The Instigator
Mr
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
socialpinko
Pro (for)
Winning
11 Points

If no one is around to hear a sound is it one?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
socialpinko
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/5/2012 Category: Science
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,200 times Debate No: 24579
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (3)

 

Mr

Con

When a tree falls in a forest and nothing is around to hear it does make a sound?
I believe not, as the con to the topic
first round accept the challenge
good luck
socialpinko

Pro

In this debate, I as Pro will defend the thesis that something can make a sound even if there is no casual observer to record or hear it. My opponent will defend the opposite, namely that either there is no way to verify such phenomenon or that the existence of sound is somehow dependent on there being an observer.


===Defintions===


Sound: Vibrations transmitted through an elastic solid or a liquid or gas, with frequencies in the approximate range of 20 to 20,000 hertz, capable of being detected by human organs of hearing.[1]

To make a sound means that something happens or does something which produces sufficient conditions for sound to be produced.


===Sources===


[1] http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
Debate Round No. 1
Mr

Con

First off I would like to thank, socialpinko, for accepting the debate very interesting.
religious reasoning not welcome.
no semantics please

definitions I've included

per��ceive�€‚ �€‚[per-seev] Show IPA
verb (used with object), per��ceived, per��ceiv��ing.
to become aware of, know, or identify by means of the senses:

I would like to start off with saying that if we don't perceive something by all means it is not real, by not hearing a sound I see it as though it is nonexistent.
by no one being around to hear it (including animals of all sort) then there is no way to prove it happened therefore it could only be assumed imaginary, illusory, and as I said earlier "non existent".

I'm eager to see my opponents response. Thank you
socialpinko

Pro

My opponent has made two subtly different arguments in defense of his point. First he argues that an observer has a direct effect on the actual existence of a sound. Second, he argues that there is no way to prove that a sound exists without an observer. In effect, the first argument rests on the ontology of sound while the second rests on the epistemology of knowing if there is sound. Both arguments however are quite flawed and I'll point out why.


===Ontological argument===


Is there an existential relationship between an observer and sound? I would think not seeing as the definition of sound for this debate was defined in wholly objective terms. Sound was defined as vibrations of certain frequencies (if my opponent had a problem with this definition he certainly didn't mention it and certainly didn't forward an alternative definition). There is no reason to think that these types of frequencies sprang into existence at the same time that sentient life did just as there is no reason to think that trees or clouds or the universe itself didn't exist until we did. To argue that these frequencies did is surely to make a special pleasing fallacy[1]. Why is it only frequencies between the range of 20 and 20,000 hertz that did not exist until we did and not everything else in existence? The fact is that all of our scientific models of how the world works point in exactly the opposite direction.


Secondly, in order to defend this view, some sort of causal relationship would also have to be proved in order to explain why the existence of sound is predicated on the existence of perception. But my opponent offers no such relationship in his argument. Therefore we can't accept that he has fulfilled his burden of evidence in this debate.


===Epistemological argument===


My opponent's second argument is that there is no way to verify that the sound is actually existent or real. The problem with my opponent's argument is that he assumes that physical perception is the only way to prove the existence of sound. He ignores totally the fact that we can epistemically prove existence by use of principle. For instance, we know that all lions are mammals even though we don't consciously perceive every single lion in existence. We just have to perceive enough to derive a general principle to use. Likewise in regards to sound, we know that sound can exist even when we don't perceive it because we've perceived enough instances of sound to derive general principles in regards to what makes it.


===Source===


[1] http://www.nizkor.org...
Debate Round No. 2
Mr

Con

First off I would like to thank socialpinko for continuing the debate

by adding another definition your earlier definition is easily flawed just as well

sound [sound]
noun
the sensation produced by stimulation of the organs of hearing by vibrations transmitted through the air or other
medium.

