The Instigator
Debater2008
Pro (for)
Losing
18 Points
The Contender
SperoAmicus
Con (against)
Winning
71 Points

If all of John's rabbits are white, and John has no rabbits, which colour are his rabbits? White.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/8/2008 Category: Arts
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,879 times Debate No: 1535
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (2)
Votes (29)

 

Debater2008

Pro

This is a quite well-known philosophical question, 'If all of John's rabbits are white, and John has no rabbits, which colour are his rabbits?' I chose white because I believe that it is really asking 'If John had rabbits, which colour would they be?' I think that what it means is that John does not have rabbits, but if he did they would have to be white. It is like saying 'You have to take your passport to the airport. Judy did not go to the airport. Does she need to take her passport to the airport?'
SperoAmicus

Con

All of John's rabbits would not be white.

The two givens are in contradiction with each other. The statement that John's rabbits are white presupposes the existance of rabbits.

Furthermore, whiteness is actually the reflection of all colors from the object we perceive as white. Nothing can, of itself, intrinsically be white the way that it can intrinsically be another color. Rather, a whiteness of color depends on external perceptions which we do not observe.

Consequently, if John has no rabbits, then the rabbits could not be white.
Debate Round No. 1
Debater2008

Pro

This statement is theory. It is paradox. It is like the statements 'Less is more'. You cannot think about it in the literal sense, as you are doing. You have to find a double meaning, which is what I have done. And the answer to the double meaning of this question is, white.
SperoAmicus

Con

My opponent has ignored my arguments in favor of his own. Very well.

He asserts:

>"This statement is theory. It is paradox."

But it is not. According to Dictionary.com,

Paradox
1. a statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality expresses a possible truth

But there is no possible truth, there is only the oxy-moron. White-Nothingness. My opponent has demonstrated no greater truth to this impossible phrase, and no reason why "white" must be demonstrative of this truth.

His justification seems to stem upon this assertion:

>"I chose white because I believe that it is really asking 'If John had rabbits, which colour would they be?'"

But not only does he provide no evidence for this rationalization of the statement, he provides the example of "Less is More" as his comparison point. But that example stems from a real and great truth that too much, drowns out.

But rather than a "greater truth," even in his revealed rewording, there is only a re-written literal, simple, and non-universal statement.

Consequently, the only conclusion is that the original principle really is simply an absurdity.
Debate Round No. 2
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Debater2008 9 years ago
Debater2008
Never mind. I think you should win. You made some good points. I didnt really think mine through.
Posted by SperoAmicus 9 years ago
SperoAmicus
I didn't realize it was only two rounds! I'm sorry if it's too new, I thought you still had a response left.
29 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by theosyslack 8 years ago
theosyslack
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Vote Placed by mrqwerty 9 years ago
mrqwerty
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Vote Placed by xxJimmyxx 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by secdef 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by kcougar52 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by kenicks 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by hark 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by erkifish26 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by nateycakes 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by Daddy_Warbux 9 years ago
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