The Instigator
MagicAintReal
Con (against)
Winning
4 Points
The Contender
Seismologic
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

Science Cannot Explain Happiness

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
MagicAintReal
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/6/2015 Category: Science
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 834 times Debate No: 80580
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (32)
Votes (1)

 

MagicAintReal

Con

Resolution
Science can't explain happiness.

Pro
Has 4 sets of 10,000 characters to demonstrate that happiness CANNOT be explained by science and refute Con.

Con
Has only 3 sets of 10,000 characters to demonstrate that happiness CAN be explained by science and refute Pro.

Burden of proof is shared.

*There are no round rules, including NO ACCEPTANCE ROUND...just start debating!

*Definitions can be changed in the comments section, before posting your first argument, as long as both Pro and Con agree.

Otherwise...

*Definitions below are agreed on by posting your first argument.


Definitions (from Google definitions)

science - systematic knowledge of the physical or material world gained through observation and experimentation. any of the branches of natural or physical science.

explain - make an idea clear to someone by describing it in more detail or revealing relevant facts or ideas.

happiness - the state of feeling or showing pleasure or contentment.
Seismologic

Pro

Well i hope this goes well.
i will be arguing that happiness can not be explain through science, and science along.

i want to break down the meaning or purpose of science that convince me of this thinking.
science - systematic knowledge of the
physical or material world gained through observation
and experimentation.
Systematic knowledge is a knowledge that has a fix point. meaning if a take a stick and drop it from a certain height, gravity plus the mass of the stick will let it fall to the grown. And this will be true for other things with a mass. we have a fix knowledge, we should get the same result every time.
Physical knowledge is something that we can see hear, touch, smell, taste, basically all of our human sense are involved.
And finally experimentation we know that it rely on repeatable procedure and logical analysis of the results.
i want to talk a little bit about statistic Canada.
so far all study that are conducted to get some reading of happiness are all opinions base of survey done with random volunteers. this is the once major method of getting this data, as it is being use by statistic Canada. they came out with the conclusion that Canada is the fifth happiest place in the world.
how by asking individual question related to job, school, price of products, and mostly how they feel about all of these things.
one might conclude that is an actual scientific evidence of happiness.
Remember scientific knowledge has to be a fix knowledge that is physically observable or materialistic.
so i can argue that the data gather by statistic Canada is by far bias and not an accurate representation of happiness.
why, because many things comes into play when considering what makes a person happy. the answer will vary depending on who you are asking, what time, what environment, what color are they being exposed to during this questions period. and so many other things are to be consider.
and if that is not enough. happiness does make us to react certain ways, but the same reaction can also be mistaken for other emotions. for an example, when i see green it makes me feel happy. but you can not see this, it can not be seen. even my opinion may not be as accurate when describing how i really feel about the color green. i could be lacking in verbal communication, giving you a complete inaccurate reading of me emotions when asked. today i could be feeling already happy because i just got a car an hour later, when you ask me about the same green color, i will give you another answer, because our emotion is constantly changing. this is why a scientific evidence of human emotion is unreliable and will always prove wrong. One emotion is not a fix knowledge. today i can love a girl, the next day i can hate her, a few hours after that i can love her again, and i can also do the same at once, i can love her and hate her at the same time. same is true for happiness.

happiness does not really produce material things other then a change in behaviors, happiness can only be notice base on the physical change of a person's face or actions. but the same can also be true for other emotions, like love, joy. as you can see too much happiness can even cause one to cry, an action usually associated with sadness and pain, or even that when missing someone or something.
remember the mean purpose behind experimenting?
Debate Round No. 1
MagicAintReal

Con

Thanks for accepting Pro.

I maintain that science can explain happiness.

