The Instigator
JoeDSileo1988
Pro (for)
Losing
36 Points
The Contender
nrw
Con (against)
Winning
51 Points

Debate.org is an extremly flawed site

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/12/2007 Category: Technology
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,434 times Debate No: 309
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (17)
Votes (29)

 

JoeDSileo1988

Pro

In the Big Issues section of a profile the user is forced to pick one of two choices, In favor of or against. This is contrary to the nature of decision making. Topics this broad more often then not require a broader explanation of the decision. A more useful tool would be to have a sliding scale from 1-10, and a text box allowing the user to elaborate on their decision.

The debate style is also restrictive. A single debate can have but one opponent. This is contrary to an online community. There are also a limited number of rounds. This could leave the debate finished without the topic being resolved. However this pales in comparison to the greatest flaw.

JUST BECAUSE AN IDEA IS POPULAR DOESN'T MAKE IT RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!

Declaring a winner based on votes doesn't make the debater any more right. It just means he or she is the most popular.

Finally the debater may invite their friends to vote on the debate. That clearly skews the results.
nrw

Con

I agree that the profile setup and the inability to have more than two people speak in one debate isn't as great as it could be.

However, this does not make Debate.org flawed.

From the general standpoint, the site is the first of its kind - an organized database for people to argue topics of interest. Topics that are important and that the public care about will get more attention and more feedback - this is a good thing. Do not candidates debate in the same manner? The general public decides what is the important issues.

Now specifically your attack on the voting system.

The voting system does not grant a winner based on what is more popular or who agrees most with a certain position. The people on this site want others to vote for them based on their debating skills and their arguments, so they do the same. Look at most of the completed arguments on this website. The vote mostly isn't for the person who has been a member of Debate.org for the longest time, or the most popular. The vote goes to who argues the best, the one who is able to argue the best course of action or best able to support his opinion, which is the singular logical purpose of debate - the search for the best arguments, not the best opinions.

In conclusion, some of your indicts are not strong enough to claim Debate.org as an "EXTREMELY FLAWED SITE." Even if everything you said was true, none of it is ground enough for one to deem Debate.org as illegitimate or extremely flawed.
Debate Round No. 1
JoeDSileo1988

Pro

"I agree that the profile setup and the inability to have more than two people speak in one debate isn't as great as it could be."

So you have conceded points one and two of my argument

"However, this does not make Debate.org flawed."

This is contrary to your first statement

"From the general standpoint, the site is the first of its kind - an organized database for people to argue topics of interest. Topics that are important and that the public care about will get more attention and more feedback"

This is not a counterpoint of any kind. Just because something is first, doesn't mean it isn't flawed. In fact most first time things are flawed. See the comparison between the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution of The United States as an example.

" - this is a good thing. "

This is an opinion and not a valid argument.

"Do not candidates debate in the same manner? The general public decides what is the important issues."

Yes candidates do the same thing. Does any good really come out of it? Are any issues really decided? Not really. It is more of a dog and pony show to parade the candidates around. For example, during the Nixon Kennedy debate, Nixon was sweating. It was because of what he looked like and not what he said that attributed to his losing the presidential election.

"Now specifically your attack on the voting system.

The voting system does not grant a winner based on what is more popular or who agrees most with a certain position. The people on this site want others to vote for them based on their debating skills and their arguments, so they do the same."

In what world would someone invite people to vote if they think voters would vote against them?

"Look at most of the completed arguments on this website. The vote mostly isn't for the person who has been a member of Debate.org for the longest time, or the most popular. The vote goes to who argues the best, the one who is able to argue the best course of action or best able to support his opinion"

That is irrelevant. I said they will vote on which idea is the most popular not the person. However I should clarify. The person becomes popular because they uphold the popular point. For example look at the correlation between congressional stagnation, and voting records of congressmen.

"...The singular logical purpose of debate - the search for the best arguments, not the best opinions"

I Agree.

"In conclusion, some of your indicts are not strong enough to claim Debate.org as an "EXTREMELY FLAWED SITE." Even if everything you said was true, none of it is ground enough for one to deem Debate.org as illegitimate or extremely flawed."

A flaw can be defined as any attribute that is contrary to the designated operation, or desired condition of an object. Therefore noting a flaw is presenting a fact. Furthermore I never said Debate.org was illegitimate, but I did note flaws, some of which you agreed to.

In conclusion, I am most likely going to lose this debate, even though I struck down your points. I would say the reason is that most people, who use this site, like it and do not want it to be attacked. This in essence proves my point about popularity.
nrw

Con

Ok, he quotes my first point that I agree that the profile system isn't perfect - then he just says that I conceede his entire argument? Did he read the rest of what I wrote? I said that his first two points are irrelevant because the topic statement is: "Debate.org is an extremely flawed site." As I said before, just because the profile setup could be better and there is not yet a method for there to be more than 1 on 1 debates doesn't mean that the site is flawed. I did not "conceede his first two points" - I said that they were irrelevant, because even if they were true, it doesn't make Debate.org flawed.

