The Instigator
Furyan5
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Blade-of-Truth
Pro (for)
Winning
13 Points

are rainbows real?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Blade-of-Truth
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/26/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,241 times Debate No: 74224
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (10)
Votes (3)

 

Furyan5

Con

If rainbows are real, so is the person looking back at you in a mirror. They are illusions created by refraction of sunlight in raindrops.
Blade-of-Truth

Pro

Interesting topic. I hope this will be a fun exercise in determining what is real or not, as that is the impression given under the resolution.

Clarifications & Definitions

The resolution is as follows: Are rainbows real?

The respective burdens in this debate are split, with each of us needing to prove something.

As Con, my opponent must show that they are not real.

As Pro, I must show that they are real.

****

As evidenced, the key term of this debate is "real".

Oxford dictionary defines "real" as: Actually existing as a thing or occurring in fact; not imagined or supposed. [1]

With the burdens and key term now clarified, I will move into my arguments and rebuttals.

Arguments

I. Rainbows are an observable phenomenon

Oxford defines a "rainbow" as: An arch of colors formed in the sky in certain circumstances, caused by the refraction and dispersion of the sun’s light by rain or other water droplets in the atmosphere. [2]

As we can see, a rainbow is an observable atmospheric phenomenon caused by the sun's light and water droplets. Per the definition of what is "real", rainbows do indeed exist as a thing and indeed occurs in fact. There is nothing imagined or supposed in regards to rainbows in the slightest. They are a bonified observable phenomenon, hence they are indeed real.

To put it simply,

P1) If something is an observable phenomenon, it is real.
P2) A rainbow is an observable phenomenon.
C) Therefore, a rainbow is real.

This syllogism is both valid and sound, and I respectfully challenge my opponent to prove otherwise.

*Since this is the only argument needed at the moment, I will now move into rebuttals.*

Rebuttals

"If rainbows are real, so is the person looking back at you in a mirror. They are illusions created by refraction of sunlight in raindrops."

First off, a reflection in a mirror is not caused by the refraction of sunlight in raindrops. It's caused by the reflective properties of glass and is dependent on light for that reflection, raindrops play no role. So comparing the two is nothing more than a logical fallacy.

Secondly, oxford defines "illusion" as: A thing that is or is likely to be wrongly perceived or interpreted by the senses. [3] Perhaps a couple hundred years ago we could have called it an "illusion", although even then I'd challenge Con to prove that it's likely to be wrongly perceived or interpreted. In our modern times though, we have the means to look at the natural process and cause of the formation and occurrence of rainbows. It's no longer just an "illusion" but actually a scientifically studied and documented phenomenon with its root causes examined and known now as fact.

Lastly, just because something is an *illusion* doesn't mean it isn't *real*. If you've ever driven on a flat road during a hot, sunny day, you'll notice how the road ahead sometimes looks as if it has water on it when it really doesn't:





Again, while it appears to be an illusion, this too, is an observable phenomenon which is indeed real. The phenomenon is known as a Mirage and is caused by different densities of air causing a change in the refractive index [4]. Such a phenomenon is real, regardless of the fact that it is also an illusion of the senses.

Thus, in no way, shape, or form, does Con's argument prove that rainbows aren't real. All it has shown is that Con believes illusions can't be real, and that rainbows are nothing more than illusions. I've now disproved both positions.

In closing,

I've clarified the definitions of key terms and burdens. I've provided an argument which proves that rainbows are real, and have additionally rebutted the only argument raised by Con in three separate points of refutation.

I now return the floor to Con.

Thank you.

Debate Round No. 1
Furyan5

Con

Yes. Mirages are real. But is the water real? Likewise, sunlight reflecting off raindrops creates the illusion of a rainbow. Is there really a arc of 7 colours where you see it? No. Your eyes are decieving you. You are in fact imagining it. The fact everyone views rainbows differently and even your left eye sees a different rainbow from your right eye proves this. The phenominon exists. But the rainbow does not.
Blade-of-Truth

Pro

Thanks to Con for his previous round.

