The Instigator
LR4N6FTW4EVA
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Vi_Veri
Con (against)
Winning
42 Points

Metaphysics Debate 3

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/21/2008 Category: Science
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,504 times Debate No: 4123
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (19)
Votes (10)

 

LR4N6FTW4EVA

Pro

Okay, I feel like debating metaphysical stuff, but I don't know which, so here are some topics, if you want to go PRO for the topics I list, we can change them to the negative, so as not to confuse anyone.

1. If we accept agnosticism, you can't prove anything.
2. If life is really but a dream, then we should still live it like it is reality.
3. Empirical evidence is not logically sound.
4. "Beyond a reasonable doubt" is an unreasonable burden of proof. (The argument I have for this will be metaphysical.)
5. Cogito ergo sum is fundamentally flawed.
6. We should not acknowledge metaphysics.
7. The wise man is the man who knows he knows nothing

For your r1 post, just say which topic and which side you want, R2 we can discuss parameters, R3-5 are for the actual debate.
Vi_Veri

Con

The wise man is the man who knows he knows nothing

I want to be Con for this metaphysical debate.
Debate Round No. 1
LR4N6FTW4EVA

Pro

Okay, the parameters are pretty simple.

Wise Man- Intelligent, insightful, man/woman

the man who knows he knows nothing- Man who is aware of the fact (debatable) that he knows nothing.
Vi_Veri

Con

Because this is a metaphysical debate, both of your definitions are debatable by me. That being what knowing nothing, what a wise man is, and what knowing at all is.

If you want to have a true metaphysical debate, you will have to prove your definitions outside of a dictionary.

The burden of proof is always on pro (he whom makes the claim of a belief as being true.) So, pro, now that the parameters of a metaphysical debate have been set, you must show me proof that your statement is logically correct.
Debate Round No. 2
LR4N6FTW4EVA

Pro

Okay, man who knows nothing isn't really in the dictionary, so I used common sense, but wise man is defined by Merriam-Webster as "a man of unusual learning, judgment, or insight" basically what I said.

Now, onto my case. This has some Descartes in it, so it may be slightly familiar, your profile says you have a background in metaphysics.

Okay, it is a possibility that there is an Evil Deceiver, one who is omnipotent, omnimalevolent, and omniscient. This guy, he since he is so evil likes to mess with logic, and give us hallucinations, and other naughty things. These acts interfere with us knowing anything, as any empirical evidence could be a false perception, and any logical proof could be invalidated when he changes logic. Even Descartes' Dubito ergo sum is flawed, as with logic messed up, all is possible.

Unless this Evil Deceiver definitely does not exist, we cannot know anything. It is unusually insightful to recognize this. Therefore, the wise man is the man who knows he knows nothing.

Quod erat demonstrandum
Vi_Veri

Con

Opponent: ""Okay, man who knows nothing isn't really in the dictionary, so I used common sense, but wise man is defined by Merriam-Webster as "a man of unusual learning, judgment, or insight" basically what I said.""

You didn't comprehend what I said. In philosophy, things like "wise" and "knowing" and "nothing" can be debated, therefore I do not accept any definition just because it is dictionary. You need to prove to me what knowing is, what a wise man is, and what nothing is etc. in your argument (as you are debating, again, metaphysics here).

""Now, onto my case. This has some Descartes in it, so it may be slightly familiar, your profile says you have a background in metaphysics.""

I am more than slightly familiar with Descartes argument (as with all other Philosophy majors, they need be more than slightly familiar), and have written many a rebuttal against his Cogito ergo sum inference. (my ethos)

Now to your argument:

Ok... so you are saying that it is possible that there is an evil deceiver, but supply no proof for one. Metaphysical arguments consist of proofs on what exists, what causes those things to exist, and why they exist. You have proved none of them by saying "it is possible." How is it possible? Can you show me using a syllogism at least? You have no proof that such a being exists. You have just given a what if? I can counter a what if with another what if - what if there was a benevolent good being that fought the evil deceiver and there was still some truth to be learned in the world. Then the man would not be wise to think he didn't know all, because he might in fact know something. So, again, you have the burden of proof and have not given any proof for your "what if."

