Instigator / Pro

Materialism is true


The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.

Winner & statistics
Better arguments
Better sources
Better legibility
Better conduct

After 4 votes and with 12 points ahead, the winner is...

Publication date
Last updated date
Number of rounds
Time for argument
Three days
Max argument characters
Voting period
One week
Point system
Multiple criterions
Voting system
Contender / Con

No information

Round 1
1) Only the material is observable

This one is pretty self explanatory. Physical reality is the only reality we have any direct evidence of. In fact, it is inherently impossible to prove that anything else exists.

Empirical evidence is information that verifies the truth (which accurately corresponds to reality) or falsity (inaccuracy) of a claim. In the empiricist view, one can claim to have knowledge only when based on empirical evidence (although some empiricists believe that there are other ways of gaining knowledge). This stands in contrast to the rationalist view under which reason or reflection alone is considered evidence for the truth or falsity of some propositions.[2] Empirical evidence is information acquired by observation or experimentation, in the form of recorded data, which may be the subject of analysis (e.g. by scientists). This is the primary source of empirical evidence. Secondary sources describe, discuss, interpret, comment upon, analyze, evaluate, summarize, and process primary sources. Secondary source materials can be articles in newspapers or popular magazines, book or movie reviews, or articles found in scholarly journals that discuss or evaluate someone else's original research.[2]

2) Only the material is necessary

Not only is there no proof of non-physical reality, there is no philosophical or scientific reason to believe it exists at all. As humans we live in both a physical and conceptual reality, with the conceptual merely being a construct within our physical brains. The metaphysical/spiritual is something we have invented conceptually to explain the "essence" of things underlying the mere physical properties, it is an argument from ignorance, an assertion based on the incapability of mankind to fully understand the nature of physical existence. As history has shown repeatedly, the more we learn about physical reality the less metaphysical explanations we seem to need.

3) Only the material is sensical

The way our reality behaves is coherent according the both the laws of logic and physics. Anything which is not physical is arbitrary because it does not follow principles such as cause and effect, which is necessary for anything to happen in the first place. A reality which is not physical is a reality without rules, it is a reality to which the laws of physics and logic do not apply. You may argue that there are just different rules rather than none at all, to which I would say those rules are not logical because logic is something that is only useful when you can leave leave your keys on the desk and assume they will still be there after you take a piss unless some force or entity moved them.

We may regard the present state of the universe as the effect of the past and the cause of the future. An intellect which at any given moment knew all of the forces that animate nature and the mutual positions of the beings that compose it, if this intellect were vast enough to submit the data to analysis, could condense into a single formula the movement of the greatest bodies of the universe and that of the lightest atom; for such an intellect nothing could be uncertain and the future just like the past would be present before its eyes.
— Pierre Simon Laplace, A Philosophical Essay on Probabilities

4) Only the material is tangible

If something cannot be physically observed, measured or have it's behaviour predicted via an understanding of it's properties, then what is that thing? It is a thing that effectively does not exist, because it doesn't have tangible properties even if it somehow were to exist. And if something exists and also doesn't exist, it's safer to just assume it doesn't exist.

5) Only the material exists

Existence is the ontological property[1] of being,[2] with reference to the ability of an entity to, directly or indirectly, interact with the physical or, especially in idealistic worldviews, mental reality.
Materialism holds that the only things that exist are matter and energy, that all things are composed of material, that all actions require energy, and that all phenomena (including consciousness) are the result of the interaction of matter.Dialectical materialism does not make a distinction between being and existence, and defines it as the objective reality of various forms of matter.[2]
Idealism holds that the only things that exist are thoughts and ideas, while the material world is secondary.[3][4] In idealism, existence is sometimes contrasted with transcendence, the ability to go beyond the limits of existence.[2] As a form of epistemological idealismrationalism interprets existence as cognizable and rational, all things as composed of strings of reasoning, requiring an associated idea of the thing, and all phenomena (including consciousness) are the result of an understanding of the imprint from the noumenal world in which lies beyond the thing-in-itself.
In scholasticism, existence of a thing is not derived from its essence and is determined by the creative volition of God, the dichotomy of existence and essence demonstrates that the dualism of the created universe is only resolvable through God.[2] Empiricism recognizes existence of singular facts, which are not derivable and which are observable through empirical knowledge.
The exact definition of existence is one of the most important and fundamental topics of ontology, the philosophical study of the nature of being, existence, or reality in general, as well as of the basic categories of being and their relations. Traditionally listed as a part of the major branch of philosophy known as metaphysics, ontology deals with questions concerning what things or entities exist or can be said to exist, and how such things or entities can be grouped, related within a hierarchy, and subdivided according to similarities and differences.

