The Instigator
Cobalt
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
MagicAintReal
Con (against)
Winning
6 Points

God does not exist.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
MagicAintReal
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/16/2017 Category: Science
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,212 times Debate No: 102640
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (23)
Votes (2)

 

Cobalt

Pro

A DDO error caused the previous debate to be unintentionally forfeited, so this is the continuation of that debate. Previously, I opened the debate to multiple topics, the opponent chose the one currently set as the topic, he presented some definitions, then made brief clarifications regarding burdens. Finally, I submitted my arguments and the system error occurred. The debate can be found here. [http://www.debate.org...]

I'll repost my arguments here, then the debate can continue. Round structure should be similar to the previous debate's structure with R1-3 being argumentation and R4-5 continued argumentation and rebuttals, with the added restriction of "no new arguments".

------------

I thank my opponent for accepting; I'm sure this will be an interesting and fun debate. I'll jump right into things.

Definitions

The opponent's definitions seem reasonable and are certainly commonly understood terms. However, there is one word that deserves some extra attention, as it may be important later. Specifically, this word is "superhuman".

In the context of this debate, superhuman is clearly an adjective and the opponent's definition reflects this. What the definition doesn't clearly specify is what types of nouns can possess this quality. In determining this, it is perhaps best to look at how this word is used in works meant for popular consumption.

For instance, we can look at Wikipedia's [1] "Superhuman" article, look at how the word is used, and draw some reasonable conclusions regarding what types of nouns may possess this quality. In paragraph 1, line 1 (P1L1), we see superhuman used to refer to the super abilities of fictional characters in certain works. P1L3 refers to a "tiger" as having superhuman abilities. P4L1 refers to so-called "transhumans" as possibly having this quality, and P5 discusses certain artificial intelligences as having this quality.

The article continues to describe "metahumans", cyborgs, and certain aliens as having this quality. Oxford Dictionary's [2] definition of superhuman has a sole example use case, in which a pilot is called "superhuman" for not landing a plane on top of someone. Merriam Webster's "superhuman" example use cases both refer to living beings. [3]

What all of these nouns being described as superhuman have in common is that they are all *intelligent beings*. Given that, we can reasonably conclude that the common sense definition of superhuman holds that only an intelligent being can be referred to as superhuman. Attempting to extend this definition to non-living beings is largely non-sensical, as it produces surprising, unintuitive, and occasionally meaningless results.

If "superhuman" could refer to non-intelligent beings, then literally anything that could do something better than a human, or that a human can't do at all, would be considered superhuman. A lighter would be superhuman because it can quickly produce fire by itself, whereas humans cannot. A car would be superhuman because it can move faster than humans. Tungsten would be considered superhuman because it can withstand greater temperatures than humans. Clearly, this definition of superhuman causes the word to become overly broad and of questionable usefulness.

In summary, the word "superhuman" applies only to intelligent beings. Attempting to apply the adjective to non-intelligent beings is an inappropriate application of the word.

No God Above

In this section, I will argue that god does not exist. Given that the burden of proof is shared here, if I can show that it is more probable god *doesn't* exist than does, I should win this debate.

We'll be using the word "being" above, referring to a thing which has existence. We'll also use the term "possible being", which refers to a being which may or may not exist, but which could possibly exist.

While this argument will look at possible beings that could be defined as "god", note that it is easily expanded to include all beings. I'm simply limiting the scope for clarity.

Let's consider the set of all possible gods and call this set G. We can see that this set will contain a god whose favorite number is 1. Additionally, since this set contains all possible gods, there will be another whose favorite number is 2. This can continue ad infinitum, implying that set G is of infinite size.

Let's further identify that in this set G there must be a god with the following properties:

(a) this god's favorite number is 1
(b) this god's favorite shape is a pentagon
(c) if this god exists, it is the only god whose favorite shape is a pentagon and whose favorite number is 1.

We can further deduce that there is also a god with all of these properties, except its favorite number is 2, its favorite shape is a pentagon, and if said god exists, it is the only god whose favorite shape is a pentagon and whose favorite number is 1. Clearly, if the first god mentioned exists, the second god cannot. Indeed, the existence of the first god would eliminate an infinite number of other gods from possibly existing, as one can create an infinite number of gods whose favorite shape is a pentagon, but whose number differs from all other gods in this subset.

This fact is important because it shows that not all possible gods can exist simultaneously and that, further, the vast majority of gods cannot exist simultaneously.

This argument effectively shows the following:

(a) there are an infinite number of possible gods
(b) the number of gods which can simultaneously exist is far smaller than the set referred to by (a). [See note 1]

And now the point -- from a probabilistic standpoint, if one doesn't have evidence that some random god A exists, the likelihood said god exists if virtually zero. Notably, this doesn't mean that god *doesn't* exist, it merely shows that the likelihood is tiny. As in, so tiny that there doesn't exist a mathematical construction that meaningfully demonstrates how small this probability is.

This conclusion is important -- because it allows us to analyze the evidence for the existence of some god and, if it is not sufficient, reject the claim outright on probabilistic grounds. We cannot objectively say the supposed god does not exist, but we can claim that the belief in it is mathematically unreasonable. [See Note 2.]

Summary

We've discussed two ideas here today.

First, we explored the use cases of the word "superhuman" and found that it is used to describe a particular quality in intelligent beings. Attempting to apply the word to a non-intelligent being is non-sensical. This is especially apparent in this debate, where it would give the opponent the ability to claim literally any object is a god if (a) it can do something a human can't and (b) it is worshiped by someone. Allowing the opponent to claim that his razor blade is a god because he worships it clearly strays outside of the intent of the debate and furthermore makes the debate academically and intellectually uninteresting. Such is the nature of many highly-semantical arguments.

Finally, we looked at a logical demonstration which ultimately concluded the following: If there does not exist sufficient evidence for some god N, there is a high probability that god N does not exist. This argument fulfills my obligation in this debate, where the burden of proof is split, as it shows a strong probability of any given god not existing. (If the opponent presented compelling evidence that his god of choice did exist, that would clearly make this argument invalid. The rest of the debate may well be centered upon the validity of this evidence.)

I look forward to my opponent's opening arguments and his response to mine. Thanks for reading.

Sources:

(1) - https://en.wikipedia.org......
(2) - https://en.oxforddictionaries.com......
(3) - https://www.merriam-webster.com......

Notes:

(1) - Technically, the set of all possible gods and the set of possible simultaneously existing gods are both infinitely large. However, the cardinality (size) of the former set is far greater than the cardinality of the latter set.

(2) - It may seem like this argument just attempts to shift the burden of proof to the other side. At a first glance, it mostly does; however, it is the probabilistic nature of the argument that effectively satisfies my burden of proof. This argument is either implicitly or explicitly used when discussing the existence of any type of object -- and effectively shows that the "side" claiming the existence of something has a responsibility to demonstrate ample evidence for this thing, otherwise there is an entirely valid mathematical reason to reject the existence of this thing based upon probability.
MagicAintReal

Con

Yes, we all love DDO for it's quirky glitches.
I had posted my argument, but "Oops this is awkward" kept popping up.
Pro was kind enough to redo the debate, so thanks, Pro.
I'll re-post the definitions.

Definitions

exist - have objective reality or being.
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com...

god - a superhuman being or spirit worshiped as having power over nature or human fortunes.
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com...

superhuman - above or beyond what is human; having a higher nature or greater powers than humans have.
http://www.dictionary.com...

being - existence.
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com...


*Burdens*

Before either of these debates began, Pro agreed to the definition for god posted above.
Therefore it is my burden to show that a beyond-human existence is worshiped as having power over nature and has objective reality.
It's Pro's burden to show that this existence does not have objective reality.


*Possible Problem*

Pro has agreed to all of the definitions except for one.
To Pro, superhuman is an adjective that can only modify "intelligent beings."
This proscription is as arbitrary as it is incorrect, and, when one inspects the etymology of the word superhuman, one can easily find that super + human contains no meaning exclusive to intelligence.

