The Instigator
Bound_Up
Pro (for)
Winning
5 Points
The Contender
Estrangedelf
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

If a tree falls in a forest, and no one hears it, does it make a sound?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Bound_Up
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/9/2016 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 496 times Debate No: 86303
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (4)
Votes (2)

 

Bound_Up

Pro

The laws of physics don't change when people aren't around.

A tree, felled in the forest, will push aside the air as it falls. As it impacts the ground, it's energy will dissipate through the air and ground.
The vibrations through the air it creates are sounds.

So the tree does make a sound
Estrangedelf

Con

The laws of physics do change when one isn't around. In fact, one is the conduit for their action at all.. Reality is a dream, manifested by me... There is no other...
Debate Round No. 1
Bound_Up

Pro

So, say you left a microphone in the woods for a week to record any sounds that might happen.

Would your absence from the forest affect what kinds of sounds you played back at the end of the week?
Estrangedelf

Con

By placing the intent and expectation through to a microphone to the forest, I would be in some way there.
Debate Round No. 2
Bound_Up

Pro

Ah, I see.

How do you know it works that way?
Estrangedelf

Con

I don't. This was a thought provoking discussion. My debate years are over.
Debate Round No. 3
Bound_Up

Pro

Ah, okay then.

Well, before we end it, let me point out that the important thing for people to understand in an argument of this nature is how reality works.

Sometimes people agree about how reality works, and just end up arguing about which words to use to describe it. Then they mix up the two and think they disagree about something beyond just semantics.

Like those who say a sound is an auditory experience, not just vibrations in the air.

They don't actually disagree that there will be vibrations in the air, and the person who says there is a sound doesn't actually disagree that there won't be any auditory experiences.

They both fully understand the reality of the situation as it is.

It is unfortunate how much they can argue about it despite this fact.

I wonder if there aren't other "debates" where both people's understanding of what reality is and how it functions is precisely the same, but they end up "debating" anyway because they happened to use different words to describe that same understanding of reality.

Mind if we forward it to the end?
Estrangedelf

Con

Estrangedelf forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
Bound_Up

Pro

This principle applies to many things.

Is America a Christian nation?
Was it founded on Christian principles?
Is atheism a religion?
Is there a wall of separation between church and state?
Is affirmative action racist?
Is the Big Bang the greatest miracle of all?
Is something sufficiently improbable "impossible?"
Is the alleged cause of the universe "God?"

The actual facts of reality are rarely at dispute, just as no one (generally) disputes that the falling tree will create air vibrations but not cause auditory experiences.

What's at dispute is merely the words used to DESCRIBE or SUM UP the same facts of reality. But this is surely the LEAST important part of the discussion. If you actually believe the same things about reality but disagree about how to word it, would it make more sense to say you agree or disagree?

Of course "agree" and "disagree" are only words used to describe the situation. The facts are that you have the same concept of reality, and don't always use the same words to refer to it.

What more is there to say? Why argue?

Better to describe things in unambiguous descriptive terms. Once you have a good picture of reality, it doesn't matter that much which word you use to describe it.

About half the debates on this site can be resolved just by applying this one principle. The other half are where we should be focusing our critical energies.
Estrangedelf

Con

Estrangedelf forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Furyan5 1 year ago
Furyan5
A similar debate would be the existence of color objectively. About 70% of the population believe color is intrinsic of objects. ie the an orange is orange. 25% believe color is intrinsic to light. ie that the light being reflected by the skin of an orange is orange. Only 5% can grasp that color exists only in the mind. Wavelength does not equal color. There is nothing intrinsically blue about light with a short wavelength. This was noted by Sir Isaac Newton in the mid 1800's. Color is just our bodies way of letting us know what wavelength of light is present. Unfortunately this is a complicated concept which only those with relatively high I.Q's can grasp.
Posted by Furyan5 1 year ago
Furyan5
When a tree falls in a forest it creates sound waves which when detected by a sentient creature are converted into sounds. Sounds begin in the real world but finish in the mind as perceptions. If the whole process is not completed, sounds are not created. The sound waves just continue to bounce off things and radiate outwards until they are too faint to be detected.
By placing a recording device in the forest you are in fact changing the format of the statement as the recording device is an extension of you. It can't do anything unless you set it to record and then play back the recording. The way it works is by recording sound waves and playing back those sound waves through the speakers. It doesn't record sounds. Sounds only exist in our head. Therefore a sound can not exist without a sentient creature.
Posted by XxYolo69swegxX 1 year ago
XxYolo69swegxX
They obviously make a sound? Are you saying that because you don't hear it, no sound will occur? That's like saying you haven't "heard" the super bowl because you heard no sound. good luck with school buddy - gg
Posted by Rami 1 year ago
Rami
The energy from the tree has to do somewhere. If it turned into something else, then what energy would it be? Heat energy? That means constant forest fires!
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by diarrhea_of_a_wimpy_kid 1 year ago
diarrhea_of_a_wimpy_kid
Bound_UpEstrangedelfTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: B&A: I'm in the semantic camp of vibrational waves in a certain frequency = sound. Conduct: pro for not forfeitting Argument: con was jibberish about reality. I couldn't follow. Pro gave a very well written description on how preconceived notions affect the semantics behind debates such as this. Well thought out argument even without opposition.
Vote Placed by U.n 1 year ago
U.n
Bound_UpEstrangedelfTied
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture