The Instigator
philosurfer
Pro (for)
Winning
6 Points
The Contender
n7
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

A Theistic God - On Balance - Does NOT Exist

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
philosurfer
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/17/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,073 times Debate No: 54925
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (18)
Votes (2)

 

philosurfer

Pro

A Theistic God - On Balance - Does NOT Exist


Debate Stipulations:

Round 1) Acceptance Only - NO Statements or Rebuttals
Round 2) Opening Statements & Arguments - NO REBUTTALS
Round 3) First Rebuttals - Further Arguments
Round 4)
Second Rebuttals - Final Arguments
Round 5) Final Rebuttals and Closing Statements - NO New Arguments

Terms:

Physical
:material existence [1]

Supernatural
:outside the natural order [2]

Reality
:state of being real; exists independently of ideas [3]

Theistic God
:A personal God; intervenes in human affairs e.g. answers prayers [4]

Objectivity
:intentness external to the mind; external reality [5]

Subjectivity
:taking place in a person's mind; introspective [6]

Ontology
:nature of being; the existence of a thing [7]

Epistemology
:study of knowledge and justified belief [8]

On Balance
:probably the case


Definition References:

[1] http://www.merriam-webster.com...
[2] http://dictionary.reference.com...
[3] http://dictionary.reference.com...
[4] http://www.pbs.org...
[5] http://dictionary.reference.com...
[6] http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
[7] http://www.britannica.com...
[8] http://plato.stanford.edu...

n7

Con

I agree with you on this topic, but I want to debate as a devil's (or more like God's) advocate.
Debate Round No. 1
philosurfer

Pro

Greetings & Salutations:

I applaud you for being willing to take the opposite position of your current opinion on the topic.
The world would probably be a far better place if more people were just as courageous!

Its a pleasure to make your acquaintance!

Let's get started!

First, I would like to preface & frame the debate by pointing out common misconceptions. This is because, although I enjoy debate, I prefer meaningful conversation more.

A Titanic Misconception:

"I often ask my students, when they were children - reading comic books or watching television - if it ever bothered them that Casper the Friendly Ghost could both float through walls and catch a ball? Why doesn't the ball go right through his hand? Most say they noticed this mildly discomforting inconsistency but everyone still goes along with the gag.." - Dan Dennett

Dennett's quote is spot on! Its a brilliant question!

How can Casper the Friendly Ghost BOTH float through walls and catch a ball?

Is Casper able to conveniently decide when to be physical and material - becoming able to interact in a natural-physical world (throwing a ball up in the air and catching it) but can then also conveniently decide to be supernaturally diaphanous when he wants to float through physical walls?

OBVIOUSLY - Casper the Friendly Ghost is a cartoon! But this highlights one of the biggest misconceptions about what it is, or means, for something to be truly supernatural and how this cannot also be physical and natural.

Ill-conceived notions and ideas about a theistic god are exactly the same!

As an aside; I had one of my colleagues suggest the idea that perhaps Casper has the ability to suspend his atoms in a way that allows him to float through the walls, after-all, an atom is comprised of mostly empty space. I kindly reminded him that atoms and their constituent particles are physical [1][8][9].

This is terribly important and it is a concept that most folks don't quite comprehend.

"You can drag me across the floor by my arm, or by my atoms or by my nuclei or by my cells… It all has the same effect; I get dragged across the floor. These are simply the different levels of the description of the one reality that is me." - John Hagelin


Misconception Explained:

A supernatural conception - something that is truly supernatural - is, by definition, devoid of being physical/natural.

As humans are physical beings in a material universe, we cannot have access to truly supernatural "things" ... in fact, they cannot even be "things" - in a physical sense - as they are not physical. Therefore, we cannot be objective about them.

Consider that as soon as we do have access to something that was supposed to be supernatural - it becomes firmly fixed in the natural! Which is to say that it was never truly supernatural then to begin with!

Examples & Analysis (Supernatural):

Three common things that one might consider to be supernatural: ESP, Ghosts & God.

I don't think all three of these are or should be considered equally - but (just for the sake of the example) let's just pick ESP.

If ESP doesn't exist, then one could say that its because it is supernatural - as in - doesn't exist in our universe.

On the other hand, its possible that ESP does exist and if it does, then supernatural isn't all that "super" - it just means something natural that we can't yet explain. In this context supernatural might mean real, but unexplained.

But, again, as soon as we have access (let's say proper data was obtained) for something supposed to be supernatural - it becomes firmly fixed in the physical – which means it was never truly supernatural at all.

In short, it seems to me that supernatural either means doesn't exist at all or exists but is not yet explained.

These are two different ways the word supernatural can be used but describing two very different semantics - one is used to express something as being truly supernatural - and the other to describe gaps in our understanding of an already physical universe.

So, the scientific and philosophically important questions then become: 1) How would we be able to recognize something that is truly supernatural and 2) How can we distinguish the difference between something that is truly supernatural from something that doesn't exist at all?!

Murky Metaphysical Waters - But aren't there things which are not physical?

Not exactly. The seemingly metaphysical things that we might want to put forward as a last ditch effort: thoughts, love, dreams, hope, even consciousness itself, are all still rooted in physical systems.

Consciousness, for example, is a by-product of a material brain. We know this because of cases of head trauma - damage the brain and consciousness is altered [2][3] - destroy the brain and consciousness disappears with death [4]. We have a pretty comprehensive understanding of the relationship between consciousness and the physical brain through neurology.

At one time the Physics community was searching for the Graviton (a sub-atomic particle hypothesised to be responsible for the force of Gravity) [5]. A few short years later Relativity swooped in and explained an inexplicable phenomena in nature - gravity is a particle-less force as it is the curvature of space-time warped in the presence of matter.

Similarly, in much of metaphysics, emotions and values we cherish deeply; Love, Joy, Happiness, etc., are the reactions of physical systems - our physical bodies (our brain) with and during internal and external stimuli (brain states).

Consciousness itself might be looked at as a simple by-product of an organ - just like my liver produces digestive enzymes - my brain produces consciousness.


This is not to say that Dualism is a completely failed project - but, in some way, it matters very little if everything of importance to us resides in the material brain and a physical universe.

“I’m writing a book on magic”, I explain, and I’m asked, "Real magic?" By real magic people mean miracles and supernatural powers. "No," I answer, "Conjuring tricks, not real magic." Real magic, in other words, refers to the magic that is not real, while the magic that is real, that can actually be done, is not real magic.” - Lee Siegel

Spooky Quantum Mechanics:

The best attempts I have seen used to try and rescue our scientific sensibilities while still cleaving to our religiously inspired narratives are from those who try to fuse, what Einstein called "spooky action at a distance," quantum theories to metaphysics and spirituality.

