The Instigator
CaptainBallarms
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
MagicAintReal
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

Resolved: On balance, philosophical naturalism is true.

Do you like this debate?NoYes+1
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 0 votes the winner is...
It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/11/2016 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 620 times Debate No: 92614
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (0)

 

CaptainBallarms

Con

Resolved: On balance, ontological naturalism is true.



DEFINTIONS:



On Balance: after considering the power or influence of both sides of a question(Cambridge Dictionaries Online)



Philosophical Naturalism: Ontological naturalism is that all spatiotemporal entities must be identical to or metaphysically constituted by physical entities. (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) Further, spatiotemporal entities are all that exists.



True: being in accordance with the actual state of affairs(Merriam-Websters)



THE BURDEN OF PROOF:



Essentially the burden of proof lies on the affirmative(pro) to show ontological naturalism is the default position and argue that essentially reality corresponds to naturalism rather than supernaturalism. However, the negative(con) must show that ontological naturalism is not a reasonable position to hold as his burden of proof.



It should be noted arguments are weighed on a balance rather than absolutely true. For example, it is important to make a distinction between the likelihood of naturalism being true and the certainty of it(likewise, the opposite claim by the negative). Hence if naturalism is shown to be unlikely than the Negative has won the debate. If the affirmative shows naturalism to be likely than the affirmative has likewise won.



RULES:




    1. No plagiarism(putting unoriginal content without sourcing)




    2. No trolling




    3. No lawyering




    4. Accepting this debate entails you accept stipulations




    5. No personal attacks/Ad hominem



MagicAintReal

Pro

Thanks Con for instigating this debate.
I accept all terms and rules, but there was no definition provided for spatiotemporal, so I'd like to supply my own.


*Definition*

spatiotemporal - belonging to both space and time or to space-time.
http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...


*Preface*

I'd also like to point out that while quantum particles/quantum fields tend to violate temporal relationships, they should still be considered physical and spatiotemporal, and under the umbrella of physical naturalism.
I don't know that Con intended for a quantum mechanics debate, but in case it goes there, this must be accepted; quantum particles/fields are a concept of naturalism.


*Naturalism*

That which exists is either physical/material itself, or contingent on the physical/material.
Everything from the stars to the planets to the planet's inhabitants to the gas in atmospheres are made of at least particles/radiation/energy in some form; they're all physical themselves.

Other things that exist like thought, love, the mind, compassion, consciousness, intelligence, and happiness are constructs contingent on the physical brain, physical neurons, and other physical neural substrates.

So while not all existing things are made of elements/particles/radiation, they are at least contingent on such.

So, all things are either comprised of/contingent on:

1. particles
https://en.wikipedia.org...

or

2. radiation
https://en.wikipedia.org...

or

3. energy
https://en.wikipedia.org...


*Supernaturalism*

I'd love to refute this concept, but I have no idea what it means.
People tell me that supernatural things exist, or that supernatural events occur, but no one's ever been able to provide me with an example that, if it actually exists, isn't reducible to naturalism, and no one's ever been able to clearly explain what "above" or "beyond" nature really means.

I often ask that if there's this unexplained "beyond" or "above" nature, then what do you call something that's equally unexplained as "behind" or "below" nature?
Subnatural?
Infranatural?
Is subnaturalism any more/less valid than supernaturalism?

If it's the case that supernaturalism, a position that Con wishes to endorse, includes things *not* comprised of or *not* contingent on the physical/material, then I reject this position due to a lack of demonstration, replication, and accurate predictions made within the domain of "supernature" that indicates an absence of the physical/material.


*Conclusion*

I simply maintain that all things, constructs included, can be reduced to the physical/material, which is demonstrable, replicable, and able to be used to make accurate predictions within the domain of physical nature.
I fail to see this with supernature or subnature.

On to Con...
Debate Round No. 1
CaptainBallarms

Con

I would like to thank my opponent for accepting this debate, I hope that we will have a spirited discussion on this interesting topic. This debate is fundamental to understanding the nature of the universe as well as establishing other ontological and epistemological philosophies.


