The Instigator
Conor
Pro (for)
Losing
21 Points
The Contender
wjmelements
Con (against)
Winning
48 Points

If I answer all of my opponents questions, I will not contradict myself.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 11 votes the winner is...
wjmelements
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/16/2009 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,951 times Debate No: 8661
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (33)
Votes (11)

 

Conor

Pro

Rules:
1. PRO must answer all of CON's questions (unless PRO deems them inappropriate--that's right, it's at my discretion)
2. If PRO contradicts himself, then PRO loses. Otherwise, PRO wins.

You want some of this?
wjmelements

Con

I want some of this.
(You probably should not have given me 8,000 characters. I will avoid abusing this by only asking Yes/No questions and only using half of my available characters).

I thank my opponent for challenging me to this debate.

inappropriate- not suitable, fitting, or proper http://www.yourdictionary.com...
I request that you give an explanation as to why you may choose not to answer some questions.

1. When in conflict, should life be valued over liberty?
2. When in conflict, should life be valued over environmental protection?
3. When in conflict, should wealth be valued over environmental protection?
4. When in conflict, should fairness be valued over life?
5. Can a definite point be reached from an indefinite point?
6. When in conflict, should justice be valued over fairness?
7. When in conflict, should justice be valued over life?
8. When in conflict, should liberty be valued over justice?
9. When in conflict, should fairness be valued over environmental protection?
10. Did time exist indefinitely?
11. When in conflict, should safety be valued over liberty?
12. When in conflict, should safety be valued over environmental protection?
13. When in conflict, should justice be valued over safety?
14. When in conflict, should wealth be valued over equality?
15. Does capitalism create more wealth or poverty?
16. When in conflict, should equality be valued over justice?
17. When in conflict, should equality be valued over liberty?
18. When in conflict, should equality be valued over fairness?
19. When in conflict, should safety be valued over morality?
20. Is the death penalty just?
21. When in conflict, should justice be valued over morality?
22. When in conflict, should life be valued over religious freedom?
23. When in conflict, should religious freedom be valued over liberty?
24. When in conflict, should religious freedom be valued over justice?
25. Should Christians be converted to atheism?
26. When in conflict, should religious freedom be valued over morality?
27. When in conflict, should religious tolerance be valued over comedy?
28. When in conflict, should religious tolerance be valued over justice?
29. When in conflict, should religious tolerance be valued over safety?
30. Is abortion just if the mother's life is not threatened?
31. When in conflict, should comedy be valued over morality?
32. When in conflict, should comedy be valued over liberty?
33. When in conflict, should wealth be valued over comedy?
34. When in conflict, should property rights be valued over environmental protection?
35. Should citizens be permitted to carry firearms?
36. When in conlfict, should property rights be valued over religous freedom?
37. When in conflict, should property rights be valued over equality?
38. When in conflict, should property rights be valued over safety?
39. When in conflict, should truth be valued over comedy?
40. When a public can legally carry firearms, are they safer?
41. When in conflict, should truth be valued over fairness?
42. When in conflict, should truth be valued over reputation?
43. When in conflict, should reputation be valued over safety?
44. When in conflict, should reputation be valued over justice?
45. Is it permissible to mock theists?
46. When in conflict, should reputation be valued over wealth?
47. When in conflict, should reputation be valued over comedy?
48. Should governments engage in preemptive war if it contributes to safety?
49. Does preemptive war harm reputation?
50. Should governments be able to regulate religious institutions?

I only used half of my characters. Feel spared.
Debate Round No. 1
Conor

Pro

Yes, thank you for not abusing this. And from now on, can I ask that you only do yes/no questions? In other words, just keep doing what you're doing. However, my answer doesn't have to be, Yes/No. Get some?
Thank you for being sensible about this.
As for the inappropriate definition, I'll give you an example of something I choose not to answer:
"Do you wanna nugana in a juwanga?"
I wouldn't be able to answer that.

