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

Atheism is more probable than Theism

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/11/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,019 times Debate No: 25537
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)




Resolved: Atheism is more probable than Theism.

For purposes of this debate, the term "God" will be defined as to include the general attributes of the Judeo-Christian God (i.e.: omnipotence, omniscience, omnibenevolence etc.) That is to say, we are not referring to any specific deity.
"More probable" is to be defined as more likely than not (in other words, atheism is more likely than Theism).


(1) Debater must have typing experience and internet access.
(2) Place your arguments and sources inside the debate
(3) Structure the debate in a readable, coherent fashion.
(4) No semantics, trolling, or lawyering.
(5) Forfeiting any round will result in a 7 point loss.


(1) Acceptance
(2) Opening Statement
(3) Rebuttal

(4) Rebuttal

Other notes:

(1) 72 hours to argue;

(2) If special circumstances arise, one side may ask the other to wait out his or her remaining time.
(3) If one side explicitly concedes or violates any terms, then all seven points will be awarded to the other;
(4) By accepting this challenge, you agree to these terms.


They are equally probable/improbable.
Debate Round No. 1


First, it is clear my opponent is trolling. I clearly stated that the opening arguments begin this round and the previous round is for acceptance only.

A. What is God?

Before we can begin to have a rational discourse on the existence of God, one must first define what God is. Indeed, if we do not know what something is, how can we know whether or not it can exist? Consider the following dialogue:
  1. Person 1: A blorb exists.
  2. Person 2: Prove it
  3. Person 3: Morality could not have arisen except from the blorb. [3]
If this dialogue is less than satisfactory, much of the blame falls with person 2. Person 2's demand for proof is premature. Rather, he should have asked to specify what a "blorb" is; until person 1 does so, a "blorb" is nothing but a meaningless sound and he is uttering absolute nonsense. Without some description, the alleged proof is incoherent.
When confronted with the claim that God exists, the atheist should immediately respond, "What is it for which you are claiming existence?" In other words, the Theistmust present an intelligible and falsifiable description of "god." Until that occurs, "God" makes no more sense than a a"blorb." Both are cognitively empty, and any attempt at proof is logically absurd. As W. T. Blackstone puts it:
Until the content of a belief is made clear, the appeal to accept the belief on faith is beside the point, for one would not know what one has accepted. The request for the meaning of a religious belief is logically prior to the qeustion of accepting that belief on faith or to the question of whether that belief constitutes knowledge. [4]
This philosophical position is called ignosticism. I am ignostic as to the Deistic claims because the belief in Deism is incoherent and unjustifiable until the definition of Deism and "God" is made clear. Now, there are multiple views of "God" that should be taken note of before continuing:
Pantheism - The view that everything is part of an all-encompassing immanent God. [2] Namely, that nature and God are identical [5].

Monotheism - The view that there is exactly one God and only one God. [6]

Polytheism - The view that multiple deities exist. [7]

Deism - Simply put, it is "[t]he universal creative force which is the source of laws and designs found through nature." [8]

Henotheism: The belief and worship of a single god while accepting the existence or possibility that there exists other deities that may also be worshiped. [10]

There are more concepts of God than that. But if Theists themselves cannot agree amongst themselves who God is, how are you going to expect an atheist -- a skeptic in regards to the supernatural, to the claim that a god exists.[11]

B. Presumption of Atheism
This next argument takes note of the philosophical view that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. This argument is formulated as thus:

