The Instigator
delgadojustin2146
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
theta_pinch
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

Secular philosophies lead to nowhere

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
theta_pinch
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/21/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 800 times Debate No: 42734
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (13)
Votes (1)

 

delgadojustin2146

Pro

Every atheistic philosophy has no basis to know anything. I'd like to see if any atheist can give an account for truth.
theta_pinch

Con

Will pro please clarify what "Every atheistic philosophy has no basis to know anything" means?
Debate Round No. 1
delgadojustin2146

Pro

Sorry i should have clarified. Secular philosophies deny absolute truth so in a sense the philosophy is just their opinion of reality. They have no basis to know if that is really the way the world works since their view is subjective. Existentialism, nihilism, humanism all have no basis for providing truth they are merely preferences.
theta_pinch

Con

Pro has given three examples Existentialism, Nihilism, and humanism. I concede that both Existentialism and Nihilism do deny absolute truth and that there view is subjective so I will focus on humanism.

HUMANISM
Definition: Humanism is a movement of philosophy and ethics that emphasizes the value and agency of human beings, individually and collectively, and generally prefers individual thought and evidence over established doctrine or faith.

According to this definition the view is not subjective as it has basis in empirical evidence as it's way of knowing. While they don't have absolute "truths", with continual experiments it adjusts its view on the way the world works accordingly. Some of these "truths" such as the four fundamental forces can be considered absolute "truths." Other things may not be absolute truths as science; there main way of knowing; continually changes. However somethings aren't quite absolute truths such as all quantum mechanical systems not being observed since until something is observed it doesn't have a definite quantum state. However the general rules governing quantum mechanical systems are; as this is proved; wave function collapse; it can still be considered an absolute "truth" because we know that until it is observed there isn't a definite quantum state.

I'd also like to point out that religious philosophies absolute truths can't be proved since the are doctrine so they may not even be the "truth."





Debate Round No. 2
delgadojustin2146

Pro

I'm saying that if God were to exist he would be able to reveal things to us so that we can know them absolutely for sure since He would be the absolute standard. To even attempt to study the world rationally you would have to presuppose uniformity. I would also like to point out that empirical evidence alone does not lead to truth. Empiricism says that all knowledge is based on observation but it is self defeating since this has not been observed. You would have no reason to believe in empirical evidence. And going back to humanism i want to say that it puts man at the center of all things and states that through man come true norms and values but they have no basis for saying these are true values since there are many different values. Values become preferences rather than principles. There would be no way of knowing which values are true and which ones are not. I know that humanism focuses on compassion and service to mankind but these values would only be true by consensus. Consensus doesn't lead to truth.
theta_pinch

Con

"I'm saying that if God were to exist he would be able to reveal things to us so that we can know them absolutely for sure since He would be the absolute standard"
Here it appears con is saying that we don't know if God exists. If God doesn't exist then those religious philosophies absolute truths can't be absolute truths; invalidating religious philosophies claims of absolute truth.

"To even attempt to study the world rationally you would have to presuppose uniformity."

Everywhere we look we find the same physical laws in place so it's not just an unwarranted supposition; in fact it's much more probable to be true than most of what religious philosophies presuppose.

"I would also like to point out that empirical evidence alone does not lead to truth."
If observing an actual event does not lead to the "truth" than what does? I contend this claim is unwarranted as empirical evidence is the ultimate standard in science.

"Empiricism says that all knowledge is based on observation but it is self defeating since this has not been observed."
I'll give pro this point on the grounds that some things humans have an innate knowledge of even without observation.

"You would have no reason to believe in empirical evidence"
I'd contend that since with observation you can predict other observations ad reproduce it you do have reason to believe empirical evidence.

"And going back to humanism I want to say that it puts man at the center of all things and states that through man come true norms and values but they have no basis for saying these are true values since there are many different values. Values become preferences rather than principles. There would be no way of knowing which values are true and which ones are not. I know that humanism focuses on compassion and service to mankind but these values would only be true by consensus. Consensus doesn't lead to truth."
There have been many different religious philosophies with many different values, so values even religious ones are based on consensus within a culture.



Debate Round No. 3
delgadojustin2146

Pro

I am not saying that we don't know if God exists i'm saying that He does and to even come to this argument and try to disprove him you are actually proving Him because you cannot account for logic or meaning without Him.

