The Instigator
jakemg
Pro (for)
Winning
1 Points
The Contender
TheNamesFizzy
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

is science or philosophy better at solving problems and improving society

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
jakemg
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/4/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 822 times Debate No: 66329
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (1)

 

jakemg

Pro

science is how questions get answered and problems get solved. I see the scientific method as the greatest invention inhuman history because it has caused the most exponential growth in human advancement.
TheNamesFizzy

Con

I accept. As the negative in todays debate, I will be proving that philosophy has been more influential in society, and is a tool that is utilized to solve problems as well as help determine the morality of specific decisions.

"I see the scientific method as the greatest invention inhuman history because it has caused the most exponential growth in human advancement."

I absolutely agree the scientific method is a tool that is very useful for solving issues, but philosophy is the ultimate foundation for what science is attempting to achieve. Science, while it does offer benefits to citizens, it doesn't address the morality for what decisions governments have to make to benefit the citizens. For instance, Utilitarian Philosophy suggests a government should make the decision that benefits the most people empiracally, and that is what's the moral decision. Without philosophy, a government would have no moral standing or moral conviction in which to base it's decisions.


To summarize, philosophy is how societies can help determine morality, and is the foundation for all scientific explorations and discoveries, including the scientific method; therefore, it is the most influential in history in terms of development.
Debate Round No. 1
jakemg

Pro

first i want to start by thanking my opponent for accepting the debate.

As I have stated in my comment previously the scientific method was an invention of humans that was based on the field of science. This method since its early adoption in the renaissance, as I see it, is the largest contributing factor to the advancement of our species. This method goes...1) Ask a question 2) Do background research 3) construct a hypothesis 4) Test with an experiment 5)if procedure is not working then troubleshoot procedure and carefully check all steps and set-ups then return to step 4. If procedure is working than 6) Analyse data and draw conlusion. If results do not align with hypothesis than experimental data becomes background research for new/future projects. Ask new question for new hypothesis, and experiment again. If results do align with hypothesis than 7) Communicate resaults. This method is how science solves problems. Science most importantly uses evidence gained from observation and experiment while philosophy as I see it is more of intellextual thought that does not require evidence and therefor is ultimately hit or miss.
My opponet made the case that philosophy can do what science cannot by making decisions that are moral, and that is what the problem is. Now before you jump to extemes let me explain that statement. Morals should be used for three things. Being able to live with other people, other peolple being able to live with you and you being able to live with yourself. Morals however should not be used for making decisions outside of ones personal life. Thats becasue when we all use our morals to try and solve todays large problems we don't all get the same answer. My opponent used the example of Utilitarian philosophy. A government should make decisions that benifit the most people empiracaly; however that isn't happening. Not when there are one billion people in life threatning poverty, and every life support system one the planet is in decline. The decision of how to benifit the most people cannot be made with morals and philosophy because then there will be a large number of groups and institutions that have very different ideas of what that decision should be, like it is today. On the other hand, science can solve this problem because we do have the resources on this planet to provide for every human alive today if we can manage them responsably, and we have the technology to power it all cleanly. We have the technical means to acomplish these things, so why I ask does this not happen. What I see is that hyperpluralism prevents us from implenenting the methods of science into our society. there are two many groups and institutions that are trying to promot there morals and philosophy so they can achiieve there goals, and this prevents us from getting the right answers. Philosophy in many ways will collaps onto itself becasue when its implemented on a large scale it doesn't work.
As for the idea that philosophy "is the fondation for all scientific explorations and discoveries, including the scientific method" I disagree with my opponent. Science is its own field and was not invented by humans but discovered. the scientific method is also based on this field and is not at all associated with philosophy. A quote from the great book 1984 illistrates this best "phillosophy can make 2+2=5, but when building a gun or a part for a plane it has to equal 4"
As i've stated I see philosphy as intellectual though that does not require evidence and so it is indeed an invention of humans. Science is something that is reletive to the highest advancment that exist and as it is used more that advancment increases causing exponential growth. We all learned how to solve problems in the fourth grade when we were taught the scientific method and it is no less viable today.

I again want to thank my opponent for participating in this debate with me and say that i have great respect for you despite teh fact that I disagree with you on this issue.
TheNamesFizzy

Con

I'll address arguments made by my opponent.

Overview:

The arguments for science are pragmatic. However, philosophy provides a framework and principles for which a person should live their lives. Philosophy gives people a sense of purpose and a construct for which we can understand the world. Science describes and creates things pragmatically, but doesn't provide a sense of purpose and morality. Improving society ought to be measured based off of it's citizens happiness and moral conviction, not based off of how many pragmatic items they have. Happiness is the most important for societal welfare, and this is something philosophy achieves better through giving people a purpose.

