The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
4 Points

agnostic=i accept i dont know

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/4/2015 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 603 times Debate No: 79369
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (7)
Votes (1)




theism=yes, position on an imaginary claim

only 3 positions exist on any imaginary claim


Note: I am intentionally not using the articles "a" and "an" with "theist/ism" and "atheist/ism", as well as "a/gnosticism", due to "a theist" being easily confused with "atheist".

Theism and atheism are mutually exclusive. Theism is defined as "Belief in the existence of a god". Atheism is defined as "A lack of belief in the existence of gods". Since having belief or lacking belief are true dichotomies (i.e. either "is" or "is not"), there are only two possibilities regarding belief. Everyone is either theist or atheist.

Further, this is how self-described atheists define the term. Since "atheist" can only be used to describe "atheists", if theists use the word to mean anything else, while applying it to self-described atheists, that is creating a strawman and is slanderous. Further, most atheists intend to convey the concept of a lack of belief, to interpret it any other way is to intentionally not understand another person. To put it simply, it's close-minded.

Definition by Wikipedia community:
Definition by American Atheists:
Definition by Reddit Atheist community:

Also, this is consistent with both the etymology and meanings of the root and prefix. "A-" in Greek means "without" or "not". Ergo, atheist means "not-theist".

Gnosticism addressed knowledge rather than belief. This is true whether someone self-describes themself as "a/thiest" or not. The typical meaning of "agnostic" is "Having a noncommittal attitude toward the existence of god". As we can see above, that is not inconsistent with atheism. Someone can lack a belief specifically due to being uncommitted to belief. However, you can note that I addressed "gnosticism". Is this a thing? Yes, it is. Since "agnostic" literally means "not-knowledge", those with knowledge are gnostic. Gnostics "have a committed attitude toward the existence of god".

However, the term is often used in regards to attributes of god, as well. Existence is an attribute, but if one were to say "If God exists, I know it must be good," then that is expressing knowledge regarding God. However, this is in a separate context. The attribute in question would need to specified, so this would be the more generalized form of "agnostic" being applied to theism - "I'm agnostic about veganism."

Knowledge can also apply with a lack of belief. "I know there are no gods" would be gnostic. As with theism and atheism, there are two and only two possibilities: gnostic and agnostic.

So, we have these possibilities:

gnostic theist - "Having a committed attitude of belief in the existence of god" (e.g. "I know God exists")
agnostic theist - "Having an uncommitted attitude of belief in the existence of god" (e.g. "I think God exists")
gnostic athiest - "Having a committed attitude of the lack of belief in the existence of god" (e.g. "I disbelieve any god exists")
agnostic athiest - "Having an uncommitted attitude of the lack of belief in the existence of god" (e.g. "I do not accept God exists [but don't claim to know it doesn't]")

Since both a/gnostism and a/theism are true dichotomies, every person is one of those four things. There is noone who does not fit one. That's not to say people can't change beliefs, but there is no person who is not one, and only one, of those.

Finally, I argue this is the most convient and useful way to define them. By having some vague middle-ground, it removes any useful meaning of them except at the extremes. Only a very very small proportion of the population outright rejects all gods. Therefore, the only use left for "atheist" is for theists to slander agnostics who hold no belief in any gods. If the word is only used for slander, frankly, you can define it however is most convient. You could define it as "a worshipper of Satan and eater of babies"; just makes it more extreme in intent; it's no more or less "wrong". It does not address their actual beliefs.

Indeed, we can find that theists use a false definition, despite knowing it is not what is being conveyed, specifically to slander those who don't agree with the faith.

To summarize my argument, I'll say that definitions of words are maleable. What counts is what we intend to convey. Although there is always room for mistakes, to refuse to acknowledge what is intended, even when being specifically, clearly and unambigiously told "This is what I mean....", as with my soucres above... Well, it's just dishonest. If you specifically intend to misinterpret what is meant, then feel free to make up whatever definition most pleases you.
Debate Round No. 1


a is a letter

atheism is a theism, belief to the contrary, a no based on a belief to the contrary, belief is theism, disbelief is belief

atheism is defined as belief in god, based on a belief to the contrary. if you believe in unicorn heaven and unicorns created everything you will argue from that position in a clash with a christian, atheism vs atheism

can be is not, life is

atheism is disbelief, not lack of belief

i am wearing a hat right now. you can believe, disbelieve, or accept you dont know

there is no knowledge of unknown claims

know is true.. if you know god is false god is false


Pro failed to address any of my arguments. Pro reasserts the original premise, while offering no argument for its validity. Pro makes two new assertions. The first , is that a hypothetical acceptance of a unicorn heaven created by unicorns will lead to arguing from that position. The second is that there are three possible beliefs regarding Pro's hat: acceptance, rejection or ignorance.

