The Instigator
Agabus
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Silly_Billy
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Can we know anything for sure? We can.

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 0 votes the winner is...
It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/2/2016 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 8 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 381 times Debate No: 95163
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (5)
Votes (0)

 

Agabus

Pro

We certainly know and we know we know. Because we don't lie down in front of transports and say we are dreaming. Neither do we call our dreams our real life. If we do these things we will be called insane or mental. We act as if we know because we know. And we admit we know when we come face to face with a brick wall. Reality is reality, or isn't it, friend?
Silly_Billy

Con

Reality is what we believe reality to be and every person, simply because no two people are alike, will have a slightly different version of what this reality is. In your case and my case, the difference is so different that it becomes possible to proof that our realities are not alike. For instance, you are a devout Christian which means that God, Jesus, the Bible, and all the Christian teachings are to such an extend a part of your reality that your reality is your Christianity. I on the other hand emerge from the Atheist corner in which God, Jesus, and the Bible were a part of reality and therefore, of coarse, my reality is none-Christian one. In your reality, you will eventually go to heaven while I (as an anabaptized Atheist) will eventually end up in hell. In my reality, we will both end up in the same place and eventually (hopefully) be reborn into the next life.

Ironically, if anything can be known for sure it is that nothing is sure.
Debate Round No. 1
Agabus

Pro

Aren't you making a fundamental error when u say reality is what we believe it is? Does what I believe change reality? Do all paths lead to Rome in reality? Can I make a square circle? Reality is what is true and right. We can't both be right. When the rubber hits the road we accept the truth. The truth is reality. Sadly sometimes we don't face reality (for various reasons). If we jump off a cliff reality is we will die. My dad was from Jamaica and he knew a fellow who was involved in a false religion and the fellow thought he was going to fly to Jerusalem and he jumped out of a tree and died. That man died because he was deceived about reality. Reality was that he couldn't fly. He didn't change reality by believing he could.
And your last comment seems to be along the side of playing with emotions maybe more than logic. Not sure if u intended anything by it but I have heard the question so much. "Are u saying I am going to hell?" It doesn't prove the point either way. So if a fellow thought he was going to swim across the ocean and you told him he is wrong that he can and he said "Are u saying I am going to drown?" Consequences are consequences. Right friend? I know this last section is a little off topic but I am used to it being a concern people have with Christianity so I followed the rabbit trail I guess😁
Silly_Billy

Con

Aren't you making a fundamental error when u say reality is what we believe it is?

Not at all and now that you have given me the opening, I shall try to prove that reality is indeed what we believe it to be.

1) Does what I believe change reality?

There are some scientists, like Dr. Joe Dispenza, D.C who claim that your mind can actually change your reality. The brain is not static, rigid and fixed. Brain cells are constantly and continually remoulded and reorganized by our thoughts and experiences. Recent studies in neuroscience have shown we can change our brain just by thinking. When we truly change our mind, there is a physical evidence of change in the brain. [1]

One of the most basic ways that beliefs can shape reality is through their influence on behavior—no quantum physics needed. For example, if you believe that you’re capable, competent, and deserving of your dream job, you’re probably more likely to notice and seek out opportunities that could help you get there. You’re also more likely to perform well in an interview. Contrary to the common assumption that overconfidence can backfire, research suggests that it may actually be beneficial: Overconfident people tend to appear more socially skilled and higher in social status, even when those evaluating them have access to objective information about their actual ability. [2]

Your beliefs can shape your reality not only by influencing your own behavior, but also by influencing other people’s behavior, from close relationship partners to complete strangers. In one classic study, male participants were led to believe that a woman with whom they spoke on the phone was either attractive or unattractive. Analysis of the recordings by outside observers showed that throughout the conversation, women perceived as more attractive came to behave in a more friendly and likable way than those who were perceived as less attractive, suggesting that participants’ expectations not only shaped their own perceptions of their conversation partner—they also seemed to elicit behavior that confirmed their expectations. [2]

Health and disease are influenced by multiple interacting factors, many of which are not fully under your control, including genetics, exposure to environmental toxins, history of trauma, and socioeconomic circumstances. But research suggests that beliefs matter too. In one study, middle-aged adults who held more positive beliefs about aging lived an average of 7.6 years longer than those who held more negative beliefs, even when controlling for current health and other risk factors. In a number of other studies, optimistic people were found to be less likely to develop heart disease, again controlling for other risk factors. [2]

As you can see, there is a lot of evidence that proves that what you believe can change your reality through a number of ways. There is the physical change, the behavioural change, and the effect that our behavioural chances have on others. Additionally, by believing that something is possible we open the door to find a way to make it possible as I will show in the next paragraph.