I don't understand how that is contradictory at all.
Whatever; It's not. He quotes me out of context.
Hold my opponent to a higher standard of argumentation - hold him to actually answer my arguments rather that just dismiss them because he incorrectly thinks I conceeded them.
More simply put: He must answer the "points 1 and 2 are irrelevant" argument that I made above and in Round One.

Next, he says my argument that the site is the first of its kind is irrelevant because it is "not a counterpoint."
However, this is where the topic breaks down. The site is the first and only of its kind and it already has many, many users. (Considering the site's purpose is educational.) This means, there is no previous or following example to compare it to. The site cannot be deemed "flawed," specifically "EXTREMELY flawed," because there is no site similar which is "not flawed."
Furthermore, his Articles of Confederation example is bogus. Sure, the Articles were terrible, it had problems. The example is bad because:
1. The Articles were not the first of its kind. Other countries had laws.
2. Even if it is true that the Articles had problems - the idea of the Articles was not flawed. The idea behind the Articles was improved upon in order to come up with the best version so far - the Constitution.

This is similar to Debate.org. Even if it is true that there are problems with distinct parts of Debate.org, the idea of it is not flawed, and definately not "EXTREMELY flawed." Debate.org can consistently be improved upon by its makers and maybe someday a better version will be released.

Next, he again takes a quote out of context and renders it "not a valid argument."
He says "-this is a good thing" is not a valid argument. Duh, taken out of context, of course. The rest of this quote self-explains my point, and because he doesn't answer it, I shouldn't bore you by explaining it again: "Topics that are important and that the public care about will get more attention and more feedback - this is a good thing." (Meaning, it is good that important topics get more feedback and attention.)

Next, he attacks my comparison to how debates operate in a political setting:
"Are any issues really decided? Not really."
This is not relevant because of course issues are not decided, people are not going to agree that Gay Marriage, for example, should be legal/illegal just because someone debated it well. Opinions will always stand regardless of conclusion. Debate is not meant to conclude, it is meant to persuade through argumentation. Logically, the votes on Debate.org should reflect who DEBATED better, not who they agree with, or who decided an issue.
And yes, Nixon was sweating and it hurt his appearance. That's a different issue. People are naturually going to hold presidential candidates to a high standard of public speaking. Sweating probably hurt him in that category.

Next, the "voting" debate...
"In what world would someone invite people to vote if they think voters would vote against them?"
We don't gain prizes for winning these debates, we all know that. What do we gain for winning? We gain the knowledge that our arguments were more persuasive to the audience than the other person's. Also, even if someone messed up the voting by inviting friends - that shouldn't matter. If it was a good debate, there will still be feedback from people who vote correctly - based on who DEBATED the best, which is what we want when posting debates on here, that is how we learn. And, because that can still happen even if someone messes up the voting, Debate.org isn't the thing that is flawed - it's the people thinking they gain something from false votes.

Next,
"That is irrelevant. I said they will vote on which idea is the most popular not the person."

He again doesn't answer my argument - just because he said something contrary to what I said doesn't mean my argument is irrelevant. He said they will vote on which idea is the most popular, I'm saying NO, they won't. Look at the posts in the comment section - another member has provided examples of people voting due to who debates better, not which issue is most popular. These are the same people that give feedback, and this is how we learn. Cross-apply my previous argument about the voting: if this learning/education occurs, voting doesn't matter. It doesn't matter if he provides examples that people "inflate" their votes by inviting friends or voting for the more popular position, etc. As long as we have examples of people who vote based on who DEBATED better, the goal has been met. Two-sided argumentative education is the goal, as long as that happens, Debate.org is not flawed.

On the nature of flaws...

A flaw is a detail about something that causes that specific something to not reach its desired goal. A flaw in logic will cause you to not be able to reach your conclusion from a premise. A flaw in an argument will cause you to lose a debate. When he says Debate.org is "flawed," specifically, "extremely flawed," he is saying that there is something holding the site back from reaching its goal, which we have already established is the logical purpose of debate, the search for the best argumentation, which he agreed with. Saying something did not meet its desired goal is dismissing it as illegitimate.

I agreed with the problems of the site that were isolated, yes. However, I contend that these are not "flaws" that prevent the site from reaching its goal, and I contend that these "flaws," (which I call problems), are not "extreme."

"I am most likely going to lose this debate, even though I struck down your points."

First, I ask you to not take this pessimistic standpoint; rather, debate this out with me whole-heartedly. We will both learn more about debate in general, as this is an extremely good topic. That way we will accomplish the purpose of this site and debate in general.

