Instigator / Pro
4
1616
rating
40
debates
67.5%
won
Topic

Resolved: Witchcraft is pseudoscience and superstition, not compatible with the scientific method.

Status
Finished

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

Arguments points
0
3
Sources points
2
0
Spelling and grammar points
1
1
Conduct points
1
1

With 1 vote and 1 point ahead, the winner is ...

Death23
Parameters
More details
Publication date
Last update date
Category
Science
Time for argument
Three days
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
Two weeks
Point system
Four points
Rating mode
Rated
Characters per argument
12,000
Contender / Con
5
1605
rating
17
debates
70.59%
won
Description
~ 2,410 / 5,000

Proposed: Witchcraft is pseudoscience and superstition, not compatible with the scientific method. The search for truth compels man to investigate by a number of methods, only one of which is a search for evidence by the scientific method, which should apply critical questioning with skepticism, careful observation, and repeated experimentation. [1] Any other method of a search for truth is pseudoscience at best, and at worst, disorganized, superstitious chaos. Witchcraft touches both extremes.

Definitions:

Scientific method: [attributed to Carl Sagan] a search for evidence of truth by critical questioning with skepticism, careful observation, and repeated experimentation.

Witchcraft: [OED] The exercise of supernatural power supposed to be possessed by persons in league with the devil or evil spirits. Magic arts.

Supernatural: [OED] Belonging to a realm or system that transcends nature, as that of divine, magical, or ghostly beings, occult, paranormal.

Pseudoscience: [OED] A spurious or pretended science; a branch of knowledge or a system of beliefs mistakenly regarded as based on scientific method or having the status of scientific truth.

Superstition: [OED] A widely held but irrational belief in supernatural influences, especially as leading to good or bad luck or a practice based on such a belief.

Debate protocol:

Rounds 1, 2, 3: Argument, rebuttal, defense

Round 4: No new argument, rebuttal, defense, conclusion

All argument, defense, rebuttal, and sourcing will be listed within the context of the debate argument rounds only, except sourcing may also be listed within comments within the debate file to conserve maximum space for argumentation, but only during the argumentation phase. No other external reference may be made within the context of the debate argument rounds.

No waived rounds. No more than one round may be forfeited, or forfeiture of entire debate will result. Concession in any round is a debate loss.

All argument rounds will contain arguments, rebuttals, and defenses, plus 4th round conclusion. No declaration of victory will be made but in the 4th round.

Arguments, rebuttals, defenses, or conclusions may not address voters directly for voting suggestions beyond statement of validity for arguments, et al, made in all rounds.

[1] Sagan, Carl, Druyan, Ann, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, Penguin Random House, 1995

Added:
--> @fauxlaw

My theory is that no one wants to out themselves as a witch, and for good reason; if I knew there were witches among me I would burn them at the stake and toss em into the river.

Added:
Instigator

I challenge anyone, even non-witches, to take up their cause. Of what are y'all afraid?

Added:
--> @Intelligence_06

Speaking from experience? (ಠ⌣ಠ)

Added:
--> @MisterChris

A lot of witches now are recreational.

Added:

I'd be genuinely surprised if anyone actually takes this one. I'm not sure we have any witches on DART

Added:
--> @fauxlaw

It could actually be a good part of an argument, to showcase the scientific method.

Another useful source to showcase it:
http://thebestpageintheuniverse.net/c.cgi?u=scientific_method

Added:
Instigator
--> @Ragnar

Damn! I just watched my DVD of M.Python on Sunday night and... voila, the influence of the subconscious to introduce my debate proposal yesterday. I was going to use that scene in my argument, but you blew it for me!!!

just kidding, but I did watch the movie on Sunday, and who knows if it generated my debate? More mysticism than empricism, I'm afraid.

Added:

At least the identification of witches uses the scientific method:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrzMhU_4m-g

Added:
--> @Jeff_Goldblum

I don't think there are a lot of witches in DArt, consider this is a place of rationalism and logics, not rituals and emotions. I think there are only a handful of them at most.

Added:
Instigator
--> @Jeff_Goldblum

Well it might. I certainly receive a lot of grief from the atheist community, as do others of my stripe. I believe in equal-opportunity tick-off.

Added:
Instigator
--> @Intelligence_06

However, my proposal is not an either/or proposition. I am clearly arguing that witchcraft is both pseudoscience AND superstition, so my BoP is that both apply. ButI I will not argue the case here.

Added:

This is going to tick off DART's witch community.

Added:
--> @Ragnar

However it is superstition though, and it is not compatible with the scientific method. It not being a pseudoscience does not make the other two false.

