The Instigator
Richdix
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
UchihaMadara
Con (against)
Winning
10 Points

Creationists must necessarily be solipsists - a paradoxical and therefore irrational position

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
UchihaMadara
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/26/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 529 times Debate No: 62301
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
Votes (2)

 

Richdix

Pro

First round is for acceptance and criteria and definitions only.
2nd to 4th rounds are for argument and rebuttal
5th round is for rebuttal only. No new arguments are to be introduced in the 5th round.
No inappropriate language, insults or slurs permitted.
Precise references must be provided for anything stated as fact. Factual assertions that are not referenced do not need to be addressed in rebuttals.

As Pro for the argument I need only to demonstrate that Creationism necessarily results in solipsism, and that solipsism in turn must result in the rejection of Creationism, creating a paradox which is by definition irrational.

Con must show that Creationism does not necessarily result in solipsism.

Definitions:

Biological evolution = the assertion that all life on Earth has arisen from a common ancestor.

Solipsism = the rejection of all inductive knowledge regarding the material world.

Creationism = the assertion that all the 'kinds' of organisms were created separately by an intelligent and/or supernatural agent (NB - Con may use whichever definitions of 'kind', 'intelligent' and 'supernatural'they choose, as long as they are used consistently throughout the debate).

Good luck!
UchihaMadara

Con

This topic was too intriguing to resist XD
I accept!
Debate Round No. 1
Richdix

Pro

Thanks for accepting. I am unfortunately going to have to make this an uncharacteristically brief opening argument as I have got a lot of work on at the moment, but hopefully I can give you enough to sink your teeth in to, and do better in the next round.

First it seems that I would need to formulate one or more formal inductive arguments that support biological evolution:

Species have been observed to evolve from another species
All species evolved from another species

(This argument will be referred to as e1)

To deny biological evolution is necessarily to deny the truth of e1. Admittedly, e1 is a weak variant of the inductive method, and a stronger argument would be:

ALL SPECIES OBSERVED SO FAR, have been observed to evolve from another species
All species evolved from another species

(This argument will be referred to as E1)

I am not able to truthfully make the stronger argument, but I can combine e1 with the following:

No species have ever been observed being created by an intelligent and / or supernatural agent
No species have ever been created by an intelligent and / or supernatural agent.

(This argument will be referred to as E2)

E2 is as strong an argument against Creationism as E1 is for biological evolution.

And so, Con, it falls to you to answer the following: If the conclusion of e1 may be rejected on the grounds of being a weak form of inductive reasoning based on an inadequate number of observations (and it can), on what grounds can E2 be rejected? Can E2 be rejected without rejecting all inductive reasoning?

(See http://www.talkorigins.org...- speciation.html for a list of observed speciations. Reference included to support the assertion made in the first line of e1)

I strongly suspect I will have my philosophical butt handed to me at the end of this round, I will try to schedule better for the next round.

All the best.
UchihaMadara

Con

An interesting argument by Pro!
I will be showing why neither of Pro's arguments affirm the resolution at hand, which is that belief in creationism mandates the rejection of ALL inductive knowledge regarding the material world.

R.e1)

Pro's argument can be formulated as follows...

P1: The theory of evolution is justified by inductive reasoning
P2: Creationism rejects the theory of evolution
C1: Therefore, Creationism rejects all inductive knowledge.

Obviously, this is not a logically valid argument... there is no connection at all between the premises and the conclusion! It would make just as much sense to argue the following:

P1: Bob is a lawyer
P2: I hate Bob
C1: I hate all lawyers

Even assuming the truth of the premises, the conclusion is not necessitated at all. If I specifically hate Bob as a person, that does not mean that I hate everyone who shares a common attribute with him-- I do not necessarily hate all lawyers. Similarly, by accepting creationism and irrationally rejecting one product of inductive logic (i.e. evolution), I do not necessarily reject ALL inductive knowledge. A creationist can still accept other knowledge derived from inductive reasoning, such as the results of surveys and forsenics investigation. This argument is refuted.

