The Instigator
Truth_seeker
Pro (for)
Losing
1 Points
The Contender
SocialistAtheistNutjob
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

Skepticism is bullcrap

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
SocialistAtheistNutjob
Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/7/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 617 times Debate No: 60155
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (0)
Votes (1)

 

Truth_seeker

Pro

I argue that skeptical claims that "nothing is certain " and that we should go by would most likely happens is impractical and unscientific.

first round acceptance
SocialistAtheistNutjob

Con

Definitions:

Skeptical: Having or expressing doubt about something (such as a claim or statement) http://www.merriam-webster.com...

I will argue that skepticism is necessary for the scientific method.

Pro has burden of proof to show that being skeptical and believing in the most likely scenario is impractical and unscientific.
Debate Round No. 1
Truth_seeker

Pro

one of the claims of skepticism is that our senses are unreliable to the point where we cannot be guaranteed the truth, however this is a complete contradiction. It is only applied to people who claim to see ghosts, aliens, etc. But when it comes to a human being or a scientific observation, it then becomes reliable.

Next point is that anything outside of your mind is uncertain (like senses) of existing or being. Again, this is contradicting because in order for you to realize you have a mind is to rely on your senses.

Another claim is that there are degrees of certainty and no absolute truth. It makes no sense for there to be 90% certain of something when classical physics, either you are certain or your not.

finally, there are many claims that we can dismiss claims of aliens, etc. by simply going with what is most likely to happen. The reasoning is that because we have never seen aliens, there's more reason to doubt their existence. The same logic is used on God. This fails because in science, it is very dangerous to base it on what you think is the most likely explanation.for example, it would be entirely ignorant and ridiculous for someone to claim that most scholars conclude the Bible is mythical when the according to statistics, this is completely wrong. many skeptics lack expertise when trying to find explanations to phenomenon. it then becomes impractical for us to even use this kind of skepticism. It's all based on what you feel is "Most likely or least likely to happen " unless you have strict mathematical principles to aid you.
SocialistAtheistNutjob

Con

I'd like to see sources for these claims that Pro is bringing up. “That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.” -Christopher Hitchens

People who read my debates probably notice that I use that quote a lot. I use the quote a lot because a surprising amount of people are willing to make claims and not back them up with real evidence.

The use of phrases like "one of the claims of" or "next point is that" or "there are many claims" is something that Fox News is very good at. (https://www.youtube.com...). Fox News anchors use the term "some people say" to insert their own opinions, or to make up an undefined number of people so it sounds like people actually think a certain way. All it is is propaganda.

Don't be like Fox News. I've never seen Pro in action but I'm sure he is an intelligent guy when he puts all of his effort into a debate. I hope that he doesn't prove me wrong in that respect.

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Onto my points:

Skepticism is extremely important. Can you imagine what would happen if everybody believed absolutely everything they heard? The world would be in utter chaos.

"It's very dangerous to base it on what you think is the most likely explanation."

So what are we supposed to do, never have any opinions on anything ever? Just because there's not a 100% chance of us being right?

Definition of Scientific theory: A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that is acquired through the scientific method, and repeatedly confirmed through observation and experimentation. (http://en.wikipedia.org...).

One of the key principles of science is understanding that we cannot know everything. This is why we use the term theory most of the time instead of law. A theory usually means that we can be 99.9999999999999999999999999% sure of something, but we can't know that we won't discover a better explanation in a few thousand years. We need to stay skeptical for this very reason. If Copernicus (and all other astronomers) had just decided that they were content with the notion that everything in the universe revolved around the earth, modern physics would not be where it is today.

We need to always be skeptical. That's how we get better.

"Many skeptics lack expertise when trying to find explanations to phenomenon."

No kidding.

Definition of phenomenon: something (such as an interesting fact or event) that can be observed and studied and that typically is unusual or difficult to understand or explain fully. (http://www.merriam-webster.com...).

They have trouble trying to find explanations to phenomenon because there isn't one yet. It needs more observation, more tests, more analysis, more skepticism, and then it won't be a phenomenon anymore.

I don't understand what Pro thinks is so bad about skepticism. Skepticism is the reason that we make sure we can duplicate scientific results multiple times before publishing them. It's why we now that evolution is true, and seven day creationism is not. It's how you make sure that you're ready for an English test. If you're not skeptical of your knowledge, you will ultimately fail at everything.

"unless you have strict mathematical principles to aid you."

Strict mathematical principles would not exist if it weren't for skepticism. We're constantly trying to find holes in everything we deem to be true or else there's no way of proving it's validity.

