The Instigator
Wayne
Pro (for)
Winning
41 Points
The Contender
Logical-Master
Con (against)
Losing
37 Points

Contrary to popular belief, strategy is important in the game of rock paper scissors.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/2/2008 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,730 times Debate No: 5602
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (16)
Votes (13)

 

Wayne

Pro

It is a widespread belief that the child hand game of rock paper scissors
is all about random luck and chances. I however, believe that there is
strategy that could improve your chances of winning in this game.

I will let the taker of this debate to make the first arguments.

(btw, this is my first debate, so please go gentle on me!)
Logical-Master

Con

I would like to thank my opponent for starting this debate and wish him the best of luck. In addition, I would ask that people only vote if they actually read the debate and vote based on who won this debate rather than what they already believe. With that said, let us proceed.

In this debate, I shall only begin with one argument.

>>> 1) It is most likely NOT IN FACT CONTRARY TO POPULAR BELIEF THAT STRATEGY IS OF NO IMPORTANCE in the game of rock/paper scissors.

First, I would like my opponent to provide some decisive evidence which would show that his claim concerning "popular belief" is in fact correct. Since he made the claim, the burden of proof belongs to him. If he fails to do so, you have no reason to accept his claim, thus should dismiss it, thus should vote CON without any hesitation.

Second, although I don't have to, I shall go ahead and provide evidence to show that this claim is most likely incorrect.

Exhibit A: http://www.worldrps.com...

This is often titled as "The Official Rock Paper Scissors" website. Here, we see that tournaments are ran on this game as well as a plethora of actual strategies to employ as well as statistical data concerning the game. In fact, there are even world championships hosted for this game. Surely given all of the above info, it is most likely not CONTRARY to popular belief that strategy is important or else this game wouldn't be played competitively via nation/world tournaments. We must keep in mind that a tournament is a test of skill, not luck. Like games such as blackjack and poker, there must be some luck in the game, but for the most part, strategy is what is very important according to popular belief, hence why such games at recognized as a international or world wide SPORT.

>>>2) Putting popular belief aside, strategy may or may not be important depending on the intent of the game. If players are simply trying to use the game to make a decision at random, then no, strategy is not important as players have the intent of letting the decision be random. For instance, let us say that two indecisive individuals are trying to determine whether or not they should eat at McDonalds or Burger King. While player Rock-paper-scissors, strategy will not be important here as neither player is necessarily trying to win, but rather simply using the games as a means of making a decision.

The above arguments may need some elaboration depending on my opponent's rebuttal. But yeah, that'll do it for now.
Debate Round No. 1
Wayne

Pro

First off, I would like to thank my opponent and all potential readers for taking interest in this debate, as well as debate.org for making all of this possible.

Note: In this debate, I am going to use the abbreviation "RPS" for "rock paper scissors".

Now going right into my opponent's first argument, the con side's main point is that it is most likely a widespread belief that strategy IS involved in rock paper scissors, and that I must provide proof that it is NOT a widespread belief that strategy is involved in rock paper scissors in order to win this debate.

I wonder if I am the only one with the facial expression: O_o when reading my opponent's first contention. The point of this debate, clearly, is not about how common a belief it is that strategy is involved in RPS. The point of this debate, is whether there really is strategy involved. What the general population's opinion on this issue is NOT relevant whatsoever. I made the statement that "contrary to popular belief, strategy is important in RPS" merely as a hook to introduce my stance. Therefore, I do not have to prove whether that is true or not, as it is not what the debate is intended for.

Now, if you do not buy what I said, I will go ahead and humor my opponent and dispute his first contention. He has cited a site that does contain strategies for RPS and go on saying that there are RPS tournaments around the world. Neither of these two facts, however, prove that it is commonly believed that RPS is a game of strategy. The owner of worldrps.com does not reflect the views of the general population. The owner may believe that RPS is a game of strategy, but that is only the owner's view. Moving on, the fact that there are national and world tournaments of RPS does not prove that the general population believe RPS is a game of strategy. Contrary to what my opponent said, a tournament is not necessary a test of skill. People could attend the RPS tournaments because they want to have a chance of winning money. People could also attend because it is a fun and unique event. Thus, one could see why my opponent hasn't proved anything with his first contention.

