The Instigator
Republican95
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Scyrone
Con (against)
Winning
14 Points

Humans cannot prove anything other than their own existence.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Scyrone
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/12/2009 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 9,046 times Debate No: 8581
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (2)

 

Republican95

Pro

Prove-be 100% certain

For example, humans cannot prove the grass is green, the Earth is round, or that Barack Obama is an actual person (unless Barack Obama is my opponent). The only things humans can prove is that they exist, and they can only prove that to themselves. Cognito Ergo Sum (I think therefore I am), basically means that if you are thinking than something must be thinking, that something would be yourself.

MY ARGUMENTS
(1) We, as humans, experience the world through our senses. Our senses are fallible. So, we actually don't know anything, everything that we think we know is actually based on varying degrees of belief (which puts thinking the grass in green on the same level as bigfoot and ghosts).

(2) The only things humans can prove is that we exist, however, we cannot prove the existence of anyone other than our self. I think therefore I am. It means, that in order to be thinking about my own existence, something must be thinking. That thing must be me, so, therefore, I exist.

(3) Every other person in the world other than ourself might just be figments of our imagination.

Thank you for accepting this debate...
Scyrone

Con

So the idea is that I, as a Human Being, cannot prove anything beyond my own existence.

First, I present the definitions of certain things:

Human: http://dictionary.reference.com...
Being: http://dictionary.reference.com...
Existence: http://dictionary.reference.com...

So Being = existence = continuance of being or life = human.

Basically what you are saying is that I can't prove that you exist. I also can't prove the earth is round, or that grass is green, or that there is a God (well, God doesn't exist).

So how can I win against you at all if I can't even prove anything existence?

I'll tell you. Look at the words I have posted above this line. Actually, look at the words all over this page. ACTUALLY, look at all the words and pictures everywhere. What are they? I'll tell you. They are definitions. Of what? Of things. For example, when I type grass, you see green leaves spurting from the ground. When I type blue, you see the color blue. When I type your mom, you see your mom (unless she died during your birth). What gives me the power to make you look at these things? In other words, how come when I type a word, you see it, or you question it? Because we, as Human Beings, have defined things ourselves. Grass is grass. Blue is blue. Your mom is your mom. Why? Because when the formation of language began, we had to differentiate ourselves from the just beings at the same time. We had to take our Homo Sapien selves, and turn us into Homo Sapien Sapien (A "thinking thinking man"). In other words, we not only have the ability to think, but we have the ability to question our own existence.

Now how does that work? How can I prove that the grass is green? Because us Humans have defined it so. The grass is green because I said so, and you said so, and thousands of said so. It isn't a controversial issue. It's a form of life that cannot understand itself, so we decide for it that it can be what it is . . . grass. How do I know the earth is round? Because I have defined round for myself, along with the agreeance of many others, and we have seen pictures of the earth taken far away, and we have decided that it is round. Why? Because we said so. So what's one of the major ways we define more than our own existence? Well if we had the ability to define our own existence, and think for ourselves, along with every other person on this planet in the past 50 billion whatever years, then I think we have the ability not only to define existence of ourselves, but of others. Why do you exist? Because you are similar to me. You can think like I do. You are living. You not only think, but you question me. If I opened up you and me I am sure we would see the same body parts.

Now time for me to take a look at your points:

"We, as humans, experience the world through our senses. Our senses are fallible. So, we actually don't know anything, everything that we think we know is actually based on varying degrees of belief (which puts thinking the grass in green on the same level as bigfoot and ghosts)."

You assume we know nothing because our senses are capable of mistakes? What mistakes are these? Are they mistakes by the senses or mistakes by what the mind perceives the senses to be? I am just wondering how you go to the conclusion that our senses are "fallible".

I think what you are trying to say is, and correct me if I am wrong, but what you are trying to say is that our senses are our experiences as in I can see, smell, taste, touch, hear the sand blowing. But how do we know that the sand is really sand and how to we know if it is blowing? Well, we have defined it that way. We defined sand. We defined blowing. We did not create it, but we saw it and attached it to words and definitions that WE understand, and that YOU place your own existence upon.

