The Instigator
nonprophet
Pro (for)
Winning
20 Points
The Contender
Benshapiro
Con (against)
Losing
13 Points

Atheism is the default position.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 9 votes the winner is...
nonprophet
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/16/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 7,224 times Debate No: 52384
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (120)
Votes (9)

 

nonprophet

Pro

First round is for acceptance only.

For this debate, it must be accepted that the definition of Atheism is "The Lack of the Belief in a God".
Debate Round No. 1
nonprophet

Pro


Atheism is the lack of a belief in a god. The moment we are born, we have no beliefs at all. All babies are born Atheists.
That's why it's the default position. The only way to be a Theist is to learn what a God is and
choose to believe in it.
That means you must BECOME a Theist from the default position of being an Atheist.
Nobody is born a Theist.
If you lose your faith in a God, you automatically (without having to choose to) go back to the
default position of being an Atheist.


It's that simple.
Benshapiro

Con

This is a very simple rebuttal.

Lack of belief entails the knowledge to lack belief. I wouldn't assume you lack belief of the Chakablaka tribe in Africa because you didn't have any knowledge of it the same way a baby can't lack belief in God without having the knowledge to reject that belief.
Debate Round No. 2
nonprophet

Pro

My worthy opponent claims, "Lack of belief entails the knowledge to lack belief.".
That has to be the most ridiculous logic I have ever come across.

Do non-golf players have to know what golf is, in order to be non-golf players? Of course not!
If you have never heard of the game and don't know what it is, you are a non-golf player. You don't have to learn golf, study it, know the rules and own clubs to be a non-golf player!

Do non-Chinese speakers have to know Chinese, in order not to speak Chinese? Of course not! If you have never heard of Chinese, you are a non-Chinese speaker. You don't have to learn Chinese, study it, know the words and grammar in order to be a non-Chinese speaker.

Do atheists have to know what god is in order to not believe in god? Of course not! You don't have to learn what god is and study the Bible in order to not believe in god.

When you "lack" something, you don't need to know the thing you lack in order to lack it.

If I have never heard of the Chakablaka tribe in Africa, it would be impossible for me to believe in them. I don't have to be told about them and study them in order to not believe in them.

If you lack knowledge of something, you automatically lack belief in it.

My opponent wants to turn the logic around and claim that you must have knowledge in something in order to lack belief in it. It's true that you need knowledge of something in order to believe in it, but you don't need knowledge of something in order to lack belief in it!

An atheists lacks belief in ALL gods, even though it would be impossible to find out and study every god that ever existed. It's not the atheists' job to disprove gods. The burden of proof is on those who make the positive claim for a god's existence. The only time an atheist leaves the default position of atheism, is when he or she is not only told about a specific god, but also given demonstrable, convincing evidence that such a god exists. Without the knowledge of the definition of what a specific god is and without demonstrable, convincing evidence to prove the god exists, an atheist stays in the default position of not believing (lacking the belief) in a god.

#t=426

5:45-7:05

Since this is my last chance to say something about the topic, because my opponent will get the last word, I would like to point out that adding another (different) augment in the last round without me able to comment on it, would not be fair.

I'd like to thank my opponent for accepting this debate. I hope it was as enjoyable and educational for him as it was for me.
Benshapiro

Con

A-theism is the antonym of theism. Theism is the belief that God exists.

An atheist requires knowledge of God to lack belief. You are confusing deliberate lack of belief with ignorance.

Ignorance:
"he acted in ignorance of basic procedures"
synonyms:incomprehension of, unawareness of, unconsciousness of, unfamiliarity with, inexperience with, lack of knowledge about, lack of information about; More
lack of knowledge, lack of education, unenlightenment, illiteracy;
lack of intelligence, stupidity, foolishness, idiocy
antonyms:understanding, familiarity, knowledge, education

Here's the definition of agnostic:

"a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and probably ; broadly : one who is not committed to believing in either the existence or the of God or a god" -Merriam-Webster

If anything, the default position is agnosticism rather than atheism but even this isn't the case. All people who don't have the awareness to make a conscious choice about their beliefs are ignorant but if their beliefs had to be classified it would fall under agnostic.

You made a lot of examples like these: "Do non-golf players have to know what golf is, in order to be non-golf players? Of course not!"

Here's the fail in your logic. Non-golf players have an undecided position toward golf. They wouldn't lack the desire to play golf as a default if they'd never heard of the game.

I appreciate the time my opponent has put into this debate but hopefully I've made it clearer for him that atheism requires the knowledge to lack belief. If any default position is considered out of ignorance it would agnosticism. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 3
120 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 61 through 70 records.
Posted by Objective_Being 7 years ago
Objective_Being
I don't believe is the same as saying I disbelieve, and I don't know would be the same as saying I have a lack of believe so you literally used the definition of agnosticism and masqueraded is it as the definition of atheism.
Posted by nonprophet 7 years ago
nonprophet
@Ragnar "Agnosticism" = I don't KNOW if there's a god.
Atheism= I don't BELIEVE there is a god"

