The Instigator
Nicharesuk
Pro (for)
Losing
1 Points
The Contender
TheTruthAnalyst
Con (against)
Winning
13 Points

Discretion is not technically lying.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
TheTruthAnalyst
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/19/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,596 times Debate No: 19374
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (6)
Votes (4)

 

Nicharesuk

Pro

For my First debate I wanted to go with something simple.
R1 is for me to state my Position and main argument and for someone else to state their position and argument.

I am Pro/For the idea that Being discrete is not lying.
Choosing not to say something (being discrete) is not lying; Lying is defined as "Not telling the truth."[1] So the act of 'telling' would have to be involved and therefore if one does not say anything the act of telling is not involved and therefore cannot be lying if one is not 'telling'.

I apologize in advance if I do not know the full etiquette for this website and welcome someone to explain to me if how I am handling this is correct/incorrect or fine.

[Sources]
[1] Google Dictionary
TheTruthAnalyst

Con

This is my first debate as well, and I accept the Con position against the statement 'Discretion is not technically lying'.

Pro presented the definition for lying as "Not telling the truth." I would prefer a dictionary source such as Merriam-Webster or Cambridge, but for this debate I agree to this definition.

I argue that whether or not the truth is told is a boolean event; there are only two possibilities: the truth is told, or the truth is not told. Naturally, if the truth is told, then that is not lying. However, for any other instance, whether a lie is told, or whether the truth is withheld, then the criteria of 'not telling the truth' is fulfilled. In other words, if you don't tell the truth, by not speaking, then you still haven't told the truth.

Pro's argument of not telling anything would fit the criteria for a definition such as "Telling an untruth", but it doesn't fit the criteria for "Not telling the truth".
Debate Round No. 1
Nicharesuk

Pro

Thank you for Accepting.
I am not familiar with Boolean logistics, but I can understand its basic premise. It would seem my definition is very broad and I agree in what Con is saying that "Not Telling the truth" would entail that if one is not telling at all then the truth is not being uttered. This, though, is only true for the definition I provided and I would like to provide another from the con's preferred sources.

*Note to Audience* I am Agreeing with Con's original statement that my original argument is false with that definition of the word "Lying" or "to lie"

Here is the newer definition of the word to lie by Webster-dictionary.org

To lie: A falsehood uttered or acted for the purpose of deception; an intentional violation of truth; an untruth spoken with the intention to deceive.
TheTruthAnalyst

Con

I appreciate your responses. I would assume that changing the definition from the initial premise would not be allowed in a debate as that would invalidate any previous arguments and/or positions, but I'll go ahead and continue with my position.

To lie: A falsehood uttered or acted for the purpose of deception; an intentional violation of truth; an untruth spoken with the intention to deceive. [1]

Pro defined discretion as 'Choosing not to say something'. I propose that choosing to withhold the truth(choosing to be discrete) is a choice and an action, and the only reason to do so is to prevent the truth from being known, or to deceive. Therefore, choosing to withhold the truth is an action fulfilling the definition of 'A falsehood... acted for the purpose of deception'.

Furthermore, withholding truth from someone is allowing that person to continue to have doubts about the veracity of the truth, which is an intentional violation against truth.

[1] http://webster-dictionary.org...
Debate Round No. 2
Nicharesuk

Pro

You are most likely correct about your first statement that it changing the definition would be invalid. I would like to make it apparent that yes, you were correct and I forfeit from that original argument because I now see that it was invalid.

Con defines the term "Deceive" as "To prevent the truth from being known." I hold, however, that this is not a correct way to define this term.

Webster defines Deceive as:
To lead into error; to cause to believe what is false, or disbelieve what is true; to impose upon; to mislead; to cheat[1] etc.

This would mean that one would have to be deliberately causing/leading someone into an untruth. To not say, to choose to not say, would mean that one is neither choosing to lead into truth or mislead into untruth. Therefore one is not deceiving someone. To be discrete would mean one is simply not willing to express what he or she knows, or does not know.

Con also states that "allowing a person to continue to have doubts about the truth" would be a violation against truth. However I disagree and hold that whether a person is having doubts about a truth does not change the truth itself. Truth/to be true is to be "in accordance to facts and/or reality." Because someone does not know WHAT the truth is does not change or violate the truth in any way because truth cannot be untrue because someone is doubting it.

Thank you again, I am greatly enjoying this and learning so much about debate.
[1] http://www.webster-dictionary.org...
TheTruthAnalyst

Con

Thank you for your arguments again.

I want to clarify, I wasn't providing a formal definition for the term 'deceive'. I was proposing that purposefully withholding the truth is a form of deception. I have no problems with your definition.

As I said before, choosing not to say something is a choice and an action. By not giving the truth to a listener, you would be leading them to either disbelieve the truth, or believe a non-truth. As an example, if 'John' asks a group of friends if his girlfriend has been cheating on him, and 'Carl' knows that she has been, but withholds that information, he is leading 'John' to believe that she isn't cheating on him.

It is possible to lead someone to an erroneous conclusion by withholding the truth.

