The Instigator
Burncastle
Pro (for)
Losing
5 Points
The Contender
Kleptin
Con (against)
Winning
11 Points

The belief in (Christian) Heaven is both unscientific and unreasonable

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Kleptin
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/23/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,752 times Debate No: 49726
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (33)
Votes (4)

 

Burncastle

Pro

Firs round is for acceptance. Good luck.
Kleptin

Con

I accept this debate.

If my opponent posts his first round, then he agrees to the following conditions/definitions:

1. Christian: Relating to Christianity in any of its denominations
2. Scientific: Regulated by or conforming to the principles of exact science: scientific procedures.
3. Reasonable: Being in accordance with reason

I also request that my opponent respect the beliefs and values behind my argument, that only my arguments will be called into question, not my morals, that there will be no restrictions or addendums added to this debate in further rounds, that there will be no change in definitions, the resolution, or anything as such in later rounds, that I be allowed to debate freely in any manner I choose, as long as I stay within the confines of the resolution at the top of this page and the definitions of Round 1. I will extend the same courtesy to my opponent.

Thank you, I look forward to a stimulating debate.
Debate Round No. 1
Burncastle

Pro

I would like to start by saying that I agree with my opponent's definition of the terms Christian, Scientific and Reasonable and thus I will argue in accordance with them. I will also agree that it would be preferable to keep this discussion solely focused on the actual arguments rather than on the other person's moral or other otherwise unrelated characteristics and I will therefore do my best to argue in that fashion. I would like to add that this debate is not about the morality of a belief in Heaven, nor about the potential comfort that it can bring people, nor on the value of faith.

Given my opponent's definition of science, we can safely assert that an unscientific conclusion (which most likely results in an unscientific belief) is the result of a process that is not based on the scientific method (or, in my opponent's words, on scientific procedures). In a similar manner, we can conclude that an unreasonable belief is a belief that is held despite being opposed to reason.

Now, the position that I am advocating is that the belief in a Christian Heaven is both unscientific and unreasonable. I will begin with the scientific part.

The scientific method, as it is most widely used, is relatively simple:

1- You start by observing a phenomenon
2- You formulate a hypothesis to try to explain this phenomenon
3- You then test your hypothesis to see if it is valid. Validating an hypothesis is mainly done through repeated attempts at disproving it; the more attempts it survives, the better accepted it becomes.
4- If your hypothesis fails to be validated, it must be modified to conform to the facts.

A well accepted hypothesis eventually graduates to become a theory, which is the highest it can get in terms of reliability. To be accepted, a theory must be able to produce accurate predictions (the nature of which will change depending on the field of inquiry) and it must also be falsifiable in order to be scientific. Contrary to popular belief, the only thing that science considers to be fact is the observed phenomenon, not the theory itself.

(I will continue my argument assuming that my opponent accepts this definition of the scientific method. Should it not be case, I would like him to present his own definition and will then proceed to assess it.)

Based on this definition, the belief in a Christian Heaven is unscientific from the start because it is not based on observable facts, but rather on the fear of death and on the desire for eternal life. It does not try to explain anything nor does it try to produce any sort of predictions. There are no evidence to support the fact that such a place exists and no evidence to support the fact that our mind (you may call it a soul or a spirit if you want) can live beyond our brain. As far as we can tell, minds are only a product of electrochemical reactions that happen in our brain. I would like to clarify the phrase 'As far as we can tell', because my opponent may jump on it and accuse me of using an argument from ignorance. The reason why I used this particular phrasing is because I wanted to distinguish a scientific assessment from an absolute truth, which can only be found in mathematics. Science does not deal in absolute truths, it only deals with what can be observed in reality; our observations could be wrong, but as long as we do not have evidence that it is, with must be pragmatic and take them for what they are (I do hope that I will not have to address the problem of hard solipsism).

The belief in Heaven is also unscientific on the basis that it can not be falsified. As it was discussed in the comment section, Heaven, if such a place exists, would theoretically be outside of the natural world and therefore can not be assessed by science and so can not be falsified as a hypothesis. This is important because my opponent may try to argue that the belief in Heaven is 'ascientific' rather than unscientific, meaning that it is outside of the domain of science and therefore can not be properly analyzed by it. To this I would answer that being outside of the natural world is precisely what makes it unscientific, since that makes it impossible for us to observe it. I would even go further and add that there is no such thing as an 'ascientific' belief and that beliefs are all either scientific or unscientific since they all either conform to the scientific method or they don't.

