The Instigator
1Credo
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
n7
Con (against)
Winning
9 Points

Naturalism and evolution cannot sensibly both be believed.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
n7
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/4/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 720 times Debate No: 61278
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (7)
Votes (3)

 

1Credo

Pro

In this debate, I will be arguing in favor of the premise proposed by Alvin Plantinga in his recent book, "Where the Conflict Really Lies." The premise states that there is superficial conflict but deep concord between the theory of evolution and Christian theism, while there is superficial concord but deep conflict between the theory of evolution and the belief that naturalism is true.

Definitions:
Evolution: Genetic changes in a population inherited over several generations through the process of random mutations working on natural selection.
Christian theism: The belief in the Christian God (perhaps most accurately represented in C.S. Lewis" book "Mere Christianity.")
Naturalism: The belief that there is no supernatural; nothing exists beyond the material world.

Round 1 is for acceptance.
Round 2 is for opening arguments.
Round 3 is for rebuttals.
Round 4 is for rebuttals and/or closing statements.

Thanks and good luck!
n7

Con

I accept. However, I'm assuming in Round 2 I refute the evolutionary argument against naturalism, since Pro has the BOP.
Debate Round No. 1
1Credo

Pro

Thank you for accepting the debate! I'll jump right in to the argument:

Given naturalism, our beliefs or opinions can be said to be material. Any belief we hold can be simplified to a set of neuron signals working from the brain. Keep in mind that evolution selects for the best fit behaviors. There appears to be a connection between these "beliefs" or neuron signals in the brain, and our corresponding behavior, or actions. For example, my belief that it is raining outside might correspond to an impulse that causes me to put on a jacket before leaving the house. However, it does not matter if I believe it is raining outside. All that matters, in terms of evolution, is that I put on the jacket before leaving the house. In other words, let"s say I held the belief that it was warm outside. So long as the neurological impulse is the same as in the last case, I will still be caused to go and put the jacket on. What we can gather from this is that the content of our beliefs are irrelevant in the process of evolution. Whether I belief it is hot outside or raining outside, so long as the belief causes the behavior of going to put the jacket on, my evolutionary fitness will benefit. But if evolution is only concerned with our behaviors, then what use are our beliefs? What reason do we have to trust our cognitive faculties if in fact evolution is indifferent to them? Keep these questions in mind.

Now, if it is the case that evolution is concerned only with behavior and not with belief, then we can assume that any given belief we hold is just as likely false as it is true. So, this would mean each belief has a 50.0% chance of being true. Now let us consider all of our beliefs. Let"s say, for simplicity"s sake, that we each hold 500 individual beliefs. In order to calculate statistically that these beliefs are true, we must multiply together their individual probabilities. When the 50% probability is multiplied a number of times in order to represent the number of our beliefs (in this example 500) we arrive at an extremely small number (<.001) even if we give a reliability factor of, let"s say, 75% (meaning only " of our beliefs need to actually be true in order for us to trust the reliability of our cognitive faculties.)

So if the chances of our cognitive faculties being reliable are so extremely low given both evolution and naturalism, why should anyone trust any of the beliefs that come from these faculties? This poses a significant problem for those who affirm that the theory of evolution is true, but also affirm that naturalism (which would entail our beliefs being purely material) is true.

The argument can be summarized in this form:

1) The probability that our cognitive faculties are reliable given both naturalism and evolution is low.
2) Anyone who affirms both naturalism and evolution and sees that the probability that our cognitive faculties are reliable given both naturalism and evolution has a defeater for the reliability of their cognitive faculties.
3) Anyone who has a defeater for their cognitive faculties has a defeater for any belief he thinks he has (this would include the beliefs regarding naturalism and evolution.)
4) Anyone who affirms naturalism and evolution has a defeater for naturalism and evolution.
5) Therefore, the belief in both naturalism and evolution is self-defeating and cannot sensibly be accepted.
n7

Con

Thanks Pro.


