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Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: Select Winner
Started: 6/13/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 842 times Debate No: 56528
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
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Resolution: The best definition of "existing"(as adjective) is "can possibly be registered by human senses(either directly or indirectly)"

My opponent will make his definition in Round 1. In rounds 2 and 3, we will both argue why our definition is better.

Voting rules:
- Reliable sources are not taken into account
- Forfeit means loss


The best definition for "existence" (as a adjective) is "being, or in other words, having objective reality."
Debate Round No. 1


First I will list two advantages of using my definition:
- People who are making up stuff will have a hard time proving something exists.
- People can easily agree upon what can be registered by human senses.

Note that "existence" can not be adjective, it can only be a noun. Resolution clearly says "existing".

Problems with my opponent's definition:
- "Being" can not be adjective. People can not easily agree upon what is "being"(as noun). Also, unicorn(for example) is a being, but he probably does not exist.
- If everything that exists has objective reality, as my opponent's definition suggests, then either there exists only one thing or there are multiple objective realities. Or "having" is not the right word.
- Now we need definition for reality, that does not include words like existence, existing, etc
- Assuming we resolved 2 problems above this one, how can we know if something has or hasn't objective reality?


Firstly, I would like to apologize for not using "existing" in my first argument. I made an honest mistake there.

To be clear, I will define anything that has objective reality as anything that takes form in the cosmos. "Reality" is the cosmos.

In your original definition, you state "existing" is anything that can possibly be processed by human senses. This discounts anything that humans have no chance of sensing as nonexistent. There is something known as the Many Worlds Theory in quantum physics. It suggests that there may be an infinite number of alternate realities "existing" among us, though we are not capable of sensing them. Let's assume alternate realities are real. By your definition, they are discounted as not real because humans can't sense them. By my definition, they exist simply because they have an objective reality (or take form in the cosmos). This is just one of the many possibilities of existing your definition negates because of the limits of human senses.
Debate Round No. 2


There are 2 possibilities, assuming many worlds theory is true.
1) Since other worlds can not affect this one, there is no way it can be proven true, and if we believed other worlds do not exist, nothing would change.
2) Since other worlds can affect this one, we can indirectly register them with our senses, therefore they exist by my definition.

I thank my opponent for making this an interesting debate.


My opponent says, "Since other worlds can not affect this one, there is no way it can be proven true, and if we believed other worlds do not exist, nothing would change." This suggests that even if there are other worlds, as long as we can't prove them, they don't exist. This is almost like saying, "Sure, that might exist, but we're going to say it doesn't because we can't see it." Not a bad idea, but consider this: For thousands of years, humanity didn't know what electricity was. Did that mean electricity didn't exist? No. It was just that humans didn't discover and utilize the function of electricity and until some scientists investigated it. Until then, they could only speculate on the lightening in the sky.

My definition is all inclusive. It includes everything that exists, whether we can prove it's "real" or not. My definition understands there are mysterious facets of reality that mankind currently doesn't know about.

I thank my opponent as well. This debate was a lot of fun!
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Cold-Mind 2 years ago
Nah, sorry. I am short with time these days, I want somewhat short debate.
Posted by phantom 2 years ago
The character limit is somewhat low. I'll probably accept either way, but I would request you make it higher.
Posted by Cold-Mind 2 years ago
You (or Kant) are suggesting that we can not define a criteria for if thing is existing or not. But that certainly does not mean we can't define a word; Otherwise it would be noise rather than word. Kant's goal was primarily to make his arguments impossible or at least hard to refute. I will rather have definition that can be questioned, but will at the same time make word useful.
Posted by revic 2 years ago
Interesting. I would argue in favor of Immanuel Kant's vision here, namely that "existing" things cannot be defined! Things which exist, merely show themselves to us and we as humans can only interpret them with our senses. However, the "Ding an sich" (thing on its own) can never be defined by us. Therefore, something that exists, cannot be defined by humans. We can merely get some uncertain (but scientific!) knowledge about it through rationality and through our senses. But, the definition we become then will not give us certainty about the "thing".
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