As any rational human can see, the only known alternatives to Dialectical Materialism and Empiricism are examples of abject crackpottery. Since the existence of ideas and consciousness require a physical brain, the idealist notions of existence are farcical. Metaphysical/spiritual explanations are equally absurd and can only be baseless assertions by definition.

I will bring sources in R2 but I believe I have come up with an interesting angle that is more semantics and pure-logic based where Pro has literally no way to fight it rather than the classic 'proving the soul' type strategy that Con to this topic takes.

I understand Pro's angles here and it seems fair enough at first, we don't see the brain turn 'into the mind' so why believe there is really a mind beyond the physical nerves? Right? We don't see the actual orgasm, or even 'feel' it in any measurable way beyond the materialistic elements that are either the means to achieve it, intuitively, or the display of it in a materialistic way, in a simulated reality.

So, the strategy most Con's to this topic take is they go 'waaa waaa feelings are reaaaal!!' and then Pro sits there dangling them like a mouse to a cat's paw and it's game-over as all Pro has to say is 'you can't prove it, na-nana-na-na' but this is RM, this is the guy who will make you realise that the resolution and BoP mechanics here make the materialist by default wrong. Note, this isn't even a debate that Materialism is logically sound or that it's plausible, this topic is Pro asserting it's true. What does that mean? It means that Con need only cast reasonable doubt, not that Con need prove materialism wrong but why not do both?

Here's how it works (and no, I'm not being clever for the sake of it this is genuinely why Materialism is actually wrong, I am not pretending in this debate):

A syllogism is a systematic representation of a single logical inference. It has three parts: a major premise, a minor premise, and a conclusion. The parts are defined this way:

  • The major premise contains a term from the predicate of the conclusion
  • The minor premise contains a term from the subject of the conclusion
  • The conclusion combines major and minor premise
When all the premises are true and the syllogism is correctly constructed, a syllogism is an ironclad logical argument.

Syllogism 1:

Major Premise (MP): Proving things in a non-physical way can still be valid proof.

Minor Premise (mP): Material things can be proven to exist by physical means only.

Conclusion (and also Contention so the symbol will be 'C' as my Conclusions will be my actual Contentions/Points of argumentation)...
C1: The proof for the non-materialistic is both able to be and highly likely to be non-physical and is entirely capable of being valid in spite of being such.

Syllogism 2:

MP: Read C1

mP: The difference between information and knowledge is that information is the stored physical data, 'thing' etc. and knowledge is the immaterial, superior-even reason why information is at all valuable.

C2: The material world, in any proof-based sense of interpreting it, is itself proving that there is immaterial aspects to it, given that the value of material information is solely based upon the immaterial garnering of knowledge.

Syllogism 3:

MP: Read C2

mP: Knowledge itself is 'stored' physically and used physically for motives that are either moral (based on physical emotions, converted into immaterial 'knowledge polarity' fixtures) or it is used in a way that directly helps garner more information (which is only valuable due to knowledge).

C3: The material is a means to an immaterial end, no matter how we interpret it or use it.

Syllogism 4:

MP: Read C3

mP: This debate itself, including the entire case by Pro is material in nature. The information stored here, both in the text of Pro's debate and the actual memory space in the audience/judge's brain that is going to store it and analyse it is of zero value to anything that is involved with the 'knowing' of the resolution being true or false if one doesn't convert it into 'ideas' that are parts of the immaterial storage of knowledge and morals that are based on the material only insofar as to be a means to enable these things. 

