The Instigator
hotepsta
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
MikeNH
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Is it possible that Reason walk alongside Faith?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/18/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 702 times Debate No: 40811
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (6)
Votes (0)

 

hotepsta

Pro

In this debate, I will be arguing that YES, reason can coexist without conflicts with faith, and con will be arguing that NO, reason can not coexist without conflicts with faith. Details about the debate will be explained in the following topics:

1) Structure of the Debate
* 1st round is just for presentation and a sketch of you point of view; NO arguments.
* 2nd round is for presenting your arguments, 3rd is for refutations/comments on the arguments presented by your opponent on 2nd round, and 4th is for arguments again, and 5th is for final refutations and considerations.

2) Rules of the Debate
* Everyone MUST agree with the definitions will give in the topic 3), and any other definition you use in your arguments will turn them into invalid ones.
* No fallacies, no trolling, no nonsense and finally, don't leave the main issue.

3) Definitions
* Faith: The belief that a proposition is true without any justification for so.
* Reason: To discern the false and the true, with base in logic.
* Knowledge: A proposition which correspond to reality (is true).

My position concerning this issue, as I said, is that faith can coexist with reason. Being so, I will be defending the following points:

1. It is necessary to believe to think, and think to believe.
2. Faith does not mean irrationality (and can only exist alongside reason).
3. Only faith alongside reason can constitute a valid knowledge.

Hope you enjoy; good luck!
MikeNH

Con

=============Opening Remarks==============

I graciously accept and look forward to taking part in this debate. Thanks to Pro for creating it.

The main topic at hand is "reason can coexist without conflicts with faith" and I am opposed to this statement. I do accept the definitions proposed by Pro, although I do think the definition of belief is one that leaves something left to be desired, but for the sake of the argument I'll go along with it.

I will be directly responding to your 2nd and 3rd points, demonstrating that they are fundamentally flawed and explaining why faith is, by definition, ultimately in opposition to reason.

In order to move forward and find common ground, I graciously ask that you please answer this question for me:

Do you hold it as true that YOU exist within reality? (While I don't mind at all if you expound upon this answer, I would be extremely grateful if you would give me a straight yes or no...)

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Debate Round No. 1
hotepsta

Pro

Before anything, thank you for accepting my debate, i'm sorry for my bad English (not from USA) and for the long text. I will answer your questions on the end of the argument, because it will then be well supported. I will begin this debate by explaining my viewpoint on the relation between faith and reason based on the given definitions. I would like first to state that inductive knowledge does not constitute a valid knowledge, since it is based on empirical evidence, which may or may not correspond to reality. Because of that, i will be using only deductive knowledge, which is based on pure reason, and can indeed lead to real, valid knowledge.

I think that for you to prove a certain proposition A true, you have to deduce it from other given propositions B, using reason in a way that A follows logically. On the other hand, the very propositions B must be individually proven in order to the argument to be a valid one. You will end up in a proposition that can not be proven, yet self-evident, it is seems perfectly valid, and you are perfectly rational to accept it. I will give you an example:

In mathematics, every single proposition must be logically proven based on previously demonstrated propositions. You end up with a few propositions which can not be proven, yet they seem perfectly valid, and those are called "postulates" or "axioms". According to Dugald Stewart, axioms are "Elements of human reason". Those propositions are so fundamental that they does not follow from any other given proposition, thus can not be proven valid. Some axioms are:

1) Things which are equal to the same, or to equals, are equal to each other.
2) The whole is greater than the parts.
3) The whole is equal to the sum of all its parts.

Since such axioms (as i will call it from now) are consequences of the very process of thinking rationally, but can not be proven. Are mathematicians rational to accept them? I think that yes, they are, because the non-acceptance of an self-evident, logically coherent proposition just because it cannot be proven from anterior propositions (there are NO anterior propositions) seems irrational to me. The belief that axioms are true is pure faith, yet it is still rational. It is faith because there is not any justification for the belief (proof), and it is reason because the proposition is logically valid, self-evident and can not in any way be proven true, just accepted by faith. It also implies that faith can only exist if it is supported by reason, and that the whole rational process of thinking, which depends heavily on propositions, is dependent of the fundamental propositions, of faith itself.

Another topic i would like to comment is: the role of evidences in the elaboration of a proof to a proposition. As i said, induction does not lead to valid knowledge, so a proposition can not be proven based on empirical evidence. By "based" i mean, supported mainly by. However, a proposition that is true should coincide with some empirical evidences (but not them all, because, as i said, empirical evidences may or may not correspond to reality), and thus those evidences should take the role of support in an argument. I disagree completely that faith necessarily is not supported by any evidence, since there are many evidences (not necessarily empirical ones) that support the 3 examples of mathematical axioms. Therefore, faith can be supported by evidences.

