The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
6 Points


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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/27/2015 Category: Science
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 547 times Debate No: 79099
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)




how do you know a thing if you dont know it


I assume the first round is acceptance. So, I accept.


Belief - an acceptance that something exists or is true.

Nothing - not anything.

Debate Round No. 1




You have stated that: "Something = True" This is a false assumption. You cannot assume that everything you see is true - I don't understand how you are using this to support your argument.

Since no particular belief system has been specified I will argue that belief isn't nothing. It has great significance in society today and should not be considered as nothing. Even as an athiest I believe that belief is important. Belief isn't just about religion and / or whether or not God exists. So now I will explain what belief is and why it is important.

What is a belief ?

A belief is the mental attitude that some proposition is true. For every given proposition, every person either has or lacks the mental attitude that it is true — there is no middle ground between the presence of absence of a belief. In the case of gods, everyone either has a belief that at least one god of some sort exists or they lack any such belief.

Belief is distinct from judgment, which is a conscious mental act that involves arriving at a conclusion about a proposition (and thus usually creating a belief). Whereas belief is the mental attitude that some proposition is true rather than false, judgement is the evaluation of a proposition as reasonable, fair, misleading, etc.

Because it is a type of disposition, it isn't necessary for a belief to be constantly and consciously manifested. We all have many beliefs which we are not consciously aware of. There may even be beliefs which some people never consciously some think about — but, to be a belief, there should at least be the possibility that it can manifest.

A belief that a god exists often depends on numerous other beliefs which a person hasn't consciously considered.

Belief vs. Knowledge

Although some people treat them as almost synonymous, belief and knowledge are very distinct. The most widely accepted definition of knowledge is that something is "known" only when it is a "justified, true belief." This means that if Joe "knows" some proposition X, then all of the following must be the case:

  1. Joe believes X
  2. X is true
  3. Joe has good reasons to believe X

If the first is absent, then Joe should believe it because it is true and there are good reasons for believing it, but Joe has made a mistake for believing something else. If the second is absent, then Joe has an erroneous belief. If the third is absent, then Joe has made a lucky guess rather than knowing something.

Why are Beliefs Important?

Beliefs are important because behavior is important and your behavior depends on your beliefs. Everything you do can be traced back to beliefs you hold about the world — everything from brushing your teeth to your career. Beliefs also help determine your reactions to others' behavior — for example their refusal to brush their teeth or their own career choices. All this means that beliefs are not an entirely private matter. Even beliefs you try to keep to yourself may influence your actions enough to become a matter of legitimate concern of others.

Believers certainly can't argue that their religions have no impact on their behavior; on the contrary, believers are frequently seen arguing that their religion is critical for the development of correct behaviour. The more important the behavior in question is, the more important the underlying beliefs must be. The more important those beliefs are, the more important it is that they be open to examination, questioning, and challenges.

I await my opponent's response and I hope it is longer than what he posted for the previous round.


Debate Round No. 2


are things false? do you find a lie in reality?


thoughts dosnt exist in reality, thoughts are not real


If my opponent is not going to respond to my argument then I will keep it shorter this time.


You: Are things false?

Me: Yes, but not everything is false. Just because some things are false it doesn't mean that everything is and belief means nothing.

You: Do you find a lie in reality?

Me: This question is very brief and no examples have been provided. At the moment my answer is no but if Pro defines this argument then it will be easier to respond to this.

You: Information=nothing=separation=0

Me: Information is the opposite of nothing. I don't understand how nothing or information have anything to do with separation. I will define what you have said to put this into perspective.

Information: "facts provided or learned about something or someone"

Nothing: "not anything"

Separation: "the action or state of moving or being moved apart."

You have not provided me with anything that proves that these things are equal to each other. Here is what the equasion actually means:

Fact = nothing = being moved apart = 0

This statement clearly doesn't make any sense. If you can provide me with an example then this argument could be valid but since Pro has not elaborated this argument will have to remain invalide until me opponent can justify his argument properly.

You: Thoughts dosn't exist in reality, thoughts are not real."

Me: You may notice that I have fixed the grammar in this sentence because when you posted it, it was not capitalized and no full stops of apostrophes where used.

You claim that thoughts do not exist in reality. That is a huge claim to make and I cannot discuss this further without any evidence provided by Pro. Pro has also claimed that thoughts are not real. This is something I discussed both in a philosophical and scientific point of view. I will pick out a few quotes for Pro to reflect upon and then I will state my case.

"If it were possible to map out the exact pattern of brain waves that give rise to a person’s momentary complex of awareness, that mapping would only explain the physical correlate of these experiences, but it wouldn’t be them. A person doesn’t experience patterns, and her experiences are as irreducibly real as her brain waves are, and different from them."

