The Instigator
DanT
Con (against)
Winning
16 Points
The Contender
Ragnar_Rahl
Pro (for)
Losing
4 Points

If you are not free to choose between a pencil or a pen, than....

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
DanT
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/14/2013 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,997 times Debate No: 34782
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
Votes (5)

 

DanT

Con

Resolution: If you are not free to choose between a pencil or a pen, than you are not free to write what you want

Rules:
1.) No Ad Hominem Attacks
2.) Dismissed arguements will be considered dropped

Debate Format:
1st round: acceptance only
2nd round: Arguements / no rebuttals
3rd round: Rebuttals / no arguements
4th round: Defense against rebuttals & closing remarks / no new arguements or rebuttals
Ragnar_Rahl

Pro

I want to write a set of graphite letters on paper that spell "F*** you." I am required to write in ink and only ink. Therefore, I am not free to fulfill my desire to write a set of graphite letters on paper that spell "f*** you."
Debate Round No. 1
DanT

Con


Debate Format Violations


Pro violated the Debate’s format. Round 1 is acceptance only.



The message is the same


The medium does not change the message. If you want to write “F*** you”, you can still write it in ink if a pencil is not available. The substance in which the message is written has no impact on that message. It does not change the message to write with a pen instead of a pencil.



Freedom of Speech


The freedom to write what you want does not depend on the tools you use, rather the message conveyed. During the inquisition free thinkers had to hide their messages in codes. Nostradamus hid his messages in vague quatrains, while Leonardo da Vinci wrote backwards. They cared less about what they used to write, and more about the message they were trying to convey.


Just because you have to write in pen, does not mean you are not free to write what you want. If you college professor gives you a free writing assignment, but requires that it be written in pen, there are still no limitations on what you can write. You can write whatever you want, you just have to use a pen to write it. The pen is just the medium for your writing.


Ragnar_Rahl

Pro

It is false that I am likely to write the same words in pencil or pen. One of these permits erasure

Messages also can mean different depending on the medium. Imagine yout cable bill came with the same words but written in blood. The same principle applies to ink and graphite, ink connotes more professionalism.
Debate Round No. 2
DanT

Con


Erasing =/= Writing


Having an eraser is irrelevant to the ability to write what you want. An eraser simply implies the ability to remove what you have written after the fact.


When using a pen, you could use white out to erase mistakes. You could also cross out the mistake or simply start over.



The meaning of Ink


Pro claims that what the message is written in has an impact on the message itself; this is just plain false.


Pro tries to support this claim with the claim that “ink connotes more professionalism”. This is not true; ink is more permanent, and is more visible, which is why it is associated with professionalism. Correlation does not equal causation. Just because ink is associated with professionalism, does not mean ink implies professionalism.


Which is more professional?


a.) A grocery list written in pen,


or


b.) Instructions written in pencil?



Context vs. subtext


Writing in blood is a form of subtext, because there is an assumed meaning not found within the text. The implied meaning of the blood could be a threat, or it could be devotion. A Love note written in blood implies obsession, rather than a threat. It is for this reason, that subtext depends on context.


The subtext implied by the medium (such as blood), can be substituted by the delivery. The implied subtext can also be written in the context of the message.


I would like to point out that the resolution clearly revolves around the context of the message not subtext. You can be free to write what you want, without being free to imply what you want. Subtext depends on the reader’s ability to properly interpret the implied message.


The reader could interpret the author’s description of the “blue curtains” as a symbol of the narrator’s depression, or they could just take it as a description of the actual curtains. Either way, the subtext was not written, despite being implied.


The blood is not what is written, the billing statement is what is written. Not being able to write in blood, does not impact the ability to write the billing statement.


Ragnar_Rahl

Pro

It is irrelevant to the question of freedom that there may be some burdensome alternative means toward your intent that is within the bureaucrat's mandate of ink and not pen or blood, or similar rulings. The fact of the mandate negates freedom. Freedom of speech forbids such undue burdens from being placed on your attempt to express a message without taking harmful action against someone. If you mandate I must write all criticism of the government in feces, you use force toward my speech. Ink or graphite are in principle no different.
Debate Round No. 3
DanT

Con


Reductio ad absurdum


Pro equates being forced to write in pen, with being forced to write in feces; this is simply not the case. There is a difference between smearing you name in feces, and writing your name with a pen.


