and for the most part he arguments are poor to say the least. Some people may be eager to explain all of life on this planet without needing to genuflect to the divine, but that doesn't make evolution part of atheism anymore than many atheists love for the music of John Lennon makes music atheistic.

----

There's nothing in atheism. Atheism is the acceptance of the reality. That one does not believe in God compels us towards accepting no other claims about anything. I've know about four or five atheists who lost their faith in God when they were told that there was no Santa Claus because they took the logical inference one step further. They never needed evolution or the evidence in favor of such a proposition. They took truth that magical man who knows when you've been bad or good applies equally well to God as Saint Nick and purged their minds of silly myths. -- That's the requirement; one must simply not believe in God. Accepting well evidenced scientific theories is simply a product of having a rational, uncluttered, unbiased mind and overwhelming evidence.
jmlandf

Con

Atheism is simply the noises reasonable people make in the presence of unjustified religious beliefs."

The debates about whether Evolution is a part of Atheism, not your disrespectful to some bias towards religion and your opinion they are all unjustified, regardless of its truth or not. Now you say that Atheist are "reasonable". This is true and Atheist need a "reason" not to believe in a God. Perhaps the Atheist doesn't believe because his Mom died and he's mad at God or life doesn't go his way or some Christian hurt his feelings, either way its a reason. I would like to think that most people require some intellectual reasoning behind their belief. Being mad at a god doesn't make much since for an Atheist, intellect must have reason. Evolution offers the intellectual satisfaction an Atheist requires to continue denial of God(s), specifically the most popular and widely accepted religious beliefs of Christianity, Judaism, and Muslim. Evolution directly combats the creation accounts recorded in these sacred writings and for an Atheist view to be correct the other views must be incorrect.

"Evolution is deeply rooted in strong scientific evidence, atheism is the realization that most people who blather on about religion are cracked and more swayed by what they want to be true rather than the evidence".

I disagree and fail to see how this isn't just religion bashing? Refer to my other Evolutionary debates if you like, but lets stick to topic. I don't think you represent Atheism well to say you only believe or should I say don't believe because a few religious people you encountered are "cracked" and swayed by what they want to believe. Atheism wants more base and needs more base, evolution offers some base.

"While many and perhaps even most atheists accept the theory of biological evolution that doesn't make it part of atheism. Many atheists believe the sky is blue and that gravity makes things fall to the ground. Are the theories of optical light scattering and gravity therefore atheistic?"

The sky being blue, gravity, and optical light do not directly come into conflict with Religion and are more than a Theory. Evolution is a part of Atheism for two reasons.
1.It can be used to combat opposing religious views and (offends,attacks)
2.It can be used to support Atheism. (defends,protects)
Anything that can be used to do the above two actions is and should be a part of Atheism. Atheism is a belief system (unbelief system) and it needs a defense and an offense for "reasonable people" to accept, Evolution does both roles.

"Michael Ruse doesn't speak for me and for the most part he arguments are poor to say the least. Some people may be eager to explain all of life on this planet without needing to genuflect to the divine, but that doesn't make evolution part of atheism anymore than many atheists love for the music of John Lennon makes music atheistic."

My opponent says Michael Ruse, a prominent Atheist, doesn't speak for him. This may be true but he does speak for Atheism in as much or more so than my opponent. The debate asks if Evolution is part of Atheism not if it is part of my opponents belief. I could say I'm a Christian but don't believe in a world wide flood or Creation...BUT...the majority of Christians do believe in these things, society believes they believe those things, and the sacred writings of Christianity says those things. The same is true with Atheism society believes them to accept evolutionary theory as a way of combating opposing views. Many Atheist themselves believe Evolution is important to their unbelief system, which is documented. Society assigns stereotypes to groups of people, and the stereotype that Evolution is part of Atheism is shared widely by the majority of Atheist and the general population. Some stereotypes are incorrect and some are absolutely correct. This stereotype is correct regardless of my opponents minority opinion.

