The Instigator
FuzzyCatPotato
Pro (for)
Winning
11 Points
The Contender
baus
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Negative Atheism is Correct

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
FuzzyCatPotato
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/25/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 787 times Debate No: 55401
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (6)
Votes (3)

 

FuzzyCatPotato

Pro

Rounds:
1st: Acceptance only.
2nd: Opening arguments only.
3rd: Both rebuttals and new arguments.
4th: Rebuttals only.
5th: Summaries only.
Debate Round No. 1
FuzzyCatPotato

Pro

I thank my opponent for this debate, and hope that my formatting is better.

---

Definitions:

Negative atheism is the lack of belief in the existence of any deities.

Deities are supernatural entities capable of interacting with the natural universe.

---

2P1. Burden of Proof

Definition of Burden of Proof: "the obligation to prove one's assertion," Google [1].

Whoever has the Burden of Proof must provide information to back up their assertion, while the person without the Burden of Proof may simply rebut information given by the other. This is because whoever does not have the Burden of Proof has the default position, which does not require any proof to maintain.

2P1A. Default Position

My opponent has the Burden of Proof to prove that Negative Atheism is incorrect, because Negative Atheism is the default position in the lack of evidence, because it is the least complex worldview.

Let"s look at this through Occam"s Razor.

Definition of Occam"s Razor: "[A]mong competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected. " [M]ore complicated solutions may " prove correct, but"in the absence of [evidence]"the fewer assumptions that are made, the better. The " principle " shifts the burden of proof in a discussion. The razor states that one should proceed to simpler theories until simplicity can be traded for greater explanatory power," Wikipedia [2].

In a Negative Atheist worldview, fewer assumptions are made than in any religious worldview. For example, contrast a Negative Atheist universe and a Christian universe.

Negative Atheism: "The universe exists."

Christianity: "The universe exists, and God exists."

In both worlds, both people assume that the universe exists. However, only in the Christian universe do people, additionally, assume that God exists. The existence of at least one additional assumption holds true for all religions, and is one of the defining characteristics of religion.

However, without proof, you should not accept the Christian worldview, because it makes unproven assumptions. A similar scenario is given below:

Aunicornism: "The universe exists."

Unicornism: "The universe exists, and unicorns exist."

Clearly one would not accept that the default position is that unicorns exist, and that one must disprove the existence of unicorns in order to not believe in them. This is because we use Occam"s Razor in our lives to choose the most simple explanation for events, rather than inventing crazy theories to describe everyday events. The same holds true for religion and philosophy.

Thus, Negative Atheism makes fewer assumptions, and must be assumed true unless a theory with more explanatory power is proven correct. Thus, the Burden of proof of my opponent is to prove that a deity exists, which would prove that Negative Atheism does not have enough explanatory power and must be rejected for a more powerful explanatory theory.

2P1B. Contrapositives

Definition of Contrapositive: "The contrapositive of a conditional statement is formed by negating both the hypothesis and the conclusion, and then interchanging the resulting negations," Regentsprep [3].

My opponent may claim that the statement that the contrapositive of Negative Atheistic belief places the burden of proof on the Negative Atheist.

This is simply incorrect, and results from failure to correctly state the Negative Atheist opinion.

An original statement: "If H, then C."
Contrapositive: "If not C, then not H."

If the first statement is true, then so is the second; if false, then false.

Negative Atheism: "If there is no evidence for a deity, then a deity does not exist."
Contrapositive: "If a deity does exist, then there is evidence for a deity."

If the first statement is true, then so is the second; if false, then false.

As such, the only Negative Atheist burden from this contrapositive would be to prove that if a deity exists and that if it interacts with the universe there would be evidence for its existence, which is quite obviously true, because interaction would change the universe in an observable way.

---

Conclusion:

The Affirmative needs no further contentions, because it is enough to Affirm if the Negative fails to prove that a deity exists.

