The Instigator
BlazingRodent
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
MagicAintReal
Con (against)
Winning
7 Points

Reincarnation is real

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
MagicAintReal
Voting Style: Judge Point System: Select Winner
Started: 2/21/2016 Category: Religion
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,666 times Debate No: 86081
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (42)
Votes (1)

 

BlazingRodent

Pro

This debate is for a friend of mine, and I really hope he likes it.

The debate should be impossible to accept. If anyone accepts without permission they lose by default.

Rules:
-For any of the terms that are left undefined, Con shall use commonplace understandings that fit within the logical context of the resolution.
-No trolling
-No Kritiks/Semantics
-Maintain civil conduct
-Con must accept my definitions

Structure:
Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2: Arguments
Round 3: Rebuttals
Round 4: Defense against Rebuttals
Round 5: Conclusions

Definitions:
Reincarnation-"the rebirth of a soul in a new body."
Real-"actually existing as a thing or occurring in fact."
Soul-"the spiritual principle embodied in human beings"
Spiritual-"neither material nor contingent on the material."
MagicAintReal

Con

I accept to negate the resolution that the rebirth, in a new body, of the neither material nor contingent on the material principle embodied in human beings is real.
Debate Round No. 1
BlazingRodent

Pro

I thank my opponent for accepting the debate.

Contention 1: Children memories

Dr. Ian Stevenson has investigated research for reincarnation on children. He did so by gathering cases on 3,000 children who remember specific details of their previous life.

The things that the they remembered where:
-Being able to identify who their love-ones in their past-life.
-Being able to identify homes, neighbourhoods, and friends that are still alive.
-Being able to recall birthmarks and wounds that lead to the death of their previous incarnation.

The data has shown that the information that kids shared in these interviews matches up with certain corpses, houses, neighboorhoods, living people, etc.

This obviously is not from luck, as out of the 7 billion people on Earth, billions of households, and the high amount of corpses that exist in this world, for thousands of kids that were investigated (and these are just a few thousand kids) to be able to identify specific features of another life just because they guessed would be virtually impossible and unbelievable.

Also, there is a statistic that shows that 70% of children out of 2,500 that were investigated by Jim B. Tucker claim that their death was unnatural and violent. This statistic links to another one: 70% of the
deceased individuals that matched up with the childrens claims were male. 60% of the children that made claims were male. This means that 60% of the children matched up with the deceased individuals that were the previous incarnations. Once again, this is not luck, it occurs naturally.

As a final example, there was a case of someone named Charles Richet who was born knowing how to speak Swedish. This one example proves reincarnation exists because it would be logically impossible for his brain to have the knowledge of how to speak Swedish unless it was passed on from a previous incarnation, and in that case, reincarnation is indeed real.

Contention 2: Substance Dualism

To link the first contention into this one, we must first understand what substance dualism is. Substance dualism is a philosophy that supports the idea of two different types of substances that exist within the mind. Mental and physical. The physical substances take up space, and do not contain thoughts of any kind. Mental substances have thoughts, and do not take up space in the physical universe.

There is currently no scientific and concrete evidence that thoughts are physical, so therefore, they must be separate from matter or energy itself.

P1) If Substance Dualism is true, the mind is separate from the physical brain and is not matter or energy.
P2) If the mind is not physical, by process of elimination, it would have to be a mental substance
C2) Substance Dualism is true, because the mind is a mental substance, while the matter inside the brain is physical.

This contention ties in with the last because when combined, give substantial proof for reincarnation.

It has been proven that the mind and the physical brain are separate, children can remember specific details of previous incarnations, and that someone was born knowing how to speak a language, and that knowledge could only possibly be obtained by previous memory regarding the mental substance from a soul.

Sources:
1] http://reluctant-messenger.com...
2] http://uvamagazine.org...
3] http://listverse.com...;
MagicAintReal

Con

Thanks Pro for the debate.