You also mention Cogito ergo sum (or as you mentioned it, "dubito"). This doesn't mean logic is messed up. It is a widely known argument that Descartes Cogito is logically flawed as it is a syllogistic inference. This only means that Descartes reasoning was flawed (he's not a perfect being, he can make a reasoning flaw). Because Descartes reasoning was flawed, Cogito would then not logically follow from his syllogism error.

So, in no way does pointing out an obvious reasoning error prove that logic can be manipulated. Logic is prevailing, and just because a famous philosopher said something doesn't mean it is logically sound.

_____________________

My argument as to why a "The wise man is the man who knows he knows nothing" is flawed:

To know that you know nothing is to know something - that you know nothing. Therefore, the wise man does know something.

Just because a sentence can be put together and be grammatically correct does not mean it is logically correct - such as the statement we are arguing about the wise man. I can give you an example: The hollow unicorns organs ached and radiated sweet sugar remote controls.

The sentence can be put together with verbs and nouns, sure, but it is by far logical.

Just like a wise man knowing that he knows nothing. You can't know that you know nothing. You wouldn't have the empirical evidence to make such an inference if you didn't know something.
Debate Round No. 3
LR4N6FTW4EVA

Pro

Yeah, sorry, I misread that part.
Okay, hear goes:
Knowledge: Awareness of truth
Wise: Having unusual insight
Nothing: absence of existence (bad phrasing) ex. man who knows he knows nothing would be man who is aware that he has an absence of awareness.

Now, I think you may have misunderstood my argument, I was saying Dubito or Cogito ergo sum, (it was originally Dubito, but was changed in order to not be heretic), was flawed, and could not be used to rebut my argument.

I don't have to prove the existence of the Evil Deceiver, my point is that you can't know whether he exists or not. The proof of that would be that you can't disprove his existence, and that means however unlikely it is, it is possible that he exists, as long as there is the slight possibility that he may exist, the rest follows.

In syllogistic form.
1. There is the possibility of an Evil Deceiver
2. If he exists he has the ability and will to change logic, and the empirical world.
3. We would not be aware of what is true, and what is one of his lies.
4. We would not know anything.
5. A wise man would recognize that fact.

As long as we don't know whether he exists or not, we have the possibility of the situation where we don't know anything. This lack of knowledge leads to us being unable to prove the absolute truth of anything, if we don't know what is true, than we don't know anything. Your hypothetical good deity is also possible, but as he can't be proven, he cannot rebut my possibility. We don't know this, so we can't know anything else.

Okay, your argument that if a man knows that he knows nothing he knows something is flawed. The phrase I offered as a possible topic of debate is a fairly well known figure of speech. It is fallacious to say it is false simply because it is phrased as a contradiction. In truth, a man can't even know that he knows nothing, because of the possible Evil Deceiver possibly messing with logic. So he can't know anything, not even that he can't know anything. It is a paradox, but it is proved logically, so I guess it is a true paradox.
Vi_Veri

Con

"Now, I think you may have misunderstood my argument, I was saying Dubito or Cogito ergo sum, (it was originally Dubito, but was changed in order to not be heretic), was flawed, and could not be used to rebut my argument."

1. I know. I set up my ethos on this already. I was only showing your wording for the voters becuase we used different terms. 2. Then it was irrelevant to put it in your argument, as we are not arguing cogito and it serves you nothing apparently.

"I don't have to prove the existence of the Evil Deceiver, my point is that you can't know whether he exists or not. The proof of that would be that you can't disprove his existence, and that means however unlikely it is, it is possible that he exists, as long as there is the slight possibility that he may exist, the rest follows."