"The only things humans can prove is that we exist, however, we cannot prove the existence of anyone other than our self. I think therefore I am. It means, that in order to be thinking about my own existence, something must be thinking. That thing must be me, so, therefore, I exist."

I think you are wrong. Why? Because I also think. I just questioned your motives on what you were saying. Besides, what am I if I do not exist? Am I just here? If I traveled to your house and you saw me, what would you say I am? Without existence, what am I?

"Every other person in the world other than ourself might just be figments of our imagination."

But imagination is of the mind. If I slap you in the face, you might think differently. Although you might say that the pain would be of the mind, it is not. The thought of the pain in which we define it is, but not the pain itself. The pain exists. The thought of the pain exists. Therefore, it exists, because we have defined it as so.

Think of it this way, you have defined your own existence with "I think, therefore I am". Someone who thought that up must also exist, because you are using it for your argument of existence. That person would be Rene Descartes. And he defined his existence not by that simple saying, but by many things. Through thoughts and words and definitions, and experiences. You yourself have admitted to experiences. What's the point of experience if it isn't real? And if you are the only one that exists, and everyone else is nothing, then why not just kill yourself, because you have no reason to exist other than to exist, which doesn't make any sense to you.

Now, please I ask, do not say bullsh** such as "I have refuted my opponents argument, therefore I am wIINNINGNGNGN!!!!" It makes you look stupid.
Debate Round No. 1
Republican95

Pro

Thank you for accepting this debate, I look foward to the arguments.

I will first start by undermining my opponent's arguments, then I will get to defending my own.

My Opponent: "So how can I win against you at all if I can't even prove anything existence?"
You should of thought about that before you accepted this debate, that's not my problem.

After this my opponent goes into a rant about how define something to be so they exist that way. So, if what my opponent is saying is true, then the following analogy must be too:

One day I decide to put on a red shirt. I then decide ato walk around town. Everyone I encounter says: "Hey, I like your red shirt." I respond by saying, "This shirt isn't red, it's blue". I have made it up in my mind that my shirt is blue. Does that make it blue? The collective defines my shirt to be red, I define my shirt to be blue. What puts the opinions of the collective over those of the individual, after all, it is my shirt. What I am basically trying to say is, just because we define something to be a certain way, does it make it that way? No.

My Opponent: "You assume we know nothing because our senses are capable of mistakes? What mistakes are these? Are they mistakes by the senses or mistakes by what the mind perceives the senses to be? I am just wondering how you go to the conclusion that our senses are "fallible"."

Because we're human? I mean, every single on of our senses is connected to our brain. In essence, our brain is what makes us human. Since humans are flawed, then our brains must be to blame. We, as humans, are basically responders. All we do is respond to what we precieve to be around us.

If you want a more specific example of our flaws, here are a few:
You make it clear in Round 1 that you are an atheist, some humans believe in God. All humans have the capacity to believe in God. So, in your mind, isn't this a flaw the human race as?
Every year millions of humans die in wars, our failure to resolve arguments without bloodshed in undoubtly a flaw.
We also don't know everything (If God is real, if Ghosts are real, the purpose of life, etc.)
So, how is that for you?

My Opponent: "I think what you are trying to say is, and correct me if I am wrong, but what you are trying to say is that our senses are our experiences as in I can see, smell, taste, touch, hear the sand blowing. But how do we know that the sand is really sand and how to we know if it is blowing? Well, we have defined it that way. We defined sand. We defined blowing. We did not create it, but we saw it and attached it to words and definitions that WE understand, and that YOU place your own existence upon."

Yes that is what I am saying. And I already answered the "definition" argument earlier.

My Opponent: "I think you are wrong. Why? Because I also think. I just questioned your motives on what you were saying. Besides, what am I if I do not exist? Am I just here? If I traveled to your house and you saw me, what would you say I am? Without existence, what am I?"

