The Instigator
FreeReason
Pro (for)
Losing
2 Points
The Contender
Ragnar_Rahl
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

"The sleep of reason produces monsters"

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Ragnar_Rahl
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/22/2010 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,880 times Debate No: 11837
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (9)
Votes (1)

 

FreeReason

Pro

The interpretation of that phrase, for the purpose of this debate, is the liberal interpretation, not the postmodernistic one. In the liberal interpretation, reason is perceived as good for humankind, while its sleep, produces the monsters of fanatism, superstition and the inquisition that destroys human freedom.

In this sense, I agree with Goya, the liberal Spanish Painter, that "the sleep of reason produces monsters".
Ragnar_Rahl

Con

When you die, your reason sleeps-- permanently. No monsters result-- the dead are not fanatics, they are not superstitious, and they most definitely do not inquisit. (Indeed, reason inquisits).

Thus, the resolution (roughly S>M, if sleep then monsters) is logically disproven by the existence of an instance of S*~M, sleep of reason and not monsters.
Debate Round No. 1
FreeReason

Pro

First of all I would like to thank my opponent for accepting the challenge. This is my first debate, and I am very happy to be able to practice and learn from all the talented people in this site. Also, I am glad to be able to practice my written English, which is not my native language. Thanks to everyone for the comments.

My opponent stated: "When you die, your reason sleeps-- permanently." There is a problem with this argument. I suppose that by "you" my opponent means an individual. Then, he is stating: when an individual dies, his reason sleeps permanently. The definition of "sleep" implies that it is a periodic state. (1) Sleep is identified with death only as an euphemism, but not as a definition. When something "sleeps forever", when there is no reasonable hope for it to awake, it means it is no sleeping, but dead. So, when an idividual dies, reason dies with him, but not sleeps. Is my opponent expecting reason to wake up in a decayed corpse? If not, he is accepting that reason dies with the individual's death, not sleeps.

When does reason sleep, then? It is important to understand the Goya's (1746-1828) quote in its context. "In 1798, Goya Painted several portraits which suggest his profound sympathies with the late eighteenth-century Spanish liberalism." (2) Liberalism promoted education, progress, and natural law, it represented the downfall of the absolute power of the aristocracy and the Roman church, against the emerging bourgeoisie. Clearly, it was a threat to the Spanish Inquisition (1478 to 1843) and the conservatives, which attacked any form of progress and liberalization: "During the Carlist Wars (1833-1876) it was the conservatives who fought the progressists who wanted to reduce the Church's power, amongst other reforms to liberalise the economy." (3)

In this context it is clear that Goya is referring to the fight between two positions: the one of reason, represented by liberals, and the one of the "sleep" of reason, represented by conservatives and the Spanish Inquisition. If the liberals lost the fight, "monsters would be produced". By monsters, Goya was refering to some of the worst tyrants of the Insquisition, such as De Torquemada (XVth century): "The Dominican monk Tom�s de Torquemada, the first Grand Inquisitor, became the symbol of torture and terror. Jews and Muslims in particular were sought out for conversion, and thousands were persecuted even after conversion and accused of being secret heretics. Estimates of the number of burnings at the stake vary widely; but burnings were a daily event, and an estimate of 2,000 deaths while de Torquemada was in charge is definitely not exaggerated." (4)

And he was not wrong, when, in 1814, Ferdinand VII recoverd power from the liberal Cortes de C�diz, "within a matter of weeks, encouraged by conservatives and backed by the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy, he abolished the constitution on 4 May and arrested numerous liberal leaders on 10 May." (5) And again, the Spanish people were deprived from progress, which slowed the Industrial Revolution in Spain and its colonies; again, they faced the "monsters" of absolute tyrants that obeyed no constitution.

In conclusion, the idea portrayed in the Goya's phrase "the sleep of reason produces monsters", that is, the defeat of liberals produces tyrants, is true, according to History.

(1) http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu...
(2) http://www.jstor.org...
(3) http://en.wikipedia.org...
(4) http://www.es.flinders.edu.au...
Ragnar_Rahl

Con

"
My opponent stated: "When you die, your reason sleeps-- permanently." There is a problem with this argument. I suppose that by "you" my opponent means an individual. Then, he is stating: when an individual dies, his reason sleeps permanently. The definition of "sleep" implies that it is a periodic state. (1) Sleep is identified with death only as an euphemism, but not as a definition. When something "sleeps forever", when there is no reasonable hope for it to awake, it means it is no sleeping, but dead. So, when an idividual dies, reason dies with him, but not sleeps. Is my opponent expecting reason to wake up in a decayed corpse? If not, he is accepting that reason dies with the individual's death, not sleeps"

Sir, you identified the relevant variable as "Reason is good" in why the sleep of reason produces monsters. This means that its absence-- not its cease-- is what is relevant, and means the broad definition of sleep is quite fine.

Incidentally, sleep in the narrow sense, too, stops reason. Yet people who are sleeping and will wake up-- do not reason, are not fanatics nor superstitious, do not inquisit. So the attempt to narrow the definition (Which you incidentally failed to provide in the first round, and since reason is not itself a body it does not itself sleep in the narrow definition anyway, making the attempt to narrow the resoution cause incoherency), does not get you anywhere even if viable.

"In this context it is clear that Goya is referring to the fight between two positions: the one of reason, represented by liberals, and the one of the "sleep" of reason, represented by conservatives and the Spanish Inquisition."
The conservatives of that time wanted reason to cease permanently, not temporarily, contradicting your earlier position on "sleep." It does not matter what Goya intended to refer to, it matters what you actually referred to in the context you gave us, which is much broader.

