The Instigator
user_name
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
JayConar
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

First to know how then to wonder why.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
JayConar
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/21/2014 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 356 times Debate No: 63623
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)

 

user_name

Pro

1. Noticing that to comprehend the way in which a thing works is more essential than to know why it is working that way. This is for both safety and efficiency reasons.

2. Therefore, questioning the need for comprehending the motive of an action in the first place.

3. Nevertheless, recognizing that why questions have value but that in no situation is it less important to know how than why.

4. Furthermore recognizing that 'why' fundamentally allows the answer to remain ambiguous but 'how' either creates a verifiable lie or truth from which the validity of 'why question' answers can be determined.

5. Acknowledging that there is no such thing as a valid reason for a flawed system but there is such a thing as a flawed system requisiting reasons for going about things in less than perfect manner.

In summary, the 'how' question should come before the 'why' both theoretically and practically.
JayConar

Con

If you wish to create, you must first ask yourself why before you ask yourself how. For example, in the creation of the pendulum, it was necessary for the creator to understand the physics behind the workings of a pendulum before he could figure out how to make the pendulum itself, if he did not know why, then he could never discover how!
Debate Round No. 1
user_name

Pro

My entire Round 1's points have gone unaddressed by Con.

The argument by Con fundamentally misinterprets 'how' and 'why'.

Con argues that one must first understand the physics behind the workings of a pendulum before working out how to make a pendulum.

What Con is saying here is that one must first understand
how something works before working out how to make it.

This is firstly untrue as many drug suppliers (both of legal and illegal drugs) have very little understanding of how their drugs actually work to give the 'high' or 'rush' that they give to the addict/user.

In the same way, many who understand the side of how the drug works, have very little idea of how the actual drug industry functions as a whole.
JayConar

Con

Ok, let me clarify. Everything.

The topic of this debate is thus: This house believes that it is always more important to know how something works than why it works that way.

In my example of a pendulum, the how it works question is answered this way: By asserting a certain amount of force on a weight attached by a string to a pivot point in order that it swings back and forth. The why it works would be answered this way: The force of gravity is the only force doing work on the pendulum, as gravity is an internal force it does not change the mechanical energy of the pendulum's swing (or bob) thus the energy is conserved and the pendulum does not slow down or halt.

In some cases, it may be necessary to know how something works and then wonder why it works. However, the debate is whether or not this is always the case, so I'm going to change my tact.

In the scientific community, before a scientist does an experiment he forms what is known as a hypothesis. A hypothesis is very much like a theory, you assert that A will, or won't, happen in the case of B. An example of this is the hypothesis that trees will be found closer to the sea than plants. The scientist would perform an observational experiment in order to discover whether or not this hypothesis is positive (true) or negative (false). When the scientist finds that the hypothesis is positive, he may then form an additional hypothesis, plants found near the sea are more able to grow in high salinity soil than trees. Upon finding that this hypothesis is also positive, he would then know a reason why trees are found further from the sea front than plants, but he would not know how trees initially came to grow further from the sea front than plants, he'd just know one of the reasons why they are.

In short, it is not necessary to always know how something works and then wonder why it works that way, in the example of the trees and the pendulum, where a scientist would hypothesise about the forces of motion, knowing how they work, and then set up the pendulum as an experiment to see whether he was right. Thus making the knowledge of why the pendulum works pre-existent to the knowledge of how it would work, as the scientist would have had to come up with the pendulum after making a hypothesis.

I do not believe that pro is correct when he asserts that it is 'safer' to know how something works than why it works that way. Hypotheses confirm that pro's third statement, 'nevertheless, recognizing that why questions have value but that in no situation is it less important to know how than why,' is wrong, as in some situations it is more important to know why and then discover how. Why questions are not in any way ambiguous, in fact they contain the detail that how questions miss. For example, I know that if I put my pie in a microwave and then press a few buttons it will cook, but if I wished to assemble the microwave I would have to know why the microwaves cook the pie, for reasons of both safety and inability to work without this knowledge.

In response to pro's last assertion, that there is no valid reason for a flawed system, this is just wrong in its entirety. There are many valid reasons for flawed systems, in fact the truth remains that there are no systems in existence which are not, in some way or another, flawed. For example, in a library, the alphabetising of books makes it easier to find a book, but unlike the internet, it is nowhere near as quick, thus there is a flaw in library record keeping. Does this mean that we should destroy all books and put everything on the internet? Well, not everybody has access to the internet either through not wanting it or otherwise, and even if they did, books contain our cultural heritage, even when their information is stored elsewhere. Thus protecting our cultural heritage despite the possible flaws of a library when compared to the internet is a valid reason for the flaws of the system.
Debate Round No. 2
user_name

Pro

user_name forfeited this round.
JayConar

Con

Forfeit, vote con!
Debate Round No. 3
user_name

Pro

user_name forfeited this round.
JayConar

Con

Another forfeit... points to con
Debate Round No. 4
user_name

Pro

user_name forfeited this round.
JayConar

Con

As before, forfeit means vote for me. I severely dislike it when people forfeit.
Debate Round No. 5
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by JayConar 2 years ago
JayConar
Yes
Posted by user_name 2 years ago
user_name
I apologize for failing to meet time constraints please can I try again in round 4?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Imperfiect 2 years ago
Imperfiect
user_nameJayConarTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: FF