The Instigator
dannyc
Pro (for)
Losing
13 Points
The Contender
Wylted
Con (against)
Winning
31 Points

Any Transcendental Objective Meaning to Human life is both Illusory and destructive.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 11 votes the winner is...
Wylted
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/2/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,714 times Debate No: 58325
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (111)
Votes (11)

 

dannyc

Pro

My contention for this proposition is that I feel any attempt to establish an Objective Meaning, a meaning which transcends or holds true to all of those who are members of the species H. sapiens, is not only an illusory prospect but one which has more destructive implications than positive.

I require Con to obviously propose a framework for an objective meaning, including specifically a or many meanings, to use the term loosely.

1st Round. Accept and give your argument.

2nd Round. Rebuttals.

3rd Round. Rebuttal, and Conclusion for Con.

4th Round. My conclusion, and you must leave this space blank.
Wylted

Con

Introduction

My opponent has the bulk of the BOP here. He must also prove 2 things. The first thing he must prove is that any transcendental objective meaning to human life is illusory. The other thing he must prove is that it's destructive. If he proves 1 but not the other, he should still lose this debate. Me personally, I'm going to focus on disproving the destructive part.

Transcendental

This word has several meanings, depending on who's using it and in what context it's used. Unfortunately my opponent's resolution and opening round doesn't give many clues as to the intended meaning, so I'm forced to make some assumptions.

Transcendental- adjective
1. transcendent, surpassing, or superior.
2. being beyond ordinary or common experience, thought, or belief; supernatural.
3. abstract or metaphysical.

http://dictionary.reference.com...

We'll mostly be focusing on the 3rd definition, meaning intuitive as intuitive is an abstract type of concept. Also metaphysical reasons will be provided also. My belief is in an objective meaning for each individuals life exists and it doesn't matter whether it's intuitive or metaphysical.

The Theories

There is an intuitive way to discover your purpose in life. The unique meaning for you. It's simply a matter of following your passions. I'm not talking about giving into your compulsions and impulses. I'm talking about doing what you truly desire. When you do what you truly desire, it opens doors for you. You gain success in ways never thought imaginable.

It seems universal among ultra successful people. Some people dismiss this as intuitive and it very well may be, but I find it more likely that it's just following God's plan and him rewarding you for doing so with success. God wouldn't have given you these passions without wanting you to pursue them.

Next time you don't know where to go or what to do with your life than look inside and follow your heart. It will reward you immensely.

The Numbers

Purposeful people are more likely to be happy. They are less likely to suffer from disabilities. They have a less loss of cognitive function in old age and their mortality rates are significantly lower. They sleep better and are just better off all around.

http://mobile.nytimes.com...

A study lead by Patricia Boyle PHD and conducted by several other researchers concluded that having a purpose in life lead to a reduction in Alzheimer's disease by 2 times the amount of others. It also showed a significant reduction in mild cognitive impairments, slowing cognitive decline by up to 30%.

http://archpsyc.jamanetwork.com...

Another study done by Dr. Boyle has shown that, even when people do get Alzheimer's, having a purpose in life still has a great affect in reducing the symptoms of the disease.

http://archpsyc.jamanetwork.com...

A study done by Rush researchers has shown that those with a purpose filled life had a reduced risk of getting a disability or dying.

http://mobile.journals.lww.com...

The findings of that study also coincide with the results Dr. Hill and his team found. It's clear that having a purpose increase life expectancy.

http://pss.sagepub.com...

So as you can see, my position really doesn't depend on any sort of philosophical positions. I can prove a transcendental objective meaning in life is beneficial, by letting science make my case for me.

There has also been meta analysis of several studies that show that goal setting (or as I call it discovering your purpose and pursuing it), leads to better performance and success.

http://www.forbes.com...

Conclusion

I've definitely shown that having a transcendental objective meaning in life is the opposite of destructive and leave it up to my opponent to prove it both destructive and illusory.
Debate Round No. 1
dannyc

Pro

For this debate, con was not required to provide any specific meaning, but chose to do so anyway, keeping that in mind, let's look at exactly what was required by con and what con also added to his BOP by giving a specific example. Firstly Con's BOP seems to me to be

1. Con must give some reason to presuppose why ANY transcendental meaning to life was not destructive or illusory.

2. Rational justification for holding that a transcendental meaning is in any way probable or likely, thereby not making it an illusory prospect.

3. (Added BOP) Why Con's particular objective transcendental meaning is any more likely than any other.

4. (Added BOP) Provide adequate reasons to presuppose we have an objective transcendental meaning to life (Con's specific one).Give

Before I address Con's position directly, I must make one quick 'rebuttal' or point. Con seems to have skipped an entire word in the debate, that being objective, I encourage everyone to read his opening with the word objective in mind, my second post will deal in detail with 1, 2, 3, and 4.

An objective transcendental meaning to human life, is as written in the first post, a meaning that 'objectively' holds to all those who are members of the human race. Transcendental implies above or beyond ourselves thereby negating subjective meaning, also objective negates purely subjective meaning. To the human race, means not simply 'life' or 'living', but to the life cycle of the human in all its diversities and change.
Illusory

My BOP involves 2 parts, proving that a transcendental objective meaning (TOM) is Illusory and then proving it is destructive.
Illusory

I will begin with illusory, as an evolved species, one with no prior existence or cognition, the attempt to transcribe an objective meaning is intuitively hard to do. We do not have one religion, one goal or even one aspect of our personalities, our diversity via natural selection implies that all we are, are material and finite beings created through the random mutations and precision selection of a material process. The BOP then must come down to, is it probable we do have a (TOM) in our existence?

