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Topic

Resolved: Atheists have a burden of proof

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All stages have been completed. The voting points distribution and the result are presented below.

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With 1 vote and 2 points ahead, the winner is ...

Intelligence_06
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Religion
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Debate Format:
Round One: Introduction and Arguments
Round Two: Rebuttals
Round Three: Recapitulation and Conclusion

Definitions:
Atheism- "a lack of belief or a strong disbelief in the existence of a god or any gods"
The burden of Proof- "the duty of proving a disputed assertion or charge"
(Both definitions from Merriam Webster)

Round 1
Pro

Introduction: 

It has long been argued by atheists that atheism is not a position that requires substantiation. Atheism, they say, doesn’t make any definitive claims on whether God (or gods) exist(s).In turn, this means that the atheist cannot be held accountable to quantify their position, as their position isn’t a “position” in the first place. “We don’t claim that God does not exist, we just lack the belief that he does.” 

Does this excuse suffice in exempting atheists from proving their position to be true? My answer is no, it does not. 

Today, I will be defending one major contention:
The Law of Contrapositive shows that Atheism is a belief 

Note: I am aware that a traditional debate constructive should have at least two contentions, but in this case, I am confident that one will suffice. 

Definitions:
Atheism- "a lack of belief or a strong disbelief in the existence of a god or any gods"
The burden of Proof- "the duty of proving a disputed assertion or charge"
(Both definitions from Merriam Webster)

Contention: The Law of Contrapositive as it Relates to Disbelief

Perhaps the most important question in this regard is what a belief is. In response to this question, I offer the following definition:

Belief: an acceptance of a proposition as true

Beliefs are therefore inherently propositional; they all accept the truth of certain propositions. This means that all beliefs make claims about the nature of reality. Claims such as these are, according to the BOP, in need of substantiation. 

  1. All beliefs are fundamentally reducible to a set of specific statements.
  2. All statements must be substantiated. 
  3. Therefore, all beliefs must be substantiated.

This is where the atheistic ploy becomes obvious. If the atheist can somehow show that their position isn’t a belief, then they have successfully avoided the burden of proof (henceforth BOP). They attempt to demonstrate this by claiming that their position isn’t a belief, but rather a lack of belief. My question is this: does it matter whether the atheist “lacks belief” or not?


This is a good time to introduce the law of contraposition. The law of contraposition states that all statements are logically equivalent to their inversions. To find out what the inversion of any given conditional is, All you need to do is negate both terms (the P and Q) of that conditional, and then switch their positions with each other. 

For example,

-If it is wet outside, I will not go for a walk (P -> ~Q)
is logically equivalent to:
-If I go for a walk outside, It will not be wet (Q -> ~P)

With this in mind, Let's take the popular atheistic quip that is so commonly trotted out by non-believers: 

-I lack a belief in the existence of God (~P -> Q)

In order to find the logical equivalent of this statement, we negate each term and change their positions with one another:

-The non-existence of God is a belief I do not lack(~Q -> ~~P)

"Do not lack" is a double negative, and so we are at liberty to remove it from the conditional, thus discovering the logical equivalent of this popular atheistic quip to be:

-The non-existence of God is my belief(~Q -> P).

"I lack belief in God" and "The non-existence of God is my belief" are thus both the same statement. This is true for all forms of disbelief; if you disbelieve in the truth of a proposition, you are actually believing in the negation of that proposition. Since all beliefs require evidence, and all “lacks of belief” are really just beliefs, it follows that all lacks of belief require evidence. 

To summarize, allow me to reiterate my argument in logical form:

P1. All beliefs require evidence (BOP assumption) 
P2. Lacking belief in something is the same thing as believing in that thing's non-existence (Contraposition)
P3. Atheists lack belief in God (Atheistic claim)
C1. Therefore, Atheists believe that God does not exist (import of P3 and P2)
C2. Therefore, evidence is required of atheists (conclusion of P1 and C1)

This argument is deductive, in that to deny the conclusion(s), you must show that one of the premises is somehow flawed. But by the very nature of the argument, none of the premises can even be denied in the first place, unless you are also willing to deny canons of logic as well. For instance, denying P1 would do away with the burden of proof altogether. Denying P2 would result in the negation of the law of contrapositive. And denying P3 would be an implicit denial of P2. 

