The Instigator
Rational_Thinker9119
Pro (for)
Winning
19 Points
The Contender
larztheloser
Con (against)
Losing
13 Points

Larztheloser's Vote In This Debate Was Not Reasonably Justified

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 8 votes the winner is...
Rational_Thinker9119
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/21/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,387 times Debate No: 34967
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (11)
Votes (8)

 

Rational_Thinker9119

Pro

I will be arguing that larztheloser's vote in this debate was not reasonably justified:

http://www.debate.org...

First round is for acceptance.
larztheloser

Con

Only 4000 characters per round unfortunately, but I'll accept anyway. Good luck to my opponent.
Debate Round No. 1
Rational_Thinker9119

Pro

When I refer to "Pro", I mean the "Pro" in the debate we are dicussing. I do not mean myself.

This is not really a deep resolution that requires a large character limit. 4,000 characters should suffice for this particular type of debate. Now, I urge voters to take a look over this debate before continuing:

http://www.debate.org...

Con created a rule, and a consequence with regards to that rule being broken. Pro did not contest that rule or consequence, and thus continued the debate under that pretense. Since Pro did not contend that rule and the consequence, then they stuck. Here is what I am speaking about:

"Plagiarism, either directly or indirectly, is resultant of a full seven point concession."

If Pro thought that rule was unfair, then it should have been contested. When things are not contested in debate, they hold. Pro shamelessly plagiarized his rounds. He deserved a temporary ban, not points in a debate. Most of the voters gave Con all seven points that he rightfully deserved. Larz argued that even if Pro's argument was plagiarized, Con did not refute it. However, Con did not have to refute it. There was an uncontested rule that plagiarism resulted in a full seven point concession. Larz did not give Con the full seven points. Not only that, he gave Pro arguments and believed he won the debate! You cannot win a debate off of plagiarised arguments, especially when there is an uncontested rule pertaining to a full seven point concession. If it was uncontested, then it is essentially agreed upon.

There is no way Larz should have voted to have Pro win the debate when Pro plagiarised; especially with the uncontested rule. Larz' vote was self-evidently unjustified. This is probably the reason I will not spend that much more time on it.
larztheloser

Con

I could talk about this vote forever because I think it's important and relevant. I considered it in more depth than my short RFD lets on. Nevertheless I'll keep this short and to the point.

I want you all to imagine, for a moment, that in this round I say nothing but "RationalMadman is dumb". Then in the next round Rational gets all depressed and says "I hereby forfeit all 7 points to my opponent." In my last round I merely say "Vote Con". What do you do?

In the debate, not only did pro challenge the plagiarism rule (in the final round), he also presented three arguments. Granted, these were plagiarised. And granted, plagiarism is wrong. That's why I awarded con the conduct point. It is also poor conduct to leave rules challenges until later in the debate. But I don't see why it's reasonable that plagiarism means you can never win an argument. Usually that would be true, but this debate was a special case.

The only times uncontested points hold is when they are a) justified and b) relevant to the resolution. The rule was neither. Therefore I am not bound by it.

What I as a judge am here to determine is whether the side with the burden of proof met it or not. I am not here to negotiate contracts that debaters may form among themselves, only judge the persuasiveness of their arguments. There are some who say debating is about following rules, a view that seems to stem from various types of debating that only allow certain kinds of evidence or argument (usually some variation of mock trial). Perhaps you agree with that view, but I think that to hold an alternative view must be conceded by all as reasonable. First, the vast majority of clubs and tournaments do not operate under that model but are open to different ideas and perspectives. Second, the whole point of debating as opposed to persuasive public speaking or essay writing is in coming up with arguments. And third, debates with new ideas are considerably more interesting than debates where you know all the arguments in advance. Debates are not just about rules but arguments.

The question thus becomes not whether pro followed a specific rule that con invented, but whether pro had met their burden of proof. I critically read pro's arguments and found that they clearly had. To date I am yet to hear anybody contest that pro's arguments were valid, however weak or however plagiarised. They were on topic and provided some cause to believe the resolution was true. That's exactly what I needed as a voter.

As it stood, con didn't say ANYTHING even remotely relevant to the topic, while pro made three points, all valid. So the justification for the vote was that one side was trying to lawyer their way to victory by making a bunch of irrelevant claims based around their own unjustified rules, and didn't actually debate at all. The other side DID debate, met their burden, and despite their arguments being both poor and plagiarised, they existed. I thought it was reasonable to recognise that effort with the more convincing arguments point - after all, they were the only side that actually had arguments.

