Instigator / Pro
0
1518
rating
5
debates
60.0%
won
Topic

The self is God. (unrated, practice debate)

Status
Finished

All stages have been completed. The voting points distribution and the result are presented below.

Arguments points
0
0
Sources points
0
0
Spelling and grammar points
0
0
Conduct points
0
0

After not so many votes...

It's a tie!
Parameters
More details
Publication date
Last update date
Category
Philosophy
Time for argument
Three days
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
Two weeks
Point system
Four points
Rating mode
Unrated
Characters per argument
15,000
Contender / Con
0
1623
rating
59
debates
66.1%
won
Description
~ 4,853 / 5,000

I realize normally people associate "god" with religion, but I will let my opponent know now, I'm going to primarily be arguing philosophical arguments, and this is why I have the category in philosophy rather than religion. Though it could be argued to fit in either.

Since it would be an entirely false statement for me to argue this from an evidence-based perspective, in the spirit of having a fair debate, and since I'm not totally confident I can argue my position well, my opponent must agree to not base any arguments off of the scientific method or scientific literature to prove either of our positions. Should either of us do this, it can be considered a conduct violation. I understand that under normal circumstances what I am asking is unreasonable, but given that I'm arguing an impossible position to prove scientifically, I consider it reasonable. By accepting this debate, you as my contender agree. Logic and philosophy will be the primary methods we use to argue for our positions.

To further offer reasons why we are going to dismiss the scientific method:
It uses observation as a means to find evidence. In this debate, we are going to assume this is a faulty means due to that it since it makes the unsubstantiated assumption that one's perception is accurate. One cannot accurately observe things if they do not have a solid way of perceiving things. Thus, the scientific method relies on a postulate/axiom, something that can't be proved nor disproved. The statement it relies on is "My perception/observation skills exist and are accurate". This statement can't be proved or disproved without using those very same perceptive and observational skills.

Perhaps the most common method people use to verify they aren't hallucinating is by asking someone else if they see/hear/sense something they are sensing. Well, the only way you know that person exists is with your perception. The only way you become aware of their answer to your query is by determining they are answering it with your perception/observational skills(you wouldn't know that another person exists without them or what their answer is). To do this is circular reasoning: a fallacy. You're using perception to prove one's perception is accurate. It's not possible to prove, and thus science, in order to get anywhere, makes the unproven assumption that one's perceptions/observational skills are accurate. It's built on that, dare I say, faith and belief that you're perception is accurate for the observational part of the scientific method. To offer a metaphor, since I realize this concept is rather hard to grasp for some: if someone is born in a coma and completely deaf, blind, in paralysis, etc, how do you prove to them there is an outside world? How would they know you even exist? They don't. To them, nothing else exists but the life in their mind. By default, that means perception is proved by using perception. They would never know the concept of perception. It's unprovable and inconceivable to them since we use perception to prove perception exists and is accurate.

So, again, as my contender, you accept what I've stated here. Other than this, I have no need to describe further, and here are the rules of the organization of this debate:

Round 1: Used for acceptance and defining one's terms and positions. As my contender, you may present any definitions of major terms you believe are important to do so, and I will automatically accept them, so long as they are within reason. Otherwise, we will use definitions of terms that are most common.
Round 2: Opening arguments for me, the instigator. My contender may rebut what I have to say, and does not need to provide evidence to the contrary position since I accept the full burden of proof given my claim seems rather extraordinary, and in the words of Carl Sagan "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence".
Round 3: I will counter my opponent's rebuttals and/or present further new arguments, and my opponent will again point out any issues in reasoning for my arguments/counters in this round.
Round 4: This round is for concluding statements and no new arguments may be made. Each of us will explain why the arguments they've brought up outweighs the arguments our opponent has introduced.

Due to I have little confidence in having any remote chance of winning, and I also am not sure I even personally hold this position personally, this is an unrated debate, more for practice and fun. Should I find that I argue reasonably here and others concur, I may find myself adopting this position. This position as asserted in my title is rather intriguing to me as I've pondered over the philosophical arguments for it. So, perhaps in the future, I'll hold this debate again where it is rated. Anyways, good luck to my opponent(or perhaps to me is more proper lol)

Round 1
Pro
As stated, this round is to be used for acceptance and defining one's terms.

"The self" will refer to any self, myself, yourself, etc, not necessarily me, but "the self" as referring to my opponent too. I realize I probably should have clarified this before this round, but hopefully, my opponent knew that is what I'm arguing and that I'm not arguing specifically myself is god.  I figured since the name of this debate is "The self is God" and not "I am a god" that would be clear. Just in case it wasn't, I am defining that as such here.