Conclusion: 

The conclusion is thus inescapable for any genuine seeker of truth: Atheists must substantiate the position to which they hold. 

Con
Well...The truth is that I slipped grabbing the mouse causing me to accidentally accept this debate. But a man gotta be responsible for his words, and I am arguing a position I do not hold initially when I had accepted this debate, thus building upon my incomplete, 14-year old knowledge database by unwantedly taking a stand within something I know little about. I am prepared to lose if my arguments are somehow inferior and this equates not to a concession as I can still manipulate the logic towards my stance on the topic and try my best to justify my stance-in-context.

Enough babbling about nonsense. I really need to step up my game here. Apologizing won't get me anywhere in a competition of rationalism.

1. Is Atheism even a 'belief'?

1.1 What makes a belief a 'belief'?

Belief, in Wikipedia, is stated like this. 
Belief is the attitude that something is the case or true.[1]
As different as this is to PRO's definition, they both agree upon each other.
Belief: an acceptance of a proposition as true
So it is pretty safe to say that an agreement and support upon a claim would be essential for a belief, and PRO and CON should both agree on that as PRO put up a definition that CON agrees with.


1.2 Irony in the debate

Atheism is not a belief, defined by atheists themselves. Don't believe that?
Atheism is not a belief system nor is it a religion.
While there are some religions that are atheistic (certain sects of Buddhism, for example), that does not mean that atheism is a religion. To put it in a more humorous way: If atheism is a religion, then not collecting stamps is a hobby.[2]
This is American Atheists, one of the most famous atheist organizations. 

Let me use PRO's logic to prove that, according to PRO, not collecting stamps is a hobby. 

  • A hobby is something in which one finds fun doing so(Just defining it so, not serious)
  • Not having fun upon something would equate to finding fun upon NOT doing so, according to contraposition.
    • I find a lack of fun(-p) upon collecting stamps(q)
    • Not collecting stamps(-q) is something I don't find a lack of fun upon(--p)
    • Thus, not collecting stamps(-q) is something I find fun upon(+p).
  • I don't like collecting stamps and it brings me no fun, according to myself(If you can somehow find that false, pretend that it is not me and it is someone else because this is a scenario whatsoever).
  • Therefore, I like NOT collecting stamps as it brings me fun.
  • Therefore, not collecting stamps is a hobby.
See how ridiculous this logic can get? Remember, this is just me switching the terms and the core of the set of theoretically-true statements is completely my opponent's---I am using my opponent's logic to defeat himself(which I assume he is male).

Anyone that understands the English language would know that NOT collecting stamps is not a hobby, and these sets of theoretically-true statements would obviously do damage to my opponent's stand the same way it does to mine, and the set above is supposed to be ironic and it is supposed to illustrate how PRO's argument is fallacious. My opponent is, somehow using it as a real point, which I will get to in a moment.

1.3 The difference between disbelief and a lack of belief

Look, the American Atheist website also states that atheism is NOT disbelief of Gods, it is merely a lack of belief in them.[3]
Atheism is one thing: A lack of belief in gods.
Atheism is not an affirmative belief that there is no god nor does it answer any other question about what a person believes. It is simply a rejection of the assertion that there are gods. Atheism is too often defined incorrectly as a belief system. To be clear: Atheism is not a disbelief in gods or a denial of gods; it is a lack of belief in gods.
As well, NOT collecting stamps is a lack of hobby, not something that can translate to a hobby. 

In fact, some atheists even think a god "might exist", he just doesn't believe in it.[4] Well of course I know him, he is me(I did it for the memes and I am one of them, and there are much more than just me if anyone is of any confusion).

In conclusion, atheism is a lack of belief, and no belief is required for atheism as atheism does not contain a BoP: It merely attacks one of atheism. You don't even need to believe that God doesn't exist, you just have to reject that God exists.

Conclusion:
  • My opponent's logic is as reliable as saying that not collecting stamps is a hobby. It is not.
  • Atheism is a lack of belief in God, not disbelief. You don't need to believe that God doesn't exist in order to be an atheist. Some atheists do this but that is not what atheism is.
  • A belief requires a claim/proposition, and Atheism merely attacks the claim/proposition of the theists, instead of defending one as every other belief do.
  • Therefore, even if PRO's conclusion is true(which it isn't), atheism would not have a BoP as it is not a belief.
2. The burden of proof?

