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How do atheists rationally know truth from fiction?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/3/2017 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 516 times Debate No: 98658
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (8)
Votes (1)





Atheists love to live under the delusion that they are the guardians of rationality. But how can they hold this title when they cannot even articulate a rational way to know truth from fiction. If they cannot do this, they are literally ignorant and the ignorant cannot guard anything. SO, BY WHAT METHOD DOES ANY ATHEIST CLAIM TO RATIONALLY KNOW TRUTH FROM FICTION?

Answering this question is the sole purpose for this debate. I have even put it in capital letters for those to dense to get it. If you are unable or unwilling to answer this question, do not respond to this debate. Likewise, if you do not believe in reality, believe you make it up or deny it is objective or knowable, or if you do not know how to rationally know truth from fiction, do not respond to this debate. If you are terrified of cross-examination or madly in love with red herrings, do not respond to this debate. If you have responded before, do not respond to this debate. After all, if you had nothing rational to say then, you will having nothing rational to say now.

If all you have is "science", do not respond to this debate, for science relies on the your senses and reason, which begs the question of how you know your senses and reason are valid. Perhaps you can tell me, which is fine, but if the way you validate you senses and reason is with your senses and reason, you lose the debate because that is circular reasoning and circular reasoning is not rational.

if you respond in violation of these rules, you automatically lose the debate.


Greetings, ViceRegent.

I have been observing the debates you have been holding over this question for some time now, and I've decided that now is the time to address the flaws your argument holds from the getgo.

1. You first make a sweeping generalization that all atheists somehow purport themselves as "guardians of rationality." Sure, there are those who hold themselves to this title, but these are only parts of the group as a whole.

I'd assume by your raising of this argument, that you are part of some religious faith. Even if you are not, you do have to admit that every group has those who believe in different things, the only overall and encompassing common thing being the following of that religion.

The same goes for any other group, and that includes atheism. This invalidates your argument already, but I will address it nonetheless.

2. This argument you are presenting is presenting atheists as people who are assuming an idea based on little evidence, despite the fact that another truth contrary to what they believe in (i.e. the existence of a God) could exist. This argument is superficial, as it can be applied to any other group.

I could say that those who follow Christianity are unable to validate their senses/experiences or their Bible, as the truth is clearly beyond them. I could say that scientists are unable to validate their senses/experiences or their results from experimentation, as the truth is clearly beyond them.

Your argument goes for any group that believes in some thing, which obviously means, every group, as a belief in some common practice/practices and/or idea/ideas is what usually makes a group.

Any opposition to your circular as hell logic can be comprised of merely three words: "But what if?"

Now, I'm running out of characters. But I promise that I will cook up a good and wholesome response to your superficial question right after you respond to my point on the fact that your question can only be defended with circular logic.
Debate Round No. 1


This fool not only failed to answer the Q, he did not even understand that I made no argument, but just asked a Q. Another loser bites the dust. Next?


Now that you have responded, I will analyze your response and then keep my promise, and attempt to make a strong response to your superficial question.

We're in a debate here, ViceRegent, and your position would obviously state that "Atheists have no method of rationally knowing truth from fiction." My response in Round 1 was an attempt to introduce the fact that there is no way that an argument can be made against your question without a routine of "beating the grass around the bush."

I will admit, you did not make any argument. So may I clarify, that the purpose of my first response is to clarify that your question is already superficial and simultaneously, unanswerable, for the reasons stated.

Now, I will make my response to the question.

As for the method in which an atheist can rationally separate truth from fiction, it's quite simple: To judge the stimuli that they have received with their senses. This includes acknowledging their environment and situation, learning from others about the world and universe they live in, and using their mind to filter which statements and ideas are true and reliable.

For acknowledging the environment and situation, this is the usage of all senses to gather information from the immediate presence. This using their eyes to see the surroundings, and reading material to take in information. This also includes hearing nearby sounds, and listening to sounds through a language to interpret ideas.

For learning from others about the world and universe they live in, this includes taking information from those who teach, watching a guide on how to do something, or reading a book. This information extends far beyond them, as many different people create learning material for them to consume.

For using their mind to filter the truth, this is a culmination of all their learning experiences. This includes morality and logic, which are the main filters of information.

In conclusion, atheists can use their senses to judge the truth.
Debate Round No. 2


While he has already lost the debate with his first response and then demonstrated that he did not really read the OP with his second foolish response, since he did (eventually) answer, I will respond: How do you know your senses and mind at valid without begging the question?


