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Does a soul necessarily exist?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/4/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 480 times Debate No: 64546
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
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Round 1: Acceptance, opening argument Round 2: Rebuttals/advance argument/new argument Round 3:Rebuttals and refutations Round 4: Closing statements
Define terms and cite sources, serious takers only please.

Aristotle defines the soul as the cause of life and action. His reasoning behind this thought is that a body can have life or it can not, but in either case it is still a body is the common factor. Therefore, he concluded, that there must be another factor.
While his reasoning that a factor aside from having an intact body were necessary for life. There is no evidence (that I have been able to find) that a soul is necessary, let alone exists. I will argue that the concept of a soul is too vague to make sense and most likely doesn't exist. Pro will need to show reason that a soul should exist, and show that it is an essential part of the human existence. This is not a debate on ghosts, this is about the role of a soul in living creatures.


Thank you, I will be defending the position that souls DO necessarily exist.

Firstly let us look at cause and effect logic. Throughout the universe we can observe that physical matter must always have a cause (with the exception of one thing this thing existing because we cannot have a pattern of infinite regression) and that this cause must have a cause ect.ect.

If everything has a cause there can be no free will.

This is clearly absurd according to the free will theorem: which proves that things may act without a physical or chemical cause.

If things may act without a physical or chemical cause they MUST act with a super natural cause which is intelligent and personal towards them. This conscious non-physical being which belongs to a human body MUST however have been MADE (meaning that it was caused into existence but can act without cause) as this will then again go into an infinite regression pattern if a first mover is not introduced. I propose it is necessary that there is a first mover and thus that this first mover IS us and (as reality is a product of consciousness as is proven by the "double slit experiment" ) every other bit of matter which exists in the universe." Is it not written in your law, 'I have said you are gods' " somewhere is psalms.

Using the argument that because there MUST be a first causer with a consciousness (us and God) who has free will and which may act immaterially (as it does not require a physical cause) I hope to convince you that this being (effectively a soul) is NECESSARY.

I currently await your response.
Debate Round No. 1


I realize not this is phrased as a four part debate and is actually three, we will negate the round 2 in the original statement and replace it with round 3, final round closing statements and apologies to my opponent for this oversight.

I'm not sure how pro is drawing free will into the concept of a soul, he also seems to defeat the concept of free will in his first statements as he states that all things must have a cause and if all things have a cause then there cannot be freewill. He then asserts that the free will theorem proves things can act without a cause, however in the article pro posted nothing of that nature is mentioned, as the definition of free will used in the study was an outcome not determined by prior conditions, and the authors Conway and Kochen have been cited as having assumed their claim in the premise[1]. Their work on elementary particles showed that there was random behavior, but how does that equate to free will in humans? While we are made of atoms, and atoms made of elementary particles, it does not follow that we are an elementary particle or an atom, but a large collection of both who abide under different physical laws. Would you agree with there definition of free will?

Since this does not show that things act without a physical or chemical cause, that instead they act randomly there is not a need for a supernatural cause, and to attribute intelligence to the supernatural cause demands a definition of intelligence as well as reasoning that a supernatural cause is the simplest explanation. Why is it a requirement in your definition of a soul that it be made, and how is it that the soul is made? What is the connection between a soul and free will that demands the existence of both?

". I propose it is necessary that there is a first mover and thus that this first mover IS us and (as reality is a product of consciousness as is proven by the "double slit experiment" )"[2]
How is this proven by the double slit experiment? In this experiment the electrons were not observed by human eyes but by an instrument they called a "quantum observer" and what it showed is that the observer affected the electrons wave pattern, causing it to behave like a particle, otherwise they acted as both a particle and a wave; this means that an electron could pass through both slits simultaneously and hit the wall as one electron. The experiment was not showing that we create reality because we view it, it would be here with or without us, it was showing that on a quantum level the physical laws we are used to do not apply. General rule, if it comes from quantum mechanics, it applies to the quanta (very small) not the macro (large). We still abide to Newtonian physics.



