The Instigator
Con (against)
14 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
7 Points

Resolved: should not enable graphical emoticons

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/6/2008 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,321 times Debate No: 5291
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (12)
Votes (3)




Greeting to my future opponent as well as to all members of Every once in a while, I'll argue in favor of something I actually care about and this is an instance, so I request that my opponent not resort to cheap parlor tricks (such as concocting some absurd definition of the topic) in order to win this debate.

Onto my case:

Have you ever had a discussion with someone online where you ended up making a sarcastic comment, only to have it taken seriously and lead the conversation some place where it wasn't intended to go? Or how about where you made a comment that was by no means intended to be offensive, only for the other individual(s) in the conversation to get upset in light of your comment? As great a place the Internet is, one of its greatest fallbacks is the lack of non-verbal conversation when it comes to online forums. Indeed as roughly 93% of human communication is non verbal.

Due to the problems implied above, I strongly negate the resolution which states "Resolved: should not enable graphical emoticons."


Graphical Emoticon:

Contention #1: Can help lower the rate of miscommunication

This contention is a no-brainer and shall thus be swift. Due to all of our discussions being heavily text based, there will be plenty of times where misunderstanding shall occur if we don't rely on some form of non-verbal communication. Keep in mind, non-verbal makes up a large percentage of our language.

Now I understand that there is already a means of posting an emoticon which is the usual text based smiley " :)" ":D" . . . but it is very easy to glance past this form of emoticon due to how it blends in so well with the text. Not only that, but the more complex emoticons are difficult to properly convey through using text. Thus, actually enabling graphical emoticons will eliminate the "drawbacks" which normal emoticons have.

Contention 2: Graphical emoticons can allow one to illustrate their points more effectively.

Lets say that you want to give others the idea that someone else's point is absurd. What better way to do this than with a graphical emoticon such as this one:

And voil��, a way to make the presentation of your ideas more effective when it concerns persuading your audience.

And that'll do it for now.


I'd like to start out by thanking Logical-Master for starting this fun debate!! Hobey-Ho, let's go!
1. I will start out by introducing a two disadvantages to using graphical emoticons, henceforth known as GE's.
2. Then, I will go on to cross-apply arguments and make new arguments on my opponents first speech.
Disadvantage I-- Disrespect

a) A debater should not show disrespect to the opposition in the form of sarcasm. In a live high-school or college debate, when a debater shows contempt through sarcasm, they are usually marked off for this. The reason--disrespect. It is all too common in today's society to show sarcasm, but it should not be allowed in an environment in which intelligent conversation is encouraged. Allowing GE's is one way to allow sarcasm which should not be done.

b) A debater should not show disrespect to debate in general by using 'fun' GE's to 'prove a point'. Debate is known as an 'intelligent sport'. It should not have GE's ruining this. In a live round, you would not see a debater pounding his head into a wall because of the opposition's obvious stupidity (as you see in my opponent's example), rather, you would find a debater pounding his points into the judges heads to show the opposition's obvious stupidity.
Disadvantage II-- Loss of Needed Intellect

a) When you allow GE's into debate, you take away from the needed intellect to get points across. If you must use a head into wall GE, it simply means you aren't able to show your opponent's lack of intellect by using your own intellect. Rather than using GE's, wouldn't it make more sense to offer twenty points in order to show your voters why your opponent is wrong? I believe so.
On Case--
Contention 1-
Like I said in Disadvantage II, if you need GE's to get your point across, you shouldn't be debating the topic. Now, I do agree that non-verbals make up an extreme amount of communication. But, if you look at books as an example, do they use GE's? No, but they are still able to get a tone across using diction and being explicit.

Contention 2-
If you accept this contention, you are accepting everything I said in Disadvantage I. This is extremely disrespectful and should not be made available. To illustrate a point, use words, not GE's. See Book Example.
Conclusion--- In order to vote Con, you must see that you are voting for disrespect, not only of your opponent but of debate itself, and you are voting on making debate less intelligent. For these reasons, my opponent's case falls, my case stands, and the resolution stands. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 1


From quick observation of my opponent's case, I cannot help but notice that his case is based around the harm GE's can bring to the debates here, thus, if you do not buy my refutations of his case, then I shall agree that GE's should not be placed in debates, however, this says nothing about them being placed in comment sections, private messages, walls, forums, etc. The primary purpose of none of these other places is to debate, thus, his arguments don't apply to them, thus, a clear CON vote regardless of how this debate turns out.

