The Instigator
Megalobrainiac
Con (against)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
TUF
Pro (for)
Winning
21 Points

Appealing to emotion is a logical fallacy in debating.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
TUF
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/8/2014 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,825 times Debate No: 51869
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (10)
Votes (5)

 

Megalobrainiac

Con

Appealing to Emotion: When an argument is made that appeals to the subjective bias of the reader in order to persuade them to one side of the debate regardless of objective reasoning.

Logical Fallacy (in context of debating):
Misconduct, construing valid evidence in a way that deceives the reader from what is otherwise true.

This debate must be purely concept-based.

No use of external sources or videos is allowed as I am fully aware that they are bias towards Pro being correct. This is irrelevant as appeal to popular opinion is a fallacy of its own.

Whether the whole world other than myself believes the resolution to be true or not is irrelevant, thus using sources is very pointless and non-constructive to this debate and if my opponent chooses to do so then they do not deserve the 'reliable sources' vote as this wasn't supposed to be based on external sources.

Only accept this debate if you have fully read, and agreed, to the debate topic and the exact wording of definitions I have given.
TUF

Pro

I accept the debate, and await my opponents opening arguments.
Debate Round No. 1
Megalobrainiac

Con

I thought Pro was going to open with his debate but as they say, bird poop happens...

Anyway, let me get onto the crux of my opening round.

Essentially appeals to emotion are just a weapon in the arsenal of a debater. They are not logically fallacious in the slightest. What is logically fallacious, as I'm sure Pro will agree, is if one creates a straw man argument and attacks that to get an easy win, or says that because many people believe something that it must be true. While straw man arguing and appeal to majority influence work very well in real life arguments, face-to-face, in the context of debating they are blatant violations and go against the moral code of the debater.

Here is how I see the moral code of the debater:

1) I shall bend logic as far as I wish, without breaking its boundaries, in order to win.
2) I shall never knowingly lie to the audience, nor my opponent if what I am saying is provably untrue.
3) I shall not plagiarise unless there is simply no other way to word such an eloquent argument and shall cite this if my plagiarism goes for more than two sentences.

Now, I can't be bothered to actually justify this code and this code is not the foundation of my debate but what you notice is that appealing to emotion doesn't directly violate any of those three values that I would consider important in a debater.

Moving onwards, one is left to ponder over what exactly Pro could raise as a valid point now to win this debate. The answer lies in the definition of what 'deception' truly is.

The reason I didn't define this in round one is that the exact wording of what deceiving the audience, in a debate, is will become the entire debate (or so I predict). Thus, I leave it to my opponent to offer his own definition of deception and to prove that to sway the opponent to one side or another by pointing out that one side has aspects that are emotionally more appealing is fallacious in the logical sense.

It is the readers' responsibility to become immune to emotional appeal, not the writer's responsibility to mercifully fail to brainwash the judges and audience on which their success as a debater relies.

TUF

Pro

Thank you for instigating this debate challenge and good luck!

Rebuttals

I thought Pro was going to open with his debate but as they say, bird poop happens...

Generally when a person makes a claim, they have to back it up with reasoning so someone can counter those reasons in a debate. Thank you for doing so.

In response to the bit about deception. It is not my intent to deceive the audience, or use semantics in this debate at all, but rather attack the philosophical part of this resolution.
Appealing to emotion can look one of several ways, so it"s important to understand what exactly an appeal to emotion is exactly in context to this debate.

EX:

Person A: "Population increase is becoming a problem; in order to maintain self-preservation and maximize the use of resources for ourselves, we need a population reduction. In such a sense, I think we should kill a percentage of the population."

Person B: "But killing is immoral""
In this situation, person B has the more popularly shared opinion for example. In fact many people might answer in the same way as he did. But person one provided a logical argument for self-preservation. Because morality stems from the basis of human emotions and feelings, the concept or belief in morality alone does not provide a valid rebuttal to person A"s scenario. But morality, Justice, and Ethics while founded on emotions, are still used commonly as valid debate arguments and challenges. It is almost inevitable when bringing up arguments involving these three concepts, that emotion doesn"t have some type of strings attached. The way society weighs appeals to emotion though is commonly looked at as: "Favorable emotions are associated with X. Therefore, X is true." That is basically the definition of the appeal to emotion
Keeping this in mind let me jump into my case.

My Arguments

Contention 1: Appealing to emotion is too broad to avoid entirely.