I will now argue why I believe that the belief in a Christian Heaven is unreasonable.

As I mentioned earlier, an unreasonable belief is one that is held against reason. According to the International Journal of Philosophical Studies, reason is the process by which we make sense of things, mostly by using logic, and is used to establish and verify facts. Therefore, for a belief to be unreasonable, it would need to go against logic and facts.

This part of my argument will be significantly shorter: A belief in a Christian Heaven is unreasonable precisely BECAUSE it is unscientific. Now, one could argue that science is not necessarily the most reasonable way to evaluate reality, but I would postulate that it is indeed the most (and perhaps only) reasonable way to evaluate reality, since it is based on facts and that we can not judge reality based on anything other than observable facts. I will concede that the belief in Heaven is not downright illogical in the sense that it does not actually go against the three laws of logic, but I would point out that believing something without any evidence and only because it hasn't been PROVED false is a very bad way to gather knowledge, since you will undoubtedly believe things that are false and may even end up believing things that are contradictory (which IS illogical).

I am now eager to hear (read) my opponent's arguments. This will be especially interesting because, judging by his profile, my opponent seems to be an agnostic, meaning that he probably won't argue that Heaven is a scientifically proved concept. But then again his profile also says that he is 104 years old, so who knows! (This is purely comedy, I obviously do not mean to say that my opponent is a liar.)
Kleptin

Con

I thank my opponent for his first round argument, but I need to point out that I absolutely reject the additional restrictions he attempted to place on my argument. I request that he abide by Round 1 and not force additional specifications and restrictions on me for the rest of the debate or I shall ask for the conduct point.

***

Audience, my opponent makes an impassioned argument involving a detailed explanation of the scientific process, the mechanisms by which we derive scientific fact, and the importance of falsifiability. However good of a job he did in presenting this though, he has actually done his argument a great disservice by coming to the conclusion that what is unscientific is necessarily unreasonable using an argument that is logically fallacious.

Examine:

"1. Reason is the process by which we make sense of things, mostly by using logic
2. Reason is used to establish and verify facts.
3. Therefore, for a belief to be unreasonable, it would need to go against logic and facts."

This argument fails in two spots.

Examine Point 1: My opponent defines reason as " the process by which we make sense of things" and that the use of logic makes up the majority of reason, but does not state that it is the ONLY way we reason. Unless he states or proves that logic is the only way by which we can reason, he cannot say that something that goes against logic NECESSARILY voids reason. This represents a non sequitor fallacy along with a fallacy of composition.

Examine Point 2: Reason is a tool used to establish and verify facts, but why would my opponent conclude that something that goes against facts is necessarily unreasonable? This is an example of a propositional fallacy known as "denying the antecedent". Reason can verify facts, but something that is not factual is not necessarily unreasonable.

This does not show that my opponent is wrong, audience, but merely that his attempt to equate Science and Reason is completely fallacious. We cannot simply take his word for it that the two are one and the same through this half-logic, so we must treat them as two separate things unless he provides a much, MUCH stronger syllogism.

That having been said, let me make my argument.

***

Whether or not the belief in something is SCIENTIFIC is likely dependent on whether or not that something is scientific. However, even when we say that something is unreasonable (absurd, impractical, impossible), the *belief* in that thing can be quite reasonable.

My opponent has admitted himself that heaven is not an illogical concept, and in truth, neither is the belief in heaven. This debate is about whether or not the belief in a Christian heaven is unscientific and/or unreasonable, and this is why I rejected my opponent's proposed additional restrictions. The very reasons *why* people hold the belief in heaven are absolutely crucial to answering the question in the resolution.

Please see the following source:

http://anthropology-world.blogspot.com...

Anthropology, the scientific study of human culture, shows us that the belief in an afterlife itself is extremely reasonable due to the daunting, perpetual reminder that all humans will eventually die. The fear and uncertainty associated with death have led to countless afterlife beliefs and in turn, countless religious doctrines spanning hundreds of cultures worldwide and giving people meaning to their lives.

The Egyptians, who believed that the afterlife represented "the beginning of a fascinating journey" spent large portions of their lives preparing for that journey, eventually developing a lifestyle, a culture, and an entire civilization revolving around that cultural belief. It seems absurd to judge their beliefs as "unreasonable" simply by harping on questioning whether it is "scientific" or "logical". These thing have nothing to do with whether or not the belief is reasonable. The belief is reasonable because it spawned from a reasonable fear of death.

The article also discusses the evolution of Hebrew afterlife beliefs that eventually gave rise to the early concepts of Heaven and Hell. The notions of people being rewarded or punished in the afterlife are completely reasonable when we take into account Psychology, Anthropology, Theology, and Sociology: Humans fear death, humans believe firmly in justice even for those who have died.

How then can my opponent claim that the belief in a Christian heaven is unreasonable? On what basis and on what grounds? The belief in a heaven has a clear and direct evolution from human nature, from our fears, hopes, aspirations, from our curiosity. The belief in an afterlife is ingrained in our very humanity, and if my opponent defines reason as "the process by which we make sense of things", who is he to declare that people are unreasonable for embracing religion, or specifically Christianity and all its religious tenets, as their way of making sense of this chaotic and oftentimes terrifying thing we call life?

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 2
Burncastle

Pro

*For clarity, when my opponent says that he rejects the additional restrictions that I placed on his argument, I will assume that he refers to 'I would like to add that this debate is not about the morality of a belief in Heaven, nor about the potential comfort that it can bring people, nor on the value of faith.'

The first part of my opponent's argument consists in trying to explain why my argument is supposedly fallacious, and he does so by presenting two points, which I will address in the same order that he did:

Point 1: His first point is basically that if I can not prove that logic is the only way to reason, then I can not say that something that goes against logic is necessarily unreasonable. But this statement is fundamentally flawed because he is basically asking me to prove that the definition of reason is correct, which is nonsensical; definitions are necessarily correct. (I take my definition of reason from the International Journal of Philosophical Studies, but probably any definition you will find will go in the same sense). My opponent seems to think that logic and reason are on the same level, but they are not; logic is a subset of reason; when you use logic, you are, by definition, reasoning. Reason is in fact the process by which we apply logic.

Point 2: His second point is flawed in the same way that his first point was; he is asking me to prove that something that isn't in accordance with the facts is unreasonable, when that is the very definition of reason. Now my opponent could reject the definition of reason, but that would make this debate very hard to continue, UNLESS he can provide me with an alternate definition that is equally accepted, in which case I will try to argue in accordance with it.

Now on to his own arguments. As far as I can see, my opponent seems to agree with me on the issue that the belief in a Christian Heaven is indeed unscientific, so I will concentrate on the second issue.

He starts by saying that the belief in something that is impossible or absurd can be reasonable, which is something I find quite peculiar since they are mutually exclusive, precisely because reason is based on facts (and an impossible fact is an oxymoron). My opponent then goes on to explain how the concept of an afterlife as always been present in the history of humankind, which is something I would tend to agree with, and explains how 'The belief is reasonable because it spawned from a reasonable fear of death.'. Although i will concede that the fear of death is reasonable in itself (because it is based on the fact of death), I fail to see how hoping that something will prevent death from happening can be considered reasonable. My opponent seems to be confusing the terms 'reasonable belief' with 'justified hopes', which are very distinct things. It's a bit like saying 'I WISH the Montreal Canadians would win the Stanley Cup therefore I BELIEVE that they will win the Stanley Cup'.

My opponent asks 'How then can my opponent claim that the belief in a Christian heaven is unreasonable? On what basis and on what grounds?' I claim that the belief in a Christian Heaven is unreasonable based on the fact that it does not meet the criteria of a reasonable belief. The fact that it seems to be ingrained in our humanity (which is not true for everyone) could explain why so many people believe in it, but does not say anything about whether or not it is a reasonable belief.
Kleptin

Con

Thank you.

Audience, I regret to inform you that this debate has not proceeded in an optimal fashion. Regretfully, we have degenerated into a semantic argument and my opponent has made this debate very difficult to finish in a proper manner by deliberately changing definitions in the last round before conclusions.

