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The Contender
Pro (for)
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Matt Ought to Take his shirt off publicly

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Post Voting Period
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after 3 votes the winner is...
It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 6/10/2015 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,565 times Debate No: 76439
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (27)
Votes (3)




The full resolution is Resolved: Matt ought to remove his shirt publicly in a Google Hangout session with members of DDO present.

Matt - The user known as Zaradi, aka me.

Let bsh accept this ;)


I want to take a moment to thank Zaradi for this debate, and to say that if I win this debate, he should indeed take his shirt off...if only to reward my hard work in defeating him in this debate. With that said, I think we can proceed onto the arguments; I think, as Pro, I should go first.


C1. Reducing Suffering

Zaradi has said that during his tenure as site Vice-President, he will endeavor to reduce suffering. [1] So, if his goal is to minimize suffering, then it is logical to ask: which course of action best suits that end? There are several reasons to believe that affirming the topic is going to reduce the most suffering.

Firstly, many people are suffering feelings of frustration and annoyance at Zaradi for his repeated failure to go shirtless, including myself, YYW, Annie, and ResponsiblyIrresponsible. Zaradi removing his shirt would reduce our suffering by satiating our as yet unfulfilled desires to see him shirtless.

Secondly, showing skin has social benefits that have positive, suffering-reducing impacts. "Health benefits of social nudity include stress reduction, satiation of curiosity about the human body, reduction of porn addiction, a sense of full-body integration and developing a wholesome attitude about the opposite gender. Research at the University of Northern Iowa discovered that nudists have significantly higher body self-acceptance. Another study concluded that teens at a New York nudist camp were 'extraordinarily well-adjusted, happy, and thoughtful.” It’s also excellent for children to grow up free of shame about the human body.'" [2] While I am not asking that Zaradi become a nudist (though I wouldn't object if he did), surely exposing his torso to other people will still--in virtue of being more revealing than wearing a shirt--satiate curiosity about the human body, help form a wholesome attitude about the opposite gender, lead to greater self-esteem regarding physical appearance, and maybe even a reduction to porn addiction. After all, in a hangout, Zaradi did mention to YYW that Zaradi's removing his shirt would advance YYW's sexual pleasure.

Thirdly, by removing his shirt, Zaradi will finally allow those who wish to see his exposed physique to stop pestering him to go shirtless. This will decrease the frustration of those on hangouts who are getting tired of the requests.

C2. Zaradi Owes Me a Favor

No, not a sexual favor, if that's what you were thinking. He owes me a regular kind of favor. I won Zaradi's "Prized Debate Tournament" [3] in which the winner was promised prized money. [4] I also have yet to receive the money promised by Zaradi, and am unable to receive any packages at the moment (my family is unaware of my DDO account, so Zaradi cannot mail to my house). Consequently, I should be entitled--in the spirit of fairness/giving each their due--to compensation I deem to be roughly equivalent to the money owed me. I think seeing Zaradi shirtless in a hangout would be fair compensation.

There are several reasons to buy into fairness as a standard. They include:

Firstly, as a future Vice-President, Zaradi needs to embody high standards of ethics and act in a way that comports with those ethics. He is a role model on the site, as well as a site leader. Being fair--in all respects--is therefore important given his role on the site.

Secondly, the resolution poses an "ought" question. Ought can imply a question of morality or ethics, [5] and fairness is essential to ethics. Fairness is a core criterion used to differentiate right from wrong. For instance, it is wrong to cheat because it gives an unfair advantage to the cheater. It is right to punish people fairly for wrongdoings, because you would give them what they deserve, nothing more, nothing less. Fairness is also human dignity-affirming, as it recognizes that everyone is entitled to a certain bare minimum of treatment, and that everyone should have an opportunity at success.

Thirdly, Zaradi is my friend. Treating people fairly is key to maintaining and cultivating friendships. Unfair treatment breeches trust between friends, whilst fair treatment affirms your commitment to your friends. And, just as ethical obligations are ex officio elements of the Vice-Presidency, so too are they ex officio elements of friendship. In virtue of someone being a friend of someone else, they have certain obligations of friendship towards others that they ought to pursue. Friendship is also valuable in and of itself, as it has a variety of health and wellness benefits: Forming close friendships can bring both psychological and physiological benefits, new research has suggested. Published in the journal Development Psychology, the study revealed the presence of a pal can serve to mitigate the effects of negative experiences." [8] Friendship can also produce longevity [9, 10] and intellectual and spiritual benefits. [11] So, there are three key sub-points here to emphasize: (1) Zaradi has an obligation as a friend to be fair, (2) fairness is beneficial for friendship, and if Zaradi values our friendship for itself, he should be fair, and (3) friendship reduces suffering, and since Zaradi values that, he should value friendship and fairness as instrumental goods towards that end.