2) Reality was that he couldn't fly. He didn't change reality by believing he could.

He failed yes, but the funny thing is that others also had that belief and they did change reality:

The Wright brothers, Orville (August 19, 1871 – January 30, 1948) and Wilbur (April 16, 1867 – May 30, 1912), were two American brothers, inventors, and aviation pioneers who are generally credited[1][2][3] with inventing, building, and flying the world's first successful airplane. They made the first controlled, sustained flight of a powered, heavier-than-air aircraft on December 17, 1903, four miles south of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. In 1904–05 the brothers developed their flying machine into the first practical fixed-wing aircraft. Although not the first to build and fly experimental aircraft, the Wright brothers were the first to invent aircraft controls that made fixed-wing powered flight possible. [3]

By believing it could be done, they opened the door to flying and they changed our reality by making a dream come true.

3) I know this last section is a little off topic but I am used to it being a concern people have with Christianity so I followed the rabbit trail I guess??

There are people who do have a lot of issues with religion yes which is not only unfortunate but also shows that there is a lack of respect. The way I see it, religion can give people a solid foundation which in turn can provide them with a lot of strength. People who have something to belief in will always be stronger than those who don't belief in anything and it may just be that those who do not believe in anything are jealous of those who can. In other words, I will not ridicule (nor did I intend to ridicule) what you belief.

[1] http://www.messagetoeagle.com...
[2] https://www.psychologytoday.com...
[3] https://en.wikipedia.org...

Debate Round No. 2
Agabus

Pro

We r shooting over each other a little bit it seems.
1.) Yes what u believe can change your future reality. But it cannot change reality in the sense that a square is now a circle because I believe it is. Yes your attitude often determines your consequence. I agree on all that. What I disagree on is that just because u believe something to be reality and true doesn't mEan it is that way. 2.) Same issue as argument #1. The man couldn't fly like a bird to Jerusalem just because he thought he could. He didn't change the surety of the situation. He just deceived himself. In the Wright brothers case reality was they could fly. They merely accepted reality. And once again belief systems have consequences but they don't change the past.
3.) I appreciate your attitude. Thanks.
4. In regards to a statement in your previous argument." (There is nothing sure)" , I will say are u sure?😆 in this discussion we have both talked as if there are many sure things. We may say there is nothing sure but we can test whether we really believe that by how we act. Probably if I could be a fly on th he wall I would find that 90% of your life u live u live with the attitude of surety. Not so?
Silly_Billy

Con

But it cannot change reality in the sense that a square is now a circle

Where the square into a circle argument is concerned, I hereby introduce the following evidence:

http://www.sciencealert.com...
https://youtu.be...

As you can see in both movies, circles can become squares and vice versa ;)
And one other possibility that I didn't find online but I know would work is to take a square and rotate it very very fast which will make it into... a circle.


The man couldn't fly like a bird to Jerusalem just because he thought he could.

He couldn't but you can ask yourself if he ever truly believed that he could. The truth is that we are raised with certain expectations of what reality is and once we believe that something is not possible, it does become impossible. But what if someone truly believes that something is possible, what evidence is there to prove that it isn't? Faith, as you ought to know, can be an extremely powerful. It is said that faith can move mountains and even the bible recognises its strength:

Matthew 14:22-33 Jesus Walks on Water.
Exodus 14:21 Moses parts the Red Sea. [1]

If the bible is to be believed, then some extraordinary things were done by extraordinary people. You can ask yourself how they managed it, you can say that god granted them the power and I suppose, in a certain way he did. But do you think that they could have done it it they had doubted god? Ultimately, it was their faith that empowered them to do those feats.

Fire walking has been practiced by many people and cultures in all parts of the world, with the earliest known reference dating back to Iron Age India – c. 1200 BC. It is often used as a rite of passage, as a test of an individuals strength and courage, or in religion as a test of one's faith. [2]

In regards to a statement in your previous argument." (There is nothing sure)" , I will say are u sure???

As I said in my previous statement, "if anything can be known for sure it is that nothing is sure" which (I must admit) means that I conceded the argument "Can we know anything for sure?" in your favour. But rest assured, the fact that we can't know anything for sure is the only thing that we can know for sure ;)

[1] https://www.biblegateway.com...
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org...

Debate Round No. 3
Agabus

Pro

Hey I am back again.
Yes the man in the tree truly thought he would fly to Jerusalem but he didn't. And yes Jesus walked on water because he was God. And about fire walking from what I have read on it it is the witch doctors who do it. Just like water witching were a man skin gets torn on his hand because the stick pulls so hard down to where the water is. Yes I believe these things are evident of spiritual powers and as quoting the miracles of the bible yes I have personally experienced alot of those things in my life. Miracles are a reality to those who walk closely with God. These things do not prove the power of thought but the power of the spiritual world.

About square circles. I think u get my point. Yes a square spinning rapidly can be made to look like a circle and yes I believe in optical illusions. But I don't believe that just because I think someone is stupid it makes them stupid. And I think we agree on that. We know that we can be deceivedand that deceit is real. Deceit in relative reality is not real.

About nothing being sure. I don't need to comment since it is not sure that nothing is sure. If reality would be relative why to we say statements like "it seems this way but in reality it's not"? It's hard for me to believe that I am even discussing this it seems so obvious. But like u said earlier reality facers don't have as good of an imagination and I can see your right about that.😆 So what about Adolf Hitler wasn't he evil in killing the Jews? As u and I know even criminals think they are good. Not a lot of bad people think they are bad and need to change. Does that make them good. I guess what I am trying to point out is where this belief system can lead to and what are the results of following to the tee.

Sorry about not quoting Internet sites. I grew up in an Amish community so I am not good with Internet. I am just a worker and I only use the tools I have and that is experience and the power of ration and reason which would not work by the way if it is all relevant. 😆 And as u can see I am not debating for the sake of winning. Just listening and weighing arguments back and forth. And my conclusion is from this discussion alone is that surety and certainty abounds. And it appears u are trying to use certainties to prove uncertainties.

Just out of curiostype may I ask "Would u rather believe nothing is certain than believe Jesus is God and we must obey him since we r his creation?" U don't have to answer this if u don't want to.
Silly_Billy

Con

Yes the man in the tree truly thought he would fly to Jerusalem but he didn't.

He may have subconsciously thought that he could fly, but the subconscious is a different matter. From birth we are taught, through our experiences, what our reality is supposed to be like. Even though someone may go "insane", those experiences are not altered and therefore the limitations to reality that we have grown to rely upon (no matter the mental state), remain in effect. To give that man as an example, there he was in the tree thinking, "I can Do it, I can do it, I can DO it", he jumps, and then that little subconscious voice comes along that has been fully indoctrinated with the limitations to reality since birth and says "no you can't" and down he goes. Faith in miracles to create miracles can only work while that faith is absolute.

As reported by Bruno Klopfer in the Journal of Projective Techniques in 1957, Dr. West was treating Mr. Wright, who had an advanced cancer called lymphosarcoma. All treatments had failed, and time was running out. Mr. Wright’s neck, chest, abdomen, armpits, and groin were filled with tumors the size of oranges, his spleen and liver were enlarged, and his cancer was causing his chest to fill up with two quarts of milky fluid every day, which had to be drained in order for him to breathe. Dr. West didn’t expect him to last a week.

But Mr. Wright desperately wanted to live, and he hung his hope on a promising new drug called Krebiozen. He begged his doctor to treat him with the new drug, but the drug was only being offered in clinical trials to people who were believed to have at least three months left to live. Mr. Wright was too sick to qualify.

