Water is wet
Debate Rounds (3)
I look forward to hearing how water is not wet.
I would like to put forward the idea that the feeling of water isn't necessarily wet. What we typically call the feeling or perception of wetness is actually multiple senses of our skin. There are three things that allow us to understand what is wet or not. The three senses are pressure, temperature, and lastly pain. So basing water's wetness of of this new definition of what qualifies as wetness, you can start to understand why water isn't wet. The reason why water isn't wet is because it is the compound of multiple sensations relative to ones experience. For example if there was someone who lived their entire life at an equatorial island their perception of wetness of water is much different than one who lives in Oregon.
Since the perception of water is specific you could actually touch water and not feel the sensation of it being wet. The way you can do this is simply alter the three variations of senses that you feel when you categorize water. Since water is relative to each and every person definitions can change, a person in a island may find that water gets cold and vice versa. You might be asking how does this hold up now though? People have expanded across the globe and soon beyond. I think that we probably have a decent understanding of how water feels. Yet again I raise the point that your perception of water is relative not absolute. You only know what you know about water because that is all you know.
If a person were to simply be introduced to something like oil their entire life their concept of wetness and the qualities of a liquid change drastically. The reason being is liquid/wetness will be synonymous with oil, if you put water into the equation water would not feel wet but instead something entirely different.
The fact of the matter water also has many different densities with materials and processes it has come about. For example water from a pond that is stagnant with many micro organisms will feel much different if you had the equivalent temperature and quantity of ocean water. Yet if you were to simplify this variety of water to something more pure like tap (not really, but close enough) the idea would change. The best example that I can think of in the English language would be the difference of dew and tap water. If the two were to be made of the same thing there would still be a distinction. The reason being though is because not only by the difference of process in which it came about but also the sensation felt.
Of course tap water will change based on where you are at that time, so I am going to put tap water temp as room temperature and with an amount of 2.2 gallons per minute. You can figure the Pa for your own faucet based on these variables if you want, but because your faucet is different from mine I will leave it to you. The perception of tap water is far different than dew because of of the temp., pressure, and maybe you will feel some pain if it is too hot/cold or the pressure is too high. So the sensation of the two will be vastly different.
In closing, wetness itself is a relative concept which we learn through experience. When we encounter something that has similar qualities we either expand current definitions or make a new category for them. For this reason you can easily see how water is not wet because from previous example you can see it is a relative understanding. Which of course is based on three senses, sadly enough we do not have a wet nerve sensor. So the argument of water is wet is false for that very reason that it is relative. Some may perceive it to be wet while others not, due to the definite argument that "Water is wet" all I would have to do is find one person who does not agree. Such people are easy to come by, there is such a thing as congenital insensitivity to pain. Where the person can discriminate against sensations but cannot feel pain and sometimes even temperature.
Proof:Basic understanding of sensations :http://health.howstuffworks.com...
University worksheet w/ info on perception of water: http://online.sfsu.edu...
Congenital insensitivity to pain: http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov...
I look forward to your response.
As I am in the 'pro' position, I shall first put forward my argument, in the form of a deductive syllogism.
1. That which is 'wet' is that which is "consisting of, containing, covered with, or soaked with liquid" 
2. Water is a liquid*
Conclusion: Water is wet.
(*I assume 'water' refers to the liquid form of H20 rather than simply H2O, as it is conventional to describe 'gaseous water' as 'water vapour / steam' and 'solid water' as 'ice'.)
I do not believe this argument can be shown to be false; however, in good spirit I shall discuss the points you made.
Initially, I notice that you discuss 'wetness' only in terms of the 'sensation of wetness', while 'wetness' is also verifiable by chemical experimentation, such as by adding anhydrous copper (II) sulfate, and by vision. One is usually able to tell that a wet bench is wet before sitting on it if one looks carefully, or failing that, place the aforementioned white copper compound on the bench and observe a colour change to blue.  I think that certainly is an objective way to verify 'wetness'.
I feel somewhat that we should be debating 'the Mona Lisa is beautiful', because I think 'X is beautiful' is certainly a subjective statement, which is what you have been trying to argue that 'water is wet' is. 'Is this wet?' is a question which I have argued can be answered objectively; however, a question concerning whether something is or is not beautiful can only be answered subjectively. So, if I, for the purpose of argument, grant you that 'Is this wet?' is a question which can only be answered subjectively, I nevertheless remain dissenting to your conclusion, which appears to be that subjective answers are wrong provided that a contrasting and equally subjective answer can be put forward in honesty. I propose that subjective statements need only be subjectively true to be considered 'true', i.e. a truthfully (honestly) expressed subjective statement is true. Does this mean that two conflicting statements can be true? Yes. Should someone tell me that Enigma produce ugly music, I will think this is not true, for if I thought it was true, I would agree.  As they are being honest, they will of course find their statement true. Some people are mature enough to consider that the appreciation of music is 'simply opinion', and I agree; it is absurd to apply objective standards of truth to subjective statements. The truth of a subjective statement is instead relative to the honesty, or truthfulness, of the person expressing the statement.
Should someone say 'Neutral Milk Hotel is the best band of all time, and no one can disagree', that would be an objective statement, and therefore subject to the laws of objective truth.
Thank you for reading; I enjoy that the debate appears to be centred on objectivity, subjectivity and truth immensely.
 http://www.merriam-webster.com... (accessed 26/06/2013)
 http://www.thefreedictionary.com... (accessed ")
 http://oxforddictionaries.com... (accessed ")
 http://en.wikipedia.org...(II)_sulfate (accessed ")
Reference  is the YouTube video - Enigma's 'Goodbye Milky Way'. Largely irrelevant, of course.
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1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Both debators did an excellent job considering the nature of this debate. However, Pro made the case that the subjective definition Con proposed was not a sufficient definition of wetness to account for things which are wet even if not felt as such (such as a wet towel). While I applaud Con's ingenuous argument, I find Pro's point regarding that more compelling. Sourcing seemed irrelevant here, and both debators managed to have spelling and grammar such that I don't feel the need to award a point over it. Conduct was likewise exemplary from both parties. Overall, a fine debate, particularly considering the challenge of not being able to post their respective final rounds!
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