The Instigator
ViceRegent
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Surgeon
Pro (for)
Winning
14 Points

How do atheists rationally know truth from fiction?

Do you like this debate?NoYes-1
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Surgeon
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/28/2016 Category: Science
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,277 times Debate No: 93178
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (132)
Votes (3)

 

ViceRegent

Con

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.
Surgeon

Pro

This is a non-trivial question and with only 2000 chrs., I can only sketch. I do not start from epistemic circularity, but from an axiomatic foundation of the Primacy of Existence (PoE). The PoE is an undeniable fact and to deny it one must deny the validity of one's own consciousness (which is irrational). Quoting Peikoff (Philosophy:Who needs it? p24).

"The primacy of existence (of reality) is the axiom that existence exists, i.e., that the universe exists independent of consciousness (of any consciousness), that things are what they are, that they possess a specific nature, an identity. The epistemological corollary is the axiom that consciousness is the faculty of perceiving that which exists and that man gains knowledge of reality by looking outward. The rejection of these axioms represents a reversal: the primacy of consciousness - the notion that the universe has no independent existence, that it is the product of a consciousness (either human or divine or both)."

It is the impossibility of the contrary, that renders the PoE axiomatic corollary well founded and safe to proceed from. The PoE builds a chain leading to the validity of the senses.

1 PoE (axiomatic corollary),
2 implication to an objective reality (realitys, real or existence, exists (axiom)),
3 implication to an objective theory of concepts (see the Objectivist Theory of Concepts),
4 implication to knowledge is conceptual in nature,
5 concepts are formed in consciousness from data (consciousness exists, (axiom)),
6 data is gathered from sense perception and by no other means.

Thus truth is understood from a learned reasoning process:

1 properly grasping the objective reality around you via sense perception;
2 using that data to integrate and/or differentiate it within a conceptual framework; and
3 applying that within a generalised framework of Aristotelian logic.

Failure to apply this process leads to faulty reasoning. Faulty application to faking reality, like the beliefs in gods.
Debate Round No. 1
ViceRegent

Con

You are assuming the truth of the law of contradiction. How do you know this law is true? No circular reasoning, please.
Surgeon

Pro

Circular reasoning fallacies apply to deductive proofs, and no deductive proofs have been offered so far. Nor can they be offered in order that we are confident that the laws of logic are true. I am not convinced you have a strong enough grasp of epistemology.

The laws of logic are necessarily true in every argument, statement, discourse etc, not only in this one. No assumptions are required. The laws of logic are true because they are a description of the consistency of objective existence. They are necessary because absolute existence, exists necessarily. For example let us run the thought experiment on the law of non-contradiction:

1. assume that the law of non-contradiction is not necessarily true
2. implication is, if this law is not true then contradictions are possible
3. implications is, if contradictions are possible then it is possible that the law of non-contradiction itself is both true and not true in the same way and at the same time
4. 3. is impossible
5. because of the impossibility of the contrary, the law of non-contradiction must be true

Now let us briefly to examine the approach of Theism to this question. My bet is that we will hear no rational and positive argument for "how theists know truth from fiction". Theism is a form of Subjectivism (see Primacy of Consciousness), where reality in some way conforms to a mind (a god). It is open to the idea that reality is not real (given miracles are possible). It is thus invalidated as a means of understanding truth from fiction from the get-go. Specifically Christian Theism contains within it the belief that reality can be whimsically altered, ad-nauseum by unknowable, magical and mystical forces, leaving the independent observer unable to determine what is real and what is not (a cartoon world). It is laughable that theists think they have a reason to know what is truth from fiction, when their whole enterprise relies on the irrational view that reality is Subjective and the product of a mind.
Debate Round No. 2
ViceRegent

Con

You continue to beg the question. How do you know you 3 is impossible is true?
Surgeon

Pro

Oh dear! It is hard to know where to begin with such a response. If my opponent thinks I am begging the question, he needs to point out where I am assuming the conclusion in a premise of a deductive proof (which he will find impossible because I have argued from axioms, not from a deductive proof).

He then asks why proposition 3. in R2 is impossible. I will try and put it simply. If the law of non-contradiction is both true and false at the same time and in the same way, then it is its own disproof. If you need something fuller then you should allow more than 2,000 chrs. for a response. Even to sketch these arguments properly would take 20,000 chrs.

This particular Christian apologetic, seems nakedly unequipped to overcome the problems it wishes to pose. It wishes to proclaim an Objective and Absolute truth, but is a Subjectivist philosophy (see R2). So normally it decides to not engage in an exchange of ideas or the socratic method etc, but instead merely attack other worldviews. It does so as a cover for its own failure to answer the questions it poses. This debate is an example of that where my opponent either cannot or does not want to expose his own worldview by providing positive reasons for how "theists know truth from fiction".

