The Instigator
zeromeansnothing
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
boognish
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

It is contradictory for an irreligious person to believe in an afterlife?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/27/2015 Category: Religion
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 522 times Debate No: 80223
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (8)
Votes (0)

 

zeromeansnothing

Pro

My position on a poll regarding this subject appears at odds to the majority of contributions.
I cannot allow this rejection of my view to go unchallenged.
Explain to me why an irreligous person would dabble in afterlife beliefs.
Give example to illustrate this phenomena and I will explain the inconsistencies contained within theirs and your position. I am extremely 'dense' when it comes to dialogue about the after-life so be warned.

The Gauchos of Patagonia are comforted by the fact that the Condors eat the whole corpse without any type of exception, maybe perhaps, the buckle and the spurs. Worms will do likewise. I have totally disregard for mysticism or fancy of any sort. That is why I am deeply irreligious and that is why I disregard fanciful and unproven notions of the afte-life as an intellectual cop out. I could debate this subject for years, but in this case I will do it for four more posts.
Good Luck(One would assume that the challenger would be irreligious and and enthusiastic about an afterlife. It really does not matter, akin to the condors, I am not fussy.)
boognish

Con

I will accept the challenge of debating this resolution. As an irreligious person who does not believe in an afterlife, I am arguing from the position of devil's advocate here. While I personally do not believe in deities, the supernatural, life after death, etc, I do not think that it is necessarily contradictory for a person to hold no religious belief and still believe that an afterlife, or continuation of life of some description can exist.

There is no universally accepted definition for "life." The definition is largely descriptive. Some of the characteristics that separate living organisms from nonliving organisms are an organized structure for performing a specific function, an ability to sustain existence, e.g. by nourishment, an ability to respond to stimuli or to its environment, the capability of adapting. and an ability to germinate or reproduce [1]. I submit that it is entirely possible and not at all contradictory for an irreligious person to believe that once our material shell dies, some life force that is immaterial but not supernatural persists. This hitherto unknown life force may exhibit many or all of the characteristics used to define "life." It could have form and function (albeit an immaterial form), an ability to sustain existence, to respond to stimuli, to adapt, and even to germinate. This would be a "fanciful and unproven notion," to use Pro's terminology, but it is certainly a belief that an irreligious person could hold while not contradicting their "irreligiosity."

[1] http://www.biology-online.org...
Debate Round No. 1
zeromeansnothing

Pro

Hi boognish,

I had hoped for much more from you on this interesting and oft approached subject. A life force that is immaterial and capable of 'whatever'. The dot on the i in Afterlife if that. An attempt to win by some sort of miniscule default.

Allow me to show you the potential of this debate topic.

There is contradiction everywhere, and particularly within the actions of humans. I am not going to use this fact to demand victory here. That would be petty. A study somewhere might prove that there is low level cognitive activity taking place in the human beyond a medical definition of them being 'clinically dead' I would not expect an adversary here to use this 'glitch' to pronounce victory against me here. We want a real consideration of three things irreligious, contradiction and afterlife. We should be undertaking this task within this debate. If you cannot initiate this then I will do so during my next post.

So far you offer us.

boognish states: ' I submit that it is entirely possible and not at all contradictory for an irreligious person to believe that once our material shell dies, some life force that is immaterial but not supernatural persists. This hitherto unknown life force may exhibit many or all of the characteristics used to define "life."

It this is not unsubstantiated waffle akin to religious 'soul' fantasies then you will have to identify difference for the readers here. Are you talking about the natural recycling of parts. The condors and the worms can manage this part of the equation without your semantics. I told you this at the start.

