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The Contender
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How do atheists rationally know truth from fiction?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/15/2016 Category: Religion
Updated: 6 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 340 times Debate No: 89725
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (14)
Votes (2)




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, what atheist can give me a rational way atheists know truth from fiction?

Answering this question is the sole purpose for this debate. 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.


Hi, this is my first debate here on the site and I hope I go about this the right way. So that being cleared, let's debate! :)

This is to me really simple, atheists, as myself, know what is "truth" or "fiction" by looking at Empirical evidence. Empirical evidence is build on observations of scientific experiments. You see science has a nice way of being impartial and the outcome of an experiment can always be tested again and again, without anyone being able to question it. Therefore, if you do an experiment over and over and you get the same results, then you can draw the conclusion that something it true.
For example - If I come up with a theory (let's say friction) and then test it X number of times and always get the same result, then I can draw a certain conclusion. And thereafter state "laws" or truths as you referee to them.

Now my question - What gives Christians (or any other believers) the "key" to truth, when you never ever test you theories, neither do you question your "truths". Is that really the way to go? In my opinion - if you can't test something and prove it, it's merely a theory. And your truth is based on an old book. Not a singe experiment or test have been made, and the "evidence" you have are at best Anecdotal evidence. That to me is VERY irrational.

(I'm assuming that you are a man/woman of faith)

Thank you
Debate Round No. 1


How do you know your "observations" are valid? And no, you cannot rely on your repeated observations, for using your observations to validate your observations is irrational question begging.


I would say that through repeated observations you can come up with Deductive reasoning. "Deductive reasoning is the process of reasoning from one or more statements (premises) to reach a logically certain conclusion".
It is a very valid form of reaching a conclusion, and together with empirical evidence it's indisputable evidence.

All the math of the world is built upon deduction and I can't see how it wouldn't be valid. Deduction states
"P U94; Q.
Therefore, we can conclude ~P."

All men are mortal. P
Aristotle is a man. P
Aristotle is mortal. S

We can also use this form of thinking and apply it to your "truth". Let's see how God stands against logic's and evidence:

1. God exists.
2- If God exists, he is good.
3. If God exists, he is omnipotent.
4. Evil deeds are performed and have been performed in the world.
5. If God is good and omnipotent, then set 4 false.


p = God exists.
q = God is good.
r = God is omnipotent.
s = Evil deeds are performed and has been performed in the world.
The last column designations refer to the premises and to set logic inference rules

1. p U94; q P
2. p U94; r P
3. s P
4. q X96; r U94; P "s
5. p P
6. q MP 1.5 ( MP=Modus ponens)
7. R MP 2.5
8. q X96; r A 6.7
9. "s MP 4.8
10. P. X96; "s A 3.9
11. "p RAA 5.10 (RAA=Reductio ad absurdum)

With the four sets 2-5 as basic premises, selected among the original five, you have thus derived the conclusion that God does not exist..

Please answer my question now - How do you define what is true?
Debate Round No. 2


No, empiricism concerns inductive reasoning, not deductive reasoning.

And no, repeated observations tell us nothing unless you can prove your observations are valid. A deluded man can look in the mirror a million times and see himself as the Queen of England each time and he is still deluded. Again, stop begging the question, and give me a rational way you know your observations are valid.


I never said empiricism concerns deductive reasoning. I said that empiricism in combination with deduction (and also falsification) decides what is true. You are simply stating that you read something in one book and that is the truth.
Wanna talk about deluded men? What about the deluded man who looks in the mirror every day and say "I believe in an invisible man in the sky of whom no one can present any evidence".

The difference between my truth and your truth is that yours is simply a theory (a childes story if you like), mine is theories tested over and over again and also proven correct.
Debate Round No. 3


And yet here we are still waiting for you to provide some rational way you know truth from fiction. So far, you have given us nothing but irrationality.


