Points: 14

Skepticism is a fallacious position by itself.

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After 7 votes the winner is ...
Sparrow
Debate details
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Last update
Category
Philosophy
Time for argument
Three days
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
Two weeks
Point system
Four points
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Rated
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Contender
Points: 49
Description
Round 1: Opening Statements, No Rebuttals.
Round 2: Rebuttals of Round 1 Statements
Round 3: Rebuttals of Round 2 Statements.
Round 4: Interrogation. Questions Only. You may quote or reference any part of the topic for your questions.
Round 5: Answering Round 4 Questions and then closing statements.
Con must accept this format in order to debate this topic.
Round 1
Published:
Hello all. 

Today we're here to talk about skepticism.  Lets dive in. 


Now obviously there's different branches of skepticism.  But we're not here to talk about that.  We're actually here to talk about a specific kind of skeptical claim that comes up a lot. 

First lets establish the difference between global and local skepticism. 

The first one says "we can't know anything with certainty"

The second one says "we can't know anything about thing X"


The first version is not as common and famous philosophers have repeatedly provided defeaters for it.  The second one seems to have less criticism historically and has helped discover so great things in philosophy.   So what's the problem then? 


Well, put plainly.  The second position is a claim.  That claim requires a justification.  Furthermore, the claim that justifies it can't be another skeptical claim.  It needs to be one that supports the lack of knowledge of X.  This is my reason for contention today. 



It is very common when arguing in a situation with singular BoP.  For the opponent to say "I don't have to provide an argument, only disprove yours" and this is actually true in some cases.  However, people have made the mistake of thinking a skeptical claim is a disproof.  



Put plainly.  There is no such thing as a singular BoP in the grand scheme of things.  There is for the topic.  But in order for the opposing side to win the any debate.  They must do more than simply place doubt.  They must have their own positive claim that is supported with justification.  This means that regardless of one's position.  The only way to ever win a debate is to take on some kind of BoP. 


In this case of skepticism.  The BoP falls on their statement that we can't know certain knowledge.  This claim would be enough to cast doubt, but doesn't necessarily defeat the position.  There are two elements that a skeptic would need to topple any argument. 

A) justification for the "we can't know claim"

B) another claim to proven that claim X is extremely unlikely to be true in the first place. 


These are the essential elements that I tend to see missing from skeptical arguments.   Without these extra tools.  A skeptic is little more than a person tacitly neigh saying while not proving any evidence of their own.  


Your floor. 
Published:
Skeptism is the only logical default position when it comes to dealing with the unknown. There is nothing fallacious about not believing in something when there is absence of proof or lack of understanding. Skepticism does not mean you are saying "it doesn't exist unless I can see it" or anything like that. Skepticism is about not jumping to conclusions until you are certain of something. To call skepticism in and of itself a fallacy is to suggest that when you aren't sure of something, you have just as much of a BoP by simply saying "I don't know" or "I don't think that is likely" as someone who is literally pulling an explanation or belief out of their ass.


Round 2
Published:

Skeptism is the only logical default position when it comes to dealing with the unknown.

That would be true, if you can prove it's unknown.  This is where the problem lies.  You're making that claim "X is unknown, therefore we can't know it"

Do you see the problem here?  It's begging the question.  in order to conclude that something can't be known, you must first assume that it's already unknown.  This is why skepticism cannot stand as a singular claim.  You need another claim under it to justify the statement "X is unknown". 

so what happens if you place another skeptic claim under this?  That claim will require a claim as well.  The only way to break the cycle is to have a knowledge claim. knowledge claims are not skeptical claims, therefore, one cannot build off of skepticism alone. 


There is nothing fallacious about not believing in something when there is absence of proof or lack of understanding
That's true, if there's lack of proof.   However, in order to conclude that there is no proof, you need a knowledge claim first. 


To call skepticism in and of itself a fallacy is to suggest that when you aren't sure of something, you have just as much of a BoP by simply saying "I don't know" or "I don't think that is likely" as someone who is literally pulling an explanation or belief out of their ass.
I never said anything of the sort.  If somebody is making an unjustified claim, then it doesn't matter what the other party said because that claim failed on it's own.  However, saying "I don't know"  is a much different claim than saying "we don't know".  The first claim is definitely okay, but when you make the second claim, you're saying that other people don't know and that is a fallacious claim.  First of all, you would be assuming that you're a mind reader. 

Second, you're discrediting evidence that people might have for things.  Therefore, if you make the claim "we don't know"  You have to support that claim with a BoP because all positive claims have BoP.    "we don't know"  is a positive claim.  You've demonstrated why skepticism is fallacious by itself. 