Here are my answers:
1. It depends (I am not a person of absolutes: I guess I am roughly a utilitarian, but most of my decisions are conditional: they all are relative to the specific situation. After all, for an atheist like myself there are no real moral truths).
2. It depends (see above for explanation)
3. Ditto
4. Ditto
5. I don't understand (that is an answer).
6. It depends
7. Ditto
8. Ditto
9. Ditto
10. I don't understand (you use a temporal verb, "did," so I don't know what you mean).
11. It depends
12. Ditto
13. Ditto
14. Ditto
15. I am unable to quantify the amount of wealth or poverty that is generated. Also, what do you mean by wealth and poverty, and for whom?
16. It depends
17. Ditto
18. Ditto
19. Ditto
20. No.
21. It depends
22. Ditto (Does religious freedom entail freedom FROM religion, as well?)
23. Ditto
24. Ditto
25. Yes
26. Define morality.
27. It depends.
28. Religious tolerance is a form of justice.
29. It depends.
30. Yes.
31. It depends.
32. Ditto
33. Ditto
34. Ditto
35. Ditto
36. Ditto
37. Ditto
38. Ditto
39. Ditto
40. Ditto
41. Ditto
42. Ditto
43. Ditto
44. Ditto
45. Define permissible. It is legally permissible, yes. That is how I will immediately interpret it.
46. It depends.
47. Ditto
48. Safety of whom? The people of the government which is orchestrating the preemptive attack? It depends on the safety of the people being attacked and the reason for attacking. It all depends, mujahideen.
49. It depends.
50. Yes.

Jihhhaaaaaad.
wjmelements

Con

*Alert!*
My opponent has contradicted himself.

With the two questions that he truly answered, he has contradicted himself.
(1.)"After all, for an atheist like myself there are no real moral truths."
"28. Religious tolerance is a form of justice."

Justice is "the quality of being righteous" http://www.yourdictionary.com..., and righteousness means "morally right" http://www.yourdictionary.com....

Being morally right implies that there is something to be morally right about.
If there are no moral truths, then there is no such thing as justice.

So, my opponent acknowledges justice but earlier claims that it does not exist. This is a contradiction.

(No further questions).
Debate Round No. 2
Conor

Pro

"If there are no moral truths, then there is no such thing as justice."
That's not true at all. Just because there are no moral truths in the universe doesn't mean I'm not a human, and as a human, I can't help feeling certain moral obligations to certain things. As I said before, I'm roughly a utilitarian, and I agree in the greater good of humanity and also just generally reducing harm. I believe in justice, but not as some unconditional code that has been written down that everyone must follow. That's what I meant by saying there are no moral truths. However, I do feel compassion and seek justice, even though it may be vaguely defined.

Any more questions, munchernut?
wjmelements

Con

None needed and none could be answered anyways.

"I do feel compassion and seek justice, even though it may be vaguely defined."
Justice, as defined clearly in the dictionary, clearly cannot exist if there are no moral truths to define it. Therefore, my opponent has clearly contradicted himself.
Below is an objective deductive proof.

1. Justice exists (conceded by PRO).
2. Justice is "the quality of being righteous". http://www.yourdictionary.com...
3. Righteous means "morally right". http://www.yourdictionary.com...
4. Therefore, justice is the quality of being morally right. (Substitution Property of Equality, 2+3)
5. The quality of being morally right exists. (Substitution Property of Equality, 1+4)
6. Morally means "with respect to moral principles". http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
7. The quality of being right with respect to moral principles exists. (Substitution Property of Equality, 5+6)
-------------------------------------------------------
8. Moral truths do not exist. (Conceded by PRO)
9. Basic moral truths do not exist. (Composition and Substitution, 8)
10. Principles are "basic truths". http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
11. Moral principles do not exist. (Substitution, 9+10)
-------------------------------------------------------
12. The quality of being right with respect to moral principles exist. (From above)
13. Moral principles do not exist. (From above)
(Clear contradiciton, as 12 relies on 13 to be false to be true.)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. If the resolution is negated, then vote CON. (http://www.debate.org...)
2. The resolution is negated. (From above)
3. Vote CON.

