The Instigator
Con (against)
4 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
0 Points

A Non-Mental Reality Probably Exists

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/17/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 510 times Debate No: 77803
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (0)
Votes (1)




I'm an Idealist; I believe all reality mental. If we know anything, that means the mind exists as knowledge is mental. If we doubt anything, that means the mind exists as doubt is mental; ergo we cannot consistently doubt the mind as the mind is needed to doubt in the first place.

So our starting point for knowledge is the mind. It must exist. But, why believe in a non-mental reality? This is a hypothesis that most people believe, the idea that everything that is beyond our minds is non-mental (such as the empirical reality we all experience). However, I find this is a baseless assertion and a violation of Occam's Razor.

My opponent doesn't have to prove with absolute certainty that a non-mental reality exists, just that it is the most likely thing to be true. The burden of proof will be on Pro to see if he can support the claim that a non-mental reality exists.

If I can undermine Pro's arguments sufficiently; the debate will go to me.

Pro will post his argument in the first round (the first round will not just be for acceptance).

In order to assure we have the same amount of rounds to argue and rebut, Pro must only put in his last round:

"No argument will be posted here."



A non-mental reality exists in the form of matter.
Debate Round No. 1



My opponent says a non-mental reality exists in the form of matter; this assumes that what we call "matter" exists and is non-mental. However, there is no justification for this assumption. There are many physicists that have lived such as Max Planck (the Father of Quantum Mechanics) who believe that what is commonly thought of as matter doesn't exist:

"As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such." - Max Planck [1]

Professor of Physics Richard Conn Henry also believes that no non-mental reality exists:

"The Universe is immaterial — mental and spiritual." - Richard Conn Henry

Even Albert Einstein believed that space (and thus it's contents which would include matter) only exist conceptually:

“Hence it is clear that the space of physics is not, in the last analysis, anything given in nature or independent of human thought. It is a function of our conceptual scheme [mind].” - Albert Einstein [3]

Now I am not saying that because of these quotes that the mental universe theory is true (that would be a fallacious appeal to authority). What I am saying is that it is not at all clear that this "matter" which is non-mental exists at all. There are many who believe that what we call "matter" is merely a projection of mind for many reasons.


My opponent is just assuming that non-mental matter exists when there should be some type of argument in its favor. Since no argument has been presented then the resolution has not been established.


[3] Video Source



Highfalutin jargon defining the spaces between atoms doesn't diminish our relationship with the empirical evidence of solid mechanics.
Debate Round No. 2


Refuting My Opponent

Pro states:

"Highfalutin jargon defining the spaces between atoms doesn't diminish our relationship with the empirical evidence of solid mechanics."

Pro hasn't shown that I am using any type if invalid jargon, and bare-asserts that we have empirical evidence of a non-mental reality without a shred of argumentation. Pro has the burden of proof and he still hasn't lived up to it, so as it stands I could walk away now and still be winning... But what fun would that be?

Matter Is Mental

Matter reduces to fundamental particles. The fundamental particles only have mathematical properties, as Physicist Max Tegmark explains:

"As Physicists, we know our universe is ultimately made up by elementary particles like an electrons and quarks... And what properties does an electron exactly have? It doesn't have the property of cuteness, it doesn't even have a color, a smell, or a texture. The only properties that an electron has... are properties like -1. 1/2, 1. Now we physicists come up with geeky names for these properties like 'electric charge' and 'spin'... But the electron doesn't care what we call these properties, they are just fundamentally mathematical properties; their numbers... To the best of our knowledge the same goes for every other elementary particle that makes up everything in our universe." - Max Tegmark [1]

So, if matter reduces to elementary particles, and fundamental particles are mathematical then what does this have to say about whether matter is mental or non-mental? Everything... This is because mathematics is abstract, as mathematician William S. Hatcher points out:

"In any case, there are several fundamental points on which most mathematicians would agree regardless of their personal philosophic convictions concerning the nature of mathematics. The first is that mathematics is abstract, and that is consists primarily reasoning with and contemplating abstractions" - William S. Hatcher[2]

Now, abstractions are mental by definition as they are in terms of thoughts or ideas[3]. It follows that what we refer to as "matter" is mental. The elementary particles of matter only have mathematical properties, but mathematical properties are conceptual and thus mental.

In Conclusion

Pro's argument fails as he didn't present an argument at all. He just stated that there is evidence of a non-mental reality without actually arguing for it. That is enough to win the debate as I do not have the burden of proof. However, I took it a step further and showed that "matter" reduces to mentality! This blows my opponent's "argument" out of the water.


[1] [Video Source]
[2] The Logical Foundations of Mathematics by William S. Hatcher (page 68)



And yet matter is no less material for having been defamed.
Debate Round No. 3


"And yet matter is no less material for having been defamed." - Pro

But I showed that what we refer to as "material" is mental, as its properties are purely mathematical and math is conceptual. All Pro has done this entire debate is bare-assert things without any argument. It is clear that Pro has not shown that a non-mental reality probably exists. He appealed to material matter, but I showed that what we refer to as "matter" reduces to mentality. Ergo, the debate has been won by me by a landslide.

Remember, as per the rules Pro's last round cannot contain anything but:

"No argument will be posted here."

We have both had the same amount of rounds to argue and rebut at this point. Thank you.


No argument will be posted here.
Debate Round No. 4
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by n7 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro is trolling this debate. He never puts forth a real argument and dismisses all of Con's rebuttals by claiming they're jargon without justification. Conduct to Con for actually debating and arguments to Con as his rebuttals were left untouched.