Re: Disadvantage I-- Disrespect

Re A: This rest on a false assumption; this rest on the idea that sarcasm is only a means to disrespect one's opponent. However, this is obviously not true. For instance, let us say that Debater A and Debater B are in a debate concerning global warming and Debater B (who is defending the idea that we should act towards slowing down global warming) decides to suggest that the US has greatly done it's part in reducing global warming in spite of the fact that it hasn't. Now, although this is an example of sarcasm, there is no point where it is being used as a personal attack against the opposition. Ergo, PRO insinuations concerning sarcasm are clearly false.

Furthermore, I can't put it any better than this article has:

"Sarcasm is most often used as an intelligent form of humor to satirically and paradoxilly portray the minutinae and uselessness in some aspects of everyday life." If anything, it encourages intelligence.

Lastly, I cannot help but notice that PRO is encouraging a system which encourages the style over substance fallacy. Let us not judge based on the style which arguments are made, but rather their actual substance as that is how we progress towards the truth. To judge on style is foolish and completely contrary to the purpose of determining a winner to the actual debate.

b) I've already covered how sarcasm does not equal disrespect or rather any form of ad hominem. So now, I shall simply provide a means of solving PRO's problem while maintaining GEs. PRO doesn't like disrespect, thus, rather than disallow GEs, I motion that disrespecting opponents during debates (which, incidentally, already takes place here even without GEs. If PRO wants examples, I'll be more than happy to provide) be deterred. If a debater disrespects his/her opponent during a debate, the debater in question should be investigated and then giving a posting quota (in other words, the debater in question would have to wait a certain amount of time to post any comment. This could also apply to debates as well as posting on this website's forum which is said to be out by next week).

RE: Disadvantage II-- Loss of Needed Intellect

a) Interesting tactic here. Above, PRO notes that a debater should not aim to disrespect their opponents, yet here, he goes on to point out that a debater should supply plenty of arguments for the purpose of showing their opponent's lack of intellect. Contradiction? I think so. :D

But at any rate, the goal of the debate is to persuade, not to boast one's own ego through showing how one's opponent lacks intellect because this one has posted twenty arguments. Though personally, I must ask why a debater couldn't simply offer twenty points AND make good use of non verbal communication via emoticon? Unless of course, does my opponent intend to claim that emoticons have no effect? I would like to know the answer to this question before I proceed.

RE RE Contention 1 (my contention):

Since I've already rebutted "disadvantage II", I'll just move on this false dichotomy which concerns books. He ask me if books need GEs. In response, I ask him if books are incapable of mis-communication. If they are, I will gladly concede to his stance. Since the point of my argument was that GEs would help deter mis-communication, I find such a question rather relevant. Furthermore, by PRO's logic, the idea of emoticons should have never been concocted in the first place and yet here they are being used on nearly every online forum.

I absolutely agree that one can communicate and establish points via text. All I'm saying is that the addition of non-verbal communication here would benefit and provide less instances of "mis-communication."

RE RE Contention 2 (my contention)

Not at all. Note that I was referring to the "absurdity of one's idea." Attacking/disrespecting one's argument/idea is far different than attacking an individual. And since when is one obligated to respect someone else's argument? Why should I respect an argument such as:

1) Aliens exist on mars.
2) Batman is cool.
3) Therefore, Global warming doesn't exist.

Or how about:

1) Gays have acid in for blood.
2) Jews are evil.
3) Therefore, Adolf Hitler is awesome.

I challenge my opponent to prove how either of these arguments DESERVE respect. In addition, how I am obligated to respect every argument? With this clarification, I shall proceed further on this matter in the next round.

Oh, but any rate, I've already dismantled PRO's "disadvantage" argument in every other way.

