The Instigator
RenegadeIconoclast
Pro (for)
Losing
10 Points
The Contender
beem0r
Con (against)
Winning
18 Points

Resolved: There is no such thing as reality

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
beem0r
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/28/2008 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,095 times Debate No: 5566
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (6)

 

RenegadeIconoclast

Pro

A very famous experiment in physics is known as the double slit experiment. Two tiny slits are made in a very thin sheet of metal. Particles are fired at the sheet of metal, and a sensitive plate sits behind the apparatus, to see where the particles end up.

If you performed this experiment with bullets and 2 slats cut into a door, with a brick wall behind it, and a machine gun firing at the door, you would find slat shaped marks in the brick wall when you were done firing. The occasional ricochet might cause a stray mark here and there, but overall, the bullets would just hit the wall behind the slats.

Not so with the double slit experiment. Even when supposed "real" particles such as gold atoms are fired at the slit, a circular pattern is formed all over the photographic plate. This suggests that the particle passes through both slits, neither, and all three possibilities at the same time, an impossibility. If the atoms that make up reality are not real, nothing is.
beem0r

Con

My opponent suggests that because real things, like gold atoms, act in a confusing way in a double slit experiment, they must not be real.
This is simply false. It simply means that the most intuitive answer to how they would behave is wrong. The behavior of real objects is governed by physics. In this case, quantum physics plays a large role, causing behavior we might not immediately expect using general physics. This does not stop gold atoms, or anything else, from being real.
Even if my opponent did show that gold atoms are not real, which he did not, that would not stop other things from being real, such as you or me. "I think, therefore I am."
Anyway, there is much evidence that supports gold atoms being real. We can see gold atoms. We can touch gold atoms. We can shoot gold atoms at slits. Gold atoms are affected by forces like gravity. This is all in favor of gold atoms being real. If gold atoms are real, reality exists. [In fact, if anything is real, reality exists].
Debate Round No. 1
RenegadeIconoclast

Pro

My opponent invokes the sense of touch, and cognitive ability as evidence of reality, but they are neither. Consider that humans will likely one day have the ability to stimulate nerves in such a way that it fools the brain into thinking a computer generated object is real. Would simulation itself be real?

When you, "touch," gold, to the best of our knowledge, what happens is that a force field between tiny energy balls repel your finger, keeping your finger from passing through the gold. Just ask any quantum physicist. They'd also tell you that where you perceive gold, there's actually hardly anything at all there but empty space. The minuscule amount that is, "there," is merely energy, that provably can be in two places at once, and can't even be pinned down to a location and a speed or rotation.

My opponent so far can't even define reality in any way that makes sense. If it can't be defined, then it doesn't exist. This is an obvious tautology. Quod Erat Demonstrandum.
beem0r

Con

My opponent has not bothered to define reality, either. We are therefore talking about what is 'real' as common usage would suggest.

Common usage of the word is on my side. We are real, gold is real, etc. To not be real, something must not exist. This is by default definitions - common usage - and my opponent did not give us an alternative definition.To be real simply means to exist. If my opponent thinks the common usage definition is different than that, he is free to disagree next round.

Our senses give us evidence that things around us actually exist. While we cannot philosophically prove that anything exists, I do not have to prove my position, but simply show it as likely. Everything we sense seems to indicate reality, and therefore indicate that I am correct.

Even if the world is an illusion, we exist for certain. Like I said last round, "I think, therefore I am." If we exist, then we are part of reality.

My opponent has given no evidence for reality not existing.
Debate Round No. 2
RenegadeIconoclast

Pro

If reality is an illusion, then it isn't real, again by common usage. Using dictionary.com, I looked up illusion:

2.the state or condition of being deceived; misapprehension.
3.an instance of being deceived.

In fact, I've shown that the very things my opponent calls real are illusory in nature, or deceitful in nature. Since the entire known universe is composed of these things that are fundamentally deceptive and illusory, the things made of them must also be illusory.

"Real"

1.true; not merely ostensible, nominal, or apparent: the real reason for an act.
2.existing or occurring as fact; actual rather than imaginary, ideal, or fictitious
3.being an actual thing; having objective existence; not imaginary

The things that make us up do not have objective existence, they have probabilistic existence, and are deceptive in nature. If the things that we are made of are illusory and deceptive, so are we. To argue otherwise leads to logical contradiction.
beem0r

Con

Just because something does not follow the rules of general physics does not mean that thing is an 'illusion.' How are these things deceiving us? It would be our fixed notions of how things should act that are deceiving us. That gold atom is not deceiving us. General physics is deceiving us when it says the gold atom should act like a bullet in a double slit experiment. The gold atom is still as real as ever.

The things we are made up of do have a factual existence. 'Probabalistic existence' as my opponent puts it, is still factual existence. He has not shown that these things do not exist as a matter of fact. Therefore, reality exists. The things we are made up of are not illusory or deceptive. They are not telling us any lies, they are not telling us anything. It is the view that only general physics ever applies - that is where the deception is. Probabalistic existence does not conflict with actual existence. Something can _actually_ exist probabalistically.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by JBlake 8 years ago
JBlake
Interesting debate.

My vote goes Con because he relevently brought up Descartes in this situation and Pro never attacked or mentioned the possibility that our thought is an illusion as well. This would be difficult to prove anyway. I suggest usage of more examples, some hypothetical, in this sort of argument to illuminate your point. Well done with your gold atoms example though, very interesting.

Both sides tie on all accounts except for convincing argument, which goes to Con.
Posted by beem0r 8 years ago
beem0r
1000 characters per round, ow.
Posted by LR4N6FTW4EVA 8 years ago
LR4N6FTW4EVA
Never mind. And to think, I had just come up with an adequate response. Oh well.
Posted by LR4N6FTW4EVA 8 years ago
LR4N6FTW4EVA
I may take this, but it might be in a direction you weren't intending. Think Berkeley.
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by Jamesothy 8 years ago
Jamesothy
RenegadeIconoclastbeem0rTied
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Vote Placed by Rezzealaux 8 years ago
Rezzealaux
RenegadeIconoclastbeem0rTied
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Vote Placed by sword_of_lead 8 years ago
sword_of_lead
RenegadeIconoclastbeem0rTied
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Vote Placed by burningpuppies101 8 years ago
burningpuppies101
RenegadeIconoclastbeem0rTied
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Vote Placed by TheSkeptic 8 years ago
TheSkeptic
RenegadeIconoclastbeem0rTied
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Vote Placed by JBlake 8 years ago
JBlake
RenegadeIconoclastbeem0rTied
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