The Instigator
BigSky
Con (against)
Losing
15 Points
The Contender
qopel
Pro (for)
Winning
21 Points

One Can Be Both Agnostic and Atheist

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 8 votes the winner is...
qopel
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/22/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,287 times Debate No: 30578
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (122)
Votes (8)

 

BigSky

Con

You cannot be both Agnostic and Atheist. Burden of Proof is shared, make your argument.
Debate Round No. 1
BigSky

Con

Thank you my opponent for accepting this debate, though I politely ask you to make your own arguments. Otherwise, I would not be debating you, but the source you posted.

My opponent’s website defines atheism as:

“An atheist is one who lacks a belief in god(s). Some atheists also believe that the existence of god(s) can be disproved logically or empirically. Some atheists concede that it may be impossible to know for sure whether a god can or does exist. Regardless, they still lack an affirmative belief in a deity. Anyone who does not affirmatively believe in god(s) is an atheist by default. In this sense, babies are born atheists.”

This differs greatly from the actual dictionary definition of atheism.

Atheism: The doctrine or belief that there is no God.

http://dictionary.reference.com...

“Lacks a belief,” and “a belief there is no God” have different meanings. If one lacks a belief in God, they do not deny his existence, they merely do not wish to make an assumption that God exists. Which is actually the definition of Agnosticism. The website provided by my opponent doesn’t actually say the two terms mean the same thing, it just provides false definitions of each.

The website defines agnostic as:

”An agnostic is one who claims that the existence of god(s) is unknowable. Agnosticism is often described as a half-way house for those who are undecided about belief, or are waiting for more evidence before making a decision-- These positions are not bad or weak in any way, but agnosticism says nothing about a person's belief in the existence of god(s); it only addresses knowledge of that existence. Therefore a person can be an atheist and an agnostic (depending on the definition of god being used), or a theist (one who believes in god(s)) and an agnostic.”

The website did in fact get this definition correct, or atleast more correct then it did atheism.

The Dictionary defines it as:

Agnostic: A person who holds the belief that the existence of the ultimate cause, as God, and the essential nature of things are unknown and unknowable, or that human knowledge is limited to experience.

http://dictionary.reference.com...


Atheists deny the existence of God. Agnostics do not deny the existence of God, they simply do not believe there is evidence as to whether God exists or doesn’t. Therefore, Atheism and Agnosticism are not the same, and one cannot deny God whilst not denying God. One cannot be both Atheist and Agnostic.

Thank You

qopel

Pro

Many people think an Agnostic is the same as being an Atheist. There is a difference and they are not mutually exclusive. You can, in fact, be an Agnostic Atheist.
You can also be an Agnostic Theist. The opposite of Agnostic is Gnostic. You can be a Gnostic Atheist or you can be a Gnostic Theist.
Agnosticism is based on what you know, while Atheism is based on what you believe.
In order to be an Agnostic, you have to admit you don"t know for sure. Since
nobody can prove that there is no God and not enough evidence exists that can
prove that there is a God, it would be fair to say that every person who values evidence, is an Agnostic. Sure, there are people who claim they know that there is, or isn"t, a God. That would make them Gnostic. If you claim you know for sure,
you"d need evidence to back that claim up.
Atheism is the lack of the belief in a God. If you believe in a God, you are a
Theist. If you lack the belief in a God, you are an Atheist.
If you don"t believe there is a God and claim you know there isn"t a God, you
are a Gnostic Atheist. If you don"t believe there is a God, but admit you don"t
know for sure, you are an Agnostic Atheist. If you do believe in a God and admit
you aren"t sure, you are an Agnostic Theist. If you believe there is a God and you
claim you know for sure, you are a Gnostic Theist.
Most Atheists are critical thinkers and rely on evidence. Without evidence, you
can"t know for sure. That"s why most Atheists are also Agnostic. There are Atheists who actually do claim they know for sure that there is no God, so not all Atheists are Agnostic.
Because of the social stigma associated with the word Atheist, many Atheist
call themselves Agnostic.
Debate Round No. 2
BigSky

Con

My opponent is using a false definition in order to prove his false argument. I extend my first argument because my opponent has not reuftted my points. Atheism is not the lack of a belief.
qopel

Pro

Given that there are millions of websites, you can literally find a website that says anything you want it to say.

Who's to say which ones are more credible?

https://www.facebook.com...

http://www.nyu.edu...

http://en.wikipedia.org...

http://en.wikipedia.org...