1. Burden

Pro has the burden of proof to show that:
a. the soul, a neither material nor contingent on the material thing, exists
b. this immaterial thing is a principle embodied in human beings
c. this principle can jump from human body to human body

I reject the resolution that reincarnation is real, because nothing "neither material nor contingent on the material" has been demonstrated to exist; the soul has not been shown to exist.

2. Claims of Reincarnation

Pro did not allow for this round to have rebuttals, so I will not directly address Pro's sources until next round, but claims of reincarnation are bogus.
There has never been a double-blind, peer-reviewed reincarnation study published in a SCHOLARLY journal ever, and the reason is because reincarnation testing is being done by invested observers; the studies are never double blind, and the proctors/observers play a large influential role in the results gathered from people.

Also, many of the reincarnation claims have someone who claims that they remember a past life, and that they can recall names that of people living then that they couldn't have known naturally.
The problem is, in these cases, the "reincarnated" people will say a name of someone who knew the person whose soul is inside of them, like Max, and upon an observer investigating the claim, someone who knew the deceased was found to be named Mark, and because both names begin with M and have one syllable, the observer counts this as a correct match.

The same thing goes for physical deformities found on children.
Observers in reincarnation studies will see a deformed limb as a knife wound from a previous life, rather than a birth defect related to genetics or pathogens.
This speaks to the lack of double blindedness in these studies, and it allows observers to fill in the gaps that don't have a link, but seem linked by some arbitrary association.

3. Material and Contingent on Material

Something is material if it is made of matter.
There are constructs like love/happiness/thoughts/ideas/feelings which themselves are not made of matter however, are contingent on matter.

Love requires neurotransmitters and a brain, and neurotransmitters and brains are made of matter.
Thoughts aren't made of matter, but blood, the brain, and neurons are made of matter, and there are no thoughts without this matter; thoughts are contingent on matter.

Again, I cannot address Pro's arguments directly given the rules of the debate, but from what I understand about the "soul" is that it is in fact contingent on matter; humans must exist for a soul to exist.

This to me effectively negates the resolution, because if the soul is contingent on matter, then it is not spiritual per the definitions of this debate.

If the soul is not spiritual, then it cannot be "the spiritual principle embodied in human beings."

To reiterate, Pro has to prove that something, the soul, is truly spiritual.
Remember, it can't be contingent on the material, so something like the mind, which is contingent on the brain therefore contingent on the material, wouldn't be considered immaterial.
Pro has to demonstrate that the soul is not contingent on the material to effectively meet his 3 part burden.

Next round, I'm allowed to divulge the true crux of my argument as I am allowed to rebuttal, negating Pro.
I plan to address Ian Stevenson's musings, xenoglossy, and the misguided, new-age-deism-energy-crap derived idea of substance dualism; come on, it ignores things that are contingent on matter, like all of those constructs I mentioned.

On to Pro...
Debate Round No. 2
BlazingRodent

Pro

"There has never been a double-blind, peer-reviewed reincarnation study published in a SCHOLARLY journal ever, and the reason is because reincarnation testing is being done by invested observers; the studies are never double blind, and the proctors/observers play a large influential role in the results gathered from people."

Con does not show a connection with how this means that reincarnation doesn't exist. The reason why it has not been published in a SCHOLARLY journal is because SCHOLARLY doesn't believe in reincarnation, and so therefor, they will not publish it. It may be among the minority to believe in reincarnation, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't exist, just that the believers of it are part of a minority in this world.

"Also, many of the reincarnation claims have someone who claims that they remember a past life, and that they can recall names that of people living then that they couldn't have known naturally.
The problem is, in these cases, the "reincarnated" people will say a name of someone who knew the person whose soul is inside of them, like Max, and upon an observer investigating the claim, someone who knew the deceased was found to be named Mark, and because both names begin with M and have one syllable, the observer counts this as a correct match."

