The Instigator
xarvon1412
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Rational_Thinker9119
Con (against)
Winning
1 Points

Is the word "better" subjective or objective?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Rational_Thinker9119
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/13/2013 Category: Education
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,737 times Debate No: 34760
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
Votes (1)

 

xarvon1412

Pro

I believe that the word better is a subjective word, because how do you define better? To say that one cereal is better than the other is a subjective point of view right? Someone else might like the other cereal, therefore it is better to them. So how can better be an objective point of view?
Rational_Thinker9119

Con

If "better" is just subjective, then there is no way my opponent can argue that his argument is objectively 
"better" than
mine (and he bears the burden of proof). Giving my opponent argument points for this debate
would be unjustified under his view, because his argument wouldn't really be
objectively "better".

Also, debating itself precludes my opponent's stance! Why is this, because when engaged in a debate, an
argument that is
logically fallacious is objectively "worse" than an argument that is not (making a logically valid
argument "better").

Additionally, if someone asks two people to make the most round 3D object they can, and one person builds
a sphere and the other person builds a cube, then in this context, the first person's 3D object was better.
What made is objective was the underlying criteria.

Debate Round No. 1
xarvon1412

Pro

xarvon1412 forfeited this round.
Rational_Thinker9119

Con

My arguments from last round still stand.
Debate Round No. 2
xarvon1412

Pro

Again though, my point still stands. How can one say that one of the arguments is better? My argument may have more facts and things such as that to hold it up, but it's wrong. Would you say that my argument is better or would you say that the correct one is? I would personally say that the losing one is better because it has more to it than the winning argument. However, some may feel that the winning argument is better because it won. That is their opinion. The fact of whether or not one is better than the other lies completely in the eye of the beholder. What is better? An argument that holds true? Or an argument that has more facts and credit to it? You can not simply say, "My argument is better because it won." When clearly it wasn't because the other is of a higher quality. However you also can't say, "My argument is better because it had more put into it." because the argument lost. It's all a matter of whether or not the majority of the people believe that the argument is better or not. When it comes down to voting, some may believe that my argument is better than yours, some may believe otherwise, but in reality it all comes down to one mass opinion of who has the better argument.
Rational_Thinker9119

Con

I apologize for my first round, as the words look a little jumbled for some reason. Regardless, I will show in this round why my opponent's argument fails.

Rebutting My Opponent

"Again though, my point still stands. How can one say that one of the arguments is better? My argument may have more facts and things such as that to hold it up, but it's wrong."

If it is wrong, then it is objectively worse according to the criteria of soundness.

"Would you say that my argument is better or would you say that the correct one is?"

This question is completely contingent upon the criteria. If the criteria is soundness, then the correct argument is self-evidently the objectively better argument.

" I would personally say that the losing one is better because it has more to it than the winning argument."

Then this could be true, but then it would be better under a different criteria. It is not a contradiction to say that both of these propositions are true:

(i) x is better than y
(ii)y is better than x

...As long as we are discussing two different criterias

If person one has the criteria pertaining to unsoundness, and you have a criteria pertaining to soundness, then both of your arguments are objectively better, only under different sets of standards.

"However, some may feel that the winning argument is better because it won. That is their opinion."

If someone says that an argument it better, then unless there is a mistake in reasoning, it is objectively true as the statement could not even be made unless they were following a criteria.

To give an example, lets say there is a red-headed girl (girl A) and a blonde girl (girl B). Boy A says Girl A is better looking than Girl B, but Boy B says girl B is better looking than girl A. My opponent would look at this situation as evidence that there is no correct answer. This is false however, as they are both correct!This is because Boy A has red headness as his criteria, thus Girl A meets that criteria objectively better than Girl B. Boy B has a criteria that involves blondness, so Girl B meets that criteria objectively better.

So, "better" is not based on opinion. It is based on a criteria that one has set as a precondition (regardless of whether they are aware of this criteria or not). It is simply a fact that things meet that criteria objectively better than others. Therefore, the most reasonable conclusion is that "better" is indeed objective. It is based on a standard, and self-evidently, certain things meet that standard objectively better than others.

"The fact of whether or not one is better than the other lies completely in the eye of the beholder."

I responded to this assertion already in this round.