Fourthly, fairness is key to reducing suffering, which is a goal of Zaradi's. If people feel as if they're treated unfairly, they will feel jilted, which results in suffering. Unfairness may also result in more concrete types of suffering or loss. For instance, if I am due $10, but only receive $5, I've been empirically harmed or injured in a sense. Injurious treatment is therefore something Zaradi should seek to end if he wishes to reduce suffering.

C3. Community-Building

One of the key elements of our campaign this cycle was community-building. [6] Given that community-building is something Zaradi supports, if him taking off his shirt promotes that end, then he ought to do so.

When people work toward a common goal, they build an esprit de corps that links them behind that common purpose. Being able to see that purpose realized builds a sense of achievement and camaraderie that positively incentivizes cooperation. Failure to see that objective accomplished in a reasonable amount of time disincentivizes cooperation, or makes that cooperation seem fruitless.

For instance, should a soccer team put in hours of training but fail to attain any victories, they may become discouraged, and disband rather than continue. However, if their hard work pays off, the group will see that their cooperation is producing the desired results, and they will be more likely to continue working as a community.

Since many members of this site have been working towards Zaradi taking off his shirt, his doing so actually supports the community-building objectives he espouses. Thus, the community-building argument affirms.

C4. Zaradi Wants More Love

He said so himself. [7] One way to get more love is to show more skin. The more skin people see, the more appreciative they'll be, and the more love/attention Zaradi will get. So, revealing himself is actually going to do what Zaradi wants.

Additionally, going shirtless may open up new relationship opportunities for him, which may also bring him more love and perhaps reduce his own suffering. If someone sees him shirtless and goes "damn...," Zaradi's options may have just expanded significantly.

C5. Sexiness

Zaradi should take off his shirt just to show how sexy he is. 'Nuff said.


So, there are a few things to point out here. Firstly, it seems to be in Zaradi's own self-interest to take his shirt off. Doing so would save him the annoyance of constantly being asked to remove his shirt, and it would prevent people from repeatedly interrupting him in hangouts. It may also bring him more several ways, and it would strengthen his friendships in a way that would benefit him. Secondly, taking off his shirt comports with his expressed desire to reduce suffering, by making others happy and producing various social benefits. Thirdly, it is ethical, based on fairness, for him to remove his shirt. Doing so would honor the obligations he assumed as a friend and as a VP, and would serve to repay a debt. And--fourthly and finally--taking off his shirt would further his desire to engage in community-building on DDO. It would affirm the value of cooperation by rewarding people for their joint efforts. Thus, the resolution can be clearly and resoundingly affirmed in a variety of ways.


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Please Vote Pro! With that, I hand the floor over to Zaradi...I look forward to a great debate ;)
Debate Round No. 1


Thanks bsh.

An Observation:

The BoP lies on pro to prove why I ought to take my shirt off publicly. This is because a) he's making the positive statement and, thus, needs to prove that statement, and b) people don't just do things without reason. If he's not providing a solid reason, then at the end of the day you negate.

Rebuttals to C1:

There's a massive problem in this contention in that there are better alternatives to solving these harms than taking my shirt off.

First, I can reduce suffering just as well, if not moreso, by just doing my job as vice president and improving the site overall rather than by taking my shirt off.

Second, there are other alternatives to relieving sexual frustration, namely porn sites. That would be far superior to just me without a shirt on.

Third, you can turn this in my favor. By taking my shirt off, I give into their short-term base desires. Once those desires are fulfilled and the hype gone, they lose their meaning for looking forward. The mentality will be "Well, I've already seen Matt shirtless, so there's no real point to caring anymore.". This would only increase people's suffering exponentially. By remaining clothed, I give people something to strive for in the future, thus increasing hope and decreasing suffering.