But Mr. Wright didn’t give up. Knowing the drug existed and believing the drug would be his miracle cure, he pestered his doc until Dr. West reluctantly gave in and injected him with Krebiozen on a Friday.

To his utter shock, the following Monday, Dr. West found his patient walking around out of bed. Mr. Wright’s “tumor masses had melted like snowballs on a hot stove” and were half their original size. Ten days after the first dose of Krebiozen, Mr. Wright left the hospital, apparently cancer free.

Mr. Wright was rockin’ and rollin,’ praising Krebiozen as a miracle drug for two months until the scientific literature began reporting that Krebiozen didn’t seem to be effective. Mr. Wright, who trusted what he read in the literature, fell into a deep depression, and his cancer came back.

This time, Dr. West, who genuinely wanted to help save his patient, decided to get sneaky. He told Mr. Wright—that some of the initial supplies of the drug had deteriorated during shipping, making them less effective, but that he scored a new batch of highly concentrated, ultra-pure Krebiozen, which he could give him. (Of course, this was a bold-faced lie.)

Dr. West then injected Mr. Wright with nothing but distilled water. And a seemingly miraculous thing happened—again. The tumors melted away, the fluid in his chest disappeared, and Mr. Wright was feeling great again for another two months.

Then the American Medical Association blew it by announcing that a nationwide study of Krebiozen proved that the drug was utterly worthless. This time, Mr. Wright lost all faith in his treatment. His cancer came right back, and he died two days later. [1]

And about fire walking from what I have read on it it is the witch doctors who do it

Witch doctors are people to and if you believe that Witch Doctors can perform magic, then my point that we can change our reality through what we belief (aka: our faith) has been proven for that is exactly what Witch Doctors do.

A little history: Firewalking was brought to the United States of America by a man by the name of Tolly Burkan who removed the rituals from this religious ceremony of firewalking, stripping it of most of it’s demonic attire and proclaimed it to the public as a new self help DIY tool to overcome your personal fears by means of walking over a a bed of burning hot coals. The coals normally heated anywhere between 700 to 2000 degrees. [2]


Miracles are a reality to those who walk closely with God. These things do not prove the power of thought but the power of the spiritual world

The spirit and "thoughts" are very closely related and in fact, you can not have a spirit without thought as a spirit without thought would essentially be nothing at all. Do you really think that any spirit or even god can create a miracle without first thinking of that miracle and deciding to make that miracle come true? God is absolute intelligence and intelligence requires thought. However, if you have any evidence to support a claim that "actions" do not require "thought", then I would really be interested to learn about it.

So what about Adolf Hitler wasn't he evil in killing the Jews?

From what I define as reality, he was evil for killing the Jews but when we look at the old testament...

Deuteronomy 2:34 --> And we took all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed the men, and the women, and the little ones, of every city, we left none to remain.

1Joshua 6:21 --> And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, with the edge of the sword.

Samuel 15:2-3 --> Thus saith the LORD of hosts ... go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel. [3]

Now, I am not going to say that Christianity is evil but I am saying that it shows that today's reality in which such things are absolutely evil is not the same reality in which such things were normal. Reality has changed since the Old Testament, humanity has changed, and reality will keep on changing while humanity keeps changing the way that it defines its reality.

It appears u are trying to use certainties to prove uncertainties.

You are very right about that because where debating is concerned, it is only though quoting facts that evidence can be presented to support a stance. You may also note that I am trying to use the bible as a source of evidence even though my upbringing does not place the same value on the accuracy of the bible as yours does. The truth is, I may be debating in front a larger audience but at the end of the day I am debating you and therefore I am trying to provide evidence that you can accept as evidence.

Just out of curiostype may I ask "Would u rather believe nothing is certain than believe Jesus is God and we must obey him since we r his creation?"