I hold that it is absurd to believe an ant, or a dog has one, for the simple reason, that intuitively, scientifically and without argument, there is no reason to believe that they should, do or can even if we prescribe one ad-hoc. Now, one might say 'we are different', we are conscious rational agents with the ability to think and feel. True, but not exactingly precise, humans are not all cognitive beings. Some are born with no brain, some are severely disabled, some are even sociopaths with no feelings. To prescribe a reason to presume a TOM for the abilities of conscious behaviour is not to prove or make probable a TOM for humans, but rather to presume one for beings with those attributes. Therefore that attempt would fail to prove the debate title, that is 'to human life', in all its diversities.

As Sartre argued, we begin without essence, come up through this world and create ourselves against it, we create our purpose and meaning, we then attempt to find ourselves. There is no guide or meaning that holds through, that as the title states, transcribed above us. And so, another point of contention, we simply cannot even know it if it was true, therefore illusory.

In conclusion, I argued four points for illusory.

1. We are finite, material beings create through a non-cognitive process.

2. Human life is so diverse, the probability of a TOM is further complicated.

3. The lack of agency in our existence makes it even more improbable.

4. We couldn't know it, even if we had it.
Destructive.

My second point is a general point, why is any TOM destructive.
It is destructive because it is a limitation on the freedom of decision and by that a limit on the responsibility of our choices. We pride the concept of responsibility for actions because ultimately the choice of our actions are our own. Some appeal to coercion, influence and propaganda to explain the causality of their action, because we seek to understand the root of our choices. It is no doubt self-evident that we have influences and reasons to act/not-act.

Our choices therefore are negated once we admit we either had no choice, or hold no responsibility, a TOM, implies both. It restrains the choices we can and do make, by imposing a limit and a barrier between ought to do and do not do, because the action in and of itself does not lead to the meaning. Even supposing that in our lives we must choose to be happy and free as somehow an objective meaning, is not what I am arguing. I am arguing that ANY meaning, in and of itself implies less responsibility and less freedom. It allows us to appeal to this transcendental meanings as being responsible for our course of actions. A business man who undercuts and steals, appeals to simply 'playing the game', the soldier, appeals to his commanding officer. The house wife appeals to tradition. These are just samples of 'pushing' the responsibility of our choice away from the agent and onto the nature and context of the choice.

To me, it is evident that a TOM is far more sinister and limiting that 'free and lovely', it is not security blanket, but a prison. We cannot punish the agent who claims the TOM is responsible for his course of action, nor can we say that he acted in anyway other than his purpose. It takes away from the individuality of decision and progress and automates our lives to follow a set conclusion, rather than allow it to be expressed through the freedom we desire and obtain when we ourselves come to fruition.

1. It limits our freedom of choice.

2. It negates our essence and subjective purposes.

3. It destroys agent responsibility.

In conclusion, I have very simply outlined exactly why a TOM is detrimental, for a number of specific reasons, in my rebuttal I will deal with Con's replies to his BOP and his rebuttal of mine.
Wylted

Con

Burden Of Proof

I don't appreciate my opponent trying to turn this into a debate about how BOP works. Let's examine a few things.

From Pro Round 1:

I require Con to obviously propose a framework for an objective meaning, including specifically a or many meanings, to use the term loosely.

Here is where he requests that I provide some sort of argument for objective meanings or a many meanings argument for a transcendental objective meaning for life. I assume he requests this framework so that he can find something incoherent or contradictory about my personal philosophy. The argument is about shedding doubt on his conclusions not about fulfilling any type of perceived BOP. I would've been happy just providing rebuttals and no arguments of my own, but my opponent forced my hand.

From Pro round 2:

"for this debate, con was not required to provide any specific meaning, but chose to do so anyway, keeping that in mind, let's look at exactly what was required by con and what con also added to his BOP by giving a specific example."

Just look back at the round 1 statement I copied and pasted. You'll see this is untrue and that I was required to provide some sort of justification for my position. All this talk of BOP may confuse the voters and I urge Con to avoid continuing it.

Here is the only thing voters need to look at in reference to BOP;

From Con Round 1;

"My opponent has the bulk of the BOP here. He must also prove 2 things. The first thing he must prove is that any transcendental objective meaning to human life is illusory. The other thing he must prove is that it's destructive. If he proves 1 but not the other, he should still lose this debate. Me personally, I'm going to focus on disproving the destructive part."

I urge Pro to stop trying to debate BOP after this point and leave that up for the judges to decide. Should he fail to do this, I ask the judges to penalize him conduct points for attempting to distract from the debate.

Objective

I haven't forgotten about the objective part, but perhaps I didn't make myself clear enough. My opponent opened up my ability to use a many meanings argument in his round 1 statement that I've already copied and pasted. God created us and gave us free will, and if space permits I'll provide more support for that premise, but it shouldn't be necessary. The only thing I'm trying to accomplish is to show enough doubt in his argument that he fails to meet his BOP. This free will means that we can go against the higher power's plans for us.

You might ask how we discover this plan God has for us. It's quite simple. He gave us all unique strengths and desires. If we "Do What though Wilt" as Aleister Crowley says than we are obeying the objective meaning god has for our lives.