See for yourself.
http://www.etymonline.com...

It mentions that Medieval Latin "superhumanus" is the origin of the word and this used to mean, literally, beyond + human and has evolved to its current form "above the powers or nature of humans."

In fact, I can find no dictionary that contains Pro's arbitrary rule for the nouns that "superhuman" can modify.
As a linguist, I argue that there are no modification restrictions for adjectives.

Pro also makes an appeal to tradition and an appeal to population that because in typical popular reference the word superhuman is used to modify intelligent beings that therefore it can only modify intelligent beings.

Well just because something is typical or popular doesn't make it correct, and using a fallacy to assert one's own arbitrary definition of superhuman can be dismissed by readers.
Superhuman is just beyond humans' power.


*Superhuman Being*

Being that god played a crucial role in the origin of life on earth, controls our days and nights, maintains our habitable position in the universe, and indirectly or directly provides all metabolizable energy to every organism on earth, god is certainly superhuman; these capabilities are simply far beyond any human and necessitate that humans are utterly dependent on god.

-Origin of Life on Earth-

Abiogenesis explains that with an atmosphere, water salinity, inorganic compounds, electricity, and UV rays, from god, likely of a prebiotic earth, inorganic compounds can naturally become organic compounds in the form of amino acids.
Researchers have used CH4, C2H6, NH3, H2S and *UV rays,* and yielded alanine, glycine, serine, glutamic acid, aspartic acid, and cystine which are the building blocks of life.
Therefore, god played a crucial role in such.
http://www.pnas.org...

-Days and Nights on Earth-

Our day-night cycle is completely based around god, to the extent that we schedule our events around god and even realize time using god.
https://en.wikipedia.org...

-Habitable Position-

God's massive gravity actually holds earth in a position in the universe that is habitable for life.
https://en.wikipedia.org...

-Food Chains-

God radiates and provides metabolizable energy to photosynthetic organisms which then pass that energy to the rest of all food chains for life on earth; this feeds us as well.
https://en.wikipedia.org...


*Power Over Nature*

God controls the water cycle, all existing food chains, earth's day-night cycle, the carbon cycle, the oxygen cycle, the seasons, the weather, and the climate.

In fact, without god, none of these staples of nature could even exist on earth.


*Power Over Human Fortunes*

Farmers utterly rely on god to provide them with enough energy to grow crops, feed their families, and make money from their harvests.
How are we going to have great fortune if we don't have anything to eat?
Humans' fortunes are contingent on god directly/indirectly providing light and energy to our companies, farms, and homes.
Without god, there is no fortune for humans.


*God*

Being that I'm a heliolater, I worship god for everything it has done, is doing, and will do for me.
In heliolatry, our god is the sun and we worship it for its superhuman capabilities and its power over human fortunes.
You know, you can probably go outside right now and see god, if it is a godly day where you live, and basque in its radiant energy.
If not, give god like 12 hours or so; it should return.


http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov...
Debate Round No. 1
Cobalt

Pro

I thank my opponent for his response. I'll give a brief overview of what I'll be talking about, then I'll talk about it.

Overview

1. Semantics vs. Debate
2. "Superhuman"

Semantics vs. Debate

The is one of those unfortunate debates that necessarily gravitates away from the intended subject matter and into the murky swamp of "semantics". I attempted to preempt this by making it abundantly clear in round one that I didn't want to talk about the sun, but the opponent endeavored anyway. (A quick glance at the opponent's past debates reveals that he has made this argument before.)

Generally speaking, the scenario is this: Debater A posts some topic, which clearly focuses on some issue. For instance, "Illegal aliens should be allowed in the U.S." Debater B accepts this debate, then opens up with an argument based upon the technical definition of some word in the resolution, an argument which is largely unrelated to the debate. Continuing our example, it'd be as if Debater B responded, "We do not know what types of advanced weaponry aliens possess, but we can assume it's significantly powerful as they would need to have traveled thousands of light years to reach our planet. Clearly, this is... etc".

Note that Debater B is "technically" arguing within the resolution, but they are not arguing within the obvious intended scope of the resolution. Debater A was clearly extending an invitation to debate illegal immigration, but Debater B hijacked the debate and is now discussing extraterrestrials. What makes this type of argument even more egregious is that Debater B is arguing for a position which is clearly true. There is no longer any value in having the debate as the original topic isn't being explored in any meaningful way and the new topic is either obviously true or too trivial to be worthy of discussion.

It is clear that the opponent has made such an argument in this debate. The resolution clearly intended a debate regarding god as it is commonly understood (some intelligent, powerful being with divine powers) but the opponent hijacked the debate and, based upon the technical definition of a word, is now arguing that the sun exists.

It is not difficult to see that debating whether or not the sun exists is a trivial, uninteresting task devoid of any potential to educate readers or debaters.

----------------

This type of argumentation has little to no value. In fact, were the opponent and me to sit here and debate the sun's existence for 30,000 characters -- it would literally be detrimental to the readers. The opportunity cost of spending time reading (and writing) such a debate is greater than what can be learned from the debate itself.

The argument presented by my opponent is antithetical to the purpose of debate as an activity and as a concept. A person who makes this type of argument should receive a reward that corresponds to its quality -- a loss. I admit it is *fun* to construct such an argument, post it, then think to yourself "lol, checkmate". Buy as fun as it may be, it's not constructive, meaningful or useful. The opponent should lose this debate based upon the merits of his argument.

"Superhuman"

The above argument should be sufficient in explaining why the opponent deserves a loss. However, some readers may still want a little more from me this round. Because of this, I will show that the opponent's argument doesn't even use semantics correctly, meaning there was not even a technical justification for presenting the argument he did.

The exact word in question we need to consider is "superhuman".

The opponent has two responses to this:

1. The etymological description of "superhuman" doesn't denote that the adjective can only modify intelligent beings.
2. My argument makes an appeal to tradition and an appeal to population.

Both of these statements are correct. However, they are not sufficient reasons to dismiss my claim.

Consider that words are used exclusively by humans to communicate ideas. A word does not have a meaning because a dictionary says it has a meaning; words have a meaning because of a mutual understanding between groups of humans as to what those words mean. A dictionary's purpose is to attempt to collect and organize these meanings for reference purposes.

The important takeaway is that a word's meaning is based on how people use the word, not what a dictionary says the word means. Humans are the primary reference, a dictionary is not. As such, my appeal to population and tradition are *not* logical fallacies in this context, as both appeals reference how humans use a particular word. I'm basing the meaning of a word based upon what humans understand the word to mean. As we saw above, this is the best way to understand what a word actually means.

It is valid to claim that "superhuman" only modifies nouns that also have the quality of "intelligent" because that's how humans use the word. I provided a litany of examples demonstrating this fact and what's doubly amazing is that I didn't even cherry pick. I just googled the word "superhuman" and took the first few use cases of "superhuman" that I found. I urge the reader to do this; simply look up the word "superhuman" and note how it is used in every sentence you come across. You'll find that the overwhelming majority of "superhuman" use cases refer to intelligent beings.

And this isn't even a surprising result because most English speaking people know that they would never refer to the sun as "superhuman" simply because it has qualities that humans do not.

Summary

In my first argument, I explained why the opponent should receive a loss for presenting the argument he did. It was a semantic argument which effectively hijacked the debate in an attempt to force us to debate a trivial and non-educational topic. ("Does the sun exist?")

In my second argument, I showed that the opponent's semantic argument isn't even sound. I explained words have meaning, not because of a dictionary, but because of how humans use those words. As such, when determining how some word is properly used, it is best to see how humans generally use it.
MagicAintReal

Con

Thank you Pro for your response.
In Pro's response, Pro focuses a lot of energy on semantics.
So hopefully I can shine a little light on this subject.
Brilliant! Let's get STARted.

*Superhuman*

I can't for the life of me figure out why Pro would choose to focus on the term "superhuman" instead of the term "being."
The term "being" in this debate is defined and accepted by Pro to mean "existence."

