The Instigator
Duhreaper
Pro (for)
Losing
2 Points
The Contender
Zaradi
Con (against)
Winning
12 Points

Arguing over things you can not prove or disprove is useless.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Zaradi
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/31/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 948 times Debate No: 67701
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (4)

 

Duhreaper

Pro

My argument is aimed to prove why Arguing over things you can not prove or disprove is useless. Since this is my first debate I will just use what others use and the first round is the acceptance round then we will continue from there. Thank you for accepting whomever will. I don't really know how I will argue this but I WILL PERSEVERE.
Zaradi

Con

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
Duhreaper

Pro

Well, thank you for the speedy acceptance I will try to make this worth your time. (I am better at defending instead of being the instigator). OK, first of all I will start off by restating my argument that arguing over anything we can't prove or disprove is useless. The only thing I can see someone gaining by arguing over things that have no actual presentable evidence is the feeling that you get when you lets say "convert" someone to your way of thinking, to change their ideas through the manipulation of words and made up facts and through no evidence from any actual reliable source people are not a reliable source. People lie and cheat you can't always trust people so anything that other people say or write down may or may not be true or even real at all it is a chance we all have to take.
I will use a very common argument as an example, people arguing over creationism vs the big bang theory. We cannot really prove either of them, but yet people argue over them to change the other person's mind or to prove a point when in fact you have not proven anything. An argument that a creationist could say is it says in the bible or evolution is flawed. An evolutionist would say there is more fact of evolution or it is more logical , but in both cases the facts are nearly nonexistent . Lets then lets then consider that both cases were real or both were false or they both were equally false and equally true. Maybe a god did make the universe/earth, but billions of years ago and we evolved to what we are today who knows. There are so many options its like asking why a million times, then being unable to answer the question eventually. All we can do is speculate, but the main point of this argument how can we prove that any of this is real.Why do we argue why things exist is it because humans are always looking for more than just because, I know humans are curious, but there has to be a point where we stop asking questions that cannot be answered, we end up with more than we wanted more than we can comprehend at some points. why argue if a god exists when we don't really know, why argue against a god existing when we don't really know.If one does exist then why can't others. So why argue about things that may not even matter in the long run why try to prove or disprove things that we can't or may not exist to begin with. Why argue over things we don't know about at all.
Win or lose good luck.
(I know it isn't the neatest or better put together argument, but thank you for accepting).
Zaradi

Con

This debate is really problematic for pro to win. The resolution is an absolute, meaning that there is no use (a.k.a. useless) for arguing over things that can't be disproven or proven. This means that all I have to do is show that there is a use to arguing over things that can't be proven or disproven, and I win the debate. This also means that my opponent must counter every possible use I can come up with, otherwise I'm showing that there is a use, which means you negate. I'll first provide my list of uses, then respond to pro's last round.

Use One: Arguing for Probability:

There are certain things that are impossible to prove or disprove, but we argue whether they probably happened or not to give us insight into how we believe the world around us probably works. There's two good examples of this.

The first being the God debate. Obviously it's not physically possible to completely and entirely prove or disprove the existence of God. But the God debate is entirely relevant to our everyday lives in how we act and what we do, so discussion of such is entirely relevant. If we decide that God probably exists, our actions are more likely to align in accordance to a life where God did exist, rather than if God didn't exist. So even if we can't prove definitively that God exists, we can prove something probably exists or probably doesn't exist, and go from there.

Use Two: Arguing for Skill:

This is probably the strongest reason, at least in my eyes, as to why arguing for things that can't be proven or disproven is still useful: it's a display of skill. In a matchup between two debaters on a topic where there is no definitive right or wrong, who wins and loses the debate turns into who can craft the better arguemnts and rebuttals and who has a better ability to research topic literature. That's why real-life debate tournaments aim to have topics that aren't slanted in any way toward one side or the other: remove the provability or disprovability of a topic, and the winner becomes who does the better job debating, not who is ultimately right.

