The Instigator
CogitoErgoCogitoSum
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
KRFournier
Con (against)
Winning
29 Points

Burdens of proof are fallacies

Do you like this debate?NoYes-1
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Vote Here
Pro Tied Con
Who did you agree with before the debate?
Who did you agree with after the debate?
Who had better conduct?
Who had better spelling and grammar?
Who made more convincing arguments?
Who used the most reliable sources?
Reasons for your voting decision
1,000 Characters Remaining
The voting period for this debate does not end.
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/10/2009 Category: Society
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,632 times Debate No: 6874
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (5)

 

CogitoErgoCogitoSum

Pro

It strikes me as odd that arguers and debaters here like to throw around "burden of proof" as though it makes sense. "Its your burden", "you lose because you didnt satisfy the burden", "you placed the burden on the WRONG side".

I assert that the Burden of Proof IS a fallacy. No, not placing it on the wrong side. Placing it anywhere!

Many rhetoricians will admit that a lack of an argument doesnt constitute proof that your position is wrong. All scientists admit that a lack of proof doesnt constitute disproof or a proof to the contrary hypothesis.

In no way does it constitute a loss to fail to meet any burden. Where that burden is placed is arbitrary and meaningless. People would argue that the burden is deserved somewhere on the sole basis of mainstream belief.

That is illogical and fallacious. Anyone who states the burden is poorly placed is committing a fallacy of their own.

My arguments, however lacking and deprived they may be, speaks for itself. If insufficient to sway, then so be it. Standby for further debate. If I fail, the worst consequence would be a tie... until YOU can prove your position.

The "burden of proof" IS a fallacy. The entire belief that any ONE side possess more responsibility to prove their claim than the other is as fallacious as you can get. That is not objective nor is it an unbiased pursuit of truth.

The Burden of Proof is a "get out of jail free" card designed by modern rhetoricians to break a stalemate, requiring no real argument or proof of their own. Their belief that their position is correct by "default", or that mine is false by default, because proof is lacking, is invalid thinking.

Truly unbiased debates must concede that their opposition stands real chance of being correct... lack of proof constitutes only uncertainty, not conclusiveness. They would be hypocritical to fail to meet the same burden, to take the few minutes out to prove their position. It should be achievable if their position is more than just an empty belief.

"My position is right by default until The Instigator can prove his argument conclusively" - on the basis that my position preexisted and has been established and accepted for far longer. That is what rhetoricians call an "Appeal to Tradition."
KRFournier

Con

My opponent brings up an important topic, if only due to the prolific use of these tactics. However, I disagree that the Burden of Proof is itself a fallacy.

In some cases, burden of proof is applicable. In particular, resolution debates. Any debate in which something is asserted as true, the assertion is immediately put on trial. In such a case, the instigator is burdened to back their claims while the contender only need to cast enough reasonable doubt to render the claim invalid. If I walk into a room and declare that soylent green is made of people, it is my burden to prove that claim. The people in the room will demand evidence of my claim and, if the evidence is lacking, deem it inconclusive. The room is not burdened to disprove my assertions. It would be silly to expect me to enter the room, claim that soylent green is made of people, then demand the room to prove the opposite.

In other cases, burden of proof is laid equally on both sides, usually in debates in the form of an interrogative. Consider a debate titled, "Should third trimester abortion be legalized?" Each side must convince the audience that their answer to the question is correct. Both sides have equal burden of proof.

Certainly, it is always in the best interest of the contender to provide counter evidence whenever possible. This is simply best practice since anything one can use to strengthen their case should be employed. Even in a trial, the defendant should attempt to disprove the allegations and not simply content themselves with poking holes in the prosecutions case, even though they would be right in so doing. That being said, the burden of proof is a reality of debating. It will fall on one or both parties, never on neither. So, it is not a fallacy.

At best, the only fallacy one could devise is the case in which the contender appeals to burden of proof without actually disproving the instigator. For example, I claim soylent green is made of people and provide evidence of my claim. It would be fallacious for the crowd in the room to say that I have the burden of undeniable proof, and since my proof is deniable, I have failed to meet my burden. This is a straw man fallacy, not a burden of proof fallacy. However, it would be perfectly reasonable for the room to convincingly show my arguments to be, for instance, non sequitar and an appeal to ignorance, and then say I have failed to logically meet my burden of proof--despite the fact that they have provided no counter evidence.

At best, my opponent has exposed a rather overused straw man fallacy and in the process misrepresented the concept of burden of proof. Burden of proof is not a fallacy; it is within the very nature of debate. Indeed, without burden of proof on at least on side, debate would be meaningless.

Negated.
Debate Round No. 1
CogitoErgoCogitoSum

Pro

CogitoErgoCogitoSum forfeited this round.
KRFournier

Con

I extend my arguments from the previous round.
Debate Round No. 2
CogitoErgoCogitoSum

Pro

CogitoErgoCogitoSum forfeited this round.
KRFournier

Con

Unfortunately, my opponent did not make an appearance beyond his opening remarks. As a result, my rebuttal remains unrefuted and final. Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by Mr_Jack_Nixon 7 years ago
Mr_Jack_Nixon
CogitoErgoCogitoSumKRFournierTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Vote Placed by The_Booner 8 years ago
The_Booner
CogitoErgoCogitoSumKRFournierTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by InquireTruth 8 years ago
InquireTruth
CogitoErgoCogitoSumKRFournierTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by JustCallMeTarzan 8 years ago
JustCallMeTarzan
CogitoErgoCogitoSumKRFournierTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Vote Placed by KRFournier 8 years ago
KRFournier
CogitoErgoCogitoSumKRFournierTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07