The Instigator
larztheloser
Con (against)
Losing
4 Points
The Contender
vmpire321
Pro (for)
Winning
23 Points

That filling out the big issues on one's DDO profile is beneficial

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 8 votes the winner is...
vmpire321
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/27/2012 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,912 times Debate No: 23901
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (8)
Votes (8)

 

larztheloser

Con

Hey all, this debate is for the first round of Phantom's 99th percentile tournament. Vmpire and myself will be arguing the aforementioned resolution. Please note that I am arguing as con, while my opponent is arguing pro. Burden of proof is on pro, but I intend to bring out lots of substantive material of my own.

I don't expect this to come down to definitions, but DDO refers to this website (for the acronymically-challenged) and the big issues are those things you see if you click "Edit Profile" and then "Issues" from this page.

In terms of structure, this debate will follow the classic DDO format: first round acceptance, last round summaries. Voting will go for one week as per Phantom's rules. Please take voting seriously in this debate, and try not to vote based on your personal opinion, but simply on which of us argued more effectively.

To my opponent I wish very good luck, and I look forward to a fun and exciting debate!
vmpire321

Pro

Well then...I accept this debate. Looking forward to this >.<

Before we start, I'd like to point out that beneficial basically means that something does more good then harm.

I am trying to prove to you that all in all, the big issues will help you more than annoy you.
My opponent only has to prove that there are no benefits or there are more disadvantages.

Best of luck to the both of us ;)
Debate Round No. 1
larztheloser

Con

I thank my opponent for accepting the challenge. I'm going to run a three-pronged attack in this debate.

1. Big issues limit the range of debates one argues
If one intends to play devil's advocate on debates, then there is no point to filling out the big issues. The only reason is to invite challengers to face them on certain sides of certain topics. For instance, there is no reason to choose pro on the big issue of "abortion" unless you wanted people to challenge you as con. On the other hand, if you do not spend those precious moments of your day filling out these details, you'll get a mix of challenges proportional to how everybody else stands. Of course, you can accept open debates on both sides of the topic regardless, but doing so makes the big issues seem pretty pointless.

There are two big harms that result from this. The first is the proliferation of a myopic mindset - what I mean by that is that as your arguments only ever focus on your own beliefs, which through the medium of debating one is continually self-justifying, those beliefs become more entrenched (think of it as "I am right, you are wrong" kind of thinking). If, on the other hand, people regulary debate on both sides of key issues, then they are able to constructively self-critique and evaluate their own beliefs critically, which ultimately leads to better judgements because a range of viewpoints are properly considered. These kinds of values imposed when debating have ramifications for the real world as well. I'm going to make a sweeping generalisation here and say that debaters are generally smart people - it takes a certain amount of intellectualism to do debating. Some of the people on this site will be politicians, businesspeople, lawyers etc, and in each of these positions dogmatism can have devasting consequences for the rest of society. For instance, a self-convinced politician who refuses to compromise can throw off an entire parliament (this happened in New Zealand's 1999 election, with Winston Peters and his New Zealand First party).

Secondly, it limits the fun and thrill of debating. Some of the best and most exhilerating debates are those you don't WANT to argue, because it challenges you to think on your feet and try something fresh. If you're always arguing on the same side of motions, debating becomes more like a chore - always following the same set repetitive arguments and only adapting the case to deal with the odd unexpected refutation. Ultimately, that fails to stimulate in the long run and reduces involvement with debating, in a psychological sense. Besides the skill of being able to argue both ways being very useful for real-life debating, it is also essential for debating to be as fun as possible. Of course I admit that debating can still be fun without it, just like playing with the white pieces in chess is fun - but sometimes, you might want to try playing with the black pieces too.

2. Big issues do not lead to constructive debates
There are two kinds of big issues, which I will conveniently categorise as those that are "out of date" and those that are "extremely general". Out of date issues are issues that once were big and important, but which have lost a significant amount of relevance to our world. Juggle have announced that they are working towards fixing this problem (http://www.debate.org...) so perhaps (maybe) by the time this debate is over things will be different, but working on the assumption that they won't be, out of date issues do not lead to constructive debates because they cannot be helped. You can't change the past, so debating whether George Bush was good or bad does not change the fact that he served as president. It's also not particulary helpful for future elections, as these will take place in very different contexts and conditions. Indeed, that debate is only meaningful when Bush was president, or perhaps before he was president. That makes the debate entirely unconstructive now.

