The Instigator
TruthGen
Pro (for)
Winning
9 Points
The Contender
Nomiad92
Con (against)
Losing
6 Points

Debates are meant to be won, not to reach truth

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
TruthGen
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/4/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 684 times Debate No: 61292
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (4)

 

TruthGen

Pro

Debates are meant to be won, not to reach truth. In this very debate we question debates themselves.

Round one is acceptance.
Nomiad92

Con

I accept your challenge.
Debate Round No. 1
TruthGen

Pro

First, let"s carefully examine the structure of debates in a page like this one:
There is a Pro and a Con user, and they both defend opposite positions. They are both encouraged to prove that their point is the correct one. One has to win, and the other has to lose. So basically the rules of the debate force on the assumption that if one is right, the other one mustn"t, totally eliminating the possibility of synthesis, which could wind up being in some cases the best and true option.

***Let"s assume that if we want to reach truth, we must give some reasons based on evidence or logic. If one wants truth, then there"s no need to embellish one"s arguments or use fallacy, since this things might end up being obstacles to find truth.
Now let"s examine a debate at debate.org from one of the top users on leaderboard. User Roylatham on "God is Real", topic proposed and defended by dylancatlow.

Link available here: http://www.debate.org...

In this case, dylancatlow in a very complex manner, tries to defend its position, leaving (perhaps) RoyLatham confused.
One could assume that"s a technique, perhaps not, but this is of no importance compared to the following:
RoyLatham answers back calling dylancatlow"s arguments "mumbo jumbo". He gives an unnecessary explanation of its origin which is more of a rhetorical exercise rather than a philosophical one (And reminds me of the "ad hominem fallacy")
It would be much interesting to simply examine the arguments bit by bit and then find the errors, but yet there is an apparent tendency to embellish one"s arguments and being passive-aggressive towards the opponent.

Dylancatlow answers back implying that what he says is understandable for anyone who is used to that type of thinking (Which reminds me again of more fallacies).

This is completely unnecessary verbosity that leads to nowhere.
Why this verbal diarrhea? Because the main goal is not to find truth, the main goal is winning.
Nomiad92

Con

Debates are meant to reach truth, not to win.

As you have said, debates in pages like this one are proposed to make people prove their point of view is correct. At the end of every debate there is a winner and a loser, but it does not mean that the loser's point of view was incorrect, it only means that the winner's point of view was better defended with, of course, better arguments and reasons than the loser's point of view.

The way you see things in life could be (and I am sure it is) different to the way I see things in life. For this main reason, political systems are still changing, and they will never stop to change, just to ensure we can reach the most comfortable situation in the world, or simply in a city or town. Due to this fact, debates are meant to see the point of view of everyone so we can reach truth, or at least we can reach it the most we can.

When people debate, there is a winner and a loser, as I said before. But both opinions are taken in consideration the same way a family takes all its members' points of view into consideration, just to ensure everyone rights. If we did not take into consideration everyone opinions, there will be always a part of society with no rights, and the way of living we would have, would be a dictatorship (a dictatorship of the left-wing or the right-wing).

In brief: the fact that there is always a winner in a debate only means that the winner has defended his point of view with better arguments than the loser. If truth were something we could define perfectly, there won't be any more debate, because all of us would be winners, so we would not need them more. But we all have different opinions about everything in life, so we need to debate about them to ensure we all have the better situation we could have.

Here you have your winner:

http://www.biography.com...

Honestly, I do not think he used to take into consideration other's opinions.

I want to be listened, I would not like to be ignored.
Debate Round No. 2
TruthGen

Pro

Let"s begin with the rebuttals. I will carefully examine your argument paragraph by paragraph.
1st paragraph:
Basically the first paragraph defends my point of view. I quote now "it only means that the winner's point of view was better defended with, of course, better arguments and reasons than the loser's point of view." So it is not about finding truth, it is about defending a position that just might not be true, as Con just said and I quote again: "but it does not mean that the loser's point of view was incorrect".
2nd paragraph:
I quote: "debates are meant to see the point of view of everyone so we can reach truth". Making such assumptions doesn"t make any valid point. In fact I doubt everyone"s point of view can be reduced to a simple (and extreme) dichotomy: Either completely yes or completely no.
As Aristoteles said: "Virtue is a mean between two extremes"
In these debates we completely ignore the possibility of Aristoteles being right ever, since there is no possibility in these debates to say "Well, it"s not a yes or a no, it"s something in between". Debates also ignore eclecticism.

