The Instigator
dylancatlow
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Stephen_Hawkins
Con (against)
Winning
6 Points

The sheer amount of conspiracy theories brings each theory's validity into question

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Stephen_Hawkins
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/4/2012 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,727 times Debate No: 26884
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (4)
Votes (2)

 

dylancatlow

Pro

The only terms that needs defining is "brings into question"

Definition: Merited to reevaluation pertaining to its validity


No rules.
Stephen_Hawkins

Con

I accept. I will contend that the number of conspiracy theories does not change the fact that they should be treated to equal skepticism and enquiry to all other theories. Moreover, the number of false theories trying to explain an issue does not call into question another theory's validations. For example, if there suddenly emerged four thousand different explanations (all wrong) for how the digestive system works, this would not call into question how we actually think the digestive system works. Similarly, the four dozen different false explanations for 9/11 does not call into question the explanation that we know to be true.
Debate Round No. 1
dylancatlow

Pro


I thank my opponent for his response. All conspiracy theories’ validity should be brought into question because of the sheer amount of them. This is the case because of the similarities of said theories’ reasoning. Conspiracy theorists believe they are right for the same reason as other conspiracy theorists. If one conspiracy is wrong, then this brings into question all of the others because people believe in other conspiracy theories for the same reason as someone else who is found to be wrong. A person would have to believe all conspiracy theories are true or admit to that fact that a large number of people can believe in something which is false. This similar reasoning among conspiracy theories is damaging to each theory because it brings into question the effectiveness of said reasoning as all theories would have to be true to avoid this. And to address your digestive system point, it would bring it into question if the same reasoning was applied for all of the theories.



Stephen_Hawkins

Con

My opponent's criticism does not relate to the resolution. If an aspect common to two conspiracy theories is false, then both conspiracy theories are false. That does not make any other theory invalid, or less valid as a result. The similar reasoning among similar conspiracy theories is going to happen as they explain the same event: if they have a common false factor, they are false for that reason. However, ceteris paribus, a large number of independent conspiracy theories does not make all of them false. Even my opponent admits that we have to make assumptions: it is only "if the same reasoning was applied for all of the theories". I agree. If a fact that two theories accept as true, then both are false. However, the number of them means nothing, which is what we are debating.
Debate Round No. 2
dylancatlow

Pro

The debate is on conspiracy theories, not scientific theories. And I am not arguing that the sheer number of theories this makes them all false, merely that it makes each one less credible. The number of conspiracy theories brings each theory into question because it shows that conspiracy theories can spawn out in almost any situation and many will believe them, regardless of the truth. One would have to believe all major conspiracy theories (moon landing, 9/11, JFK, Illuminati) or admit to the fact that many people can believe in something that is inherently false. It is quite clear that with conspiracy theories on nearly every major event and the common thinking process which lead them there that this merits investigating into each conspiracy theory for simply being such. People throughout the course of history have a tendency to feel there is some deeper process than meets the eye, regardless if there is. The large amount of theories suggests a common fallacy, not a complex World.
Stephen_Hawkins

Con

My opponent has simply stated, long story short, that the more theories there are, each time one is discredited it makes the others less likely. Again, unless we assume they are all exactly the same (which would be a false assumption): why? I know what you're affirming, it's clear by the resolution. You just haven't justified it. Let me put it in a syllogism:
Our conclusion (C) is that conspiracy theory X is false.

A different conspiracy theory, Y, is proven false.

P1 - X is either true or false.
P2- Y is false.
C - Therefore X is false.

This makes no sense. Being a conspiracy theory or no, this does not prove nor disprove the resolution. The argument is illogical.
Debate Round No. 3
dylancatlow

Pro

My opponent has completely misconstrued my argument and his syllogism of my argument is a strawman. I do not claim that all conspiracy theories are false if one theory which uses the same logic as the others is proven false. Simply put, conspiracy theories are all quite alike in their reasoning. Also, I do not claim that all conspiracy theories are "exactly the same". They assert that there is a higher power or entity which controls or plans things. All of the conspiracy theories being true is very unlikely, thus, any conspiracy theory which uses the same logic as most conspiracy theories should be looked into.

Actual syllogism:
Pt1: X, Y, Z theories use logic A for their conclusions
Pt2: V theory uses logic A for its conclusion
Pt3: Y theory is proven to be false (or overcrowding of theories which means one is overwhelmingly likely to be false)
Pt4 : Logic A is not sound
C: V theory's validity should be investigated
Stephen_Hawkins

Con

My opponent's argument does not make sense. Just because theory Y is false, that does not mean Logic A is false. To take an example:

Theory X is an argument going:

P1 - All men are mortal
P2 - Socrates is a man
C - Socrates is mortal

Theory Y is an argument going:

P1 - All men atechinese food
P2 - Socrates is a man
C - Socrates ate chinese food

Premise 1 is false of the second argument is false, but this evidently does not mean that the theory X is false.