---

References:

[1] https://www.google.com...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...'s_razor
[3] http://www.regentsprep.org...
baus

Con

Pro raises the issue of burden of proof. I would like to remind Pro that the burden of proof lies on Pro in this debate as Pro is making the claim that negative atheism is correct whereas I am simply able to win if I can prevent the BoP of Pro being met.

Pro begins his/her argument by stating that negative atheism is the default position and that I have BoP. If this were the case, then the debate would be entitled "negative atheism is incorrect" and I would be Pro. Since my opponent is, by default, asserting the correctness of negative atheism the BoP lies on his/her shoulders as opposed to mine.

To justify the fallacious claim that the BoP is mine, Pro states that negative atheism is the default position due to being the least complex worldview. I will not only prove Deism to be the least complex world view but will also prove that either Gnostic Theism, or gnostic atheism must be correct whereas negative atheism cannot, possibly, be the correct position.

Occam's Razor refutes itself because, if we are to reach the conclusion regarding how to find a conclusion, to apply a razor would contradict the philosophy of applying as little as is necessary. Thus, the razor itself is an unnecessary complication regarding seeking an answer and therefore Occam's razor defeats its own necessity due to it not being the least complicated possibility in methods to seek answers.

My opponent goes on to state that negative atheism makes fewer assumptions than any other world view.

I shall now present to you a set of world views and then go on to prove to you why negative atheism is not the least complex one after all. After this, I shall prove that negative atheism makes more assumptions than the others.

Agnosticism is the position that the existence and nature of a god or gods are unknown or unknowable. [http://rationalwiki.org...]

Ignosticism is the theological position that the subject of debate (the existence of one or more gods) has not been coherently defined. While agnosticism states that "you can't really know either way" regarding the existence or non-existence of God, ignosticism posits that "you haven't even agreed on what you're discussing." [http://rationalwiki.org...]

Negative atheism is, in the words of Pro itself, the belief that all of the universe exists whilst a supernatural creator of any kind does not, but possibly can if evidence is later presented.

Now I shall prove to you that, out of those four beliefs, negative atheism not only makes the most assumptions but is the least likely of the four to be true.

Whilst agnosticism states that nothing can be known about God and that, therefore, no conclusion can be reached, negative atheism forces one to reach the conclusion that God does not exist due to a lack of evidence. This assumes that we can rely on physical evidence for the existence of a non-physical entity and that, on top of this, "god" is even knowable to begin with.

Ignosticism denies that any consistent definition of god's nature has been reached and that until such a definition has been reached, the existence of God will remain indisputable and inconclusive. Aside from the fact that Ignosticism's logic is flaws and axiomatic, it also is provable by the fact that each religion defines God's nature and what God is seeking completely differently to the others. On the other hand, negative atheism makes the assumption that we can judge God's existence base don evidence placed before us, despite not even knowing what God is to begin with. This is not only a further assumption to make but is also an erroneous claim as God is not physically definable and thus physical evidence will never be able to be used for or against he existence of whatever form of thing God may be.

Now I shall move onto the theory of Deism and prove why it makes more sense than negative atheism.

Deism states that there was a god and that all of science is true but that the original source of the matter and energy which science relies upon studying is a god that no longer cares for this universe, nor influences its discourse. [http://rationalwiki.org...] This is not only supported by the fact that matter and energy exist, and thus must have originated somewhere, but also by the fact that energy is no longer created or destroyed[http://www.icr.org...], it only changes form (indicating that it's no longer any influence from whatever created the original, finite amount of energy that perpetually alters form). Negative atheism asserts that matter and energy exist, via evidence. It then asserts that since we have no proof of an original creator, we must conclude that no creator exists. These two assertions lead to the loophole of things existing without origin. My opponent must prove how and why this is physically possible and how evidence could possibly lead one to conclude that all of matter and energy had no true origin whatsoever. He must additionally how magnetism, gravity and consciousness arose via physical means, as opposed to supernatural ones. If he fails to do so, he only furthermore proves the negative atheism has a severe logical gap, or loophole, in its "lack of assertion" that requires it to assert many other irrational things due to its lack of assertion in a creator.