RE: Conclusion:

Well, I've already pointed out how you are to vote CON regardless (GEs wouldn't just apply to debates here). PRO has provided no compelling reason as to why one should be obligated to respect someone else's argument and I've pointed out that you can maintain what PRO believes as being the "intelligent" aspect of debate AND use GEs in order to decrease the chance of mis-communication. Thus, the victor of this debate is already apparent.

And that'll do it for now.


Okeeeeyyyyy.... first I'll start with my opponents intro and then go down the arguments, one by one. Hobey ho!
First off, this is a cop-out. It was obvious that what my opponent meant from the beginning was that GEs should be used in debates. The fact that they attempted this argument showed that they were either afraid of my arguments, or they could not defeat them. Secondly, in cases of forums or messages, there is no limit to how many times you can reply. You can simply explain what you meant, so this is not an issue and should be thrown out of the debate in which it was not invited.
Disadvantage I
a) Alright, please allow me to explain what I meant about sarcasm's relation to disrespect. Even if a use of sarcasm wasn't meant to be derogatory, it still has the potential to. If you look at the article you provided from wikipedia, you can see in the second sentence, 'DESPITE IT'S WOUNDING POTENTIAL'. It still has the potential to hurt or embarrass the other person.
b) I am, in fact, NOT promoting style over substance. It should be equal (e.g., easy to read and a good argument). If you look to later in my round, I said that you should attempt to make good attacks by presenting great arguments.
c) Like I said, when a debater shows disrespect in a live round, they are counted off. And so they should. The same ought to be for And we should definitely not encourage this action!
d) I would indeed like examples. I could always use a good laugh.
Disadvantage II (aka, my baby)
a) Contradiction- Not at all. It's comparing a 7th grader and an all-state high school senior playing one-on-one. It's obvious the senior will destroy the 7th grader. This is what I present. My opponent presents the senior 'talking smack' while doing it.
b) '...the goal of the debate is to persuade, not to boast one's own ego through showing how one's opponent lacks intellect because this one has posted twenty arguments' I believe having twenty arguments is extremely persuasive, don't you?
c) I have explained using both disadvantages why you should not have emoticons in debate... disrespect and loss of needed intellect. Pure and simple. And no, I do not claim they have no effect, they cause my disadvantages.
Contention 1
a) No, books are not incapable of mis-communication (so I don't expect you to concede); but, if well written, they get their point across, without GEs, mind you.
b) The idea of emoticons are to make the internet fun, not to decrease mis-communication.
c) On their final paragraph: they keep wanting to settle all my arguments by saying we can do both. Debate is about gaining knowledge and discussing amongst peers. When we add GEs, we see the two disadvantages come into play.
Contention 2
a) Not all arguments deserve respect, but the people who wrote them do. The sarcasm might not be directed at the debater, but it does indirectly disrespect them by saying their views don't matter or are sub-par. Even the person with the most ludicrous ideas should be given respect.
b) My opponent has not, in fact, dismantled my disadvantages, so they pull through! (Yay them!)
Since I have one more round, I won't burden my voters with the whole 'vote for me' mumbo jumbo. So, until then, vote for me!
Debate Round No. 2


RE: Intro:

1) This clearly isn't a copout. First, if you look at the resolution, it clearly states nothing more than that should enable graphical emoticons. It says nothing about these emoticons being limited to the debates. Second, looking back at my R1 (particularly my "attention getter, as well as my first contention where I say "Due to all of our discussions being heavily text based . . ."), you clearly see my usage of the term "discussion."

After taking a quick glance at what a discussion is ( ), it is rather clear that we cannot equate it to a debate. Ergo, PRO's stance on me urging that GEs merely be allowed in debates is revealed for the Straw Man fallacy it is. Thus, it is not I who fears defeat in this debate, but rather PRO for denying the obvious.

2) So basically, PRO would have us have to rely on redundancy; he would have us accept constant mis-communication and repeat ourselves rather than avoid acts of mis-communication entirely through the addition of GEs. Clearly, this is absurd. My solution decreases inconvenience whereas PRO's solution merely enforces it.

