The Instigator
Mhykiel
Pro (for)
Winning
9 Points
The Contender
9spaceking
Con (against)
Losing
3 Points

It is okay to debate using "false" definitions

Do you like this debate?NoYes+1
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Mhykiel
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/21/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 961 times Debate No: 53038
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (12)
Votes (3)

 

Mhykiel

Pro

I've debated another member and I see them getting some heat for using a definition for Atheism that others disagree with. I think this is unfair to them. I take the pro position that if one begins a debate defining the terms this is acceptable. If the definition and assertion of the debate is circular that would make it non-debatable is being fallacious would be another argument. But it is acceptable to use the terms as defined.

Con can begin arguing in first round.

"False" definition being the definition of a word not accepted by the majority of speakers.
9spaceking

Con

It is not okay to debate using definitions "not accepted by the majority of speakers."
It would be completely unfair to the person trying to debate on a topic if his opponent went all wacky and completely altered the meaning of the topic. For an example, I will use this debate. That's right. THIS. DEBATE.
All right, let's see...."It is okay to debate using "false" definitions". Well, you already defined "False", so I will twist away at the other words.
I define "it" as a godly animal known as the unicorn.
I define "is" as dancing around happily.
I define "okay" as "are very"
I define "to" as "sad".
So so far, it's "The unicron dancing around happily are very sad".
I define debate as a conjunction used in the same context as "and".
I define using as "a vegetable known as the turnip".
I define definitions as "but it is very fat".
And now, the sentence has massively transformed, using "false" definitions....
(drum roll please)
...."The unicron dancing around happily are very sad and a vegetable known as the turnip is not accepted by the majority of speakers but it is very fat." There is NO WAY this statement is true, as it contradicts itself TWICE, has irrelevant information, and doesn't make any sense grammaritically. In conclusion con has won this debate, with no way for pro to even have a chance.
You see what I mean about unfairness? Yep. You just got hit with a bucket-load of it.
Debate Round No. 1
Mhykiel

Pro

Well done but I don't concede anything. If after the debate begins you argue for redefining the other terms I reject your definitions. But when you accepted the debate you accepted the definitions I outlined. When we disagree with the definitions then the debate becomes an argument over semantics. But I argue Pro that if someone accepts a debate they are agreeing to the terms outlined.

Language has multiple definitions for the same word. So being clear in a debate is key. Not because if I call something a hydrocarbonation that it is logical wrong to say "it smells sweet". Rose by any other name smells the same. Logical reasoning should be separate from the language used.

We only agree on definitions to make sure we are talking about the same things and to illustrate as clear as possible what our conceptualizations are.

To summarize my rebuttal. You accepted to debate therefore you agree to debate using the word for false as I defined it. Which you have done. Redefining the other words is open to debate and would require consensus to move forward. But to accept the debate than argue the definitions Pro Defined would be senseless. You could however make the case for the debate and definitions being circular. In which case I would say one should not choose to debate such debaters.
9spaceking

Con

Of course, the person who accepts bows down low to the instigator's definitions, but you never specified that these definitions were the instigator's definitions. They could be the the contender's horrid definitions. While it may be "okay to debate using false definitions" defined by the instigator, as the person who accepts agrees by default, if the person who accepts posts further false arguments, it is terrible and as you said, "would require consensus to move forward". Now, I stress the "may" in maybe when I said it is "okay". There are cases where trolls put in terrible definitions, and noobs accept it and state that the trolls have well, trolled, and they aren't acceptable. Of course the trolls' definition isn't acceptable! It's wrong! If I started this debate and defined the topic as I did in the first round, and another tried to rebut me by saying those definitions are totally wrong, terrible, troll, and people should vote him for spelling and grammar because the troll had terrible definitions, and the troll responded with "well people accept the rules and the definitions when laid out!", this would be unfair and terrible, and would lead to an argument concerning the rules and definitions rather than the actual debate. If terrible definitions can be accepted, then terrible rules can be too. However, this is not "okay", alright, common-everyday seen "good" in any way! One great example is Rational_Thinker's string of social experiments. He defeated the almighty imabench by stressing on the "JUST" when he said "round one is just for acceptance", and he defeated another debater who argued the rules were unfair by saying "by accepting this debate you have accepted the rules." Yes. This is true. But this is no way "okay". There is no way for the opponent to win, by accepting the near impossible-to-follow-rules. As the contender stated, "If all 8,000 characters of my argument had to be typed up in an aBcD fashion, I would take hours and hours, and even after that, one mistake could cost my whole argument!" And thus this is unfair.
Another example is this debate. Had you defined "false" as "pink fluffy unicorns", that would be not okay. This debate is unfair. However, your definition is still pretty close to the actual definition of "false", which is "not true or correct". If the majority of the speakers do not accept a definition, it is more than likely incorrect. My horrid "definition" I gave in the first round is "false", and it would be horrid to debate on that topic.
In conclusion, yes, a noob accepting a troll debate with horrid definitions has to follow the rules laid out, but in no way is it "okay". It is mean, it is bad, and it shouldn't be done.
Debate Round No. 2
Mhykiel

Pro

I want to think CON for reiterating my opinion. In the example I gave in Round 1, The Fair examples CON gave would apply.

The NON-Fair or non-Just examples would not apply.

