The Instigator
mongeese
Pro (for)
Winning
33 Points
The Contender
crackofdawn_Jr
Con (against)
Losing
17 Points

Definitions posted by the Instigator in Round 1 of a debate are more like rules than contentions.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/31/2009 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,294 times Debate No: 8488
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
Votes (9)

 

mongeese

Pro

Definition - a statement of the meaning of a word or word group or a sign or symbol (http://www.merriam-webster.com...)
Instigator - the person who starts a debate
Round 1 - The first round of said debate
debate - A debate held on this site.
rule - a prescribed guide for conduct or action (http://www.merriam-webster.com...)
contention - a point advanced or maintained in a debate or argument (http://www.merriam-webster.com...)
More rules:
1. My opponent has to debate as if the resolution is "Definitions posted by the Instigator in Round 1 of a debate are more like contentions than rules," and he/she is PRO.

Sometimes, debaters start a debate with a clear set of rules, such as in the following:
http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org...
I think that definitions should be counted as rules. Sometimes, you see people say, "I agree with all definitions stated by my opponent." I think that if a person doesn't agree with a R1 definition, that person should either debate as if he/she did agree or not accept the debate, as one would with a rule.

For example, let's say that I started a debate with the resolution, "Most tables are made of wood." In the first round, I state my definition for table: a piece of furniture consisting of a smooth flat slab fixed on legs (http://www.merriam-webster.com...)
My opponent then accepts the debate, and says, "I disagree with your definition. I think that the definition should be: a systematic arrangement of data usually in rows and columns for ready reference. These are obviously not made of wood. I win."

This would obviously seem very semantical, and very stupid. And yet, it has happened before.

http://www.debate.org...

I believe that definitions are not disputable in such cases, and must be accepted upon accepting the debate.

Thank you to whoever accepts.
crackofdawn_Jr

Con

I thank my opponent for starting this debate.

<http://www.merriam-webster.com......)
Instigator - the person who starts a debate
Round 1 - The first round of said debate
debate - A debate held on this site.
rule - a prescribed guide for conduct or action (http://www.merriam-webster.com......)
contention - a point advanced or maintained in a debate or argument (http://www.merriam-webster.com......)
>>

I agree with these defintions.

<<1. My opponent has to debate as if the resolution is "Definitions posted by the Instigator in Round 1 of a debate are more like contentions than rules," and he/she is PRO.>>

Now my opponent has tried to set me up for failure. He has "made a rule" that if I follow I will lose, and if I don't follow I will lose. A definition of debate that does not clash with my opponent's is:

Debate: a discussion, as of a public question in an assembly, involving opposing viewpoints

I am opposing not only my opponent's main argument "Definitions posted by the Instigator in Round 1 of a debate are more like rules than contentions." but also the above rule. For my opponent to make a rule of which I cannot debate defeats the purpose of the debate.

A debate is when 2 people with opposing view points disagree over a certain subject. I happen to disagree with my opponent's "rules" and "definitions". Because this IS a debate I must be allowed to debate it. Something that can be debated is a contention, not a rule.

One example of when a definition was used which should not be used as a rule would be here:
http://www.debate.org...

Thank you and good luck with your response.
Debate Round No. 1
mongeese

Pro

Thank you for accepting, crackofdawn.

"Now my opponent has tried to set me up for failure. He has 'made a rule' that if I follow I will lose, and if I don't follow I will lose."
I don't see how.
I am PRO-"A are more like B than C."
My opponent is PRO-"A are more like C than B."
The purpose of this rule was to prevent my opponent from making arguments like, "Definitions are equally like rules and contentions," or, "Definitions are nothing like rules and contentions," or something along those lines.

"I am opposing not only my opponent's main argument 'Definitions posted by the Instigator in Round 1 of a debate are more like rules than contentions.' but also the above rule. For my opponent to make a rule of which I cannot debate defeats the purpose of the debate."
I don't see why. I mean, you're against the rule, and yet you're arguing by said rule in your following arguments. You aren't breaking the rule! They only reason for the rule to make this debate unwinnable by CON would be if CON thought that it was impossible to argue that definitions are more like contentions than rules. However, if CON did not think he could debate by the rule, he would simply not accept the debate, or ask if said rule could be removed.

"I happen to disagree with my opponent's 'rules' and "definitions.'"
No, you don't. You agreed with the definitions, and then you argued within the parameters of the rule.

"Because this IS a debate I must be allowed to debate it."
No. I don't think you should be allowed to debate such things. If you were to accept one of the "I will not break a rule" debates, and you disagreed with one of your opponent's foundation rules, would it really be right for you to accept the debate, and then say, "I disagree with this rule!" and ignore it? No. If you were to accept the PETA debate, would it be right for you to ignore one of Charlie's rules and place arguments in an improper format? No. Additionally, if I were to define "table" as "a piece of furniture consisting of a smooth flat slab fixed on legs," would it be right for you to accept the debate, and argue that the definition should be changed to: "a systematic arrangement of data usually in rows and columns for ready reference"? No. So, it is clear that a person should accept definitions and rules with the debate.

"One example of when a definition was used which should not be used as a rule would be here..."
However, in that debate, InfraRedEd did not post his absurd definition until Round 2. This debate is about rules and definitions in Round 1. It is obvious that if you accept someone's debate challenge, and then they make a rule in the second round that restricts you from being able to win, something is messed up, and the Instigator is abusing the debate. However, any definitions and rules mentioned in the Instigator's first round are fully visible to all spectators before they choose to accept the debate. Therefore, if there is a rule or definition in Round 1 that prevents the Contender from winning, this can be solved with nobody willing to accept the debate.

Here is a list of things that make definitions more like rules than contentions:
If the Contender agrees with the Instigator's definitions, would that really be a contention win for the Instigator? No. The definitions from the Instigator's first round are set in stone just as much as the Voting Period, or the Time to Argue, or the number of Rounds.
Definitions are not points to be maintained in debate. They are what define the resolution. Arguing that someone defined their own resolution incorrectly is as bad as saying that they chose an incorrect resolution.
Definitions are prescribed guides for action. If the Instigator's definition for school is, "an organization that provides instruction," then that is what school means every time it is brought up, unless specified otherwise. The Contender cannot say, "I think that we should change the definition to: 'a large number of fish or aquatic animals of one kind swimming together,' so the resolution no longer makes sense, and cannot be affirmed."
It is easier for definitions to be like rules. If a person had to run the risk of having their definitions disputed in the debate, they'd extend every word of their resolution to match the proper definition. This would result in the simple resolution, "Government should pay for the expenses necessary to run a public school," being extended to, "The continuous exercise of authority over and the performance of functions for a political unit should make due return to for services rendered or property delivered for the financial burden or outlay to direct the business or activities of an institution for the teaching of children of or relating to business or community interests as opposed to private affairs." The first resolution took up less than a line of space in text. The second resolution took up a little more than three lines. It would be easier on the eyes, and much simpler overall, if a person could safely post a simple resolution in the Topic box, and then define everything that needed defining in the Argument. I did this once to a more extensive way by defining words in ways they aren't even usually defined so as to clarify exactly what I mean for the resolution to mean, so that it would run smoothly, in this debate: http://www.debate.org...

So, overall, definitions posted by the Instigator in Round 1 of a debate are more like rules than contentions, and my opponent has yet to really affirm otherwise.
crackofdawn_Jr

Con

I would like to thank my opponent for his timely response.

All comments about me misreading the rule I will give one answer: I'm sorry that I misread read the rule.

Now to the debate...

It seems that the first half of my opponent's argument has to do with my misreading. The second half is when his actual argument comes in to play.

<>

Here are some of the debates my opponent is talking about:
http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org...

If a person disagrees with a rule they must either make a rule which allows them to at least talk about the rule or risk losing from breaking the rule. If someone breaks a rule they lose the debate.

<< If you were to accept the PETA debate, would it be right for you to ignore one of Charlie's rules and place arguments in an improper format? No. Additionally, if I were to define "table" as "a piece of furniture consisting of a smooth flat slab fixed on legs," would it be right for you to accept the debate, and argue that the definition should be changed to: "a systematic arrangement of data usually in rows and columns for ready reference"? No. So, it is clear that a person should accept definitions and rules with the debate.>>

Definitions posted by the instigator should be allowed to be debated. Your whole argument is that if they argue the definition they should lose. This is not up to you it is up to the voter. If they think that the instigators definitions were wrong and that the aff was right to debate them, he should get the points. If the aff debates stupid definitions then they should lose to the instigator. The point is that it's okay to debate a rule but it's up to the voter to decide if it was necesary.

<>

Debating should not have rules though as rules constrict the arguments of the debators. To restrict one in a debate that requires free speech defeats the whole point of the debate.

<>

They are also what constrict the aff. I'm not saying that definitions shouldn't be adheared to most of the time by the aff from the instigator at all. I'm just saying that there are times when definitions need to be debated and changed to further help the progress of the debate.

<>

The contender should have the right to do this. Although this would probably mean an automic loss for them, it still should be allowed. It is their choice on how to structure their argument and the instigator can't tell them how to do it. It is up to the voter to decide who was right and who was wrong in the debate.

In a debate on this website everything should be ALLOWED to be contested. Whether some things should or shouldn't be contested is up to the voter, not the instigator of the debate. If the instigator doesn't want his definitions contested he should say something like "Whoever excepts this debate MUST follow these definitions". Now if he does that the contender still CAN debate the definitions, but doing so would most likely result in an automatic loss.

Once again, my main point is that in a debate everything CAN be and should be ALLOWED to be contested. Whether they SHOULD be contested is up to the voter in deciding who did better in the debate.

Thank you and good luck with your next round.
Debate Round No. 2
mongeese

Pro

"All comments about me misreading the rule I will give one answer: I'm sorry that I misread read the rule."
Apology accepted.

"If they think that the instigators definitions were wrong and that the aff was right to debate them, he should get the points."
However, how can the definition be wrong? It is really the Instigator's choice what words should define the resolution, because the Instigator is the one who writes the resolution. This means that attacking the definition is really attacking the set meaning of the resolution, which is indisputable, as it is what the rest of the debate is supposed to revolve around, not within.

"The point is that it's okay to debate a rule but it's up to the voter to decide if it was necesary."
Hmm... I can use this later.

"Debating should not have rules though as rules constrict the arguments of the debators."
Technically, a debate belongs to the Instigator, and the Instigator comes up with the resolution and sets the rules. If the Instigator wants the debate to be run a certain way, that's fine. If the Instigator sets a rule that the debate must be in LD format, should the Contender be allowed to proceed in a different format? No.
Furthermore, my opponent has conceded that an agreement by the Contender with the Instigator's definitions is NOT a contention win at all, which places a huge gap between definitions and contentions.

"To restrict one in a debate that requires free speech defeats the whole point of the debate."
Usually, the Instigator has both debaters restricted equally. Is a debate that the Instigator restricts to an LD debate still a debate? Yes. The point is not defeated at all. Rules just allow the Instigator to further define what he/she wants out of the debate, and if a person is not willing to comply, then that person should not accept.

"I'm just saying that there are times when definitions need to be debated and changed to further help the progress of the debate."
Like what? Really, there is no proper time.

"The contender should have the right to do this. Although this would probably mean an automic loss for them, it still should be allowed. It is their choice on how to structure their argument and the instigator can't tell them how to do it. It is up to the voter to decide who was right and who was wrong in the debate."
Well, rules and definitions can't force the Contender not to do anything, of course, but they can show how the Contender deserves to lose.

"Once again, my main point is that in a debate everything CAN be and should be ALLOWED to be contested. Whether they SHOULD be contested is up to the voter in deciding who did better in the debate."
Well, then, let's take a look at this:
"The point is that it's okay to debate a rule but it's up to the voter to decide if it was necesary."
"The contender should have the right to do this. Although this would probably mean an automic loss for them, it still should be allowed."
So, debating a rule that is set would probably result in a loss for the Contender by the voters.
Debating a set definition would probably result in a loss for the Contender by the voters.
Debating a contention would result in victory by the voters for whichever debater can support their ideas the strongest.

"Once again, my main point is that in a debate everything CAN be and should be ALLOWED to be contested. Whether they SHOULD be contested is up to the voter in deciding who did better in the debate."
True.

My opponent has spent his entire argument attacking the power that rules and definitions hold in a debate. However, he has not attacked the main point of the debate, which is a comparison between rules, definitions, and contentions.

Ultimately, there is nothing in my opponent's most recent argument that even suggests that there is a difference between rules and definitions. He argues that definitions should be arguable, but then he also argues that rules should be equally arguable. Furthermore, he has ignored some of my examples of why definitions are really more like rules than contentions.

So, here's a little fact sheet:

Definitions are used by the Instigator in Round 1 to show exactly what he means in his resolution. Definitions allow for the resolution to be simpler. Definitions in the Instigator's Round 1 are rarely, if ever, dropped and/or changed, and usually only with agreement between the Instigator and the Contender. If the Contender protests the definition of a word when the word was already clearly defined by the Instigator in Round 1, then the Contender almost always loses the argument, no questions. If a person does not like a definition in the debate, he/she should not accept that debate.

Rules are used by the Instigator in Round 1 to show exactly how the Instigator wishes for the debate to work out.
Rules allow for the Instigator to have a little bit of control over the debate, although rules are usually equal in restriction for the Instigator and the Contender; few people would accept a debate that is heavily weighted against the Contender by rules. Rules are only used in Round 1, unless both the Instigator and the Contender agree to either abolish or introduce a new rule into the debate. If the Contender protests a rule that was put into place by the Instigator in Round 1, then the Contender almost always loses the argument, no questions. If a person does not like a rule in the debate, he/she should not accept that debate.

Contentions are used by the Instigator in Round 1 to show how the Instigator is going to debate. Contentions can be brought up at any time during a debate, with the exception of the Contender's last round. They are used to affirm or negate a resolution, rather than define it. When the Contender protests that one of the Instigator's contentions is false or invalid or wrong, or anything else, this is perfectly normal. The Contender explains why, and then they debate as normal, which does not happen with rules and definitions. If a person does not like the Instigator's contentions, he/she can post his/her own contentions to counter them, and/or point out flaws in the original contentions. This is perfectly okay.

So, definitions and rules are similar in that they are used in Round 1 by the Instigator to show how the debate goes in course and resolution, and it usually takes an agreement to drop or change a definition or rule. They are similar in that when a person disagrees with them, he/she should not accept the debate, rather than argue against them.

My opponent offers very few arguments in total, and only tries to shorten the wide gap between the island that contains definitions and rules with the island that holds contentions. However, the gap will always be wider than the gap between definitions and rules.

Definitions and rules should "be adheared to most of the time." Contentions, naturally, should always be debated, as contentions are what we debate.

In conclusion, because of the many reasons listed above, definitions posted by the Instigator in Round 1 of a debate are more like rules than contentions. Vote PRO.

Thanks for this debate, crackofdawn.
crackofdawn_Jr

Con

crackofdawn_Jr forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Lifeisgood 7 years ago
Lifeisgood
B/A: Pro.
Conduct: Pro.
S/G: Tie.
Arguments: Pro. Con forfeited in the final round, which is basically a concession.
Sources: Pro.
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
Defaulted PRO due to forfeit.
Posted by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
Conduct: PRO (forfeit)
Spelling & Grammar: TIE
Convincing Arguments: PRO (completely unrefuted)
Sources: PRO (While both used M-W and DDO, CON's usage of DDO included an irrelevant link and a reiteration of PRO's link.)
Posted by Maikuru 7 years ago
Maikuru
I love that Con is challenging the rules in a debate about challenging rules. Whether that was intentional or not, it's entertaining haha.
Posted by crackofdawn_Jr 7 years ago
crackofdawn_Jr
Misread the original rule, that'll cost me
Posted by Xer 7 years ago
Xer
Damn, lol. Happened to me again. Was about to click "Accept the Challenge" but was rejected yet again. I had a pretty good argument too. Oh well...
Posted by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
Thanks.
Posted by dvhoose 7 years ago
dvhoose
Ooh... tempting... I have an argument, but I don't think it's strong enough... good topic, though.
9 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
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LaSalle
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