We have to be careful here. I love Quantum theory and I'm open to debate quantum mechanics. But I'm not sure the strange behavior, of an electron in superposition for example, can tell us much about Jesus, Mohamed, Abraham, God, etc.; at least not in a meaningful way.

Theism v. Deism:


So, where does a theistic god fit into all of this?

Well, a theistic god is, by definition, a personal god who is actively involved - interacting in a physical/material world and Human affairs (interceding by healing the sick, answering prayers, deciding who might win a battle, or who becomes the next elected official, etc). These are physical, material and natural systems God is purported to be manipulating [6].

This is to be distinguished from a deistic god. A deistic god is not a personal god who is actively involved in human affairs and the physical world. A belief in a god of deism is belief in a kind of deity that acted perhaps as the First Cause or the original Unmoved Mover [7].

Why Doesn't God Heal Amputees?

"The miracle is, there are no miracles." - Albert Einstein

If a theistic god interacts in the physical/material world, there would have to be some interaction with the system at some fundamental level. Even with total absence of God's presence, we would still expect to see the results in the physical world as trace evidence of the interaction. We do not find any evidence of a divine hand at work manipulating the system or the laws or physics having been suspended.

If there was even one documented case of an amputated limb being restored due to a prayer healing ritual it would at least be suggestive. There are no such cases on record.

The question, "Why doesn't God heal amputees?" probes the ambiguity of theism - with reasonable expectations of observation (an amputated limb is physical).

Even if one believes or has faith in a personal god - why believe in a deceptive one?


Is God just like Casper the Friendly Ghost - able to conveniently decide when to be physical and material but then also decide to be supernatural when he wants to intercede and yet still elude the physical world?

The Universe

"I see the question of truth as one to be settled within science, there being no higher tribunal." - Willard van Orman Quine

The Universe is commonly defined as "the totality of existence," [8] and as "the whole cosmic system of matter and energy of which Earth, and therefore the human race, is a part." [9].


Cited Source References:

[1] [http://www.britannica.com...]
[2] [http://www-users.med.cornell.edu...]
[3] [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...]
[4] [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...]
[5] [http://arxiv.org...]
[6] [http://www.pbs.org...]
[7] [http://dictionary.reference.com...]
[8] [http://www.yourdictionary.com...]
[9] [http://www.britannica.com...]





n7

Con

Thanks Pro.


A note to the viewers. Pro and I have agreed to change the format a bit. I will respond to Pro’s arguments in this round and I will not give rebuttals in the last round.


I will now present my argument while rebutting my opponent's.


Argument from Idealism


My first argument attempts to prove it is likely that reality is dependant on God. I argue this solves the problem Pro brings up and demonstrates God’s existence. I will list the premises, then justifications.


1. The Mind Exists.

2. The Mind is not Physical.

3. Dualism is false.

C. Monistic Idealism entails.



Premise one


This one is quite obvious. You cannot doubt the mind’s existence. As that is a contradiction. To doubt the mind requires a mind. We are certain that there is thinking, we cannot deny this. This is famously stated by Descartes as

“Cogito ergo sum” [1]


Or in english “I think, therefore I am". Premise one is justified, the mind exists


Premise two


If the mind is just physical events, then this would be an a posteriori necessity. For example, if Sally is the tallest person in the room and Salley has a red coat on, then the tallest person in the room has a red coat on. It is inconceivable in any possible world where Salley = tallest person in the room does the tallest person in the room not have the same properties as Salley.


So if our world is one where the mental = the physical, then this means we shouldn’t be able to conceive of the mind separate from the body. We can easily conceive of a zombie world in which there are physical beings like us that act in the world exactly like us, but have no consciousness. They say ouch when you poke them, they say the are conscious when you ask them if they are, but they are just responding the physical stimuli. They aren’t really conscious.


Say God is creating the world. He creates everything physical. Everything is functioning the same. Humans are just unconscious zombies. He is essentially done. He doesn’t need to do anything else. However, if he wants consciousness, he must add something extra. Consciousness must be some type of extra ingredient to what we call the physical realm.


Making premise two justified.


Correlations


Pro does attempt to show the mind is some physical byproduct by appealing to mind- body correlations. However correlation doesn’t equal identity. Gravity and mass are correlated, but this doesn’t mean gravity is mass. Species and DNA are correlated, but this doesn’t mean species is DNA or species causes DNA. Furthermore correlations require both correlates. We could never really know if a squid’s consciousness correlates with its brain activity as it doesn’t talk to us. If someone is having their C-fiber stimulated and feeling pain, but says he isn’t, we would never conclude there is a correlation. Someone could get their brain damaged and try act as if their minds haven’t changed. We can’t look inside their consciousness and conclude they are really damaged, we have to accept it from their first person reports. We still need that first person report, so correlations still need some mysterious aspect of consciousness that’s not just third person science.


Premise three


So far, we’re at dualism. There is a physical and mental. However, I argue that dualism is false. Cartesian dualism states there is a physical world and a mental world. However, how can these two things interact? If a physical object causes a mental event, there must be some interaction. There must be some type of shared property in between these things. However, this leads to a contradiction. Perhaps some part of the mind has a physical property, well then we have to account for how that interacts with the non physical parts of it. Then we’re eventually back at materialism. Which isn’t dualism. Perhaps the physical has some type of mental properties, but then we go down the slopes into idealism, which isn’t dualism. We need a monistic ontology.


But couldn’t someone just claim property dualism? Well, many property dualistic views lead to epiphenomenalism. The view that the mind is just a byproduct of the brain. However, this view cannot account for many things leading to ad hoc views.. Reason being one of them. We see that mental events can cause other mental events. I reason that Socrates is mortal, I reason that all men are mortal, and I come to the conclusion that Socrates is mortal. Epiphenomenalism would tell us mental events didn’t cause anything and the process of this reasoning is just an illusion created by our physical brains. This is very ad hoc. One could say mental events can cause things, however when considering them causing physical events we see it leads to absurdities. There is a story to be told about the physical event of me raising my arm and a mental story. We would then have causal overdetermination. It’s like two privately funded snipers hired to kill the same target and they kill the same target at the very same time.


Furthermore, a general absurdity that extends to reductive and nonreductive alike is the absurdity of physical events being equal to mental events. It sounds perfectly fine and nice to say when we have the mental event of pain, we’re in a physical pain state, however it gets bad when we consider specifics. I believe I’m on DDO right now, thus I have a DDO online brain state. I believe I am an American, thus I have a Murica brain state (known to be the most patriotic of brain states). I like dogs more than cats, thus I have a dogs are better than cats brain state. So on and so on. This is clearly absurd to think we have some specific brain state for absolutely everything in our minds. It is unparsimonious and absurd.


Thus premise three is justified.


