The Instigator
zeromeansnothing
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
treeless
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Dead/ Alive/Yet to be born ...............there is no real difference.

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Post Voting Period
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It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/23/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 365 times Debate No: 80028
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (0)
Votes (0)

 

zeromeansnothing

Pro

Good people have lived in the past, wonderful people who had full and productive lives.
Good people are actively pursuing lifetimes of useful undertakings, in the world today.
Good people will accomplish great feats in the future, no doubt.

The same references can be applied to the endeavours of villains, past,present and in the future.

Debate Question

What is the significant difference(s) between these perceived states of being?

There is none. (Apart from a pulse)

treeless

Con

This is an interesting topic, I thank Pro for instigating it.

As Pro did not take the liberty to define any relevant terms, I will waive the liberty to do so as well. As "significant difference" is also subjective, I will be assuming we are trying to avoid semantics and tackle the essence of the question at hand.

As there were no rules as to the format of the debate, I will continue on with my arguments and rebuttal.
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A1
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::The Irrelevance of Moral Character::

I find it curious as to why Pro emphasizes "good people" in his argument. It has nothing to do with the "debate question", or rather, it does nothing to prove his case. In fact, I would like to point out that people choosing and making certain moral choices in life is a significant difference in and of itself regardless of its temporal proximity.

Notably, this debate is not about significant differences of human being's moral character, but this brings me to my next argument.
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A2
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::The Significant Difference between Human Beings Regardless of Time::

Let's take the above example of moral character. If people, for the sake of simplicity, can be labeled as "good" or "evil", we can deem this a significant difference based on the very nature of what a significant difference entails. By definition, good and bad are opposites. And significance is that which is great in capacity (relative to a given standard). Based on the standard of morality, there can be no doubt that the difference between good and evil are significant. Thus, if there are people that can be qualified as "good" or "evil", we come to the natural conclusion that there is a significant difference between them.

If people of the same temporal frame can have a significant difference, there can be no question that people of separate temporal frames also share this difference.
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A3
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::The Difference between Being and Potential::

There is a significant difference between being and potential. Being is what is, while potential is merely what could be. The potential of life does not equate to life itself. Thus, the human being in the present moment is significantly different from the human being that may potentially exist in the future. The same logic applies to the dead person and the living person now. Essentially, Pro is stating that there is no difference between life and death.
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A4
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::The "Pulse" Argument::

Pro seems to be making the argument here that living beings live and die, and thus, there is no significant difference between other people that have lived and died, or will live and die in the future. This tautology, however, is linear, to say the least, and says nothing as to what it means to live or die as a human being or an individual. Thus, Pro is blanketing life and all its facets as "life" without actually taking the time to explain what life (or death) implies.

We can deduce his argument as this: "Life is life, therefore, all life is life, no matter what time it happens to take place." While true, this argument has no meaning, and is itself devoid of significance.
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A5
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::Perception and Being::

Pro mentions "perceived states of being" to illustrate, presumably, the three conditions: dead (past), living (present), and will (maybe) live (future). Excluding the "living" category, the dead and the not yet living both have no capability for perception. The former has lost the capacity to do so, while the latter has yet to exist to develop such a capacity. This is an obvious, and I daresay, a significant difference.

I will make additional arguments in the next round after giving Pro a chance to rebut my arguments and better clarify his position.
Debate Round No. 1
zeromeansnothing

Pro

treeless
AI:Not a point with reference to Debate Subject

A2:An unfathomable off-point ramble

A3: Correction :Pro is stating that there is little significant difference between the states of being Dead/Alive/ Yet to be born (except pulse). Stating that there is a difference between being and potential will require example and clarification. Stating it does not make it true.

A4:treeless states ' We can deduce his argument as this: "Life is life, therefore, all life is life, no matter what time it happens to take place." While true, this argument has no meaning, and is itself devoid of significance' I am glad you agree that it is true, this may however not help your case.

A4:The former has lost the capacity to do so, while the latter has yet to exist to develop such a capacity.
How is this different to the pulse argument? Isn't it just a mix of the same with a blend of the obvious.