Now, I don't have to defend my statement that it is not a popular belief that RPS is a game of strategy, and I will confess that I cannot "prove" that it is the case that the general public believe RPS is just luck. There are no polling done, and there are no other data I could use. I believe, however, that the voters would agree it is indeed a common belief that RPS is mostly luck. I cannot speak for other people though, but in my school, it is definitely that case that very few people sympathize with my belief that strategy is important in RPS.

Before addressing my opponent's second contention, I'll say that if the voters do not buy my attempt to rebut my opponent's case, or my attempt to make my own case, voters should disregard my opponent's first contention EITHER WAY, because as I have already said, this debate is not about how common a belief it is that RPS is a game of strategy, the debate is about whether there really is strategy involved in RPS.

Moving on to my opponent's second contention, he stated that RPS may or may not involve strategy based on the situation. His example is that if neither player really care about the outcome of the game, they would both just do completely random throw. I agree with this statement, however, this is a moo point, and is NOT a contention substantial enough for the voter to consider. This is an unsubstantial statement because in ANY game that involves RPS, there are situations when there will be no strategy involved. An example would be the game of chess, a game that is widely considered as a game of strategy. If two players do not know how to play, or they are just fooling around, making random moves on the chess board, there would be no "strategy" involved. This phenomenon can be apply to any other game. My only burden is to show that when two players want to "win", they will be strategy involved in RPS, I do not have to prove that in any possible situation one can dream of, there will always be strategy involved in RPS, because this is impossible to do for any game. Thus, the voters would have to completely disregard this particular point my opponent has made.

To sum it up, I have addressed my opponent's first contention and explained why it should be disregarded by the voter. Then I have explained why my opponent's second contention should be disregarded as well because of it lacks substance. In essence, voters should drop both of opponent's arguments, and because the con side is unable to defeat my stance, the voters should vote for Pro.
Logical-Master

Con

Alright, so PRO's first response to my case is the following:

#1.

PRO's position against my argument is that "This debate isn't about how common a belief it is that strategy is involved in RPS and that 'contrary to popular belief' is merely as a hook to his stance", thus, he would like you to believe that he does not have to prove whether that statement is true or not as that is not what this debate is about."

However, there remains two key flaws that make this defense of the opposition's easy to look past.

A) He included "Contrary to popular belief" in the very TOPIC TITLE. The topic title is meant to signify what the debate concerns as is the case with with other forms of debate. Looking at it that way, does my argument not address this debate's concerns?

B) Most importantly, even if PRO did not mean to include whether or not something was contrary to popular belief, the fact of the matter is that at no point does he provide a resolutional analysis in his first round; he never attempts to explain what the debate is about. Rather, to get out of having to make the first move, he simply insist that his opponent be the one to start this debate. Unfortunately for him, although such action would enable him to get out of having to make the first move, it also allows the opposition to decide what the direction the debate goes on by providing arguments as well analyzing the topic.

To go into example: PRO is essentially the equivalent to a mayor who has decided to remove all traffic lights and signs in a city in attempt to save cash, only to get upset AT the citizens when he realizes the ridiculous amount of bad traffic and automobile accidents that have come about since his decision.

Thus, when voting, I urge you to keep in mind that PRO brought this misunderstanding on himself and should initially provide arguments in his first round in the future (as well as a definition of the topic) if he wishes not to cause problems like these in the future (as in assume his opponents knows what he wants to debate about). That said, for this debate, you are to accept my analysis simply because PRO allowed me the first move (the first arguments as well as an opportunity to decide the direction of the debate) and provided no clarification on whether or not "half of the topic title" was meant to be a part of the debate. In no way should I be punished for his mistake.

#2.

In terms of disputing my first contention, upon quick observation, it must be noted that my opponent has not attempted to uphold his side of the resolution and provide evidence. Don't buy into his "the voters will agree it is common belief" point as this debate isn't about what you think is or isn't the case, but rather what WE debaters present in the round. In addition, don't buy his testimony on there being people at his school agree with his side of the resolution. This means nothing, given that I could very well say the same. In fact, if we are to take "people we claim t know of" as evidence, then you should look at the valid one I've provided in the first round as the number of people I've found is enough to participate in renowned national and world wide tournaments.

So far, I've been the only side to provide evidence for my side of the resolution, thus naturally, there is more weight to my case than there is to my opponents (though even if you don't buy the weight I've contributed, the burden of proof belongs to PRO and since he has admittedly failed to fulfill this burden, you should vote against him regardless of whether or not you buy my evidence).