I am an agnostic atheist. You can be both.
Posted by Ragnar 7 years ago
Ragnar
The definition sounds like agnosticism, which has some similarities.
Posted by nonprophet 7 years ago
nonprophet
If Airmax is a fair person, he will see how you harassed me over 6 debates without mercy after I repeatedly asked you nicely to stop.
We'll see.
Posted by Teemo 7 years ago
Teemo
But Ben, with the definition he presented, he automatically wins. With this definition, since no babies can understand what is a god, they are atheist according to his false definition. Because of such, I do not believe it is a good place for you to accept this debate.
Posted by Benshapiro 7 years ago
Benshapiro
I probably would've accepted this. Indigenous people's typically believe in god(s) so it can be argued that atheism isn't the default position.
Posted by Teemo 7 years ago
Teemo
Well I hope he changes the definition, and starts making fair debates. Until then, farewell!
~Teemo, the honey badger.
Posted by Teemo 7 years ago
Teemo
Don't think he is gonna respond anymore.
Posted by Teemo 7 years ago
Teemo
xD LOL.
Posted by Actionsspeak 7 years ago
Actionsspeak
This was fun
9 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Vote Placed by proglib 7 years ago
proglib
nonprophetBenshapiroTied
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Reasons for voting decision: This debate was enjoyable, if not particularly sophisticated. IMHO, Con could have turned this around if he had offered his definitions of atheist and agnostic in the second round rather than the final round where no rebuttal is available. (I borrow this point from @mrsatan, appropriately enough...:) While Pro gets confused about the difference between lack of ability and lack of belief (as @mubaracus makes clear), his definition of atheism as being simple non-theism and his point that one CANNOT believe in something one is ignorant of carry the day for me.
Vote Placed by mubaracus 7 years ago
mubaracus
nonprophetBenshapiroTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I found pro line of reasoning to be illogical and Con articulated the lack of logic in his argument very well. Simply put, one cannot say they lack belief in something they do not know. I will admit, this is a confusing and convoluted idea. However, it is logical. One needs to be aware of something to have a disposition about it. The list of examples Pro uses to refute Con are fallacious; they each argue a different idea. "Do non-golf players have to know what golf is, in order to be non-golf players?" Playing golf is an action not a disposition. "Do non-Chinese speakers have to know Chinese, in order not to speak Chinese? Of course not!" Speaking Chinese is an ability. The belief in God is a disposition, a choice. One needs to be aware of what God is to express this disposition. There are counters to this argument but they are easily dismissed by Con as he clarifies what it actually means to be an atheist, theist, and unaware.
Vote Placed by SNP1 7 years ago
SNP1
nonprophetBenshapiroTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro successfully showed how atheism was the default position while Con tried to twist what different words mean.
Vote Placed by ConservativePolitico 7 years ago
ConservativePolitico
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Reasons for voting decision: Con successfully showed that the "default position" that people are born with is not atheism. He rightly points out that atheism is the opposite of theism, meaning you have to have knowledge of both in order to pick one. Babies cannot actively disbelieve in God if they do not have the concept of God. The belief that Pro is trying to describe but fails at is agnosticism. If this had been a debate about being agnostic Pro would have won but his logic and definitions just don't support atheism. A win for Con.
Vote Placed by Wylted 7 years ago
Wylted
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Reasons for voting decision: Con needs to really pay attention to how words are defined in round 1 before accepting debates, and really try to understand the meaning of the word. Arguments to pro. Conduct to con. It's one thing to debate semantics, it's quite another to have semantics and unfair ones at that be the entire basis of your debate and arguments.
Vote Placed by johnlubba 7 years ago
johnlubba
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Reasons for voting decision: Close call but I feel that Con provided well thought out definitions of his opponents arguments, especially the fact that A-theism derives from theism and thus requires one to have knowledge of what theism is, to claim to hold an atheistic position, Pro also states that to have NO knowledge of a certain thing makes it impossible to believe in it, ( The chabalaka ) Then the same can be said of atheism, if you have no knowledge of God, that would mean you lack belief in God by default. Con then claims that Pro is confusing lack of belief with ignorance, when in fact I can not see the difference in this case, having no knowledge of something could be defined as ignorant and also lacking a belief in my perspective. I think Pro just edged this one.
Vote Placed by mrsatan 7 years ago
mrsatan
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Reasons for voting decision: Personally, I consider saying, "atheism is the default position", to be an oversimplification. The default position would be "a lack of belief in anything". While one can argue that this includes atheism, it does not center on atheism (or on any other specific thing). It is utterly meaningless to say one is an atheist if they've never even considered the subject. However, by the framework of this debate, I give arguments to Pro, as one does start out lacking a belief in God. Agnosticism, and gnosticism, are both irrelevant here. They would not be a part of the default position of no beliefs, as both are beliefs concerning knowledge. I would give conduct to Pro because Con started a new argument in the final round, but I'm opting not to due to that arguments irrelevance.
Vote Placed by PeacefulChaos 7 years ago
PeacefulChaos
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Reasons for voting decision: This quickly devolved into a debate of semantics, but nonetheless Con managed to differentiate ignorance from lack of belief. I feel like Con should have expanded more on his argument, however, and explain why non-belief would require knowledge. Benshapiro simply ended up stating the definition of ignorance but did not go beyond that and prove how non-belief necessitates knowledge; thus, Pro seems to have superior arguments due to Con's failure to support his own argument.
Vote Placed by Sswdwm 7 years ago
Sswdwm
nonprophetBenshapiroTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Interesting arguments from Con. I think Con wins by a hair, helped a lot by his final round definition but it was a pretty short format debate so all is fair. Pro didnt effectively distinguish between ignorance and disbelief, or didn't argue that both should be considered under the same label. Ether way the point passed.

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