According to an NCBI study called "The Functional Neuroanatomy of Pleasure and Happiness,"

Neurology can explain happiness "by measuring brain activity correlated to a pleasant stimulus, using human neuroimaging techniques, or electrophysiological or neurochemical activation measures in animals...a change in pleasure as a consequence of a brain manipulation such as a lesion or stimulation."
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

Furthermore, "a set of interacting brain regions commonly involved in basic psychological operations of both an emotional and non-emotional nature are active during emotion experience and perception across a range of discrete emotion categories."
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

Let me paraphrase.
We know from experimenting on human and other mammal brains, that our brains, with the help of nerve cells, produce our experience of happiness. This is easily explained by the neurosciences.

Neurology also explains, "the monoamines serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline have a great impact on mood, emotion and behavior."
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

From neurological tests performed on humans and other mammals, we know that there are four basic neurochemicals that generate happiness in humans, and it would seem in other mammals as well.
They are: endorphins, oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin.

These chemicals are exclusively used by the human brain to produce our happiness state.
Simply, happiness is explained scientifically by the brain's inner-workings.

On to Pro's arguments...

Pro makes some bald assertions:
"Systematic knowledge is a knowledge that has a fix point."

My response:
Nope.
While our systematic knowledge is concrete, it is subject to change with new, valid evidence. It is not fixed for this reason.
Though gravity seems fixed, it doesn't mean that our knowledge of it must be...new evidence changes our knowledge.

Pro brings up statistic Canada:
"so far all study that are conducted to get some reading of happiness are all opinions base of survey done with random volunteers."

My response:
Yep, that's why I provided opinion-less data on objective brain chemistry/behavior that determines happiness.

Pro claims:
"happiness does make us to react certain ways, but the same reaction can also be mistaken for other emotions. for an example, when i see green it makes me feel happy. but you can not see this, it can not be seen."

My response:
Right, but happiness's effects can be detected by neuroimaging, and this imaging directly corresponds to the production of neurochemicals, as provided in my sources.

Pro continues:
"happiness can only be notice base on the physical change of a person's face or action"

My response:
Nope.
Happiness can also be detected by brain chemicals/activity.

I don't see why the fact that emotions change keeps emotions out of the explanatory realm of science. Science explains lots of things that change, like bones growing, organisms evolving, and chemical reactions that produce changed compounds.

Pro gives an example:
"today i can love a girl, the next day i can hate her"

My response:
Today your dopamine increases, the next day your dopamine decreases...explained.

Pro asks:
"remember the [main] purpose behind experimenting?"

My response:
Yes. To develop our changing knowledge on particular subjects. We've experimented in great detail the cooperation of the human brain and the emotions we exhibit.

I reject the resolution, because neuroscience in particular can explain happiness.
Seismologic

Pro

hey. sorry i took so long. i'm so occupied with school and work barely have time for me.

Anyways, i was very interested in what you came up with. but really you jump over some major obs tickles. i took some time to go over this page you are getting your information from. i was actually hoping science have find a why to actually explain happiness.

my friend when you are reading a research paper be careful of these terms. "Likely" "Maybe" "perhaps" suggested" and many more others. they are just speculations, a theory that one might come to take seriously.

they where able to measure brain activities that light up certain area supposedly responsible for pleasure. and yes they explain a lot about the device they use to do this.

they have more speculations then facts, re-read it again.

in the end this was there conclusion which is not a speculation.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

"Surveys of happiness provide interesting indicators of mental well-being in societies, but offer little evidence of the underlying neurobiology of happiness. Supporting a hedonic approach to that question, it has been suggested that the best measure of subjective well-being may be simply to ask people how they hedonically feel right now -- again and again -- so as to track their hedonic accumulation across daily life (Kahneman, 1999). Such repeated self-reports of hedonic states could also be used to identify more stable neurobiological hedonic brain traits that dispose particular individuals toward happiness. Further, a hedonic approach might even offer a toehold into identifying eudaimonic brain signatures of happiness, due to the empirical convergence between the two categories, even if pleasant mood is only half the happiness story (Kringelbach and Berridge, 2009)."

and if you do read further on their conclusion, they never claim to have find the cause of hppiness, but that have MAYBE have find a start to the puzzle.

