The Instigator
Ondyjones
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
omar2345
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Does the soul exist?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/31/2019 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 400 times Debate No: 120108
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (0)

 

Ondyjones

Pro

The soul exists

We have a soul

Proof:

1. Freewill: we have free will. If we are only physical beings made only of matter and energy we wouldn"t have freewill since matter and energy is governed by the paws of physics. Since matter and energy are slaves to the laws of physics they can"t be free from them so they couldn"t generate freewill. We have free will so we can"t be just matter and energy.

2. Mind can"t be measured: we can measure the brain but we can"t measure the mind. For example if I think of a pink elephant no one can read my mind even with scientific equipment. Where in my brain is the pink elephant? It"s in my mind not brain.

3. Double slit experiment: the double slit experiment proves electrons are only particles when we measure them. This proves consciousness creates reality. Infinite consciousness is God and he created everything. Our soul is directly linked to God that is how prayer works.

4. Physicalism is self contradictory: if our thoughts are just electrochemical signals in our brains then your theory of no soul is also just electrochemical signal in your brain!
How then are your beliefs true? How can chemistry be true or contain truth statements?

All this proves soul exists
omar2345

Con

Happy to take this debate.

My argument goes as follows.

The soul does not exist because no evidence has been found for its existence (scientific evidence if you are wondering).

Since I cannot offer too much more than that I will go to rebutting your claims. If you want more of an argument for the souls non-existence I will research more and present more of an argument in the next Round.

Freewill: we have free will.
We don't. My stance goes as follows on this topic: We have choices but not the free will to choose them.

we can measure the brain but we can"t measure the mind. For example if I think of a pink elephant no one can read my mind even with scientific equipment. Where in my brain is the pink elephant? It"s in my mind not brain.
I found this really weird. I would first like to define mind so that I know what it is that you are talking about. If you disagree with the definition add your own later on and I will accept or I will disagree.
Mind: the element of a person that enables them to be aware of the world and their experiences, To think, And to feel; the faculty of consciousness and thought.
The problem with this is that if we do not know where it is located how are we meant to determine its impact? You might be giving qualities to something you made up when it could've been because of biological processes.

3. Double slit experiment: the double slit experiment proves electrons are only particles when we measure them. This proves consciousness creates reality. Infinite consciousness is God and he created everything. Our soul is directly linked to God that is how prayer works.
This is a misunderstanding of what electrons are. Electrons are both waves and particles. Einstein came up with the theory of the photoelectric effect which was then proven in the late 1800s by James Clerk Maxwell in Scotland. They found this out with diffraction which was shouldn't occur if the the electron was only a particle. Since your premise is flawed your conclusion is built upon flawed premises. So I don't see the need of rebutting everything else in your 3rd point.

4. Physicalism is self contradictory: if our thoughts are just electrochemical signals in our brains then your theory of no soul is also just electrochemical signal in your brain!
No one mentioned physicalism yet you attack it. If that is true it still does not make it self contradictory. For it to be self contradictory it would require to make two opposing claims which contradict each other. You have not stated what physicalism is. I will.
Physicalism: the doctrine that the real world consists simply of the physical world.
Nothing states it to be contradictory. Another problem I found is that we perceive our world physically and your assumption that thought is not physical is based upon the physical world. Scientist I think would agree at best having a brain correlates with having thoughts. As of now we have yet any evidence to say otherwise since all we can do is measure the physical world.

Await a response.

Source: https://www. Livescience. Com/58816-photoelectric-effect. Html

https://www. Quora. Com/Is-thought-a-physical-phenomenon
Debate Round No. 1
Ondyjones

Pro

Thanks for the rebuttal

First your only argument for why there is no soul is lack of scientific evidence

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence

And metaphysical things we cannot measure

But they still exist such as the laws of logic

Now to rebut your rebuttal

1. You say we have no free will only choices

Choice indicates free will

If we had no free will we will have no choice

And there must be free will otherwise we are robots forced to do our actions

If there is no freewill there is no accountability

All the people in prison should be set free since they didn"t freely choose to commit their crimes

Since matter and energy are determined by laws of physics we must be other than matter and energy to have freewill

2 mind is consciousness yes

If it was physical we could measure it

We can"t we can only measure brains

We can"t measure the mind or what"s in the mind such as the elephant I"m thinking of