This argument is flawed due to the fact that there are no sources to debunk the claim you quoted. You just simply state that they will get the data from their claims incorrect, without including sources, and this also ignores my central point which is that most of the data matched with the student's claims, and therefor, it is correct because there is no other possible way to remember it.

"Also, many of the reincarnation claims have someone who claims that they remember a past life, and that they can recall names that of people living then that they couldn't have known naturally.
The problem is, in these cases, the "reincarnated" people will say a name of someone who knew the person whose soul is inside of them, like Max, and upon an observer investigating the claim, someone who knew the deceased was found to be named Mark, and because both names begin with M and have one syllable, the observer counts this as a correct match."

"The same thing goes for physical deformities found on children.
Observers in reincarnation studies will see a deformed limb as a knife wound from a previous life, rather than a birth defect related to genetics or pathogens.
This speaks to the lack of double blindedness in these studies, and it allows observers to fill in the gaps that don't have a link, but seem linked by some arbitrary association."

My previous point can be applied to here. Again, this has no evidence and doesn't debunk my quote sufficiently.

"Love requires neurotransmitters and a brain, and neurotransmitters and brains are made of matter.
Thoughts aren't made of matter, but blood, the brain, and neurons are made of matter, and there are no thoughts without this matter; thoughts are contingent on matter."

Con has not displayed any sources to prove that love requires neurotransmitters and a brain, and even in that case, that only applies to love, as when a soul passes on to another body, they may be incapable of love until they get a new brain with new blood and neurotransmitters.

"Again, I cannot address Pro's arguments directly given the rules of the debate, but from what I understand about the "soul" is that it is in fact contingent on matter; humans must exist for a soul to exist."

As I have rebutted your argument, no, humans are not required for souls to exist.

"If the soul is not spiritual, then it cannot be "the spiritual principle embodied in human beings."

"To reiterate, Pro has to prove that something, the soul, is truly spiritual.
Remember, it can't be contingent on the material, so something like the mind, which is contingent on the brain therefore contingent on the material, wouldn't be considered immaterial.
Pro has to demonstrate that the soul is not contingent on the material to effectively meet his 3 part burden."

I have never claimed that a soul was not spiritual, and in this case, substance dualism is the belief that souls are spiritual, and this debate is only between whether souls (reincarnation) exist or not, and souls not being spiritual wouldn't even make them souls, thus, I do not have this burden.

On to Con....
MagicAintReal

Con

Ah, the rebuttal round.

Thank you Pro for your rebuttal.

Pro mentions that "scholarly" doesn't accept reincarnation.
Even though scholarly itself is not an entity, scholarly journals do not recognize things that cannot be proven in a double blind study without invested observers.

Pro please provide such.

Dr. Ian Stevensons work does not cast any doubt on his own confirmation bias, and Pro's secondary sources don't show me anything on the actual studies, so I'm left in the dark about the methods used.

Substance dualism ignores that there are constructs contingent on matter and things that are actually made of matter.
Pro has only tried to demonstrate the soul as contingent in humans therefore contingent on matter.

Xenoglossy is another victim of confirmation bias, and has not been shown in a double blind study.

Pro should use next round to show a primary study on reincarnation.
Debate Round No. 3
BlazingRodent

Pro

Sorry I am short on time.

Con's round was not much of a rebuttal, but was similar to asking me to expand upon my case without explaining his negation.
MagicAintReal

Con

Since, to Pro, my rebuttal wasn't much of a rebuttal, I'm going to expand on it here, and I wouldn't mind Pro using the last round for responses/conclusions.

*Childhood Memories*

None of the sources that Pro provided on childhood memories have explained the methods of Tucker's or Stevenson's studies.
This is because Pro did not provide the actual studies; Pro provided the reluctant messenger's biased review of Ian Stevenson's work and UVA's magazine's interpretation of Tucker's post-Stevenson work.