The second type of issue is that which is ridicliously general, such as "PETA". It's not as simple as being entirely for or entirely against these kinds of issues - most debates will ultimately focus on specific aspects of these issues. This makes it impossible to give a meaningful pro/con nod either way on the issue. With PETA, for instance, one might support their right to exist but dislike some of the methods of some of the members of that organisation. "United States", "Welfare", "Patriotism" etc all fall into this category also. They're not issues where you can develop a simple dichotomy and call that the basis for a debate. In all honestly, few of the supporters of PETA on the site will defend the motion "This house agrees with PETA" - they may agree with some of what PETA does, but not necessarily all of it. Issues about taxes are here too - does being "con" to estate tax mean you support abolishing it or that you think it's too high, or perhaps that it's too bureaucratic under the status quo, or what?

The second issue with the issues is, in part, alleviated by the comment boxes (when they are filled out fully, and they rarely are), which allow you to define more specifically how one interprets the issue. However, the design and set-up of the big issues box discourages a detailed interpretation. Many debaters look no further than the "Agree" and "Disagree" percentages and icons to ascertain good candidates for topics/debates, and then assume that the other debater simply believes the opposite to them. For instance, say I think abortion should be banned because life begins at conception, then I see somebody who disagrees with me on abortion and challenge him to an abortion debate. I argue life begins at conception. Trouble is, my opponent agrees. My opponent simply doesn't see a moral problem with murder. And now we've wasted an entire non-debate about what I wanted to argue - when life begins. In this case, the big issues were useless as they failed to start a constructive debate on the topic I wanted (which as I pointed out in point one above, is the only purpose to the big issues). The problem is that you can't define a specific debate in terms of agreement or disagreement with a general issue.

3. Big issues are broken
The big issues are listed as links to out-of-date descriptions of the debates, complete with lists of people who "agree" with users on issues that are either irrelevant or general. But the worst thing is the design of the comments, which do not permit spaces. This makes them inaccessible to screen readers and visually extremely unappealing. Furthermore, it greatly reduces the functionality of the comments, as it introduces a greater possibility for misinterpretation. Filling them out is tacit support for their use, non-participation is the best way to send a clear message in support of change.

I look forward to my opponent's arguments.
vmpire321

Pro

==Introduction==

Nice argument Con. I'm going to assume that I am allowed to post constructive arguments and refutations...so...



==My arguments==

C1: Finding Friends and Rivals

The process in which you meet new people that can present some sort of benefit is simplified through the big issues. Generally, people have specific issues they prefer to discuss or argue. The field of politics is simply too broad and spread out between different issues for you to be able to list your self as a certain ideology or part of a political party and hope to find others that have similar interests as you.


The big issues also allow you to find people with possibly similar views. The big issues currently have the ability to measure your compatability or "agreement rate" with another individual - shown right about the issues. One can assume that with high agreement rates you are likely to become friends with them - rather than meeting an ideological enemy and constantly arguing with them.


On the other hand, finding people who disagree with you on a large amount of issues allow you to find debate rivals - and further discover and redefine your position or perhaps strengthen your belief through the act of debating. Nontheless, a DDO with the benefit of finding people to debate would be much more preferable to one where you have no clue who believes what.

C2: Increasing Activity

This is mainly an expansion of the fact that you can accurately find new debaters who you disagree with. This is important because without the Big Issues - your positions are largely unknown. This discourages other people from debating you, since they do not have any idea to as what your beliefs are. Furthermore, there will always exist other users who actually fill out their Big Issues option, creating a favorable alternative towards you.


The situation is quite simple - I would rather look through a few profiles to find someone I want to debate, rather than have to message one debater and find out his position (not to mention have to wait for him to respond).

There also exists the possibility of a random challenge from another debater, based on your position on your big issues. These challenges, in my experiance, usually occur in the form of a private message or a profile comment, asking you to defend or explain your positions. These occurance create a positive effect in the sense that your own personal beliefs are further solidified or developed.

==My opponent's arguments==

C1: Big issues limit the range of debates

My opponent makes the mistake that the big issues have the sole purpose of finding and isolating who you wish to debate. On the other hand, filling out the big issues allow fellow members, who you haven't met yet, gain and understanding of your ideology and beliefs. This is the actual reason why most of the time, challenges or questions occur (through the form of private messaging or commenting).

The Big Issues also serve as an important form of first inviting debaters. To my experiance, members without any filled out details naturally deflect possible debate challenges, simply by disencouraging or disincentivizing other debaters from talking to you.
This will probably be best shown through personal experiances that both my opponent and I went through in the process of finding what to debate. I had originally gone to his profile to see possible debating subjects, however came across the lack of any detail in his Big Issues. This directly resulted in me losing interest and direction towards as what we could debate.
At this point, it lied in my opponent's hands to as what we choose to debate for the most part. In a more general outlook, this basically means that the member at hand no longer has the benefit of other debaters challenging him coupled with him challenging other debaters, but rather only has the option of challenging other debaters. In the end, possible benificial debates are lost, since other members lose interest in you.