"Subjective consciousness, if it is not reducible to something physical, … would be left completely unexplained by physical evolution—even if the physical evolution of such organisms is in fact a causally necessary and sufficient condition for consciousness."

Thoughts are real

Thoughts have substance. Your thoughts produce proteins, the bodies building blocks, which form real structures that change the landscape of your brain.

The thoughts we think grow branches on nerve cells in the brain. These nerve cells which looks like trees. Scientists have therefore called these nerve cells ‘The Magic Trees of the Mind’ because they look like a forest of trees under the microscope. Our thoughts shape these ‘trees’. Our thoughts therefore determine what our brain becomes. Our quality of life depends on what our brain has become.

I hope that Pro reads and understands what I have said and I hope that he will respond in more depth this time.

Debate Round No. 3




pick up 0 sodas from the floor

matter is the opposite of information, information is 0 percent of the light in my personal physical experience

if we cut open a head, and take out the brain, we cant poor out the mind, information on the floor, so they are not things, they are nothing


Everything = "all things."

Key Word: "All."

You: "Everything = something"

Me: As I have stated in my definition Everything is not some things. It is all things or more simply: Everything=all things

You: Sense = something

Me: That statement supports my argument. You claim that sense is something - if sense is something then so are thoughts. If thoughts are real, then so is belief. You just conceded.

You: Matter is the opposite of information, information is 0 percent of the light in my personal physical experience.

Me: I am going to ignore the first part of this sentence because it makes little sense and has little relevance to the debate topic.

Key Word:

Due to the fact that information is not part of the in light in your personal physical experience it does not mean that it isn't part of others. Despite what you claim I believe that information is a major part of your physical experiences. Without information you would not be able to communicate or even participate in this very debate.

You: If we cut open a head, and take out the brain we can't poor out the mind, information on the floor, so they are not things, they are nothing.

Me: As I have explained in the previous round from a scientific point of view. The mind is not physical. It is part of the brain that cannot be touched or seen. Consciousness is very complex and it makes up a major part of the brain. You should not always trust what you see. Just because you cannot see something. It does not mean that it isn't there. I thought that you would know this considering some of your comments during this debate and during similar debates that you have participated in.

Debate Round No. 4


yes everything is something, not nothing

thoughts dosnt make sense

information is mental, not physical, not real

brain is physical, not part of the brain


Everything is Everything. If you understand the definitino of everything that I provided you would understand that everything cannot be just something. Everthing it all things. Something is some things. Everthing cannot be the same as something because there are 3 things that a thing can be. Everything = all things. Something = some things. Nothing = no things. It doesn't make sense to swap round definitions and words because that makes things complicated and it doesn't make any sense.

Thoughts are very complicated and are still not fully understood to this day but that doesn't mean that they don't make sense. It means that at the moment we do not have the technology and equipment to fully understand thoughts and the human brain. We may never completely understand the human brain primarily due to its infinitely complex structure.

Information isn't mental in most people's opinion. Whilst information is not always factual for example if I said that my sister has blonde hair, this is a piece of information. You don't know for a fact what my sister's hair colour is so you will have to assume that her hair colour is blonde because you have no reason to think otherwise. Information can also be factual for example I could say that grass is green. To me this is a fact because when I look at grass I see the colour green.

Yes, the brain is physical - I never said it wasn't. I said that thoughts and information are not physical things. Did you just say that the brain is not part of the brain? I don't think I have to respond to that in any great detail for everyone to see the great flaw in that argument.

Vote Con!
Debate Round No. 5
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by vi_spex 2 years ago
so where does the concept exist
Posted by roguetech 2 years ago
The "mind" does not exist beyond being a concept. What we *label* as a mind (which in itself is rarely defined in any reliable way) is a product of the brain. There are no examples of any minds existing in absence of a brain. Minds can cease to manifest when a brain is damaged.
Posted by vi_spex 2 years ago
brain is physical, mind is not part of the brain*
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by roguetech 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: First, coming in, I wasn't sure what the topic even meant... Does it mean that there is no defining physical attribute for a "belief", that nothing is ever labelled a "belief" or that no beliefs "exist". Should have been on Pro to define this. Pro does not establish their position, or establish... well, anything. Con, I disagree that "something is 'known' only when it is a 'justified, true belief,' " except with the caveat that "justified" is subjective, and "true" can not be truly objectively determined. Someone could use the word accurately by saying "I know a god exists". That does not mean a god MUST exist, it means that they hold a belief to be true. Ergo, the definition should match. That is not the same as holding a true belief. The opposite of belief is nonbelief or lack of a belief. The opposite of knowledge is not fiction, it is opinion or ignorance. Aside from that, props to Con.