The evolutionary argument against naturalism is based on a really simplistic view of evolution. Evolution can select the trait of accurately understanding the world because beliefs are proportional to actions. What other way would we need a jacket unless it’s raining? How would a conflated belief increase likelihood of putting on a jacket when the true belief does just fine. Say a person is worried about being attacked by a tiger, in order for him to have the instinct to run away, he must have some other instinct that understands why a tiger is deadly. An understanding of injury and threat is an a better and more efficient solution than a false belief. A proper understanding of the threat is less likely to fail. A false belief that is safe in one situation isn’t safe in all situations. Whereas an understanding of threat and injury cause the person to learn the situation, making it cover all situations. While the system isn’t perfect, it is enough to trust our cognitive abilities to a reasonable degree and not the the extent that Pro wishes to demonstrate.


Moreover, as Wesley Robbins pointed out [1], the EAAN only applies to evolutionary naturalists who subscribe to Cartesian-esque theories of the mind. Only those theories that claim one can only observe your inner subjective mind would apply. Those theories that claim you are really seeing the world can still be sensibly believed and thus evolution and naturalism can be sensibly believed.


Lastly, the EAAN is self refuting. Pro’s thesis is that under naturalism “The probability that our cognitive faculties are reliable...is low”. However this means the antithesis of naturalism would hold that our cognitive faculties are reliable and thus our beliefs are reliable. This entails that if our world is the antithesis and if one came to the conclusion that the EAAN is false, their cognitive faculties would be reliable and the belief would be reliable. If one’s beliefs are usually reliable and if the antithesis holds, then it is likely that the EAAN is false. So if the EAAN is likely true, then the EAAN is likely false. It is self refuting.


Thanks, back to Pro.


[1] http://infidels.org...

Debate Round No. 2
1Credo

Pro

Thank you Con.



"Evolution can select the trait of accurately understanding the world because beliefs are proportional to actions."

There seems to be misunderstanding here. The concern is not whether or not beliefs are proportional to actions, it is whether the beliefs are objectively true or not. So, to use the example given by Con:

Say a person is worried about being attacked by a tiger, in order for him to have the instinct to run away, he must have some other instinct that understands why a tiger is deadly."

Con is correct in stating that the belief (or perhaps the neuron signals from the brain, on naturalism) is what causes this individual to run away in order to avoid the tiger attack. However, this is not the point. Evolution is selective of beliefs that produce adaptive behavior, but evolution does not care whether or not these behavior-producing beliefs are objectively true or not. The individual in this case doesn't need to know that the tiger is dangerous. The individual might even believe that the tiger is friendly, but so long as this belief produces the behavior of running away, it matters not whether the content of the belief is true. The only thing that matters (with regard to evolution) is that the behavior of running away is produced. Evolution is not concerned with whether or not the belief that produces this behavior has any truth content.

"A false belief that is safe in one situation isn’t safe in all situations."

Again, whether the belief is false or not is irrelevant so long as the false (or true) belief produces "safe" behavior.

"While the system isn’t perfect, it is enough to trust our cognitive abilities to a reasonable degree and not the the extent that Pro wishes to demonstrate."

With the extremely low mathematical probability of our cognitive abilities being reliable given that evolution does not select for true beliefs, but rather behavior-producing beliefs, I do not think it is enough to trust our cognitive faculties on naturalism.

"the EAAN only applies to evolutionary naturalists who subscribe to Cartesian-esque theories of the mind. Only those theories that claim one can only observe your inner subjective mind would apply. Those theories that claim you are really seeing the world can still be sensibly believed"

Whether one endorses a Cartesian-esque theory or a pragmatic one, these theories are independent of whether the beliefs are true or not. This seems to be an attempt to avoid rationalizing the issue. It is circular logic to argue that because one holds, say, a pragmatic theory of truth, that person is thereby absolved from an issue that cannot be solved through practical investigation. It does not matter whether one claims that they can only observe their inner subjective mind or they claim that truth is found only through inquiry when the question at hand takes issue with whether or not the very idea of inquiry itself can be trusted, given what we know about naturalism and the theory of evolution. Thomas Reid [1] summarizes this point:

"If a man's honesty were called into question, it would be ridiculous to refer to the man's own word, whether he be honest or not. The same absurdity there is in attempting to prove, by any kind of reasoning, probable or demonstrative, that our reason is not fallacious, since the very point in question is, whether reasoning may be trusted."

"This entails that if our world is the antithesis and if one came to the conclusion that the EAAN is false, their cognitive faculties would be reliable and the belief would be reliable. If one’s beliefs are usually reliable and if the antithesis holds, then it is likely that the EAAN is false. So if the EAAN is likely true, then the EAAN is likely false."

Con has seemingly looked over a crucial point in the argument here. Con attempts to argue that if it were true that we could not trust our cognitive faculties, then the argument itself (if our cognitive faculties brought us to the conclusion that it was sound) would then have to be false. However, the argument hinges on whether or not naturalism holds true. So, if one believes naturalism, then the argument gives a defeater for the cognitive faculties that produce the belief in naturalism, and therefore a defeater for naturalism. However, if one does not affirm naturalism, then the argument is irrelevant, as our "beliefs" would no longer be considered purely material.

1) The probability that our cognitive faculties are reliable given both naturalism and evolution is low.
2) Anyone who affirms both naturalism and evolution and sees that the probability that our cognitive faculties are reliable given both naturalism and evolution has a defeater for the reliability of their cognitive faculties.
3) Anyone who has a defeater for their cognitive faculties has a defeater for any belief he thinks he has (this would include the beliefs regarding naturalism and evolution.)
4) Anyone who affirms naturalism and evolution has a defeater for naturalism and evolution.
5) Therefore, the belief in both naturalism and evolution is self-defeating and cannot sensibly be accepted.

It seems to me that Con has given no defeater for the argument. In premise 1, we see that the mathematical probability of our cognitive faculties being reliable, given the 50% chance of truth multiplied by the number of beliefs we hold, is very low. In premise 2, we see that the one who affirms naturalism and evolution both to be true is given a defeater for the reliability of their cognitive faculties. In premise 3, we see that this in turn produces a defeater for any belief one who affirms both naturalism and evolution thinks he has. In premise 4, we see that this defeater goes to knock down the belief that naturalism and evolution are both true. The conclusion, then, that belief in both naturalism and evolution is self defeating and cannot sensibly be accepted, holds true for now.



Sources:
http://www.calvin.edu...
n7

Con

Thanks Pro.


Selecting for truth


Pro does little here to refute my objections, but merely restates the argument


The misunderstanding here is on Pro’s part. When I mean beliefs, I am speaking of true beliefs. Pro misunderstands my example . What other cause can there be when a man runs away from a tiger. The belief that the tiger is friendly wouldn’t do this. I am stating overall the true beliefs are necessarily tied to the action. Furthermore Pro ignores my other defenses. Such as “An understanding of injury and threat is an a better and more efficient solution than a false belief” and “A proper understanding of the threat is less likely to fail”. Pro does talk a little about my defense of the latter. That selecting for truth is insurance in all situations whereas false beliefs aren’t. Pro responds


“Again, whether the belief is false or not is irrelevant so long as the false (or true) belief produces "safe" behavior.”


This is a strawman. Pro is narrowly focused on one situation where one belief will cover it. This is also a fallacy of composition. A false belief in one situation doesn’t cover safety in all situation. I am talking about the totality of all beliefs, but Pro is only talking about one. Another example. Let’s assume evolution selects the belief that tigers are friendly to calm a man’s nerves when he is trying to sneak past them. The man doesn’t want to bother the lions as that would be rude. It may help him in that situation, but when a lion wanders into camp, this belief will kill him. A man whose beliefs have been selected for truth, will make him nervous in one situation, but keep him alive in one situation. Objectively true beliefs are better overall, as they will cover you in all situations.


By the way everyone, tigers run at about 35-40 mph. You’re still going to die if you run.



Cartesian assumptions


Pro states these theories are independent on beliefs. This is far from the truth. Each theory makes claims on how beliefs come to be. Cartesian-esque theories would state the belief came from within, whereas a pragmatic theory would state the opposite. It is not circular at all to state a the pragmatic theories of the mind are immune to the EAAN. Pro states


“truth is found only through inquiry when the question at hand takes issue with whether or not the very idea of inquiry itself can be trusted”


Ironically, this does have Cartesian assumptions. Under a pragmatic theory of the mind beliefs are formed by the environment and can be identified by understanding the environment. As Robbins said


“The beliefs of a generically pragmatist mind are only identifiable with reference to what in their holder's environment caused them to form that belief. It is not possible to identify them first and then ask what caused them. Consequently, it is not possible for the content of pragmatist beliefs and what is going on in the world around their holder to vary independently of one another. It is not possible for what they are about and what caused them to be completely different from one another and thus for all of them to be false.” [1]


Pro’s rebuttal here stems from a misunderstanding of the argument.


Self-Refuting


Pro has misunderstood the argument entirely. Pro makes the statement


“the argument hinges on whether or not naturalism holds true.”


The exact opposite is true. The argument hinges on what the would would be like if the antithesis of naturalism was true. The base of the argument is a reductio that assumes naturalism is false. The argument has nothing to do with the unreliability of cognitive processes, it relies on the reliability of them contra naturalism and points out the self-refuting reasoning behind this. I suggest Pro reread my argument.


Pro’s rebuttals have been full of strawmen and misunderstandings. Some of my defenses were ignored by Pro. My arguments remain standing.


To Pro.


[1] http://infidels.org...

Debate Round No. 3
1Credo

Pro

Thank you Con.

"I am stating overall the true beliefs are necessarily tied to the action."

The claim that true beliefs are "necessarily" tied to the action is an unwarranted one. What reason, on naturalism, do we have to think that our beliefs must be true in order for them to produce a specific action? The purpose of evolution is survival and reproduction. It matters not whether the behaviors that work towards this goal are caused by true beliefs or false beliefs. The only thing that matters for evolution is that the behaviors themselves occur.

The idea here is not, for example, that thinking tigers are friendly corresponds to the behavior of running away from them. The key is why it matters if we think tigers are friendly or dangerous, so long as the belief corresponds to the behavior of running away.

In one possible world, I might think that tigers are dangerous, and this belief might send neuron signals that correspond to the behavior to get away from the tiger. In another possible world, I might think that tigers are friendly, and this belief might send the very same neuron signals that correspond to the very same behavior to get away from the tiger. Given these two possible worlds, one can ask the question: Which would evolution prefer? As evolution is concerned only with beneficial behaviors, it is clear that evolution would not have a preference between the two possible worlds. The behavior in each of the two possible worlds (to get away from the tiger) is the same! Both are equally beneficial.

This goes to show that even if each of our individual beliefs corresponds to a correct behavior, the probability of the belief itself being objectively true could be said to be 1/2 (50%.) This supports the given argument that naturalism and evolution cannot sensibly both be believed.

"Furthermore Pro ignores my other defenses. Such as “An understanding of injury and threat is an a better and more efficient solution than a false belief” and “A proper understanding of the threat is less likely to fail”."

This defense (I use the singular version of the word because the second statement is repetitive of the first) builds off of the misunderstanding of the original examples, of which I discussed in the last round as well as in this one. There is no reason to think that "understanding" or "believing" something to be a threat should make any difference on naturalism. Look back to the example above of the two possible worlds. In one world, the situation was believed to be a threat. In the other, the situation was not. However, the same behavior (remember it is only the behavior that matters) occurs. So given naturalism, a belief of the threat is certainly not "less likely to fail" so long as the probability of the behavior occurring without belief in the threat is the same, as has been demonstrated.

"Pro is narrowly focused on one situation where one belief will cover it. This is also a fallacy of composition. A false belief in one situation doesn’t cover safety in all situation. I am talking about the totality of all beliefs, but Pro is only talking about one."

To the contrary, I am not talking about only one situation. We both discussed a specific example or two, but I would be happy to discuss further examples so as to not be accused of a fallacy of composition, as I wouldn't want Con to think I am only focusing on one example (an example that was provided by Con.) A new example has been provided, which demonstrates Con's misunderstanding on the subject:

"Another example. Let’s assume evolution selects the belief that tigers are friendly to calm a man’s nerves when he is trying to sneak past them. The man doesn’t want to bother the lions as that would be rude. It may help him in that situation, but when a lion wanders into camp, this belief will kill him."

