The Instigator
McBain
Pro (for)
Losing
33 Points
The Contender
Logical-Master
Con (against)
Winning
37 Points

Debate is a means to an end, and that end is TRUTH.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/27/2009 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,227 times Debate No: 7555
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (12)
Votes (13)

 

McBain

Pro

I want to limit characters in this debate to 2000 so that arguements will be direct and to the point. Also to save time.

Ultimately I believe debate is something that allows for participants and observers to expand their knowledge through intellectual discourse. The very essence is to find ways to negate some idea or claim, no matter how many times that idea may be presented. Many debate ideas have been debated time and time again, each presenting new alternatives to the same parent idea. This is very similar to the scientific process in the regard that truth is found through repeated attempts to negate debated claims or topics. Through the process of presenting alternatives to a claim or an idea, one debater will in the end present some truism.

That truism is that a presenter's claim is either true or not.

One debate can be, but is not always absolute truth however. It is only one piece of the puzzle. With numerous pieces the path is laid to what is true.

I present a definition (#3) of truth: "a verified or indisputable fact, proposition, principle, or the like" (http://dictionary.reference.com...)

In the end of a debate there is a victor and that is the one who has argued their case to the point of being indisputable by their opponent. Thus resulting in a truth.

In the end, through logical argument, factual statement and citation, debaters and observers will have gained knowledge, feeding to the pool of information that could be further debated and expanded upon. A personal belief is that truth is gained through debate at numerous scales. From the individual debate to the collective knowledge gained through repeated debate. This extends even down to the individual statement.

While not all statements made in a debate are necessarily true, through proving or disproving them truth is eventually gained in some form. Thus not only knowledge is gained, but true knowledge is gained.

I thank my opponent should he graciously accept.
Logical-Master

Con

In order to conduct this debate, I need merely rely on the Socratic method in my initial round.

1) You say the following: "In the end of a debate there is a victor and that is the one who has argued their case to the point of being indisputable by their opponent. Thus resulting in a truth."

Question: How do we determine whether or not a case is indisputable by one's opponent?

2) Have you ever engaged yourself in a personal dispute (or a debate rather) with a close family member over something as a trivial as "who was to do the dishes" or who is right or wrong regarding a personal incident between each other? Or have you ever witnessed your parents engage themselves is similar trivial dispute? If so, how would such situations fit into your position?

3) You said: "While not all statements made in a debate are necessarily true, through proving or disproving them truth is eventually gained in some form."

Question: How so? For that matter, how do we determine whether or not someone has proved or disproved these statements?

4) You said: "In the end, through logical argument, factual statement and citation, debaters and observers will have gained knowledge, feeding to the pool of information that could be further debated and expanded upon."

Question: Can "knowledge" be false?

5) You said: "One debate can be, but is not always absolute truth however. It is only one piece of the puzzle. With numerous pieces the path is laid to what is true."

So are you saying that with numerous pieces the path is laid what is the absolute truth?

And that's all the clarification I need. Till next round. :D
Debate Round No. 1
McBain

Pro

Aside from a statement that is true by definition, any case can be disputed. To argue that you have discovered a 4 sided triangle would not be much of an argument because a triangle is by definition 3 sided.

To address your second point, a dispute between two people might be seemingly futile due to the subjective nature of individual view points. However, as both parties hash their argument out they would be presenting facts to each other. Whether or not they are willing to accept each others views, they are still working towards truth through presentation of their experiences.

Though this may be sidestepping your third contention a bit, let me try to explain what I mean. Even if fore-mentioned parties disputing may not see eye to eye, they would both be presenting what they know to be true. These points may not be true as sometimes people lie or see/hear what they want to, however with supporting evidence the truth may be revealed.

Knowledge can indeed be false. For example, it was once common knowledge that the world was flat. However we have since learned through evidence and discussion that this is not true and that the world is spherical in shape. That is a degree of truth, but the world isn't perfectly spherical, it's surface varies in texture and while generally spherical, the absolute truth in that matter is that the world is not perfectly spherical.

To address your last question, the conclusion the world is spherical is the result of many truths that must have come before. As those truths became evident, they then further opened the way to the conclusion that the world is not flat, but spherical.

Ultimately, when this debate is over, people will have gained some pieces of the puzzle of what truth is. They will have gained some insights, whatever those may be, and statements made by both you and I have truth to them. And in the end, one absolute truth will be, that either you or I have won the debate, among other truths gained in the process.
Logical-Master

Con

1) Contradiction: PRO points out anything can be disputed as long as long it is not a statement which is true by definition. In other words, the only possible way PRO's logic could follow through would be if all debates resulted with one side having a claim which is true by definition (which wouldn't make sense in itself given that this would suggest that the debate didn't result in the truth given that the truth was apparent before the result). However, all debates most certainly do not result like this (which even PRO acknowledges this with his claim that only a piece of the truth is discovered at the end of each debate). What I'm getting at is the mere fact that only things true by definition are indisputable means that that the victor of a debate is always going to be disputable.

2)Interesting, so if two individuals were insulting one another and making exaggerated or false claims about the other, they "would be presenting facts to each other" and would be working towards the truth?

3) The "truth" may be revealed? Isn't your position that the truth IS revealed? By all means, this argument does not make any sense. PRO has admitted that people may lie or see what they want to, but with supporting evidence, the truth may be revealed. However, what if people don't have the supporting evidence? For that matter, what if they have misconstrued what they deem to be evidence?

4) You need not look any further than PRO confessing that knowledge can indeed be false as well as his flat earth example. If our knowledge was false back then, how do we know it isn't false know? How do we know we have all the information? For all we know, we could very well be dreaming up this experience called "existence" or that there are factors which only make the earth APPEAR spherical.

