The Instigator
Imagination
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
elistonewilliams
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

Is atheism a religion?

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/14/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 830 times Debate No: 31312
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)

 

Imagination

Con

TOPIC: Is atheism a religion?

CON: I will be arguing that atheism is not a religion.

PRO: My opponent will be expected to prove that atheism is a religion.

_____________________________________

These are the terms of conduct expected in this debate. If you do not wish to and/or do not intend to follow them please refrain from participating. Thank you.

EVIDENCE: Opinions based on faith ("It's true because I think/believe it is") will not be accepted. Both sides are expected to provide valid evidence supporting their hypotheses while legitimately responding to the other party's evidence, and furthermore, if they disagree, to produce evidence supporting their counter-argument as well. "Valid" evidence in this context is any evidence that has not or cannot be scientifically, legally, logically or empirically disproven.

SCOPE: Religion and sexism are huge topics. By participating in this debate both parties agree to make an effort not to extend arguments outside of the debate topic. Arguments that do so need not be responded to in order to save time and space and keep the debate relevant.

SOURCES: Unless you want your source ridiculed, and in an effort to keep the debate fair, please choose valid sources of information/evidence that both parties have access to. Sites such as Wikipedia that anyone can edit, and personal, subjective remarks made by bloggers / YouTube celebrities, etc., do not meet these criteria unless they draw evidence from sources that do.

COURTEOUS: Avoid swearing/name-calling please. Let's keep this mature.

_____________________________________


{ POINT OF VIEW }

As Con/No to the topic: "Is atheism a religion?" I will be arguing that atheism is not a religion.

To make things perfectly clear and refrain from senseless battles of semantics later on, here is the dictionary definition of religion.

1. the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power
2. a particular system of faith or worship

My opponent is welcome to expand on this definition, as certain dictionaries or philosophers may offer fresh details or perspectives on the matter; however, I ask that my opponent accept the above parameters as designating religion, even if they argue that there are more criteria. Also, should my opponent choose to "expand on this definition", please remember to use valid proof as defined in "Sources" and "Evidence". Purely personal concepts of religion are too subjective to debate efficiently.

I look forward to an educated opposing opinion.
elistonewilliams

Pro

Definition of RELIGION according to Merriam-Webster

1a : the state of a religious
b (1) : the service and worship of God or the supernatural (2) : commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance
2: a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices
3 archaic : scrupulous conformity : conscientiousness
4: a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith

Examples of RELIGION

There are many religions, such as Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism.
_________

Your definition of religion is flawed because this page states that, 'There are many religions, such as Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism.' and buddhism does not believe in a higher power.

So if you consider buddhism a religion then Ipso facto all religions do not believe in a higher power so atheism could in fact be a religion.
Debate Round No. 1
Imagination

Con

Thank you for accepting this debate!


{ COUNTER-ARGUMENT I: FLAWED DEFINITION }

"Your definition of religion is flawed because this page states that, 'There are many religions, such as Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism.' and buddhism does not believe in a higher power. So if you consider buddhism a religion then Ipso facto all religions do not believe in a higher power."

My definition of religion is certainly not flawed. The dictionary I used said religion was:

1. the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power
2. a particular system of faith or worship

The same dictionary states that bark is:

1.the sharp explosive cry of certain animals, esp. a dog, fox, or seal
2.the tough, protective outer sheath of the trunk, branches, and twigs of a tree or woody shrub

As I hope you are aware, senses of a word do not need to apply to each case the word is being used. Some religions are the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power; others are just a particular system of faith or worship with no particular "god" involved. In no way does the dictionary definition contradict this, and in no way are senses of a word mutually exclusive.


{ COUNTER-ARGUMENT II: BELIEF IN A HIGHER POWER }

"Buddhism does not believe in a higher power."