How do I know you think. If I saw you, I can't conclude that you think. If I touch you, does that prove that you think in my world? No. How do you know that I think? You don't, you just believe me to be in existence. In reality, you know nothing.

My Opponent: "But imagination is of the mind. If I slap you in the face, you might think differently. Although you might say that the pain would be of the mind, it is not. The thought of the pain in which we define it is, but not the pain itself. The pain exists. The thought of the pain exists. Therefore, it exists, because we have defined it as so."

My sense of touch is responsible for me feeling pain. Since my sense of touch and my brain are connected, my sense of touch might not be reliable.

My opponent: "Think of it this way, you have defined your own existence with "I think, therefore I am". Someone who thought that up must also exist, because you are using it for your argument of existence. That person would be Rene Descartes"

Rene Descartes also believed that we couldn't prove anything. All of my arguments are actually based on the works of, French philospopher, Rene Descartes. Once again, how do I know he actually thinks? I can't prove it.
Scyrone

Con

"What I am basically trying to say is, just because we define something to be a certain way, does it make it that way? No."

Yes. What you don't understand is that when new discoveries are made the person is usually allowed to name them right there. If you want to define something which is blue as red go ahead. But you are wrong. Because you yourself identified the shirt as red in the first place, thus you know it is red, just like everybody else.

"You make it clear in Round 1 that you are an atheist, some humans believe in God. All humans have the capacity to believe in God. So, in your mind, isn't this a flaw the human race as?
Every year millions of humans die in wars, our failure to resolve arguments without bloodshed in undoubtly a flaw.
We also don't know everything (If God is real, if Ghosts are real, the purpose of life, etc.)
So, how is that for you?"

It's a flaw to have a different belief? No. A belief has NOTHING to do with the senses. Neither does solving arguments. They are not flaws, they are disagreements. A flaw would imply something is wrong. There is nothing wrong. Just one person wants to destroy the other and in retaliation they want to destroy them.

What I don't understand is you imply that Human's exist in the quote above, and you are Human, so you exist. As I am Human, I exist. You are saying everything basically exists. I don't understand why you are arguing non-existence when you are saying all these things exist.

You believe in God, it says so in your profile. You believe magical fairy beings exist, but you don't think me right in front of you, doesn't exist? Are you retarded? Seriously, if you're going to argue this point, at least try to get into the role. Just by looking at you and seeing all of who you are I know that you believe we exist. It's kinda self-defeating.

"How do I know you think. If I saw you, I can't conclude that you think. If I touch you, does that prove that you think in my world? No. How do you know that I think? You don't, you just believe me to be in existence. In reality, you know nothing."

Because we have defined our existence as so.

How about this. You think unless we are all powerful and all knowing we absolutely cannot prove anyone else's existence. What you are saying is that in order for us to existence we must be a God-like status. It's a call to perfection. Not only a logical fallacy, but you are implying since we obviously can't be like that, you are implying that we can't possibly ever exist. It's illogical.

"My sense of touch is responsible for me feeling pain. Since my sense of touch and my brain are connected, my sense of touch might not be reliable."

You have still failed to reason why our senses are fallible. You haven't shown anything why.

Basically what my opponent is trying to say is that we don't exist because I can't prove you exist.

We put all our existence on definition. The existence of things and our own personal existences are defined through us. Why? Because we are the dominant being on this earth. We can kill animals at will. We can enslave others like us. Does this mean we are the most intelligent race? No. Does it mean we're flawed? No. I don't even know where the hell Republican95 got this idea of our senses being flawed and humans being flawed. We make mistakes unto each other, but that's not a flaw. It's a learning experience. So we put this massive importance on defining things, why? Because we are dominant. We can. So when we define things, we can define our own existence.

I'm saving some stuff for last (just to blow you out of the water with) :)
Debate Round No. 2
Republican95

Pro

I will start by debunking my opponent's claims.

My Opponent: "Yes. What you don't understand is that when new discoveries are made the person is usually allowed to name them right there. If you want to define something which is blue as red go ahead. But you are wrong."