endorphin. it's job is to release pain, has nothing to do with happiness.
Oxycontin- various behaviors, including orgasm, social recognition, pair bonding, anxiety, and maternal behaviors.[8] As a medication, it is used to cause contraction of the uterus, which is used to start labor, increase the speed of labor, and to stop bleeding following delivery.[3]

Oxycontin has many job in the human body, it's still unclear what its primary function in the body is.

serotonin- this is not the definition but what serotonin does it is a chemical substance that is released at the end of a nerve fiber by the arrival of a nerve impulse and, by diffusing across the synapse or junction, causes the transfer of the impulse to another nerve fiber, a muscle fiber, or some other structure.
this also has very little record of being responsible for happiness.

"These chemicals are exclusively used by the human brain to produce our happiness state"
you said that very boldly, frankly these chemical have more record of other things rather then happiness, happiness is actually the less activities you will find when researching it. they do not explain happiness.

"While our systematic knowledge is concrete, it is subject to change with new, valid evidence. It is not fixed for this reason.
Though gravity seems fixed, it doesn't mean that our knowledge of it must be...new evidence changes our knowledge."

i did not claim that the knowledge in understanding is a fix point. rather the knowledge itself has to be a fix point. like gravity, you know what gravity is, everywhere in the universal you go when you encounter this gravity you will expect it to act like that of the one on earth. that is a fix knowledge, if that gravity was to behave differently from that of earth, you will not consider it to be gravity, because it does not have to same properties as the one you discover on earth. that is a systematic knowledge.

"so far all study that are conducted to get some reading of happiness are all opinions base of survey done with random volunteers."

yes even the the source you used against me prove this, they even repeated it.

"Happiness can also be detected by brain chemicals/activity"

detecting the activities of any object does not necessarily give you complete understanding of what it is or what it is doing, or even how it is doing what it's doing. you simply know that its there that is all you know.

"Today your dopamine increases, the next day your dopamine decreases...explained."

if only it was that simple, Dopamine is not responsible for love or hate. however it does have a role.

"Dopamine has a part in many important functions in the brain, playing a role in cognition, punishment, motivation, attention, mood, sleep, voluntary movement, learning and working memory"

http://psychology.about.com...

so an increase in my dopamine could mean me sleeping for 40 hours. or perhaps being very smart.

I will come back to my original respond, happiness is not yet in the understanding of science. just like how things like hope are still far ahead of science same with happiness. pro have shown us many ways to detect this activities in our brain. yes we can detect it but yet the point of this debate was to explain what these instruments are actually witnessing in our brain thorough these electric systems. we can measure how high or low base on what our instruments tells us. but we don't know the why.
Debate Round No. 2
MagicAintReal

Con

Thanks for the response Pro.

Pro tries to cite my article saying:
"so far all study that are conducted to get some reading of happiness are all opinions base of survey done with random volunteers."
About this, Pro mentioned:
"yes even the the source you used against me prove this, they even repeated it."

My response:
Pro, this is disingenuous. My article said that about previous studies in order to give reasons for why they actually took an OBJECTIVE, not SUBJECTIVE approach; they were expressing Pro's concerns about previous studies.

Directly from the article:
"The progress in affective neuroscience in recent years has been made possible by identifying objective aspects of pleasure-elicited reactions and triangulating toward underlying brain substrates...objective affective state can be measured in other animals, regardless of the availability or accuracy of corresponding subjective reports, and as such is especially tractable to neuroscience investigations that involve brain manipulations."
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

This speaks to Pro's concern about happiness surveys that "the answer will vary depending on who you are asking, what time, what environment, what color are they being exposed to during this questions period. and so many other things are to be consider."

This particular study acknowledged Pro's issues with subjective reports, and is the reason that this study used "objective aspects of pleasure-elicited reactions" rather than subjective ones.

My friend, when reading a research paper, be careful of your neglect!
Pro tried to make the point that words like "likely," "maybe," and "suggested" are somehow not explanatory. I reject that claim, and can show from the same study, words like "consistent" and "confirmed" are used anyway.