I await my opponent's rebuttal of my R1 
Published:
Well, put plainly.  The second position is a claim.  That claim requires a justification.  Furthermore, the claim that justifies it can't be another skeptical claim.  It needs to be one that supports the lack of knowledge of X.  This is my reason for contention today. 


Skepticism doesn't necessarily claim that you "can't" know something.


: an attitude of doubt or a disposition to incredulity either in general or toward a particular object
2a : the doctrine that true knowledge or knowledge in a particular area is uncertain
b : the method of suspended judgment, systematic doubt, or criticism characteristic of skeptics
3 : doubt concerning basic religious principles (such as immortality, providence, and revelation)


Skepticism is fundamentally about refusing to believe something until you have sufficient evidence of it, which is the exact opposite of a fallacious position and is in fact the ONLY way to avoid having fallacious positions in the first place.


Round 3
Published:
Skepticism doesn't necessarily claim that you "can't" know something.
Technically yes, but only because you could word it differently.  It doesn't matter how you word it, it's still a claim. 


Skepticism is fundamentally about refusing to believe something until you have sufficient evidence of it, which is the exact opposite of a fallacious position and is in fact the ONLY way to avoid having fallacious positions in the first place.
In order to determine what is sufficient evidence, one must make a claim that evidence is sufficient or not sufficient.  You're still stuck making a claim.  Now next you might say "well we don't know if the evidence is sufficient or not" which means you'll need a standard to determine whether you know the evidence is sufficient or not.  That will require another claim and if you say you don't know that claim then you'll require another claim. 

Infinite regress. 

At some point, you have to make a knowledge claim to deny knowledge.  The only real claim you can make is "I don't know", which is not a critique but just a personal statement about yourself.   Saying "we don't know"  is a claim that requires proof because now you're not just speaking for yourself.  


This demonstrates why you can't be skeptical without positive claims.  To do otherwise results in fallacious reasoning. 


Published:
Skepticism is not necessarily a claim that you "can't" know something, it is the withholding of belief until sufficient evidence is discovered. There is no BoP for simply saying "I don't believe anything without sufficient evidence". If you were to apply a skeptical attitude universally all that means is you would have no beliefs other than what you can prove, not that you would be asserting that it's impossible to know anything. This is why skepticism is inherently logical in actuality, because any approach other than brutal skepticism about everything leaves you open to adopting fallacious positions in one form or another. Skepticism is inherently the opposite of a fallacy because skepticism in and of itself is the refusal to make any claim or hold any belief until you have been blasted in the face with a hot, steamy torrent of logic and evidence supporting it.
Round 4
Forfeited
Published:
I am skeptical of everything so how can I be wrong?
I don't accept it till' I know it, so my arguments are strong
Round 5
Published:
I concede
Published:
Thank you have a nice day.
Added:
--> @Chitty-Chitty
once you omit one piece of knowledge, then you can't say every piece is impossible because you don't know that what's in the piece that you left out won't lead to knowing everything. The most you could say is that it's unlikely.
I agree with your second statement.
Instigator
#10
Added:
I'd argue that knowledge of everything is impossible, but you can know some things inside and out.
#9
Added:
Ah. I read "certain knowledge is impossible" as "some knowledge specifically cannot be known," not "nothing can be known for sure."
The word certain is slightly ambiguous, but I really should have remembered the definition of skepticism to begin with.
#8
Added:
--> @K_Michael
Not necessarily. That could be the case, or it could not. but I believe that we can know some things 100%
Instigator
#7
Added:
--> @Wrick-It-Ralph
So do you believe that nothing is impossible to know?
#6
Added:
--> @PsychometricBrain
Thanks, you're always welcome to accept though. I'm not picky about my opponents as long as they don't troll, which I have precedent to say that you don't.
Instigator
#5
Added:
--> @Wrick-It-Ralph
I'll let other people have the chance to accept the debate but if you can't find an opponent we can debate the same topic again in a while. Good luck
#4
Added:
--> @PsychometricBrain
I'm glad you asked though, it reminds me that I need to start putting definitions in the full description.
Instigator
#3
Added:
--> @PsychometricBrain
the theory that certain knowledge is impossible.
I believe this claim by itself is fallacious.
so if I claim thing X and you say "Thing X is impossible to know 100%" then that claim by itself is meaningless.
Instigator
#2
Added:
--> @Wrick-It-Ralph
What is your definition of skepticism?
#1
#7
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
Concession
#6
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
Pro concedes R5
#5
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
Concession by Pro in last Round and only Con used sources.
#4
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
Pro conceded
#3
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
Pro conceded in round 5
#2
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
Concession
#1
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
Concession.