On a final note, I shall prove how negative atheism cannot possible be correct because only gnostic Theism, gnostic Deism or gnostic atheism can be correct.

I call it Pascal's wager on LSD.

Here is the definition of correct: Free from error; in accordance with fact or truth. http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...

Let's take the type of God that exists as being a number on a possibly existent roulette.

A man enters the room blindfolded, ear-plugged, noses blocked, mouth taped shut and their entire body is clothed with latex. You perform a tracheotomy[http://www.wikihow.com...] so the man can breathe.

Before he entered the room, he'd already been told what was about to happen to him.

This is what he knows, from what he was told before he had all these things happen to him:

(1) There is possibly a roulette in front of him, that it is possibly going to be spun once he dies and that the bet that he places on it right before he dies will be taken as his bet (he will communicate via telepathic reading, which definitely works accurately).

(2) That if he chooses to not bet at all, he will not be able to win the roulette and may have to suffer for eternity, if such a place of suffering exists.

(3) That if he chooses the wrong roulette number he will also suffer this eternity.

(4) That if he bets on the roulette rolling no number at all, or the roulette not truly existing, it will redeem him the same punishment as number 2.

(5) That if he bets on the roulette's number no longer having an influence on him, he might be right but might experience outcome number 2 if a number is the true one.

(6) That if he bets on the right number, he will be eternally rewarded, or punished less than he would have at the very least. He is told that this will only possibly happen if he puts his entire faith in that number being the right one.

Unlike a normal roulette, this roulette has almost infinite numbers on it. The man is not allowed to think a number, but must think of which god he truly believes to be real. The telepathic machine will equate the corresponding number and then he shall be killed. He is not allowed to randomly bet a number and let he reverse process bet a random God.

In scenarios three, four, five and six the man may have bet correctly. However, it is blatantly clear that number 2 is not possible to be a correct bet as no bet as all has been placed.

Thus, negative atheism cannot be correct for it makes no claim or assertion regarding God for it to be correct on.
Debate Round No. 2
FuzzyCatPotato

Pro

2C1: "[T]he burden of proof lies on Pro ... as Pro is making the claim that negative atheism is correct whereas I am ... able to win if I can prevent the BoP of Pro being met. .... [M]y opponent ... asserting the correctness of negative atheism[,] the BoP ... on his/her shoulders[.]"

1. I have fulfilled my Burden of Proof by demonstrating that negative atheism is the default position, and that in the absence of contrary evidence we should choose it. If I am able to prove that negative atheism is the default and that no contrary evidence exists, then I have fulfilled my Burden of Proof.

2. Debate doesn't have inherent rules about BoP; instead, we conclude them from the positions we take. Irrelevant here, but true regardless.

---

2C2: "Occam's Razor refutes itself because ... to apply a razor would contradict ... applying as little as is necessary. ... [T]he razor ... is an unnecessary complication ... and therefore ... defeats its own necessity due to it not being the least complicated ... methods to seek answers."

1. My opponent fundamentally misunderstands Occam's Razor. Occam's Razor doesn't care how complex the method for finding the answer is, only that the answer is as simple as possible without reducing predictive power. It doesn't matter how much or how little research Einstein put into the Theory of Relativity, only how (a) predictively powerful the theory is, and (b) how simple the theory is. As such, "applying as little as is necessary" is not a correct application of Occam's Razor.

2. If Occam's Razor is not the least complicated method, please provide a simpler one that also maximizes predictive power.

---

2C3A: "Agnosticism is the position that the existence and nature of ... gods are unknown or unknowable. .... and ... therefore, no conclusion can be reached, negative atheism forces one to reach the conclusion that God does not exist due to a lack of evidence. This assumes ... we can rely on physical evidence for the existence of a non-physical entity and that ... "god" is even knowable to begin with."

1. Strong Agnosticism (we CAN'T know) makes the epistemological claim that it's impossible to know about the existence of deities. This claim needs proof; without proof, it would be an assumption, and thus make more assumptions than Negative Atheism does.