I could answer that question and get into a debate about religion (which I do not desire), or I can translate your question into what I think you are really asking and answer that one instead. That question would be, "Would u rather believe in uncertainty or certainty?". I rather belief in uncertainty for one simple reason: The universe is a mystery, a puzzle that challenges us look at it, to consider it, and to figure it out. I need that mystery. I need to look upon the world and the universe with awe and wonder and to see the magic that it contains because as long as I see that magic, as long as I can wonder about the miracle that it is, for as long as I derive pleasure and contentment from unraveling the puzzle, for that long I will remain young and my thirst for life will stay with me.

[1] http://www.mindbodygreen.com...
[2] https://www.discerningtheworld.com...
[3] http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com...

Debate Round No. 4
Agabus

Pro

I follow you bud. But it all boils back down to the question of the debate. Can we know anything for sure? If we can't than there is no point in any of the sites you quoted because you can't be sure they are right. And after all you can't even be sure you are not dreaming. You can't be sure that any of the arguements that you used are accurate. The point I am stressing and the point I will stick to is we know things are sure. We act as if things are sure. We don't deny in reality that things are sure. Not to say we can't be wrong sometimes but that the only reason we can be wrong is because there is certainty. A man that lives as though nothing is certain is an insane man. We may say that nothing is certain but when we stop and look our actions speak louder than our words.
Silly_Billy

Con


I follow you bud. But it all boils back down to the question of the debate. Can we know anything for sure?


Actually it is quite easy to disprove "if anything can be known for sure it is that nothing is sure" for there is one thing that is completely and utterly sure "I think therefore I am" and even though it is impossible for me to prove to you that I exist, you can prove to yourself that you exist. Beyond that there is no genuine evidence that you are not in some elaborate dream and that the world around you and everything that you know to be real is indeed real.


And after all you can't even be sure you are not dreaming. You can't be sure that any of the arguments that you used are accurate


But those arguments are a part of the universe that we consider to be real (whether that universe is real or not), and as such the validity of those arguments stand unless the universe is not real. And if the universe is not real, then there is no need to prove that the universe is not real and no arguments are needed.


A man that lives as though nothing is certain is an insane man.


That would be a discussion in itself and the topic would be: "Why would such a man be insane?". Personally I think that such a man would be extremely flexible. The fact that not much is certain does not mean that we must therefore act as if not much is certain. Whether a dream or not, any person, no matter the circumstances, must remain true to himself and the things that he beliefs in. To do any less would diminish the person.


We may say that nothing is certain but when we stop and look our actions speak louder than our words.


I completely agree. Whether real or not, our actions are everything.


Debate Round No. 5
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Furyan5 8 months ago
Furyan5
I said if you ask the question. Anyone or anything else does not apply.
Posted by Silly_Billy 8 months ago
Silly_Billy
Furyan5, so if a fictional character in a book or on TV asks a question, then he must be real because only a character who exists can ask a question?
Posted by Furyan5 8 months ago
Furyan5
We know one thing for certain, if you ask the question, you exist. What exactly you are is uncertain but if you did not exist, you could not ask the question.
Posted by Silly_Billy 8 months ago
Silly_Billy
When I said that a man must act on his beliefs, I didn't mean that he should act upon the uncertainty of existence. Even though I can reason that we do not know anything for sure, I have matured with the concept that reality is as we experience it to be and just as the man who can't fly even if though he may believe he can (because of doubts deep in the subconscience), I can not deny reality even though I can question its foundations.

The funny thing is, my whole train of thought on this is a result of playing "Dungeon's & Dragons" in the past and becoming rather interested in the mechanics of magic. Who wouldn't be interested in being able to cast a simple spell (as long as it is used for good that is), but I came to realize that magic in our world can not possibly work because you would have to be absolutely firm in your faith that it would work, and our society and upbringing ensures that we can not possible ever have that faith because deep down, we all know it to be ludicrous.
Posted by Agabus 8 months ago
Agabus
Hey that was an awesome discussion. By the way I didn't mean the man who "thinks" nothing is uncertain is insane but rather the man who acts that way. Just curious Silly Billy what exactly u were meaning when u said a man must act upon his beliefs. How do you act as if nothing is certain or can u do that? Could u elaborate on that for me?
No votes have been placed for this debate.