The Instigator
Tigs
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
XStrikeX
Con (against)
Winning
4 Points

Contradictions do not exist

Do you like this debate?NoYes-1
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 2 votes the winner is...
XStrikeX
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/9/2011 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,704 times Debate No: 14337
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (12)
Votes (2)

 

Tigs

Pro

This debate will be an exploration into the concept of contradictions and to discuss whether or not a contradiction can exist.

My position will be in defense of the following statement by Ayn Rand:
"Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong."

My opponent will attempt to prove the above quotation false.
XStrikeX

Con

Thanks, Tigs, for creating this debate! I will not be posting any arguments in this round, since it would be unfair to the Proposition. However, I would like to get some definitions in order so that eventually, the Pro and I can settle on them.
Definitions:
Contradiction:
1. opposition between two conflicting forces or ideas [1]
2. a statement that is necessarily false [1]
Paradox: a statement that contradicts itself [2]
Exist: have an existence, be extant [3]
Hopefully, we can agree on some, if not all, of these terms. Now please prove why contradictions do not exist. Thanks once again for the debate topic.
Sources:
1. http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu...;
2. http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu...;
3. http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu...
Debate Round No. 1
Tigs

Pro

First I would like to thank my opponent for accepting this debate. I apologize for my delayed response as I am unable to post from work.
The principle of contradiction stated symbolically: !(P&&!P) [1]
This defines a contradiction as something simultaneously possessing a property and its inverse.
The appearance of what most people might call a contradiction is simply a result of incomplete information. Here is an example:
Jerry loves fish; Jerry hates fish.
In this example it is understood that Jerry in both parts of the statement is indeed the same individual (and he does not suffer from bipolar disorder or schizophrenia; if he did it would indicate his attitude towards fish fluctuates in a period of time). This at first glance may seem to some that Jerry has contradicting feelings towards fish; but is it some particular species Jerry has an affinity or disdain for? Perhaps Jerry loves consuming fish but hates preparing fish because he too often overcooks it.
The appearance of any such contradiction can be dispelled by examining the premises. The mistaken premises often lay in the assumptions that are made by the observer.
Since my opponent is defending the existence of contradictions, I would be interested hearing some examples so they may be discussed.

Source:
http://en.wikipedia.org...

XStrikeX

Con

Thank you for replying, Tigs.
I, too, may not be replying swiftly due to some business I have. Nonetheless, I will provide examples of what I believe are contradictions and see if you can disprove them. Now, I'm unsure whether or not you and I mutually agreed on the definitions I presented, but I'll still bring in some examples, regardless.
Examples
As stated in my first speech, I showed that paradoxes are contradictions and I will be using one in my first example.
1. My first example will actually come from Wikipedia.
"If one ignores the rule Wikipedia:Ignore all rules, then one would be following the rule, thus not ignoring the rule. Yet if one follows the rule Wikipedia: Ignore all rules, then one would no longer be ignoring all rules." [1]
2. Another paradox from Wikipedia.
"If one adds Category:Category needed to an article, it technically no longer needs the category because it now has one. Yet if one removes the category, then the article now does need a category, so Category:Category needed will have to be added back." [1]
3. Now one from Atlas Shrugged, written by Ayn Rand, which I hope you are familiar with... maybe?
Anyways, Rand repeatedly refers to the bad side of man as “evil.” Rand must believe that evil does exist. But if man is only truly alive and good when he is true to himself and his virtue, how can evil exist? Where did it come from? How could this good and wonderful being called man, distort and pervert good to the point that it became evil? Good and evil contradict one another. The presence of both in this world is clearly a contradiction. There must have been a source from where good and evil came, but how can these two co-exist? [2]
4. Another contradiction from Atlas Shrugged.
Fourth, Rand believes that men are made of a soul. A soul is supernatural in itself. We cannot see it. We cannot prove that it exists, but there are few who believe that it does not exist. If reason overrides all superstition, how can she make the claim that a man is more than what meets the eye? Does this not contradict the very essence of reason? [2]
I guess that's all for now. Hopefully, we can agree to some definitions.
Hope to hear from you soon. Thanks again.
Sources:
1. http://en.wikipedia.org...
2. http://www.freerepublic.com...

