The Instigator
PolicyDebateTOC
Pro (for)
Winning
10 Points
The Contender
FunkeeMonk91
Con (against)
Losing
6 Points

Logic and reason,aka humanism, cannot accurately describe the human schema

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/12/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,362 times Debate No: 2597
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (4)

 

PolicyDebateTOC

Pro

Spanos and Foucault write about this in depth.

Truth and power are co productive-- we cannot break down the world into linear and cause effect relations. Doing so assumes a world that is an ordered whole, one where we can predict and manipulate objects to achieve a desired end. Doing so is an attempt to overthrow power configurations by deeming them repressive, something that must be overthrown or overcome.

This framework is inherently contradictory because it embraces a kill to save logic -- a framework that justifies certain life as valuable and other as worthless cannot articulate an objective meaning to life.

Attempts to conduct foreign policy with the point of view that we have the correct solution, and that we have the correct blueprint/reading of the world is dangerous and arbitrary.

Ontological questions come first, before we can understand the implications of policy action, we must understand its methodology and ethical constructions.
FunkeeMonk91

Con

Your contention is that logic and reason cannot be applied to the world as we know it, correct? Let me know if my interpretation is a little off.

Anyways, this isn't true. Logic and reason is all that we humans have. Once those are taken away, we don't have much. Yes, some may argue that our conscience is all we need. But where do you think that conscience comes from? It's all about human intelligence, or reason. So, really, you don't have much of an argument until you present something that is better, more effective than logic/reason.

Your contention is that we cannot use logic to structure our world. But how else would you go about doing so? If we looked at everything from a purely abstract point of view, nothing could be accomplished, as things would always be misconstrued, misunderstood, or just not agreeable to people.

Now to take on your specific arguments:

"...we cannot break down the world into linear and cause effect relations. Doing so assumes a world...where we can predict and manipulate objects to achieve a desired end."

First off, what are there other than cause/effect relationships? Aren't those the only kind of relationships? They are the best and only way to interpret different situations. If we figure out the cause of something, odds are we can solve it, so that the affects don't happen.

Also, what's wrong with predicting/manipulating society? If we don't live in a predictable world, chaos will ensue and we will basically have anarchy. But, I can see where you might go with this: people have and will always abuse the system. Then maybe we need to used logic and reason to sort out why this happens, and come up with a solution. You can't do this by looking at things abstractly. You need a practical, rational solution to problems.

"This framework is inherently contradictory because it embraces a kill to save logic -- a framework that justifies certain life as valuable and other as worthless cannot articulate an objective meaning to life."

Who said that logic justified murder/death? If you say that people like John McCain have logically justified death (the war), but this isn't the case. He has simply played upon people's emotions in order to gain approval. Think about it. Why do people think we need to go to war? Because they are constantly told through the media and our representatives that we are in extreme danger. Is this the case? Maybe, maybe not, but that's besides the point. The point is that if people would sit down and go through the causes/effects and the pros/cons of war, I'm sure most would conclude that war is, generally, bad.

"Attempts to conduct foreign policy with the point of view that we have the correct solution, and that we have the correct blueprint/reading of the world is dangerous and arbitrary."

Anyone can say that their solution or blueprint is correct and/or logical. Because people claim something logical doesn't make it so. Logic is not subject and reason is not relative. Again, if the powers that be would sit down and just think, "What is, honestly, without any bias or greed, the most logical solution possible?," then we would live in a much better place.

"Ontological questions come first, before we can understand the implications of policy action, we must understand its methodology and ethical constructions."

Good point. But how else would you go about doing this without logic/reason?

My opponent has made some good points, but has failed to propose a solution to his contention. If we can't use logic/reason, what else can we use? He must answer this question to win. Also, he has stated some scenarios where rationality has caused harm. But isn't that an oxymoron? Rationality causing harm? True rational cannot cause harm, becuase that totally defeats the purpose.
Debate Round No. 1
PolicyDebateTOC

Pro

Truth and power are co productive meaning that any attempt to try and stop the world and break it down into something linear will fail and is rooted in a contradictory logic. Remember, ontology is what matters here.

My alternative is not to reject all forms of conceptualization, rather to understand how we've been situated such that we understand configurations genuinely. We should not ask "what ought I do" because thats jumping to the solution without posing the question correctly.

My argument is that we must understand the parameters working around us before we just jump into a situation and start acting. Vietnam is proof of why humanism is bad, how it boiled up to the surface and showed itself.

Being able to predict everything is an attempt to manipulate variables. In this value system, life has no meaning because objects become something to be used and expended. What life is valuable if it can be used up in an instant?

Thats my point. The idea we're free from power relationships, ie, that this is a pure and benign action, that logic is all happy, makes us blind to the dangers that power exposes. It makes us forget and push away atrocities that have happened. To say that we should send troops to Iraq is to presuppose we have a stable and coherent notion of the world when there is none.

Logic and reason is fine in a world where we understand the paramters of our actions, but more often than not, when we approach a problem with a solution that we can just tack on, it is like a band aid that doesnt address the root cause.