The below link is from American Atheists website, which is affiliated with nearly every prominent Atheist group in the United States. The link shows The American Atheists combating creationism and other opposing belief systems with none other than Evolutionary Theory.

http://www.atheists.org...

My opponent says Atheism existed before evolutionary theory. To some degree this is true but the Atheism we know today came around about the same time or after evolutionary theory came around. It is also important to note that Evolutionary Theory was simply explained scientifically by Darwin but the belief that life on Earth evolved with-out a God was around prior. The belief was also held by, none other than, Atheist.

http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 2
Tatarize

Pro

>>Atheist need a "reason" not to believe in a God.

No. They don't. They need a reason to believe there is a God, sans any reason to believe, one need not believe. The question is and remains is evolution a part of a lack of belief in God?

My irreverence for religion aside, if one can become an atheist sans evolution then it is certainly true that evolution is not a part of atheism. If atheism is actually just a rational view of the world and a rejection of the absurd, then it follows that evolution is superfluous to this catharsis. You can be an atheist without evolution. In fact, I've met more than a few atheists with a rather poor understanding of evolutionary theory, some who outright rejected it.

While I agree that hating the non-existent is as illogical as believing in the non-existent, it might actually make one an atheist if it results in non-belief. A number of people have been shaken loose of their theism. They have had bad things happen to them that any all-powerful all-good guy worth his salt would have prevented. This would be an emotional but perfectly reasonable way of arriving at a non-belief in God. This way would not include evolution. So we can see, again, evolution isn't a part of atheism. Evolution isn't a requirement to atheism. Evolution isn't a doctrine or dogma of atheism. Rather, atheism and evolution seem to be two things that reasonable people accept.

I will concede that evolution can provide intellectual satisfaction. As Dawkins put it, evolution allows one to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist. Every theory, fact and model which allows me to better understand the universe provides me some degree of intellectual satisfaction. Intellectual satisfaction is not required to be an atheist and neither is evolution. Baron d'Holbach and others were very outspoken atheists long before evolution came around to solve the pesky problem of the order of life in a neat little package. Whereas once individuals may had their functional epistemologies result in deism, evolution made it reasonably likely that it resulted in atheism. However, this still doesn't establish that evolution is part of atheism anymore than the Big Bang and archeology are parts of atheism. Modern archeology has largely disproved large tracts of the Bible, this certainly is a fairly fulfilling result as far as atheism goes. Is archeology therefore a part of atheism?

Evolution doesn't directly combat creation accounts. Rather the facts combat creation accounts and the theory of evolution explains those facts. Even without Darwin's theory we could (and did) establish that there was no global flood and animals progressed and changed over time in ways that were not commiserate with Genesis.

The point I am trying to establish is that religion is nonsensical and that is the primary motivation for atheism. It is certainly impressive to have a firmly established scientific theory which explains the arrangement, design, order, function, and form of all life on this planet, but it isn't required.

The best argument for atheism is the lack of any good argument for theism. Evolution is an amazing and robust theory to explain and expound upon the life on this planet. However, not accepting the inane because it is inane has nothing to do with accepting the profound because there's an amazing amount of evidence suggesting that it's true.

>>The sky being blue, gravity, and optical light do not directly come into conflict with Religion and are more than a Theory.

Gravity and the optical refraction of light from the sun are both theories in the proper sense. For the most part they do not come into conflict with religion although that's more because religions have changed to include them. It was believed that the sky was made of metal and the blueness was caused by the waters of the sky which would pour down if the vaults of heaven were opened, and that a particularly local scattering of light by water vapor in the air causing a rainbow was a specific sign from God apologizing for that whole drown the world thing. Further, some sects of Sufi within Islam would reject the idea. It is not that the sky is blue because the the short waved light is more easily diffused by the atmosphere but rather because Allah wills the sky to be blue. -- My acceptance or rejection of these notions in favor of the evidence and opposed to nonsensical has nothing to do with atheism.

----
You can't support atheism. Atheism is the lack of a belief in God. You can make one less likely to accept a belief in God, but that's a far cry from providing support for not believing. There's nothing which could support a non-belief in gods.

