CreateDebate


Debate Info

21
39
True Wait..., what? No!
Debate Score:60
Arguments:48
Total Votes:63
More Stats

Argument Ratio

side graph
 
 True (12)
 
 Wait..., what? No! (36)

Debate Creator

joecavalry(38298) pic



Atheists who adhere to a set of beliefs are just following their own religion

Definition of religion: 
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/religion
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion

Some people who consider themselves as atheists argue that:
1.  Following a set of beliefs sometimes leads to violence.
2.  Violence is bad. 
2.  Things that are bad should be abolished. 
3.  Belief systems that lead to violence are bad and should be abolished.
4.  Some "belief systems" that have lead to violence are associated with religion (in general).
5.  At least, those religions that have lead to violence should be abolished.

To argue that violence is bad and that it should be abolished means that you are establishing a belief system, and thus, a form of religion.

 
If you claim that this belief system was NOT handed down by a "mythical" being (or God), then the originator of the belief system is either you or some other human being.


So..., if you agree with this line of reasoning, you are merely following your own religion.
 
For obvious reasons, this religion (or belief system) cannot use violence to abolish violence and/or religions that lead to violence.  So it has to use another mechanism to try and abolish violence and/or religions that lead to violence.  One mechanism is to down vote proponents of violence and/or "violent" religions.

A true atheist should try to resist labeling things as good or bad.  I say try because some belief systems are useful (even if they are not perfect).

 
Labeling things as either good or bad can restrict your thinking to those things that are good (within the box).  In other words, not all options (things that are bad) are available to you (you cannot think outside the box).

This, of course, is also a belief system.  But it has a different set of restrictions (the restriction being that it cannot label things as either good or bad).  Therefore, violence and/or "violent" religions are not bad.  So there's no reason to abolish those things.  But if you want to abolish them, you can use violence (or a down vote) to do so ;)

 

Again..., if you agree with this line of reasoning, you are merely following your own religion.

True

Side Score: 21
VS.

Wait..., what? No!

Side Score: 39

Violence is NOT inherently bad.

If you believe in God, He used violence to get rid of people. The flood is one example. If you think that a flood is not violent, I refer you to any videos of people caught in a flood. So, God either condones violence or He's a hypocrite.

If you do not believe in God, then you may look at nature in order to determine if violence is good or bad. I can't think of a single species on this planet that doesn't have to deal with violence. So, nature either condones violence or is indifferent to it.

In either case, violence is not portrayed as bad. The term, "bad" is a man made construct. It doesn't exist outside the context of humans. The universe does not abide by our concept of bad.

Side: True
atypican(4874) Disputed
1 point

Violence is NOT inherently bad.

Yes it is.

If you do not believe in God, then you may look at nature in order to determine if violence is good or bad. I can't think of a single species on this planet that doesn't have to deal with violence. So, nature either condones violence or is indifferent to it.

There's not a single species that doesn't have to deal with disease either so let's (analogously) quit resisting disease!

In either case, violence is not portrayed as bad. The term, "bad" is a man made construct. It doesn't exist outside the context of humans. The universe does not abide by our concept of bad.

Are you arguing that any distinction between good and bad is without merit since it's humans making the distinction?

Side: Wait..., What? No!

Are you arguing that any distinction between good and bad is without merit since it's humans making the distinction?

No. That is NOT what I'm driving at. What I was trying to get at was that by labeling something as bad, you limit your options and the way you think about things labeled as bad.

Having said that, there is a lot of value in labeling things a certain way because it facilitates our thought process and thus helps us focus on other "more important" things.

Your points, however, tell me that I was not clear enough and that I should probably have taken a different approach.

Another approach would be to state that there are no absolutes when it comes to human concepts. The concept of good and bad are human concepts. Things like 1+1=2 is not a human concept, it is a fact (at least in the current universe we live in). This leads to the conclusion that violence is only bad in certain situations but not others.

Using violence in certain situations is a choice we make based on preferences. The same can be said about resisting disease. We prefer not to be sick. Unless, of course there's a test we haven't adequately prepared for. In that case we may prefer to be sick in order to bide our time ;)

Another approach to state all of this would be to state that the way we deal with human concepts depend on the situation and that if the situation changes we may change the way we deal with it.

