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  #1  
Old 10-22-2010, 07:14 AM
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Default Debate Games.

The debate forums have been rather dead as of late so I decided to make this post. So far, everyone has been arguing about topics that apply to real life situations or a system of values but what about debate for the sake of debate? Every once in a while I will post a random statement to discuss whenever we exhaust all of our arguments for the previous topic. These statements will generally come from common topics used to help train debaters in the critical thinking process. I will not always argue for what I believe is the correct side. For the sake of having a spirited debate I may choose the minority view.


The first topic:



Do you agree or disagree with this statement and why?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Banefull View Post
Scenario: Imagine an ancient wooden ship called "The Ship of Theseus." The vessel is kept seaworthy for a very long time through constant repairs and replacement parts. As soon as one wooden board becomes worn, it is immediately replaced.

Question: If the parts of the ship are constantly replaced, is there a point where the end product is no longer the same "Ship of Theseus" or is it something completely new and different? (for ex: all parts replaced)

Last edited by Banefull; 12-27-2010 at 08:02 AM.
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  #2  
Old 10-22-2010, 10:21 AM
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Logically no, you did. You typed it (well, I guess someone else might have, but it is impossible for something to spontaneously create itself)
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  #3  
Old 10-22-2010, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Human No More View Post
it is impossible for something to spontaneously create itself
Not necessarily true. The message may not have been spontaneously created. The message is a combination of symbols that we interpret as having meaning. If at a given time there was only one symbol and the presence of that symbol had an influence on the formation of another symbol nearby it, then did not the message create itself? If the steps in the formation of the message are not independent events, then did it not create itself? The message could have very well been generated through pseudo random processes.
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Old 10-22-2010, 07:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Banefull View Post
Not necessarily true. The message may not have been spontaneously created. The message is a combination of symbols that we interpret as having meaning. If at a given time there was only one symbol and the presence of that symbol had an influence on the formation of another symbol nearby it, then did not the message create itself? If the steps in the formation of the message are not independent events, then did it not create itself? The message could have very well been generated through pseudo random processes.
Although it could have been created by some random events, experience tells us that sequences of letters of not-insignificant length that follow familiar grammatical rules tend not to have been produced by random phenomena, but rather by some form of intelligence, whether human or algorithmic in nature; this logic can also be applied to the formation of the characters themselves, in that it seems unlikely that the pixels on the screen would randomly form such recognisable patterns, although just as all combinations of lottery numbers are equally likely, we tend to believe that recognisable sequences such as that of consecutive integers are less likely to occur at the moment of the balls being picked, and so we can conclude that it is indeed possible that the sentence formed itself despite such reasoning appearing to be counterintuitive and potentially diametrically opposed to the manner with which we fhjosdfsdh fhksjaf sd fhskfog of hsfksdfh 8fh ihasffsflkdfudsf............................
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Old 10-22-2010, 09:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stdout View Post
Although it could have been created by some random events, experience tells us that sequences of letters of not-insignificant length that follow familiar grammatical rules tend not to have been produced by random phenomena, but rather by some form of intelligence, whether human or algorithmic in nature; this logic can also be applied to the formation of the characters themselves, in that it seems unlikely that the pixels on the screen would randomly form such recognisable patterns, although just as all combinations of lottery numbers are equally likely, we tend to believe that recognisable sequences such as that of consecutive integers are less likely to occur at the moment of the balls being picked, and so we can conclude that it is indeed possible that the sentence formed itself despite such reasoning appearing to be counterintuitive and potentially diametrically opposed to the manner with which we fhjosdfsdh fhksjaf sd fhskfog of hsfksdfh 8fh ihasffsflkdfudsf............................
This proves that a specific sequence of characters can develop given an infinite amount of time; however, if the message formed in this way, then it did not assemble itself, it just occurred through sheer statistical probrability. For a message to truly assemble itself, its constituent parts have to influence the formation and arrangement of the other parts.

I used the term "pseudo random processes" because the formation of the message may appear to have occurred through random processes when in all actuality, each step in its formaiton was not independent. For ex: computers cannot truly generate random numbers. Each generated value is not truly independent of each other but the overall distribution of values of a large group of these numbers appears to be very close to true randomness.

The question becomes whether the message can influence its own process of creation and/or whether its parts can have a common pre-determined design goal.

Last edited by Banefull; 10-22-2010 at 09:30 PM.
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Old 10-22-2010, 09:37 PM
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There is no evidence or proof to suggest it assembled itself: it's the same as any other pile of words. Therefore, I respectfully dissagree.
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  #7  
Old 10-22-2010, 09:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Advent View Post
There is no evidence or proof to suggest it assembled itself: it's the same as any other pile of words. Therefore, I respectfully dissagree.
How can you know that it was assembled by a human or by outside intelligent design (not by itself)? The only way to truly know was if you assembled it yourself or you were present to observe every stage of its process of creation.

Last edited by Banefull; 10-22-2010 at 09:53 PM.
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Old 10-22-2010, 09:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Banefull View Post
How can you know that if it was assembled by a human or by outside intelligent design (not by itself)? The only way to truly know was if you assembled it yourself or you were present to observe every stage of its process of creation.
True. But then how would I know that it assembled itself?
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Old 10-22-2010, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Advent View Post
True. But then how would I know that it assembled itself?
The message says it assembled itself. That is a piece of evidence. Given that we have one piece of evidence for the claim that it did assemble itself and no evidence for the opposite view, the only way to prove that it did not assemble itself is to show that it is impossible for the message to assemble itself for all circumstances.

Last edited by Banefull; 10-22-2010 at 09:57 PM.
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  #10  
Old 10-22-2010, 10:34 PM
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In order for the message to have assembled itself, it first must have existed before coming into existence. Since something cannot exist before it exists, the message could not have assembled itself. I am assuming that by "assembling" it came into existence.
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  #11  
Old 10-22-2010, 10:39 PM
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Would you not say that DNA is a kind of message? Does not DNA assemble itself?
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  #12  
Old 10-22-2010, 10:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Banefull View Post
Would you not say that DNA is a kind of message? Does not DNA assemble itself?
Would you be able to provide me with a source that supports DNA being a message and that it is self assembling (and that such an assembly is not the result of a process that exists outside of the DNA itself)?
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  #13  
Old 10-22-2010, 10:46 PM
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DNA holds its own instructions for its own assembly. It reads itself to create more of itself. It has a direct influence on its own creation.

For this message that claims to have assembled itself, what if it was a "fossilized computer virus" that replicated itself in the past but for some reason this replication failed at a certain stage?
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  #14  
Old 10-22-2010, 10:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Banefull View Post
DNA holds its own instructions for its own assembly. It reads itself to create more of itself. It has a direct influence on its own creation.
Then we know that one characteristic of DNA is the instruction within DNA to recreate itself. We don't know that about the message that claims to have assembled itself. The DNA is not creating itself, but rather is creating a copy of itself.

Quote:
For this message that claims to have assembled itself, what if it was a "fossilized computer virus" that replicated itself in the past but for some reason this replication failed at a certain stage?
Can this be shown as fact? Otherwise it is an assertion that I don't accept. What do we know about the message other than what it claims?


Edit: I'll be back later. But these debate games are rather fun...
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Last edited by Sonoran Na'vi; 10-22-2010 at 10:58 PM.
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  #15  
Old 10-23-2010, 01:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Human No More View Post
...but it is impossible for something to spontaneously create itself
...Wouldn't that mean cosmic/organic macroevolution can't happen?


Sorry; that's the first thing that popped into my head when I read that.
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