The Instigator
Timl
Pro (for)
Winning
3 Points
The Contender
Spaztoid
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

It can not be scientifically proven that a particular individual possesses conciousness.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Timl
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/11/2010 Category: Science
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,966 times Debate No: 12738
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (14)
Votes (3)

 

Timl

Pro

Although we each individually know we are self-aware/posses consciousness are sentient beings (have a sense of what it is lik to 'be') we cannot scientifically prove that other organisms (or individuals) also posess said entity (consciousness).
Spaztoid

Con

I would like to thank my opponent for this debate, this type of debate is very fun and can yeild very interesting results. I look forward to a good debate.

"Although we each individually know we are self-aware/posses consciousness are sentient beings (have a sense of what it is lik to 'be') we cannot scientifically prove that other organisms (or individuals) also posess said entity (consciousness)."

My opponents stance is simple, science lacks the ability to demonstate that other individuals are in fact self-aware or have consciousness. My job as Con is to negate this point of view.

==--Rebuttal

My opponent has presumed that each individual is aware of that we posses consciousness or that we are self-aware. However he has not provided an explination as to how an individual can know that they are self-aware or a definition of what either self-awareness or consciousness are. Until he can, his arguments are moot.
Debate Round No. 1
Timl

Pro

Although we each individually know we are self-aware/posses consciousness are sentient beings (have a sense of what it is lik to 'be') we cannot scientifically prove that other organisms (or individuals) also posess said entity (consciousness).

== Rebutal ==
"Cogito, ergo sum"
I perhaps phrased the debate incorrecrtly A better assertion would have been, "I know I posess consciuosness but it cannot prove it. "
Spaztoid

Con

Although we each individually know we are self-aware/posses consciousness are sentient beings (have a sense of what it is lik to 'be') we cannot scientifically prove that other organisms (or individuals) also posess said entity (consciousness)."

In my opponent's argument, he has assumed that an individual is self-aware, and that they know they are self-aware because they have experienced what it is to "be." In a scientific community, if something is true, then it is true in all applicable cases. Therefore, because my opponent has assumed self-awareness to be true and and individuals know they are self-aware (thus they can prove it to themselves), then the same qualifications can be used to prove that another individual is self-aware.
Debate Round No. 2
Timl

Pro

My opponent is relying on an assumption, not a logical proof. One can assume that some person posesses concsciousness but that has nothing to with proving that one posesses consciousness. It is impossible to know that an organism (or individual) has an internal experience, or a sense of being. It is outside of empirical study.
In other words, it does not follow:
I have an experience of "being".
I am human.
All humans have an experience of "being".
Spaztoid

Con

I thank my opponent for this debate, even though it was a short one.

==--Rebuttals/Closing Argument

"My opponent is relying on an assumption, not a logical proof."

My opponent is correct; however I am not relying on my assumptions, but rather my opponent's. In my opponents first round, he states, "Although we each individually know we are self-aware/posses consciousness..." In this statement, he assumes that self-awareness exists and that an individual knows whether or not he/she is self-aware. Instead of challenging these assumptions, I am accepting them. By accepting them, it creates a set of qualifications which I am using as my proof:

- I experience "being" (or existence) => I am self-aware (or I posses consciousness)

This statement can be then translated into various persons:

- (You/He/She/They) experience "being" => (You/He/She/They) (is/are) self-aware (or posses consciousness)

This simple logic flow then only needs one last component, experience. Based upon the assumptions my opponent provided and I accepted, a person only need to experience "being" or "existence" to be considered self-aware. To prove a person to be self-aware through empirical study, a researcher must simply select candidates at random for a blind study where participants are asked whether or not they experience being. If that question proves to be difficult, additional questions or tests may be added to aid the individual in making their determination.

Based upon the simple logic flow and the empirical study, it could be scientifically proven that an individual does in fact posses consciousness or is self-aware.
Debate Round No. 3
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Spaztoid 7 years ago
Spaztoid
Wow, ok, so noone else has voted on this...
Posted by Spaztoid 7 years ago
Spaztoid
Somebody else has got to vote on this...
Posted by Spaztoid 7 years ago
Spaztoid
Thanks, and good luck.
Posted by Kinesis 7 years ago
Kinesis
'"Cogito, ergo sum"
I perhaps phrased the debate incorrecrtly A better assertion would have been, "I know I posess consciuosness but it cannot prove it'

Not a scientific proof.
Posted by Spaztoid 7 years ago
Spaztoid
@Timl

I know that to be proven and to be shown are two different things, as I intentionally used that latter in place of the former. The center piece of logic is that nothing can be proved without some measure of assumption, which is why I used the latter term because it is more encompassing.

You are however using cogito ergo sum incorrectly, as it presumes self-awareness to define existence, not the other way around. The saying loosely translates to "I think therefore I am,"which is to say that because I am self-aware; I exist. Here, you are presupposing your existence and asserting that your self-awareness is a stipulation of your existence.

You are also using experience as proof, which is a logical fallacy. People on acid trips experience things that do not necessarily exist, thus experience is not a valid proof. ("The plural of anecdote is not proof")

Your final statement is equivocation, and therefore it is also logically flawed. Color is the result of light being reflected off of pigment to create a specific form of light. That has been proven by the scientific community. You have yet to even define self-awareness or consciousness, which makes proving it difficult.

Altogether, this does not answer my question. Am I supposed to be refuting the resolution as posted or the alternative assertion made in your second round?
Posted by Timl 7 years ago
Timl
@ spaztoid Proved and "to be shown" are to different things you are talking about. It cannot be proved that I am self aware, even though I know I am self aware, I cannot prove it, (except to myself, "cogito, ergo sum". I can show my self-awareness to others , but they can draw their own inferences about whether or not what I'm showing constitutes self-awareness or consciousness.
In other words, I know I'm self aware, because I experience it, but there is no way for me to prove that I have this experience to others. Others cannot have direct knowledge of my experience ad an organism.
An analogy would be thus: prove to a black and white color blind person that the color red exists. You can show him cones that detect red light, but unless he makes assumptions, he has know way of knowing if there is really such thing as "red" becAuse he is incapable of experiencing it.
Posted by Spaztoid 7 years ago
Spaztoid
Wait, so are you asserting that it cannot be proved that you exist or that an individual cannot be shown to have self-awareness?
Posted by XStrikeX 7 years ago
XStrikeX
yeah, consciousness.
Posted by Timl 7 years ago
Timl
consciousness
Posted by XStrikeX 7 years ago
XStrikeX
What do you mean by 'conciousness?'
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Timl 7 years ago
Timl
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Vote Placed by Spaztoid 7 years ago
Spaztoid
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Vote Placed by Grape 7 years ago
Grape
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Total points awarded:30