Based in everything i said, i think that faith comes from the very sense of reason of the human to believe things which are (or seem to be) self-evident, and is perfectly rational. As well as reason is subject to error, faith is as well. 3 final observations. If someone have faith on an proposition A, and be proven that proposition A is false by logically valid methods, this does not mean that faith is invalid, it does mean that the person"s reasoning process was wrong in consider prop. A self-evident. Also, there is no necessity of faith in propositions which are not axioms, for they can be proven (you however can have faith if you don't know the proof); Finally, i want to say (but it is not an argument) that it is necessary to, before you know the proof, have faith in what you believe. An anti Darwinist one who does have faith that darwinism is false is completely wrong, because non-darwinism is not self evident, at least i don"t see in it any self-evidence.

Concerning your question, i answer that yes, i do believe. I can justify my belief as follows: Id i do not exist in reality, i can not think. As i can think, i do exist (like Descartes). "I do think" is not empirical evidence, because by definition, empirical evidence is: "Happens in every way observed", and "i do think" happens only one time, and it can be observed true, therefore it is true. Also, i can prove you do exist. Because if you does not, how can you use reason? (only minds do have reason) It constitutes the metaphysical principle that "There are other minds other than my own".

Until now, i have defended the following points:

1) Reason depends on faith, and faith on reason.
2) Faith is necessary to the constitution of valid knowledge.
3) Faith can and must coexist with reason.
4) Induction does not constitute a valid knowledge, and Deduction does.

Waiting for replies; Good luck!
MikeNH

Con

==================Case #1======================

We've agreed that faith is defined as "the belief that a proposition is true without any justification", that knowledge is defined as "a proposition which correspond to reality (is true)", and that reason is defined as "to discern the false and the true, with base in logic".

Faith is, by definition, in conflict with reason. In order to discern whether something in reality is true or false, some connection to reality is required. In order to have valid reasoning, that is to say determine (to the best of our ability) if a proposition is true or false, we MUST use two things, logic and evidence. Logic and evidence are both necessary conditions in reason, but not sufficient conditions, and thus reason requires the use of valid and sound logic. This can be demonstrated as follows:

Without any evidence, or information gathered from reality itself, we essentially have nothing to base our logic on. It is possible to construct a valid logical argument without it corresponding to reality in any way:

P1: All toasters are made out of gold.
P2: All gold items are time traveling devices.
C: Therefore, toasters are time traveling devices.

This syllogism is logically valid, meaning the conclusion MUST follow if the premises are true, but absolutely nothing in the premises have any evidence/information supporting them, and we can (hopefully) agree that the conclusion is a false one, and therefore the argument is unsound. "A sound argument is one that is not only valid, but begins with premises that are actually true. " (1) We run into a problem when we try to examine the premises to determine their validity in reality. If we were to use logic alone, we would have to accept the conclusion, which is demonstrably absurd. In order to determine that the premises are true, and the subsequent conclusion is therefore true, we need EVIDENCE. This evidence would need to demonstrate things about the objects in the premises, objects that exist in reality, namely the toasters and time traveling devices, which would required actual information from reality.

Conclusion:

I have demonstrated that logic alone, without external information from reality to validate the content of the premises, has no actual ability to discern if somethig is true or false with respect to reality, and is therefore a necessary but not sufficient condition for reasoning. I have demonstrated that in order to create a logically valid AND sound argument the content of the premises must be demonstrated to be true, which requires evidence in some form.

Without having evidence/information regarding toasters and time traveling devices, we cannot know if the conclusion we draw about them is true - therefore evidence is also a neccesary condition condition for reasoning. (2) If evidence is a necessary condition for valid reasoning, the state of having a lack of evidence (faith) means that valid reasoning cannot be attained, which demonstrates my case. Evidence is required for reason.

==============================================

==================SOURCES======================

(1) http://www.iep.utm.edu...;
(2) http://en.wikipedia.org...;

==============================================
Debate Round No. 2
hotepsta

Pro

I will begin considering your argument for the necessity of evidence in a logic and sound argumentation. First of all, the presented syllogism is about the sensible world, which is only accessible through your senses. Therefore, any conclusion concerning this world (sensible world) will necessarily require evidences from your senses. As i said in my argument, empirical evidences may or may not correspond to reality. For example, many scientific theories concerning the same issue were developed through history. Let"s take two of them: Lamarckism and Darwinism. Both have empirical evidences and both follow a valid logic. But only one must be true. Why? because the problem is on empirical evidence. Who assure that darwinism will be substituted by another theory in a near future? What i am trying to say is: There is not how to construct valid knowledge about the sensible world in any way. But it is perfectly possible to construct a valid knowledge without the need of evidences, just using logic, IF and only if this knowledge concerns the metaphysical world, as mathematical knowledge does.