The answer, then, to that "what would you do" question I posed at the start, would be to vote for the debater who actually debated. They may have lacked all the skill in the world and this would be irrelevant, because unless something was said to actually refute their claims, I as a voter have to accept them.

Note that you do not have to AGREE with my vote. This debate is about whether my vote had a reasonable justification, meaning that Rational has to demonstrate a complete lack of reasoning behind my decision (ie a votebomb). Even if I had accidentally missed the rule that would not mean that I lacked a reasonable justification. As it stands, however, I did consider this debate very carefully and stand by everything I have said about it. The vote was justified. It was reasonable.

The resolution is negated.
Debate Round No. 2
Rational_Thinker9119

Pro

"I want you all to imagine, for a moment, that in this round I say nothing but "RationalMadman is dumb". Then in the next round Rational gets all depressed and says "I hereby forfeit all 7 points to my opponent." In my last round I merely say "Vote Con". What do you do?" - Larz

The above is a false-analogy and a red herring. In the debate in question, there was a rule posted by Con that said all 7 points would go to other debater if plagiarism took place. Pro never contested that rule until it was already broken. In Larz' false-analogy above, there is no rule against calling me a "Madman", thus I would not be justified in claiming that I should get all 7 points. In the debate in question, there was an uncontested rule. Regardless, plagiarism should result in a 7 point concession regardless. However, the fact that the debate contained an uncontested rule was just icing on the cake.

"In the debate, not only did pro challenge the plagiarism rule (in the final round), he also presented three arguments." - Larz

The rule was not contested until after it was broken though. When I say "uncontested", I mean "when he had the chance". Larz' argument is like endorsing debating against a "no sticking" rule in hockey after you stick someone. If you don't like the "no sticking" rule, then it should have been brought up before hand.

Also, plagiarised rounds put the entire integrity of the website under question. If you can just copy and paste other people's professional work and still win a debate, then this website becomes fruitless and trivial. This is a debating website, and debates should be won by using debating skill; not theft. Giving someone argument points just promotes plagiarism and theft. If you are just going to lose conduct (1 point), and not arguments (3 points) even though you stole your entire round, then we might as well all close our accounts up because this is all meaningless. This is a debate website, where we test each others debating skills; not our ability to steal other people's hard work.

"What I as a judge am here to determine is whether the side with the burden of proof met it or not. I am not here to negotiate contracts that debaters may form among themselves." - Larz

Without the contract; anarchy results. Also, without using your own wording and arguments; fruitless and unreasonable debating results.

Conclusion

Con's vote was not reasonable because:

(i) Pro did not contest the rule before it was broken, thus is stood

(ii) Voting for people to win who plagiarize promotes intellectual theft

(iii) Votes like Larz' question the integrity of this site even further than it is already questioned

It does not matter if Con did not refute Pro's argument. It was not even Pro's argument, he stole it word for word. It is not reasonable to vote for somebody to win who stole their entire argument for a round, and just ignore the fact that there was an uncontested rule in context (uncontested before it was broken). Pro did not contest the rule when he had the chance, he contested it after he broke it (which is not fair). Giving points to cheaters just promotes cheating. It is not reasonable to promote cheating when this is supposed to be an honest community. Larz has no reasonable basis for his vote. It is based on nonsense with pertaining to disregarding rules, the endorsement of stealing, and dishonesty. Larz' arguments in this debate do not really contain anything more than Mr. Fantasitc stretches.

The resolution is self-evidently affirmed.
larztheloser

Con

If con had proved to me why a plagiarised argument was necessarily wrong, then that would have been a different matter. That would have linked their claim to the resolution, justified their rule, and won them my arguments vote. That's not what con did.

Rational clearly did not read my analogy. If Rational concedes all 7 points that means I get them, not him, assuming the rule "uncontested points must always be accepted by voters no matter what" necessarily holds true. Here's it layed out nicely:

Premise 1: uncontested points must always be accepted by voters no matter what
Premise 2: Rational's point that he forfeits all points goes uncontested
Conclusion: Voters must always accept that Rational cannot get any points

It's faulty logic because premise 1 is wrong. Rational does not refute my claim that points must be justified and relevant to be accepted by voters.

Rational has attempted to justify the rule right now, 8 months later. I agree that plagiarism brings down the quality of debating and this site. I also think failing to produce any arguments brings down the quality of debating and this site. On the whole, I thought pro's arguments were stronger simply because he made them, they provided some evidence, they were relevant and there was a decent amount of analysis behind them. Rational is right that this is a debate website. Debate websites are about people making arguments for or against a resolution, as opposed to getting the lowest score on a plagiarism checker (although this does diminish the quality of arguments, a debate is much more than just that). Pro did so, con did not. Regardless Rational is about 8 months too late now.

