The Instigator
Pluto2493
Pro (for)
Losing
17 Points
The Contender
Higgins
Con (against)
Winning
19 Points

Resolved: That debate.org's 'big issues' should be changed.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/27/2008 Category: Technology
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,184 times Debate No: 3402
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (8)

 

Pluto2493

Pro

The 'big issues' portion on this site should be revamped.

I contend this for a few reasons.

1. Take this for example: It asks you, "in favor or against abortion". Obviously they are trying to say pro-life or pro-choice, but that's not what the question asks. I am not IN FAVOR of getting abortions; I don't want everyone to go out and have one, I just think its a person's choice. So, we are left confused about how we should answer, not only in that area, but others as well.

2. It doesn't cover ALL of the big issues, like humantairan aid or anything about the economy like Bush's stimulus package, to name a few.

3. It doesn't allow for a place to put your thoughts on each subject. Some things need to be explained, like why it says I am against Civil Unions but for gay marriage.

4. It should have a button that says, "Strongly agree," "Strongly Disagree," or "Indifferent" to accuretly portray what you think about our society.

5. The big issue portion should feature a button that says something like, "Whats this?" It would allow people to learn about things and formulate an opinion on a subject right there.

Thank you, I look forward to my opponents response.
Higgins

Con

When you think about it, the whole "Big Issues" section of the site is pretty pointless to begin with, therefore there is really no need to change it.

1. I understand that you want to elaborate more on your stance in favor of abortion, however, isn't that what actual debate is for?

2. You mentioned that not all of the "big issues" are included, such as Bush's new stimulus package, and to that I say: So what? Just because something isn't included in the list doesn't mean that we can't debate about it. If that is a topic of particular interest to someone, they can simply start a new challenge stating their opinion and someone who does not agree will accept that challenge. Plus, just because something is a "big issue" to a few people does not mean it is a big issue to all. What constitutes a "big issue" is subjective in the first place.

3. It's true that there is no space for people to elaborate on their positions of "in favor" or "against" certain issues, however, like I've already mentioned, that is what actual debate is for. In truth people could leave those in favor/against things blank and still participate actively on this site and get just as much out of it, as many people already do.

4. The strongly agree or disagree buttons are unnecessary. How strongly one feels about a particular issue will be demonstrated if they choose to debate it or not, along with the content of their debate. Plus, an "indifferent button" already exists... People choose to take an indifferent stance when they choose to select neither in favor or against a certain issue.

5. Your last point about a "What's This" option confused me. The site already has something that elaborated on what the question at hand is; it comes up in a yellow box and spells it out for you in brief black and white terms what it is that you are either for or against. If you are still confused, you can choose to leave it blank or take it upon yourself to look into the issue further. That is if you even care, which most people probably won't.

Thank you for this debate. Back to you.
Debate Round No. 1
Pluto2493

Pro

Thanks for accepting this debate, Higgins.

First off, I'd like to explain why the big issues portion is significant.
The big issues portion can get debates started about certain issues, although that is not the only reason why it is there. The profile is someone's personal page, where another person can see what a person is all about. It is more helpful to know about a person when your debating them, so you know exactly what they are proposing and why. Finally, it will be helpful for deciding who you want to be your friend or who you want to be in a group with with the upcoming updates.

I will now respond to my oppnent's arguments:

1. <>

This is not pointless. It shows where people stand on certain issues, and it sparks a lot of debates among people.
Also, just because it is pointless, it does not mean it shouldn't be changed. This whole website is unnessecary; it's just for fun, but that does not mean it can not be changed.

2. <>

No, it most certainly is not. A debate is not to ask question on what someone believes, it is to debate if that belief is right or not. My point was that the issues are not explained clearly; I am not IN FAVOR of abortion, I just don't want the government telling me what I can and can not do.

3. <>

Yes, but that is irrelevent. I never said you can not debate if it doesn't have it on the big issues. It simply shows where you stand on a certain issue.
Also, some people would want to debate certain people. Like I said, humanitarian aid is not on there. If it were, and you disagreed with someone, you could debate them. But, seeing as how it was the 07-08 policy debate topic, that person would want to debate a policy debater, so having the first come option would be less useful.

4. <>

First, this is irrelevent.
Secondly, you're right, there is no quota to be a 'big issue,' but seeing as the stimulus package is a the number one issue on voters minds, and it occupies 3/5 debates in the challenge period, I'd say its a big issue.

5. <>

Some people don't want to get into a debate about everything. In order to do what your saying, you'd have to create about 30 debates. Plus, not everyone sees those debates, whereas everyone could see your big issues portion.

6. <>

Nothing is really NECESSARY here, but it would be easier to see how a person feels about something, and may challenge that person if they are strongly for and the other person is strongly against, for example.

