The Instigator
Pro (for)
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The Contender
Con (against)
1 Points

i think, therefore, i am

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/29/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 728 times Debate No: 59698
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (11)
Votes (1)




i think, therefore, i am

that is how i prove my existence to myself.

how is it a faulty basis?

my thoughts are self referential. if i have a thought, it means somewhere somehow i must be thinking it. it might be a dream or somewhat illusory, but it is still a thought that is occurring. it might be an illusion flat out, but it's still an illusion meaning there is something there to delude.


If your brain saying "I think, therefore, I am" is your only proof for your very existence, your idea that you "really ARE" is unstable as you do not have a witness. You cannot be the only one to prove that you are real. For all anybody knows, your life and everything in it could be a hallucination!

Watch the video for three good reasons it is a faulty basis.
Debate Round No. 1


the video took the argument in the wrong direction. it concluded "there are thoughts" is all a person can conclude. but, if there are thoughts, it means 'you' are having them. you could be a demon's play toy, your brain could be in a jar..... you could be a figment of someone's imagination,,,, but you are still you. as i said in my initla post, my ideas are self referential, and that is how i prove my existence to myself, not someone else.

con should have given the arguments in the video himself, and just cited the video. it shows a weakness that he couldn't, or at least didn't.


We all know that if a person (you) are having 'thoughts,' 'you' are the only one to think that exact thing at that exact time. So that's out of the way. But the phrase 'I think, therefore, I am' cannot, does not, apply to a figment of someone else's imagination, yet you suggested otherwise.

If we allow that all of our thoughts are generated by The Brain, & sometime thereafter, Some Internal Sense becomes "Aware" of These Thoughts, This Second process or "Artifact" occurs after The Creation of The Thought. One may argue that The Awareness of The Thought occurs simultaneously with The Creation of The Thought, But in Either Case; The Brain is Constructing The Thought, & The Mind Becomes Aware of it.

If one were to argue that Any Given Thought is "Considered" & then "Debated" in The Mind, These are all Processes of The Brain, Which The Mind is Then Later "Aware" of, But The Awareness itself has no mechanism of telling The Brain that it is experiencing these Thoughts.
This is "Epiphenomenalism"; It asks; Does The Mind ( Awareness ) do anything?
According to this line of reasoning; No, It doesn"t.
A Device The Says: "I Think, Therefore; I am."
Obviously; A Machine that is built to Say "I Think, Therefore, I am." is not Experiencing any sense of What The Sentence "Means", But nevertheless, In order for The Machine to Say this; It must Exist.
Debate Round No. 2


linate forfeited this round.


Though my opponent has forfeited I won't cease to prove my point--especially because my last round put a bad light on my position.

My last sentence written in Round 2 is faulty and I would like to correct this. In doing so I will prove how the statement we are debating is faulty more-so.

If the machine that is built to say "I think therefore I am," in order for the machine to say it must exist, doesn't correlate with the actual saying. If it was programmed to say I It is not thinking, only obeying the programmer. Same thing could be happening with us right now: we could be figments of a Higher Deity's thoughts, no more no less. We need to define what "exist" and "am" means. If it means thoughts of someone else, this would all be different. But it doesn't that the figment is thinking, only obeying what the programmer was thinking.

am = 1st person singular present, indicative of 'be.'
exist = have objective reality or being.

For example, if someone was dreaming at night, and he was dreaming about himself, telling that guy in the dream (himself) to go on this website and debate this exact "I think therefore I am" concept, the guy in the dream would obey the real dreamer but would not be thinking. If you were only the guy inside somebody else's dream, and that person was controlling everything you do, if you said 'I exist because I think," it would be like saying 'I exist because I'm saying this." But when the person dreaming wakes up your "existence" would be destroyed.

If this makes sense vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by JasperFrancisShickadance 2 years ago
I will explain what I said (in R2) when I am able to give the last argument (in R3).
Posted by JasperFrancisShickadance 2 years ago
how did I concede that?
Posted by dannyc 2 years ago
"that is how i prove my existence to myself." that is all that is needed to be established and Con conceded this.
Posted by dannyc 2 years ago
Con just doesn't know what he has to debate.
Posted by ben671176 2 years ago
"Cogito, ergo sum."
Posted by JasperFrancisShickadance 2 years ago
Yes you can have 'another thought' in any way even if it is not first person narrative. The statement in the video of Descartes having thoughts from somewhere else is vague, but it is not impossible. It could mean that he is having hallucinations or is not in his actual, right mind.
Posted by dannyc 2 years ago
First and Second point of that video is not relevant.

"Descartes may be having the thoughts from somewhere else"

Christ, that is poor philosophy. Descarte would still be then, because he is still experiencing a thought to which he is cognitively aware, he is experiencing. and how can he be having a thought 'from somewhere else' but not in fact be then having a delusional experience of a thought to which is not his. You cannot have 'another thought' in anyway that is not first person narratived.
Posted by dannyc 2 years ago
I think therefore I am, is a significant statement. It is a statement in which proves the existence of a being in which a thought, relative to a subjective experience can conclude they do exist.

1. It does not prove you exist to me

2. It does not prove I exist to you.

It proves I exist to me. I could be dreaming, I could be on acid, I could be a brain in a vat. I could be a demon's plaything. It doesn't matter, it proves I am. I am the experiential embodiement of the statement to which there is a first person narrative.

"that is how i prove my existence to myself."

None of you have read the debate title, none of you have even taken a moment to read what pro needs to show.

"I have no way of showing, I am not an imaginary construct"

Nor do I need to, this debate is not about whether 'I think therefore I am" proves my existence to you, but rather it proves my existence to myself.
Posted by NathanDuclos 2 years ago
I think there I am, not you think therefor I am, or I think therefor you are. You have no way to show you are not an imaginary construct of me. I am a brain in a jar living in the matrix. . . you do not exist. . .
Posted by linate 2 years ago
from my vantage point, that is not possible. from my vantage point, it would be you that are a figment of my imagination. i think, therefore, i am. not therefore, you are.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: I don't think Con had a compelling argument against, but neither do I think Pro did a good job rebtutting the argument that was presented. In the end, the only point worth scoring seemed the conduct point, for the forfeit. As always, happy to clarify this RFD.