Instigator / Pro
Points: 0

Being agnostic is more logical than being atheist

Finished

The voting period has ended

After 3 votes the winner is ...
Ragnar
Debate details
Publication date
Last update
Category
Religion
Time for argument
Two days
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
One week
Point system
Winner selection
Rating mode
Rated
Characters per argument
30,000
Contender / Con
Points: 3
Description
It's more logical or only logical to be neutral on the stance for the existence of a deity/deities. Whether one exists or not, It hasn't been proven either way.
What's your take?
"Disclaimer: Please, When accepting the challenge, You accept the premise, Subject, Topic as is. If there's any contention with the words, Definitions or disagreement with context, Please send a message first. The debate rounds are not meant to put your contentions or disputes about the topic in.
Round 1
Published:
It's more logical or only logical to be neutral on the stance for the existence of a deity/deities. Whether one exists or not, It hasn't been proven either way.
What's your take?

Published:
Definitions:
From Merriam-Webster
  • Logical is “capable of reasoning or of using reason in an orderly cogent fashion.”
 
Argument:
             It is easier to wave your hands in the air like you just don’t care, but to use logical inference is to care about having a conclusion supported by evidence. So agonism sidesteps applying logic, whereas atheism is dependent upon it.

Analogy:
             Let us consider for deities the Justice League of America (JLA), whom reportedly every day save our world from destruction at the hands of the Legion of Doom. The believer points to their movie. The atheist redirects to the cast list to remind us they’re just actors, which is proven by them appearing in many other films. To remain agnostic is to disregard the evidence and insist against evidence on an illogical maybe.
Round 2
Published:
"to use logical inference is to care about having a conclusion supported by evidence. So agonism sidesteps applying logic, whereas atheism is dependent upon it."
So with it being established that logic is tied a basis of evidence, there's no basis of evidence for either side in this scenario. The agnostic position therefore can admit to why of not having knowledge of something. How does the agnostic position sidestep applying logic? There's no factual basis for either side so how can any be applied? Atheism depends on it yes for one side of the equation. So because of that the agnostic position is MORE logical because the position does not sway to either side on account of there being no basis of evidence for either side. By that, the position is neutral, balanced, fair, reasonable, logical, sensible. All these terms are synonymous.
 
 
 
The analogy given misapplies the terms in this topic." The believer points to their movie." Who or what is the believer supposed to represent? Agnosticism has to do with knowledge or not knowing. In this case about movies and the cast the way the example is presented, being an atheist or agnostic is irrelevant. Anyone regardless of who they are granted they're honest and straightforward will not deny the proof or documentation of the names of individuals portraying fictional characters. Nowhere in the agnostic position, it has the characteristic of disregarding evidence and insists against evidence. Will you please show a source where it defines it as such? 
 
 
 
"Agonism" maybe a typo but is a different word altogether that's not a part of the discussion

Published:
Typo:
           Thank you for catching the typo. Agonism was meant to be Agnosism.
 
Defending Use of Analogy:
           This topic is on the belief in deities. No other deities have been offered by my opponent, so I have used the JLA. With my opponent unable to humor an agnostic side for any deity, and instead outright detailing how stupid it would be to believe in fictional characters, this debate feels all but conceded.
 
Who or what is the believer supposed to represent?
The believer is the side affirming the existence of deities. To which an agnostic insists on using a middle ground fallacy instead of valid reasoning.
 
Will you please show a source where it defines it as such?
While the agnostic position for the JLA could not be maintained, here are the requested definitions from Merriam-Webster:
  • Agnostic is "a person who is unwilling to commit to an opinion about something."
  • Agnosticism is "an attitude of doubt or uncertainty about something."
 
Absence of Evidence:
           This will cover the requested basis of evidence, showing why logic favors disbelief.
           Absence of Evidence is indeed evidence (not to say outright proof) of absence. Santa is a topical example to which any audience member can check, since were he to deliver presents under every Christmas Tree on Christmas Eve, there would be monumental evidence (the gifts and/or coal in question, reindeer tracks on every roof plus associated damage, etc.). When the evidence for Santa fails to materialize, it is strong evidence against his existence.
           This also applies to the JLA and any other deities. Lack of anything to suggest they do exist, implies they do not.
           Further, religions have claimed hundreds of times when the world will end. Us being here, gives us strong absence of promised evidence. To remain agnostic about those faiths (not to mention if the world ended or not), does not stem from applying any logical formulations but rather deep stubbornness.
Round 3
Forfeited
Published:
Absence of Evidence (continued):
             As my opponent just demonstrated, when nothing is offered it fails to support the affirmative case. Nothing also does not support the fallacies middle ground, as the middle ground is only valid when there is an affirmative case to be had. Nothing, much like a forfeiture, ends up supporting the negative.