Definition: Sensible world is the reality which we can feel with our senses.
Definition: Metaphysical world the reality which we can only access through our mind. (e.g mathematics)

Therefore, your argument proves only that arguments concerning the sensible world cannot be valid without the use of empirical evidences. I agree completely with it, but i also add that no valid knowledge using empiricism can be assured to be true. As every knowledge about sensible world requires evidence, therefore no knowledge about the sensible world can be assured true. We can, however, have faith on them. This faith will not be blind if the object of faith is not illogical. For example, i have faith that sheeps cannot create wings and go flying around, because i just believe that there is no sense in it, and it is faith, and it is rational, and highly probable. But still, cannot be assured true. On the other hand, this problem does not exist in arguments concerning the non-sensible reality. It is perfectly rational that we believe that "The whole is greater than its part."
It is self-evident, and does not require external empiric evidence, as it is not sensible.

Summarizing, i state that yes, valid knowledge may be constructed upon faith and reason, without evidence, and i add that it is only true if it does not concern the sensible world, which i forgot to mention on my round 1 argument.

Now i will try to refute the following affirmation: "evidence is also a neccesary condition condition for reasoning. (2) If evidence is a necessary condition for valid reasoning, the state of having a lack of evidence (faith) means that valid reasoning cannot be attained".

I will resume this citation in the following:

P1: If evidence is necessary for reasoning, therefore the lack of evidence means that valid reasoning cannot be attained.
P2: Evidence is necessary for reasoning.
C1: Therefore lack of evidence means that valid reasoning cannot be attained.
P3: The lack of evidence means faith.
C2: Therefore no valid reasoning can be attained through faith.

I will try to refute P2 and P3, since P1 is self-evident. P2: As i said, evidence is only necessary if you are reasoning about the sensible world. Therefore, it only works for faith on issues concerning the sensible world. P3: The given definition for faith is: "The belief that a proposition is true without any justification for so." It does not mean that it cannot have evidences. For example, if you fill a cup with water until the half, you will have an evidence that the faith-and-reason-based axiom "The whole is greater than its parts" is true, since the volume of the whole cup is greater than that of the water (Vw = 0,5 . Vc). Therefore this premise is false, and thus, the whole argument must be also false.

Waiting for replies.
MikeNH

Con

===================Response #1=====================

Regarding your answer to my question in my initial argument, wherein I asked if you claim that it is true that you exist:

"Concerning your question, i answer that yes, i do believe. I can justify my belief as follows: Id i do not exist in reality, i can not think. As i can think, i do exist (like Descartes). "I do think" is not empirical evidence, because by definition, empirical evidence is: "Happens in every way observed", and "i do think" happens only one time, and it can be observed true, therefore it is true."

I agree that you exist and that this is 'true' in the sense discussed. I believe that you exist because I have evidence of your existence, one piece of evidence being that you are talking here with me on this forum. This means that I hold a belief, with evidence, that we have BOTH AGREE is true in reality. Given the definition you provided, namely that knowledge is a proposition that is true in reality, I have demonstrated that I have knowledge derived from evidence, that has justification, which BY DEFINITION means no faith was required.

In order to demonstrate that I either do not posses this piece of knowledge (a proposition that corresponds to reality, is true), or that I am using faith (belief without justification), based on your definitions of knowledge and faith you would need to demonstrate the following:

1) My belief that you exist does not correspond to reality
2) I believe you exist without justification

If you were to demonstrate #1, you would essentially be saying you didn't exist, which you already agreed was false and would be pretty absurd, so I doubt you would try to demonstrate this. That means you are left with demonstrating that my belief is without justification. Consider if we were to meet in person and I was able to shake your hand and sit and talk with you. In order to argue that I didn't have this piece of knowledge, you MUST demonstrate that my meeting you in person would not actually provide me any justification that you exist.

I believe it is extremely clear to conclude that I would be justified in believing you existed if we were to meet in person, and therefore I would have belief with justification that was true, which is knowledge without faith. This demonstrates that your claim "Only faith alongside reason can constitute a valid knowledge." is invalid.

=================================================



==================Response #2======================

"The belief that axioms are true is pure faith, yet it is still rational."

I think that your most of your prior response could essentially be condensed into the above statement, and as such I will try to respond to this idea. An axiom is a 'premise so evident as to be accepted as true without controversy'. (1) The very essence of axioms are that they are self-evident, which literally means they are evidence for themself.

You defined faith as belief that something is true without justification, but the fact that something is self-evident is itself a form of evidence/justification. It is therefore NOT faith, by definition.

"I disagree completely that faith necessarily is not supported by any evidence, since there are many evidences (not necessarily empirical ones) that support the 3 examples of mathematical axioms. Therefore, faith can be supported by evidences."

This exactly demonstrates my previous point. You agree that there is supporting evidence for axioms, and thus I reiterate that if there is evidence for a proposition, there is justification for it, and it is by definition NOT FAITH. Saying "faith can be supported by evidences" while also saying "faith is belief without justification" is nonsensical, as evidence is a subset of justification.