Rebuttals:

"My opponet made the case that philosophy can do what science cannot by making decisions that are moral, and that is what the problem is. Now before you jump to extemes let me explain that statement. Morals should be used for three things. Being able to live with other people, other peolple being able to live with you and you being able to live with yourself. Morals however should not be used for making decisions outside of ones personal life. Thats becasue when we all use our morals to try and solve todays large problems we don't all get the same answer."

This is why we measure policies and ideas based off of philosophies that have criteria, such as Utilitarianism, Social Contracts, etc. They provide a fundamental building block to all things that would be considered moral. My opponents idea that we shouldn't consider morality in making a decision is just false. The different philosophies for right and wrong provide a marketplace of ideas that, according to John Stuart Mills, is crucial to determining the real truth.

"My opponent used the example of Utilitarian philosophy. A government should make decisions that benifit the most people empiracaly; however that isn't happening. Not when there are one billion people in life threatning poverty, and every life support system one the planet is in decline. "

He's bringing up arguments about global problems, but he refuses to look at the effects of philosophy on an individual scale. Throughout history they provided the foundation for legal systems that help us determine what can and cannot be accepted. For example, Why can you not steal? Because, according to Deontology, you shouldn't perform an action that can directly harm another person. It's why we enforce certain laws, and it's why we are able to protect people, science can't determine the morality of this.

"What I see is that hyperpluralism prevents us from implenenting the methods of science into our society. there are two many groups and institutions that are trying to promot there morals and philosophy so they can achiieve there goals, and this prevents us from getting the right answers."

I invite my opponent to give a specific example of philosophy preventing science from achieving goals.

"Philosophy in many ways will collaps onto itself becasue when its implemented on a large scale it doesn't work."

Using a combination of ideals and values in philosophy already is implemented. Of course, using one philosophy to measure all decisions is not recommended.

" A quote from the great book 1984 illistrates this best "phillosophy can make 2+2=5, but when building a gun or a part for a plane it has to equal 4"

Again, he is only addressing pragmatic concerns.

"As i've stated I see philosphy as intellectual though that does not require evidence and so it is indeed an invention of humans. Science is something that is reletive to the highest advancment that exist and as it is used more that advancment increases causing exponential growth. "

I absolutely agree with science increasing civilization's technology, but can my opponent prove this increases happiness? Suicide rates have skyrocketed since the 1960's in Western civilizations, even with a huge increase in technology. We should measure todays round based off of who gives people a purpose and promotes happiness. My opponent needs to prove science alone can bring more happiness than philosophy.
Debate Round No. 2
jakemg

Pro

I"m going to start my final argument by explaining the fundamental difference between philosophy and science. The important question that these fields ask is different. Philosophy asks the question, "why?" This meaning that the answer needs to have some purpose or meaning like my opponent stated. Science however asks the question of, "how?" Science purely seeks to know the truth. Science seeks to gain knowledge and understand the world. This, philosophy does not do. "Why?" means that there will never be a time when the answer is unknown. Someone will always have the answer and if we just listen to him" science isn't one mans opinion. Science is tested fact, while philosophy is always justifiable. In today"s world we are failing. Over one billion people are in extreme poverty and every life support system on our planet is in decline. [3][4] There are hundreds of different philosophies out there that are all competing with each other for support and effecting society. This type of structure is harming us. Religions (which are some of the largest philosophies) are lobbying against stem cell research [1] that could same millions of lives and cure the worst diseases in the world like cancer, diabetes, and ALS. Oil companies do the same thing with renewable energy [2] that can provide clean energy to this entire planet without continually consuming resources. These problems would not arise if today"s society shared a scientific worldview. The methods of science would prevent misguided information. It does it with repeatable evidence that is gained from observation and experiment. Understand that the laws of science have always been there. Gravity caused objects to fall before well before an apple fell on Newton"s head. He discovered gravity he did not invent it. Newton didn't ask why the apple fell. He asked how.

I want to address the biggest flaw with my opponent"s previous argument because it clear he got something backwards. He made the claim that "Improving society ought to be measured based off of it's citizens happiness and moral conviction"Happiness is the most important for societal welfare, and this is something philosophy achieves better through giving people a purpose." Humans if anything react to their environment. If we live in a broken system then we will not be happy. Science hinges on accurate measurement and it would recognize the impotence of happiness. Currently we have a measurement for societal success called GDP. It"s complete economic philosophy. Economics itself is a philosophy, it just has math implanted into it so can become somewhat manageable. GDP measures money and products, but does not measure any form of public health. We could use the methods of science in society to discover that public health is the ultimate measure of progress. Factors such as happiness and nutrition, disease, infant mortality, physical health, and even education are what truly make a society prosperous. [4] Science therefore does improve happiness because it truly recognizes the real factors of progress and can improve our societal environment, and a healthy environment is what makes people happy, but again philosophy collapses onto itself when implemented on the large scale. Science doesn't tell people how to find happiness like philosophy, but it gives them the ability to. In his previous argument my opponent stated that "he refuses to look at the effects of philosophy on an individual scale." The fact is philosophy can be harmful to people"s personal health because it can control them. Japan is one of the highest suicidal countries in the world, [5] and it"s because of their extremely strong philosophy of honor. Japan has even suffered from deaths from exhaustion because of their strong philosophy on hard work [6]. Philosophy many times will instruct happiness to someone and seek to control how they live. We've seen the dangers of philosophy because of the tragedies committed by totalitarian regimes that were able to take philosophies to extreme measure and sometimes even fool there citizens into believing they were happy when they were far below the standards of living in any other country.