There is nothing here for me to repel. Perhaps with a re-reading of your argument, I may find more to deal with. Let us be frank here, treeless. Thank You for accepting this debate, now give it your best shot. The Debate Title is beyond ambiguity.


Question: Dead/ Alive/Yet to be born ...............there is no real difference.


Debate that there is difference, and illustrate your reasons. I think that is your end of this deal, treeless 'Good Luck'
treeless

Con

Pro's position, as he clarifies once more, is: "Dead/ Alive/Yet to be born ...............there is no real difference."

Con's position is to refute the above claim. To clarify: Dead, living, or those yet to be born do have "real" or "significant" differences.

I believe I had made it rather clear, but to re-illustrate, A1 was an introduction to A2. Pro's argument is that there is no significant difference between people dead, alive, or not yet living. However, if there is a significant difference between contemporaries, eg. people that are currently alive, then the argument fails before the statuses (past or future) even become relevant. In other words, if there can be a significant difference (my example was moral character) between contemporaries, then the resolution is already refuted, as it claims that there is no difference at all between contemporaries and their predecessors, not to mention those of the future. If this argument still seems to be a off-point ramble that is unfathomable, then I ask Pro to kindly explain why he finds it so, as it is, his response remains a mere plead of failing to understand.

Pro then proceeds to make a correction in response to A3: "Pro is stating that there is little significant difference between the states of being Dead/Alive/ Yet to be born (except pulse)". But the states themselves are relative to individuals, eg. what life or being alive means, be it material, religious, or existential; it is relative to those that have the capacity to have the aforementioned temporal "states", you cannot separate the two from the equation. Also what "little significant difference" entails, Pro fails to elucidate. Instead, he claims, "Stating that there is a difference between being and potential will require example and clarification. Stating it does not make it true." I, then, in turn must point out that merely stating that there is "little significant difference" between the states of being dead/alive/yet to be born does not make it true. I find this to be a bit ironic, if not downright hypocritical, but I digress.

To clarify, potential and being are different by their very nature and definition. According to the oxford dictionary, "being" means "existence", "alive;living", "the nature and essence of a person" [1]. According to the same source, "potential" is defined as "having or showing the capacity to develop into something in the future" [2]. As I explained in my introduction, I tried to keep semantics out of the debate, but it seems Pro is confused as to what the two words mean at all. I believe this is as objective and clear as I can express the difference between these uncontroversial words.

In regards to his response to A4, I can only assume Pro is confused. The tautology that "life is life, and thus all life is life" is not an argument, it is an empty statement that does nothing to prove his resolution.
Essentially, Pro's argument thus far can be summarized as this:

P1: There is life
P2: All life is life
C: Thus, life is also death, and life is also that which is not yet life, and the only difference among the three is pulse

The conclusion is a non sequitur. Life is not death, and if Pro wishes to argue so, then he must actually argue instead of merely making claims. And as already explained above, he must also explain how being and potential are the same thing.

To be clear, I agree that the Debate Title and resolution is not ambiguous. I also believe my arguments have been rather straight-forward as well.

I will make a final point in regards to Pro's "pulse" argument, before I end this round. Metaphorically, I am assuming what Pro means by pulse is "the state of being alive". And thus, he is claiming that dead people and living people have no significant difference besides being dead or alive. At best, this argument removes the "dead" and "living" in dead people and living people. What does this leave us with? That people are people. The tautology here that people are people is easy enough to accept, the question, however, is if there are significant differences between people and people, and if there are (regardless of their temporal frame), the resolution is refuted.

This brings us back to A2, which to clarify, is that there are significant differences between individuals regardless of whether they are living or dead (not to mention the not yet living, which is inherently significantly different from the living and dead). Had Pro expressed what "significantly different" implies in his argument, I would be able to address it or challenge it (which is the whole point of this debate), but seeing as how he offers no arguments or clarifications, I can only argue under what seems most reasonable, even if "significance" is a subjective notion to begin with.

A2 is a simple enough argument to follow. In round 1, Pro claims that there are good people and villainous people. Given that we grant these qualities to exist, we can logically deduce that they are significantly different based on the two qualities being in direct opposition. It does not matter if we are comparing a dead person like Hitler to a living person like you and me, or even an imaginary person that one assumes will exist in the future. There are significant differences between people regardless of pulse or temporal frame, and thus the resolution is refuted.

