The Instigator
Surrealism
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Purple_Potato
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

The SN 1006 Supernova is the cause of World War II

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/16/2015 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 523 times Debate No: 73614
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (0)

 

Surrealism

Pro

I am arguing for the statement that the SN 1006 supernova is the cause of World War Two.


DEFINITIONS:


SN 1006 supernova: The supernova that occurred in the constellation of Lupus and was recorded in the year 1006.

World War Two: The war occurring between 1939-45 between the US, UK, France, the Soviet Union, and Germany, Italy, Japan, as well as other minor powers.

Cause: Event A causes Event B if the existence/occurrence of Event A mandates the existence/occurrence of Event B.
Purple_Potato

Con

I accept, good luck to pro.
Debate Round No. 1
Surrealism

Pro

Here is my short and simple argument.



Premise One: A timeline is an ordered sequence of events.

Premise Two: Any event occurring on a timeline mandates the occurrence of the immediately subsequent event.

Premise Three: Any event occurring on a timeline mandates the occurrence of all subsequent events.

Premise Four: Any event occurring on a timeline is the cause of all subsequent events. (Premise Three, definition of cause)

Premise Five: The SN 1006 supernova occurred before World War Two.

Conclusion: The SN 1006 supernova caused World War Two. (Premise Four, Premise Five)


JUSTIFICATIONS:


Premise One:

This is essentially how a timeline is defined. As far as structural models of the progression of time go, this is as best as we can come up with. Time is made up of events occurring, and so this is the best way to define it. In addition, the order of events is important, as time is directional (this is shown to be true be properties such as entropy).

Premise Two:

Also part of the definition of a timeline. Time cannot progress if events do not trigger subsequent events. The only way to argue against this is to posit Parmenidean Monism (the idea that all time is one and does not change). A quick rebuttal of PM is that while solipsistic barriers dictate that we can never know whether or not physical reality changes, what we can know is our own experience, which is always changing. Even if physical reality is static, our experiences do change.

Premise Three:

This follows naturally. If the first event occurs, it triggers the occurrence of the second event by definition. The second event thusly triggers the third, etc. as a domino effect sweeps through the timeline.

Premise Four:

We're just matching this up to our definition of cause now. We've already proved that the occurrence of any event mandates the occurrence of all subsequent events, so by definition it causes all subsequent events.

Premise Five:

This is historical fact. The supernova was observed in 1006 CE, but due to light travel delays, it most likely occurred much earlier in the past than that. WWII on the other hand, began in 1939, over 900 years after the observation of the supernova.

Conclusion:

Follows from the premises.


With that I hand it over to Con.
Purple_Potato

Con

Pro's argument is largely sound, but Pro's assumptions contain a grave error that invalidates his conclusion.

Premise Three: Any event occurring on a timeline mandates the occurrence of the immediately subsequent event.

This is not true.
True: being in accordance with the actual state or conditions; conforming to reality or fact; not false
Some events have no impact on subsequent events, such as the death of a cow in Vietnam and what a German man chooses to eat for dinner five minutes later. The death of the Vietnamese cow may precede the German man choosing to eat a turkey sandwich by five minutes, but the cow's death does not mandate the occurrence of the German man choosing to eat a turkey sandwich. Whether the Vietnamese cow dies or not, the German man will choose the turkey sandwich. Therefore, not all events occurring on a timeline mandate the occurrence of all subsequent events, so not all events on a timeline cause all subsequent events.

I have proven above that not all events on a timeline mandate the following events. Unless Pro is able to explain the series of events caused by the SN 1006 supernova that caused the second world war, there is no reason to believe that the SN 1006 supernova is the cause of World War Two. If Pro is unable to explain how the supernova caused World War Two, it has no more causation of World War Two than the death of the Vietnamese cow to the German man's dinner choice.
Debate Round No. 2
Surrealism

Pro

Defense of Third Premise

My opponent has only argued against my third premise, which I already explained as following naturally from the second. I will elaborate on this and my opponent's argument.