My opponent is making arguments that are unsupported by any empirical evidence. My job is to merely show that his logic didn't take certain other possibilities into account. Now I'm being fair by only providing 1 alternate possibility that he didn't account for and can't disprove, but rest assured I can probably bring up a million more examples almost as likely as this.

Illusory

My opponent did a good job summing up and concluding his illusory arguments. I'll just let his summary talk for me here.

"1. We are finite, material beings create through a non-cognitive process.

2. Human life is so diverse, the probability of a TOM is further complicated.

3. The lack of agency in our existence makes it even more improbable.

4. We couldn't know it, even if we had it.
Destructive."


The problem with all of these arguments is that each one rests on a ton of assumptions and is answered by the existence of an Omni God.

1. We don't know that. The only evidence my opponent gives is that the evolutionary process seems random. There are a lot of things that seem non random, and an Omni god knowing the end result, creating the universe and stepping away would appear just as random (especially if he has an incredibly long time horizon as he most assuredly does) as a universe with no creator.

2. This rests on the assumption of 1 meaning for everyone. I'm advocating for a many meanings theory. Each person has unique strengths, talents and desires. In order to pursue your own meaning you need only look as far as your own desires, not forgetting to leave out compulsions. God gave you these desires for a reason, and that reason is so you know how to follow his will. You follow his will, by following your heart. As far as discussing animals. They probably follow God's will better than anybody. They pursue whatever desires are put in their heart. One of the things that hold man back is our superior intelligence. we're constantly rationalizing our mediocre existence instead of pursuing the will of God, which is already in our hearts.

3. When we talk of brain dead people, not having a will. It's simply not true. A brain dead person would be following God's will without even trying. Their purpose, though unknown to us or even them is being fulfilled without them having to do anything.

4. This isn't an argument for a TOM being illusory. It's an argument for it being unknowable and simply doesn't support my opponent's position.

Destructive

I'll once again take my opponent's summaries of his own arguments and address them by giving my own arguments corresponding numbers.

"1. It limits our freedom of choice.

2. It negates our essence and subjective purposes.

3. It destroys agent responsibility."


1. There is no reason a TOM has to limit freedom of choice. You can have multiple paths to achieve the same ends. There is more than 1 way to skin a cat. Not to mention, under my scenario a you are given the option to take your chosen path and in fact I would say most people ignore their chosen path. This is probably why the few people who do choose to live the objective meaning for their life succeed so greatly. Leonardo Da Vinci called it his Daemon, Aleister Crowley called it "Do What Though Wilt". Rhonda Byrne calls it the secret. Jim Carey calls it an unreasonable faith in believing in your dream. Napoleon Hill doesn't give it a name, but these successful people pretty much all agree that it's there. That an objective meaning for each of our lives exist, and none of us are forced to live up to our purpose, our meaning.

2. It doesn't negate our essence and subjective purpose. We want to pursue our desires. God gave us these desires and we wouldn't dream of not following them. If we assign ourselves a subjective purpose, than we'd have to go out of our way to make sure that subjective purpose is something we didn't desire, and pursuit of something we don't desire is nonsensical, and ultimately harmful.

3. It in no way destroys responsibility. This conclusion rests entirely on the premise that an objective meaning in life destroys freedom, and I've shown that in fact it doesn't. I'd actually go as far as saying having an objective meaning in life increases your responsibility. It's a lot of times uncomfortable for people to do what they truly desire, and they have to take more responsibility for their actions. A person who desires to be an Olympic sprinter now has increased responsibility when making decisions as what to eat, working out and even who to associate with.

Omni-God

This isn't really necessary, but it's just an extra bonus for those who feel like reading further. Even without this my points offer a scenario that undermines every single one of my opponent's premises.

I'll skip the crash course in modal logic, because space doesn't permit it. The crash course can be found in the following link. http://www.debate.org...

Ontological Argument for the Existence of God. (Borrowed from Alvin Plantiga and various other people)

Premise 1

It is possible a greatest possible being exists. There are no logical absurdities here or contradictions. If my opponent can prove this premise wrong then the whole argument falls apart. So far in the history of mankind this has yet to be done so good luck.

Premise 2

Necessarily, if a greatest possible being exists he must be omnipotent and omniscient. If it wasn't omnipotent and omniscient then a greater possible being could exist in some possible worlds.

Premise 3

If the concept of the greatest possible being is coherent it exists in some possible worlds.

Premise 4

If a greatest possible being exists in some possible worlds it exists in all possible worlds. It exists in all possible worlds because it is a necessary truth and not a contingent truth.

Premise 5

If the greatest possible being exists in all possible worlds, he exists in the actual world.

Premise 6

The greatest possible being exists and by definition is God. It is omniscient and omnipotent.

Logically Valid

The argument is logically valid. Here is the mathematical proof here, as I'm short on space at the moment.

http://jwwartick.com...

The Rest Of The Story

What's important to note here is that The MOA Omni-God is Omnibenevolent. It is necessary that an omnibenevolent God would give man freewill. No loving God would enslave mankind, so obviously freewill is a necessary thing for God to be considered Omnibenevolent.

Now obviously God isn't going to be a character with no direction or purpose and even if he were he wouldn't create anything without giving it a purpose or having a purpose for it.

I appreciate those that read this far, and I wish my opponent good luck in his rebuttals.
Debate Round No. 2
dannyc

Pro

It seems Con believes he does not have to justify his position, I can only point to the fact that this is a debate, and you cannot state "I do not need to justify my position", as written earlier, you when accepting the debate do actually have to satisfy your BOP and justify them with reasons.