There is no "intelligent" qualifier or restriction to the definition of "being," so "being" means ANY existence intelligent or otherwise, and that's totally fine with Pro.

The problem is that Pro said in round 1,
"The opponent's definitions seem reasonable and are certainly commonly understood terms"

Therefore, Pro necessarily agrees that the definition for god is a "superhuman any existence," even if Pro thinks superhuman isn't exclusive enough; the "being" term of this debate is not altered by Pro's challenging of "superhuman."

So Pro can challenge the usage of superhuman and claim that using it to modify non-intelligent beings is nonsensical, but Pro exactly did just that, by accepting the definition of "god" and "being" in this debate.

god - a superhuman being.

being - existence.

Pro says about "superhuman:"
"Attempting to apply the adjective to non-intelligent beings is an inappropriate application of the word."

My response:
How about applying the adjective to an existence, as you accepted the definition of god to be in this debate, Pro?
Why did you accept the definition of god to be a superhuman ANY existence?

Then, after all of that, why did Pro attack the term "superhuman" when clearly Pro wanted the definition of being to be "intelligent being" and not just any "existence?"

By accepting the definitions of "god and "being," Pro commits that inappropriate application of the adjective Pro so openly condemns.

Pro accepts that being means ANY existence and this should weigh heavily when voting.

Pro says:
"It is valid to claim that "superhuman" only modifies nouns that also have the quality of "intelligent."

My response:
Why?
Because the term superhuman's been found to describe fictional characters in popular culture that happen to also be fictional intelligent beings?
Lame.

Pro continues:
"I provided a litany of examples demonstrating this fact and what's doubly amazing is that I didn't even cherry pick."

Ok, well, as I can see it, the litany of examples that Pro provides of "inappropriate" superhuman existences are all great points for my side.
Here's Pro's litany of examples:

"A lighter would be superhuman because it can quickly produce fire by itself, whereas humans cannot. A car would be superhuman because it can move faster than humans. Tungsten would be considered superhuman because it can withstand greater temperatures than humans."

My response:
I agree Pro, and thanks for pointing out EXACTLY what I was going to point out.
Pro tried to make the claim that applying "superhuman" to anything non-intelligent is nonsensical and inappropriate however, in this list of examples, everything he listed were in fact superhuman non-intelligent beings that all made sense and both Pro and I understood.

So, even if Pro thinks that superhuman isn't used in this manner, he just did it, again, thrice.
He's now defined god to be a "superhuman ANY existence" and has given three examples of things that can be both non-intelligent and superhuman at the same time.
Bravo.


*Abilities =/= Intelligent*

Superhuman, in popular usage, typically refers to superhuman abilities or features.
Well, neither features nor abilities themselves are intelligent beings, so it is perfectly appropriate to modify these nouns with the adjective superhuman, and Pro would have to agree.

P1 Abilities are not intelligent beings themselves.
P2 Abilities can be appropriately described as superhuman.
C1 Non-intelligent beings can be appropriately described as superhuman.


*Intelligence is Contingent on God*

Being that Pro is so hell bent on showing that only an intelligent being can be superhuman, Pro has ignored the actual reasons that god, the sun, is superhuman.

The origin of intelligence itself is contingent on god being that UV rays played a crucial role in abiogenesis on earth.
Without god, there are no brains (or at least neuronal substrates) on earth and therefore no intelligence.

Therefore, because intelligence itself (the very quality that Pro thinks is so crucial for something to be called superhuman) is contingent on the god of Heliolatry, the god of Heliolatry is superior to even intelligence itself.
If the god of Heliolatry is superior to intelligence itself, then the god of Heliolatry is most certainly superior to human intelligence.

The god of Heliolatry is superhuman, because of the many superhuman qualities it has.
It also objective exists.
Debate Round No. 2
Cobalt

Pro

It is disappointing that an opponent with such an immaculate debate record would make the argument just submitted. I'm not referring to the semantic argument that is my opponent's case; I'm referring to the overwhelming lack of sportsmanship demonstrated by my opponent.

His recent argumentation strategy seems to be to take everything the opponent says out of context, quoting the most misleading of sentences without bothering to explain what they originally meant. I suppose I really shouldn't be surprised that my opponent is doing this, as his entire argument rests upon using words in a different context than they were evidently intended.

For clarity, I'll run through the opponent's recent arguments and demonstrate a) why they are wrong and b) why they are particularly underhanded. Then I will bolster my argument. In navigating through the round in this way, I will prove both that the opponent's case is not topical *and* that the opponent is actively going against the most fundamental principles of discourse, deserving a loss.

Superhuman

The opponent opens his argument by claiming that I *should* have focused on the word "being" rather than the word superhuman. In his mind, because I did not explicitly attack the word being, my argument regarding "superhuman" is moot. But let's remember -- my entire argument is that "superhuman" can only modify intelligent beings, logically implying that "being" must be intelligent. The fact that I did not explicitly state this logical connection in Round 1 doesn't mean the logical connection doesn't exist. Recall that in Round 1, I had not seen the opponent's argument yet. It would be a foolish waste of space to attempt to draw every logical connection related to the debate before reading what the opponent's case is.

The opponent continues by quoting me out of context. I stated, "The opponent's definition seem reasonable and are certainly commonly understood terms." He argues that this is a blanket acceptance of these terms, no matter how they are used. What he doesn't mention is that I go on to explain that the word "superhuman" requires extra attention and I follow this with my demonstration that "superhuman" only modifies intelligent nouns. Either the opponent didn't read my opening arguments or he is hoping the voters don't.

Again, in my very first round I took issue with the term superhuman, demonstrating that it can only apply to intelligent beings. This directly implies that the "being" in question must be intelligent. The opponent then chose to present an argument which is clearly non-topical, despite my argument regarding the word "superhuman".

The opponent did present common sense definitions. The issue is that he is not using these words in common sense ways.

-------

In the previous round, I presented a lengthy argument concerning what gives words meaning. (Recall, I argued that words only have meaning in the context of how humans use them and that how words are commonly used is exactly what they mean. Words come to have meaning based upon how people use them.)

The opponent swiftly ignores this argument and merely asks "Why?" The previous round has, in detail exactly why this is. The opponent's unwillingness to read is not a valid defense against my arguments. Nor is claiming they are "lame" without any even a modicum of logical justification.

--------

What follows is the most egregious "out-of-context" statement I've ever seen, and I watch the news regularly. I pointed out that all examples I found online of the word "superhuman" all had the adjective modifying intelligent nouns. I had many of these examples.

The opponent then says something to the effect of, "Oh yes, you have many examples. Here they are:" and begins to list a very specific quote from my argument. This quote was:

"A lighter would be superhuman because it can quickly produce fire by itself, whereas humans cannot. A car would be superhuman because it can move faster than humans. Tungsten would be considered superhuman because it can withstand greater temperatures than humans."

Let's look at the entire quote.

"If "superhuman" could refer to non-intelligent beings, then literally anything that could do something better than a human, or that a human can't do at all, would be considered superhuman. A lighter ... temperatures than humans. Clearly, this definition of superhuman causes the word to become overly broad and of questionable usefulness."

In the exact paragraph the opponent cherry-picked that quote from, I am demonstrating why it's ridiculous to use the word superhuman with non-intelligent nouns. It creates sentences which have a confused and inexact meaning. All the examples directly above serve only to bolster my argument; they are a demonstration of the fact that words serve a purpose -- to illustrate meaning. And when words are used incorrectly, sentences can become incoherent, exactly as those sentences above are.

The voters are asked to consider whether they have ever used superhuman to describe something that isn't intelligent. If you haven't, it's because you understand that "superhuman" only makes sense when applied to intelligent beings.

------

"Abilities =/= Intelligent"

Here the opponent makes his first argument of the round that has a logical, coherent basis. He argues that one can refer to certain abilities or features as superhuman.

This is actually totally reasonable and I hadn't considered it. One can have "superhuman strength" or "superhuman hearing".