For fear of jumping down the vast and dark chasm that is the various epistemic theories of justification, I will end this response with the following comments... If you have any evidence supporting a claim, you have some amount justification. Put simply, if justification were a scale from 0-100, you only have faith if you believe something with no more than 0% justification. The moment you are given some form of evidence, you no longer have 0% justification, and faith no longer applies to your belief. I think it's clear to say, and clearly defined in the opening remarks, that if you have ANY justification, you do not have faith.

=================================================


==================Response #3======================

"Finally, i want to say (but it is not an argument) that it is necessary to, before you know the proof, have faith in what you believe. An anti Darwinist one who does have faith that darwinism is false is completely wrong, because non-darwinism is not self evident, at least i don"t see in it any self-evidence."

I'm not exactly sure I understand the precise grammar of this statement, but I will reject your claim that it is necessary to have faith in what you believe before you have "proof". It is my opinion that you should believe a proposition is true with the likelihood/to the extent that you DO have evidence. If you don't have evidence, you shouldn't believe it is true.

=================================================


==================Response #4======================

"I will try to refute P2 and P3, since P1 is self-evident. P2: As i said, evidence is only necessary if you are reasoning about the sensible world. Therefore, it only works for faith on issues concerning the sensible world."

I've demonstrated that this is not the case by explaining that even self-evident claims, such as the axioms discussed, are self-justified. Therefore, you have not refuted the premise that reasoning requires evidence.

=================================================


==================Response #5======================

"P3: The given definition for faith is: "The belief that a proposition is true without any justification for so." It does not mean that it cannot have evidences. For example, if you fill a cup with water until the half, you will have an evidence that the faith-and-reason-based axiom "The whole is greater than its parts" is true, since the volume of the whole cup is greater than that of the water (Vw = 0,5 . Vc). Therefore this premise is false, and thus, the whole argument must be also false."

A few comments here... I must reiterate that the idea that the stated axiom is "faith and reason based" is nonsensical. Secondly. the statement that the whole is greater than its parts, in the context of the water in the cup, is a statement that can actually be demonstrated and would therefore have evidence supporting it, and would not require faith. I can literally measure the volumes of each and independently justify the proposition. For multiple reasons, I don't think these specific ideas you shared demonstrate anything.

=================================================
Debate Round No. 3
hotepsta

Pro

I should have provided it before, but here we go:

Definition: Justification means proof by prior statements.
Definition: Evidence are signs or indications of something (1)
Correction: I was wrong to state that not every evidence is empirical evidence.

I will use my round 4 for the following purposes:

1) To defend my round 2 argument
2) To try to refute your round round 3 refutation
3) To try to reorganize my initial argument

So, i will begin defending my round 2 argument. You try to refute it with 5 responses, but most of the arguments you use are based on the first response, and clearly shown in the 2nd one. So i will begin by responding your 1st response. As i said, evidences may or may not correspond to reality. This is a naturally true principle, since it is possible that an evidence be evidence of a false proposition (as lamarckism). Your belief in my existence, as you said, is because:

"I agree that you exist and that this is 'true' in the sense discussed. I believe that you exist because I have evidence of your existence, one piece of evidence being that you are talking here with me on this forum. This means that I hold a belief, with evidence"

As i said, evidence may or may not correspond to reality, so the evidence of my existence may or may not correspond to reality. Thus, this evidence is not sufficient to establish valid knowledge, as i said on my 2nd round argument. Then you state:

"Given the definition you provided, namely that knowledge is a proposition that is true in reality, I have demonstrated that I have knowledge derived from evidence, that has justification, which BY DEFINITION means no faith was required."

I don"t think you had valid knowledge, as i said before, and i also disagree that the evidence in any way provided such knowledge. The problem is: you think that if you have evidence, and use reason, you get into real knowledge, but again "evidence may or may not correspond to reality", so it cannot be the base of a proposition to be true. In order to get into valid knowledge, one must take the evidence, and put Faith on it, in a way that he does believe that the evidence is strong enough to correspond to reality. And, since evidence may or may not correspond to reality, to have evidence IS NOT a justification for a proposition to be true. Therefore, since faith is belief without justification, faith can coexist with evidence as well.

"In order to demonstrate that I either do not posses this piece of knowledge (a proposition that corresponds to reality, is true), or that I am using faith (belief without justification), based on your definitions of knowledge and faith you would need to demonstrate the following:

1) My belief that you exist does not correspond to reality
2) I believe you exist without justification"

1) Your belief that i exist may or may not correspond to reality, if you do not have faith on the evidence, which is required as i said.
2) Since your belief bay or may not correspond to reality, you haven"t yet a justification for that belief, therefore you have faith on it.

