The Instigator
SomethingOrdinary
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
kyleniel
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Agnosticism is a superior religious view to all others

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/21/2018 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 326 times Debate No: 118648
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
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SomethingOrdinary

Pro

Before anyone gets overly angry with me, This is very much a simple matter of opinion. I look forward to hearing my opponent's opinion on the matter, And with that in mind here is my own opinion:

I don"t like to gamble. I would enjoy gambling if I knew I was guaranteed to win, But then it would inherently not be considered gambling. So, With that in mind any activity where I can"t guarantee the outcome is one that I entertain the thought of venturing on with a certain degree of skepticism. Take religion for example, A touchy subject I know. Whereas most people fall into the category of explicitly religious or for some, Atheist, There"s a few others that fall somewhere in between as agnostic, And I aim to prove that being agnostic is in fact the best approach to looking at religion and life, Hands down.

I want to say as a disclaimer of sorts that I was born "Catholic" as in I was baptized Catholic and occasionally sent to Catechism until I made my first Communion and then promptly stopped going altogether, And not of my own volition mind you, That"s just how it went for me. My mother was the kind of devout Catholic that owned a bible and a rosery and hung at least one cross somewhere in the house but never went to church on Sundays and didn"t really appreciate any aspect of the religion that wasn"t practical for her. My father was a self-proclaimed agnostic who never pushed my brother or I any which way on religious matters. Now with that in mind, Let me set the record straight yet again before we go any further.

I"ve heard a lot of people tell me what an agnostic is when they consider themselves something wholly different. Same thing happens when talking about political beliefs if you could believe it. But I define an agnostic as the following; someone who believes in the possibility of a higher power existing and in some way being responsible for the creation of the known universe, But who also doesn"t claim to know for certain any specifics or that such a power actually exists.

A common critique of that view as my staunchly atheist girlfriend likes to point out is that being agnostic is the "safe" answer. The politicians answer. The answer that is vague enough not to hurt anyone"s feelings and encompass every possible outcome without being necessarily wrong or right. And parts of that I agree with, Others I detest.

For a time, I considered myself an atheist. Thought I was all edgy and cool and liberal and enlightened, Etc. , Etc. Then I grew up a little more and realized nobody knows anything for certain. I also began to feel that assuming such a thing as knowing a definitive answer to something highly debated is a bit arrogant. I give credit to MOST atheists, Not all, But most who presume science and logic to be the preeminent powers to be. I respect those atheists who believe in science and don"t act arrogant towards religious people because their belief is based on what we can perceive of the world and universe around us to the best of our very limited and human error riddled capabilities. For a long time, The earth was presumed flat and at the center of the Universe based on what we could perceive, Then advancements in technology were made and we were able to better perceive the world and universe and so with that our understandings changed. Now, Most sane individuals consider the Earth an oblong spheroid and that the Sun is at the center of our galaxy which in turn is one of what seems to be an infinite number of galaxies throughout an almost incomprehensibly vast Universe we"ve yet to scratch the surface of. So, While I grant you tech can advance, Resulting in new observations and alterations to previously stated theories or "facts", At the very least Science is capable and willing to adapt and try to understand knew ideas based in careful and methodical data collection and peer review. Because of this I respect those atheists that follow science, But they"re still walking on thin ice by claiming they believe there is no god, No higher being, No entity that created us, Even if it"s the most logical answer and I myself lean towards what they believe being the most probable. It"s still a gamble to deal in absolutes when we as a species truly only know so much about our surroundings.

Religion on the other hand is in turn also based on faith. It is after all referred to often as one"s faith. Meaning you were told a history, Read a religious text, Or through some intuition felt a connection with the world around you and viewed it as a "religious experience. " You feel your spirit being interconnected somehow to a higher being and you swear fealty to said entity and base your entire life"s experiences around the words of this holy spirit or multiple spirits you feel originated your very existence as well as everything you can see and feel around you. That"s faith based, Not fact based, And that"s also gambling on your view being "correct. "

In summary, Both your garden variety atheist and any number of religious persons both tend to presume their views either as fact, Or in some cases are willing to admit at least that what they believe is taken purely as faith, And that their faith is what makes them strong. What I argue, Is that the very concept of taking something as faith or assuming you are correct over everyone else, Hell assuming anything without at least careful thought and examination is a recipe for disaster. And that no amount of research and observation, Or religious experience and connection with the spirit world could ever convince me that either opinion is right. You might ask, Well what would make you believe one way or the other? The answer is I simply don"t know. The answers to those big questions like why we are here, Who brought us here and how it did all come to be are too difficult for even our own species to reach a consensus on let alone figure out what an actual answer would look like. Perhaps it"s a simple answer, Or a long mathematical equation waiting to be cracked. Perhaps it"s been staring us in the face for all of human history or perhaps there simply isn"t an answer. No one can definitively prove to all others that any religious belief, Or lack thereof is correct over the other.

What"s really chilling to think about is that in a lot of cases if not most cases it"s a zero-sum game. Meaning if one religion is correct, Then all the other non-believers of that religion are sinners, Heathens, Infidels or simply wrong. In other words, Like I said before, It"s a gamble. One which I for one don"t claim to be smart enough to make without admitting it is in fact a game of roulette.