My opponent has, in his second round, provided a definition for "reason":

"According to the International Journal of Philosophical Studies, reason is the process by which we make sense of things, mostly by using logic"

This is the definition he has used to construct his entire response, as well as two logical arguments that he bases his entire response on.

In my response, I dismantle his argument by showing how they are *clearly* and *indisputably* fallacious.

Instead of contesting or defending his arguments, he simply redefines the definition of "reason" that he provided

"Reason is in fact the process by which we apply logic."

This is *VASTLY* different from the definition that he provided.

He then accuses me of giving him an absurd task:

" he is basically asking me to prove that the definition of reason is correct, which is nonsensical; definitions are necessarily correct"

Which is a straw man fallacy, a deliberate misinterpretation of my argument in order to claim that my rebuttal is irrational.

I am not forcing him to prove that his definition of reason is correct, I have conclusively proven that the ARGUMENT he gave, based on the definition HE CHOSE for the word "reason" makes absolutely no sense.

He then has the audacity to state the following:

"UNLESS he can provide me with an alternate definition that is equally accepted, in which case I will try to argue in accordance with it."

This is absolutely ridiculous. My opponent cannot make 2 arguments based on a definition he chooses, then change the definition when he gets proven wrong, accuse me of giving him an impossible task, then tell me to provide a new definition for the very word he already defined.

This is the second time that my opponent has violated the rules of Round 1 since he is now changing the definition that I allowed him to provide simply to take the easy way out of defending his arguments. As such, I will not be responding to my opponent's responses to this section since I consider the arguments he provided thoroughly debunked based on the first definition he provided.

***

I want to remind my opponent and the audience before I respond to his final argument that based on an established rule in the comments, Round 4 will *only* be for conclusions and the restatement of previous arguments, and as such, no new arguments or rebuttals should therefore be made.

Counterpoints:

My opponent tries to answer my question "How then can my opponent claim that the belief in a Christian heaven is unreasonable? On what basis and on what grounds?" with: "I claim that the belief in a Christian Heaven is unreasonable based on the fact that it does not meet the criteria of a reasonable belief"

To that, I ask "What constitutes a reasonable belief?"

My opponent continues to redefine "reason" however he sees fit, despite defining it in Round 2. This time, he states that reason is based on facts, and that if it contradicts fact, it cannot be reasonable. My opponent argues that the Christian Heaven cannot be reasonable because it is "impossible" and "absurd", never stating how he came up with that statement, improperly equivocating "scientific" with "reasonable", redefining "reasonable" round by round with bad logic until it looks exactly like "scientific".

Audience, please do not be fooled.

My opponent has not shown the belief in the Christian heaven to be impossible, absurd, illogical or factually wrong. He has *only*, throughout this entire debate, stated it to be unscientific, and failed to show that something that is unscientific is definitively wrong.

Audience, let me ask you something: My opponent himself claims that he "fails to see how hoping that something will prevent death from happening can be considered reasonable".

My opponent concedes that "the fear of death is reasonable in itself ". By his own line of reasoning, since the belief of death is based on the fear of death, is not the belief of death is thereby reasonable?

Is it reasonable for humans to fear? Is it reasonable for humans to hope?

Humans use reason to make day-to-day decisions, yes, but is my opponent correct in saying that reason must be the product of indisputable logic? Do we not use reason and act reasonably when information is missing or ambiguous?

Human beings are not omniscient. We do not know everything and yet, we are reasonable beings not because we act ONLY based on what we know to be absolutely true, but because we act in accordance with our humanity. Our instinct, our emotions, our fears and the way we cope with them, these are the aspects of reason that my opponent fails to incorporate into his definition, and all of those things make it perfectly reasonable for afterlife beliefs to exist, including, but not limited to, the Christian heaven.

There are far too many holes in my opponent's logic, too many re-definitions, too many times he has equivocated "scientific" with "reasonable", and no arguments that actually make sense. Audience, I beseech you, examine what my opponent has actually managed to construct. There isn't anything that properly stands.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 3
Burncastle

Pro

I would like to say that I accept the fact that this a closing round and, as such, no NEW arguments shall be made, but I completely reject the fact that a closing can not contain rebuttals, when in fact they absolutely can, even should and actually do in most public debates.