That's not a true statement. A being can not exist if he is a contradiction. Your being is a contradiction *namely because you said he is omnipotent and omniscient at the same time.* Because you stated that your being is the only one who can know the truth, because he is the bender of all truth, you made fatal error and can be contradicted by Richard La Croix's argument Let me show you:

""(I) b does a

(2) b is the only being who knows that (1) is true.
Now, if 'x is omnipotent' entails

(3) x can create any finite being y, provided (i) y has
properties such that the statement that y has those
properties neither is self-contradictory nor entails a
contradiction and (ii) there is no being z such that the
statement that z and y exist either is self-contradictory
or entails a contradiction,

then an omnipotent being can create b . . .

But, if 'x is omniscient' entails

(4) For any finite being B and for any act A, if B does A
then x knows that B does A,

Then an omniscient being cannot create b . . .

Since an omnipotent being can create b and an omniscient
being cannot create b then 'x is omnipotent and omniscient'
entails

(5) x can create b and x cannot create b.

But, since (5)is self-contradictory it would appear to
follow that a being who is both omnipotent and omniscient is
logically impossible. ""

Therefore, your being is a contradiction. Therefore, if we use the ever present natural law all logicians use (that if anything is a contradiction, it can not exist), then he doesn't exist.
_______________________________________________

""In syllogistic form.
1. There is the possibility of an Evil Deceiver
2. If he exists he has the ability and will to change logic, and the empirical world.
3. We would not be aware of what is true, and what is one of his lies.
4. We would not know anything.
5. A wise man would recognize that fact.""

Your syllogism violates the following:

1. Contradiction between premise and conclusion fallacy: How can a wise man know a fact if all facts, by your former premises, are being can change logic.

2. Illicit distribution of an end term: Where is a wise man in any of your premises? He is only in your (5) conclusion.

3. The number of negative-quality premises must be equal to the number of negative-quality conclusions. So, no valid syllogism can have 2 negative premises. So, if if the conclusion is positive, the syllogism can not posses a negative premise.

Therefore, your syllogism is useless: invalid. I'm sorry.

_____________________________________

"As long as we don't know whether he exists or not, we have the possibility of the situation where we don't know anything. This lack of knowledge leads to us being unable to prove the absolute truth of anything, if we don't know what is true, than we don't know anything. Your hypothetical good deity is also possible, but as he can't be proven, he cannot rebut my possibility. We don't know this, so we can't know anything else."

Your solipsist based argument can be countered by another solipsist based argument. And you contradicted yourself again. How come my being can't exist just because "you can't prove him" but yours can? We can't know that my being exists or not, so we can't know that he might be fixing everything or not: so then, by your logic, it is fallacious to argue that we shouldn't take him into consideration also. This twists things up a bit doesn't it. This is why we must use logic.

"Okay, your argument that if a man knows that he knows nothing he knows something is flawed. The phrase I offered as a possible topic of debate is a fairly well known figure of speech. It is fallacious to say it is false simply because it is phrased as a contradiction. In truth, a man can't even know that he knows nothing, because of the possible Evil Deceiver possibly messing with logic. So he can't know anything, not even that he can't know anything. It is a paradox, but it is proved logically, so I guess it is a true paradox."

Just because something is a figure of speech, doesn't mean it is true. You just committed the Fallacy of Popular Wisdom.

And what fallacy am I committing by throwing away a contradiction? I'm sorry, but that is laughable, because I am not committing a single fallacy by throwing away a contradiction as false. It is well known, and a fact, in logic, that a contradiction is non-existent.

And where, might I ask, is it proved logically? Can you prove it logically in a valid syllogism for me? You have stated that it has been "proved" but have given me no proof. Therefore, I'm sorry, but I can't just take your word (you haven't even supplied me with a credible ethos to do so.)

Regards,

Vi
Debate Round No. 4
LR4N6FTW4EVA

Pro

Words suck. Or at least English words do.

Anyhow, I'll go line by line.