You then have the audacity to declare the following

boognish states: 'This would be a "fanciful and unproven notion," to use Pro's terminology, but it is certainly a belief that an irreligious person could hold while not contradicting their "irreligiosity." '


Yeah! Sure they could???
boognish

Con

Since we want to consider three things; irreligious, contradiction, and afterlife, we need to have some agreed upon definitions of these terms and some related terms. I propose the following dictionary definitions from Merriam-Webster online dictionary:

Contradiction:
: the act of saying something that is opposite or very different in meaning to something else
: a difference or disagreement between two things which means that both cannot be true

Afterlife:
: a life that some people believe exists after death

Irreligious:
: not believing in or practicing any religion
: having or showing a lack of respect for religion

Religion:
: the belief in a god or in a group of gods
: an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or a group of gods
: an interest, a belief, or an activity that is very important to a person or group

Prior to accepting this debate, I asked Pro to clarify what was meant by "irreligious," and Pro's definition was:
"irreligious involves rejecting all orthodox religions, all forms of mysticism and the occult, all supernatural or magical notions." Although this is very different than the dictionary definition, I agree to Pro's new, expanded definition for the purposes of this debate. In the previous round I gave a definition for "life." If Pro agrees to these additional definitions provided, we can continue.
Debate Round No. 2
zeromeansnothing

Pro

Hi boognish!

You show very little guile or conviction on this subject. You did choose to refute my assertion, didn't you???

Anyway, let us 'cut to the chase'

We all agree on what 'irreligious ' amounts to.

Let me tell you what a 'religion' entails. It takes two or more people to make a religion. You can be anything from a wicca to a scientologist and all 'ologists', in between.. Your definitions, explain this.

That only leaves 'Contradictory' and ' Afterlife'

'Contradictory'

You gave us a convenient explanation of what a contradiction is, convenient for you that is.
Take the notion of space. If I describe a car model as 'spacious' that means that it possesses a lot of space relative to its competitors. Describing the car as such is only distantly related to any definition of actual space. When we speak about 'contradictory' within an organic discussion about people's mental outlooks we need to identify, real and significant contradiction, in order to make a debate point. I will do this as simply as I can.

Let me give you an example.
My son (29) does not eat meat or dairy. I assumed this was because he opposed the cruelty involved in modern intensive farming. 'Not at all ' he assured me. ' I do this because of my eczema condition'. This suggests to me that a 'vegan' might not necessarily be an animal lover Their position might not present ' a contradictory dilemma'.

Your position within this debate is that of a hamster owner who does not like dogs or cats and it presents 'real, obvious and indisputable amounts of contradiction that makes it 'contradictory' in the extreme.


Now I will tell you what 'Afterlife' is. There is a clue, 'after a fashion', contained within the word.

It means after life. It means dead. It means no pulse. It means finished. This dead state is unfortunately very common, it is real, it can be examined and considered. It is not as you would like us to believe 'a life that some people believe exists after death'. It is in fact that which is 'after life' ie dead.

You gave us an unconvincing rendition of a life force that happens after death, without a single notion of proof or verification. You then want to retain the label of being irreligious while insisting on this 'flight of fantasy'. You further insist that I and others clearly segregate your 'position ' away from those of the religiously delusional. On what grounds can we do this. Explain yourself. Surely your 'life force' musings are the makings of a religious notion. Maybe someone will agree with you and you could organize a 'brain storming' session somewhere.

In the meantime, I continue to win this debate without even having to take off my coat. I had a heated debate with a person who wished to retain mystic notions of reincarnation while refusing to be labelled religious The more he dug the deeper the hole became,(pardon the dark humour) Examine death, investigate roadkill, have you a cat that leaves birds at your doorstep. When you have done this, get back to us and explain your 'life forcey thingy' to us in a manner that does not reek of 'religious speel'.
Thanks





boognish

Con

Pro seems to be arguing that it would be contradictory for a skeptic or an evidentialist to believe in an afterlife. Unfortunately, that is not the resolution on the table. An atheist, or irreligious person, need not also be a general skeptic or evidentialist. My atheism, and that of my opponent's I would presume, is a product of my general skepticism and the value I place on evidence. I cannot accept the truth of a claim, any claim, without justification based on evidence. That is not true for all irreligious people. I know of plenty of irreligious people, even by the broadened definition in use here, who accept all manner of what Pro and I would both deem to be BS. There are irreligious anti-vaxxers, irreligious chem trail believers, and irreligious evolution deniers. There are irreligious people who believe that Sasquatch and the Loch Ness Monster definitely exist. Being irreligious does not make one immune to other forms of BS or unconfirmed phenomena that do not involve deities, magic, mysticism, the occult, and the supernatural. Even if there isn't a shred of evidence to back them up. This is not "mere semantics" either. The wording of a resolution, and the definition of terms in a debate is crucial. That is why, before the debate began I asked for clarification on what was meant by "irreligious." If the resolution had been: "It is contradictory for a skeptic or evidentialist to believe in an afterlife," I would not have taken the challenge since I believe this statement to be correct. However, given the definition of "irreligious," the same does not hold true for this resolution.