First thing my opponent asks for is a clarification on what Supernaturalism is. The thesis that non-physical things exist is what I will be defending.


Now the major problem with my opponent’s case so far is it fails to show that naturalism is the default position with regards to the universe. For my opponent to win this debate he must show not merely that supernaturalism is improbable but that naturalism is a plausible thesis to hold. That is, if supernaturalism is shown to be as plausible as naturalism, the affirmative has not met his burden.


The Transcendental Challenge to Naturalism:


The fundamental problem of ontological naturalism is the epistemological challenges which it implies. In fact, if my arguments are successful, the thesis of ontological naturalism will be shown to be unsupportable epistemologically. That is, if naturalism is true then it is impossible to endorse rationally. The first argument to address this concern is the transcendental challenge.


Let us assume for the sake of argument that naturalism is true, what does that entail? This entails that all knowledge is gained via experience with the external world since external objects(physical) are all that exists. This doesn’t mean that all knowledge comes from experience but all knowledge originates from it.


Now knowledge gained from experience can be contrasted from knowledge gained by reason alone(the classic a priori versus a posteriori). Knowledge that could be considered a posteriori might be that it is currently raining. This knowledge cannot be known by reason alone because the only thing that could refute it would be if it were not in fact raining(that is experience is the only thing that can in principle refute it).


The problem with this type of knowledge is that it is contingent but not necessarily true. To contrast it with truths of reason, a triangle is three-sided by the very definition of what a triangle is. That is, the concept of triangle is completely connected to three-sidedness. This is an analytic judgment, because the predicate is completely contained within its subject. However when we take truths from experience we find that they cannot be analytic in nature. For example, nothing about now includes the concept of raining. You cannot intuitively know whether Denver is indeed a mile high without checking experimentally. Judgments like this are called synthetic because you cannot reason into them without experience.


From this we can conclude a few things, however the most pertinent to this debate is the a priori synthetic judgments. A priori synthetic judgments are essentially statements which can be gained by reason alone and therefore necessary but also synthetic in that the predicate is not completely contained in the subject. This is the knowledge that is the prerequisite for mathematics, science and all metaphysics because Science relies on truths being necessary and always the case for the principle of Verification, mathematics relies on it for working in real life and metaphysics if it exists has to rely on it to be meaningful. Hence if you want to believe in any of these things you must accept a priori synthetic judgments.


However, under Naturalism causation relies on the fallacy of post ergo propter hoc. There is simply no way to know whether verification really works because it could mere chance and nothing is necessary knowledge given this system of belief. Each independent sensation of a posteriori knowledge is separate and not connected logically speaking to the next. The reason for this is under empiricism it is only possible to derive a posteriori synthetic knowledge, you can only rely on instances which have no necessary connection to the truth of any other time. Hence if you want to have science, mathematics, causation, or metaphysics you cannot adopt Naturalism.


The Argument from Mental Causation:


“We are compelled to admit between the thoughts of a terrestrial astronomer and the behaviour of matter several light-years away that particular relation which we call truth. But this relation has no meaning at all if we try to make it exist between the matter of the star and the astronomer’s brain, considered as a lump of matter. The brain may be in all sorts of relations to the star no doubt: it is in a spatial relation, and a time relation, and a quantitative relation. But to talk of one bit of matter as being true about another bit of matter seems to me to be nonsense.” CS Lewis, p.64, Christian Reflections


This argument has its roots from C.S. Lewis in his book Miracles: A Preliminary Study although the ideas have existed in various forms for many years before Lewis. This particular formulation comes from C.S. Lewis’s Dangerous Idea, p.80:


  1. If naturalism is true, then no event can cause another event in virtue of its propositional content.

  2. But some events do cause other events in virtue of their propositional content.(implied by the existence of rational inference)

  3. Therefore, naturalism is false.


The structure of this argument is sound and placed in modus tollens, hence if you accept the premises, you must accept the conclusion logically. The second premise is relatively uncontroversial. Rational inference is the basis for much of the reasoning used in debates and in our everyday lives, the person who denies rational inference seems to have difficulty arguing in formal debate since he admits people cannot rationally infer to conclusions. Simply to clarify why premise two is implied by rational inference, in order for rational inference to be possible it must be the case that one could come to the conclusion 3 by virtue of one accepting premise 1 as well as 2 and that those states cause the thinker to accept the conclusion 3.