Re Disadvantage I:

a) Now that it comes down to a matter of potential, you shall see that PRO cannot possibly maintain this argument. If we are to talk about potential, then allow me. Every message has the potential to offend someone else? Why? This is simply because mostly every message has the potential to be misunderstood. Misunderstanding causes conflict. Rather than provide an in depth explanation for this fact, I think I'll just link you as well as PRO to a rather informative article regarding this matter:

b) They shouldn't even be promoted equally. For instance, if a guy makes an excellent argument as to why global warming exist but relies on heavy usage of slang, should this guy's actual argument really be faulted despite the fact that it was excellent nevertheless? Or to go vice versa, let us say that the aforementioned guy is an excellent speaker (perhaps the best this world has ever seen), but presents a positively atrocious argument riddle with fallacies of all forms, does PRO mean to say that this guy should have a 50/50 shot of winning the debate? I understand how formal competitions judge, but it must be noted that formal competitions are called FORMAL competitions for a reason. It's a competition where you've got to be formal. However, on, no such ruling is in place. Rather, the main emphasis is on debating PERIOD.

c) Hey, I've already given a solution that still allows GEs. PRO is simply resorting to ad nauseum.

d) Sure thing:

1) (Ragnar's sarcasm not detected)
2) (me accused of getting hostile)
3) (me thinking beem0r is getting hostile)
4) This very debate.PRO said he could use a good laugh, yet I am not sure as to whether or not he is mocking me or if he really does find "mis-communication" to be funny.
5) (eyeleapy thinks Kleptin is mocking me).
6) (eyeleapy thinks I'm getting "riled" up)
7) (gurenman thought I was being egotistical)

Each and everyone one those these pieces of evidence illustrates my point. Just imagine if the intent of each misunderstood user was posted via GE. This would have drastically decreased the chances of miscommunication.

Disadvantage II (now my baby back rib)

a)First off, obvious use of the straw man fallacy. I'm not encouraging anyone to trash talk. In fact, I even provided an effective means of deterring trash talk. Second, let me quote EXACTLY what PRO said"

"it simply means you aren't able to show your opponent's lack of intellect by using your own intellect."

So no, this isn't merely a matter of a novice taking on a veteran. This is matter of someone belittling their opponent with their "superior intellect" through debating. Debate is about finding the truth and/or being victorious in argumentation. It's not about proving how intelligent you are. Not only that, but the most intelligent person is not guaranteed to win. Debate requires far more than intelligence. You can be a genius on par with Einstein, but unless you have some knowledge of what you're debating about, knowledge of argumentation as well as some persuasive skills, your raw intelligence is meaningless.

At any rate, "attempting to show that your opponent's lacks intellect (or in other words, is stupid)" is not equivalent to a novice taking on an elite. You don't have to boasts your intelligence in order to win a debate. Ergo, it is quite clear that PRO is contradicting himself. You can't simply attempt to uphold "respect of one another" in a debate round AND insist on belittling your opponent's intelligence. An elite debater can most certainly win a debate against a novice without accomplishing the latter.

b) First, I was focusing on PRO's intent (which is to belittle the opponent) of having a debater provide twenty arguments. Whether or not the idea of "posting twenty arguments" alone is persuasive or not is irrelevant. Second, to pacify PRO, I would have to say that providing twenty arguments does not necessarily equate to persuasiveness. After all, you can provide twenty nonsensical arguments (like the ones I provided below) and it won't be any difference in terms of how the judges are persuaded as the goal of a persuasive argument is QUALITY, not QUANTITY.

c) I've already explained how GEs don't equate to disrespect (note that PRO now says that they have the POTENTIAL for disrespect, which is a very weak argument as any message has the potential for disrespect), have provided a means to deter disrespect (even though I didn't have to), and have shown that PRO's loss of needed intellect point is truly nothing more than a contradiction of the "disrespect contention." At very least, even if you don't buy the last one, the clear facts in the first two points still remain, thus showing that a debater could do what PRO has requested AND what I have requested.