"Then it was irrelevant to put it in your argument, as we are not arguing cogito and it serves you nothing apparently."
I was expecting a possible argument that cogito ergo sum is one thing we could know, but I guess I didn't get that.

"(I) b does a

(2) b is the only being who knows that (1) is true.
Now, if 'x is omnipotent' entails

(3) x can create any finite being y, provided (i) y has
properties such that the statement that y has those
properties neither is self-contradictory nor entails a
contradiction and (ii) there is no being z such that the
statement that z and y exist either is self-contradictory
or entails a contradiction,

then an omnipotent being can create b . . .

But, if 'x is omniscient' entails

(4) For any finite being B and for any act A, if B does A
then x knows that B does A,

Then an omniscient being cannot create b . . .

Since an omnipotent being can create b and an omniscient
being cannot create b then 'x is omnipotent and omniscient'
entails

(5) x can create b and x cannot create b.

But, since (5)is self-contradictory it would appear to
follow that a being who is both omnipotent and omniscient is
logically impossible."

This argument looks pretty sound on paper, but it has a fatal flaw. An omnipotent being can do anything, anything. What this evil deceiver would be capable of is incomprehensible to the human mind. It could contradict itself, that's part of being omnipotent. So x could create b either way, even though it seems horribly illogical. X can do anything, even create a contradiction.

"1. Contradiction between premise and conclusion fallacy: How can a wise man know a fact if all facts, by your former premises, are being can change logic."

Oh the pains of the English language. In my mind I know what I mean, but English cannot describe it. I'll try my best to get it on paper though. Change 5 to "A wise man would agree that he does not know anything."
To explain further, he would not know anything, even that, but he would say that it logically follows, even though logic may or may not be real. Ugh, do you sort of see what I'm saying, I only included the wise man because I wanted to use a common saying. The intent is to say that you can't know anything, and it is wise to believe that is most likely the truth. Again it is weird, but I can't do anything about that. Change the English language and get back to me.

"2. Illicit distribution of an end term: Where is a wise man in any of your premises? He is only in your (5) conclusion."
Alright, I'll make it work, it'll be two syllogisms now:
1)
1.There is the possibility of an Evil Deceiver
2. If he exists he has the ability and will to change logic, and the empirical world.
3. We would not be aware of what is true, and what is one of his lies.
4. Therefore, as defined we would not know anything.

2) 1. A wise man is by definition unusually insightful.
2. It is insightful to agree with logic, especially syllogisms that prove odd things.
3. It is wise to agree that we do not know anything (If it is logically proven)
4. It has been logically proven that we cannot know anything.
5. A wise man would agree that he does not know anything.

"3. The number of negative-quality premises must be equal to the number of negative-quality conclusions. So, no valid syllogism can have 2 negative premises. So, if if the conclusion is positive, the syllogism can not posses a negative premise."
In the first syllogism there is one negative premise and one negative conclusion.
In the second syllogism there are no negatives premises and no negative conclusions. It works now, yet it proves the same thing.

"Your solipsist based argument can be countered by another solipsist based argument. And you contradicted yourself again. How come my being can't exist just because "you can't prove him" but yours can? We can't know that my being exists or not, so we can't know that he might be fixing everything or not: so then, by your logic, it is fallacious to argue that we shouldn't take him into consideration also. This twists things up a bit doesn't it. This is why we must use logic."

The fact is we cannot know either way, so the very possibility of the Evil Deceiver opens the can of worms. The possibility of the good deity means it is not definite that the Evil Deceiver, but it does not mean it is definite that he does not exist. My argument stands.

"Just because something is a figure of speech, doesn't mean it is true. You just committed the Fallacy of Popular Wisdom.

And what fallacy am I committing by throwing away a contradiction? I'm sorry, but that is laughable, because I am not committing a single fallacy by throwing away a contradiction as false. It is well known, and a fact, in logic, that a contradiction is non-existent."