[1]http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...
[2]http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...
Debate Round No. 2
zeromeansnothing

Pro

treeless, I accept that you are sincerely trying to engage here. Let me attempt to further simplify the debate topic, for you


Imagine that I have a stall in your local supermarket with the words 'Debate Opportunity' written on it.
Imagine that I have three cans of beans on this stall/table. One is produced by Heinz, one by Branston and the third is the inhouse own brand. Above the stall I challenge people to identify significant difference based on tasting/ experience and personal opinion. I challenge them to refute my assertion that the three are without any significant difference with the exception of a 'branding' obvious .


Now treeless, replace the cans of beans with lives. All kinds of lives that are over, that are happening and that are yet to happen. I am totally unconcerned about the average number of daily defications that these people had/have/ will have. I am totally unconcerned about their acccomplishments or their anxieties be they in the past, present or future, whenever.

I am declaring that there is no significant difference(except pulse)within these three 'lives' types ie past lives, present lives, future lives. What is the significant difference between these types? That is what you are in this debate for, treeless

Why would I need to identify 'similarity' when I am declaring that they are essentially,the same.

How would this sameness play out, you might wonder.



I will give you an example.

It is irrelevant beyond any degree of importance whatsoever, if you are walking down the road to your local town square, or if we are considering an historical account of a person in the past who once walked to their town, or if a person in the future undertakes a similar experience. All three events are a happening that are similar beyond the need for differentiation.

I make no deliniation that is worth mentioning between these three 'conveyor belt' states of humans along a ficticious timeline and within fabrication notions of assumed deliniation. When I look at this thing I see a sparrow eating crumbs on the 1st Century streets of Damascus, I see sparrows eating crumbs under the chairs of an Algarve Bistro tonight and I see sparrows eating grain on a roadside in 2022. I can see no significant difference that would make me afford importance or added value to one over the other.

Read the Debate Heading again , treeless, and then 'Be Wonderful'

Dead/ Alive/Yet to be born ...............there is no real difference.

treeless

Con

Human beings and cans of beans are not comparable. The sparrow makes a better comparison, but even then, Pro's argument basically is a gross simplification of a sparrow being a sparrow. Or rather, given the simplicity of his argument, he would have us believe that there is no also significant difference between a sparrow, a can of bean, and a human being, since all three share the same property of had been/is/will be.

Now, let us make a more honest comparison, and the real comparison that is being debated, which is human lives. Pro kindly states that he is unconcerned about "the average number of daily def[e]cation" of people present, past, or future. And while, I, myself, find that such a number would be interesting to know, that is not what is being argued. Rather, he makes a further point that even "their accomplishments or their anxieties" gives him no concern. That is also fine, I am not asking for his concern. What I must point out here is that, essentially, Pro is disinterested in what makes a human being a human being, and is only interested in the tautology that humans are humans. To him, Hitler and Ghandi are the same being, in fact, it would seem that a can of beans and Jesus have no significant difference based on his argument. All because they share the process of death/living/will live.

Pro "Why would I need to identify 'similarity' when I am declaring that they are essentially,the same."

I am not asking Pro to identify similarity, on the contrary, I am asking him to notice the significant differences between individuals based on their character and their very behavior. Yes, all humans eat and defecate, just as sparrows do, it is ridiculous, however, to state that there is no significant difference between the two.

Pro then continues to give an example: "It is irrelevant beyond any degree of importance whatsoever, if you are walking down the road to your local town square, or if we are considering an historical account of a person in the past who once walked to their town, or if a person in the future undertakes a similar experience. All three events are a happening that are similar beyond the need for differentiation."

If Pro thinks that the human being and his life is defined by walks to the supermarket, then I have no other argument then that it is simply not true. People engage in significant and diverse activities that change the course of human history, their quality of life, and the quality of life of others. People have advanced in thought, scientific knowledge, technology, medicine, philosophy, culture, all influenced by our ancestors, be they soldiers, scientists, inventors, philosophers, musicians, doctors, and so forth. The human experience is changing and evolving. There is such a thing as progress. If Pro wishes to ignore this or dismiss this as insignificant, he is essentially stating that there is no significant difference between a single-celled organism and a human being that it might one day evolve to become.

