The Instigator
natoast
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Zaradi
Con (against)
Winning
11 Points

It's impossible to know anything with absolution

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Zaradi
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/27/2012 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,398 times Debate No: 27550
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (3)
Votes (4)

 

natoast

Pro

This debate isn't exactly an argument, but something that I'm interested in exploring. so far as I can tell, there is no information known to man that is undeniably, unarguably true. I don't mean that all of our data says that some conclusion or another is true, but that there is absolutely no way for it to untrue. I ask that my opponent simply come up with as statement or fact that they believe can be prove undeniably, and I'll try and refute it. in the second, third, and fourth rounds, they can come up with new statements, and/or point out how my refutation is wrong.
Zaradi

Con

I'll give my opponent another shot at not forfeiting, since his last debate with me was an accidental forfeit.

My case will revolve around the notion that saying that "Nothing can be known with absolute certainty" is, in and of itself, a statement of absolute certainty. To say that it's impossible for anything to be known for sure would contradict itself, since we wouldn't know if that statement was true, thus meaning that things COULD be known for certain.

From here, I can't really do much else except wait for my opponent to rebuke my argument. I wish him good luck.
Debate Round No. 1
natoast

Pro

Way to turn the argument around on me. now whatever I do, I lose. Anways,
The entire collection of human knoledge obviously doesn't include all the information that can ever be known. So w. e don't know that there isn't some new piece of information that we will get at some point in the future that will absolutly prove something to be true. So even if we can't prove anything to be true now, we also can't prove that we won't be able to prove anything ever, therefore making my initial statement without undeniability.
Zaradi

Con

That's the point of the argument ;) But anyway,

The problem with my opponent's argument is two fold:

Firsty, my opponent attempts to say that because we don't know everything as of right now, then the resolution is possibly deniable, supposing we get some information in the future that undeniably proves something to be absolutely true. What's wrong with that is that it doesn't matter what information we have and what information we don't have: in order to affirm, you have to prove that nothing can be known for certain at any time. The statement isn't dependent upon the information available, as it functions as an independent statement.

Secondly, though, that even if my opponent's arguments are true, then it still negates since his arguments only prove that there's no actual proof behind his statement, since he even concedes that we don't know all the information possible to make this decision. This just means that the resolutional statement is more likely true than false, and you negate the resolution.
Debate Round No. 2
natoast

Pro

You have provided little evidence for your original statement. You assumed that either something else could be proved through, witch would obviously mean you win, or nothing can be proved through, making the original statement true. But since you haven't provided evidence for any other statement being true, the first part of your logic has no base. And the second part of your argument has no base because if it was true, it wouldn't be true. A paradox is definitely not an example of absolution. I pointed this out in the first round; the only way to demonstrate this idea is to show how a given piece of information could be not true, there isn't any overlaying logic that covers all pieces of information. That's not to say that there isn't any reasoning behind my side of the argument, it just doesn't seem reasonable to list all information and why it isn't absolute. So about your proof for why my information reasoning is flawed, It was only intended for reacting to your specific statement, not addressing the idea overall. Circumstantial evidence can't prove a statement false, but it can keep you from knowing that your right.
Zaradi

Con

"But since you haven't provided evidence for any other statement being true, the first part of your logic has no base."

The problem with this is the burden of proof wasn't on me, but rather my opponent put it on himself. My responsibility was to provide a statement that either disproved the resolution "that NOTHING could be known for certain", or to disprove your logic (what I did, which is my argument). My burden wasn't to refute, but to defend. You even said in the First Round "I ask that my opponent simply come up with as statement or fact that they believe can be prove undeniably, and I'll try and refute it.". I have done so, provided that "It is impossible to know anything with absolution" is my statement. It is your job to disprove it. Since you have failed to do so thus far, you have failed to prove your BOP, while I have fulfilled mine.

"A paradox is definitely not an example of absolution."

The problem with this is my argument isn't a paradox, it's the example of a double bind. A double bind being an argument that uses an opponent's argument and makes them lose in any way that can be taken. In this case, the double bind is this:

Either a) It IS impossible to know anything with absolution. That itself is an absolute statement, thus proving the resolution false
or b) It ISN'T impossible to know anything with absolution, thus making the resolution automatically negated.

While my opponent may argue that one is a paradox, that doesn't negate, nor does it disprove the point. But then moreover, even if it is a paradox, it just disproves that statement, resulting in the b) option.

"It was only intended for reacting to your specific statement, not addressing the idea overall. Circumstantial evidence can't prove a statement false, but it can keep you from knowing that your right."

Not knowing if we're right or wrong doesn't mean we are right or wrong. Saying that our knowledge dictates what is right is just the Argument from Ignorance.

But then even if you're argument is true, then not having all the information to make a conclusion prevents it from being impossible, because there could always be that one fact out there that we don't know yet that proves something absolutely true. This means that it wouldn't be impossible, but rather possible, regardless of the unlikliness of it, which means we negate the resolution.
Debate Round No. 3
natoast

Pro

natoast forfeited this round.
Zaradi

Con

Sad day, another forfeit.
Debate Round No. 4
natoast

Pro

The statement that you believe to know with absolution is that 'it's impossible to know anything with absolution', or that you can't know anything without doubt. You also stated that not knowing if we're right or wrong doesn't dictate if we're right or wrong. But the argument at hand isn't about what is, but what is known. And for something to be known, it need to be both true and be believed by the person who knows it, in such a way that they have proven it true, without any contradictions in the data they have. So although I agree the information we have doesn't dictate what is (at least since our last argument), the information we have does still determine what we can actualy know. So since we could get more information in the future, we could know something with absolution eventualy, even if it was impossible now. I'm not saying we will get information that allows us to do this eventualy, but it isn't impossible that we might know something with absolution.

P.S- if you want to continue the debate, or do a separate conclusion round or something, we can complete this on a second debate.
Zaradi

Con

This is going to be the easiest round in my life.

My opponent is pro for the resolution "It is impossible to know anything with absolution". My opponent said at the end of his last round

"..., but it isn't impossible that we might know something with absolution".

Effectively conceded debate. I ask you to vote con.
Debate Round No. 5
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by TrasguTravieso 4 years ago
TrasguTravieso
With absolution you can know your sins have been forgiven:

Definition of ABSOLUTION

: the act of absolving; specifically : a remission of sins pronounced by a priest (as in the sacrament of reconciliation)
Posted by natoast 4 years ago
natoast
oh god, do I feel stupid. another accidental, although this one was less so. I spent most of the time just putting it off, sorry about that.
Posted by natoast 4 years ago
natoast
Third line error correction: 'So we', not 'So W. e'
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by RationalMadman 4 years ago
RationalMadman
natoastZaradiTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: self contradiction of pro
Vote Placed by Cometflash 4 years ago
Cometflash
natoastZaradiTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: PRO failed to counter attack CON's statements, and felt victim of following into CON's analogy. PRO forfeit a round and did not show any explanatory reasons, of why the conduct to CON.
Vote Placed by drafterman 4 years ago
drafterman
natoastZaradiTied
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Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by 1dustpelt 4 years ago
1dustpelt
natoastZaradiTied
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Reasons for voting decision: ff