Debate Round No. 2
Tigs

Pro

I appreciate your response, examples, and patience XStrikeX.

You stated "As stated in my first speech, I showed that paradoxes are contradictions". I would disagree that this was shown rather than stated, however I am willing to explore the possibility. It is true that the words are often used interchangeably in common usage.

"1. My first example will actually come from Wikipedia.
"If one ignores the rule Wikipedia:Ignore all rules, then one would be following the rule, thus not ignoring the rule. Yet if one follows the rule Wikipedia: Ignore all rules, then one would no longer be ignoring all rules." [1]"

This is an interesting example, however it demonstrates a rule that is impossible to follow rather than a contradiction. The false premise in this statement is that ignoring the rule is following it. There is no restriction on other rules that may be followed, meaning it is possible to ignore this rule without falling into the circular pattern which makes it demonstrably impossible to follow.

"2. Another paradox from Wikipedia.
"If one adds Category:Category needed to an article, it technically no longer needs the category because it now has one. Yet if one removes the category, then the article now does need a category, so Category:Category needed will have to be added back." [1]"

In this example the false premise is the category itself "Category needed". There is no contradiction here due to the fact that the requirement for an article to have a category is satisfied irrespective of what that category is defined as.

"3. Now one from Atlas Shrugged, written by Ayn Rand, which I hope you are familiar with... maybe?
Anyways, Rand repeatedly refers to the bad side of man as "evil." Rand must believe that evil does exist. But if man is only truly alive and good when he is true to himself and his virtue, how can evil exist? Where did it come from? How could this good and wonderful being called man, distort and pervert good to the point that it became evil? Good and evil contradict one another. The presence of both in this world is clearly a contradiction. There must have been a source from where good and evil came, but how can these two co-exist? [2]"

I fail to see any indication of a paradox or contradiction in this paragraph. Good and evil are moral judgments and as such are subjective rather than quantifiable. I am especially confused by what is meant in the comment "distort and pervert good to the point that it became evil?"; perhaps you can elaborate on this so I can more adequately respond to what you intended to raise here.

"4. Another contradiction from Atlas Shrugged.
Fourth, Rand believes that men are made of a soul. A soul is supernatural in itself. We cannot see it. We cannot prove that it exists, but there are few who believe that it does not exist. If reason overrides all superstition, how can she make the claim that a man is more than what meets the eye? Does this not contradict the very essence of reason? [2]
I guess that's all for now. Hopefully, we can agree to some definitions. "

The only mentions I have encountered of man having a "soul" by Ayn Rand were either in reference to consciousness and reason or were in derision at the dichotomy which she termed the "soul-body dichotomy". This was less a belief by Rand in a supernatural existence and more a concept utilized to illustrate the disparate and often illogical ways in which "society" attempted to influence your perception of yourself as an individual. [1]
Ayn Rand once said "Reason is man's tool of knowledge, the faculty that enables him to perceive the facts of reality." [2], and I would agree with the author it would invalidate her definition of reason if in fact she were to profess a belief in the soul as a supernatural existence; it would not indicate a contradiction but rather evidence that one of her statements is false.

I look forward to your responses to the explanations I have given, and thank you in advance.

Source(s):
[1] - http://aynrandlexicon.com...
[2] - http://aynrandlexicon.com...
XStrikeX

Con

Thanks for the response, Tigs.

Refutations

"This is an interesting example, however it demonstrates a rule that is impossible to follow rather than a contradiction. The false premise in this statement is that ignoring the rule is following it. There is no restriction on other rules that may be followed, meaning it is possible to ignore this rule without falling into the circular pattern which makes it demonstrably impossible to follow."