I have accepted Pro's request to read the heading once more, in return I ask that he read my arguments once more as well, and then provide an argument that is more than just opinions and his being "unconcerned" about how human beings lived, live, and will live.
Debate Round No. 3
zeromeansnothing

Pro

treeless states: ''If Pro thinks that the human being and his life is defined by walks to the supermarket, then I have no other argument then that it is simply not true. People engage in significant and diverse activities that change the course of human history, their quality of life, and the quality of life of others. People have advanced in thought, scientific knowledge, technology, medicine, philosophy, culture, all influenced by our ancestors, be they soldiers, scientists, inventors, philosophers, musicians, doctors, and so forth. The human experience is changing and evolving. There is such a thing as progress. If Pro wishes to ignore this or dismiss this as insignificant, he is essentially stating that there is no significant difference between a single-celled organism and a human being that it might one day evolve to become.'
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At last, something from you resembling a debate position. Let us examine 'the above'.

Henry David Thoreau > Quotes > Quotable Quote



Henry David Thoreau
“Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.”


Listen treeless , the vast majority of our lives composes of 'walks to the supermarket'. What do I need and what can I get. To deny this is to look childish. Read the poem Ozymandias by Shelly, where the concept is explored further.

You say that people engage in significant and diverse activities that change the course of history..............You suggest a progression as we move along. Are you saying in this that there is a reason to attach difference to past/present/future in this. If you are then surely the future is 'where its at'. If you are talking about a steady gradual progress then there are really very few trees on this road you describe that would distinquish that particular spot from another. What are you saying here? I am saying that this road of the human is virtually treeless.

You say that the human experience is changing and evolving as if you are aware of the progression. So what is the future of the human based on this progression. Had we a start, a present going towards something definite. What is the progression. What is the evolvement. Who in the past/present/future was not undertaking progression and evolvment. Identify something significant, be it time or incident along this homogeneous road.

A word of caution, treeless.
Attempt to be less disingenuous within your debate contributions in future. You appear to totally focus on the material offered to you by your opponent and then you mould it as if it were malleable. Here are just three examples of the many for you to consider

treeless states about Pro:he is essentially stating that there is no significant difference between a single-celled organism and a human being that it might one day evolve to become

Sorry but Nope!

treeless states about Pro:
Or rather, given the simplicity of his argument, he would have us believe that there is no also significant difference between a sparrow, a can of bean, and a human being, since all three share the same property of had been/is/will be.

Sorry but Nope!

treeless states about Pro:
To him, Hitler and Ghandi are the same being, in fact, it would seem that a can of beans and Jesus have no significant difference based on his argument.

Sorry but Nope!


If I give you a can of beans you will have enough material for a lifetime, treeless.

Hitler and Ghandi, dressed each day, Hitler walked his dog and Ghandi liked to walk. The individual moments of their lives are historical but they are also as real as you putting on your clothes today. Someone is getting dressed and walking their dog tomorrow..



People within history repeatedly do the same things. Consider the annual pilgrimage to Mecca by Muslims. Consider a tourist landmark like 'Old Faithful'. Consider Stonehenge. It appears as if people instinctively want to make the connect with all time, ie past,present and future by repetitive physical action. Contrast this with our academic use of historical material and our conceptual ramblings into futuristic sci-fi. There is a serious disconnect in all this that allows the conscious present (of which we are part)to remove ourselves from the fact that the past and future are as real as we are, without any significant difference.

We need to integrate past/present/future within a cohesion that makes sense. Within this outlook the horrors of Auschwitz would still carry the same currency as the atrocities of Syria today or indeed evil yet to be perpetrated. We would not differentiate in our analysis of life based on time but we would rather consider trend, pattern and likely progression. The curve appears regular and predicatable enough for us to be able to shape a definite future now. We could also shape the past by a process of genuine concern enquiry and reparation. We need to assimilate that Auschwitz is happening now and that it is highly likely that it is happening in the future. You speak about evolvement and progression, treeless. Imagine a craft-person who forgets on a daily basis how to conduct their craft. Imagine every morning as a practice session and imagine that a different object is attempted each day. This is what happens with selective/subjective amnesia within a primate subconsiousness. We are talking about peoples lives here as I said.