Addressing the other argument;
If a person had not heard the frequencies it is not perceived therefore it didn't exist I repeat.
In this particular case you would have to prove that the new sound exempted is in existence by physical perception. Because the speed of sound is never the same therefore no sound is always the same twice. Making it needing of being perceived to be proved of its existence.

http://wiki.answers.com...
http://dictionary.reference.com...
socialpinko

Pro

===Definitions===


In this last round my opponent has decided to simply provide a different definition of what sound is. However, not only has he waited until the last round to provide this definition, but he has yet to provide sound reasoning as to (A) why it should be accepted over the definition which I provided in R1 and (B) why he waited until the last round to provide it in the first place. Wouldn't either R1 or the round after I provided my own definition be a good time to provide his own definition. At best my opponent has simply provided an alternative definition. But since I not only provided my own definition first and my opponent went a full round without questioning it, I argue that my own definition should be recognized over my opponent's.


===Pro's argument===


(A) Ontology


Con has attempted to uphold his ontology point by drawing upon his new definition provided. Therefore the refutation is vulnerable to the fact that my opponent has not provided any reason to accept his definition coupled with the fact that he waited until the last round to provide it (after I had already provided a definition). My opponent has also merged the epistemology argument into his ontology argument. Therefore my opponent's epistemology argument also fails for the same reason.


*Note that my opponent has also used Wiki answers as a source.*


===Conclusion===


Unfortunately, this debate has ended as a mere definition argument. In his R2 my opponent argued two positions; that we cannot know the existence of sound without perception and also that its existence is itself predicated on perception by sentience. After I refuted both of these positions Con attempted to come back by changing the definition of what sound actually is. But as I showed above, I provided my own definition first and my opponent waited a full round to challenge it. And even when he challenged my definition he didn't forward any argument for why it was superior to my own. For these reasons, my opponent has not sufficiently upheld his position. Vote Pro.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Mr 4 years ago
Mr
why does it matter when i posted my definition, to tell the truth i kinda didnt think of it until the later rounds why does that hurt me? does anyone accept my superior knowledge? and to tell the truth i can put other sources stating the same thing even if you looked up that source it didnt even say that much. want some other sources here i was just in a hurry to see your response but obviously i am very disappointed with a comeback of that sort much respect lost to you sir socialpinko, voters take a closer look at each individuals arguments before declaring the winner the actual debate not his add ons.
http://www.ndt-ed.org...
Posted by girg 4 years ago
girg
I would have to bring up the idea of Schrodingers Cat. You can read up on that seperately, but the fact is that it will do either one of two things. It will either make a sound, or not make a sound. By listening, we are forcing nature one way or the other, to make a decision. If nobody is there, it would be in a state of both having produced a sound, and not having produced a sound.

Just an idea. Not totally sure if it connects, but it was the first thing that came to mind.
Posted by TUF 4 years ago
TUF
I did one of these lol
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by yboy403 4 years ago
yboy403
MrsocialpinkoTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Because this might look like a votebomb, I'll detail each point: Conduct: Con introduced a new definition in the last round, after appearing to accept Pro's definition. Spelling and grammar: Con frequently forgot capitals, and began and ended sentences randomly. Arguments: Con offers no support for his position that "if we perceive something by all means it is not real", simply offering it as an assertion.
Vote Placed by DouggyFresh 4 years ago
DouggyFresh
MrsocialpinkoTied
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Reasons for voting decision: It's too bad Con didn't bring up the sensory definition of sound before, because that is the only sound (teehee) argument in his defense. Even still, just because "no one" is around (implies human beings) there still could be other organisms which perceive vibration as sound which puts a big ol' wrench in that string of logic.
Vote Placed by Contra 4 years ago
Contra
MrsocialpinkoTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Con changed the definitions after they failed to uphold his position. Furthermore, Pro's argument on principle of existence made it apparent that we know that sounds exist and are prevalent, so thus we must conclude that sounds are present when we aren't around to perceive them. Pro also had a strong concluding statement.