7. <>

This is another area of confusion. People do not answer because of two rteasons: Either they don't know what it means, or they are indifferent. It would be more clear if there were two seperate buttons.

8. <>

I did not know they had this coming, but we can still debate it. The fact that they are changing it proves that it needs to be changed.

Offense- Please apply my first round points into this round:
1. The confusion about whether to put 'for' or 'against.'
2. It doesn't cover all of the big issues.
3. It doesn't allow you to put your thoughts on a subject.
4. It doesn't allow for a more expressive 'strongly agree' or 'strongly disagree,' or a more accurate 'indifferent'
5. It does not have a 'what's this?' button.
Higgins

Con

Higgins forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Pluto2493

Pro

Well, my opponent forfeited this debate, so you are faced with no choice but to vote for me.

I lived alone my mind was blank
I needed time to think to get the memories from my mind

What did I see? Could I believe? That what I saw
that night was real and not just fantasy

Just what I saw in my old dreams were they
reflections of my warped mind staring back at me?

'Cause in my dreams it's always there the evil face that twists my mind
and brings me to despair

Night was black was no use holding back
'Cause I just had to see was someone watching me
In the mist dark figures move and twist
was all this for real or just some kind of hell
666 the Number of the Beast
Hell and fire was spawned to be released

Torches blazed and sacred chants were praised
as they start to cry hands held to the sky
In the night the fires are burning bright
the ritual has begun Satan's work is done
666 the Number of the Beast
Sacrifice is going on tonight

This can't go on I must inform the lord
Can this still be real or just some crazy dream?
but I feel drawn towards the chanting hordes
seem to mesmerise...can't avoid their eyes
666 the Number of the Beast
666 the one for you and me

I'm coming back I will return
And I'll possess your body and I'll make you burn
I'll have the fire I'll have the force
I'll have the power to make my evil take its course
Higgins

Con

First of all, I did not forfeit the debate. It is NOT a rule that one unanswered round automatically forfeits a debater, nor should we assume failure due to one missed argument, especially for the Con position who gets to speak last. I would like voters to keep in mind that this is not "real" debate; this is an online website and I too am only human with outside interferences getting in the way of my hobby. Now without further adieu,

Yes, the "big issues" portion of this site CAN get a debate started, however, not always. I believe that people who enjoy debating already know what the "big issues" are and therefore would start debates involving those topics regardless of whether or not they were spelled out for us in a specific portion of the site. Furthermore, just because the big issues CAN start a debate doesn't mean that they DO. I have debated things that are not included on the list; most people don't take on every single topic provided in a debate either. My opponent also states that the profile is someone's "personal page" where we can see what they're all about. I disagree. How can you get to know someone via a few "In Favor" or "Against" buttons? First of all the person could be lying completely. I know someone who made things up on his profile that were untrue just to be a jerk. Thus this reasoning is unreliable. Second, not everybody argues what they personally agree with. In actuality I am against abortion but have often found it more favorable to debate the contrary. This fact also negates your point. Furthermore, I don't think it's "more helpful to know about a person while debating them" for the reasons that I have mentioned... they're unreliable... and also because in "real" debate you don't get the opportunity to know too much about your opponent. Instead the debate should be based on each individual's presentation of facts and rebuttals, not what he or she believes in on a personal basis.

My opponent moves on to say (concede?), "Also, just because it is pointless, it does not mean it shouldn't be changed. This whole website is unnessecary; it's just for fun, but that does not mean it can not be changed." My opponent is clearly mistaken. There is a big difference between pointless and unnecessary. This website IS unnecessary but it is NOT pointless. It serves a functional purpose, whereas the "big issue" section serves a purpose but it is not entirely functional as I have already explained. Therefore there is no reason to change it to make it a more elaborate version of a dysfunctional system. If we were to change it to make it functional, that is very well possible however outside of the parameteres that my opponent expressed in Round 1.

My opponent states, "A debate is not to ask question on what someone believes, it is to debate if that belief is right or not." Again I ask: WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF KNOWING ONE'S PERSONAL BELIEFS? That is not the purpose of debate. We are not evangelists trying to persuade people to see our point of view. The purpose of debate is to expand knowledge and ideas and hear opposing views that help us form our own opinions and become more educated. On a competitive level, debate is a 'sport' in which the purpose is to dismantle your opponent using specific strategy, tactics, and verbal superiority. It is a challenge. And again, it has NOTHING to do with your opponent's views. In 'real debate' you are assigned a topic and a position. What your opponent's true beliefs are do not matter at all.

My opponent claims that sometimes it would be more beneficial to see where someone lies on an issue, so they could challenge them specifically to a debate rather than select the "First Come" option. Again, I don't know how many times I have to reiterate that one's personal beliefs do not determine how well they can or cannot debate a subject. Furthermore, if someone wants to debate a policy debater specifically, as in my opponent's example, then one can specify that in their opening argument. Also, just because a resolution was the topic of a policy debate does not mean that only policy debaters can effectively argue that issue.

