The Instigator
LR4N6FTW4EVA
Pro (for)
Losing
2 Points
The Contender
JBlake
Con (against)
Winning
18 Points

Plethora V5

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
JBlake
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/9/2008 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 953 times Debate No: 5329
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (3)

 

LR4N6FTW4EVA

Pro

I will provide a list of topics, choose one, you're CON, I'm PRO. Then in R2 I go and post. Note, I am playing Devil's advocate in some places.

1. Most nonhuman Animal's do not deserve rights.
2. Utilitarianism is superior to Kantianism.
3. Sarah Palin is not as incompetent as she is made out to be.
4. Cannibalism of dead people should be socially acceptable, if not encouraged.
5. Agriculture was a mistake.
6. Anarchy could feasibly work.
7. Functionalism is a flawed theory of mind.
8. The Turing test is fundamentally inaccurate.
9. John McCain will win the 2008 Presidential Election.
10. In all likelihood, we live in a virtual world.
11. In Soviet Russia, car drives YOU! (This is a joke, just in case you're an idiot).
12. Moral Luck is fundamentally flawed.
13. Resolved: That it is morally permissible to kill one innocent person to save more innocent people. (LD Debate).
14. Man is not the main cause of global warming today.
JBlake

Con

I will take the CON side of the statement, "In all likelihood, we live in a virtual world."
Debate Round No. 1
LR4N6FTW4EVA

Pro

Okay, so basically, it's been calculated that technology advances at an exponential rate, because one new technology opens the window for many more. (http://www.kurzweilai.net... [first paragraph only]).

As technology increases, computers become more and more advanced, there is no finite limit on their capabilities in sight. As they become more and more advanced, they will obviously have more functions, and older ones will be more in depth.

You probably know of the computer game known as Sims, right? It it an extremely popular concept, that will likely be copied by another company once the patent expires. So basically, in the future, in all likelihood, there will be about twenty versions of Sims, and the software will be so advanced, it can create AI worlds, in which there are virtual people who don't even know that they are a part of this. They will think, talk, and act just like real people, but they aren't, they are nothing more than data on some kid's hard drive. Basically, since there can be so many copies of this software, there will be trillions upon trillions of these AI people. I mean, today when Sims 2 came out it sold more than a million copies in 10 days (www.joystiq.com/2004/09/28/sims-2-posts-record-setting-sales/). If only 1 million were sold in this future, there would be 6 quadrillion AI people, and significantly less real people. Basically, the amount of AI people in existence in this hypothetical future is almost limitless. The amount of real people is a finite number, so the ratio of all these AI people to all the real people in history is huge. Think 1 trillion to 1. Maybe not that exactly but something like that. If you want you can calculate how many real people have walked this earth, and how many are likely to do so, and then we can get a more accurate number, but in short, the odds are stacked against us being real people. As you can see by that ratio, there is only a minute chance that we are real people.
JBlake

Con

Claims:
1. "the odds are stacked against us being real people. As you can see by that ratio, there is only a minute chance that we are real people"

Rebuttal:
1. I will ask my opponent what it is exactly that stacks the odds against us being real people? Is it the hypothetical situation he suggested?

The obvious response here is to quote Rene Descartes, "Cogito ergo sum" or "I am thinking, therefore I exist". The fact that we are self aware and have the ability to have thoughts means that we exist on some plane of existence. Therefore we are real. But I will take it a step further and state that it is far more likely that we live in a 'real' world than that we live in a 'virtual' world.

All 'brain in a vat' philosophies suffer from the same unfortunate problems: they are highly unlikely and not at all falsifiable. There is no evidence supporting, or even suggesting, that we live in a virtual world.
Debate Round No. 2
LR4N6FTW4EVA

Pro

"1. I will ask my opponent what it is exactly that stacks the odds against us being real people? Is it the hypothetical situation he suggested?"