Unicorn Heaven Belief
I fail to see any relevance at all.

Hat Belief
First, I fail to see any relevance. Hypothetical catagorization of beliefs in hats, or words to describe them, have no bearing on the specific standard of catagorization used for beliefs in gods. To put it simply, if Pro wishes to label beliefs in hats using that statndard, I don't care. Second, Pro fails to address another catagory of belief, which is the complete absense of belief. The Pirahã, indigenous people of South America, were found to have no concept of god prior to contact with outsiders. They did not "accept they didn't know". They literally never considered the issue at all. Presumably, there are peoples of the world who have no concept of hats, or of Pro, and therefore never have and possibly never will consider his/her hat. The hat-belief labeling system proposed would exclude them.

In summation, Pro has not provided any further reasons to accept the definition for atheist being "athiest=no", and failed to address demonstration it does not.
Debate Round No. 2


acceptance of reality is not a belief, acceptance that imagination is real is real is belief

i dont see any arguments

belief is belief, theism is theism

you have to be good this year, if you want presents from santa, it would be hell if you didnt get any presents

i am wearing a hat, is it true? is god true?

non belief=acceptance i dont know, unaware of a claim, or know, etc


Pro still fails to address any of my arguments. Pro fails to address the flaw in his/her proposed hat-belief naming system. Pro re-asserts original premise with no support.

I'll use this round to correct some things, while having no need to address Pro's latest statements..

First, here's my source for the Pirahã:

Second, I misstated Pro's proposed hat-belief categorization as "acceptance, rejection or ignorance." What Pro actually proposed was acceptance, rejection or acceptance of ignorance.

Finally, as clarification, acceptance of ignorance is not neccesarily relevant to belief. People hold beliefs in absence of evidence, or more specifically overwhelming evidence, all the time. Therefore, it creates an overlapping standard. There could be those who accept, but admit ignorance, or those who reject based on ignorance. Ergo, Pro must actually define the terms as a hierarchy. Those who admit they are ignorant are called [Hat1]. Those who are not [Hat1], may then be labeled [Hat2] or [Hat3], as acceptance or rejection.
Debate Round No. 3
Debate Round No. 4


In summation, Pro provided no relevant arguments for his/her position. Pro's entire debate has consisted of an argument by assertion fallacy.

I have provided the following arguments:
  • The accepted definitions for "thiest" and "athiest" are in contradiction to Pro's claims.
  • Making "agnostic" an overlapping middle area is needlessly vague and confusing.
  • The root word meaning of "gnostic" and prefix of "agnostic" are in contradiction to Pro's definitions.
  • Pro's definition exempts those with an absense of beliefs from all catagories, creating a void for yet another standard.
  • The definition provided by Pro does not allow for there to be any "gnostics".
  • The only reason for creating a middle area is often specifically to slander self-labeled atheists.
  • Pro can call his belief in his hat and or unicorn heaven whatever he chooses.

Pro has not addressed any of them.

Pro failed to provide any sources, has used lax grammatical standards. Pro showed bad conduct by laughing at my arguments without explanation, as well as essentially forfeiting rounds. If Pro was did not intend to actually debate the topic, then Pro should not have challanged me to a debate.
Debate Round No. 5
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
>Reported vote: Nicoszon_the_Great// Mod action: Removed<

7 points to Con. Reasons for voting decision: What is pro even trying to do, I am so dumbfounded as to how his incoherent thoughts have come to form. Someone call his house to make sure he's okay.

[*Reason for removal*] A clear vote bomb. None of the point allocations are explained. Merely stating that one side was incoherent is not enough to explain arguments, and it's nowhere near enough to explain any of the other points.
Posted by roguetech 2 years ago

Thanks for voting on the debate.
Posted by vi_spex 2 years ago
interesting, kind of an argument here
Posted by roguetech 2 years ago
Whew! Saves me the effort of figuring out how to block them!
Posted by vi_spex 2 years ago
i have blocked you due to your inability to debate or argue
Posted by roguetech 2 years ago
Don't bother challenging me to debates in the future. I will not accept them.
Posted by vi_spex 2 years ago
i have adressed all of them..
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Unbelievable.Time 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Con has build on a very good argument in his first round to prove that words like noun and adjective are malleable. Pro is trolling.-bad conduct