I can prove my existence without the need of evidence, as follows:

P1: Only minds can do reason.
P2: I do reason.
C: Therefore, i am a mind.

You could say that P2 is evidence-based, but, since evidence is an indication, it need to be sufficient, not absolute (e.g the fact that you can have only seen white sheeps in you life is evidence that every sheep is white). As the fact that i reason happens only one time, it is absolute, therefore NOT evidence. "The universe exists", "I do think", and similar statements are not evidence.

"You defined faith as belief that something is true without justification, but the fact that something is self-evident is itself a form of evidence/justification. It is therefore NOT faith, by definition."

The fact that an axiom is self-evident is not a justification for it to be true, because evidence may or may not correspond to reality. I have faith on axioms because they are logically coherent, and rationally acceptable, and cannot be demonstrated, because they are so primitive that there are not any prior statements. Since it cannot be demonstrated, the belief have not a justification, therefore it is faith, and still rational.

"self-evident claims, such as the axioms discussed, are self-justified"

As i said, self-evident claims are NOT justified, because if they were, they would not be called axioms, but instead we would call them "propositions". The very fact that mathematicians call those statements axioms is justified by the fact that they cannot be proven, thus there is not a justification for the belief on them, just faith together reason.

Now, i will reorganize my 2nd round argument. I believe that:

1) "Faith is reason, in a way so primitive that it have a different behavior". That can be supported by the fact that certain beliefs cannot be proven true, or you don"t know the proof, but still your reason "tells" you it is true, and it seems perfect, and therefore you have faith on it. This faith will be less valid than the faith on more primitive propositions, and even more valid if it is about axioms.

2) "Faith is necessary for reasoning". As reasoning process needs a base, this base is so primitive it is out of reason"s sphere, and thus need faith to be proven true.

3) "Faith can indeed mean true". As long as it is perfectly logically coherent and logically valid. Faith does require absence of justification, yet it justifies the axiom (or fact, but more assuredly the axiom)

4) "Only knowledge with no need of evidence can be true" Because evidence may or may not correspond to reality. It implies that "Empirical knowledge cannot be assuredly true".

Sources:

(1) http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...
MikeNH

Con

======================Contention #1==================

"Justification means proof by prior statements."

I simply don't accept this definition. If this is what you mean when you use the term justification, we are not talking about the same thing. When I use the term justification I use it the way I would venture to guess most people use it in most similar contexts (1):

1. todefendorupholdaswarrantedorwell-grounded
2. to show a satisfactory reason or excuse for something done
3. toshowtobereasonable

You don't NEED to prove something in order to be justified in believing it, and you can indeed be justified in believing false propositions. Justification exists to the very extent that you have evidence supporting it.

=================================================


======================Contention #2==================

"In order to get into valid knowledge, one must take the evidence, and put Faith on it, in a way that he does believe that the evidence is strong enough to correspond to reality. And, since evidence may or may not correspond to reality, to have evidence IS NOT a justification for a proposition to be true."

This comment demonstrates that you're missing THE vital point to this argument. You are falsely equivocating justification and knowledge here by saying that the justification MUST correspond to reality. In order to have knowledge, the proposition must correspond to reality, but in order to have justification, one only needs a reasonable amount of evidence in support of it.

YOU defined knowledge, quite loosely in fact, as a proposition that corresponds to realty, in other words is true. Nowhere in that definition is faith required. You defined faith as belief that a proposition is true without any justification.

Using THESE definitions that YOU provided, if someone believes a proposition to be true, and has some justification in the form of evidence that it is indeed true, AND the proposition itself actually corresponds to reality in some way, BY DEFINITION that person has knowledge without faith.


Please explain your contentions with this syllogism so I can maybe identify where our disconnect is, because it seems we are debating fundamentally different concepts:

P1: Knowledge is a proposition that corresponds to realty.
P2. Faith is the belief that a proposition is true without ANY justification.
P3. If one believes a proposition is true and they have ANY amount of justification, this is not faith.
P4. Evidence is a sign or an indication of something.
P5. One is justified in believing a proposition to be true to the extent that they have evidence for it.
P6. If one has no evidence, they have no justification.
P7. If one has some evidence they have some justification.
P8. If one believes a proposition to be true, and they have some evidence supporting it, they have some amount of justification, and therefore do not have faith.
P9. If the previous proposition that one has evidence for and believes is true, is actually true, that is to say it corresponds to reality, they have knowledge without faith.
C. Knowledge without faith is possible and therefore faith is not required for knowledge with directly refutes Pro's claim.

==================================================


======================Contention #3==================

"As I said, self-evident claims are NOT justified, because if they were, they would not be called axioms, but instead we would call them "propositions". The very fact that mathematicians call those statements axioms is justified by the fact that they cannot be proven, thus there is not a justification for the belief on them, just faith together reason."