The odds are from the hypothetical situation I suggested. The thing is, the hypothetical situation probably has occurred. I have shown that we will almost certainly reach that level of technology in what we call the future, and that would mean that the number of virtual people would outnumber the amount of real people that will and have ever existed. Think about it on a smaller scale. Assume that someone in your household has a game like Sims. There are something like 30 people, probably more, I don't know, I don't play Sims, but anyways, there are a lot of people in this game. There is a virtual world on your hard drive. It is less advanced than the one I speak of, but it is there. Now, there are 30 fake people and say 3 real people. If it were impossible to distinguish between being a Sim, and a real person, the odds of being real would be stacked against you. Now it is possible to tell the difference, but the futuristic Sims will be indistinguishable. So the odds of being a real person are very slim, because the amount of Sim people is a trillion times larger than real people.

"The obvious response here is to quote Rene Descartes, 'Cogito ergo sum" or "I am thinking, therefore I exist'. The fact that we are self aware and have the ability to have thoughts means that we exist on some plane of existence. Therefore we are real. But I will take it a step further and state that it is far more likely that we live in a 'real' world than that we live in a 'virtual' world."

The Sims I speak of can think, are self-aware, et cetera. Effectively they are people. They just exist as pieces of data, not as chains of carbon molecules.

"All 'brain in a vat' philosophies suffer from the same unfortunate problems: they are highly unlikely and not at all falsifiable. There is no evidence supporting, or even suggesting, that we live in a virtual world."

This is falsifiable, I won't say how, but it is theoretically falsifiable, and I have shown it is very likely. I have proved my point.
JBlake

Con

Claims:
1. 'Brain in a vat' is falsifiable, but my opponent has decided he doesn't want to say how.
2. Reiterates the hypothetical situation.
3. The sims I speak of are self aware.

Rebuttal:
1. The fact is, this philosophy is not falsifiable. My opponent knows how to debate and would have proved it was falsifiable if it were in fact falsifiable. The burden of proof is yours.

2. This is a hypothetical situation, not reality. Merely saying that it is more likely does not make it so. If I were to say it is very likely that the universe was created by a flying spaghetti monster does not make it true, or even likely to be true.

3. Technology would have to grow by leaps and bounds. People have been attempting this for decades and have failed. They found that the human brain is far more complex than they imagined. Just because we can imagine the possibility does not itself make it possible.
Debate Round No. 3
LR4N6FTW4EVA

Pro

"1. The fact is, this philosophy is not falsifiable. My opponent knows how to debate and would have proved it was falsifiable if it were in fact falsifiable. The burden of proof is yours."

If I say how, you can win. I don't want you to win. I assure you however that it is falsifiable.

"2. This is a hypothetical situation, not reality. Merely saying that it is more likely does not make it so. If I were to say it is very likely that the universe was created by a flying spaghetti monster does not make it true, or even likely to be true."

But my first source shows that my hypothetical isn't hypothetical, it will happen.

"3. Technology would have to grow by leaps and bounds. People have been attempting this for decades and have failed. They found that the human brain is far more complex than they imagined. Just because we can imagine the possibility does not itself make it possible.'

It is growing by leaps and bounds.
JBlake

Con

Wel this debate seems to have fizzled out.

Claims:
1. "If I say how, you can win. I don't want you to win. I assure you however that it is falsifiable."
2. "But my first source shows that my hypothetical isn't hypothetical, it will happen."
3. "It is growing by leaps and bounds."

Rebuttal:
1. Need I say more?

2. The article offered only a theory, not an absolute truth. The fact that technology will continue to advance exponentially is not set in stone. A number of things could happen to stop or slow down the pace, nuclear war, extreme famine, or any number of other possible scenarios in which a large percentage of people die. Or the entire world could come to an end before we reach that state.

3. My opponent offered no other argument for this point.

I would like to close by thanking my opponent for this debate. I like some of his topics, and would look forward to future debates.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by JBlake 8 years ago
JBlake
I don't think that is falsifiable either. Plenty of people have been, and continue to attempt this.
Posted by LR4N6FTW4EVA 8 years ago
LR4N6FTW4EVA
BTW, you falsify this by proving AI is impossible.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by JBlake 8 years ago
JBlake
LR4N6FTW4EVAJBlakeTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by TheSkeptic 8 years ago
TheSkeptic
LR4N6FTW4EVAJBlakeTied
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Vote Placed by Sweatingjojo 8 years ago
Sweatingjojo
LR4N6FTW4EVAJBlakeTied
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Total points awarded:24