Con mistakenly equates the belief that tigers are friendly to the behavior of calmness. That is a misrepresentation of evolution given naturalism. On naturalism, as in one of the possible worlds described above, it could be that the belief that tigers are friendly corresponds to the opposite behavior of calmness. Maybe in this possible world the belief that tigers are dangerous corresponds to the behavior of calmness, putting the man at risk. This goes to show that the content of the belief does not matter as long as it corresponds to the desired behavior. The only thing taken into consideration on naturalism is which neuron signals (or beliefs) will correspond to the behavior which benefits survival and reproduction. There is no room for the need of true beliefs given naturalism and evolution.

"Objectively true beliefs are better overall"

I am curious as to how Con justifies the idea of objectively true beliefs at all. I don't want to get off topic, but I would quickly point out that on naturalism, there is no warrant for thinking that anything at all is objectively true. This is demonstrated by Alex Rosenberg and several other naturalists who deny the existence of objective truth.

"Under a pragmatic theory of the mind beliefs are formed by the environment and can be identified by understanding the environment."

I have no disagreement with how beliefs are formed on pragmatism. My objection is that there is no way of identifying any sort of objective truth content to these formed beliefs. I fail to see the relevance of pragmatism vs a Cartesian-esque theory. The argument I have given is not concerned with how beliefs are formed, but with the truth content of the beliefs. Affirming pragmatism doesn't quite absolve you from the argument's conclusion, but it's a nice try.

"The argument hinges on what the would would be like if the antithesis of naturalism was true."

I disagree. If the antithesis is true (objectively), then it follows that naturalism is objectively false. If the thesis is true (objectively), then it also follows that naturalism is objectively false. Inherent in the antithesis would be that naturalism is false. Con cannot take one part of the antithesis and leave out the part with which they disagree. Let's take a look at the proposed thesis and antithesis:

Thesis: The probability that our cognitive faculties are reliable given naturalism and evolution is low.
Antithesis: The probability that our cognitive faculties are reliable given theism and evolution is high.

If our world is the thesis, then naturalism and evolution cannot both sensibly be believed due to the low probability of the reliability of our cognitive faculties which produced these beliefs. If our world is the antithesis, then theism is given. Either way, naturalism cannot be accepted so long as the theory of evolution is affirmed.

To recap, Con has given us no reason to think that true beliefs are tied to adaptive behavior. I have responded to each of Con's defenses (most of which contain the same objection stated several times with varied wording.) Con affirmed objective truth, though this is in direct conflict with the same naturalism Con accepts. The idea that pragmatism excludes one from the conclusion of the argument has been shown to be false. We saw that whether our world is the thesis or the antithesis, naturalism and evolution cannot both be sensibly believed. We looked at two possible worlds, one in which a true belief was held, and another in which a false belief was held. We saw that in both possible worlds, the belief corresponded to the same behavior. This supports the idea that evolution selects for beliefs that correspond to behavior, but that the truth content of these beliefs are irrelevant.

Con has been unable to show that any of the premises of the argument (which I will post not to be repetitive but for the convenience of readers) are more likely false than true. Thus, we have been given no reason to deny the conclusion that belief in both naturalism and evolution is self-defeating and cannot sensibly be accepted.

1) The probability that our cognitive faculties are reliable given both naturalism and evolution is low.
2) Anyone who affirms both naturalism and evolution and sees that the probability that our cognitive faculties are reliable given both naturalism and evolution has a defeater for the reliability of their cognitive faculties.
3) Anyone who has a defeater for their cognitive faculties has a defeater for any belief he thinks he has (this would include the beliefs regarding naturalism and evolution.)
4) Anyone who affirms naturalism and evolution has a defeater for naturalism and evolution.
5) Therefore, the belief in both naturalism and evolution is self-defeating and cannot sensibly be accepted.


Sources:
http://www.calvin.edu...
http://www.iep.utm.edu...
n7

Con

Thanks Pro.