Our human emotions and feelings influence the way we feel, think, and act. In almost any major debate issue, you can attach a stance on a position to your emotions. In a debate about abortion, one person"s argument is about their feelings towards the deprecation of the life of a child, while the others can be that of the freedom and safety of the mother. Both stances are based entirely off of a subjective emotional feeling toward a subject.
A Gay rights activist feels that gays are being discriminated against, while his contender may feel that his sexual preference is an atrocious aspect. They have their reasons to follow their points, but understanding that every argument is based on an emotional stance is important.
Emotion is the set up for a debate, and to call an argument based on emotions fallacious is redundant.

Contention 2: Reasons, or lack there-of is what should be fallacious.

Based on my above contention, it is the reasons that follow those emotional appeals that create the actual debate. In my earlier example, person B makes a claim based on his emotions, without further backing up reasons as to why he feels that way. He makes a claim that supports a favorable stance rather than making it clear to his opponent why he feels that way, and why the following feelings are important. Trying to level and understand another debater"s emotions toward a subject, to then weigh them with your own emotions is what makes a debate.
But the emotional stance Person B makes isn"t the problem itself, it"s the lack of follow up. Person A made it clear that he feels self-preservation is more important, backing his emotions up with reasons such as maximization of resources. His point as a meaning, and an endpoint, whereas Person B has only the stance. His entire argument, is still only an appeal to his own emotions.

Conclusion:

In an actual debate, debaters have to appeal to emotion to make the debate even happen. A good argument is pre-dispositional off on an emotional stance. Arguments should not be discredited based on their emotional appeal, but rather on the merit of weighing reasons.
Debate Round No. 2
Megalobrainiac

Con

Megalobrainiac forfeited this round.
TUF

Pro

My opponents account has been closed down thus resulting in a forfeit.
Debate Round No. 3
Megalobrainiac

Con

Megalobrainiac forfeited this round.
TUF

Pro

Extended.
Debate Round No. 4
Megalobrainiac

Con

Megalobrainiac forfeited this round.
TUF

Pro

C'est la vie.
Debate Round No. 5
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by zmikecuber 3 years ago
zmikecuber
Oooh this looks interesting...
Posted by TUF 3 years ago
TUF
something like that.
Posted by Megalobrainiac 3 years ago
Megalobrainiac
That all are not inherently so, yes.
Posted by Pfalcon1318 3 years ago
Pfalcon1318
And you plan on arguing that all appeals to emotion are not fallacious?
Posted by TUF 3 years ago
TUF
if you change it to 72 hours instead of 48, send me the challenge and I will accept.
Posted by Megalobrainiac 3 years ago
Megalobrainiac
Yes Pro must argue all.
Posted by Pfalcon1318 3 years ago
Pfalcon1318
Are you trying to say that Appeals to Emotion (pathos) are non-fallacious ALL the time? It seems to me that this is what you would have to argue, otherwise, PRO has to suggest that Appeals to Emotion are always fallacious. Both carry enough weight to be argued through; most informal fallacies have some lee-way when used in debates. (keyword: most)
Posted by Megalobrainiac 3 years ago
Megalobrainiac
Who is right?
Posted by Your_Logical_Fallacy 3 years ago
Your_Logical_Fallacy
hes right
Posted by Wylted 3 years ago
Wylted
That's funny, my forum post was inspired by this debate. I will be voting on this debate and assuming a shared BOP. Nice try though con.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by rross 3 years ago
rross
MegalobrainiacTUFTied
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Total points awarded:32 
Reasons for voting decision: You know, it just seemed to me that pro kind of agreed that appealing to the emotions isn't a problem - that it's essential in fact. He argued that it's the lack of reasoning (a separate issue) that's the problem. Ugh. I hate voting in this controversial way, and obviously con isn't particularly deserving. But...yeah. I really liked pro's arguments for what it's worth - I just felt that they better supported the other side. Conduct for the forfeits and I thought pro's writing was easier to understand (s&g)
Vote Placed by lannan13 3 years ago
lannan13
MegalobrainiacTUFTied
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Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 3 years ago
9spaceking
MegalobrainiacTUFTied
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Reasons for voting decision: tuf actually tried.
Vote Placed by bsh1 3 years ago
bsh1
MegalobrainiacTUFTied
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Reasons for voting decision: FF...
Vote Placed by Enji 3 years ago
Enji
MegalobrainiacTUFTied
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Reasons for voting decision: forfeit