The Instigator
YE-ARE
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
salve
Con (against)
Winning
18 Points

does the soul actualy exist?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/29/2011 Category: Religion
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 794 times Debate No: 18527
Debate Rounds (3)
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Votes (4)

 

YE-ARE

Pro

I seen a television program that told a true story of a italian doctor who lived in the 1800s. Now this doctor wanted to re-animate cadavers and hopefuly bring them back to life with the help of electricity. When this guy rigged the corpse up for his audience of fellow doctors to the battery he succsesfully animated the body. The body lacking consciousness obviously goes back to its dead state. The doctor had no uderstanding of the soul. COMMENTS PLEASE!!!
salve

Con

I thank my opponent for introducing this topic for debate. From the way my opponent said that "The doctor had no uderstanding of the soul" I presume he wishes to affirm the motion 'That the soul actually exists' and to use the example of this doctor's inability to reanimate cadavers as evidence for this.

So, with that in mind, as Con, I will argue that the soul probably does not, in fact, exist.


We'll consider some definitions first, and then a brief rebuttal of my opponent's example, and, third, I'll push my arguments for why I find it unlikely that the soul exists.

1-Definitions

As Pro didn't provide any definitions, I'd like to define soul as:


The soul-the immaterial organ in humans causing our thoughts and consciousness, that is separate from the physical body. [1][2]


Furthermore, as Pro and the instigator of this debate, my opponent acceps the burden of proof.

I ask my opponent to accept or rebut this definition in Round 2.


2-Rebuttal of my opponent's example


My opponent gives an example of a doctor living in the 1800s who was unable to bring corpses back to life with electricity, in an attempt to prove that humans do indeed have a soul, which is why we can't be brought back to life in this way. Con has several responses here:


1. I can't find any such doctor. For this example to be examined fairly, Pro must provide the name of the doctor, sources discussing his experiment, et cetera.


2. The fact that electricity failed to reanimate a human body says nothing. In fact, it seems much more likely that the brain wouldn't respond to a massive electric shock and would, in fact, be damaged by it, rather than revived. My opponent hasn't led any evidence as to why he would expect an electric shock to reanimate all of the physical parts (i.e. everything other than the soul) of the body.


3. Reanimation has worked on some animals in some circumstances, particularly by freezing animals until death and then warming them back to life. James Lovelock was able to reanimate dead rats, and subsequent experimens have shown the phenomenon to work on other animals at the right temperature and in the right conditions [3]. None of this research suggests that reanimation wouldn't also work on humans.


3-Con Case

Although I assume my opponent will accept the burden of proof as instigator and pro, there are also some problems with the idea of a soul existing:


Contention 1: The problems of interaction

One common objection to Cartesian Dualism (the system of a physical body and animmaterial soul, which is, I assume, what my opponent supports) is the question of how the immaterial thoughts and feelings from the soul could possibly react with the physical, existent body, to produce human actions. How could an immaterial being like the soul possibly react with a physical being, like the body? This seems incredible, and, to me, it is much more plausible that chemical reactions in the brain create these messages.

Contention 2: Brain Damage

In many cases of brain damage, when the brain is physically damaged in some way, a capacity for thought or feeling is lost [4]. If the soul, which my opponent argues exists immaterially outside the body, really causes emotions and thoughts, then why is it that, due to trauma in the brain, the capactiy for these emotions and thoughts is reduced, or even lost? It seems more plausible that the brain damage affects the brain, and so that it is here that we get these thoughts and emotions.


Contention 3: Necessarily implies a creator

If the soul exists, it seems clear that it couldn't have been evolved, as it is an immaterial substance. The only way the soul could exist is if it were created by a god. I won't try to derail this into a religious debate, but does my opponent accept that this is the case? If so, then I will lead further evidence on why I find such a god unlikely in round two.


Good luck to my opponent, and I hope this is a fun debate.


[1] http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
[2] http://dictionary.reference.com...
[3] http://www.damninteresting.com...
[4] http://www.tbiguide.com...





Debate Round No. 1
YE-ARE

Pro

YE-ARE forfeited this round.
salve

Con

It's a shame my opponent had to forfeit last round, I was looking forward to a fun debate.

In any case, as forfeiting a round represents a violation of conduct, and my opponent has still not addressed the contentions I put forward in r1 (which I extend to this round). Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 2
YE-ARE

Pro

YE-ARE forfeited this round.
salve

Con

Again, by forfeiting, my opponent has failed to address my arguments.

Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Zarroette 3 years ago
Zarroette
YE-AREsalveTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: ff
Vote Placed by jm_notguilty 6 years ago
jm_notguilty
YE-AREsalveTied
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Reasons for voting decision: ff
Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 6 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
YE-AREsalveTied
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by dappleshade 6 years ago
dappleshade
YE-AREsalveTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Con posted a great counter, Pro ran away. 'Nuff said.