The Instigator
LR4N6FTW4EVA
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
Harlan
Con (against)
Winning
22 Points

Metaphysics Debate

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/20/2008 Category: Science
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,414 times Debate No: 4104
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (15)
Votes (7)

 

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.
Harlan

Con

I'm not sure how this debate will go, but coincidentally I too am very interested in metaphysical things currently.

I would like to go CON on idea #2: "If life is really but a dream, then we should still live it like it is reality."

In fact, I would like to instigate "If life is really reality, then we should live as if it's a dream", but either will work.

PS My current scope of interest is Lucid dreaming; obsessively. That is why I took up this debate.

-Harlan
Debate Round No. 1
LR4N6FTW4EVA

Pro

Okay, to clarify the second topic I'll say what I meant about each term.

By life, I mean the world we are perceiving, or at least this world that has debate.org in it.

By dream I mean any false perception, not necessarily ones we see while we're asleep. (Besides, is there really any good way to distinguish the two?)

Reality is a little sticky to define, but I'm tentatively going to say the realm in which we exist.

If you agree with this, you can post your argument for CON, if not, tell me what I need to change.
Harlan

Con

My opponent and I have agreed in the comments section to define "dream" as "the realm of existence in our own brain [or mind]".

I am arguing CON on the topic: "If life is really but a dream, then we should still live it like it is reality."

Here goes…

Now, when my opponent thought of this debate topic, he probably was only treating this as theoretical. There is a "real-world" application to this, though…

The readers may or may not have heard of the concept of "Lucid Dreaming". This is the concept of being aware that you are dreaming, while dreaming. In other words, you combine your waking, rational thought process with the infinite possibilities of dreams. You are able to do anything. From the standpoint of someone who has had a lucid dream, to waste the opportunity would be silly. My opponent would, with this belief, not act on the sudden epiphany that he was in a dream, but instead keep following the regular scenario of his dream. This would be a monumental shame, considering the ultimate power that can be exercised on will. In fact, with my opponent's definition of "life", your dreams could be considered your life (and I wholeheartedly agree).

A Lucid dreamer, can, if he wishes, keep following the course of his dream. Also, if he/she is careless, they may loose the lucidity. I should like to allude to a popular film "The Matrix". The Matrix actually is very significant to metaphysical philosophy. In fact, the best analogy I can find for lucid dreaming is probably the matrix. My opponent, upon realizing that he was not in reality, but in the matrix, would keep acting out his day-to-day life instead of stopping bullets in mid-air and flying around. There was actually a very good analogy for this debate in the movie. Morpheus says thus:

"You take the blue pill, the story ends. You wake up in your bed and you believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in wonderland. And, I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes."

Given the choice of the two pills, can you honestly say that you would take the blue one? Would you slip up the opportunity to live with a higher sense of conscious; to be able to control your surroundings at will; to be able to do anything you could possibly imagine?

And so I say that if you discovered that what you thought was "reality" was really a dream, then you should not live like it was reality, you should live like it is a dream. Leave the cave…or at least be aware that you're in it.

I have been faced with this scenario (realizing what I thought was reality was actually a dream), and the notion of NOT taking advantage of it never even crossed my mind. I think it would become obvious to you, upon having the slightest taste of this alternate world, that to not use the opportunity would be ludicrous.

-Emperor Harlan
Debate Round No. 2
LR4N6FTW4EVA

Pro

Okay, I wasn't really expecting that, but here goes:

Okay, a lucid dream is not life. I don't know about you, but I don't spend all my time in what I perceive to be a dream (lucid or not). Life was defined as the world we are perceiving now, the one with this argument on debate.org. if this is a dream it is certainly not lucid. Watch, I want 72 virgins! Waiting... waiting... waiting... waiting... damn. See no luck. Also, you said you had had a lucid dream, that lucid dream was outside of this perception, so obviously this perception is not a lucid dream.

Okay, now my argument. When one is in a dream, they don't normally live like it is this life. In fact, if they become aware of it, they may take advantage of it. (Like the lucid dream my opponent mentioned). If this happens and one fails, they would have to face the consequences, (jail, isolation, death, etc.) and real or not, it would suck. People shouldn't really do things that suck, so people shouldn't live life like a dream.
Harlan

Con

Hello, we'll take this one at a time…

"Okay, a lucid dream is not life. I don't know about you, but I don't spend all my time in what I perceive to be a dream (lucid or not). Life was defined as the world we are perceiving now, the one with this argument on debate.org."

I should like to remind my opponent that the topic of this debate is: "If life is really but a dream, then we should still live it like it is reality". With this topic, we must comply with the hypothetical possibility that "life" is a dream. I never claimed that this was a dream. I said that IF it were, than we should live as if it were one.

When you sleep; when you dream, do you not THINK that you are in reality?! Are you not under the impression that it is reality? So then this is the perfect analogy, in every possible way for this present debate.