I'm going to ignore the reference to god because it is unnecessary and probably there to bait me into getting distracted.

Just FYI, nobody thinks the bible is mythical. They believe the claims inside are mythical, but the bible obviously exists.

In summary, we need to be skeptical about everything. For if you do not question everyting, you will be led astray from the truth. The truth shows itself to skeptics because they are the ones that search. If a statement is made that is not totally proven, people will attack it until they find a weak point.

I expect Pro to clarify his argument because as of now I don't know why he is against skepticism. It seems like he is against science trying to disprove his religion, not skepticism itself.
Debate Round No. 2
Truth_seeker

Pro

"I'd like to see sources for these claims that Pro is bringing up"

I got it from wiki (1) and from this site (2).

"Skepticism is extremely important. Can you imagine what would happen if everybody believed absolutely everything they heard? The world would be in utter chaos. "

While you shouldn't believe everything you hear, you shouldn't go to great lengths to doubt everything either.

"So what are we supposed to do, never have any opinions on anything ever? Just because there's not a 100% chance of us being right?"

An opinion is different from scientific fact and a philosophical argument. I'm saying that you should never over-generalize your claims especially when you've never did your research.

"One of the key principles of science is understanding that we cannot know everything"

Wrong that's the claim of skepticism. In science, you are only concerned with what you do know. Science is the systematic approach to what is testable and observable in the universe (3).

" This is why we use the term theory most of the time instead of law. A theory usually means that we can be 99.9999999999999999999999999% sure of something, but we can't know that we won't discover a better explanation in a few thousand years. We need to stay skeptical for this very reason. If Copernicus (and all other astronomers) had just decided that they were content with the notion that everything in the universe revolved around the earth, modern physics would not be where it is today. "

I refute this by saying that skepticism goes further to say that everything (even those things beyond the reaches of science) is not certain, however this is uttering an absolute certainty. Now you can defend this claim and say "Well this is a linguistic construct.." the problem is that your introducing a claim on absolute truth and applying it to everything. Can we test to see if nothing is certain? We can't, we just have to accept it or deny it. I think it is also self-defeating since your supposed to question "everything", you would also have to question the validity of that statement, rendering skepticism useless.

"I don't understand what Pro thinks is so bad about skepticism. Skepticism is the reason that we make sure we can duplicate scientific results multiple times before publishing them. It's why we now that evolution is true, and seven day creationism is not. It's how you make sure that you're ready for an English test. If you're not skeptical of your knowledge, you will ultimately fail at everything. "

We know evolution is true not by doubt, but by actively making observations and testing our models of how the world works. Logically, you need to establish truth in order to also suspect falsehood in a claim, but you would do so much better in creating a scientific theory to progressively gain knowledge rather than questioning pseudoscience based on what is already known. You would not be able to use evolution in your arguments if scientists didn't assume and have some level of trust in their observations.

"I expect Pro to clarify his argument because as of now I don't know why he is against skepticism. It seems like he is against science trying to disprove his religion, not skepticism itself."

I'm not necessarily speaking about religion, i'm also talking about the method itself when concerning questioning phenomenon such as u.f.o sightings, superhuman feats, etc.

Sources:

1. http://en.wikipedia.org...

2. http://www.importanceofphilosophy.com...

3. http://en.wikipedia.org...
SocialistAtheistNutjob

Con

SocialistAtheistNutjob forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Truth_seeker

Pro

Before i give it back to my opponent, i would also like to point out that with claims of miracles, you cannot fully use "skepticism" to prove them to be false. Natural "laws" do not forbid the supernatural, therefore the skeptic cannot do anything to defend his position. If a miracle has been brought in and it cannot be explained by science, the skeptic loses.

I wait for my opponent's rebuttals.
SocialistAtheistNutjob

Con

SocialistAtheistNutjob forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
Truth_seeker

Pro

I rest my case
SocialistAtheistNutjob

Con

SocialistAtheistNutjob forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
Truth_seekerSocialistAtheistNutjobTied
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct, obviously, to Pro for Con's forfeits. As to arguments, though, Pro never really gave justification why skepticism was "bullcrap". He argued against going with that which we think to be most likely true--that's a pretty darn tough row to hoe, and I just don't think he fulfilled his BoP in this sense. He wanted argue against skepticism's use in regards to religion, it's clear, but he never really supported that skepticism itself was "bullcrap", nor did he give a reason that rebuts Con's point about believing things without evidence.