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
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Category
Science
Time for argument
Three days
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
Two weeks
Point system
Four points
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5
1605
rating
17
debates
70.59%
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~ 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

That's fine, especially if you already have an argument written out.

Me too; I was looking back at our dispute and seeing how negatively it turned out kind of made me sad. Hatchet buried.

Added:
--> @fauxlaw

Here's an interview between some skeptics and a guy who low-key believes in witchcraft.
http://www.thebayesianconspiracy.com/2018/07/64-magick-with-david-youssef/

Added:
Instigator
--> @armoredcat

That kind of proposal would be interesting, and I will consider a future debate on that subject. However, I'm going to hold with this one to see if it triggers any interest. If so, the other will certainly be of interest.
By the way, I'm glad we are back to normal. I apologize for the disruption in our recently finished debate. I'd like us to remain friends. Hatchet buried?

Added:
--> @fauxlaw

Very cool book. I'm busy now but this would be something interesting to look at when I have time.

Maybe a resolution that more people would contend would be to say that a certain field of science is/is not scientific. For example, some people will tell you that Sociology is unscientific. I strongly disagree with that one but that's just an example.

Added:
Instigator
--> @armoredcat

I share your skepticism. However, I thought it would be a fun exercise. I just happened to pick up my copy of a book by Carl Sagan [1995] on the subject and thought it would be an interesting debate. Look it up. It's titled "The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark"

Added:

According to themselves, Witchcraft is basically practices and rituals.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNQGbnn2vrQ

Added:

My belief is that witchcraft is just like any other belief. Anybody can respectfully disagree.

Added:
--> @fauxlaw

I'm not sure that anyone will accept this. Not a lot of witchcraft supporters here. Might be fun to play Devil's Advocate but even then it'd be extremely tough.

I guarantee however that if witchcraft got into the American political spotlight any time soon you'd find a lot of newfound support for the concept from one side or the other.

Added:
Instigator
--> @Intelligence_06

Re: your #3: take up the debate, and if you wish to offer that argument, be my guest. I will demonstrate the incompatibility of the suggestion. You make a bold, all-encompassing statement. Be prepared to back it up by encompassing evidence.

Added:
Instigator
--> @Intelligence_06

Not to mention that I would argue that 'religion' and 'disorganized' are not consistently compatible terms.

Added:
--> @fauxlaw

You said pseudoscience is not organized nor methodically correct in any way, and your "scientific method" does not include faith, so does that mean religion is a pseudoscience?

Added:
Instigator
--> @Intelligence_06

Oh, come on! Show me where I mentioned 'religion?' I did not, and specifically avoided the reference. Note: this is in the science category, not religion. Be a little more critical of your own assumptions. That is one of the points of this debate suggestion. I certainly do not suggest that witchcraft is exclusively a practice of religious rites, and will not do so.

Added:
--> @fauxlaw

So, all religion in this world is pseudoscience and is disorganized? Then how come you believe in Christianity?