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Debate Info

84
81
True False
Debate Score:165
Arguments:153
Total Votes:186
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Argument Ratio

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 True (54)
 
 False (67)

Debate Creator

atypican(4874) pic



No beliefs are formed without evidence

People may hold to different standards regarding what consitutes adequate evidence. But no one believes anything without evidence.

True

Side Score: 84
VS.

False

Side Score: 81
3 points

It's mostly personal. Obviously it is societal in the sense that individuals speak for their particular society in many shapes and forms.

Further, every human being has beliefs, in X, Y, Z. And there are many beliefs with many evidences. There are beliefs with little evidence, yet a human being cannot believe in something without evidence, this is true to the human being.

So yes , no beliefs are formed without evidence, to answer your question.

Define evidence is the key thing here.

Obviously many people have issues with the forms of evidence.

Side: True
GuitarGuy(6096) Clarified
3 points

X, Y, Z

Good grief, you say that a lot.

Side: True
3 points

It's relevant. Tell me it's not.

Focus on the important points rather than asking questions to ask questions. Or saying things just to say things.

Side: True
3 points

How could any feeling/idea be formed without something triggering it?

Side: True
Jace(5187) Disputed
2 points

Not everything is evidence. All sensory input and neural processing does not constitute evidence. To consider all things as evidence is to completely dilute the meaning of evidence and wholly reduce it to utter uselessness.

Side: False
Intangible(4933) Disputed
1 point

Not everything is evidence.

Really?! Then tell me of something that isn't evidence.

Side: True
2 points

Atypican, I'm going to side with you on this one. I've always thought of belief to be knowledge taken an absolute, so there has to be some water held in any belief.

Side: True
1 point

That's weird. You side with me on this one despite that we look at knowledge and belief differently. I've always thought that what we call knowledge is actually just our strongest beliefs. In common use, we would say that we believe something instead of saying we know something, if we weren't absolutely sure.

Side: True

Yes but not always with good evidence. For example that fact that the universe exists, is hospitable for live and it must have had a beginning is evidence towards that it was created by an intelligent designer however that is not good evidence because it still could have come into being in another way like the Big Bang.

Side: True
Jace(5187) Disputed
1 point

How is any of that evidence of intelligent design? Drawing ID from the existence of the universe, the presence of life, and the notion that something must have come from somewhere is an argument fraught with fallacy and assumption. Your claim that the aforementioned could stand proof to just about anything (god to the big bang), when followed to its full conclusion, means they really prove nothing at all. Further, the inference is being drawn the wrong way around; the attempt is not to follow the aforementioned facts to knowledge but to justify belief in a deity (or other ID force) by pointing to impossibly vague and broad facts as "evidence" to substantiate a view that in actuality lacks evidence entirely. The belief is not formed with evidence. The belief is formed and evidence is arbitrarily selected to attempt to justify the presupposed conclusion, but the evidence does not support the assumption and cannot actually have informed the assumption as an immediate consequence.

Side: False

I mean, if you allow for a hazy enough definition of evidence, as this debate suggests, sure. Testimonies from others are considered sufficient evidence to most people, which is one of the reasons that religion is such a big thing, and also why so many people consider themselves atheist without doing a lick of investigation on their own; the word of others is sufficient for them.

I would normally vote on false for this given that I have somewhat of a higher standard for evidence than that, but as I said, with a hazy definition of what constitutes evidence it's certainly true.

Side: True
Cartman(18192) Disputed
2 points

and also why so many people consider themselves atheist without doing a lick of investigation on their own

This is sort of a weird statement. Atheism is really the default position. Everyone is born an Atheist. Maybe I am not sure what you mean.

Side: False
ColumCille(9) Disputed
1 point

This is an incorrect statement. People are born agnostic, without a belief set. Athiesm is the belief that there is no God.

Here you will undoubtedly insert the idea of strong/weak atheism, which is simply converting the term agnosticism into the term weak atheism and is, as such, a compositional fallacy.

If you would define athiesm as the position "without a belief in God" then you have transformed it from a philosophic position or argument into a psychological state. As such rocks are atheists as are trees. Neither hold a belief in God and are, by your definition atheists. Hence, we can see that it being described as a psychological state is insufficient and the definition should return to the original positive claim: "there is no God."