"God" will refer to the common definition: "the creator of the universe". A pretty standard definition. I am not arguing for any specific god in particular. Again, hopefully, that was clear.

All other terms my opponent thinks will come up, they may define now.

Con
My bad for taking so long, I'll try to be more timely next time

I agree with all definitions laid down by my opponent

However, I would like clarification. Are we debating that the self is the creator of the universe, PERIOD, or does that mean that everyone's self is the creator of the universe, like some type of collective entity?

I'd also clarify that my opponent has taken the full burden of proof, and I need only to rebut his claims.
Round 2
Pro
I shall organize my primary arguments into premises and conclusions thusly: Px where x is a number, will stand for Premise 1, premise 2, so forth, and C will represent the conclusion.


P1: Nearly every item one perceives can be considered an abstract idea.

George Berkely
, a subjective idealist philosopher, in his work The Principles of Human Knowledge, posits that:
For so long as men thought their words have abstract ideas tied to them, it isn’t surprising that they used words in place of ideas: they found that they couldn’t set aside the word and retain the abstract idea in the mind, because abstract ideas are perfectly inconceivable.
-page 9, paragraph 23 of the introduction

To put it more simply, he points out how every item we perceive, is only that item because we assigned it the meaning of that item and concept. Try to imagine items without using the arbitrary words and meanings one assigns to them. The electronic device one is using to read this debate, one only gives it the meaning of a tablet, computer, or phone because one learned it to be that item. Now, I think everyone is on board with me here. Suppose we were to expand this idea to all of the matter in general. Atoms, molecules, etc. They exist with the definition they do, the associations one has with them, due to one perceiving them that way: due to that one arbitrarily gave it those associations from perceiving them and perhaps the scientific method, that I pointed out earlier has an assumption built into it. One will find that it is impossible to conceive abstract ideas such as what I pointed out, without the use of language and the arbitrary definitions assigned to words.


For a moment, one needs to put aside nearly everything one has learned in life. I am going to ask each reader to consider putting aside languages temporarily (except to read what I am saying here). The reason any object or even word has a purpose is that a person said so. There's no other reason to give things meaning other than for the self to understand it. Hopefully, that helps further explain why even atoms and the existence of anything is an abstraction. It has existence because we say and communicate to the self it does due to perceiving it that way.

P2: That which one perceives is essentially what one creates, and one's perceptions are the most important aspect in life to determine what their life is like.

 Following the logic from premise 1, if all things we perceive are abstract ideas, which I believe I've sufficiently shown that to be the case during my premise 1 arguments, those ideas had to originate somewhere. While one can argue someone else came up with those ideas, perhaps one's parents or guardians and teachers they would say instilled the idea of language and how to communicate to them. But, guess what? Those very same teachers and parents are themselves perceptions from the self, all the way down to the atoms, molecules, etc that makes up those parents and teachers. If the self didn't attribute the abstract ideas of parenting and teaching to those figures, or even the abstract idea of them existing, for all intents and purposes, they wouldn't exist for the self. Going back to the idea I presented in the description of this debate, that metaphor of someone in a coma who is essentially senseless, to them, no outside world exists. It's not possible to prove one does either. This speaks volumes on the importance perception plays in a person's life. It means everything, at least in the self's life is dependent on perception. Even if one was previously incorrectly perceiving something, it requires them to perceive they were incorrect and recognize it, otherwise, it's useless in that person's life.

P3: As put forward in the major philosophical concept of Cartesian Skepticism, it is reasonable to doubt the existence of all else except one's mind. As Rene Descartes put it: "Je pense, donc je suis", "cogito ergo sum", or "I think, therefore I am".

If it is the case that none else can exist with surety but the existence of one's own thoughts, then it follows that all else is a derivative of one's thoughts, as I've also been leading up to from premises 1 and 2. While one can't be certain the way in which they exist, one can be certain thoughts that are created do. Those thoughts naturally come from somewhere, whether it's a human brain, an artificial intelligence, or something else, one cannot know for certain. But, one can conclude that if life is a thing one exists in, then that which occurs in life, that which one perceives in life, only matters insomuch as it affects one's thoughts and insomuch as it occurred through the self.

Conclusion: Given that everything one perceives in existence is an abstract idea, everything one perceives is what one creates, and that the thoughts from oneself is all one can be certain exists, this means every object one perceives was created somewhere as an abstract idea within the mind, within one's thoughts. They're ideas. They are therefore created by thought. If the existence of the self and one's thoughts are all one can prove, as posited in P3, then it naturally follows that things in existence which are abstract ideas are created by the self. Therefore, the self is the creator of the universe, one is God. Especially considering the universe itself is an abstract idea. That which one perceives to be the universe must originate in thought. For anything to have any meaning in one's own universe, as was alluded to in previous premises, it must be thought and pondered on.


I rest my opening arguments for the time being. While I do not believe I used any fallacious reasoning, my opponent is probably more likely to spot any given their position for specifically finding such issues.

I will like to say, while Rene Descartes did not come to the conclusion of subjective idealism like George Berkeley did, his arguments can be used with an interpretation to further support the idea, and thus it is included here. Additionally, I'm not aware of Berkeley coming to the conclusion that the self is god either. Indeed, it is my personal interpretations, that I've presented here, of their ideas that lead to this conclusion and my opponent may try to find an error in such interpretations and deductions if they can be called that.

Con
I'll firstly apologize, but there are some terms that I will need to define. I didn't realize until now that I'd need to, so my apologies for not doing it last round.

My opponent's argument:

P1: Nearly every item one perceives can be considered an abstract idea. 
P2: That which one perceives is essentially what one creates, and one's perceptions are the most important aspect in life to determine what their life is like.
P3: As put forward in the major philosophical concept of Cartesian Skepticism, it is reasonable to doubt the existence of all else except one's mind. As Rene Descartes put it: "Je pense, donc je suis", "cogito ergo sum", or "I think, therefore I am". 
C: The Self is God.

P1: Nearly every item one perceives can be considered an abstract idea. 
Instead, I think it would be fairer to say that each perception of an item that one perceives can be considered an abstract idea. Just because something appears to be only in one's mind, doesn't mean that it is. All that we know is that we can consider our perceptions to be abstract ideas, but that doesn't make the actual item that we perceive an abstract idea.

P2: That which one perceives is essentially what one creates, and one's perceptions are the most important aspect in life to determine what their life is like.
Create: bring (something) into existence.
Perceive: become aware or conscious of (something); come to realize or understand.

Quite obviously, the two are not the same. Furthermore, creating something requires intent. So my opponent is essentially arguing that we intend to perceive everything. But wouldn't that make the self a moral monster ipso facto, since we are intending to perceive rape, murder, theft, etc., and therefore creating said things?

And also, wouldn't the self be a masochist ipso facto, since all suffering that happens to us is, therefore, something that the self must have intended to perceive?

And this is also a logical fallacy. My opponent argues, then, that babies intend to create the womb, the moment of conception (which is disgusting to think about), and themselves. In fact, the self as a baby must create, not only itself, but the growth of it's own self that then changes itself. And not only that, the baby must have always existed, because it cannot intend to perceive itself in order to create itself if it does not exist. But without the self, then where is everything else to create the self in the first place?

And I, as a Christian, can understand self-sustaining arguments, except for the mere fact that we know that the self cannot have existed forever because it came into existence at birth (or at conception, depending on who you talk to)!

P3: As put forward in the major philosophical concept of Cartesian Skepticism, it is reasonable to doubt the existence of all else except one's mind. As Rene Descartes put it: "Je pense, donc je suis", "cogito ergo sum", or "I think, therefore I am". 
C: The Self is God.
I have no problem with premise 3. However, the conclusion is a non-sequitur. You cannot go from "it is reasonable" to "is." That's the whole point of the "reasonable" in the first place. Secondly, everything I've said above proves that this cannot logically be true.

  1. Just because our perceptions are abstract, doesn't mean what we perceive is abstract.
  2. The self must be a moral monster from my opponent's argument.
  3. The self must therefore be a masochist from my opponent's argument.
  4. The self can't create physical manifestations that then change the self.
  5. The self cannot have existed forever.
  6. Without existing forever, how did the self create the things necessary for the self to come into existence?
I hand the mic over to my opponent. :)
Round 3
Pro
Clarifications:

First, since neither of us anticipated the need to define certain terms, I accept the definitions of the terms my opponent has presented and present a new definition. Both of us have basically agreed to ignore my rule for definitions only in the first round, though I would stipulate we should both make the other aware of any further definitions presented in the comment section, which we have been already. So, I accept the below definitions my opponent presented: 

Create: bring (something) into existence.
Perceive: become aware or conscious of (something); come to realize or understand.

And I present the definition of another term as I presented it in the comments section, “universe”: "All space-time, matter, and energy, including the solar system, all stars and galaxies, and the contents of intergalactic space, regarded as a whole."

