The Instigator
urvashi
Con (against)
Losing
6 Points
The Contender
JustCallMeTarzan
Pro (for)
Winning
18 Points

is there anything like a universal truth????

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/21/2008 Category: Religion
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,750 times Debate No: 4119
Debate Rounds (3)
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Votes (8)

 

urvashi

Con

i believe there's nothing like a universal truth...poeple need to cling to some idea in order to provide some kind of meaning to their lives...and everyone creates his/her own idea of truth depending upon the circumstances they are placed in...there's nothing in this world which can not be contested...
JustCallMeTarzan

Pro

"there's nothing in this world which can not be contested..."

My opponent's argument can be summed up in this thesis and can easily be undermined... There is nothing that can make it the case that I (a consciousness, individual, what-have-you) have never existed. Thus, we have the universal truth that once something exists, it cannot be made to have never existed.

Consider that in order TO make it the case that it never existed, it would have to have existed in the first place. Thus, a universal truth that is not merely definitional in the same sense as "a three-sided figure is always a triangle."

I await a rebuttal of this universal truth.
Debate Round No. 1
urvashi

Con

It seems my opponent misunderstood me...i never said there's nothing like the idea of self or human consciousness...ofcourse conscience exists...my argument is that there's nothing universal about it...conscience or the idea of self is a social construct.Am against the idea of a set of ideals being stamped on human self before it comes into the world,by some celestial power.I believe a new born baby is a blank sheet, which starts taking impressions upon itself as when it opens its eyes...as the time passes..the memory of those initial impressions seem to look so old that one feels its something that one was conscious of before he/she came into this world...the universal truth.
I would be very happy if my opponent can give me one set of ideas..that are believed to be true through out the world...for all ages that have past and the ages to come.As for scientific and mathematical principles...i would say...not even the scientists who invented them believed them to be the ultimate truth...as for the triangle figure...all mathematical derivations are based on suppositions...human constructs..which are believed to be true universally for the sake of convinience only....
JustCallMeTarzan

Pro

I'm not trying to argue anything specific about consciousness - I'm arguing that it's a universal truth that once something exists it cannot be made to have never existed. In fact, ALL things that are logically possible where the negation of it would be a logical contradiction are universal truths.

>>"conscience or the idea of self is a social construct"

Absolutely not. "cogito ergo sum" is completely independent of any social construct at all. Saying the self is a social contract is like arguing that being human is a social construct.

>>"I believe a new born baby is a blank sheet"

Again, absolutely not. Humans are animals. As such, we have genetic instincts that are passed on from generation to generation and are very much part of our lives. How does a baby know to suckle at its mother's breast if it's a blank sheet?

>>"...before he/she came into this world...the universal truth."

I'm not sure what you mean by this, but is sounds like you've acquiesced that there IS a universal truth in the world itself, and thus completely negated your own proposition.

>>"I would be very happy if my opponent can give me one set of ideas..that are believed to be true through out the world...for all ages that have past and the ages to come."

Humans are self interested.

>>"as for the triangle figure...all mathematical derivations are based on suppositions...human constructs..which are believed to be true universally for the sake of convinience only...."

Which is exactly why I shied away from definitional truths. It makes no sense to say: "Unmarried men are bachelors" is a universal truth. Well no $#!^ Sherlock. Non-definitional truths can be universal truths.

***************************

My opponent has not left any substantial rebuttal for my original point: all things that are logically possible where the negation of which would be a logical contradiction are universal truths. Exmple: once something exists, it cannot be made the case that the thing never existed.
Debate Round No. 2
urvashi

Con

"I'm not trying to argue anything specific about consciousness - I'm arguing that it's a universal truth that once something exists it cannot be made to have never existed. In fact, ALL things that are logically possible where the negation of it would be a logical contradiction are universal truths."

I wonder if it is possible to argue about Truth without talking about consciousness."logical possibilities" and "logical contradictions"...lots of logic...where does that logic comes from??? i believe from thought process.Where do thoughts come from??? i believe from language...i believe its language that gives shape to one's perceptions.And language is a product of society and vice versa...whichever way one takes it...its impossible separate language from society...So ultimately...logic too...is a product of society...society keeps changing...so do logics...how can they be universal...or the basis for universal truth...????

"cogito ergo sum" is completely independent of any social construct at all. Saying the self is a social contract is like arguing that being human is a social construct."
Can any statement or priciple or ideal be ever independent of a social context...not a single line is ever independent of a social context...philosophers are not extra terrestrial beings...even the remotest fantasy can be placed in a context...because it is expressed in "a particular language" which cannot be placed outside a social context as i've argued earlier also.

1)" Saying the self is a social contract is like arguing that being human is a social construct."

2)"Humans are animals."

argumnt1 suggests that being human is more then a social construct,argument2 says that human beings are nothing but animals...i really want to know where should i place humans!!!??!!!

