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A weak basis for atheism.....

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With 1 vote and 5 points ahead, the winner is ...

Sum1hugme
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Disclaimer : Regardless of the setup for voting win or lose, The aim of this interaction, Is for those that view it, Learn and or take away anything that will amount to any constructive value ultimately. So that counts as anything that'll cause one to reconsider an idea, Understand a subject better, Help build a greater wealth of knowledge getting closer to truth. When either of us has accomplished that with any individual here, That's who the victor of the debate becomes.

So you're an atheist because there is no evidence that you see of God existing. So therefore, you believe God doesn't exist.

This is not much of a justification meaning not a good enough reason. If the sole basis was truly that, it be a very weak position. It's highly likely, that once fully thought out, there is something else there that is more reasonable .

But the "no evidence" excuse does little to nothing to substantiate.

Quite simply using this principle, "the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence", you'll have to think harder in this context.

So with this in mind, how is the reason being of "no evidence" being worth much of anything?

Now this doesn't mean that you can't maintain a weak position as such. These positions exist alright but the topic statement is not false.

Please comment or send a message for questions and clarity.

Round 1
Pro
The description will serve as the first round.
Con
  Hello, this is my first debate on the site, so I appreciate Mall for issuing this challenge and I'm excited to hash this out. To begin, let's discuss how to do science. First, make a hypothesis. Preferably a hypothesis that fits with the available data. Secondly, predict some novel phenomena that would logically derive from that hypothesis. Thirdly, test the hypothesis and observe what really happens vs what was predicted to happen. If the experimental data agrees with the predicted data, then accept the hypothesis as a provisionally true theory that accounts for the data and successfully made novel predictions. Alternatively, if the experimental observations disagree with the predicted data, the hypothesis must be revised and retested, or disposed of and replaced. [1]

  This is the crux of the argument: there is no experiment that has been proposed to test the hypothesis that there is a god or gods. The hypothesis is untestable. An untestable hypothesis is an unfalsifiable hypothesis. An unfalsifiable hypothesis is useless in science and runs counter to the methodology that drives science. Therefore, the hypothesis that a god or gods exist is both useless and unscientific until someone devises an experiment to prove or potentially falsify the hypothesis.

  Absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence. But absence of evidence, and the absence of actual or even potential experiments to confirm the possibility of the thing, compiled onto the absence of novel predictions or explanatory power, make a reasonable case for reserving belief until something, anything, is shown to be true about the idea.

  Assuredly, when one reserves judgement as a scientist must do, it becomes immediately clear that the idea that god exists, without a way to test it, is no different than a man saying, "There is an elf that is always behind someone, but you cant see him because he is all knowing and extremely small, so when someone tries to see him, he gets behind the person looking. So, even if you had all the people in the world line up and look at each other's back, he'll always be just behind the last person." When examined scientifically, as the problem should be examined; the idea is thrown away as untestable, and therefore, useless.

  Finally, some questions for my opponent:

1.) Which god are we talking about here?
2.) What experiment could be done to test that this god exists?
3.) How would this experiment separate this particular god from other gods in the experimental results?


Over to Pro!
Round 2
Pro
"1.) Which god are we talking about here?"

According to this debate, any god that a person says they don't believe in due to no evidence.

"2.) What experiment could be done to test that this god exists?"

So far no test is available that we know of.

"3.) How would this experiment separate this particular god from other gods in the experimental results?"

This is unknown.

I just wanted to answer those questions precisely to the point.

NOW, let me expound starting with the last two questions.

The problem right off is perhaps not being appropriate. Attempting to verify something we should be able to understand at this time that is not of science, outside of logic via science and logic is paradoxical.

When dealing with the supernatural, what does that mean? Whatever it is, it's something we can't explain naturally. It's something beyond what science can explain. It's outside of what natural laws could help us to understand usually when addressing an entity within them.

This is not the focus here of how can we prove God. We just understand there is no evidence for the existence/non-existence of gods. So the saying "the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence" holds true here in this case. Not in all cases. There are cases where things can be tested and or are falsifiable.
It can't be falsified that you didn't purchase an item from a store just because there is no evidence of a receipt. Therefore I don't just outright believe you didn't buy the item as I know a receipt is not always given or accepted or just lost.