I see, ViceRegent, that you have not been able to rebuke the argument I have made, and rather, have decided upon calling the argument I have made as "begging the question." In that case, I will define begging the question and illustrate to you how you have successfully managed to enter in 2 full rounds of debate with mere grandstanding and a fallacious usage of fallacies. This is ultimately a rebuttal to your rebuttal, as I have already stated the full extent of my case in R1 and R2.

begging the question - The fallacy in which the premises include the claim that the conclusion is true, indirectly or directly.

Now, you are accusing this fallacy in response to my argument in Round 2. This would be a valid complaint, if not for one issue:

The begging the question fallacy DOES NOT apply to situations wherein the claim is overtly true, or a universal truth.

In Round 2, I assert that an atheist would be able to separate reality from fiction by using their senses to interpret stimuli, stimuli being defined as "a thing or event that evokes a specific functional reaction in an organ or tissue", whilst senses are defined as "a faculty by which the body perceives an external stimulus; one of the faculties of sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch."

Now, of course, I would go on a scientific analysis of the senses to further verify my arguments, but of course, as stated by ViceRegent in his Round 1 starter, I can't rely on science, since it begs the question of how we know our senses and reason are valid.

I will give ViceRegent one point, however. We cannot be 100% sure that our senses and reason are real, because of the possibility of "a bigger picture."

In that case, I highly urge ViceRegent to present evidence of such "bigger picture", or, "more likely" alternative to separating reality from fiction, than our mental faculties and the senses that interpret the stimuli they process.

The burden of proof is on you, Vice. I have made my case.
Debate Round No. 3


This is hilarious. This fool says that the begging the question fallacy does not apply to claims that are overty true or universally true. While this is nonsense in and of itself, how does he know his claim that his senses and reason are overtly or universally true, especially when this claim is not derived from his sense and reason. if he says they are, then he is assuming his senses and reason are valid to prove his senses and reason are valid, which is begging the question.

He compounds this irrationality by saying he can do scientific analysis to valid his senses, but to do scientific analysis he must use his senses, again using his senses to verify his senses, which is begging the question.

He then admits that he does not in fact know that his senses and reason are 100% valid. But this is just another way of saying they are not valid at all. Let us say he says he knows a "fact" to 95% certainty." Does he know this claim to 100% certainity? Nope. Let us say he knows that to 80%. That means his certainty of his original claim drops to 76%. But does he know his 80% claim to 100%? Nope. Let us say he knows that to 65%. His original claim drops to 50%. And so on. As the number of truth claims approaches infinity, the certainty drops to zero. Basic math. When some atheist fool says they only have a certain percentage of certainty, they are admitting they know nothing. Case over. I win.


Before we begin, I would like to clarify that the shortness of this response will be due to the fact that I intend to link my sources for each round.

Vice, the begging the question fallacy is intended to be applied to statements that are not accepted as absolute truth. Scientifically, senses are used to interpret stimuli, so the begging the question fallacy DOES NOT apply.

Your entire argument founds upon the incorrect application of a well known fallacy. The arguments I have presented are backed both by science, and common sense. It is common sense to know that people will use their senses to interpret stimuli, and process this stimuli in their mental faculties.

There simply is no alternative that is based in reality that you can present as an alternative answer to your question. In order for your argument against human senses to be valid, you need to reject mountains of knowledge about the sciences. In fact, you essentially STATED in Round 1 that science cannot be confirmed, as you affirm that senses and reason cannot be 100% validated.

In essence, everyone, science is fallible, because humans are fallible, because their senses are fallible! Don't try to verify that senses can be accurate, though, because the science surrounding them is fallible!

That's the begging the question fallacy in action, Vice. Your R1 statement sums up to this.

In conclusion, I have argued that atheists, like any other people, are able to use their senses to process stimuli, from which their mental faculties can interpret to separate truth from fiction. I have proved by my point in R1 that ViceRegent's initial question can only be defended through circular logic, which has been demonstrated in the point I made above, essentially, dismantling his arguments.

Thank you for debating this topic with me, ViceRegent.

Sources: - Google - Google - Nizkor Project - LogicallyFallacious
Debate Round No. 4
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Hansendekra 1 year ago
@ViceRegent: You realize that maths is a human intellectual edifice, right? And it's as fallible as humans are. So using math (however perverted) as a tool to discredit human reasoning is like using words to say words don't actually exist.

