The Instigator
JayWhip
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
frozen_eclipse
Con (against)
Winning
12 Points

If atheism/materialism is true, it is impossible to know anything about reality.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
frozen_eclipse
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/23/2012 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,146 times Debate No: 23796
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (3)

 

JayWhip

Pro

Hello everyone, this is my first debate on this site.

I will be arguing that if atheism/materialism is true, then it is impossible for us to know anything about reality. My argument stems from the premise of materialism that all of reality can be explained completely in terms of matter. At its base, mankind and his ability for rational inquiry are the result of the laws of physics and chemistry.

If this is the case, then everything a person thinks, does and believes is merely the result of interacting particles of matter according to the laws of physics and chemistry. In fact, for an atheist/materialist to try and convince someone to believe otherwise would be futile, because they are no more free to believe anything other than what the matter in their brains allows.

If there is to be anything knowable about the universe, it must be true that we are not merely physical beings but also possess immaterial minds. Beings with free will that exists apart of the laws of physics and chemistry.
frozen_eclipse

Con

Structure

1-acceptance/introduction
2-positions
3-rebuttals/summary

I thank my opponent for the opportunity to debate this topic.( please note that I am non-atheist.) I believe it is possible if the existence of god argument is not possible, that it is still possible for life to know and experience reality. I also reject materialism. It seems my opponent is only arguing the second definition dealing with philosophy. I reject this ideal because all of existence is not made of matter. I realize upon first hearing this I'm sure everyone is thinking I'm a idiot for saying that but I'm not and my argument will actually prove to be factual once I post my contentions. Of coarse mankind and our experience are the result of chemistry and physics taking place. I will lastly add that we don posses both a physical mind and then a spiritual mind but that we only have one mind where both are supposed to exist.


Atheism-
disbelief in the existence of a supreme being or beings.

Materialism-
1.preoccupation with or emphasis on material objects, comforts, and considerations, with a disinterest in or rejection of spiritual, intellectual, or cultural values.
2.
the philosophical theory that regards matter and its motions as constituting the universe, and all phenomena, including those of mind, as due to material agencies.

Reality-
the state or quality of being real.

Real-
existing
or occurring as fact; actual rather than imaginary, ideal, or fictitious.

Exist-
1.to have actual being; be
2.to have being in a specified place or under certain conditions.

Immaterial-
  1. having no physical substance: not made of matter, or not physically real.



Debate Round No. 1
JayWhip

Pro

To clarify to my opponent. I recognize that not all atheists are materialists. However, this my argument is based on the fact that these two positions generally go together. I have very seldom met an atheist that was not also a materialist. Since you stated that you do not hold either position I am curious why you accepted this debate, but await your further argument.
frozen_eclipse

Con

In response to pro, I accepted this debate simply because i contend this resolution.

( I apologize if the first round was awkward i have reread the resolution and now clearly understand my posistion.Please ignore any comments i have made that seems to not correspond to my posistion.)

I will attack this resolution by first explaining true materialism and how one can still know of reality,secondly how one can be an atheist and still understand reality.( pros quotes will be underlined.)



True materialism


con·sti·tute-To be the elements or parts of.

True materialism isnt the premise in witch pro presents being," My argument stems from the premise of materialism that all of reality can be explained completely in terms of matter." true materialism doesnt teach this. As we see by the definitions i have offered materialism teaches that most of the universe can be explained in terms of matter and not completely. As we see by the definition of the word used in the definition of materialism being constitute witch is defined above.The universe cannot be described in whole as matter witch is what pro is proposing. There also exists antimatter witch is obviously not matter and witch is present in the gamma rays of te solar system.[1] Moving on this debate is not a matter of is materialism or atheism right but is more so saying if both are true thecan reality be known/perceived. The awnser is yes.( please refer to the definitions of reality and real.) If i belive in materialism reality can be known.I would still know thatthe sky is real.I would still except that in the reality of 2012 Barrack Obama is the president of the U.S. There are many more examples. Just because one accepts materialism that doent mean that person cannot understand reality. Materialism doesnt hinder the senses. Witch means we can still percieve reality if materialism is true.

Also pro made this comment earlier," If there is to be anything knowable about the universe, it must be true that we are not merely physical beings but also possess immaterial minds. Beings with free will that exists apart of the laws of physics and chemistry." We dont have seperate brains.There is no part of the brain of witch isnt physical. All humans are subject to the lawcs and chemistry evident by gravity.

Atheism

Lets say god doesnt exist while we do for this debate. Does this situation mean that we know cannot percieve reality? Of coarse not. I will still find a stove turned up high is in fact hot and is reality. Does atheism hinder any of the senses? Absolutely not. So why then would our ability to be cogniscent of reality be compromised. This premise of my opponent isnt factual at all nor can it be proven. For thee reasons If one is a atheist reality still can be known of and will still be percieved as reality. Even if both atheism and materialism is accepted by a person that person is still able to undtand reality. So through my explanation in this round we can see this resolution should be negated.

Sources

1--http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 2
JayWhip

Pro

JayWhip forfeited this round.
frozen_eclipse

Con

Seeing as my opponent forfeited I am forced to assume that my points are indeed agreed upon by my opposer. Since my points still stand ineffectively unrefutted A con vote is justified.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by WriterDave 4 years ago
WriterDave
Darn it, I was going to accept this.
Posted by dirkson 4 years ago
dirkson
Oops! Frozen got it!

I will watch with interest, then

-Dirk
Posted by dirkson 4 years ago
dirkson
If we can agree that the following two assumptions are valid, I'd be happy to try my hand at a first-ever debate:

1. I think, therefore I am is valid.
2. At least 51% of our memories, and at least 51% of our sensory input are valid.

Without those assumptions, the nature of reality slides handily into a mire of solipsism from which no argument can escape : )

Cheers,
-Dirk
Posted by SuburbiaSurvivor 4 years ago
SuburbiaSurvivor
Wheres RationalThinker?
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by KRFournier 4 years ago
KRFournier
JayWhipfrozen_eclipseTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro forfeits. Con gets bast argument and conduct.
Vote Placed by TheOrator 4 years ago
TheOrator
JayWhipfrozen_eclipseTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Hmm, it's interesting to see this debate without Hez being the one arguing it, but Pro argues it better anyway. As arguments were dropped, Con wins the argument vote and as Pro conceded, Con wins the conduct vote
Vote Placed by Nur-Ab-Sal 4 years ago
Nur-Ab-Sal
JayWhipfrozen_eclipseTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Arguments and conduct go to Con for Pro's forfeit.