"What is better? An argument that holds true? Or an argument that has more facts and credit to it? You can not simply say, "My argument is better because it won." When clearly it wasn't because the other is of a higher quality. However you also can't say, "My argument is better because it had more put into it." because the argument lost. It's all a matter of whether or not the majority of the people believe that the argument is better or not. When it comes down to voting, some may believe that my argument is better than yours, some may believe otherwise, but in reality it all comes down to one mass opinion of who has the better argument."

Once again, my "separate criteria" argument takes care of the concern above.

Conclusion

If someone says something is "better" than another thing, then they are following some type of standard or criteria. Therefore, that thing actually is objectively better (assuming the person is reasoning correctly), according to a certain standard or criteria. If I say that steak tastes better than rice, but someone else says rice tastes better than steak; we are both correct. This is because my tasting experience, is different than his tasting experience, and we have our own standards. Therefore, once you qualify the difference in certain types of scenarios involving the word "better', and dissect the situation, you will realize that "better" is objective at its core. Things are objectively better than others according to the particular underlying standards. Just because those standards aren't always brought to the table, does not mean a person is simply making a statement based on opinion. Thus, the resolution has clearly been negated. Vote Con.

Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by PGA 2 years ago
PGA
"Better" in relation to what? If you have no best then what's to say it is better? Better can mean anything unless it is compared to a standard that is best. Why is your preference any "better" than mine? If there is no absolute, universal, objective measure then better can mean anything. It loses its identity. Putting to death 6 million Jews may be regarded as better by some or flying planes into Trade Centers may be considered the "better" course than dialog with your enemy. Is it better just because someone thinks so or are some things just plain wrong and evil?
Posted by anthonyfineran 2 years ago
anthonyfineran
subjective = relative
objective = absolute

'better' = word
word = relative

'better' refers to preference. if 'better' was objective/absolute, everyone would prefer the same thing.

even consensus preference does not equate to objective betterness. belief in objective betterness has an element of teleology/vitalism about it. debate itself does not posit implicit belief in objective betterness. all spoken words are as relative as each other, so 'pro' seeks to ease discomfort caused by the potential unease caused by 'con's' argument. in this case, compassion is not so much seen as objectively 'better' by pro; more as reflecting a movement of reality attempting to address a perceived falsehood, a falsehood subjectively 'worse' than an unaddressed perceived falsehood. reality is not even an objective better, because pro's logic dictates that illusion haunts reality within the insane, so preference for reality remains the subjective expression of the wish to suffer less. if reality, or anything, were an 'objective better', then the indivisibility of reality is cleaved into something unreal - a dualism. reality/that which is is not of a two-ness - the absolute is non-dual. thus, betterness & worseness are as the subjective play of ripples upon the surface of an ocean. an objective better is god as flying spaghetti monster.
Posted by PGA 4 years ago
PGA
Hi Rational Thinker,

That question has already been answered in the debate you challenged me to.

Peter
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 4 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
It is easy to talk from the benches PGA. When are you going to break your cherry and get in the game?
Posted by PGA 4 years ago
PGA
Pro has confused two issues, preferences and morality, between something that tastes or looks 'good' and something that actually is Good. He also confuses relative truth with moral relativism. Jack is heavy depends on what you base the relationship on, on what you are relating his weight to. Is it another human being, an elephant or an ant? In relation to another human being 400lbs is statistically beyond the average weight so it can be deemed heavy if you say Jack is a heavy man. If you have no standard or statistic info to measure Jack's weight in relation to another human then you cannot make the statement stand.

The same goes for goodness. If you have nothing but subjective standards then whose becomes the measure? How do you make sense of something when there is no fixed, unchanging standard? Better implies just that - a standard in which there is a best.

Peter

Peter
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 4 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
I'm not sure if it is just my computer, but the words in my first round look jumbled.
Posted by xXCryptoXx 4 years ago
xXCryptoXx
Nah, even that's subjective because "better" is purely based around the opinion of a person.
Posted by philochristos 4 years ago
philochristos
I think it depends on the context. If you say, "Chocolate is better than vanilla," then it's subjective. If you say, "Kindness is better than cruelty," then it's objective.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 4 years ago
Ragnar
xarvon1412Rational_Thinker9119Tied
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct for missed round. Beyond that I am unsure which side is arguing which side of the question.