The Instigator
Pro (for)
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The Contender
Con (against)
1 Points

agnostic is the only true position on non sensical claims

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/3/2016 Category: Religion
Updated: 10 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 237 times Debate No: 92281
Debate Rounds (3)
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i have 0 to 5 fingers on my normal human hand behind my back.. i am showing 3.. is that true? or am i showing 2 or 4.. maybe 5.. 1.. non..


Thank you for this topic Pro. I will be taking the side of Con and arguing that the only possible position to non-sensical claims are there outright rejection and not agnosticism. First we need some definitions:

1) Non-sensical = having no meaning; making no sense (derivation is relating from the lack of sensorial support for concepts)

2) Agnositicm = the view that the truth values of certain concepts (and their claims) " especially metaphysical " are unknown and perhaps unknowable, thus it is correct to suspend belief/disbelief and not claim or counter claim

The example given by Pro, namely "how many fingers am I holding behind my back?", is not a non-sensical situation or claim. Clearly between the participants of such an exercise there is a mutual understanding of the intention, understood rules and an overall aim. It has meaning and is therefore not non-sense.

Non-sense applies to concepts where there is no meaning intrinsic in that concept. Borrowing from another atheist (apologies I cannot remember the name) a "yellow quantum whisperer" is a concept that we can imagine. We know what yellow is, we know what the quantum world is intended to convey and we know what whisperers do. But given colours and sounds are emergent macro world effects from either quantum activity itself (colour) or physical activity in the air (sound) the "yellow quantum whisperer" DOES NOT exist, because the effects would not be seen at the quantum level. It is not the case that I have to suspend judgement on its existence, it simply cannot exist. In the same way to call water, wet is fine, but to call a water molecule, wet is non-sense, meaningless and false (not unknowable).

The same is true for the generalised concept of god. Here we have a proposed deity which is necessarily outside of the universe and time itself, but at the same time is said to have created the universe via causal processes. Causality is the law of identity applied to action and only happens inside of a time-space continuum. The creator concept of god therefore lacks specificity and collides to things together which are mutually exclusive. Namely a timeless agent that can also act causally.

But worse than this the god concept only ever includes secondary and relational attributes. Never primary attributes. God the creator (relational to the universe), god the all powerful (secondary to the god-concepts 'nature'). We know the nature of sound, we know the nature of chairs. We know a chair can be red (secondary attribute to its nature), but we know sound cannot be red (an impossible secondary attribute given its nature). As gods nature is never defined meaningfully or positively, we are left only to consider the emptiness of the overall-concept and its impossible mix of free floating secondary features. It therefore not a case that we have to suspend judgement. It clearly does not exist.

Worse again is that even to bootstrap the concept the theist must borrow from a naturalist worldview. A nature only exists in the natural world. Thus a god cannot have a nature, only at best a supernature. But whats that?, its is meaningless like red sound, wet water molecules, yellow quantum whisperers.

I could go on, but I have put enough on th etable for R1. I have shown agnoticism is not the most reasonable position for the non-sensical.
Debate Round No. 1


truth can only be in the past.. you havnt seen how many fingers i am showing behind my back.. its not about knowledge

agnostic=i accept i dont know=maybe position

i dont understand what all the fuzz is about.. i am showing 3 fingers behind my back.. am i wrong about that?


Thank you for your response.

Truth about facts can only refer to past events. It is true that dinosaurs existed for example. However truth itself is not limited to the past. I am not agnostic as to the existence of a 'future married batchelor'. It is already true that now and forever, there will never be such an entity. The same is true for a god and any other meaningless non-sensical concept.

So unless you can overturn aristotelean logic, or redefine terms, then you have to concede that non-sense is not a matter of suspension of beleif but rejection of the meaningless.
Debate Round No. 2


same.. my position hasnt been challenged


Summarising this debate.

I have defined the terms and demonstrated that non-sensical claims are to be treated by rejection and not suspension of belief, because by nature they are meaningless and cannot be true.

My opponent has failed to challenge these points and additionally has claimed that truth is only a matter of past events. This is a casual and equivocal use of language and is illogical. It is refuted by a simple thought experiment in that if one attempts to say "a future married bachelor exists", one has created an impossible scenario, it has no meaning and is therefore untrue.

In addition my opponent thinks that he can use the example of a 'guessing game' to illustrate why one must suspend judgement. This is a of course a false and deeply flawed analogy. If I am holding some fingers behind my back and ask you to guess, you can ascertain the truth of the claim that i am holding fingers behind my back. There is nothing non sensical here, sense data is available and verifiable and given my nature it is reasonable to assume I have fingers. There is only the problem of a hidden value, which is a problem at every level of existence from the quantum world (Bohmian mechanics) to the universe (the cosmological constant in relativity). So if my opponent wanted to debate this, his topic should have been "agnosticism is the only true position on the subject of hidden values".

In short there is no case to answer. Pro has failed to meet a BoP for his debate topic and it is clearly illogical to suspend disbelief for nonsensical claims.
Debate Round No. 3
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1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Maryland_Kid 10 months ago
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: vi_spex made sense that you can't positively empirically prove the existence of God. However, he didn't make that clear. CaptainScarlet had better grammar and spelling. I would give the convincing arguments for Scarlet (they were more constructive,) but it didn't make sense that Atheism is a default position. He can't prove it, which makes him Agnostic. All Atheists are basically agnostic, they can't prove Atheism on their own terms other then that the don't sense God with their senses.