Side: True
thousandin1(1931) Clarified
1 point

I'm referring to the camp of atheists who believe there are no gods, as opposed to simply not believing in any particular god or gods; the difference is not merely semantic.

More specifically, I'm referring to those who simply echo what others have told them without even the slightest attempt at analysis or investigation of their own. Anyone can review the parameters of an experiment and the raw data from the results. Anyone can review the conclusions drawn by those performing the experiment, the writings of peers who review the data and conclusions and support the original conclusion, the writings of peers who review the data and conclusions and dissent. Most don't.

Side: True
1 point

People believe in religion... People believed the world would end in many occurrences, such as 2012, yet there was no evidence.

Side: False
Malachi(77) Disputed
4 points

Some people believed that the world would end because of the Mayan calendar and people like Nostradamus saying it would end. They considered that as evidence, so they believed it. People use things like alleged demon possession, so-called miracles, and hearing "God" speak to them as evidence for the existence of God and the correctness of Christianity. All religions had documents that recorded "spectacular" events that become the root of their beliefs. Even Mormonism has a root of belief (Joseph Smith, I think that's his name, and received some golden plates from God, and apparently some other people were there to witness it). As it said in the debate info, what you may believe to be acceptable as evidence may not be the same for others.

Side: True
1 point

Beliefs are not formed without justification, and what constitutes justification varies for people.

Side: False
Jace(5187) Disputed
1 point

Justification is a far cry from evidence .

Side: True
Cartman(18192) Disputed
2 points

Why Did You Dispute Me? That Is Exactly What I Was Saying. That's Why I Posted On The False Side.

Side: False
atypican(4874) Disputed
1 point

Evidence is information used to justify a belief. I wouldn't say it's a far cry, I'd say they can hardly be considered separately.

Side: False
atypican(4874) Disputed
1 point

The consideration of evidence precedes IN ALL CASES the justifying of any belief. What varies is the type of evidence people find adequate.

Side: True
Cartman(18192) Disputed
1 point

No, it is possible to form an opinion and then look for evidence. That's basically how the scientific method works. You come up with an idea, then you get evidence. The only difference is that scientists don't actually believe the idea is true until they have retrieved that evidence.

For example, the guy who thought the rapture was going to happen in 2012 had that belief, then went through and justified it. He had justification, not evidence.

Side: False
1 point

I think this forgets what most philosophers call "Properly Basic Beliefs." While many beliefs are formed based upon some evidence set (that flower is red based upon my observations, etc), not all are.

Beliefs such as "I have the capacity for memory" and "my sensory input is real" are properly basic beliefs, beliefs necessary in order to gather evidence or conduct reason are properly basic by definition.

So while I agree that some beliefs (probably the vast majority) are based upon evidence, it is improper to conclude that no belief is formed without evidence.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basic_belief

Side: False
atypican(4874) Disputed
1 point

Describe a belief you have that you view as being "Properly Basic" that you think must be based on something besides evidence, and I don't think it would be any trouble identifying what evidence formed it.

Side: True
ColumCille(9) Disputed
1 point

Sure, the belief "my memory represents past events" is a common one used.

Side: False
1 point

Tooth Fairy. .

Side: False
Cartman(18192) Disputed
1 point

Wrong, there is more evidence for tooth fairy than for God. People tell you if tooth fairy exists tooth turns to money. Tooth turns to money, tooth fairy exists. :)

Side: True
Warjin(1577) Disputed
1 point

I think you missed my point, point being to belive something a person can do so without any evidence, being said just about all religious belifs are bullshit make up stories just like the tooth fairy.

Side: False
1 point

On the face of it I think it's false. But if we extend the notion of evidence to include good arguments then we might consider it true.

Take free will as an example. Do we have evidence of free will? No we don't. Yet most people believe we have free will. It's possible that this is the common assumption because it true, but it we might also say that we believe in free will because we have no convincing arguments to the contrary. In either case, some believe in free will but it's not because of evidence.

