The Instigator
FuzzyCatPotato
Pro (for)
Winning
7 Points
The Contender
Truth_seeker
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 1 vote the winner is...
FuzzyCatPotato
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/28/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 507 times Debate No: 55615
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (6)
Votes (1)

 

FuzzyCatPotato

Pro

Rounds:
1st: Acceptance only.
2nd: Opening arguments only.
3rd: Both rebuttals and new arguments.
4th: Rebuttals only.
5th: Summaries only.

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.
- Correct means free from error.
Debate Round No. 1
FuzzyCatPotato

Pro

I thank my opponent for this debate.

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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 excessively crazy theories to describe everyday events. The same holds true

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.”
Its 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.”
Its 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.

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Conclusion:

The Affirmative needs no further contentions, because it is enough to Affirm if the Negative has no contentions.

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References:

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

Con

I thank my opponent for this debate

In this debate, i will show how Negative Atheism is not the best position to take at all.

I will start by defining atheism:

Atheism is the rejection of the existence all deities

Atheists aren't necessarily scientists or philosophers. Atheists can support science, logic, and philosophy, but atheism is simply the lack of belief in any deity.

My position is that atheism fails to provide a solid basis for studying God and religion because of a lack of science and strict methods in history, archaeology, and other fields to back up many atheist claims. For one, who is to say that science is the only path to understanding reality? Who's to say that philosophy gives us all the answers? More importantly, how can you prove the existence of a being beyond the natural senses? You can't, but it doesn't imply that he doesn't exist. How can you disprove him? You can't. Science is only concerned with what is observable, not anything related to the supernatural.

Atheism cannot ensure that God doesn't exist, therefore atheism is just a belief without evidence. Atheists can support their views with scientific evidence, but science doesn't necessarily support atheism. In other words, science and reason stand on their own, not necessarily implying that atheism is to be chosen as well.
Debate Round No. 2
FuzzyCatPotato

Pro

Rebuttal:

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Con, Rd2: "defining atheism: Atheism is the rejection of the existence all deities"

Contrast with "Negative atheism is the lack of belief in the existence of any deities." This definition fits POSITIVE Atheism, NOT Negative Atheism.

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Con, Rd2: "Atheists aren't necessarily scientists or philosophers. Atheists can support science, logic, and philosophy, but atheism is simply the lack of belief in any deity."

True. And?

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Con, Rd2: "[A]theism fails to provide a solid basis for studying God and religion because of a lack of science and strict methods in history, archaeology, and other fields to back up many atheist claims."

I fail to see how a religious worldview would inherently promote and provide science, "strict methods in history", and archaeology. Science doesn't come from a religion or a lack of religion -- science is secular, and has nothing to do with religion. As such, this point makes no impact either way. However, religiosity may have negative impacts on willingness to do scientific research and to open-mindedly accept new results, though research on this issue isn't necessarily conclusive yet. In addition, atheists are generally more intelligent, suggesting that religion survives in part because of ignorance [1][2], or merely because it "feels" right.

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Con, Rd2: "[W]ho is to say that science is the only path to understanding reality? Who's to say that philosophy gives us all the answers?"

If you want to offer an alternative path to knowledge than empirical study, please do. IF you want to offer an alternative to logic, please do. Otherwise, I'll continue to believe in their effectiveness and predictive power, because both have worked pretty well in the past.

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Con, Rd2: "More importantly, how can you prove the existence of a being beyond the natural senses? You can't, but it doesn't imply that he doesn't exist. How can you disprove him? You can't. Science is only concerned with what is observable, not anything related to the supernatural."

Look to my definition of deities, or "supernatural entities capable of interacting with the natural universe." If a deity has not interacted with the universe and would have no evidence to support its existence, and through Occam's Razor we would reject it as unnecessary. (Or else we would believe in every single deity that hasn't interacted with the universe.) And if a deity HAS interacted with the universe, then it would either be (1) unobservable, and go back to the first point, or (2) observable, and thus provable or disprovable through science. As such, the lack of evidence of deities allows us to make the conclusion that deities do not exist, or, if they do, that we don't have evidence for them.

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Con, Rd2: "Atheism cannot ensure that God doesn't exist, therefore atheism is just a belief without evidence."

Negative atheism doesn't NEED to show that God doesn't exist, because negative atheism doesn't need to disprove ANY gods. Only if you provide evidence FOR a god is Negative Atheism obligated to disprove it.

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Con, Rd2: "Atheists can support their views with scientific evidence, but science doesn't necessarily support atheism. In other words, science and reason stand on their own, not necessarily implying that atheism is to be chosen as well."

I don't disagree. However, this doesn't prove negative atheism wrong in any way.

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Summary:

My opponent has failed to provide sufficient reasons to believe in the existence of a god, and as such, Pro prevails.

---

References:

[1] http://www.religionnews.com...
[2] http://www.psychologytoday.com...
Truth_seeker

Con

Truth_seeker forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
FuzzyCatPotato

Pro

Unfortunately my opponent forfeited Round 3. If my opponent wishes to make a rebuttal in Round 4 to have some attempt of winning this debate, I will not hold it against my opponent.
Truth_seeker

Con

Truth_seeker forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
FuzzyCatPotato

Pro

My opponent has forfeited.

Extend all my points.

Vote Pro.
Truth_seeker

Con

Truth_seeker forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Jjjohn 2 years ago
Jjjohn
"Atheism cannot ensure that God doesn't exist, therefore atheism is just a belief without evidence."

no, atheism is a conclusion based on the available evidence. we see no evidence of a god AND we see the refutation of evidence presented in favor of the existence of a god, so the conclusion is that there is no god.

by saying "Atheism cannot ensure that God doesn't exist," you are claiming that 100% certainty is required to make a conclusion. why do you not use the same standard for the belief in a god? 'theists cannot ensure that God exists, therefore theism is just a belief without evidence."

using your logic, agnosticism is the only valid conclusion.
Posted by FuzzyCatPotato 2 years ago
FuzzyCatPotato
@mendel:
Will do.
@doomswatter:
I was going to put it in Round 2, but just for you I edited my debate.
Posted by doomswatter 2 years ago
doomswatter
Please define "negative atheism" and "correct" in your opening round.
Posted by mendel 2 years ago
mendel
I would accept but i have a big Jewish holiday coming up on which it's forbidden (by g-d) for Jews to actively use any electrical devices.
If you challenge me in a week i'll disprove your argument (i read it on the other debate and it has a terrible flaw).
Posted by FuzzyCatPotato 2 years ago
FuzzyCatPotato
Negative atheism as opposed to everything else, including positive atheism and other irreligious beliefs.

Agnosticism is when you either (strong) say that you cannot know if God exists or (weak) that we currently do not know if God exists, while Negative Atheism is when you say that, because there is no evidence for a deity, you should not believe in one.
Posted by mendel 2 years ago
mendel
Negative atheism as opposed to Positive atheism or as opposed to everything else i.e. theism.

Also whats the difference between agnosticism and Negative atheism.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Cold-Mind 2 years ago
Cold-Mind
FuzzyCatPotatoTruth_seekerTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Con made his own definition in round 2 of what Pro defined in round 1.