Unfortunately, this argument is not relevant to this debate. The sun is a physical object, not a "feature or ability". Perhaps it is more exacting to say "when superhuman modifies a physical noun, that noun must also be intelligent". The voter will note that dictionaries do have at least two definitions for superhuman, one which describes a physical object (that I proved must be intelligent) and the other which describes features or abilities. [1]

This reflects that superhuman has different meanings in different contexts, as most words do. Clearly the context here isn't referring to an ability or feature -- it's referring to a physical object. (The sun is a physical object.) It might be reasonable to claim that the sun has superhuman abilities, but it does not follow that, therefore, the sun is also human.

"Intelligence is Contingent on God"

The opponent's argument here is best defeated by restating it as a single sentence:

Human intelligence could not exist without the sun, therefore the sun is superior to human intelligence.

Let's assume that the premise is true. It's not clear how the conclusion follows. "Superior" here doesn't seem to have any clear meaning. Does superior mean that the sun has a "greater rank" than human intelligence? Given that nature doesn't assign rank, the answer is no. Does superior mean that the sun has a higher status than human intelligence? Again, nature doesn't assign status. That's a uniquely human term.

Maybe superior here means that the sun has a higher "quality", a purely subjective term? I suppose some might feel the sun is of greater "quality" than human intelligence. Does this relate to the debate? In no clear way is it relevant.

In fact, the only way I can imagine the sun being "superior" to human intelligence is that it's "higher up", and this entirely depends upon your physical frame of reference.

The reason why it's so difficult to meaningfully say that the sun is "superior" to human intelligence is that both things have very different and unrelated meanings. It's easy to understand what somebody means when they say "Red Bull is superior to coffee", because they are very similar objects. However, statements like "fear is superior to paper clips" has little meaning, because the nouns in question have too few similarities to make a meaningful comparison.

In short, one can't say that "the sun is superior to human intelligence" and, even if one could, it doesn't relate to the debate. I argued that superhuman can only apply to intelligent objects. This does not imply that it can also refer to "all other objects which are superior to intelligent objects."

Example: Assume that coffee is superior to Red Bull and that Red Bull is "full of sugar". It does not follow that, because Red Bull is full of sugar and coffee is superior to Red Bull that coffee must, therefore, be full of sugar. Adjectives to not magically apply to "superior" objects.

I think we've had enough of this argument.

Summary

I demonstrated that the first half of the opponent's recent response is composed entirely of out of context quotes. I posted the entirety of these quotes, revealing why the opponent's argument had no justification and that, instead, each of these quotes only serve to prove my point.

The opponent then stated (correctly, I think) that superhuman can also be used to describe certain qualities and features. I quickly pointed out that the sun is not a quality or feature.

Finally, the opponent attempted to argue that, because human intelligence couldn't exist without the sun, the sun must be superior to humans. And this superiority somehow implies that the sun is superhuman, despite my arguments. I suggest that the opponent can do the following thought experiment. If he created a wood chipper, turned it on and jumped inside, would he be justified in claiming superiority to that wood chipper?

Note that the opponent didn't touch the majority of my arguments. My argument that the unethical practices of the opponent warrants a loss for him was not mentioned. My argument concerning *why* "superhuman" can't apply to non-intelligent physical objects was only briefly mentioned, and this was only to take something out of context.

The debate, at this point, is clearly to me.

Source:

1. http://www.dictionary.com...
MagicAintReal

Con

Thanks for that Pro.
Pro nearly reached concession last round.
Also Pro, like so many members on DDO, doesn't understand contingency.
So here we go...

*Superhuman*

Wow, I never thought a debate would hinge on such a seemingly simple compound word (super + human).
But here we are.

Pro has now come full circle on his arbitrary exclusions for the nouns that can possess the quality of superhuman.

Pro originally said:
1. "Superhuman is clearly an adjective...the definition doesn't clearly specify...what types of nouns can possess this quality."
2. "[We should] draw some reasonable conclusions regarding what types of nouns may possess this quality."

Pro has set the bar at "reasonable."

3. "Nouns being described as superhuman are all *intelligent beings* [and] attempting to extend this definition to non-living beings is largely non-sensical, as it produces surprising, unintuitive, and occasionally meaningless results."
4. "It is valid to claim that "superhuman" only modifies nouns that also have the quality of "intelligent" because that's how humans use the word."

From this, Pro has made his *only* case against the sun being superhuman and worshiped for its power over nature and human fortunes.
His case is simply that the adjective "superhuman" can only modify nouns that are also intelligent beings, so the sun cannot possess the quality of being superhuman, simply because it lacks the intelligence quality.

So I pointed out that abilities and features themselves are not intelligent beings and are nouns and are reasonably referred to as superhuman.
What does Pro say on the matter?

Pro from 3rd round:
"One can refer to certain abilities or features as superhuman, [and] this is actually totally reasonable and I hadn't considered it."

My response:
Yeah, no crap, man.
Had you considered it, you wouldn't have said #3 or #4 above.
Pro has negated the core of their case with this concession.

But Pro doesn't stop there...no, no, no.
Pro pushes this even further in round 3.

Pro from 3rd round:
"It might be reasonable to claim that the sun has superhuman abilities."

My response:
THANK YOU!
This is the near concession to which I was referring.
Now you can see why saying that "a lighter would be superhuman because it can quickly produce fire by itself, whereas humans cannot" isn't that unreasonable.
Your list of a lighter, a car, and tungsten are all like the sun in that they possess superhuman abilities, so me quoting this list isn't indicative of a lack of sportsmanship, rather it's indicative of your concession that #3 and #4 above are WRONG and you just admitted it.

Let me get Pro's case very straight for the readers.

Pro says:
"My entire argument is that "superhuman" can only modify intelligent beings."

My response:
Except for the abilities and features that you just conceded are not intelligent, including the abilities the sun possesses.
Did you see that readers?
His ENTIRE argument is based on that assertion and he's already negated it.
Pro, you should concede here.

Pro continues:
"Again, in my very first round I took issue with the term superhuman, demonstrating that it can only apply to intelligent beings."

My response:
Only to later in round 3 negate all of that by agreeing that non-intelligent beings can be reasonably described as superhuman; thanks again, Pro.

Pro continues:
"The opponent did present common sense definitions. The issue is that he is not using these words in common sense ways."

My response:
Except that Pro has already agreed that features and abilities, which PRO AGREES THAT THE SUN POSSESSES, can be REASONABLY described as superhuman, so even if it isn't a common sense way, both Pro and I agree that non-intelligent beings can possess the quality of superhuman.

Then Pro writes the most baffling logic I may have every seen.

Pro says:
"It might be reasonable to claim that the sun has superhuman abilities, but it does not follow that, therefore, the sun is also superhuman."

My response:
WHAT?
What the f*ck else makes something superhuman if not the superhuman features and abilities it has?
Pro, your whole case on superhuman is an analysis of "what types of nouns can possess this quality."
If a noun possesses superhuman abilities and features, that noun possess superhuman qualities...why doesn't this make it superhuman?
Seriously.

Pro do you understand, since you've agreed that features can be described as superhuman AND that the sun's features can reasonably be described as superhuman, that the sun possess superhuman qualities?

That doesn't sound "non-sensical, surprising, unintuitive, or meaningless" as you claimed is the case AND we are both humans and have used the word in the very manner you claim is not used by people.
Damn, Pro.


*Contingency*

Ah, the least understood concept on DDO.
Contingent means that something CANNOT (present tense indicative) exist without something else.
For example, a heart attack is contingent on a heart.
If there are no hearts, there are no heart attacks.

I pointed out that intelligence, as it has been used throughout this debate, is contingent on the sun, so the sun is necessarily superior to intelligence because the sun allows for its existence.

Without the sun, there is no intelligence as we have described it in this debate.
So Pro tries to think of an analogy that shows contingency but not superiority.

Pro says:
"If he created a wood chipper, turned it on and jumped inside, would he be justified in claiming superiority to that wood chipper?"

My response:
The wood chipper's origin may have been contingent on my existence, however, the wood chipper's continued existence is not contingent on my existence, in fact, I could die and the wood chipper could thrive.
Therefore, the wood chipper is not contingent on my existence and this analogy kinda sucks.

