Instigator / Con
Points: 4

In The Pursuit of Truth and/or Knowledge, Do We Take Into Account Feelings?

Finished

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After 1 vote the winner is ...
Athias
Debate details
Publication date
Last update
Category
Philosophy
Time for argument
Three days
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
One week
Point system
Four points
Rating mode
Rated
Characters per argument
30,000
Contender / Pro
Points: 7
Description
It is quite confusing why people say 'you can't say that, it's offensive' nowadays especially in street debates between left and right wing supporters in many parts of the Western World. I am really interested in knowing why someone would think in such a way that we must care about human emotion is the result is the obtaining of knowledge or truth. Looking for someone willing to debate that we must take into account the feelings of others when in search of answer. I stand for the 'facts don't care about your feelings' side, the opponent will be against it.
Round 1
Published:
I thank Athias for giving me the opportunity to partake in my first ever debate. I hope we have a great time in exchanging dialogue as well as opinions on this matter in an effort to understand better human nature and behavior.

Introduction:
It is undeniable that feelings nowadays has taken a more prevalent position than truth or information in certain parts of society and among certain individuals, where people tend to manipulate fact for their own benefit. Fake news and false facts pop up everywhere like mushrooms after a rain and is so commonplace in modern society that it is hard to differentiate what is truth and what is false. Why do we act and behave in such a way? I believe it stems from our feelings of being in the right, an attitude of preserving our own personal feelings that should not be violated by fact or truth as it may not align with our emotional response. In such, the search for truth and knowledge in modern times has been undermined by individuals who proclaimed that such fact is not true or biased merely because it is not what they 'feel' is right.

Argument 1:
Emotions or feelings should be kept separate from truth and knowledge as I believe can blur one's reason to think in a logical manner.

Argument 2:
People nowadays are too dependent on their feelings instead of looking up facts, resulting in sensitive people yelling or hurling insults at others when confronted to discussion simply because their opinions do not align with their political, religious or personal beliefs. I believe that such attitude and behavior should be dropped and the practice of looking the perspectives from both sides as well as the reliance on absolute truth and common knowledge instead of dependence on personal emotions to guide them through their life.

I end my opening statement. I now pass the floor to Athias.
Published:
Opening Argument

First, I'd like to welcome Marc1123 to the site and express my intent to making this discussion an informative first debate. Now, the proposition over which we argue, just to repeat, is "In The Pursuit of Truth and/or Knowledge, Do We Take Into Account Feelings?" Not only will I argue in this debate that feelings are to be taken into account in the pursuit of truth and or knowledge, but also that they're necessary. And in doing so, I'll use two premises: curiosity and meaning.

Curiosity is defined as the strong desire to learn or accumulate knowledge. Would we pursue knowledge without curiosity? Curiosity is an emotion, or at the very least informed by emotion. In a complex series of choices presented to each individual, one would optimally take the course which provides some form utility. And taking said course would be "better" than not taking it. If one pursues knowledge for the sake of pursuing knowledge, then how would a surplus of emotion affect that? Accuracy or Logical consistency would be irrelevant because the ends are the reason for the means.

Meaning. I won't presume to give this a definition. What value is there in the pursuit of knowledge? And can this value be excluded from emotion? Is there no value? Meaning is the quintessential manifestation of one's self--one's soul even. It motivates; it reciprocates; it validates. There'd be no value in forming hypotheses, or conducting experiments without one off the most fundamental modes of human existence: the everlasting pursuit of meaning. And meaning and emotion are inextricably tied.

In the next round, I'll rebut my opponent's opening argument. Until then, I pass the floor to Marc1123.



Round 2
Published:
Definition:
Truth- The quality or state of being true that which is in accordance with fact or reality.
Knowledge- Facts, information and skills acquired through experience and education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject.

The pursuit of truth and knowledge has long been the driving factor to the evolution of human existence throughout history. The need for improvement in the quality of human life serves as a our main goal for the search of truth and the gathering of knowledge to further our understanding of reality and the universe we live in. Simply put, these truths or facts are universal, which cannot be changed or altered regardless of space and time. The term to describe such truth is 'universal truths'. Examples of universal truths are:
1)Newton's Laws of Motion. They can be applied to any part of the universe no matter where or when. Any event or entity will act accordingly to its laws. [1]
2)Law of Conservation of Energy.  The law states that total energy of an isolated system remains constant. This too can be applied to any part of our known universe. [2]

The point is, truths and facts cannot be altered by feelings or mere belief. Just because one feels a certain way about a fact does not mean it will alter to fit the narrative of said person's assumptions. If someone feels that gravity does not work or is not realistic, does that make gravity useless? No. It does not. Even if everyone believed about a certain assumption based on their feelings, it will not change if they do not use logical and practical explanations to prove their point.

In recent times, people have become more and more dependant on their own feelings to judge how life works around them, even if evidence and facts says otherwise. Example, the formation of anti-vaccination movements among populations [3]. The belief of vaccinations causing autism or as a method of 'Big Pharma' to drain every cent of out its citizens through the use of vaccines is radical and rather nonsensical. Another example is the 'Fat Acceptance Movement' that appears to discouraging the idea of standard healthy body sizes and supports the idea of body positivity of all sizes.[4] Once again such movement is absurd and based mainly around supporting one's feelings of being unable to lose one's weight and uses said movement to assure oneself of being accepted. In fact, both ideas are examples of feelings heavily being damaging to both a human's perception of truth and fact, through their own perceptions of truth and fact based on their feelings, while ignorant to the consequences of being anti vaccinations which resulted in the re-emergence of nearly eradicated viruses and diseases [5] and that being morbidly obese just to make you feel good isn't good for you at all as it is one of the leading causes of death among human populations. [6]

Such is human nature to be dependant on our own feelings, it is unavoidable. The very core principles of one's humanity in regards to health and well-being can be manipulated by one's feelings. One can even say so about truth and fact. Humans are capable of blinding themselves to logic and truth if it against their own belief and feeling of which is right and wrong. The belief of a a flat earth is an example. It goes against logic and the laws of gravity, yet people still believe it, despite being proved wrong time and again. [7] [8]

As such, I believe as humans we must discard our personal feelings and beliefs in order to pursue truth and knowledge. We as a society cannot be blinded by our own biased feelings to justify how something works or acts or takes place because it is unavoidable. It is inevitable. No matter how passionately we feel about a certain subject or matter, we cannot change its reality or alter the truth. Therefore, we should not take our own personal feelings into account in the pursuit of truth and knowledge.

I will use the last round to rebuke my opponents arguments and strengthen my own. But as for now, I end my round and pass the floor back to my opponent.

SOURCES:


















Published:
I forego the rebuttal of the opening argument given that many of the themes and points of my opponents argument are repeated in the second round. I'll simply rebut the second round's argument in order to avoid redundancy.

Rebuttal


Definition:
Truth- The quality or state of being true that which is in accordance with fact or reality.
Knowledge- Facts, information and skills acquired through experience and education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject.

Your definitions suffice.

The pursuit of truth and knowledge has long been the driving factor to the evolution of human existence throughout history. The need for improvement in the quality of human life serves as a our main goal for the search of truth and the gathering of knowledge to further our understanding of reality and the universe we live in.
And what end does this pursuit of knowledge serve? What meaning is there in improving the quality of human life if it's not in service to happiness?

The point is, truths and facts cannot be altered by feelings or mere belief. Just because one feels a certain way about a fact does not mean it will alter to fit the narrative of said person's assumptions. If someone feels that gravity does not work or is not realistic, does that make gravity useless? No. It does not. Even if everyone believed about a certain assumption based on their feelings, it will not change if they do not use logical and practical explanations to prove their point.
This should have been the argument you instigated from the very beginning. (It would've been an argument against which it would be difficult to argue.) But in context of the proposition you did instigate, it is a non sequitur. We are not arguing over that which qualifies, modifies, or informs the truth; we are arguing over that which qualifies, modifies, and informs its pursuit--to strive to gain; seek to attain or accomplish (an end, object, purpose, etc.). We pursue truth because we value truth. And values are expressed through actions, decisions, and emotions. The rubric by which we establish that which we value or don't is Aristotle's a priori presumption of the rational human being. We engage values and actions which serve a good utility (benefit) and avoid those which produce a bad utility (harm.) If we also consider Epicurean philosophy the greatest (good) utility is in pursuing pleasure, and the worst utility is in pursuing pain and suffering. So I must ask: what meaning is there in pursuing truth if we are to disregard the value (expressed through emotion) we place on it? Why even bother searching for it?

Such is human nature to be dependant on our own feelings, it is unavoidable. The very core principles of one's humanity in regards to health and well-being can be manipulated by one's feelings. One can even say so about truth and fact.
Didn't you answer your proposition to the detriment of your own argument, here? If it is our nature to depend on our own feelings, then must we not take our feelings into account in every capacity?

Humans are capable of blinding themselves to logic and truth if it against their own belief and feeling of which is right and wrong.
You have yet to establish how the two (truth and feelings) are necessarily mutually exclusive. Please do so in the next round.

As such, I believe as humans we must discard our personal feelings and beliefs in order to pursue truth and knowledge. We as a society cannot be blinded by our own biased feelings to justify how something works or acts or takes place because it is unavoidable. It is inevitable. No matter how passionately we feel about a certain subject or matter, we cannot change its reality or alter the truth.
These are two different arguments. The first argues the motivation for the pursuit of truth, while the second argues the quality of truth. We are arguing only over the first.



Round 3
Published:
The point I am speaking is that since truth cannot be changed or altered by one's feelings or beliefs, I is unnecessary for us to use our personal emotions in the pursuit of knowledge and truth. As explained before, feelings can manipulate one's perceived sense of what is truth and what is false. The members of the movements provided earlier (anti-vaxx movements and fat acceptance movements) are clear examples of letting their own beliefs and feelings perceive what is true and what is false. To elaborate further, let us break down the arguments provided by both movements about their cause.

1) Anti-Vaxx Movement
The anti-vaccination movement is the movement of rejecting and refusing all types of vaccine-related treatment. It has been identified as one of the leading health threats of 2019 [1]. The anti-vaxx movement, while existed for many years alongside the existence of vaccines, has seen a major spike in numbers of believers due to a controversial paper published by disgraced ex-Dr Andrew Wakefield linking the MMR vaccine with an increase in autism[2]. While the paper has been debunked numerous times by researchers and has even been retraced by its original publisher The Lancet, anti-vaxx movements continue to use such and other outdated information to explain their reasons to rejecting vaccines. This has resulted in an increase in many suppressed or nearly eradicated diseases, measles for example [3].

2) Fat Acceptance Movement
The Fat Acceptance Movement is a social movement seeking to change anti-fat bias in social attitudes by eliminating and raising awareness of discrimination towards overweight and obese persons.[3] Simply put, they encourage the maintaining of obese or overweight bodies and seek to change social views of fat body = bad for health. The problem is, being overweight or obese can and will be detrimental to your health in many ways such as heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and more [4]. The movement's reason for encouraging fat acceptance is so that 'fat people can feel included in society and not discriminated due to their body size'. The problem is these people treat fat bodies as an unchanging factor of themselves, as if obesity is somehow on par with skin colour and religion. This is false, of course. One can change their own body size through healthy diet, exercise and the entalm strength to change. Yet, the movement tells people it is alright to be fat, just be the way you are as long as you are healthy. And with a obesity pandemic on our hands, these organisations are part of the problem to building a healthy society.

The fact is, people have been blinded by their own emotions to realise or even admit their own wrongdoing. As mentioned above these are examples of what has happened letting our own emotions get in the way of our pursuit of truth. It leads to living a life of lies and falsehoods that not only bring harm to themselves but to the people around them. As such, I believe we should not allow emotion to guide us in our pursuit for truth and knowledge.

With this final round, I thank my opponent who took the time to read, analyse and find faults within my argument, and now pass the floor to him.













Published:
The point I am speaking is that since truth cannot be changed or altered by one's feelings or beliefs, I is unnecessary for us to use our personal emotions in the pursuit of knowledge and truth.
One is not necessarily informed by the other. And you haven't demonstrated such. You haven't demonstrated how the pursuit of truth is impacted negatively by one's emotions. Thus far, you've given examples of how individuals attempt to qualify the truth using their emotions. And there's no dispute, at least in this debate, that emotions neither qualify nor inform truth. But that is not the debate we're having. We're discussing whether or not emotions qualify, modify, and inform the pursuit of truth. You're attempting to string your predicate statement--i.e. truth cannot be changed or altered by one's feelings or beliefs with your conclusive statement--i.e. it is unecessary for us to use our personal emotions in the pursuit of knowledge and truth--without so much as providing a subjective statement which connects your premise and your conclusion. My syllogism is quite simple:

  • Curiosity is or at least is informed by an emotion by definition.
  • Curiosity is necessary for the pursuit of knowledge and truth.
  • Therefore, one emotion is necessary for the pursuit of knowledge and truth.
Your argument is argument is construct as such:

  • it is unecessary for us to use our personal emotions in the pursuit of knowledge and truth
  • Therefore it is unecessary for us to use our personal emotions in the pursuit of knowledge and truth
You're missing your major premise. You're merely stringing two statements together because they consist of the same words. You haven't connected your ideas at all.