My opponent also attempt to make the argument that the Big Issues naturally firm you in your positions, however I would argue the opposite. To my understanding, challenges on your beliefs can only help you improve them, unless if you are a stubborn person at heart. Debates have the possibility of resulting in one person changing or altering their debates as a direct effect of the debate. The most obvious example that comes to mind would be LordKnukle's debate on the death penalty [1].

Continuing on, Con makes the argument that DA (Devil's Advocate) debates are among the best and most enjoyable debates. This argument doesn't make any sense, since accepting a challenge and taking a side that you do not support is not very hard. I don't consider starting a debate and putting yourself in a DA position very mind-blowing either. If anything, I'd say that not filling out your BI (Big Issues) can result in a general lack of interest in your profile. I haven't seen any DA debates that were caused because someone didn't fill out the BI.

C2: The BI do not lead to constructive debates

I'd like to point out that Juggle actually does plan on improving the BI in the following few days with updated issues [1]. Also, while I might have to concede that a small minority of BI options can be quite pointless, the majority of the issues listed can be expected to last a while (ie. Abortion, Death Penalty, etc).

Concerning his example of the George Bush "Issue", whether or not his term has passed up doesn't mean a judgement of his job as a president is useless. The debate on George Bush might be pointless to you in your point of view, however others have differing views towards whether or not George Bush was a good president. Evaulations of past events or occurances are important because they can result in improved future decisions (ie. Should we elect another Republican?). His decisions in general can reflect on the entire Republican Party and its credibility.

His other point was that some issues are too broad for debaters to understand what exactly a person means when they say they are "Pro" on that specific issue.
However, this argument is outdated, because of the fact that many vague issues are being removed, such as "United States", "Patriotism", "PETA", etc [2].
Also, the option of filling out the BI even on a vague issue is much more preferable than choosing not to fill it out at all. At the very least, there is an increased possibility that another debater will confront you on your stance, as choosing not to fill it out seems to give off the implication that you have no opinion or do not care.

My opponent argues how different people intrepret certain issues, which can result in nonproductive debates. However, whether or not debaters agree on specific issues doesn't affect the overall issue or subject.
For example, my opponent brings up the example of abortion. In this case, the subject wishes to argue that life begins at conception. However, the subject's opponent agrees and argues that murder is morally acceptable. In the end, this debate can still occur - arguing whether or not murder should be allowed. Debates like this open up people's mind and allow the to judge issues more accurately. In shorter words, these debates answer the question "Why?"

C3: BI are broken
I do not have much space left. However, the majority of this argument can be proved false as Juggle has shown an interest in improving the BI (because of good ol' Koopin). My opponents plan is flawed, since if people began to left the BI blank (in protest of the defects), Juggle will assume that members have lost an interest. In the end, showing support of the BI encourages Juggle to improve and update it.


==Conclusion==
All in all, the BI ultimately results in better, more productive debates rather than useless debates. Not filling out the BI will only harm the user.


Sources
[1] http://www.debate.org...

[2] http://www.debate.org...

Debate Round No. 2
larztheloser

Con

I thank my opponent for opening her case.

Finding Friends and Rivals
I'm going to agree that people do (albeit rarely) find people to debate with using the big issues. But imagine, for a moment, that there were no big issues. If you desperately wanted to debate whether life begins at conception without knowing where everybody stood on abortion, you wouldn't scan through DDO member's profiles wondering who might hold the opposing view (which is a silly solution anyway, because there would be plenty of people willing to be a devil's advocate). Rather, you'd simply post an open challenge. If you didn't want to post an open challenge, you would wait until somebody else posted an open challenge and accept that.

Using open challenges to find debate partners is better for two reasons. First, it exposes you to everybody on the site, including new members who might not know anybody on here yet. This is good because it improves the social aspect of the site, and provides a better experience for new members, who might otherwise lose interest and leave. Second, it's easier. Rather than going through a whole bunch of profiles to see who you'd like to debate against, and then typing out your challenge, with an open challenge you simply type out your challenge, saving a step. Sometimes, of course, you'll want to challenge a specific debater because you know them and want to test yourself against them - that's why private challenges exist. But if you know them, then what's the point in having a big issues box reminding you.

