The Instigator
dylancatlow
Pro (for)
Winning
1 Points
The Contender
RationalMadman
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

In a theist vs atheist debate, the former has the burden of proof.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
dylancatlow
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/31/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 6,722 times Debate No: 25385
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (143)
Votes (2)

 

dylancatlow

Pro

I will be supporting the notion that in any theist vs atheist debate (religious vs non-religion) debate, people supporting theism have the burden of proof.


Definitions:

Theism : Belief in the existence of a god or gods, esp. belief in one god as creator of the universe, intervening in it and sustaining a personal relation to his creatures

Atheism: The theory or belief that God does not exist.

Debate: A formal discussion on a particular topic in a public meeting or legislative assembly, in which opposing arguments are put forward.

Burden of proof: the duty of proving a disputed charge.

The burden of proof will be shared in this debate

Rules:
1) Users must address every obviously plausible argument, dropping ONLY pettifog or obviously flawed arguments.
2) In the first round, users must not make any arguments; doing so will result in loss of conduct point.
3) Debate format is as follows:

Round one - acceptance (this)
Round two- Pro (me) will post opening argument. Con (them) will post opening argument and rebuttal
Round three - Pro (me) will rebuttal and make closing statement. Con (them) will make closing statement ONLY. Not following this rule is an automatic loss of conduct point.

This is the case so we each make:
1 opening statement
1 rebuttal
1 closing argument


If a situation arises in which the resolution is obviously flawed is some way and makes one side of the argument impossible, it may be slightly altered if we both agree.
If you accept these terms please respond "I accept these terms as given"
I look forward to a fun debate!
RationalMadman

Con

I am an agnostic so this is something I am STRONGLY against. Both atheists and theists have BOP. But I look forward to a debate.
Debate Round No. 1
dylancatlow

Pro


Religion and science have very similar goals; to satisfy our insatiable curiosity and answer questions about the world around us. Despite having similar goals, these two use very different means of achieving this. Religion uses faith, while science uses empirical evidence as well as logic to acquire knowledge and satisfy curiosity. Theists’ beliefs reference some other plane of reality or deity while atheists’ beliefs reference the natural world (i.e. the existence in which the questions are asked and answered.)


If one were away all of the evidence from both sides, the natural world would remain. Because science and the natural world are the basis for Atheistic belief, Atheism is the reasonable de facto belief given no evidence. I make the case that theists must prove their arguments and beliefs because it goes against everything observed in the natural world. Atheists do not carry the burden of proof for their beliefs because their lack of a belief in God derives from everything they observe. To make Atheists disprove a God in an alternate, non-natural world is impossible because Atheists cannot use science, nor reason; they also do not belief that faith is a rational reason to believe in something, so they cannot use faith for the fact that God doesn’t exist. It is impossible to disprove God using science if God doesn’t exist in the natural world. Because of this, theists must provide their own proof for such a deity or else it remains just an opinion.


In conclusion, without the proof of God, there is no rational reason to believe in one. Given no evidence, atheism is the rational choice.



RationalMadman

Con

My opponent does not see the difference between agnosticism and atheism.

I shall repeat his definition of atheism.

Atheism: The theory or belief that God does not exist.

Now I shall define agnosticism: an intellectual doctrine or attitude affirming the uncertainty of all claims to ultimate knowledge.[1]

Also I shall define science, and use this deifnition to explain how atheism is nothing to do with it.

Science: systematic knowledge of the physical or material worldgained through observation and experimentation.[2]

The final definitions required to make my point clear is that of theory and belief.

Belief: something believed; an opinion or conviction.[3]

Theory: a proposed explanation whose status is still conjectural andsubject to experimentation, in contrast to well-established propositions that are regarded as reporting matters ofactual fact.[4]

Atheism has a burden of proof in that it merely hypothesises, or requires faith in the idea that, there is no God. it is not simply doubt of a God based on knowledge or facts about the natural world, this is agnosticism. It is the theory that there is no God simply because we haven't seen one. It is the bleief that there is no God often because the idea that you will be eternally punished for wrongdoing is quite unsettling, thus rendering atheism the more comforting belief. It has teh burden fo proof in that it claims there to be no God with a degree of certainty, thus requirign it to back that certainty up (how can one be certain fo something without actual deifnitive proof?).

Sources:
[1] http://dictionary.reference.com...;
[2] http://dictionary.reference.com...;
[3] http://dictionary.reference.com...;
[4] http://dictionary.reference.com...;
Debate Round No. 2
dylancatlow

Pro

My opponent misses something obvious here. He implies that because we cannot prove nor disprove the existence of God that this makes each of those two choices equally as likely. This is false. If one were to say “There’s a teapot floating in between Mars which one cannot see”, this would not imply that each possibility is equally as likely. If I were to say that there isn’t a teapot floating in between mars, it is obviously the more reasonable choice and thus it is more useful than for one to believe than one to think “We cannot prove either side is correct so each one has the burden of proof.”