For example these sources don't show:
1. How many participants were in the total study?
2. How many misses did these kids have, that is to say, how many names, places, violent deaths, and languages did these kids INCORRECTLY identify?
3. Was there a control group of non-possessed children?
4. How were successful/unsuccessful matches of past people/places/violent deaths determined?
5. Stevenson would receive kids who have already been eliciting strange behavior to their parents...what attempts were made to reduce this clear skewing of results? Did they randomize participants?

It's unfortunate that Pro's sources don't show the methods in any clear or explanatory way.

I'll use on of Pro's sources to demonstrate what I mean.
From Pro's source 1, reluctant-messenger.com, Ian Stevenson stated,

"...the cases occur most where people already believe in reincarnation. If a child seems to refer to a previous life, it's argued that his parents encourage him and may unwittingly feed the child information about a deceased person. I call this the sociopsychological interpretation of the cases. It is said that despite all my efforts, I have not eliminated the possibility that the subject of a case learned everything he knew through normal channels."
http://reluctant-messenger.com...

I couldn't have put it better myself.
This is where Stevenson's work is lacking in ALL of the "results" he considers to be matches, and since we have no methods, it's hard to find a place to start analyzing all of this.

How has Stevenson eliminated ALL possibilities of a kid learning something naturally?
Let me guess, he asked the parents if the kid had ever seen/heard of something/someone?
How can a researcher POSSIBLY know ALL of the natural channels a kid has experienced in their life?
Do parents ever lie?
Are parents ever wrong about their kids?
Do kids ever lie?
Do kids ever tell the wrong thing to their parents?

Were any measures taken to confirm that the experiences being told to Stevenson about the kid were true, that the parents weren't lying or just wrong, or that the kid isn't lying to their parents?

We wouldn't know, because Pro has not provided a source that shows such.
This is in defense of my first rebuttal that Pro's sources are not explanatory or directly relevant.

*Substance Dualism*

Pro claims:
"There is currently no scientific and concrete evidence that thoughts are physical, so therefore, they must be separate from matter or energy itself."

My response:
Things that are contingent on the physical are not separate from the physical.
We call them constructs.
Constructs, though not physical themselves, are contingent on physical matter.

Thoughts would be considered a construct, contingent on neurons, a brain, and electricity, so thoughts ARE physical due to their contingency on the physical; thoughts are not separate from matter and energy for this reason as well.

So we can reject the first premise of substance dualism...
"the mind is separate from the physical brain and is not matter or energy..."
because without matter and energy there is no mind; the mind is contingent on matter.

We can reject the 2nd premise...
"If the mind is not physical, by process of elimination, it would have to be a mental substance..."
because this is a false dichotomy; as I've pointed out, if something's not physical, it can be CONTINGENT on the physical and doesn't have to be a mental substance, whatever that is.

*Pro's Problems With Con*

I mentioned that NONE of the reincarnation studies were double-blind, so

Pro says:
"Con does not show a connection with how this means that reincarnation doesn't exist."

My response:
Ok.
Pro provided a study to show a connection with how this study means that reincarnation does exist.
So, I pointed out that the methods were flawed, not being a double blind study and all, negating this attempt at showing a connection to reincarnation.
If Pro's source were valid, we might be able to use the results from it to inform our decision on whether or not reincarnation is real...but the methods either suck or are unexplained.

Pro then responds to me saying that the names that kids recall only start with a similar letter, or sound like someone's name.

Pro says:
"This argument is flawed due to the fact that there are no sources to debunk the claim you quoted."

My response:
How about your source Pro?
http://uvamagazine.org...

Directly from Pro's source, about a kid named Ryan who was "reincarnated,"

"Ryan said his old address had "Rock" in its name. Martyn lived at 825 North Roxbury Dr. in Beverly Hills. Ryan said he knew a man named Senator Five. Martyn's daughter said she had a picture of her father with a Senator Ives, Irving Ives, of New York, who served in the U.S. Senate from 1947 to 1959."

Any good examiner recognizes this as a textbook example of confirmation bias.