3rd paragraph:
Curiously Hitler got the power because he was voted, many people"s opinion were pro-Hitler even after being elected, just because of his convincing (and fallacious) way of talking,

4th paragraph:
I quote: "If truth were something we could define perfectly, there won"t be any more debate".
Perhaps it"s debate what"s making truth so hard to find, because we can"t just leave our beliefs aside and try to comprehend even further, because we are slaves of our unconscious mind in need for self-defense and also of cognitive biases.
http://en.wikipedia.org...
In this case, the belief bias:
When one's evaluation of the logical strength of an argument is biased by their belief in the truth or falsity of the conclusion.
Since the structure of the debate encourages you to defend a point and deny the other one, it is easy for anyone to be fooled by "Cognitive Dissonance".
I explain this in another debate at debate.org
Here you can check the link:
http://www.debate.org...

Now I proceed to quote again:
"But we all have different opinions about everything in life, so we need to debate about them to ensure we all have the better situation we could have."
Again, that"s why debates are flawed, because it is not about sharing opinions and synthesizing new ones. It"s about making them fight. Hitler"s opinion seems to have won once, did that make it any better or any more true?
I suppose Con is defending relativism, but debates don"t make any sense in Relativism, not at least if the topics are so generic.

And finally:
No one is saying that you cannot express your opinion. You can do so in a debate and win, but that wouldn"t make your opinion any more than just what it is, an opinion. It may be true, but a debate doesn"t seem like the way to prove it"s true.

I would suggest discussing the topic "Debates are meant to be won, not to reach truth" instead of whether or not people should express their opinions (Which they should).
Nomiad92

Con

Nomiad92 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
TruthGen

Pro

Now let"s examine the questions used to evaluate who won in a debate at debate.org:

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 convicing arguments?
Who used the most reliable sources?

As you can see, the questions are not aimed towards truth, just like these questions would:

Who used a reasonable amount of valid, testable and scientifically provable arguments?
In case of a tie, how do you think both opposite ideas can join?
(Optional) Did any of them miss an important point?
If you chose "yes", What point(s)?

And now I will try to make a point, putting the previous official questions to the test to see if they can really help us find truth.
**Notice I"m making the point from now on:

1.- Who did you agree with before the debate?
Myself, thank you.
2.- Who did you agree with after the debate?
Myself, thank you. http://en.wikipedia.org...
3.-Who had the better conduct?
Myself, thank you (this way I"m having a bad conduct since I"m not being politically correct, so I"m going against this question.)
Let"s put it to a further test:
Con is stupid, he has a stupid name, and I don"t like his cat, I like cookies, my name is Ralph. I"m being irrational at the moment and this should disprove anything I say (Lalalalalala *singing*).
For more information, check this video from youtube: http://youtu.be...

**As you can see, I"m not having a good conduct, yet that doesn"t disprove any of my previous arguments, it just makes me look violent and/or irrational. Of course this doesn"t lead to any truth (Mmm... Or is it?), but I could still be annoying even if I"m saying something that is true.
Yet in this case, I"m using rudeness to prove that it can be used to make a point.
4.- Who had better spelling and grammar?
Meself, duh xd lol, omg how dis affect truth? Sry I dunno hw write god.

In this case, I"m making a point with bad grammar.

5.- Who made the most convicing arguments?
In my debate "Fallacies are not valid arguments" I prove that the main goal of fallacy is to be convincing. I talk a little bit about cognitive dissonance and also cognitive biases.
http://www.debate.org...
Arguments can be convincing, yet that doesn"t necessarily make it true.

Example:
"I ate some pizza that has been in my fridge for ages then I got sick"
You may find this an interesting argument to say "Hey, pizza that has been in your fridge for ages is bad" but correlation does not mean causation, even if it is the most probable cause.
You could have gotten sick for some other reason, perhaps you are really allergic to the peanuts you ate just before, after all.

6.- Who used the most reliable sources?
You can actually use reliable sources and still deform the correct information in them to make fallacies, especially informal fallacies like amphibology.

I propose pushing the boundaries of debate, if our wish is to find truth or just use it as a sport, because:
1.- If we want to find truth, we are not going to find it by debating, not in this way
2.- If we just want to debate as a sport, then why aren't we creative, instead of sticking to the classic rules and structure?

In fact, to prove my point, I propose you to break the rules of debates, try to defend a different point, any of them in the middle between yes and no, or just anoher point about anything else, i'm giving you the right of free speech, the one you were asking me about previously.

