The Instigator
RationalMadman
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
rosstheboss
Con (against)
Winning
20 Points

The BOP lies on atheists

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
rosstheboss
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/14/2012 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 858 times Debate No: 27978
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (7)
Votes (6)

 

RationalMadman

Pro

Since I was a baby boy and was first introduced to the idea of God I walways wondered if there was anyway to prove it wrong. Proving God is impossible because God, by definition is an all-knowing, all-powerful being beyond the scopes of human proof. However, to claim there to be no God and to deny such an awe-inspiring power requires proof since the theists themselves state their belief, and faith in it, are independent of physical evidence. Atheists however say that because there is no physical evidence for a non-physical all-powerful entity that it is therefore valid to deny its existence yet offer no alternative explanation as to where energy comes from and deny the possibility of God!

Atheism: disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods.

Agnosticism: a religious orientation of doubt; a denial of ultimate knowledge of the existence of God.

Please convert today.

FUN DEBATES FOR FUN PEOPLE :D

My name is Khan, and I am not a terrorist. :).

Just Kidding...

I am agnostic and my name is not for you to know.

;
rosstheboss

Con

All positive claims in their simplest form, require proof. If I claimed that elephants lived on Mars, i would have to provide the proof, not the skeptic. Therefore proof has to be provided by theists that there is a god, rather than proof from the atheist that there isn't. This is why I call upon my opponent to provide me indisputable evidence that there is a god. Your move.
Debate Round No. 1
RationalMadman

Pro

In a way theists are merely sceptics of atheism/nihilism.

Let me justify this statement.

Sceptic: a person inclined to question or doubt accepted opinions. http://oxforddictionaries.com...;
Nihilism: the rejection of all religious and moral principles, often in the belief that life is meaningless. http://oxforddictionaries.com...

Now, whilst it's true to say that not all atheists are nihilists, it is true to say that all theists are not nihilists. The fundamental motivation behind theism is the search for a meaning. This is in fact far more logical that merely assuming that everything we are comes to no reasoning at all (logical meaning what one cold rationally draw from the given information reality has supplied with them in their life). To think that all your personality, all your actions in life and all that you are and ever will be is worth zilch in the end is actually a rather pointless concept to accept. This urge to not think pointlesly or meanginglessly on an endless circle of scepticism is what drives religion.

The theists are essentially the band of humans whom live to seek meaning, a guidance to be as good a person as they can in the society in which they exist by whatever means they can (usually holy scripture of some sort combined with preachings of a holy man). They largely are not at all gnostic theists whom claim that undoubtedly their god is the true one and all others are idiots for believing otherwise (but I actually think there are many gnostic atheists in this day and age too). Ultimately gnostic theists and atheists are merely disillusioned individuals who thinkt hat because something feels true it is true with 100% certainty. tThis is not at all what we are debating.

While you combat my arguments saying that "If I claimed that elephants lived on Mars, i would have to provide the proof, not the skeptic. " you forget that what most theists are saying is that "god is definite and without doubt" it is actually "Without a god, I would have no reason for living, I would probably kill myslef or mutilate other humans i the process." complete chaos would exist if no one had morals. Luckily even atheists do due to, by pure chance, most human beings having a string of DNa which wires the brain to feel empathy. However if, by chance, on batch of humans happened to be majority psychopath (those who psychologically cannot feel guilt or empathy) I'm pretty sure that without religion or the concept of go dof some kind they would fall into an eternity of mindless slaughter pain and torture (which is exactly what civilisation has sought to oppose through hard work and religious perseverance, what I mena is that even scientists work 'religiously' basing theories and the hope to find something amazing on only 99.99999% certainty since nothing is known to 100% certainty.


To say you know, to a degree of certainty, that ther eis no god whatsoever is a far larger and more significant claim... is it not?
rosstheboss

Con

In your argument, you said: "To think that all your personality, all your actions in life and all that you are and ever will be is worth zilch in the end is actually a rather pointless concept to accept." I disagree with this statement because I would rather accept that I will die and stay dead, and make most of my time on earth, than be gullible and think that my soul will get sucked out of my body and I'll be living in the clouds for the rest of eternity.

Later you said that: "theists are essentially the band of humans whom live to seek meaning, a guidance to be as good a person as they can" Do you not agree that atheist can seek meaning and to be a good person? Theist often claim that they are "morally superior" to the rest of the world. The irony of that statement is not lost on me. Morals evolved in humans to further the chance of that humans DNA being passed on to the next generation. One of the arguments that creationists often resort to is: If morals developed through evolution, why do we help people we aren't even related to? The answer to this is actually quite simple. If you help someone, you expect something back. You may not know it, but when you lend someone a pencil, or give someone food, you want something in return. But why do we have organizations like the Red Cross. They don't expect anything back when they help out after an earthquake. Good point. The reason for this is because humans' DNA to eachother is more than 99% alike. That means that if they safe 100,000 people in an earthquake, 99% of their DNA is still being passed down by 100,000 people.