I would also like to thank my opponent for conceding the 'unscientific' part of this debate in writing:

'He has *only*, throughout this entire debate, stated it to be unscientific, and failed to show that something that is unscientific is definitively wrong. '

My goal was not to show that something unscientific is definitively wrong, and I actually do not believe that it is the case. Furthermore, the statement that the belief in Heaven is unscientific was supported by evidence, which my opponent seemed to agree with (or perhaps chose to ignore).

***

(I hope my opponent does not mind me using the three stars like he does)

My opponent started his previous argument by quoting the definition of reason that I gave (though he only quoted part of it), a definition by which I firmly stand. He then goes on to say that he showed how my argument was fallacious in a supposedly clear and indisputable way, which, as I pointed out in the previous round, is obviously not the case, since he only objected to the definition of reason. But obviously, my opponent did not see it that way; he instead believes that I changed my definition of reason, and tries to demonstrate this by comparing the definition I gave in round 2 with something I said in round 3:

"According to the International Journal of Philosophical Studies, reason is the process by which we make sense of
things, mostly by using logic"

"Reason is in fact the process by which we apply logic."

I honestly had to scratch my head a while in order to find what my opponent thought was even slightly (much less 'vastly') different between those two statements, since he decided to simply state that they were different without giving any evidence or explanation. I finally came to a conclusion (or rather with a hypothesis): my opponent probably takes issue with the fact that the first sentence states that we use reason to 'make sense of things' while the second one does not. If that is the case, then I must apologize to my opponent; I assumed that he knew what the purpose of logic was, but that doesn't seem to be the case. So, for the sake of clarity, I will write the long version of the second sentence:


"Reason is in fact the process by which we apply logic TO MAKE SENSE OF THINGS."

I would like to point out that the objection he raised does not at all address Point 2 (the factual aspect), I will therefore consider this point conceded.


I will not be addressing his claim that I straw maned his position, since my answer would basically be a copy of round 3.

My opponent accuses me of having the 'audacity' to ask for an alternate definition of reason, which honestly surprised me; I thought he would be glad to do so, since he seems to disagree with mine. He then fails to comply my so-called audacious request (although he kind of does towards the end).

He concludes this section by accusing me of violating the rules of round 1 by changing definitions (which, as I have demonstrated, I did not do) and by stating that he will not reply to my objections in his final round because he considers my arguments 'debunked', which is not only opposed to the spirit of debates but is also the ultimate cop out.


***

In the second section, my opponent asks me 'What constitutes a reasonable belief?', to which I answer that a reasonable belief is a belief that is based on logic and facts. I'm having trouble to believe that I did not already made that clear with :

'As I mentioned earlier, an unreasonable belief is one that is held against reason. According to the International Journal of Philosophical Studies, reason is the process by which we make sense of things, mostly by using logic, and is used to establish and verify facts. Therefore, for a belief to be unreasonable, it would need to go against logic and facts. '

My opponent then either completely misinterprets what I have said or flatly lies when he says: 'My opponent argues that the Christian Heaven cannot be reasonable because it is "impossible" and "absurd" ' which I NEVER said or even implied. What I DID say was that it is not reasonable to believe something that is impossible but I have NEVER linked it to Heaven and I DO NOT actually believe that Heaven is impossible. 'Impossible' is not the only category of things that can be believed in unreasonably.

My opponent then says: 'Audience, please do not be fooled' which is a classical fallacy of poisoning the well, by which he tries to convince the audience that they are fools if they agree with me, but I trust the audience will not be... 'fooled' by such fallacy.

'By his own line of reasoning, since the belief of death is based on the fear of death, is not the belief of death is thereby reasonable? ' I'm not even sure what 'belief of death' means so I can not really say whether or not it is a reasonable belief, but I do know that this does not come from 'my own line of reasoning' and that it is irrelevant to the topic of this debate.

'Is it reasonable for humans to fear? Is it reasonable for humans to hope? ' That is, again, absolutely irrelevant to the topic of the debate, since hope and fear have nothing to do with BELIEF.