However under naturalism it seems the mental causation is impossible hence rational inference doesn’t seem to be possible as well. The basic problem here is that if all causation is in fact physical causation then how can the content of any mental state could possibly be relevant to what causes what in the world. In order to better understand the connection here, an analogy would be useful.


Suppose that a 400 pound weight was used in Mark Henry’s fourth world record lift and fell off the rack breaking someone’s toe. We could say the weight was used to break the toe, but it would not follow that the toe was broken by virtue of the weight being used by Mark Henry. What determines whether the toe breaks is a function of the velocity of the weight falling and the strength of the toe and it’s use as part of the world record lift has no causal connection and is thus irrelevant. Whether the computer’s activity is interpreted as a video game or a chess program will not affect the output of the computer though it will affect the input of the players.


What this means is that even if intentional states can be reduced to true or false, it would still be the case that one mental event cannot cause another by virtue of its own content.


Consciousness is Irreducible:


“If a physically identical zombie world is logically possible, it follows that the presence of consciousness is an extra fact about our world, not guaranteed by the physical facts alone.” David Chalmers, p.123 The Conscious Mind


For this argument, there are two issues of significance which I want to rise. The first issue is the presumption of naturalism my opponent has that is simply unjustified. As mentioned in the opening statement, my opponent must make a case for Naturalism as the natural attitude. However, I would like to make an epistemological note regarding this issue, the fact is Supernaturalism has primacy due to the subjective self. As Descartes pointed out, the transcendental ego is the thing which we can be the most sure of, rather than the existence of any physical thing. Hence, the denial of the metaphysical and ontological existence of the self is the counterintuitive position, this does not make it wrong but definitely not the default position.


The other issue I would like address with this argument is materialism or ontological naturalism in the experience of consciousness. This argument is from The Conscious Mind by David Chalmers:


  1. In our world, there are conscious experiences.

  2. There is a logically possible world physically identical to ours, in which the positive facts about consciousness in our world do not hold.

  3. Therefore, facts about consciousness are further facts about our world, over and above the physical facts.

  4. Thus, naturalism is false.


The first premise is relatively undeniable, unless my opponent is claiming that he himself does not experience consciousness then it seems he would be a contrast to the rest of the world implicit proving the second premise since we can at least be sure that we are ourselves conscious. The ontological primacy of the self is evident.


The most clear question when it comes to consciousness is the question of whether it is logically supervenient on the physical. Essentially the argument is no a priori entailment from physical facts to phenomenal facts exists.


I pose the classic logical possibility of Zombies in defense of premise 2. It is conceivable that there could a physically identical universe with my twin which looks exactly like me physically in every way. However, it is conceivable that this twin may not have any phenomenal consciousness. He would still have psychological consciousness(he could still perceive things). The empirical question is a non-starter because it conceivability which is necessary for premise 2. In order to defeat this my opponent must show why my philosophical zombie is not logically possible, as it seems to be conceivable.


Thus the resolution is refuted, Naturalism is untenable.

MagicAintReal

Pro

Thanks Con for your response.
After reading Con's remarks, I have no reason to change anything I've posited thus far.
Con has failed to show anything lacking particles/radiation/energy, and further, Con has failed to provide us with an example of supernature.

*Con's Rebuttal*

Con reminds us:
"This debate is fundamental to understanding the nature of the universe..."

My response:
Yeah, we're attempting to understand the *nature* of the universe, not the *supernature* of the universe; Con's not even approaching the universe from a supernatural perspective.