As far as his response to my evidence goes:

>>> RE: The owner of the website is one man and is not equal to many.

Quite aware of the fact that one man doesn't equal many. That's fine, however (and most unfortunately), that's not up for dispute. The ACTUAL point being made here is that this one "man" (which by the way is simply a false dichotomy concocted by PRO given the following facts on the "about us" portion of my source) serves to be a credible source when it concerns what goes on in the sport of RPS.

>>>RE: The fact that there are national and world tournaments of RPS does not prove that the general population believes RPS is a game of strategy.

It would seem that PRO misunderstood the point I was getting at. Allow me to elaborate on this

1) The purpose of any competition is to win by being the best.
2) In the game of RPS, the goal is to win by predicting what your opponents will do while doing the opposite in your favor.
3) Contrary to the practice of coin flipping and dice rolling, comprehension of an individuals thought pattern as well as an understanding of individuals around you allows there to manipulation of the game. In other words, it's a game of deduction.

Thus, with these three facts taken into consideration, I make the following statement: Those who are aware of the game of RPS (as in, know the rules and how to play) understand (at very least unconsciously) the game to be a game of strategy as they can always use the skill mentioned in #3 to reach towards victory (even if you disagree with #3, #1 and #2 suggest for there to be skill involved).

Thus, when noting that RPS is recognized as a sport even on national and world wide level, my position is easily supported.

>>> People can attend tournaments for fun:

Yes, they can. People can attend ANY tournament for fun, but this doesn't mean we can disregard a tournament as being a test of skill given that the goal of tournaments is for contestants to COMPETE with one another to win. Thus, it is quite clear that PRO's argument has no bearing in terms of whether or not you are to consider my point.

#3.

Finally, PRO argues that there will be situations in ANY game where no strategy is involved. He adds by stating that his only burden is to show that when two players want to win, there WILL be strategy involved.

In response, I have three points:

1) This being possible in any game is nothing more than a non sequitur. If not, then I challenge PRO to show why it being possible in other games would defeat my argument which provides a situation where strategy is of no importance

2) The resolution isn't "Contrary to popular belief, when two players want to win, strategy is important in the game of RPS. Even more unfortunate is that this is by no means clarified in PRO's first round.

3) To fulfill his burden, in "russian roullette situations (situations where both players are attempting to determine who is more lucky. IN RPS CASE, playing the game at random or playing with eyes being closed would be an example), players would be playing to win while not relying on strategy.

And that's all for now. Later
Debate Round No. 2
Wayne

Pro

I will quickly reword my opponent's arguments and rebut them accordingly.

Firstly, my opponent says that since the phrase "Contrary to popular belief" is in this debate's title, and since the title is meant to signify what this debate is about, therefore, that would be the topic he is to debate about.

Although this is true, one should still use common sense to figure out what the focus of the debate is going to be if there is some ambiguity. Looking past the debate title, and looking at the debate description, it should be clear that what I want to focus on is RPS strategy, not what the consensus is. In the debate description, I wrote the line "I however, believe that there is strategy that could improve your chances of winning in this game". In light of this sentence, one should not draw the conclusion that I want to debate about the consensus of the issue. To use another topic to clarify my point, if I want to debate whether it is true that most people believe in God or not, my personal belief is irrelevant, and I would not include that in the debate description. But because I have included what my personal belief is on the issue, it should be clear that I want to debate about the issue, not the consensus of the issue.

My opponent then blames me for the ambiguity, and since it is ambiguous, the opponent can take whatever direction he wants with this debate.

My opponent is right to an extent, but there are other things that he should consider. Strictly speaking, a topic can never be free of ambiguity. We can only do our best to make a topic as clear as possible. In the case that there is ambiguity, the opponent may take a different direction than the direction the instigator wants it to, but the direction my opponent wishes to take still has to be within reason. In this particular case, it isn't reasonable to give me the burden of proving that most people believe there is strategy in RPS because most likely there is no data that could prove this, and there is very little to debate about in a debate that would be based on pure statistics.

I suspect that my opponent IS aware of the direction I had in mind (indeed, he has made a contention in second round that addresses my topic in my intended direction), but he chose to interpret it his way to give himself a significant advantage. This may be a legal move, but I have made the case (both in the second round and this round) of why my direction is more legitimate. If the voters believe that I have won this case, voters should ignore my opponent's attempt to thwart this debate and all the arguments he made for it.