Ryan said the old address had ROCK in its name...guess what?
IT DIDN'T!
It had Rox in its name, which sounds like ROCK, but is not rock...the fact that researchers counted this as a match and not a miss shows why these studies do not get published.

Ryan said Senator Five was some guy, and there was a senator Ives.
The researchers are filling in the association gaps, even though the kid was wrong.

If there had been a senator who was the fifth one to be elected, researchers could have said that this is a recollection of that senator and not senator Ives.

There was a group of bad senators called the Keating Five...
https://en.wikipedia.org...

Look, if Senator Five can be construed for other things, by association, that sound like five or rhyme with five or indicate a fifth entity, then we do not have a valid confirmation method to determine accuracy; we just fill in gaps where they SOUND right, rather then where they have been shown to be correct.

If this kid really is a reincarnated soul, why is there any mistaking the name as Five or Ives?
Is there some rule of lost information when a soul jumps bodies?
The first letter of transmitted memories of names gets changed?
All ROX become ROCK in the new body?

Without an explanation of the mechanism behind soul jumping, there's no reason to infer that the transmission of information from body to body gets distorted or muddled...why would it, we have no way of knowing why there would be any disconnect from body to body.

But perhaps the most important part of all of this is the definitions we all agreed on.

Soul-"the SPIRITUAL principle embodied in human beings"
Spiritual-"neither material nor contingent on the material.

If Pro can only show that the soul exists contingent on humans' bodies, then we must agree that Pro's version of the soul is not a soul in this debate; the soul being contingent on matter, humans in this case, negates the soul being spiritual.

Pro hasn't shown a soul, Pro hasn't shown reincarnation, and Pro has only provided interpretations of studies that are not rigorous enough for this type of extraordinary claim.

I negate this particular resolution.
Debate Round No. 4
BlazingRodent

Pro

I concede. (PM me)
MagicAintReal

Con

Nice.
Thanks for the debate, Pro.

I negate the resolution due to concession by Pro.
Debate Round No. 5
42 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Omniscient_Debater 10 months ago
Omniscient_Debater
BlazingRodent you are such an awful debater.
Posted by MagicAintReal 1 year ago
MagicAintReal
Thanks for the vote tejretics.
Posted by MagicAintReal 1 year ago
MagicAintReal
I can't message you, can you message me?
Posted by BlazingRodent 1 year ago
BlazingRodent
Lol nvm
Posted by MagicAintReal 1 year ago
MagicAintReal
Ok, well my position is Con on a positive assertion of a fact claim.
All of my arguments are rebuttals, because I'm not proposing anything...I'm rejecting it.
If you wanted me to *only* put arguments round 2, it would just be "reincarnation isn't real" and that's it.
I think I did a good job of refuting reincarnation without directly rebutting your round 1.
Do you disagree?
If so, I apologize, but my position limits me to rebuttals given the resolution.
Posted by BlazingRodent 1 year ago
BlazingRodent
You were not supposed to make rebuttals until round 3....
Posted by matt8800 1 year ago
matt8800
And might also answer the question about abiogenesis.

Just sayin....
Posted by matt8800 1 year ago
matt8800
For reincarnation to be real, consciousness must be an inherent property of the universe/matter. Otherwise, there would souls/consciousness have came from in the first place? I don't believe in an interventionist god for a second.
This would also answer the question as to why the weirdness in the double slit experiment, which indicates an interaction between consciousness and matter. This would also explain the evidence that would seem to indicate reincarnation is real.
I thought I was the first person to come to the conclusion that consciousness was a unique property of the universe but apparently some physicists are starting to agree with me ;)
http://www.pbs.org...
https://www.quora.com...
Posted by MagicAintReal 1 year ago
MagicAintReal
Sorry, I had a wrestling tournament and I got home late, so I barely got that one in.
Posted by MagicAintReal 1 year ago
MagicAintReal
We've got judges who have agreed to vote, so it's all good.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
BlazingRodentMagicAintReal
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: Pro concedes.