Pre-counter

That said, I don't need to accept the idea that my opponent later argued that creation requires intent, as it isn't part of this definition we both agree too, nor the common definitions I'm aware of. I would argue things can be created by accident and even without one's knowledge of creating it. Since this requires metaphysical argumentation and not scientific argumentation, as much as I'm tempted to raise scientific points up, I, of course, must refrain from doing so as I also agreed upon upfront. 

So, to argue metaphysically on whether one needs intent to create something, I will point to the self's thoughts. This, of course, requires one to self-reflect and, yes, is not perfect evidence since we are dismissing the scientific method, but I know thoughts for myself, and perhaps for other self's, appear spontaneously without intent. It is then the self's intent on whether to entertain such thoughts. Now, there is the potential argument that the immaterial, such as thoughts, are an exception to whether some self can have the intent for the creation of anything or not.  However, I find this next counter necessary for me to argue, and while it could be surmised with the previous round, I did not explicitly state it. So here it goes:

Counter 1:
In regards to other things existing in the material form, it should be self-evident that only that which is perceived to have an effect on oneself matters or that which one can become aware of is all that matters. Indeed, there's the argument that a tree falling in a forest makes a sound regardless of an observer is present, but it requires observation to begin with to determine it does make sound independent of observation. In order to determine that a sound was made, one must perceive evidence the tree fell and must have perceived evidence that things falling causes sounds in order to make the deduction that the tree falling made a sound. Again, it boils down to perception, previous experience, etc. The question becomes, can anything exist without one's perception or previous experience? And perhaps this is more what I'm arguing that things can't be created to exist, to begin with, unless perceived that way for one's personal "world", for lack of a better term. I'll state one more time, and in a different matter hopefully to clarify: the claim that trees still make sounds independent of perceivers present, or that anything is created independent of a perceiver, required said perceiver to perceive that such a thing can happen independently of perception. If that sounds paradoxical, it is, and thus why one can’t conclude things exist independent of one’s perception. One concludes a tree made a sound independent of their perception due to previous perceptions of the laws of the universe. If one didn't perceive gravity correctly, how sound is produced, there's no reason for one to conclude something makes a sound independent of observation and perception.

For the sake that I argue it's paradoxical to believe things can be created independent of one's perceptions(due to the belief that things can be created in such a way required one's perceptions, to begin with), which I hope to have clarified in my above counter, we can dismiss the idea that things are created independently of one's perceptions. Paradoxes can be dismissed.
Counter 2:
My opponent argued:
But wouldn't that make the self a moral monster ipso facto, since we are intending to perceive rape, murder, theft, etc., and therefore creating said things?

And also, wouldn't the self be a masochist ipso facto, since all suffering that happens to us is, therefore, something that the self must have intended to perceive?
No, As I pointed out previously, things like rape, murder, etc are abstract ideas. Though I didn't say those things specifically were abstract, I did say in the previous round:
To put it more simply, he points out how every item we perceive, is only that item because we assigned it the meaning of that item and concept.
That includes actions, such as rape, murder, etc. We give those things meaning, or think that's what's going on, to begin with due to associating an abstract idea to what we are perceiving. Thus, whether it's moral or not is not something which can be concluded without the very same paradox of proving one's perceptions accurate through those same perceptions.

Counter 3:

My opponent said:

My opponent argues, then, that babies intend to create the womb

I would reject that, as I've pointed out I don't believe creation requires intent. To reiterate, thoughts can appear for the self without the intent of bringing them in, and the intent arises when one decides to entertain those thoughts or not. Those thoughts were "created", but to argue that it implies intent is rather unusual. Intent would imply one is consciously aware of what is going on. There should be plenty of self-evident conclusions to be made that things can be produced(created) within the mind without intent. Since I’m arguing that the outside world is essentially dependent on the mind, and since one’s mind creates everything within the mind(self-evident again), that would also mean the universe is created within the mind. Thus the self creates the universe and the self is God. 

In regards to the baby having to create itself, in a manner of speaking that could be said to be correct in the sense that the baby would create what it perceives as itself. The mind of that baby would have created the body it perceives as itself, as would be the case for any self. What created the self? Well, one can't say the mother did. Indeed, the perception is there that the mother and father created the body, but in terms of "the self" as in one's mind, the universe didn't start until the self did, at least in terms of the universe that matters to the self, which I am arguing are one in the same: the universe that matters to the self is
the entire universe. Could there be a universe that existed prior to the self's existence? Sure, but it’s a mere hypothetical that neither can be confirmed by the self without my conclusions here. Once the self becomes aware of a universe “existing prior” to the self’s existence, then it becomes part of the self’s universe at that moment,
so
the idea is basically impossible. I recognize that this language I’m using could be fallacious, but the language is extremely limited in terms of being able to convey ideas such as this that I’m conveying. I just must ask both my contender and voters to think through what I’ve said and not assume a fallacy, but carefully ponder over it in a way that doesn’t sound fallacious. Again, I actually feel constrained by language’s natural limitations. 