You are falsely equating justification and proof, once again. I will repeat, something does not need to be proven to be justified.

Take the law of identity, one of the logical absolutes. (2) "A is A" is self-evident and therefore self-justifying because in order to even begin the process of refuting it, you would need to rely upon it for your argument. It is the same reason why you can't construct a sound and valid logical argument proving that logical arguments cannot be sound and valid. I'm sorry, but to say that accepting that self-evident principles are true by necessity is to do so without any justification, is to either be incorrect in your statement or to use a definition that is wholly unclear to me.

==================================================


======================Contention #4==================

"1) "Faith is reason, in a way so primitive that it have a different behavior". That can be supported by the fact that certain beliefs cannot be proven true, or you don"t know the proof, but still your reason "tells" you it is true, and it seems perfect, and therefore you have faith on it. This faith will be less valid than the faith on more primitive propositions, and even more valid if it is about axioms."

I simply do not understand the grammar of your statement at all here.

==================================================


======================Contention #5==================

"2) "Faith is necessary for reasoning". As reasoning process needs a base, this base is so primitive it is out of reason"s sphere, and thus need faith to be proven true."

It seems to me you are alluding back to the concept that you ultimately need faith to accept axioms. Let me explain how you are fundamentally misunderstanding how we use axioms:

Does it require faith to play chess? Do we need to simply take that the rules are true "on faith"? No, this is absurd - WE define the rules so the game is coherent.
You don't have faith that the rules are true before you play, you define them that way and choose to play the game according to those rules. Logic is the same way - we need to define some agreed upon rules prior to starting the game, otherwise the game would be incoherent. If we're talking about A, and you assert that A is not A, the conversation would end there because it would be breaking the "rules of the game". Axioms are simply the rules we are playing by, they describe the game. The rules of chess don't exist somewhere out in reality for us to discover, they require no justification because they are defined by us, in just the same way that the axioms we require to begin logical discourse do not exist somewhere metaphysically for us discover or to simply take on faith, they are defined by us as the rules of the game.

==================================================

======================Contention #6==================

"Faith does require absence of justification, yet it justifies the axiom (or fact, but more assuredly the axiom)"

Once again, you are contradicting yourself. You have said both of these statements in this argument, and they are directly in contradiction:

A. "Faith: The belief that a proposition is true without any justification for so."
B. "Faith does require absence of justification"

==================================================


======================Contention #7==================

"4) "Only knowledge with no need of evidence can be true" Because evidence may or may not correspond to reality. It implies that "Empirical knowledge cannot be assuredly true"."

Sorry, but this is again nonsense and your own definitions once again demonstrate that. You defined knowledge as "A proposition which correspond to reality (is true).", so by definition EVERYTHING that is considered knowledge MUST BE TRUE. What your statement did is say that only some knowledge is true. This is false by your own definition. You basically said:

P1. All apples are fruit.
P2. Only green apples are fruit.

Your statements simply don't follow.

===================================================



=======================Sources======================

(1) http://dictionary.reference.com...
(2) http://en.wikipedia.org...

===================================================
Debate Round No. 4
hotepsta

Pro

First of all, i would like to correct some points:
1) Your Contention #7: By "false knowledge" i mean that is something someone think that is knowledge, but is not. It is like a fallacy, which is a "false argument", which does not mean that it is an argument, but means that someone think it is, ans it is not.
2) Your contention #6: It is not contradictory, since if "Faith is the belief that a proposition is true without any justification for so", therefore "Faith is the belief that a proposition is true with no justification", thus "Faith is a belief without justification".

As i said on my 2nd round argument, "Inductive knowledge does not constitute a valid knowledge, since it is based on empirical evidence, which may or may not correspond to reality". If inductive knowledge is not a valid knowledge, means that it is not knowledge at all (see me "correction 1)"), thus it is false. I will put it into the form of an syllogism:

P1 Evidence may or may not correspond to reality
P2 Empiricism is based on evidence
C1 Therefore Empiricism may or may not correspond to reality
C2 Therefore Empiricism cannot be assured true.

This absolutely fundamental to understand what i'm trying to show. Valid knowledge can still be obtained, through the process of deductive reasoning (1). That means that only propositions based on pure logic, without the participation of evidence (which may or may not be true) can be assured true. But if you prove propositions based on demonstrations that follow from prior propositions, you will end up with an axiom. If true knowledge can only be built upon axioms (as i'm saying), this can be an justification for Foundationalism (2). Foundationalism is the theory of knowledge which i do follow, and it states that Justification means proof by prior statements. Read the following quotes from (2):

"Identifying the other options to be either circular reasoning or infinite regress, thus the regress problem, Aristotle found the clear winner to be foundationalism, which posits basic beliefs underpinning others."

