The Instigator
Impartial
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
V5RED
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Belief is Subjective

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/13/2015 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 512 times Debate No: 79693
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
Votes (0)

 

Impartial

Pro

I'd like my opponent to try and explain why he or she thinks that belief can be objective, the implication being that a theist who says he knows a god exists, does in fact know this.
V5RED

Con

Beliefs are your inner evaluations of propositions. You can believe that they are true, believe that they are false, or hold no belief about them.

For example, with the proposition "I enjoy vaping", my belief is the objective evaluation of that statement as true. The subjective part is the enjoyment itself, not the belief that the enjoyment exists.

If a person believes that god exists, the belief is objective. It is a false belief and not rationally justified, but it does fit into the category of objectivity because it has a truth value.

As to knowing that a god exists, that depends on what you mean by know. If you mean absolute knowledge, then I am not sure anything can be known since you cannot prove that hard solipsism is not correct. If you mean know having presupposed that our senses are generally accurate, then it might be possible to know a god exists, but I do not know how one would distinguish a god from a sufficiently advanced alien species.
Debate Round No. 1
Impartial

Pro

Thank you for joining this debate, V5RED.

I agree with your first paragraph but in your example however; if the person vaping enjoys it, they know that they enjoy it. The enjoyment, as you say, is subjective and the knowledge that the enjoyment exists, is objective. Knowledge makes belief obsolete. I think it"s important to make this distinction because you wouldn"t say "I believe 1 + 1 = 2."

If a person believes that god exists, the belief is in an objective proposition but the act of believing is confined to subjectivity because of the lack of knowledge as to whether the proposition is true or not. The belief in god may well be a false belief but you do not know that, however irrational it may be. The lack of knowledge, again, means the belief is subjective and only when it is known either way, does it change from a belief to knowledge.

I agree that it might be possible to know a god exists, but my point is that even if it does, the belief in it, regardless of its accuracy, is nothing more than opinion because it"s accuracy is not known.
V5RED

Con

Knowledge is a justified true belief. It is a prerequisite to knowledge that a proposition be believed.

The standard definition of knowledge is as follows:

Y knows x if and only if y believes x, x is true, and y has a valid and sound argument to demonstrate x.

You cannot know anything you do not believe, knowledge could be considered a subset of belief.
Debate Round No. 2
Impartial

Pro

My father once said to me 'to believe is to know nothing.'

I've heard the term justified true belief used here before. If a belief is proven to be true then yes, you can call it a jusified true belief but in practice it becomes knowledge - the act of knowing, not the act of believing.

Sure, in order to know something new you must first believe it (an opinon), but identification of x leads to a belief in x, proof then leads to knowledge in x which makes belief obsolete.

You seem to forget that you can know something that you did not at first believe. It happens to people all the time. They believe one thing and are proven wrong and presented with facts. I therefore do not consider knowledge to be a subset of belief. Belief can precede knowledge but not always.

To conclude, belief is subjective until it becomes what you described as a justified true belief but one does not believe something that is true because in this instance, knowledge replaces it. Knowledge can also arrive with or without belief, which further proves why belief equates to an opinion and why it should be treated as such. In the real world, a suicide bomber would not detonate his explosives if it was his opinion that he was doing what his god demands of him. He is utterly convinced and he thinks he knows that what he believes is true because he has justified it to himself. This is a sickening perversion of the human mind and mental shortcut.
V5RED

Con

"My father once said to me 'to believe is to know nothing.'"
Your father was wrong.

"I've heard the term justified true belief used here before. If a belief is proven to be true then yes, you can call it a jusified true belief but in practice it becomes knowledge - the act of knowing, not the act of believing."
So you agree that knowledge is based in belief.

"Sure, in order to know something new you must first believe it (an opinon), but identification of x leads to a belief in x, proof then leads to knowledge in x which makes belief obsolete."
Once again you agree that belief forms the basis for knowledge.

"You seem to forget that you can know something that you did not at first believe. It happens to people all the time. They believe one thing and are proven wrong and presented with facts. I therefore do not consider knowledge to be a subset of belief. Belief can precede knowledge but not always." I have forgotten nothing. Assuming that someone is rational, they will not believe a thing until it has been proven. Once the person believes it, the person knows it. Therefore belief and knowledge occur simultaneously. Knowledge is not, however, required for belief. Children believe in Santa despite there being no good argument for his existence. Belief is a broad category, knowledge is a form of belief that you acquire due to reasoned argumentation.

"To conclude, belief is subjective until it becomes what you described as a justified true belief but one does not believe something that is true because in this instance, knowledge replaces it. Knowledge can also arrive with or without belief, which further proves why belief equates to an opinion and why it should be treated as such. In the real world, a suicide bomber would not detonate his explosives if it was his opinion that he was doing what his god demands of him. He is utterly convinced and he thinks he knows that what he believes is true because he has justified it to himself. This is a sickening perversion of the human mind and mental shortcut."Given that you accepted my definition of belief, most of what you wrote here is nonsensical.

I do not believe you really think belief is subjective, I think you are now arguing to avoid being wrong.

You cannot know what you do not believe, but you can believe what you do not know. You must believe what you do know and you can believe what you do not know. Therefore knowledge can never exist without belief.

As to the objectivity of belief, I already demonstrated this and you not only agreed with the difinitions that necessitate that conclusion, but you failed to mount any meaningful counter argument.
Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Lavaguava 2 years ago
Lavaguava
@RedMoonlight Seconded!
Posted by RedMoonlight 2 years ago
RedMoonlight
You expect a religious person to logically defend his beliefs? Good luck with that. Haha
Posted by Impartial 2 years ago
Impartial
We are in agreement but I know there are others who think differently and I invite them to come forward.
Posted by RedMoonlight 2 years ago
RedMoonlight
Well, pure "belief," independent of any concrete dimensions (facts, observations, i.e. the "objective") is inherently subjective. It's the very basis of subjectivity. In order for belief to be objective, there would have to be absolutely no variation of belief present in the world, essentially making "belief" a concrete fact. Knowing that, I can't see why anyone would take this debate. Seems a little rigged, no offense
Posted by Impartial 2 years ago
Impartial
Great questions, thanks RedMoonlight. It applies to any belief in which the believer states that something is true, 'I believe X exists,' for instance, or what call objective belief. It is the act of believing that I refer to, so for the purpose of this debate I do mean any belief. An accurate belief is still subjective until it is known by the believer that it is indeed accurate but then the act of believing becomes redundant.
Posted by RedMoonlight 2 years ago
RedMoonlight
I'm interested in this debate, but could you clarify your terms a bit? Is this strictly about religious belief, or belief in general? Your intro round makes it sound like Con has full burden of proof, which is fine, but is Con only required to show that belief CAN be objective, or that it's objective more often than it's subjective? Finally, by "belief," do you mean any belief, or accurate belief? For example, as lavaguava pointed out, belief is inherently subjective but the truth of a belief is not.
Posted by Impartial 2 years ago
Impartial
Many people don't agree though, unfortunately.
Posted by Lavaguava 2 years ago
Lavaguava
This is going to be interesting... mostly because belief is subjective by definition.
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