Round 4
Published:

"Absence of Evidence (continued):
             As my opponent just demonstrated, when nothing is offered it fails to support the affirmative case. Nothing also does not support the fallacies middle ground, as the middle ground is only valid when there is an affirmative case to be had. Nothing, much like a forfeiture, ends up supporting the negative."

I don't understand what you're attempting to get across here. The absence of my response is not evidence that I don't have one. Hence I have one here.

"This topic is on the belief in deities. No other deities have been offered by my opponent, so I have used the JLA. With my opponent unable to humor an agnostic side for any deity, and instead outright detailing how stupid it would be to believe in fictional characters, this debate feels all but conceded."

The topic is,"It's more logical to be agnostic than to be atheist". Does an agnostic have a belief in deities? Does an atheist have one? So sticking to what the topic is actually saying, why would I offer any deities? The topic is dealing with the two distinct positions and their basis for where they stand. One deals with neutrality due to no evidence on either side while the other takes one side as being a sufficient sound basis. Resting on the argument of ignorance, silence and incredulity is typical for the atheist side. What does this mean "humor an agnostic side for any deity"? Fictional characters you mentioned, as I've said, everybody in their right mind knows that a film or movie isn't real. How does it relate to an agnostic or atheist position? Anybody and that means anybody that knows better has been given proof that a movie is fictitious in and of itself. An atheist however has not be given proof for the existence of a deity. An agnostic has not been given proof for the existence or non-existence of a deity. See both of these positions are looking for specific things and these are in different contexts than this context of a motion picture so the analogy fails.


"The believer is the side affirming the existence of deities. To which an agnostic insists on using a middle ground fallacy instead of valid reasoning."

Believer as in theist, is that right? That's not what the topic is about. An agnostic does not compromise with both sides. That's what the middle ground fallacy is but it's not the agnostic position. You fail to understand what the position is but we'll go over what the position is in the context of this discussion which was pointed out in the beginning .

"Merriam-Webster:
Agnostic is "a person who is unwilling to commit to an opinion about something."
Agnosticism is "an attitude of doubt or uncertainty about something." "

So your source is Merriam-Webster. My source was google and Wikipedia which was expressed in the first round. It appears your not dealing with the context in which I've laid out. The agnostic position is about believing that nothing is known or cannot be known about the existence of a deity. The additional definition is the position not taking the commitment to the belief or disbelief in the existence of a deity. So this goes back to the first round mentioning neutrality. 

  "Absence of Evidence is indeed evidence (not to say outright proof) of absence." Valid but not always true in every case. I'll provide an excellent illustration shortly. In regards to the Santa Claus depiction, the absence of evidence or the absence of his presence can be a start to proving his non-existence. However Santa Claus is ultimately dis-proven based on the claim it's based on. Santa Claus did not bring toys down the chimney because the parents have the receipts to show that they've purchased the items. It's also been proven how the idea of Santa Claus, the tree and everything else is tied into this commercial scheme of buying and giving.

"This also applies to the JLA and any other deities." These are all fictitious , commercialized arenas that we know about, different story altogether. We know they're aren't real. I don't see any debates about the existence of batman.
"Lack of anything to suggest they do exist, implies they do not." The keyword is "implies" meaning to suggest, presume, assume, suppose, presuppose, think and believe. Like believing a deity doesn't exist. When there's no evidence for an existence, it'll show as if something to be the case as in make appear that it doesn't. Going back to talking about buying things and receipts,that illustration was about proof of an action. Now because I don't happen to have proof of purchase, a receipt, my lack of evidence is not the absence of me buying the merchandise. 

"Further, religions have claimed hundreds of times when the world will end. Us being here, gives us strong absence of promised evidence. To remain agnostic about those faiths (not to mention if the world ended or not), does not stem from applying any logical formulations but rather deep stubbornness."