"Foundationalism is an attempt to respond to the regress problem of justification in epistemology. According to this argument, every proposition requires justification to support it, but any justification also needs to be justified itself. If this goes on ad infinitum, it is not clear how anything in the chain could be justified. Foundationalism holds that there are 'basic beliefs' which serve as foundations to anchor the rest of our beliefs."

There is another statement: "Laurence BonJour has argued that the classical formulation of foundationalism requires basic beliefs to be infallible, incorrigible, indubitable, and certain if they are to be adequately justified." But it cannot be true, since the concept of justification used before is that a proposition is justified if it follows from prior statements, basic beliefs (axioms) cannot be justified, or they are self-justifying. If they are self-justifying, there must be a proof. As there are not prior statements, therefore they are not justified, therefore the belief on axioms is faith. Axioms are self-evident but NOT self-justifying. Faith requires the non-necessary participation of evidence, but can coexist with evidence becaus evidence is not justification if you accept my definition.

I will add a syllogism to prove that Justification means "Proof by prior statements":

P1: If justification is evidence, Something can be Justified True Belief (3) with the justification being evidence.
P2: Evidence may or may not correspond to reality.
C1: Justified True Belief may or may not correspond to reality.

Since C1 is a contradiction in terms, justification is not evidence, therefore it is proof. Since something cannot prove itself (i ask you for an example of so), Justificatio
n is proof by prior statements, or simply "proof", which is useful as well. That is every resource i have in mind to defend myself right now. If you disagree with me, it means that:

1) You did not accept my argument for foundationalism.
2) You did not accept my definition of justification, which follows from my argument for foundationalism.

The response for the syllogism you provided is inside this very text.

Sources:

(1) http://en.wikipedia.org...
(2) http://en.wikipedia.org...
(3) http://en.wikipedia.org...

It is saddening that this debate has come to an end, for i enjoyed it very much. Hope you did so, very enlightening.

Sincerely.
MikeNH

Con

===================Response #1==================

"1) Your Contention #7: By "false knowledge" i mean that is something someone think that is knowledge, but is not. It is like a fallacy, which is a "false argument", which does not mean that it is an argument, but means that someone think it is, and it is not."

It seems to me when you say "Only knowledge with no need of evidence can be true" you are sticking with the idea that you can have knowledge if and only if you don't have evidence. I simply find this view to be untenable, and would like to reiterate a previous argument I made:

The proposition in question is that you, hotepsta, exist.

P1. The very fact that I am talking to you via the Internet is some form of evidence that you exist
P2. This such evidence is used as a piece of justification for the beliefs that the proposition in question is true
P3. You defined knowledge as a proposition that is true
P4. You defined faith as a belief that a proposition is true without any justification
P5. My belief that this proposition is true has some form/amount of justification (see P1)
P6. You agreed that this proposition is true (see round 2)
P7. By your definition of knowledge, if the proposition is true, I have knowledge
P8. By your definition of faith, because I have some justification, I do not have faith
C. Therefore it follows that by your definitions I have knowledge without faith

==============================================


===================Response #2==================

"2) Your contention #6: It is not contradictory, since if "Faith is the belief that a proposition is true without any justification for so", therefore "Faith is the belief that a proposition is true with no justification", thus "Faith is a belief without justification"."

I apologize and retract contention #6 from the previous round. I was mistaken in reading it and missed the negation when you said that faith "does require the absence of". I would like to point out that this particular contention from which I am retracting was not central to my argument, but was used to point out (incorrectly) inconsistencies in Pro's definitions in that case. Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

==============================================


===================Response #3==================

"There is another statement: "Laurence BonJour has argued that the classical formulation of foundationalism requires basic beliefs to be infallible, incorrigible, indubitable, and certain if they are to be adequately justified." But it cannot be true, since the concept of justification used before is that a proposition is justified if it follows from prior statements, basic beliefs (axioms) cannot be justified, or they are self-justifying. If they are self-justifying, there must be a proof."

I think this quote underlies the fundamental argument you are trying to put forth, so I will address this directly. You reference the infinite regress problem and utilize fundamentalism in an attempt to solve it, and my main criticism of this is that you are creating a problem that does not exist. As I explained in the previous round, those axioms you say cannot be justified but must be taken on faith, are not some external entities/propositions that need to be accounted for. They are rules by which we operate in the realm of logic.

An analogy to explain this might be referring to language - I don't need to prove or justify that the word "apple" refers to the red/green roundish fruit hanging on that tree over there - it simply IS WHAT WE AGREE TO CALL IT. In order for language to make any sense, in order to communicate with someone else, we must agree on the definitions of words or the conversation would be nonsensical - in language these are axioms.

It is the same in logic - the law of identity, a well known axiom for use in this example, that is to say that "A = A", is self-evident in just the same way that I say "Apple = roundish red/green fruit hanging from that tree". Neither statement requires justification because they are defined as true - they are the "rules of the game" that we create in order so that we can all play the game in the same way.


