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It's more logical to be agnostic versus being an atheist

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/5/2018 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 721 times Debate No: 119340
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (17)
Votes (1)




The more welcomed format that people are willing to accept. I'll make my point, You make yours.

It's more logical or only logical to be neutral on the stance for the existence of a deity. Whether one exists or not, It hasn't been proven either way.

What's your take?


I felt the need to step into this more because I think you'll get something out of having clear definitions of these words. I don't think you're intentionally posing the question in a strange way, I just think perhaps you're not used to discussing these things or you believe your words mean something different than they do. Whatever the case may be, I'm going to step in because I see these terms misused too often.

I'd like for you to not take this as me being a know-it-all or condescending. I just think you'll agree with my clarification afterwards. It is not an insult towards you. I was not clear on these terms myself a few short years ago.

One can easily be atheist and agnostic simultaneously. They are not mutually exclusive positions. In fact, The majority of atheists are also agnostics. This is because the alternative position is largely illogical. One can also be a theist and agnostic.

Atheists would say "I don't believe God(s) exist. "
Theists would say "I believe God(s) exist. " (in some form or fashion)

Agnostics would say "I don't know whether or not God(s) exist. " (some would say it is not possible to know)
Gnostics would say "I know God(s) exist. "

An Agnostic Atheist would say "I don't know if God(s) exist or not, But I don't believe God(s) exist(s). "
An Agnostic Theist would say "I don't know if God(s) exist or not, But I believe God(s) exist(s). "
A Gnostic Atheist would say "I KNOW God(s) doesn't (don't) exist. "
A Gnostic Theist would say "I KNOW God(s) exist(s). "

Another way in which "atheist" is used is to deny belief in a specific god. Using 'atheist' this way is not showing disbelief in every god, But one specific one which is presented to the person. A gnostic theist, For example, Is an atheist to every other god when the term is used in this respect. It can also be said that this is gnostic atheism towards a specific religion. I. E. "I KNOW (specific god here) doesn't exist. "

The above question then does not make sense. You're asking to choose between two things that are not mutually exclusive.

Your question then could be reworded multiple ways.

"Is agnostic atheism a more logical stance than gnostic atheism? "

This would be asking this:

"Is it more logical to say "I don't know if God(s) exist or not, But I don't believe God(s) exist(s). " or "I KNOW God(s) doesn't (don't) exist. ""

In this case, Yes. The logical stance is agnostic atheism.

The second way to pose the question, The one I would be Con against is this:

"Is it more logical to live life thinking God(s) may exist, Or live life thinking God(s) don't exist? "

I believe this is what you're asking.

I would say it is more logical to live life denying the existence of all gods because there is no evidence to support their existence.

Let's put it this way. Do you live your life thinking unicorns might exist? That Dragons might exist? That goblins, Faeries, Orcs, Et cetera actually exist in our real world? You probably do not. You can say these things MIGHT exist but that you've been presented no evidence. This is the "atheist" opinion, And always has been. We do not deny God(s) might exist. Again, It is a belief claim, Not a knowledge claim. Atheist does not mean Gnostic atheist.

Someone who professes that you should live your life thinking God(s) may or may not exist have to be open to the possibility that anything could exist or not in any living moment. We could be in the matrix, In a simulation, We could not exist, Et cetera.

While we may entertain the possibility of these ideas philosophically, No one actually lives their life this way. You don't live your life thinking we may or may not exist. You don't live your life thinking gravity may or may not exist.

To conclude this section,

Atheist and agnostic are not mutually exclusive positions. Far from it. They are INCREDIBLY often misused. One is a knowledge claim. Agnostic vs gnostic. "I know" versus "I don't know. One is a belief claim. Atheist versus theist. "I believe" versus "I don't believe. "

No one lives their life by means of "I don't know. " We all have confidence intervals in every 'fact' we think we 'know. ' This doesn't make me "agnostic" towards gravity, Evolution, Et cetera. I say in practical terms that I "know" these things. Until new dimensions have some shred of evidence for existing, Or the laws of our reality that we've seen so far have been shown to be suspended at some point, There is no logical reason to live your life wondering whether or not God(s) exist. Until a shred of evidence can be found in their favor, You do not live your life suspecting unicorns exist. Why do you suspend your judgement on whether or not God exists with our current evidence?

I again ask that you try not to read this in a condescending tone. It is not meant as such. I only want my stance to be as clear as possible, And to see if you agree that the question is not clear.

I should note that the term 'gnostic' as the opposite of 'agnostic' for the moment is a bit of a stand in. It isn't present in dictionaries quite yet for several reasons, One of which is that it is more of a recent distinction. I think these definitions make the overall possible stances more clear. These are the definitions that are more widely used by the atheist (or atheist agnostic) community nowadays. We are largely Atheist Gnostics towards specific religions. Or you could say we are "atheists" in the sense of the denial of the existence of a given specific God(s). We are, Towards the question of the existence of a non-specific God, Nearly all atheist agnostics. Depending on how you define "God. "

May your thoughts be clear,

Debate Round No. 1


"Is agnostic atheism a more logical stance than gnostic atheism? "
This is not what the debate is about.

"One can easily be atheist and agnostic simultaneously. "
That's not the way the subject is setup. I set this up a specific way and when you accept the debate you agree to the terms of it. You don't come in changing it up, Talking about definitions. If you don't agree with the setup, Don't accept it.