Counter 4:

My opponent said:

“And I, as a Christian, can understand self-sustaining arguments, except for the mere fact that we know that the self cannot have existed forever because it came into existence at birth (or at conception, depending on who you talk to)!”
The issue with this conclusion is it still requires the use of perception. One only believes they came into existence at birth, because they perceived evidence that suggests this(i.e, the people one perceives to be their own parents testified to the matter, their birth certificate which requires perception to become aware of, etc). For all intents and purposes, the self has existed for as long as the self’s universe. Those things mentioned in the definition of “Universe” only matter, exist, and depend on the self’s perception. I’ll remind everyone of that, but please do consider this statement in context with everything else I’ve said. I don’t want to continually repeat arguments, so consider this claim in the context of all else I’ve argued.

General Counters that are supported by previous counters

I would say some of my opponent’s rebuttals after my third premise have been addressed already with what I’ve said in this round. To more clearly indicate I’ve addressed it all, I will quote each important rebuttal my opponent made here and point to which paragraph or counter I numbered above addresses it. Otherwise, I’ll state new counters if I feel it hasn’t been addressed already.

They said:

However, the conclusion is a non-sequitur. You cannot go from "it is reasonable" to "is".

This theme I actually have throughout this round, so I’ll just reiterate in this case and maybe state it in a different way. The self’s universe is what matters and all that can be proved to exist to the self. Even when one thinks they misperceived something, it requires the self to recognize and perceive the misperception.  I’m not sure it is a non-sequitur in this case either. Let’s turn this on its head. Is it possible to argue something “is” if it’s unreasonable for it to exist? Even with using the scientific method, metaphysics, or any other way one uses to prove something “exists”, whether it’s reasonable is up to whether it’s proven, I would argue. It is unreasonable to believe something “is” unless there is evidence to suggest so. In this respect, I can’t think of anyway “it is reasonable” doesn’t match up with “it is so”. I would say both can be considered the same, and the things I’ve argued here could be surmised to help reach that conclusion, in regards to perception and one's perception of the universe that is what matters. 
“Just because our perceptions are abstract, doesn't mean what we perceive is abstract.”

I would say it is the case. The concept of something existing, existence itself, of anything, is abstract. That’s something again, I would say counter 4 helps support. If “coming into existence” itself is something needed to perceive, and perception is the only means to prove that, and perception has to be proved accurate paradoxically where one uses perception to prove perception accurate, it naturally follows the concept of “coming into existence” is something unprovable, is abstract itself. How can one argue existence isn’t an abstract concept in itself? It is not something one can prove, it is something that has to be considered an idea first; it is not something that simply is the case independent of human thought. No matter whether that thing one perceives exists, it is made up of something if it does, correct? That in itself is an abstract idea no matter what that something is. Whether it’s matter, anti-matter, dark matter, etc, it is only that thing because someone says so arbitrarily through language. To completely understand my argument, one has to detach themselves from language as I alluded to in the previous round. Of course, the exception is to understand what I’m saying here, one must still have some attachment to language. But otherwise, detach oneself from it, and it is impossible for the concept of existence itself to exist independently of one’s mind. And if that’s the case, it’s dependent on one’s mind, which is the source of things one creates. Again, this is a very difficult task to do: to separate oneself from language, even in one’s own thoughts. My mind gets blown every time I consider these facts I’m trying, but possibly failing, to communicate here. Thus this is a further reason for this to be a practice debate.
2. The self must be a moral monster from my opponent's argument.
3. The self must therefore be a masochist from my opponent's argument.,


See counter 2, I believe counter 2 addresses why the self isn't a moral monster. Additionally, I'd like to add, even if the self is a moral monster, it does not matter in terms of whether what I've stated is true. In a way, this is also a formal fallacy of a non-sequitur. If you're arguing my line of reasoning is faulty(which I believe you are since that's your position in this debate) whether or not the self is moral is irrelevant to whether my logic is sound. Morality is vastly different from logically-sound arguments and does not deal with logic. They are two different concepts.
4. The self can't create physical manifestations that then change the self.
5.The self cannot have existed forever.
6. Without existing forever, how did the self create the things necessary for the self to come into existence?