Pro agrees that what constitutes a "big issue" is subjective and that not all of our big issues are mentioned in the section of dispute. He also points out that one topic in particular to support this is the economic stimulus package which currently takes up 3/5 of the current challenges. I think this further proves my point that if one deems something a "big issue" to them or in the country, they can and will debate it regardless of whether or not it is included in the big issues section of the site.

My opponent's Points 5 and 6 are redundant and I have already addressed them previously in this round. His Point 7 claims that the "indifferent" choice on this website is confusing, because you don't know whether or not someone is really indifferent or if they just don't understand the question. AGAIN- WHO CARES? ONE'S OPINION IS NOT WHAT DEBATE IS ABOUT! I cannot reiterate that enough. But to go back to my previous argument regarding this point, if someone doesn't understand a topic, they can simply research it online or via other sources. If they are apathetic, it doesn't matter. And even if they are in favor or against something, it STILL doesn't matter. One's misunderstanding or complete lack thereof an issue does not only result in an "indifferent" optionn but sometimes the WRONG option... i.e. in favor or against... Do you really think that everyone on this site knows what they're talking about? Many site users, especially those under 16, really don't know how they feel about much of anything and instead tend to follow the opinions of their parents and peers. With that said, I think I have effectively continued to prove over and over why these buttons are completely unnecessary and pointless, or rather entirely dysfunctional and unreliable, therefore pointless.

So to respond finally to your main points listed, here we go:

1. The confusion about whether to put 'for' or 'against.' -- As I've argued over and over, it doesn't matter

2. It doesn't cover all of the big issues. -- As I've argued over and over, it doesn't matter

3. It doesn't allow you to put your thoughts on a subject. -- As I've argued over and over, it doesn't matter. If someone wants to find out your views or you wish to express your own, either challenge a debate or accept a debate regarding that topic. Not everyone on the internet wants to know or even cares about your opinion.

4. It doesn't allow for a more expressive 'strongly agree' or 'strongly disagree,' or a more accurate 'indifferent' -- As I've argued, it doesn't matter.

5. It does not have a 'what's this?' button. -- No, if you put the mouse over an issue on the page, it provides a short one sentence blurb that elaborates on the topic and lets you know very briefly what you are either in for or against.

In short, all of my opponent's proposals are completely unnecessary and do not serve a functioning purpose. I have refuted each and every one of his claims to the max and then some. Furthermore, my main argument against it being changed is the fact that there are other bigger and better projects that I feel are more useful and fun than the subject at hand that the webmaster could be working on instead. I'm also in strong opposition with my opponent when he claims that knowing how one feels about certain issues would help us decide who we add to our "friends list" once this feature gets implemented. He is implying that in order to be "friends" even online, people have to agree on the "big issues"... what he's saying is that this divides people and provides for an easy way to prejudge them. Is this what we want or need on debate.org? Even more prejudice then there already is?

I think I have more than adequately stated my case and made up for my missed round. Sorry Pluto but this is not a win in the bag for you.
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Pluto2493 9 years ago
Pluto2493
One last thing: Good debate Higgins. You scared me a little at the end.
Posted by Pluto2493 9 years ago
Pluto2493
wow we have nice avatars.
Posted by Pluto2493 9 years ago
Pluto2493
I think you could've made your last speech in two sentences
Posted by Danielle 9 years ago
Danielle
Whoa. Con's rebuttal in the last round was pretty intense. And kinda awesome :)
Posted by Danielle 9 years ago
Danielle
I agree. Some of the topics that confused me were The United States and PETA/Vegetarianism to name a few. For instance, I do not support the Commander in Chief of the United States (George W. Bush). I do not support a lot of this nation's current policies both at home and abroad. I do not agree with many of the actions committed on behalf of the U.S. (i.e. regarding the Israeli/Palestinian conflict). So how should I answer this? If I say Against I feel like a traitor; If I say In Favor I feel like I'm lying.

With PETA/Vegetarianism, I am not a Vegetarian nor a member of PETA, however, I support the right of others to be a part of those groups. I do think that being a Vegetarian is kind of dumb (sorry - just being honest) however I'm not AGAINST people choosing that lifestyle... hence the "indifferent" option. And in terms of PETA, I am in favor of the ethical treatment of animals; however, I don't support some of their radical antics. So what to do.
Posted by Samacado 9 years ago
Samacado
nice picture. "I know what a leadership is. A leadership is somebody who knows what is going on and explains things."
8 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Vote Placed by Ore_Ele 6 years ago
Ore_Ele
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Reasons for voting decision: Counter Lakeville votebomb
Vote Placed by LakevilleNorthJT 6 years ago
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Vote Placed by Pluto2493 8 years ago
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