Because God is something which cannot be observed, the burden of proof falls on anyone claiming it exists. Without any evidence, not believing in said something is the de-facto view of a reasonable person. Just because Atheism has just as much proof for no God as theists do for God- in this case zero—does not mean they are equal. Agnostics don’t believe in God, which is the same as an Atheist believing no God or Gods exists. Atheists don’t believe they know for sure any more than an agnostic; they simply vocalize their beliefs more rather than saying “I don’t know.”
Do you believe in the tooth fairy? If not, what is your evidence? Because neither side has evidence against one another, by my opponent’s logic, neither side really is right. While this is true in objective reality, it is not useful for humans to use this philosophy to decide what is correct when “what is right” is never provable anyway.

RationalMadman

Con

RationalMadman forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
143 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by RationalMadman 4 years ago
RationalMadman
STEPHEN PRO DIDNT DO IT!m
Posted by CriticalThinkingMachine 4 years ago
CriticalThinkingMachine
Pro simply asserted that science and atheism are little more than synonyms. This is a very disputable view which needs to be proved using well-developed arguments, not simply stated.

Pro is unclear about what atheism is. In the first round, he gives the positive definition. In the subsequent rounds he defends the negative definition. With positive atheism, the burden of proof is always solely on the atheist, so Pro is automatically wrong.

But even with negative atheism, the burden of proof is not always solely on the theist. Many times, atheists are arguing for the positive existence of something IN PLACE OF God. It's not ALWAYS just about denial.

Pro's resolution was that "in any theist versus atheist debate, the former has THE burden of proof, implying that all of the burden lies on the theist while the atheist is free of it. Pro therefore had to show that the burden lies FULLY on the theist. He didn't show this. He only showed that it is shared by the theist in the cases he pointed out. He showed that theists have A burden, not THE burden.

Pro correctly believes that if there is no evidence for something, then we have reason for doubting it, but his belief that there is no evidence for God is left unsupported. He needs to argue this, not merely presuppose it.

Con's arguments were good but they did not addresss Pro's points, and he forfeited the last round, so I cannot give the debate to him, but Pro's posts contained unargued assumptions and arguments that were misplaced and irrelevant to his resolution, so I cannot give the debate to him either.
Posted by RationalMadman 4 years ago
RationalMadman
And when sh!t goes down, the critical thinking machine has as rational madman on the loose to cover his back.
Posted by dylancatlow 4 years ago
dylancatlow
Oh snap. Shits gunna go down. SOMEBADY CALL AN AMBALANCE.
Posted by CriticalThinkingMachine 4 years ago
CriticalThinkingMachine
I would like MBP to quote me saying that positive atheists do not lack belief in God.

Nice technique, MBP! Just keep making up things that I never said! You're a pro at it.
Posted by dylancatlow 4 years ago
dylancatlow
K, I need to debate 'New York City is the most influential city in the world'
I'll be arguing pro. Any advice?
Posted by dylancatlow 4 years ago
dylancatlow
Uh, why did that go to the comments, too?
Posted by dylancatlow 4 years ago
dylancatlow
My opponent misses something obvious here. He implies that because we cannot prove nor disprove the existence of God that this makes each of those two choices equally as likely. This is false. If one were to say "There's a teapot floating in between Mars which one cannot see", this would not imply that each possibility is equally as likely. If I were to say that there isn't a teapot floating in between mars, it is obviously the more reasonable choice and thus it is more useful than for one to believe than one to think "We cannot prove either side is correct so each one has the burden of proof."
Because God is something which cannot be observed, the burden of proof falls on anyone claiming it exists. Without any evidence, not believing in said something is the de-facto view of a reasonable person. Just because Atheism has just as much proof for no God as theists do for God- in this case zero—does not mean they are equal. Agnostics don't believe in God, which is the same as an Atheist believing no God or Gods exists. Atheists don't believe they know for sure any more than an agnostic; they simply vocalize their beliefs more rather than saying "I don't know."
Do you believe in the tooth fairy? If not, what is your evidence? Because neither side has evidence against one another, by my opponent's logic, neither side really is right. While this is true in objective reality, it is not useful for humans to use this philosophy to decide what is correct when "what is right" is never provable anyway.
Posted by dylancatlow 4 years ago
dylancatlow
Wouldn't*
Posted by dylancatlow 4 years ago
dylancatlow
Don't want to mess up my 14% win-to-loss ratio, now would I?
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Stephen_Hawkins 4 years ago
Stephen_Hawkins
dylancatlowRationalMadmanTied
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by CriticalThinkingMachine 4 years ago
CriticalThinkingMachine
dylancatlowRationalMadmanTied
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.