The Instigator
induced
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
BigSky
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

Belief vs degree of certainty

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
BigSky
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/11/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,307 times Debate No: 30152
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)

 

induced

Pro

Scenario: You learn that Joe considers himself to be about 50% sure that God exists and consequently about 50% sure that God doesnt exist.
If you ask Joe "do you believe in God?", my position is that a "yes" or "no" answer will not offer any previously unknown substantive information.

when people disagree with me on this, i really dont understand what they mean by the word "belief", so i rely on you to help me understand what you mean by "belief" (using more than only synonyms or examples). Please give your arguments in the first round as well, since i really dont understand what CONs position entails.
BigSky

Con

Interesting topic, I believe that belief cannot be entirely based on assurance that something is real or not. If Joe does not believe in God, he may be only 50% sure because he can offer no proof that God doesn't exist. Not sure what exactly the debate is, but that is my opinion on your statement.
Debate Round No. 1
induced

Pro

how is belief different from degree of certainty? does it make sense to be 99% sure that X is false, but still "believe" that X is true? if so, what would you mean by "belief"? if you know how sure someone is of something, then whether or not they claim to "believe" in it is redundant. it's like if you know that Bob is 6 feet tall, would you gain any new information by asking him if he is tall? no. someone being called "tall" is just an over-generalization of their height which you already know the exact measurement of, and their exact height is much more informative than whether or not they consider themselves "tall". if someone is 99% sure that X is false and also claims to believe that X is true, that is like a midget saying that they are tall - the words "tall" and "believe" are redundant and misleading for the same reasons. do you see what i mean?
BigSky

Con

Thanks again for the interesting topic. To explain it simply and quickly, there are obviously people on earth who believe in God, and there are those who don't. Those who believe in God cannot completely prove God's existence, but they have the bible and faith. This makes them almost 100% certain God is real. Those who are atheist are so because they do not have this faith, but since they cannot prove God doesn't exist until they have at least searched the whole universe for him, they can only be 50% sure that God does not exist. Do you understand the position I'm taking?

P.S.: When I made a reference to the bible, I was just saying anything that a religion has to connect itself to God, in this case Christianity.
Debate Round No. 2
induced

Pro

im not sure if you really disagree with me or not. the thing im arguing here is that people use the word "belief" as just a generalized measurement of their degree of certainty. do you disagree with that or do you insist that belief entails something separate/more? it doesnt sound like you do. i think the reason this topic is confusing is because the word "belief" is such a vague construct to begin with. ive talked to many people who say they believe in God, and i've asked them "how sure are you that God exists?". their answers have ranged from under 50% to over 100%.

it bothers me when so called atheists say "you are either an atheist or not". it is like saying "you are either tall or not". at face value, i suppose they are technically right, but how tall does one have to be, to be considered tall? how sure does one have to be, to be considered a believer? some say over 50% sure, some say over 90%, some say degree of certainty has nothing to do with belief whatsoever! so can we all agree that belief is a stupid word that has no agreed upon sensible meaning? that is why i didnt define belief in my opening post; people dont agree on how it is to be used, just as people dont agree on who is to be considered tall. i would say that if someone is 50% sure God exists, then they are on the fence, and i wouldnt be able to accurately label them as a theist or an atheist. even if they are 99% sure god exists, then saying they believe in god is a gross overstatement because they are 1% sure that God doesnt exist. the statements "god exists" and "god probably exists" are completely different. if someone says "god probably exists", that is incompatible with the statement "god exists". you cant accurately identify with both statements.
BigSky

Con

I suppose I disagree, beliefs should not be measured as how certain you are of something, although some people today use the saying seeing is believing. Belief in the theory of evolution has to come with some degree of certainty, that is simple how a scientists think. Belief in religion is based off one's faith, and to a religious person, like me, that faith provides the 100% certainty, and that cannot be taken from me. I suppose overall it just depend on the kind of person you are, and whether or not you use faith as a base for belief, or science.
Debate Round No. 3
induced

Pro

i guess you are saying that you choose to accept something, and therefore are 100% sure of it. that makes no sense to me, but even if it were true, your belief and degree of certainty are still parallel to each other. if i know that you are 100% sure, i wont gain more knowledge by if you say you believe in it
BigSky

Con

In order to understand my argument, one must understand the concept of faith in an idea. Yes, from a scientific perspective proof is parallel certainty, but when one accepts that their are things that cannot be understood, then they have true certainty, not from science, but from God.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
This shouldn't have been a debate. As it is, PRO let CON to define the resolution, which I took to be "that belief cannot be entirely based on assurance that something is real or not." PRO didn't really contest this, so arguments to CON.

From wikipedia:

The relationship between belief and knowledge is that a belief is knowledge if the belief is true, and if the believer has a justification (reasonable and necessarily plausible assertions/evidence/guidance) for believing it is true...A false belief is not considered to be knowledge, even if it is sincere.
http://en.wikipedia.org...
Posted by philochristos 4 years ago
philochristos
I'm not really sure what this debate is supposed to be about. if you just want to know what people mean by "believe," why not post in the forums? I think that to "believe" something is to "think that it's true." That's all I mean when I say I believe something.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by wrichcirw 4 years ago
wrichcirw
inducedBigSkyTied
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