Intelligence however, could not continue to exist without the sun, which makes intelligence CONTINGENT on the sun; no sun. no intelligence.

Understanding that the quality of intelligence is utterly contingent on the sun necessarily makes intelligence itself inferior to the sun, period.
The sun could continue to shine even if there were no intelligent beings, but intelligence would perish without the sun.
The sun's longevity and existence is superior to that of humans as well; a superhuman existence if you will, and I will.

So, sorry Pro, a wood chipper's continued existence is NOT contingent on my existence; it's just not.


*Various Rebuttals*

Pro said I didn't touch on some things, so let's remedy that.

Pro urges:
"I urge the reader to do this; simply look up the word "superhuman" and note how it is used in every sentence you come across. You'll find that the overwhelming majority of "superhuman" use cases refer to intelligent beings."

My response:
That's because the overwhelming majority of those cases are using the term "superhuman" as a noun, and of course a superhuman (noun) would be human or at least human like, therefore some kind of intelligence.

But Pro's agreed that the superhuman in this debate is most certainly an adjective.
So readers, search away and come across all of those examples of superhuman (noun).
They'll be irrelevant to this debate.

Pro ad homs:
"The unethical practices of the opponent warrants a loss for him."

My response:
Nope.
I've challenged your position by showing you the very flaws that negate your position, so if anything, voters should view this as desperation by Pro.
I say, vote on the merits of our arguments, not the perceived behavior of the debater; besides, I wasn't being unethical by directly quoting a bad argument; the argument is just so self refuting, I had to quote it.


*Conclusion*

Readers take these two quotes from Pro and decide what's happening here.

1. "Superhuman is clearly an adjective. What types of nouns can possess this quality if we draw some reasonable conclusions?"

2. "It might be reasonable to claim that the sun has superhuman abilities."

There you go readers.
The sun is superhuman because of the many superhuman qualities it has, and this is reasonable to claim.
Check and mate.
Debate Round No. 3
Cobalt

Pro

I am grateful that the opponent's response wasn't entirely cherry-picked. Unfortunately, it is not enough to:

1. Prove that the sun is superhuman.
2. Rebut the ethical argument.

Given that those are my only two arguments, no argument stands from the round. I will first collect a few key points which I will make reference to later, then move through the opponent's response.

Key Points

1. If a thing A possesses a feature which can be described as B, it cannot be assumed that the entire A can be described as B.

For example, the United States has a few desert regions, which can be described as hot. It does not follow that the United States is hot.

Similarly, the sun has a few features which can be described as superhuman. It does not follow that the sun is superhuman.

This logical fallacy is known as the "Fallacy of Composition". What is true for a part is not necessarily true for the whole.

2. Superhuman is used in two different ways.

As I mentioned last round, there are two distinct use cases for superhuman. One described physical nouns, the other describes immaterial nouns. (E.g. abilities.)

The use case we are concerned with is the first. The opponent claims that the sun is a "superhuman being". Clearly, "being" here is a physical noun. (The sun.)

Ethical Argument

I didn't give this as much attention last round as in prior ones, so I'm going to lead with it.

My first argument, the ethical argument, claimed that the opponent's argumentation strategy is heinous because it forces the debate away from what was originally and obviously intended into a realm of triviality.

I argued that this deserves a loss for the following reasons:

1. It is unethical.
2. It goes against the most fundamental principles of debate.
3. It results in a meaningless, trivial debate.
4. It wastes everyone's time.

We are far enough into the debate to confirm that, indeed, (3) and (4) are true. Because of the opponent's purely semantic argument, we are forced to debate whether a particular adjective can modify a particular noun. If this doesn't represent the essence of trivial and meaningless, then nothing does.

We can further confirm that we've learned very little from this debate. The opponent has claimed that the sun is powerful and useful to humans, but this is not new information. I've argued that words have certain meanings in certain contexts but, again, this is not new information. If nothing useful is to be gained from this debate by any party, debaters or voters, then it is clearly a waste of time.

It becomes clear, then, why (1) and (2) are true. The purpose of debate is to spread and refine new and old ideas, to encourage discourse which is useful and meaningful. The opponent's behavior, argument, and quality of argument do nothing to this end. It is characteristically useless and trivial. It follows that such an argument and accompanying behavior is unethical.

-----------

Does this warrant a loss? Yes.

The opponent had an obligation to present a meaningful case which encourages useful discourse. He has utterly failed in this respect. In this alone a loss is more than deserved.

Beyond this, failing to punish such a debate strategy only encourages more people to use it. After all, if it works -- why change? If such a strategy became more common, it's abundantly clear that the quality of debate, as a whole, would be diminished. Fewer debates would be educational and less would be learned. Ideas wouldn't be refined; they would be ignored and replaced with 10,000 words of "technically correct" truisms.

The opponent's only response to this argument is that voters should "vote on the merits of our arguments, not the perceived behavior of the debater." And he's absolutely correct. His argument has no merit. Meritorious arguments are insightful, useful, meaningful, educational and topical. His argument has none of these qualities.

Superhuman, again

The opponent perceives my admission that "superhuman" can also modify immaterial nouns as a sort of "checkmate".

He neglects the fact which was mentioned above in Key Point 2: Superhuman has multiple use cases. My argument entirely concerned the first use case, where "superhuman" modifies a physical noun. The opponent believes that, because I failed to note that superhuman also modifies immaterial nouns, my original argument was contradicted.

We can clearly see that my original argument holds because a) it concerned how superhuman modifies physical nouns and b) the sun is a physical object. My original argument had nothing to do with immaterial nouns and the sun is not an immaterial object. My failure to recognize this secondary use case of superhuman does not affect my original arguments.

The only thing relevant accomplished in my admission of this use case is that it further implied that the sun does have a few superhuman qualities. The opponent mistakes this as a sort of concession, believing that if the sun has some superhuman qualities, the sun can be described entirely as superhuman.

We can refer to Key Point A to see that this is a fallacy of composition. The sun having a few superhuman qualities doesn't mean we can say the sun is a "superhuman being". As to whether the sun actually is a superhuman being, my original argument still stands.

Restated, I argued that no use case has "superhuman" modifying non-intelligent physical nouns. This is easily confirmed. The opponent apparently assumed that all use cases online use "superhuman" as a noun, when in fact all examples I provided from common usage all had "superhuman" as an adjective. Again, the voter is encouraged to go look up examples of "superhuman" being used -- when it modifies a physical noun, that noun is always intelligent.

It is still useful to look at the examples I provided as to why using superhuman in the way the opponent does leads to meaningless results.

"That is some superhuman Gatorade because it has the ability to restore electrolytic imbalances when drunk and humans do not."

"That is one superhuman rubber band because it can stretch to 10 times its normal length, whereas humans cannot."

"That is a superhuman sun, because it can emit a large amount of UV radiation, whereas a human cannot."

All of these are evidently nonsensical.

It is clear that the opponent's use of "superhuman" is still invalid. People do not use the word in that way. This is confirmed by a) looking up how people use the word and b) attempting to use the word in the way provided and seeing whether it makes sense.

Contingency

The opponent's superiority argument still makes little sense. He argues that because human intelligence is contingent upon the sun, the sun is superior to human intelligence.

Nowhere does he demonstrate why B being contingent upon A makes A somehow superior to B in any sense except a chronological one.

The purpose of this argument now seems clear though. The opponent seems to want to make the following argument: If the sun is superior to human, it is, therefore, superhuman by some etymological wordplay.

If we assume that the opponent's argument is correct and the sun is superior to human intelligence, can we say the sun is super intelligent? No. Therefore even if there is a meaningful way to say the sun is superior to humans, we cannot claim that this means the sun is superhuman. Because of this, this argument is out of place. It is irrelevant to this conversation.

Summary

My "superhuman" argument is not my main argument. It is a result of my instinct to try and salvage some meaningful discourse from the situation the opponent intentionally put us in.

The primary voting issue here is my ethical argument. What the opponent has done is egregious and unethical. What's worse, he didn't even do this by accident. One can refer to his debate history and see that this argument has been used by him before. He is using it now because, apparently, it worked in the past.

Allowing him to win says that this argument is "ok". It says that this is an acceptable form of discourse and it implicitly grants him and every other debater the right to ignore the resolution and debate a truism which is only related to the original resolution in a tangential, technical sense.

Semantic arguments this heinous rarely happen in real life, but they are commonplace on sites like these. There comes a point when some people want to "win" so badly that they will throw away all of the principles that make debate useful, meaningful, and fun. This behavior is destructive to debate and is representative of the decline of online debate.

I urge the voters to see this and give the opponent the reward he deserves: a loss.

I urge the opponent to use future debates in the way they were meant: to meaningfully debate important issues. This strategy will grant you a few wins against opponent's who don't fundamentally understand why what you're doing is wrong. However, it isn't worth throwing away your dignity and it isn't worth losing the respect of people who use debate for its intended purpose.
MagicAintReal

Con

Thanks for your response Pro.
Also thanks for asking voters to look outside of the debate and vote me down.
An even bigger thanks for threatening me with a loss.
But most of all, thanks for conceding.

*Pro's Idea of Superhuman*

Pro, what makes something superhuman?
I had actually asked this in a slightly different way and Pro dodged it.
I believe last round I said something to the effect of "What the f*ck makes something superhuman?"

All of Pro's examples of something Pro considers to be reasonably described as superhuman only have "a few features which can be described as superhuman" or as Pro's own source puts it,

"Superhuman can also mean something that is not human, but considered to be "superior" to humans in *some way*."
https://en.wikipedia.org...

Did you forget about this Pro, or did you purposefully neglect it?

This is Pro's source from round 1, and, while he didn't link it properly (hopefully I did), it clearly shows the reasonable use of "superhuman" as an adjective that describes something superior to humans IN SOME WAY.
Not in *all ways* or *entirely* as his attempt at showing a fallacy of composition on my part claims.

Pro considers "superior to humans in some way" a reasonable use of "superhuman" as he cited this exact source in his first round, source 1, to demonstrate how the adjective is used.

Pro enjoyed my syllogism before so let's try again.

P1 Pro's own source uses the adjective "superhuman" to reasonably modify something superior to humans in SOME WAY.
P2 Pro agrees that the sun is superior to humans in SOME WAY.
C1 Pro agrees that the sun is reasonably referred to as superhuman.
C2 Pro should concede.

Come on Pro, there's no more conceptual gymnastics that you can attempt to ignore your obvious concession.
Man up and concede.


*Dictionaries*

I urge readers to find any credible dictionary that restricts the adjective "superhuman" to only intelligent beings.
Pro basically concedes that dictionaries do not restrict the adjective, which is linguistically sound, and that's ok with Pro because Pro doesn't think the dictionary should be considered when talking about common word usage or meaning.

Pro adamantly stated in round 1:
"The important takeaway is that a word's meaning is based on how people use the word, not what a dictionary says the word means. Humans are the primary reference, a dictionary is not."

My response:
Got it.
But then Pro attempts to show the two use cases for "superhuman."

Pro says:
"Dictionaries have at least two definitions for superhuman, one which describes a physical object (that I proved must be intelligent) and the other which describes features or abilities...Oxford Dictionary's definition of superhuman has a sole example use case, in which a pilot is called "superhuman" ...Merriam Webster's "superhuman" example use cases both refer to living beings."

My response:
Pro, do we accept your important takeaway that meaning is not based on dictionaries, or do we accept that a word's meaning is based on dictionaries?
If the former, why is your dictionary-based argument of the two use cases for superhuman valid?
If the latter, why do you think it is that no dictionaries restrict the use of the adjective "superhuman?"

Pro has put himself in a double bind.
If we accept dictionaries, then they never restrict the adjective "superhuman" thereby invalidating Pro's whole case.
If we reject dictionaries, Pro's use cases of superhuman can be dismissed.
Now that's a double bind!


*Pro's Case*

Pro said:
"My entire argument is that "superhuman" can only modify intelligent beings, logically implying that "being" must be intelligent..."superhuman" only modifies nouns that also have the quality of "intelligent."

My response:
Entire argument, got it.

Then Pro said:
"My "superhuman" argument is not my main argument."

My response:
Hey Pro, can you tell us what a contradiction is?
I would say that this is a pretty good example of one.
While you might be able to claim that "main" and "entire" are not exactly the same, saying that your entire argument is not your main argument is a contradiction or, at the least, very dishonest.

Boo Pro.


*Meritorious Arguments*

Pro said:
"The opponent's definitions seem reasonable and are certainly commonly understood terms...the opponent makes his argument that has a logical, coherent basis...[it] is actually totally reasonable."

But then last round, Pro got all angry so,

Pro said:
"His argument has no merit."

My response:
The best part about this is that those very arguments will ultimately lead to his demise and he thinks they have no merit.
Thanks again Pro.


*Ethics*

I was alarmed that Pro basically called for my head because I pointed out all of the holes in Pro's case, and his reasoning is that I'm violating debate ethics.
So I decided to actually see what this very site, DDO, says about debate ethics.

According to DDO's vote moderation policy:
"The voter must assess the content of the debate and *only* the debate, any reasoning based on arguments made or information given outside of the debate rounds is unacceptable. If this is evident in your vote, the vote will be removed."
http://www.debate.org...

But do you know what Pro urges voters to do?

Pro tells voters:
"One can refer to his debate history and see that this argument has been used by him before...I urge the voters to see this and give the opponent the reward he deserves: a loss."

My response:
So Pro wants voters to sacrifice their voter integrity and likely have their vote removed by looking at my debate history, clearly outside of this debate, to inform their RFD.
Really lame Pro, even for you.

But that's not all.

DDO's personal attack policy goes even further:
"Accusing a member of misconduct is serious. It should be noted that, even with a justified accusation, stating what consequences will result would be a threat. Which brings us to threats. Threats are, for the purposes of this policy, personal attacks. They are not tolerated."
http://www.debate.org...

Pro threatens:
"The argument presented by my opponent...should receive a reward that corresponds to its quality -- a loss...a loss is more than deserved...the opponent should receive a loss...[this all] warrants a loss for him..."

My response:
I think Pro's clear concession next round will remedy all of this, but I also think it's funny that the guy calling for my head is the very guy violating debate policy; I believe the term is hypocrisy, in every usage of that word.

I have not threatened or asked anyone to look at info outside of this debate...just sayin'.


*Conclusion*

Pro's source 1 from round 1 was used by Pro to show the usage of the word superhuman, and this particular source says that it can be used to describe "something superior to humans in some way," which was conceded by Pro within this debate.

Pro said:
"It might be reasonable to claim that the sun has superhuman abilities...the sun does have a few superhuman qualities."

My response:
This doesn't get any clearer.
This is the concession I had mentioned and given Pro's own source, it's confirmed.
The very entities that Pro thinks are reasonably described as superhuman all only have some superhuman qulities.

As for the fallacy of composition, it might help Pro to understand that the "whole" in this composition is "superior to humans in SOME way."
Having some superhuman qualities satisfies the whole of being superhuman...just click on Pro's first source and see for yourself.
https://en.wikipedia.org...


I await a clear concession from Pro next round, and maybe an apology to voters for asking them to ignore voting policy.
I don't need an apology for the threats from Pro, because I understand when you know you're going to lose something you act desperately.

Sorry Pro, you kinda dropped the ball here.
Debate Round No. 4
Cobalt

Pro

I thank Con for his response.

Superhuman

I'll start by doing Con a favor and conceding my first argument, the one concerning the word "superhuman", to focus on my ethical argument.

It shouldn't be surprising that I'm doing this because, as any voter can clearly see, the opponent's case can't actually be defeated in any reasonable, logically sound way. (Not that I could see, anyway.)

