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Con (against)
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/27/2015 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 783 times Debate No: 69016
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)




First round acceptance and topic, second round points, third round rebuttals.


1. Topic must be fair and cannot have only one side.
2. This debate can not be about entertainment/pictures or games or anime.
3. You cannot have arguments in third round or rebuttals in second. You can, however, strengthen in the third round.
4. No trolling...only choose to debate if you actually plan on completing the debate.
5. Any breaking of these rules results in automatic Pro win.


The topic shall be:

Cats do not have souls.

Since you are Pro, you will defend the resolution that cats do not have souls. I will argue that they do have souls. We will have a shared burden of proof.

May be the odds be ever in your favor!
Debate Round No. 1


Bwacit forfeited this round.


My opponent has forfeited, but since there's one more round to go, and since she might be back, I thought I ought to make at least one argument in support of my burden of proof.

According to the indiscernibility of identicals, if whatever is true of A is also true of B, then A and B are the same thing. For example, whatever is true of the evening star is also true of the morning star because the evening star and the morning star are actually the same entity, namely the planet, Venus.

If there is something that is true of A that is not true of B, then it is impossible for A and B to be the same thing. So if I can show that there is something true of a cat that is not true of that cat's body, then that will prove that the cat is not its body. It's personal identity resists in something immaterial.

A soul is just an immaterial self, so this debate is really over whether cats have selves that are immaterial.

I have a cat named Aristotle. Aristotle has all the necessary and sufficient conditions for him to be a cat. He looks like a cat, walks like a cat, purrs like a cat, and he has cat DNA. If Aristotle does not have a soul, then Aristotle would be his body, or his brain, or some part of his brain.

But it is conceivable that Aristotle might've been something other than a cat. It is conceivable that instead of being a cat, Aristotle might have been a dog. Using possible world semantics, there is a possible world in which Aristotle is a dog instead of a cat.

Well, if it's there is a possible world in which Aristotle might have been a dog instead of a cat, then there is something that is true about Aristotle that is not true about his feline body. After all, a cat cannot be a dog because cats and dogs are distinct species. To be a cat is to not be a dog, and to be a dog is to not be a cat. Since there is something true of Aristotle that is not true of his feline body, then Aristotle is not the same thing as his feline body. That means Aristotle is an immaterial self.

And since an immaterial self is a soul, it follows that my cat, Aristotle, has a soul. So cats have souls.
Debate Round No. 2


I strongly appreciate Con's willingness to continue this debate. Seeing as I cannot post any points, I may only refute. That is okay.
I would, however, like to point out that I do have an excuse. I let my friend use my IPad...which is what I use for all debates...and she locked me out of it for like forever because my password was incorrectly entered, and didn't have enough sympathy to let me use hers. I would also like to point out that I have never EVER forfeited a round before, (you can look at my account) and I am so so so sorry it was not intentional and I blame myself for trusting my friend with an electronic device of mine.


1) exist - having reality or being
A. Reality - the conjectured state of things as they actually exist, rather than as they may appear or might be imagined.


My opponent's whole case is based on a false assumption - that souls themselves exist. As stated in the dictionary definitions, to exist means to have things actually be not imagined or assumed. Therefore, as there is no real proof of a soul, we cannot say that it exists.
Con said that this topic is "concievable". Yes. It is possible To conceive, or think about this, but that does not mean anything. This topic is based on a scientific aspect, seeing as Con used many parts of science in his arguments, and science is based upon proof and experimentation.
Human truth [2] states that since we are able to be influenced by drugs, we are in control of our own body. Therefore a soul, which by definition controls our behavior, cannot exist. Also, Psychology Today says that assuming souls are real is "illogical...having faith in the system and our beliefs."
Judge! Faith and Believing are not is data and logical theories, not unrealistic assumptions, which build Con's entire case.
Finally, Con kept using his CAT as an example. Yes, this debate is about cats, but one source proves nothing...and this debate must use EVIDENCE, not personal theories about your pet secretly being another species.

In the end, I believe that I have defeated Cons BoP, and attempted to strengthen my case without laying any points onto the table.
I completely understand why you may vote Con seeing as I forfeited a round, but I truly am sorry, and I urge you to vote Pro on this debate. Thank you.



By the way...I apologize strongly to Con. I know how terrible it is when an opponent forfeits,mans it kills the sport. I am (again) so sorry. I have officially kicked my friend out of my room forever. :)


Forfeits and rule violations

Well, it's a good thing I made that argument. Otherwise, we wouldn't have had a debate at all.

By Pro's own admission, she cannot make a case supporting her burden of proof. By the rules she stipulated, she can only refute my case. That means she has not carried her burden of proof in this debate. While I can sympathize with her reason, rules are rules. While it might seem, on the surface, to be unfair to penalize her for forfeiting the last round, it wouldn't be fair to me if we didn't.