My opponent's basic belief is things are as they appear. Meaning we can define something as we wish and it somehow by the Grace of God be that way. For example, one day I sit down at my telescope and discover a new planet far beyond Neptune. The planet to me appears to have a blue and white atmosphere, similar to that of Uranus and Neptune. Since Uranus and Neptune are both cold planets, I define that this planet is also cold. My work gets published in textbooks and websites and it is pretty much soon understood that this new planet is cold. Well, 100 years later we actually find out that the blue and white atmosphere of this planet is actually water and clouds, and the average surface temperature is actually 150 degrees Fahrenheit. So, I defined something to be, does that make it right? No. Similarly, just because we define the grass to be green. By no way, does that actually prove that its green. It only appears to be green, we actually have no way to prove it to be green. Which is what this whole debate is about.

My Opponent: "It's a flaw to have a different belief? No. A belief has NOTHING to do with the senses. Neither does solving arguments. They are not flaws, they are disagreements. A flaw would imply something is wrong. There is nothing wrong. Just one person wants to destroy the other and in retaliation they want to destroy them."

It's a flaw to have a different belief? Yes, at least, in your world. Since you are an atheist, in your utopia of a planet, the belief of a God would not exist, everyone would be an atheist. You have DEFINED it in your own personal world that believing in a God is flawed, otherwise, you would belief in God. You've set yourself up quite nicely.

My Opponent: "What I don't understand is you imply that Human's exist in the quote above, and you are Human, so you exist. As I am Human, I exist. You are saying everything basically exists. I don't understand why you are arguing non-existence when you are saying all these things exist."

My claim, as the debate title states, I cannot PROVE other human's existence. Which so far, your only argument is that if we define something to be so, it is. Which is maybe the largest fallacious argument I've ever seen.

My Opponent: "You believe in God, it says so in your profile. You believe magical fairy beings exist, but you don't think me right in front of you, doesn't exist? Are you retarded? Seriously, if you're going to argue this point, at least try to get into the role. Just by looking at you and seeing all of who you are I know that you believe we exist. It's kinda self-defeating."

The debate is not centered around belief, it is centered around proof. I have no proof for the existence of God, or do I have any proof of your existence. I just believe. Maybe I do believe you exist, that doesn't make me right. I have no proof of your existence.

My opponent: "Because we have defined our existence as so."

Here we go again with the "definition" thing. It holds no water whatsoever, just because humans collectively say something is so, that doesn't make it that way. That is a very fallacious argument.

My Opponent: "How about this. You think unless we are all powerful and all knowing we absolutely cannot prove anyone else's existence. What you are saying is that in order for us to existence we must be a God-like status. It's a call to perfection. Not only a logical fallacy, but you are implying since we obviously can't be like that, you are implying that we can't possibly ever exist. It's illogical."

Yes, I believe that in order to prove anybody else's existence, we would have to be at some God-like level. However, this is far from illogical. Where is it illogical? Is it illogical that we can't achieve this God-like status? Well, isn't that a flaw? Meaning that humans are flawed, meaning that I've won this debate (sorta-kinda). How is it a logical fallacy? How can the truth be false? Cause all I'm telling is the truth, my opponent doesn't seem like he can handle it.

My opponent: "You have still failed to reason why our senses are fallible. You haven't shown anything why."

The following link exposes just one of the flaws in our senses, sight to be specific.
1) http://www.whatjamiefound.com...

My Opponent: "Basically what my opponent is trying to say is that we don't exist because I can't prove you exist."
No, I'm saying I can't prove you exist. Which is only helping my cause, because the debate title is: Humans can't prove anything other than their own existence. Thank you.

My Opponent: "We make mistakes unto each other, but that's not a flaw. It's a learning experience."
The opposite of being flawed is being perfect. My opponent argues that we are not flawed. Therefore, we must be perfect. However, my opponent says in the above quote that we are flawed, because we learn. In order to be not flawed, hence perfect, we wouldn't have to learn anything, meaning we would have no learning experiences. Also, my opponent's earlier claim that we have to be promoted to a perfect status in order to prove the existence of anyone else, he debunked his own arguments. He basically said that we aren't perfect, and since in order for us not to be perfect, we must be flawed. Meaning he is wrong and I am right.