Arguments

I. Rainbows are an observable phenomenon

For starters, I extend my argument that rainbows are an observable phenomenon. This is due to the fact that Con failed to respond to it and thus it was left standing unchallenged. Within that line of argumentation, I presented a very simple syllogism which I claimed is both valid and sound:

P1) If something is an observable phenomenon, it is real.
P2) A rainbow is an observable phenomenon.
C) Therefore, a rainbow is real.

I. A. In defense of the syllogism.

For Con to defeat me, he needs to disprove my argument by showing that it is neither valid nor sound. I do not believe he can do so though, because it is based off of the definition of "real" given by oxford dictionary which states: "Actually existing as a thing or occurring in fact; not imagined or supposed." So, if a rainbow either "exists as a thing" or "occurs in fact" then it is real. I've already shown how it indeed exists as a thing (an observable phenomenon) and how it occurs in fact (it occurs by light refracting off of water droplets in the atmosphere).

As it stands, rainbows are real due to the fact that they are an observable phenomenon which occurs in fact, thus meeting the standards of the given definition of what is "real".

Rebuttals

At this point, Con is merely reiterating his previous points while completely ignoring my rebuttals. This is evidenced by the fact that Con is, once again, trying to argue that "rainbows aren't real because they are just illusions."

The reason why I am accusing him of ignoring my rebuttals is because my rebuttals in the previous round LITERALLY covered this argument, yet for some reason Con fails to respond to these points whatsoever and instead just repeats the same argument he used in Round 1.

To repeat myself --

Just because something is an *illusion* doesn't mean it isn't *real*. It's not as if the two definitions contradict each other or something -

Illusion: A thing that is, or is likely to be, wrongly perceived or interpreted by the senses

Real: Actually existing as a thing or occurring in fact; not imagined or supposed

For an illusion to be an illusion, it must first exist as a "thing", as evidenced by the definition which states " A thing that is..." and since the definition of real states "actually existing as a thing..." it logically follows that the "thing" or in this case, a rainbow, must be real in order for it to be an illusion in the first place.

Perhaps if the resolution said, "Rainbows are an illusion" then Con would have an argument that actually works. But it doesn't. The resolution is whether Rainbows are real or not. I've already shown how they are indeed real - regardless of being an illusion or not.

In closing,

I've extended my original syllogism/argument since it remained standing unchallenged by my opponent. I've additionally clarified my rebuttals to avoid Con repeating himself for a third time in the coming final round. At this point, Con must show how an illusion isn't real. I don't believe he'll be able to do so since I've now shown that for an illusion to exist in the first place, it must be a thing, and anything that is "real" exists as a thing.

*For any and all sources in reference to the definitions utilized in this round, please see my previous round for the sources of those definitions.*

I now return the floor to Con.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 2
Furyan5

Con

Oxford dictionary defines "real" as: Actually existing as a thing or existing in fact; NOT IMAGINED or supposed. Well a rainbow is imaginary. It exists only in your brain. Therefore by definition it doesn't exist.

"Imagined" you say???
Put on your thinking caps people. It blew me away when I realised it. Now its tricky so not all of you will get it. Don't feel bad.

Many people believe the suns rays are refracted as they pass through raindrops to create this beautiful arc in the sky, made up of 7 colours. Lol I was one of them. Till I took the time to study the process.

Rays from the sun pass through the outside of a raindrop and because water is denser than air it refracts(bends) the light. The different wavelengths bend at different angles so the colours seem to seperate. It then hits the back of the raindrop where it is reflected back and again out the raindrop where refraction occurs again.