R.e2)

Again, we can formulate Pro's argument in a syllogistic format:

P1: Divine Creation is not supported by inductive reasoning
P2: Creationism supports Divine Creation
C1: Therefore, Creationism rejects all inductive reasoning

This argument has even less connection between its conclusion and its premises than the last one! It would be like arguing the following:

P1: Joe is not a lawyer
P2: I love Joe
C1: I hate all lawyers

Again, this is nonsensical. The fact that I love one person who is not a lawyer does not even come close to implying that I hate everyone who IS a lawyer... In the same way, a Creationist who irrationally accepts non-inductive knowledge does not necessarily reject all inductive knowledge. There is no logical connection whatsoever between the two. This argument is refuted.

"

And let's not forget that thus far, I have only attacked the logical validity of Pro's arguments, totally disregarding whether or not its controversial premises are actually true. Nevertheless, I will leave itat that for now. Both of Pro's arguments are logically invalid, and since he has the burden of proof, the resolution is negated.
Back over to Pro!
Debate Round No. 2
Richdix

Pro

Nice try Con, but you'll have to do better than that. You have confused inductive reasoning with syllogistic logic. Your formulations of my arguments are syllogisms, which codify the realm of deductive, not inductive knowledge. As such your refutations are invalid and you have not succeeded in explaining how E2 can be rejected without rejecting all inductive knowledge. All you have done is shown that my arguments fail as deductions, which they indeed do and were never intended to do otherwise.

Please take particular note at this point, that evolution is not mentioned in E2 - it is an inductive argument against creationism, not an argument for evolution. Disproving creationism does not prove, or even lend support to evolution, and it is neither my intention nor burden to prove evolution in this debate.

I need not have mentioned evolution at all during this debate, and it may have been unwise of me to do so as I see it has caused a misunderstanding that could have been avoided. I introduced a weak argument for evolution merely as an example of a weak inductive argument. Let me try again and this time I will leave evolution out of it.

Example of a weak inductive argument:
All the Tibetan people I have met are small
All Tibetan people are small

As I have only ever met one Tibetan person, this is a weak argument based on inadequate data.

Example of a strong argument:
No dogs have ever been observed speaking English
No dogs speak English
(Let's call this argument D1)

In logical terms, D1 is exactly as valid as E2 (repeated here for your convenience):

No species have ever been observed being created by an intelligent and / or supernatural agent
No species have ever been created by an intelligent and / or supernatural agent.

How is it possible to reject E2 without rejecting D1? Your turn Con!

(PS - I am avoiding the argument "no gods have ever been observed....etc..." because of the problems with definitions and the impossibility of proving an ontological negative)
UchihaMadara

Con

Pro claims that his inductive arguments in favor of the resolution were never meant to succeed as deductions, and proceeds to use that as an excuse to dismiss my deduction-based rebuttals. This is a completely inadequate response... let's keep in mind two important observations:

1. Deductive reasoning is still a perfectly reliable method of truth-seeking, regardless of the debate's subject

2. The resolution is an *absolute* claim that "Creationists *must* *necessarily* be Solipsists"

My use of deductions/syllogisms was simply to show that Pro's inductive arguments fail to affirm that absolutist resolution; in other words, I used deductive logic to show that inductive logic is incapable of proving absolute claims like the one Pro has made. Thus, my rebuttal does, indeed, refute his argument. For Pro to win, he must either actually address the substance of my rebuttals (i.e. show that inductive logic can be used to affirm absolute claims) or somehow "debunk" deductive reasoning as a whole. Pro has done neither of these, and therefore, the resolution is negated.
Debate Round No. 3
Richdix

Pro

Richdix forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
Richdix

Pro

Richdix forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Envisage 2 years ago
Envisage
This is an interesting topic choice, I look forward to your arguments for this position.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by TrasguTravieso 2 years ago
TrasguTravieso
RichdixUchihaMadaraTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct:FF It is a pity that Pro should have forfeited the debate, this was a jewel of logician's pedantry and I was quite enjoying it.
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
lannan13
RichdixUchihaMadaraTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture