The Instigator
davemark07
Pro (for)
Winning
11 Points
The Contender
FourTrouble
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Debates are useful and essential for a civilised society

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
davemark07
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/5/2012 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,671 times Debate No: 26014
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (20)
Votes (2)

 

davemark07

Pro

Debating: to cite the Oxford English Dictionary; is 'a formal discussion on a particular matter in a public meeting or legislative assembly, in which opposing arguments are put forward and which usually ends with a vote' but do debates serve a purpose; or are they merely stages in which contrasting opinions are presented and due to confirmation biases, people remain under their same beliefs as before; thus rendering it a futile exercise.

I am arguing in favour of debates; that they are not only useful but essential for a civilised society.
FourTrouble

Con

Thanks for the debate, I'll let you start it off in Round 2.
Debate Round No. 1
davemark07

Pro

Just begin, I will state here that I will cite all my sources at the end a reference list as I believe the last round (the conclusion) will be the shortest in content. I wish my opponent the best of luck: I hope this is an informative and lively debate in which I am eagerly anticipating. Thank you for accepting and I hope those reading it enjoy it too.

Just so we are clear of the definitions: debating: to cite the Oxford English Dictionary; is 'a formal discussion on a particular matter in a public meeting or legislative assembly, in which opposing arguments are put forward and which usually ends with a vote'. I am here to argue not only are such practices useful for society, but also essential. Then to define the key terms in the debate: useful and essential. To cite the Oxford English Dictionary "useful: is able to be used for a practical purpose [or in several ways]". And "essential" means that "[absolutely necessary]; extremely important:"

So what I will be trying to show is that debates are not only useful, that they are a practical means of discussing opposing views; but that it is extremely important to discuss some of the most profound questions and issues in order to develop as not only as individuals, but as a species.

Just as a background to why I thought that this would be an interesting topic to discuss I will try and explain why I came to this topic. I was reading a debate called "Do unicorns exist?" in which someone was trying to debate whether such a creature exists. Reading this I began to wonder: why do we debate anything? For me what is perhaps one of the most wonderful things about being human is the fact we are able to converse with one-another. That because we are able to speak and express ourselves we are able to talk to each other about the things we hold dear to ourselves.

To begin, I wish to journey back to 70,000 years ago, in South Africa. This is perhaps the time and the place in which humans "began to think" was it was discovered by Richard Klein believes art is a landmark in human evolution. And it was during a dig in 2002 in Blombos cave, situated in South Africa, stones were discovered engraved with grid or cross-hatch patterns, dated to some 70,000 years ago. This suggested to some researchers that early Homo sapiens were capable of abstraction and production of abstract art or symbolic art. In order to understand this we must discover what it means to be human. Anatomically modern humans (Homo sapiens) emerged in Africa roughly 100,000 years ago. We know from fossil evidence that Homo sapiens replaced other hominids around them and moved out of Africa into Asia and the Middle East, reaching Europe 40,000 years ago.

No other animals, after all, are able to define a painting as anything other than a collection of colours and shapes. This ability is unique to humans. Art defines humans as behaviourally modern, and its beginning must coincide with the ability to speak and use language. If someone has the imagination to devise a shared way to describe their environment using art then it seems inconceivable that they could not possess language and speech.

Because of this remarkable discovery it began to make me wonder: what actually makes us human? For me, I think it is our ability to debate: that for it is of paramount that we should live in world which values the sharing of different views about topics which we hold dear to ourselves. That if we lived in a world in which we just accepted different opinions without discussing them, then as a species we would stagnate and retard ourselves intellectually rather than confront our differences but at the same try to reconcile our differences to create a better society. I believe it is vital for society to value the sharing of opinions and discussing not only what we agree with, but what we disagree with. In doing so we are then able to share common ground as we will be able to see perspectives from different views and so this means we have intellectual honesty in that we know why others believe the way they do.

For me, without debates we become isolated and ignorant about other people"s view and perspectives. That without an event in which both sides of a view then there is no platform to discuss these ideas, concepts or questions and so give us the tools to make informed decisions based on both sides of the discussion.

Without such events as the 1860 Oxford evolution debate, between Huxley and Wilberforce, without Lincoln"Douglas Debates of 1858 or Brown v. Board of Education in 1954 it is hard to imagine that the world in which we live today; whereby evolution is taught above "intelligent design", that Lincoln was able to develop the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863 and that separate public schools for black and white students unconstitutional. Each landmark events which can only be developed through debates, dialogues or discussions about what humans find the most important issues.

Perhaps the earliest interaction which we could call an intellectual debate was in Ancient Greece: between Aristotle and Plato. Plato and Aristotle disagree profoundly about the nature of first dualist in that of Plato (427/428-348-347 B.C.) and the first materialist in Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) Without interactions this this I cannot imagine how science, philosophy and literature would have developed into the comprehensive disciples they are today. That had the Grecian Philosophers not pondered what it is to be human and discussed these with their contemporaries, I do not think it society would be as it is today.

The wonder of life is that the most profound questions can be discussed: questions such as; what is truth, what is beauty, what is love, how do we live a good life? Without debates these questions may remain mysterious or perhaps never get resolved. In asking these questions and debating our views we are able to explore what it means to be human. That philosophy comes from the Greek philosophia, which literally means "love of wisdom".

Debates also have a practical purpose: debates may be used by parliaments or legislative assemblies in order to discuss the implications of their proposed legislation. There are also formal debates between candidates for elected office, such as the leaders debates and the U.S. presidential election debates. The wonderful thing about debates is that they can be both informal and formal: intellectual or recreational; that no topic is too big or too small to discuss.
FourTrouble

Con

1. The "sharing of different views about topics" is not a debate. It may be the case that acquiring knowledge of other people's "view and perspectives" is "useful" and "essential," but a debate is not the ONLY way to acquire knowledge of different people, ideas, art, or concepts. If I were interested in sharing my view, I could simply write an article or blog, make a film, or find some other medium of expression. A debate is not necessary to share different views about topics, and therefore it is not essential.

2. There is no reason to believe (as my opponent claims) that a person would become "isolated" or "ignorant" without debate. It is possible to read books, attend classes, go to museums, travel to other countries, observe different cultures, or pursue other forms of learning without the need for debate. A debate is therefore not essential, since there are other ways to acquire knowledge.

3. A debate is not necessary to "discuss ideas," since discussion happens all the time without debate. A debate implies two opposed sides competing to prove their side is the correct one. A discussion in which two sides share their view does not require that either side attempt to prove their side is correct. It is possible to accept that others will have different views without having to prove their views are wrong through debate. I'll repeat the main point yet again: debates are not essential, since everything my opponent says debates are useful for can be accomplished through other means.

4. The fact that "evolution" is taught instead of "intelligent design" has nothing to do with debate - it has to do with the fact that "evolution" is considered "science" by the particular group of scientists (NAS) who determine what is science and what isn't. The use of debate was not necessary to determine this, since the scientists simply applied a classificatory system (is it strictly empirical?) to "intelligent design" and determined through that classificatory system that it was not science.

5. The Emancipation Proclamation was not developed through debate. It was developed through a change in beliefs that was the result of personal experience and rational thought. The change ultimately required war (not debate) to establish it as a political reality. A debate played no part in the emancipation of slaves in the United States.

6. When the Supreme Court established that segregation was unconstitutional, it was not the result of debate. It was the result of the interpretation (not debate) by experts in the field of constitutional law. The decision was ultimately rendered as a result of the interpretation each Justice makes on an individual basis - not on the basis of a debate.

7. A debate is not "essential" because "profound questions" can be asked without it. We can ask what truth is, or what beauty and love are, without debate. We can ask what a good life entails without requiring debate. The search for truth and meaning does not require debate, since we can think, learn and acquire knowledge, without debate. Plato used a method in his dialogues known as the dialectic, in which contradictions were worked out through dialogue to arrive at the truth. The dialectic, as a method, is not equivalent to debate, since a debate is formal and requires a vote to establish a clear winner. The truth can be pursued without creating winners and losers.

8. It may be the case that debates can be used to discuss the "implications" of "proposed legislation," but this does not make debates an "essential" part of being human. We would remain human beings without debate, since we would still be able to share different views with each other while continuing to pursue the truth.

The resolution is negated.
Debate Round No. 2
davemark07

Pro

I would wholly agree that a debate is not the only way to acquire knowledge of different people, ideas, art, or concepts: however this discussion was not whether debates were the only platform for doing this; but based on whether debates were useful and important methods in acquiring knowledge of other perspectives. The discussion was based around whether debating served a purpose (useful) and was of paramount importance (essential) in that debating is a form in which opposing perspectives can come together as discuss them. As you eluded to in your reply: if you wished to share your opinion you have ample opportunity: however as you are a finite being with your own opinions it is useful and essential to discuss these matters whereby you state your perspective and the antagonist states theirs.

Perhaps I should be clear: the discussion is not based on knowledge per se, but based around the sharing of views. Debates are primarily based on opinion and not based on knowledge: and so although it is possible to read books, attend classes, go to museums, travel to other countries, observe different cultures, or pursue other forms of learning in order to gain a broader arrangement of knowledge; the primary goal in a debate is for the exchange of ideas and concepts and not necessarily knowledge.

By its nature: a debate is discussion of ideas, and there are huge arrays of debates which can be used. There are competitive debates in which teams square off against each other in order to "win", but there are also Parliamentary debates in which two sides discuss the latest piece of proposed legislation in order to convince those that the piece is worthy of being passed into law. There are also Public debates in which can have a competitive edge, or can be developed as an educational exercise. Simply: a debate does not necessarily have to be about trying to "win" it as such: but to make people aware of both sides in order to make a well-informed decision.

As for the 1860 Oxford evolution debate between Huxley and Wilberforce, this was due primarily because it was an incredibly controversial topic in the first half of the nineteenth century, seen as contrary to religious orthodoxy and a threat to the social order. The debate has been called "one of the great stories of the history of science" and it is often regarded as a key moment in the acceptance of evolution. The reason being that in 1859 when Darwin published his work he got little acceptance and the Linnean Society"s President reported no remarkable discoveries that year. The reason why evolution has been accepted is because of this awareness which stemmed from the 1860 Oxford evolution debate. Many of the opponents of Darwin's theory were respected men of science: Owen was one of the most influential British biologists of his generation; Adam Sedgwick was a leading geologist; Wilberforce was a Fellow of the Royal Society; it was only because of the debate in which majority opinion represented a major victory for the Darwinians. This was the catalyst needed in order to develop evolution into the respected field it is today.

I didn"t claim that the Emancipation Proclamation was developed due to the debate: I was simply referencing that it was during the Lincoln-Douglas debate in which at the time, U.S. senators were elected by state legislatures; thus Lincoln and Douglas were trying for their respective parties to win control of the Illinois legislature. The debates previewed the issues that Lincoln would face in the aftermath of his victory in the 1860 presidential election. The main issue discussed in all seven debates was slavery. In his "Freeport Doctrine" of 1858, he repeatedly said that he did not care whether slavery was voted up or down: thus meaning that had he become president slavery may still have been legal. I did not claim that it was solely due to this debate: but that the outcome led to the Emancipation Proclamation thus making the debate essential in this transition.

As I eluded to: the wonderful thing about debates is that they can be both informal and formal: intellectual or recreational; that no topic is too big or too small to discuss. That we can ask profound questions but it is through the sharing and debate of what these answers might be that is where we develop an understanding. A debate does not always have to end with a vote of the winner; as informal debates and are a method of interactive and representational argument.

Essentially what your entire argument comprises of; is that debates are not the only way to gain and share information and I would wholly agree. However I didn"t claim debates were the only platform for this: I am simply arguing that debates are useful, in that they provide a service to people and essential, in that they are of extreme importance.
FourTrouble

Con

1. My opponent concedes that "debate is not the only way to acquire knowledge of different people, ideas, art, or concepts." Therefore, debates are not "essential" to acquire knowledge.

2. It is possible to share different views with people through a simple conversation. It is also possible to share views with others through a heated argument. A debate is therefore not "essential" to the sharing of different views.

3. My opponent states that "debates are primarily based on opinion and not based on knowledge." If this is the case, what makes debates "essential" for a civilized society? We can exchange ideas and share opinions through everyday conversations.

4. Is debate sufficient to end slavery? Irrelevant. Is debate necessary to end slavery? No.

5. My opponent has conceded that debates are "not the only way to gain and share information." Since the function that debates play in our society can be met through other means, debates are thus not essential to society. We can replace debates with something else that does the same thing, and society would continue to function as it currently does.

6. The problem with my opponent's argument is that it confuses a sufficient condition with a necessary condition. It might be the case that debates are sufficient to gain and share knowledge, but it is not the case that debates are necessary to gain and share knowledge. Since my opponent clearly has the burden to prove that debates are not only "useful" but also "essential" to society, it is my opponent's burden to prove debates are necessary. My opponent has not met this burden.
Debate Round No. 3
davemark07

Pro

In this final round I will conclude and cite all my sources.

Once again: I wholly accept a debate is not the only way to acquire knowledge: however this discussion was not whether debates were the only platform for doing this; but based on whether debates were useful and important in acquiring an understanding of other perspectives. The discussion was based around whether debating served a purpose (useful) and was of paramount importance (essential) in that debating is a form in which opposing perspectives can come together as discuss them. This was never ever a discussion about whether debating was the only method for acquiring knowledge, it appears you have created another topic and developed a discussion around that. In the first round I established that essential meant "extremely important"; and you have continued to assert that it isn"t without justification; you seem to be transfixed that the discussion is centred around whether debates are the only way to gain knowledge. As you stated: you can write your opinion down in a blog and I could do the same; however without interaction it would simply be two people developing their opinions and it would be more than likely that our views would never cross and so we would both remain ignorant about other people"s views and opinions. Debates are not only useful in the sense that it creates a medium to share these opinions, but essential for raising awareness of other people"s opinions and views. Debates are an extremely important platform of making people aware of different views and once you can understand and appreciate other people have different views, then you can converse opening and honestly via a debate.

I believe most of this argument stems from an equivocation: that you have used different definitions and centred the debate around that. Debates are not exclusively formal: they are essentially a method of interactive and representational argument between two opposing views. As I alluded to: the wonderful thing about debates is that they can be both informal and formal: intellectual or recreational; that no topic is too big or too small to discuss. That we can ask profound questions but it is through the sharing and debate of what these answers might be that is where we develop an understanding. A debate does not always have to end with a vote of the winner; as informal debates and are a method of interactive and representational argument.

As for whether debates are sufficient or necessary to end slavery I never stated either: nor does the topic we are discussing require me to state either. However what I did state was that during the Lincoln-Douglas debate in which at the time, U.S. senators were elected by state legislatures; thus Lincoln and Douglas were trying for their respective parties to win control of the Illinois legislature. The debates previewed the issues that Lincoln would face in the aftermath of his victory in the 1860 presidential election. The main issue discussed in all seven debates was slavery. That without this debate (of who would become president) it is more than likely that slavery would have remained legal as in the "Freeport Doctrine" of 1858, Douglas repeatedly said that he did not care whether slavery was voted up or down: thus meaning that had he become president slavery may still have been legal. It was not the debate which ended slavery per se, but that this was the debate in which saw Lincoln rise to fame and so the debate was useful and essentially in the ending of slavery.

A debate is essentially an expression of freedom of speech and freedom of expression in that a frank and honest exchange of views we are able to converse and about matters of importance to us and others. We can replace this with a dictatorship in which people are no longer to discuss this and have rescinded their human right to converse about topics: however I don"t think that would be deemed as a civilised society.

Essentially the question is this: are debates useful: are debates important, could we live in a society in which there are no debates, is this a civilised society?

What I mean by this is: debates are useful; in that they serve a purpose in which they give people the chance to exchange opposing views. Debates are important in that many parliaments use debates to exchange views on issues regarding legislation. Could we live in a society in which there are no debates: yes of course we could, we could live in a society in which there was no freedom of speech or expression whereby no-one was allowed to discuss any issues. However this is not a civilised society.

Essentially what your entire argument comprises of; is that debates are not the only way to gain information and I would wholly agree that there are countless mediums in which we can gain information. However this is and never was the purpose of this discussion: I am simply arguing that debates are useful, in that they provide a service to people and essential, in that they are of extreme importance to a civilised society.

By its nature: a debate is discussion of ideas, and there are huge arrays of debates which can be used. There are competitive debates in which teams square off against each other in order to "win", but there are also Parliamentary debates in which two sides discuss the latest piece of proposed legislation in order to convince those that the piece is worthy of being passed into law. There are also Public debates in which can have a competitive edge, or can be developed as an educational exercise. Simply: a debate does not necessarily have to be about trying to "win" it as such: but to make people aware of both sides in order to make a well-informed decision.

The Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed.
Minow, Newton N. and LaMay, Craig L. (2008). Inside the Presidential Debates: Their Improbable Past and Promising Future. University of Chicago Press.
Parliamentary Debate : Stanford National Forensic Institute". Snfi.org. Retrieved 11 October 2012.
Thomson, Keith Stewart (2000). "Huxley, Wilberforce and the Oxford Museum", American Scientist,
Lucas, JR (June 1979). "Wilberforce and Huxley: A Legendary Encounter". The Historical Journal 22 (2): 313"30
Jaffa, Harry V. (2009). Crisis of the House Divided: An Interpretation of the Issues in the Lincoln"Douglas Debates, 50th Anniversary Edition. University of Chicago Press.
FourTrouble

Con

1. I never disputed the fact that debates could be useful. I am arguing that debates are not essential to society. It is incumbent on my opponent to prove that debates are not only useful but also essential to society. Since my opponent has the burden of proof, if my opponent cannot prove that debates are essential to society, I win the debate.

2. I argued that debates are not essential because it is possible to gain and share knowledge through other means. Since my opponent clearly stated that the purpose of debates is to gain and share knowledge, it follows that debates are not essential to society if it can be shown that there are other options available to gain and share knowledge. It seems this point has been lost on my opponent, so let me provide an example to clarify the force of my argument. If sitting were essential to society, would we say that a chair is essential to society too? We would not because we would recognize that a chair is not required to sit; we can sit on a couch. Therefore, a chair is not essential to society. This example clarifies the logic underlying my argument. If we suppose that gaining and sharing knowledge is essential to society, does it follow that debate is essential to society? No. Since we can gain and share knowledge through other means, debate is not required to gain and share knowledge. Therefore, debate is not essential to society.

3. The definition of essential as "extremely important" can be applied to my argument without any loss of impact. What makes debates "extremely important" if everything they accomplish can be done through other means? I have implicitly asked this question multiple times throughout the debate, yet my opponent has not answered it once. Since my opponent has not provided any reason to believe debates are "extremely important," my opponent has not met his burden of proof. NOTE: saying debates are useful is not the equivalent of saying they are extremely important. There are many useful things in the world that are not extremely important. For example, contacts are useful, but they are not extremely important since a pair glasses do what contacts do just as well.

5. My opponent claims I am equivocating on the word "debate" because the definition of "debate" is not "exclusively formal." This point is irrelevant to my argument, since I've been arguing that regardless of whether debate is formal or informal, there are other ways to accomplish what debates do. Therefore, debates are not essential. But my opponent's equivocation-argument is flawed for another reason as well: the definition of debate my opponent provides in Round 1 states that debate is "a formal discussion." It does not say that debate is an "informal discussion," nor does it imply that debate can be informal. Instead, the definition clearly defines debate as something formal. I recommend readers take a look at the definition my opponent provided.

6. My opponent claims that a society without freedom of speech is not a civilized society. So what? What does freedom of speech have to do with debate? If debate were non-existent, would this somehow limit the freedom of speech? There is no reason that protecting the freedom of speech requires that people debate. In fact, requiring that people debate would limit free speech, since people would be required to speak and discuss ideas through debate instead of through their own freely chosen medium of communication.

7. My opponent summarizes his argument as follows: "I am simply arguing that debates are useful, in that they provide a service to people and essential, in that they are of extreme importance to a civilised society." The problem with my opponent's argument is that it's an explicitly circular argument: saying debates are essential because they are extremely important is using one's conclusion as one's premise. My opponent has not provided a single reason to believe debates are extremely important. It is my opponent's burden of proof to show that debates are extremely important (supposing that is how essential is defined); my opponent has simply stated his conclusion as a premise, instead of providing a reason to believe his premise/conclusion.

I clearly won this debate, since my opponent has only offered a circular argument in support of his claim that debates are essential. It was my opponent's burden to prove debates are essential, and stating that they are essential because they are extremely important does not meet that burden. The resolution is negated. Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 4
20 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by davemark07 4 years ago
davemark07
What I find ironic is that you are considerably distressed about a debate about whether debates are important: thus you seem to have inadvertently proven my point that debates mean a lot to people as you are showing now. You claim debates are not important and yet you are adamant that you want to win this debate. In truth I didn't really intend this to be a debate; more a discussion to make people think about the purpose of debating. For me it isn't who wins or loses, it is about presenting a different view on a topic; for you I can't say you value this. I dare say you care more about whether or not you win or lose.
Posted by FourTrouble 4 years ago
FourTrouble
It's ridiculous you guys vote against me not only on arguments but on sources and conduct. I didn't use any sources, but that doesn't mean Pro's sources are better. Pro does not cite his sources until the final round, which is abusive in most instances. I guess not here. Such bad voting is what really turned me off of debating on this site in the first place. You guys basically keep it that way for me.
Posted by FourTrouble 4 years ago
FourTrouble
@Zaradi and Stephen

Pro does not make a single argument supporting the claim that debates are "extremely important." I asked him what makes a debate important multiple times, yet Pro never offered a response. I clarified in Round 3 that Pro had the burden of proof, which meant he had to prove that debates were important. I based my case around showing that Pro had not proven debates are important.

The argument I made in Round 3 was to distinguish between a sufficient condition and necessary condition. I clearly implied that extreme importance is a produce of a necessary condition, not a sufficient condition. Pro never responded to this argument.

The reason I'm upset about this debate is not because my arguments were particularly strong. It is because my opponent's arguments were incredibly weak, completely ignoring the impact of my arguments. I'm also surprised that you guys don't take off conduct from my opponent but do take off conduct from me.

Stephen voted against me once because of a false reading of a definition. Here, Stephen completely neglects the fact that Pro's entire case rests on a different definition than the one he provides in Round 1. Pro even tries to say I'm equivocating because I used the SAME definition he gave in Round 1.

The existence of alternatives means that something is NOT extremely important, because the function can be accomplished through other means. I made this argument clear in Round 3. Pro does not respond to this by explaining why debates are important. Pro focuses his entire debate on explaining why debates are useful, even though I conceded that debates could be useful. My argument was about showing that, even if debates are useful, everything they are used for can be done through other means. Pro conceded the point. The moment Pro does that, Pro has the burden to show what distinguishes debates, such that they are still extremely important. Pro does not do that.
Posted by Zaradi 4 years ago
Zaradi
FT, so what you're saying is that if you can get the same results from something else, then what we're discussing isn't important? Under that line of logic, cars aren't important to society because we can still ride bikes or skateboard or even walk places, but that would be faulty. The existence of alternatives does not make something not important to society. Of course there's arguments for why alternatives mean something isn't as important, but a) that's in different context than this debate and b) you don't make them, so the point is moot.

And our history? Our history is disagreeing in mafia. Mafia =/= debating. If you think I'm idiotic enough to vote on a debate where I know I can't be unbiased in, you really don't know me.
Posted by FourTrouble 4 years ago
FourTrouble
Zaradi, I admit I don't understand why you vote on my debates given our history, but whatever.
Posted by FourTrouble 4 years ago
FourTrouble
Zaradi, pro conceded that all the benefits of debates could be accomplished through other means... What makes it important to society if you can get all the benefits of debates through other means? Pro does not address thy even though I countered as such.
Posted by Stephen_Hawkins 4 years ago
Stephen_Hawkins
They were shown to be very important, or essential, to society for the exact reason I gave: "debate and discourse among experts le[a]d to an informed political decision". PRO gave that as well. His argument was better, get over it.

And a debate is an exercise in style as much as, if not more than, an exercise in argument. I can produce a book-length refutation of theism, but it may not be convincing, and certainly won't be quick to read. A debate is quick to read, quick to understand, quick to comprehend. Yours certainly had the first, but lacked the ability to disprove the resolution, and rebut your opponent's points. Now Zaradi agrees with me. I imagine it shall be more.

Further, good to see of the debates I've voted in, you're basing it on debates 3 months apart, on one which was 50% forfeit, which I still maintain you lost on grounds of inability to refute the resolution. Further, the inability to prove it being intrinsic as well.

They do have a common theme though. There's a debate which is well observed to be very hard to counter, which you accept, fail to defend your position in, and yet become surprised when you don't get votes.
Posted by Zaradi 4 years ago
Zaradi
... clarify on what was actually supposed to be debated. The only time con came back around and debated what pro wanted to discuss was in the end of round four, which I can't really evaluate since they weren't really made anywhere else and it would be insanely arbitrary of me to vote off of an argument that pro didn't have the chance to respond to. Had con made the argument of round four in round 2 or 3, this debate would be entirely different and I would probably be negating instead of affirming. But since he didn't, alas.

inb4 FT flips sh!t on me for voting against him.
Posted by Zaradi 4 years ago
Zaradi
A quick comment before I go into the RFD:

@FT: You realize you probably would've won had you not posted your round four arguments exclusively in round four? I can't, as a non-arbitrary judge, evaluate arguments made there as it's insanely abusive to the instigator.

Anyway, onto the RFD. Definitions were not contested so I default to the definitions given by pro in round two. Which means that pro has to prove the many uses and the extreme importance to affirm the resolution. Con doesn't seem to be going for the many uses thing, so I can default to half of the pro burden being fulfilled. At the essential part is where the debate centers, so that's where I pick up.

The main reason where I go pro is on the benefits and usefulness making it extremely important to society. I feel that he's proving enough benefit of having debate to prove it's importance to society, such as the effect it has on legislature and policy making. The points con brings up in response to this is that we would still be human without debating policies and such, but that isn't really responsive to what pro was really saying.

Essentially, I think what went wrong here was a case of "two ships passing in the middle of the night". What I mean by that was you both went to prove two different meanings of the same thing. You were both debating the same resolution with the same definitions and such. But there was no clash between the pro advocacy and con advocacy. Con went for "we can function without debates, so they aren't essential", and pro went for "they have so many benefits as to convey an extreme importance, so they're essential". This leaves me in a bit of a pickle as to how I decide the round, but I feel a bit better going pro since at the beginning of his round three and four he kept trying to steer the debate back to what he was actually advocating and trying to create clash between the two cases. Con, however, kept attacking the same thing, regardless of how much the pro tried to .
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Zaradi 4 years ago
Zaradi
davemark07FourTroubleTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments
Vote Placed by Stephen_Hawkins 4 years ago
Stephen_Hawkins
davemark07FourTroubleTied
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Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.