I thank my opponent for this debate.
Debate Round No. 3
33 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Johnny_Walker_Purple 7 years ago
Johnny_Walker_Purple
No phone to debate eh? Then the next time I hae free time I will challenge you to a substantive (non-language game) debate.

Lexicaholic:
I agree that this debate is essentially a game of semantic chicken but wjmelements doesn't just rely on the dictionary during rhetorical games. He also uses the dictionary as an argument from authority in nearly all of his recent debates.

Maybe http://dictionary.reference.com... I'm http://dictionary.reference.com... just http://dictionary.reference.com... sick http://dictionary.reference.com... of http://dictionary.reference.com... dictionary http://dictionary.reference.com... links http://dictionary.reference.com...
Posted by Lexicaholic 7 years ago
Lexicaholic
Yep
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
If PRO had claimed that my definition of "justice" was invalid, then one could argue that as a reason to vote PRO.

So, the debate still goes to me, though I may be wrong.
(I interpret this to be the jist of Lexicaholic's second comment, and I agree with that).
Posted by Lexicaholic 7 years ago
Lexicaholic
Note that it's not that I agree that wjm's definition was correct, it's that Conor didn't argue he had the wrong one but that Conor could be morally justified while not believing in morals without a contradiction. Even that can be argued, but it wasn't. If it had been, I would have handed the debate to Conor.

These game debates are basically won entirely on language traps, so it's not an invalid debate method, as far as I can tell.
Posted by Lexicaholic 7 years ago
Lexicaholic
(1) Tied.
(2) Con, for argument.
(3) Tied.
(4) Tied.
(5) Con. You can not argue that something has a quality if you do not believe in the quality. You might have said that it met the commonly accepted definition, but that you felt the definition was invalid anyway, and that there was a better explanation than that it was just.
(6) Con, used sources.
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
You need the cell number to vote, not to debate.
Posted by Johnny_Walker_Purple 7 years ago
Johnny_Walker_Purple
Sorry, where you use a link to a dictionary in the "declaration of independence" debate. Some text got cut off there.

I also think defining "wrong" in the polar bear debate was certainly excessive. In what sense and aspect you meant "wrong" is conveyed in your criticism and do not differ from usages most people are familiar with so there is no need to define it.
Posted by Johnny_Walker_Purple 7 years ago
Johnny_Walker_Purple
I don't see (it is late, I could be mistaken) where you use a link to a dictionary.

Defining terms at the beginning of a debate is fine, I have no problem with that. Nor did I claim that you always over-rely on the dictionary. You have a tendency to over-rely, to be overly pedantic and rhetorical when dealing with discussions on ideas. I would debate you but I have no cell number.

Defining your terms (as in making it clear what you mean at the outset so as to avoid confusion or equivocation, not linking to a dictionary) is fine and good and should have been used here. There is a fundamental philosophical disagreement on what justice is. To use the word justice by itself communicates little, especially in this context.

The usage of the term that you chose is by no means objective. We'll put aside that you chose one modern usage from one dictionary.The only way that it would have been a contradiction is is you showed how your opponents statement contradicted his conception of justice. Your opponent does not view justice as being morally righteous so therefore there was no contradiction.
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
"I say that you over-rely on a dictionary."

Would you like to debate that?
http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org...

My last 5 debates have required definitions in some places or another. In the above, you can see that you are wrong.

In this debate, I had to be objective (contradictions are not subjective), and the dictionary was the most objective source I could find. I could not find a philosophy dictionary online, and if you can post a link, that would be appreciated.
Posted by Johnny_Walker_Purple 7 years ago
Johnny_Walker_Purple
The context of it being purely a word game? Even then to say that your conception of justice if objective because it comes from the dictionary is a gross misunderstanding of language.

I speak only of this debate but of others when I say that you over-rely on a dictionary. You use it for purposes it was not meant for or selectively use it to attack semantics instead of concepts. I've read entire blocks of text peppered full of dictionary links.

Now maybe that's how you were taught to win in the rule structure of your forensics team but it certainly isn't how you win an argument over concepts and ideas.
11 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by InquireTruth 7 years ago
InquireTruth
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