The Instigator
ViceRegent
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Petfish
Pro (for)
Winning
10 Points

How do atheists rationally know truth from fiction?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Petfish
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/20/2016 Category: Religion
Updated: 7 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 618 times Debate No: 89947
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (27)
Votes (2)

 

ViceRegent

Con

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.
Petfish

Pro

Thank you, ViceRegent, for instigating this debate.

Ontology:
I submit that athiests know truth from reality by God's mercy. God reaches out to his enemies and helps show them the truth. This is most evident with Jesus's life and death on the cross.[1]

Jesus said that the sun shines on both the righteous and evil.[2] Therefore, God does not discriminate some of His blessings between athiests and Christians. I believe human knowledge is one of those blessings.

Epistemology:
Athiests can rely on forms of logical deduction to know certain statements. For instance, an atheist can know for sure (just as well as the theist) that A V ~A is necessarily true (because there are no other options).

However, most people decide to use inductive reasoning. This is not valid, but it is helpful and generally shows that there is a pattern in nature. Statements such as 'taking meth is bad for you' is an inductive argument, while 'if the universe exists, then space exists' is a deductive argument. Atheists can spot the inductive patterns and deductive solutions; having a belief in God is not necessary for most textbook knowledge.

Based on these statements, I hold that the atheist can rationally know (some) truth from fiction.. I await any objections my opponent brings.

Sources:
[1]https://www.biblegateway.com...
[2]https://www.biblegateway.com...
Debate Round No. 1
ViceRegent

Con

As you are not an atheist, you automatically lose the debate.

As to your first point, the Bible says God has made His truth known but that the pagan has suppressed the know in unrighteousness, which means they reject it and do not possess it.

Finally, deduction is a tool of knowledge only to the degree the premises are true and the conclusion follows from the premises. Atheists have no way of knowing their premises are true.

Induction fails as a rational epistemology for it presupposes the one's reason is valid. Atheists cannot prove the vaility of their reason.
Petfish

Pro

"As you are not an atheist, you automatically lose the debate."

This was not a condition for accepting the debate.

"As to your first point, the Bible says God has made His truth known but that the pagan has suppressed the know in unrighteousness, which means they reject it and do not possess it."

My opponent has not shown how this exegesis is correct or if it is the only biblical exegesis of that passage. I personally believe that this was talking about general revelation for the belief in God. I take it for granted that these verses are only speaking about theological truths. My opponent apparently believes that the Bible supports the position that atheists don't think by rejecting God...

There are many acceptable interpretations of this passage. For another viewpoint, here is Dr. Craig's own position on this verse.

"So Paul seems to think of atheism, or polytheism here, as being a suppression of the truth that is evident to them. I think some people can be sincerely self-deceived. I don’t think this means that atheists are just liars; that they really believe in God but they are lying about it. I think a person can become so self-deceived that he sincerely thinks that God doesn’t exist."[3]

"Finally, deduction is a tool of knowledge only to the degree the premises are true and the conclusion follows from the premises. Atheists have no way of knowing their premises are true."

Notice how I didn't bring up premises in my original stance. Rather, I brought up the idea that something is either true or not true, and this is necessary. The atheist can know for certain that the universe either exists or that it doesn't exist. They can also know that any truth statement is either true or false.

As for inductive reasoning, I agree with you that it does fail. But it is helpful, and it does not necessarily presuppose that one is sane- just that the collected data is real.

Sources:
[3]http://www.reasonablefaith.org...;
Debate Round No. 2
ViceRegent

Con

It was. See the end of paragraph 1 where I say "So, what atheist can give me a rational way atheists know truth from fiction?"

I do not care how you limit the meaning of Romans 1. It says what it says.

Deduction requires the use of premises. One cannot reason deductively without them. And since an atheist cannot know if his premises are true, deduction is useless to him.

And induction is not useful to a man who cannot valid his reason or his senses rationally.
Petfish

Pro

That question does not imply a condition. If you only wanted to debate atheist, you should have made it clear.

“I do not care how you limit the meaning of Romans 1. It says what it says.”

My opponent has unfairly placed the BoP (burden of proof) on me here. So far, we do not have good grounds for supporting my
opponent’s exegesis of this passage.

In fact, the passage itself seems to go the opposite way: that God revealed general revelation to all people. Suppressing the truth of
God does not necessarily mean that one does not possess knowledge.

“And since an atheist cannot know if his premises are true, deduction is useless to him.”

This is false because some premises are completely true and can be known (such as A v ~A).

Furthermore, atheists can arrive at a truth by contradiction.

For instance, the statement ‘One cannot know anything’ can be proven false. If someone can find out that one cannot know anything, they know that they can’t know anything. Since this is a contradiction, one can know that it is possible for a being to acquire knowledge whether they are an atheist or a theist.

In a similar way, the premise, ‘there are no statements which are true’ can be proven false.

“And induction is not useful to a man who cannot valid his reason or his senses rationally.”

How? It’s obviously practical and the logical inference can be applied regardless of belief. And I’d like to posit that theists cannot really validate their senses. Rather, we trust our senses. So it seems no one can really validate his or her senses. But we can still rationally know things.