Finding people to debate with is not the same as finding friends and rivals, making this whole point a bit of a non-sequiter. I'd say that if you choose your friends or rivals based on whether they believe the same as you, you live a sad life. Even if the big issues accurately reflected whether you believe similar things to somebody else (which it doesn't) it doesn't provide a good basis for choosing friendships. Even people who believe weird things can be friendly. I disagree with RoyLatham on many things, but that doesn't mean we start acting rivalously towards one another. For sure, having friends of different ideologies means arguments ensue - but there's nothing wrong with a polite, respectful argument about a serious point. If people don't want to have arguments, then I question what they're doing on a debate site.

My opponent finishes with the point that without the big issues, people have no clue who believes what. The big issues don't solve that problem because some people like to lie on their big issues because they like to play devil's advocate on particular issues.

Increasing Activity
Again, finding debaters whom you disagree with is not a problem solved by the big issues - open challenges will probably yield a disagreeing debater. My opponent's assertion that people are more likely to take debates where they know whether the other debater agrees or disagrees with them doesn't really hold water, because even if there are a small number that check everybody's profile and have a vendetta against those without filled-out big issues, there is a still greater number that don't really care.

Random messages can be generated by big issues, but are usually generated by debates. If I argue for a big issue in a debate, I'll likely get tons of messages and comments about that. If I update my stance on a big issue, the vast majority of people will ignore it. If people weren't so distracted by the big issues, perhaps they'd have more time to dedicate to discussing debates. This in turn is often the catalyst for even more debates. I remember the second debate I had on this site was generated in precisely this way. Debates are also better for discussing than big issues because there's more characters in a debate than a message, allowing you to present your view more fully. If somebody wants to present their view against yours, then hey presto, you've got yourself a new debate.

Big issues limit the range of debates
My opponent begins by using the "finding friends and rivals" argument and repeating it for two paragraphs. Then he presents a new example - this very debate. Since this debate is part of a tournament, it isn't a good example - most of the time debaters don't randomly scan random users' profiles, looking for things to debate with them. It so happens that I would argue on either side of ANY challenge, and I think that's the true test of skill in a debater. For tournaments, that's what should determine victory - not who has the most facts to back up their own position, but who can defend an arbritrary position better than their opponent. Real life debating is built on this premise. However, since this site doesn't even offer any real tournament functionality, that should not be used as the reason for using features like the big issues.

While it is true that challenging one's beliefs can change them in extreme cases, it is much more frequent when one has to argue and appreciate the position of the other side. I presented loads of analysis last round as to why this is, and my opponent doesn't really engage with it. Sure, DA debates aren't caused by a lack of big issues, but if finding friends and rivals is the point of filling out big issues as my opponent asserts, then filling them out will mean you won't exactly be getting many DA challenges. And if you are, then that only proves the big issues don't work for finding friends and rivals.

BI do not lead to constructive debates
It's great to see my opponent re-using the source that I provided for her in the comments.

On past issues, my opponent does not engage with the fact that context is everything, as I showed last round. Next time you can choose to elect a republican, the world will be very different from when George Bush was elected. Seeing republicans in George Bush terms is thus both counterintuitive and wasteful in that election.

While some vague issues are being removed, the new issues are mostly equally vague. "Animal rights" for instance - which animal? What rights? "Torture" - what sort? To whom? By whom? These are all vague issues.

My opponent argues that "not saying" is equivalent to "do not care" for new debaters. Most new debaters don't fully fill out their profile, however (and who could blame them - how could they know whether to trust this site?), and thus are unlikely to care about any given user's big issues completion rate. And even if they do create challenges, that doesn't make the debate constructive. Better to create open challenges than waste time completing non-constructive debates.

My opponent also argues my point about interpretation of the issues, claiming it helps show debates in a new light. That's true, but that only proves that big issues don't accurately show "friends and rivals" as my opponent calls them. An open challenge on a broad issue could have yielded exactly the same insight, making the use of the BI in no way better.

BI are broken
My opponent claims Juggle wants to fix the issues around presentation of the big issues. In fact they have shown no interest in this - they are simply introducing some new ones and retiring some old ones, with no consideration for the issues themselves. If my opponent agrees that Juggle listens to members like Koopin, she also agrees that Juggle won't assume members have lost interest in face of a clear protest. Showing support of the BI gives Juggle the dreaded "it works so don't fix it" mentality we all want to avoid.