Moving on, my opponent responded to the defense I made (my testimony of why I believe most people believe RPS is just luck) by saying that he could just as easily said that everyone he knows believes that there is strategy in RPS contrary to the people that I know. Voters should immediately sense a red flag, as my opponent has suggested that he could just fabricate information to counter my testimony. I agree with my opponent that testimony cannot usually prove a point to a satisfactory degree, but if the voters are also aware that the people he knows generally do not regard RPS as a game of strategy, the voter would be a lot more sympathetic to my testimony and gives it more weight. On the other hand, if my opponent fabricates a testimony that people are immediately skeptical of, his testimony would weigh a lot less than mine. So ultimately, the value of our testimony is up to the voters, regardless of what my opponent may say to counter that.

Having said all that, I will rebut opponent's contention advocating the stance that "it is a popular belief that strategy is important for RPS" anyways. He claimed that because RPS tournaments exist, there must be strategy in RPS. He based this conclusion of a few premises that are fallible.

My opponent's first contention: "The purpose of any competition is to win by being the best".

I have already shows why this premise is wrong (my response in second round). People may attend a tournament for RPS not relying on strategy, but luck instead. Luck, by definition, is not something you can be "good" or "bad" at, because pure luck, by definition, is just random chances that could not be controlled by any way or form. Thus, my opponent's first premise for this contention falls apart.

My opponent's second and third contention: "In the game of RPS, the goal is to win by predicting what your opponents will do while doing the opposite in your favor [...RPS] is a game of deduction"

This is begging the question. This premise can only be true assuming that people DO believe there is strategy in RPS. Thus, my opponent is trying to prove something is true, but assuming it is true first. My opponent shows how there could be strategy in RPS, but he still has not prove that people who goes to tournaments have such a mindset.

I have also made the point that people may simply for fun (and the chance of getting cash)

My opponent attempts to defend this by saying it is a competition to win after all. This, however, does not counter my point. People may enter this contest with the mindset that it is a competition of luck. The competition might as well as be "who could call the right side flipping a coin" and it'd made no difference to the competitors.

Finally, to respond to my opponent's last contention... my opponent said "PRO argues that there will be situations in ANY game where no strategy is involved. He adds by stating that his only burden is to show that when two players want to win, there WILL be strategy involved"

His first point is "This being possible in any game is nothing more than a non sequitur. If not, then I challenge PRO to show why it being possible in other games would defeat my argument which provides a situation where strategy is of no importance"

My opponent has challenged me how it would defeat his argument, but in fact, I already have. I will restate it anyways for my opponent... since it is the case there exist situations in any game in which strategy is of no importance, the my opponent giving me a situation for RPS would not prove anything. The point of the debate is whether there can be strategy involved if both players wants to win the game. My opponent's argument can apply to any game, even games that no one would dispute there is strategy involved (my example in the second round is chess). In light of this, my opponent's argument cannot prove there is no strategy in RPS anymore than he can prove there is no strategy in chess.

His second point is "the resolution isn't "Contrary to popular belief, when two players want to win, strategy is important in the game of RPS""

I will use the same argument I have used in the beginning of this round again. In the case that the topic is ambiguous, my opponent should use his common sense to figure out what the intention of the debate is. He should not take the topic in a obscure direction which would give him an unfair advantage.

Finally, my opponent has given a feeble attempt to give an example of two players who wants to win in RPS, but do not rely in strategy. He said "playing the game at random or playing with eyes closed [...] players would be playing to win while not relying on strategy"

However, this again is my opponent's attempt to try to take the debate into an obscure direction. He may have proved that there is no strategy involved, but it is a very specific case my opponent has given. If two players are playing chess with their eyes closed too (and not knowing the pieces' location), there would also be no skill involved. Thus, my opponent's argument has not disprove that there is no RPS in strategy for the reason that any parallels of his argument can be employed successfully to any other games.

Because my opponent has changed the debate without legitimacy, and then fails to provide sound argument for my case in my intended direct
Logical-Master

Con

Logical-Master forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
16 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by wjmelements 8 years ago
wjmelements
If it weren't for the forfeit, I would have voted CON. The initial change in the resolution was fair and should have quicly decided the debate.
Posted by SexyLatina 8 years ago
SexyLatina
Obvious attack, given the resolution, but effective enough. Good one, LM.
Posted by Logical-Master 8 years ago
Logical-Master
Really sucks though as this is the first time a forfeit has hit me fair and square. Was hoping to keep a perfect non forfeit record. Oh well.

