The Instigator
KRFournier
Pro (for)
Winning
20 Points
The Contender
Alk09
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

All knowledge if founded on faith.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
KRFournier
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/16/2009 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,550 times Debate No: 9715
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (17)
Votes (3)

 

KRFournier

Pro

The term faith has many contextual uses, but for my purposes, I refer to the following definition:

Faith: Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence. [1]

The term faith, insofar as this debate is concerned, is synonymous to belief. The resolution can therefore be properly understood to say, "All knowledge is founded on unproven, or unjustified, belief."

The phrase "founded on" can be understood in this debate to mean "based upon" or "ultimately relies upon." In other words, I am arguing that all knowledge is justified by either faith directly, or by other knowledge that is itself justified by faith.

The most popular theory of knowledge is the tripartite theory [2], which identifies knowledge as that which is simultaneously believed, true, and justified. For example, if it is true and justified, but not believed, then it is not knowledge. The theory is practical and most often taken for granted. That is to say, people generally accept this theory of knowledge subconsciously.

In practice, we must acknowledge and address a flaw with the tripartite theory: the regress problem. The problem is best described in the following syllogism, which I have shamelessly copied and pasted from my source [3]:

1. Suppose that P is some piece of knowledge. Then P is a justified true belief.
2. The only thing that can justify P is another statement – let's call it P1; so P1 justifies P.
3. But if P1 is to be a satisfactory justification for P, then we must know that P1.
4. But for P1 to be known, it must also be a justified true belief.
5. That justification will be another statement - let's call it P2; so P2 justifies P1.
6. But if P2 is to be a satisfactory justification for P1, then we must know that P2
7. But for P2 to count as knowledge, it must itself be a justified true belief.
8. That justification will in turn be another statement - let's call it P3; so P3 justifies P2.
9. and so on, ad infinitum.

Philosophically, there are many answers, but I contend that any answer to this epistemological riddle ultimately serves to support my resolution. In short, any attempt to solve the regress problem will place faith as the source of knowledge. Let's consider four possible responses to the regress problem:

1. Foundationalism [3]

Foundationalism is perhaps the most straight forward solution. It simply asserts that all justified true beliefs will ultimately be justified by basic beliefs, or presuppositions. These basic beliefs are not justified, but assumed, without logical proof or material evidence, i.e., faith. Thus, foundationalism solves the problem by explicitly relying on faith.

2. Coherentism [3]

Coherentism attempts to solve the problem by allowing justified true beliefs to ultimately be justified by themselves. At first glance, this appears to be begging the question, and indeed, circular reasoning is the whole point. Coherentists would say that so long as a system of belief is internally consistent, then the beliefs therein constitute knowledge.

However, the problem of faith remains. Coherentism replaces a foundation of unproven beliefs with an unproven system of belief. It is quite possible to have a set of beliefs that all cohere quite well together but are all untrue. Therefore, acceptance of any coherent system implies faith in that system as a whole, thereby affirming the resolution.

3. Reliabilism [4]

Reliabilism attempts to solve the problem by changing the mode of justification altogether. Instead of a belief being justified by another justified true belief, the reliabilist argues that a belief is justified if it is formed using a reliable belief-formation mechanism.

The obvious problem is: how do we KNOW what is reliable and what is not reliable. In short, the reliability of belief-formation mechanisms themselves are beliefs and must be themselves justified. In short, reliabilism does not solve the problem as much as dress it different clothes. The same regress problem presents itself albeit with different wording. Each reliability mechanism must be justified by another reliability mechanism ad infinitum. The only solution is to accept a one's reliability measurements on faith.

4. Infinitism [3]

Infinitism simply acknowledges the regress problem and makes no effort to resolve it, arguing instead that there will never be adequate justification for knowledge. The problem with infinitism is that it has no practical application. If employed in debate, it will either lead to skepticism or be subconsciously abandoned. Either way, the infinitist will turn to faith.