The difference between Christians accepting the Genesis and atheists believing evolution is that Genesis is actually part of Christianity. How do I know? Because it's in the Bible. -- Beyond having no beliefs, systems, rituals, dogmas, rules, or churches... atheists don't have any sacred texts to not accept. Genesis is certainly part of Christianity whether you accept it or not, it's in the Bible and the Bible is the canon of the Christian faith. There's nothing comparable for atheism. There's a lone lack of belief in God.

Many atheists support reason and science and reason and science allows one to conclude that evolution is an extremely acceptable and powerful theory. Likewise many atheists favor stem-cell research, a woman's right to choose, the separation of church and state, and oppose the death penalty. These are positions which a reasonable view of the world regularly results in. This doesn't make these things atheist either.

---

You can be a theist and accept evolution, an evolutionist who doesn't accept that God exists, an atheist who rejects evolution or a theist who rejects evolution; they are all acceptable positions. Evolution is the lack of a belief in God or gods whereas evolution is a reasonable scientific theory with a massive amount of evidence supporting it. The claim that evolution part of atheism because evolution shows that the creation myths of religion are naive at best is unacceptable. The truth shows that many religions are silly and false. Atheism is simply not believing in God.

I do not believe that fairies exist.
Evolution shows us that traits from two distinct lines shouldn't exist. As such, a hominid with insect wings should not exist.
-- Does this imply that evolution is part of afairyism?
jmlandf

Con

Is Evolution a PART of Atheism? Yes in as much of a way as polygamy is part of Mormonism. Now we all know that polygamy isn't the entirety of Mormonism but yes it is a part. In fact polygamy has nothing to do with the majority of Mormons today but at one time it had a place in Mormonism. Likewise Evolution had and has a place or part in Atheism as a whole. Atheism also had a part in the development of Evolutionary Theory.

" I do not believe that fairies exist.
Evolution shows us that traits from two distinct lines shouldn't exist. As such, a hominid with insect wings should not exist."
"-- Does this imply that evolution is part of afairyism?"

Yes it does. Afairyism is a part of the general population. If 90% of the general population believe Afairyism then it is a PART of the general population, even if it is only 1%. Perhaps my opponent should make the argument that Evolution is not the WHOLE of Atheism because it most definitely is a PART of that whole. Proving that Evolution and Atheism have two different definitions does little to diminish the role each play for each other......and they do play a role for each other.

Before Evolution had a scientific footing Atheist were there to support its notion. Charles Lyell "delighted" in the possibility of Evolution but had no scientific proof. Charles Lyell was Darwins influence. Notice Lyell came Before Darwin.
http://en.wikipedia.org...

The relationship between Evolution and Atheism is so great that one could argue the only reason Evolutionary Theory is taught, believed, or researched further is because of an adamant belief in Atheism rather than a belief in the "science" behind "The Theory". Biased, perhaps. Needless to say...That neither had influence over the other or no part is with in either belief system is foolhardy.

The flaw in my opponents argument is he attempts to argue, somewhat acceptably, that Evolution is not the Whole of Atheism. The debate simply asks if it is a part and yes it is a part and quite a large one. It is so large of a part that some people believe it is the Whole thus stereotyping every Atheist, my opponent is combating this.
Debate Round No. 3
17 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by my.matryoshka 9 years ago
my.matryoshka
I see where you're coming from. Recalling from my own experiences, I never connected the belief of Santa to that of God. When I discovered that Christmas was orchestrated by my parents, my belief in God went unaffected (although as you said, I applied that same reasoning to belief in the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny). I believe it is because in a religious household, God is held at a much higher esteem than the fun-loving mascots of our holidays. We never had the faith in Santa as we did in God, as it was just a game of "go to sleep fast or Santa won't come." As we get older, we realize Santa, Fairy, and Bunny are just fables meant to enhance the holiday experience for us as children but still having faith in God's presence on a much more serious level.
Posted by Lightkeeper 9 years ago
Lightkeeper
Tatarize,

