The Instigator
qwerty15ster
Pro (for)
Winning
27 Points
The Contender
Einstein
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Tabula rasa is all around the fairest way to judge a debate round.

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Vote Here
Pro Tied Con
Who did you agree with before the debate?
Who did you agree with after the debate?
Who had better conduct?
Who had better spelling and grammar?
Who made more convincing arguments?
Who used the most reliable sources?
Reasons for your voting decision
1,000 Characters Remaining
The voting period for this debate does not end.
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/24/2008 Category: Religion
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,240 times Debate No: 2904
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (10)

 

qwerty15ster

Pro

Tabula rasa (or tab ross) is technically defined as having no preconceptions. Thus one is not allowed to bring in their own knowledge or opinion into judging a debate round. They simply have to vote on what is there.

A little elaboration on what a tab ross judge is.....

They do get to come into the round with a moderate sense of logic. (and should) Without it, they couldn't judge debate, because they couldn't follow any arguments that were being brought up in the debate. For example, if a person says in a debate: "disregard any new arguments that my opponent brings up in his last speech as I do not have a chance to respond to them, and that is unfair".... Unless fairness is being debated, the judge has a sense of what is new, and that it is unfair to consider what is new in the debate round.

A tab ross judge is the fairest because they vote strictly on the debate, not on any opinions, bias's, or anything else. Just the debate.

With that, I await my opponents response.
Einstein

Con

In this debate, you will see that there is a fundamental difference between the way my opponent and I view debate. Under my opponent's point of view, debate is essentially a game. This means that it's not necessarily about who makes the "best" arguments or about who is most persuasive - the winner is determined only based on who "won" the arguments based on the framework established by the debaters in the round. I would not argue that this is not valuable; there is value inherent to having debate be a strictly competitive activity. However, under this framework I do not feel that we are exploiting debate's true potential. In any athletic event, the actual event that shows how all of the athlete's training paid off is the sporting event itself; and it is great to have events such as the Olympics that showcase the best in human potential. However, what is important to recognize is that these events exist precisely because of what is required to do them; thus, I would argue that the preparation is more important than the event itself. If you spend years training to be the best sprinter in the world, in the end it does not make a whole lot of difference whether you win a medal or not: you have truly improved yourself as a person, and the medal would only be the icing on the cake, but one does not need it to prove what one did to be so successful. In debate, winning is nice; but it is surely not the point of the activity, and the reason it exists. People engage in debates for education; we are all on this site because we want to discuss the things that interest us. If debate were solely about competing, it surely would not exist as an activity. In fact, we must recognize that all competitive activities stem from the fact that people engage in something that betters them as a person, and they want to showcase that.

Thus I present my stance on the activity - that debate is about learning. As a result, tabula rasa is in fact not the fairest way to judge; it's not fair to the judge his or herself, and it's not fair to the debaters. The first one might seem unlikely, but consider the fact that anyone who takes the time to read a debate is clearly interested in the subject, and wants the debaters to know that. He or she is imparting his or her wisdom on the situation by deciding which debater was better and more correct. If the judge is not allowed to vote based on his or her own personal experience, then what is the purpose of voting? To simply pick a winner? No one wants to judge a debate if there is no purpose for it; and if one must judge from a tabula rasa perspective, then the judge has no importance in the debate other than to be an "impartial" selector of whoever upheld the rules of the game better. This, as one can see, is a dangerous way to view debate; inevitably the activity would fail if it were simply to pick the better competitor, as it would have nothing that distinguishes it from anything else. People engage in debate because of their love for learning combined with their willingness to compete.

As a result, I advocate that a better point of view is to not judge "impartially" and without opinions on the debate. Now, this does not mean that if one debater is a neo-Nazi, the judge should vote them down because of it; personal relations and opinions should have no real bearing on the debate. However, what needs to be relevant is the judge's own knowledge. If one debater says that World War II started in 1914, you as the judge should not let the debater get away with it, even if the other debater does not argue this point. This is simply incorrect, and if you as the judge vote on an argument that is simply incorrect, you are fostering more mis-education and laziness in debate, which can only help to destroy it. In order to make this activity more useful for the people that engage in it, people need to be corrected. One might lose the debate for making the incorrect argument, but is that so important? What's more important is that the person's fundamental misconception has been corrected and so they are no longer holding an incorrect point of view; you have just educated that person invaluably, and that is much more important than any single debate.