I vote PRO
Posted by Logical-Master 8 years ago
Logical-Master
On second thought, this was one time where I wasn't disadvantaged by a glitch. Nevermind me posting. The forfeit hit me fair and square. I would advise no one to take previous comments into consideration. I'm of the mindset to vote against the person who forfeited period, so yeah, vote me down on this one if you're like that as well. :D

I really have to stop being so lazy.
Posted by Logical-Master 8 years ago
Logical-Master
Next, PRO goes onto respond to my points concerning the ambiguity of a topic. I agree with him that there will always be ambiguity, but do you know what lessens the ambuiguity of a topic? The actual arguments presented are what define the topic. This is simply because the nature of the topic is better understood when it is being examined and proved/disproved. Once again, PRO provided NO arguments to affirm his stance. Thus, the ambiguity present even after his opening round is no ones fault but his own.

I could spend 8000 characters covering why PRO's attempt to discredit the direction I took in this debate, but given that there is no need, I'll just make it simple. PRO himself has STATED that my move was legal. When taking this into consideration, no matter how much he tries to sway you over to thinking that his path in this debate is more legitimate , the fact of the matter is that he provided no argument in his first round (incidentally, there hasn't been one AFF argument, but more on that later) and didn't clarify the debate.

============================================

RE RE: My opponent's first contention: "The purpose of any competition is to win by being the best".

1) PRO insist that him demonstrating the idea that some MAY enter tournaments for the purpose of relying on luck disproves my argument, but really how does "some people" joining a tournament for luck disprove the PURPOSE (or in other words) reason behind the tournament in the first place? Some people can go to a hospital for scenery but that doesn't mean we can't say that the purpose of a hospital is to heal people. For that matter, PRO has provided us with no reason to believe that people who go to these tournaments generally rely on luck. I've provided evidence to show that these people rely on skill (see all the evidence I've given on pros using strategy). Thus for both of these reasons, he really has no legitimate argument here.
Posted by Logical-Master 8 years ago
Logical-Master
PRO: "although "contrary to popular belief" was included in the topic title, he clearly specified in his first round that this debate was about there being a strategy to improve your chances of winning in RPS."

My response: I covered this in the previous round: As insisted, in his opening round (which, he could have simply provided arguments in), he simply made two statements and then handed the debate over to me. This is what makes his argument so incredibly faulty. In a debate, I agree that wouldn't shouldn't focus on the attention getter as it's disputing the arguments which matters, however, that's just it. PRO gave me no arguments to dispute, thus, not only is it difficult to deduce what is or isn't an attention getter, but essentially have no choice but to argue based on what is given to me

PRO: "In light of this sentence, one should not draw the conclusion that I want to debate about the consensus of the issue. "

My response: This highlights the problem with PRO's argument on this section. He simply points to one of the sentences he provided, as if that automatically proves his point; as if it automatically proves that I am not allowed to challenge his rendering of what is the "popular belief." However, the fact of the matter is that it doesn't quite prove anything. Last I recall, there's no line suggesting "You cannot challenge me on whether or not my ideas are contrary to popular belief."

Looking past the title and the DESCRIPTION, there is NO indication of what I am to be debating about, although if I am really to go so far as to try and figure out what this debate is about, then why not to the comment section ( a place where one of the users expressed the idea of establishing what is/isn't common belief as being something which needed to be proven. Incidentally, not an idea PRO provided any objections to).
Posted by Wayne 8 years ago
Wayne
hey, so what? i can still express my appreciation cant i?
Posted by PoeJoe 8 years ago
PoeJoe
"as well as debate.org for making all of this possible."
This isn't the Oscars.
Posted by Wayne 8 years ago
Wayne
ahh fock!

my writing got cut off ;-;
Posted by Logical-Master 8 years ago
Logical-Master
LOL! That is the first time on this site I started typing out my rebuttal on something within the last 10 minutes. Talk about a close call.
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Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
WayneLogical-MasterTied
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Vote Placed by Logical-Master 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by s0m31john 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by wjmelements 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by Zero 8 years ago
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