But I guess it doesn't matter, because reading is purely fictional. The internet is fictional too ... you could say then ... even god is fictional. What an ironic end to a train of thought.

How do Theists know fiction from truth, without considering their senses?

Why even use the word "atheist" in the question? Why even start a debate, dude?

Troll is purely fictional.
Posted by Thaxorin 1 year ago
I see what he is trying to go for. He is trying to discredit our 5 senses. Now I know why he doesn't want science to be a factor. Trying to get philosophical blood from a scientific rock. It's the same as asking why does that said rock not jump when I ask it to? And explain it without having to talk about inertia.

There is one simple explanation. And that comes from defining what is fiction and truth.
fiction : [fik-shuh n]
1. the class of literature comprising works of imaginative narration, especially in prose form.
2. works of this class, as novels or short stories: detective fiction.
3. something feigned, invented, or imagined; a made-up story: We've all heard the fiction of her being in delicate health.
4. the act of feigning, inventing, or imagining.
5. an imaginary thing or event, postulated for the purposes of argument or explanation.
6. Law. an allegation that a fact exists that is known not to exist, made by authority of law to bring a case within the operation of a rule of law.

truth : [trooth]
noun, plural truths : [trooth z, trooths]
1. the true or actual state of a matter: He tried to find out the truth.
2. conformity with fact or reality; verity: the truth of a statement.
3. a verified or indisputable fact, proposition, principle, or the like: mathematical truths.
4. the state or character of being true.
5. actuality or actual existence.
6. an obvious or accepted fact; truism; platitude.
7. honesty; integrity; truthfulness.

The question reads, "How do atheists rationally (I see he fixed it) know truth from fiction?"
We know because all things can be either in one state or another. Either true of false.
Atheists know truth from fiction from a (straight from the dictionary) conformity with fact or reality. We believe in things that without a doubt can be set as truth from accordance with prevailing social standards, attitudes, practices. aka definition of conformity.

Try and say the dictionary is fiction.
Posted by Thaxorin 1 year ago
Sorry couldn't find how to edit. Wanted to show this was my introduction he refused to respond to.
Posted by Thaxorin 1 year ago
I am an atheist and have been watching ViceRegent barrage the site with continuous debates with the title I put for my own. I am not trying to belittle his faith or the compassion he wishes to validate it with this medium. Only to try to have the debate fair for both parties involved.

Now let have some rules set. If there is ANY resort to name calling in ANY way, it will forfeit the debate. Calling someone a derogatory title for what they believe in shows a smallness of mind. Of course bringing into question that the debate will be of religious matter as my hope-to-be-opponent will deny 'science' as a topic. Though there are many people who harmoniously mesh religion and science together: Neil deGrasse Tyson.

My starting argument would be if you take the topic and insert any religion where atheist is, it would be the same. Anyone who believes in their faith knows truth from fiction and no one can persuade them otherwise. Those who believe in one god or many know he/she/they is a real powerful entity, to them. It's rational, existence of a powerful being is not to be questioned. There are texts: The Bible. Read, poured over, and mesmerized each line. It is truth.
Why should it be any different for an atheist? We have texts to tell us what is truth and what is not. We have people who teach us of things learned in the past to help us grow and teach others. I am not debating who is right and who is wrong. That can be left for another time. YOU posed the question "how do atheists rationally know truth from fiction?" We know because it is what we believe in, much like you believe in a god. Our life experiences and what our minds comprehend to be truth is why. The fact we do not connect with things that have no proof of existence. We base our rationality on things that are tangible.
Posted by canis 1 year ago
Yes. Atheist claim they know when they eat...Strange
Posted by SimplyJoshmala 1 year ago

See Thax, you gotta FALL in their pit trap with the knife in your back pocket, not flash it in front of them, or else they might run off.
Posted by fishhunter61 1 year ago
ViceRegent, How many debates of these are you going to post?
Posted by Thaxorin 1 year ago
It's quite funny you the Contender had the same philosophy as I did. I posted it and challenged ViceRegent on this topic but he declined.
I am actually hoping to see how he replies if at all to you. I wish I was fast enough to catch it myself.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by ChadIrvin 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: I voted for pro because con was basically being rude and had no arguments to back his statements. In rounds 2 and 3, con made no attempt at debate and just resorted to calling pro a fool. Pro made more convincing arguments and actually attempted to have a genuine debate, while con did not. Pro had better resources and con had none. Points to pro.