Even though Pro admitted that by the rules, she could only rebut, she violated her third rule by making a case for her position. She said, "Human truth states that since we are able to be influenced by drugs, we are in control of our own body. Therefore a soul, which by definition controls our behavior, cannot exist." Since this is an argument for why she thinks souls do not exist, and since it does not address/rebut anything in my post, this is a violation of her Rule #3.

According to Rule #5, any violation of the rules results in an automatic Pro win. I think her intention was to say that if Con violates the rules, then Pro wins, but that if Pro violates the rules, then Con wins. After all, it would be unreasonable to stipulate that if Pro violates the rules, then Pro automatically wins. Surely, that was not her intention because it would've been grossly unfair.


I agree with Pro's definition of "exist," but I think a better definition of "reality" would be "the way things really are," or "what is actually so." That is much more straight forward and easy to understand. Defining reality as a conjecture is highly misleading because conjecture is something sentient beings do, and reality would be reality even if there were no sentient beings.

Attempted rebuttals

The first thing Pro said in rebuttal is that my argument assumes the existence of souls. However, the existence of souls was my conclusion, not my assumption. She failed to demonstrate how my argument assumed, rather than proved, the existence of souls.

The second thing Pro said is barely coherent, and I'm not sure I know what she's getting at. She agrees that the scenario I described is conceivable. Then she says my argument used "many parts of science" and that science is based on proof and experimentation. I'm not sure what her point is, but my argument was philosophical, not scientific. The only thing resembling science in my argument was the mere mention of "cat DNA." It is through science that we know cats have DNA.

The third thing Pro said was that "Human truth states that since we are able to be influenced by drugs, we are in control of our own body." My only response to that is "What the what???" I don't know what she means by "human truth" as opposed to "truth." Truth is correspondence with reality. Is "human truth" something different? She doesn't tell us, and the source she cites doesn't appear to support her either.

She goes on to say that, therefore, a soul cannot exist since it controls behavior. Now let's see if we can put her argument into a syllogism.

1. Since we are able to be influenced by drugs, we are in control of our own body.
2. A soul by definition controls our body.
3. Therefore, a soul cannot exist.

Clearly her conclusion does not follow from her premises. The most charitible way I can think of to interpret what she was trying to get at is that somehow the fact that drugs can control our bodies means that there is no soul that controls our bodies. But why think the fact that drugs can affect our behavior somehow means that souls can't? According to the ordinary tenants of substance dualism, there is causal interaction between the soul and the body, and the direction of causation goes both ways. The brain having causal influence over the soul is what enables us to perceive through our physical senses. The soul having causal influence over our brains is what enables us to act out of our desires and beliefs. Whenever sensory perception occures, it entails a chemical reaction in the brain which then causes a perception in the mind. If the chemicals in the brain can be influenced by drugs, then that will also have a causal influence over the mind. So the fact that drugs influence our bodies is perfectly consistent with our having souls.

Pro then goes on to make a fallacious argument from authority. She cites Psychology Today as saying that belief in souls is illogical and depends on faith and beliefs. Psychology Today is not a legitimate authority on the philosophical question of whether cats have souls or not. Besides that, her claim that belief in souls depends on "faith and belief" rings hollow in light of the fact that I actually gave an argument for the existence of cat souls. I didn't say anything like, "Just have faith!" Her comment is especially rings hollow in light of the fact that Pro did not actually grappled with my argument.

The fourth thing Pro said in response to my argument was that it relied on personal theories rather than on evidence. However, if it turns out that my premises are true and that my conclusion follows from my premises by the ordinary laws of logic, then my conclusion is true. Her claim that my argument relies on "personal theories" rather than on evidence does not address my argument. Which premise is she taking issue with? What line of reasoning does she think is fallacious? She doesn't say! That makes her claim irrelevant. It is not enough in a formal debate to dismiss an argument with a wave of the hand. One must actually refute the argument by showing that the premises are false (or at least unsupported) or that the conclusion doesn't follow from the premises. In fact, she agreed with one of my premises, namely that it is conceivable that my cat could have been a dog.


Since Pro's various statements barely address my argument at all, her claim that she has defeated my burden of proof is clearly false. My argument remains unrefuted. I, however, have directly addressed all of her supposed refutations. I have also addressed her argument against the existence of cat souls.

Pro has my personal forgiveness and understanding about forfeiting, but for the purpose of judging the debate, I do think it should be a factor. It wouldn't be fair to me otherwise since I had no control over the events that prevented her from posting.

Thank you for comin to tonight's debate.

Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by philochristos 3 years ago
Oh, my bad. I missed that because you put a [2] by "human truth," but it was actually [1] in your notes below. That's why I said your source didn't appear to support you. I was looking at your second source.
Posted by Bwacit 3 years ago
just a message...human truth is a website...listed in my sources
Posted by Ra1n 3 years ago
Would you kindly change the criteria so that I can accept the debate?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Garbanza 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: didn't understand arguments for either side although I tried to so just conduct for forfeiting. Great though.