C4: If this debate is true, the knowledge of that truth existing at all is immaterial and can only exist as such during the entire process prior to material application of it.

Syllogism 5:

MP: Voting is done in a material manner, but the entire morality of voting according to who debated the best and convinced you of the truth is an entirely immaterial thing as it's a knowledge-polarity in terms of how one is to apply knowledge into the material world. (see C3)

mP: Read C4

C5: If this debate is true, the knowledge of that truth and moral imperative to vote according to that truth are both immaterial (and sole) motives to conclude that Pro is correct and to reward Pro accordingly for being so.

Syllogism 6:

MP: If there is no immaterial reality, there cannot be immaterial knowledge or immaterial morals to polarise how one applies that knowledge.

mP: Read C5 

C6: If one votes for Pro, one is violating the immaterial knowledge and moral-code of a Debate-judge on this website and really everywhere. If one pays attention to them, Pro is by default incorrect and they are blackmailed into voting Con anyway.

C69: Checkmate.
Round 2
The proof for the non-materialistic is both able to be and highly likely to be non-physical and is entirely capable of being valid in spite of being such.
While this is true it doesn't change the fact that there is no proof of the non-materialistic nor is the non-material necessitated to exist logically. The fact that a non-physical reality would very likely require non-physical proof means that even if it is real we have no way of processing it or detecting it with our senses or our brains or any form of methodology or instrumentation.

The material world, in any proof-based sense of interpreting it, is itself proving that there is immaterial aspects to it, given that the value of material information is solely based upon the immaterial garnering of knowledge.
Knowledge is not immaterial as consciousness is physical and has not been demonstrated to exist without being caused and maintained by a physical system such as a brain, nor is it logical to suggest that it could be non-physical as there would be no basis for it other than what is essentially magic.

The material is a means to an immaterial end, no matter how we interpret it or use it.
These things that you call immaterial are just the subjective experience of the human brain. Prove that knowledge and morality are something independent of the physical properties of the brain and you may be getting somewhere.

This is simple. To be clear, Pro has no ways left to win once I elaborate on what 'semantics reality' is and what immaterial proof and everything in the realm of 'meaningful ideas' and 'logic' is. Before I proceed, I want to highlight the half-concession that Pro has made which has doomed his fate here:

Pro has outright agreed to the following premise (C1):

The proof for the non-materialistic is both able to be and highly likely to be non-physical and is entirely capable of being valid in spite of being such.
Also, as this Round is where I said I'd bring in my sources, let's start by accrediting who I quoted from in Round 1 with the bullet points regarding Syllogisms:

Thanks '' for the concise explanation.

Now, to grasp just how doomed Pro is, or how doomed Con is one must see that my Round 1 chain of syllogisms is either entirely true of false based on whether or not I can assert and elaborate on that 'knowledge' and 'concepts' are outside the realm of the material despite operating via the materialistic brain and the senses involved with attaining information about the material world.

To prove myself correct, I am going to absolutely corner Pro into surrender here by focusing entirely on what defines material (AKA physical) things and then prove that regardless of me being able to explain 'what' the other realm is, I can at least axiomatically prove that there is undeniably another realm if the voters are to in any shape or form process the debate, care about the debate and stick to the voting regulations. This is the key to my case; I am not saying that materialism is impossible as the main angle, that's actually contingent on the main angle being that Pro cannot ever win this debate in a materialistic world by anything other than nonsensical luck whereby all voters ignore the knowledge, moral values and concepts of logic involved with debating and voting in an honest matter on the debate at hand.

If something is both necessary to be real for Pro to be declared the winner in any logically coherent and morally consistent manner based on the knowledge and concepts of the voter-base and voting moderators, it follows that if this necessarily real thing is incompatible with a materialistic reality or completely impossible to ascertain as being part of a materialistic realm of reality, then Pro needs there to undeniably be a realm of reality beyond the materialistic in order to justify that voters vote him to be the winner.