Speaking of the BoP, I must bring up something Oromagi uses in his days.
"When two parties are in a discussion and one makes a claim that the other disputes, the one who makes the claim typically has a burden of proof to justify or substantiate that claim especially when it challenges a perceived status quo"
That would possibly mean that I am CON and PRO, which is also known as CalebEr, would have the burden of proof in this debate, as he is the PRO and he made the claim: Atheists have a burden of proof.[5]

Conclusion:
  • The BoP stays on PRO.
I rest my case and I must say, I am proud of myself. 

Sources:
[3]ibid
Round 2
Pro
Introduction:

Very interesting stuff! I’m glad we are getting the opportunity to discuss this. We seem to agree on most of the definitional stuff. The definitions we disagree on (and my opponent’s reason’s for rejecting the definitions I offered) will be addressed later on. 

Rebuttal 

First and foremost, I need to point out that it doesn’t matter who accepts that atheism is a belief or not. If my argument succeeds, then we must conclude that it is a belief. Secondly, my opponent seemed to insinuate that I am arguing that atheism is a religion. But this isn’t what I’m doing at all, as that would result in an obvious oxymoron.

Alright, let’s move on to the substance of my opponent’s argument: 

  • A hobby is something in which one finds fun doing so(Just defining it so, not serious)
  • Not having fun upon something would equate to finding fun upon NOT doing so, according to contraposition.
    • I find a lack of fun(-p) upon collecting stamps(q)
    • Not collecting stamps(-q) is something I don't find a lack of fun upon(--p)
    • Thus, not collecting stamps(-q) is something I find fun upon(+p).
  • I don't like collecting stamps and it brings me no fun, according to myself(If you can somehow find that false, pretend that it is not me and it is someone else because this is a scenario whatsoever).
  • Therefore, I like NOT collecting stamps as it brings me fun.
  • Therefore, not collecting stamps is a hobby.

We need to recognize first of all that there is nothing inherently illogical about this argument. From what I can tell, no canons of logic are contradicted, and the law of contraposition is accurately applied. One thing that I noticed, however, is that my opponent seems to think that the fact that his statement’s contrapositive is false implies that mine is. Unfortunately for him, that is a fallacious contention. I’ll expound on why that is in a moment. 

Before going any further, I want to elaborate on what the purpose of contraposition is. Contraposition, in essence, helps us quickly and efficiently observe whether a proposition is true or false by allowing us to see what it implies. Consider the following statement:

All Chicken Nuggets are hairy (All A are B)

According to the law of contraposition, this statement has the same truth value as:

All non-hairy things are not chicken nuggets (All Non-B are Non-A)

Note here that nothing about the above statement is illogical. The problem, as I’m sure you can see, is not with the logic, but with the substance of the statement. The latter statement is false, meaning that the former is as well. It is not true that all things without hair are not chicken nuggets.


Now consider this statement:

All politicians are human beings (All A are B)

This statement has the same truth value as this one:

All non-human beings are not politicians (All Non-B are Non-A)

Notice that there is no switch in logic here. The example of the chicken nuggets has the same logical formulation as the example of politicians. The difference between these two propositions then isn’t in their logic, but rather, as I have already elucidated, in their substances. The former example results in a false contrapositive, whilst the latter example results in a true one. Therefore, the fact that two statements share the same logical formulation does not mean that they must share the same truth value.

With this in mind, let’s return to my opponent’s argument. 

In a clever attempt to demonstrate that my argument was false, my opponent took the statement, I lack belief (~p) in the existence of God (q) and then switched out the terms to get, I find a lack (~p) of fun upon collecting stamps (q). He then contraposes his new statement about stamp collecting and (supposedly) gets an absurd result. He then goes on to conclude that the result of my argument, due to its similarities in form to his, must also result in an absurd conclusion. 