==============================================


===================Response #4==================

"I will add a syllogism to prove that Justification means "Proof by prior statements":

P1: If justification is evidence, Something can be Justified True Belief (3) with the justification being evidence.
P2: Evidence may or may not correspond to reality.
C1: Justified True Belief may or may not correspond to reality.

Since C1 is a contradiction in terms, justification is not evidence, therefore it is proof. Since something cannot prove itself (i ask you for an example of so), Justificatio
n is proof by prior statements, or simply "proof", which is useful as well. That is every resource i have in mind to defend myself right now. If you disagree with me, it means that:

1) You did not accept my argument for foundationalism.
2) You did not accept my definition of justification, which follows from my argument for foundationalism."

I have to point out that it seems you have now attempted to alter the definition of knowledge from 'a proposition that corresponds to reality (is true)', to 'justified true belief', and then pose what appears to be a version of the Gettier Problem. (1) You stated in the first rule of this debate that "and any other definition you use in your arguments will turn them into invalid ones." To be completely honest, had we used this definition of knowledge from the beginning, one I tend to use rather than the one you outlined in the beginning, my arguments would have been drastically different. At this point, it would be unfair to expect me to defend 4 rounds arguments predicated on one definition of knowledge, only to have to go down a separate rabbit hole that is a completely different theory of knowledge in the final round.

==============================================


=====================Conclusion==================

In conclusion, I would like to sum up my arguments as follows:

1. I have demonstrated that the problem related to axioms "requiring faith" is not a problem at all, and the argument put forth was conflating axioms as something descriptive requiring justification, rather than prescriptive.
shown that we can have true beliefs with evidence and therefore have knowledge without faith

2. I have demonstrated that the second and third propositions that Pro was attempting to demonstrate, namely that "Faith does not mean irrationality (and can only exist alongside reason)" and "Only faith alongside reason can constitute a valid knowledge." are invalid by demonstrating cases whereby one can have a belief that is true and has evidence/justification supporting it, therefore faith is not required for reason/knowledge.

3. Based on the previous demonstrations, I believe I have made a strong case that reason and faith are not compatible, by defending the idea that reason, the methodology by which we hope to attain knowledge, necessitates searching for and attempting to obtain evidence and justification, which is the antithesis of faith.

==============================================


====================Final Thoughts================

I have very much enjoyed this debate. While I do admit there were times where I didn't quite understand the grammar of much of what you were saying, I feel I need to commend you on the fact that you did a commendable job debating in a language that isn't your primary one.

Thanks again, and I look forward to more debates with you in the future.

==============================================

(1) http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 5
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by MikeNH 3 years ago
MikeNH
Absolutely, I had to do quite a bit of reading on axioms, an extremely interesting subject. Thanks again!
Posted by hotepsta 3 years ago
hotepsta
Just a final comment about this debate: I did use the JTB definition on the end of 5th round, and it was a fault of mine. Instead, i could have used my own knowledge definition, and then my argument would be:

P1: For a proposition to be knowledge, it must be justified in any way you like to.
P2: If justification is evidence, a proposition can be knowledge with the justification being evidence.
P3: Evidence may or may not correspond to reality.
C1: Knowledge may or may not correspond to reality.

I have enjoyed this debate very much, and it was helpful to make me review some of my points. For example, from now i will use the Justified True Belief definition for knowledge, as well as i will hold on more solid arguments, presented poorly in this debate unfortunately. Anyway, i believe it was good for both of us.

Sincerely.
Posted by hotepsta 3 years ago
hotepsta
@ supershamu
I definitely agree with you, as i am stating in my arguments for this debate. Scientific knowledge have empirical base and assume this base is true, and this is faith. Thanks for the idea, i will use an argument like this somewhere (i already did, but i will give more emphasis to it).

@ Numidious
the given definition for faith is: The belief that a proposition is true without any justification for so. It does not implies that it is a lack of reason, as i have shown in my round 2 argument. If you don't or cannot have a proof of something, yet this something is true and self-evident, it is perfectly reasonable that you have faith on it.
Posted by supershamu 3 years ago
supershamu
Absolutely, it is possible! Reason can lead you to faith. Everything that has evidence but is not proven requires faith to believe by the definition of the word on dictionary.com. You can find supporting evidence of some sort for just about anything but to prove it as complete fact is a different story. Some very reasonable people have faith we evolved from apes. It is faith because there is evidence but it is not proven to be how it happened. I am not knocking the idea but it is not what I believe. In my opinion, reason and faith go hand and hand and in the end will strengthen each other
Posted by Numidious 3 years ago
Numidious
Well faith is by definition a lack of reason. If you don't have reasons to believe something, you have faith. What is basically means is you believe something because you've been told to.
Posted by Romanii 3 years ago
Romanii
Yes. It already does, but no one accepts it.
No votes have been placed for this debate.