The Instigator
bossyburrito
Pro (for)
The Contender
dylancatlow
Con (against)

A Non-Mental Reality Must Exist

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Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 10/20/2017 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 8 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 449 times Debate No: 104490
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (0)

 

bossyburrito

Pro

DEFINITIONS:

Mental: Of or relating to consciousness (a "Mental reality" being one that is contained solely in consciousness

Reality: That which is real - that which exists.

In this debate, PRO will argue that there must be a non-mental reality, with "mental reality" used as defined above. I do not have to show that there are no mental aspects of reality, but that they must not be all there is in the makeup of reality.

The first round will be for acceptance only - I will present my argument in the second round, and my opponent will present his, along with any objections to my arguments that he sees fit to write. The third round will be used for counter-arguments and defences, as well as new arguments. The fourth round will contain no new arguments, and will only serve to allow the debaters a chance to both give final counter-arguments targeting the already-established arguments put forward earlier in the debate, as well as letting them conclude their arguments.

The BOP will be split - I will have to affirm that a non-mental reality MUST exist, while my opponent must hold that a non-mental reality DOES NOT exist.

No abusive semantical arguments, etc - I doubt that this will be a problem so I don't think I need to go into detail about this.

You will have 72 hours to post a round, can use up to 9,000 characters per round, and the debate will be in the voting period for ten days.

I don't care much about voting, but please be fair.
dylancatlow

Con

A non-mental reality is a meaningless concept - the "non-mental" distinction is embedded within the concept and is therefore mental. Thanks for the easy win, idiot.
Debate Round No. 1
bossyburrito

Pro

Let it be kept in mind that I am arguing that there must be some non-mental reality that exists, not that it is only non-mental reality that exists. I am arguing against the concept of an all-encompassing mental reality, and I must show that, even if some form of mental reality exists, there is a non-mental reality outside of it.


Consciousness without data


My first point is as follows: if all that exists exists within consciousness, and consciousness is that which interprets data, what data would a consciousness in a void interpret? If it is given that data cannot be nothingness (otherwise there is no sense in calling it data), it holds that any data is data that has content about something. In other words, any piece of data must have something to which it relates to. If consciousness is all that exists, then it follows that all data is data relating to consciousness. If there was data not related to consciousness, then something other than consciousness must exist for the data to be related to. As such, if I can show that some data is not related to consciousness, then I have shown that there is something other than consciousness that exists.


Assume that there is nothing but a mental reality – there is only a reality created by consciousness, that thing which interprets data. Where, then, did the data come from? If consciousness is only an interpreter of data, then consciousness only has any content or can act at all if data is given to it. It is impossible that the data come from a consciousness in a world in which there is only consciousness - this is equivalent to saying that something can come from nothing. There must be something there initially for anything further to come.


If consciousness is all that exists, then, at the outset or beginning of time, nothing existed. To say that something can exist when all that exists is consciousness is to say that, at the first point of time, consciousness had data to interpret – the question, then, is “data of what?”If there is no external world for consciousness to interpret, then it is by necessity empty. An interpreter cannot have content without outside intervention – it must be fed data to interpret. If the data is of itself, then the first data would be data related to an empty (read: nonexistent) entity. This data would have no content, and, as such, could not count as data at all.


I do not deny that, after some data has entered the system, consciousness can reflect on itself – this, however, assumes that there is some data that enters the system at some point, which I have explained to be impossible unless an outside world exists.


Distinction between mental and non-mental


It can be seen that, if everything that exists is mental, there wouldn’t even be a discussion on this topic. The very designation of “mental” implies that something non-mental exists, for if the category of “mental” is needed, then it is needed to distinguish the mental from the non-mental. In a world in which only consciousness exists, there would be no way of knowing that only consciousness exists. In the same way that, if life were just a dream, the concept of “dream” would become meaningless, if reality is just consciousness, then the concept of “mental” would become meaningless. The mental is distinguished as being the realm of consciousness only because there is a realm of non-consciousness that exists. To claim otherwise would be akin to claiming that the concept of “black” has any meaning in an all-black world – there is nothing to differentiate “black” from anything else, since “black” is all that exists.


One knows only that he was dreaming because he wakes up – if he doesn’t, how could he conceptualize dreaming?


If there must be some distinction between the mental and non-mental, then it holds that the non-mental exists.



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Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by bossyburrito 7 months ago
bossyburrito
you got pounded into dust by my mortar
Posted by dylancatlow 7 months ago
dylancatlow
You lost this debate.
Posted by bossyburrito 8 months ago
bossyburrito
You're so dumb
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