I can however speak from personal experience. I am an Atheist. The reason I am an Atheist is because I don't have enough evidence to believe in a God.
I do no claim there is no God. I can not prove there is no God. I just believe there is a God.
Like you said "Atheism believes you do not believe in God" However, I don't deny God's existence. I reject the claim that there is a God, based on the lack of evidence.

Your definition of Atheism is either wrong or outdated. In either case, I reject your definition.
Debate Round No. 3
122 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by qopel 4 years ago
qopel
rross: Faking you're 100 doesn't make you fake? Yeah, OK.
Posted by TrasguTravieso 4 years ago
TrasguTravieso
fourty rather
Posted by TrasguTravieso 4 years ago
TrasguTravieso
That's why those women who say they're 39 when they're really thirty are always the prime suspects in murder investigations.
Posted by qopel 4 years ago
qopel
AnthraSight 1 got his pro and con confused. It was CON who kept giving dictionary sources. PRO should have gotten those votes.
Posted by qopel 4 years ago
qopel
If you lie about your age, you can lie about anything.
Posted by TrasguTravieso 4 years ago
TrasguTravieso
Seriously? You complain about the debates you win too? Your life must be terribly frustrating.
Posted by rross 4 years ago
rross
And to suggest that somehow BigSky persuaded me to vote for him externally to the debate is really quite offensive to us both. He did not.
Posted by rross 4 years ago
rross
Qopel, don't be silly. Look how many debates I've done. I'm not 100 years old, it's true, but I'm not a fake person either.
Posted by qopel 4 years ago
qopel
I hate unfair debates.
Posted by Consummator 4 years ago
Consummator
I hate one sided debates.
8 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Vote Placed by AnthraSight 4 years ago
AnthraSight
BigSkyqopelTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct Con, because of Pro's use of a link rather than an argument on round 1. Counter Wiploc for sources, and in terms of debate, I simply think Con brought up substantive points whereas Pro just kept giving dictionary quotes without dealing with the logic.
Vote Placed by Apeiron 4 years ago
Apeiron
BigSkyqopelTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Counter induced
Vote Placed by TrasguTravieso 4 years ago
TrasguTravieso
BigSkyqopelTied
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Total points awarded:15 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct Con, because of Pro's use of a link rather than an argument on round 1. Sources Pro because he showed that the term agnostic is contested and cannot be settled with a single dictionary definition. Arguments Pro, because in showing this and using personal experience to show that many who consider themselves atheists (and some who consider themselves theists) also consider themselves agnostics because they do not know their position to be true beyond any shadow of a doubt.
Vote Placed by KRFournier 4 years ago
KRFournier
BigSkyqopelTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro had the more convincing argument, but Con gets conduct since Pro only posted a link for his opening argument.
Vote Placed by rross 4 years ago
rross
BigSkyqopelTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: I think posting a link instead of an argument is poor form and also it's a way around the character limit (conduct). So this debate came down to definitions and, in particular, should we believe the dictionary or wikipedia? I don't know. Neither side defended their sources. So it comes down to Con introducing his in round 2 when it could still be argued, and Pro introducing his in round 3 when it couldn't.
Vote Placed by induced 4 years ago
induced
BigSkyqopelTied
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Reasons for voting decision: belief doesnt equal knowledge
Vote Placed by wiploc 4 years ago
wiploc
BigSkyqopelTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Firstguy misrepresented his dictionary. I don't normally vote points for sources, but when you misrepresent your own source, that is worth points. Firstguy's whole case depends on his dictionary definition being dispositive, but if you follow his link, you find other conflicting definitions, some of which are compatible with Secondguy's case. Therefore Firstguy's case fails.
Vote Placed by likespeace 4 years ago
likespeace
BigSkyqopelTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con claimed one cannot be both an agnostic and an atheist. Pro provided reasonable definitions of atheist and agnostic--backed by multiple sources--that showed one could be both. Con's main contention was that reference.com's first definition of atheism does not allow for simultaneous agnosticism. However, his own source has a second and third definition that do allow for simultaneous agnosticism. Also, why this one source should be preferred before all others is never entirely clear. Even with a shared/equal burden of proof, Pro had the upper hand on the argument and sources. Con, if one's argument is based on their source being superior to their opponent's source, perhaps investing time to explain why your source is so credible is worthwhile. If you were citing the Oxford English Dictionary or American Heritage Dictionary, perhaps less of that would be needed.