In the case of skepticism, the infinitist will insist that nothing can be known. But how can the skeptic KNOW that nothing can be known. Skeptcism is ultimately self-refuting, since it can only be true if it is false. Therefore, commitment to skepticism is faith.

The infinist who rejects skepticism is in a philosophical bind also, since simultaneously rejecting skepticism and acknowledging the regress problem is logically incompatible. Therefore, the infinist will have to rely, consciously or subconsciously, on one of the other solutions to the regress problem. Since I have already shown the other solutions to rely on faith, skepticism-free infinitism relies on faith also.

CONCLUSION

For some astute readers, perhaps this problem has always been obvious, but in the heat of debate, the term "faith" is loaded gun cocked at the ready. The old adage, "faith is believing what you know ain't true," fails to account for the real epistemological issues we face in our pursuit of knowledge. The harsh reality is that we all, in practice, rely on faith. There is no neutrality, only bias. I have shown that there is no solution to the regress problem that can avoid faith. Indeed, for the limited human mind, faith is necessary.

I affirm that all knowledge is acquired from faith.

SOURCES
1. http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
2. http://www.theoryofknowledge.info...
3. http://en.wikipedia.org...
4. http://www.theoryofknowledge.info...
Alk09

Con

Just get to the point! You believe in a flying space alien who reads who your thoughts and wants you to worship him like a king. Here is an example of faith:
In my garage their lives a 30000000 year old dinasour which can breath um fire out of its mouth
You cant see it you cant touch in fact you cant use any of your senses you just have to trust me. Hmmm I wonder why someone would create a religion? Oh right if the people will trust and believe whatever comes out of your mouth because of faith then you can take advantage of them. They'll be subservient to power. I want you to answer me one simple question why do you believe in a god? Forget faith forget the invisible dragon which lives in my garage just answer the question as truthfully as you can. Because I want to know why do you believe?
Debate Round No. 1
KRFournier

Pro

I shouldn't even dignify this with a response. *sigh*

My opponent did not address my arguments, so I extend them as is.
Alk09

Con

Techno Music!!!!
Debate Round No. 2
KRFournier

Pro

Once again, my arguments remain unanswered. I extend my arguments as is. Not only do I recommend the you vote for Pro, I strongly urge you report my opponent.
Alk09

Con

Alk09 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
17 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by KRFournier 8 years ago
KRFournier
Well, this debate was almost a huge waste of time. At least it was productive in getting Alk09 banned.
Posted by Logical-Master 8 years ago
Logical-Master
There are more productive ways to waste people's time yah know. :)
Posted by KRFournier 8 years ago
KRFournier
Well, it appears he was banned. While it's not likely to stop him from returning, at least it's good to know the admin still reads the reports and responds.
Posted by Volkov 8 years ago
Volkov
I wonder if I can get him banned off the site for that. Let us see.
Posted by Alk09 8 years ago
Alk09
yes but wasting other peoples debates is more entertaining
Posted by Freeman 8 years ago
Freeman
Alk09, if your goal is to waste people's time then why not create your debates.
Posted by TheSkeptic 8 years ago
TheSkeptic
Sure :). Just message me whenever you have time.
Posted by KRFournier 8 years ago
KRFournier
Since Alk09 wasted my time, I'll humor theLwerd. In fact, I just realized we've never debated. I'll send it your way. TheSkeptic, I'd enjoy debating this with you as well, but the fact that you're working on a TAG debate has piqued my interest. I'll wait until after my debate with theLwerd to challenge you. Maybe by then we'll get into the TAG debate.
Posted by Danielle 8 years ago
Danielle
Eh. Maybe 8-10, depending on my mood.
Posted by Danielle 8 years ago
Danielle
Lol my response to you, KRF, would be about 4 sentences total.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by gtvwls8 7 years ago
gtvwls8
KRFournierAlk09Tied
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Vote Placed by dogparktom 8 years ago
dogparktom
KRFournierAlk09Tied
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Vote Placed by KRFournier 8 years ago
KRFournier
KRFournierAlk09Tied
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Total points awarded:70