'Do we not use reason and act reasonably when information is missing or ambiguous? ' Yes we do, I do not get my opponent's point; we indeed use reason when information is missing or ambiguous, but I fail to see how that is in anyway linked to a reasonable belief. It is the 'duty' of the reasonable person is to NOT believe something (which is different from believing that something is false) when the information is missing or ambiguous.

***

In the next paragraph, my opponent accuses me of failing to incorporate certain aspects of humanity in my definition of reason, which I consider to be the answer I was looking for, when I asked him to provide his definition of reason. For my opponent, emotions (such as fear) are PART of reason and therefore make the belief in Heaven reasonable according to his definition. I thank my opponent for providing me with his definition, but I must disagree with it. I will simply point to almost every philosopher (Plato, Hume, Rousseau, Kant, etc.); although they may disagree on which is more important, all of them support the fact that reason and emotions are in direct opposition. My opponent may be tempted to call a fallacy of appeal to authority, but he would be wrong to do so since the authorities I've listed are relevant to the topic and I only use them as support for my claim, not absolute proof.

***

It basically comes down to this: If you believe that emotions are part of reason and that facts and logic are only secondary, then I encourage you to vote for my opponent. But, if you agree with the definition I provided, which focuses on facts and logic and is consistent with the vast majority of philosophers and dictionaries, then your vote should go to me. When my opponent posts his closing, I would like you to read it carefully and evaluate whether or not what he says is actually relevant to the topic of the debate. Be wary when my opponent claims that he has 'conclusively' or 'clearly' destroyed my argument, for he is trying to add weight to what he says without adding any argument. Finally, keep in mind that 'belief' is different from 'reasonable belief', for my opponent often tries to prove that people actually believe in Heaven rather then trying to prove that the belief in Heaven is reasonable (as is demonstrated by his various appeals to hope and the reasons why we hope).
Kleptin

Con

Preliminary Note: If my opponent and I seem to be arguing past each other, note that it is because I have rejected the two different definitions my opponent provided in Rounds 3 and 4 and am only using the definition posted in Round 2. I have already stated in the previous rounds that I do not accept re-definition.

Official Definition provided by my Opponent in Round 2: "Reason is the process by which we make sense of things, **mostly** by using logic"

In Rounds 3 and 4, my opponent redefines "reason" twice and blames me for judging him incorrectly.

Round 3: "Reason is in fact the process by which we apply logic"
Round 4: "Reason is in fact the process by which we apply logic TO MAKE SENSE OF THINGS"

In these definitions, my opponent redefines Reason such that logic is no longer what is "mostly" used, but the "ONLY" thing that is used. My opponent twists the definition ever so slightly each time to try to avoid addressing the logical fallacy present with his original definition. I no longer address these arguments because they constitute a violation of Round 1.

***

Audience, this has been a thrilling discussion. I had originally thought that when my opponent said that he would like to keep Round 4 "for closing", it meant that we wouldn't offer any rebuttals, only conclusions. However, since my opponent would like to offer rebuttals, I shall do so as well.

My criticisms of my opponent's debate basically sum up into three points:

1. The logical failure of his syllogism based on the definitions he initially provided
2. The constant redefinition, rewording, and ambiguity of the definition of "reason"
3. The failure of my opponent to demonstrate that the belief in Heaven is both unscientific *and* unreasonable.

No matter what my opponent says, these are the three factors that you, audience, should keep in mind.

***

I provided an in-depth analysis on why my opponent's syllogism represents a logical fallacy in Round 2 and my opponent has done everything in his power to avoid being called out on it. I do not accept re-definition, as per the rules of Round 1 to which my opponent agreed. My refusal to offer a rebuttal on a logically fallacious argument does not constitute a violation of protocol, it is simply the only thing I can do when the logic of an argument is fundamentally flawed and also when my opponent offers a definition, then changes it in the next round to suit his needs.

The second half of my opponent's argument is supposed to be a justification on why he thinks that "A belief in a Christian Heaven is unreasonable precisely BECAUSE it is unscientific", which he has not done the entire debate.