This proves mind is metaphysical and separate from brain

3. As far as I know when we measure an electron it behaves like a particle

But when we don"t measure it it behaves like a wave

I never heard the reverse

And a particle can"t be a wave and a particle at the same time

It"s illogical

You may say science proves it

But science presupposes logic

You may say we haven"t evolved to study quantum physics

But evolution and quantum physics presuppose logic

So logic is ultimate scientific observation could be flawed

4. We are debating the existence of soul

Either soul is metaphysical or we are our brains

Since I am arguing the first you are arbitrarily arguing the second

Since you are arguing that consciousness is due to brain chemistry

Your argument is brain chemistry

How can chemistry hold truth statements?

Truth is an abstract concept hence metaphysical

Our soul must be metaphysical therefore too to comprehend truth

Thanks
omar2345

Con

Thanks for the rebuttal
Thank you also for not forfeiting.

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence
I would like this to be explained because both are the same from my point of view.
If the evidence absent then it is absent evidence. If you cannot provide proof then your evidence is absent.


And metaphysical things we cannot measure
But they still exist such as the laws of logic
If we cannot measure how to we properly know what it is capable of? You might be giving props to a biological process or something that does not even exist.


1. You say we have no free will only choices
Choice indicates free will
If the choice was freely made then yes but almost every single choice is based on past or uncontrollable events. Like birth, Arsonist burning up your home etc.
If we had no free will we will have no choice
We can still have choices without free will. I can choose to type a response here or don't. From my past experiences I don't like forfeiting and no external factors are stopping me do so.
And there must be free will otherwise we are robots forced to do our actions
Robots replicate human movement. If they do not have a base to copy then they are useless. That is what separate humans from robots.
If there is no freewill there is no accountability
I didn't say there would be consequences for the choices someone is capable of making. A person might turn to crime because if he/she doesn't then he/she will lose the house and not be able to pay the bills. If the person was born in a rich family taught right from wrong and ways to get out of poverty then they would not turn to stealing. All that said we should still punish people who break the law. If we don't what is the point of laws? Laws are required for a civilised society. Without it Anarchy will rule and people might not get the consequences that we as the people agreed was justified.
All the people in prison should be set free since they didn"t freely choose to commit their crimes
They had choices and they picked the one that was illegal. They should be punished. If they had a problem with a law take political action instead of actually breaking the law. Some scenarios might make it impossible for political action but there are rare.
Since matter and energy are determined by laws of physics we must be other than matter and energy to have freewill
We are atoms. I don't see how we are made from something that isn't from matter. Would like an explanation.

2 mind is consciousness yes
If it was physical we could measure it
We can"t we can only measure brains
We can"t measure the mind or what"s in the mind such as the elephant I"m thinking of
This proves mind is metaphysical and separate from brain
The problem with this is that since we cannot measure we cannot make a valid statement on what it is and if it points to God. If we can't measure it we are only making assumptions. Assumptions can only be assumptions until we have the tools to make it more than that.

3. As far as I know when we measure an electron it behaves like a particle
Electron diffraction has occurred in many experiment. If the electron did not act in a wave like it would not diffract yet it does. I find that you lack the understanding here. Here is a source: Electron diffraction (Britannica)
But when we don"t measure it it behaves like a wave
Electron diffraction clearly states otherwise.
I never heard the reverse
And a particle can"t be a wave and a particle at the same time
It"s illogical
Should have been more clear. An electron is a particle which behaves like a wave.
You may say science proves it
But science presupposes logic
You may say we haven"t evolved to study quantum physics
But evolution and quantum physics presuppose logic
So logic is ultimate scientific observation could be flawed
Even if I agree with you do you have a better way of finding out answers?
By the science can admit when they are wrong. They also make falsifiable claims and they are not annoyed when someone states how fallacious their theory is. Which is a bonus for science in observing the natural world.