In Round 1 I mentioned a hypothetical "life force" that an irreligious person might well believe persists after death. A life force that they could believe has a natural, although as of yet undiscovered explanation. Pro is asking for "proof or verification" that this phenomena could exist. The resolution does not insist on proof or evidence however, only belief. Belief in an unexplained and unproven natural phenomenon does not contradict "irreligiosity." It contradicts skepticism and evidentialism, but not irreligiosity. The fact that this hypothetical life force seems "akin to religious soul fantasies" leads Pro to believe that it must necessarily be religious or supernatural in nature. The difference lies in the proposed cause and nature of the phenomenon (natural vs supernatural cause). Allow me to explain using the example of Near Death Experiences (NDEs).

Written records of NDEs go back thousands of years. Throughout the centuries and across cultures, the similarities and prevalence of these experiences suggests that something very real occurs in the brains of some dying people (many of whom obviously survive to tell the tale). Various explanations have been proposed, some natural and some supernatural. Some believe that during an NDE the "soul" is physically leaving the body and going somewhere else. Obviously a supernatural explanation. However, the fact that identical experiences can be triggered or caused naturally, often under conditions that a dying brain would experience, means that a supernatural explanation is not necessary. Interrupted electrical impulses in the brain, oxygen deprivation, psychotropic chemicals, brain injuries, and even some sleep disorders can cause the exact same symptoms. [1] Same phenomenon, very different explanations and causes. As to the case of the life force I proposed, the fact that it sounds similar to the religious concept of a soul does not make it a religious phenomenon. Even if the religious person and the hypothetical irreligious person in my example are describing the exact same phenomenon, the natural vs supernatural explanations that they attribute to the phenomenon make a huge difference. For the religious person, this life force is obviously the soul, whereas the irreligious person would have a natural explanation that did not violate our definition of "irreligious." Again, proof of this phenomenon is not required, and it need not be what an evidentialist would call likely or logical. It need only to be a perceived natural phenomenon (real or not) with a perceived natural cause.

[1] http://www.scientificamerican.com...
Debate Round No. 3
zeromeansnothing

Pro

Hi boognish,

Let me explain to you the realities of your position. Let us look at the end of your submission in detail. I referred to these 'light at the end of a long tunnel NDE's earlier' You want us to sort their type out based on the following rule.

boognish states: ' It need only to be a perceived natural phenomenon (real or not) with a perceived natural cause.'


Wow! That is not asking for much. Allow me to paraphrase this requirement. If you mention a word that has a kind of religious connotation then it is religious in nature but if you use secular language you get away with it. What a fudge!

my soul goes to heaven=religious
my life force continues= secular

This does not fly and you are probably aware of this fact yourself. You say you are playing Devil's Advocate here anyway.
Enough said.


....................................................................


At last you grace us with examples of 'the notion you are attempting to refer to.

boognish states: 'There are irreligious anti-vaxxers, irreligious chem trail believers, and irreligious evolution deniers. There are irreligious people who believe that Sasquatch and the Loch Ness Monster definitely exist. Being irreligious does not make one immune to other forms of BS '

No it does not. Many irreligious people are gullible enough to believe adverts. The Sasquatch and the Loch Ness creatures might feasibly have 'natural and reasonable' explanations. This is not what we are talking about.. We are talking about people who believe in an 'afterlife' of sorts. This was a nice attempt at deflection by you here.


skepticism and evidentialism are only two components of irrelgiousity. You can have apathy, you can have indifference, you can have hate, you can have what ever. The point is that you cannot retain consistency within any of these approaches to religious notions of the 'afterlife' if you yourself retain the option card to invent conjecture for yourself. It cannot be done, boognish. You cannot have a shovel for one and a spade for the other. They have the same texture of gooeyness.
boognish