See counters 1 and 4, I believe those two address these 3 concerns. In case of my opponent's number 4 argument here, I will add, in case my counters above aren't sufficient, that this line of reasoning would only refute what I've said if we assume outside things do change the self. If they don't, then it's logical to conclude the self can't create physical manifestations that then change the self. But keep in mind, whether or not outside physical manifestations affect the self are dependent on the idea, or abstraction, that outside physical manifestations even exist.

I believe I have sufficiently countered my opponent's rebuttals, and have over the debate to them for their new rebuttals of my counters.

Con
First, since neither of us anticipated the need to define certain terms, I accept the definitions of the terms my opponent has presented and present a new definition. Both of us have basically agreed to ignore my rule for definitions only in the first round, though I would stipulate we should both make the other aware of any further definitions presented in the comment section, which we have been already. So, I accept the below definitions my opponent presented: 

Create: bring (something) into existence.
Perceive: become aware or conscious of (something); come to realize or understand.

And I present the definition of another term as I presented it in the comments section, “universe”: "All space-time, matter, and energy, including the solar system, all stars and galaxies, and the contents of intergalactic space, regarded as a whole."
I agree.

Pre-counter

That said, I don't need to accept the idea that my opponent later argued that creation requires intent, as it isn't part of this definition we both agree too, nor the common definitions I'm aware of. I would argue things can be created by accident and even without one's knowledge of creating it.
This is a fair argument. I will retract what I said about requiring intent, but instead, I will introduce the circular argument of this logic. In order to create, my opponent supposes that one must perceive. But to perceive, do we not have to create? But to create, do we not have to perceive? This is an infinite loop of logic that one cannot escape. Allow me to elaborate further.

Create: bring (something) into existence.
Perceive: become aware or conscious of (something); come to realize or understand.
Perception: the ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses.

To have a perception, one must use the senses. You, obviously, cannot perceive something through the senses that doesn't exist. Yet, according to my opponent, we create everything we perceive. But to perceive those things, they must have been created in the first place. This is a logical loop.

And to anticipate my opponent's counter argument, one cannot simply say that the mind "originally" came up with each of these "perceptions." For one, if nothing exists in the first place, what stimulus exists in that it can cause the self to think of these things? Ex nihilo nihil fit; nothing comes from nothing.

No, As I pointed out previously, things like rape, murder, etc are abstract ideas. Though I didn't say those things specifically were abstract, I did say in the previous round:
To put it more simply, he points out how every item we perceive, is only that item because we assigned it the meaning of that item and concept.
That includes actions, such as rape, murder, etc. We give those things meaning, or think that's what's going on, to begin with due to associating an abstract idea to what we are perceiving.
Wouldn't this then make the self a contradictory being? It creates things which it then assigns values of immorality, even though it itself despises immorality.

Thus, whether it's moral or not is not something which can be concluded without the very same paradox of proving one's perceptions accurate through those same perceptions. 
That's only true if one operates off of the assumption that one's perceptions create everything. Without that, morality can be determined without running into such a paradox.

Counter 1

Indeed, there's the argument that a tree falling in a forest makes a sound regardless of an observer is present, but it requires observation to begin with to determine it does make sound independent of observation.
One can reasonably infer that, because a tree has always made a sound when it was falling, that it therefore always makes a sound. You can only argue otherwise by starting with the assumption that one's perceptions create.

I'll state one more time, and in a different matter hopefully to clarify: the claim that trees still make sounds independent of perceivers present, or that anything is createdindependent of a perceiver, required said perceiver to perceive that such a thing can happen independently of perception.
That is incorrect because one can use inferences to make that argument. If one wanted to make an argument of that nature with 100% accuracy, that is obviously impossible. However, the same thing can be applied to my opponent's argument. How can one say with 100% that their perceptions are all that has been created and therefore all that matters to them? There is literally no evidence for such a positon.

Counter 2

I would reject that, as I've pointed out I don't believe creation requires intent. To reiterate, thoughts can appear for the self without the intent of bringing them in, and the intent arises when one decides to entertain those thoughts or not.
So entertaining the thought is what eventually brings the perception into reality? So why then would the self decide (or INTEND) to entertain thoughts which are self-detrimental to said self? Such as a thief or a murderer? Why wouldn't the self model the world to be perfect by only entertaining thoughts which benefit him/her?

Counter 3

the universe didn't start until the self did, at least in terms of the universe that matters to the self, which I am arguing are one in the same: the universe that matters to the self is
the entire universe.
So what started the self, then? Again, ex nihilo, nihil fit. If nothing exists, since my opponent argues that nothing can exist without the mind, and the mind cannot have existed forever, what then created the self? This is a question which my opponent must answer.