My alternative is one that proposes ontological questioning. Rationality is only a construct of what we make it. To say you're rational presupposes that I'm irrational, and that logic is what I'm criticizing, because it creates a certain truth of the subject when really, it is constantly fluctuationg.

Sorry I'm condensing a life's study of philosophy into few words, I'd keep going but thats for my debate at harvard :D

Look, the round gets much simpler when you evaluate the lens that the arguments are being written from. I'll win that in an ontological sense, ie, recognizing foundations, the idea of humanism is bankrupt.
FunkeeMonk91

Con

"My alternative is not to reject all forms of conceptualization, rather to understand how we've been situated such that we understand configurations genuinely."

First off, your stance is that humanism or conceptualization cannot describe the human schema. That in itself is a contradiction. Second. Again, you are jumping to conclusions. You say that humanism doesn't lend itself to understanding "configurations genuinely." Even if that were the case, which it's not, you exclude the very likely possibility that no one has ever gone about examining situations logically. Maybe we have never done it the right way. That is a huge problem with your contention.

"We should not ask "what ought I do" because thats jumping to the solution without posing the question correctly."

Again, your jumping to conclusions. Who said that asking that question was not the correct way to phrase it? I doubt that you can prove that logic has led people to jump to an inappropriate solution, as you claim.

"My argument is that we must understand the parameters working around us before we just jump into a situation and start acting."

But, you don't understand. I am saying the exact same thing. The only difference is that I think that humanism and rationalism can accomplish that. We can use logic to understand parameters. How else would we do that?

"Vietnam is proof of why humanism is bad, how it boiled up to the surface and showed itself."

Elaborate. I think I see where you're going with that, but I want to make sure so I can rebuttal effectively.

"In this value system, life has no meaning because objects become something to be used and expended. What life is valuable if it can be used up in an instant?"

Aren't objects supposed to be used? I mean, pens, cars, computers, are all objects which are meant to be used. If you are referring to life as being an object, you may have a point. But I never said that this system exemplified humanism or rationalism. So that point is invalid. Also, in any system, life can be "used up in an instant." No government, no policy, and no law is going to make people invincible. There will always be a risk of death in any society. You have to prove that a system based on logic/reason devalues life. Until then, you don't have a legitimate argument.

"...logic is all happy, makes us blind to the dangers that power exposes. It makes us forget and push away atrocities that have happened. To say that we should send troops to Iraq is to presuppose we have a stable and coherent notion of the world when there is none."

Logic isn't happy. The conclusions that result from it, are. Doesn't it make sense to think that if something is truly logical/reasonable, that no harm will come out of it? How does it make us forget atrocities? I never said this, so you have to prove it. Also, the Iraq war was my example of people not using logic. Your mentioning of it only proves my point: that the only way people would accept and approve something like war would be to disregard any reasoning that they have.

"Logic and reason is fine in a world where we understand the parameters of our actions."

That is exactly what my contention is. You can't say that humanism cannot be applied to the human schema, and then say that it can be used. That is a huge contradiction, and one that could lose you the debate.

"We approach a problem with a solution that we can just tack on, it is like a band aid that doesn't address the root cause."

This is true. But how does that show that logic isn't applicable? Just because people make bad decisions, doesn't mean that rationality isn't the best way to approach a situation. I think that if people truly used their intelligence, then bad decisions would rarely happen.

"I'll win that in an ontological sense, ie, recognizing foundations, the idea of humanism is bankrupt."

Ontological arguments don't work. Asking oneself about their own existence doesn't help fight against crime, or poverty, or even war. They don't apply to real world situations, as ontological questions only ask about the metaphysical. We are concerned about the here and the now, and reason and logic are the tools we need to fix our situation.

My opponent does not address my rebuttals explicitly, nor does he prove his own arguments. He ignores the points I bring up, while just rephrasing his previous examples.
Debate Round No. 2
PolicyDebateTOC

Pro

My argument is that the rush to act is what must be put into question. If we always jump to the solution without understanding foreign policy power configurations, action will always beat out thought as the preferred mode of engagement.
Yes, I can prove humanism has led to awful interventions. We went into vietnam since we thought democracy was the be all end all to save mankind and kick out the dirty communists. They didnt want democracy but we kept pushing. This is the inevitable breakdowns in foreign policy that result from an oversimplifcation of the international arena into a linear grid of reality.

Humanism and rationalism cant coexist. Humanism is everything that is irrational. The world is about me, is what humanism teaches. Is that rational? That turns all your arguments.

Objects are not constructed to be manipulated, that is the ontological problem with humanism. Yes we build things, but the problem is that when we see it in terms of how we can utilize it to accomplish a broader project, we're ignoring how truth and power are constituted, while devaluing the life or value the object has. When we look at a tree in terms of paper, no longer does it carry the value and significance that the piece of nature had before.

When we think something is truley logical or happy, we become blind to the dangers that power exposes. Your comment asumes a world without truth and power, one where they are external and opposite to one another, when in fact it is something not to be overcome. Vietnam is the perfect example, democracy was suppose to create a stable government, we thought we were above power relations, ended up in the obliteration of everything we deemed different.