I'll pass it over to my opponent from here.
Debate Round No. 2
Duhreaper

Pro


Well, first I would like to try to negate the second use by saying that we can prove skill people prove skill every day playing video games or running track or playing sports it can be proven by the winning person or debate the person who won is clearly more skillful. You kind of contradicted yourself I think in your second argument. In a matchup between two debaters on a topic where there is no definitive right or wrong, who wins and loses the debate turns into who can craft the better arguments and rebuttals and who has a better ability to research topic literature. That's why real-life debate tournaments aim to have topics that aren't slanted in any way toward one side or the other: remove the provability or disprovability of a topic, and the winner becomes who does the better job debating, not who is ultimately right.clearly the person who wins is more skillful.even though not right they are more skillful at debating.




Now the first use probability. Now lets say I have a coin and flip it with two people watching it land on heads the person who called heads is excited because he won but the second says it landed on tails and a third person unbeknownst to everyone else was watching and said it landed on the edge of the coin now lets fast forward a few thousand years there has been cults made out of these three people and what they said happen most people believe the third guy who said it landed on the edge but they are hated on by the other two groups the heads and the tails most people believe that it landed on the edge of the coin those people believe all three groups are right in that if it landed on the edge then it would have also landed on the heads and the tails sides because it would have been balanced on both sides the other people say that they are right because the probability of it landing on the edge is very very very unlikely and then one of my descendants come in and say that I never flipped the coin and then everyone stops and thinks for a bit hey why are we arguing over what a coin landed on to begin with it has nothing to do with our lives or anyones but now it does they have spent their whole lives arguing over which is right and wrong that they have come to a way of thinking that is slanted towards what they were brought up to think/believe.


The point here is that it is not the events or the probability of things that make things important people make things important. People make things matter like horoscopes or what color your skin is or any little thing could be blown up to be important. And you said.“But the God debate is entirely relevant to our everyday lives in how we act and what we do, so discussion of such is entirely relevant. If we decide that God probably exists, our actions are more likely to align in accordance to a life where God did exist, rather than if God didn't exist. So even if we can't prove definitively that God exists, we can prove something probably exists or probably doesn't exist, and go from there.”I know the god debate is relevant, but why is it relevant without peoples' initial belief in it it would have never gotten to be a mainstream religion and may have never been relevant people believe in it because they were taught to believe in it. People control their own lives and have a lasting effect on others over things that people perceive as important and yet they may have never happened or they are not important at all. People make things relevant and what people make relevant may or may not even be based on any facts at all."we can prove something probably exists or probably doesn't exist, and go from there."Go where from there we still dont know anything we dont know if it actualy exists or not.




There are certain things that are impossible to prove or disprove, but we argue whether they probably happened or not to give us insight into how we believe the world around us probably works.” Yes but why do we argue over things that have no basis of proof that have no real basis or root in history I mean I would be more likely to believe my coin story 1000 years from now instead of some ideas some other people have today of what happened thousands of years ago or billions of years ago without them being there to witness it and claiming to know what happened.




Zaradi

Con

I'll go in order of him posting the responses.

His response to my second use is weak at best, not even a refutation more realistically. His response is, and I quote, "I would like to try to negate the second use by saying that we can prove skill people prove skill every day playing video games or running track or playing sports it can be proven by the winning person or debate the person who won is clearly more skillful."

First, this isn't even a response, rather just restating what my argument is (which he goes onto later quote explicitly).

Secondly, whether we can determine who's more skillful through playing video games or running track is irrelevant since we're talking about debate. You can't determine who's better at debating by having them play rock-paper-scissors.

Third, apparently I contradicted myself somehow, somewhere. But my opponent never explains a) what I contradicted, b) where I made the contradiction, or c) how it's actually a contradiction. So since he basically just says "You contradicted yourself), I get to make the fun response: Nuh uh!

And since that basically wraps up the responses to the second use, I get to extend it out as clear or any kind of responses. The argument is really clear and intuitive. In a debate on if two plus two equals four, there's no skill involved since it's a truism. There's a provable side, which removes any element of skill invovled to win: even the most incompetent debater can prove it and even the most skilled debater could not disprove it since it's simply true. If you remove that element of provability and leave a debate up for both sides that cannot be explicitly proven or disproven, it leaves room for the more skilled debater to win the debate, therefore meaning that we can use debating over things that can't be proven or disproven to determine, out of two debaters or teams of debaters, who is more skilled at debating.