Conclusion
Please bear in mind that my opponent retains the burden of proof in this debate. She needs to show why filling out the big issues provides some benefit to the site that other features do not already provide sufficiently. Furthermore, she needs to show that doing fewer devil's advocate debates, as happens with the big issues, is not bad, and that fixing the big issues is not necessary, plus that the big issues aren't even conductive to good debates. Good luck for next round!
vmpire321

Pro

I apologise for my late response ;)
5 hours left FTW!


==Burden of Proof==


I noticed how my opponent tried to push onto me to burden that I have to prove that the BI will provide more benefits than other features.

This is largely false - no where in the resolution does it imply that the BI have to have some sort of superiority. As I defined in the first round, beneficial means to do more good than harm. Other feature have no impact on the success of the BI. My burden only forces me to show that the BI, alone, is good. Any other argument concerning other features isn't relevent.


==My arguments==


Finding Friends and Rivals

My opponent's talk about open challenges is irrelevent to the resolution. Filling out the BI and putting up an open challenge are not mutually exclusive, unless if he can show that the average member must choose between one and another. In any other case, open challenges have no real meaning in this debate concerning the benefits of the BI. In short, why can't you just fill out your BI and put up an open challenge?


There's also the fact that most people have key issues that they like to debate (i.e. 16kadams and gun rights) and tend to put up more challenges of that sort. The main disadvantage of taking action yourself is that people tend to forget about issues that they do not bother much with. For example, I'm not much of a debater on issues like abortion. Hence, I will probably never put up a challenge relating to abortion.
This harms me since I will never gain the opportunity to debate abortion, leaving my opinion subject to only what I believe. The BI allow other people to attempt to argue/convince you on issues that you would otherwise ignore, creating a beneficial learning experiance.

Also, I agree that the BI alone shouldn't be used as a way to judge and find new friends/rivals, but rather it improves the general method of finding friends. In a more broad sense, people you argue less with seem more friendly. The ability to relate to each other in beliefs increases the chances of becoming friends.
Furthermore, I didn't mean to create the sense that rivals means enemies. What I was trying to say was that the BI allows you to find debaters who you can argue against, if you wish.

My opponent brings up the point that people can lie. This doesn't amount to anything, since debates will still occur. Also, I don't see the chances of a person lying on the BI to play DA. Wouldn't a challenge be a much more obvious answer?

Increasing Activity
Once again, big issues + open challenges = best efficiency. In the end, the BI can only promote productivity. My opponent's argument about open challenges doesn't matter in this debate.

My opponent also misunderstands my argument. I wrote that choosing not to fill out your BI may discourage people from messaging you on your views.
I have received messages because of the BI on issues. Without the BI, those messages may have never occured.
This argument isn't really referring to debates but rather constructive conversations.

Furthermore, my opponent claims that people waste time on the big issues, and this detracts from important discussions. This is just not realistic. The big issues shouldn't take more than 5 minutes to fill out, unless if you are really unstable on your views. The amount of time you spend on the BI shouldn't be much of an issue.


==My opponent's arguments==


The BI limits the range of debates

Scanning people's profiles to find debatesr isn't neccessarly what people do to find other debaters. The giant list of the big issues also show which debaters support a certain issue [1]. Say I wanted to debate internet censorship. I could click on the link to the issue "Internet Censorship" and look at the list of either Pro or Con debaters.
That's a pretty efficient way of finding debaters who disagree with you on your own personal key issues.

My opponent also explains how "true debaters should be able to debate on both sides". I'm okay with that, but nothing will solve this issue. Ultimately, it comes down to the debater's choice on whether or not he wants to debate with one side.

The argument that my opponent next tries to push actually does not make much sense to me =/ (no offense). I simply don't see how my opponent came to conclusion that if you are using the BI as a method of finding friends/debaters, then you won't do DA debates.
Because accepting debates come down to the choices of the debater, they can accept or decline DA debates regardless of their BI.
I don't see how these two have any relationship.


BI doesn't lead to constructive debates
*Answer to Con: Lol, I was going to see that thread eventually. :P


Generally, I noticed that my opponent is making the mistake that these few bad debate issues are causing the debate armageddon. Just like to point that out...

I don't really see why a debate has to be "useful" in the real world for it to matter. I can debate about video games, if I wanted. I can debate about who came to America first, if I wanted. Heck, I can debate on anything I wish. A debate doesn't have to have any real world impact. To be honest, I don't see why my opponent's arguments matter at all.

Also, George Bush isn't really much of an issue, although some people might still want to debate about him. My opponent claims that the world can be "extremely different from the time of George Bush" - it's only been a couple years. It doesn't seem to me like the Republicans have made any real, significant or drastic switch.
This argument is also no longer relevent, since GWB isn't part of the BI anymore.
Animal rights -->
That's what comments are for. Specification on the issue.
Torture -->
Comments.
Although both issues are much more broad. Debate resolutions don't neccessarily have to be that specific to as say "which animal", "which rights", "which parts of the world", etc. Even a broad answer is better than no answer.