In round two, I have shown that the reasons for this belief are rooted in human nature itself, that we are naturally rational beings but not necessarily scientific beings. That our ability to reason is a subset of our humanity and not necessarily based solely on scientific fact.

Not only that, but I asked my opponent a very important question:

'Do we not use reason and act reasonably when information is missing or ambiguous? '

To which my opponent replied:

Yes we do, I do not get my opponent's point; we indeed use reason when information is missing or ambiguous, but I fail to see how that is in anyway linked to a reasonable belief. It is the 'duty' of the reasonable person is to NOT believe something (which is different from believing that something is false) when the information is missing or ambiguous.

This is the crux of our disagreement.

As I stated in Round 3, Human beings have the innate ability to reason and we do so constantly, based on the information that we are given. However, we are not omniscient. We cannot simply wait for all the facts to be in before we decide to live our lives. The admitted failure of my opponent to understand my argument is based on his dogmatic belief that only what is definitively SCIENTIFIC should have a place in our day-to-day reasoning. The reasonable person has a duty to reject an idea if it is proven to be factually incorrect, but I see no argument that says that a person should reject an idea or exclude it from their culture or their lives simply because it does not abide by scientific principles.

This is why I have been pushing for my opponent to argue why SCIENCE is necessarily the only way by which we can "make sense of the world". It is because his argument is completely nonsensical without that preliminary argument.

Audience, the process by which you decide your vote is relatively simple.

We all know what the belief in Heaven is.

My arguments have shown the anthropological, sociological, and psychological roots for the belief, the pervasiveness of Afterlife beliefs for cultures worldwide, why humans hold afterlife beliefs, and how they make sense of their lives in conjunction with this belief.

I have argued that it is unreasonable to assume that Science and Logic are the only ways by which we make sense of our lives, though logic may make up a majority based on my opponent's first definition.

My opponent's duty is to show that the belief in a Christian Heaven is unscientific and unreasonable, and the only argument he has come up with, is that "What is unscientific is necessarily unreasonable". My opponent has not given any justification on why he believes this to be so, and even concedes that reasonable action can be taken even in ignorance.

The fact of the matter is that my opponent has been unable to distinguish between "scientific" and "reasonable" throughout the entire debate, redefining and equivocating in lieu of providing a logical argument to link them together, and as such, has failed to meet his burden.

Thank you to the audience, and to my opponent.
Debate Round No. 4
33 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Perussi 7 months ago
Perussi
Lel, there are indeed smoke & mirrors.
Posted by WiltedWalrus 3 years ago
WiltedWalrus
I feel the crux of this argument was muddied by a semantic inconsistency with the definition of 'reasonable'.

The definition I am familiar with and the only one I can find reliably stated online equates 'reason' with 'rationality'. The debate"s accepted definition for 'reasonable' invokes the word 'reason', which has this definition.

If a belief is reasonable, it must necessarily have been arrived at by rational thought. That a belief is held because the believer has personally powerful, irrational reasons to hold it means that it is reasonable to expect them to hold the belief, not that their belief is reasonable.

Exclusively using logic is not the only way humans can reason, as Con said, but it is the only way they can reason reasonably.

A fear of death is a reasonable fear (though fear itself is not reasonable) because there is evidence that it results in things humans fear. It is not reasonable to believe in the afterlife out of a reasonable fear of death, because belief due to fear is not reasonable. (Death is feared due to evidence, not fear.)

Con spent too long making appeals to pathos and arguing against his opponent"s conduct rather than content and for my taste. Props to Pro for some good quotes.
Posted by ZMowlcher 3 years ago
ZMowlcher
People believe in religions because it helps them through tough times in their life.
Posted by Enji 3 years ago
Enji
Whoops, had some formatting issues there; apparently <<stuff inside less than and greater than signs>> dissapears
Posted by Kleptin 3 years ago
Kleptin
"Let's start with a simple set of questions: What does it mean for something to exist, and what does it mean for something to be different from another thing?"
Identity.

No, don't do that pretentious child-like thing where you respond to something with one word in an attempt to seem smarter than the other person, we've all played that game before when we were teens.

Answer the question like you have some integrity please.
Posted by Sagey 3 years ago
Sagey
If Lolzors wants to apply Philosophy, then I can simply apply the basic laws of Reasoning to Lolzors's irrational claims.
Lolzors then must explain in a rational form, the inductive reasoning behind that claim to correct my assumption of it being entirely Irrational.