Let's go to the first use then. He starts with this elaborate example of a world in which two people flipped a coin, and three sides spawned massive argument for the outcome of that coin flip: heads, tails, or on it's side. I mean, it was a nice read, but it doesn't matter because there's no actual impact of a coinflip on every day life (unless that coin flip was to determine if, like, the US would nuke everyone else, but not only is that a provable or disprovable resolution--it doesn't matter if you disagree that a coin landed on heads if it landed on heads--, it's not resolutional, so let's get back on topic here).

His real argument is that probability doesn't really matter if it doesn't have an impact on your life. I bring up the example of the God debate that directly responds to this: whether God probably exists or doesn't probably exist has a massive impact on our lives since there are clear-cut tenants on how one ought to live their lives and conduct themselves (not to mention if we figured out that God existed, pretty much all governments would become Theocracies).

He responds to this by saying that it wouldn't have mattered if the religion didn't become mainstream (because if we didn't know about the religion, we wouldn't discuss it), but this response doesn't make sense.

First, it wouldn't matter if the religion was mainstream or not: if the Christian god existed, it wouldn't really change anything whether I was aware of Christianity existed or not. I'd still be a sinner if I raped someone or had sex outside of wedlock.

Secondly, the point doesn't even matter because religion is mainstream anyway. It is, therefore it's there for us to discuss.

Thirdly, it doesn't even matter if we weren't aware of it's possible existence or not because we could still debate it. Hypothetical realities or situations are debated all the time.

Fourthly, it wouldn't really matter if we weren't aware of Christianity, because there are loads of other religions for us to debate over.

So at the end of the day this point still stands. We can debate things that aren't proven or disproven to argue about the probability of it being true or false.

And to introduce a new argument in an entirely different vein (I can still do this because my opponent has plenty of time to respond to it with his last round): How does one determine if something is useful or useless? Where is the brightline on what we consider useful and what we consider useless? And who's viewpoint are we using to determine this brightline? My point being: determining whether something is useless or not is impossible to objectively do for the following reasons:

First, there's no brightline on what qualifies as useful and what qualifies as useless. If it can only be used for one thing is it useless? If I'm an aerospace engineer, is a soccer ball useless, despite it being useful for soccer players?

Second, there's no objectivity on what is useful or useless. A cellphone may be useful for me to have, but it might not be useless for an aboriginal person or an amish person.

Third, it ignores the possibility for new information to come to light that gives us new perspectives into the way things work. If we consider x useless, then new information comes out that makes x highly useful, was it actually useless before or were we just not aware of it's use until now?

If it's impossible to definitively show what's useless or useful then the resolution becomes false. If we can't determine what's useless or useful, then we can't say that it's useless. This means you negate because I'm showing that the resolution ( Arguing over things you can not prove or disprove is useless.) is false, which is my resolutional burden as the con debater.

This leaves three ways I'm winning the resolution:

1) I'm showing that the resolution is, by default, false because it's impossible to prove something is definitively useful or useless, which makes the resolutional statement false. This functions before anything else in the debate as it's a discussion of the meaning of the resolution, which is something we need to understand before the debate can even take place. This means if I'm winning this argument, nothing else in the debate matters and you vote con before you evaluate anything else.

2) I'm showing you two different uses in arguing for things that can't be proven or disproven: discussing probability and determining a superior debater. Neither are sufficiently responded to, if responded to at all, so are easy places to vote con. And all I need to do is win one of them, since if I'm showing that debating things that can't be proven or disproven has at least one use, then definitionally it cannot be useless, which means I win the debate.
Debate Round No. 3
Duhreaper

Pro

Yeah it was really a hopeless cause for me anyway you win. I missread your second reason for your first argument my bad. I missed one sentence which made a big difference.
Zaradi

Con

Whelp, that was interesting. I guess I accept your concession.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Zaradi 2 years ago
Zaradi
To you as well
Posted by Duhreaper 2 years ago
Duhreaper
Dang one year late already :( happy new year :).
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
lannan13
DuhreaperZaradiTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Concession.
Vote Placed by Zarroette 2 years ago
Zarroette
DuhreaperZaradiTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro concedes. I don't agree with giving conduct either against or to the person whom concedes, so I'll leave that untouched.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 2 years ago
Ragnar
DuhreaperZaradiTied
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: Concession.
Vote Placed by Mikal 2 years ago
Mikal
DuhreaperZaradiTied
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Reasons for voting decision: concession