In relation to my text on free will I state that the fact that free will HAS been proven is sufficient evidence to me to prove that there must be a conscious mind (or minds) behind peoples actions which is not physical and material. Given that you now claim that my evidence used to prove free will is apparently incorrect and that in fact that conclusion was (admittedly) assumed in the premise I ask the following: say we assume that we are at a point in time and that our actions are in fact determined by past actions we can conclude that these actions loop back infinitely in time,

time cannot loop back infinitely,

thus their must be one conscious, independent, immaterial (as it must be immaterial to be immune from the law of cause an effect) being which controls our actions.

This, if left un-refuted, wins the argument.

And btw the double slit experiment proves that the act of observing changes the behaviour of electrons. That's what it proves.
Debate Round No. 2


The topic of this debate was on the necessity of a soul, and though pro did post his arguments few were tied into the topic. Perhaps it will be cleared up in closing how the necessity of a soul is tied into the arguments given.

Pro has made appeals to free will, which are contradicted many times in his argument (i.e. ...Being which controls our actions). Since pro defeats these arguments with his own words I will do no more with them.

Assume that we are at a point in time and that our actions are in fact determined by past actions we can conclude that these actions loop back infinitely in time...
Pro must first show that action are in fact determined by past actions and that they are dependent of an infinite universe. It could just as easily be the case that we live in a finite universe with determined actions, though it has not been made clear as to what is meant by determined. Even if this premise were correct it does not follow that there must also be an immaterial being who interacts with material beings.

I'd like to thank pro for joining me on this debate, I believe he had the more difficult side to debate.


Before we start: Thank you for having this debate with me.

Using this last closing paragraph I shall attempt to clear up any doubts that remain relative to me argument.

When I refer to the fact that there must be ONE individual (namely a God) which must have started the universe (as the universe cannot regress infinitely) I assume that you understand that this god must thus BE a soul. In other words: for our actions to be immune from cause and effect logic they must be able to be traced back to a being which is NOT us and which is independent and immune from cause and effect logic.

Thus, if I can prove that such a being exists, I can prove that people have some independent conscious mind working behind them which I feel is safe to call a "God" and effectively a soul. If I can prove that such a being exists I can prove that a soul exists.

Well, we can observe that throughout the universe things have causes. When I started this debate it wasn't because I pulled some random thought out of the void at random, it was because I had reasons behind doing so. Everything has a reason or a cause for being. I challenge Con to give me one thing that he can observe throughout the universe which does NOT have a cause.

If everything has a cause then there would be NO start to the universe, this is because you would then be able to ask "what caused the causer"

If there is no start and instead a pattern of infinite regression we would NOT be here. Why? Because the stream of causes which would have led to us would never have been triggered.

So, we've reached an absurd conclusion. Material objects as we know MUST obey the law of cause an effect, but if everything is material we would not be here. So, we can conclude that there is at least ONE immaterial being which has caused everything and which is conscious. This being we call a soul.
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by DanK 1 year ago
funnycn, can you objectively show reasoning that a sou should exist?
Posted by funnycn 1 year ago
One exists...we all have souls.
Posted by DanK 1 year ago
Art, I will gladly free up my restrictions. I just have them in place since many newcomers were accepting and then forfeiting.
Posted by Eav 1 year ago
This sounds interesting. Would take up that challenge, if I would not strongly sympathise with Con on this: I personally think neuronal connections, prenatal stimulation and life experience do enough to create a personality.
Posted by ArtMikullovci 1 year ago
I would like to debate for this, but as it seems I am new to the page, and I don't fulfill the criteria. But just in-case you change your criteria, let me know. :)
Posted by DanK 1 year ago
Thanks, still getting the hang of this.
Posted by Ozzyhead 1 year ago
Wouldn't you be con?
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