Re: Contention 1

a) If books are not incapable of mis-communication, then it's clear that PRO's book point is worthless. Furthermore, note the words "if well written." Well first, even "if well written", they are still capable of mis-communication. Secondly, PRO is placing a heavy burden on users here. He wants everyone to drastically improve their writing skills or constantly redraft their posts for countless amounts of time so that they may be considered "well written." Clearly, this burden is overwhelming. On the other hand, my alternative is far less complex and time consuming.

b) False. As noted by my wiki-article, "An emoticon is a symbol or combination of symbols used to convey emotional content in written or message form." In fact, emoticons have existed long before the age of the Internet. Moreover, even if emoticons do just make the internet fun, why would PRO want to deprive this site of fun? :(

c) Cross apply "Disadvantage II: c"

Re Contention 2:

a) #1. Just because a debater is debating in favor of something, it doesn't mean their views are being reflected. In debate, often times, we are forced to defend the position we don't personally believe. #2. This is exactly what is being done when one is atempting to disprove another's views. Views which are being disproven are considered as views which don't matter (or are sub par).
b) Uh, yes I have?

I'm not gonna post a bunch of "things to vote off of" s


Ok, since this is the final speech and I go to work in a bit, I'm not going into super detail. I'll just go over each main point. Hobey ho!
1. Okay, I am not against GEs in messaging. That is for sure. If you want to vote against me on an argument like this, I don't think you should, but there's nothing I can do.
2. Forums aren't even up yet, how can we know it won't include emoticons? Just something to think about.
Disadvantage I
1. When we increase the chances of potential offense, we see this disadvantage come into effect, not simple misunderstanding.
2. What I'm saying here is that if there is someone who has both, they should win. If they lack both, they should lose. It's when a mix, the judges must take in all variables in order to make an informed decision.
3. Like I said, GEs promote sarcasm and disrespect. This is not a solution.
4. No, there was no sarcasm. I really wanted to see these debates. (btw, #5 is hilarious)... ... And we see how miscommunications are resolved.
Disadvantage II (can I have some ribs? I'm starving!)
1. A debater is not belittling someone by winning (even by an expansive margin) It's when sarcasm comes in that we see this happen. The whole argument is based upon intellect. We should promote using a load of strong arguments. If your opponent cannot cope, you win. We see this happen in my example. However, when it is a close debate, this does not come into play. The debaters should use words still, not GEs to get their points across. This helps their chances of winning when it is obvious they are the better debator!
2. As I said before, strong arguments.
3. Increases potential... see above.
Cont 1
1. I don't propose a burden. I just think that you should think about what you write, and write the best you can. Chances are, if you are a good debater, you are a good enough writer to get your point across without usings GEs.
2. Ok, it is made to show emotion. I accept this, but this does not for sure decrease miscommunication. Fun is good, sometimes.
3. Cross Apply Disadvantage II, 3.
Contention 2
1. Good point, but they still do not deserve disrespect of their speech writing skills. Isn't beating them horribly enough? (No Sarcasm)
2. No. Lol.

Thanks for reading this debate!
Vote for Me!
Debate Round No. 3
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Logical-Master 8 years ago
eh, I'm bit lazy when it comes to posting my rounds. Anyway, thanks for the debate. Later. :D
Posted by kcougar52 8 years ago
My goodness. I thought that debate would never end. ;)
Posted by Logical-Master 8 years ago

*needs an edit function*
Posted by Logical-Master 8 years ago
System Glitch:

At the end of my round, it should say "I'm not going to post a bunch of thingss to vote off of since I pretty much do this repeatedly in the round, so vote CON. :D"
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 8 years ago
I'll have to remember that link. It resulted in some literal lols :D.
Posted by s0m31john 8 years ago

We don't need emoticons, we just need special character support.

ASCII art would be better than lame predefined emoticons.

Beware, there may be some adult themed ASCII art on that site.
Posted by Logical-Master 8 years ago
Wait, was that sarcasm?
Posted by Logical-Master 8 years ago
Uh . . . but "-_-" is an emoticon. O_O
Posted by s0m31john 8 years ago
I hate emoticons.

Posted by Logical-Master 8 years ago
"This was really good, and I don't need a thumbs-up GE to express that thought."

Perhaps not, but that thumbs up GE would let others know just how much you approve of the aforementioned idea, thus this would highly . . . whoops, was about to make an argument. Gotta keep myself from doing that in the comment section. Till the debate then. ;-)
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