Conclusion


We need a monistic ontology. Physicalism won’t work, then we must go to idealism. Mind cannot interact with the non-mind, thus mind is fundamental and makes up reality. However, how do we prove it’s a grand mind projecting reality and not a solipsist universe? Well, if my mind (or yours) was the only one in reality, then we should be able to control reality. We can easily test this. When I conceive of something happening or try to make something happen with my mind, nothing happens. This means my mind cannot be the mind projecting reality, there must be a grand mind that sustains the physical universe. A Theistic God, is the best explanation.


Relation to Pro’s arguments


How is it that God could interact with the physical world if God himself is not physical? Because the physical isn’t ontologically there. Everything is mental, God changing some aspect of the world is just him conceiving of some aspect of the world being different. Casper can catch the ball because the ball is made up of the same things casper is. There is no dualism between the two.


Amputees


The God being defending is “A personal God; intervenes in human affairs e.g. answers prayers”. This doesn’t mean God must interact with humanity all the time or in any specific example every time. God may not interact in any major scale for some reason, such as wanting us to take care of ourselves and not rely on him which would prevent technological advancements in medicine. It’s like a mother helping her child at its early ages. Then when he gets older she does not take care of him anymore.


Universe


This argument doesn’t seem complete. He just defines the universe. He’ll probably complete it in the next round.


[1] Descartes, René (1644). Principia Philosophiae. http://books.google.com...

Debate Round No. 2
philosurfer

Pro

Ahoy & Salutations:

Sorry my reply will be so short this round - very busy week with the holiday.

I liked some of the ideas you have offered in response.

I like that you took an uncommon approach; a monistic ontology - Idealism.

I liked that you used Descartes to get your argument off the ground.

Where it starts to get a little hazy is when zombies are introduced and Dualism is used but then completely abandoned.

I will indulge and entertain some of these ideas with you.

Con's Argument from Idealism, Questions & Berkeley

1. The Mind Exists -
Yes, we agree.

But the Mind cannot be shown to exist independently of a body (the brain).

Pop-culture:

These kinds of ideas are popular in culture currently for these reasons. There is some interesting work going on in sci-fi literature on this topic. Matter of fact, the new John Depp flick, Transcendence, is about downloading and uploading someone's consciousness into machines (in this case, the computers and the Internet replace the body & the brain) [1]. Fictional work like the Matrix, the Cell, etc., are exciting in the same ways as they explore the same areas of philosophical interest.

2. The Mind is not Physical.

Posteriori - we have convergence of both scientific inquiry and w/ subjective experience: objective neuroimaging while confirming someone is having a subjective experience (CAT & EEG scans while experience is happening, etc.).

The current area of study and philosophical importance is in trying to isolate Consciousness itself. The body of work that is building suggests that consciousness is not as special as we might have thought [7].

"..correlation doesn’t equal identity.."

But, again, in cases of head trauma - when damage occurs to the brain - consciousness is altered [2][3] - destroy the brain and consciousness disappears with death [4]. Consciousness itself might be a simple by-product of an organ - just like my liver produces digestive enzymes - my brain produces consciousness. This seems more likely to be the case rather than a clump of wonder stuff God is responsible for.

Brain (Death):

"Death is defined as the cessation of all vital functions of the body including the heartbeat, brain activity (including the brain stem), and breathing; irreversible brain damage as manifested by absolute unresponsiveness to all stimuli, absence of all spontaneous muscle activity, including respiration, shivering, etc., and an isoelectric electroencephalogram for 30 minutes, all in the absence of hypothermia or intoxication by central nervous system depressants. Called also irreversible coma and cerebral [death]" [5][6].

To drive this point home - straight forward rhetorical question(s) like:
Does a dead body experience?
Is a dead body aware?
(In the case of a death, we lose both objective data (neuroimaging as an example) and confirmation of subjective experience).
Do other animals have minds?
Can animals be observed using a mind?
(animals have brains and can be observed problem solving).

This is suggestive - as a more complex brain might have a more complex mind.

Zombies:

I like zombies too. However, in your zombie example you are illustrating a body without a mind. Its easy to conceive of a body without a mind. But to discuss this fairly - you must try to conceive of a mind without a body! A mind without a body is quite a bit different than a body without a mind.

Five Questions To Still Answer From Round 2:


1) Is Casper able to conveniently decide when to be physical and material - becoming able to interact in a natural-physical world (throwing a ball up in the air and catching it) but can then also conveniently decide to be supernaturally diaphanous when he wants to float through physical walls?

Your Answer: "Casper can catch the ball because the ball is made up of the same things Casper is. There is no dualism between the two."

The ball is physical and made from real world material. If Casper is made up of the exact same physical material as the ball then he would not be able to float through walls as the ball cannot float through a wall.

Your response doesn't exactly answer the anomalous question. The paradox remains.

2) [Without access] How would we be able to recognize something that is truly supernatural?

3) How can we distinguish the difference between something that is truly supernatural from something that doesn't exist at all?

4) "Why doesn't God heal amputees?"

Your Answer: "..doesn’t mean God must interact with humanity all the time or in any specific example every time. God may not interact in any major scale for some reason, such as wanting us to take care of ourselves and not rely on him which would prevent technological advancements in medicine."

Sure.. but we have no such documented cases on record at all. Not one case of an amputated limb being miraculously regenerated. Yet we have claims of God interceding to heal sicknesses of all other kinds. The question, "Why won't God heal amputees?" probes aspects ambiguity and coincidence.

It seems like an easy out to simply decide - "God just chooses not to."

5) Is God just like Casper the Friendly Ghost - able to conveniently decide when to be physical and material but then also decide to be supernatural when he wants to intercede and yet still elude the physical world?

Your Answer: "Because the physical isn’t ontologically there." hmmmmm...

In God's mind or not, it seems like there exists an external reality independently of ideas or subjectivity (science is helping us understand this). Even Berkeley admitted this was an obvious and likely solution.

So what would be the difference between saying we are in the mind of God from saying we were conceived in the minds of a race of super intelligent multi-dimensional beings from outside our universe - or a highly complex simulation?

In other words, we can posit anything we want just as equally as positing our reality [is] God.

Cited Source References:


[1]
[2] http://www-users.med.cornell.edu...
[3] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
[4] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
[5] http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com...
[6] http://euthanasia.procon.org...
[7]
n7

Con

May the Maker watch over you.


Thanks Philosurfer (clever name by the way)


It appears there may have been some misunderstanding with my argument. I did not use dualism at all. What I was implying was that premise 2 leaves open dualism. Refuting dualism closes that hole, leading us to idealism. Just to clear that up.


Premise one


Pro agrees


Premise two


Pro disagrees here. He brings up mind body correlations. However he doesn’t address my argument that correlation doesn’t equal identity. He just brings up that there is mind body correlations and that the mind may be a byproduct of the brain. First, I already responded to the idea that the mind is some emergent byproduct and second this doesn’t actually address my argument. One could say the same about mass and gravity. Gravity could just be a byproduct of mass. Maybe DNA and species are the same thing, but species is just a byproduct of the DNA.