Pro stated "I...hold that whether a person is having doubts about a truth does not change the truth itself.", but the issue isn't the truth, it is the understanding of what is true. If someone has been 'lead into error', they may believe a non-truth. So I re-assert that allowing someone to believe non-truth is to cause, through lack of action, the person to continue to believe said non-truth.
Debate Round No. 3
Nicharesuk

Pro

What Con is saying then that one would have to accept things based on what isn't said which would go against logical reasoning. John is now taking the absence of any utterance as a statement of "No she is not cheating on me," This would be faulty mainly because the same thing could be true if Carl knew that John's girlfriend was NOT cheating on him, therefore John could interpret Carl's silence as both "She IS cheating on me" or "She ISN'T cheating on me" One of these is either true or false. To deliberately lead someone into an Untruth would be to actively give them information not based on facts and/or reality. By not saying anything you are choosing not to give any information. If John were to jump to conclusions and assume that his girlfriend IS cheating on him then John does not take into account the idea of ambiguity.

Ambiguity by definition means to be "Doubtful or uncertain, particularly in respect to signification; capable of being understood in either of two or more possible senses; equivocal" [1]
Carl in this case is leading John into Ambiguity but is not leading John into an untruth.

Carl is choosing, by withholding the truth, not to lead or mislead John therefore not fulfilling the act of deceiving. If John assumes that his girlfriend is or is not cheating on him, that was his OWN mind leading him to those conclusions, to deceive oneself is possible in this case.

Con then states "...allowing someone to believe non-truth is to cause, through lack of action, the person to continue to believe said non-truth."
This would mean if one knows the truth they are obligated to tell it so they are not considered a deceiver to the other person. However as I stated before Carl did not lead the other person into untruth, it was John who led himself there. So Carl cannot be a deceiver because he did not intentionally lead him into fallacy.

Thank you again for this invigorating first debate!

[1] Webster
TheTruthAnalyst

Con

I wish to thank Pro for this debate as well, as a learning experience for me too. I have no formal debate training, and this has been a good exercise.

As to the question of whether you can lead someone to believe something is false through silence, consider the traditional Christian marriage ceremony. "Therefore if any man can shew any just cause, why they may not lawfully be joined together, let him now speak, or else hereafter for ever hold his peace.". If Carl holds his peace, knowing the unfaithfulness of the Bride, he is leading John into error regarding said faithfulness.

The debate isn't about the moral obligation(or lack of) to correct false information or false understanding. The question is whether inaction can lead someone to believe something erroneous. As we can see with the wedding ceremony, lack of action has consequences, and one of those consequences can be error in understanding.

To reaffirm my original stance, the intentional withholding of information(discretion) can be considered intentionally leading to error.

Thank you again Pro, and best of luck during voting.
Debate Round No. 4
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Nicharesuk 5 years ago
Nicharesuk
Thank you, I full heartily agree with your decision and I would have done the same.
Posted by wiploc 5 years ago
wiploc
RFD:

Pro set up the resolution so he couldn't lose. It's obvious that not all forms of discretion is lying. Lying is speaking falsehood with intent to deceive. So the only way that discretion would be lying is if you somehow discretely told a lie. From behind a bush or something.

But Pro defined lying as not telling the truth, which may work as litotes, but Con interpreted it as literal rather than figurative, meaning that you are lying any time you aren't talking. In which case, you are lying any time you are "discrete" enough not to be blurting out the truth.

That would be easy enough to refute, but Pro conceded the point, conceded, in effect, that he lost the debate. So Con gets the points for most persuasive argument. He actually talked Pro out of an impregnable position.

Pro admitted that he was wrong. (He wasn't wrong, but that's not the point.) How often do you see that? And then he kept going, continued with productive dialogue after conceding the debate. That's admirable. So I'm giving Pro the conduct point.
Posted by Nicharesuk 5 years ago
Nicharesuk
I liked it too, I felt at first I messed up but then I got on track, thanks for being understanding and extremely civilized about this!
Posted by TheTruthAnalyst 5 years ago
TheTruthAnalyst
Good debate my friend. I don't feel like I voiced my points very clearly... one of the reasons I'm doing this is to try and clear up my thinking and word selection.
Posted by TheTruthAnalyst 5 years ago
TheTruthAnalyst
As far as I understand, Google simply acquires definitions from other dictionaries, rather than providing its own.
Posted by Nicharesuk 5 years ago
Nicharesuk
Lesson learned, do not use Google dictionary for these kinds of things.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by socialpinko 5 years ago
socialpinko
NicharesukTheTruthAnalystTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro's changing the definition of a lie to "a falsehood...acted for the purpose of deception" lost him the conduct vote. He provided a definition in R1, Con refuted his argument based on that definition, and so Pro changed the definition. On arguments, the fact that Pro's new definition included action, allowed for Con to win by showing that the person who chooses not to say something is performing an action namely not saying anything. The wedding ceremony example cemented the argument.
Vote Placed by Maikuru 5 years ago
Maikuru
NicharesukTheTruthAnalystTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro worked from an incomplete definition. Con took advantage of this and Pro conceded. Altering the definition after the fact is improper and does not influence the outcome.
Vote Placed by Chrysippus 5 years ago
Chrysippus
NicharesukTheTruthAnalystTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Classic example of moving the goal posts; Pro kept trying to define his way to victory, and Con provided a solid argument based on Pro's definition. Pro then provides another definition, and Con uses the new definition to negate the resolution. Conduct goes to Con for putting up with these shenanigans gracefully. Arguments go to Con, for having a clear case for each and every one of Pro's shifting demands.
Vote Placed by wiploc 5 years ago
wiploc
NicharesukTheTruthAnalystTied
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.