Added:
--> @Intelligence_06

That brings up an interesting K someone could run: That witchcraft does not rise to the level of being even a pseudoscience, therefore the resolution is false.

Added:
--> @Ragnar

I just watched tens of videos about witches then came to a conclusion: Witchcraft is not trying to be scientific because they are rituals and traditions and maybe beliefs. It couldn't even qualify as a pseudoscience because it is not trying to give a system of explanation to anything.

Added:

I see some ground for the contender to have a case, but it would border on semantics. Were I to argue this, I would build a case around how much witchcraft would benefit from using the scientific method (which I would expect pro to counter to pointing out the key benefit being when it turns away from such stupidity, via all the experiments having negative outcomes).

Neatly I had a debate a few months ago, basically on if medicine is comparable with the scientific method:
https://www.debateart.com/debates/1560/physicians-are-scientists

Added:
Instigator
--> @armoredcat @K_Michael

I know I've seen DNA evidence previously, but I'll have to find it again. I don't think any volume I have in my library discusses it. As I remember, it was very curious to me. It was South American in origin, and the link was mitochondrial, but not through Leah [mother of Judah, therefore, of Jewish derivation, and from Judea, but further north; Galilean, and potentially from Rachel, mother of Joseph, and grandmother of Ephraim and Manasseh.

The cross figure, while not having Jewish origins, does have Viking linkage [different shape, with all legs basically equal], and we now know early Scandies, even pre-Christianity, did cross the ocean in antiquity, so that may be the link

Added:
--> @armoredcat

Quetzalcoatl, the main Aztec god, was depicted as light-skinned and bearded by a culture that had little-to-no facial hair and darker skin. I've also seen people cite the use of crosses as symbols in certain Native American tribes as evidence, but that seems false to me as the cross has no Judaic connections and would not be associated with Christianity for several hundred years, as it didn't yet exist.
As far as I know, DNA tests haven't shown anything, but I haven't looked into it very fully. Unfortunately, the Book of Mormon is fairly vague when it comes to geography, especially distances, but I have seen the Central American region as a top candidate for matching the descriptions that are given, namely, a sea on each side.

Added:
--> @fauxlaw

Very interesting... thank you for these book recommendations!

Is there historical evidence of these Native American Jews (I'm not really sure if that's the correct term) outside of the Book of Mormon?

Added:
Instigator
--> @armoredcat

I hold Judaism in high esteem. You would find it is also honored highly within the pages of the Book of Mormon, which, if you've never read it, reads biblically [or by the Torah, as well] in terms of structure [book, chapter, verse], and actually records the history of a group of people in the timeframe of the Babylonian invasion, occupation, and displacement of Judea and Galilee, circa 600 BCE, and continues, mostly chronologically, for the next 1,000 years, to ~400 CE. These people escaped Jerusalem [they were descendants of Manasseh, son of Joseph, son of Jacob], and sailed to the Americas. Where they landed is not described. They followed the Law of Moses, but looked forward to the advent of Christ, the Messiah, whose visit among them following his resurrection is recorded. It is believed that some of the Native Americans were descendant from this people. I encourage a read, not as an effort of convincing, but as a superb history.

As for mistakes, I agree. We're on the same page.

Added:
--> @fauxlaw

I also write R1s before I start debates. Working under a timeframe is stressful so I like to take advantage of when I don't have that.

Making mistakes is the best way to learn, and any debate where you learn from mistakes is a win regardless of voter outcome. It's not like I did perfectly either - I'll have some things to carry over with me into future debates, too.

I thought it was a very good debate, and I learned a lot of very interesting things about Christianity from you as a result of it. I was raised culturally Jewish and have been drifting in and out of the religion for some time, but I've also always been fascinated by the story of Jesus and his teachings. The quote "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” was a quote that you shared that I really liked in particular. I'm still excited to see what the voters say whether they vote in your favor or in mine.

Added:
Instigator
--> @Nikunj_sanghai

Just the kind of challenge I relish trying. First personal rule: I am not afraid of failure. But then, I actually have several first personal rules. One of them is: I fear failure. When I figurer out that conundrum, I think my mission in life is complete.

Added:
Instigator
--> @armoredcat

Thanks for that.

To your question, I never launch a debate without having at least a first round composed. It may alter a bit before publication, particularly if there are negotiated factors created pre-argument phase based on my description - something I recognize I did poorly in our debate Regardless, other than our kerfuffle, I thought it was a good debate with good arguments both sides.

Added:
--> @fauxlaw

Who in the world can defend this? almost impossible.

Added:
Instigator
--> @K_Michael

Statistical hypothesis? Or, rather, statistical data in a hypothesis? There's corkscrew logic. But, even corkscrews have a logic, so...