Side: Wait..., What? No!
KrittMasta(19) Disputed
1 point

Violence is bad. Anything the cast any unpleasant harmful feelings or disorder is consider bad, whether it is relative to fews or many. "Violence is NOT inherently bad" is probably the most unintelligent thing I've ever seen written in my life.

Side: Wait..., What? No!

Your words are causing me to experience unpleasant and harmful feelings right now. If you were to give me money, I would feel better. Since you want people NOT to feel bad, I think you should just give me money. Otherwise I may find it necessary to make you experience the most unintelligent thing you have ever seen written in your life. ;)

Side: Wait..., What? No!
3 points

The argument can be summed up as "Everyone has religious beliefs" correct?

I agree that everyone has religious beliefs. And I am atheist

The "anti-religion" stance is an illogical and untenable non-philosophy.

Side: True

An atheist is someone who makes a factual statement that they can not prove. There is no god. However they do not possess all the knowledge in the universe to be able to make a statement like this, because they can not prove their position. They have faith in the things they have seen and experienced and at best can only say, they don't know. They are following their own faith religion.

Side: True
imrigone(761) Disputed
1 point

"An atheist is someone who makes a factual statement that they can not prove. There is no god."

Wrong. An atheist is someone who does not believe in God. It does not necessarily mean that they outright refute God's existence, it simply means that they are not convinced that such a being exists. Sure, there are atheists who do claim that God does not exist, but not all of us make factual statements except that we do not see a reason to believe. That is not faith. That is examining the evidence and reporting honestly.

"They are following their own faith religion."

And vegetarians are big fans of steak. Both of the preceding two statements are definitively wrong in exactly the same way.

Side: Wait..., What? No!
churchmouse(328) Disputed
1 point

An atheist is someone who denied that there is a God...not that there is a god they dont believe in. They do not beleive there is any evidence to support the theory.

They make a factual statement.....THERE IS NO GOD.

Agnostics...say they don't know, but the possiblity is there. The best you can do is to say...that the possiblity is there, you just can't prove it.

If somebody rejects theism due to insufficient evidence, they imply there is sufficient evidence to accept atheism. To even make the claim that there is insufficient evidence that there is no God, takes faith. Atheism is a worldview just like Christianity or any other faith religion.

It takes faith to believe what you are claiming, just as much faith as I have to believe in God.

I believe even our government called atheism a religion.

Side: Wait..., What? No!
3 points

Most atheists aren't following a book with no evidence to back it up and being told to believe purely on faith (and faith alone).

Atheists don't have to be dicks who constantly try to attack religions; most of us are just without faith or belief in a deity or any kind of religion. We demand evidence. If you can't provide any, it's almost impossible for us to believe otherwise. We're built on science, logic and reasoning. They're the exact opposite of religion.

Side: Wait..., What? No!

I did NOT intend to imply that atheists subscribe to ONLY one set of beliefs. I was just using ONE belief system in order to get my point across. The point is that once you subscribe to a belief system, you are merely following your own religion.

We're built on science, logic and reasoning.

Science, logic and reasoning are a belief system in that it is possible for them to be wrong. For example, science believed that the Earth was flat and the universe revolved around the Earth. Certain things seem logical but sometimes new evidence shows the logic to be faulty (same goes for reasoning). So in that sense, I wouldn't say that they were the exact opposite of religion. There's some element of "faith" that the logic and reasoning is sound. The difference is that religion may be a little more reluctant to change in the face of new evidence. But religions have changed in order to incorporate new evidence (like when they decided that the universe doesn't revolve around the Earth) and science has resisted change in the pass (though maybe not as adamantly as religions) and eventually it too changed.

Side: Wait..., What? No!
ThePyg(6736) Disputed
1 point

Science resisted change or SOME scientists resisted change? Scientific journals and peer reviewed articles change with new evidence. Religion is based on a book that will never be edited (besides the small edits that people like King James may do), and will always believe in the core set (none of which are based on any evidence). Science bases it's claims on experimentation and research, and if new research is shown that counters the old, journals will be edited to fit it in.

Side: Wait..., What? No!
1 point

I can only speak for myself... I follow no belief system... in fact there is very little to me at all and I'm apathetic as hell!