Selecting for truth


Pro claims my claim that a true belief is usually necessarily tied to actions is an unwarranted one. But he misunderstands my defense here. Pro himself agrees beliefs are proportional to actions, but in the last round he seems to state any belief whatsoever, such as a tiger being friendly can cause one to run away. Why would someone run away from a tiger when they think it’s friendly? Pro must reject the idea that beliefs are proportional to actions, when this is self evident.


Pro says a false belief is just as efficient. This is simply false because the brain has to fabricate a false belief instead of accepting what’s true from the environment. He also states it’s just as likely to succeed, however this goes into my other argument that true beliefs will succeed in every situation. In there Pro says he discussed many examples, not just one. That’s not the point. I am stating one situation doesn’t account for the totality of possible situations. It has nothing to do with examples. In my example demonstrating this, the point couldn’t be missed further by Pro. My point here is not about beliefs being proportional to actions, but about the totality of beliefs and the totality of situations. Pro fails to understand this. It is entirely irrelevant that calmness can be instantiated by some other belief in some other possible world.

Since Pro has misunderstood this, the argument remains standing.


Cartesian assumptions


Pro questions that a pragmatic theory of the mind forms a true belief. It seems pretty clear from what a pragmatic theory is. Since you can figure out a belief from the environment it follows if the environment is objective, then so is the belief. The brain wouldn’t pick and choose beliefs, they would be directly formulated by the environment itself. This all follows from the quote in the last round.


Self-Refuting


Pro again misunderstands this objection. Of course in the antithesis world naturalism would be false, but that’s the very reason why the argument is self refuting in the first place! Pro fails to see what a self refuting argument is. For example, if I were to claim the truth of verificationism, you would be correct to point out its self refuting reasoning. I cannot then claim in order to make the self refuting argument you have to assume verificationism is true. Because it is a reductio argument


Pro has misunderstood this argument from start to finish.


Conclusion


Pro has misunderstood and misconstrued all of my arguments. He misunderstands what a reductio argument is, misunderstanding what the pragmatic theory of the mind is, misunderstanding what evolution entails for the totality of beliefs, and misunderstanding why a true belief is necessarily proportional to an action.


My arguments still remain unrefuted.

Debate Round No. 4
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Envisage 2 years ago
Envisage
That seems like a tu torque fallacy n7, even if the antithesis is also absurd, then that only means that belief in anything whatsoever cannot be sensibly believed. I.e.

P1. Either naturalism or supernaturalism is true
P2. If naturalism is true then belief in it and anything is unsound
P3. If supernaturalism is true then belief in it and anything is unsound
C. In either case, beliefs are unsound

Something like that. In either case the resolution of this debate is affirmed...
Posted by n7 2 years ago
n7
It may be bad rhetoric and formulation in regards to Robbin's objection. I wrote it in a bit of a hurry. 1 day rounds kinda made me anxious.

Anyway what the objection states is that it only applies to theories that claim when you are sensing something, you are not sensing the object itself, but your own mental internal state. As Russel explained, when you pet your cat, you're not feeling its fur. You're feeling sense-data and you infer it's fur. Whereas its antithesis states you are really feeling its fur. The objection states that the former fits under the argument, but the latter doesn't. If you really are seeing the lion for what it is, then your beliefs about it are formed via the lion itself.

Also the reductio argument in syllogism would look something like this

1. If the EAAN is true, then our cognitive faculties are reliable and a belief we have is likely to be true.
2. The EAAN is likely true.
3. I believe the EAAN is false.
C. It is likely the EAAN is false.

It points out unreliability is necessary and trying to argue against the position by positing unreliability gets us no where.
Posted by Envisage 2 years ago
Envisage
You guys might be interested in checking out my old debate vs Toviyah on this same topic:

http://www.debate.org...
Posted by Envisage 2 years ago
Envisage
Continued

...him in his rebuttal rounds largely and mostly restated his arguments rather than defending them. I don't agree with Con's fallacy of composition where he claimed it, in fact the genuine fallacy composition seems to be where Pro argues that having lots of false beliefs = unreliable cognitive faculties, which is a false parts-to-whole extrapolation. But Con didn't call this out.