He states: 
“Remember, this is just me switching the terms and the core of the set of theoretically-true statements is completely my opponent's---I am using my opponent's logic to defeat himself”

Here, my opponent’s fatal flaw becomes woefully apparent. He has argued that the fact that two statements share the same form means that they must share the same truth value. But this cannot be! As demonstrated above with the chicken-nugget/politician example, the fact that two statements share the same form (and contrapositive) does not mean that they are both of the same value in truth. Without going on too much of a tangent, this touches on the difference between soundness and validity. A statement can be valid and false at the same time, as is the case with the remark about stamp collecting. The falsity of his statement, however, does not imply that my statement is false as well. To argue otherwise is to become a proponent of absurdity and fallaciousness. 

My opponent’s main argument was that the example he provided proved that my argument was false because they both share the same logical structure. As we have seen, however, this cannot be the case. Our arguments may share the same form, but they do not share the same substance. To prove my argument to be false, he cannot resort to providing counterexamples. He must instead show how my argument specifically results in absurdity- he cannot compare it to another example (as counterexamples in this context are simply irrelevant), and he cannot claim that it is illogical (as I have already stated, there is nothing illogical about my, or for that matter his, argument). He must instead address the substance of my argument.


Up until now, we’ve been observing my opponent’s argument from a logical perspective. Let’s move on to a more substantive look at things.

“Atheism is a lack of belief in God, not disbelief. You don't need to believe that God doesn't exist to be an atheist. Some atheists do this but that is not what atheism is.” 

Fundamentally, this statement is irrelevant. As I have already demonstrated, a “lack of belief” in a proposition is the same exact thing as a belief in the negation of that proposition. This is true by virtue of the law of contrapositive, which again allows us to see that the statement “I lack belief in the existence of God” is the same (and therefore of the same truth value) as “The non-existence of God is my belief”. Thus if you don’t believe that God does not exist, you don’t lack a belief in him- and you are therefore not an atheist; you’re either an agnostic or a theist. 

“A belief requires a claim/proposition, and Atheism merely attacks the claim/proposition of the theists, instead of defending one as every other belief do. Therefore, even if PRO's conclusion is true(which it isn't), atheism would not have a BoP as it is not a belief.” 

Once again, this is wrong. As I have stated so many times now, a lack of belief in something is, conversely, a belief in something. Saying “I believe in the existence of God” is the same thing as saying “The non-existence of God is a belief I lack”. 


Defense of contention

Most of my defense has already been given. As such, I will now be summarizing my case, as well as some important factors that I have outlined. 

  • The law of contraposition shows that all lacks of belief are, at their core, really just beliefs. 
  • Counterexamples of the same form as my argument do not affect my case, as counterexamples are only relevant when examining an argument’s logical consistency, not its substantive consistency. 
  • All beliefs require evidence to be rationally believed in. Therefore, all lacks of belief require substantiation. 

The important thing to note here is, if I haven't made it clear already, that the fact that my argument shares a mutual form with my opponent's argument does not mean that my argument must be false. 

Conclusion

I would like to thank my opponent not only for accepting this debate but also for behaving rationally and maturely in his response. In conclusion, however, I remain yet unconvinced. Hopefully, this discussion will cause some of you out there to reconsider your positions on this topic. Seeing as there is no apparent inconsistency in the substance of my argument, we must conclude that, in the absence of a defeater, I have proved my case. 

Thank you.

Sources: 


Con
Before starting to make an argument that I would pour a tremendous amount of effort into, I will start to state the four levels of belief. Think of it as a spectrum. These numbers will be substituted for their corresponding beliefs in the argument of this round.

  1. I believe it exists(Theism)
  2. I don't know if it exists or not(Agnostic)
  3. I don't believe it exists(Atheism)
  4. I believe it doesn't exist(Also atheism)
While the bottom two statements are both atheists, they are actually not the same. 4 is merely inside 3 and 3 is a lack of belief, while 4 in disbelief. And yes, the "it" refers to God, but it can refer to anything as you can believe that pluto was actually inhabited by 3-inch-tall aliens and it still makes sense. Right now, the "it" refers to God in context.

Rebuttals

(1)
All politicians are human beings (All A are B)

This statement has the same truth value as this one:

All non-human beings are not politicians (All Non-B are Non-A)
I don't know if my opponent is unaware, but this statement is unironically false because there are non-humans who identified as politicians[1]. I can prove since a turkey-looking puppet ran for president, and all presidential candidates are politicians, thus said puppet is a politician, and because "he" is not a human, thus not all non-humans are non-politicians.