The only thing mind body correlations can tell us is that there’s a relationship between the two. This entails a monistic ontology. Pro is only arguing for a monistic ontology, but so am I. The only thing we disagree with is which one that is. Idealism can have mind-brain correlations too because the mind and the brain are the same substance. So his whole talk about death, animals and correlations are moot, idealism doesn't mean a dead body must be aware or have any phenomenal experience.


Pro also did not respond to my argument from both correlates. The only way we know correlations are there is because we trust the person to tell us what he is experiencing. There still must be a first person subjective realm in these correlations, so it cannot be used to show the physical is the mental. Otherwise, we could just look at the neurons and know what red is.


He cites a 24 minute TED Talk video of Dan Dennett showing how our brains fool us. However, Pro never explains how this relates to what I said. No where in this section did I make some claim about our brains and consciousness being perfect. My argument was from modal identity claims and the analogy of correlations. Anyway, the argument seems to be self-refuting. Dennett argues we cannot trust our brains or introspection as the actively fool us. How can you conclude that using your errant and fooled brain?


Essentially, what’s critical here is that he refutes my zombie argument. However he does not. He concedes zombies are easily conceivable. The idea of a mind existing without a body is irrelevant and Pro doesn’t show why the zombie argument doesn’t support premise two outside of a bare assertion fallacy. The zombie argument attacks physicalism because it’s attacking the claim that the mental is equal to the physical. A disembodied mind world is irrelevant to the argument. Dr. Torin Alter (Professor of philosophy from UCLA) says.



“.....most agree that if zombies are metaphysically possible, then physicalism is false.” [1]


So, Pro’s objection here is ignoring the real problem. The argument still holds. In fact, Pro agreed zombies were conceivable, so he technically is conceding premise two, rather he knows it or not.


Premise three


Pro does not attack it. So it is conceded until further notice.


My main argument still holds. Pro concedes premise one, the concedes the conceivability of zombies (which confirms P2) and three. The premises are still sound. While he attacks P2 from mind body correlations, he ignores that idealism can have these correlations too.


Pro’s questions


Q1 and 5: Problem of interaction


Every analogy breaks down somewhere. The Casper analogy isn’t that good with idealism, because Casper would just be a person in the world rather than the Maker projecting it.


Anyway, Pro strawmans idealism. The ball is not physical. The ball is essentially another part of Casper. It is made of the ghostly substance. So Casper affecting the ball is no different from Casper affecting himself. This is analogous to how the Maker can affect the world. The world is an extension of him. Everything physical is simply a projection of his mind, affecting it is as easy as affecting himself. Which he can do as it’s the same substance.


Pro attacks this idea in question 5, which is pretty much the same as 1.


He first states it seems obvious that there is an objective reality and said even George Berkeley said this. Well, yes it does seem obvious that there is an objective reality. However, this doesn’t make it true. The very fact I made an argument against this shows it’s not obvious. All this shows is that if my argument fails, we should accept the existence of an objective reality as likely. But first he must refute my argument.


For example, local realism is a highly intuitive and obvious view of quantum mechanics. This is view that these particles are local (they cannot travel faster than light) and they are real (exist regardless if they’re measured). However, John Bell proposed a way of testing this idea and other experiments showed this position is false [2]. We cannot simply brush off the experiment by saying it seems obvious and likely. So his argument here ignores pretty much everything I’ve said in round 2.


Next he talks about the possibility of reality being mental, but not from the Maker. Like being “conceived in the minds of a race of super intelligent multi-dimensional beings from outside our universe”. This would seem like polytheism. However, if there are super intelligent beings out there that transcend the universe, this means it’s more likely that there is a God who intervenes than one that doesn’t. Since we’ve already assumed transcendent beings exist that can control reality, it wouldn’t be that far off from saying at least one is personal.


What about a highly complex simulation? The two aren’t mutually exclusive. The Maker could be running this simulation within his mind. This is what idealist Johanan Raatz argues for [3]. Maybe this simulation is from something not mental. If this were true, then this would be dualism. How could they interact? So that is thrown out too. It still must be from a grand mind.


Q2 and 3: Epistemology of the supernatural


These questions are irrelevant. There may be an epistemology gap between the two. However, this doesn’t mean there is an ontological gap.


Q4: Amputees


Pro never responds to my rebuttal here. He just states his opinion of it. Saying it’s easy and simple doesn’t show anything. He also commits a strawman fallacy. I am not bound to the idea that every claim of healing is true. So the fact that we have no documented evidence and tons of anecdotal evidence is just fine. It doesn’t contradict my argument


Conclusion


Ultimately, my argument remains standing. Pro has agreed to P1, P2 is shown by the zombie argument which remains standing, and P3 has not been addressed. Pro tried to attack my conclusion in his question 5 by appealing to simulations, polytheism, and the intuitiveness of naive realism, but these fail to support Pro. Pro’s other questions also fail to demonstrate atheism. I’ve argued that question one is misunderstanding idealism, questions 2-3 are irrelevant, question 4 is a strawman and an opinion.


The resolution is negated.


Back to Pro



Sources

[1] http://www.disputatio.com...

[2] http://www.nature.com...

[3] https://www.youtube.com...


Blessings of Andraste

Debate Round No. 3
philosurfer

Pro

Greetings:

Thanks n7.


I like that we have kept the debate in the realm of Philosophy!

I have been paying very close attention to the specific philosophical ideas and schemes.

"..there may have been some misunderstanding ... I did not use dualism at all.."

Whoa, whoa, whoa...


In Round 2, your first & second premise [IS] Dualism:

1. The Mind Exists.

2. The Mind is not Physical.

P1 : ""This one is quite obvious. You cannot doubt the mind’s existence. As that is a contradiction. To doubt the mind requires a mind. We are certain that there is thinking, we cannot deny this. This is famously stated by Descartes as

“Cogito ergo sum”

Or in English “I think, therefore I am". Premise one is justified, the mind exists.""

In philosophy of Mind, Dualism is the position that mental phenomena are non physical [1][2][3].

You even used Rene Descartes' famous quote, "I think, therefore I am" - "Cogito ergo sum" - Descartes is the father of modern Dualism.

The quote is important for several reasons but you are still using it in a Dualist way here.

P2 : [IS] Dualism - addressing the Mind-Body problem and Consciousness! As soon as we say the mind exists but it is not material you have clearly entered into classic Dualism.

In Round 2, the first sentence of your Premise 3 admits that Dualism is used: ""So far, we’re at dualism.""

Your use of Dualism is needed to establish the Mind as being real but not physical. However, you then want to reject Dualism for Idealism - BUT - after you have already selected the Mind-body problem - which is a dualist position for P1 & P2. Also, there is no clear distinction made from Dualism to argue for Idealism until Premise 3.