1. Provide a rational framework for a TOM that makes it probable or likely, and therefore not illusory.

2. Provide reasons for why a TOM is not illusory or destructive.

Note 1, follows into 2, your framework must be likely or probable, if not then it is illusory. If both of these are not satisfied via argument, the debate is lost. By me making positive steps in reasoning my BOP, I not only satisfy my BOP but further negate and trouble his ability to satisfy both his 1 and 2.

" The first thing he must prove is that any transcendental objective meaning to human life is illusory. The other thing he must prove is that it's destructive."

Noting this point, I have done it in detail.

"God created us and gave us free will, and if space permits I'll provide more support for that premise, but it shouldn't be necessary."

Con doesn't provide a rational framework that is probable, he provides an ad-hoc solution to a problem, a framework needs reasons and arguments, not assertions, and therefore why not just say 'The universe has given us a TOM', rather than God, neither are given any reasons, and so without reason, no rebuttal is actually needed. Con is only adding to a list of BOP's now, and I must concede his framework is actually intermingled in this solution to his first BOP and therefore he is actually trying to satisfy point 1, and so, he has added two 'essential' BOP's. these specifically.

3. (Added/now essential BOP) Why Con's particular objective transcendental meaning is any more likely than any other. Specifically his framework

4. (Added/now essential BOP) Provide adequate reasons to presuppose we have an objective transcendental meaning to life (Con's specific one).Give

"The problem with all of these arguments is that each one rests on a ton of assumptions and is answered by the existence of an Omni God."

Again, This is merely an ad-hoc solution, and I am invoking a more reasonable explanation, with a far more reasonable solution, the use of God is not only unnecessary but unfounded. As Sean Carroll states in his debate against William Lane Craig, 'God has no explanatory power and theism is not well defined'. Not only that but it is neither supported or defined in such a way as to provide any such reasons to assume its probability and therefore it is an illusory prospect.

"I'm advocating for a many meanings theory. Each person has unique strengths, talents and desires. In order to pursue your own meaning you need only look as far as your own desires"

Con seems to imply subjective meaning, and therefore his TOM, notably 'objective' is now subjective, and therefore Con cannot win this debate, as he has given an incompatible definition.

"When we talk of brain dead people, not having a will. It's simply not true. A brain dead person would be following God's will without even trying. Their purpose, though unknown to us or even them is being fulfilled without them having to do anything."

I have no rebuttal for something so wild. It is not only improbable but pretty morbid that a loving God somehow makes your TOM fulfilling even when you have no cognition, implies either your TOM changes, therefore is not binding, and so is not meeting the initial standard I set, or a loving God wants brain dead individuals, if so then it does not imply loving, and so Con's framework is riddled with improbabilities. His framework is becoming non-sensical.

"This isn't an argument for a TOM being illusory. It's an argument for it being unknowable and simply doesn't support my opponent's position."

Illusory, means a feat or challenge that cannot be met or completed and therefore the goal or conclusion is permanently out of our grasp, and therefore the TOM is an illusory prospect.

"There is no reason a TOM has to limit freedom of choice. You can have multiple paths to achieve the same ends. "
Note the TOM provided gives us 'freedom' to a limited state to achieve a set goal, one which cannot be changed, if it can, it is hardly a binding and objective meaning, thereby validated my claim. Appealing to a large population, is a fallacy in and of itself, success does not translate to 'there exists a TOM'.

A MGB assumes a quality of maximum greatness and morality, a world of unnecessary pain and suffering is not compatible with a loving entity, therefore a loving entity is not compatible with a world of suffering.

1. Gratuitous suffering exists in our universe

2. A loving intervening God(MGB) is incompatible with 1.

3. Our universe contains 1.

4. A loving God(MGB) does not exist in our universe.

It is possible that a MGB exists. ( In where? )

A. Our universe? No.

B. In Some Universe with no suffering, perhaps, but the movement, from some to all, includes ours and then meets my argument.

C. In some abstract plain of existence, perhaps, but again movement from some to all meets 1.
In conclusion, Con's 'added' bonus is not actually an added bonus, he is trying to prove his BOP and therefore his arguments are not substantial, he talks about God, Brain dead desires, free will, subjective desires transcribed by God. We have seen no rational justification for this framework, or its probability. Remember, Con has to provide reasons to presume this, and so far only The Ontological argument has be given, and as we can see, it is hardly probable or likely with all the conflations of its problem.

What Con has not done successfully.

1. Con must give some reason to presuppose why ANY transcendental meaning to life was not destructive or illusory.

Con attempted to disprove my reasons, and we will now look at them in more detail. Let's look again at my position.

1. It limits our freedom of choice.


2. It negates our essence and subjective purposes.

3. It destroys agent responsibility.

Con offers a reason against 1. He assumes that we can take multiple paths to achieve the end, so what? That is still a restraint or barrier on the freedom of the individual to make ready what he feels is a satisfactory life. Also, Con complains that doing what we 'don't desire' is ultimately harmful, unfortunately Con offered no reasons for this, and this point validates 1. by assuming certain routes are unadvised and restricted under his framework.

2. Con offers no reason against negating our essence, and then writes '. God gave us these desires and we wouldn't dream of not following them.', If so, then God acts as an agency thereby converting our choices to his desires inflicted upon us. Con's framework destroys subjective purpose even more so than assumed, 2. has been further pushed by Con. on 3. Con assumes a TOM just makes us 'more responsible', we see no reason to assume this, and note in my opening.