Striking down points, as you have agreed with, is not what determines what is the best argumentation in a debate. Anyone can "strike down arguments." However, these arguments should be good, logical, responsive, and convincing. Good argumentation is what is "popular", (not the certain issue), and should be, as it is what should determine the winner of a debate.
Debate Round No. 2
17 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by nrw 8 years ago
nrw
"Certainly, the debating itself is a purpose, but for personal entertainment. If indeed you see this as the true purpose, then I see no reason why you would complain, as your argument suggests a self proclaimed neglect to objection of winning or losing, instead participating solely for the love of debating."

I agree whole-heartedly. This was my argument why the voting system being corrupt thing doesn't really matter. The love of debating is the reason this site was made, and the goals of the site reflect that.
Posted by VaLoR 9 years ago
VaLoR
You say, "The purpose is not the content of the discussion. But the debating itself." I was speaking of the content of the argument, not of the premise. By content I mean the facts put forward, the strength that they hold in terms of persuasiveness in relative means to the argument, and the validity of said content. Perhaps there was a misunderstanding on that?

Certainly, the debating itself is a purpose, but for personal entertainment. If indeed you see this as the true purpose, then I see no reason why you would complain, as your argument suggests a self proclaimed neglect to objection of winning or losing, instead participating solely for the love of debating.
Posted by VaLoR 9 years ago
VaLoR
It is important to condense an argument to allow for viewers to vote responsibly on a rightful winner. One would not want to put off potential voters by providing a massive, seemingly never ending argument. A round limit is both logical and important, in my opinion. Unless the purpose of argumentation is to press and instill your point of view onto the opposition, in which case I would say this isn't the site for you.

Yes, in a sense this site was made for the sake of argument, not for the resolution of provided controversies. Accordingly, judgment should be made on the clarity, content and persuasiveness of the argument provided, not the premise itself.
Posted by JoeDSileo1988 9 years ago
JoeDSileo1988
"If either you or your opponent feels that the topic of discussion was not sufficiently resolved by the arguments provided within the round limit you could always simply challenge your opponent to a rematch. "

That is inspiring actually. It has made me see the site for itstrue purpose. The purpose is not the content of the discussion. But the debating itself. That seems wrong though. It is clear to me now that the purpose of debate should not be to win by debating well, or by getting the most people on your side. But to get the people who are not on your side, to vote for you. Not becasue of your ability to debate but becasue you have made a solid enough argument for them to switch to your side. Like getting someone who is pro-life to be pro-choice
Posted by VaLoR 9 years ago
VaLoR
"There are also a limited number of rounds. This could leave the debate finished without the topic being resolved."

Although I agree with much of your initial argument, especially the argument concerning a corrupt voting system of which I entirely agree (although PrincetonA has provided good counter examples), I disagree with the above statement. If either you or your opponent feels that the topic of discussion was not sufficiently resolved by the arguments provided within the round limit you could always simply challenge your opponent to a rematch. Problem solved.
Posted by Princeton_A 9 years ago
Princeton_A
Joe...you can't complain that people chose the wrong side of a debate when there wasn't even a debate. At the point where its just a topic with no round its a not a debate, its a poll.

Also, its not like all intuitive, popular arguments have won. Check out these two:

Infanticide is morally permissible
http://www.debate.org...

Abstinence only sex education has not been effective
http://www.debate.org...
Posted by JoeDSileo1988 9 years ago
JoeDSileo1988
http://www.debate.org...

Perfect example of what I was talking about. manishagni2004 didn't even post an argument and he is leading 12 votes to 4.

<Sarcasm>Im sure it has nothing to do with the argument that it is better to rule in hell then to serve in heaven, but how he debated.</Sarcasm>
Posted by Nate 9 years ago
Nate
We drive for betterment as a species. Furthermore, perfection is only present in the eye of the beholder. I hate to use a Star Trek reference but one of my literature classes talked it recently... If the Borg have taught us anything, perfection is impossible and will ultimately lead to destruction.
Posted by JoeDSileo1988 9 years ago
JoeDSileo1988
On the contrary we desire perfection. It is an unattainable goal. However as we advance as a species we look for those flaws and attempt to improve upon them. Without this drive, for perfection we would still be in caves.
Posted by Nate 9 years ago
Nate
Hey debaters,

I happen to know the owner of Debate.org. I was reading him some portions of this debate and the comments and he loves some of the ideas you have mentioned.

This site was originally launched as an experiment, to see if the idea of one on one peer debates could really take off. So far the idea has worked and the site as you see it now is in design two.

You the members have made this site successful and you will continue to make this site thrive. Sure, there will always be flaws in web site design, nothing can be perfect. If we look at MySpace and Facebook are they perfect? No.

The developers are working day and night programming a new version of the site. It will be out in a few months and I can promise you that the new content and features will be amazing.

Flaws are inherent in all things. People don't like perfection. In fact, perfection scares the population more than it helps.
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