I know well enough to know that my opponent was supposed to put two true claims in the place where those were, and I will get to it later.

I know there are no more rebuttals I need to do as I can just swiftly switch tactics and completely dust my opponent behind.

PRO obviously holds the BoP as he is the one that is defending the BoP he himself created and my only job here is to disprove him. PRO has only recycled his old points, which could and would be vulnerable for a new round of gunfire. PRO is the one that is supposed to defend his BoP but he did no defense, minus those that are already in round one.

Also, PRO pointing out that my correctly-applied CP is not valid also points out a possibility that his CP could be wrong too. Hence everything below is created.
Arguments

1. Lack of belief vs. Disbelief: They aren't the same! [MIND BLOWN]

As I stated, there are four general levels of belief.
  1. I believe it exists(Theism)
  2. I don't know if it exists or not(Agnostic)
  3. I don't believe it exists(Atheism)
  4. I believe it doesn't exist(Also atheism)
Most people are probably misled about Atheism, thinking atheism is just number four. However, there is a distinction between 3 and 4 yet they are both atheists. let me give an example that simply cannot be countered: It is a representation.

Suppose 4 people travel to a haunted house this night. All disagree with each other as their beliefs are mutually exclusive.
1 believes in ghosts.
2 doesn't know whether if there are ghosts or not.
3 is a skeptic. He simply believes in facts and since there are not solid evidence for supernatural events, he doesn't believe in them. Ghosts is one of such phenomenon.
4 just straight out outright doesn't believe in ghosts.
 
Note that 3 acknowledges that there is a small chance that ghosts are indeed real, and he just doesn't believe in them. Representing 4 with the term "Belief in the absense of (ghosts)" is appropriate whereas it is not in the case of 3, because he doesn't necessarily believe that ghosts doesn't exist, he just doesn't believe in ghosts. 
PRO has confused "disbelief" with "a lack of belief" in his R1 argument, and saying these two are the same is equivalent to saying "If you don't vote Biden, you obviously support Trump!" In fact, centrists may not vote Biden because not they support Trump, but because they choose to not partake in the election. The difference between 3 and 4 is the same difference between non-Trump supporters versus Biden followers. Biden supporters are a part of a group named "non-Trump supporters", and that is the perfect analogy of why 4 is entirely included inside 3.

And no, I am a centrist. I am 3 on politics: I just don't believe in Trump, and that does not mean I obviously believe in Biden.

Since any lack of belief in God results in an atheist result, 3 and 4 both are atheists because 3 is a lack of belief in God and 4 is inside 3: You need to first NOT believe in God in order to believe that God doesn't exist, and no, in the intersection of 3 and 4(The people that is skeptical about God but doesn't necessarily prove that God does not exist/the absence of God), no belief is required: Just a lack of belief compared to the belief of 1(theists).

I completely agree that some atheists hold a belief in the absence of God, but some don't. the people in 3 but not 4 would be it. PRO is obviously confusing 3 and 4 alike, and I repeat again, they are not the same.

I have established that anyone who does not believe in God(3, including 4) is an atheist, so the definition of atheist must cover all atheists as to common sense y'all. 3 is the established territory of the atheists as they are anyone who lacks belief in God, and PRO is using 4 as 3 when in reality, 4 only constitutes parts of 3(atheist society) and 4 is not the entire thing. Defining "atheism" as 4 would be false as it does not cover all members of the actual atheist society, and per evidence 4 in the last round, I am in 3 but not 4 as I don't believe in God but I don't hold the belief that God definitely doesn't exist.

So conclusions.

Conclusions:
  • 4 is in 3 as all people that believe in the absence of god doesn't believe in God(all 4 is in 3), however, all people that don't believe in God doesn't necessarily believe in the absence of God(not all 3 is in 4)
  • PRO is confusing 3 and 4 as one group,
  • 3 is the definitive definition of Atheism and no belief is required.
  • Thus, there is no belief required for atheism
  • Thus, atheism is not a belief, but merely a lack of it
  • Thus, I have disproved PRO's BoP.
Thank you, my opponent, readers, and voters.

