The Instigator
philosphical
Pro (for)
Losing
11 Points
The Contender
Nails
Con (against)
Winning
20 Points

An argument is not just contradiction

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/15/2009 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 7,156 times Debate No: 10131
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (12)
Votes (6)

 

philosphical

Pro

I will be arguing that an argument is a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition.

My opponent will be arguing that an argument is saying anything that takes a contrary position to the proposal the instigator brings up.

An argument is not just contradiction.

Contradiction is the automatic gainsaying of statement the other person makes.

An argument should be a carefully constrewed and thought out process, with an intellectual purpose to dis-prove the opposer.

Contradiction is just saying that whatever you say is wrong without provided evidence. Every argument must have evidence to be qualified as an argument, and simply saying "No it isn't", or "your wrong" doesn't support what the intended purpose of an argument should be.
Nails

Con

"an argument is a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition."

--That's wrong.

PRO must prove that the above statement either:
1. Isn't an argument against the resolution.
2. Is indeed 'a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition' and not simply 'a contrary position to the proposal the instigater brings up.'

Now, my opponent says
"Every argument must have evidence to be qualified as an argument"

--I argue with my parents all the time. Neither of us uses evidence. Many rebuttals on this site cite no evidence. Are these not arguments? I believe that my opponent's conception of what entails an 'argument' is far from correct.

"simply saying 'No it isn't', or 'your wrong' doesn't support what the intended purpose of an argument should be"

--Maybe an argument 'should be' logically based, however, as I pointed out above, many (possibly most) aren't.
Debate Round No. 1
philosphical

Pro

--That's wrong."

And that's simply contradiction.

"PRO must prove that the above statement either:
1. Isn't an argument against the resolution.
2. Is indeed 'a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition' and not simply 'a contrary position to the proposal the instigator brings up'."

Actually Pro must prove that contradiction is not an argument, as the resolution implies, and that a good argument is a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition.

"--I argue with my parents all the time. Neither of us uses evidence. Many rebuttals on this site cite no evidence. Are these not arguments? I believe that my opponent's conception of what entails an 'argument' is far from correct."

If an argument is given without reasoning, then it is hardly an argument. I am talking contradiction such as:

Your mom: Your room is messy, son!
You: No it isn't!
Your mom: Yes it is!
You: It most certainly is not!

Now here would be an example of a proper argument with your mom.

Your mom: Your room is messy, son!
You: No it isn't, I cleaned it this morning!
Your mom: And I checked it just recently, and found that is was still messy.
You: But I folded all my laundry, and vacuumed! It most certainly is clean!

The difference between both situations, is that in the first, no tangible evidence is brought forth proving that your room is messy, and no evidence of your room not being messy is aroused. Thus both sides are at a clich´┐Ż of using "The automatic gainsaying of any statement the other person makes."

"--Maybe an argument 'should be' logically based, however, as I pointed out above, many (possibly most) aren't"

Well than can hardly be classified as an argument than, can they!? An argument is not an argument unless at least one piece of evidence is provided by both sides, in each statement.
"Argument: a statement, reason, or fact for or against a point"
http://dictionary.reference.com...

As you can see, every argument requires logic and reasoning behind it.
Nails

Con

I think my opponent has shifted slightly away from the resolution. We aren't debating whether contradictions make a GOOD argument, simply what makes an argument.

PRO makes numerous claims along the lines of:
"a good argument is a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition"
"here would be an example of a proper argument with your mom."

Yes, ideally, we all would use logic and fact-based evidence. Unfortunately that is not the case. We still have many, many arguments in the world that have no evidence involved whatsoever.

I got into an argument with my teacher today over whether or not I should have to do the work she assigned. She gave me a detention because she "didn't like hearing me complain." Did we argue? Yes. Was it reasonable to give me a detention to avoid confronting the truth? No.
Perhaps you view it the other way, in that I was at fault. In that case, would it have been logical for me to argue with the teacher? Hardly.

In most arguments, there is one (or more) sides arguing without logic or factual evidence. Do we still classify it as arguing? We certainly do. Does PRO propose changing the way the word 'argument' is used so that he can win this debate?

---

My opponent does give a definition of 'argument.' I think it's silly to let this debate be resolved on a single definition, particularly when the debate is about what the definition of 'argument' is. Regardless, if you do wish to vote on which side better adheres to the provided definition, you still vote CON.

"Argument: a STATEMENT, reason, or fact for or against a point"

Certainly you aren't going to tell me that we cannot consider something a statement unless someone used evidence to back it up?
Debate Round No. 2
philosphical

Pro

"Yes, ideally, we all would use logic and fact-based evidence. Unfortunately that is not the case. We still have many, many arguments in the world that have no evidence involved whatsoever."

And you could hardly classify them as an argument. Its not just scientific evidence to prove your point that is needed. It some sort of reasoning. If you are just giving a simple answer that shows you are in opposition to what is being debated, but don't care enough to show why, then that would be classified as contradictory.