What makes a stronger case for my belief in you not buying the item is your history of theft. It's been documented that you have a strong addiction to shoplifting. So just saying alone due to no evidence of something, I believe it's not real is very weak. Whether it's evidence I can't see or me simply understanding that CERTAIN things can exist without evidence, my foundation for belief or disbelief can hardly sustain due to the knowledge of those two statements I just made.

Now we can interpret evidence to mean whatever that appeals to our senses. If it doesn't make contact with our senses, it's not real to us. That's true, yes and no. Now we're getting into the perspective of reality. As we can see in court systems, there's use of witnesses, third party arbitration to share the reality or evidence that is very real with the party that says it's not real to them.

So this thing gets deep and we have to look at this on a grand scale.

That means that there are things beyond our understanding. That these things don't relate in the same way like everything else. That way is trying to use the scientific method to prove, disprove or explain. 
So being aware of all this, I can't apply the rules for belief/disbelief in the same way .

Con
  Thank you Mall for your response. Unfortunately, I had a feeling you were going to take this route with the conversation. Before continuing, it is imperative that we define key terms for the purposes of this debate.

  • Fact - A point of data that is objectively verifiable [1][2][3]

  • Evidence - A body of facts that are personally indicative of, or exclusively concordant with, one conclusion above all others [4][5]

  The specific god we are discussing matters, because if god cannot be nature, then we arent discussing a pantheistic god; and you said god, not gods, so that seems to imply monotheism as opposed to polytheism. And to clarify: I am arguing for the reservation of belief.
 
  Historically, pre-science, gods were used as explanations for the things humanity was ignorant about. As humans discovered how the moon pulls the tide, and that pressure pushes magma from volcanoes, the gods of the sea and volcanic eruptions turned into mythological characters rather than physically interactive agents [6][7]. If humanity had simply reserved belief in these popular mythos rather than believing them to be actual gods, perhaps many lives could have been saved from their dogmatisms. But i digress, the point is that when we think rationally, gods are automatically thrown into the not-proven category with every other mythological character from every other work of fiction that has ever been produced, in the first step.

Now, there are two options that are clear when it comes to the scenario of the little elf mentioned in my opening. 

  1. We could reserve belief in the magical elf until some fact indicates its possible.
  2. We can believe in the elf without reservation, on insufficient evidence.
  Here is where we must ask which position is more reasonable. Which position will allow us to better comprehend reality, free of predetermined conclusions about how that reality should be? Obviously, reserving belief until someone can demonstrate that the elf is or isn't behind someone, or that that's even possible, is the most reasonable response to seemingly outrageous claims. 

  My opponent claims that we are dealing with the supernatural. But I challenge him to indicate a single piece of evidence that suggests the supernatural exists that can be objectively verified. I expect that he will produce nothing of the sort. If god is defined to be non-physical and undetectable, untested and untestable, therefore unfalsifiable: then what bearing on reality does that proposition have? Why would it be more reasonable to believe without reservation that there is an extraneous, superfluous agent just outside of our perception; rather than simply reserve belief until there is something more than baseless assertions.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Rebuttals

  "Now we can interpret evidence to mean whatever that appeals to our senses."
  This is false. Evidence is a body of facts that indicate a specific conclusion. Scientists do not act like lawyers, in that they could in theory both walk into a courtroom and flip a coin to see who takes what side to argue for. Scientists make predictive models that incorporate all the known data. The one I'll hone in on is the Big Bang Theory[8]. The Universe is expanding [9], so using the Big Bang model, scientists predicted that the universe would have a microwave background throughout the cosmos. This background radiation was observed in 1965 [10]. This is a novel prediction of future data by a scientific model. That is direct evidence that the Theory is correct. There's nothing to interpret about that evidence.