So what does all this mean?
Well for one it doesn't change the colour of any raindrops. The light just passes through.
So why do we see a arc?
Well as I mentioned earlier the light seperates into the 7 colours because they bend at different angles. The angle of reflection is between 40 and 42 degrees depending on the colour. That means the angle the sun hits the raindrop and gets reflected back to you. Yes people. Believe it or not, you are looking at a reflection of the sun. Take a look next time the sun happens to be shining on you while you looking at a rainbow. Your shadow will be facing the centre of the arc. Coincidence??? No its not. But back to my explanation. The suns rays, now broken up into 7 colours and traveling at different angles is reflected towards you. But because we are at a set angle we can only see one of the colours. Lets start with red. All the raindrops at a 42degree angle will be reflecting red to us. All the raindrops at a 41.666 degree angle will be reflecting orange. Etc etc till we get to 40 degrees where violet is reflected. don't get me wrong. Each drop reflects all the colours, but from our perspective we can only see 1.

From where we stand a beautiful arc seems to appear, but its an illusion. What we are seeing is just a reflection of the sun. Its not a arc of coloured raindrops. Its light rays from the sun, broken up into 7 colours and reflected back by millions of raindrops. Its all imagined. Even the rainbow you imagine with your left eye is different from the one you imagine with your right eye.

Well how can we all imagine the same thing? How can a camera take pictures of something that exists only in my head?
Truth is we can't. The camera can't take a picture of what exists in your head....unless...you looking through the camera at the rainbow. Confused???
Its easy. Its not the same rainbow. For every 40 to 42degree angle a different illusion exists. And yes. I said exists. You see rainbows don't exist, but the phenominon that creates them does exist.
Its like a mirage exists, but the lake or puddle you see doesn't exist. You only imagine it does. The problem with rainbows is that science has neglected to give this phenominon a name. I've decided to name it Unipoo. Just for the hell of it lol.

Anyway that's enough rambling. Thanks for a interesting debate. Those who get it let me know in comments. Cheers.
Blade-of-Truth

Pro

I would thank Con for his final round, but at this point he's just repeating defeated arguments and has, again, chosen to only respond to a specific argument rather than rebutting each argument I've presented so far. I will now explain in detail what I mean, but first I'd like to extend any and all arguments of mine which are currently standing unchallenged.

These arguments are:

I. Rainbows are an observable phenomenon

P1) If something is an observable phenomenon, it is real.
P2) A rainbow is an observable phenomenon.
C) Therefore, a rainbow is real.

My opponent hasn't once rebutted this syllogism. He has dropped this argument, and I therefore extend it as it remains standing unchallenged. In order for Con to uphold his burden of showing that Rainbows aren't real, he needed to disprove this argument of mine. He never did so.

As it stands, rainbows are real due to the fact that they are an observable phenomenon which occurs in fact, thus meeting the standards of the given definition of what is "real".

II. Just because something is an *illusion* doesn't mean it isn't *real*.

Con has conceded that rainbows are illusions, as evidenced by his statement in the final round:

"From where we stand a beautiful arc seems to appear, but its an illusion" - Con

As we can see, Con concedes that the rainbow is an illusion. With that concession in mind, I'd like to reiterate my proof that illusions are "real":

Illusion: A thing that is, or is likely to be, wrongly perceived or interpreted by the senses

Real: Actually existing as a thing or occurring in fact; not imagined or supposed

Note the underlined parts of those two definitions. For an illusion to be an illusion, it must first exist as a "thing", as evidenced by the definition which states " A thing that is..." and since the definition of real states "actually existing as a thing..." it logically follows that the "thing" or in this case, a rainbow, must be real in order for it to be an illusion in the first place.

*Both of these arguments remained unchallenged by my opponent throughout this entire debate* I hope the judges take this into consideration when evaluating our arguments.

Rebuttals

"Rainbows are imaginary"

Con begins his final round by stating that "rainbows are imaginary", and because of that, "they aren't real according to the definition of what is real." According to Con, the reason they are imaginary is because they "only exist in our brain". At first I thought this was about to turn into a philosophical debate over whether everything exists solely in our brain or not, but then he made the argument that it's imaginary because "we are only looking at the reflection of the sun."

I will now show why Con is wrong in making the claim that rainbows are imaginary.

The definition of imaginary is: Existing only in the imagination. [1]

So, for Con to be right, rainbows would have to exist only in the imagination. But that isn't the case. As I've already shown three times now, rainbows are an observable phenomenon.