So if I were to suddenly realize that I was in a dream right in this instance, I would be in a lucid dream. We must, given the subject of this debate treat the possibility that we are in a dream as a serious one. My opponent is veering off course and arguing against the notion of the very hypothetical that HE set forth, in the beginning.

"if this is a dream it is certainly not lucid"

All the "lucid" part means, is that you KNOW that you are in a dream. So, essentially, what my opponent is saying is: "If this is a dream, then I do not know that it is a dream"… And right you are!

"Watch, I want 72 virgins! Waiting... waiting... waiting... waiting... damn. See no luck."

You misunderstand me greatly. I am not advocating that we are in a dream. I am advocating that if we WERE in a dream, we should act as if it were one. I don't mean to repeat myself, but you are contradicting your own hypothetical.

"Also, you said you had had a lucid dream, that lucid dream was outside of this perception, so obviously this perception is not a lucid dream."

My opponent has again concluded that we are not in a dream, while this is completely irrelevant to the present debate. This debate is completely hypothetical. My opponent creates the topic as a conditional statement about if it were in a dream, not actually mentioning whether it is really a dream.

Lucid dreaming as in sleep is solely an analogy I have used for this debate (and a quite proper one, might I mention).

"When one is in a dream, they don't normally live like it is this life. In fact, if they become aware of it, they may take advantage of it. (Like the lucid dream my opponent mentioned)."

The dream world has its own rules of reality created by your own mind. The same principle applies whether in a dream world where the norm may be to travel on flying bicycles, or the real world in which we have our own, equally absurd ways of living.

"If this happens and one fails, they would have to face the consequences, (jail, isolation, death, etc.) and real or not, it would suck."

Yes, but these things would be irrelevant if it were in a dream. You would just decide, "I'm not sitting in this electric chair", and *poof*.

Of course, my opponent seems to be making the point that if what you thought was a dream was actually reality, there could be dire consequences. But this point is moot…the hypothetical of this debate is what we should do if it WERE a dream…not if it weren't. I ask to my opponent: But you admit that if it WERE a dream, and the consequences not being present, you would live as if it were a dream?

"People shouldn't really do things that suck, so people shouldn't live life like a dream."

Err…what? They shouldn't do things that suck…that's really your argument? Does flying suck?

Well anyways, I really think that instead of trying to find ways to refute me, you should take my advice.

I would like to remind the voters that the topic of this debate is how one should live if this WERE but a dream. It is a hypothetical topic and hypothetical only. My opponent has desperately reverted to trying to argue that we are NOT in fact in a dream, which is completely moot in a hypothetical debate.

"The worst mistake that you can make is to think you're alive when really you're asleep in life's waiting room."

-Character in the movie "Waking Life"

-Emperor Harlan
Debate Round No. 3
LR4N6FTW4EVA

Pro

Okay, damn, this sucks.

Now, my opponent wants you to think that we should take advantage of this world if it happens to be a dream. This is basically equivalent to be God and deciding to do evil, not nice things to the people in this world. I will show why basically every thing you could do if this were a dream is evil and bad.

Flying: It isn't fair that you can fly and others can't
Killing Munchkins: Although this would be obscenely hilarious, it is mean, so we shouldn't do that. (Munchkins meaning the little midget dudes in The Wizard of Oz).
Okay, I just realized it would be much more efficient to say this:
Others can't do this and it isn't nice to be able to do this without letting others. It is also playing God which is evil. People shouldn't do evil things.

I drop all my other arguments from R3. This argument nullifies my opponent's point.
Vote PRO

(Wow that sucked)
Harlan

Con

I'll make this brief.

-God, by default, in almost all theological beliefs, can not be evil.

-In a world that was all in your head, you would kind of be god. And if your not god, then there can't really be a god.

-The concepts of "good" and "bad" are illusions; meaningless.

My opponent states that living as if it were a dream would mean having heretic powers probably against his religion. He tries to apply ethics to a dream world in which nothing is real, and so any "ethical crimes" would in essence be thought-crime, because it is all in your thoughts. I am aware that most religions to have thought crime (punishable by being eternally chewed by Satan, or dipped in lava, or something like that), but blind faith cannot be evidence in a debate. On a side note, ethics can not be applied to a world without a god.

Also, if you were a super boring person, you could do good things in your dream, like…I don't know, be a superhero and save people or something. Though "sinning" can be a lot more fun.

PS Microsoft is obviously evil and worships Satan, because it just made me capitalize Satan in this sentence, and in the debate above.

-His Imperial Majesty,…me.
Debate Round No. 4
LR4N6FTW4EVA

Pro

I really should think before I make one-sided topics like this one. Either that or I really suck. Alright, here's my feeble attempt to salvage this debate.

"-God, by default, in almost all theological beliefs, can not be evil."
In a lucid dream he can be. Especially if you or I are him in the lucid dream.

"-In a world that was all in your head, you would kind of be god. And if your not god, then there can't really be a god."
Yeah, but you're still playing god, which according to the psalm I just made up is bad.