*Con's Challenge to Naturalism*

Con claims:
"...if naturalism is true then it is impossible to endorse rationally..."

My response:
If naturalism's true, it's impossible to endorse rationally?
I'm baffled.
This was Con's description of my burden, and now, Con has made his "Challenge to Naturalism" impossible to fulfill.
If I show that naturalism is true, then it can't be endorsed rationally...that's some challenge you've issued, huh Con?


Con supposes:
"Let us assume for the sake of argument that naturalism is true, what does that entail?"

My response:
Other than the fact that you claim if it's true it's not rational to endorse?
That everything that exists is either made of particles/radiation/energy or is contingent on such...so far, Con has not shown any reason to reject this truth, other than Con claiming that if it's true, it isn't rational to endorse.


Con furthers:
"This doesn"t mean that all knowledge comes from experience but all knowledge originates from it."

My response:
Naturalism means that knowledge itself, experiential or otherwise, is contingent on physical matter, namely the brain, neurons, and other neural substrates.


Con teaches us terms:
"Now knowledge gained from experience can be contrasted from knowledge gained by reason alone(the classic a priori versus a posteriori)."

My response:
Ok, let me make this clear.
Any knowledge, including a priori and a posteriori, is a construct contingent on the physical brain, neurons, and other neural substrates, and attacking this point is where Con should be focused...let's see if he can access his knowledge without using his carbon-based brain, neurons, or other neural substrates; readers can attempt this too.


Con asserts:
"Under Naturalism...there is simply no way to know whether verification really works because it could [be] mere chance and nothing is necessary knowledge given this system of belief."

My response:
Nope.
In naturalism, when we have a demonstrated truth, we can use it to make accurate predictions about what will occur with respects to this understood truth, so, if Con wishes to reduce everything in naturalism to "mere chance," then he'll have to explain how it is that we can use our verification to make repeated accurate predictions.

Con, how do you describe repeated accurate predictions made under naturalism as "mere chance?"
Accurate predictions show us whether verification really works.
Regardless, mere chance does not negate the necessity of particles/radiation/energy, so naturalism still makes perfect sense, and Con has not refuted this crucial truth.

Also, Con tried to say that causation under naturalism relies on post hoc ergo propter hoc, which is the assumption that because A happened before B therefore A caused B, but accurate predictions negate this assumption as well, because if we predict that demonstrated A will cause result B, and we can produce B over and over again with exclusively A, we have verification; this is how we verify in science/naturalism.


*Con's Mental Causation Argument*

Con attempts logic:
"If naturalism is true, then no event can cause another event in virtue of its propositional content."

My response:
This sentence kind of whirled around in my head, and I had to read this like 5 times to even understand what Con is saying here, but here's my attempt at understanding Con.
Con is claiming that if all things that exist are made of or are contingent on particles/radiation/energy, then no event can cause another event simply by rational inference.

What Con neglects is that inference itself is contingent on the physical, since inference is derived from the physical brain, neurons, and neural substrates.
Therefore, any inferential event necessitates the physical, because a brain/neurons/neural substrates would be required to infer anything.
Con just can't seem to get past this fact.


Con continues:
"if you accept the premises, you must accept the conclusion logically."

My response:
Ok, well all of Con's premises' components are contingent on the physical, so this attempt to reason the non-physical into existence is refuted by its own "propositional content;" inference itself is contingent on the physical.

Con adds:
"However under naturalism it seems the mental causation is impossible hence rational inference doesn"t seem to be possible as well."

My response:
The mind is a construct contingent on the brain, which is physical because it's made of particles, and rational inference is merely a function of the brain...I fail to see what Con is saying here.


Con attempts to clear up his argument:
"Suppose that a 400 pound weight was used in Mark Henry"s fourth world record lift and fell off the rack breaking someone"s toe."

My response:
Supposed.

Con continues:
"What determines whether the toe breaks is a function of the velocity of the weight falling and the strength of the toe and it"s use as part of the world record lift has no causal connection and is thus irrelevant."