I don't think we were ever promised evidence although that it may be evidence to many for the event to actually happen. As you've stated, it was a "claim" and not a fact. How does logic not apply from an agnostic position? There's no absolute evidence either way about the existence or non-existence for a deity or about the last days on earth so therefore an agnostic doesn't sway either way because the evidence doesn't sway either way. There isn't more evidence for one side because the other can build just as strong a case. How is that not more of a logical stance? It's being more fair, more equitable with the reality of what we know and what we don't. 
Published:
Deities Which Potentially Exist:
               When requested, my opponent name could name none that should not be dismissed as mere "fictional characters," often "tied into this commercial scheme of buying and giving." He doubled down by proclaiming what I described as "any other deities" to be "these are all fictitious, ... We know they're aren't real." This is a firm continuance and expansion upon of his near concession from R2 (not to mention, a well excited bandwagon appeal against his own case).
                As a reminder, his burden of proof is to show that the stance of not disregarding such beings is the most logical, but instead has built up evidence for why they should all be disbelieved.


Moving the Goalpost:
My source was google and Wikipedia which was expressed in the first round.
Judges, please do a word search for those two terms. If either term was used prior to the fourth round (quotations and/or links) as my opponent claims, I concede the debate.
                Otherwise my opponent is opting to play make believe about his lack of a case, and hoping the audience is gullible enough to disbelieve their own eyes. Which I suppose is the logic of the agnostic case (as laid out in the rest of pro's), that the audience should assume those citations might be there despite the strong evidence to the contrary provided by their complete absence.
               PS: If anyone has a better label for this reinventionist tactic, please let me know.