The reason you are being fallacious is you are interpreting this based on how it is worded. The issue at hand is its meaning, which is fairly well known. I proved its meaning, you tried disproving its wording. Its meaning is not a contradiction, all the saying is saying is that we cannot know anything, I proved that. For example, if I said, "Hold your horses!" It would not be logical to say "I don't have any horses!" As it is pretty clear, unless you are not familiar with the English language, I would be meaning that you should wait.

"And where, might I ask, is it proved logically? Can you prove it logically in a valid syllogism for me? You have stated that it has been "proved" but have given me no proof. Therefore, I'm sorry, but I can't just take your word (you haven't even supplied me with a credible ethos to do so.)"

I just did, up above.

Quod erat demonstrandum

Your move.
Vi_Veri

Con

"This argument looks pretty sound on paper, but it has a fatal flaw. An omnipotent being can do anything, anything. What this evil deceiver would be capable of is incomprehensible to the human mind. It could contradict itself, that's part of being omnipotent. So x could create b either way, even though it seems horribly illogical. X can do anything, even create a contradiction."

Omnipotence has known logical problems and paradoxes. Omnipotence in itself in a contradiction. An omnipotent being can be powerful enough to destroy itself, but once destroyed, in a nothing state, it can not posses the power to create itself again. Or, could an omnipotent being force sanctions on itself that it can't even break? Could an omnipotent being make himself not omnipotent? Or how about this one:

Can an omnipotent being create a rock so heavy that even he cannot lift it? If he can, then the rock is now unliftable, limiting his power. But if he cannot, then he is still not omnipotent.

We can even use Augustine's argument:

For he is called omnipotent on account of his doing what he wills, not on account of his suffering what he wills not; for if that should befall him, he would by no means be omnipotent. Wherefore, he cannot do some things for the very reason that he is omnipotent.

Thus Augustine argued that an omnipotent being could not do anything or create any situation that would in effect make the omnipotent being not omnipotent.

Your counter to LeCroix's famous proof is futile, Pro.

Next argument...

""Alright, I'll make it work, it'll be two syllogisms now:
1)
1.There is the possibility of an Evil Deceiver
2. If he exists he has the ability and will to change logic, and the empirical world.
3. We would not be aware of what is true, and what is one of his lies.
4. Therefore, as defined we would not know anything.

2) 1. A wise man is by definition unusually insightful.
2. It is insightful to agree with logic, especially syllogisms that prove odd things.
3. It is wise to agree that we do not know anything (If it is logically proven)
4. It has been logically proven that we cannot know anything.
5. A wise man would agree that he does not know anything.""

How can it be logically proven that we know nothing if we know enough to say that we know nothing? Your second syllogism relies on your first being sound, but in fact your first is not sound. A syllogism can be valid, but if it's not sound it doesn't matter - another fact of philosophy you should learn. The unsoundness comes from the fact that you can not change logic. If you change logic, then how can a wise man agree with logic in your second syllogism? Balderdash. Fail again with the syllogisms, Pro.

Next argument...

""The fact is we cannot know either way, so the very possibility of the Evil Deceiver opens the can of worms. The possibility of the good deity means it is not definite that the Evil Deceiver, but it does not mean it is definite that he does not exist. My argument stands.""

Then, what, the argument is agnostic? Again, Pro, must I explain this again? If something contradicts logic, it can not exist. The rebuttal to this nonsense is pure and simple as that.

Next argument....

""The reason you are being fallacious is you are interpreting this based on how it is worded. The issue at hand is its meaning, which is fairly well known. I proved its meaning, you tried disproving its wording. Its meaning is not a contradiction, all the saying is saying is that we cannot know anything, I proved that. For example, if I said, "Hold your horses!" It would not be logical to say "I don't have any horses!" As it is pretty clear, unless you are not familiar with the English language, I would be meaning that you should wait.""