This is because the opponent presented a case which was not topical, using an argumentation strategy which is unethical and antithetical to the very point of debate. Con has attempted to cast my ethical argument as being a reactionary argument to his "stellar arguments". We will recap:

1. My opening statement was designed to make it clear that this type of argument was not considered topical. In fact, given that I had researched my opponent before accepting this debate, my opening statement was specifically designed to hedge against this *exact* argument. The opponent has used it before and is using it again because, apparently, voters have yet to conclude that it is an unethical practice.

2. Con states "I was alarmed that Pro basically called for my head because I pointed out all of the holes in [my] case..." We can see that this isn't true, as my ethical argument was made immediately after Con stated his case. This is not a reactionary "cry-cry" argument; it is an argument which has been explicitly existent since Round 2 and implicitly existent since Round 1.

Now, we'll cover the ethical argument in all the gory detail I deem in necessary to irrefutably demonstrate that Con's behavior deserves a loss.

Ethics, Because Nothing Matters Without Them

As a very brief recap, I argued that Con's argument is so egregious, unethical and inappropriate that it warrants him receiving a loss. This is because the resolution makes it clear we are supposed to be arguing whether there exists a god. The opponent's case takes advantage of semantics and shifts the debate to one concerning whether the sun is god and, if so, whether the sun exists.

This is bad for a few reasons.

1. The opponent presents a case with no debatability. The sun clearly exists. It's even difficult to play "counter-semantics", as we've seen.

2. It ignores context. It is fairly obvious what Con was expected to debate and he purposely chose to debate something contextually unrelated. He is implicitly arguing that it is "ok" to accept someone else's debate, ignore what that resolution is supposed to be about, then present a truism.

3. It goes against the fundamental principles of debate. It serves no useful purpose. We are not learning anything new and neither debater is improving. Con is not required to demonstrate any debating skill, as little is required to debate something which is clearly true.

Con's general response to my ethics argument doesn't seem to be to deny that his case and argumentation strategy are unethical, but instead to attempt to demonstrate that I am behaving unethically. While this is silly, ethical concerns should be addressed.

First, the opponent claims that I am asking voters to ignore DDO voting policy because, "The voter must assess the content of the debate and *only* the debate, any reasoning based on arguments made or information given outside the debate rounds is unacceptable. If this is evident in your vote, the vote will be removed." The opponent claims that, because I referred to his debate history, I have asked you to do something illegal.

But we will note that I gave this information during the debate, in the previous round. This information was outside the debate before I mentioned it, then it was "inside" the debate. The voter is not disallowed from considering the opponent's debate history given that I explicitly mentioned it. If my claim was false, I could understand there being an ethical breach, but it isn't.

If the opponent wants a more concrete inclusion of his debate history in these rounds: [1] There we go, it's sourced.

Second, the opponent claims that I have accused him of misconduct and that I stated that there will be consequences as a result of this. The first claim is probably false, the second claim is definitively false.

It's likely that an "accusal of misconduct" refers to misconduct as it relates to the site's policies. I never stated that the opponent is breaking any site rules. His argument is completely unethical, but it's not against the rules to make unethical arguments. It goes against the principles of debate, not the policies of Debate.org.

As for his second claim, I never stated that the opponent will receive a loss for his argumentation strategy or that he will be punished in some other way. Rather, I asked the voters to give him a loss. It has never been a policy breach to ask that voters give the opponent a loss; this happens regularly.

I in no way threatened the opponent. I don't have authority over him or the voters. I didn't claim to have this authority, nor did I truthfully or falsely claim that I would take any action against the opponent.

--------

The irony here is that the opponent is explicitly accusing me of breaking DDO's code of conduct, something I *never* accused him of. Any action or judgment regarding that irony, though, is in the hands of site administrators, as it should be.

-------

I've demonstrated that the opponent's argument is unethical, non-educational, trivial, and antithetical to the principles of debate. I've argued that allowing an argument of this type to win any debate only encourages others to use it more. This is directly destructive to the quality of debate on this site and elsewhere. Goodbye discourse, hello wordplay.

Finally, I demonstrated that the opponent's argument has no merit. In this previous round, he seems to claim that his argument has merit because his *definitions* have merit. I'll remind the voters that the ability to copy and paste definitions is not meritorious.

Voting Issues

The voters are left with a choice, as they always are. The opponent presented an argument which was technically in-bounds, in terms of definitions, while also being out-of-bounds, in terms of context. Which is more important to you: that the opponent is technically correct or that he is contextually wrong? Do you consider semantic arguments of this type to be valid? Did you learn anything from reading this debate or was this a waste of your time? Is Con's argument meritorious or is he debating a truism?

This is a 7-point system, so the voter has even more decisions to make beyond arguments. Which opponent had the best conduct? Do you feel that my claims of unethical behavior are out of line? Do you feel that the opponent's partially censored profanity and irreverent responses are rude?

It's my belief that context matters, that semantics of this degree are not valid, that this debate is a waste of time and that the opponent is demonstrating a lack of ethics by manipulating the debate such that he is arguing a truism. I think it's clear that the opponent's responses have been rude and that my ethical argument, while serious, was presented in as respectful a way as it could have been.

I believe it's clear that the opponent's argument isn't even meritorious. Remember, he's utilizing a strategy that allows him to post almost any case he wishes, as long as he can find a way to use words out of context to justify it. Despite this, he has chosen to argue that the sun exists and that it is god because it emits UV radiation.

Thanks for reading and vote Pro.

Sources:

1. http://www.debate.org...
MagicAintReal

Con

Thanks for that Pro.
5th round concessions are rare, but awesome.
Pro could have just conceded and left well enough alone.
However, Pro attacks me full throttle, so I shall defend my honor.

Pro concedes the debate:
"I'll start by doing Con a favor and conceding my first argument, the one concerning the word "superhuman."

My response:
This was at one point Pro's "entire argument," but whatever.
This is Pro conceding his *only* argument relevant to the resolution, so this is a clear concession of the debate's arguments to Con, and voters cannot ignore it.
In fact, voters should be aware of DDO's vote moderation policy on this exact issue.

DDO's vote moderation policy states:
"A conceded debate is any debate in which one side clearly concedes to their opponent. These debates are considered conceded debates and are only moderated [if] a voter votes for the side that concedes."
http://www.debate.org...

Pro has clearly conceded and this cannot be overlooked when voting.


Pro continues:
"It shouldn't be surprising that I'm [conceding] because, as any voter can clearly see, the opponent's case can't actually be defeated."

My response:
It's not surprising that you're conceding Pro; it's surprising that it took you this long to do it.
You were so critical of how this debate was veering into triviality and you had every bit of power to concede and end the hyperbolic agony, but instead you doubled, tripled, and quadrupled down on the arbitrary idea that "superhuman" can't be used as an adjective to modify the sun, only to admit at the very end that you were completely wrong...lame again Pro.


Pro complains:
"The opponent presented a case which was not topical."

My response:
Here I am, thinking that my case was topical since it demonstrated that the sun is a superhuman being worshiped for its power over nature and human fortunes in a debate about the existence of said being, when I should have actually been whining about my opponent's ethics.

You see, a debater's ethics are what is topical in a debate about the existence of god, I mean, that must be why Pro focused so much of his secondary argument on my debate ethics, right?

In case you're not hip to my sarcasm, I'm pointing out that Pro is a gigantic hypocrite for accusing me of not being topical when Pro has, "explicitly since Round 2 and implicitly since Round 1" devoted much energy to complaining about me being naughty instead of focusing on the topic at hand.
Boo Pro again!


Pro marinates in his hypocrisy:
"My opening statement was designed to make it clear that [Con's] argument was not considered topical."

My response:
Which is precisely NOT A TOPICAL ARGUMENT to the resolution, Pro.
Do you really not get that?
As it stands, you've conceded the topical part of this debate, which is the agreed to (and conceded) definition of god within the resolution, so continuing to point out my behavior/ethics only further highlights your obvious red herrings.


Pro laments:
"Given that I had researched my opponent before accepting this debate, my opening statement was specifically designed to hedge against this *exact* argument."