The only way to find truth is to escape from the debate, to go against it"s very boundaries would be to break free, for real.
Nomiad92

Con

Debates are meant to reach truth.
Let's start examining one of my sentences you quoted in the third round:
"It only means that the winner's point of view was better defended with, of course, better arguments and reasons than the loser's point of view."
It just simply does not prove your point of view, it only proves the accuracy of the winner of the debate. So watch out: the fact that a person has won a debate in this web page debate.org means that more people have agreed with him because they consider that his arguments are more reliable than the loser's ones. And as I also said, truth must help us to find the fair point in society where everyone is personally happy, so absolutely debates help us to find that point. And that point will be the point almost everyone agrees with.
Now I will quote you in order to examine your argument:
"As you can see, I'm not having a good conduct, yet that doesn't disprove any of my previous arguments, it just makes me look violent and/or irrational. Of course this doesn't lead to any truth."
What do you understand by truth? You cannot dig in your heels by defining one only truth, as you did with that comment. Debates are meant to reach truth, and with truth I mean the point of the majority of people's agreement. If you reduce debates at the simply reason of wining, you would be probably better playing in a sport team instead of debating here.
I will quote other sentence you said to examine it:
" You can actually use reliable sources and still deform the correct information in them to make fallacies, especially informal fallacies like amphibology."
You can of course use reliable sources for deforming them. For this reason, it has to be our duty to prove that source is false or not. By that way we could find if it was or not, so we can improve our knowledge. By that way, we find truth absolutely. I will give you an example: http://genesismission.4t.com... Here you have a web page that says dinosaurs are still alive, is that truth? Absolutely it is not.
As you can see, I have not believed they are actually, so I have proved that the fact of lying does not mean you believe it. This argument also proves that it is not truth that I could believe some sources even if they are convincing, so I have disproved your point 5 too. And I still do not believe you when you say debates are meant to win, so as you can see it is not obligatory to believe anyone. It is only up to you. There is always a winner, but the question of the debate is: "are debates meant to win or to reach truth?" They are meant to reach truth, absolutely. Because at the end of the debate, we can prove if the winner's arguments were reliable or not. If they were, then we have won knowledge, if not too, because we have done the effort to disprove it.
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by UchihaMadara 3 years ago
UchihaMadara
good topic. i fully agree with pro here. there is a big difference between debating, which is essentially a sport, and having a discussion, where all involved parties are interested in coming to a consensus (or at least close to one) on what the truth is.
Posted by TruthGen 3 years ago
TruthGen
Hahahahaha, i might use you as another argument :')
Posted by Wylted 3 years ago
Wylted
I care more about winning mine than coming to any sort of truth. I'll be following this.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Jonbonbon 3 years ago
Jonbonbon
TruthGenNomiad92Tied
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Total points awarded:16 
Reasons for voting decision: So, pro gets the conduct point because con forfeited, and that's poor form. However, con had mildly better S&G. The clash wasn't as obvious as it should've been. Con was arguing on the idea of what debate was in principle, and pro focused on how it was treated. I give con the argument point only because those were the arguments that pro had to prove wrong in order to prove his own right. Specifically, pro was tasked with proving that debate itself was not about finding truth. However, he took the path of criticizing poor debating styles on DDO. That does not mean debate is just for winning. That just means that people sometimes treat it like that. That was a connection that con should make next time, but I feel con put in enough for me to understand it as at least a loose point in the debate, but that argument wins. I also gave con sources because pro's sources were less relevant to the topic (this isn't about how other people debate or how people use bias when voting).
Vote Placed by Truth_seeker 3 years ago
Truth_seeker
TruthGenNomiad92Tied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: In R1, Pro brought up a strong argument. I've noticed that most debates have ad-hominem attacks which have nothing to do with the debate. Con says "there is a winner and a loser, but it does not mean that the loser's point of view was incorrect, it only means that the winner's point of view was better defended with, of course, better arguments and reasons than the loser's point of view" proving that truth is not dependent on the skills of a debator. Pro explains that bias occurs in debates and usually that's the case as the purpose of a debate is to have two different arguments collide. Pro's winning blow is his mention of the DDO voting system. Con repeats his/her position but never logically shows that debates are meant to reach truth. For example, con says "Here you have a web page that says dinosaurs are still alive, is that truth? Absolutely it is not." This wasn't resolved by a debate, it was resolved with evidence. Debates are meant to be competitive, but not to find truth.
Vote Placed by dynamicduodebaters 3 years ago
dynamicduodebaters
TruthGenNomiad92Tied
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 3 years ago
9spaceking
TruthGenNomiad92Tied
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: ff, rest seems equal