The answer is that nothing did because nothing can't create something. And if my opponent argues that the self has existed forever, where is the proof of that? I don't mean to dip into the scientific method here, but it is dishonest debating to focus on philosophical arguments and then proceed to say that anything is possible. A reason why the self has existed forever must be given.

Also, if the self's thoughts create, again, why can't one simply think of awesome, great things?

I just must ask both my contender and voters to think through what I’ve said and not assume a fallacy, but carefully ponder over it in a way that doesn’t sound fallacious. Again, I actually feel constrained by language’s natural limitations. 
That makes no sense. If something has a fallacy, you cannot get rid of that fallacy by thinking about it in "a way that doesn't sound fallacious." If it's fallacious, thinking otherwise is simply being dishonest with one's self by twisting the evidence to suit one's assumptions of what one wants the evidence to say.

Counter 4

One only believes they came into existence at birth, because they perceived evidence that suggests this(i.e, the people one perceives to be their own parents testified to the matter, their birth certificate which requires perception to become aware of, etc).
So now the self is a liar as well? Does it deceive itself? Why would it participate in this behavior that is obviously self-detrimental?

For all intents and purposes, the self has existed for as long as the self’s universe.
That's logically fallacious. You say the self has existed for as long as the self's universe, which has existed as long as the self, which as existed as long as the universe. That's begging the question. You must assume the self exists for the universe to exist, and you must assume the universe exists for the self to exist.

General Counters

Let’s turn this on its head. Is it possible to argue something “is” if it’s unreasonable for it to exist?
Yes, it is. It's unreasonable that someone growing up in a poor household could become a billionaire. Yet it's happened.

I can’t think of anyway “it is reasonable” doesn’t match up with “it is so”. I would say both can be considered the same, and the things I’ve argued here could be surmised to help reach that conclusion, in regards to perception and one's perception of the universe that is what matters.
It is reasonable to conclude that video games cause violence. Around the time they were made, violence increased in America. However, that doesn't make that fact true, because, in fact, it is not true. Countries like Japan play more video games and have way less violence. My point is that one cannot say "it is reasonable that X, therefore X." A logically valid point would be to say "it is reasonable X, therefore possibly X." You cannot simply make axioms out of nowhere just because it is "reasonable." That's not how philosophy works at all.

The concept of something existing, existence itself, of anything, is abstract.
All concepts are abstract. That doesn't mean that the actual existence itself is abstract.

If “coming into existence” itself is something needed to perceive, and perception is the only means to prove that, and perception has to be proved accurate paradoxically where one uses perception to prove perception accurate, it naturally follows the concept of “coming into existence” is something unprovable, is abstract itself
This argument can be shown to be fallacious by applying it to oneself. If the existence of one's self is something that must be perceived, and perception is the only means to prove that, it naturally follows that the existence of one's self is unprovable. Do you see the flaw here?

If you're arguing my line of reasoning is faulty(which I believe you are since that's your position in this debate) whether or not the self is moral is irrelevant to whether my logic is sound. Morality is vastly different from logically-sound arguments and does not deal with logic. They are two different concepts. 
Fair enough.

would only refute what I've said if we assume outside things do change the self.
But we know they do because our opinions change all the time due to our environment. And saying "we just perceive that" is not a sufficient answer. If our opinions change, and they exist in our mind, then they are obviously affected by the outside environment.
Round 4
Pro

As my opponent has conceded a few points, their original rebuttals of someone having to be a moral monster or having to be aware of creating something, ought to be arguments observers ought not count, given even my opponent has conceded the debate over those topics.  
This is a fair argument. I will retract what I said about requiring intent...
And while they go onto argue for circular reasoning, as stipulated in the rules of the debate, I'm not allowed to refute their rebuttals, but only present why I believe their points do not outweigh my arguments. So, I will try to do that now. Earlier in this debate, I argued that it is circular reasoning to base things off of the scientific method due to it relies on the postulate of "My perceptions are present and accurate", which can neither be proved nor disproved without the paradox of using those very same means of perceptions to prove the perceptions are accurate. Again, this is not a new argument, but what I brought up in my opening argument and I'm merely reminding everyone. For this particular point my opponent brings up of circular reasoning, I would ask, if as the audience you agree I've used circular reasoning, ask yourself which potential circular reasoning seems more acceptable? This is not to be mistaken as me conceding it is circular reasoning for what I said of course, hence the emphasis on the word potential. As per my rules, I will refrain from arguing one way or the other, and merely ask these questions to get you, as the audience, to think over it. 