" If it doesn't make contact with our senses, it's not real to us. That's true, yes and no. Now we're getting into the perspective of reality. As we can see in court systems, there's use of witnesses, third party arbitration to share the reality or evidence that is very real with the party that says it's not real to them."
  Reality doesn't depend on our perceiving of it. If a tree falls in the woods and nobody is around to hear it, it still makes a sound. The tree causes vibrations in the medium of air molecules that could be potentially detected by an audio receptor. We although, are here to observe the universe and understand it, so we arent going to talk about "perspectives of reality" because we are here to talk about evidence and if the total lack of it is reason enough to reserve belief. Always when I use the term reality, I will be talking only of the reality that can be shown to exist objectively. Additionally, eyewitness testimony is the least reliable form of evidence used in a courtroom[11], so I hope this won't segway into an argument from personal experience.

"So this thing gets deep and we have to look at this on a grand scale."
  No, not really that deep. "Zeus exists" is a baseless assertion. An assertion that I'm sure we can both agree is reasonable to reserve belief in, and then summarily reject once a better explanation came along [12]. You and I are both atheists to Zeus, Hera, Odin, and every other god from history for these reasons, so why is it that reason fails you on this particular god?

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Over to Pro!
Round 3
Pro
" The specific god we are discussing matters, because if god cannot be nature, then we arent discussing a pantheistic god; and you said god, not gods, so that seems to imply monotheism as opposed to polytheism. And to clarify: I am arguing for the reservation of belief."

To not get hung up on this, let's just go according to the context of the description. Now what is that context concerning? A person that does not believe in God due to no evidence. Now it gets no more specific than that. So that means anything that applies falls under that no matter which god we're talking. Therefore to say God or gods is interchangeable as it falls under that context.

Let us stick with that, we'll be alright.

" But i digress, the point is that when we think rationally, gods are automatically thrown into the not-proven category with every other mythological character from every other work of fiction that has ever been produced, in the first step."

So are you saying all gods have been proven to have been made up ?

" My opponent claims that we are dealing with the supernatural. But I challenge him to indicate a single piece of evidence that suggests the supernatural exists that can be objectively verified."

You've misunderstood when I said dealing with the supernatural. I didn't mean that as a real proven thing. We're dealing with the subject of it. If we understand the claim of God, I'll just call it a claim for now, this entity is supposed to be supernatural. That just means something outside of nature laws. See we have to be sure we're working with the correct premise of something. The premise is not about a natural thing that can be experimented with like many natural things.

" If god is defined to be non-physical and undetectable, untested and untestable, therefore unfalsifiable: then what bearing on reality does that proposition have? "

I think you're asking what does it amount to.
Well for right now it's just a result of many folks clapping their hands on Sundays. You know, religion, pretty much. See it hasn't a thing to do with evidence. It's just a belief to accept or deny. So when somebody mentions or calls for evidence, it's uncalled for with faith leaders and members

So again , a weak approach or perhaps inappropriate to something that doesn't fit into the rules of science, evidence, experiments , etc.

" Why would it be more reasonable to believe without reservation that there is an extraneous, superfluous agent just outside of our perception; rather than simply reserve belief until there is something more than baseless assertions."

Looks like this is asking why is it more logical to believe in a God than not.

Being that this isn't the topic, we can save that for another day. It's not about what's more rational like trying to make a comparison. The topic is basically getting at the misapplication for the call of evidence on something. The scientific method used on a thing that we can usually tell of existing by some sort of proof doesn't apply to an object that is negative. Remember the principle, "you can't prove a negative".

If I can't prove or disprove it, I absolutely have no where to go. So I'm not going to say "because there's no evidence so therefore....". There is no evidence for the other side of the matter either. So it's pointless and weak.

"This is false. Evidence is a body of facts that indicate a specific conclusion. "

How do we know it's fact without it contacting our senses? 

Think about it.

"That is direct evidence that the Theory is correct. There's nothing to interpret about that evidence."

The theory is still in itself just that. It's not proof of anything.

"Reality doesn't depend on our perceiving of it. If a tree falls in the woods and nobody is around to hear it, it still makes a sound. The tree causes vibrations in the medium of air molecules that could be potentially detected by an audio receptor. We although, are here to observe the universe and understand it, so we arent going to talk about "perspectives of reality" because we are here to talk about evidence and if the total lack of it is reason enough to reserve belief. Always when I use the term reality, I will be talking only of the reality that can be shown to exist objectively. Additionally, eyewitness testimony is the least reliable form of evidence used in a courtroom[11], so I hope this won't segway into an argument from personal experience."