--MY CLOSING ARGUMENTS--
I have done what I set out to do. I have made it quite clear that we can't prove anything. My opponent only helped this claim by saying we are not perfect, meaning flawed. So, how can a flawed being come up with the perfect answer. Quite simply, they can't. My opponent's fallacious claim that definition is truth, is so repulsively idiotic that it causes my eyes to bleed. I mean, come on, definition is truth? Yeah right. VOTE PRO!!! Con admitted humans we're flawed, which allowed me to win. GIVE ALL 7 TO PRO!
Scyrone

Con

"Since Uranus and Neptune are both cold planets, I define that this planet is also cold. My work gets published in textbooks and websites and it is pretty much soon understood that this new planet is cold. Well, 100 years later we actually find out that the blue and white atmosphere of this planet is actually water and clouds, and the average surface temperature is actually 150 degrees Fahrenheit. So, I defined something to be, does that make it right? No."

Wrong. We define something if we have never known what it is before. For example, if the planet was COLD, then you would define it as COLD, but since it turns out it is hot, we define it as hot. We don't define it if we don't know what it is. But we know what grass is because we see it, we know what green is because we see it and have compared similar things to being green (such as living leaves). Your example is flawed mostly because it deals with a belief, not with a definition. You have no proof for the belief either. You simply say it is cold. Why? The mere fact that the planet is there in the first place proves its existence.

"You have DEFINED it in your own personal world that believing in a God is flawed, otherwise, you would belief in God."

Hahahaha, I never said this. I am an atheist, yes. I do not believe God exists. I think it is stupid to think he does. Does that mean my utopia in definition excludes religion? No. One very important thing in which I think is that if you are a Christian, then you believe God made everything. Including science, medicine, the ability to create and destroy life, technology, all things which people such as yourself are opposed to. The thing is most people don't believe this. So in my utopia that I have defined is there no religion? No. There's just a more logical idea behind existence.

"Which so far, your only argument is that if we define something to be so, it is. Which is maybe the largest fallacious argument I've ever seen."

Why is it fallacious? You do know you've just put a quality to something that doesn't exist (my argument), but you acknowledge it anyway. Yes, because WE (the dominant race, which has yet to be proven to be fallible) have the ability to do so. We HAVE TO define everything. Otherwise there would be chaos in confusion. Is that your perfect utopia? "It is impossible to define existence, so therefore nothing truly exists." We have the ability to decide our own fate, and we do this by defining everything around us. Including our own universe and everything in it. So if truly nothing exists to you, why don't you kill yourself, because nothing exists and therefore there is nothing to live for? You won't, because you know we exist.

The thing you won't accept is that YOU have the power to define existence. You haven't. Nowhere do you define existence. You just say, "I think, therefore I am." That is not YOUR definition of existence. If existence is merely thinking, then why not define what thinking is? No? Why? Because I think (and know) that your arguments would fail miserably. I am thinking. Why? Because I am human, just as you have stated yourself.

Scientists have had devices that could look at the chemical processes, stresses, and insides of the brain and the body. You say you think, and we can show that by the devices that we can put on your head, skull, and body. The same thing can happen to me. Science has shown existence.

"The debate is not centered around belief, it is centered around proof."

Then why do you answer my arguments with belief:

1. You believe human senses are fallible

2. You believe humanity itself is flawed

3. You believe the planet beyond Naptune and Uranus is cold

You have centered your arguments around belief. The belief that you think, therefore you are.

"Where is it illogical? Is it illogical that we can't achieve this God-like status? Well, isn't that a flaw? Meaning that humans are flawed, meaning that I've won this debate (sorta-kinda). How is it a logical fallacy? How can the truth be false? Cause all I'm telling is the truth, my opponent doesn't seem like he can handle it."

Never heard of the call to perfection? No wonder you believe in God. Look it up. "Call to perfection". It is not a flaw that we can't achieve a God-like status. It all depends on your definition of God. In which if you had one, then it must exist.