2. Weak Agnosticism (we DON'T know) takes the lack of evidence for the existence of gods and fails to interpret it whatsoever, other than to say that "we don't know"; however, by applying Occam's Razor, we can come to the conclusion that Negative Atheism is a simpler system, because it, unlike Weak Agnosticism, fails to make the assumption that gods may possibly exist, which requires evidence. (Conversely, the assumption that gods may not exist does not require evidence, because it is possible for anything to not exist.)

3. Relying on physical evidence and logical evidence has worked pretty well for science (if you believe the outside world exists, anyways), and seeing as ALL positions are going to make an assumption (for or against) on this matter, none make more or fewer than Negative Atheism does. Unless my opponent wants to argue hard for complete skepticism, there's no impact.

4. My opponent must provide a method through which it would be impossible to "know" about a god or any aspects of said god. Regardless of the existence of this method, if any gods are impossible to know about or impossible to physically define, then there is no way that such god(s) could be proven or disproven, which makes them unfalsifiable and without evidence of existence, which leads us back to Occam's Razor.

---

2C3B: "Ignosticism's logic is flaws (sic) and axiomatic, it ... is provable by the fact that each religion defines God's nature ... completely differently[.] ... [N]egative atheism makes the assumption that we can judge God's existence base (sic) don (sic) evidence ... despite not even knowing what God is[.] ... This is ... a further assumption ... also ... erroneous ... as God is not physically definable and thus physical evidence will never be able to be used for or against ... whatever ... God may be."

1. Look to my definition of "deity" this issue is quite reasonably resolved. If my opponent states that this definition is also incoherent, they must provide a reason why.

2. See objection 2C3A:4.

3. It is as much an assumption to believe that it is possible to understand a god as it is to believe that it is impossible to understand/define a god, unless proven otherwise.

4. My opponent states that a god is non-physical; Reject this unless proven.

---

2C3C: "Deism ... is ... supported by the fact that matter and energy exist, and ... must have originated somewhere[.] ... My opponent must prove how ... possible ... that all of matter and energy had no true origin whatsoever. He must additionally how magnetism, gravity and consciousness arose via physical means, as opposed to supernatural ones. If he fails to do so, he only furthermore proves the negative atheism has a severe logical gap, or loophole, in its "lack of assertion" that requires it to assert many other irrational things due to its lack of assertion in a creator."

1. ICR? Really?

2. Negative Atheism states nothing about the origin of the universe, etc. -- it's a conclusion we draw from it. As such, NONE of these statements are assumptions of Negative Atheism, and do not fall under the purview of Occam's Razor.

3. My opponent is fundamentally making the Cosmological Argument [1]. There are quite a few problems with the Cosmological Argument.

3.1: The Cosmological Argument makes the assumption that EVERYTHING must have a cause. While this is empirically observed, it is NOT a philosophical or logical truth. My opponent must uphold the assumption that, logically speaking, there are no uncaused causes.

3.2: Even making the aforementioned assumption, the Cosmological Argument merely pushes back creation one iteration. If EVERYTHING must have a creator, then God, too, must have a creator. Otherwise this argument is just special pleading [2].

3.3: If the deistic doesn't need a creator because he is eternal, then an eternal universe would also not need a creator. Seeing as it's hypothesized that the Big Bang created time [3], the universe could potentially be "eternal", and would similarly not need a cause.

3.4: Entities such as quantum fluctuations are not caused by anything, but yet allow for temporary imbalances in energy to occur in the universe [4]. If the universe DOES have a net positive or negative energy, who is to say that our universe isn't balanced by an anti-universe with negative energy?

3.5: Moreover, multiple Zero-Energy Universe interpretations state that it is possible for the universe to have zero energy (and thus come from nothing) because the negative energy of the universe balances the positive energy of the universe [5].

3.6: We don't currently know enough about the beginning of the universe to assert that a god is necessary or not, making this an argument from ignorance [6].