The terms 'physical' and 'material' will be defined now and I will explore many applicable definitions and explain why the 'knowledge' of what's happening in this debate and the emotional urge to be true to it and vote with honesty and any intellectual integrity are all impossible to be physical and material. This of course applies to far more than that but I will specifically focus on them as this is so key to making Pro have to fight his own win condition in order to assert the resolution as true in spite of him admitting he doesn't in any coherent way, deserve to be voted the winner.


‘a range of physical and mental challenges’

1.1 Involving bodily contact or activity.

The knowledge of what's happening in this debate, the ideas conveyed in it, the processing of burden of proof and the emotional moral polar-pull of that knowledge to be applied in an honest, well-reasoned vote all do not have any bodily function or activity in and of themselves that is verifiable as being them. The entirety of brain function and all that is the means to an end but the transfer from the taking in the 'rules of the site's Code of Conduct regarding debating and voting' and the conversion of that into both the ideas being registered to the person 'looking out from inside the head' is not in any way meeting this definition of physical, whether or not that 'inside the head consciousness' has physical means of controlling it and influencing it.


2 Relating to things perceived through the senses as opposed to the mind; tangible or concrete.

While the physically stored format of information is physical, everything that is involved with altering it into 'meaningful' AKA semantically-verified information and adding to 'knowledge' is something that still isn't understood at all, because there's absolutely no physical (or material) explanation for consciousness at all. There is only physical understanding of the material-realm and bodily functions of the brain and hormones that influence the conscious experience and lead to a 'magical process' that leads to there being someone inside the head who thinks, feels and knows but...

There is a missing link, even in the Harvard-supported research into proving consciousness to be physical, to identify what exactly knowledge known to the conscious being is and what the emotions experienced turn into from 'hormones' into genuinely felt sensations.

There is absolutely no way to explain it is in a physical sense because while you can prove consciousness to be materialistic in the sense of this definition, you cannot explain where, how or when knowledge is or feelings are 'operating' or absolutely tangible in a physical sense for the conscious being to 'access' with their conscious thinking. Instead, only the 'why' and the 'what' are explainable, meaning it isn't entirely unreal but it lacks any physicality.

Let's explore some definitions of 'material' to see if it's possible to explain knowledge to be such (spoiler alert: it's not).

Material (adjective): Denoting or consisting of physical objects rather than the mind or spirit.

There is absolutely nothing to explain here. Knowledge and the experience of  emotions are not operating in this material sense at all.

Matter: physical or corporeal substance in general, whether solid, liquid, or gaseous, especially as distinguished from incorporeal substance, as spirit or mind, or from qualities, actions, and the like.
I do not comprehend how you can possibly think that knowledge or experienced moral code-polarising emotions would fit here.

Let me just be clear; I am conceding to Pro what most 'Con' debaters would defend against here; consciousness itself is entirely dependent upon and at the very least completely physically represented by the physical brain, nerves running through it and the hormones and nutrition that affect it. What is important is that I am referring not to the actual person in the head looking out as being inherently non-physical in nature but that every time they truly think or feel, they are entering another realm to do so. This conversion between the material realm and what I call the 'semantic realm' is something that is inherent in absolutely every single walk of life or thinking-type. Whether you are thinking of mathematics-logic, science-logic, artistic-imagination, philosophical-moral-feelings, philosophical-logic so on and so forth, you are entering a realm entirely without a 'how', 'where' and 'when' it physically operates or is stored (it's not stored in your memory, your memory is how you access it at a later time and evolve your understanding of the idea and then again put it away into the immaterial realm to use the physical brain and such to access later over and over until you are brain-dead). The physicality of the brain is not disproof of this.