It's simply applying the rules of reasoning.

Before a premise can be accepted in Deductive Logic, firstly it must be VALIDATED.
Otherwise all conclusions drawn from that premise become Flawed.
Posted by Sagey 3 years ago
Sagey
Based on deductive reasoning Lolzors's first premise "Its absurd to think that numbers and symbols used in logic are only human representations of reality. " is a fallacious assertion.
Thus the rest of the reasoning is indeed False!

So Simple!
Lolzors needs to clarify or explain the inductive reasoning that led to such an assertion.
Otherwise it stands as a unsupported assumption.
Posted by lolzors93 3 years ago
lolzors93
Therefore, let us go back to the original point before the obvious negative ad hoc:

Its absurd to think that numbers and symbols used in logic are only human representations of reality. You have two options: (1) logic is independent of the mind, making it the case that it is independent of nature, or (2) logic is dependent upon the mind, which necessitates a God, since a dog would still be a dog, regardless as to whether or not there are humans there, which means that there myst be some sort of disembodied mind, establishing that the dog is always a dog at the same time and in the same sense. Both of y'all are wrong, absolutely and objectively.
Posted by lolzors93 3 years ago
lolzors93
So, if there is an objective reality in at least one thing, then the argument Kleptin was making about the dog was an ad hoc.
Posted by Sagey 3 years ago
Sagey
I get it lolzors93,
We all agree quantities and a dog does indeed exist, though maybe it's dyslexic subjective counterpart god does not exist.
Quantities exist and we give them them names that are meaningless without a quantity to represent.
The number '7' in somewhat meaningless unless we give it a basis for existing such as attributing it to shoes, which amounts to an odd shoe, or to electrons around a nucleus such as in Nitrogen.
Though without any items to represent 7 has no meaning it becomes a set of seven imaginary boxes waiting to be filled with some form of item.
Yet mathematicians play with such empty sets of boxes.
But in the end, unless they put items into those boxes, the numbers have no meaning and exist as subjective representations of nothing.
That's basically all I'm saying.

I was also having a swipe at the stupidity of Numerology, which my father followed until I talked some sense into him.
The belief that numbers hold supernatural powers or presence is idiotic to the extreme.
Thus I take every chance possible to denigrate it.
I simply used this comment section for both typing practice and to give Numerology another Kick.

Hopefully some numerology believers have read it and gotten a little upset at my comments, like my father did, an now he's over it.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by tomricotta 3 years ago
tomricotta
BurncastleKleptinTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro changed the definitions halfway through the argument, a clear violation of the rules stated. Pro also used a myriad of fallacies, which Con was kind to point out.
Vote Placed by Sagey 3 years ago
Sagey
BurncastleKleptinTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro did not convince me that belief in Heaven is unreasonable, as to ponder such things is a natural part of being human, but, had the debate concerned Rationality, that would have made a difference, as Heaven is both unscientific and Irrational, but Pro dis not use this attack, Con was quite abusive of Pros arguments, though not ad-hominem as they were relevant to the topic, but a bit too derisive of Pro's comments.
Vote Placed by ksang 3 years ago
ksang
BurncastleKleptinTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con proved that Heaven is not unreasonable and thus killed Pro's argument because he had to prove that Heaven was unscientific AND unreasonable.
Vote Placed by Enji 3 years ago
Enji
BurncastleKleptinTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro's initial argument that "Therefore, for a belief to be unreasonable, it would need to go against logic and facts [and hence the belief in heaven is unreasonable]" was poorly defended. Does heaven contradict logic and facts? Pro concedes that it does not in the first round of arguments <<[heaven] does not actually go against [logic]>>. He instead presents a new basis for reasonable belief: a belief is reasonable if it has supporting evidence. But the definition of reasonable was previously established (and accepted by Pro) as "being in accordance with reason" and Pro never defends the equivalence between reason and evidence or science. Con argues that justified belief in justice and fear of death form a reasonable basis for belief in heaven, and that this has lead to the widespread belief in an afterlife across cultures. Arguments to Con.