"-The concepts of "good" and "bad" are illusions; meaningless. "
Good and bad are meaningful in that bad things hurt the overall well being of mankind, and good things help the overall well being. Killing munchkins is not for the greater good.

"My opponent states that living as if it were a dream would mean having heretic powers probably against his religion. He tries to apply ethics to a dream world in which nothing is real, and so any "ethical crimes" would in essence be thought-crime, because it is all in your thoughts. I am aware that most religions to have thought crime (punishable by being eternally chewed by Satan, or dipped in lava, or something like that), but blind faith cannot be evidence in a debate. On a side note, ethics can not be applied to a world without a god."
Ethics, as I stated are for the greater good of mankind. Even if mankind isn't real, as would be true in a dream, you are harming them. God or no god, ethics is for the betterment of mankind. Causing people to randomly explode at the worst possible moment may be obscenely funny in a dream, but it harms mankind, so it is wrong.

"Also, if you were a super boring person, you could do good things in your dream, like…I don't know, be a superhero and save people or something. Though "sinning" can be a lot more fun."
Most people aren't super boring. So, my argument stands, don't do evil dream control stuff.

"PS Microsoft is obviously evil and worships Satan, because it just made me capitalize Satan in this sentence, and in the debate above."
This isn't Microsoft software, therefore, this application is evil and worships Satan, even though Microsoft does too.

Quod erat demonstrandum
Harlan

Con

"In a lucid dream he can be"

No, because there is no such thing as evil.

"Yeah, but you're still playing god, which according to the psalm I just made up is bad."

Why is it bad? Why is your psalm correct?

"Good and bad are meaningful in that bad things hurt the overall well being of mankind, and good things help the overall well being. Killing munchkins is not for the greater good."

What greater good? "Mankind" would just be a figment of your imagination.

"Ethics, as I stated are for the greater good of mankind. Even if mankind isn't real, as would be true in a dream, you are harming them. God or no god, ethics is for the betterment of mankind. Causing people to randomly explode at the worst possible moment may be obscenely funny in a dream, but it harms mankind, so it is wrong."

To commit an ethical crime in a dream is no more unethical than imagining something unethical. Since it is in your own brain, it is akin to imagining yourself doing something "bad".

"Most people aren't super boring. So, my argument stands, don't do evil dream control stuff."

EVIL, Moo-Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha!

"This isn't Microsoft software, therefore, this application is evil and worships Satan, even though Microsoft does too."

I am using Microsoft to type my debates.

Well, it's a good thing this debate is over, because this was starting to get a little ridiculous. Vote CON…

-Emperor Harlan
Debate Round No. 5
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Harlan 8 years ago
Harlan
Ill admit that I maybe exxagerated a bit.
Posted by DoubleXMinus 8 years ago
DoubleXMinus
Nah, I understand that -- especially since your first one was so long. I just found it really interesting that you suspect the corporation of serving the purpose of the quite devilish powers that be. "Divide and conquer", hmm? It's a unique theory, I respect that you seem so vigilant against harming propaganda, I just disagree that it exists to the extent you were trying to protray in your debate when it comes to the Disney Corporation itself.

For example, the way you portrayed Mulan? Completely inaccurate. The way you seemed to attack Beauty and the Beast while ignoring the really good (and invaluably so) messages involved, very unfair... and so on.
Posted by Harlan 8 years ago
Harlan
Ill think about it, though I kinda got all that outta me. Unless Im really enthusiastic about something, I don't usually debate it twice. But it's a very good topic, so maybe.
Posted by DoubleXMinus 8 years ago
DoubleXMinus
Hey, Harlan.. I want to debate with you about the Disney Corporation...
Posted by Harlan 8 years ago
Harlan
Hey, that's the spirit, man. Im glad this debate will keep going.
Posted by LR4N6FTW4EVA 8 years ago
LR4N6FTW4EVA
Well, I didn't really know about all that dream control stuff, so what I meant, is if life (this world) is actually a hallucination or a dream, we shouldn't act as if there would be no consequences to our actions, as even though it wouldn't be real, the consequences would still suck. Of course, that whole dream control business throws that argument in the trash. I guess now I'm stuck as devil's advocate. But, anyways, thanks for this debate, the whole point is to learn right?
Posted by Harlan 8 years ago
Harlan
What did you have in mind when you said "if life is really but a dream..." then?

And you can try to have a real lucid dream,you know. Of course you would probably prefer to treat your dream like reality, I guess.
Posted by LR4N6FTW4EVA 8 years ago
LR4N6FTW4EVA
I think I have a completely different view on the hypothetical I was suggesting. Oh well, I guess it's my own fault, back to the drawing board, I post tomorrow. But, damn, I really wanted those 72 virgins.
Posted by LR4N6FTW4EVA 8 years ago
LR4N6FTW4EVA
Okay, we can take your definition of dreams I guess. Also I do mean physically exist.
Posted by Harlan 8 years ago
Harlan
"Reality is a little sticky to define, but I'm tentatively going to say the realm in which we exist."

You do mean physically exist, don't you? (just to clarify).
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