I will build timeline structures of the following form:

1. A -> B denotes that B is immediately subsequent of A.

2. A -> B -> C -> D denotes a chain of subsequent events.

3. A ->> D denotes that D is subsequent at some point from A.

Imagine the following timeline.

A -> B -> C -> D -> E -> F -> G...

We can conclude by definition, that the following is true:

(xy)(x->y⇒[x≡y])

This is true merely by our definition of timelines (y follows from x because of the definition of timelines, and x follows from y because at some point x must have occurred in order for y to occur), and so it necessarily is the case that any event mandates the occurrence of, or causes, the occurrence of the immediately subsequent event.

We can then add on to this.

(xyz)(x->y->z⇒[(x≡y)&(y≡z)])

By conditional syllogism, this naturally follows:

(xyz)(x->y->z⇒[x≡z])

Thusly, it is demonstrated that an event causes the event subsequent to the event subsequent to it. We can continue adding on events in this chain all day, until it finally becomes generalized into this:

(xy)(x->>y⇒[x≡y])

Although there isn't a logical syllogism for infinite chains, it's fairly clear to see that this pattern would continue for any number of iterations.

There you have it: logical proof that any event causes all subsequent events.

Heuristic Application

The example given by opponent is "the death of a cow in Vietnam and what a German man chooses to eat for dinner five minutes later."

My opponent then goes on to say that "the cow's death does not mandate the occurrence of the German man choosing to eat a turkey sandwich. Whether the Vietnamese cow dies or not, the German man will choose the turkey sandwich. " .

They do not even attempt to justify this, instead making an argument from incredulity, in effect claiming that it just feels like the death of the cow has nothing to do with the decision made by the man. Looking at the syllogism I provided earlier, here is the explanation for this particular example.

The timeline given by opponent has this property:

D->>S

Where D is the death of the Vietnamese cow and S is the German man choosing the turkey sandwich.

I could simply say that my derived axiom proves that D≡S, but that would be lazy. So here is a more informal explanation.

As I stated before, the timeline by definition has these two events ordered in this way. That means that in order for the event immediately subsequent of the death of the Vietnamese cow to occur, the death of the Vietnamese cow must occur. My opponent asks the hypothetical "What would happen if the death didn't occur?" in the hopes that the answer will not change the dinner decision, and thus prove my third premise false.

Regarding D not happening, there are two possibilities here for why this would be:


A: The timeline given by my opponent is still correct, but event D is simply not occurring.

B: This is a different timeline in which D is not on the timeline.


If A is true, then that means time has stopped. That is the only way an event on the timeline wouldn't occur. This naturally means that events after D would also not happen, including of course S. So yes, the cow not dying would prevent the German man's decision.

If B is true, then my opponent's example makes no sense and is completely irrelevant because these are two different timelines, and a difference in one has no bearing on the other.


Once again I hand it over to Con.
Purple_Potato

Con

The Third Premise

As I explained at the beginning of my previous argument, rejecting the third premise invalidates Pro's conclusion. Whether the third premise follows naturally from the second is irrelevant.

Pro bases his (my apologies if you are not a male) argument on his own reasoning, as opposed to evidence. Pro ultimately lacks any actual evidence or empirical arguments. In lieu of empirical evidence, Pro insists on attempting to overwhelm voters with quantum physics and imaginary concepts, and has yet to do anything but dance around the original topic. The "conditional syllogism" that Pro's reasoning relies on is a method commonly used by advertisers to spread a misconception without lying outright. Pro's reasoning holds no truth, only ideas and assumptions.
http://changingminds.org...

The Cow and Turkey Sandwich example

Pro states "They do not even attempt to justify this, instead making an argument from incredulity, in effect claiming that it just feels like the death of the cow has nothing to do with the decision made by the man". Pro attacks my example because it doesn't abide by his equation. Folks, I implore you to use common sense to determine whether the death of the Indian cow would truly determine what the German man would choose for dinner. Pro's impractical quantum physics equations provide absolutely no empirical evidence, and hold no value in this debate. However, I will play Pro's game of imaginary concepts.

According to Pro's argument, It can be argued that the actual cause of World War Two is the battle of Carrhae. The battle of Carrhae occurred in the year 52 BC. Pro states that "Any event occurring on a timeline is the cause of all subsequent events". Because the battle of Carrhae occurred before the Second World War, the battle of Carrhae caused World War Two. Since Pro claims that the SN 1006 supernova is THE cause of World War Two, it is reasonable to conclude that Pro's claim contains only the SN 1006 supernova to be the cause. I have established that the battle of Carrhae is the cause of World War Two. Therefore, according to Pro's argument, the SN 1006 supernova is not THE cause of World War Two.

Back to you, Pro.
Debate Round No. 3
Surrealism

Pro

Misconceptions

One: Quantum physics equations? No, it's called Predicate Logic and it's a system of formal logic. I could have used Sentential Logic but I felt that Predicate worked better for the example I was showing. In any case, a conditional syllogism of the form I was using is merely a form of deductive logic. It denotes a flowing over of two conditional statements by adjoining them into one. It generally takes the form "if A then B, if B then C, therefore if A then C". Whether or not advertisers use this is completely irrelevent and is a genetic fallacy. The validity of a logical principle is not dependant upon who uses it.

Two: Timelines may a concept, but they are an excellent model for historical processes and the progression of time in general because our perceptions of time tend to be linear. If my opponent has a better way of modelling time than as an ordered sequence of events in which the occurrence of one triggers the occurrence of the next, then I'm all ears.

The Cow and Turkey Sandwich Example

Actually, I merely stated that your example does not serve to invalidate my point. Point of fact, my demonstration that this is an argument from incredulity was not my primary argument against this example.

Your main argument with the example is that we can imagine a timeline in which at one point a cow dies and at another point a man decides to eat a sandwich, and that we can also imagine a timeline in which the cow does not die but the man still decides to eat the sandwich at the same time, and so therefore the death of the cow did not mandate the man's decision.

Since my original rebuttal seemed to fly over my opponent's head, I'll provide a new one. Imagine a scenario in which two men are pointing guns at a third man. If the first man shoots, the third man will die. If the second man shoots, the third man will die. Now imagine that we know for a fact that in minutes, the second man will shoot. Suppose that five minutes later, the first man does not shoot but the third man still dies. Would you conclude that if the first man had shot but the second man hadn't, nothing would have happend to the third man? Of course not. That would be making the fallacy of denying the antecedent.

This scenario is analogous to my opponent's scenario in that in both cases, the erroneous conclusion is that because we can imagine a world in which one event happens and a second one happens later but also a world in which the first event doesn't happen but the second one does, that it follows that the first event's occurrence would not mandate the ocurrence of the second. This of course ignores the phenomena outside of these two events. In the case of my opponent's example, the outside phenomenon is the fact that time is moving forward, ultimately actualizing the decision of the man to eat the sandwich. Every event that ever occurs moves time forward, and the death of the cow is no exception.

In addition, my opponent's plea to common sense is merely a dressing up of "use your intuition" which is a terrible guide to good conclusions.

Alternate Causes

This is mostly a semantics word game. In actuality, no event ever has only one cause and so it would be silly to conclude that I literally mean that the SN-1006 supernova is the only cause of World War II. This would akin to interpreting "apples are red" as "all apples are red". It's an absurd absolute. However, even accepting my opponent's ridiculous interpretation of the resolution, I can still argue that the Battle of Carrhae only caused World War II through the SN-1006 supernova. After all, causes themselves do have causes, and the SN-1006 supernova is really just a part of how time itself causes all events, and all events are part of time.

This objection is insubstantial and ignores the fact that events can have multiple causes.

Summary

Vote for me because:

1. I made logical arguments that follow the premise-conclusion format and are both valid and have true premises

2. The progression of time causes all events, and all events cause the progression of time, therefore any event causes any subsequent event

Do not vote for my opponent because:

1. They dropped most of my argument and missed the point of it entirely

2. All of their rebuttals were based on fallacies
Purple_Potato

Con

Purple_Potato forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Surrealism 1 year ago
Surrealism
A real shame I couldn't get a full debate.
No votes have been placed for this debate.