My argument that choosing to not fill out the BI implies that someone "doesn't care" applies to all debaters, new and old. How am I supposed to know whether a person is here for mafia games or here for debates? Also, a fair amount of new members fill out some of the BI, preferring the more major issues in their minds.

My opponent once again argues that the BI is too vague and can result in inaccuracy. This argument is outweighed by the fact that there isn't any real harm to the occasional difference in extremely specific arguments, but there still exists the general benefit that you can find debaters who agree with you in a more broad way.
Some benefits + no harm = More harm than good

The BI are broken

The presentation issues around the BI are largely fixed. I recently tried typing spaces in my "Comments" box, and it worked perfectly fine. This means that Juggle is both updating and fixing the BI.

My opponent also suggests the option of a "protest".
This is unrealistic because
[1] New members will continue to update
[2] Most members will probably not participate (I mean, they have updated it)
[3] How will Juggle supposedly differentiate between a protest and general dislike? The obvious solution to the problem in this case would just be removing the BI entirely.

Showing support in the BI, coupled with the occasional reminder from good members, seems like a much more viable way to get Juggle to update DDO.


==Conclusion==


Many of my opponent's arguments do not have any relation to the resolution, such as open challenges or DA debates. DA debates don't have any correlation to the BI, which have shown promise in possible future developments.



Sources:
[1]
http://www.debate.org...
Debate Round No. 3
larztheloser

Con

I thank my opponent for a really fun debate.

Are open challenges or DA debates relevant to the resolution?
To assess whether something is relevant, the trick is to presume it is true and check whether it impacts the resolution. For instance, if we grant DA debates are good, and that filling out the big issues reduces the quantity of DA debates, the resolution is clearly impacted because it would show filling out the big issues on one's DDO profile is reducing a good, which is creating a harm. The open challenges point was a response. My opponent asserted big issues are a mechanism for finding friends and rivals, and I agreed, but I argued that this doesn't qualify as a benefit because not filling out those profiles wouldn't remove the benefit. If we grant that as true, then my opponent's claim isn't really a "benefit" to the user at all, which impacts the resolution because it proves my opponent has failed to show benefits arising from the use of one's big issues box.

Showing that the big issues are good means showing that they provide some benefit to the user. If something else provides the same benefit, then the big issues are in no way being beneficial.

Finding Friends and Rivals
I agree that people can post open challenges as well as fill out their big issues, but if they do, then what's the point of the big issues? The open challenges are already providing people to debate against, and thus the big issues are providing no marginal benefit. The only difference will be that it will be seemingly obvious whenever you're playing the devil's advocate, which may turn off some debaters who'd prefer an honest discussion, which is a harm because it limits the pool of potential opponents.

If people didn't want to discuss a certain topic, they'll put "no opinion" in the relevant issues box. That's it - there's no serious decision-making involved that gets them to think about alternative issues. People are unlikely to ask others about topics they have no opinion on, instead focusing on those they do as there is more potential for debates. The same thing happens with open challenges, but still it's not a benefit the big issues provide.

The whole friends thing remains a moot point. I think the view that it's better to have friends to agree with and foes to argue with is as unrealistically black-and-white as the big issues themselves, but if people really wanted to find friends who agreed/disagreed with various issues in general, they could find those viewpoints clearly articulated on the forums, which provide a better socialisation interface than the big issues anyway. Furthemore, while finding sad excuses for friends may be an advantage to a small minority of debaters (those who want sad excuses for friends AKA those who agree with them on vaguely-defined arbritrarily-determined criteria), it certainly isn't worth the time of the average debater on DDO, nor does it outweigh the harms I have presented.

Increasing Activity
There is no marginal "efficiency" from having filled-out big-issues because open challenges yield all the debates you could ever dream of. Any lack of activity on this siteis due to a lack of motivation or time on our parts, as opposed to people not finding debate partners. The only loss in efficiency in the system is that some people spend a lot of time messaging others trying to arrange debates based on big issues they saw on their profiles. That's time they're not debating. I admit this is not a huge loss, but the key point is that efficiency is not improved using big issues, because the site is more or less perfectly efficient without them.

