Why atheists seem to win the argument with theists.

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Delaware's picture
Captain crunch, thanks for

Captain crunch, thanks for your response.

I like your post. Does it apply to theists as well as atheists?

CyberLN's picture
The winner of a debate is not

The winner of a debate is not necessarily positing factual or evidence-supported arguments. Their goal is to present *compelling* arguments. Typically, at the end of a debate, the attendees vote for who they consider the winner. Now who do you suppose would be voted the winner if the majority of attendees are fundamental theists?

arakish's picture
@ CyberLN

@ CyberLN

In the second debate I was part of, our audience was virtually entirely theist. According to the tally, the audience was 87% theist. Yet we still won the argument going from a 62/38 vote to 41/59 vote. We swung it 21 percentage points. Unfortunately, I forget the topic. I think it was something to do between science and religion. But we won. The third was a 53% theist. Not as overwhelming, but still a majority.

Our fourth debate is on neutral ground at UNM's Popejoy Hall Centre for the Arts theatre. Topic (changed again) = "Is Islam a Threat?" Should be fun.


Cognostic's picture
@CyberLN: Unless you are

@CyberLN: Unless you are William Lane Craig.
For collegiate debates there is an actual scoring system. Opponents can challenge and concede points. Each point presented by the affirmative must be addressed by the negative or conceded. WLC wins debates by talking as fast as he can and by presenting so much information that the other side can not address everything. WLC is a professional debater. If the other side does not understand debating and how to "flow," WLC will win. There is also 'strategy' in debate, not just facts. At the same time, all the strategy in the world will not help if you can't produce some facts.

David Killens's picture
In Spirit, if anyone could

In Spirit, if anyone could prove definitely that there is any god, they would be the talking point in every news service, every coffee shop, and become the most famous person in the world.

Here is a very funny (but scary) image. Ken Ham proves a god, and thousands of atheists would be throwing themselves off cliffs and every available high point. It won't ever happen, but it's still an amusing thought.

In Spirit's picture
David Kilens

David Kilens

Yep, that's why I was being sarcastic to the OP. If it turned out that the biblical God was proven, I would be jumping off that cliff with all of you. Who wants to bow down to a God that says kill in my name to say the least.

Calilasseia's picture
Quick question ... are we

Quick question ... are we dealing with [link removed by moderator. Personally I'd like to leave it, but I feel your link violates the forum rules, but it's a gray area. The fact that I feel a need to delete it, should be a clue as to how accurate your guess was ;) - Nyarlathotep]

dogalmighty's picture
Good find Cal...looks like

Good find Cal...looks like him. Already up on threats to people and police officers, is not a sound mind. Admin should contact the police, courts, the sentencing judge and probation officer, as the threats he just posted on this site are illegal and in breach of his parole. He clearly needs help folks.

Tin-Man's picture
Cali nailed it! Awesome!...

Cali nailed it! Awesome!... LMAO!!!

Sapporo's picture
Other than the burden of

Other than the burden of proof issue, any failing on the part of the theist or their religious institution or their god will only make the theist's argument seem weaker.

If a theist calls an atheist an idiot, not only have they lost any assumed moral high ground but the atheist only has to reply "And who made me an idiot?"

Sheldon's picture
"if the theist let the

"if the theist let the atheist go first he could make him look wrong by denying his argument,"

Ok, I'll go first for you, I don't believe any deity exists as no one has demonstrated any objective evidence for one.

Your ball...

dogalmighty's picture
I feel sorry for you son. You

I feel sorry for you son. You will burn in hell for eternity...do you not realize this...please, come to god and stand next to me...I will guide you to see his miracles.

Delaware's picture
Sheldon, thanks, I'll give it

Sheldon, thanks, I'll give it a try.

Your "belief" that no deity exists, is just as you state, a belief. I don't accept beliefs until they are proven to me. Your main evidence is that the other side has not proven their belief to your satisfaction? Where is the evidence FOR your belief?

dogalmighty's picture
Jo, he needs no evidence for

Jo, he needs no evidence for his belief because he does not assert anything. Without the theist's assertion, he goes about his business. His belief only exists because of the theist.