While I accept contesting a rule after it was broken was poor conduct, which I did count against them as I said, I also don't accept that this invalidates everything pro said. You've got to remember that this was the only genuine piece of rebuttal that happened during the debate. Even if pro had not contested the rule at all pro still would have won. The sandcastle analogy gets used a lot - pro built a sandcastle with their points, and con failed to knock them down or build their own. Pro's sandcastle was therefore better.

Rational contests that lacking ownership means anarchy, fruitlessness and unreasonableness results. Although Rational failed to tell us why, I agree. We need to root out plagiarism. That does not mean, however, that a plagiarist is always wrong. Their arguments still must be addressed. This debate was anarchy, fruitless and unreasonable, not because of the plagiarism, but because con decided he didn't want to talk with pro or tell us voters anything relevant to the debate. Not debating, for me, is a greater evil than debating with no originality. Rational has tried to set aside the latter as effortless, but this is false - pro clearly put more work into the debate than con did.

I refer to it as "pro's argument" only for categorisation, not to imply ownership. I accept rules with the same weight as I would arguments. As I said, even the weakest argument would have won con that debate. I was actively looking for excuses to claim he had stronger arguments, but unless he actually had arguments that would only be unreasonable. The three points are for whether pro met their burden, and pro did. There is no contest over either of these two facts. Cheating devalues an argument but it does not magically create an argument for the other side.

Rational has also still not justified why an instance of plagiarism justifies a concession even without the rule. There were some reasons behind my decision. Rational might think those reasons are wrong, but that does not mean that they did not exist. In this debate I've told you, just briefly, what those reasons were and defended them against Rational's attacks, but even if they are wrong (which I don't concede) that doesn't mean my vote was not reasonably justified, only mistaken.

The resolution is negated.
Debate Round No. 3
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
Admittedly I waited about a day before countering that votebomb; but if I'd waited any longer it would have been in the final day of judging (as my counter is a 7 point vote, it is a votebomb onto itself; thus should be avoided at all cost in the final 24 hours of voting).
Posted by johnlubba 3 years ago
johnlubba
This is not an easy debate to judge, but I think it rests on the fact of if the rules set out by Pro were justified, Larz claims he as a Judge is not there to negotiate contracts debaters form amongst themselves, if Pro also had a certain burden of proof to establish the resolution regardless of his own rule but the sites rule which he is to be judged by, then I am not sure what larz' options were.

Granted Con broke a rule that Pro established but Larz also judged according to the actual rules of the site, if I am to understand it, that is that Pro also had a burden of proof to establish the resolution, therefore Pro also didn't fulfill his burden.... I am not going to remove my Vote because I don't feel that Pro should be penalized to the effect of awarding Con the most convincing argument point, although he never fulfilled any burden it was simply quite obvious why and Con had the opportunity to reject the debate to begin with rather than hijack a debate and bombard their opponent well already established well thought out arguments that Pro never intended to encounter so brazenly... I wouldn't like it so I don't feel the vote was just.
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 3 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
"Am I voting wrongly now?"

No, because you are understanding this website a lot more than you did in the past. You are more in tune with the rules than you were before, therefore it only makes sense that your voting will improve. You are absolutely right, there was an uncontested rule that was broken.

"I will extend my hand towards you for the last time in a peace offering, if you reject it I will have no choice but to block you rather than keep arguing, if you accept however, you must come to terms that I am an active member of this site and will portray my opinion as I see fit.

Your choice."

I accept your peace offering.
Posted by calculatedr1sk 3 years ago
calculatedr1sk
That's one of the more antagonistic and accusatory offers of friendship that I've encountered. I'm not sure how I would respond in rational thinker's place.
Posted by johnlubba 3 years ago
johnlubba
Am I voting wrongly now? Is this my only vote you would consider right and just? I don't think so, maybe you should realize we all have different points of view, and that's what makes the world go round, it would be a boring place if it was any other way.

I will extend my hand towards you for the last time in a peace offering, if you reject it I will have no choice but to block you rather than keep arguing, if you accept however, you must come to terms that I am an active member of this site and will portray my opinion as I see fit.

Your choice.
Posted by johnlubba 3 years ago
johnlubba
Ok, it was countered about 20 hours later, yet you jump on the comments section within minutes to defend yourself..... my question is why does it take you minutes to defend your position and up to a day to confess the vote was unjustified.?