"A business man who undercuts and steals, appeals to simply 'playing the game', the soldier, appeals to his commanding officer. The house wife appeals to tradition. These are just samples of 'pushing' the responsibility of our choice away from the agent and onto the nature and context of the choice."

Furthermore let us look at his contentions to illusory.

1. We are finite, material beings create through a non-cognitive process.

Con believes we cannot know this. I think we can, I think we are material beings, made up of material in the world, our skin, bones, teeth, brain matter etc etc, it is self evident via embryology. We are finite. We do not survive our death. and Natural-selection, that is nature is not an agency. Con is simply again assuming too much.

2. Human life is so diverse, the probability of a TOM is further complicated.
Con states

'We only need to look at our desires'.

Note my position.

humans are not all cognitive beings. Some are born with no brain, some are severely disabled, some are even sociopaths with no feelings. To prescribe a reason to presume a TOM for the abilities of conscious behaviour is not to prove or make probable a TOM for humans, but rather to presume one for beings with those attributes. Therefore that attempt would fail to prove the debate title, that is 'to human life', in all its diversities."
How can we infer that a brain-dead or infant with no brain even has a TOM? Or desires for that matter, and without desires Con's specific TOM is illusory.

3. The lack of agency in our existence makes it even more improbable.

3. When we talk of brain dead people, not having a will. It's simply not true. A brain dead person would be following God's will without even trying.
This is just absurd.

Con and me agree I have two BOPs.

1. Provide reasons that a TOM is destructive.

2. Provide reasons that a TOM is illusory

I believe I have given multiple specific reasons and defended them in this debate, and therefore I have not only met my Burdon of proof but refuted his, also my reasons make his bop more improbable and his framework harder to prove, his framework implies 1 and 2 are false, and therefore he needs to dismantle and construct to meet his Burdon of proof.
Con's BOP to win this debate is as follows.

1. Rational justification for holding that a transcendental meaning is in any way probable or likely, thereby not making it an illusory prospect.

Please note this does not say 'Any Plausible scenario' or even 'any scenario that can be conceived'. It asked for

1. Rational justification, therefore reasons upon reasons

2. Probability.


I have already noted against his framework

1. Argument from Evil

2. Non-agency of evolutionary processes

3. Occam's razor makes his solution non-probable and unnecessary, thereby making it more improbable than not.

I have given positive evidence for this and therefore made his BOP even more challenging. Con has not met his BOP, I have met mine.


Wylted

Con

Once again I'll remind people of where the BOP stands.

"My opponent has the bulk of the BOP here. He must also prove 2 things. The first thing he must prove is that any transcendental objective meaning to human life is illusory. The other thing he must prove is that it's destructive. If he proves 1 but not the other, he should still lose this debate. Me personally, I'm going to focus on disproving the destructive part."

I need to add another point that he keeps bringing up. He continually asks what's most probable. That's not how BOP works. Imagine a single dice/die whatever it's called. It has the numbers 1-6 painted on it. Let's say somebody rolls this die and hides what it lands on.

If my opponent started a debate saying that the die landed on the numbers 1-4 he'd have to show that is what happened. It's not enough to show that 1-4 is more likely to have been rolled. He would have to show that it hit 1-4 beyond a reasonable doubt. All I would have to do to defeat my opponent in that scenario is show that it's reasonable that the 5 or 6 may have been rolled as well. I don't need to show evidence for it. I just need to show it's a reasonable alternative in order to prove my opponent wrong.

In This debate my opponent has been presented a reasonable alternative that undermines his entire position. Beyond that, he's been presented evidence contrary to his position in excess of what is needed.

Problem Of Evil

My opponent brings up the problem of gratuitous evil in an attempt to disprove the MOA argument at the end of my last round. There is a few problems with that rebuttal. As I've already pointed out some evil will exist anyway as a result of free will. Beyond that unnatural evils are necessary to keep us from a perfect life. If all things were perfect than we could never truly understand God's capacity to love. Also somebody presented with a perfect life would in essence be forced to love God. He wants our love, not because he gave us a great life but for the sake of love it's self.

Gratuitous evil isn't something that is actually provable. As humans we have very limited time horizons, but god's time horizon is infinite in years. What we view as gratuitous may not be viewed the same way if we could see the butterfly affect from those events billions of years into the future.

Essentially no matter what my opponent says gratuitous evil isn't provable or even likely.

Illusory

The common definition for illusory is as follows.

Illusory- The definition of illusory is made to be or related to something fake or deceptive.

http://www.yourdictionary.com...

Look up the word in 10 different online dictionaries if you want. The definition is always something fake or an illusion. My opponent has to prove any objective meaning is an illusion or fake. Regardless of how many dictionaries he scours to find a definition that supports his argument, he is still bound to the common laymens definition/usage of the term.

Everything Pro has said concerning illusory has been rebutted by me and offered no counter rebuttals up to this point. He has failed to prove that any TOM is illusory.

I've argued that the objective meaning to your life can be known by following your desires. Following your desires is desirable, but ultimately nobody forces it on you. So no TOM would limit freedom, and even if it did limit freedom that wouldn't automatically make it illusory. It would just make it a concept that pro is uncomfortable with.

"1. We are finite, material beings create through a non-cognitive process.

Con believes we cannot know this. I think we can, I think we are material beings, made up of material in the world, our skin, bones, teeth, brain matter etc etc, it is self evident via embryology. We are finite. We do not survive our death. and Natural-selection, that is nature is not an agency. Con is simply again assuming too much.


