The Instigator
linate
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
dannyc
Con (against)
Winning
11 Points

it is better to call babies who are just becoming aware, as agnostic than atheist

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
dannyc
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/26/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 377 times Debate No: 59576
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (2)

 

linate

Pro

it is better to call babies who are just becoming aware, as agnostic than atheist

(to be sure you could call them both depending on definitions, but this is focusing on having to choose which is better)

the commonly accepted approach to atheism and agnosticism, is to say the first is no belief either way, and atheism as a proactive disbelief in God.

the oxford dictionary defines agnostic as "a person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in God."

Webster's dictionary defines atheist as "the doctrine that there are no deities" as its first definition. its other definitions are pretty much a different way of saying that same thing. even wikipedia defines it as ""Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities.[1][2] In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities"

to be sure, there are different definitions, and parts of definitions one could pick and choose on this subject.

but those other definitions have problems. even prominent atheist richard dawkins, and others, draw issue with most ideas of 'soft atheism' or these limited definitions of atheists and such. "Under this positive/negative classification, some agnostics would qualify as negative atheists. The validity of this categorization is disputed, however, and a few prominent atheists such as Richard Dawkins avoid it. In The God Delusion, Dawkins describes people for whom the probability of the existence of God is between "very high" and "very low" as "agnostic" and reserves the term "strong atheist" for those who claim to know there is no God. He categorizes himself as a "de facto atheist" but not a "strong atheist" on this scale."

you can find some definitions of atheist as 'lack of faith'. or there are commonly called 'soft atheists' with similar definitions. taking those definitional approaches to atheism, though, blurs the line with agnostic though, because those definitions fit agnostic better.

and, to be sure, if one used those limited definitions of atheist, they might even decide to say babies are better called as atheist. especially if they pick and choose parts of definitions or strange definitions of agnostic, such as 'proactive rejection of belief and disbelief in God". the problem with this approach, is that it is just arbitrary because it's so picking and choosing in what definitions are used. but, moreso, it ignores the commonly understood definitions mentioned above.

if con wanted to approach it an alternative way than calling them agnostic, he'd have to not pick and choose parts of definitions, and which definitions, but to say babies are both agnostic and atheist. that doesn't do justice to them being distinct ideas, though, and doesn't do justice to the commonly accepted notions of the words (no belief v active disbelief), but it's the only alternative way to approach it than calling them agnostics.

these all square with other commonly thought of ideas. unicorns, leprechauns, etc. usually people are soft to light to limited definitional atheist about this stuff, they 'lack belief' in it, or moreso they might have a degree of tending to reject the ideas, given small people like leprechauns are counter to our understanding of people. same idea with unicorns.
some might prefer to say they are agnostic to the ideas, given they just don't have enough information to make a decision. but most are some limited form of atheist.
dannyc

Con

Babies are not conceptually aware to a level in which they can hold a notable scale of confidence in their beliefs about propositions, and due to that fail to meet the criterion for agnosticism.

1. Agnosticism has nothing to do with knowing what you believe


Agnostic'sm is not 'unsure of your belief' in any way that implies the belief in and of itself is unlocked in your brain. It is confidence in whether the belief is true. I believe in Aliens, I am agnostic due to weak conviction that my belief is almost certainly true. I am not agnostic as to whether or not I believe in Aliens, that is logically void.
2. You can only believe/disbelieve in propositions.


I am unsure whether I believe X proposition is a non-sensical statement, it is literally saying you cannot tell whether you yourself believe in a proposition. If you do not actively hold a propositional belief in X, then you do not believe in X. There is not middle ground on belief. there is no 'uncertainty' whether you believe it or not, only if you are confident in the truth of the belief.
3. Babies don't believe in propositions, therefore atheism is more correct than not.


A baby is therefore unable to be cognitively aware in a state that can on a scale actively hold confidence in a belief, not only that but a baby doesn't have a propositional belief in anything theoretical. A baby does not believe in science, a baby does not believe in the E.U. They do not have the ability to hold the belief, and therefore a baby does not believe in God.

4. Babies certainly cannot meet the conceptual criterion for agnosticism.


Is it just inconsistent to try and slam agnosticism onto a baby, when you fully admit the conceptual limits of a baby, especially in reference to theoretical concepts. Atheism is the rejection or non-belief/disbelief in God. Now, rejection implies active, since they cannot fully 'reject' propositions, due to their limits, the statements babies reject the belief in God, due to their inability to believe in anything of that level will do.




Conclusion.


Babies should be considered atheists, until a point in time in which they can become agnostic atheists/agnostic theists/Gnostic theists/Gnostic atheists. By that time, they are not babies.


Sources

Hepburn, Ronald W. (2005) [1967]. "Agnosticism"
Debate Round No. 1
linate

Pro

con doesn't give any definitions to agnositic. he just says it involves some sort of proactive choice. so besides not having a defnition to back him up, it mainly goes against the commonly thought notion of this stuff... "agnostic means undecided, atheist means rejection".

con says babies don't have an awareness to make a choice of anything.... but that's why i say "babies who are just becoming aware" to show they at a conscious level have a default to them, it's just a matter of what.

any definitions con might give for either word are arbitrary, in that he could have chose the definitions i gave.... and his choices would be inferior, cause they go against commonly thought of notion of the words, again "agnostic means undecided, and atheist means rejection"
dannyc

Con

con doesn't give any definitions to agnostic. he just says it involves some sort of proactive choice. so besides not having a definition to back him up,

Firstly, I cite my source from a book called "Agnosticism" by Ronald Hepburn. Not only that but I gave explicit details about what agnosticism is. In fact I spent an entire paragraph just trying to show the difference between unsure of a belief's validity and unsure of whether you believe.