---

2C4: "LSD Pascal's Wager. .... some guy makes a cosmic bet and dies .... [N]egative atheism cannot be correct ... it makes no claim or assertion regarding God for it to be correct on."

1. Note: The consequences of a theory doesn't impact its truth and to state otherwise is fallacious [7]. Further, from my opponent's definition of correct as "Free from error; in accordance with fact or truth," [8] it's not even topical.

An image or two are relevant here: http://1.bp.blogspot.com...
and: http://burningandfrigid.files.wordpress.com...

2. Negative atheism DOES make a claim -- that without evidence FOR the existence of a god we should not believe that one exists. If my opponent can find evidence for the existence of a god, then they certainly have disproven Negative Atheism, making it quite falsifiable.

3. The Wager makes quite a few assumptions.

3.1: It's impossible to believe that something is true by sheer will alone (that doxastic voluntarism [9] is true) and it's questionable whether a god cares whether belief is real or fake. Certain gods might accept fake belief, while other gods might only minorly reward fake belief, while other gods might punish fake belief less, just as, or more heavily as nonbelief. This makes calculation quite difficult.

3.2: Belief in any given religion may cause one to be forced into large-scale harm of other human beings, which certainly outweighs getting personal benefit in many theories of morality.

3.3: It's possible that certain gods would either not punish, reward, or punish more heavily atheism, just as it is possible that certain gods would either not punish, reward, or punish more heavily other-god-worshippers.

3.4: There are certainly many gods which could promise you an infinite possible afterlife and could coexist with other gods -- think the Flying Spaghetti Monster and the Invisible Purple Unicorn. A subset of an infinite number of gods would also be infinite, meaning that if you believed in all of these gods, you would have the maximum chance of a good afterlife. Certainly my opponent would not support believing in as many gods as possible at once -- do tell us why.

3.5: For every potential god that will send a person to Heaven for an action, there exists a potential antigod that will send a person to Hell for the same action, cancelling out any potential value from actively worshipping a god.

---

References:

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...

[3] http://science.howstuffworks.com...
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org...

[5] http://en.wikipedia.org...

[6] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[7] http://en.wikipedia.org...

[8] http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...

[9] http://rationalwiki.org...

baus

Con

baus forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
FuzzyCatPotato

Pro

My opponent has foreited, largely due to being banned. Good luck to my opponent in getting unbanned, if possible and if my opponent so desires.

Extend my arguments.
baus

Con

baus forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
FuzzyCatPotato

Pro

My opponent has foreited, largely due to being banned. Good luck to my opponent in getting unbanned, if possible and if my opponent so desires.

Extend my arguments.
baus

Con

baus forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Daltonian 3 years ago
Daltonian
Positive Atheists? I think the majority of those ones are the young teens who don't fully understand the premise behind it.

The whole *point* of being an atheist is justified behind the fact that there is no evidence for any belief, and thus a lack of justification for having one.

Good luck, Pro.
Posted by FuzzyCatPotato 3 years ago
FuzzyCatPotato
Negative atheism the lack of belief in the existence of any deities.
As opposed to positive atheism, or the belief that there are no deities.

@PeacefulChaos
If that was sarcasm I fully approve.
If not, it's woefully incorrect.
Posted by PeacefulChaos 3 years ago
PeacefulChaos
It's the same thing as atheism, but you have to be pessimistic about everything.

Well, don't even bother becoming a pessimist. It wouldn't work out anyway.
Posted by SeventhProfessor 3 years ago
SeventhProfessor
Well, never mind then...
Posted by Fanath 3 years ago
Fanath
I was about to literally ask the exact same question.
Posted by SeventhProfessor 3 years ago
SeventhProfessor
Define "negative atheism"
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by lannan13 3 years ago
lannan13
FuzzyCatPotatobausTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture
Vote Placed by Raymond_Reddington 3 years ago
Raymond_Reddington
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Vote Placed by Ajab 3 years ago
Ajab
FuzzyCatPotatobausTied
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Reasons for voting decision: FF