5) See above. In addition, what I mean to insist is that absolute truths are nonexistent for the most part (PRO says nearly anything is disputable and that knowledge is unreliable).
Debate Round No. 2
McBain

Pro

McBain forfeited this round.
Logical-Master

Con

PRO's R3 arguments can be found in the comment section. Disregard the forfeit.

1) Yet another contradiction. Even if this was what PRO had intended to argue, there is still one big problem. Look back to the previous round. If the truth (non absolute truth) is what is within the constraints of our knowledge, then we MUST conclude that it was truth that the earth was flat several centuries ago given that this was within the constraints of our knowledge back then. Pro clearly deems the earth being flat as untruthful, ergo, his argument STILL violates the law of non contradiction.

2)If people are making false claims and exaggerations, they are not going to be presenting facts. If all they are debating is not the truth, there is no way the truth will be readily apparent over time.

3) See point #5.

4) By no means is it irrelevant. The point I'm getting at is that the truth is inaccessible. We may make edits to our knowledge over time, but there is no way we'll even truly know for sure based on our limitations. Thus, at best, my opponent's position can only lead to the conclusion that debate's end is "change in ideas in the universe or rather what is deemed "knowledge. Debate cannot grant us the truth, especially if the truth is only limited to indisputable definitions

5) No pigeon holing here. My problem is PRO's use of IS in the resolution, only to go about saying "might." Both words express completely different ideas.

As far as having realized many truths at the end of the debate: This has been covered. Our universal limitations make us unable to verify whether or not we know the truth. Time and time again, our minds have proven to be very powerful tools which can distort reality without us even knowing (dreams, hallucination, nervous breakdowns, etc). Not to mention the fact that what we consider "knowledge" constantly changes. Even these so-called truths which PRO speaks of having been revealed are not verifiable

Thanks for the debate. Vote CON!
Debate Round No. 3
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by McBain 8 years ago
McBain
Oh yes, and I urge a vote for pro. =
Thanks for reading everybody.
Posted by McBain 8 years ago
McBain
I thank my opponent very much for indulging me in this debate. Unfortunate that I did not get my last argument posted in time. If I could have posted my argument, it would have gone something like this:

__________Limited to under 2000 characters beyond this point________

To address your first issue: What I was arguing is that truth is a grey area. There is a distinction between truth and absolute truth. One is true within the constraints of our knowledge, and the other is what is actually true.

For the second point: Yes, though the truth truth may not be readily apparent at the time.

For the fourth point: This argument is irrelevant as I was merely making a distinction between knowledge and truth, which apparently you aren't.

As for the third and fifth points: Why pigeon hole truth into "THE" truth? Truth is a term that can be, but is not limited to a single fact of statement. By the end of the debate people will have realized many truths, such as that I forfeited due to a busy schedule and time constraints, or that truth may be interpreted in different ways. This is where the puzzle analogy comes in to play, my previous sentence reveals some truths and those are the analogous pieces of the puzzle.
Posted by Logical-Master 8 years ago
Logical-Master
It's cool. :D
Posted by McBain 8 years ago
McBain
Very sorry to have forfeited the last round. I ran out of time as I have been very busy these past few days.
Posted by tvann5m 8 years ago
tvann5m
@epicis
exactly nothing is true.
every thing is false .
we/and our life's as homosapiens' is nothing more than an illusion.
But also myths are normally based on some factual evidence.
Posted by Epicism 8 years ago
Epicism
@tvann5m

If its the "Truth" then its absolute without any falsehoods. If there's a falsehood in every truth then "truth" is a myth.. and everything is lies!! But that would mean that your statement about all truths having falsehoods, is not the truth thus life goes on... "truthfully"!

I did enjoy myself too much that time.. or did I?
Posted by Logical-Master 8 years ago
Logical-Master
Eh, I'm sure I'll remember tomorrow. Classes have really drained me. Later. :D
Posted by Logical-Master 8 years ago
Logical-Master
LOL! That character limit screwed up my intended round. Nonetheless, I believe I have sufficiently upheld my position (though not as much as I wanted to).

Since this topic is actually of interest to me, allow me to expound (though I don't ask you to respond to anything I say here):

First, debate is not a means to the truth. Although one can find what you have perceived as being the "truth" through it, that it is what debate's end is; it's end is satisfaction. Debate is a tool which enables us to satisfy ourselves in one way or another. In the case of the disputing siblings or spouses, they may use "debates" to secure themselves mentally, regardless of whether or not there is any truth in their efforts. Individuals with a strong political/religious/anti-religious agenda will often come online to debate not because they are interested in the truth but because they wish to smite those who they deem their "enemies."

Second, one thing you misunderstand about the nature of "the truth" is that it changes. As you point out during the debate, there were those who believed that the earth was flat centuries ago. Do you honestly believe that these individuals were not as confident in what they believed as you are now? If so, you'd be wrong. There will always be variables which prevent us from truly "knowing anything"

There was something else which I was about to say. Hold on a sec . . .
Posted by tvann5m 8 years ago
tvann5m
great debate but there are always falsehoods in all truths.
Posted by Logical-Master 8 years ago
Logical-Master
LOL! I've won the most debates, but I don't consider myself the best. When added in with the fact that I am incredibly lazy, I'm certainly not the most suitable opponent. In second place is Tatarize and he is quite a bit better than me. Nevertheless, I shall gladly debate you on the subject as I rarely deny a challenge. :D
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Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 6 years ago
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McBainLogical-MasterTied
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Vote Placed by pcmbrown 8 years ago
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