So to now claim Dualism wasn't used at all is a bit disingenuous. I understand that Idealism is what you are trying to get to - but your supporting premise(s) is/are Dualist.

P3 : "..Pro does not attack it.."

I think you mistake subtlety for complete ignorance. Let's look closer.

If P1 or P2 are false or if P3 cannot follow, your argument falls apart.

P1 - Yes, the mind exists BUT...

P2 - it (the Mind) is the product of a physical systems (the brain) [P2 is what is scientifically & philosophically suspect].

The evidence I have offered is not correlative. It is inductive. You mistake ontology of Mind with inductive scientific methodology if you assume Mind must be identified before we discover that it resides in the brain.

In order to secure your P2 you would need to demonstrate and provide evidence that Mind can exist without a physical body! You do not. No evidence is offered or can be offered as no evidence exists objectively. You offered conceptual notions of ZOMBIES instead.

You may have made mistake when you went on to say: "The zombie argument attacks physicalism because it’s attacking the claim that the mental is equal to the physical. A disembodied mind world is irrelevant to the argument. Dr. Torin Alter (Professor of philosophy from UCLA) says.

“.....most agree that if zombies are metaphysically possible, then physicalism is false.”

This is devastating for your case because Torin Alter's quote is intended to be rhetorical precisely because zombies aren't real! "A disembodied mind world is irrelevant.." Your Torin quote supports my case, not yours..! Torin is saying a body without a mind is irrelevant to the debate and used zombies to make the point.


P3 - is where you attempt to argue Dualism is false after using Dualism for P1 & P2.

You agree with me in P3 (in my answers to your P1 & P2) and even recognize the Casper the Friendly Ghost paradox by admitting: "Cartesian dualism states there is a physical world and a mental world. However, how can these two things interact? If a physical object causes a mental event, there must be some interaction."

EXACTLY!

-
You then go on to mention epiphenomenalism but claim mental events can cause other mental events.. (?) ..then you suggest illusory ideas and go on to suggest ad hoc possibilities.. which leads to absurdities.. and then you end back at dualist-derivatives with issues like physical events being equal to mental events.. brain-states v. mental-states.. ..your rant then ends with a self-validating admission that this renders P3 justified and then you casually smuggle in the conclusion - PRESTO! - We are in the mind of a theistic god - having hilariously "tested" the waters with thought-mind-powers: "We can easily test this. When I conceive of something happening or try to make something happen with my mind, nothing happens.." [P3 cannot follow from P2 & P1]

So, again, what would be the difference between saying we are in the mind of God from saying we were conceived in the minds of a race of super intelligent multi-dimensional beings from outside our universe - or a highly complex simulation?

Your Answer: "The two aren’t mutually exclusive. The Maker could be running this simulation within his mind....Maybe this simulation is from something not mental. If this were true, then this would be dualism. How could they interact? So that is thrown out too. It still must be from a grand mind."

I'm not sure you answered the question. Seems like you need to think about it more.

How can we distinguish the difference between something that is truly supernatural from something that doesn't exist at all?

Your Answer: "These questions are irrelevant."

Round 3 Rebuttals:

"One could say the same about mass and gravity. Gravity could just be a byproduct of mass."

YES - gravity [IS] how space-time reacts (curves) in the presence of mass! That is exactly what gravity is! That's exactly why I used this example!

My exact words were:

At one time the Physics community was searching for the Graviton (a sub-atomic particle hypothesised to be responsible for the force of Gravity). A few short years later
Relativity swooped in and explained an inexplicable phenomena in nature - gravity is a particle-less force as it is the curvature of space-time warped in the presence of matter.

Similarly, much of metaphysics are the reactions of physical systems - our physical bodies (our brain) with and during internal and external stimuli (brain states).

Consciousness is also particle-less reaction of physical systems in a material brain.

"..did not respond to my argument from both correlates.."

Yes - Posteriori - and the evidence I have offered is not only correlative, its inductive. we have convergence of BOTH scientific data w/ subjective experience: objective neuroimaging while confirming someone is having a subjective experience (CAT & EEG scans while experience is happening) When a person dies we lose all data, both objective and subjective. This is not correlative, it is inductive. Brains can be observed and eventually die.

"..Dan Dennett ... how our brains fool us ... Pro never explains how this relates.."

Almost - it is actually the other way around; our consciousness is fooled because our brains fail us. This is what we would expect if consciousness stems from an imperfect material brain. Dennett's work is important because this is exactly what we find.

"..Amputees - Pro never responds to my rebuttal here.."

Your rebuttal was only to decide that God simply chooses not to heal in the very specific cases of amputees. What would be the difference if a theistic god didn't exist? There would be no difference, so your rebuttal doesn't exactly answer anything. You only offer the nice idea that God simply chooses not to heal amputees so we can make our own advances in technology and medicine.

This is a retreat to deism. Remember a theistic god is actively involved in Human affairs: healing the sick, answering prayers, etc., but when we isolate for specific cases to address healings which could be coincidental and ambiguous it is an easy out to simply decide - God just chooses not to.

You should produce evidence of a amputated limb being miraculously regenerated due to a religious ritual prayer healing ceremony being preformed if you don't like my answer. The theistic god supporters have the burden of proof in this case. Its easier to claim God simply chooses not to than it is to try and provide evidence!

A god in Idealism is a watered down theistic god indeed. Without evidence of God's interaction or suspension of the laws of physics in a physical world - the the god of Idealism is a god of deism - not theism.

"The Casper analogy isn’t that good with idealism."

OR - maybe you haven't provided a good solution to the problem. There is no Strawman fallacy. It is an actual problem in philosophy of Mind and in cases for supernatural claims.

"..Pro’s other questions also fail to demonstrate atheism.."

Where and how is Pro obligated to make a case for atheism?!?! Where did that come from?

Pro is not obligated to make a case for atheism (check your definitions). A Deist can make the same exact case against theism. Don't confuse the two.


Cited Source References:


[1] Hart, W.D. (1996) "Dualism", in A Companion to the Philosophy of Mind, ed. Samuel Guttenplan, Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 265-7
[2] http://plato.stanford.edu...
[3] http://www.iep.utm.edu...
[4] [Sam Harris]

n7

Con

May the Maker watch over you.


Dualism


Pro still suggests I’m arguing for dualism. Yes I quoted Descartes, but this doesn’t mean I agree with absolutely everything he said. For example, Pro quoted Dan Dennett, who is an Eliminative materialist. However, Pro himself agrees with premise one, so he’s only using Dennett’s argument, not position.