I didn't fully understand the Cartesian-esque objection, either Con's rhetoric is bad or I am slow at understanding things, I will add this to my reading list but Con really should have made such objections (as well as his reducio) more clearly, or noob-friendly. I have never come across Cartesian-esque mind philosophy so I have no idea what it entails before entering this debate.

In any case Con's objections, especially his 'power of true beliefs over false ones' on efficiency and versatility are rather convincing defeaters which just wasn't addressed by pro, as such the argument fails. I would be hard pressed to see how that objection would be defeated, too...

The reducio didn't appear fully clear but this again wasn't well-addressed by Pro (I can only assume he has trouble understanding it too). Please provide it in premise conclusion form, I would be interested in seeing it.

Alas, I vote con.
Posted by 1Credo 2 years ago
1Credo
Thanks for debating, n7!
Posted by cheyennebodie 2 years ago
cheyennebodie
This debate boils down to one thing, faith. The evolutionists have to take by faith that life just popped out of nowhere. They have to believe this by faith because they were not there when it started a see it with their own eyes. The creationists, which I am one, also have to take it by faith because we were not there when God said, " let life begin".That is kind of a condensed narrative of geneses. I , for one,think that it would take humungous faith to believe in evolution.To believe that all this eco-system just started with no intelligence behind it.And why isn't it that all the wizards of smart evolutionists can't put their collective brains together and create life from dirt. Which when you think about it dirt plays a significant role in our environment. It produces the food that most animals eat. If not directly then indirectly. We creationists take the word of geneses by faith. Evolutionists have to take the word of Darwin by faith. It boils down to who is more credible in the persons eyes.
Posted by Envisage 2 years ago
Envisage
Lol, I was going to accept this but meh... I guess I have already debated this topic...
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Envisage 2 years ago
Envisage
1Credon7Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro laid down the argument perfectly fine, which states that because Evolution is not tied to having true beliefs, that our beliefs (assuming they are naturalistic in their formation) cannot be reliable, and hence the belief in naturalism and evolution is self-defeating. I have seen this argument a couple of times before and it seemed okay except for the parts where probabilities are used, which seems rather rediculous prima facie, I think Pro was making the argument that the probability of all of our beliefs being true is low assuming E&N, but that doesn't affirm the resolution... Maybe a slip in logic/presentation here. Con pretty much refutes this by arguing that true beliefs do have positive selection effects, and hence will be favored by evolution... Pro's reducio seems dubious in form, and I would love to see it presented in premise conclusion format to prove me wrong, but neither this objection nor the natural selection objection was adequately addressed by Pro (he talked past
Vote Placed by Enji 2 years ago
Enji
1Credon7Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: The key point to Pro's argument is ["If it is the case that evolution is concerned only with behavior and not with belief, then we can assume that any given belief we hold is just as likely false as it is true."] This forms the basis for his claim that cognitive functions are unreliable given both evolution and naturalism are true. Con counters this with the claim that true beliefs correspond to more desirable behaviour compared to untrue beliefs ("a proper understanding of the threat is less likely to fail"), thus reliable cognitive functions are evolutionarily advantageous. Pro fails to establish that incorrect beliefs are at least as likely to produce desirable actions; Con's argument that true beliefs correspond to accurate decisions is more compelling particularly given the examples discussed in the debate. In this light, Con's argument that Pro's argument is self-refuting is more compelling than Pro's argument that evolution and naturalism are mutually exclusive.
Vote Placed by YYW 2 years ago
YYW
1Credon7Tied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Both PRO and CON encountered some difficulty understanding each other. It's really unfortunate, as a judge, when I see two debaters begin their refutation by arguing that the other doesn't understand their position. The question this resolution presents is simple: are naturalism and evolution mutually exclusive? PRO's argument is such that human cognitive ability's reliability undercuts evolution's theoretical viability, to the effect that one cannot both accept evolution as theoretically valid and naturalism simultaneously. CON nevertheless demonstrated that PRO's argument is self refuting, so his conclusion cannot hold. Even though I think that CON's point about PRO's implicit Cartesian assumptions was weak, the impact of CON's showing PRO's argument to be self refuting (found in the last paragraph of round 2, and restated conclusively after PRO's attempted but unsuccessful rebuttal in Round 4). CON takes the win, accordingly.