David Killens's picture
Gets out the popcorn.

Gets out the popcorn.

Sheldon's picture
"Sheldon, thanks, I'll give

"Sheldon, thanks, I'll give it a try.

Your "belief" that no deity exists, is just as you state, a belief."

No, the lack or absence of belief is not a belief, that's axiomatic.

What's more I quite specifically stated my position. So here it is again then...

You want an atheist to go first so I'll oblige.

I don't believe any deity or deities exist as no one has demonstrated any objective evidence to support that belief.

I never asked for anything to be proven, you either can or cannot demonstrate objective evidence for your belief. No other theist has done so, or even tried to, despite many grandiose claims.

You can ask me to go first in the debate, but the concept of theism already exists. If you're claiming not to believe in a deity then there is nothing to debate. If you do believe in a deity then that is the affirmation of a claim, whether you go first second third or fiftieth.

Again what you're attempting to do is fallaciously redefine the definition of atheism to inaccurately pretend it's a claim or a belief. Its neither.

I don't believe the claim a deity or deities exist. That's my position.

The reason I don't believe is because no one can demonstrate any objective evidence for any deity or deities.

I've given you the benefit if the doubt thus far, but if you deliberately misrepresent what I've said again we're done, and I shall call you out as trolling.

It's been done too many times by too many theists on here.

Sheldon's picture
@ Jo

@ Jo

Sheldon "Ok, I'll go first for you, I **don't believe** any deity exists as no one has demonstrated any objective evidence for one."

Jo....**"Your "belief"**that no deity exists, is just as you state, a belief. "

That's such a dishonest misrepresentation, how do you ever expect to be taken seriously? You even mendaciously put the words your belief in quotation Mark's, for shame.

I guess dismantling your game of semantics in one sentence was too much for you..

dogalmighty's picture
God is strong, God is just,

God is strong, God is just, God is loving...God is the way for your lost soul. He exists in me and in everyone...put your faith in God, and feel his power and only then, will you know he exists.

Revelation 21:8 - But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

Up To My Neck's picture
The atheist argument wins

The atheist argument wins because there is not one shred of evidence to support anyone claiming there is a god! Now if the debate is over the “possibility” of a god, the atheist couldn’t prove 100% that god doesn’t exist, but I think enough evidence could be presented to show a god has never been substantiated either.

Delaware's picture
Pirate, thanks for your

Pirate, thanks for your response.

Are you saying that neither can be proven so it ultimately comes down to which side you believe?

dogalmighty's picture
No...if you think critically,

No...if you think critically, by leaving bias from discovery, you can reach a more likely decision. As mentioned, probability can be measured with the knowledge we have. That present knowledge we have, tells us that the likeliness of a god, is near infinitely unlikely.

Besides, the burden of proof is with theists, as they have made the claim...atheists are making no claim...without your claim of god atheism would not exist.

Delaware's picture


Your statement ... 'the likeliness of a god, is near infinitely unlikely", is a positive claim. Isn't the burden of proof on you. Isn't that your belief and not a proven fact?

Up To My Neck's picture
Have you ever seen proof that

Have you ever seen proof that it IS likely a god exists?

Delaware's picture


Just as no one has proof that god does not exists, I don't have proof that he does. But it depends on what you mean by proof. Falsifiability, double blind tests, mathematical formulas, experiments? I don't think any of them can answer the question either way, and no one on either side has any of them.

What would proof of gods existence look like?

If you or I get to decide what proof would look like, couldn't we rig the standard to support our belief?

Cognostic's picture
@Jo: You are speaking of

@Jo: You are speaking of proof when all we need is evidence. You are incorrect when you assert that no one has evidence for the non-existence of God. There is "Evidence of Absence." There is 2000 years of known, measured and demonstrated "Evidence of Absence." There are hundreds of theist claims, all invalid, all falsified, none that have withstood critical inquiry or evaluation.

What would proof of God's existence look like?
It is not our job to prove your claim. It is not our job to think up evidence for you. Have your god pop on over for lunch, that would be a good start. Paul had a Damascus Road experience, shouldn't we all get the same treatment from a loving god? (But who said God is loving? He is a bit more like a bad parent in a dysfunctional household if he exists at all,)

To find out if your version of god exists, you must define him and then provide facts and evidence that support his existence. Why is that so hard for you to grasp?