4. We are debating the existence of soul
Either soul is metaphysical or we are our brains
Since I am arguing the first you are arbitrarily arguing the second
I am okay with that.
Since you are arguing that consciousness is due to brain chemistry
Your argument is brain chemistry
How can chemistry hold truth statements?
The problem with this is that you are not debunking the claim for why we can't just be brain chemistry instead state something that you think cannot occur with brain chemistry. Before someone can have a conversation about truth. They must agree on shared principles and similar reasoning. Without shared principles they would be basically speaking two different languages. Languages as in both do not understand what each of them are saying.
Truth is an abstract concept hence metaphysical
Our soul must be metaphysical therefore too to comprehend truth
We don't require a soul to determine truth instead we require a brain. Lets say the soul does exist. One person is brain dead but has a soul. How can he know the truth if he/she cannot use the brain to comprehend it? Another person or a robot lacks a soul but has a brain or a variation of it. The robot or human is capable of truth with the information or data in front of them which a brain dead person with a soul is not capable of.

Debate Round No. 2
Ondyjones

Pro

I read your second rebuttal you seem to be contradicting yourself

You say we don"t have freewill but prisoners are responsible for their actions

If we don"t have freewill no one is responsible for their actions

If we are just atoms we are governed by the laws of physics

Something governed can"t be free

If the laws of physics govern everything nothing can be free

And freewill exists

If for example I murder you I freely chose to do it

That is why I should be punished

If I don"t have freewill and I kill you it can"t be my fault

Since it wasn"t my choice

You say we have choice though?

If we have two choices a or b

Who makes the choice?

Me freely? Or the laws of physics governing the universe?

You say past choices affect our current choices

That"s irrelevant

The fact we can choose between a and b proves we have freewill

Since we make the choice not someone or something else

I don"t know much about electron diffraction so I"ll drop that point

I"m here to learn not win

Perhaps we can talk about that some other time

And with regards to mind vs brain

And our brains knowing truth?

If I think of an elephant where is that in my brain?

Just tell me I"d like to know?

And how can brain chemistry contain truth?

Chemistry involves matter reacting on matter

But truth isn"t made of matter

There has to be an absolute truth

If all truth is relative then there is no such thing as objective reality

The fact absolute truth is real and we can"t measure it

And since it isn"t made of atoms

The soul has to be metaphysical to know a metaphysical truth

And you say anything that can"t be measured isn"t real?

Measure the law of non contradiction for me?

How much does it weigh?

Thanks nice debating you and learning from you so far
omar2345

Con

You say we don"t have freewill but prisoners are responsible for their actions
With the limited choices they had they chose the wrong one.

If we don"t have freewill no one is responsible for their actions
Yes they are. If you can point to a scenario where a person only had one option then I might consider it but that is not the case. A murder either chooses to kill or does not.

If we are just atoms we are governed by the laws of physics
Something governed can"t be free
When you see light diffraction. It does not show they are always on the same course. Instead can vary due to the wave like of electrons.

If the laws of physics govern everything nothing can be free
Governing does not mean the outcome will always be the same. The electron diffraction would be my example of variation in electrons.

And freewill exists
I don't see how you gave a point to your side. Instead you pretty much said my point of view is wrong therefore yours is right.
If for example I murder you I freely chose to do it
That is why I should be punished
You should be punished because you could've not killed me but you did. In order to live in a civilised society we require rules. These rules are there to protect people. There can be mistakes but murder I am sure is best that we have it illegal since as far as we know we don't come back from murder.

If I don"t have freewill and I kill you it can"t be my fault
Since it wasn"t my choice
You were free to act upon the limited choices you had. That does not mean you have free will. If your will was free you would be able to fly just based upon your will but that is not the case.

You say we have choice though?
If we have two choices a or b
Who makes the choice?
Me freely? Or the laws of physics governing the universe?
You say past choices affect our current choices
That"s irrelevant
The fact we can choose between a and b proves we have freewill
Choosing between choices that you did not have the free will control goes against free will. This is because as I said earlier on but I will in a different if I had free will my will should be enough to teleport. It isn't because whatever my will is, I am not always free to do it.

I don"t know much about electron diffraction so I"ll drop that point
Okay

I"m here to learn not win
Well then read through the source I gave you.

Perhaps we can talk about that some other time
Okay

And with regards to mind vs brain
And our brains knowing truth?
If I think of an elephant where is that in my brain?
Just tell me I"d like to know?
And how can brain chemistry contain truth?
I have made it clear that there are conditions for an agreed truth to exist. Shared principles, Similar reasoning and enough brain power or what it is called to make good truth claims.

Chemistry involves matter reacting on matter
But truth isn"t made of matter
Well in a sense. Brain is made of matter and the brain conjure truth from thought. From what I know.