Also, my opponent essentially hits the nail on the head, unintentionally, for why being tab is impossible. He says that judges should come in with a "moderate sense of logic." Thus, he cannot avoid the slippery slope that comes with this - exactly how much should a judge bring into a round? Either it is absolutely nothing, and the judge comes in with absolutely no preconceptions, or you find yourself arguing the level to which the judge should come in with knowledge, as opposed to whether the judge should come in with knowledge at all. Once my opponent concedes that the judge should bring some of his/her own ideas into the round, then he has lost his original point that the judge has to vote simply on "what is there."

So, I would argue that the framework for judging debate should be based on education, and not based on debate being simply a game or competitive activity. If you agree with me on this issue, then it is simply unfair to everyone involved to vote on an incorrect argument, because you are no longer educating the debaters, and are in fact encouraging learning wrongly.
Debate Round No. 1
qwerty15ster

Pro

Ok, so I apologize for the untimely response.... but let us go ahead and do this...

So my opponents first paragraph really doesn't have any argumentation and doesn't have much do with the debate itself. But I do have to disagree with one of his points...

"I would argue that the preparation is more important than the event itself. If you spend years training to be the best sprinter in the world, in the end it does not make a whole lot of difference whether you win a medal or not: you have truly improved yourself as a person, and the medal would only be the icing on the cake, but one does not need it to prove what one did to be so successful."

--I have to disagree here, many people spend years and years training to be the best at whatever they do. And when it comes down to the actual event, they want that medal or trophy or whatever they are going for. It does prove that they are the best. If say someone works at something, and tries to be the best, but still gets beat out, they will feel that all of that work that they put into the sport was wasted because it still wasn't good enough. They were still beat out by someone else, and they feel bad that it isn't them standing on the podium for the gold medal. So I agree that I am here because debate is fun, however it wouldn't be all that fun if I lost every debate that I entered in to.

My opponents next point....

"People engage in debates for education; we are all on this site because we want to discuss the things that interest us. If debate were solely about competing, it surely would not exist as an activity. In fact, we must recognize that all competitive activities stem from the fact that people engage in something that betters them as a person, and they want to showcase that."

People engage in debates for many reasons. Education is obviously one of them, but I will argue this point later as it is my opponents main argument. I have a friend on this website who isn't incredibly knowledgeable about many of the things he argues. And he doesn't entirely care about some of the things he argues. But he is a very debater and has won a lot of debates on this site simply because he is good at arguing. In his case, he isn't here to learn as much as he is to practice arguing. Many people (including myself sometimes) are on this site to test analytical skill against other people. To go into a round knowing less than the other person about what the topic is, and still coming on top because of the analytical skills used. Of course education is good in debate, but it isn't the entire reason for debate.

With that, lets go on to my opponents case....

"anyone who takes the time to read a debate is clearly interested in the subject, and wants the debaters to know that. He or she is imparting his or her wisdom on the situation by deciding which debater was better and more correct. If the judge is not allowed to vote based on his or her own personal experience, then what is the purpose of voting? To simply pick a winner? No one wants to judge a debate if there is no purpose for it; and if one must judge from a tabula rasa perspective, then the judge has no importance in the debate other than to be an "impartial" selector of whoever upheld the rules of the game better"

--My opponent states that people are obviously interested in the subject they vote on..... However, this is untrue, there are many people who read debates simply to pick the better debater. They dont really care if blue is better than pink, they just want to vote on who did a better of arguing one way or another.