When we look at the Code of Conduct of this website:

We read it by first physically seeing letters on the page or hearing it read out by a blind-helping person. Then we interpret it, via the material realm but then something happens beyond anything you can explain in the material sense... There is something with only a 'what' and a 'why' element to its existence. This is entirely similar to what most religions see God as but I am not here to defend Theism. This isn't about a 'soul' or 'supreme being' I am not taking that stance here, I am talking about actual ideas and the feelings that guide all uses of said knowledge via morals.

When you access the following concepts, you use your physical brain and eyes to read them and then use the immaterial world to guide you to ascertain what to push your nerves and brain to move to next and access and explore but you never EVER can explain WHERE the ideas they access are, HOW they exist and operate in any physical sense or WHERE they are. You only can explain WHY they work or need to exist and WHAT they are (which is entirely semantic and 0% 'material' or 'physical', whichever term/angle you prefer between the two).

There is NO location of a concept, you only physically operate your brain to enable it to push through the physical and help your consciousness (which I conceded to Pro, in this Round, is chained to the material realm) and then try and 'locate' it despite it having no physical location at all. Your memory or mental wording of the idea is NOT the location of the actual idea, it is your language-restricted, logic-restricted and sensory-limited version of the idea in a way your brain can handle it but the actual idea is beyond the physical entirely because it has no HOW, WHEN or WHERE but has a WHY and WHAT so it exists in spite of lacking 3 essential elements to have things even plausibly be material (AKA tangible or concrete in existence, bodily perhaps).

Tell me now, how the following can be read and kept physical without entering the 'semantic realm' to process the meaning and logic of it in an entirely non-material way and then to again enter that realm to process the debate logically via meanings and such and then eventually to physically type out and click 'vote' with the thinking being physical but the ideas and logic, as well as urge to vote and fear of not voting honestly (or guilt of not doing it, if you're not a sociopath or psychopath) ends up being physical?... IT NEVER DOES. 

Voting Policy
The voting policy is a subset of the Code of Conduct (COC) Policy.

I. Sufficient Votes
A sufficient vote is one that states why one debater was better than the other in a particular respect and explains why the voter thought that. The last part of that definition is crucial. It is not sufficient to merely state that "Pro had better arguments", because nothing in that statement explains why Pro had better arguments. The requirements for a sufficient vote are explained in more detail below. Votes that are reported and which are deemed insufficient will be deleted.

These physical things on a page mean absolutely nothing (may as well be a new language or incoherent series of symbols or actually just random marking across a wall/floor), until we apply something like 'meaning' and 'logic' to them. These have NO LOCATION. The actual location of the non-worded pure-idea of the word 'vote' doesn't exist physically but it absolutely exists immaterially. This is why multiple languages can have totally different physical sounds and writings mean identical semantic things; it is because the 'reached meaning' isn't physical or a result at all, it is something that always existed in an immaterial way which you finally are giving a physical means for the physical brain and senses to bring to a brain-stored memory-stored material VERSION OF IT that you convert in a 'magical' way beyond any physical explanation at all (because there isn't one).

Burden of Proof is now on Pro. Pro has to explain how knowledge and moral-guiding emotions have actual physical 'where', 'how' and 'when' in terms of the entities (not the physical words, math-equations or hormonal pumping that we physically use to enable a limited-time access of the idea/emotion but which are not the actual idea/feeling themselves but our way of reaching them from the physical realm, which is the realm that I concede to Pro is the one that our consciousness seems limited to but which magically escapes to access ideas and emotions even though the actual thinking and feeling are physical.

The entire syllogism-chain of my R1 remains resolute due to me explaining in depth why knowledge is actually immaterial. That is the only way Pro challenged it.
Round 3
The reason that Pro forfeited is that Pro realised the truth; the realm of semantics that includes both knowledge and sentimental experience is something that your brain physically helps you reach towards in the material realm but which undeniably is itself in this 'semantic realm' that is immaterial in its entirety.

This then renders Pro incapable of supporting Materialism without conceding that the knowledge and moral sentiments required to justify voters voting for him as the winner of this debate, both are immaterial. Pro is defeated thusly!