Interestingly enough, I can go ahead and argue that Buddhism *does* in fact believe in a "superhuman controlling power". The assumption that this is equivalent to a deity-like being is flawed. As my trusty dictionary states:

Buddhism has no creator god and gives a central role to the doctrine of karma, the sum of a person's actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences. The ‘four noble truths’ of Buddhism state that all existence is suffering, that the cause of suffering is desire, that freedom from suffering is nirvana, and that this is attained through the ‘eightfold’ path of ethical conduct, wisdom, and mental discipline (including meditation).

Karma is indeed the "superhuman controlling power" driving Buddhism and dictating moral behavior.



{ IN CONCLUSION }

Pro has offered no arguments besides attempting to refute the dictionary definition in my first post by failing to recognize the difference between senses of a word, while independently still coming to false conclusions.



{ ARGUMENT I: ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PHILOSOPHY }

Is atheism a religion? I consider this a philosophical question. As readers will note this debate was categorized in the "Philosophy" section. So why not turn to the Encyclopedia of Philosophy and see how atheism fares in comparison to their definition of religion? The more of these criteria are fulfilled, the more "religious" the concept/system/belief/etc.

1. Belief in supernatural beings (gods). Nope.

2. A distinction between sacred and profane objects. Nope.

3. Ritual acts focused on sacred objects. Nope.

4. A moral code believed to be sanctioned by the gods. Nope.

5. Characteristically religious feelings (awe, sense of mystery, sense of guilt, adoration), which tend to be aroused in the presence of sacred objects and during the practice of ritual, and which are connected in idea with the gods. Nope, as any religious-like feelings atheists may feel are not connected in idea with the gods.

6. Prayer and other forms of communication with gods. Nope.

7. A world view, or a general picture of the world as a whole and the place of the individual therein. This picture contains some specification of an over-all purpose or point of the world and an indication of how the individual fits into it. Nope. Atheism does not specify the purpose of life or the world or indicate how individuals fit into it.

8. A more or less total organization of one's life based on the world view of #7. Nope, as there is no world view in the sense of #7.

9. A social group bound together by the above. Nope, as none of the above are binding.

I challenge my opponent to elucidate why their position is superior to the Encyclopedia of Philosophy.


{ ARGUMENT II: NOT-BELIEF IS NOT A BELIEF }

Often the leading argument in debates such as these is to purport that not-belief is a form of belief. By such a standard not believing in the tooth fairy would make this condition some sort of religion. Would people who have never even heard of the tooth fairy be involved in this condition? The fact is, not believing is a state of willfully or inadvertently rejecting or staying unaware of a concept. This state is radically different from belief itself, which is the willful and conscious acceptance, tolerance and connection to a concept.



{ CONCLUSION }

By all parameters atheism is not a religion. As difficult as it may be for some to grasp, not belief is not belief.

I eagerly await Pro's response.
elistonewilliams

Pro

elistonewilliams forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Imagination

Con

Arguments extended. Perhaps my worthy opponent has simply lost time, and hopefully the debate will continue as normal in the following round.
elistonewilliams

Pro

elistonewilliams forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Imagination

Con

Imagination forfeited this round.
elistonewilliams

Pro

elistonewilliams forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
Imagination

Con

Imagination forfeited this round.
elistonewilliams

Pro

elistonewilliams forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Imagination 3 years ago
Imagination
NOTE: I would gladly send you a message but you do not accept them at this time.
Posted by Imagination 3 years ago
Imagination
Appreciation of nature and worship of it are quite distinct.
Posted by Daktoria 3 years ago
Daktoria
"the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power"

I'd be willing to engage your debate if you consider the relationship between aesthetics and teleology: http://plato.stanford.edu...

Worshiping a superhuman controlling power can involve being overwhelmed by the majestically sublime. This is in contrast to ordinary nature because it is not the mere appearance of nature which overwhelms us. It's the overloading of our senses which demands simplification into generalized schematics which overwhelms us.

Please send me a message on your response so I don't have to constantly check the comments here.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
ImaginationelistonewilliamsTied
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Total points awarded:00 
Reasons for voting decision: FAIL DEBATE, as both sides dropped out... (checking the voting period debates, from Least To Most votes. By giving this one, it won't be prioritized in the system anymore.)