The Instigator
MWysocki
Con (against)
Tied
4 Points
The Contender
oilythigh
Pro (for)
Tied
4 Points

If there is no empirical evidence of any given thing, can you say it exists?

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/24/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,250 times Debate No: 36990
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (2)

 

MWysocki

Con

To assume something exists without empirical evidence is purely illogical. If you could accept a belief in something without evidence, you could believe any possibility. You could assert that there is a large dog floating in the sky striking down those that displease it, and think it true. However, it could be said that just because you can't prove something doesn't mean it's been disproved. This being true, the converse is also true, you can't believe in something because of a lack of evidence. We know the wind is there because we feel it on our face as it blows into us, we know the ground exists because we feel it beneath our feet. We can assert these things exist because we can prove them by reviewing sensory perceptions, these being imprints of an interaction with our environment, a physical impression of some thing's existence imprinted in the neural connections of the brain. Without these, there is no proof that something exists.
oilythigh

Pro

Well, without "guessing" (no empirical evidence), somethings would have no other evidence. No, those things do not count as evidence. Let's take ancient animals for examples. The giant squid was believed to be extinct a long time ago. Pictures and paintings revealed that some people believed in them at that time. But science disagreed. And science is what takes us this far. Sure, the people who saw and painted the squid might of say, and empirically confirmed the existence of this creature, however scientists today are more successful. Yet, the empirical evidence came AFTER the beliefs. Based on reports from people, people simply drew the giant squid because they thought they existed. There weren't many eyewitness reports anyway. And of those, our great scientists denied.

Without direct empirical evidence, we can still make assumptions based on logic- as proved with the case above.
Debate Round No. 1
MWysocki

Con

MWysocki forfeited this round.
oilythigh

Pro

The Abstract idea category includes logic. How many ideas come from just theories? General "theory" of relativity? Ever heard of that? If needed empirical evidence for everything, our physicists would be of no use. And they ARE of use. How much have we learned about the world from them theoretical physicists?
Debate Round No. 2
MWysocki

Con

MWysocki forfeited this round.
oilythigh

Pro

Like my previous statement, you don't NEED empirical evidence to assume something exists. Black holes? Our friend Stephen Hawkings assumed these existed LONG before it was proven! How do you think that happened? It's because we have enough theoretical ideas to make an educated "guess."
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by oilythigh 4 years ago
oilythigh
Time to vote...
Posted by Archibald 4 years ago
Archibald
I cant see it or feel it or smell it. I cant hear it or taste it. Therefore, China does not exist. And neither nmy friend, do you.
Posted by CatholicTraditionalist 4 years ago
CatholicTraditionalist
There is no empirical evidence for the existence of consciousness. Yet, does not consciousness exists?
Posted by TheAccountant 4 years ago
TheAccountant
Viewing from a higher level of existence, here are some fundamental questions based on different fields of study.

First, philosophical. Even when empirical evidences proved something to exist, can it still actually not exist? This raises the question of how can we know that something exist when we are just sensing them through our own senses. Imagine science fiction "The Matrix".

Second, physics. The existence of multiverse itself opens the possibility that everything can just exist. So, if precisely NOTHING can be just NOT EXIST [well, somehow contradiction here where if everything exists, then nothing should also be part of everything. maybe words don't just play along.], this discussion is itself useless unless we narrow down the definition of existence here.
Posted by sweetbreeze 4 years ago
sweetbreeze
Yes, but people need evidence to confirm it.
Posted by YYW 4 years ago
YYW
Of course you can say it exists -but that doesn't mean that you could meaningfully say that something for which there is no empirical evidence exists.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Leonardo 4 years ago
Leonardo
MWysockioilythighTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro had one grammar mistake. Con's arguments applies to many more cases than just one presented by pro.
Vote Placed by funwiththoughts 4 years ago
funwiththoughts
MWysockioilythighTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: FF.