The cited article mentions data gathered from brain imaging:
"The logistic regressions speak to both consistency and specificity of increased brain activation. Consistency is observed when any variable significantly predicted increased activity in a given brain area. Specificity is observed when one variable significantly predicted increased activity in a given brain area but all others significantly predicted no increase in activity."
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

So, the study was able to significantly and repeatedly predict which emotions, including happiness, would light up specific brain regions. Even if these ideas were only "suggested," the fact that the scientists could make repeatable, accurate predictions for specific emotions and brain regions means that the hypothesis, that specific regions are associated with specific emotions, has been confirmed.

"Our logistic regressions CONFIRMED and expanded upon our density and X2 findings."
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

You can see the data yourself:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

Also, the study mentions:
"across our density analyses and logistic regressions, we found that instances of the experience of sadness and experience of happiness were each associated with relatively greater consistent increases in activation in areas of DMPFC than other emotion categories."
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

I reread the article, and I found even more instances where science, neurology in this case, explains happiness in regards to brain activity. These scientists found consistent data which confirmed their hypotheses about happiness being associated with the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex.

This data accurately shows particular brain regions responsible for particular emotions, including happiness/pleasure.
The brain along with neurochemicals can be used to make accurate predictions about happiness states.
Once we have something that is demonstrated, replicated, and used to make accurate predictions, we have CONFIRMATION.

Pro, is "confirmed" one of those words that I should be careful about when researching?

Pro continues to insinuate:
"detecting the activities of any object does not necessarily give you complete understanding of what it is or what it is doing, or even how it is doing what it's doing. you simply know that its there that is all you know."

My response:
Yeah, but if we can use the detection to make accurate predictions, then our inferences of what our brain is doing and how it's doing what it does are confirmed.

Pro says:
"the point of this debate was to explain what these instruments are actually witnessing in our brain thorough these electric systems. we can measure how high or low base on what our instruments tells us. but we don't know the why."

My response:
Why is not really a question for science, unless you're using "why" to mean "how."
"Why" implies purposiveness, and lends itself to philosophy.
This study, and our systematic knowledge, can explain HOW our brains produce happiness, and how happiness can be elicited in humans and some non-human animals.

I maintain that science can explain happiness, because the data confirms our explanations.
Seismologic

Pro

Seismologic forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
MagicAintReal

Con

Extend.
Yay science!
Seismologic

Pro

Seismologic forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
32 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by MagicAintReal 1 year ago
MagicAintReal
word...
Posted by Seismologic 1 year ago
Seismologic
when i get more free time i will re-debate this with someone.

can't really agree you yet... lol
Posted by MagicAintReal 1 year ago
MagicAintReal
Understood. But you gotta admit, it seems like science can explain happiness, no?
Posted by Seismologic 1 year ago
Seismologic
Sorry for the forfeit. That was not intentional.
Just haven't got the time.
Posted by MagicAintReal 1 year ago
MagicAintReal
Well, that's settled...good old science.
Posted by Seismologic 1 year ago
Seismologic
i kinda write this in class, sorry if there are any mistakes.

and yeah lets stay positive and while making each other sound stupid or smarter.

have fun (:"
Posted by MagicAintReal 1 year ago
MagicAintReal
Do you know what irrelevant means?
Posted by Yonko 1 year ago
Yonko
Do you even know what "first-person experience" means?
Posted by MagicAintReal 1 year ago
MagicAintReal
Oh geez...good thing...come on.
Posted by Yonko 1 year ago
Yonko
Good thing that you didn't pick me as your opponent. You would have gotten absolutely destroyed if *that* was your rebuttal. It completely misses the point.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Balacafa 1 year ago
Balacafa
MagicAintRealSeismologicTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Con refuted Pro's arguments and these rebuttals were left uncontested with due to multiple forfeitures by Pro. Since they could not contest with these rebuttals Con wins the argument points and the conduct point due to the forfeitures by Pro.