My response:
So the weight, made of particles, caused the toe, made of particles, to break...so what?
This all seems perfectly natural to me, irrespective of Mark Henry's intentions, which are contingent on his physical brain anyway.

The question "Did Mark Henry use the weight to break the toe?" really amounts to "Did Mark Henry intend to make the weight break the toe?"
Once you ask questions about intentions, you are asking about constructs contingent on the physical brain and neural substrates and calling these intentions "events" is disingenuous; intentions are thoughts contingent on the brain/neurons/neural substrates, not necessarily an "occurrence" as Con would describe.


Con keeps at it:
"if intentional states can be reduced to true or false, it would still be the case that one mental event cannot cause another by virtue of its own content."

My response:
Intentional states can be reduced to physical matter contained within every brain, neuron, and neural substrate.
This idea of a mental event would necessitate a mind, which necessitates a brain, which necessitates particles.


*Consciousness is Irreducible*

Con asserts:
"Supernaturalism has primacy due to the subjective self....the transcendental ego is the thing which we can be the most sure of...the denial of the metaphysical and ontological existence of the self is...not the default position."

My response:
So now, Con is claiming that ego is transcendental.
Con, is there an ego without a brain or neural substrates?
If yes, Con has to demonstrate how we can have an ego without a brain, else Con's just asserting that the ego is transcendental.
In fact, if Con doesn't ever get to something that isn't reducible to particles, there's not much more responding I can do.


Con reasons:
"In our world, there are conscious experiences"

My response:
Yup.

Con continues:
"There is a logically possible world physically identical to ours, in which the positive facts about consciousness in our world do not hold."

My response:
If there were a logically possible world *physically identical* to ours, then all of the *physical* things required for consciousness would be there, thus the "positive facts" that may not hold about consciousness wouldn't be a lack of anything physical...the physical components of consciousness must be there because as Con puts it, the world is "physically identical to ours."

So, Con cannot just conclude that "facts about consciousness are over and above the physical facts," given this idea of a physically identical world.


Then Con mentions:
"The most clear question when it comes to consciousness is the question of whether it is logically supervenient on the physical."

My response:
Yes.
"[E]vidence indicates that non-human animals have the neuroanatomical, neurochemical, and neurophysiological substrates of conscious states...the weight of evidence indicates that humans are not unique in possessing the neurological substrates that generate consciousness."
http://fcmconference.org...

Neuroscientists, neuropharmacologists, neurophysiologists, and neuroanatomists at Cambridge have confirmed that there are particular neurological substrates that generate consciousness.
Not one thing that Con has brought up gives us any reason to doubt this fact.


Con goes zombie:
"It is conceivable that there could [be] a physically identical universe with my twin which looks exactly like me physically in every way...this twin may not have any phenomenal consciousness...my opponent must show why my philosophical zombie is not logically possible, as it seems to be conceivable."

My response:
Your twin, in this example, is in a universe identical to ours, so the phenomena that occur in our universe must also occur in this identical universe, so, if you grant that your zombie twin has psychological consciousness AND there are physically-identical-to-our-universe phenomena, then your zombie twin has a phenomenal consciousness.
Therefore, a zombie with consciousness and phenomena to apply their consciousness to has phenomenal consciousness by default and your zombie is not logically possible.


*Conclusion*

Con's just not casting enough doubt on the fact that constructs like consciousness, the mind, intention, and knowledge are all contingent on the physical brain, neurons, and neurological substrates.

Con?
Debate Round No. 2
CaptainBallarms

Con

Thank you Pro for the response. Unfortunately my opponent has failed to meet his burden in this debate and thus failed to give me a case which I can refute, choosing merely to assume Naturalism and work from that assumption. However notice how in the Debate rules which I provided, that my opponent must show Naturalism is plausible. Now to do this, one must show either that:

  1. Naturalism is True.

  2. Naturalism is the assumed truth and has no relevant objections.


My opponent never seeked to prove condition 1 and has only addressed the latter part of condition 2 hence, I do not believe he can win this debate today.