Sources:

Round 3
Pro
Rebuttals and responses

I am delighted to see that my opponent has decided to take a different approach and attack my argument’s substance rather than its logical formulation. While I certainly think this new approach is much more effective, I still do not find the rebuttals that have been presented to be convincing. 

Preliminary remarks

My opponent has pointed out that the example I gave of politicians and humans isn’t entirely true. I find this to be an interesting point, but it must be noted that it is still possible for me to come up with a true (All S is P) statement that has a true contrapositive. Thus, the principle remains: The fact that two statements share the same formulation does not mean that they share the same truth value. 

“PRO obviously holds the BoP as he is the one that is defending the BoP he himself created and my only job here is to disprove him. PRO has only recycled his old points, which could and would be vulnerable for a new round of gunfire. PRO is the one that is supposed to defend his BoP but he did no defense, minus those that are already in round one”

Yes, I do hold the BOP, and I have gladly shouldered it this entire debate. Do not pretend otherwise. The only reason my responses might appear to be lackluster or recycled is that a lot of the content he gave me to respond to ended up being irrelevant. The main argument of my opponent last round was fundamentally fallacious. That is something I, unfortunately, cannot help. 

“Also, PRO pointing out that my correctly-applied CP is not valid also points out a possibility that his CP could be wrong too. Hence everything below is created.”

Two things here. First, I never claimed that your “correctly applied CP” was invalid. There is no such thing as a correctly invalid logical statement. That’s nonsensical. I claimed, rather, that its supposed falsity had no bearing on the truth value of my statement. Second, I’m going to need a bit more than “well, you could be wrong” if you’re trying to convince me. Hopefully, you provide down below. 

Preeminent remarks

My opponent starts by laying out four different levels of belief. 
  1. I believe 
  2. I don’t know 
  3. I lack belief 
  4. I disbelieve
As you can probably guess, I’m going to deny 4.) and point out that it is a completely unnecessary addition. Disbelief and lack of belief are practically the same. Disbelief, in logical notation, is just a negated belief, or ~B. The same goes for a lack of belief, ~B. Disbelief and lack of belief are logically, semantically, and philosophically the same exact thing. 

It seems to me that my opponent has attempted to find his warrant for making this unnecessary separation in the fact that there are different levels of certainty when it comes to belief. He attempts to demonstrate this with an example of ghosts. While I concur with this to an extent, I hardly think it authorizes the addition of an entirely different category. Consider theism, for instance. Not all theists are equally certain that God exists, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t fundamentally supporting the same proposition- namely, that he does exist. Their support for that proposition is what warrants the claim that they have a burden of proof in the first place. Similarly, the fact that an atheist is not 100% certain that God does not exist does not mean that he isn’t supporting the proposition that he doesn’t- or that he isn’t 

You see, my opponent has dubiously boxed himself in here. It appears as though he is arguing that if you are not certain of your belief in a proposition, then you might as well not be believing in it. This became apparent to me when I read his “Joe Biden/Trump Supporter” comparison. He states: 

“I just don't believe in Trump, and that does not mean I obviously believe in Biden.”

This statement insinuates that I am arguing for an all-or-nothing view: “Either you believe absolutely in trump, or you believe absolutely in biden!” (I don’t respect either of them enough to capitalize their names). This, however, is not what I have been arguing. You don’t have to be absolutely certain of God’s existence to believe that he’s there. Likewise, you don’t have to be absolutely certain of God’s non-existence to be an atheist. As long as you adhere to that belief with some semblance of surety, you’re responsible for substantiating it.

Also, someone who does not support either side of the political spectrum isn’t “lacking belief”, as my opponent has stated- they’re just agnostic! Not only that but refraining from voting for someone doesn’t imply that you don’t support them. I just don’t see how this counterexample is equivalent. I don’t even see how it results in absurdity. Stating “I don’t believe in trump” is logically the same thing as “That which is non-trump is my belief”. There isn’t anything inherently contradictory about this statement. All that it means is that if you’re giving your support to someone, that someone isn’t trump. Doesn’t have to be biden. The example that is being posed here is a dichotomy that isn't equivalent to my argument at all. All that my argument entails is that either you believe that God (or gods) exist, or you believe that they don't, or you're agnostic.