I wasn't just dismayed. I was devastated and offended. I had to seek counselling. I called my local Tooth Fairyst minister. We spent hours and hours discussing matters. I feel better now. Now I know that there is a Tooth Fairy, even if you don't believe in her. It's ok though, no offence taken.
Posted by Tatarize 9 years ago
Tatarize
Lightkeeper, it was a rhetorical device. I was simply making the suggestion that there's no tooth fairy in order to win the debate. I'm sorry if you were dismayed by my claims. Please vote for me.
Posted by Lightkeeper 9 years ago
Lightkeeper
Tatarize

I've followed some of your debates with some interest and was even somewhat supportive of your argument in this one..... until I've read your claim that

THE TOOTH FAIRY ISN'T REAL!

How DARE YOU make such offensive claims? :(
Posted by Tatarize 9 years ago
Tatarize
@Matryoshka, no. Of those individuals who lost their faith in that situation it wasn't out of anger or hatred or betrayal but rather out of simple logical inference. Santa isn't real? No. The Easter Bunny isn't real? No. The tooth fairy isn't real? No. God isn't real? Yes. God is real. -- This very conversation happened and the last one simply wasn't believable. Once you realize there's something odd afoot with these seemingly nonsensical figures with magical powers and associated holidays there's no going back. There's no good evidence to reconvince people that God exists, because there's no evidence in the first place. The assumption of truth crumbled.

I don't believe in a historical Jesus, in part, because I once found Doherty's theories on the concept compelling; I no longer do. I think he oversteps many of the logical inferences and makes too much of arguments of silence among what are clearly sketchy records. And, though I can't find myself compelled by Doherty any longer, I still can't believe in a historical Jesus because I now understand that there isn't any good evidence for one.

Also, Ricky Gervais's telling of how he lost his faith in God similarly revolves responses to questions and the reactions to questions. Children typically believe in God because their parents tell them to. There's no evidence to suggest that you should and, unlike adults, children have very little commitment to the claims made. All the scholarly arguments in the world would make fewer atheists than going around to first grade classrooms and quickly shouting, "There is no God, it's all a scam."
http://www.rickygervais.com...
Posted by my.matryoshka 9 years ago
my.matryoshka
I don't see why someone would lose faith in God after finding out Santa doesn't exist. Is it so traumatizing that find out there is no fat man in red that they just say, "Screw everything that I believe in"? Most people find out about Santa's non-existence at a pretty young age. Not yet old enough to even know the Bible, Tanakh, Qu'ran, or any other knowledge of their God. Just a basic understanding. Not that I condone the Santa myth - I am wholeheartedly against it and think it wrong for Christians to celebrate Santa instead of Christ. But that's a topic for a whole different debate. :-)
Posted by Tatarize 9 years ago
Tatarize
Any form of evolution. There's nothing beyond not believing in god(s) which constitutes atheism, and non-beliefs are not substantive and thus atheism doesn't have any requirements and nothing is a part of which or what forms of evolution you want to try to argue.

Puck, if one argued that evolved faculties allow for the rise of atheism and therefore "evolution is a part of atheism" you would get smacked down remarkably hard. In a very technical sense, rocks are atheistic; they possess no belief in God. If evolution either biological or memetic had never occurred then atheism would still exist. Thusly establishing, even in your semantic argument, that evolution is not a part of atheism.
Posted by jmlandf 9 years ago
jmlandf
Don't worry, I'm sure Tatarize will do an excellent job at that :D"

Excellent really....honestly? If someone asked you what Excellence was, to youm would you simply refer them to Tatarizes job on this debate? Be careful what words you use to describe something, when something really Excellent comes along you might not have any words left to describe it.
Posted by TheSkeptic 9 years ago
TheSkeptic
Don't worry, I'm sure Tatarize will do an excellent job at that :D
Posted by jmlandf 9 years ago
jmlandf
Shouldn't smash faces into tables.... with out explanation and reason
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