The Instigator
Unspired
Pro (for)
Winning
14 Points
The Contender
SandmanTF131
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Proof does not exist.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Unspired
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/30/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 869 times Debate No: 55783
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (12)
Votes (3)

 

Unspired

Pro

I will attempt to argue the position that there is no way to prove anything.

Despite our mortality, we humans tend to operate under the god-like assumption that what we perceive and think is true, but can anything truly be proven from a subjective observer?

As I claim that proof does not exist, I don't believe the burden of proof, of proof, lies on me.

Please use logic and/or evidence to support the idea that proof does exist, and that subjective observers can actually know something with absolute certainty.
SandmanTF131

Con

I accept this debate and will argue from the Con perspective that there IS such a thing as an Absolute Truth (My way of saying that proof does exist. Essentially, I see no difference between the two statements, one is just easier for most to comprehend.) As my opponent has provided no real argument for round 1, I shall not either, and eagerly await the beginning of arguments in round 2.
Debate Round No. 1
Unspired

Pro

To clarify, my position is not that absolute truth does not exist; rather, it is that there is no way of knowing or constructing an argument which could prove its existence. Therefore, I am refuting the evidence, not the statement itself.

Definitions
Prove - "to show the existence, truth, or correctness of (something) by using evidence, logic, etc." (Merriam-Webster)

1) Unknown source of input
My argument is that no evidence can show the truth of anything without making a leap of faith, and I refer to the concept of subjectivity. If it is accepted that conscious beings respond to stimuli from an unverifiable external source, all external information cannot be used as evidence to support any absolute truth. What that leaves is computations occurring from within an observer.

2) Logic is limited by unverifiable assumptions
What is commonly used to support a concept or idea is logic. However, logic is limited by the assumptions one makes. If two people share similar assumptions in an argument, the logical position wins.

John is a musician. If two people believe that all musicians are poor, and yet one of those two people claims that John is rich, one of them would be logically inconsistent. Logic, considering those assumptions, would dictate that John be poor.

Therefore, the limitation of logic is clear. John may be poor, or John may be rich; the logic itself does not verify which is the truth. Logic is only as true as the associations or assumptions an observer makes.

The pre-requisite for true, validating logic is true, valid assumptions. The idea that the universe exists, for example, is an assumption that is necessary in order to carry out many logical discussions. Similar to the example of the two people who believe that musicians are poor, it is likely that both debaters agree that the universe exists. But that assumption can not be proven, and thus the logic is not necessary valid.

I'd like to remind my opponent that the burden of proof lies on him.
SandmanTF131

Con

SandmanTF131 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Unspired

Pro

Unfortunately, my opponent is away and does not have the ability to present any arguments. I believe my position is well-stated, but if anything is unclear, please write in the comments and I will respond there. In Round 4, I will conclude, and address any arguments or concerns brought up in the comments.
SandmanTF131

Con

SandmanTF131 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Unspired

Pro

Summary:
Absolute truth, or objective truth, may exist, but if it does, there is no method a subjective observer can utilise to verify its existence. Whether it be through logic or perception, one's model of reality cannot be confirmed to be accurate, and thus nothing can be proven.
SandmanTF131

Con

I would like to apologize to my opponent for my absence, it was poor judgement on my part to accept this debate when leaving the next day. With only one round left, I feel any argument I make my opponent will be unable to rebuke as he should in a proper debate structure, which is my fault. Because of this, I hereby forfeit this debate, and give full credit to my opponent.
Debate Round No. 4
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Sagey 2 years ago
Sagey
Yes Jingram994, I agree that such things as somebody being dead or alive and somebody killing some being or giving birth/life to some animal/human are in the realms of definitively provable. Though when it comes to observations regarding the nature of things such as the universe, these may not be considered as absolutely true as they are reference based, not a purely black and white outcome like living and dead.
Because our perceptions are illusions created by our own brains.
Thus subjective truths cannot exist because subjective truths are Delusions.
Those that state "God Exists" are pushing their own Subjective Truth or personal Delusion.
Objective Truths which include Living and Dead can vary from definitive truths to truths that only exist in particular cases or frames of reference.
We see objects as Solid, which we see as an Objective Truth, but at a Quantum Level, no solid objects exist, because a solid block of lead is 90% space.
Posted by Unspired 2 years ago
Unspired
I actually assumed that Surrealism was making a sarcastic statement when he stated that about tautological statements; I thought it was well-known that they're redundant. And to avoid a misunderstanding, by truth we mean objective truth. Something is true if it exists with no frame of reference, no observation. It's impossible, by definition, for something to be true for one person, but not true for another.

