The Instigator
Furyan5
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
MagicAintReal
Pro (for)
Winning
8 Points

Does a shadow exist?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
MagicAintReal
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/20/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 588 times Debate No: 79926
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (2)

 

Furyan5

Con

A shadow is the absence of light to varying degrees.
My view is that the absence of something doesn't meet the requirements of existence.
Therefore things such as holes, vacuums and shadows don't belong in the category of things that exist.
MagicAintReal

Pro

I support the resolution that shadows exist.

Shadows are contingent on light and opaque objects.
Light exists.
Opaque objects exist.
I argue anything contingent on matter necessarily exists.

I also argue that for an object to be opaque, it MUST cast a shadow, or else, one cannot prove the object's opacity.
Being that an opaque object cannot exist without casting a shadow, opacity itself is contingent on shadows.

We also use shadows to measure things:

Sundials use shadows to measure time.
https://en.wikipedia.org...

We can use shadows to measure the earth's rotation.
http://hea-www.harvard.edu...

You can use a shadow to determine your latitude on earth.
http://www.uic.edu...

Shadows even have three dimensions when cast in a fog.
https://en.wikipedia.org...

If something can have all three dimensions, is contingent on physical matter, and can be used to accurately measure, and therefore predict, opaque objects in the universe, it exists.

Con claims:
"the absence of something doesn't meet the requirements of existence."

My response:
"Something" is a physical concept, therefore the absence of something, nothing, is a physical concept.
Particle physics has been testing "nothing" for a while, and what we now know is that nothing weighs something, and is propagated by sub-nuclear particles popping into existence and annihilating each other out of existence nearly simultaneously.
https://www.youtube.com...

These are called quantum fluctuations and they are what nothing is.
http://physics.aps.org...

I support the resolution that shadows exist, because they are demonstrable, replicable, and can be used to make accurate measurements and predictions.
Nothing is also a physical concept and is full of sub nuclear particles that have weight.
Debate Round No. 1
Furyan5

Con

True, light exists. And so do opaque objects. Neither light, nor opaque objects can exist and then cease to exist. But if you remove either the light, or the opaque object, a shadow ceases to be. A shadow is therefore not in the same category as either light or opaque objects. Both light and the object are made of physical matter. And it's the interaction between these two physical things that allows us to measure time, rotation, etc.

Thanks for the interesting information on nothing. But nowhere have I made mention of nothing. I stated that the absence of something can't be called existence. How much water exists in a empty glass? Not what exists in a empty glass. A shadow is specifically the absence of light. Silence is the absence of sound. A hole is the absence of surrounding matter. It's irrelevant whether the hole is full of air, water or a massive singularity. It is a hole, because of the absence of surrounding matter.

So we are left with something which can cease to be and is not made of physical matter. A hole in the surrounding light. Our perceptions allow us too see that something is missing and we have given this phenomenon a name. We call it a shadow, but it does not exist. It unxists.
MagicAintReal

Pro

Ok, well the absence of something is nothing. So though Con may not have mentioned the word "nothing" Con mentioned the absence of something...the definition of nothing.

The absence of something can be called existence, because it is a physical concept.
I mentioned that particle physicists can measure the absence of something, so this speaks to its existence.

Con said:
"if you remove either the light, or the opaque object, a shadow ceases to be."

My response:
This is Con admitting to the fact that at one point the shadow exists, and then ceases to exist.
If a shadow ceases to exist, then by definition it had to have existed, which supports the resolution that shadows exist...and then cease to exist.

Also, gravity is something that exists contingent on objects. Like a shadow, when we remove an object, gravity ceases to be.
Would Con claim that gravity does not exist?

Con mentioned:
"A shadow is therefore not in the same category as either light or opaque objects."

My response:
The same can be said of gravity, yet we know gravity exists.

Con continues about shadows:
"So we are left with something which can cease to be and is not made of physical matter."

My response:
Like gravity.
Con is forgetting that not only is a shadow the absence of light, it is also the presence of an opaque object in the presence of light.

Shadows exist as much as gravity does.

Props to Con for the new word "unxist" which I'm actually quite fond of.
Debate Round No. 2
Furyan5

Con

Lol thanks. Feel free to use it whenever you make an ice cream or a friendship unxists.

Good argument, but as I pointed out earlier, the absence of something is not necessarily nothing. A swimming pool is a hole in the ground, filled with water.
And gravity is a force. It has a measurable effect on its surroundings. A shadow has no effect whatsoever. And for those who argue that it's cooler in the shade, I must point out that it's because of the opaque object blocking the suns rays that it feels cooler. The shadow itself has no effect on the physical world.

Gravity exists, but a shadow is an optical illusion created by the human minds ability to fill in spaces. It does not really exist.
MagicAintReal

Pro

So Con dropped some of my arguments:

1. Opacity is contingent on shadows. Con did not address this.
2. Con admitted that shadows exist and then cease to exist, thereby conceding the debate. Con did not address this.
3. Con's opposition to shadows' existence is that they can cease to be and are not made of physical matter, which can also be said for gravity's existence with which Con agrees. Con did not address this similarity.

Con resorts to one more objection to shadows:
"Gravity is a force. It has a measurable effect on its surroundings. A shadow has no effect whatsoever."

My response:
If a shadow has no measurable effects, then how is it that we can measure their effects in the sources I have provided?
How is it that shadows have no effect, but we can use them to determine our latitude on earth?
How is it that shadows have no effect, but their existence inhibits plant growth only in the areas of the shadow?

I support the resolution that shadows exists...just ask Con. Con says that shadows exist, and then cease to exist...sounds like existence to me.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by MagicAintReal 2 years ago
MagicAintReal
Thanks, I loved the debate topic and unxist is fun to say.
Posted by Furyan5 2 years ago
Furyan5
Congrats. Nice finish.
Posted by Furyan5 2 years ago
Furyan5
Just start. I'm curious to see how this developed.
Posted by MagicAintReal 2 years ago
MagicAintReal
Is 1st round acceptance, or should I just start?
Posted by vi_spex 2 years ago
vi_spex
beyond shadows i find myself, illuminated
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
Furyan5MagicAintRealTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Con's argument just never seems to more more than assertions and contradictory statements. While I buy that a shadow certainly doesn't exist in the same sense as an object does, that doesn't negate its existence. I find the statement Con made in R2 to be a concession: if it can go from a point of existence to non-existence based on the presence of light, then it must at some point exist. I think this debate would have been more interesting if the title had been "Is a shadow something?" or "Is a shadow nothing?" because the concept that a shadow resides somewhere in between is interesting and never really gets explored to the point that I can understand where Con is coming from, even though it seems to be the main point he's using to support the resolution. In any case, since a shadow's existence is contingent on the object, I could also vote there, and I could vote on the relation to gravity, which is never strongly rebutted. Sources to Pro for effectively supporting solid arguments.
Vote Placed by Balacafa 2 years ago
Balacafa
Furyan5MagicAintRealTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con concedes by stating that shadows shadows do exist but they later do not exist. As pro pointed out in the final round this can be classified as existence. Therefore I view this as a concession. Con fails to refute many of pros arguments (as stated in the final round) whereas Pro helpfully quoted the arguments in Cons argument line by line and responded to them. Making it difficult for Pro to miss out anything. Overall, a really good debate to read but I believe that Pro won this one.