At the end of your argument, you said that Atheists are making a bigger claim that there is no god than theists' claim that there is a god. If anyone thought this statement over, they would realize just how silly it is. If I claim that a giant scorpion farted out the universe while juggling, and you denied it; who is making the bigger claim? I am. Why doesn't the same hold true for you the ridiculous concept of god?


Debate Round No. 2
RationalMadman

Pro

I don't understand where your evolution and DNA argument came into play it was totally irrelevant.

In reply to your attack on my last claim let me better explain it...

Atheists deny/disbelieve any and all possible gods of any nature whatsoever. Theists often propose a god of some kind or form merely suggesting that they have faith in it purely becaus eits possible not because they assert proof or 100% certainty (which no atheist should do either).

The different is atheist deny ALL GODS OF ANY KIND, while theists only propose one. Please explain how more BOP lies on theists.
rosstheboss

Con

First you were the one who brought up morals by saying "theists are essentially the band of humans whom live to seek meaning, a guidance to be as good a person as they can", and I was refuting your point by saying that morals naturally evolved.

Atheists say "I do not believe in god", not "there is no god" We are simply saying that because of lack of evidence, it would be illogical to assume that there is a god. Theists claim that "There is a god" not "There could be a god". Most theists assert with complete conviction that there is, without a doubt, a god. Theist are making a positive assertion, and atheist a negative assertion. To refresh your memory, a positive assertion is a claim that, in their simplest form, do not use the words: not, no, none, or the prefixes un, or dis. For example, a claim that bananas are poisonous to dogs, would have the burden of proof. A claim that bananas are not poisonous to dogs, would not hold the burden of proof. Likewise, a claim that there is a god, would hold the burden of proof. Not a claim that there is no god. Perceived size, or monumentality of a claim is not relevant to whom the burden of proof is thrust upon.
Debate Round No. 3
RationalMadman

Pro

Firstly there is no such thing as a 'negative' or 'positive' assertion because to assert anything to any degree requires some justification.

If you say 'bananas are not poisonous to dogs' especially if you sell bananas is one helluva claim to make. You'd have to ensure EVERY DOG ON EARTH is not going to be harmed by bananas. The other person merely has to prove that the banana can be poisonous to dogs. In the same way theists only assert that a form of god is possible and actually can be a very good guidance of the 'right' way to live, the atheists say no god WHATSOEVER is the true one and supply no evidence AT ALL!

Thanks.
rosstheboss

Con

Your second paragraph is quite frankly a cop out. You claim that the person saying "bananas are not poisonous to dogs" (the negative claimant) has to test bananas on every dog on earth, while the other person (the positive claimant) has to simply test on one to prove that they are not poisonous.

Honestly, think about it. If your friend (the positive claimant) said he had a pet dragon, and you (the negative claimant) said he didn't; who would have to provide the proof? You, or him?

This concept can, according to theists, be applied to every scenario imaginable, yet somehow religion gets a special privilege. In science if someone has a hypothesis, they have to prove it correct, the skeptic does not have to prove it wrong. This double standard is not only irrational, but it is plainly wrong.

Of course the negative claimant doesn't have to provide proof, because it is impossible to provide prove that something, whether it be gods, ghosts, or dragons; does not exist. Claimants simply have to show their discovery as proof. What can skeptics show, a lack of proof? This, by definition, is absolutely impossible.

For these reason, all positive claims require proof, and that it is literally impossible to prove most negative claims, the resolution must fall.
Debate Round No. 4
RationalMadman

Pro

I totally disagree.

Unless the 'negative' claimer can provide any more convincing explanation for how the universe originated (other than OH in one SINGULARITY, ALL ENERGY, ALL MASS, and EVERYTHING, was created from NOTHING, for NO REASON, by NO GREATER POWER) then sorry dude... The 'negative claim' is a 'negative' one indeed...

The supposed 'positive claimants' actually just offer theories. Unless you refer purely to Gnostic theists, which I never discussed ever. I said that to suggest there is a god of some kind, which our physical means of science can't explain, is responsible for everything existing, for our consciousness (for which there is no scientific explanation, since the brain is purely physical why is there some supernatural 'person' inside the head so to say? The feelings and sh*t)

In the end... There is no negative here. Not the way you describe it.

The atheists assert that they 'know' a way the universe came but without a god of any kind?!!! Impossible?!!