Let me just point out to everyone that he says he cannot prove anything exists, but he believes: Christian God, planets, humanity, mistakes, red and blue shirts, Rene Descartes, and his own self exist. I thought you just said that you cannot prove these exist?

"The following link exposes just one of the flaws in our senses, sight to be specific."

That is not a flaw. We see the same color, but our brain interprets it differently. Why? Because we have the ability to decide for ourselves. Optical illusions prove the ability that we have the mind to differentiate between things. They are meant to question us. Not a fallacy of the senses, but a realization of the thought process.

"The opposite of being flawed is being perfect. My opponent argues that we are not flawed. Therefore, we must be perfect."

Define perfect. Wait . . . you forgot again didn't you. You haven't define flawed or perfect. And why use the term we, if ‘we' are not the same (as in you exist and I don't)? Perfection is ideally different among many different people. I would go as far as to say that making mistakes is part of perfection. We cannot be perfection without making mistakes.

"So, how can a flawed being come up with the perfect answer."

I agree, how can you come up with the perfect answer lol

"I mean, come on, definition is truth? Yeah right. VOTE PRO!!! Con admitted humans we're flawed, which allowed me to win. GIVE ALL 7 TO PRO!"

Vote for everyone worshipping you and your lone existence? How can anyone vote for you if they don't exist? Definition IS truth. We have been given the ability by ourselves to do so. Truth doesn't even exist to you! Only you do. And if only you exist, thenw hat are you? Nothing? Since only you exist, but nothing else can be proven to exist, everything that makes you does not exist, and therefore you do not exist. That is the wrong way to go about it. You basically don't WANT to exist.

May I point out my opponent NEVER defined existence. Neither did he show how our senses and how humanity is flawed. Two things which were KEY to his argument was never revealed by him. I had to define existence for him. Why did he not define it? Because he knew he would have a more difficult time contradicting the definition that humanity has put on existence. Existence is not merely, "I think, therefore I am." Even the saying itself did not imply that "only I know I think, therefore only I know that I exist." It implied that many people can think, therefore existence is wide-spread.

On another note, why are we here if none of us can prove each other's existence? Why live? We are powerful entities. We have something to live for. Why get a job, or a wife, or love, or feel (or participate in a debate with me) if NOTHING exists?

Another thing, if I was part of Republican95's imagination, and so were you, I am sure he wouldn't mind giving his address in the comment bar so we can go to his house and force him to drown himself. Because water doesn't exist right? So nothing bad would happen. Hell, bad doesn't exist either. Actually, the floor he walks on doesn't exist, right?

HEAR ME everyone, for will define existence right here, right now: "Existence: the ability to live and think and decide on what specific objects, actions, ideas, and descriptions are and are not in a sense that defines everything."

"I think, therefore I am." My opponent obviously did not THINK about his argument. Therefore, he must not exist and it would be pointless to vote for someone who doesn't exist. Vote for me :P
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Xacto01 4 years ago
Xacto01
If you cannot prove a 'collective' exists, then how can the collective define what exists? I don't understand why Con won this argument.
Posted by sadolite 7 years ago
sadolite
Pros argument is lacking in reality. It is that simple. Having a debate on a debate site about the subject proves it. Is pro to belive he is talking to himself. Why would he respond to something he didn't think of?
Posted by Scyrone 7 years ago
Scyrone
End of the debate finally lol

Good debating Republican95 :) I enjoyed it.
Posted by Scyrone 7 years ago
Scyrone
Thank you, I have talked about this before.
Posted by patsox834 7 years ago
patsox834
Nicely done, Scyrone.
Posted by patsox834 7 years ago
patsox834
Very, very tempting.
Posted by rougeagent21 7 years ago
rougeagent21
Ach, I won't be able to do this one. Sorry about that.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by sadolite 7 years ago
sadolite
Republican95ScyroneTied
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Vote Placed by Scyrone 7 years ago
Scyrone
Republican95ScyroneTied
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Total points awarded:07