Rational=Thinking process that employs logical, objective, and systematic methods in reaching a conclusion or solving a problem.
If you dont think empirical evidence, deduction, induction, logics and math is counted as rational, well then Sir this debate is useless, since you don't know the meaning of rational.
Debate Round No. 4
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Hakkayo 6 months ago
Man I Love that he keeps posting this argument and keeps getting blown out, it's amazing how many times someone can get beat and still speak with such ignorance.
Posted by LovetheRush 6 months ago
How did I run away? I answered all the four rounds? You on the other hand fail to understand the word rational. But that's another debate.
Posted by ViceRegent 6 months ago
How did I know he would run away. I despise cowards, especially arrogant intellectual ones.
Posted by lavaWhiskers 6 months ago
Con failed to present evidence for their argument. Con simply stated over and over that Pro wasn't answering the question, when, in reality (no pun intended), Con was the one who failed to defend the question.
Posted by VigilantOwl 6 months ago
See, you're simply going in circles now, I respect your opinion, if you wish to believe in god then by all means believe in god. You want me to try and prove to you that I am capable of distinguishing fact from fiction, but in order for me to answer in the way you want me to, I would have to provide you with logical and perceptual observations of my current surroundings. So instead I'll answer with this, the idea of being able to tell whether we our right or wrong be beyond or ability to comprehend. It can neither be denied nor confirmed that our observations, whether these observations be scientific, or religious, are accurate. Therefore the question remains to be answered, how do we prove that we are right or wrong when we can not tell if the observations being made are right or wrong. If you want me to dumb this down for you a little, philosophically speaking neither of us can prove the other wrong because, as you said, we can't provide any logical or reasonable explanation as to why we aren't deluded.
Posted by ViceRegent 6 months ago
Can you tell me how you rationally know reality from fiction?
Posted by VigilantOwl 6 months ago
If you want to start a debate right here in the comments then I'm more than willing to debate. You're argument strategy is pretty easy to see really. The only thing you're trying to do in this debate is get the con in a bind where he basically has to admit that there is a higher power controlling us. You do this by asking him/her to provide a rational way to prove that his/her observations are accurate and not deluded, however this request is very opinionated, they can provide you plenty of rational reasons why there observations are accurate and you can simply brush them aside asking them how they know there observations are not deluded. If I we're to ask you to provide me with a rational reason as to why or how god exists, you would provide a rational reason, at least it will seem rational to you, as to why or how god exists. I can simply respond with how do you know these observations are not deluded. So while you're STRATEGY itself is brilliant, it only shows the irrationality and stubbornness of those blindly following something they can not see, hear, smell, nor touch, and have no proof of its very existence.
Posted by missmedic 6 months ago
The question is answered in the asking, when you ask "how do atheist rationally know" you have made the presumption that person being asked the question is both atheist and rational.
Posted by ViceRegent 6 months ago
It is brilliant because it shows the irrationality of atheist thinking.
Posted by VigilantOwl 6 months ago
I have to admit, The Instigator's argument is truly brilliant. Whether he/she realizes it or not, the way they structured their argument is very thought out. They first ask a very vague question with not straight answer, the answer itself would be completely opinionated, and if the con doesn't like the answer all they have to say is that the answer itself relies on nothing but "senses and reason". They tried to force the pro "the atheist" into a bind, where the only way they could respond without being practically forced into admitting that there is a higher power, is by using there sense and reason and stating both sense and reason in there response. And if the pro does this, then the con will simply disregard the answer as merely scientific senses, and that we have no "proof" that his/her sense are accurate. Brilliant but dirty argument, hiding behind mere words with no way of proving that your preaching themselves are accurate, and declaring that everyone else is inaccurate with not a single ounce of truth and absolutely no way to prove that you're wrong. When it comes to debating religion, it's likely that neither team, pro or con, will win simply because in the grand scheme of things, there isn't much of a way to prove anyone is accurate versus inaccurate with their declarations.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Sanders2k16 6 months ago
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: One argument is correct, one is false, that is fact!
Vote Placed by Hakkayo 6 months ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: I must say vice regent has a real track record of failing to engage in debate. I failed to see an argument and only saw him do the equivalent of sitting his ears and yelling lalalala. By doing so he displayed a gross conduct by disrespecting his opponent and viewers of the debate.