Furthermore, are you saying that every conservative perpetrated these crimes? In order to say it "produces," you are strictly speaking identifying something as a sufficient cause, which requires that every last one of them personally become a "monster."
Debate Round No. 2
FreeReason

Pro

My opponent incurred in a clear contradiction in the very first sentence of his participation in the first round, where he wrote: "When you die, your reason sleeps-- permanently." I proved that there is nothing like a "permanent sleep", that the term "sleep" implies the expectation of waking up at some point. In a trial to distract from this obvious mistake, he has came up with the idea of a "narrow" and a "broad" sense of "sleep", pretending that the former, is so "broad" that includes the concept of "death", not only as an euphemism, but as a definition. This lacks any sense of logic... well, maybe in a very "broad" sense of logic, which includes "illogic", it has a lot of it.

My opponent has been using a "straw man" fallacy, thus, failing to attack my position in favor of Goya's liberal position. He stated: "It does not matter what Goya intended to refer to, it matters what you actually referred to in the context you gave us, which is much broader." The actual debate topic is a DIRECT quote from Goya. How can it not matter what Goya intended to refer to? Is my opponent used to the fallacy of quoting out of context?

In the vary last lines of his previous intervention, my opponent wrote: "Furthermore, are you saying that every conservative perpetrated these crimes? In order to say it "produces," you are strictly speaking identifying something as a sufficient cause, which requires that every last one of them personally become a 'monster.'" I applaud this last few lines, because at last we reach (in a indirect way, though), the position I am defending.

It is necessary to understand that most conservatives in modern democracies today, would be considered liberals, according to the standard of Goya's Spain. It is not a coincidence that the liberal emerging power of the time, the USA, went into war agaist Spain: "By 1897-98 American public opinion grew more angry at reports of Spanish atrocities, and, after the mysterious sinking of the battleship Maine in Havana harbor, Democrats and farmers especially pushed the government headed by President William McKinley, a Republican, into a war McKinley wished to avoid. Compromise proved impossible; Spain declared war on April 23, 1898; the U.S. Congress on April 25 declared the official opening as April 21."

Goya's phrase does not imply that every single conservative was a monster. But it is clear that reason was on the side of liberals and the liberal republics of that time, and liberals had to act with energy to stop the atrocities commited on behalf of the Pope and the Crown. This is the real position stated since the beginning by quoting Goya. I challenge my opponent to leave his straw man argument and attack this position.
Ragnar_Rahl

Con

"y opponent incurred in a clear contradiction in the very first sentence of his participation in the first round, where he wrote: "When you die, your reason sleeps-- permanently." I proved that there is nothing like a "permanent sleep", that the term "sleep" implies the expectation of waking up at some point. "
Since this isn't true (people die in their sleep for reasons other than sleep all the time) you can't have proved it, and it is irrelevant to the main point even if so as I have shown.

"
My opponent has been using a "straw man" fallacy, thus, failing to attack my position in favor of Goya's liberal position. He stated: "It does not matter what Goya intended to refer to, it matters what you actually referred to in the context you gave us, which is much broader." The actual debate topic is a DIRECT quote from Goya. How can it not matter what Goya intended to refer to?"
Because I am debating you, and you did not give that intent in the first round. The actual text, not the mind of the speaker, is relevant.

"
It is necessary to understand that most conservatives in modern democracies today, would be considered liberals, according to the standard of Goya's Spain."
I was not discussing modern conservatives. Perpetrated. Are you saying every conservative then did? Surely some had to, you know, be busy?

"
Goya's phrase does not imply that every single conservative was a monster."
Produces. You haven't addressed the fact that this does, indeed, constitute exactly such an implication-- to produce, with no further context given, requires a sufficient cause.

The following has not been remotely addressed:
The conservatives of that time wanted reason to cease permanently, not temporarily, contradicting your earlier position on "sleep."

Nor this:
"
Incidentally, sleep in the narrow sense, too, stops reason. Yet people who are sleeping and will wake up-- do not reason, are not fanatics nor superstitious, do not inquisit. "
Despite your strict rejection of the broad position, and thus implied affirmation that the narrow definition is what you had to defend, you ignored this notable problem in the narrow definition

Since that definition was the one least unfavorable to you, and you failed to defend against the problem in it, it is clear that under no interpretation of the resolution have you adequately defended it. And the burden of proof is on you.
Debate Round No. 3
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by GeoLaureate8 7 years ago
GeoLaureate8
Con wins.
Posted by Korashk 7 years ago
Korashk
I totally thought this was a frenchmoose debate when I saw it on the homepage.
Posted by Xer 7 years ago
Xer
Reason is defined as rational or logic. Sleep is defined as suppression of reason. The sleep of reason produces monsters like "fanatism, superstition and the inquisition that destroys human freedom." So basically, he's arguing for the ideals of the Enlightenment. Meanwhile, Con is basically arguing for the ideals of the Counter-Reformation, and periods of history like the Counter-Reformation.

I'm pretty sure this is what Pro is saying.
Posted by Koopin 7 years ago
Koopin
I was trying to figure that out myself.
Posted by Vi_Veri 7 years ago
Vi_Veri
lol so what exactly do you want to argue here....
Posted by belle 7 years ago
belle
oops >.<
Posted by Logician 7 years ago
Logician
What's the postmodern interpretation?
Posted by Marauder 7 years ago
Marauder
he said libral not literal.
Posted by belle 7 years ago
belle
lol thats not a literal interpretation at all!
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Marauder 7 years ago
Marauder
FreeReasonRagnar_RahlTied
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Total points awarded:23