Side: Wait..., What? No!
1 point

I realize this is like trying to explain something in a foreign language,

but most atheists don't adhere to a set of standards that apply to every situation as if set in stone.

Weird right?

For myself, I think the world is complex and it's nearly impossible to create a set of rules for, and doing so, as you say in many more words and through the lens of a theist, will lead inevitably to injustice and often on a massive scale.

Hence why having a religion is more dangerous than not having one. That doesn't mean there would never be a war or whatever, but there wouldn't be say, religious terrorists, crusades, inquisitions, god hates fags psychos, and even less dangerous tendencies but still serious like discrimination based on one's religion would not exist, etc.

People are generally good on their own, it requires the belief in some greater power to justify evil in most instances. Not always the case, but it is so in the vast majority of people.

Thinking hurts though right? Easier to ask your invisible friend what the right thing to do is in any given situation.

Side: Wait..., What? No!

No, I am not a theist.

I did NOT intend to imply that atheists subscribe to ONLY one set of beliefs. I was just using ONE belief system in order to get my point across. The point is that once you subscribe to a belief system, you are merely following your own religion.

BTW, why did you find it necessary to be condescending? For example:

I realize this is like trying to explain something in a foreign language,

and

Thinking hurts though right?

Did you not think that your argument would stand on its own? Just asking ;)

Side: Wait..., What? No!
1 point

3. Belief systems that lead to violence are bad and should be abolished.

4. Some "belief systems" that have lead to violence are associated with religion (in general).

5. At least, those religions that have lead to violence should be abolished.

I don't know that atheists would argue any of this.

To argue that violence is bad and that it should be abolished means that you are establishing a belief system, and thus, a form of religion.

A belief system implies plurality.

That "violence is bad" is only one belief, which may not apply to all atheists.

If you claim that this belief system was NOT handed down by a "mythical" being (or God), then the originator of the belief system is either you or some other human being.

Correct

So..., if you agree with this line of reasoning, you are merely following your own religion.

False.

Religion:

1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

The argument ends here^

Side: Wait..., What? No!
atypican(4874) Disputed
2 points

Religion:

1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

The argument ends here^

So the argument ends (for some) with a grossly inadequate definition of religion.

Side: True

I don't know that atheists would argue any of this.

That's why I said, "Some people who consider themselves as atheists"

That "violence is bad" is only one belief, which may not apply to all atheists.

I did NOT intend to imply that atheists subscribe to ONLY one set of beliefs. I was just using ONE belief system in order to get my point across. The point is that once you subscribe to a belief system, you are merely following your own religion.

Religion:

1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

That definition does blow me out of the water. The part that ties religion to a "superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances."

I was going with the other 2 definitions:

2. a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.

3. the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices: a world council of religions.

The reason I am going with these 2 definitions, instead of the first definition, is because Buddhism is a religion where they refute the notion of a supreme God. In other words, it is not necessary to believe in a God in order to have a religion. The same argument holds for devotional and ritual observances. It is unfortunate that most religions include these but they are not necessary in order to have a religion.

Side: Wait..., What? No!
imrigone(761) Disputed
2 points

What the hell, man? I leave the site for a couple of weeks and you start...actually debating? Is this a very complex set-up to the most ingenious punchline in history?

In all seriousness:

"I was going with the other 2 definitions:

2. a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.

3. the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices: a world council of religions."

2: I'm not sure what you are referencing counts as a "set" of beliefs. It all relates to one topic.

3: "body of persons" is somewhat ambiguous. Would a thousand people who share the exact same views be a "body of persons", even if they had no direct contact or formal organization?

"The reason I am going with these 2 definitions, instead of the first definition, is because Buddhism is a religion where they refute the notion of a supreme God."

True, but bodhisatvas are often attributed with skills that arguably count in the "superhuman agency" category. And ideas like reincarnation and karma are usually understood to be metaphysical. Except with some Zen school's usage of the terms.

Furthermore, your implication that religion is nothing more than a group of people with the same strong beliefs turns a lot of organizations or groups of people into religions. The GOP and DNC for example. Or vegetarians. Capitalists. Your definition becomes so watered down that we now have to invent a new category for those who have faith and organize themselves around such. To which the atheists would still be opposed, thus rendering your argument meaningless.

Side: True