First things first, my opponent makes a rather silly remark about me using the word nature not supernature. However, he is ignoring the other definition of nature, i.d. fundamental properties. This is part of his general argumentation style, snipping at the toes which are explanatory(but not argumentative for) to the main argument(nearly his whole round 2 on The Transcendental Challenge).

The next issue I would like to address is my opponent’s clear misunderstanding of the implications of my position. My opponent repeated many times that such a feature is contingent on the brain, or on some physical processes by which it arose. This is simply not what we are arguing about, I am arguing that the qualities about the world are fundamentally non-physical. Being contingent on the existence of the physical is irrelevant to whether the thing itself is actually physical.


The problem with my opponent’s case here, is that simply just because mental states and physical are associated does not mean that one’s existence is of the same nature. One could easily contest that it is simply the mental substance expressing itself through the physical substratum. Non-reductive physicalism and Substance Dualism are empirically equivalent, hence the case must be made based on the reasons to think the substance is physical or not.


This is why appealing to physical examples does nothing to show the thing is itself physical. You have to be able to actually argue that the thing is physical through rational argument or evidence not merely assert it.

The Transcendental Challenge

In my argument here, I point out the inconsistency between endorsing a belief in science, mathematics, and metaphysics and ontological naturalism. My opponent acutely notes(appearing slighted) that this argument seeks to prove my opponent’s inability to meet the burden, he is correct. This is clearly the point of the argument.


The idea is that even if naturalism were to be true, you cannot support it rationally. Hence I am defeating my opponent by showing he cannot possibly justify his own position with regards to rational thought if one wants to have science, mathematics, or metaphysics. The essential question is whether naturalism is a rational position to hold.


Now it seems that my opponent only has one objection with my reasoning here, and it really does nothing to the challenge. My opponent claims because verification works repeatedly, it simply must be true! Well let us see this syllogism form to see why my opponent is incorrect.


  1. Event 1 happens from Thing 2

  2. Event 1 happens from Thing 2

  3. Ad Infinitum

  4. Therefore, Event 1 is caused by Cause 2.


There is simply no logical connection between the premises and the conclusion. Hence my opponent has to assume that verification really is a principle by which reality works. Necessity is obviously not found in this argument because there is no logical connection between events from different times. It is like saying just because every swan I have ever seen is white, that all swans therefore must be white.


Now my opponent tells me to explain how we explain accurate predictions by Science? Well we use a priori synthetic judgments but that only is a valid inference if you assume Leibnizian Dogmatism or Transcendental Idealism both of which negate Naturalism, hence the objection. Rather than refute my objection, my opponent appears to not even have understood it!

The Argument from Mental Causation

My opponent again assumes here that because something is dependent on physical that therefore, it is(in-of-itself) physical. Essentially, his repeated assertion that physical things are needed for reference does nothing to refute that Naturalism is incorrect. I agree physical things exist, I am not arguing this point, I am saying there are things which are not physical(thus it does not matter whether they are dependent on physical things).

Notice how my opponent does not explicitly attack any of my premises but simply says “Well it’s still contingent on the physical”, but my opponent works the opposite way I do. If mental events necessitates a mind, we still can ask whether the mental is physical in nature. It makes no difference whether it acts via the physical or not.


The problem with my opponent’s misunderstanding of the argument is that inference he makes with Mark Henry about his intentions is not justified by naturalism. There is nothing about the physical effects of Mark Henry permits us knowledge of the intentions of Mark Henry. Furthermore, my opponent has not answered my justification for premise one hence my opponent has lost this argument. I again repeat, if all causation is physical causation how does the content of some mental state cause another.


For this argument, my opponent cannot simply muse over what he thinks about contingency since it is made in syllogism form. He must attack the premises or structure or accept the conclusion of the argument. The huge neglect he is making is simply attacking that we infer regarding physical things which has nothing to do with how propositional content relates inside the mind. How can purely physical events relate to propositional content within the mind via mental causation? If my opponent cannot answer this(and he has failed to do so), then this argument stands unchallenged.