The second point my opponent made that I am going to address is when he stated "Throughout history they provided the foundation for legal systems that help us determine what can and cannot be accepted"It's why we enforce certain laws, and it's why we are able to protect people" science would tackle this in a different way. It would eliminate the need for a philosophy to keep order. Scientist make goals that are to solve problems, while politicians use philosophy and make laws that only service the problem. Today we have a law that says we cannot drink and drive, but people still get into cars drunk and kill people. This can be solved easily by a car that can drive itself. Autonomous cars exist today but of course there is no way to provide one to every one that needs it because of our current system restrictions. My opponent later used the example of stealing, but the problem again is that people still steal. The law that"s in place doesn't prevent that, and the reality is that this is going to be intrinsic to any society that has a significant wealth gap or poverty. As I said before people react to their environment, but we have the technical means to provide all the necessary factors for living, including happiness thus removing any motive to steal. This is solving a problem. Poverty is the number one killer in all of history, but today we have the technical means to eliminate it, but we don"t because of a system that predicates on the political philosophy that has now become outdated to our current technological advancement. There are branches of science that deal with things other that technology (which is something I feel my opponent has overlooked). There are branches that can use the methods of science to truly solve poverty and other problems. Branches like sociology or psychology that deals with the cause and effect of policy and events society and of personal human behavior. It"s this type of work that can create a system based on science that creates real progress and prosperity.

I"m not saying that saying that decisions should be the opposite of what"s moral. I"m not saying that decisions that are moral are bad. What I want to show is that the best decision does not predicate on morality, but evidence. Our technical ability should be our reality, but the misguided nature and hyper-pluralism of philosophy prevents us from doing so.
I would like to say tanks to my opponent. This couldn't have technically happened without you. And you have done a fine job.

[1] http://www.huffingtonpost.com...

[2] http://www.nytimes.com...

[3] World Bank

[4] World Health Organization

[5] http://www.washingtonpost.com...

[6] Freakonomics
TheNamesFizzy

Con

TheNamesFizzy forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by jakemg 2 years ago
jakemg
I'm going to admit that the 6th resource is not the right one. Fact about Japanese exhaustion death is true however i didn't get it from freakonomics, but from a psychology documentary called "happy". it can be found on Netflix
Posted by missmedic 2 years ago
missmedic
A philosophy is a system of beliefs about reality. Philosophy provides the framework for which man can understand the world. It provides the premises by which man can discover truth, and use his mind to support his life. Every man has an understanding of the world. Every man must have a philosophy, even if it is never made explicit. A healthy philosophy embraces logic and reason which is needed as a bases for objective morality and ethics. Ethics is a requirement for human life.
Posted by UndeniableReality 2 years ago
UndeniableReality
What are the contributions philosophy makes in our lives other than those which improve the scientific methods and those which lead us to formulate new scientific hypotheses? Questions aren't given definite nor complete answers by philosophy, but by science.
Posted by jakemg 2 years ago
jakemg
i want to clarify the distinction between science and the scientific method. science being a field of study that was in fact discovered and the scientific method being a step by step process for solving problems that was indeed invented; however based on the field of science,
Posted by TheNamesFizzy 2 years ago
TheNamesFizzy
The process of the Scientific method is an invention because it is a set of ideas put together into a method to solving problems. Correct me if I'm wrong.
Posted by missmedic 2 years ago
missmedic
Science is a discovery not an invention. By every reasonable measure science has improved the lot of humanity by orders of magnitude more than any other institution. Science has done far more to both explain the world around us and help us improve our condition than millennia of religion.
However all persons have some sort of philosophy. Your philosophy is your worldview, which is a backdrop for all thought and a context for all knowledge. The decision about examining philosophy is between: 1) to make your philosophy explicit, or 2) to be a slave to the subconscious notions, principles, and other people's philosophies picked up throughout life. To ignore the topic of philosophy is to be doomed to the second choice. Examining your philosophy will allow you to discover and root out all errors and contradictions and allow you to more easily acquire knowledge and to think in concepts rather than concretes.
Posted by cheyennebodie 2 years ago
cheyennebodie
Man may have more toys and gadgets, but his heart can be just as dark and evil as ever.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Bennett91 2 years ago
Bennett91
jakemgTheNamesFizzyTied
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: Points for FF