I think you're really reading way too fast. At the start , you were echoing basically what I said. I mentioned third party accounts because those third parties could indeed have ironclad evidence to demonstate to the first party that their perception of reality was false. So yes I did say that a perceived reality is proven false when the true reality or evidence is presented. It is true that your perception of reality is true to you. It is evident to you until proven otherwise. This can get very convoluted because evidence is only available as much as our consciousness allows. That includes scientists, anybody that is able to have an awareness of the world. So really try to understand what I'm saying to not confuse it simply with everyone having their own personal experiences.

"No, not really that deep. "Zeus exists" is a baseless assertion. An assertion that I'm sure we can both agree is reasonable to reserve belief in, and then summarily reject once a better explanation came along [12]. You and I are both atheists to Zeus, Hera, Odin, and every other god from history for these reasons, so why is it that reason fails you on this particular god?"

When you're not thinking , it won't be deep. You can easily gloss over things , thinking it's all simple.
So my response will be very important as it will demand in depth explanation.

The gods you mentioned, have they been proven to have been made up?

I really think you're pushing the premise of what a God is to the side. You believe, (you don't have evidence of this being true), you believe nothing more to life exists beyond natural laws. If you can't accept the possibility of anything more, the weak basis for atheism is strong enough for you.


By the way, I'm debating you , not sources. I understand sources are supposed to prove you're not lying about anything. I have no skeptism on your honesty.

All I have to do is challenge what you say, show where it doesn't make sense.


Con
  Thank you Mall for your response. I was starting to get a little worried that you had forgotten. It seems that we must define some more terms as they become relevant to this discussion:

  • Scientific Theory - a coherent group of propositions formulated to explain a group of facts or phenomena in the natural world and repeatedly confirmed through experiment or observation [1]
  • Magic - The power of apparently influencing the course of events by using mysterious or supernatural forces[2]
  • Real - having objective independent existence[3]
  • Hypothesis - A supposition or proposed explanation made on the basis of limited evidence as a starting point for further investigation[4].
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COUNTER-REBUTTALS

  •   CR1
"' But i digress, the point is that when we think rationally, gods are automatically thrown into the not-proven category with every other mythological character from every other work of fiction that has ever been produced, in the first step.'

So are you saying all gods have been proven to have been made up ?"
  No, you're missing the point. When one reserves belief in a given proposition, those propositions, like the elf in my opening statement, either have evidence, or they do not have evidence. Perhaps you will recall the dichotomy we encountered in my last response:

1.  We could reserve belief in the magical elf until some fact indicates its possible.
2. We can believe in the magical elf without reservation, on insufficient evidence.

  All we have to do is replace the words "magical elf" with "supernatural god" and the reasoning works the same way. It is obvious that reservation of belief is the default position if one is being rational.

------------

  • CR2
"You've misunderstood when I said dealing with the supernatural. I didn't mean that as a real proven thing. We're dealing with the subject of it. If we understand the claim of God, I'll just call it a claim for now, this entity is supposed to be supernatural. That just means something outside of nature laws. See we have to be sure we're working with the correct premise of something. The premise is not about a natural thing that can be experimented with like many natural things."

  If the claim states that god is supernatural, then it would be a failure of an individual's reasoning faculties to throw away reason and believe, without reservation, in magic. The subject of if god can exist in some magical realm outside of reality is completely unfounded. How can we even discuss the nature of something, if that something can't even be shown to be possible? The premise is: is the lack of evidence reason enough to reserve belief in a given claim about reality. In this particular case, the claim is about the existence of a god or gods, but specifically not a pantheistic god because it must necessarily exist outside of nature. Unless it can be demonstrated that there is a supernatural reality, that isn't Nature, then belief in said supernatural reality should be reserved until there is something other than baseless assertions to substantiate the claim. 