Um... Of course I am interpreting it based on how its worded. I am trying to disprove its meaning by how it's worded... And yes, that's exactly what I'm arguing, that "We cannot know anything" is false (If you know you don't know anything, then you know something, because you -know- that you don't know anything -anything being all things- which then in turn is a contradiction)... And the hold your horses argument... Of course I am familiar with the English language and I would know that is a silly little saying. Please don't pull a straw man fallacy on me here. You, on the other hand, don't seem familiar with the English language (read the next section, as I was saving the best for last):

""Oh the pains of the English language. In my mind I know what I mean, but English cannot describe it. I'll try my best to get it on paper though. Change 5 to "A wise man would agree that he does not know anything."
To explain further, he would not know anything, even that, but he would say that it logically follows, even though logic may or may not be real. Ugh, do you sort of see what I'm saying, I only included the wise man because I wanted to use a common saying. The intent is to say that you can't know anything, and it is wise to believe that is most likely the truth. Again it is weird, but I can't do anything about that. Change the English language and get back to me.""

If logic may or may not be real, then a "wise man" would in turn know not to trust logic. So that absolutely makes no sense. If logic may not be real, there wouldn't be a wise man to begin with! No one would be the wiser! And, Pro, just because you have a small vocabulary doesn't mean the English language is flawed (that, in itself, is illogical *winks*) Maybe you can't seem to put it into words because it is illogical? Because you can't even word it for me properly, I really can't argue against something that doesn't exist.

The wise man is the man who knows he knows nothing is an illogical statement.

Quod erat demonstrandum, Pro.

Regards,

Vi Veri
Debate Round No. 5
19 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Jeevez 9 years ago
Jeevez
holy crap
im only in high school and i read this whole thing
philosophy is epic.
you sure know your stuff vi...
Posted by Vi_Veri 9 years ago
Vi_Veri
I'd def be up for that, Alexander :)
Posted by DrAlexander 9 years ago
DrAlexander
Np Vi, nice seeing you too.lol.
Once I tune up my debating skills, we should debate each other again. :D
Posted by Vi_Veri 9 years ago
Vi_Veri
Ty Alexander ;) Nice seeing you around again lol. Oh and thanks for the spelling fix :p
Posted by DrAlexander 9 years ago
DrAlexander
Ah,
After fifteen minutes of reading and decifering metaphysical terminology, I voted CON due to her inconsistancy arguement. Logic is determined through consistency, I can't believe someone could argue that inconsistancy exists within logic, it's an oxymoron.
Posted by DrAlexander 9 years ago
DrAlexander
Vi,
I guess I'll correct you as well so PRO doesn't feel bad :D
About nine comments down, 'logcially' is 'logically' :D
Posted by DrAlexander 9 years ago
DrAlexander
LR4NX...,
The proper term is incomprehensible..
We all have our moments :D
Posted by Vi_Veri 9 years ago
Vi_Veri
Pro, the debate is over.

If you wish to have an omnipotence debate, start one.
Posted by LR4N6FTW4EVA 9 years ago
LR4N6FTW4EVA
Extending on my omnipotence point, being omnipotent is uncomprehendable (is that a word?) by mere mortals. We do not know omnipotence, we cannot know its extents. There is also the possibility that logic itself is flawed. (of that just makes me seem desperate). Moving on, omnipotence can lead to contradictions, it is part of being omnipotent.

Also, a wise man would follow logic enough to see that it implodes itself by allowing the existence of an evil deceiver. (which I guess could be omnipotent only to the extent that it could change logic)

Third, the horses example was not a straw man, it was an example of the figure of speech fallacy, which you committed.

Finally, your criticisms of my vocabulary are unfounded, its just that English hasn't evolved terms for what I mean. There are plenty of examples of this, words and ideas that don't translate into languages.
Posted by LR4N6FTW4EVA 9 years ago
LR4N6FTW4EVA
I use wikipedia?

Oh, and a real life contradiction:
You can't prove anything.

Disagree, debate me.
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Vote Placed by Shoot_Down 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by Tainted 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by Spiral 9 years ago
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