Indeed the normal response of this particular Christian apologetic when challenged is like watching a chimpanzee throwing its own waste at the zookeeper, in an attempt to keep him away from their cage. The Theist attempts the same trick and complains: "how do you know your senses are valid", "your reasoning is circular" or "you are begging the question". This is meant to be a "ah-hah gotcha" attack on non-theists, to keep them from looking at the mess in the theists own imaginary mind-forged cage. But it only really applies to worldviews founded on global skepticism (which mine is not). So when it runs up against a positively founded Objective atheistic philosophies, any of these sorts of attack fail. Round 4 please.
Debate Round No. 3
ViceRegent

Con

This dude continues to beg the question, which is really quite funny, especially since he is blind to it. Here he assumes the law of non-contradiction is true to prove its opposite is false to prove it is true. ROFL

I love exposing atheists as fools even when they cannot see it.
Surgeon

Pro

Wow! That was quite a little temper tantrum. Sir, you are quite simply wrong that I have begged the question. But it is not my job to educate you, you need to look it up for yourself. Your laughable attempts to make these claims stick and your hissy fit use of the word "fool", may make you feel better, but hardly deflect us from the central problems for you in this debate:

1) You have no foundation for how "theists know truth from fiction"
2) I have a foundation as to why atheism is necessary to "know truth from fiction"

I have presented arguments on why 1) is false, and a positive case for 2). You have not presented a single positive case for 1), and you have failed to refute 2). You have left me with nothing to refute, but you can continue to troll if you like, you are doing my work for me by showing your own inadequacies up.

On top of that you annihilate your own rational thought processes, by refusing to see why the law of non-contradiction is necessarily true (proof provided in R2). This proof generates your howls of incredulous question begging claims. Instead it seems only to confirm that your own religion has so utterly confused you, that you give up and are now content to "throw your own waste at the zookeeper (see R3 analogy)". Presumably you believe that logic itself rests on the mind of some mystical, magical, spirit entity you wish to call God. But this only exposes the folly of your own worldview as this only makes logic subjective and contingent (on that mind), rather than absolute and necessary (based on existence, as in my worldview). Your error is therefore egregious. For you to make the claims of faulty reasoning in my arguments, you must also rest on my foundation that the law of non-contradiction is entirely absolute and necessary. You therefore commit the fallacy of the stolen concept and borrow directly from my worldview to attack it. But carry on and hurl out insults as a substitute for arguments it is entertaining. R5 please.
Debate Round No. 4
ViceRegent

Con

This fool is now saying he does not have to answer my Q, which means he is conceding the debate. I win. Who is next?
Surgeon

Pro

There is no further need to respond to Cons efforts. If that is the best he can do, it is the best he can do.

Instead I will use the remaining space to reflect. This approach to debates is not uncommon, although (unlike my opponent) there are people who are good at it. The usual line of attack is: "Is it viciously circular to employ your senses and reasoning to validate your senses and reasoning?". I have to wonder what the value of such a question is, it does not constitute an argument. The person asking already knows how bankrupt and circular their own position is, and so seems anxious to attack reason. They do this to undermine other worldviews and leave their own irrationality standing. If they were braver they would actually present an argument to deny the validity of the senses and reasoning, instead of sniping and playing word games.

Interestingly though when Christian apologists ask this question, they imply that their worldview can answer it. But where, for instance, does the bible give any insight or instruction on circular reasoning, the validity of the senses, etc.? It is silent, nothing at all, which leads some presuppositionalists, such as John Frame to answer this question by saying "We know without knowing how we know". What can one say to a mind so confused? A short response from Peikoff again (Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand, p. 39): "If the senses are not valid, neither are any concepts, including the ones used in the attack."

The dangerous Subjectivity of Christianity imagines a universe where everything is contingent upon the existence of a mystery (a necessary magical entity). If this is the case we cannot rely on existence (reality), magic can warp it eg turn water into wine. We cannot therefore know truth from fiction. However, through the PoE we can axiomatically be confident that existence is necessary and everything built upon it (logic, reason etc) is sound. It is because atheism is true, that can we know truth from fiction.
Debate Round No. 5
132 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Surgeon 1 year ago
Surgeon
Normally the term loser is reserved for people who lost. Which would....oh let me check now...err...would be ...drum roll....YOU! Enjoy your pre-supp mental mas***bation with Sye and the crazy gang.