"They are not mutually exclusive positions. In fact, The majority of atheists are also agnostics. This is because the alternative position is largely illogical. One can also be a theist and agnostic. "

"Your question then could be reworded multiple ways. "

This is very disingenuous when you know what the topic is and wish to modify or alter it. If you wish to discuss something else, That can be taken outside the grounds that I've setup. Being that you haven't dealt with the specific subject that has been presented, No real contention has been set forth. Your hung up on these semantics as a red haring. That would make sense being that there are no arguments shown thus far that being agnostic and agnostic alone is not more logical or rational than being a pure atheist and just atheist. Now you keep saying they can be one in the same. OK, Well we're not talking about one in the same folks. Now if you don't agree or don't wish to discuss these entities separately, What are you doing accepting this challenge?


When having a debate with someone it's important to discuss definitions. In this case, I have shown you why your debate topic is unclear. It's like saying "It is more logical to like oranges than apples, " when in fact one can like both.

I presented my definitions for these terms. The idea is you can either explain how my definitions are false, Or you can reword the initial claim to make sense with my definitions. You have chosen the third approach. The third approach is to ignore my definitions of these terms, State that I understood the debate topic prior to accepting, And claim that there was logical fallacy in my defining the terms of which the debate pertains.

There was no red herring. Defining "atheist" and "agnostic" is an important part of discussing the topic at hand.

It's important to me to step in and try to help you pose the debate you want properly without misusing terms.

When your debate partner asks for your definitions of the terms that pertain to the debate, It is not a distraction from the debate. It is possible my definitions are wrong or yours are. If our definitions become clear and we agree then so be it. It's important to debate using the same definitions for terms or else you and your opponent are having different debates.

I have presented my reasoning why an "atheist" view on life is more logical than an "agnostic" one towards the question. I did this after I defined clearly the terms of the debate.

R2 should have been you either presenting your definitions or taking the arguments I have given towards the initial flawed question and rebutting or presenting your argument to the contrary. You have done none of these things.

I submit my position to the judges to decide. I submit that I have been a fair debater and have presented an argument towards the initial question as I read it. I submit that my opponent had all the time in the world to clarify his definitions or clarify the initial question so this, My R2, Could have pertained more to the subject he truly wished to debate. Asking for clarification is not fallacious or disingenuous in a debate. I submit my opponent hasn't even presented an argument as to how this was disingenuous because he knows it is not. I submit I am left with nothing to debate, And my initial claims stand as is. It is important to note that rewording a debate is not the same as redefining it.

May your thoughts be clear,

Debate Round No. 2


Well we're through with the discussion. Thanks for your time comrade.


Indeed we are.

I submit this to the judges to say who is debating with poor conduct.

10k Characters is more than enough to clarify and respond. I DID present an argument to what I assumed you meant by this debate, Which you did not seek to respond to.
Debate Round No. 3
17 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by mall 3 years ago
Alright my friend. It's been interesting.
Posted by Thoht 3 years ago
I've gone as far as saying 'please. ' This is a debate not a playground. A 'yes' or 'no' is not required. I've made it clear that I wanted definitions and asked politely long, Long ago.
Posted by mall 3 years ago
A simple yes or no. Is all that had to be said. For those that continue to follow my debates and vote against me due to a personal bias, Know that you've been reported.
Posted by Thoht 3 years ago
I don't know how many times I can ask for clarification and definitions before you give them. This is just a waste of my time. I gave it my best effort, But I can't spend any more time on you. I tried. Hopefully people can see this.
Posted by mall 3 years ago
I'm not refusing. I just asked a question. You sought clarification before the debate started, BUT didn't wait for confirmation before accepting. You proceeded to accept and then wished to continue to argue about the way the premise was setup or presented. Will you not admit that? So yes or no. Do you now wish to get an understanding on this, This time, Before going into a debate?
Posted by Thoht 3 years ago
I sought clarification before accepting. Look at the first few comments of this debate. You did not clarify. Your position is that atheism and agnosticism are different from what they are. See how you refuse to define your terms even now?
Posted by mall 3 years ago
So would you now like to seek clarification and understanding before we start a debate?
Posted by Thoht 3 years ago
My problem is that YOU don't understand the terms. Please tell me what YOUR definitions of these terms are.
Posted by mall 3 years ago
Well if you don't know, You have no business accepting the debate. If the question is unclear, Why accept the debate? Wouldn't it make sense to communicate and get clarity before hand? Because of all this, Time and debate rounds have been used up for nothing. At least nothing to serve the intent of this whole thing.
Posted by Thoht 3 years ago
I have shown you that agnosticism and atheism are not mutually exclusive. Your entire debate is centered around a question of which one is more logical when one can easily hold both. I gave you the definitions required to reword your argument then you ignored that and said asking for clarification is a distraction from the debate.

You've asked which is more logical, Saying I don't know god exists or I don't believe god exists. I can simultaneously not know whether something exists and not believe it does.

Your question clearly needs to be clarified before anything can come from it. When your debate partner asks for this clarification in good faith you should clarify. Could be I concede immediately and you post this again with clarified terms to get someone who is on that other side.

No one knows what you're talking about here.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by omar2345 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: I have made this claim before and mall still does not understand. A debate requires arguments from both sides. Not 1 person questioning the other. Another mistake that Thoht pointed out was mall did not define words. This is not Thoht's fault since mall did have to define atheism and agnosticism in order for the other side to understand what you are actually saying with the words used. Without it you will be talking past each other. mall could have decided in Round 2 to apologise or say fair enough and state definition and his opening argument but mall does not. mall if Thoht is believed had 10,000 which was clearly not used. Thoht could not carry on the debate without knowing what mall meant with atheism and agnosticism which is why I do not blame Thoht for lack thereof debating.

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