There has to be an absolute truth
Because you said so?

If all truth is relative then there is no such thing as objective reality
I never said there was and I picked my word carefully. Notice I stated agreed truth not absolute truth. Reason is we can't verify objectivity and if we can then we have to verify that and so on. Meaning an infinite regression. So basically we can never attain this lofty goal of objective reality.

The fact absolute truth is real and we can"t measure it
No facts have been given so this is only a claim. I can't give questions also so I'll leave it at that.

And since it isn"t made of atoms
The soul has to be metaphysical to know a metaphysical truth
If it is we don't know. For us to know we require someone tool that does work and a way to measure it. At that point you would have a case but I haven't seen a breakthrough in science at the metaphysical realm.

And you say anything that can"t be measured isn"t real?
No I am saying that you can be assigning something that might not even exist. Measuring it does help if we can measure it.

Measure the law of non contradiction for me?
Well as far as I know it exists since we cannot have contradictions. A cannot be B. Measuring it can be done in various way. My simple example I gave would state why the law of non contradiction is true by measuring with a simple exercise.

How much does it weigh?
Don't know.

Thanks nice debating you and learning from you so far
Don't worry about it.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Surgeon 3 years ago
Surgeon
Hey Omar. Good luck in the debate. You are probably dealing with someone with the Dunning-Kruger effect. They do not have a deep understanding, But believe they do. They have an unchangeable mind, In that they are not interested in Debate to discover the Truth, Because the already "know" the Truth, So don"t expect an open exchange. Expect instead just battle lines and a retreat to incredulity and magic (like the supernatural and spooky QM interpretation), When the going gets tough. I could only tell you how I would go about it.

Firstly in Round 1 I would establish the positive case for mind-brain dependence. This is well documented in Philosophical and Neuroscience circles. It is largely only an inductive claim, It is powerful evidence but not a slam dunk that "proves" the mind is an emergent characteristic of the brain. But then none of the arguments put forward by your opponent "prove" his claim either, Although he uses that word (clumsily in my view).

Then I would debunk Substance Dualism directly. Your opponents case wholly relies upon it. For reference Austin Dacey does quite a good job on both mind-brain dependence and Substance Dualism. Your opponents approach is a giant fallacy of the floating abstraction. He is severing the emergence of the mind from its natural foundation in the brain and assigning it a separate unique existence. It"s like saying water is wet, Therefore "wet" exists independently of water.

Round 2. I would debunk his points. They are either flawed, Or flat out false. Eg QM does NOT prove there is a soul, It does NOT prove that consciousness alters reality. That relies wholly on a spooky and not widely accepted interpretation of QM. Bohemian Mechanics, QFT, Many Worlds hypothesis are all potentially valid interpretations where no such conclusion can be drawn. The fundamental issue here is that Consciousness IS the identification of Existence, To be "Conscious" is to be conscious of something. Thus Existence Is prime.
Posted by omar2345 3 years ago
omar2345
@Surgeon

What did you think I could improve in my Round 1?
Posted by Surgeon 3 years ago
Surgeon
Wow just wow! I didn"t even know that Substance Dualism was still alive in the Theist community. Substance Dualism has long since been buried in Philosophy circles, But here it is again. To add insult to injury and argument from the primacy of consciousness is trotted out, Inverting the proper relationship between Existence (the primary) and Consciousness (the secondary). . . And no Quantum Mechanics does not prove your point. . . Yawn. . . Particularly as you rely on the least likely and spookiest interpretation (the Copenhagen interpretation) to illustrate it. Read up on the Primacy of Existence, Emergentism, The interaction problem in Dualism, Alternative interpretations of the double slit experiment in QM, The alternative to QM (namely Quantum Field Theory). All of these things you want to point to melt away if you study more widely, Leaving you with no soul at all and no mind independent of a physical substrate. Which ties in with reason and physical evidence. Whereas ghosts living in our heads, Do not.

Because Emergentism is true that leaves us room to agree that freewill exists and that thoughts are not merely Chemistry. Like a program running on a computer does things greater than the reductionist perception that it is just 0s and 1s, So our minds do things greater than their chemistry. But the computer is 0s and 1s running on a silicon matrix, And our minds run off the brain (which is bio chemical). Nothing to see here, But you really need to brush up on the quality of your arguments.
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