Conclusion:
               I believe my case for evidence stands without sufficient refutation, and I will not repeat it ad nauseam.
               If ignoring evidence and treating forfeiture as equal to a case is more logical, than my opponent wins. Otherwise, he has failed to adequately support the case to which he holds the greater burden of proof.
Added:
I see that we fail to understand. We may not admit to it but it may take a while to realize how things actually are setup.
Instigator
#12
Added:
--> @Mall
Thanks for the debate. Now that voting has ended, feel free to ask me anything you like. I'm happy to discuss the topic, and/or debates in general.
Contender
#11
Added:
--> @Ragnar
Ikr. In proper voting that forfeiture would have lost him the conduct point.
#10
Added:
--> @Raltar
That awkward moment when someone is like "I may not agree with you most of the time..." and you can't remember ever having a serious argument with them.
Anyway I've seen bish's thoughts on the subject. I just do not agree. Conduct and sources matter, even independently of arguments -- someone could make amazing arguments but have crappy sources and deplorable debate conduct. Even spelling and grammar should count, if you wall of text your arguments you should be docked for being an offense to my eyeballs.
#9
Added:
--> @Castin, @Raltar
I prefer categorized voting as well.
And I just realized the irony of this debate. Pro's stance that forfeiture doesn't mean anything, has validity within the select winner system.
Contender
#8
Added:
This may be the first time I've ever agreed with Castin on anything. Take note, those ignorant "winner selection" votes were bsh1's idea, because he doesn't like people getting points for sources and the other categories. He thinks you should only win based on arguments... unless there is a technicality, in which case he will complain for two weeks straight about how it's appropriate to win on a technicality.
#7
Added:
Was gonna give this a read-through and vote, then saw it's one of those "just pick the winner" debates. Want to abstain in protest of those things. Boo! Hiss! Castin enjoys being able to award separate points for separate categories of merit!
#6
Added:
--> @Ramshutu
Thanks for the vote, and I really like your one sentence summary of this debate: "On balance, here, the argument falls down to pro saying there is no evidence, so no sides should be taken - con says that there is evidence, so the middle ground is logically invalid."
Contender
#5
Added:
Yes I can.
Instigator
#4
Added:
--> @Mall
Can you provide a definition for the word "theist" and the word "god?"
#3
Added:
Thank you for your comment.
Instigator
#2
Added:
--> @Mall
It's a false dichotomy, you should change the resolution.
#1
#3
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Winner 1 point
Reason:
Pro forfeit one of the rounds without apologizing for it.
#2
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Winner 1 point
Reason:
R1:
Con opens his argument with a very basic argument - it’s relatively facile - but gets the point across.
R2: Pros rebuttal is essentially that there is no evidence for either side in the theism debate - so agnosticism is the most appropriate position to hold.
Pro challenged the comparison, requesting clarification - pro appears to indicate the analogy is invalid as this example contains evidence - and in the real agnosticism example this isn’t the case.
Con rebuts by clarifying pros challenge to the analogy.
Con continues by explaining why simple absence of evidence can be used of evidence of absence - using Santa as an analogy, and additionally examples of failed predictions - this seems to imply that when there should be evidence of something if it were true, lack of evidence is evidence of something being false.
Round 3: Forfeit/extend.
Round 4: pro reiterates that it’s better to be agnostic when there is no evidence.
There is some haggling over definitions - but I’m not certain what pros argument is here. Ad a reader, it does not seem that the new or old definitions are different in terms of the context being argued as I can tell.
Pro appears to implicitly concede cons claim that evidence of absence can be treated as absence of evidence - though pro offers additional disproof for Santa, this doesn’t appear to refute cons position - that we can construe absence of evidence for Santa as evidence of absence.
Pro also dismissed examples of failed prophecy examples con shared as claims, rather than evidence.
On balance, here, the argument falls down to pro saying there is no evidence, so no sides should be taken - con says that there is evidence, so the middle ground is logically invalid.
The key points are that pro implicitly conceded that absence of evidence is evidence of absence, and pro offered examples of evidence that in my view weren’t refuted by pro. As a result, as pros argument is fundamentally that there is no evidence either way - the fact that con has explained some of the evidence, invalidates pros position.
#1
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Winner 1 point
Reason:
Ugh, someone made this a "winner selection" vote, instead of the typical points system, which denies me the chance to award points on appropriate issues like conduct, sources, etc. Thats always annoying, and often to the disadvantage of debaters who might have done well in those categories.
Round 1:
Pro opened his argument by repeating verbatim what he said in the debate description, then challenged his opponent to present their "take" on the issue. As far as opening statements go, that was one of the weakest I've ever seen. Con's rebuttal was better stated and presented, but also fairly weak, in that he resorted to an analogy in which a hypothetical person argues that the characters in a proven fictional movie are deities. This struck me as a poor opening argument as well, because the analogy seemed like a false comparison. Neither side accomplishes much in the first round.
Round 2:
Pro pointed out the flaw in the analogy Con used in round 1, being that the movie analogy has an obvious piece of evidence to point to, where as real-world discussions of the existence or non-existence of God have no such conclusive evidence for either side to use. Pro better states his case that in the absence of evidence, the logical course of action is to abstain from joining either side by being agnostic instead of atheist. Con initially tried to defend his analogy by claiming his opponent's failure to cite a specific deity to discuss made his analogy valid, but that didn't strike me as being very valid. Con then made a better argument by accusing the agnostic position of being a middle ground fallacy (with a link to the balance fallacy, which is effectively the same thing). That was a good. Then he made another poor argument by criticizing religion broadly by complaining about the minority of religions which have made false end of the world predictions. Even to the limited extent the point is true, it only applies to a minority of religions and seemed to have no real place in this debate.
Round 3:
Pro forfeited the round. Con reminded the audience of his accusation of a middle ground fallacy, which was good, since it was his strongest point thus far.
Round 4:
Pro reappears in round 4, but his argument became rather difficult to follow. He did make a good rebuttal that the agnostic position is not a middle ground fallacy because it doesn't agree with or try to compromise with either of the other alternatives. Then he started talking about Santa Claus, which sounded like he was responding to an argument from earlier, but this was only place anywhere in the debate that Santa Claus was mentioned, which seemed very disjointed. Pro did seem to make a summary statement at the end of his argument, once again restating his position that lack of evidence for either side makes a refusal to draw either conclusion the "logical" answer. Con responded by accusing Pro of moving the goalposts, which I didn't really see... but Con did accurately point out that Pro claimed to have cited particular sources, but never actually provided those sources during the debate. Pro even specifically said round 1, but his round 1 argument was super weak, so he definitely didn't cite any sources there.
Argument wise, this debate was weak on both sides. I understand Pro's argument, but he didn't do much to reinforce it. Con offered several rebuttals, but only the middle ground fallacy accusation held much water, and Pro did provide at least a minimal response to it. On arguments this would be a tie. If this were a normal point system vote, I would award both conduct and sources to Con, since Pro forfeited a round and lied about his (lack of) sources, while Con provided excellent sources, such as his link explaining the "middle ground" (balance) fallacy. Being limited to only choosing a winner, I have to give victory to Con, due to the sources and forfeit issues.