The resolution has nothing to do with writing in blood or feces; the resolution is isolated to options of pens or pencils.


This comparison is like saying “if you had 0% body fat you would die, so you need to pack on as much fat as possible”.


Specific Freedom


We are not debating about broad freedom. We are debating a specific freedom; the Freedom to write what you want. Censoring the TV does not imply the newspaper is also censored, but both deal with the freedom of speech. Likewise, we are debating about a specific freedom; the freedom to write what you want. Just because you are forced to use a pen does not mean your freedom to write what you want is limited.


You are required to use a pen when writing checks, because pencil can be altered. You are still free to write checks, for whatever amount you want, to whoever you want, for whatever you want. The requirement to use a pen does not limit your freedom to write checks, it only limits your freedom to choose the medium you use write those checks.


Ragnar_Rahl

Pro

If there is a difference between writing in feces, and writing in pen, it is because writing is affected by the medium. That the difference between pen and feces is greater than that between pen or pencil does not negate the obvious fact that there is a difference between pen and pencil. Con's analogy in no way follows from this.

This concept of "specific freedom" Con is trying to advance is invalid. One cannot have "a freedom," detached from all context, one is either subjected to force in a field or not. If you subject me to force for the writing of my letter, it doesn't matter for the purposes of determining whether I have freedom to write to find out whether it was the ink or the words. Both ink and words are elements of the writing.

If we accept otherwise, incidentally, all a government has to do to censor is ban all mediums of writing, and yet permit mediumless writing (good luck).
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by DanT 3 years ago
DanT
Here is the background context of the debate;

: At 6/14/2013 10:33:00 AM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
: : At 6/13/2013 12:35:59 PM, DanT wrote:
: : : At 6/13/2013 11:29:25 AM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
: : : : At 6/10/2013 6:52:11 PM, DanT wrote:
: : : : "Free Trade" refers to goods and services, not currency exchange. Currency is not the same as goods and services. Currency acts as a medium for goods and services.
: : : If you're not free to select the medium of your trade, the trade is not free.
: : :
: : That's like saying "If you are not free to choose between a pencil or a pen, than you are not free to write what you want"
: : It is just a medium.
: The statement in quotes is also true.

http://www.debate.org...
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 3 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
Writing from a phone... bad idea.
Posted by ConservativePolitico 3 years ago
ConservativePolitico
Ragnar ... were you drunk?
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 3 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
Consider that an acceptance. ^_^
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by ModusTollens 3 years ago
ModusTollens
DanTRagnar_RahlTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro seems to be trolling.
Vote Placed by Raisor 3 years ago
Raisor
DanTRagnar_RahlTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct to con for Pro's violation of R1 agreement. I think Pro underexplained most of his points, he made arguments that had a lot of potential but didnt develop them fully. Similarly Con doesn't do a great job of refuting the feces example. I think Con take a decent tactic in saying pen =/= feces but Con fails to elaborate why they are meaningfully different. This makes it easier for Pro to leverage the point in the final speech. The only point that almost got me to vote Pro was the feces issue, but I think Pro brought it up too late to fully leverage it for a win. Overall an interesting Resolution.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
DanTRagnar_RahlTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct (con): due to rule 1 acceptance only (and being called out, otherwise I never would have checked). Argument (tied): I am very torn on this. While technically with any medium (including unmentionable ones) you are free to write what you want, yet often taking away writing tools is to try to limit freedoms; thus while not wholly it is a step toward it... Honestly this argument falls down to the missing context, thus I can't rule in favor of either as I don't understand enough of it.
Vote Placed by Fictional_Truths1 3 years ago
Fictional_Truths1
DanTRagnar_RahlTied
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro made very good points about professionalism and the different uses and situations in which one would be favorable over the other.
Vote Placed by rross 3 years ago
rross
DanTRagnar_RahlTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Oh well. A difficult argument to make from the Pro side, and although Pro's arguments were really impressive, in a way, there's no denying that you can write in either pencil or pen, depending on availability. I do think that a love letter written in blood WOULD be threatening, but that was not a central point. S&G: should have been "then" not "than" in the resolution.