Dualism contains the premise that the mind is non-physical, but it’s a fallacy of composition to claim every position that claims the mind is non-physical is dualism. Pro’s sources demonstrate he is using a texas sharpshooter fallacy,


The term ‘dualism’ has a variety of uses in the history of thought. In general, the idea is that, for some particular domain, there are two fundamental kinds or categories of things or principles…...In the philosophy of mind, dualism is the theory that the mental and the physical—or mind and body or mind and brain—are, in some sense, radically different kinds of thing. [1]


Where did I argue for such a thing? My argument is clearly arguing for the mind and brain being the same. IEP says


“Dualists in the philosophy of mind emphasize the radical difference between mind and matter. They all deny that the mind is the same as the brain, and some deny that the mind is wholly a product of the brain.”[2]


There really is no way I can use such a thing.


Some dualists use these arguments to demonstrate dualism, but it doesn’t follow that these argument use dualism, as that’s a fallacy of composition. For example, Pro could use his argument to demonstrate atheism and I’m sure atheists use his argument, however this doesn’t mean Pro is using atheism.


I also clearly said what I meant by “so far we’re at dualism”. In the last round I did. “What I was implying was that premise 2 leaves open dualism. Refuting dualism closes that hole, leading us to idealism.”


Premise two


Pro continues to assert with no evidence that zombies are not enough to demonstrate premise two. He has yet to provide any philosophical support and he continues to ignore my support against this. Let me explain this again.


If A=B, then what’s true for A is true for B. If the mind is identical to the physical, then conceiving of world that has a physical identical me, would automatically have consciousness. However, we can conceive of a world in which I exist, but not my consciousness. Then the mind is not identical to the brain. I presented this in my second round and Pro has yet to show why this is doesn’t support P2.


He then speculates without support about Alter’s quote. Pro has not shown Alter’s quote was “intended to be rhetorical precisely because zombies aren't real!”. However Alter was defending the conceivability of zombies from an argument [3]. He never shows how Alter is supporting him. Pro in fact said “Torin is saying a body without a mind is irrelevant to the debate and used zombies to make the point.” Let quote Torin.


“the claim that zombies are conceivable may have considerable significance” [3]


Alter is clearly saying they have relevance.


He claims I confuse the ontology of the mind with scientific induction. Pro is attempting to derive the ontology from science, which I am arguing against and have been arguing against. A colorblind neuroscientist cannot look at the neurons in the brain and conclude he knows what red is.


In the correlations part, he just restates his argument. I’m not sure how else to say this. You’re not responding to my argument, you’re just restating your argument. Pro is begging the question, you can’t defend your argument by restating your argument. Furthermore my argument that idealism can have correlations went unaddressed.


Later on he talks about how gravity is a byproduct of mass. Even if I said this was true, it’s only trivially true, as it’s an analogy. Nothing would really be proved. Anyway, gravity isn’t a byproduct in the way Pro wants the mind to be. Pro wants the mind to be something like digestion of the body. Something epiphenomenal. Which I’ve responded to.


Premise three


I think Pro read too much into me saying he didn’t attack this premise. I didn’t mean that Pro must attack it, I was just following my format I set up in R2. This wasn’t meant as a critique.


Although he does talk about some things I’ve said later on. He never addresses anything. He does vaguely criticize it. However, it is very vague and is complete assertion.


Dan Dennett


Pro’s argument here is completely self-refuting. Something I brought up in the last round, but was never addressed. How can I trust Pro when he’s saying “our consciousness is fooled because our brains fail us” when he is using his fooled consciousness to say that. Pro has put himself in a box of epistemological paralysis.


Pro’s Questions


Q 1&5: Problem of interaction


It seems Pro dropped this argument. He only says the Casper analogy with idealism is not good because idealism isn’t good. However, this is ignoring my justification for this. The differences went unaddressed.


Pro attempts to respond to me in Q5 by saying “I'm not sure you answered the question. Seems like you need to think about it more.”


Does Pro bother to explain how I didn’t answer the question? No. We know the difference because this appealing to polytheism does nothing for him and a highly complex simulation is irrelevant or gets us to dualism.


Pro’s argument is refuted, he has dropped it and ignored my justification for the differences between idealism and


Q 2&3: Epistemology of the Supernatural


Completely dropped by Pro.


Q4: Amputees


Claiming The Maker doesn’t interact with humanity in one case doesn’t mean we doesn’t interact at all. It is a fallacy of composition to claim because we have no evidence of The Maker interacting in one area of life, he doesn’t interact at all. Furthermore, his argument is an argument from ignorance.


In fact under idealism, every time physical systems interact, that is an interaction of The Maker. Since The Maker projects reality. So a deistic Maker isn’t the same as an idealistic Maker.


Atheism


It appears this is a minor error on my part. Pro does not have to make a case for atheism, only against theism. I still contend that Pro’s case against theism fails.


Dropped Arguments


Pro has dropped a ton of arguments.

* It seems like he was trying to make some point in the “Universe” section, however he never makes it.

* My argument from the general absurdity of mental be caused or equal to the physical was unaddressed throughout the debate.

* He never responded fully to me in the problem of interaction.

* He drops entirely his 2nd and 3rd question from the epistemology of the supernatural.

* He drops entirely his argument that it’s obvious that there is an objective reality

* He never addressed my argument that idealism can have mind-body correlations

* He drops all his questions about death and animals.


Now to Pro for his final.


Sources


[1] http://plato.stanford.edu...

[2] http://www.iep.utm.edu...

[3] http://www.disputatio.com...


Blessings of Andraste

Debate Round No. 4
philosurfer

Pro

..May the Watch-Maker Help You Keep Time..



"Pro still suggests I’m arguing for dualism."


Its actually far worse than that now!

Here, again, are your first & second premises:

1. The Mind Exists.

2. The Mind is not Physical.

In P2 you argue that the Mind is NOT physical.

~BUT~ now you have just said, "My argument is clearly arguing for the mind and brain being the same."

~BUT~
(The brain is physical/material) In P2 you said the Mind wasn't physical.

~BUT~ you continue on to say, "we can conceive of a world in which I exist, but not my consciousness. Then the mind is not identical to the brain. I presented this in my second round and Pro has yet to show why this is doesn’t support P2."

~BUT~
you also have just said, "Pro still suggests I’m arguing for dualism," and, "There really is no way I can use such a thing."

If you cannot use such a thing, why use it as your Premise(s) and continue to defend and argue it?!

There is no question that you are in fact using and arguing Dualism in part of your argument (considering all the above mentioned) at least until you decide to conveniently reject Dualism when you are done using it to try and prop-up Idealism.

This is exactly why the Casper the Friendly Ghost paradox is so important and was used to frame the debate. You have clearly gone back-and-forth on this.

The odd thing is that you attack your own supporting premises for your argument when you transition to Idealism in P3 - which is self-defeating. Seems like you are willing to use a Dualist position when its self-serving but then reject it when you need to retreat to Idealism and vague forms of Deism.

"Refuting dualism closes that hole, leading us to idealism.”