Con

The examples I gave highlighting some of the many illogical beliefs irreligious people can subscribe to was not, as Pro suggested, an attempt at deflection, as I'm sure the readers and voters will recognize. I was pointing out the fact that irreligious beliefs need not necessarily be logical nor supported by evidence. Since Pro readily agreed that this is the case, I would say that the point was made. Pro followed up this unfounded accusation with a blatant and clumsy attempt to "move the goalposts." After agreeing that skepticism and evidentialism do not fall under the definition of "irreligious," Pro then immediately tried to expand the definition of irreligious to include skepticism and evidentialism. A definition, I might add, that has already been greatly broadened beyond any common usage or dictionary definition of the word. Contrary to Pro's assertion, skepticism and evidentialism are not components of irreligiosity, but rather it is the other way around. Skeptics and evidentialists do not demand evidence to support their beliefs BECAUSE they reject religious and/or supernatural ideas. They reject religious and/or supernatural ideas BECAUSE they demand evidence to support their beliefs, and religious and supernatural ideas provide no evidence to support their claims.

Beyond the example I have already given for a possible belief in an afterlife that is not religious, supernatural, or mystical in nature, I will now provide another. According to Professor Robert Lanza, quantum physics, specifically the Theory of Biocentrism shows that there are an "infinite number of universes with different variations of people, and situations taking place, simultaneously." Because of this, "everything which can possibly happen is occurring at some point across these multiverses and this means death can't exist in 'any real sense' either," according to Lanza. [1] Here we have an example of a belief that life can persist beyond what we recognize as death. This belief has a natural explanation, not a religious or supernatural one.

[1] http://www.dailymail.co.uk...

In order to successfully argue the Pro side of the resolution on the table (and not a resolution Pro wishes were on the table), zeromeansnothing must show that ALL beliefs in an afterlife, including the above example from quantum physics MUST necessarily be religious, supernatural, or mystical in nature. Pro has not even come close to meeting this burden of proof. In order to successfully argue the Con side of the resolution, I need only provide a single example of an afterlife belief that is not religious, supernatural, or mystical in nature. This belief need not be logical, likely, or supported by evidence in order do meet the requirement of being "irreligious." I have met this burden of proof twice over.
Debate Round No. 4
zeromeansnothing

Pro

Hi boognish,

Let's finish this

Irreligious: not believing in or practicing any religion (Merriam-Webster online dictionary)
: having or showing a lack of respect for religion (Merriam-Webster online dictionary)
:not religious; not practicing a religion and feeling no religious impulses or emotions.
:showing or characterized by a lack of religion. (Dictionary.com)
:showing indifference or hostility to religion. (Dictionary.com)

Ok! We have it.

You can be immune to religion
You can hate religion
You can ignore religion.
You can dismiss religion
You can mock religion
You can according to the definitions do one or 'some or................... or any combination of the above and you are deemed 'irreligious'. (We can debate whether or not a person who is 'oblivious' of religion would or would not be irreligious, if such a person could possibly be reared in a cave but that is for another day.)

You say that any one of these people could have an afterlife belief of a certain type and not create 'serious and discernible
contradiction.

boognish states (last post):' skepticism and evidentialism are not components of irreligiosity,....'

Let us keep this simple, boognish by looking at your latest example, ie this guy.

boognish states: ' According to Professor Robert Lanza, quantum physics, specifically the Theory of Biocentrism shows that there are an "infinite number of universes with different variations of people, and situations taking place, simultaneously." Because of this, "everything which can possibly happen is occurring at some point across these multiverses and this means death can't exist in 'any real sense' either," according to Lanza. Here we have an example of a belief that life can persist beyond what we recognize as death. This belief has a natural explanation, not a religious or supernatural one.'

You give us this, as an example of an irreligious belief in 'what'? Let's call it a belief in an afterlife just to make the point, even though it is clearly not. What aspect of religious 'afterlife belief can this person reject without encountering contradiction.
Can he reject Heaven-No, not without contradiction.
Can he reject Soul-No, without contradiction.

This person's only option is to attempt to pretend that they do not know what the religious implications of 'afterlife' propose. He appears too intelligent to bury his head in the sand in the manner necessary. Can he reject Hinduism. I doubt it. His unsubstantiated nonsense has disabled him to the twin options of a condition of silence or a position of serious and obvious contradiction.