Uniformity
When you look around and see these physical laws taking place it presupposes uniformity. Without uniformity in nature science would be impossible since we would have no basis to make predictions. Uniformity doesn't make sense in a secular/evolution worldview. The most you can say is that since nature was like this is the past it will be this way in the future. This is merely an assumption for the secularist. You would have no reason to rely on uniformity if not for God. It makes sense to the Christian that there is uniformity since the Bible teaches that God upholds all things by His power (Heb. 1:3). Secularists accept biblical principles such as uniformity while simultaneously denying the Bible from where those principles come from.

Empirical evidence
Yes empirical evidence does lead to some truth but only by presupposing God's existence. God alone leads to full blown truth and we are created with ways to reason and observe the world and come to conclusions. Without God empiricism would just be assuming uniformity. Secularists can know things because of God's common grace since He has given them reason but if you were to ask them how they know what they know for sure they would not be able to answer.

Consensus
Yes there have been many religions with different value systems but this claim sounds like a lack of study in this field. A careful study of religion would show that none of them make sense and Christianity is the only one that can account for truth. Christianity is not based on consensus. The moral values in Christianity are God's character and are not dependant on culture or consensus. It wouldn't matter who disagreed with God since His word is law. To try and judge His values you would either be using your own values or some from another religion/philosophy but on what grounds would you call those values true? God's values are not true because i say they are. They don't require my approval. They require complete submission to.
theta_pinch

Con

Where exactly did Pro get the idea that trying to disprove him suggests I cannot account for logic or meaning without him?

Can pro please explain why uniformity doesn't make sense in a secular worldview. Also I wouldn't quite call it an assumption because If you look anywhere in the Universe you can see the same physical laws in effect.
"You would have no reason to rely on uniformity if not for God."
Actually there is a reason. Things in nature are going to try and reach a stable state. Uniformity would be the most stable state for the universe so there is a reason.
"Yes empirical evidence does lead to some truth but only by presupposing God's existence"
Why exactly would empirical evidence require presupposing Gods existence. Empirical evidence is based on observation,which doesn't require presupposing God exists. This statement is
"if you were to ask them how they know what they know for sure they would not be able to answer."
They would say they know for sure "because we have observed it and reproduced the effects under the same conditions multiple times."
Pro needs to explain why Christianity is the only religion makes sense. Also what about all those people who'd say that their religion is the only one that makes sense.
"Christianity is not based on consensus. The moral values in Christianity are God's character and are not dependant on culture or consensus. It wouldn't matter who disagreed with God since His word is law. To try and judge His values you would either be using your own values or some from another religion/philosophy but on what grounds would you call those values true? God's values are not true because I say they are. They don't require my approval. They require complete submission to."
Wow; exactly what any Viking, Roman, Greek, or any other religion would say about there god's values.

All of pros arguments are based on the assumption that a god exists. For pros arguments to be valid pro must provide undeniable evidence of a god's existence.
Debate Round No. 4
delgadojustin2146

Pro

There is only two options, creationism or evolution. Evolution doesn't provide the preconditions for intelligibility. How do you get from random/chance to uniformity? If your brain is just random chemical reactions you have know way of knowing if anything is true for certain. How would you even know nature tries to reach a stable state? Because you see it and use your reasoning? How do you know your senses and reasoning are valid and accurate? You beg the question when you say empirical evidence doesn't require God's existence because you still presuppose uniformity which evolution cannot account for. You also beg the question when you say "because we've observed it under the same conditions multiple times" because that too presupposes uniformity. That's committing the gambler's fallacy because if evolution is only chance then even if you've seen it over and over again you still have no basis to know that it will remain that way. And logic makes no sense in evolution because if logic was just a convention and not an absolute standard then what was man's basis for logic when creating them? How would they even know what logical was? Did the universe exist and not exist at the same time before laws of logic were invented? All of your claims presuppose that your senses, memory, and reasoning are true. You can't prove autonomy or prove how reality is dependant on you. You aren't an objective standard. Everyone presupposes things but only presupposing the Christian God makes sense. Your last claim just shows lack of study on religions. Without God all of your claims are inductive and have no basis of being absolutely true. Every claim made by anyone would be relative/subjective without an objective standard of truth. Everyone knows the true God but suppresses the truth about Him because of their sin. No one can ever "figure" out truth because they would be imploring their reasoning. I am saying that truth can be revealed to us by using our reasoning so that we can know things for certain via God's common grace. I do presuppose God's existence and that is the only way i know anything for certain since my standard of truth isn't myself.
theta_pinch

Con

Pro is trying to dismiss all my arguments on the account of presuppositions for it to work. However in pros last sentence he says he is presupposing gods existence; so if pro is going to use that logic against my arguments he must also be dismissing his own at the same time! Pro says my last claim just proves a lack of study on religion when that is completely non-sector.