Okay, but all we got from you was a long tangled diatribe about ideas in which you're trashing and then reconsidering Dualism and its derivatives. I'm interesting in some of the ideas, but a case of "closing the hole" of Dualist positions for Idealism wasn't really clear.

P3: In your mind it might have seemed like you were performing an amazing feat of intellectual acrobatics, which somehow rendered your argument valid. But to me, and probably the rest of the readers, it was a mess of self-validating confirmation biases, bifurcation and false dilemmas with no evidence as most of these ideas in your stream of consciousness were trapped in an a priori madness.

At one point you even caught yourself considering that "being in the mind of God" would also be like a kind of infinite regress back to Dualism (which made me laugh as it was actually quite funny and clever).

Simply put, your transition from a Dualism scaffolding to a firm Idealism to prove a theistic god more probable was not accomplished (not by a long shot).

Dropped Arguments:

I wanted to avoid these kind of "debate tactics" and indulge in more substance and meaningful conversation.

n7, I don't think it was wise to bring up so called "dropped arguments" as you forfeited your rights to rebuttals in the 5th and final round so that you could have immediate rebuttals in your Opening Statement in Round 2.

I could return the favor, after I answer all of the arguments that you claimed I dropped, and then point out all the ones you dropped and now cannot answer! But I wont do that to you. I will still answer all the ones you said I dropped and leave you to your own devices.

"..some point in the “Universe” section, however he never makes it."

No
- you assumed this was to be a point or an argument. This was a definition that I wanted to make clear that didn't make it on to the definition list during the First Round acceptance. The universe is our entire reality and is all of matter within it. My goal was to avoid weird conversations of Dualism mixed with wacky quantum sub-atomic particle craziness.

"My argument from the general absurdity of mental be caused or equal to the physical was unaddressed throughout the debate.."

UGH - here you are going back-and-forth again.

"He never responded fully to me in the problem of interaction.."

You have selected the hypothesis that we are in the mind of God, so, again, how would we know the difference and what would be the difference between this idea or some other complex simulation? Its to the contrary, you haven't answered question. This is the Casper paradox also.

"He drops entirely his 2nd and 3rd question.."

NO -
As a matter of fact, I even re-asked the question: How can we distinguish the difference between something that is truly supernatural from something that doesn't exist at all?

Right after re-asking I gave your answer from the previous round. Your Answer: "These questions are irrelevant."

"He drops entirely his argument that it’s obvious that there is an objective reality."

No
- this was only intended for you to think about - if what you're saying is true - we are in the mind of god - then objective reality changes dramatically. You never really addressed it but have only pointed out I didn't push the issue on you.

"He never addressed my argument that idealism can have mind-body correlations"

I'm unaware of any objective evidence that you presented...? Can have, or Does have..? I produced both objective and subjective examples of inductive ways we know the Mind resides in the brain. What did you produce?

"He drops all his questions about death and animals."

HA! - NO -
These were even stated as to be rhetorical questions intended for YOU - which you never addressed!

Conclusion:

Your ultimate goal should have been to show how this (Idealism) was a better, more convincing argument for the existence for a personal theistic god; a god who is actively involved in Human affairs; answering prayers, healing the sick, etc. Even if Idealism could be convincingly demonstrated, you would still need to show how this renders the existence of a theistic god more probable.

I don't think you did this for three primary reasons:

1) It was a mistake to select the Mind-body (Dualism) problem(s) and build these directly into your supporting premises (rather, they were your supporting premises), which you would use to try and prop-up Idealism but later reject (I would argue that Idealism doesn't even follow from Mind-body dualist positions to begin with).

2) Idealism theology isn't the best way to try and prove a theistic god more probable. It creates a closed system which we would never be able to identify, whether true or not, as we would then be "trapped" in the mind of god. In that sense, its not logically provable. Without defending the characteristics of a theistic god, real world differences between deism and theism aren't evident, especially in your brand of Idealism that you have suggested (leading to reason 3).

3) When pushed on the issues of the defining characteristics of a theistic god, actively involved in the world, you only offered the idea(s) that 1) God simply chooses not to be actively involved in specific cases in which coincidence and ambiguity could be eliminated. Any offerings of defending a personal god were completely avoided on your part. 2) Or you would offer the idea everything is already in the mind of god, therefore, in every interaction the Maker is actively involved.

In both of these cases you use absence of evidence and evidence of absence in whatever way is self-serving but always with no evidence altogether. These are not strong or honest arguments. The funny part is you accused me of ignoring your argument and for not wasting more time on this! Worse, you claimed issues like these to be dropped arguments on my part!

I actually didn't give my opinion on the amputee - god chooses not to heal in these cases - idea ... but since you brought it up, I will give you my opinion now:

"How kind of God to decide to show us this kind of "tough love" in the cases of amputees so that we can make our own advances in technology and medicine!"

God is claimed to heal all kinds of other cases without qualm; cancer, viral infections, organ failure, etc., why God would simply choose not to heal in the very specific cases of amputees is suggestive of a more probable alternative: a theistic god does not exist.

Occam's Razor - Principle Of Parsimony:

To decide which idea offered - on balance - is more probable, a principle to eliminate the less likely candidate should be employed like Occam's Razor. The Razor is a rational principle of parsimony.

The Razor states:

"among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected. In the absence of certainty—the fewer assumptions that are made, the better.

The application of the principle often illustrates where the burden of proof lies in a discussion.

The Razor states that one should proceed to simpler theories until simplicity can be traded for greater explanatory power" [1][2][3].

For our debate, which position is the simplest? Which is the more complicated? In cases where coincidence and ambiguity can be eliminated, we find no extraordinary evidence.

An all inclusive theory that we are in the mind of God or that there is an all powerful theistic god who exists but simply chooses not to intervene is more complicated with added unnecessary variables.

All things being equal, the simplest explanation tends to be the right one, therefore - on balance - a theistic god does not exist.

Closing Statement:

Voters, I only ask that debate.org's voting guidelines be followed.

n7, please remember the amended format of the debate. Thank you for an interesting debate and for being willing to challenge yourself by taking the opposite opinion despite your genuine position.

Cited Source References:


[1] Induction: From Kolmogorov and Solomonoff to De Finetti and Back to Kolmogorov JJ McCall - Metroeconomica, 2004 - Wiley Online Library.
[2] Foundations of Occam's Razor and parsimony in learning from ricoh.comD Stork - NIPS 2001 Workshop, 2001.
[3] A.N. Soklakov (2002). Foundations of Physics Letters (Springer).
n7

Con

May the Watch-Maker Help You Keep Time

I laughed so hard at that.


Thanks Pro, I’ll try to make this short.