Consider how low you set the bar for yourself, boognish, in your role as 'Devil's Advocate'
boognish states: 'I need only provide a single example of an afterlife belief that is not religious, supernatural, or mystical in nature. This belief need not be logical, likely, or supported by evidence in order do meet the requirement of being "irreligious.


Thank You, boognish, for your contributions here. We could explore all this in minute detail. This is the part where Eminem tells his opponent about his life and in doing so , removes that material from the battle. Let me tell you about myself.

I am belligerently irreligious and yet I have a fascinating and varied 'afterlife' still to come.


On the day that I die the birds will continue to sing, traffic will pass the house or hospital morgue where my body will be interred. On that day that I die an 8yr old girl in Niger will loose her virginity unwillingly, to an adult male. My friends, relatives and neighbours will begin to deal with my absence. A............
I will have an afterlife, just as I had a pre-life. This is a fact about our existence that does not require us to topple into the abyss of conjecture and contradiction. There are no beginnings or ends in life, just change. If my body makes good topsoil then , all the better. Thanks


boognish

Con

Contrary to Pro's assertion, I did not set the bar low for myself. The wording of the resolution sets the bar for victory. When the resolution is "X and Y are incompatible" (as is the case here), the Pro side must show that in all conditions and circumstances, X NEVER appears with Y to claim victory. The Con side need only show a single example where X appears with Y to claim victory. I provided two examples where one might meet Pro's expanded definition of "irreligious" while still holding a belief that death of the physical vessel is not the end of life. Again, these beliefs need not be logical or be supported by evidence to meet the requirement of being irreligious. They only need to be beliefs that are not based on religion, mysticism, or the supernatural. Even though illness prevented me from putting the effort into my arguments that I would have liked, I believe that I have successfully met the requirements to defeat the resolution on the table.
Debate Round No. 5
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by zeromeansnothing 1 year ago
zeromeansnothing
Hi Pfalcon1318,

just go with your definitions and I will debate with you. You cannot be sincere or consistent in your indifference/hostilitiy to religion if you yourself dabble in the absurd ie notions of an afterlife. You either set the bar at proof or you set it at spoof. I am finished explaining this. Debate or don't.
Posted by Pfalcon1318 1 year ago
Pfalcon1318
also, "irreligious" by definition means being indifferent or hostile to religion, and "religion" is belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power.
Posted by Pfalcon1318 1 year ago
Pfalcon1318
So what are you arguing then? Believing in an afterlife and being irreligious is contradictory how?
Posted by canis 1 year ago
canis
As a non religious person you can dream everything..But know it is a dream
Posted by zeromeansnothing 1 year ago
zeromeansnothing
hi boognish,,
You are welcome to make your points on this. I disagree with your statement from the get-go. You are welcome to debate me on this topic . It might be fun. If you can find a difference between religion and God belief you are welcome to try. For me,irreligious, involves rejecting all orthodox religions, all forms of mysticism and the occult, all supernatural or magical notions, ie everything. BS in other words. If I do not experience it or feel it or sense it or see it , I don't buy it. That means when you die you die. I hope that provides some clarity.
A simple example might be that if I have a contrived narrative about fairies in the woods at night then I am on the same side as the talking donkey of Balaam. I would have to make exceptions for people with genuine mental illnesses that induce terrible hallucinations. Again with the exception of the use of narcotics I feel that religious entails some level of willful adherence to the acceptance of the unreal. I apologize for rambling. If you want to debate I accept your participation with relish.
Posted by zeromeansnothing 1 year ago
zeromeansnothing
hi Pfalcon1318,

not believing in something religious, ie irreligious is hardly a belief, in the same way that a regular meat eater is not an avid fan of vegetarian cookbooks. They are hardly 'irrevegies'. I think.
Posted by boognish 1 year ago
boognish
I'd take the con position on this resolution. I think that a definition of what you mean by "irreligious" would be helpful though. Many theists/deists could be considered irreligious.
Posted by Pfalcon1318 1 year ago
Pfalcon1318
So you are arguing that an irreligious person contradicts their beliefs by believing in an afterlife?
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