The title for the debate is not long enough to outline the entire Pro position. But reference round 1 where I state

"I take the pro position that if one begins a debate defining the terms this is acceptable. If the definition and assertion of the debate is circular that would make it non-debatable is being fallacious would be another argument. But it is acceptable to use the terms as defined."

And even when referencing this debate my opponent states "Had you defined "false" as "pink fluffy unicorns", that would be not okay. This debate is unfair. However, your definition is still pretty close to the actual definition of "false", which is "not true or correct". If the majority of the speakers do not accept a definition, it is more than likely incorrect."

This close definition would also be a fair assessment of the Debate.org historical example I gave.

Example is taken from comment section of this debate http://www.debate.org...

I want to close by thanking CON for accepting this challenge and bringing a bit of humorous imaginative wit to an otherwise dry conversation.
9spaceking

Con

"The NON-Fair or non-Just examples would not apply."Yes. These troll debates are exceptions to the rest, and I have proved that within some debates, it is not "okay to debate using false definitions".
"If the definition and assertion of the debate is circular that would make it non-debatable is being fallacious would be another argument. But it is acceptable to use the terms as defined." You just contradicted yourself. "Fallacious" is the opposite of "Acceptable". And yes, it would lead to a completely different argument, which is my case--a debate concerning god's existence shouldn't be over whether the word "existence" means "blue hippos pretending to be avatar" or not. Because then the contender would probably be unprepared and think the debate very unfair, and thus, not "okay".
Oh, and thank you too. I like being funny! :P
Vote con!
Debate Round No. 3
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by nonprophet 2 years ago
nonprophet
his goes to show that I should have won all my debates, but because of a few disgruntled voters, I unfairly have a tarnished record.
@Teemo You were justly reported for harassment and until you admit your guilt, you will remain blocked, since you haven't learned your lesson.
Posted by Chrysippus 2 years ago
Chrysippus
RFD cont.

It's clear that both sides agree that the definitions posited by the instigator are non-negotiable. It would be pointless to take a debate and refuse to debate using the definitions provided; if you disagree with the definitions, don't take the debate. Con goes on a bit of a rabbit trail about the contender supplying additional definitions to twist the debate, but that's clearly not what this debate is about.

Con's major argument is that false definitions and abusive rules are similarly bad, but his arguments are a bit of a non-sequiter. If I were to start a debate, resolution "Gandhi did not exist" but I defined Gandhi as "a gigantic spacefaring whalemonkey," we could still have an entertaining debate; but if I were to make a debate with the following rules:

"Rule 1: Any forfeited rounds concede the debate.
Rule 2: Con may not post anything at all in his second round, or he concedes the debate"

it clearly sets up an abusive auto-lose situation for my opponent.

I really don't see the equivalency Con is trying to draw here between false definitions accepted by both parties and abusive rules. He uses the words "terrible" and "horrid" a lot, but it's never clear what exactly makes debating a misdefined proposition so bad, or how it is anything like debating under abusive rules that favor the instigator.
Posted by Chrysippus 2 years ago
Chrysippus
RFD:

A brief summary of the debate:
R1 Pro:
As long as the terms are defined at the beginning of the debate, it is ok to debate using false definitions.
R1 Con:
It would be unfair to the instigator trying to have a serious debate if his opponent were to misdefine all the terms to twist the debate.

R2 Pro:
When you accepted the debate, you accepted to debate using the definitions I provided. I don't have to accept your definitions. The instigator defines terms to make the debate as clear as possible. It is senseless to accept a debate when you do not agree with the stated definitions.
R2 Con:
Makes an equivalency argument for false definitions and abusive rules; concedes that the contender has to accept the definitions and rules of the debate as posited by the instigator, but that doesn't make it OK. Abusive/troll definitions or rules are not "okay."

R3 Pro:
Clarifies that he was referring to the instigators definitions.
R3 Con:
The contender has to accept the instigators definitions, but false/abusive/troll definitions are not "okay."
Posted by creedhunt 2 years ago
creedhunt
I'm still waiting for my confirmation text. I will vote ASAP.
Posted by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
yes, plz vote!
Posted by Mhykiel 2 years ago
Mhykiel
Please Vote
Posted by PeacefulChaos 2 years ago
PeacefulChaos
Oh boy

I'd like to debate Con on this topic.
Posted by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
TROLLLOLOLO to pro. Good luck responding! :P
Posted by Mhykiel 2 years ago
Mhykiel
haha right and I put it in quotes.
Posted by PeacefulChaos 2 years ago
PeacefulChaos
It would be ironic if Con started arguing over the definition of "false."
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Chrysippus 2 years ago
Chrysippus
Mhykiel9spacekingTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by creedhunt 2 years ago
creedhunt
Mhykiel9spacekingTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: I think con did not successfully refute pro's points, due to what appears to be a misconception of his argument. Con was certainly entertaining, however I feel that he should have been more attentive to pro's assertions.
Vote Placed by LostintheEcho1498 2 years ago
LostintheEcho1498
Mhykiel9spacekingTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: This was one of the more abstract debates I have seen and also one of the most interesting. I gave it to con because there is a flaw with pro's position that the con pointed out. The fact that if someone uses definitions that are unfair, ridiculous, or plain out stupid then, no, it is not okay to use that definition. My personal opinion is that a definition is something agreed upon by the majority. While a definition can be useful for debates to keep things clear, it should also be a real definition.