"agnostic means undecided, atheist means rejection". "

Here is my specific detailing of what agnosticism means.

"Agnosticism is not 'unsure of your belief' in any way that implies the belief in and of itself is unlocked in your brain. It is confidence in whether the belief is true. I believe in Aliens, I am agnostic due to weak conviction that my belief is almost certainly true. I am not agnostic as to whether or not I believe in Aliens, that is logically void. "


con says babies don't have an awareness to make a choice of anything.... but that's why I say "babies who are just becoming aware" to show they at a conscious level have a default to them, it's just a matter of what.

Fine, but just 'becoming aware' is a pseudo-scientific statement of what you think consciousness implies. Babies just becoming aware still do not have the cognitive abilities to comprehend theoretical concepts like God, the E.U and Banking. These are out of their grasp. Even by 4 or 5 years old they still are not able to fully grasp these points. I don't need to appeal to pseudo-scientific terms when talking about babies brains, it is demonstrably true that a baby is simply not able to understand complex theoretical ideas. Not only that but the baby, as in relation to any thought cannot know a scale of his/her confidence in the actual thought. Like I wrote about agnosticism. It is confidence in your belief, not knowledge to whether you believe. So even if they could grasp a concept like God. They would either believe or not believe, making them atheist or theist. In that respect they would more likely be atheist/theist but never agnostic atheist/theist. I therefore can still win the debate, even if I concede entire portions of science which testify to the cognitive abilities of infants being infantile.

any definitions con might give for either word are arbitrary, in that he could have chose the definitions I gave.... and his choices would be inferior, cause they go against commonly thought of notion of the words, again "agnostic means undecided, and atheist means rejection"

This is just an appeal to an authority, not only that but I explained in details about what belief are and how you cannot have no belief. No belief means not believing, therefore you either believe or do not believe. Pro isn't defending his thesis anymore, he is simply asserting that most people believe him. So what? Give me an argument. 99% of the earth can define the U.S are a round triangle, but if I show a logical inconsistency in it, then the definition cannot be true.

In conclusion, Con hasn't attempted to refute my position on either agnosticism or atheism, but rather is trying to engage in meaningless objections to semantic points, notable 'most people agree with me' and 'your definitions are arbitrary'. These are not arguments.
Debate Round No. 2
linate

Pro

con doesn't really have much of a defnition to back him up, and it mainly goes against the commonly thought notion of this stuff... "agnostic means undecided, atheist means rejection".

any definitions con might give for either word are arbitrary, in that he could have chose the definitions i gave.... and his choices would be inferior, cause they go against commonly thought of notion of the words, again "agnostic means undecided, and atheist means rejection"

con says i can't criticize him for being arbitrary and inferior in his arguments. why not though? he could choose the definitions i chose, or the ones he wants.... and he doesn't pick mine. that's arbitrary. it's not only arbitrary, it's inferior, cause most people have the mindset on these things like i descrbied above, 'undecided v rejection'
dannyc

Con

con doesn't really have much of a definition to back him up, and it mainly goes against the commonly thought notion of this stuff... "agnostic means undecided, atheist means rejection".

Firstly, that is not the 'commonly thought definition', that would require a statistic, I used a definition from a cited book in which I then further defended. You have not been able to define anything coherently.



"con says I can't criticize him for being arbitrary and inferior in his arguments."

I never said that, I wouldn't concede my argument are inferior, con is clutching at straws.

Easy debate due to no further argument, conjectures or even evidence for his statements. I made a case, I made a sound argument with reference specifically to a definition from a book. Criticise my book or definition, don't just assume I can't have a definition because you don't want me too. In other words, this debate never got off the ground because con didn't stand up to the challenge.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by linate 2 years ago
linate
i admit i could have and should have engaged in con's stance more. con was basically arguing the points about God that i made about leprichuans etc in the first round. it actually isn't that bad of an argument, but i would still have reverted to my last post and commonly thought belief.

i admit i didn't cite a poll or anything, but i did look and couldnt find any. i just don't think most people follow his train of thought on the matter. i would guess he might agree with me that they dont agee with him, but chose to point out a technical point in that i didn't cite a poll.
Posted by dannyc 2 years ago
dannyc
At the end, I got mixed between Pro and Con, just assume Pro.
Posted by dannyc 2 years ago
dannyc
Do you also sell pencils from a cup?
Posted by WillRiley 2 years ago
WillRiley
I would actually say that most babies would probably be theist. This is because there is a natural human instinct to want to believe in a higher power. This is why almost every culture has created a god, or a pantheon of gods, to believe in. Also, some atheists (NOT ALL OF THEM) believe in aliens. This is the same principle at work. We want to believe that we are not alone, and so we create some sort of being to ponder about, and try to get others to see it our way. Now being a Christian, I believe that this instinct is within us because we all have a spiritual connection to God, whether we are believers or non-believers.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by FuzzyCatPotato 2 years ago
FuzzyCatPotato
linatedannycTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con defended babies as Implictly atheist due to lack of knowledge of the subject.
Vote Placed by patrick967 2 years ago
patrick967
linatedannycTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro showed off weak arguments (and grammar), and Con effectively took advantage, providing strong arguments and rebuttals without having to resort to criticizing his opponent.