Couldn't we rig the standard?
That is exactly what theists do. They assert all manner of nonsense as support for their God. The rigged standard is exactly why their assertions are rejected by critical thought and inquiry.

Sheldon's picture
It's a lot simpler than that,

It's a lot simpler than that, can you demonstrate ANY objective evidence for any deity?

If not then who goes first is completely irrelevant to my atheism. As I have no reason to believe any claim for which no objective evidence can be demonstrated.

So if I don't believe the claim any deity exists, that is atheism by definition.

Even if as an atheist I chose to make the assertion no deity exists, which I do not, and failed to properly evidence it, this doesn't evidence your belief at all.

Can you prove that fairies unicorns and mermaids don't exist somewhere unseen?

If a claim is unfalsifiable then I disbelieve that claim, as it's irrational to believe a claim I've accepted I can know nothing about.

In science unfalsifiable claims are often referred to as "not even wrong" because we can learn nothing from them.

David Killens's picture


"If you or I get to decide what proof would look like, couldn't we rig the standard to support our belief?"

Atheists lean on the scientific method, and part of that method is peer review. One must make their findings and the entire process open to public scrutiny. Every step of the way, and definitely including the "standard". If someone attempted to add bias on that "standard" they would be exposed, their paper shredded by critical responses, and shamed as being dishonest. It could easily ruin any scientist's career.

That is why almost all papers are first examined within a close circle to determine if there are incorrect facts, failed logic, wrong conclusions, bad math, or dishonesty. Once past that review, then it is published for the world to see.

Cognostic's picture
Jo "Just as no one has proof

Jo "Just as no one has proof that god does not exists," Whoa! Evidence of absence is evidence of non-existence. Slow down your horses there bud, I have all of written history 6 to 8 thousand years of evidence for no god. I have hundreds and hundreds of nullified Theist claims. I have hundreds of thousands of Gods that do not exist and you believe they do not exist as well. I have a billion supernatural claims that have never come close to being demonstrated. I have the failure of prayer to produce any results at all. I have studies on holy water proving it is nothing. I have the failure of the Eucharist. I have 6 to 8 thousand years of complete nonsense and bullshit in my corner. Please cite one piece of irrefutable evidence for the existence of your god. Please describe your god in a way that makes any sense at all. We are not dealing with a non-falsifiable claim here. All you need do is produce your god and we will all believe.
It's just that frigging simple. Or will you go the way of the rest of your ilk, tuck your tail between your legs and run away.

It is not our job to tell you what proof of God's existence looks like. We do not give a RatShit, if your God exists or not. You made the claim and the burden of proof is on you, Put up or shut up!

Delaware's picture
@ Cognostic

@ Cognostic

I don't recall making a claim. What claim is it you want me to provide proof for?

If it is not your job to tell me what proof of God's existence looks like, how will you know it when you see it? Do you know what it is and not want to tell me?

How am I supposed to produce my God? I cannot catch him and present him to you.

You have hundreds of nullified Theist claims because they make claims. If Atheist made claims we could have nullified Atheist claims. Does being able to disprove some claims of Theist prove there is no God.

I could say that I have 8 thousands years of evidence for God. But that would just be my opinion, as it is yours. Or is it a claim?

Cognostic's picture
@JO: RE: "Just as no one

@JO: RE: "Just as no one has proof that god does not exists." Sorry if you thought I was not clear. I reread the post and don't see how I could have been more clear. I was addressing this claim cited above. The issue may be your use of the word proof. It tends to mean all or nothing. Vs. Evidence. There is a plethora of evidence supporting the non-existence of god or gods.
Science does not "Prove" anything. It constructs theories to explain facts and information to the best of its ability. When new information is received, science changes. There are no dogmatic "proofs" in science.

I have EVIDENCE God does not exist. Evidence of Absence is 'IN FACT" good evidence and science uses it all the time. (Refer back to the "Bear Cave Analogy" and previous posts where the assertion made by you, possibly inadvertently, is challenged.)


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