------------

  • CR3

"'If god is defined to be non-physical and undetectable, untested and untestable, therefore unfalsifiable: then what bearing on reality does that proposition have? '

I think you're asking what does it amount to.
Well for right now it's just a result of many folks clapping their hands on Sundays. You know, religion, pretty much. See it hasn't a thing to do with evidence. It's just a belief to accept or deny. So when somebody mentions or calls for evidence, it's uncalled for with faith leaders and member

So again , a weak approach or perhaps inappropriate to something that doesn't fit into the rules of science, evidence, experiments , etc."

  No, I'm asking: What is the difference between existing outside of reality, in an undetectable, supernatural realm, and not being real? The statement "Zeus exists" is not a belief to simply accept or deny. It is a claim about reality, that requires investigation. It is a hypothesis that was used to describe why lightning bolts exist and thunder roars, but now we have better hypotheses[5], that actually can be tested, that replaced the rather unsatisfying conjecture that, "god did it. When a hypothesis is tested rigorously enough, upholds against scrutiny, and especially when it makes novel predictions; it becomes accepted as provisionally true as a model that describes the phenomena. Faith here falls into the second category of "believing without reservation, on insufficient evidence." I argue that this is an unreasonable stance to take when faced with the dilemma.

------------

  • CR4

"' Why would it be more reasonable to believe without reservation that there is an extraneous, superfluous agent just outside of our perception; rather than simply reserve belief until there is something more than baseless assertions.'

Looks like this is asking why is it more logical to believe in a God than not."
    I am arguing that, when faced with the dilemma after the claim "God exists" has been made, as with any claim, reserving belief is more reasonable than belief without reservation, on insufficient evidence. I hoped the reasons would be obvious, oh well.

  1. Belief without reservation, on insufficient evidence, is prone to self deception. 
  2. Reservation of belief allows possibilities to be explored without predetermined conclusions about what reality should be.
I was asking for a reason that belief, without reservation, would be more reasonable than reservation of belief. 

------------

  • CR5
"This is false. Evidence is a body of facts that indicate a specific conclusion. "

How do we know it's fact without it contacting our senses? 
  This statement does not rebut my rebuttal. Perhaps Pro will elaborate in his closing statement on the perceived connection here.

------------

  • CR6
"That is direct evidence that the Theory is correct. There's nothing to interpret about that evidence."

The theory is still in itself just that. It's not proof of anything.

  The theory is corroborated by evidence. one of these evidences was the prediction of the CMB. Please explain how that is not the theory being proven.

------------

  • CR7
It is true that your perception of reality is true to you. It is evident to you until proven otherwise. This can get very convoluted because evidence is only available as much as our consciousness allows. That includes scientists, anybody that is able to have an awareness of the world. So really try to understand what I'm saying to not confuse it simply with everyone having their own personal experiences.
  Using the definition of fact from the beginning, it necessarily requires a fact to be objectively verifiable. Evidence is a body of facts that indicate a specific conclusion. Therefore one's perception of reality cannot be evident with no objective facts to embody that "evidence." So it is not "evident to you until proven otherwise." Ones flawed perception of reality is ignorantly formed until objective data shatters that ignorance. Ones flawed perception of reality is more accurately described as "illusive until proven otherwise." The state of being on the ignorant end of the Dunning-Kruger effect, does not makes ones ignorant perception true in any sense of the word.

  Consciousness is a state of being aware[6]; and this can apply at different levels of awareness (i.e. different levels of consciousness). Some animals are more aware than others, therefore some animals are more conscious than others, so please explain what you mean by the statement "evidence is only available as much as our consciousness allows in your closing." There are facts that have not been discovered. Those undiscovered facts will probably be evidence of hypotheses not yet formulated or proven, but until they are, we don't accept those hypotheses as provisionally true explanations. Why would we allow an exemption of this rule of reason for the god hypothesis?

------------

  • CR8
"The gods you mentioned, have they been proven to have been made up?"

  Pro is asking me to disprove an already unfalsifiable set of hypotheses. Counter question: Why do you not believe in Zeus?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Over to Pro!
Round 4
Pro
" No, you're missing the point. When one reserves belief in a given proposition, those propositions, like the elf in my opening statement, either have evidence, or they do not have evidence. Perhaps you will recall the dichotomy we encountered in my last response:

1. We could reserve belief in the magical elf until some fact indicates its possible.
2. We can believe in the magical elf without reservation, on insufficient evidence."