The very fact that we can "see" them with our eyes alone proves the fact that they don't exist solely in our imagination. A giant purple pyramid with unicorn graffiti is something that is imaginary. A rainbow is an observable phenomenon which is the result of a physical manipulation of light particles hitting water droplets of various sizes from different angles - creating the phenomenon of a spectrum of light waves visible in the sky.

Thus, rainbows aren't imaginary. They are a real, observable phenomenon, that DOES NOT exist solely in our imagination. The very fact that billions of people "see it" (making it an external stimuli) alone proves this. Since the rainbow is an external stimuli, it clearly doesn't solely exist in our imagination, and since it doesn't exist solely in our imagination, but is rather an observable phenomenon, it's real.

"rainbows don't exist, but the phenomenon that creates them does exist."

This is silly, Con is essentially saying that even though rainbows don't exist, the cause of it does.

I don't think Con understands what a phenomenon is. The rainbow IS the phenomenon, it isn't created by one. The observable phenomenon we identify as a rainbow is *caused/created* by water droplets and sun light refraction, it's a scientifically verified chain of causation. The effect or outcome of that causation is what results as the phenomenon known as a rainbow. Con is essentially saying that the *cause* of the rainbow exists, but the rainbow itself doesn't. That's just stupid. Every effect has a cause, this is common knowledge, so if the cause is *real* (which Con says it is), then the effect necessarily has to be *real* as well.

I feel like this ties into Con's previous illusion nonsense, but whether the effect is an illusion or not has no bearing, the fact that the effect exists as a thing in the first place, proves that it is real.

"Its like a mirage exists, but the lake or puddle you see doesn't exist. You only imagine it does."

Again, I feel like Con is misunderstanding everything... The lake or puddle you see in the road IS the mirage. It's not that the mirage exists and the water doesn't - rather, it's that the water appearing there exists AS the mirage. Con is trying to separate the water from the mirage and make them two separate things without realizing that the water is the mirage - they aren't two separate things. Additionally, we don't "imagine" that it exists, the mirage indeed exists, hence why we coined the phenomenon with the term "mirage" in the first place.

The truth of the matter is that the mirage makes us think there is water in the road. Not imagine, but think. There is a difference between those two terms. You don't have to "imagine" water being in the road for you to "think" that there is water in the road. That's the whole point of a mirage, it makes you think there is water in the road but there really isn't. The mirage would appear regardless of whether you "imagine" there being water in the road or not since it's not something that depends on your imagination. Rather, it appears regardless of your imagination, thus making it a mirage. The same can be said for rainbows. We can imagine rainbows in our minds' eye, but additionally we can *see* the rainbows as an external stimuli through our sensory perception of sight, regardless of imagination. Thus, to correct Con's claim regarding mirages, it's not that we "imagine" the water in the road, but rather that the mirage fools us into "thinking" that there is water in the road.

Ultimately, Con's only substantial arguments have been based off of his own misunderstandings, and now have been thoroughly rebutted.

In closing,

I've extended two arguments, both of which have remained standing unchallenged throughout this entire debate. Furthermore, I've provided rebuttals to each key argument presented by my opponent, Con. As it stands, I've defeated Con's arguments, whereas mine have remained standing.

For these reasons, I urge the audience for a Pro vote.

Thank you.