My opponent also said "fair enough" in response to my argument here:
If you're arguing my line of reasoning is faulty(which I believe you are since that's your position in this debate) whether or not the self is moral is irrelevant to whether my logic is sound. Morality is vastly different from logically-sound arguments and does not deal with logic. They are two different concepts. 
And thus, I would say this argument they've presented previously about the self being a moral monster ought not to be taken into account for who wins the best argument.


Now, the remaining rebuttals to my counters I cannot refute specifically, but I will continue to remind people of previous arguments, and let you, the observe, make the connection on how they are relevant to rebuttals made by my opponent in round 3.

My strongest point presented in the previous round, I would say is the following: 

Indeed, there's the argument that a tree falling in a forest makes a sound regardless of an observer is present, but it requires observation to begin with to determine it does make sound independent of observation. In order to determine that a sound was made, one must perceive evidence the tree fell and must have perceived evidence that things falling causes sounds in order to make the deduction that the tree falling made a sound.
I would ask readers of this debate to carefully ponder over the implications of this, particularly as it deals with deductions made from previous experience that requires perception. That is all I'm going to say, as if I do much more, it may go against the rules I set for myself and my opponent.


My next compelling argument dealt with pointing out how the process of coming into existence itself was merely perceived to have happened as a way to show the possibility of existing forever, however, it is important to note a context clue of that argument where I referred to my counter 4:
The issue with this conclusion is it still requires the use of perception. One only believes they came into existence at birth, because they perceived evidence that suggests this(i.e, the people one perceives to be their own parents testified to the matter, their birth certificate which requires perception to become aware of, etc). For all intents and purposes, the self has existed for as long as the self’s universe. Those things mentioned in the definition of “Universe” only matter, exist, and depend on the self’s perception. I’ll remind everyone of that, but please do consider this statement in context with everything else I’ve said. I don’t want to continually repeat arguments, so consider this claim in the context of all else I’ve argued

It should be clear that when I brought up that the process of coming into existence in my general counters, was further support for the above idea that the self has always existed, thus outweighs the argument my opponent presented in the previous round that:

This argument can be shown to be fallacious by applying it to oneself. If the existence of one's self is something that must be perceived, and perception is the only means to prove that, it naturally follows that the existence of one's self is unprovable. Do you see the flaw here?
The argument my opponent attacks here seems to only address one point of that overall reasoning of contextual clues. For this reason, it does not outweigh the argument I made. Speciifcally, here is what I said in counter 4, which was provided as context for the argument my opponent is attempting to refute:


The issue with this conclusion is it still requires the use of perception. One only believes they came into existence at birth, because they perceived evidence that suggests this(i.e, the people one perceives to be their own parents testified to the matter, their birth certificate which requires perception to become aware of, etc). For all intents and purposes, the self has existed for as long as the self’s universe. Those things mentioned in the definition of “Universe” only matter, exist, and depend on the self’s perception. I’ll remind everyone of that, but please do consider this statement in context with everything else I’ve said. I don’t want to continually repeat arguments, so consider this claim in the context of all else I’ve argued.
I would point out when both counter 4, and what I said in general counters which opened up with context from counter 4, are taken into account, both the individual rebuttals my opponent made to these counters are weakened, due to both being split from one another, and addressing both from different contexts that may not be as relevant to the arguments when separated as my opponent did. Though, it should be clear both were meant to be linked to one another and talking about a specific context. 

As a final word, at any point my opponent refers to outside factors for the basis of their arguments, it should not be seen as a strong argument, given the existence of those very same factors are a point of contention we argued over whether it means one exists as the creator of the universe. Unless they've sufficiently shown that the outside exists as perceived, such arguments do not bear as much weight. Keep that in mind.


With this, I will rest my side of the debate completely with these final words: I do not believe either of us was better or worse than the other as it pertains to grammar and spelling, as I don't believe any confusion happened due to the few mistakes on both our ends. Nor do I believe either of us had any major conduct violation that we didn't later agree for us both to violate(so it essentially became no longer a rule: i.e that definitions only had to be in the first round). For these two reasons, those areas should be ties. For greater arguments, well, everything else I've stated above this paragraph is essentially my reasoning to vote for me for better arguments. Finally, as my opponents had not provided any sources, naturally I should be voted for that, since I did in my oppening arguments of round 2. I turn this over to my opponent for their concluding statements, compare/contrasting, and an opportunity to explain to voters to vote for you in particular areas. (also, while not explicitly stated the final round is meant for this, that was sort of the "spirit" of having this round be about compare/contrast. I don't believe this to be a conduct violation either, as my opponent gets to the same of explaining why they should be voted for in particular areas).

Con
All I have to say is that the many contradictions riddled throughout my opponent's argument are enough to discredit his argument. Please consider everything thoroughly.