--He also states that there is no purpose for voting when one is tab ross. That somehow, picking a winner isnt good enough. However, again my opponent fails to realize that at the point that a judge starts making decisions based on what they 'know', they are now debating FOR one person. Judging debate is all about one thing, judging debate. We are here to see who argues better, and most times I will agree that it is the person who knows more about the topic. But when a person brings up an argument that is false, and the person drops it, that debater has conceded that argument to the other one. That person has failed to debate at that point. My opponent also states that we should vote for education to stop laziness and incorrect information in debate. However, if a person fails to point the incorrectness of another persons argument, the judge is fostering more laziness by the debater who didnt say anything because the first one at least made an argument. So you can turn laziness and incorrect info against him. (The latter will be argued farther down.) And one should not vote for the person that has failed to debate an issue. That, my friend, is unfair. At least the person who makes the incorrect argument has made an argument. It is up to the opponent in the round, to make corrections in the debate, not the judge. And further with this, say someone made the argument that WWII started in 2000, and the other person drops it. By voting against the person that made the argument is therefore rewarding the other debater, not because he made a right argument, but because he didn't make an incorrect one. Who is to say that he even knew what year WWII started in? A person who would vote as my opponents would not be voting for correct information, just not incorrect information. And at the end of his round, my opponent states that judging my way may have to go down a slippery slope (I will address that later) what about his way? Who is to say what is fact and what is not? How can one judge facts on abortion, or the existence of god? That is when things become subjective and slippery on his side.

Now we come to my opponents last argument about my slippery slope. Cross apply my argument earlier about his slippery slope. There are many types of tab ross debaters, and it is up to the judge to decide how much logic they are going to bring in to the round. The only stipulation is that they are going to vote on better debating. (which I stated earlier, usually goes to the more informed debater) They will vote on the person that analytically argues the point better. I will admit that good debating does not always happen, and sometimes is rather hard to come by, and this is where I will put my opponent in another bind. What happens in a round where both debaters are incorrect? My opponent advocates that we judge for education, however, how does one do that when both debaters are incorrect? (And it happens all too often) In my scenario, we still leave room to fairly judge that round. The judge should obviously correct the mistakes post round, but not by voting on them.

And with that, I end by stating again that the fairest way to judge a debate round is to be tab ross. At the point that one starts voting on education, they can become a third debater in the round helping one side or the other to win. And that is unfair, we are here to judge debate, and voting strictly on education is unfair.
Einstein

Con

I'm sorry, I don't even feel like staying on this site anymore. Thanks for the debate though.

Filler..............................
Debate Round No. 2
qwerty15ster

Pro

May I ask why you don't feel like staying on this site? This was about to be the most productive debate I have had...... What is wrong with debate.org?
Einstein

Con

I just don't see the point of posting arguments for a bunch of people I don't know to come and vote on. Kind of contradictory to my point, eh? ;P

Sorry again. I just have better ways to spend my time =/
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by sleepiB 8 years ago
sleepiB
The contender had the much easier position to argue from, all you had to do was describe the pitfalls of asking people that have assumptions and preconceptions(that they might not even be aware of) to ignore them, or to describe a better way of deciding a winner.
Posted by qwerty15ster 8 years ago
qwerty15ster
I'm sorry you feel that way..... Hope whatever you decide to do works out for you.
10 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by RainbowDash52 5 months ago
RainbowDash52
qwerty15sterEinsteinTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:00 
Reasons for voting decision: Con showed debates that are judged by tabula rasa focus less on education and people get less out of it. Con also showed that even tabula rasa judges still bring subjectivity when deciding how much logic to apply to debates. Pro's rebuttal to Con's subjectivly choosing amount of logic to apply relied on begging the question by stating that the judge still votes for the side that argued better, both sides want judges to vote on the side that argued better, what you are disagreeing on is whether to vote who argued better to a tabula rasa judge or a non-tabula rasa judge. Pro does make a good point that using personal background information can make you like a third voter. Both sides showed flaws in both forms of voting, so I am voting tied.
Vote Placed by ETKANG 8 years ago
ETKANG
qwerty15sterEinsteinTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by Lenfent 8 years ago
Lenfent
qwerty15sterEinsteinTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by SportsGuru 8 years ago
SportsGuru
qwerty15sterEinsteinTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by pirates1434 8 years ago
pirates1434
qwerty15sterEinsteinTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by kenicks 8 years ago
kenicks
qwerty15sterEinsteinTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by DucoNihilum 8 years ago
DucoNihilum
qwerty15sterEinsteinTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by Yraelz 8 years ago
Yraelz
qwerty15sterEinsteinTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by qwerty15ster 8 years ago
qwerty15ster
qwerty15sterEinsteinTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by Einstein 8 years ago
Einstein
qwerty15sterEinsteinTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30