Anyway, who really cares. I would have voted for you on this debate if only you would have not accused me of voting against you all the time and requested I stay away from your debates.

Larz makes a good case but the truth of the matter is the rules were broken and that should result in a seven point forfeit. No escaping that.
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 3 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
So, it is not unheard of that I will "slam" someone for voting FOR me if it is not justified.
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 3 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
Also, I slam people for giving me unjustified points as well:

"AgentRock, why would you give me conduct? Neither one of us breached conduct at all, so I should not have gotten that point."

http://www.debate.org...

In the debate above, someone gave me a conduct point I did not deserve.
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 3 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
"Why don't you slam FrackJack for her unjustified RFD"

The votebomb was already countered by Ragnar. I only "slam" people for unjustified votes if they aren't made up for.
Posted by johnlubba 3 years ago
johnlubba
Why don't you slam FrackJack for her unjustified RFD, Oh yeah that right! it's not to your benefit.

You have no shame, conducting a debate and accusing another member of having an unjustified vote, whilst those who vote unjustly on your debate, escape un-scathed......Tsk
8 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Vote Placed by calculatedr1sk 3 years ago
calculatedr1sk
Rational_Thinker9119larztheloserTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: larz' disregard for the rules seems highly unreasonable to me. Pro rightly contends that taking issue with the rules in the final round, and after the violation has been committed, is much too late. Imagine if instead of copying and pasting the text, Pro had provided only the link to the site he stole the idea from. That would have been preferable since it assigned credit properly, but in all other ways it would be identical to the situation at hand. There were no arguments from Pro. At all. There were only arguments from others. Con therefore had nothing to refute. There was no castle built by Pro. Larz decision is therefore not reasonably justified.
Vote Placed by johnlubba 3 years ago
johnlubba
Rational_Thinker9119larztheloserTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Larz is convinced he voted justly because the debate in question Con had provided at least some content that was fitting to the debates resolution whilst Pro refrained from debate because Con broke the rules, Firstly I would not expect Pro to reply because he would then not be debating as the rules were set out but just responding to a massive copy paste argument put forward by Con. This I believe is the only reason Pro did not participate further, and rightly so. Con tried to cheat his way to victory and that does not deserve any merit.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
Rational_Thinker9119larztheloserTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Counter Vote Bomb: FrackJack gave seven points to pro "First ... to counter some of the another votes that I thought were bad," goes on to insist that larstheloser was committing plagiarism in his defense (I had a conversation with FrackJack to confirm she believes larstheloser was at least breaking conduct in this debate)... Anyway if this were a counter vote, instead of believing her voting opinion on argument is worth 7 points instead of a mere 3, she hallucinated the presence of votes for spelling sources and conduct, as no one has voted on anything but argument. She is unwilling to even improve her RFD as she insists if it's her that's voting, it can't be a votebomb... I believe that disliking that anyone voted for the side you disliked in a debate, is not reasonable justification for a Votebomb (DDO standards a 7point vote is a votebomb; see orientation thread), further no one being countered is named, thus none of the other votes are actually in question.
Vote Placed by FrackJack 3 years ago
FrackJack
Rational_Thinker9119larztheloserTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: First off, Part of this vote is to counter some of the another votes that I thought were bad, second, plagiarism is a insta-lost. That is cheating. Not only is it bad conduct, but it is bad sources too. I cannot bypass debate rules. I accept a debate, I accept the rules.
Vote Placed by toolpot462 3 years ago
toolpot462
Rational_Thinker9119larztheloserTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: I agree with RT. While Larz is right that Con gave no arguments, Pro might as well have forfeited when he plagiarized.
Vote Placed by Fictional_Truths1 3 years ago
Fictional_Truths1
Rational_Thinker9119larztheloserTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Cons made many good arguments for his vote while Rational Thinker said the same thing over and over again. I looked at the debate and the guy who plagarised made more convincing arguments. The category he awarded points in was "more convincing arguments", not "more original arguments"
Vote Placed by HeartOfGod 3 years ago
HeartOfGod
Rational_Thinker9119larztheloserTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: It is not reasonable to reward someone for cheating and stealing. Pro convincd me that the vote was not reasonable for that reason.
Vote Placed by TN05 3 years ago
TN05
Rational_Thinker9119larztheloserTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct, grammar, and sources are all equal. I believe Con had the better arguments here - Con created an interesting and intriguing justification for his vote, and that justification is reasonably justified. Pro did not negate this, but basically just said 'plagiarism is wrong, I win'. The debate is not whether plagiarism is wrong, it is whether the vote was justified, and Con has established that it is.