PS An ad hominem attack is where you attack the person and not their argument. Which is exactly what you did. But the ignorance is, as ignorance does.
Posted by ViceRegent 1 year ago
ViceRegent
And this ignorant loser shall waste no more of my time.
Posted by Surgeon 1 year ago
Surgeon
This is too delicious. VR is replying to a thread post he was roundly beaten on and could not answer, which incidentally is a thread on a debate with me he lost on the same topic...and he calls me the fool and wants me to defend my position. Gotta love it...the guy is a comedy genius. LOL.
Posted by ViceRegent 1 year ago
ViceRegent
BTW, ignorant child, calling you a fool or other accurate descriptions is NOT an ad hominem fallacy. An ad hominem fallacy is when one rejects an argument on the basis of some characteristic of the one making the argument. As I did not do this, I did not commit this fallacy. There is your free logic lesson of the day from one who actually knows what they are talking about.
Posted by ViceRegent 1 year ago
ViceRegent
I will give this fool one more chance to rationally prove her claims before I stop wasting time asking her to do the impossible.

But I appreciate her proving once again atheists are ignorant, irrational and mentally ill.
Posted by Surgeon 1 year ago
Surgeon
@VR

I can add ad-hominem attacks to ignorance, then.

Come to think of it maybe you could attempt to deny the LONC, as your responses are illogical. Carrying on playing in the kindergarten with Hovind and Bruggencate or whichever pre-supp you like to 'metally mas***bate' with. You will learn sweet fanny adams and wallow in your own ignorance ad infinutum. Kind regards...Surgeon. ROFL.
Posted by ViceRegent 1 year ago
ViceRegent
Listen, fool, when an irrational moron like yourself says my arguments are ignorant, expecting me to believe them on that basis alone, I consider the source and reject them as the rantings of a mad fool.

Why not prove my argument is "ignorant" with something that is not irrational. BTW, mental midget, it is not for me to disprove your irrational claims, but for you to prove them. Post something rational or shut up.
Posted by Surgeon 1 year ago
Surgeon
@ ViceRegent

I have no idea why you wish to refer to me as Dude. But you can call me Surgeon. Again your arguments are still ignorant and you are still defeated on this topic.

But let me help you out. To defeat my point all you have to do is to make a simple claim. Deny the validity of the LONC. Oh you can't do it....mmm...now does that mean you are reasoning in a circular fashion? Or does it mean that the LONC is axiomatically true, whether a god exists or not. Think it through.
Posted by ViceRegent 1 year ago
ViceRegent
Of course, this dude has no way of knowing of any of his logic is true. Indeed, to justify logic with logic is to beg the question, proving once again atheists have no rational way to know anything.
Posted by Surgeon 1 year ago
Surgeon
@ kwagga_la

You are confusing axiomatic knowledge with evidential knowledge and ignoring how we safely proceed from one to another. Is it absolutely true to say that the law of non-contradiction (LONC) applies everywhere and at all times? According to my philosophical framework, yes it is. How can we know this for certain? The very attempt to deny the LONC both assumes the LONC exists (thus commits the fallacy of the stolen concept) and in and of itself is a contradiction (thus illogical).

Thus absolute knowledge is possible (the LONC is axiomatic, self evident and irrefutable). This (amongst other axioms) is a safe place to build knowledge from, securing what little knowledge we do have in the broader knowledge garnered from evidential claims. None of this requires a god, and to add insult to injury to the theist cause it necessitates that god does not exist, else you can never be sure about any fact of the Universe (lest a god whimsically changes it). A theist Universe is subjective and not objective.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Grandzam 2 years ago
Grandzam
ViceRegentSurgeonTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro explains his arguments and they go demonstratably unrefuted. Con says that he was exposed Pro as a fool when he hasn't done anything of the sort, which is just insulting because he knows that he can't actually beat Pro. Surgeon made sources. Con didn't.
Vote Placed by ForGrowthOfMind 2 years ago
ForGrowthOfMind
ViceRegentSurgeonTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro gave arguments centered around the axioms of logic. If you do not accept the axioms how can one even use logic to debate? Con resorted to child like name calling and the "nuh-uh" style of argument. The winner is clear here.
Vote Placed by FaustianJustice 2 years ago
FaustianJustice
ViceRegentSurgeonTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: That was pretty darned interesting. Pro made an eloquent point from the onset, which were I to simplify, roughly states that by perception of the self, you have recognized a truth. This satisfies Con's immediate question, and was subsequently dropped for the remainder of the debate. While con continues to assert it is some how question begging, Pro goes on to detail how exactly further understanding of reality can be true, the icing on the cake comes from denoting logic, were it to be contingent on a mind to function, to be then be subjective in nature. I feel Pro gave more than enough patience in this "debate" and after showing their methodology, it really appeared as though Con didn't really know what question begging/circular logic was. Or at least wasn't content to accept the given argument, no matter how much it could easily be applied.