Consciousness is Irreducible


My opponent has again grossly misunderstood my argument here, especially with regards to the primacy of the transcendental self. As I clarified in the last round, the first part of the argument was clarifying ontological primacy of the existence of the self separate from the body. To borrow a phrase from David Chalmers, “There is nothing we know about more directly than consciousness”. And our natural intuitions about it and the subjectiveness by which we experience it give it primacy over everything else. Hence epistemologically, we have a natural tendency toward this view and it seems the correct starting point. Notice my opponent never disputes this at all.


Going into the main argument my opponent does even worse! Instead of actually addressing the argument, he simply assumes naturalism and moves on. When he contends regarding my twin that if both psychological consciousness and the same physical properties, then it would have phenomenal consciousness. But this isn’t an objection! It is simply assuming what he has to prove. I contend I can easily conceive of a zombie with psychological consciousness but no phenomenal consciousness hence he must show exactly why this idea is incoherent. Simply speaking, there is nothing that it is like to be the zombie. Hence this premise holds.


He even uses a red herring regarding whether animals are conscious or not. It simply doesn’t matter. In fact, the assumption of physicalism is so strong that he doesn’t actually have anything but an appeal to authority to prove his case. In fact, my opponent’s own article is not about whether consciousness is indeed physical. The substrates certainly have some relation to consciousness or perhaps are preconditions for the ability to express consciousness but this has zero to do with whether consciousness in of itself is physical.


Conclusion

The burden of the affirmative in this case was to prove naturalism was the more plausible view, my opponent has not even attempted to fulfill that position and instead relying on simply attempting to refute my own view. Sadly my opponent appears to have failed to understand the majority of my case, and thus has failed to meet his own burden while offering very few substantive objections to my arguments. If we boil it down, my opponent’s arguments are simply cases of begging the question.


However I have offered three arguments, two in syllogistic form, for the improbability of naturalism and the existence of non-physical things. If even one of these arguments are true, at least Naturalism is improbable if not outright incorrect. Along with this, I offered an epistemological appeal to the primacy of Supernaturalism via the subjective self. I have therefore fulfilled my burden.


Hence, I must urge a vote in the negative today.
MagicAintReal

Pro

Thanks Con for your response.
I reject that I have assumed anything, and Con has not, in any way, refuted the basis of naturalism, which is that things that exist are either physical themselves or contingent on the physical.
Con's dodging a lot here.

*Final Rebuttal*

Con makes one last attempt at burdens:
"notice how in the Debate rules which I provided, that my opponent must show Naturalism is plausible."

My response:
Notice how in the debate rules, which Con provided, that the definition of true is "being in accordance with the actual state of affairs" and that the resolution is that naturalism is true.
Well all states of affairs that have been discussed in this debate have either contained particles/radiation/energy or have been contingent on such, and Con hasn't given any reason to doubt this.


Con claims:
"My opponent never seeked to prove [naturalism is true]... hence, I do not believe he can win this debate today."

My response:
Since naturalism is the position that all things are physical or contingent on the physical, in this debate, I've *only* sought to prove naturalism is true because everything, from the brain I'm using to generate words to the signal my computer sends via internet to DDO's server, has been physical or contingent on such...is there something about my brain, my computer, the signals sent, or DDO's server that isn't made of/contingent on particles/radiation/energy?
Nope.


Con gets contradictory:
"I am arguing that the qualities about the world are *fundamentally* non-physical...being contingent on the existence of the physical is irrelevant..."

My response:
Being contingent on the physical means that something cannot *fundamentally* exist without the physical.
So being contingent on the physical isn't irrelevant as Con would have you believe; by something being contingent on the physical, the physical is fundamental to that something's existence.

Con continues:
"The problem with my opponent’s case here, is that simply just because mental states and physical are associated does not mean that one’s existence is of the same nature..."