How often have you heard people say..................What's done is done. or Whatever will be will be,,,,,,,,,,etc.

The convenient delineation of past/present/future by us make it easy for us to keep dropping the ball. I await a wonderful retort on this treeless. Thanks



treeless

Con

"Listen treeless , the vast majority of our lives composes of 'walks to the supermarket'. What do I need and what can I get. To deny this is to look childish. Read the poem Ozymandias by Shelly, where the concept is explored further."

Certainly a great part of the human life is based on "what do I need and what can I get" as Pro states. The obvious point that Pro fails to see is that people have different needs and desires and make diverse choices that are significantly different from one another. This is what it means to be an individual. If there are significant differences between individuals, then Pro's resolution is refuted based on A2. Essentially what Pro is stating is that "because humans are human, they can only be human", but the conclusion that all humans are thus the "same" or "have no significant difference" does not follow.

"You appear to totally focus on the material offered to you by your opponent and then you mould it as if it were malleable."

That is the nature of a rebuttal, yes. As to if I am totally focused on it is another issue, as I have had very few material to work with thus far.

"If I give you a can of beans you will have enough material for a lifetime, treeless."

If those can of beans are what you are smoking, then perhaps I might be interested. On the other hand, if it is the source of your rather childish condescending tone, I suggest you toss it for your own benefit.

"Are you saying in this that there is a reason to attach difference to past/present/future in this. If you are then surely the future is 'where its at'."

Progression marks a difference, be it a negative progress or a positive one. Each experience is different and unique. My argument is not that people have not made progress in the past. Rather, progress for each individual means something significantly different. It does not matter if "A" from the past shared some similar sentiments from "B" in the present. Because there is always "C" that had a significant difference to them.

To reiterate, Pro's resolution is refuted if two people are significantly different regardless of their temporal state, as Pro's resolution is that all people, regardless of their temporal states, have no significant differences.

"Hitler and Ghandi, dressed each day, Hitler walked his dog and Ghandi liked to walk. The individual moments of their lives are historical but they are also as real as you putting on your clothes today. Someone is getting dressed and walking their dog tomorrow.."

Here, Pro repeats once more that people partake in mundane daily to daily activities and thus are entirely similar individuals with no capacity for a significant difference. This is a mere blanket statement that at best only shows that Ghandi and Hitler both partook in human behaviors, though I need not express once more that their lives were significantly different in individual values and experiences.

"There is a serious disconnect in all this that allows the conscious present (of which we are part)to remove ourselves from the fact that the past and future are as real as we are, without any significant difference."

Certainly the past is real, it exists, it is the foundation of the present, as to how it has no significant difference to the present and future (and how those living in them have no difference) is an entirely different question that you have answered with the barest of assertions.

"We would not differentiate in our analysis of life based on time but we would rather consider trend, pattern and likely progression.

This is an entirely different debate, and I am not suggesting that people ignore the past or historical trends, when considering the future.

"The curve appears regular and predicatable enough for us to be able to shape a definite future now."

If the future can be different from the present or the past, then Pro refutes his own resolution.

"We are talking about peoples lives here as I said."

And I never stated anything contrary to this. My arguments revolve around people being significantly different.
Debate Round No. 4
zeromeansnothing

Pro

treeless states: My arguments revolve around people being significantly different.



Thank You treeless for your participation here. I believe differently to your assertion, for the reasons that I have previously stated. I have spoon fed you topical material for the last time on this thread and I will allow voters decide our fate, after your conclusion.
treeless

Con

"treeless states: My arguments revolve around people being significantly different."

If Pro understood the syllogistic implications of his own argument (ie all people are the same regardless of their temporal state), he would see how it refutes his resolution. I also have nothing further to add, as his counter-argument thus far can be best summarized as, "Sorry but Nope!"

Your very welcome, zeromeansnothing, and thanks for instigating the debate.
Debate Round No. 5
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