The point is evidence, isn't it so? So to be consistent, to be logical, there has to be evidence either for the existence or non-existence. 

You can say you believe in a god because you see no evidence for there not being one. I can say I believe no gods exist as I see no evidence. Neither of these are substantial. They're an explanation for our positions, but we need more to go on.
What opposes those positions are still strong enough to be true. 
Just keep thinking back to that proverbial tree in the forest. We're taking opposite sides of the spectrum but neither one of us are closer to truth.

"All we have to do is replace the words "magical elf" with "supernatural god" and the reasoning works the same way. It is obvious that reservation of belief is the default position if one is being rational."
  
The default position or neutral place in this matter is agnosticism. As mentioned, there is not enough strength to pull to either side. A god can be as much true as much false based on what we know. The fact is , we don't know. WE DO NOT KNOW. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that because that is the truth.

"If the claim states that god is supernatural, then it would be a failure of an individual's reasoning faculties to throw away reason and believe, without reservation, in magic. The subject of if god can exist in some magical realm outside of reality is completely unfounded. How can we even discuss the nature of something, if that something can't even be shown to be possible? "

Whether you're willing to accept this or not, it's just one of those subjects that's inconclusive. As I've been saying all along , something outside of natural laws, outside of our understanding, we can't reason with outside the rules of logic. That's why it's pointless to even debate the existence of God. Nobody has demonstrated the evidence for or against so it remains in controversy.

"The premise is: is the lack of evidence reason enough to reserve belief in a given claim about reality. In this particular case, the claim is about the existence of a god or gods, but specifically not a pantheistic god because it must necessarily exist outside of nature. Unless it can be demonstrated that there is a supernatural reality, that isn't Nature, then belief in said supernatural reality should be reserved until there is something other than baseless assertions to substantiate the claim. "

This just goes back to what I said. There is not enough strength on either side of the spectrum. You can face that reality or not. Your disbelief is no more of a powerful basis than my belief.

"
  No, I'm asking: What is the difference between existing outside of reality, in an undetectable, supernatural realm, and not being real? "

How should I know? My mind is not outside reality to know the difference. I can't comprehend things beyond natural conduct. I was born inside natural regulations. As far as I know anyway. That's why I'm saying , discussing EVIDENCE and scientific methods over something outside those rules is paradoxical.

"The statement "Zeus exists" is not a belief to simply accept or deny. It is a claim about reality, that requires investigation. It is a hypothesis that was used to describe why lightning bolts exist and thunder roars, but now we have better hypotheses[5], that actually can be tested, that replaced the rather unsatisfying conjecture that, "god did it. When a hypothesis is tested rigorously enough, upholds against scrutiny, and especially when it makes novel predictions; it becomes accepted as provisionally true as a model that describes the phenomena. Faith here falls into the second category of "believing without reservation, on insufficient evidence." I argue that this is an unreasonable stance to take when faced with the dilemma."

Well changing what you believe to what you know is all that's really being said here.

Until we have truth, we can only believe or not believe in something based on whatever. Better yet, we can acknowledge that a basis isn't heavy enough for even holding a belief, just say "Well I can't say if this is true or not. We just don't have enough information."

"I was asking for a reason that belief, without reservation, would be more reasonable than reservation of belief. "

Excuse me if I'm just not understanding. But from what I can make of it, having a disbelief or belief in this particular subject , either one doesn't hold more rationale or weight than the other basically.

"How do we know it's fact without it contacting our senses? 
  This statement does not rebut my rebuttal. Perhaps Pro will elaborate in his closing statement on the perceived connection here."

Neither does it refute my point or else I think you would of answered the question. Fact is something KNOWN. How is it known? See questions will indeed take us to truth. Facts are of reality, is that right? We retrieve experiences, experience the physical world to get information through our senses. We hear, observe information all around us.

"The theory is corroborated by evidence. one of these evidences was the prediction of the CMB. Please explain how that is not the theory being proven."

Sure , is theory fact? All you've said was that a theory is true. But yet still a theory. Don't confuse theory and fact together. A true theory just means you're on the right track so far. When something has been ultimately proven, it's no longer called a theory, it's a fact.

"Using the definition of fact from the beginning, it necessarily requires a fact to be objectively verifiable. Evidence is a body of facts that indicate a specific conclusion. Therefore one's perception of reality cannot be evident with no objective facts to embody that "evidence." So it is not "evident to you until proven otherwise." Ones flawed perception of reality is ignorantly formed until objective data shatters that ignorance. Ones flawed perception of reality is more accurately described as "illusive until proven otherwise." The state of being on the ignorant end of the Dunning-Kruger effect, does not makes ones ignorant perception true in any sense of the word."

I think there is agreement here. As far as I can tell in this very complex expression of yours. I just try to simplify it as much as possible.

", so please explain what you mean by the statement "evidence is only available as much as our consciousness allows in your closing." 

Well it just goes back to that proverbial tree in the forest. If the evidence of it is not available to my awareness, I SIMPLY have no evidence of the existence of that tree do I? So therefore it doesn't exist. At least to me it doesn't, the tree doesn't exist. It doesn't exist , that is until perhaps it now exists to you. So now you can tell me all about that tree. Now I discover that it does exist and has existed even when I received no evidence for it. But again, I only know this now because it's existence was made known to you. It's physical nature contacted your senses. Is that true or false?

" There are facts that have not been discovered. Those undiscovered facts will probably be evidence of hypotheses not yet formulated or proven, but until they are, we don't accept those hypotheses as provisionally true explanations. Why would we allow an exemption of this rule of reason for the god hypothesis?"

To try to help you understand better, let me speak more to that tree in the forest.

Just imagine not just me but a large multitude that was unaware of that tree. That includes all the scientists that ever were as well. We're all saying because there is no evidence of this tree, that's super top notch of a case for a disbelief in its existence. But yet, there is just as a much strong possibility it does exist regardless of all us seeing no evidence. So the basis we have is plateau. You can understand why. Now if we had more than just seeing no evidence like some kind of environmental suggestion. Say like we have a suspicion that the eco system or environment in particular is not so conducive for trees. But we could be mistaken as there is something we may not know about, have yet to learn about. Similar story with yet understanding one day about a world of reality outside of this one.

"Pro is asking me to disprove an already unfalsifiable set of hypotheses. Counter question: Why do you not believe in Zeus?"

I don't think I have an answer . I haven't given it much thought. So if an entity hasn't been proven or disproven, what's the most logical position to take in this case?

If you say disbelieve , you have to show that is more logical, more of a stronger case to disbelieve than to believe when the case to make against or for IS THE SAME.


Con
  Thank you Mall for this debate, it's been fun even though you wait until the last two hours to publish which drives me crazy. Jokes aside, reading our arguments, I noticed I presented a false dichotomy in my opening regarding belief in the magical elf/supernatural god, there is a tertiary option which seems to be the idea you've been attacking:

1. We could reserve belief in the supernatural god until some fact indicates its possible. - Agnostic Atheism
2. We can believe in the supernatural god without reservation, on insufficient evidence. - Theism
3. We can reject belief in the supernatural god as inevident. - Gnostic Atheism

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FINAL REBUTTALS

  • FR1

"You can say you believe in a god because you see no evidence for there not being one. I can say I believe no gods exist as I see no evidence. Neither of these are substantial. They're an explanation for our positions, but we need more to go on."

  Neither of those express the position I'm describing. When an individual makes a claim, like "Zeus exists," not immediately believing the claim is the default position. The "a-" prefix indicates a lack in belief, not an outright disbelief. In the example of the magical elf, we would be aelfist, simply by not jumping into the boat of belief. Likewise, in the example of theistic claims, because there is no evidence, then reasonable people reserve belief and become atheist by default; which is a perfect segway into the next point.

  
"The default position or neutral place in this matter is agnosticism. As mentioned, there is not enough strength to pull to either side. A god can be as much true as much false based on what we know. The fact is , we don't know. WE DO NOT KNOW. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that because that is the truth."

  Atheism is the default position of reserving belief. Once one chooses one of the categories of either reservation of belief or belief without reservation then that person can make claims as to the acquirability of knowledge about the topic. The claim of knowledge of the claim of a god or gods is the (a)gnostic claim. In this way, one can be either a/an (a)gnostic atheist, or a/an (a)gnostic theist. The knowledge claim only modifies the category one is put in when faced with the dilemma.

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  • FR2
"This just goes back to what I said. There is not enough strength on either side of the spectrum. You can face that reality or not. Your disbelief is no more of a powerful basis than my belief."
  You seem to continue to misunderstand my position. I am not arguing that one should disbelieve, or reject belief, but instead simply set aside belief until facts become known to either extreme. 

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  • FR3
"Sure , is theory fact? All you've said was that a theory is true. But yet still a theory. Don't confuse theory and fact together. A true theory just means you're on the right track so far. When something has been ultimately proven, it's no longer called a theory, it's a fact."
  This is a misunderstanding of the terms. Theories are composed of evidence, which are composed of facts, which have been objectively verified. A scientific theory is a collection of facts and are provisionally true models of aspects of reality, used to describe phenomena and predict future data. It's wrong to think that a theory, once vindicated, becomes a fact, for these reasons.

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  • FR4
"Well it just goes back to that proverbial tree in the forest. If the evidence of it is not available to my awareness, I SIMPLY have no evidence of the existence of that tree do I? So therefore it doesn't exist. At least to me it doesn't, the tree doesn't exist.  It doesn't exist , that is until perhaps it now exists to you. So now you can tell me all about that tree. Now I discover that it does exist and has existed even when I received no evidence for it. But again, I only know this now because it's existence was made known to you. It's physical nature contacted your senses. Is that true or false?"
  Just because, to you, the tree doesn't exist, of course doesn't mean that the tree doesn't actually exist. The difference is, if someone was to claim that a tree was in the forest, you could go test it. This isn't like the god claims we've been discussing where no test can be put forth to make belief or disbelief reasonable. But reservation of belief, until evidence becomes available, is actually quite reasonable, which I substantiated with 2 reasons. Also, yes objectively verifiable data made contact with our senses to help demonstrate that a tree exists. But everyone can use their senses to objectively verify that data. 

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  • FR5

"That includes all the scientists that ever were as well. We're all saying because there is no evidence of this tree, that's super top notch of a case for a disbelief in its existence. But yet, there is just as a much strong possibility it does exist regardless of all us seeing no evidence."

  The idea that "Tree exists" makes the testable prediction that there is a tree in the forest that we can find and verify. "God exists" make no such claim about future data. They share the quality of being claimed to exist, but they do not share the quality of being testable. In this way, these are not the same. Once data was verified that a tree exists, then the hypothesis would be elevated to theory and used as a provisionally true explanation of why we run into tall things when we run blind through the forest.

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  • FR6

"I don't think I have an answer . I haven't given it much thought. So if an entity hasn't been proven or disproven, what's the most logical position to take in this case?

If you say disbelieve , you have to show that is more logical, more of a stronger case to disbelieve than to believe when the case to make against or for IS THE SAME."

  The most reasonable position is reservation of belief, because the cases for or against are not the same. There is no case for, and there is a case for reservation of belief (CR4). A case my opponent failed to address.


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CLOSING STATEMENT

  This debate is about if a lack of evidence for any god is a good basis for atheism. I have presented ways of responding to the claim that god exist, and shown that the most reasonable is the reservation of belief. Reserving belief until there is something to know and rejecting belief, are both forms of atheism. I have been arguing for Agnostic Atheism, while my opponent attacks Gnostic Atheism. There has been offered no rebuttal to Agnostic Atheism. Atheism is the default position when one is reasoning correctly, and furthermore, agnostic claims to the acquirability of evidence for the claim that belief is being reserved for are the most reasonable modifier to that position. My opponent failed to rebut my reasons for Agnostic Atheism being the most reasonable position given in CR4. In conclusion, Gnostic Atheism, and Theism, are unreasonable; but Agnostic Atheism is perfectly reasonable given the available data. Therefore, no evidence is a perfectly valid basis for Atheism.

Vote Con!