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Atheism is the default position

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Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: Select Winner
Started: 4/26/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,807 times Debate No: 53411
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (23)
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This debate is open to prety much anybody I haven't blocked, yet.
Voting is imposible, so don't accept if you think you will "win".

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".
If you don't like it, don't accept the debate. Those who whine about it only encourage me to do it more.

If you accept the rules and break them, I stop the debate and you lose. Not by votes. By losing your privledge
to ever debate me again.



Thank you for allowing me to debate this.
Debate Round No. 1


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.


I will argue that the default position is apatheism, not atheism.

1) Atheism can't be considered the default position

belief - confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof

A newborn cannot be considered an atheist. Even with your definition, atheism remains a choice. A newborn is unable to hold a belief. An atheist could be considered a person who lacks belief in God, but that person must be able to hold a belief in the first place. If a person is unable to hold any belief at all, you cannot label them based on what beliefs they lack, so a newborn cannot be considered and atheist because he is unable to hold any belief.
You cannot hold a belief with no information. A child can't believe in Santa Claus before knowing who he is. Beliefs can't exist without any information. Furthermore, because belief means confidence, believing without any proof, you also need motivation. Any religious person has a motivation to trust the teaching of his religion.
Sure, newborns don't have any beliefs, but that's because they have no information and no motivation. Belief needs to be understood, you can't demand belief from a baby that isn't developed enough to perceive reality.
The reason why newborns lack any belief is because they cannot hold any beliefs. They are not developed enough to have a belief, so you cannot label them as atheists just because they lack a believe that is impossible to hold. They don't just lack any belief, they cannot hold any belief, which means you cannot label them based on any beliefs they lack.
Newborns also lack emotions, morals, social behavior and fear, so you should also consider every newborn immoral, apathetic and even a psychopath. So why don't we treat all newborns as psychopaths? Why don't we treat them like any other immoral person? Because you can't demand moral values or emotions from newborns, just like you cannot demand belief from them.

2) Apatheism is the default position

apatheism - apathy, disregard, or lack of interest towards belief or disbelief in a deity
Also, a common argument for apatheism is lack of motivation.

Just like I said, a belief demands information and motivation. Before being able to hold a belief, you must be able to receive information and feel motivation.
You said atheism is the default position because newborns lack belief. We are debating the default position, the very first position you have the minute you are born. And that position is properly described by apatheism. A newborn lacks beliefs, but more importantly, he lacks the "components" of belief, he lacks information, he lacks motivation. So, a person can only be an atheist after he can receive information and can feel motivation. Until that point, he is an apatheist.

Newborns have no motivation, nor do they have any interest in beliefs, so their position is apatheism.

Debate Round No. 2


Apatheism is also known as pragmatic atheism or (critically) as practical atheism.

So, really it's just another form of Atheism, which confirms that Atheism is the default position.

My opponent says. "a belief demands information and motivation"
So? Atheism isn't a belief. It's a lack of a belief, as agreed upon in the first round.

By proving Apatheism as the default position, my opponent actually proved atheism as the default position,
because Apatheism is just another form of Atheism.

They both lack the belief in a god, which is what atheism is!

This is sort of like comparing Christians to Baptists. All Baptists are Christians, but not all Christians are Baptists.

Not all Atheists are Apatheism but all Apatheisms are Atheist.

Thanks for the debate.


Apatheism is also called pragmatic atheism, but it's just a name. An apatheist isn't necessarily an atheist, and apatheism doesn't mean lack of belief.

"The term "Apatheism" is a portmanteau 1 -- a combination of two words. They may be considered a fusing of:

"Apathy" and "Theism" or
"Apathy and "Atheism." "

An apatheist can be an atheist, but also a theist. Apatheism doesn't mean lack of belief, so an apatheist can also be a theist.
-you can believe god exists, but don't care if he does exist in reality(apatheist and theist)
-you can believe god doesn't exist, but don't care if he does exist in reality(apatheist and atheist)
-you can believe god exists and care if he does exist in reality(theism)
-you can believe god doesn't exist and care if he does exist in reality(atheism)

Thank you for debating this with me.

Debate Round No. 3
23 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by nonprophet 7 years ago
Font you
Posted by Anon_Y_Mous 7 years ago
My vote:

Con wins because of his solid argument regarding apatheism, and the rebuttal of Pro's weak counterargument. Also, Pro's font was annoying.
Posted by USPharaoh 7 years ago
Good points so far. I do find it intellectually dishonest to try to suppose that a newborn has the capacity to decide not to believe in something...just as they have no capacity to believe in something. There are biological markers that show that the developing brain does not have that capacity.

It would be just as ridiculous to ask a newborn to read their favorite verse from the Bible.... better yet...maybe just ask them if the blanket they had yesterday actually exists or not.

One can assume that a default position is just the 'lack of something', but they would first have to provide proof that the opposite of that position is not even possible.

One might even argue that they had to have been a believer BEFORE they could comprehend what it means to not believe.......Otherwise, to be an atheist only requires one to be lazy and unmotivated.(like a baby) I know several atheists that are very motivated and very educated....and therefore became an atheist through rigorous study and education. I'm quite certain that their unbelief was not a static default position...since that would require a definition to defend it....without any understanding whatsoever ,you can't have either (a belief or non-belief)
Posted by nonprophet 7 years ago
This was a very interesting debate.
I don't agree with
"you can believe god exists, but don't care if he does exist in reality(apatheist and theist)"
Why would you believe something you don't care about?

If I don't care about UFO's I don't have an opinion about them one way or the other.
So how could I believe in them?

Also, "-you can believe god doesn't exist and care if he does exist in reality(atheism)"
isn't true.

Atheism isn't about caring, since it's the lack of the belief in a god (as opposed to a belief that god doesn't exist).
Posted by USPharaoh 7 years ago
So, an assertion without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. I like that. I like that a lot. I think it makes a belief in something that requires faith tougher to prove though but still is a decent stance.
Posted by nonprophet 7 years ago
@Mhykiel Thanks! I think you understand me better and better as time goes on.
Posted by DeletedUser 7 years ago
because changing your font and color is a way to establish an online identity. Obviously nonprophet's personality shines through in every thing he does.
Posted by Wylted 7 years ago
I like how your about me section has quotes. I might copy that.
Posted by Wylted 7 years ago
No votes have been placed for this debate.

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