The Instigator
holla1755
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Jocularly_Solemn
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Unperceived Existence Is Not Possible

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/3/2017 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 5 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 385 times Debate No: 103389
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (0)

 

holla1755

Pro

If I do not perceive a thing, then in my perspective, the thing does not exist.

Argument.
Assume I do not perceive a thing. Then, although I may have evidence that supports the truth of the proposition "The thing exists," ultimately, I have insufficient evidence that supports the truth of the proposition "The thing exists." Since ultimately, I have insufficient evidence that supports the truth of the proposition "The thing exists," in my perspective, the thing does not exist. This concludes the argument.
Jocularly_Solemn

Con

Perceive - become aware or conscious of (something) (Google dictionary)

If I do not perceive a thing, it may or may not exist.

This is proved by a famous thought experiment, Schrödinger's cat.

According to the experiment, if you keep a cat in a box, with something that had equal chances of killing the cat and letting it stay alive, and close the box, there is no way to tell if the cat is dead or alive until you open the box. So, the cat is said to be both alive and dead, i.e. the cat is in a superposition of living and dead.


If one doesn't perceive a thing, it is in a superposition of all the possibilities it can be in, unless it is observed.

For example, you can't perceive the whole universe, doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
Debate Round No. 1
holla1755

Pro

You've suggested that if I do not perceive the cat in the box, then in my perspective, the cat is alive and not alive. The conclusion of that conditional statement is a contradiction. I suggest the solution to this problem is that if I do not perceive the cat in the box, then in my perspective, "the cat in the box" doesn't exist.

I don't see how you go from "there is no way to tell" to "the cat is said to be both alive and dead." I have proof neither to a high enough nor to the highest level of certainty that in my perspective, the cat is alive, dead, in the box, or in the universe.

I don't perceive what we conventionally consider to be "the whole universe." I have no ultimate proof it exists unless I witness everything that composes "the whole universe" currently & simultaneously. So, in my perspective, "the whole universe" doesn't exist.

It's not possible that I witness everything that composes "the whole universe" currently & simultaneously. The present time is already here.
Jocularly_Solemn

Con

What I have suggested has been proved and is used in quantum physics. What matters is that the experiment has been done and the results are as they have been explained. You are right when you said that we have no proof whether the cat is alive or dead. "I have proof neither....in the box, or in the universe." But we know that the cat is in the box and, since the box is in the universe, the cat is in the universe as well.

You can perceive only a pinch of the whole reality at a given time. Let's say one is in a room with insulated walls without knowing about outside. One only perceives oneself, the walls and the air. Suddenly, the walls are lifted, and one finds oneself on a beach. One has been on a beach the whole time, but since one start to perceive that just now, according to one the beach just sprang into existence all of a sudden? Unlikely.

We perceive light with eyes. There may be objects we can't perceive since we don't have the required organs? They still do exist.
Debate Round No. 2
holla1755

Pro

You agreed we have no proof whether the cat is alive or dead. Ultimately, we have no proof the cat is alive and we have no proof the cat is dead. Since the lack of proof either way is ultimate, the cat is not alive and the cat is not dead. But that is a contradiction. For every cat, the cat is alive or dead. Therefore, the cat does not exist.

The beach did just spring into existence all of a sudden. Ultimately, that is where his evidence is going to lead him.

I neither see nor perceive my internal organs. Therefore, they do not exist. I neither see nor perceive atoms. They are supposedly too small for me to see or perceive with my naked eyes and senses. Therefore, atoms do not exist.

I'm troubled how you say that what you have suggested "has been proved and is used in quantum physics." It seems I have proof to the contrary. I'm unsure of what specific proof there is. There may be a matter of poor definition in QM.

Overall, my debate position is stronger than yours is strong.
Jocularly_Solemn

Con

For what you are saying to be true, the law of conservation of mass is violated. Cats just vanish from existence, beaches come into existence all of a sudden.

Your lack of understanding on the topic of Schrödinger's cat does not make your position stronger either.

Take another example. One is looking out of a window on a dry field. One goes away to sleep, and as one is sleeping, it rains outside. But the rain stops before one wakes up. Now as one looks outside, he sees a wet field and assumes it must have rained, but according to your logic, the field existed at first, disappeared as one stopped looking, and reappeared wet as one started looking at it after a while. This defies logic in my opinion.
Thing exist and happen even if when one doesn't perceive them.

Your position defies some basic laws of physics which have been proved, hence, naturally, my position is stronger. BOP was on you and you haven't provided enough proof in my opinion.

Thanks for this unique debate. :)
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Deathwolf 5 months ago
Deathwolf
Whether or not something *actually* exists is outside the scope of this debate. The important thing to note is whether the thing exists in the observer (or non-observer's) perspective if it is / is not perceived, as stated by PRO's opening sentence. CON needs to be careful to limit their arguments to within the scope of this debate; otherwise, a very enlightening debating topic!
Posted by TheUnexaminedLife 5 months ago
TheUnexaminedLife
Objects exist and also do not perceive: ergo, unperceived existence is possible. (You need to specify your proposition to the human perspective only, given it is this you are talking about).
Posted by Masterful 5 months ago
Masterful
Until you can disprove it exists it may or may not exist.
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