Conclusion


Pro opened this debate up with the problem of interaction, various questions about the epistemology of the supernatural and amputees. I answered these, first by explaining what an idealistic God is. Everything is from his mind, so there is no interaction problem. Pro responds to this by asking how can I tell the difference between some type of simulation. I answered this by stating it’s not mutually contradictory and if it was, we’d be at dualism. So either it’s irrelevant or false. Pro never went any further with this and kept restating it as if went unaddressed. He kept accusing me of using dualism which is obviously false. It’s a fallacy of composition. I’ve explained what I meant by claiming the mind and brain are the same, but not identical to the physical. Most of his dualism argument stem from the misunderstanding of idealism. He never satisfactorily answered premise two. He claimed zombies are irrelevant, however I showed this was wrong many times. It was eventually dropped. He argued from mind-body correlations, however he never satisfactorily answered my rebuttal to it. Along with many other arguments. Pro attacks my premise 3 with nothing but assertion. He dropped his questions about the supernatural, but claimed he was re-asking it, although I’ll let the voters decide if that’s a good reason. In the amputees section, I said I wasn’t bound to accepting every claim of healing. Pro mainly gave his opinion of this argument without offering any reason to think it’s either false or likely false. I feel that Pro didn’t adequately refute the argument from Idealism. He mainly had us go around in circles, ignoring the gist of the argument.


My argument still stands, whereas Pro’s doesn’t.

I too suggest that DDO’s voting guidelines be followed.

Debate Round No. 5
18 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by philosurfer 3 years ago
philosurfer
If God doesn't exist, no..
Posted by LifeMeansGodIsGood 3 years ago
LifeMeansGodIsGood
God cannot possibly be greater and smarter than you, right?
Posted by philosurfer 3 years ago
philosurfer
Don't know if any of you are chess players but I suppose the idea would similar to either playing the board versus playing the opponent..

Which is why I brought up addressing the readers, or addressing the opponent. I think in a structured debate the idea would be the same.

In this debate, n7 addresses the readers more.. As Where I address n7 directly primarily... more than addressing potential readers.

From a standpoint of strategy, I guess it just depends on what your goals are. One might be more useful than the other depending on the circumstances and position.

In the back of my mind, I'm aware of the debate but I do tend to get absorbed in the concepts and ideas and play both the man and not just the board..

I've learned a lot from all of you.. Very good stuff.
Posted by n7 3 years ago
n7
Thanks envisage

I picked up the ignoring the opponent thing from others here and now it's automatic.
Posted by Envisage 3 years ago
Envisage
This debate looks fantastic.

I will try and make some time later this week to vote on it
Posted by Wylted 3 years ago
Wylted
@philosurfer, I just completely ignore my opponent. I do address them, from time to time. However, my main goal is to entertain and inform the reader. An argument like this doesn't have to account for the audience too much, since the only readers will be those who care about the topic.
Posted by Wylted 3 years ago
Wylted
I would just try to attack this with the MOA and than attack naive realism, extremely hard. If I kept you defending realism, while I stayed on the attack with the MOA, I would have did more to support the resolution, winning the debate. My focus is more on winning and you guys were probably more focused on expanding a certain chain of thought.

So you guys would probably get more out of this than me. I try to attack my opponent on my territory, but con went to pro's territory.

It was interesting to read and I liked a lot of cons points showing how physicalism actually supports idealism. He worded it better than me, but I'm sure you know what I'm referring to.
Posted by philosurfer 3 years ago
philosurfer
The Sam Harris' bit almost completely summarizes my opinion on the topic:
Posted by philosurfer 3 years ago
philosurfer
Wylted, I agree with your critique. Something I have learned from this debate in particular is in how the debaters address the reader or audience (potential voters). I address the readers first, but after an opponent (n7) replies, I turn to addressing the opponent directly more than the readers. I think this is interesting and curious.

I would consider this debate to actually be pretty technical, especially with the kind of terms that were thrown around. So the spin-off arguments about Mind, Consciousness, Objectivity and Subjectivity make the debate's resolution seem un-addressed; and largely they are sub-topics of the main resolution which makes the conversation even seem over complicated, or as n7 put it, seem like we were going around in circles. I think you are both right.

Both of you are brilliant!

n7 even offers his own refutation of his own argument. From my perspective, this is so heart warming as an armature philosopher! Not too many ppl can do this. n7, you have an incredible mind.

Without saying it in the debate - my argument is what would be labeled as Materialism or Physical-ism. Historically these folks have been known as Monist - the idea the the univerese is made of only one kind of stuff - and it is physical.

There are two ways I would try to beat this myself:

1) Argue for a third possibility, be it through multidimensional realities or other substrates, that supernatural is supernatural but somehow dimensions "bump" into each other, breifly becoming physical, but then bouncing outside our dimensional reality, becoming truly supernatural event. Arguing a special kind of interaction.

Or 2) Argue that the universe in non-physical altogether - and what we consider "physical" is a limited understanding or a categorization error. Idealism might be one hypothesis, which makes sense to use considering the resolution, but I would have probably used more quantum mechanics with Anthropic principles. Theism is hard to fuse to any of the
Posted by n7 3 years ago
n7
Philo

I think a good way to attack idealism is in the video to the right.

I'm mainly talking about the first argument, as I'm not sure about the others. The way I present it seems to show an incoherence in the argument.
http://www.debate.org...

The idealist could appeal to Lockeian views of identity, but they are flawed.

Also, you can point to an absurdity in idealism. Idealism can have mind-body correlations, however they must hold them to be occasionalistic. Which is down right ad hoc and absurd. Every time you think, every time anything at all happens God is there making your experiences sync up with your view of reality and making the neurons correlate. Because he must have correlations!

Furthermore, the conclusion doesn't even follow. There's other mental ontologies like neutral monism and panpsychism that agree with all the premises, but don't accept theistic idealism.

I also think there is a direct contradiction in this argument, but I need to study more modal logic to support that.

Anyway, that's how I would refute my argument.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by MysticEgg 3 years ago
MysticEgg
philosurfern7Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: I feel that Pro argued better from my perspective. While both debaters did a good job and held up their arguments strongly, Con didn't succeed in linking a theistic god (as opposed to just any old god) to his argument. This allowed Pro to fulfil his arguments better, which he did. Well done, Pro. Con, you were awesome, too. Everything else was tied, so I'm keeping that neutral. An excellent debate.
Vote Placed by Wylted 3 years ago
Wylted
philosurfern7Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: I had to read this debate several times. A lot of times, the arguments didn't seem to support the resolution. If naive realism is to be more believable than idealism, and pro did provide a better case supported by facts as opposed to speculation. Than we have to believe that on balance a theistic God as he defined it doesn't exist. If we are to completely buy into the idealism arguments that con provided, he still fell short of connecting idealism with a theistic God as defined by pro. So in summary with both cases taken into account. Pro supported the resolution a little bit better, though both parties need to do more to connect their arguments with the resolution.