Moreover, my opponent's syllogism makes no sense. Theory V only comes up once, and there's no major premise (an if...then premise). There is no reason to accept it, and many reasons to deny it, as it does not follow. Finally, I contended that all theories should be investigated, independent on what other ideas say. As such, even if we accept the conclusion, this does not mean the resolution is true.

Moreover, my opponent's argument commits the same problem again. There is no reason to think a theory is dubious just because more enter the fray.
Debate Round No. 4
dylancatlow

Pro

Once again, you failed to understand my syllogism. When Y is proven false, it brings into question the validity of theory V because they both use the same reasoning. It does not disprove theory V per se. That is obviously not what I am arguing.

Your syllogism using syllogisms is sophism and a straw man.
You fail to see that your examples are both intrinsically true and then you go and make one false by simply stating that one of the premises is false. This is not an example of my argument.

Example of my argument:
P1: Two cars of the same model are sold from the same manufacturer
P2: Car A's engine explodes randomly not from user error
P3: Car B's safety should be looked into regardless if the car has seen problems

In conclusion, the amount of conspiracy theories suggests a common fallacy, not a world full of conspiracies -- all of them being true would be very unlikely. Even if you don't believe in a single conspiracy, you admit to that fact that many can be fooled.
Stephen_Hawkins

Con

My opponent has repeatedly said the same thing, yet ignored my criticism. Let me take an example:

Both Mark and John work in a shop called "seventeen". Meaning Mark works in "seventeen", and John works in "seventeen". Now it turns out that Luke, Dan, Frank, Henry, Steven, Francis, Alice, Martin, Hercules, Anne and Boris you they work in seventeen. The sheer number of these people working there doesn't make Mark working in seventeen any more or less likely. If it turns out that seventeen doesn't exist, then that does make it less likely. However, this is completely independent of the number of people saying they work there.

Similarly, let's take my opponent's syllogism. Let's say that Toyota and Vauxhall use completely independent manufacturing techniques. The cars don't break down. There's no reason to investigate either. Let's say the supplier of Toyota (and not Vauxhall) supplies faulty brakes. There is still no reason to investigate Vauxhall. The number of manufacturers makes no difference.
Debate Round No. 5
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by dylancatlow 4 years ago
dylancatlow
How was my stance flawed? It's obviously correct. Because there are too many conspiracy theories for them to all be true, it suggests a common fallacy among all of them. I don't understand why people do not understand this. Every single major event has a conspiracy behind it. That suggests a common fallacy, not a conspiracy behind every major event! Your vote will be negated until your justify your answer.
Posted by dylancatlow 4 years ago
dylancatlow
The numbers do matter because since there are so many, some, statistically, are false. You are failing to see my connection with he number of conspiracy with my conclusion which is understandable because I did not necessarily do a great job of presenting it.
Posted by Stephen_Hawkins 4 years ago
Stephen_Hawkins
dylancatlow, the thing is, I understand what you're saying. You simply don't understand what I am saying.

If they have common logic involved which is false, then their validity is in question because the logic is false. If there is one theory with false logic involved, that theory is false. The numbers have nothing to do with it.
Posted by dylancatlow 4 years ago
dylancatlow
You failed to understand my syllogism. The cars are the theories, the factory is the 'logic' and data which they are coming from. I don't know what is so hard for you to understand about my position. Here, I'll try to dumb it down a bit: there are a lot of conspiracy theories on nearly every major event, it is statistically unlikely that these are all true, one theory is not considered more true than any of the others by the majority of conspiracy theorists, suggests a common fallacy in reasoning, all conspiracy theories should be viewed with doubt and skepticism without even looking at the evidence and investigation should take place without cause per se.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by yuiru 4 years ago
yuiru
dylancatlowStephen_HawkinsTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro's stance was just inherently flawed, I found it to even to be a waste of time to read the debate anyway! Con's arguments were generally more convincing, while pro's where mostly not even valid or sound.
Vote Placed by AlwaysMoreThanYou 4 years ago
AlwaysMoreThanYou
dylancatlowStephen_HawkinsTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro failed to uphold his burden of proof. His argument never really related back to the resolution, which clearly stated 'The sheer amount of conspiracy theories beings each theorys [sic] validity into question'. The closest to a topical argument made by Pro was in the last round when he wrote 'In conclusion, the amount of conspiracy theories suggests a common fallacy,', however he never really showed that a large amount of conspiracy theories necessitated common reasoning, and therefore failed to uphold his burden of proof. Con negated well.