Anyways. Good debate.
rosstheboss

Con

In pro's closing argument, and throughout the whole debate, he made the ever so common Argument from ignorance. He says that somehow, just because no one knows the origins of the universe, god somehow is the only possible answer. One of the many issues with this blunder is that it does not solve the paradox. Something must have created god, and something must have created the creator of god, and so on. Basic logic shows that pro's argument does not hold up.

In closing, in this debate, as well as refuting pro's points, I raised the following points:

Claiming god exists, is a positive assertion. Positive assertions require proof. (R. 1-5)
Claiming god does not exist, is a negative assertion. Negative assertions do not require proof. (R. 1-5)
Morals evolved naturally, not through any deity. (R. 2)
And finally that religion is argument from ignorance. (R. 5)

For these reasons, the resolution must fall.
Thank you.
Debate Round No. 5
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by wiploc 4 years ago
wiploc
Pro defined atheism as non-theism. That is, you don't have to believe gods exist to be an atheist; you just have to not believe that they do exist. So, people with the neutral position, people who don't believe either way, are atheists. They have, as Pro phrased it "lack of belief."

So some atheists aren't making a "positive claim." They aren't saying that god does exist, nor are they saying that he doesn't. So they don't have the burden of proof. Con made this point. Pro never refuted it. Instead, Pro represented himself as a sociopath held in check only by his religion. That's off topic. It has nothing to do with who has the burden of proof.

Then Pro represented religious people as truth seekers, and hinted that atheists are nihilists. Those might be nice topics for other debates, but they're hardly relevant to this debate.

Pro has the burden of proof. He undertook to prove that atheists have the burden of proof. He never really tried to do that.

Persuasion: Con.
Posted by DeFool 4 years ago
DeFool
Continued from RFD:

It seemed unfair to award S&G simply because one side presented longer arguments than another. Since errors occurred at a very similar rate, this would have been the reason for scoring in this category.

As for sourcing, this would have conclusively ended the debate for Con, but sourcing was sadly ignored. A sourced definition for BOP would have been decisive. This is ironic, considering the subject matter; Pro should have been required to assume the burden of proof in this case... and demonstrate that his argument was supported.
Posted by rosstheboss 4 years ago
rosstheboss
Firstly for definitions, I am Agnostic Atheist. This means that I do not believe in god because of lack of evidence. Please write your arguments accordingly.

A gnostic atheist not only believes there are no gods, he also claims to know there are no gods.

An agnostic atheist doesn"t believe in gods, but doesn"t claim to know there are no gods.
Posted by RationalMadman 4 years ago
RationalMadman
You're most welcome.
Posted by phantom 4 years ago
phantom
Thanks for not answering my question.
Posted by RationalMadman 4 years ago
RationalMadman
To completely deny something requires proof.
Posted by phantom 4 years ago
phantom
I agree that positive atheism has a degree of the BoP, but are you saying they have the BoP over theists?
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 4 years ago
bladerunner060
RationalMadmanrossthebossTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con made a clean sweep; Pro attempts to shift the burden ONTO the null, which is ridiculous on its face. S&G is slightly better for Con than Pro. For once, I didn't note much to take conduct from this particular user...so there's that at least. Sources were equal.
Vote Placed by likespeace 4 years ago
likespeace
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro seemed to misunderstand atheism, which is a lack of belief in Gods. The burden of proof rests on the person making a positive claim, either "God exists" or "God does not exist." Theism universally takes the first position, but a-theism does not universally take the second.
Vote Placed by wiploc 4 years ago
wiploc
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by t-man 4 years ago
t-man
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro does not understand what burden of proof really is.
Vote Placed by DeFool 4 years ago
DeFool
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Reasons for voting decision: Formal debate has established rules, which are clearly defined. This was a debate to determine a simple statement of fact: "Does formal debate require that the BOP be placed on the affirmative team, or not?" Included in this simple resolution were a number of unnecessary inclusions, such as theistic concerns, morality, and the nature of religious belief. These were all red herrings, in my view, even though they framed the discussion. Ironically, considering the resolution, all that Con was required to do in this debate was to demand that Pro accept the BOP - by demonstrating that his assertion was true. Con did not seem to realize this, but did successfully argue that the affirmative team is required to support their argument. (I further note that this debate follows a classic fallacy: God exists because you can't prove he doesn't.) Arguments will go to Con. As for S&G. Both sides made errors, and seemed to make them at about the same rate. More in comments
Vote Placed by Bodhivaka 4 years ago
Bodhivaka
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Reasons for voting decision: As con stated, the burden of proof always rests on the one making a positive claim; therefore, the one asserting that something exists (for example, God) is required to provide evidence. It's not the job of someone "lacking belief" in the assertion to prove it wrong. That's simply what the burden of proof is.