Sources

[1] http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...
Debate Round No. 3
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Furyan5 1 year ago
Furyan5
Why lol? It's a fact. Colors exist only in the mind. That's a proven fact.
Posted by Blade-of-Truth 1 year ago
Blade-of-Truth
lol
Posted by Furyan5 1 year ago
Furyan5
True. A rainbow is subjectively real. It exists, but only in our mind.
Posted by Najs 1 year ago
Najs
Interesting debate. A rainbow is real, yet it is not real. They are both actually correct.
Posted by Furyan5 1 year ago
Furyan5
Lol no. We not debating if light is real. Obviously it is. We debating what's real and imaginary. Now many people believe imaginary means made-up. Like imagining a purple flying elephant with pink spots. But imagining draws its name from image. Seeing something that's not there or not real. Like a magician doing a magic trick. You imagine seeing a empty box. The box is real. So is the mirror that creates the illusion that the box is empty. But its imaginary. Your eyes are decieved. Likewise your eyes are decieved to believe a rainbow is there. Everyones eyes are decieved into seeing a rainbow even a camera gets tricked. The rainbow exists only in your head, occupying no physical space in reality. The reflected light is real. But its a reflection of sunlight. The sun isn't there.
Posted by Furyan5 1 year ago
Furyan5
As for your reflection not being a person I agree. Its not real. Even though you can SEE it. Its NOT REAL. NOT REAL.......Get it? Like the rainbow you can see it, but its not real. The person in the mirror is an optical illusion created by reflecting light. The water you see in a mirage is an optical illusion created by feflecting light. The rainbow you see in a (un-named phenominon) is a optical illusion created by refraction, deflection and dispersion. The problem is people confuse the rainbow with the (un-named phenominon). Think about it. Let it sink in. The (un-named phenominon) is real. But the rainbow, the object you see, ie the water in the mirage, is not real.
Posted by Furyan5 1 year ago
Furyan5
At least you grasp what I'm saying so well done. Now think of a mirage. Yes they exist. It is the process which creates the illusion that we see water. I agree that the illusion is real. But is the water real? Obviously not. So what is a rainbow? The illusion? No. The rainbow is the thing we see. Its not the mirage, its the water.
Posted by motherengine 1 year ago
motherengine
We don"t call a reflection a person (at least I don't).

Something is there to be perceived and whatever that something is, it seems to actually exist.

As part of the peanut gallery I would suggest that rainbows exist as a perceptive phenomenon "created by refraction of sunlight in raindrops" and that the supposedly "illusory" aspect of the phenomenon does not change the fact that we are perceiving something (Merriam-Webster: "an arc or circle that exhibits in concentric bands the colors of the spectrum and that is formed opposite the sun by the refraction and reflection of the sun's rays in raindrops, spray, or mist") and have labeled it something, "rainbows".

The phenomenon is not altered by describing the label we give it as that label"s definition; just as solid objects can still be solid even if the definition of solid is changed to suite new information.

A rainbow, in the sense of what you seem to be describing, exists as a perceptive phenomenon. Is perception physical? Is it actual? Does it exist?

We don"t call a reflection a person.
Posted by Furyan5 1 year ago
Furyan5
Pro already did
Posted by civildebater 1 year ago
civildebater
Well, I guess you'd have to define "real."
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Death23 1 year ago
Death23
Furyan5Blade-of-TruthTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Con argues in the comments section and frequently tells the reader what to do with a patronizing tone. Con's sentences are frequently fragmented, and Con's style of writing is excessively colloquial to the point of unintelligibility. (e.g. " 'Imagined' you say??? Put on your thinking caps people. It blew me away when I realised it. Now its tricky so not all of you will get it. Don't feel bad.") Con's arguments suck. Con adopts self contradicting positions (e.g. rainbows aren't real but mirages are) Con argues that the water isn't real, but, as Pro demonstrates, the definition of a rainbow makes a rainbow comparable to the mirage phenomenon rather than the illusory water. Pro's discussion of "illusion" was thorough. Pro used many sources aptly. Con used none.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 1 year ago
Ragnar
Furyan5Blade-of-TruthTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Basically this debate begs the question of is light real or imagined, with con even admitting that you can take pictures of rainbows... Pro on the other hand schooled him (quite literally).
Vote Placed by Biodome 1 year ago
Biodome
Furyan5Blade-of-TruthTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con has produced an unconvincing semantic argument, which Pro clearly refuted on several points. Con didn't even attempt to refute some of the Pro's points, which were reasonably inferred and argued for using simple definitions of the words "real", "illusion" and "imaginary". In conclusion, I award the 3 points to Pro, because Con has dropped critical arguments and has thus not sufficiently met his BOP.