  1. If a claim is extraordinary, then in the abscence of extraordinarily strong evidence in its favor, the claim may be considered false.
  2. The claim that a god exists is an extraordinary claim.
  3. Therefore, in the abscence of extraordinarily strong evidence in its favour, the claim that a god exists may be considered false.
  4. There is no extraordinarily strong evidence for the claim that god exists.
  5. Therefore, the claim that a god exists may be considered false. [12]
An extraordinary claim is defined as any claim that contradicts accepted physical laws or our common sense, every day experiences of the world. [13] Indeed, as Carl Sagan puts it, "Extraordinary claims REQUIRE extraordinary evidence."
Extraordinary claims vary in their degree of extraordinariness. Let me give you three statements:
  1. I have eaten lunch;
  2. I won the lottery; and
  3. Last night, God called me to be His final prophet on earth and wants all men to follow my words.
The first claim does not contradict accepted physical laws or our commonsense, everyday experience; consequently, my word would be sufficed for one to accept that claim. The second claim that I won the lottery would not contradict accepted physical laws, but it would contradict out commonsense, everyday experience since most people do not win the lottery. Consequently, if I were to present this claim, it may be sufficient to show that I have won by reading the account in the newspaper or reading the number on the lottery ticket. Finally, the claim that God called me to be His final prophet on earth is extraordinary to the highest degree. To believe the latter claim, you would have to change some of your beliefs about how God reveals Himself to man, your religion, and your views about God etc. Indeed, it would be irrational to believe the latter account unless I put forth lots of evidence.
The claim that there is a God is the highest claim one can make. Why? Because it is a being that differs from all known organisms with regard to power or intelligence; thus, this being is different in every way we experience. For example, God is all powerful. In this way, God is different from all known organisms because all known organisms are limited in their power.
This attitude regarding “god” is quite common. In the words of Stephen Roberts, “I contend that we are both atheists; I just believe in one fewer gods than you do; when you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.” For example, by definition of atheist, all Christians are atheistic about all gods except their own. Christians do not believe in the claims of Muhammad, Zeus, Jupiter, Odin, Brahm, Vishnu, Shiva; or any other God. No-one has been able to prove that other gods do not exist, yet no Christian believes that such gods exist. Why do they disbelieve? Because of the presumption of Atheism.
Is there strong evidence for the existence of God? The subsequent arguments will show that there is not. Moreover, I will refute my opponent’s arguments and show that there is not. Dr. James Dobson notes that, “faith ranks at the top of God’s system of priorities…This determination to believe when the proof is not provided and when questions are not answered is central to our relationship with the Lord. He will never do anything to destroy the need for faith.” [14]
This approach justifies me rejecting all other gods that may be proposed until extraordinary evidence is available. In other words, the absence of evidence is a strong case for atheism.

C. God is Incoherent

Going back to the definition of God, we must observe the definition of God given by traditional Theism [15]. According to the National Catholic Almanac (1968) there are a total of 22 attributes of God:
almighty, eternal, holy, immortal, immense, immutable, incomprehensible, ineffable, infinite, invisible, just, loving, merciful, most high, most wise, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, patient, perfect, provident, supreme, true. [16]

This still does not tell us what God is. It tells us the secondary attributes, but not the primary attributes which are equal of importance. The above definition is incoherent. If God is incomprehensible and ineffable, how can the other attributes of God be known if he can neither be understood nor described?


This argument originally appeared in my blog post. All references and foonotes are available in the blog post at This post is original and I have written it. I ran out of room to post footnotes and sources.


RationalMadman forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


Vote pro!


To theorise that there is no God and to believe in no God and to doubt a god must equire a reason. If you have no evidence, it is logically flawed to think it a more probable outcome than the other. It is equally probable for there to be no god or a god of some sort. Not necessarily christian God, but some force some thing that determines what is made and what is not. You cannot claim it not to exist and think that is more probable if you have 0% more proof than the theists have.
Debate Round No. 3


"To theorise that there is no God and to believe in no God and to doubt a god must equire a reason."

Indeed, and I gave several good reasons in the opening round.

"If you have no evidence, it is logically flawed to think it a more probable outcome than the other."

And once more, I give reason and logic in the opening statement.

"It is equally probable for there to be no god or a god of some sort. Not necessarily christian God, but some force some thing that determines what is made and what is not. You cannot claim it not to exist and think that is more probable if you have 0% more proof than the theists have."

1. My opponent is playing semantics. I already defined that "God" would be a Judeo-Christian type God.
2. Once more, we are reasonable to reject the claim of God because you need to define God first. Moreover, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

My claims have gone unrefuted. Vote pro.


I don't deny that God might be lie. all your points indicate strongly that God may be unreal. I just deny that there being no God at all is any MORE PROBABLe since we have 0% evidence either way. That is all. It is logic.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Microsuck 6 years ago
I don't know. Care to try it?
Posted by Deathbeforedishonour 6 years ago
Hmm I wonder how well i'd do if I devil's advocated this. Lol
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Ron-Paul 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit was a rule breaker punishable by all seven points. Plus, con only provided assumptions, he had the BoP too.