Rebuttals to C2:


First, turn this entire fairness standard against him by him trying to blackmail me into giving him a prize that wasn't even offered. I concede that I do owe Brian $50 for winning the tournament, but $50 is not me shirtless. To force me to give into his base demands because "I owe him" is entirely unfair to me. As soon as he wants his prize, he can send me his address and I'll send him $50.

Secondly, turn this against him as well. Asking for rewards that are outside of what was promised in the tournament spits directly in the face of said tournament. Given that part of bsh's presidential platform was to reviatalize and increase successful tournaments, his mocking of this one runs contradictory to his interests for a better site. If anything by me remaining clothed, I increase his ability to do his job as a president.

Rebuttals to C3:

This one is easily refuted in that there are better ways to go about building up the community than by taking my shirt off.

First, not everyone wants to see me without a shirt on. Only appealing to a small portion of the site when I can do something that appeals to a larger majority, such as revitalizing the forums through topics of the week or helping the debate section by improving the tournament structure or by starting up a noob mentorship program, would go to farther lengths than by taking my shirt off.

Second, the resolution specifies that I would be taking my shirt off solely for google hangouts, not for pictures or forum showing. This further excludes community participation to just nine other people at the most. The actual community building being done would be minimal if anything.

Rebuttals to C4:


First, this is a misrepresentation of my words. By saying "can you give the VPs some love" I was asking if he was going to do a Vice-Presidents interview, while trying to be funny and witty as the same time.

Second, even if his interpretation is correct and I am actually looking for love in that sense, I've already found it. My profile status has changed from single to in a relationship, meaning I've already found love. With this being the case, there's no need for me to take my shirt off now.

Rebuttals to C5:

Nah man. Not even.

With bsh's entire case refuted, there is nothing left for him to possibly fulfill his BoP. Without that, he cannot physically affirm the resolution, meaning you can negate right here. But there are other reasons why I shouldn't take my shirt off, who's impacts outweigh the impacts of bsh's case. If my arguments outweigh his, then even if you buy his case, he still doesn't have the offense required to fulfill his BoP because the harms of me taking my shirt off would be more impactful than the benefits of me being shirtless.

Contention One: Rape

The mere fact that this debate exists shows that I object to taking my shirt off. Otherwise, there would be no point to this debate and I would've done so already. Forcing someone to do sexual acts that they object to doing, meaning forcing someone to perform non-conensual sexual acts, is the definition of rape.

The harms of rape are immense, including things like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Self-Harm, Flashbacks, Depression, Substance Abuse, Dissorders, Dissociation, and Suicide[1]. Inflicting these upon someone just for the base pleasure of seeing them without a shirt on is not worthwhile in any sense.

Contention Two: Professionalism

Once people have seen you naked, it's kind of hard for them to take you seriously. This is especially true of people in influential positions[2].

What's the harm of this? Because it hinders our ability to actually enact our platform to improve the site on multiple levels.

First, it hinders our ability to negotiate with Juggle for improved technical aspects of the site that the community wants.
Second, it hinders community building over things like tournament reformations and mentorship programs because the community won't take me seriously.
Third, it hinders bsh's ability to enact things from our platform because my nudity is necessarily tied to him as a president (I'm his VP, after all).

This means that if I take my shirt off, it becomes that much harder to enact changes to benefit the site and the community as a whole, meaning we can't fulfill our platform. Only through negating can we actually keep our platform as a possibility for success.


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[2] -


Thanks again to Zaradi! This is gonna be fun :)


This is just wrong. In a normative resolution, the BOP is shared. In fact-claims, it is unfair on Con to give him the BOP, because he cannot disprove a fact (you cannot disprove that dragons exist because one could always be hiding out there somewhere). But, that is not the case in a normative resolutions (a "should" or "ought" question.) It is possible to disprove that "one ought to murder murderers," by presenting and defending an alternative framework, such as pacifism. Therefore, there is no reason why, in a resolution like this, I should bear the sole BOP. So, the mere fact that I am making a positive assertion tells us nothing as to who should have the BOP.

As for Zaradi's idea that people just don't do things without reason, that can be flipped back on him. When confronted with a choice, people also don't "not do things" without reason.