My opponent can't possibly know what happens after death. Maybe death is permanent maybe it's not. It's also possible we have a TOM and life is still finite. Being carnal beings also does nothing to disprove a TOM. It's possible a metaphysical being that exists outside of or invisible from the carnal realm gave us a TOM, before setting all these things in motion. Pro offers nothing more than speculation.

"How can we infer that a brain-dead or infant with no brain even has a TOM? Or desires for that matter, and without desires Con's specific TOM is illusory."

In that situation a TOM wouldn't be destructive, now would it? An infant with no brain would have a TOM seperate and distinct from everyone else. Though conscious functioning beings would have a TOM discernable by their desires, the individuals in these situations would have one it just wouldn't be discernable.

Destructive

In my first round I've shown scientific peer reviewed studies of the benefits of having a TOM. These benefits were offered no rebuttals and it's too late for my opponent to offer then now, as I want have a chance to respond to them. I've offered rebuttals for my opponents arguments for the destructiveness of a TOM and they have went unanswered. This portion of the debate is undeniably in my favor and my opponent can't even answer the objections I've presented without unfair new arguments in the final round.

I should win this debate on the destructive portion of this argument alone.

Conclusion

My opponent had to prove 2 things.

1. Is a Tom illusory? I argue that he hasn't proven it illusory. I've given other plausible scenarios not taken into account when my opponent presented his hypothesis.

2. Is TOM destructive? My opponent has no answers for my peer reviewed scientific literature on the subject and doesn't respond to my rebuttals. Even if you think he fulfilled the first part of his BOP. He has still without a doubt failed to prove the 2nd one and I should win this debate as a result.

Good luck to pro. I leave it up to the voters now.
Debate Round No. 3
dannyc

Pro

Since Con used his Closing as an opportunity to further contend and make points, I am happy to continue that and I will make a closing rebuttal and overall summary. I would like to point out I have to prove ANY TOM was destructive and illusory, please note my accumulative arguments are general and I believe available to any alternative of a TOM given plausibly, not simply possibly, otherwise risk being illusory in its account only being possible.

"He continually asks what's most probable. That's not how BOP works."

2.Con needs to give Rational justification for holding that a transcendental meaning is in any way probable or likely, thereby not making it an illusory prospect.

Now, note this point, Con is dodging the central point of his BOP, that is give rational justification for his framework, without it, it is simply a set of possible circumstances with no justification, and therefore we would agree to hinge a belief on nothing more than possibility is in and of itself irrational and illusory. The point of this debate was for me to demonstrate that any TOM is.

1. Illusory

&

2. Destructive

If something is not-probable or even improbable, it is an illusory prospect to hinge your entire life on its validity, an illusory prospect would be one in which the conclusion or ultimate goal is unachievable or unreachable, if the TOM is improbable or unlikely, then it is an illusory prospect to believe in it and therefore I have furthered my position due to a lack of reasonable evidence for the existence of a TOM in the framework Con has set. Now, I have given 6 reasons for believing the proposition any TOM is not only illusory but also destructive. Those reasons and further defence can be seen in my opening and second post and since my defence has not be challenged, I will not return to them as my BOP has been satisfied.

Now I concede evil possibly exists as a result of agents acting according to their will, but my objection notably was not 'evil', it was suffering. Please note, evil implies agency acting consciously in a morally bad way. An animal is not a rational agent, and therefore it is not immoral for them to act in a way that causes suffering. I made the argument that

1. Gratuitous suffering exists in our universe

2. A loving intervening God(MGB) is incompatible with 1.

3. Our universe contains 1.

4. A loving God(MGB) does not exist in our universe.

Please note, a loving and caring God does not have to play by any rules to avoid suffering, it does not have to use natural selection, it does not even have to give animals the ability to feel, but in our universe they do. Now to me, it is incompatible that a all-loving and note INTERVENING God would create 99% all of life just to watch it suffering endlessly and inevitably die. Not to mention, our pre-ancestral descendents who died from tooth decay and environmental pressures. This is suffering that is wholly gratuitous, if we accept God is as Con wants to state a Maximally Great Being, one who can change any amount of factors he so chooses and therefore I must simply extend my argument due to a misinterpretation by Con. Con says 'evil' exists to stop use from living a 'perfect' life. How does he know this? And secondly, how does a species of Mammoth dying via environmental pressures cruelly, make my life any less or more perfect?

What I will say is that Con holds that 'Illusory' implies deceptive, well if so, then your framework involving God is most probably , if not definitely false due to incompatible natures, and therefore deceptive in its falsehood. For that contention, we can fully say your framework for a TOM is neither probable, (fails to meet original BOP) and apart from my accumulative argument (illusory) via incompatible properties.

"My opponent has to prove any objective meaning is an illusion or fake."

I am sorry, no I do not, for no reason does my accumulative case fail on this point. It is a red Herring, this late in the debate. Meaning as in what does X mean? I don't see Con's point, I provided reasons that satisfy illusory, thereby making it improbable and unknowable, and so it is deceptive to believe this, also note, illusory is not limited to simply being false, it can be an unobtainable goal or standard.

"and offered no counter rebuttals up to this point. "

I must implore everyone to note my numbered responses in my last post, I went through each and every point in good detail, I cannot see how you ignored those points.

