The Instigator
nonprophet
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
St_Thanatos
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

One can both be an agnostic and an atheist

Do you like this debate?NoYes-6
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 0 votes the winner is...
It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: Select Winner
Started: 4/26/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,450 times Debate No: 53377
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (43)
Votes (0)

 

nonprophet

Pro

First round is acceptance only

Con must accept the following definitions:

Atheist; One that lacks a belief in god
Agnostic: One that lacks knowledge of a god's existence.
St_Thanatos

Con

Thank you. I look forward to it.
Debate Round No. 1
nonprophet

Pro



Atheist; One that lacks a belief in god
Agnostic: One that lacks knowledge of a god's existence.

Many people think an Agnostic is the same as being an Atheist. There is a difference and they are not mutually exclusive. You can, in fact, be an Agnostic Atheist.
You can also be an Agnostic Theist. The opposite of Agnostic is Gnostic. You can be a Gnostic Atheist or you can be a Gnostic Theist.
Agnosticism is based on what you know, while Atheism is based on what you believe.
In order to be an Agnostic, you have to admit you don"t know for sure. Since
nobody can prove that there is no God and not enough evidence exists that can
prove that there is a God, it would be fair to say that every person who values evidence, is an Agnostic. Sure, there are people who claim they know that there is, or isn't, a God. That would make them Gnostic. If you claim you know for sure,
you'd need evidence to back that claim up.
Atheism is the lack of the belief in a God. If you believe in a God, you are a
Theist. If you lack the belief in a God, you are an Atheist.
If you don't believe there is a God and claim you know there isn't a God, you
are a Gnostic Atheist. If you don"t believe there is a God, but admit you don"t
know for sure, you are an Agnostic Atheist. If you do believe in a God and admit
you aren't sure, you are an Agnostic Theist. If you believe there is a God and you
claim you know for sure, you are a Gnostic Theist.
Most Atheists are critical thinkers and rely on evidence. Without evidence, you
can't know for sure. That's why most Atheists are also Agnostic. There are Atheists who actually do claim they know for sure that there is no God, so not all Atheists are Agnostic.
Because of the social stigma associated with the word Atheist, many Atheist
call themselves Agnostic.
St_Thanatos

Con

The above argument centres around the agreed upon definitions, which are so contrived to be necessarily overlapping. That is, "lacks knowledge" and "lacks belief" are, if not necessarily interdependent, at least obviously compatible. It may be conceivable for one to hold a belief with no knowledge, or to have knowledge and yet not believe, but it is obvious that they are not mutually exclusive; they almost imply one another. The argument also categorizes the four possible combinations of relation between belief and knowledge. I will not attempt to add to this list, nor dissolve the dichotomy, though it may not be sound.
Because the argument opens upon semantic grounds, and relies heavily upon the semantics of the agreed upon definition, it also presents itself for criticism on semantic grounds. Rather than denying the compatibility of the definitions of either term, I deny the practical existence of one of the terms altogether, based upon the definition. The argument title "one can be" implies existence in our world. So....
One cannot be an agnostic. The argument defines the term agnostic as "One that lacks knowledge of a god's existence." However, there is not a single existent example of one who has no knowledge of god's existence. One may have knowledge favouring a god's existence or knowledge opposing a god's existence, but there is none that "lacks" knowledge.
The previous argument uses "lack the believe in a God" and "don't believe in God" interchangeably. Thus, "lacks knowledge" and "does not have knowledge" are posed also as interchangeable. Yet everyone has knowledge of some form, whether it compels them toward Theism or Atheism. Just as a true Gnostic has "proof" in the sense of complete evidence (as stated above), an Agnostic lacks evidence in any sense.
Debate Round No. 2
nonprophet

Pro

My opponent said.

"It may be conceivable for one to hold a belief with no knowledge (agnostic theist), or to have knowledge and yet not believe (Gnostic atheist), but it is obvious that they are not mutually exclusive; they almost imply one another."


OK, so what about an agnostic atheist?

My opponent claims "One cannot be an agnostic."

So that means everybody must know if there's a god or not.

I don't know because of the lack of evidence for one. So, that makes me agnostic.
I don't believe in a god, also due to the lack of evidence for one. That makes me an atheist.

Um...I'm an agnostic atheist.

How is that imposable?