My response:
How'd that work out for you Pro?
Oh yeah, you conceded that my arguments were superior to yours, even though you previously read my "playbook" and knew *exactly* what I would do before the debate even began.
Applause.


Pro defends:
"This is not a reactionary "cry-cry" argument."

My response:
You're right.
It's a desperate, irrelevant, whiny, complaint-ridden, non-topical, intentionally-ignorant-of-agreed-to-definitions, hypocritical attempt to salvage a debate that you know you should lose and that you had expected to win by unsuccessfully preempting exactly what you knew was coming.
See, all of those adjectives have no modification restrictions either.


Pro childishly exaggerates:
"As a very brief recap, I argued that Con's argument is so egregious, unethical and inappropriate that it warrants him receiving a loss."

My response:
As a very brief recap, when one side clearly concedes to their opponent and a voter votes for the side that conceded, the moderators will likely remove that vote per DDO policy.
You shouldn't vote for the side that concedes; that would be debate voting sacrilege.

Pro, I know you can't respond here, but why did you agree to this "egregiously inappropriate" definition of god in the comments section of the first installment of this debate if you didn't want to debate that definition of god?

Directly from the comments section of the debate:

Me:
"Would you be willing to debate "God does not exist" with this definition?
god - a superhuman being worshiped as having power over nature or human fortunes."

Pro:
"Lower case 'g' god? Sure."
http://www.debate.org...

Pro, you now admit that my use of the term "superhuman being" was reasonable AND you clearly agreed to debate this reasonable definition, before the debate, only to complain that I'm being egregiously unethical by defending it?
This is extremely lame Pro; not cool.
It's unfortunate too, because, next to carbon, cobalt is my favorite element, because of the awesome blue color it produces when burned and it's magnetic, but now my perception of it is slightly tainted...


Pro becomes the human embodiment of hypocrisy:
"It is fairly obvious what Con was expected to debate and he purposely chose to debate something contextually unrelated."

My response:
You mean like purposely choosing to debate your opponent's behavior instead of the resolution?
Yeah it is obvious what BOTH debaters were expected to debate given your prior-to-the-debate agreement of the topic and your way-too-late concession that I was right about it all.


Pro mentions:
"We are not learning anything new and neither debater is improving."

My response:
This is completely false.
We've learned a lot in this debate.
For example, Pro learned what the word "contingent" actually means, that his conception of what god should be is not the only one, and that if you really don't like a definition of the most crucial term of a debate, don't respond "sure" to the question "Do you want to debate this definition?"
Recognizing this should also improve Pro as a debater.

I learned something new too.
I learned that a debater's insecurity and the amount of requests to have their opponent receive a loss are positively correlated.
Thanks for teaching me oh wise one.


Pro generalizes:
"Con's general response to my ethics argument doesn't seem to be to deny that his case and argumentation strategy are unethical."

My response:
I don't have to deny that my strategy is unethical, because DDO has already done that for me.

According to the DDO's New Members Tutorial on Resolutions, Burden of Proof, Semantics, and Picking topics:

"Semantic arguments are valid. Religious debates seem to be full of semantic arguments. In regard to usage, semantics debaters will easily tear you to pieces if you get out of step [and] most likely, the audience will applauded the opponent's use of semantics and vote in favor of that opponent. To avoid an opponent using semantics on you, it is important to define your terms before the debate. The general debate custom is that whoever defines the terms first, sets the definitions for the rest of the debate."
http://www.debate.org...

This just doesn't sound unethical to me at all, and it seems to be precisely what Pro claims I'm doing.
Wait, who defined the terms first?
Oh yeah, that was me.
That means Pro was violating general debate custom by challenging the defined term "superhuman."
Just sayin'.


Pro gets errant:
"The voter is not disallowed from considering the opponent's debate history given that I explicitly mentioned it."

My response:
This is something that DDO refers to as "Cross-Thread Contamination."

According to DDO's personal attack policy:
"Another kind of personal attack is where a member in the past posts something and you feel the need to bring up their actions there against them...it's just you attacking them to attack. That doesn't help the current debate--it only hinders it. Comment on the arguments presented, and the way they're being presented. Treat every new exchange with a member with as much of a "clean slate" as possible. Cross-thread contamination is a personal attack. It is not tolerated."
http://www.debate.org...

Both Pro mentioning my debate history and encouraging voters to consider my debate history isn't approaching this debate with a clean slate, it hinders our debate, and it is not tolerated.

So what does Pro do?
He f*cking sources my debate history!
He doubled down on contaminating the debate and is asking voters to dismiss being tabula rasa when voting.
I'm not a moderator, but I am curious as to what the moderators think about this.


Pro gets fallacious:
"Is Con's argument meritorious or is he debating a truism?"

My response:
Are false dichotomies meritorious?
Being meritorious and debating a truism are neither mutually exclusive nor jointly exhaustive, so a truism could be debated and the arguments could be completely meritorious.
Hence why Pro conceded in the 5th round...the merits of my case proved successful.


Pro reminds:
"I'll remind the voters that the ability to copy and paste definitions is not meritorious."

My response:
I disagree.

meritorious - likely to succeed on the merits of the case.
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com...

Pro's 5th round concession speaks to this.

Thanks for the debate Pro.
Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 5
23 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by BryanMullinsNOCHRISTMAS2 8 months ago
BryanMullinsNOCHRISTMAS2
This is BS debate, god does not exist anyway
Posted by MagicAintReal 12 months ago
MagicAintReal
Thank you whiteflame for putting so much attention into this debate and voting; it is much appreciated.
Thank you YYW for the vote as well.
Posted by airmax1227 1 year ago
airmax1227
Due to a site error, voting on this debate has been extended for 3 days until 6pm US central on 6-25... any votes placed after that will be deleted as post voting period
Posted by MagicAintReal 1 year ago
MagicAintReal
Yay more tie bloat!
I might have the record for most should-be-win ties.
Posted by MagicAintReal 1 year ago
MagicAintReal
But if you want to remind him, by all means go ahead.
Posted by MagicAintReal 1 year ago
MagicAintReal
I already asked him to vote, or at least weigh in on everything that went down.
Posted by PowerPikachu21 1 year ago
PowerPikachu21
Wait, there was no war? I thought for sure that 80% of the debate was about [unfair] definitions rather than whether or not God exists. I'll see if whiteflame is interested in voting on this debate, though. I feel that he'd be fit for this kind of debate.
Posted by MagicAintReal 1 year ago
MagicAintReal
Ok, did you see Pro's 5th round concession on that very definition that you claim started a war?
Posted by PowerPikachu21 1 year ago
PowerPikachu21
That is what started the debate MagicAintReal, but that isn't what started the war. You still tried to find any holes to poke semantics through, which ruins debate.
Posted by MagicAintReal 1 year ago
MagicAintReal
Well, PowerPikachu, you obviously didn't read how the debate was started, so check this and tell me if your opinion has changed.

Me:
"Would you be willing to debate "God does not exist" with this definition?
god - a superhuman being worshiped as having power over nature or human fortunes."

Pro:
"Lower case 'g' god? Sure."

This is what started our debate, Pro's willingness to debate that very definition.
What say you now?
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by YYW 12 months ago
YYW
CobaltMagicAintRealTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: CON worships the sun as his God, which is very much a thing, as he showed with a fair amount of evidence. PRO semantically left this open to argue, even though PRO had different expectations as to what "god" meant. PRO's ambiguity turns to CON's advantage, despite PRO's attempts to portray this as unethical. This aside, however, PRO loses on his own merit for failing to prove that God does not exist as his burden required. Even assuming arguendo that PRO substantiated his probability argument (which he did not), high probability is not proof of nonexistence which the resolution required he establish. An entertaining read, even though I am sympathetic to PRO's frustration.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 12 months ago
whiteflame
CobaltMagicAintRealTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD given here: http://www.debate.org/forums/miscellaneous/topic/101939/ If you guys have questions, please post them in the forum, as I likely won't see them if they're in the comments of this debate.