"even if it did limit freedom that wouldn't automatically make it illusory. "

I think Con has misread my position, I argued a TOM would lead to an inability to give full responsibility to the agency at hand and therefore if acting in anyway caused the individual to do harm, his responsibility would be exempted onto simply following orders of a nature in which a TOM exists. I argued this under DESTRUCTIVE not illusory. Destructive as in responsibility and freedom.


"My opponent can't possibly know what happens after death."

I never argued we have knowledge after our death, death is the defined as the end the individuals life, if our bodies are material and we concede we do die, then we cannot survive our death because we cannot live past the end of the life we are living, you need to give further points against this. It logically follows.


"In that situation a TOM wouldn't be destructive, now would it? An infant with no brain would have a TOM separate and distinct from everyone else."

How can you know this? I see no reason to suppose this. Destructive as in it implores and individual unable to do menial tasks to achieve a standard set beyond them, even if the standard is just 'breathing', the idea of this is simply callous via your loving God. Also, the concept of this is pretty disheartening to parents and loved ones, imples God either changes your TOM, incompatible with our agreed definition or in some cases callous because he expected this to happen, not very loving.


"In my first round I've shown scientific peer reviewed studies of the benefits of having a TOM. "

Con showed that having some subjective preference or goal is somehow beneficial, that is not a TOM, and also that is not an externally imposed and agent heavy Meaning transcended upon your life, Con has missed the ball on this one. Having a TOM is an imposed meaning on your existence, note transcends and objective, having a purpose you root out in your life, is the antithesis of a TOM, this is not a good comparison.

IN CONCLUSION.

I have argued my BOP, that is that a TOM is both Illusory and Destructive.

For Illusory I stated.

1. We are finite, material beings create through a non-cognitive process.

2. Human life is so diverse, the probability of a TOM is further complicated.

3. The lack of agency in our existence makes it even more improbable.

4. We couldn't know it, even if we had it.

In closing summary Point 1-3 are improbabilities against a TOM, not necessarily Illusory on individual basis but accumulated to make a belief in a TOM both illusory as in unobtainable and deceptive as in not probable or rational to believe. 4. is the nail in the coffin, if our TOM is unknowable, which Con never challenged or gave a reasoned framework apart from (follow your subjective preferences) which is not a TOM, then it is obviously that a TOM based on the arguments is unknowable, improbable and unobtainable, and therefore illusory.

And for destructive I stated

1. It limits our freedom of choice.

2. It negates our essence and subjective purposes.

3. It destroys agent responsibility."

In closing summary, Limiting our freedom via restricting our ability to transcend its purpose, it negates the ability of our essence to drive ourselves in our lives, and responsibility has been argued in a lot of detail.

I believe I have fully argued my BOP and using common knowledge constructed a framework that is not only true in a empirical sense. (note. diversity, finite, material) but logically probably in my destructive points that challenges ANY tom not just his. Con to me, didn't provide reasons to believe his framework, from brain-dead infants, free will, loving God, subjective purpose leading to a TOM, all this was plausible, bar God, given my argument, which therefore destroys his framework, furthering the illusory point specifically against him.

In Conclusion, I have given reasons why ANY TOM negates and is illusory and destructive, I encourage you to give both our sides a critical read, thanks, Con has to leave his closing point empty.

Wylted

Con

No round as agreed upon.
Debate Round No. 4
111 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Gwydion777 2 years ago
Gwydion777
The illusion that an iceberg won't hit the Titanic can't be destructive. The event is destructive, but the illusion isn't destructive. The illusion isn't even TANGIBLE. Something can't be destructive if it isn't tangible.
Posted by ArcTImes 2 years ago
ArcTImes
The illusion that the iceberg won't hit the Titanic can be pretty destructive.
The illusion that you can be faster than the train with your car.
The illusion that god wrote a book and the morality of the book is perfect.
Posted by Gwydion777 2 years ago
Gwydion777
The title proves to me that the con should win: If something is an illusion how can it be destructive? That poor logic is enough for me.
Posted by Envisage 2 years ago
Envisage
Ops.... I shouldn't have bashed your arguments so much in my RFD.. Lol
Posted by Wylted 2 years ago
Wylted
"your beliefs because your beliefs are hypocritical against the foundations of what's required for debate to take place to begin with."

Sorry, your manner of writing is a little unusual. What's the foundation for what's required to debate? What do you mean by that?
Posted by Wylted 2 years ago
Wylted
There are ways to analyze data to arrive at the truth, which I won't get into here. Debating isn't really about truth. It's actually a horrible way to arrive at truth, especially since rhetoric is so important to winning.

I enjoy debating and it does help me a little in pursuit of knowledge, but it really serves very little purpose.
Posted by Daktoria 2 years ago
Daktoria
I understand what you're saying about judging debate. I'm saying that what you're saying is wrong and that the nature of debate needs to be reformed in order to be respectful.

Merely encountering another school of thought on debate doesn't mean you should be citing material to me in order to explain how to debate. I'm not stupid. What I'm saying is you should be reviewing your beliefs because your beliefs are hypocritical against the foundations of what's required for debate to take place to begin with.

Those schools of thought which are consistent should be followed. Those schools of thought which aren't should not.
Posted by Daktoria 2 years ago
Daktoria
As for debate being a game and not arriving at truth, if that's the case, then debate should be banned since it's harassing. It would be a libertine exercise of freedom of speech that takes serious ideas and makes a mockery of them for literally no reason.
Posted by Wylted 2 years ago
Wylted
It's okay. I'll link you to some articles later that tell you how to judge a debate. It doesn't involve the judges picking apart the sides arguments who they disagree with and than awarding arguments to the side they agree with. It's actually about determining who argued better.
Posted by Daktoria 2 years ago
Daktoria
What are judges judging on then aside from persuasion?