CONCLUSION
Pros arguments revolve around dodging questions, logical fallacies, contradictions, and the use of logic that invalidates his own arguments; because of this pro has no valid support for his arguments nor valid proof against my arguments. By dismissing my case because it requires assumptions, pro dismisses his own case which rests on much shakier assumptions.
Debate Round No. 5
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by abelsmack 3 years ago
abelsmack
Good debate. Until God is proven we should just use evidence in arguments otherwise it'll go like this: God is the truth/ No he isn't/ YES he IS. HE says so Himself. I Win!/ No you didn't.

I would also like to point out that Science IS a secular philosophy and it lead to vaccines, transplants, and life saving drugs that were tested on animals. This was achieved with the ASSUMPTION that biology only makes sense if evolution is true. The Bible was never really helpful in understanding where diseases come form.
Posted by delgadojustin2146 3 years ago
delgadojustin2146
That's the thing though. His word is law. He is the objective. His words are the objective. Nothing was before Him and nothing is greater than Him.
Posted by Jingram994 3 years ago
Jingram994
Of course; I wouldn't assume a presupposition when none is implied. I'm merely making the statement that values can only be objective through natural fact, and I assume consensus to then actually establish those values. I
f God must exist for moral values to exist, then the moral values being posited are nothing more than God's subjective values.
Posted by delgadojustin2146 3 years ago
delgadojustin2146
Presupposing God's existence doesn't mean i merely assume his existence. I am taking the position that unless you start with God you can't make sense of anything.
Posted by delgadojustin2146 3 years ago
delgadojustin2146
All those values are subjective though. How would you ever prove them to be true values? By using consensus?
Posted by Jingram994 3 years ago
Jingram994
Not every argument is circular, and most people who 'get' logic get that. For example;

1.
-Every person has their own feelings and desires, and they are more or less similar since they are based on the same brain chemistry.
-When I look inward to my own desires, I fundamentally desire to pursue happiness and avoid pain and suffering.
-Other people have these same basic desires, and these desires are valuable to them.
-With all else being equal, it is better for people to be happy than not be happy.
-Conflicts arise mainly because people's desire to be happy and avoid suffering conflict with each other. The goal of secular morality is to resolve those conflicts in the best possible way for all concerned.

2.
-All else being equal, it is wrong to needlessly inflict suffering on people.
-Except for the case of self-preservation, with all else being equal, it is best to avoid killing other people (on the assumption that they don't want to be killed).
-Actions such as slavery and rape are wrong because they excessively limit people's happiness and freedom of action.

3.
-On the whole, humans desire the following: avoidance of death and suffering, and the achievement of happiness.
-Most humans realize that these desires are easiest achieved in an environment where the infliction of death and suffering are prohibited and the pursuit of happiness is permitted.
-Most humans also realize that the mores/laws that prevent their neighbors from harming them also prohibit them from harming their neighbors.
-Thus, within the framework of this understanding lies the foundation of secular morality.

1) http://wiki.ironchariots.org...

That's just an extremely broad, generalized overview, but it's clearly not circular, and doesn't rely on subjective valuations for the most part. It only 'presupposes' basic sanity and empathy, and ability for rational thought, which all humans objectively naturally possess.
Posted by delgadojustin2146 3 years ago
delgadojustin2146
you'd have to know for sure that it gets us nowhere and then i'd question your standard of truth.
Posted by delgadojustin2146 3 years ago
delgadojustin2146
Every argument is circular. Not all are viciously circular. Everyone has presuppositions. Not all of them lead to truth.
Posted by Magic8000 3 years ago
Magic8000
We can't know that inductive reasoning is absolute. Positing God gets us no where
Posted by Magic8000 3 years ago
Magic8000
How can you claim God is truth and that you can't know truth without him objectively? You have to assume your position to make the claim. You can't show truth comes from God without rendering your argument circular or meaningless.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by janetsanders733 3 years ago
janetsanders733
delgadojustin2146theta_pinchTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: This is a really tough one for me to vote on because both had good arguments, and I agree with Pro, but I want to be fair when I vote. So I think I am going to vote Con, only because Pro needed to sort of provide justification for Christ as the only way. Other than that, the issues were laid out on the table of thought. I think Pro should have not argued Creationsim vs. Evolution, soley because that is not really the topic at hand. Debates like these are always fun, and again good job to both debaters.