The Instigator
Pro (for)
10 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
3 Points

The mind is a purely physical substance

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/30/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,944 times Debate No: 31258
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (18)
Votes (3)




In this following debate, I will be arguing that the mind is a purely physical substance, like everything else in the universe.

My opponents criteria has to be backed up by scientific evidence.
I will start with my criteria in round 2 as soon as someone accepts the challenge.


I don't care about criteria, I leave all of them up to you.
Debate Round No. 1


The mind-body problem is perhaps one of the greatest problems in science and philosophy. Over the course of many years, philosophers and scientists tried to imagine the two, either intercepting with each other or being on two parallels.
I solemnly believe that everything we encounter in our everyday lives is purely physical. The objects around us have a shape and a certain dimension. That is objective truth. One cannot oppose this argument.
But on a smaller scale, like the brains insides, things become a lot trickier. Because of the brains complexity and richness, scientists are confronted with a brain that consists of trillions of neurones that form an entity. This entity, also has the extroardinary capacity of perceiving itself and question it`s own existence. But even this phenomena is physical.

People that normaly oppose my idea tend to say that there is something called the non-physical entity. Something beyond our reality.
example:Numbers, complicated ideas etc..
Now these might seem non-physical, yet these things are all ideas that come from a physical entity, with a shape and dimension. (The brain)
By the way, have you ever imagined something non-physical? It"s impossible. The non-physical is an invention because we looked around with our naked eye and began to wonder, what might be the opposite of something physical.
I thought at first, that love, happiness, and anger are untouchable entities. Yet, I later on discovered, that chemical reactions in our brain are physical and they are the reason for all these phenomenas.

I will be excited for my opponents arguments.


If we take mind simply to be the physical brain, this would make this indisputable and a pointless resolution indeed.

We are discussing here that mysterious thing named "conscious thought". It's the part of us that isn't there physically but is only experienced in the subjective non-physical plane of reality.

If you start a car with fuel and get the fuel running does that make driving the same thing as fuel? NO! Thinking and feeling emotion are non-physical but are merely represented physically and ignited physically by chemical activity in the brain. The actually mind itself is a non-physical entity that is merely ignited and controlled, and perhaps represented, by the physical structure called the brain and the neuron activity within it.
Debate Round No. 2


Many Of us are under the delusion that consciousness is nonphysical. Well for a matter-of-fact consciousness is physical.
Thoughts and emotions all come from the phenomena of our brain being so complicated whereas the neurone cells send and collect signals. They're all dynamic and all have an atomic structure. That makes them physical.


My opponent attempts to use filthy semantics to render this indisputable for con.

His attempt has unfortunately failed because everyone in the universe knows that although it's attached to a physical presence, consciousness in and of itself is non-physical as is mind.

Oh yes baby!

BOP wasn't met. Naughty, naughty pro.
Debate Round No. 3
18 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by dr_sepheroth 5 months ago
To name just three, Niacin, Serotonin and Dopamine, are all neurotransmitters. Every neurotransmitter in the body is a liquid not a solid

So your wrong on this one.
Posted by Sagey 3 years ago
Actually the Soul is part of the Brain structure called the Prefrontal Cortex.
It is near the middle of this structure.
Once damaged, the patient can no longer give nor receive love, because they cannot comprehend love of anther.
Even their own family suffers because a once caring parent who gave unconditional love constantly can through such damage (i.e. Car accident, steering wheel collision) become a completely uncaring, distant stranger, never to give them love, ever again.
Essentially, they lose their Soul.
No outside influences, like God, can ever give them back their ability to give and receive love.
Because their Soul was broken when they hit the steering wheel, baseball bat, iron bar, knuckle duster, etc.
Posted by 1111111111 3 years ago
@Antnego, thanks alot:)
Yeah I totally agree with you. It's much more romantic when one thinks of a soul.
Posted by Sagey 3 years ago
Anybody studying neurology or a Buddhist would partially agree with Pro, but not entirely!
Neurology is currently in a state of infancy, like chemistry during the period where the basic elements were being discovered to defeat the previous notions of everything being formed from air, fire, water, earth and the magical ether. So it is barely getting started.
Yet, it is beginning to show that Buddhism is right, in that our consciousness is simply a collage of random perceptions from different parts of the brain that has been customised by various organs such as the hypothalamus and frontal cortex to form a streamline, tangible set of perceptions of our self that fit our environment, this set of perceptions is what we call Consciousness!
Yet, the truth that both Buddhism teaches and Neurology is discovering from observing patients with damaged brains is that our SELF, and Thus our Consciousness is actually an illusion, created by our physical brains.
Our consciousness is created by our physical brain, but, consciousness itself is an illusion which is not physical.
Thus Pro is only right on the origins of consciousness, but not right concerning consciousness itself.
It's like saying that Da Vinci's Mona Lisa is purely physical, because it was formed by brush and paint, though the Mona Lisa conveys much that is not physical to the audience.
Such is our Consciousness!
Posted by Antnego 3 years ago
Good debate Pro. I'd vote for you if I could.

Although it's much more romantic and magical to think the human mind is part of some higher, unseen astral plane. That idea gives me cozy feelings at night.
Posted by jdpeterson007 3 years ago
Define "mind"... a brain? My understanding is that mind is the seat of consciousness (intangible) and not the tangible matter of a brain. Therefore mind would use a brain's functions to process consciousness and make it observable. Mind is a tool of consciousness, and consciousness itself intangible and not physical. Consciousness in the seat of the mind exists non-physically. Expressions observed or defined are elements of consciousness, which are manifest physically. The information that consciousness allows for matter to exist, is confirmed only by observation or being defined. Nothingness, when defined or expressed is a word written or spoken audibly. Nothingness by definition is an idea of consciousness that is real. Nothingness in itself is zero-point or non-expression, or unknown blackness and not light. Consciousness is information that is non-physical until vocalized or written or transmitted, or in the electromagnetic spectrum of light. Those are all only physical transmissions of consciousness utilizing matter, which itself is physical. Consciousness is an example of what is non-physical. If matter is required for consciousness to exist as we observe it, then consciousness is, will be, and always has been non-existent as a non-physical nothingness. Without a brain, there is still consciousness, and mind. How otherwise did we evolve into being?
Posted by 1111111111 3 years ago
should work now
Posted by thett3 3 years ago
I'll accept the debate but it wouldnt let me
Posted by 1111111111 3 years ago
Of course there might be some flaws in my argument. Does that mean that all you people need to rant about it in the comment section? I am still waiting for an opponent by the way.
Posted by macaztec 3 years ago
"How do you tell a communist? Well, it's someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It's someone who understands Marx and Lenin." Ronald Reagan.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by badbob 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Neither side did a very good job. Pro presented opinions and then threw in a website to look like he was actually debating. Con wins with slightly better argument. Better luck next time.
Vote Placed by Misterscruffles 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro failed to meet the BOP (as physical was not defined), but con failed to effectively capitalize on this and achieve a default victory.
Vote Placed by LibertarianWithAVoice 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro was the only one with structured logical arguments. Con didn't follow the rules and used rude behavior in exchange for intelligent rebuttals. Pro had better paragraphing so he gets grammar. He was also the only one who provided sources. Great debate 1111111111