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The Contender
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How do atheists rationally know truth from fiction?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/27/2016 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 536 times Debate No: 88846
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)




Atheists love to live under the delusion that they are the guardians of rationality. But how can they hold this title when they cannot even articulate a rational way to know truth from fiction. If they cannot do this, they are literally ignorant and the ignorant cannot guard anything. So, what atheist can give me a rational way atheists know truth from fiction?

Answering this question is the sole purpose for this debate. If you are unable or unwilling to answer this question, do not respond to this debate. Likewise, if you do not believe in reality, believe you make it up or deny it is objective or knowable, or if you do not know how to rationally know truth from fiction, do not respond to this debate. If you are terrified of cross-examination or madly in love with red herrings, do not respond to this debate. If you have responded before, do not respond to this debate. After all, if you had nothing rational to say then, you will having nothing rational to say now.

If all you have is "science", do not respond to this debate, for science relies on the your senses and reason, which begs the question of how you know your senses and reason are valid. Perhaps you can tell me, which is fine, but if the way you validate you senses and reason is with your senses and reason, you lose the debate because that is circular reasoning and circular reasoning is not rational.

if you respond in violation of these rules, you automatically lose the debate.


It would be a fuller picture painted were you to say rather:

"Humans cannot know anything for certain."

There are levels of ignorance. There's ignorance as we usually use it, then there's meta-ignorance, where our senses themselves could be wrong, and then there's meta-meta-ignorance, where our reason itself, the way we try to judge whether or not we're likely to be wrong.

On the level of meta-meta-ignorance (reason), no humans of any kind can reasonable claim to be any more knowledgeable than any other. We are lost together, as it were.

If we grant the basic premise that we might as well treat our reason as valid, NOT because we actually know it is, but because we have to ACT; if we don't want to suffer hunger and pain, and we might as well use reason as not, if it works for us, in other words, if we put aside meta-meta-ignorance for practicality's sake, then we can try to have a local kind of knowledge (always shadowed by our ultimate meta-meta-ignorance, but we're putting that aside for now) on the meta level, and the normal level.

On the level of meta-ignorance (senses), we ALSO don't (maybe Nick Bostrom does) know anything for certain. We could all be in a matrix simulation, and nobody can even claim that that's unlikely (except Daniell Dennett and Nick Bostrom), so we're all ignorant together again.

But if we put aside that higher level of knowledge, again, for practicality's sake, then we can have a local level of knowledge about things like if the sun is up, how does water feel, how do waves function, what use is probability theory, etc.
Again, not pretending that we REALLY know these things, for they are shadowed by our meta-ignorance, doubly shadowed by our meta-meta-ignorance.

But, on this local level of knowledge, if sense and reason stand, this is where atheism shines. On this level, people have vastly different levels of knowledge and understanding, and theism arises from mistakes on this level, losing on 3 levels, rather than just 2.
Debate Round No. 1


In other words, you are admitting that atheists know nothing?

Thanks. I win.


If you agree with my position, it sounds like we're agreed.

You win this debate.

And atheists win the debate about reality.
Debate Round No. 2


A man who claims to know nothing and yet be the champion of reality is deluded. Because you know nothing, you have nothing to offer me. Thanks, but the debate is over. I win.


Debate Round No. 3


Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
>Reported vote: chipmonk// Mod action: Removed<

7 points to Con (Arguments, Sources). Reasons for voting decision: Con failed to show how sense and reason can definitively lead an INDIVIDUAL to truth. The question was how can "an atheist" know truth from fiction. Even assuming his senses and reasoning abilities were sound , The atheist relying on his senses and reasoning alone would be UNABLE to test any claim outside of his "local knowledge". Thus being unable to tell whether a true claim (existing outside local knowledge) is fictional or not. Also being unable to test any fictional Claim (by defintion being outside local knowledge) to be true or not. The atheist is without a sense of...reality (outside of his local knowledge) Well done , Vice Regent! Kudos to this argumentative approach!

[*Reason for removal*] (1) The voter appears to confuse Pro and Con, providing points to and chiding only Con. (2) The voter fails to explain conduct, S&G, and sources. (3) The voter insufficiently explains arguments. He is required to explain it through analysis of both sides' arguments.
Posted by milesk12 2 years ago
We only need one more!
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Greg4586 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: Con is clearly being unnessasarily rude for essentially no real reason