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How do atheists rationally know truth from fiction?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/30/2016 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 776 times Debate No: 90434
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (11)
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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.


I am excited to take on this challenge. The rules of this debate were not very well established, so I will give the benefit of the doubt to my opponent and assume the first round is only acceptance and definitions. I wholeheartedly accept this debate, and look forward to A fun, interesting discussion.

To begin, I'd like to put forward some definitions.

That which is true or in accordance with fact or reality(1)

the quality or state of being agreeable to reason (2)

something that exists independently of ideas concerning it. (3)

the faculty or process of drawing logical inferences. (Encyclop"dia Britannica)

I would ask my opponent to put forward his argument as to why one without A deistic (or theistic, if he so chooses) worldview cannot obtain A rational understanding of the world as it is. Again I would like to thank my opponent for this oppertunity, and look forward to A civil and enlightening discussion.

Debate Round No. 1


Strike 1. Please state how you rationally know truth from fiction?


I will assume that the reply my opponent gave means he agrees to all definitions presented. As requested, I will put forward my argument first.

To begin in the quest, all worldviews must make A few assumptions, these are as follows:

1. the world exist
this, I believe, does not necessarily require explanation.

2. Our senses provide us with a not entirely wrong, arbitrary yet mostly consistent, representation of reality.
this is, once again, required by all worldviews. The theist must accept this as the theist gains his understanding of any being he believes exist through his senses and his reason, which leads to the next point.

3. We are rational beings with an ability to reason.
This is, finally, required. The theist must assume this to say his belief has any rational grounding, as it is only his beliefs (and those of the ones who taught him) that lead him to believe in a deity.

With these assumptions, as they are the basis of any worldview, and to say that they are untrue voids the beliefs of A theist/deist, the process of understanding reality can begin. This process is best exemplified by the exploits of Ren" Descartes.

Short(possibly too short) summary: Descartes voided all beliefs he held, then building back only what he could logically prove.

In short, The assumptions open to us the realm of reason, which can be used, along with the senses(see assumption two if you disagree senses are accurate) to build an understanding of the reality that exist by opening to us, through countless lines of thought that simply do not fit into 2000 characters, the realms of philosophy, epistemology, and the sciences.

This, I would suggest, is how one without A theistic worldview can obtain an understanding of reality. I excitedly await my opponents review of my arguments and rebuttal. Again, thank you for the opportunity to discuss this!
Debate Round No. 2


Strike 2. I did not ask for truth claims. I asked how you rationally know truth from fiction?


I'm sorry, I will try to answer A bit more clearly.

Reality can be observed through our senses, which, as stated earlier, must be assumed to be accurate to a point. The information gathered can then be interpreted by our rational minds using logical thought, philosophical reasoning, and the scientific method for matters of science, to interpret what is reality.

I apologize if this was not articulated in my previous reply, and I would also ask that my opponent actually engage in the discussion, instead of simply stating that I have violated his "strike" system.

Good sir, If you would, please actually engage in the discussion. I have shortened A 2,000 character reply to one paragraph to attempt to satiate your demand for an answer. If you plan to attack this reply, please consult my previous reply first, as I do not enjoy repeating myself.
Debate Round No. 3


How do you know your senses and reason are valid?


WaywardSon forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by ViceRegent 2 years ago
Given that there are many people who are deluded, to claim it is impossible to have invalid senses and reason is a fiction.
Posted by CaptainScarlet 2 years ago
Absolutely Missmedic. The answer to how we know our dsenses and reasoning is valid, is the impossibility of the contrary. If you deny your senses and reasoning, you assume their validity to attempt the denial.
Posted by missmedic 2 years ago
Consciousness is an axiomatic concept. Since our senses and reason are the means of our consciousness, their validity is also axiomatic.
Posted by Macdaddy4sure 2 years ago
Con (ViceRegent), if I understand you correctly from your other debates, it seems to me like whatever "truth" asserted, you will have believed that there is a measure of "falseness" to the claim. This also includes the principles of identity and non-contradiction. For example, your name on this board is "ViceRegent" but that is not the name your parents gave you, assuming they gave you one. And to clarify the last sentence, I cannot know, according to your argument that your name on this board IS ViceRegent after al. For all I know your name could be the ASCII encoding or the bit/byte size of your name.
Although, in the context of the situation we humans are in, we have a system that appears simple enough (from my point of view). What seems to be most foundational to this system is simply that true is always true and false is always false, also assuming the speaker or observation is true (See the paradox there?). To me iit seems to me like some forget to acknowledge the very complaint you have brought forth.
So then, you must accept that at least something in your life is not worth doubting, perhaps your very existence? So then are we still to doubt what we are not supposed to doubt?
Posted by DonutQueen 2 years ago
Pro should win this debate as con is not actualy participating and pro has sufishently answered all questions that is the only thing con had the time to say are 1 sentence questions.
Posted by kwbc 2 years ago
This is a wasted debate due to cons inability to address any point's made by pro.
Posted by WaywardSon 2 years ago
I was hoping it wasn't just my bias, but I believe that I had answered the question acceptably....
Posted by DonutQueen 2 years ago
Is it just me or is con not debating. Con seems to only be "striking" pro instead of being in a debate this is just pro repeatedly answering a question.
Posted by WaywardSon 2 years ago
I'd like to ask both my opponent and anyone who chooses to comment on the debate to keep the discussions that follow civil. I am very aware that any conversations with A religious connotation can quickly devolve, and I'd like to ask for everyone to focus solely on furthering the discussion of ideas. Thank you!
Posted by vi_spex 2 years ago
lie=fear truth
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