Conclusion:

I believe that I have fairly answered the question. My opponent, to object, seems to support the position that atheists cannot know anything, but has not provided strong arguments/evidence for his beliefs. My opponent appeals to Romans 1, but there are different interpretations of this passage. My opponent would need to show that their interpretation is correct to challenge my position.
Debate Round No. 3
ViceRegent

Con

You saying something is true does not make it so. Truth is found only in Christ. To reject Christ, is to reject truth.
Petfish

Pro

Replies:
"You saying something is true does not make it so. Truth is found only in Christ. To reject Christ, is to reject truth."

I hope to have provided good arguments for certainity. I agree that Christ is the source of all truth. But one can be provided certain truth statements while rejecting the source of truth.

In fact, I believe there were people in the Old Testament who didn't even know about Christ. But one can still receive truth from Christ.

It also appears that Christ can also be a indirect form of truth. The law, for example, taught Paul for a time.[4]

Sources:
[4]https://www.biblegateway.com...;
Debate Round No. 4
ViceRegent

Con

ViceRegent forfeited this round.
Petfish

Pro

In conclusion, I hope to have presented good reasons how atheists can know truth from reality on a Christian perspective. Con has dropped all objections from round 4 onward, so I believe my position holds and the debate is settled.

Thank you for reading, and please vote!
Debate Round No. 5
27 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by ViceRegent 7 months ago
ViceRegent
I wonder how a doctor at a mental hospital reacts to the claims of his deluded patients that he is immoral? I bet by placing zero value in them.
Posted by ViceRegent 7 months ago
ViceRegent
Notice what this fool says:

Since our only feedback on reality are our senses, we have to make use of them to make observations and to gather true premises for our reasoning..

First of all, this is a non-sequitur, that even if senses were only feedback on reality, it does not follow that we must use them to gather true premises. It could be he is deluded and his senses and reasoning are utterly unable to give him true premises. Next, he states that our only feedback on reality is our senses as if that is true, but that is not a truth that comes from his senses. Thus, if his statement is true, it is false, which is to say it is self-refuting. It is funny watching a dude try to be reasonable while only demonstrating his lack of ability to reason properly.

But at least he agrees that atheists cannot know truth with 100% certainty. Of course, it is for this same reason, they cannot know truth 99.9% or even 0.0000000001%.
Posted by JoaquinBarzi 7 months ago
JoaquinBarzi
We ( by we i dont mean atheists, i mean everyone that advocates to the western philosophy take on knowledge.) tell truth from fiction by a deductive-inductive method. What does this mean? We first use deductive reasoning, which is based on logic, to distinguish valid reasoning from invalid one, by applying the basic rules of logic:

Law of identity: A is A
Law of non-contradiction: A is not "not A"
Law of excluded middle: Either A or "not A"

Once you make this distinction, you focus just on the valid reasoning. For a valid reasoning to give you true statements, its premises must be true. Here is where induction comes. Since our only feedback on reality are our senses, we have to make use of them to make observations, and to gather true premises for our reasoning. That is the inductive part. And there lies the problem of determining truth from fiction, we have to rely on potentially flawed senses. So, we cant know anything for sure, just make educated guesses.

So you are right, atheists cant distinguish truth from fiction with absolute certainty, but neither do you, nor anyone else, so stop bitching, you little bitch. You dont know truth from fiction either, you are as deluded as those atheists.

Chill and have a happy life. Go have a wank while reading a bible, or looking at a picture of jesus, whatever suits you kid. But keep doing this monotonous pointless posts. I have money beted on you surpassing the 100 repost mark.
Posted by Brendan21 7 months ago
Brendan21
@ ViceRegent With that comment you only prove me right, clearly you do not follow the Laws of Christ. I hope you realize the error of your ways some time in your future.
Posted by ViceRegent 7 months ago
ViceRegent
What is amazing is that these mentally ill reprobates sincerely expect me to take their word as if it is beyond question to be true when they cannot even prove they know anything. They are clearly narcissistic and delusional.
Posted by Brendan21 7 months ago
Brendan21
@ViceRegent you are a disgraceful Christian who clearly does not obey your own lord's words as you go about insulting people for no reason. You are a giant fallacy.
Posted by ViceRegent 7 months ago
ViceRegent
This fool cannot help himself but to make truth claims when he cannot even provide me a way he knows truth from fiction? Why debate someone who knows nothing?
Posted by Brendan21 7 months ago
Brendan21
@ViceRegent You call me a fool yet you refuse to debate me on this very topic not once but twice. You are the fool and your point is mute if you refuse to actually debate me. Though to be honest you have refused to debate and instead asserted even in your own debates so there is probably no point.
Posted by Hakkayo 7 months ago
Hakkayo
Oh man viceregent was that forfeit you going to the ER after petfish laid down that smack down on you, it must have hurt to lose again but even more so as it was a fellow theist who defeated you. The last few debates have been really entertaining over the last few days.
Posted by ViceRegent 7 months ago
ViceRegent
Still more truth claims from a fool who cannot tell me how he knows truth from fiction. That is funny.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Anjou 7 months ago
Anjou
ViceRegentPetfishTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Jesus, this debate was like "Who's less completely wrong?" Regardless, Con gets points for conduct and sources, but of course what both debaters actually argued was unequivocally false and based upon a loaded gun premise that doesn't stand up to reason or fact.
Vote Placed by Brendan21 7 months ago
Brendan21
ViceRegentPetfishTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro debated reasonably with Con despite him essentially refusing to debate or rebuttal any points Pro made. Pro mentioned several ways Con's position was negated and cited sources yet Con proceeded to refuse any meaningful discussion and finally forfeited the last round.