C1. Reducing Suffering

Firstly, Zaradi tries to rebut this contention essentially by out-impacting me. For him to do this successfully, he needs to show that his alternatives are exclusive to him. For instance, suppose I said, I can reduce suffering by handing my friend a cool beverage. Then, someone walks up to me and says, "you shouldn't have done that...there are better ways to prevent suffering, like donating to a food bank." I can make a pretty obvious retort, "well, I can give my friend a pepsi AND donate to a food bank." Doing both obviously solves for suffering better than doing just one. Therefore, for Zaradi to effectively out-impact me, he needs to have unique/exclusive alternative, because if their not unique/exclusive, I can do them too in my world.

Zaradi gives me 3 alternatives: (1) doing his job as VP/working for the site and (2) porn is superior to his barechestedness. Neither of these alternatives meet the exclusivity standard. He can work as VP/for the site AND still take his shirt off. Other people can enjoy porn AND enjoy Matt's shirtlessness. By removing his shirt, we can still get the benefits of these alternatives and Matt's shirtlessness. It's like giving the pepsi and donating to the foodbank; two is better than one.

On a sidenote, Zaradi tries to say that his exposing himself won't be as good as porn; but there is zero reason to believe this. People might actually find him being shirtless better, because they know him. He's not some faceless stranger. There is a potential emotional connection as well as a physical one, which could make it more satisfying than regular porn.performance?

Secondly, Zaradi attempts to turn my case, but this turn doesn't even get out of the starting gate. People have set a goal (getting Zaradi shirtless) and if we fail at that goal, there is an increased risk of suffering: "In a cross-sectional study, we examined the interactive effects of rumination (versus reflection) and failure to attain promotion goals on depressive symptoms. As predicted, greater levels of promotion goal failure were associated with having more depressive symptoms for individuals who engage in moderate to high levels of rumination." [1] Promotional goals "are hopes, dreams, and desires." [2] As I said last round: should a soccer team put in hours of training but fail to attain any victories, they may become discouraged, and disband rather than continue. Achieving goals is also satisfying. I may only achieve a goal once, but failing to achieve one goal doesn't stop me caring, it makes me proud that I achieved it. Plus, seeing someone shirtless is the kind of goal you can continually strive for. I can always hope to see him shirtless a second time.

C2. Zaradi Owes Me

Firstly, Zaradi tries to turn this saying it's blackmail and unfair. Right, so this obviously isn't blackmail. Let me define blackmail: "he crime of threatening to tell secret information about someone unless the person being threatened gives you money or does what you want." [3] I am not threatening Zaradi with anything. I am simply saying he ought to do X because he owes me Y. If he doesn't comply, there is no harm that's going to come to him.

Secondly, Zaradi says my demanding an alternate reward demeans tournaments in general. But, Zaradi's warrant here is extremely tenuous. Why does him appearing shirtless necessarily "mock" the tournament. If anything, him giving me a reward strengthens tournaments by demonstrating the winners will get their prizes if prizes were promised. The nature of the prize doesn't seem relevant, insofar as I seriously doubt many DDOians will care.

Finally, Zaradi says $50 is not equivalent to him shirtless, and that he's willing to send me the money. Yet, he seems to have missed what I said last round: I cannot have stuff sent to my address because my family might see it. That would pose a variety of problems for me which I can detail if necessary. Suffice it to say, giving him my address is not feasible. So, there's no way I can get $50 from him, which was what was promised. That is why I am owed something of comparable value than I can actually receive. Taking off his shirt costs Matt almost nothing, just a few minutes of his time and a calorie worth of energy to remove his shirt. Surely, under any fair assessment, that is worth at least $50 if not less. Debts ought to be repaid, and Zaradi needs to repay this one.

C3. Community-Building

Firstly, and yet again, Zaradi attempts to out-impact me. But, cross-apply my analysis from C1. His arguments here must be unique/exclusive. None of the alternatives he gives are exclusive.

Secondly, sure, not everyone may want to see him shirtless. But they could easily be informed beforehand, so that they wouldn't be in the hangout at the time. And even if pictures were made available, DDO is a big site, and it's likely that anyone who truly wanted to avoid the images could do so, or would not be significantly irked by them.

Thirdly, the resolution reads: "Matt ought to remove his shirt publicly in a Google Hangout session with members of DDO present." Absolutely nothing about that resolution prevents users in the hangout from screenshoting Matt shirtless. This disproves his claim that "[t]his further excludes community participation" because those outside the hangout can still see what transpired.