Furthermore, debates are already a much better catalyst for new debates than issues/messages, so not filling out the issues would not have a significant impact on site activity. My opponent's only response was that people don't spend lots of time with big issues. If that's true, then that proves debates are much more highly involved and thus much better sources of activity generation than checking the big issues to see if there's anything you'd like to challenge others on. Besides, checking and discussing random debates has the flow-on benefit of encouraging voting. While all of this is not mutually exclusive with big issues stalking, it's a lot more efficient to do only the one thing that will yield more activity than split your time somehow.

BI limits the range of debates
The key point here is that if you say you're pro something, there's no benefit to that whatsoever except to possibly get challengers to face you who are con. If you get con challengers, then you're not doing a DA debate. You're limited to being pro because you declared pro to be your personal belief. If there were lots of (if even any) pro challengers also, then that would prove that the big issues failed to generate those debates - the challengers did not take into consideration the information you provided on the big issues. So - either the big issues are useless or you don't get DA debates. My opponent didn't understand this argument, so there's nothing I have to respond to.

My opponent is right in saying that it's ultimately the debater's choice whether they do DA debates or not. That's true, but the system should not be designed in such a way as to discourage them. By encouraging voters to use and challenge based on the key issues, you encourage people to match up based on who opposes your beliefs - which is exactly what a DA debate ISN'T. I've spent enough characters describing why DA debates are the best, and my opponent has never contested that point. Debaters have the choice, but if they choose to fill out the big issues, then they lose that choice or waste their time. It's definitely not a choice they should make.

Big Issues don't lead to constructive debates
My opponent is correct in saying that not all debates need to be constructive. However, constructive debates are better for a number of reasons. They're more fun as they get to the heart of an issue and don't waste time with semantics required to derive a shared understanding of the resolution or any elements thereof. They're more fulfilling because of the increase in neural connections between the debate and the contents of one's life. They're better for the world, as I said in round two, because a myopic mindset is generally unhealthy for any population. I'm not saying there isn't a place for debates like "Barack Obama". I'm just saying it would be more fun if you did debates like "That Barack Obama is a good president". Big Issues facilitate the former, but not the latter. Open challenges are the best and most efficient way to get constructive debates.

Why? The generalness of the issue and the agree/disagree dichotomy. As I said in round two, you can't define a specific debate in terms of agreement or disagreement with a general issue. The latter of these two points has been dropped by my opponent, so I'm assuming she agrees there's harm there. As she says at the end of this point, there clearly is "More harm than good". My opponent has not shown any benefit to being able to identify site members who broadly agree/disagree on various arbritrary issues.

I still maintain, for the reasons I've already described in depth, that there is not a significant number of debaters on this site who think that "not saying" means "don't care", and even if they did, then that wouldn't stop them from taking my open challenges. Thus, the big issues fail to detract from good debates, but even if they did succeed, that would make them even worse because it further limits the range of debates to those that are even less constructive.

BI Broken
I've already shown in great detail that new members are unlikely to have filled out the big issues, and my opponent has offered no response except to assert the opposite.


The big issues fail to add anything significant of value to the site except to arbritrarily polarise and divide.

My opponent has failed to meet her burden of proof.

Please vote CON!
vmpire321

Pro

This is the end of a good debate. I really need to stop procrastinating, as I only have a matter of hours left xD

Relevancy of Open Challenges/DA Debates

I still stand firm in my belief that there isn't any real correlation between DA debates and the BI. Whether or not I choose to fill out the big issues, I will still either like or dislike DA debates. It isn't possible that the BI can change a person's view towards DA debates, since they don't have any sort of relation. The claim that the BI can reduce DA debates doesn't seem practical.

If a person likes DA debates, the BI won't change their opinion on DA debates.

Concerning open challenges, my opponent brought up this idea as a response to my argument that the BI act as a mechanism to socialize or challenge others. He claims that since open challenges do the job fine, the BI isn't actually much of a benefit. However, there can only be positive gain from the BI, since the BI can't really stop you from finding friends and rivals. The BI also allow you to find debaters on a larger scale to see how many members are Pro or Con on a certain issue. Further looking into the issue, the BI has a list of all the people who listed Pro or Con on a single issue. Not all members are looking for debates and open challenges don't really have the ability to help you find friends.

Although, I concede that open challenges can somewhat do the same job, the BI can further a person's productivity. In the end, open challenges and the BI are not two mutually exclusive options, and hence open challenges are not relevant. It is not necessary for me to show that the BI have the most "benefits" but rather are just "beneficial", even if it is only by a little.

Other mechanisms shouldn't be any influence in determining whether or not the BI cause more good than harm.

Finding Friends and Rivals
All in all, open challenges and the BI can have different impacts. Open challenges can help you find debaters- sure, however the BI allow you to find friends also.

