Author Topic: DEBATE: Difficulty arguing with my opponent  (Read 790 times)

DiogenesOfSinope

  • Posts: 5
    • View Profile
DEBATE: Difficulty arguing with my opponent
« on: February 26, 2017, 12:36:14 AM »
So I've been debating on the cosmological arguments for the existence of God with an opponent/friend of mine.

We've recently hit a roadblock that neither of us can move away from. I have presented her with the typical 'Premise 1' of the cosmological argument (specifically, Leibniz's):

Quote
1. Whatever exists has an explanation for its existence, either through a cause or by its own necessity

Whilst debating 'Reality' (despite this entire debate actually being a debate on cosmology), my debate opponent does not accept my logical lines of argument or even citations are enough to accurately prove the nature of reality as we know it. She is claiming that she may or may not be hallucinating (be in a simulation or unknown other experience), therefore,  there is a chance that she is not experiencing reality in its true form. She postulates that reality outside of her consciousness is probably ultimately unknowable, and that therefore, Leibniz's first premise is unknowable since existence itself is unknowable.

Another example is me pointing out to her that an object in her room exists, to which she replied "But how do I know it does?" - it's from this debate tactic she employs that I find myself struggling to move on in the debate, befuddled by her logic.

Any others here experienced this or have advice on how we can both agree to the first premise of the cosmological argument?

SirIrb

  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
Re: DEBATE: Difficulty arguing with my opponent
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2017, 12:41:17 PM »
If it is an illusion then where did the illusion come from? Thats where I would go with it. Dont let them use illusion as an out. For more on this see R.C. Sproul in Classical Apologetics. His cosmological argument is more layman than others so it fits me.

My first post.

Im Steve, by the way.

4teatwo

  • Posts: 75
    • View Profile
Re: DEBATE: Difficulty arguing with my opponent
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2017, 09:59:10 PM »
welcome Steve. Indeed the question about the origin of the illusion is a valid point.
Considering that science if founded on the premise that everything is causal and that the ultimate cause and that the consequences of that cause are bound by rules / laws that must also have an ultimate cause.

If one denies causality one has no chance to have a rational interaction with reality and might as well get a tin foil head and believe to be a helicopter.

Lespaul_Lover

  • Posts: 13
    • View Profile
Re: DEBATE: Difficulty arguing with my opponent
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2017, 04:37:24 PM »
Man that would be frustrating to have to wrestle with. The first thing that comes to mind for me is pursuing her notion of this illusion more. Asking her questions such as: How do you know your idea of an illusion isn't an illusion? Will hopefully show the self-refuting nature of her stance on reality. I think this is the biggest issue with her stance: "She postulates that reality outside of her consciousness is probably ultimately unknowable, and that therefore, Leibniz's first premise is unknowable since existence itself is unknowable." This seems to very circular because if she does asset that reality outside of her consciousness is probably unknowable, isn't that truth statement unknowable as well? If reality outside of her is unknowable isn't that a description of reality which she just claimed was unknowable? There seems to be an issue there. If her idea of reality is consciousness based, maybe it would be a good idea to look into Descartes work (I think therefore, I am). Maybe a good spring board into other topics. Finally, I do believe that the current question of the week does deal with this issue somewhat (more so on scepticism) but it might be valuable for you to look at that.
Hope things really move forward,
Brett
Proverbs 27:17- "As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another."

noshadowscaste

  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
Re: DEBATE: Difficulty arguing with my opponent
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2017, 12:52:40 PM »
I would start with trying to find out what she values (social injustices, etc) and go from there.  People who try to deny self and reality usually are not consistent in other areas that matter to them. 

If she really does not exist after all and reality is an illusion, why should these things be so important to her?

TheSawMan44

  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
Re: DEBATE: Difficulty arguing with my opponent
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2017, 02:02:51 PM »
I agree with Sirlrb; just because she sticks to the less-likely claim that reality is an illusion says nothing for her own existence (or else she would be unable to perceive the illusion), as well as the question of "whatever exists has an explanation for its existence". The first premise is worded in such a way as to avoid having to deal with whether or not our perceived reality is an illusion because it only claims to require an explanation for "whatever begins to exist" and something would still have had to begin to exist in order for us to be perceiving things in the first place. If what we perceive is illusory, we're still left with the question of "why do we perceive something rather than nothing?"
 
And if she, somehow, tries to take the route of doubting her own existence, I know WLC has used a few methods for dealing with this in a debate format to show the absurdity of it, and noshadowscaste also brought up one of them.

I hope this helps, my friend! Even though this post is a few months after the fact!

Sawyer