C4. Zaradi Wants More Love

Firstly, so, you're saying you don't want more love? Based on the way you react when people ask you to take your shirt off, it seems like you like it. People can judge for themselves, though. [4, 5] You DEFINITELY want more love, man.

Secondly, "love" can mean attention, encouragement, etc. just as much as it can mean romantic entanglement, so Matt's argument really doesn't do what he wants it to do. People can always uses more love.

Thirdly, Zaradi talks about his girlfriend. Turn this. She wrote: "*Chant* Take it off! take it off! :D." I think she would affirm this topic, not negate it.

C5. Sexiness

All Zaradi says is "Nah man. Not even." This does nothing to explain why he shouldn't display his sexiness to everyone.


C1. Rape

Firstly, I think Zaradi is mixing up his definitions again. Allow me to define rape: "to force (someone) to have sex with you by using violence or the threat of violence." [3] I am NOT attempting to have Zaradi have sex with anyone. So, this is not rape, and so there is no reason to believe that the harms of rape would apply here. Plus--and I mean, seriously--taking his shirt off is not going to generate those harms; voters know Zaradi, and they know the circumstances, and they know those impacts are bunk.

Secondly, Zaradi is playing hard to get. Look at the video and just witness his reaction [4, 5]. Moreover, he's taken his shirt off before in hangouts in front of gay men. Clearly, he doesn't object to this in principle, so why is this situation significantly different? Zaradi doesn't really object, he just likes torturing us all and making us work for it, which is promoting suffering and frustration.

C2. Professionalism

Firstly, we're not trying to see Zaradi naked. I mean, I wouldn't object, but seeing him naked is outside the scope of the resolution. Zaradi never explains why seeing people shirtless has the same negative impact on professionalism. There are a few reasons why I don't think it would have a deleterious impact on his professional image. If someone showed up to an office shirtless, that would be highly unprofessional. But in social settings, that would not have the same effect. It is not just about what is done, but where it's done. Since Zaradi would be doing this in a generally social setting, there is reason to believe people wouldn't associate it with his professional persona. Empirics also support this conclusion. Consider, I could see someone on the beach shirtless, but still take them perfectly seriously at work. I would also suggest, that people know Zaradi, and will take him seriously because of who he is, not because of a single humorous (and hot) incident. Mayors of cities make silly bets with each other all the time, and do silly stuff when they lose. Yet, their still take seriously because people understand the need for fun, even in a professional setting, and they know the person involved and their normal demeanor and work ethic.

Secondly, turn this contention. If we value professionalism or public image, then Zaradi has to keep his debt to me. If he doesn't, he acts in a way that would generally be regarded as unprofessional (failing to repay a legitimate debt). It would, for instance, be unprofessional and/or bad for their image for a politician to fail to pay back their student debt. The same applies here.


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Thanks, Zaradi! This is hysterical, lol...Over to you...
Debate Round No. 2


Thanks to bsh for agreeing to tie this so I can focus on the WODC and my Vp duties.


Because I was so nice as to let him tie this, he should take his shirt off ;) Just sayin'
Debate Round No. 3


XD how did I know you would try that...


Because you know me too well, lol. Still, I guy's gotta try.
Debate Round No. 4
27 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by ESocialBookworm 2 years ago
Ennie, get him to for me please...
Posted by Zaradi 2 years ago
Posted by bsh1 2 years ago
Posted by EndarkenedRationalist 2 years ago
Pssssht. Zaradi is in my harem. He can only take his shirt off when I ask him to.
Posted by Zaradi 2 years ago
ROFL that's fine too
Posted by bsh1 2 years ago
OMG...of all the debates you'd ask to cancel, lol...

Let's just agree to tie it. I don't want it deleted...It's to awesome for that.
Posted by Zaradi 2 years ago
Hey any chance you'd be down with canceling this debate? Between WODC and doing our jobs here idk if I have time for this.
Posted by bsh1 2 years ago
I feel like my round was basically perming your alts.
Posted by bsh1 2 years ago
Posted :) Rofl...
Posted by 9spaceking 2 years ago
this debate is hilarious.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 2 years ago
Who won the debate:--
Reasons for voting decision: No
Vote Placed by tejretics 2 years ago
Who won the debate:--
Reasons for voting decision: Null vote, as requested.
Vote Placed by ESocialBookworm 2 years ago
Who won the debate:--
Reasons for voting decision: Matt needs to take his shirt off.