"In this example the false premise is the category itself "Category needed". There is no contradiction here due to the fact that the requirement for an article to have a category is satisfied irrespective of what that category is defined as."

Please explain how the false premis would be the category.
Here's how I view it.
If a Wikipedia page requires a single category, it would put "One category needed" somewhere on the page. However, if one puts a category in, but fails to take off the "Category needed" sign, then there is a contradiction, as there is no longer a category needed, yet the page still has such a sign.

"I fail to see any indication of a paradox or contradiction in this paragraph. Good and evil are moral judgments and as such are subjective rather than quantifiable. I am especially confused by what is meant in the comment "distort and pervert good to the point that it became evil?"; perhaps you can elaborate on this so I can more adequately respond to what you intended to raise here."

Sure thing.
Rand believes that man is naturally evil. But we know that not all men do evil deeds. So how can good exist if we're all naturally evil? How can good and evil co-exist, or how can good acts and evil acts mutually exist? Good and evil are opposites; they contradict each other. Hopefully this cleared something?

"Ayn Rand once said "Reason is man's tool of knowledge, the faculty that enables him to perceive the facts of reality." [2], and I would agree with the author it would invalidate her definition of reason if in fact she were to profess a belief in the soul as a supernatural existence; it would not indicate a contradiction but rather evidence that one of her statements was false."

This is indeed a contradiction. Her own quote disproves one of her statements, as you say. This is definitely a contradiction. Her two statements are the opposite of each other.

My opponent has refuted the above contradictions incredibly well. For this reason, I have dropped two of my contradictions. But in this round, I'll pose a couple more.

Examples

1. PSA 145:9 The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.

JER 13:14 And I will dash them one against another, even the fathers and the sons together, saith the LORD: I will not pity, nor spare, nor have mercy, but destroy them.

How can a god be merciful and willfully destroy everyone?

2. EXO 15:3 The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.

ROM 15:33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.

Self-explanatory.

I await the response with gusto.
Debate Round No. 3
Tigs

Pro

Tigs forfeited this round.
XStrikeX

Con

Unfortunately, my opponent seems to have just run out of time while writing his final arguments.
This has been a great debate, especially on my opponent's side.
Seeing as there's nothing to do, I'll close.

Some of the old and the new contradictions I posted have been left unanswered. As a result, it should be assumed that these contradictions exist, as they were never refuted.

For these reasons, the Opposition deserves to win this debate.
Thank you, Tigs and readers.
Debate Round No. 4
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by arethusa668 6 years ago
arethusa668
haha, i like how all of xstrikex's contradictions on round 3 are from the bible
Posted by XStrikeX 6 years ago
XStrikeX
Aw, man, that sucks, Tigs...
But I guess it's now in the hands of the readers. You put up a great fight, nonetheless, and you definitely can win this.
Posted by Tigs 6 years ago
Tigs
The site says it auto saves what you've written at certain intervals, it'd be a nice feature if they'd use whatever was saved in there if you run out of time while writing it....Or something...
Posted by Tigs 6 years ago
Tigs
Oh no way, the counter still said I had 55 seconds to respond when I hit review. I cut it to the wire, sure, but I just got gypped.
Posted by XStrikeX 6 years ago
XStrikeX
I feel pressured.
Posted by Puck 6 years ago
Puck
"I hope Con doesn't make the argument I think he's going to make."

Me too. :P
Posted by XStrikeX 6 years ago
XStrikeX
I don't usually like these semantics debates, but I felt like a challenge.
Posted by mongeese 6 years ago
mongeese
The debate can only be solved by semantics. The truth in the statement depends entirely on how one defines both "contradiction" and "exist."
Posted by gizmo1650 6 years ago
gizmo1650
This debate is just begging for sementics.
Posted by Cody_Franklin 6 years ago
Cody_Franklin
I hope Con doesn't make the argument I think he's going to make.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by dustinbrown010 6 years ago
dustinbrown010
TigsXStrikeXTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 6 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
TigsXStrikeXTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04