To clarify my rebuttal from the last round, I don’t believe that counterexamples are useless. I just don’t think that they are helpful in this context, because (as I have shown) two statements can have essentially the same formulation but different contrapositives. Therefore, taking the form of “I lack belief in the existence of God” and implementing new terms within it would not have any implications upon my argument, because different substance (or terms) = different contrapositive. 
In summary, this round my opponent has argued that there should be an entirely different category of belief because of varying degrees of certainty. I have shown that that addition is completely unnecessary. The fact that not all people are certain of God’s existence (or lack thereof) does not mean that we need to separate their beliefs from each other because, in the end, they are still supporting the same fundamental proposition. This is true by virtue of the law of contrapositive. 

My opponent has also asserted that “lack of belief” and “disbelief” are two different things. He predicates this assertion on, once again, varying degrees of certainty within the atheistic party. I have attempted to show not only that “lack of belief” and “disbelief” are logically the same thing, but also that creating new categories for less certain people is completely unnecessary. 

Conclusion

I believe that I have provided ample support for my initial contention. To recap, I have argued that, according to the law of contraposition, the statement “I lack belief in the existence of God” is the same as “The non-existence of God is my belief”. We must recognize that these two statements stand or fall together. They are essentially the same both in form and substance, and they are both therefore of the same truth value. If my opponent had proven that the contrapositive in question was absurd, he would have also proven that “I lack belief in God” is absurd as well. One cannot be true and the other false. Either they both are, or they both aren’t. 

Now, if the contrapositive above is true, then that means that atheism is a belief. And according to the established definition of the BOP, that means that atheism requires substantiation, just as much as theism does. 

Has my opponent disproven my case? I don’t think so. But I will leave that up to the judges to decide.
Thank you all for tuning in. I got the chance to flesh some thoughts of mine out, and I got to subsequently defend them from attacks. Overall, I’m pretty happy with my performance. With that, I rest my case. 

I urge you to vote for the resolution: Atheists have a burden of proof. 
Con
I thank CalebEr for his response to mine. Very thankful for this great discourse, especially since I had no real challenges(either it is me win objectively or it is my opponent undefeatable) in months. I have noted CalebEr's skill joining this site and I am to say that he has elevated my skill for a long home run.

This is drafted from a Google Docs, and it doesn’t violate any rules. I use it only in urgent situations because DArt argument postings do not save, while Google Docs do. 

Anyways, the debate is still on, and mercy doesn’t win the debate if the argument is lost.

1: Improved spectrum of mine: Repairing my argument just like my opponent

Everyone has flaws, including me and that spectrum of mine posted in round two. Behold, the newly improved spectrum of belief! I admit that these four are just made-up phrases made by me, whether they exist in the first place in reality or not. Now, the terms are not made-up by me: They[1] are made by masters who know these subjects far better than I do, because I had not known these terms until last night while these terms have been around for at least a decade.

  1. Theism
  2. Negative atheism(The theists are wrong)
  3. Positive atheism(There is no God and I know it)

CalebEr mentioned that he came from DDO had he sure did debate Backwards Eden, who, from the 10 months I have been on DDO, would be categorized as a Positive atheist.

Noticed how I merged 2 and 3 together to form Negative atheism. It can be explained through this diagram[2]. In terms of the last round, 2 is on the left and 3 is the blue on the right, while 4 is the purple. “I don’t know”, as acknowledged by my opponent, would be the same as “I lack belief”, as both lack theistic belief but don't necessarily believe the same as 4. Using the Trump-Biden analogy, Knowing Trump won’t win won’t make you sure who will win the president, and both are lacking assured belief.

Agnostics, generally, are atheists, knowing they have a lack of belief compared to the belief of 1(theists). No belief is needed for agnostics.

And ah yes, that diagram also proved that 4 is staying entirely inside 3. The intersection between the confinements of 3 and 4 is marked in Blue, which are negative atheists and only need to lack belief when no belief is needed for them. They only needed to reject the theists.

The paragraphs above use the terms of R2. From the paragraph below, I will use the terms for R3 as defined with 3 points above, and yes, the one that needs to be merged isn’t 3 and 4(~2 and 3), but is actually 2 and 3(2).