"How does a baby know to suckle at its mother's breast if it's a blank sheet?"

one can as well ask...how does a baby know to react by crying when it is pinched??am not talking about reflexes...we all have a nervous system in place...am talking about the beliefs that one starts forming when the senses start interacting with the suroundings in full measure...

" Humans are self interested. " That would only bring you back to the idea of self...for me...if the self is nothing but reflection of our society...what is self interest...neither that self,nor the self interest remains the same throughout...how can they be clearly defined and be called universal then!!
JustCallMeTarzan

Pro

"I wonder if it is possible to argue about Truth without talking about consciousness."logical possibilities" and "logical contradictions"...lots of logic...where does that logic comes from???"

Logical truths are self-evident. There's no belief structure to statements like "Square triangles are impossible." It's complete idiocy to claim that there is a belief structure behind things like that and if you have a certain structure rather than another the claim will somehow be possible. Again - there's no "tree" of any sort behind logical truths. Logical truths just ARE, much in the same way one could say matter just IS.

>>"society keeps changing...so do logics...how can they be universal...or the basis for universal truth...????"

As I just pointed out, logic is completely independent from society. Square triangles are logically impossible in the US, UK, France, India, Thailand, China, Russia, etc... society has nothing at all to do with logical truths.

>> "Can any statement or priciple or ideal be ever independent of a social context...not a single line is ever independent of a social context..."

My opponent seems to have entirely missed the fact that the ability to make a statement and what that statement actually IS are two separate concepts. The specifics of a statement cannot be separated from societal contexts, but the ability to make the statement itself is a different concept. Once again a statement is a statement in the US, UK, France, India, Thailand, China, Russia, etc... regardless of what the statement SAYS or what LANGUAGE it's in.

>>"argumnt1 suggests that being human is more then a social construct,argument2 says that human beings are nothing but animals...i really want to know where should i place humans!!!??!!!"

Once again, my opponent has completely missed the boat. Stating that the self is a social contract is like saying the condition of being human is in a social contract. Obviously this cannot be the case, else the state of nature would be a social contract in and of itself. And in the state of nature, man is an animal. A self interested animal and life is nasty, brutish and short.

>>""How does a baby know to suckle at its mother's breast if it's a blank sheet?"one can as well ask...how does a baby know to react by crying when it is pinched??am not talking about reflexes...we all have a nervous system in place...am talking about the beliefs that one starts forming when the senses start interacting with the suroundings in full measure..."

Suckling at a breast and crying when pinched are two completely different things. People are not blank slates - there are genetic instincts that are completely independent of the central nervous system. This is fairly obvious and I'm puzzled why my opponent brings it up... However, he does make a slight point about the lack of beliefs - those are indeed a product of society, but then again, I never said they weren't, so I'm equally unsure why he brings that point up as well.

>>"if the self is nothing but reflection of our society...what is self interest...neither that self,nor the self interest remains the same throughout...how can they be clearly defined and be called universal then!!"

Once again - the fact that we HAVE a self, and what the self is LIKE are two completely different things. Acting in self-interest is not dependent on society. What the self-interested act IS is what's dependent on society.

********************************

Throughout this debate, my opponent has demonstrated an unfortunate lack of understanding of the separation of certain issues - mainly things like a concept itself as distinct from the specifics of the concept.

In the end, we are left with three concepts that are classifiable as universal truths, or at least as "anything like a universal truth," as the resolution states.

1)

Existence itself cannot be made to never have happened - i.e. I cannot be made to have never existed. This is clearly explained in the fist round, and my opponent utterly failed to provide a counterargument to it.

2)

Cogito ergo sum - that humans are self-aware and capable of recognizing this. My opponent tries to dismiss this as a societal construct as though somehow what society one belongs to determines the extent to which one is self-aware.

3)

Humans are self-interested animals with basic, "pre-loaded" instincts. Once again, my opponent dismisses this as societal, ignoring the concept of the brutish state of nature in favor of a Lockean, flawed, harmonious, contractual state of nature, instead of the more correct Hobbesean model. Basically, the most fundamental nature of humans is independent of society.

********************************

Thanks for the debate - read and vote please!
Debate Round No. 3
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Vote Placed by oboeman 8 years ago
oboeman
urvashiJustCallMeTarzanTied
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Vote Placed by revleader5 8 years ago
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urvashiJustCallMeTarzanTied
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Vote Placed by freedom9 8 years ago
freedom9
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Vote Placed by urvashi 8 years ago
urvashi
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Vote Placed by Vi_Veri 8 years ago
Vi_Veri
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Vote Placed by Derek.Gunn 8 years ago
Derek.Gunn
urvashiJustCallMeTarzanTied
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Vote Placed by paul_tigger 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by JustCallMeTarzan 8 years ago
JustCallMeTarzan
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