The Instigator
mongeese
Pro (for)
Winning
26 Points
The Contender
Lexicaholic
Con (against)
Losing
23 Points

The belief in evolution is not always a belief in atheism

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 10 votes the winner is...
mongeese
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/7/2009 Category: Science
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,819 times Debate No: 8553
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (16)
Votes (10)

 

mongeese

Pro

diety debated my opponent over this topic a little while ago.

diety failed to put up an argument.

Oddly enough, I actually agree with diety.

Therefore, I wish to debate his opponent over the same thing.

Atheism - http://en.wikipedia.org...

Evolution - http://en.wikipedia.org...

I hope that my opponent will be willing to do this debate again.
Lexicaholic

Con

My opponent states that "[a]theism is the position that deities do not exist,[1] or the rejection of theism.[2] In the broadest sense, it is the absence of belief in the existence of deities.[3]" This statement is similar to saying "Crime is the taking of life or the damaging of property. In the broadest sense, crime is proscribed antisocial behavior." My opponent has posited a disjunctive definition of atheism, as I have of crime. In my definition either an act damaging property OR an act taking life would amount to a crime. In my opponent's definition, either the position that deities do not exist OR the rejection of theism will amount to atheism.

Theism within the confines of Wikipedia, the source my opponent relies on, is stated to be "in the broadest sense [...] the belief in at least one deity. [...] In a more specific sense, theism refers to a particular doctrine concerning the nature of God and his relationship to the universe.[...]Theism, in this specific sense, conceives of God as personal and active in the governance and organization of the world and the universe." See http://en.wikipedia.org......

Once again, Wikipedia provides multiple meanings for the same word. As my opponent has provided only one definition, that of atheism, I am free to define theism as the more specific use of that word. Namely that theism "conceives of God as personal and active in the governance and organization of the world and the universe." Because atheism may mean the rejection of theism, by means of simple substitution, atheism may be understood to mean "rejection of God as personal and active in the governance and organization of the world and the universe." I believe an argument can be made that evolution is, in fact, atheism, under this definition.

According to the definition provided by my opponent, "evolution is change in the genetic material of a population of organisms from one generation to the next. Though the changes produced in any one generation are small, differences accumulate with each generation and can, over time, cause substantial changes in the organisms. This process can culminate in the emergence of new species.[...] Indeed, the similarities between organisms suggest that all known species are descended from a common ancestor (or ancestral gene pool) through this process of gradual divergence."

Note the language used in this definition. Within this framework of evolution, speciation CAN occur. Not may, or could, but CAN. New organisms CAN come into existence without divine intervention. This definition therefore rejects the act of creation as the exclusive domain of the almighty. Rejection of God's participation in any part of the process of creation amounts to the rejection of God as personal AND active in the governance AND organization of the world, even if only to a limited degree. Because my opponent posits a belief that creation can occur apart from God's involvement,even if it must not, my opponent rejects the necessity of God as as personal and active in the governance and organization of the world and the universe. The belief that God need not create for creation to occur is therefore atheism because it posits that God could be inactive in the organization of the universe.

My opponent may try to argue that it is 'atheistic' and not 'atheism,' as the difference between a noun suitable for substitution and an adjective that is merely descriptive. He would argue this because he might claim that atheism is a belief where as evolution is a conceptual model for understanding the natural world, and that a conceptual model can thus spring from the belief and the belief would merely be descriptive of it. However, one must remember that evolution is a belief, according to Wikipedia, because "Belief is the psychological state in which an individual holds a proposition or premise to be true." http://en.wikipedia.org...... In the Wikipedia article from which my opponent argues, evolution is considered to be true. The article even begins by stating that evolution IS change in the genetic material of a population of organisms. It does not state that evolution is ASSUMED to be such change. Because the definition my opponent provides does not accept the possibility of falsification, evolution, within the context of this debate, is a belief. That belief is atheism.
Debate Round No. 1
mongeese

Pro

My opponent has a fairly solid argument about how evolution is part atheism.

However, who is to say that speciation is not without divine intervention?

According to "The Bible, Barney, and Beyond," by Phil Phillips, there are those who believe that evolution was used by God to attain a great multitude of species on Earth in a natural-seeming way.

So, you say that speciation is without divine intervention, but there are those who disagree with you. They believe otherwise.

They believe that evolution was part of God's plan.

So, their belief in evolution is a belief in theism.
Lexicaholic

Con

I thank my opponent for his direct and clever reply.

My opponent has cited a belief amongst some evolutionists that he argues amounts to theistic intervention in the natural world by allowance of a natural process. Specifically, my opponent argues that some evolutionists believe that the process of speciation was established by God to create diversity in life forms. To this extent, my opponent would argue that evolution is not always atheism, as some evolutionists see God's involvement within it.