The picture is the entire territory for Atheism, and Strong atheism(3) is clearly inside the territory of 2(rejection of theism). One needs to “reject theism”(2) in order to be a strong atheist(3), as I have noted in R2.

“3 is in 2 as all people that believe in the absence of god doesn't believe in God(all 3 is in 2), however, all people that don't believe in God doesn't necessarily believe in the absence of God(not all 2 is in 3)”

Since agnostics can be counted as negative atheists, and the belief of 3 is completely in 2, thus the definition of atheism is rejection of Gods, and no belief is needed.

I believe that a lack of belief cannot be categorized as a belief, as those who are stupid enough to not comprehend what God or atheism means would have a lack of belief in God because they can’t even understand what the introducer is even saying. That does not mean he believes in a lack of Gods because he doesn’t even comprehend the concept of God, just like when I get a question on Math wrong because I don’t understand the question, doesn’t necessarily mean I reject the correct answer. And yes, said subject is agnostic, which can be categorized in the light-blue area as a weak and negative atheist, since anyone who just rejects the theists(1) can be categorized as an atheist by the very definition.

And yes, I have acknowledged that a definition would include all subjects that satisfy the criteria to be eligible to be defined by the definition, and since agnostics are a part of 2, it would mean all weak/negative atheists are atheists as I have repeated, thus, atheism cannot be defined as the belief of the absence of God, but merely a rejection of atheists, which atheists can be agnostic. PRO is saying as if all atheists are gnostic if I had defined all theists as gnostic. When he rejected 4(now 3)’s existence.

Conclusions:
  • Agnostic people are technically atheists since they don’t believe that a God necessarily exists. Anyone who rejects Theism is an atheist.
  • 2 and 3 in terms of the last round is merged into 2 in which they are both negative atheism, a.k.a rejection of theism.
  • Atheism is a lack of belief because weak atheists are indeed atheists, and they only need to reject the theists while not necessarily believing in a lack of God.
  • PRO’s CP can be disproved: in which “I lack the belief of the existence of God” is applicable for only 3(in this context, not R2), as the definition of Atheism does not make proving that God does not exist a must for the atheists. In fact, rejecting Theism is all they need, and even agnostic people count as weak atheists.
  • Agnosticism is a type of atheism. If agnosticism and atheism are completely different things, then you might as well say Russian Orthodoxy, American Mormonism and Roman Catholicism are all separate religions. In reality, every of them are a part of Greater Christianity[3].

2: The third round of gunfire

Just like the Theists which ran on faith, Atheists can also run on faith. Faith is something before facts[4], and an analogy is that the Faith is the cement and the steel frame, while the facts are what makes said building habitable. Even then, some faiths, which have NO evidence at all, can make people believe in it[5]. Facts make faith more believable, but a faith without facts can also make people believe. In fact, atheism is only what you believe(and agnostics believe we can’t know whether God exists or not, which also rejects theists).

Faith does not require facts.

Of course, if every belief requires justification, then everyone would need to prove why they don’t believe in 3-mile tall goblins that disguise them as cars in northern Dublin. The only one needing BoP on that one is the one that made that claim, because before that, this issue doesn’t exist. No one has heard of such goblins and no one bears the BoP until the maker of that claim popped out. The BoP remains on the claim maker and the non-believers of such goblins would only need to reject the claim maker that bears the BoP, and that doesn’t necessarily mean they think these goblins definitely don’t exist. In fact, thinking the claim maker is insane doesn’t mean these goblins don’t exist, however because the person rejects the claim maker, he is 2 on the spectrum that I made this round.

Conclusion:
  • Rejection of the evidence in God would also mean that he is atheist, regardless of whether God actually exists or not.
  • Faith doesn't require facts for justification.
  • Who makes the claim burdens the BoP, and who does not make the claim does not.
  • According to everything above, since the job of atheism is to reject the theist claim, it clearly does not bear the BoP and the theists bear the BoP.

I rest my case and advocate that voters vote fairly.

Sources:
[1]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_and_positive_atheism
[2]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:AtheismImplicitExplicit3.svg
[3]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_denomination
[4]https://www.patheos.com/blogs/reasonadvocates/2015/08/29/religious-faith-is-belief-without-evidence/
[5]ibid