"I got into an argument with my teacher today over whether or not I should have to do the work she assigned. She gave me a detention because she "didn't like hearing me complain." Did we argue? Yes. Was it reasonable to give me a detention to avoid confronting the truth? No"

Her reasons for having gicing you a detention are irrelevant, and I could care less, so I won't tell you my opinion on whether she was justified in her actions or not. A better argument here, would for you to have posted what you and your teacher actually said during the argument. Was reasoning, and logic provided with each statement, or was it another auto-matic gainsaying scenario?

"would it have been logical for me to argue with the teacher? Hardly."

This too is irrelevant, seeing as we are not talking about judgement of ones morality. Like I said, all I would care about is the actual argument itself between you and your teacher. I fail to see where you are going with this.

"In most arguments, there is one (or more) sides arguing without logic or factual evidence. Do we still classify it as arguing?"

As I have been saying, no, we don't. Its like a little child arguing back and forth with their parents. Pointless, and shouldn't be classified as an argument.

Does PRO propose changing the way the word 'argument' is used so that he can win this debate?

Yes I am trying to win this debate by showing the proper definition of an argument, if that is what you are asking.

"Argument: a STATEMENT, reason, or fact for or against a point"

"Certainly you aren't going to tell me that we cannot consider something a statement unless someone used evidence to back it up? "

Notice how that definition says "reason."
Nails

Con

1. PRO himself is arguing using simple contradictions.

Hopefully my opponent will agree that, because we are debating, we are, by the definition of 'debate,' arguing. My opponent has been arguing, as have I, by using simple contradictions rather than evidence-based facts in multiple places.

- "Its not just scientific evidence to prove your point that is needed. It some sort of reasoning." (Why?)
- "If you are just giving a simple answer that shows you are in opposition to what is being debated, but don't care enough to show why, then that would be classified as contradictory." (Why?)
- "A little child arguing back and forth with their parents [is] pointless, and shouldn't be classified as an argument." (Why?)
He never justifies any of these as true.

Using PRO as an example, we can negate the resolution. PRO and CON have been arguing; both sides have used unsupported claims to justify their position. This proves the resolution false.

---

2. PRO acknowledges how the word 'argument' ought to be used.

"Its like a little child arguing back and forth with their parents."

Notice: PRO uses the term 'argument' when referring to statements that he would consider 'contradictions.'

He talks about children arguing with their parents, among other things, as arguments, but then posits that they aren't arguments at all. His intended point (that an argument can somehow not be an argument) doesn't make sense, but he touched on something important; people very frequently use the term argument to refer to contradictions. When I argue with my parents, it is rarely more than what PRO would consider 'contradiction,' yet the average person who saw us debating wouldn't hesitate a moment to call it an argument. PRO uses 'argument' in this way multiple times (perhaps without realizing) while trying to argue that it shouldn't be used as such.

---

3. The definition of 'argument'

"Argument: a STATEMENT, reason, or fact for or against a point
Notice how that definition says 'reason.'"

Why, yes, I notice that it says 'reason.' I also notice that it says 'statement,' and that 'statement' is separated from 'reason' by the word 'or.' What PRO doesn't want you to notice is how he takes the word 'reason' out of context like that. He ignores the word 'or' because he realizes that it spells defeat for him.

Yes, an argument can be a reason. However, it can also be a fact, or (most important in this debate) a statement. My opponent does concede that contradiction is little more than a statement against a point. As a statement against a point certainly falls under the definition of 'argument' you can vote CON here as well. That's 3 ways to vote CON.
Debate Round No. 3
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by philosphical 7 years ago
philosphical
the latter.

oh and thanks RL
Posted by Nails 7 years ago
Nails
I was unsure how to actually address the issue of definitions. This debate was actually about the definition of a word. It seems like we were debating a statement of fact.
Posted by RoyLatham 7 years ago
RoyLatham
Pro gave a reasonable version of the technical definition of "argument" in his opening statement. Also, in the context of a debate one might be inclined to expect the technical definition rather than the colloquial one. In a debate, "arguments" comprise a line of reasoning, not a list of assertions. Arguments to Pro.
Posted by Chrysippus 7 years ago
Chrysippus
Arguments go to Con, due to the definition of "Argument" used in this debate; however, I do not accept that definition for any of my debates! :)

I have enough trouble with people thinking they can post a unbacked, unexplained statement and pretending it is a logical argument...

All other categories tied. Fun debate to follow!
Posted by philosphical 7 years ago
philosphical
thanks, person with a unicorn avatar.
Posted by Xer 7 years ago
Xer
Phil, I don't think Nails can see embedded videos. Here's the link:
youtube.com/watch?v=kQFKtI6gn9Y
Posted by philosphical 7 years ago
philosphical
I did post a video
Posted by Nails 7 years ago
Nails
Could you post a link to that Monty Python video? It won't show up for me and I'd like to see it.
Posted by Puck 7 years ago
Puck
Eh colloquial vs. technical definitions. Should be really, in domain X, an argument is..

Much like debate is a 'lesser' version of argument, containing emotion driven responses.
Posted by philosphical 7 years ago
philosphical
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by Marauder 7 years ago
Marauder
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Vote Placed by Nails 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by RoyLatham 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by Apologician 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by philosphical 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by Chrysippus 7 years ago
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