My response:
It's not that the mental states are associated with the physical, it's that there are no mental states *without* the physical; the physical is fundamental to the mental as is one's existence.

Con argues:
"One could easily contest that it is simply the mental substance expressing itself through the physical substratum."

My response:
This sounds like word salad, but come on Con.
You've not explained what a mental substance is and sans this explanation, how can we follow the prospect that this concept is expressing itself through the *basis* of the physical?

Con demands:
"You have to be able to actually argue that the thing is physical through rational argument or evidence not merely assert it."

My response:
My evidence is that particles/radiation/energy exist, and they make up our physical world.
The thing is that physics, chemistry, and cosmology all indicate that existence is in fact physical, and Con's given us no reason to doubt that fact.


*The Challenge*

Con doubles down on his baffling logic:
"The idea is that even if naturalism were to be true, you cannot support it rationally."

My response:
Where to start here...
If naturalism were to be true, then the debate is over, because that's precisely the resolution, vote Pro.
But this other idea from Con, that if naturalism is true, then one cannot support it rationally is buffoonish and contradictory.
That something is true might be the number one reason to support it rationally, so if we agree that naturalism is true, then it would be most reasonable to endorse...I'm still baffled that Con doubled down on that.


Con complains:
"My opponent claims because verification works repeatedly, it simply must be true!...well let us see this syllogism form to see why my opponent is incorrect...
Event 1 happens from Thing 2
Event 1 happens from Thing 2
Ad Infinitum
Therefore, Event 1 is caused by Cause 2."

My response:
Let's be clear, I said that because we can *exclusively* produce thing 2 from *exclusively* event 1 repeatedly, then our verification by way of accurate predictions about this interplay isn't mere chance...predictions are being confirmed, therefore our verification.
Con's mock syllogism of my points is silly too.

Con adds:
"It is like saying just because every swan I have ever seen is white, that all swans therefore must be white."

My response:
No it's like saying that the lack of oxidation of the amino acid tyrosine, in swan feathers, produces white feathers, therefore all swans that lack this oxidation will have white feathers.
If we can confirm this prediction over and over again, then our verification is not "mere chance," which was Con's original contention with my verification logic.


*Mental Causation*

Con repeats:
"My opponent again assumes here that because something is dependent on physical that therefore, it is(in-of-itself) physical."

My response:
See, contingent isn't *exactly* synonymous with dependent, the difference being that contingent means "cannot exist without" and dependent means "relies on for something."
I've said that something contingent on the physical cannot be without the physical so it is fundamentally physical.


Con repeats again:
"I again repeat, if all causation is physical causation how does the content of some mental state cause another."

My response:
Mental states are fundamentally physical, so if all causation is physical, then this makes perfect sense, no?


*Consciousness*

Con mentions:
"I contend I can easily conceive of a zombie with psychological consciousness but no phenomenal consciousness hence he must show exactly why this idea is incoherent."

My response:
You neglect what you originally said Con, and that included a world *physically identical* to our world.
So, if we are conceiving a zombie with psychological consciousness AND a physically identical world, then all of the phenomena that exist in our physical world would have to exist there, and this would provide the zombie with a phenomenal consciousness.

Con points out:
"In fact, my opponent’s own article is not about whether consciousness is indeed physical. The substrates certainly have some relation to consciousness or perhaps are preconditions for the ability to express consciousness but this has zero to do with whether consciousness in of itself is physical."

My response:
The substrates are producing the consciousness, so consciousness is fundamentally physical, because sans these substrates, we have no reason to believe that consciousness can exist...at least Con's given no reason to think so.


*Conclusion*

This has been pretty clear.
Con has not been able to falsify the idea that things are either physical or contingent on the physical, in fact, in many cases, Con has conceded that the examples discussed in this debate are physical or contingent on the physical.

Since Con could not poke any holes in the position that things are physical/contingent, one must affirm that naturalism is true; Con's given no reason to doubt this veracity.
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
No votes have been placed for this debate.