This is not true, however. Because the possibility of speciation is a fact of life, including human life, within the belief that is evolution, God's establishment of this process and unwillingness to intercede in it amounts to God developing a pre-conceived plan "not altered either by God intervening in the affairs of human life or by suspending the natural laws of the universe."http://en.wikipedia.org... According to Wikipedia, this is a deistic, rather than a theistic statement. Because Deism does not "conceive of God as personal and active in the governance and organization of the world and the universe," it too amounts to the rejection of theism. Because deism amounts to the rejection of theism it is, by definition, atheism. As a consequence, even those who believe that speciation is the consequence of a natural order designed by God harbor an atheistic belief.

Therefore, belief in evolution, even if it includes belief in God, remains a form of atheism.
Debate Round No. 2
mongeese

Pro

"God's establishment of this process and unwillingness to intercede in it amounts to God developing a pre-conceived plan..."

However, these evolutionist creationists don't think that God just let evolution happen.

They claim that God actually created the mutations in DNA.

God just came in metaphysically and mutated a little bunny rabbit's DNA so that it would be a different species of bunny rabbit.

So, the life is altered by god intervening in the affairs of life, and eventually human life, which isn't deism, but theism, which is not atheism.

Nature itself wouldn't be enough for evolution. God made evolution more efficient by driving it himself. This is God "as personal and active in the governance and organization of the world and the universe," which is theism, not atheism.

That is the belief that is the exception necessary to affirm the resolution.
Lexicaholic

Con

Well, searches for evolutionist creationism haven't yielded much information. Those few sites I have been able to view seem to operate under the deist concept of a pre-organized world. http://www.ualberta.ca... http://en.wikipedia.org...

The first site admits that evolutionary creationism is not evolution under the popular use of that term. The term used for the purposes of this debate, however, is that provided by Wikipedia. Wikipedia cites theistic evolution as a reconciliation of theistic belief with evolution. Theistic evolution further cites evolutionary creationism as functionally the same thing and a valid offshoot of evolutionary theory. I can not argue that evolutionary creationism, if assumed to mean theistic evolution, would be unacceptable under Wikipedia's definition of evolution.

However, theistic evolution may be unacceptable under the definition posited for this debate as 'theism.' Remember that theism requires that God be personal and active in every aspect of creation for the belief to be theistic. Theistic evolution and evolutionary creationism both state that God uses evolution as "a tool to bring about his plan." Now we need to understand what is meant by personally active. Are the men who built a canning factory personally active in the process of canning by virtue of having built the factory, or must they literally conduct the canning themselves?

My opponent may argue that God runs the canning machines after he's built it, in which case, I must wonder still if that is personal enough. Is one personally active when using a screwdriver on a screw, or must one use one's hand to turn the screw to the proper position? Common sense would seem to indicate that it is enough that you use the tool ... there is little need to BE the tool.

Cursed be my devotion to truth. I concede. Well done.
Debate Round No. 3
mongeese

Pro

Thank you for this debate opportunity. It was great.

Vote PRO.
Lexicaholic

Con

Yeah, what he said. XD
Debate Round No. 4
16 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by mongeese 8 years ago
mongeese
Ah. Fair point.
Posted by wjmelements 8 years ago
wjmelements
They did not warrant those two points though. They voted blindly.
Posted by mongeese 8 years ago
mongeese
Yes. Definitely. Actually, the vote-bombers each had 2 warranted points, so no.
Posted by wjmelements 8 years ago
wjmelements
My 2 points were likely the only points warranted for CON...
Posted by mongeese 8 years ago
mongeese
Um...

Any chance we could get those three votes removed in some way?
Posted by Lexicaholic 8 years ago
Lexicaholic
?? Holy floating voters ...
Posted by wjmelements 8 years ago
wjmelements
Conduct- TIE
Grammar- TIE (no infractions in either)
Arguments- PRO (clearly, because CON conceded)
Sources- CON (used more than twice as many sources)
Posted by Lexicaholic 8 years ago
Lexicaholic
Nicely done, and rather clever. I actually thought you would claim that evolution makes no claim for or against belief in God and therefore would allow agnosticism, which is not necessarily atheism. You went a much more direct route, which was impressive. Ah well, not like I thought I'd win it anyway XD.
Posted by Lexicaholic 8 years ago
Lexicaholic
Ha ha ... God mutated a bunny rabbit ... it's the chosen bun!

... in all seriousness now, I'm going to have a hard time keeping my semantics argument going when you reference a concept left undefined by Wikipedia (because my argument depends on the interconnectedness of that site's (poorly constructed) definitions). I apologize in advance if it takes me a day to respond.
Posted by Conor 8 years ago
Conor
Watch out mongeese, you're in for a rocky ride.
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Vote Placed by studentathletechristian8 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by LipstickandLightplay 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by mongoose 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by mongeese 8 years ago
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