So now that I"ve spat on the majority of the worlds beliefs what do I recommend we all collectively come together and do? As if I know the answer. The problem is that people become so ingrained in their own beliefs that it becomes impossible to sway them otherwise. Not to sound like an arrogant jerk myself, But I find that typically the more intelligent someone is the more open they are to at least hear out other people"s ideas about the world or anything for that matter without shouting over them with their own, But even then, That doesn"t always hold true. I suppose if everyone on Earth was able to admit to themselves that they"re capable of being wrong, We"d have a starting point. That being said, I don"t reject the concept of religion at all. I think for as much destruction, War, Oppression and civil strife its been at the center of, It"s also helped people overcome those same struggles, Unify people and serve as a center for community and charity. Like with all things human it tends to go wrong the more we get involved. Just like in theory both Capitalism and Socialism work fine, In practice one works significantly better than the other at providing for as many people"s needs as possible, And even then, It"s far from being perfect. Just like most religions at their core provide a good moral code to live by, And religious metaphor and allegorical tales provide lessons learned from those who lived before us, But then at the same time they talk of oppressing women, Killing homosexuals and providing context for war to be declared on behalf of said religion so it"s not perfect either.

If we as a society could recognize also that parts of religion are good and others bad and create our own new modern moral code of sorts we"d be a step further even, Though therein lies the issue of what"s considered "good" and moral" is in the context of living in a society of other people deeply subjective. While we can probably all agree that a serial killer is not someone we want to remain apart of a society we live in we can"t all agree on whether or not capital punishment should be allowed to deal with such a person. We can all say that individual freedom and liberty sounds nice but then we also can"t agree whether or not a woman or the state should say whether abortion is allowed or not.

Before I stray too much further off my original topic, I"ll say that like with all the issues aforementioned in this piece, Presuming you know all the answers to life"s biggest questions isn"t always the best way to go about living. Sometimes we need to take a step back and consider the possibility that we may not be right, And in turn give someone else whose views oppose ours the microphone to speak, But ultimately to remain agnostic is to not assume you are right or wrong. To be agnostic both in religion and in life is to live without the pre-conceived notion that anything is set in stone and that to get hung up on those details is a waste of time. To put it bluntly, There"s only so much time we have on earth, And in that limited time there"s only so much care we can give, Meaning we have to choose what we care about wisely.
kyleniel

Con

The existence of God can be proven or disproven, Or at least in the cultural definitions of the words. If you believe n God there are several arguments that prove the existence. If you don't the arguments don't work and there is no proof of God, And it would be just as reasonable to believe in unicorns.
Debate Round No. 1
SomethingOrdinary

Pro

I know there are arguments that can either prove or disprove god. And I also know that believing one way inhibits your ability to believe the other way. The point of my argument is to say that being agnostic allows you to look at both arguments, See what they both fully entail and say to yourself "maybe that's correct" while not having to live your life in accordance to the tenants outlined by any given religion and therefore living with the mere assumption that your belief is correct.

I guess following my point of view I would also ask why would it be any more or less reasonable to believe in Unicorns? Personally they don't appear real to me, But then again how would you or I actually know? I don't think dealing in absolutes as you did here really shoots down the benefits of remaining agnostic on this or any other issue.
kyleniel

Con

kyleniel forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
SomethingOrdinary

Pro

SomethingOrdinary forfeited this round.
kyleniel

Con

kyleniel forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Mentalista 3 years ago
Mentalista
" Though I'd also argue that to believe in the absence of god is just as much a religious belief as would believing there is a god or multiple gods. "

No. That's false.

Definition of religion: 1. " the belief in and WORSHIP of a superhuman controlling power, Especially a personal God or gods. "

2. "ideas about the relationship between science and religion"

3. "a particular system of faith and WORSHIP. "
Posted by SomethingOrdinary 3 years ago
SomethingOrdinary
@ vi_spex

I would argue that agnosticism is as I defined it more or less, The lack of a preconceived notion of what religion is or why we're here. Hence my titling of the argument considering it a religious view, As opposed to a flat out religion.

The absence of a religious view in the classical sense I would consider to be Atheism. Though I'd also argue that to believe in the absence of god is just as much a religious belief as would believing there is a god or multiple gods.
Posted by DeletedUser 3 years ago
DeletedUser
Agnosticism is exactly not religion
Posted by SomethingOrdinary 3 years ago
SomethingOrdinary
Apologies Mentalista, My thoughts were that our galaxy is the same thing as the milky way which is the same thing as Earth's solar system. In other words I thought that the Universe is a collection of galaxies all rotating around a black hole and that the planets in the milky way revolve around the Sun we see from Earth. In any case I hope that small detail didn't detract from the overall message of my argument.
Posted by Mentalista 3 years ago
Mentalista
" and that the Sun is at the center of our galaxy"

I don't think this is correct, No. The sun is at the center of our solar system. Scientists think there is a huge black hole at the center of all galaxies, Including the Milky Way
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