The Instigator
tazitombi
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
wjmelements
Pro (for)
Winning
20 Points

Time: Did events ever exist if there are no records and no memory of it?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
wjmelements
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/24/2011 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,733 times Debate No: 14920
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (3)

 

tazitombi

Con

How can we say certain events in history occurred if there is no written or spoken memory of them. If there was a war in say the 1520 and one side was completely eliminated and the other made no record of the victory - the event did not happen. We can only recall time and events as long there is a memory of them.

If there is no proof of the event, it cannot have happened.
wjmelements

Pro

I would like to thank my opponent for this debate.

==Burden of Proof==
First, I would like to assert that my opponent has the burden of proof, for the debate concerns the validity of his assertion, that "If there is no proof of the event, it cannot have happened," in answer to the resolution, which exists in the form of a question. I will be arguing my own answer, that if there exists no record or memory, and therefore no evidence, of an event, that one can neither conclude that it happened nor that it did not.

==Definitions==
evidence - that which tends to prove or disprove something; ground for belief
http://dictionary.reference.com...

event -
something that occurs in a certain place during a particular interval of time

http://dictionary.reference.com...

==Argumentation==
Evidence, such as a record or memory, provides the means for argumentation regarding the validity of assertions regarding past events, by definition. If such evidence doesn't exist, by definition, there is a lack of ground for belief for or against such an assertion.

This broad case regarding historical assertions also applies to historical assertions about the existence of events. If no evidence exists for or against an event, by definition, there exists no ground for belief for or against that event, and my position is affirmed.

==Refutation==
First, my opponent's argument doesn't support his assertion. He argues that a war in1520 does happen, and that it leaves no evidence. He improperly concludes that the war could not have happened, contradicting himself rather than asserting the logical conclusion that in the case of lack of evidence for or against an event, it cannot be concluded that the event occurred or did not occur.

Further, my opponent's case is based in an Appeal to Ignorance [1], that because there is no evidence for an event, it didn't happen. The fallacy here is that events do not necessarily leave permanent evidence.

A man's cave fire 6000 years ago may have initially left charred wood and ashes, but those remains corrode over time by fact of erosion into unrecognizable particles that spread unpredictable distances. The fire happened, but there is no longer exists evidence that it did; therefore, by modus tollens [2], my opponent's argument is negated.

By contraposition [3], the assertion, "If there is no proof of the event, it cannot have happened," can be restated as "If an event happened, there is proof of it." Now, there exist plenty of counterexamples to this assertion that negate it, and therefore its origin.

If I tie my shoes, and they come undone, then there exists no evidence that I tied my shoes, yet I did, by premise.

If my opponent were to write his argument on a chalkboard, and then erase it, then there exists no evidence that he wrote the argument, yet he did.

Therefore, the contrapositive statement, whose truth equals that of its original, is false by counterexample, and my opponent's case is negated.

Thank you.

==Sources==
[1] http://www.fallacyfiles.org...
[2] http://mathworld.wolfram.com...
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 1
tazitombi

Con

tazitombi forfeited this round.
wjmelements

Pro

Unfortunately, my opponent has forfeited his second round. Extend my arguments.
Debate Round No. 2
tazitombi

Con

tazitombi forfeited this round.
wjmelements

Pro

My opponent has closed his account. Vote PRO.
Debate Round No. 3
tazitombi

Con

tazitombi forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Jallen289 6 years ago
Jallen289
History is written by the victor.
Posted by MogVentus 6 years ago
MogVentus
From my prospective, It is implied that the records we have now, as well as the records we have not found - are the only records we will ever, or ever not, discover. Though, the truth is; new records and artifacts are being found all the time! We can't just say, "We have no records of this right now, so we will never find any, thus; the event never happened."

That's only a tad ignorant. You never know, really, if something exists or not when there is nothing to prove whether it does or does not exist; or in this case, has or has not happened.

Then again, if there are no records or any form of proof - what is the point of believing it happened, if it does not affect us in any way? If there is no impact, no proof or record, it might as well had not have taken place once upon a time.

My opinion.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by TUF 6 years ago
TUF
tazitombiwjmelementsTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 6 years ago
RoyLatham
tazitombiwjmelementsTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro's arguments unanswered. Con's forfeits are bad conduct.
Vote Placed by PervRat 6 years ago
PervRat
tazitombiwjmelementsTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Con forfeited all rounds except the first, and in that round was soundly trounced in all categories with his short argument that has grammatical flaws, logical fallacies and no supporting evidence.