Side: False
Jace(5187) Disputed
1 point

An argument unaccompanied by evidence is not evidence, it is a rationalized belief that remains unsubstantiated.

Side: False
Nebeling(1118) Disputed
1 point

What's your opinion on free will / determinism then?  

Side: True
atypican(4874) Disputed
1 point

Please give an example of an argument "unaccompanied by evidence" of any kind, if you can. You do recognize different types of evidence, some evidence, weaker and some stronger do you not?

Side: True
1 point

If you dilute the standard for what constitutes evidence to include every possible justification or excuse for a belief then the word loses its meaning entirely. The very reason the word "evidence" exists is to create a distinction between unfounded belief and founded thought.

Side: False
atypican(4874) Disputed
1 point

Explain more about this pure undiluted standard of what constitutes evidence, and what doesn't. What witnessable event isn't evidence of some sort? You talk of a distinction between "unfounded belief and founded thought". What you call unfounded, would be better explained as poorly founded would it not? Some people have more lax standards than others in terms of what evidence they find compelling, but it's not like they base their belief on no evidence at all. We could say that some types of evidence should be weighed more heavily than other types and that would be a whole lot smarter than assuming people can form beliefs without evidence. There is no such thing as belief without evidence.

Side: True
Jace(5187) Disputed
1 point

I never said that my standard was a bright line or even entirely pure, and indeed I readily acknowledge that some forms of evidence are stronger and others weaker. Rather, my point was that if you dilute any concept too much it ceases to have meaning. To me, what you describe is not evidence but rather a causal reason. Of course every belief is founded in some causal factor that prompts it- a book you read, an experience you had, etc. - but that factor is not necessarily evidence. Evidence requires some process of logic that controls for the innate subjectivity of human interpretation of reality.

Side: False
1 point

I think most beliefs, even those people think are justified by evidence, are based on feelings, not evidence. Most people hear an argument or an idea, and pick a side based on how they feel, and create reasons to justify the feeling. This is why most debates are terrible. It is reasonable to suggest that someone might choose a belief about something solely based on whether or not they trust a person who has the belief, rather than based on any evidence, because our daily experiences are so limited that it might be impossible for us to have any real experience or understanding of the evidence that justifies a belief, and only the ideas about who is reliable and/or likeable who is not. Have you actually been able to see that the earth is round, and/or understand the math involved in proving it is round, or do you only take the word of many people around you? A good example of how beliefs would need to be created that are not be based on evidence: I am walking down a road with a friend, and we get lost. We cannot go back the way we came. There is a dark cave on the side of the road neither of us have ever seen before. The friend asks, do you think it's a good idea to see if that cave will lead us back to where we came from? My judgement as to whether or not it is a good idea might have more to do with how brave I am, what the lighting in the area is like, and how lost I am 'feeling', but it cannot be based on any evidence if I am truly lost. But if I do decide to go into the cave, I will be operating on the belief that it will lead us back, and can continue walking indefinitely, until my internal feeling or sense, which could be based on tiredness or hunger, will tell me that my belief must be wrong since I haven't found the expected result of my belief. We create belief on a regular basis without evidence to make decisions about things we don't know about, and then test the hypothesis (sometimes the only way to do this is through argument). If I truly believed something, I wouldn't need to talk about it. Hence, the Taoist saying, those who know don't say, those who say don't know.

Side: False

False. beliefs can be instilled in someone before the brain has developed the ability to asses evidence and weigh options. Critical thinking and decision making don't fully develop in most kids until around age 10 and even then they can be persuaded against evidence in most cases. Kids grow up believing what they're told with no evidence whatsoever just because their parents told them. This is how religion survives. It's instilled in kids before they have the ability to asses the evidence and before they even come into contact with opposing viewpoints.

Side: False
atypican(4874) Disputed
1 point

Someone's never heard of testimonial evidence .

Side: True
AveSatanas(4433) Disputed
1 point

Testimonial evidence is only useful when coming from an expert. And even then personal experiences are trash

Side: False
1 point

Atheists like the OP believe there is no God without evidence.

Side: False

A person who wins a big jackpot in Vegas because he was carrying a lucky rabbit's foot believes he won that jackpot through that lucky rabbit's foot.

Side: False