Your contradiction argument has no warrants and makes no sense.

The root cause of bad decisions is not rationality, meaning all your offense doesnt even link to my claim.

You say ontology doesnt come first:
You and your policy just aren't that important – if we don't pass your plan, written your way, today, there's nothing precluding us from passing a marginally different plan tomorrow or next week. Framing the debate as your plan versus endless suffering is blackmail for the sake of pushing your plan through.

Voting negative is consistent with rejecting suffering. We agree their harms are bad, and they're certainly inconsistent with our post-structuralist framework. We're criticizing the manner in which they assembled evidence in the 1AC and how they're leaning on this evidence to make normative statements about foreign actors and what needs to be done. If we win a link and you agree with our impacts, then voting negative is still a way of empathizing with their harms – and, actually, a better way.

Humanism is the root cause of all conflict. My alternative solves your offense in the best possible manner.

Oh, and dont say that I dropped your args, I didnt drop a single one. But you conceded truth and power are co productive, which grants me an internal link to my impacts of value to life.
FunkeeMonk91

Con

"My argument is that the rush to act is what must be put into question."

Then why didn't you make that the topic? You're talking about logic and reason. My stance is that just because logic and reason haven't been used well in the past, that doesn't mean that they are not capable of describing the human schema. I think that they are, and that few people use them correctly. As a wise Ethics teacher once said, "Life is simple; we make it complicated."

Your example of Vietnam is a moot point. Just by reading your description, that war doesn't seem logical at all. I doubt that our representatives at the time really put in enough time to come up with a reasonable solution. Just because they gave a reason for it, doesn't make it reasonable.

Your point about humanism vs. logic and reason are not valid. Mostly because you defined humanism as being synonymous with logic and reason in your topic. You chose the topic, therefore you are responsible for whatever you define in there. I learned that the hard way in a debate about capitalism.

Yes, people are not meant to be manipulated. But with logic and reason, we can all come up with solutions to problems that would negate any need for manipulation. You can somewhat do the same thing with ontologicism (is that a word?), but that doesn't matter. All I have to do is prove that logic and reason can be used. Which is, so far, what I have done.

Let me take on your Vietnam example.

We thought that democracy would work in Vietnam. We thought it would help them, and more importantly, help us. This isn't using logic. Real, unbiased, objective logic would point out that it would only hurt both nations. It would have been best to never have gone out on a full-fledged war. We see that.

This brings up another point: hindsight. "Hindsight is always 20-20." This is true, why? Because, looking back, we are able to analyze situations through an objective lens. What is this lens coated with? Logic and reason. Only in hindsight, can logic and reason be used at their best. And it gets even better. After examining past situations, we can apply what we've learned to present day scenarios. This is a HUGE way that logic and reason are still applicable.

I'm going to finish with this: Saying that logic is applicable, isn't exclusive. In other words, just because logic and reason can be used, doesn't mean that ontological methods cannot be used as well. They both are good approaches to understanding the human schema(if it seems like I'm contradicting myself, I'm not). However, I think that logic is FAR superior.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Yraelz 9 years ago
Yraelz
I like how you cited our debate Funkee, that made me laugh. This round was very difficult to vote on. Running a Kritik on the pro and placing yourself as an in round neg is very weird. Also referring to the Con as the Aff and attacking the 1AC which hypothetically doesn't exist made me laugh.

I think ultimately I'm going to have to vote Neg (Pro) on this as the Aff (Con) stated,

"Real, unbiased, objective logic would point out that it would only hurt both nations."

Which sounds quite a lot like the onotological reasoning that the Neg is advocating. I'm also giving the imaginary links to the Neg as the Aff did not bother contradicting the arguments he never made. I would like to see actual Kritiks being run on debate.org........
Posted by PolicyDebateTOC 9 years ago
PolicyDebateTOC
too bad it wasn't a kritik of logic or reason. Rather the ability that we can map out everything with predictions and that logic and reason don't fail once in a while
Posted by mindjob 9 years ago
mindjob
I mean point con. See, without this clarifying comment, the one before it totally lacked logic. See what happens when you try to operate without it?
Posted by mindjob 9 years ago
mindjob
What's funny is pro made one big logical overextension in his first round. It's kind of hard to argue against using logic/reason when you're trying to use it in your arguments. Point pro!
Posted by Yraelz 9 years ago
Yraelz
Nice, very cool. Debate is amazing!
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by LDdebaterCG 7 years ago
LDdebaterCG
PolicyDebateTOCFunkeeMonk91Tied
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Vote Placed by Yraelz 9 years ago
Yraelz
PolicyDebateTOCFunkeeMonk91Tied
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Vote Placed by mindjob 9 years ago
mindjob
PolicyDebateTOCFunkeeMonk91Tied
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Vote Placed by FunkeeMonk91 9 years ago
FunkeeMonk91
PolicyDebateTOCFunkeeMonk91Tied
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