On Balance, the new DDO site policy reform is generally good.
Debate Rounds (5)
I've noticed my opponent complaining vehemently over the new enforcement of site policy by the moderators.
The policy can be found here:
My opponent (since the posting of the reformed policy) has been very outspoken in his opposition of the policy. Well, I would like to challenge his position. I believe that the new site policy will be generally good.
My Standard Boilerplate
Round 1- Acceptance, Historical Background, and Definitions only.
Round 2- Constructive Arguments only.
Round 3- Free choice.
Round 4- Rebuttals/Defences only.
Round 5- Closing Remarks. No new rebuttals/defences/responses/arguments may be made in this round. You may, however, make fresh cross examinations of points, using your own points.
Any rule violation constitutes an immediate loss of conduct points.
Forfeiting more than 1 round constitutes a full 7 point loss.
The BOP is shared.
I hope my opponent will accept.
As the pro I will be arguing that the site policy is good, as the impact from site policy will likely be overall, good. MY opponent must seek to prove that the policy is bad, and that the impact of the policy will be bad.
Personal attacks, negative ad-hominem, harassment, name calling, insults, etc. - these are all forms of intellectual violence. This kind of speech is not backed up by reasoning, and the claims made cannot be objectively verified. Intellectual violence is used only to hurt other members of DDO.
In the words of Isaac Asimov, "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent."
(A) The policy will bring an end to bullying
The primary focus of the site policy reform will be to end ad-hominem, insult, disrespect, and other forms of personal attack/threatening. This kind of behavior is absolutely detrimental to a site that revolves primarily around the virtues of formal debate, and respectful discourse.
Look to modern day debate competitions for an example. Leagues such as the NFL do not tolerate insults or ad-hominem in their tournaments, as this kind of conduct is never beneficial to an argument. Although ad-hominem can be convincing at times to the less intelligent, when it is presented to judges who cast votes based purely on logic and reasoning, it can be seen that these kinds of arguments are absolutely useless.
Furthermore, insult, libel, slander, and negative ad-hominem are all only forms of bullying. Users who are prone to insulting their opponents do nothing but offend their opponents, show them disrespect, and bully them. Calling someone "stupid" or "retarded" for your own enjoyment is the definition of a bully, and a site that seeks to generate thoughtful, respectful discussion should abhor this kind of behaviour.
There are almost zero instances where bullying is ever justified.
Finally, insult and ad-hominem give people an excuse to put someone down without any good reason. I agree that people ought to be able to voice their opinions, but this website is not the forum for people to voice opinions based only on personal insult and attack. If you wish to visit a website free of (most) censorship, I suggest you travel to 4chan, and voice your opinions there. There is a time and a place for all kinds of speech, and DDO is not the place where members should be allowed to assault and belittle their fellow debaters, purely because they do not agree with their opinions or lifestyles.
(B) The policy is fair
The policy applies equally to every member, and is not particularly austere. The policy provides leniency and judgement from the moderators especially in mild cases. Members won't simply be perma-banned the first instance of attack, or even the second. Bans will only come after repeated, extreme attacks.
The new reform to the site policy will usher in a new era for DDO, that shifts away from petty tribalism and mud-slinging, and instead shifts towards intelligent, respectful discussion that will hopefully lead members to new levels of enlightenment. The times where members will be allowed to bully the socially awkward, or uneducated has come to an end. With this policy, you will no longer be allowed to make regal declarations of stupidity, instead you will be challenged to prove that your opponent is a fool.
It's high time that the members of DDO began to treat each other with some decency.
If you want to be a belligerent, aggressive, war-like, primitive, ape who can only solve his problems with direct insult and mental violence, I suggest you take your petty squabble elsewhere.
As I am the con in this debate, I will present arguments that set out to prove that the policy at issue, and it's impact, are negatives to this site.
Argument 1: Some things in said policy are not even personal attacks:
Now, this may look odd to some. It is likely that many people believed that the things laid out in this policy are indeed personal attacks. They have to be, right? Well, let's take a look at the definition of personal attack:
"Making of an abusive remark on or relating to one's person instead of providing evidence when examining another person's claims or comments."(1)
Now, to some, this may not be proving much at all. They may still be thinking that indeed, such things laid out in the policy adhere to this definiton of 'Personal Attack'.
Well, let's take a look at maybe the most controversial thing listed in this policy: The Direct Attack.
In the policy, Direct Attacks are defined as: "Where, outside the context of a discussion on the topic or of behavior in the course of that discussion, someone posts something negative about a specific member"(2)
In the definition of personal attack, that I showed, this actually would not meet the criteria of being a personal attack. Sure, a lot of the time, a Direct Attack, as defined by this, could very well be qualified as abusive. But the second half of the criteria doesn't seem to match up with this broad definition of 'Direct Attack'. A direct attack, as defined in the policy, could easily be proven, in which the 'Direct Attacker' could provide evidence based on claims or comments from that person. Now, are all 'Direct Attacks' proved by the people who deliver them? No, I wouldn't say that. However, this policy bans everything that could fall under the definition given of 'Direct Attack', and some of these 'Direct Attacks' wouldn't fall under the definition of a 'personal attack'. If it can be justified objectively, it shouldn't be banned, which brings me to my second argument.
Argument 2: Limits the threshold of debating:
As established in my last argument, 'Direct Attacks' can very well be justified. With this policy, we can't present these 'Direct Attacks', as they have been banned in this new policy. However, the policy is not only banning the 'Direct Attacks' themselves. No, this policy would eliminate any possible dialogue or debate for said 'Direct Attack'.
Now, this site is a huge proponent of Debate. Look no further than your URL for evidence. So, eliminating a topic of debate should be considered a serious infraction on this site's arguably main purpose. If we are eliminating an entire topic of debate, we are destroying a core principle of the site. On a debating site, we should be allowed to debate any such issues that can even be debated upon.
With the banning of the 'Direct Attack', we are eliminating any potential defense of the 'Attack' that a user may have, and we are also eliminating any criticism of that 'Direct Attack'. The elimination of debate removes any oppurtunity for the user to defend/argue on the topic of that personal attack, and a potential oppurtunity of insight and efucation, would be eradicated. With this banishment, we are attacking one of the core principles of the site, and I consider that to be a pretty big negative.
Round 2 Conclusion:
In this round of debate, I have taken a firm stance that this policy discriminates against some things that don't even fall under the definition of 'Personal Attack'. The policy would destroy any possible debate that could come from the usage of a 'Direct Attack'. This is a severe comrpomising to this site's key principle of debate, and should therefore be seen as a negative to the site.
I look forward to the next round of debating, which is the 'Free Choice Round'
Con "Argument 1: Some things in said policy are not even personal attacks"
My opponent here in this claim states that if something negative about a specific member can be proved objectively, then it is not a personal attack, but is, however, under the policy, a ban-able offense.
But my opponents argument does not satisfy the burden of proof in the following sense: he fails to provide an example of a personal insult/attack being objectively proved. You cannot objective prove that someone is an "@ss" or an "idiot."
My opponent claims "If [direct attacks] can be justified objectively, [they] shouldn't be banned" and expects us to simply accept that personal attacks are justifiable without providing a single example of a case in which personal attacks are justified.
Finally, if a person makes a claim about a specific member that is objectively proved, then it is likely not a trait that is inherently negative.
Here is an example of a ban-able personal attack and a non-ban-able statement on a person.
Member X is very upset with member Y, because member Y subscribes to an ideology that member X does not agree with.
Member X writes:
"Member Y is a f*cking RETARD IDIOT with HALF A BRAIN!!!"
None of the claims made in this statement can be proved objectively. You cannot objectively prove someone to be an "Idiot" or that they have "half a brain." These are terms of belittlement alone, and serve no purpose. You can objectively prove that someone is "retarded" in the medical sense. However, if the person you are attacking is legitimately retarded, you are harassing someone based on a trait that they cannot be held accountable for, and that is incredibly cruel, and therefore ought to be a ban-able offense. If the person is not a "retard" in the medical sense, then you are making a false claim in writing about a person as if it is a statement of fact which is slander/libel.
Now here is an example of a trait that can be proved more inherently.
Member X is very upset with member Y, following a series of negative votes that member Y cast against member X.
Member X writes:
"Member Y, this is now the third case in which you have cast a vote against me in one of my debates where you have ignored the facts presented in the case, and instead based your vote only on your own opinions. Your RFD was not based on the arguments made on either side. In fact, your RFD was an argument that you yourself invented all on your own! This is a bad vote, and it has significantly upset me. I have reported your votes against me. If you would like some tips/suggestions on casting more thorough RFDs, I would be happy to provide some. If you wish to cast votes based on your opinion, rather than facts presented in a case, I suggest you visit the polls section."
Notice here how member X has cited specific evidence that objectively proved that member Y was indeed casting votes based on personal opinion, rather than case facts. This is not a ban-able offense under the new site policy. It is never even implicitly implied that the statement was made in malice.
If what you state is the objectively verifiable truth, then it is not a personal attack. Yes the truth does hurt at times, but it is not a ban-able offense to speak about the truth (except in cases when the truth is then used to belittle others in ad-hominem attacks i.e.. calling someone a "faggot" "retard" or "fatass").
Con "Argument 2: Limits the threshold of debating"
My opponents second contention is essentially this: "since direct attacks are a topic that can be objectively verified, they are debate subjects, and there should be no limitations on debate subjects on DDOs"
The first claim has been effectively proved false by my first rebuttal in this round, which does immediately invalidate this contention, but I will still attack the secondary portions.
I rebut the idea that there should be no limitations to debate subjects on this ground: limitations can be placed on subjects of debate for the sake of civility.
In order to maintain the erudite nature of the website, civility must be maintained through limitations on appropriate debate topics. There are cases of debate topics that are simply not appropriate for example, truism. Truism resolutions are statements of fact. Though truism is not grounds for banning, creating a truism topic is grounds for a 7-point loss (as is reflected in national circuit competitive debate).
Examples of truism include: "X=X" or "The president is Barack Obama" or "You will die if you cut out your heart." These are all statements where there is no ambiguity as to which side is true, and are not appropriate debate topics.
Another case of inappropriate debate topics would be topics that are incredibly offensive/vulgar. Examples would include:
"Hitler did nothing wrong"
"All Muslims must die"
"Women deserve rape"
Again, these are technically not topics of truism (as many are based in morality, a topic of ambiguous objectivity) but are obviously not appropriate debate topics, as they are both offensive and repulsive.
My opponents case is totally dismantled. His contentions are fully rebutted, and without merit. Therefore, I urge that you vote PRO!
daytonanerd forfeited this round.
My argument remains totally un-rebutted. Forward all points.
daytonanerd forfeited this round.
Forward all points
As per the rules of the debate, I claim victory.
I encourage the voters to direct the seven points they possess towards my opponent, TylerGraham95.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by SeventhProfessor 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: "Forfeiting more than 1 round constitutes a full 7 point loss."
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