The fact is, people have been blinded by their own emotions to realise or even admit their own wrongdoing. As mentioned above these are examples of what has happened letting our own emotions get in the way of our pursuit of truth.
No, those are examples of how individuals attempt to qualify the truth with that which you allege is their emotions.

Closing Arguments:

1. Both meaning and curiosity are necessary to the pursuit of truth. Curiosity is an emotion, or at the very least informed by emotion. In a complex series of choices presented to each individual, one would optimally take the course which presents the most utility. Taking  the aformentioned course would be "better" than not taking it. If one pursues knowledge for the sake of pursuing knowledge, then how would a surplus of emotion affect that? Accuracy or logical consistency would be irrelevant because the ends are the reason for the means. Meaning is the quintessential manifestation of one's self. It motivates; it reciprocates; it validates. There'd be no value in forming hypotheses, or conducting experiments without one off the most fundamental modes of human existence: the everlasting pursuit of meaning.

2. My opponent has often confused the quality of truth with its pursuit, which is clearly demonstrated in his arguments.


Thank you to the onlookers. And thank you to my opponent. Vote well.
Added:
--> @Ramshutu, @Marc1123
@Marc1123: I'm pleased that you were gratified by your first debate. And that's the spirit: try harder. Every experience you have in your future debates will be a lesson which hopefully will make your arguments that much more sharp and refined. I've been arguing for years, and I'm still learning.
@Ramshutu: I believe @oromagi hit the nail on the head in the beginning: the proposition was wide open to attack. Despite my understanding the implication of the proposition, his conclusion was inconsistent with the premise. The structure of the propositional statement essentially can be only read as one which sought to resolve "meaning" not "content." Semantics played an important role. Had he structured the statement as such, "In the 'Analysis' or 'Examination' of Truth, Do We Take into Account Feelings?" he would've had a stronger case. By using "pursuit," we delve into purpose; it's the "why?" instead of the "what?"
Contender
#9
Added:
--> @Marc1123
Hi Marc: don’t be disheartened as this debate wasn’t by any means bad. I think part of it was that there was lots of scope in the resolution to go places you weren’t expecting (that’s actually often a good thing), and I think the hardest aspect of debate is how to try and maintain a debate when both sides disagree on the meaning of the resolution.
#8
Added:
Well, it was a good first debate. Congratulations to the winner. I'll try harder next time.
Instigator
#7
Added:
Interesting
#6
Added:
--> @oromagi, @Athias
Yeah, kinda realise my mistake too little too late. My error in sentencing my phrases seems to have been misinterpreted. I do apologize dearly, but I still intent to continue the debate. Please give me some time while I source some information. And I apologize if I had caused any inconveniences.
Instigator
#5
Added:
--> @oromagi
That's the reason I accepted the challenge. You're correct in that it's wide open to attack. Hopefully, this will be an informative debate.
Contender
#4
Added:
--> @Marc1123
Welcome, Marc. I think your proposition is wide open to attack- didn't Dr. Spock teach us that emotions are part of truth? A much more interesting debate would be to take one of those statements that most people find offensive and defend it as objectively rational.
#3
Added:
It's a weird one, because feelings override truth. We even have the term "alternate facts" to spare the feelings of someone who is objectively wrong. So well it should not be the case, if we don't consider feelings the search for truth gets set back by book burnings and the like.
#2
Added:
--> @Marc1123
With one exception, I agree.
#1
#1
Criterion Con Tie Pro Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
Welcome to Marc.
Cons opens, with a fairly concise argument that emotion and can blur individuals reasoning when it comes to facts, and that people rely too much on emotion rather than facts.
Pros counter argument is orthogonal - that emotions, give us the drive and quest for knowledge, and inherently gives truth value and meaning - without which knowledge is effectively meaningless.
In the following round, con puts some meat on the bones, by showing some impact of emotions on our society, specifically with vaccine hesitancy, conspiracies, etc.
At this point, pro and con are both somewhat arguing across each other. Cons argument is valid that emotion when it comes to determining facts is detrimental: but pros case is that while this is true - emotion is what in itself gives facts and truth meaning.
Both sides appear to argue that the other side should be arguing their position - and thus is always tricky to judge.
Reading the resolution: I think pros interpretation is more fair an interpretation of the resolution as written (note to con - it’s often important be 100% explicit exactly what the resolution is).
Importantly even if I assume cons contention and resolution is correct, I think pros argument still fits in with that - that while emotion maybe detrimental to quality, facts do care about your feelings given that they’re given value by them as con points out. While this is in the ball park of a kritik, I feel it’s a valid one.
For this reason, I think pro edges this debate in both resolution. Thus arguments to pro.