I mean winning a debate is meaningless without persuasion. The whole exercise of debate would just be a waste of time then. Are judges supposed to be judging whether they believe other people will be persuaded or not? How about letting other people judge the debate for themselves instead of arrogantly assuming what it takes for others to be persuaded?
11 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by Daktoria 2 years ago
Daktoria
dannycWyltedTied
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Reasons for voting decision: As a Kantian, Con's intro with scientific evidence was really frustrating to read. TOM is a quintessentially philosophical concept where any concrete interpretations of it are guilty of reification. On top of that, "purpose" is a subjective concept. The "purpose" of someone's life isn't automatically the "purpose" of everyone's. Con's evidence also statistically equated correlation to causation which is a logical fallacy, and Con was hypocritical on top of that when claiming Pro's focus on probability is invalid. Con then carries on and on about God which isn't the point of the debate. In fact, Kant also provided a very explicit refutation against the ontological argument since the existence of God is not contained from God oneself. Basically, the necessity-contingency dichotomy is completely backwards in the ontological argument.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
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Reasons for voting decision: the meaning of life was greatly twisted by wylted, and he managed to prove in many different ways that not all transcendental objective meaning to human life are both illusory and destructive, especially since pro didn't really manage to hold on to his BoP.
Vote Placed by GodChoosesLife 2 years ago
GodChoosesLife
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Reasons for voting decision: I was more convinced with cons arguments of the purpose of life. He defined in practically every possible way to revealing the purpose of life. I felt as though pro did not really understand in some cases just because con was redundant of explaining or reminding pro of his BoP. And con was the only one who used resources. However this was quite an interesting debate to read on both sides.
Vote Placed by Zarroette 2 years ago
Zarroette
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro sets himself an enormous BoP, with the resolution require him to affirm two things beyond any doubt, as Con pointed out. Pro also sets himself up for huge problems by not defining any of his terms. Con never had to show that either was likely, or anything above a fraction of a chance in being possible. Arguing for such an absolute resolution required Pro to eliminate ALL doubt. I know people are giving conduct against him, but I honestly think that he doesn't understand the BoP he's meant to fulfil. I mean, the resolution even has him arguing that such meaning doesn't exist (illusory), yet it is also exists (and is destructive). This underlying problem with the resolution is played throughout the entire debate, because Con was allowed to define the terms with sources (and wins source points because of that). For example, "A loving God(MGB) does not exist in our universe", is Pro's ultimate response to Con. If that's the case, then how is this meaning destructive,as Con pointed out?
Vote Placed by Lerch 2 years ago
Lerch
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Reasons for voting decision: The BOP would clearly rest upon Pro to prove that "Any Transcendental Objective Meaning to Human life is both Illusory and destructive." While I find myself in agreement with Pro's stance more than Con's, the debate goes to Con.
Vote Placed by Envisage 2 years ago
Envisage
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Reasons for voting decision: Full RFD to follow in comments, need to finish arguments. Conduct Con due to rather unfair and uncalled for BoP squabbling, and victory to Con in arguments because although Pro won quite concincingly on the illusory points, Pro did not refute Con's points on 'destructive', as well as the fact the BoP is quite high on himself. Indeed the objective evidence given in R1 by Con stood for the entire debate, and Pro's best argument that made it through unrefuted/largely mitigated was the agent responsibility argument, which just doesn't seem to hold up when compared with the well-being factor. I have a round-by round analysis done but need to shorten it and remove some of my swearing and other vulgarities that I made towards both sides.... Some aspects of this debate just plain annoyed me. Actually now I think about it I might include it, do you want the censored clean version or the rough version? RFD to come...
Vote Placed by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
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Reasons for voting decision: Given in comments.
Vote Placed by Romanii 2 years ago
Romanii
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Reasons for voting decision: BOP seemed to be point of confusion throughout the debate, with both sides arguing based on totally different viewpoints of it all the way until the end. However, looking at it objectively, I think it is rather clear... Con's only job, in accordance with Pro's opening round, was to provide a viable TOM framework. Pro cannot simply introduce "additional" burdens after Con has accepted. Con did present a viable framework for a TOM; thus, Pro had to show that TOM to be both illusory and destructive in order to win the debate. The part of the debate regarding whether or not it is illusory was very interesting, and I'm honestly not completely sure who won on that contention; however, it was really the "destructive" contention where Con won the debate by successfully rebutting all of Pro's arguments for it, thereby inhibiting Pro from fulfilling his BOP (continued in comments). Also, counter daley's BS conduct point. And Kreakin's BS source point.
Vote Placed by Kreakin 2 years ago
Kreakin
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct goes to Pro as round two read as quite aggressive to me putting Pro on the defensive unfairly and not within friendly debate. It appears this was an emotional response to Cons beliefs being challenged. Pro gained argument vote as neither side met or even agreed a bop so down to logically who was more convincing. Pro presented a good case for Cons arguments being unhelpful to his more logical perspective. Sources are Pros, asCons were not really relevant, whilst a purpose is evidently conducive to longevity it was related to employment and goal setting not religious beliefs in the links. Con also resorts to the ontological argument,this is well known fallacy used as a last resort to confuse.
Vote Placed by Ajab 2 years ago
Ajab
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Reasons for voting decision: Will vote on this as soon as I have internet access.