My opponent claims "there is not a single existent example of one who has no knowledge of god's existence."

Where's the proof for that?

Chances are, out of the 8 billion+ people on this planet there is at least one who has never even heard of a god.

My opponent made the claim that there is not a single existent example of one ...so the burden of proof is on him to provide evidence for that.

Good luck with that.




St_Thanatos

Con

My opponent evidently ignored the claims I actually presented, preferring to substitute his own in a classic straw man fallacy. My claim "One cannot be an agnostic" is explained to mean "One must have some knowledge about a god's existence". My opponent simplified it to be "everybody must know if there's a god or not". In doing so, he seems to have abandoned his own definition of an agnostic, which is, in fact, what I was operating on. Agnosticism, as defined by the terms of the debate (rather poor terms though they may be), is "One who lacks knowledge of a god's existence". My opponent has, in this round, abandoned his own terms of debate (altering the definition of Agnostic to "one who does not know if there is a god or not"). As I previously showed, my opponent's own use of the term "lack" was crucial in the relation of absolutes and gradients. Evidently, my opponent prefers to operate in such tight semantic bounds that even he cannot maneuver within them.
As for the manner in which All Men have knowledge about the existence of a god, it need not be in the absolute sense; they only need have some. My opponent posits a man who has never even heard of a god, as if that would disqualify him from knowing about a god. In his Meditations III, Decartes shows that all of our human concepts--the finite as well as the infinite, the perfect as well as the imperfect--ARE, in fact, conceptions (or "knowledge") of a god.
This discussion would have to delve further into the definitions of a god. If we take the common precedent established by Anselm and define god as "that than which no greater can be conceived", it is evident that every man has a conception of a god. Indeed, even if an example could be presented--I do not admit that it can be-- of a man that has none of these concepts which imply a god, his lack of a concept would be an evidence against the existence of a god. Thus, he would still has knowledge about a god, though knowledge inclining toward Atheism.

As my opponent appears to be fond of fallacies, and this debate goes without vote or reward, I will indulge in bit of an ad hominem. He claims he wants only true, honest debate, and yet he does not at all appear eager to change the mind of another or himself. His evidences are spare, and unpersuasive. Indeed, they do not even attempt to be so; they settle for being provocative. ("Good luck with that"). He attempts to eliminate even the possibility of argument through poorly contrived definitions; yet when I enter the debate within those terms, and use them to defeat the argument by examining such poor definitions, he breaks the very terms he set. He would do well not to oversimplify, and better still to gain some intellectual honesty.
Debate Round No. 3
43 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 11 through 20 records.
Posted by nonprophet 6 years ago
nonprophet
So was yours. You will praise any opponent of mine no matter how bad they debate . You admitted it.
Posted by Wylted 6 years ago
Wylted
Well, that comment was rude and uncalled for.
Posted by nonprophet 6 years ago
nonprophet
Who cares about your book?
Posted by Wylted 6 years ago
Wylted
Good arguments con. You won in my book.
Posted by nonprophet 6 years ago
nonprophet
@phantom It proves you wrong
Posted by phantom 6 years ago
phantom
"@phantom Not true. There are such things as agnostic theists."

......What's this supposed to prove?
Posted by Christian_Debater 6 years ago
Christian_Debater
You have done this same debate so many times.

Why do you keep doing the same debate over and over?
Posted by St_Thanatos 6 years ago
St_Thanatos
@nonprophet It seems your definitions alone have prevented anyone from taking the debate; in fact, the debate over the definitions of terms has been taking place in the comments section. While I would argue for a positive definition of Atheism as "One who believes there is no god", I do see one avenue of contention that remains even within your confines.
I'm new, and therefore lack the ELO to participate; but I will take it if you invite me.
Posted by ArcTImes 6 years ago
ArcTImes
an agnostic*
Posted by ArcTImes 6 years ago
ArcTImes
No, and agnostic is someone that doesn't believe he have enough knowledge about a deity. In other words he believes he doesn't know. Why do i say believe even if it's obvious that he can know that doesn't know enough about gods?

Because people will say that everyone is agnostic then... Which is false, gnostics actually believe they know their claims, that they are sure. Like most religious people, if not all. There are gnostic theist too.
But most of them are agnostics.
No votes have been placed for this debate.

By using this site, you agree to our Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use.