Proof implies certainty of truth. Unlike Sagey's comment, proofs definitionally cannot change, assuming they are valid. At least, this is according to the definition I supplied from Merriam-Webster, in which something that is proven is in such a state that the "existence, truth, or correctness" of it has been shown.
Posted by Unspired 2 years ago
Unspired
I agree with this.
Posted by Jingram994 2 years ago
Jingram994
Yeah, tautological statements are not 'definitionally true'; they are statements that *purport* that they are definitionally true, because the statements themselves say so. Essentially a statement that attempts to prove itself using it's own say-so as 'proof', which anyone can tell you is completely meaningless and not a valid logical argument.

I disagree that things can only be 'true' within a frame of reference, however; if someone has killed someone else, then any statement after the fact that they have killed this person will always be true, regardless of the knowledge at hand, the person saying it, or any other factors. It may not be a valid conclusion to come to, but it is still necessarily true. I also disagree that 'absolute truth' means something must be true regardless of frame of reference; frame of reference is a necessary, indispensable part of any statement. *Anything* that is true must necessarily be objectively so, or else it is not 'true'.
Posted by Sagey 2 years ago
Sagey
Tautological arguments are a pretense of Truth, not actual Truth.
Repeating a pretentiously truthful argument in different ways does not make it true.
In fact Tautological arguments are often invalid.
What is proven today, may be unproven tomorrow.
Absolute Truth may not exist as it requires it to be true regardless of frame of reference.
Yet what is true from our current earthly physical perspective, may not be true on another planet's perspective.
We are limited to proving things from within our restricted frames of reference.
Posted by Unspired 2 years ago
Unspired
Do you refer to my use of true and valid? I see truth as very separate from validity. For example, I can justify my belief that the universe exists, but I cannot claim it to be true. Essentially, true logic does not exist, but valid logic can. In reality, it's subjective; really just based on reason.
Posted by Surrealism 2 years ago
Surrealism
Pretty sure tautological statements are definitionally true.
Posted by Unspired 2 years ago
Unspired
All right, I'm pretty busy and may or may not be able to begin round three today, but I'll try my best to find time. Thanks for explaining your circumstances.
Posted by SandmanTF131 2 years ago
SandmanTF131
I would also like to notify my opponent of my leaving for a camp for a week Sunday morning, during which time I will not have access to a computer. If my opponent has not posted his Round 2 by around 10:00 P.M. American Central Time, I will post my initial arguments in the comments and will not be present for further rounds. If, though, he/she does reply, I will continue to argue for as long as possible. I apologize for the lack of preparation on my part of accepting this debate. I encourage voters to only vote on what I have been able to argue, and forfeit all conduct points due to my mistake.
Posted by Adam_Godzilla 2 years ago
Adam_Godzilla
this is the truth, glad someone agrees with me. Sollipsm forever!
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Sagey 2 years ago
Sagey
UnspiredSandmanTF131Tied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Yes, it was poor decision making for Con to accept the debate, as Con had an easy task as I disagreed with much of Pro's argument, which would not be hard to defeat if Con stuck to the debate. One of those two thinking musicians are poor but knowing of a rich musician would have to be a nutcase.
Vote Placed by Cold-Mind 2 years ago
Cold-Mind
UnspiredSandmanTF131Tied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Con forfeited.
Vote Placed by Zarroette 2 years ago
Zarroette
UnspiredSandmanTF131Tied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Con gracefully forfeits.