Open challenges can only bring up one issue at a time (i.e... I can only debate on one topic per challenge), however the BI allows you to look at many topics and gives you the agreement rate you have with other members.

My opponent also said that DA debates can "turn off" other debaters. Contradiction much? Anyways, I don't see how realistically the amount of debaters who actually care whether or not their opponent is arguing in a DA position affects anything. Their numbers shouldn't be that high, as many debaters do not seem to care.

As to my opponent's argument about members putting "no opinion" in the BI, nothing can solve this, so this isn't much of a disadvantage. If members naturally do not care about certain issues and other members don't have the incentive to talk to them, there isn't much that people can do about this.

Once again, I am not advocating for people to use the BI as the only method of finding friends. I'm saying that finding ideological allies that you agree with is much more likely to lead to a friendship and coupled with communication, you can expect to see a much more efficient way of finding new friends.
The forums can provide some insight into certain people - but only if they are constantly active in the "Politics" forums. The BI can act like a indicator for people.

Vague issues? Not a problem - the comments box is there for a reason. Also, recent events seem to show that Juggle might get to improving more aspects of the site.

Time? If you are actually pressed this much for time - to the point whereas you cannot afford to spend a meager 5 minutes filling out your BI, then you should get off DDO.

Increasing Activity
Another argument about open challenges...

Anyways, open challenges obviously do have the ability to constantly allow you to debate, but sometimes one desires a debate with a more difficult opponent. Open challenges practically leave your debate to anyone. Selecting your opponent allows you to hopefully create a more productive debate.

My opponent also argues that any time that a person isn't debating is a "loss". However, the BI either lead to conversations about an issue or a debate. Conversations aren't all automatically bad, since many of them challenge you to defend your own views. This is practically the exact same thing as a debate, except in a much more informal and comfortable manner (there aren't any time or character restraints).

BI doesn't limit the range of debates

To be honest, I don't see how DA debates are a necessity. In the act of debating, you are already forced to consider your opponents arguments and argue against them. At the very least, you read your opponent's arguments. DA debates aren't the only way for debaters to improve nor does it create the best possible image. Some people might be offended by your flip-flopping.


Also, I still do not see how DA debates have any relevance.
If a person doesn't like doing DA debates, filling out the BI won't change their opinion.
If a person does like doing DA debates, filling out the BI won't change their opinion.
My opponent basically conceded that people receive debate challenges from the BI here. It's in the hands of the member to choice whether or not they want to do the debate in the end. Also, if they really wish to do a DA debate, they have other options that they can utilize, such as open challenges (which would be really useful in this case).
Does filling out the big issues stop you from putting up an open challenge? That's basically impossible.

Do the BI lead to constructive debates?
What my opponent is misunderstanding is that constructive debates are not required for people to debate. There isn't any real harm in debating any issue that is no longer "constructive".

Another fact is that people still have the option on whether or not they with to debate on "constructive" issues. They get to click on the "Accept Challenge" button.

Also, I haven't seen any real response to my point about the Comments Box. I brought up the fact that the comments box can be used to clear up your point on any issue, solving the agree/disagree dichotomy. The comments section can solve for any sort of misunderstanding, not to mention that usually members first message each other before diving into "non-debates".

I also brought up the argument that people are naturally discouraged from messaging you or challenging you on your beliefs, when you fail to fill out the BI. When people see that you do not have yourself listed as "Pro" or "Con" on any issue, then they don't have the incentive to challenge you on anything. If I disagreed with someone, I would feel a much more compelling desire to challenge him/her than someone who didn't have anything listed.
My opponent also attempted to say that members who choose not to fill out the BI still have the ability to put up open challenges themselves. I've addressed this matter already, and the fact is that you as an individual will prefer to debate only the issues you yourself see important. Other issues that don't receive as much attention are forgotten and eventually you fail to justify your own beliefs in other issues. The BI allows other people to constantly ask you about many of your views.

BI Broken
Eventually, new members as they progress have more and more incentive to fill out the BI. There is the natural incentive to fit in with the rest of the members and they'll get around to it eventually.


Also, the big issues have been fixed. (They were updated and issues with the BI have been patched).

==Conclusion==
Issues such as division of members or inaccuracy of the issues are already solved through the current system - where the ability to add your own comments is introduced. On the other hand, the BI at the very least provide some benefit towards helping someone find allies or enemies.

No harm + Some benefit is still equal to "beneficial".

Vote Pro!

Debate Round No. 4
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by vmpire321 5 years ago
vmpire321
interesting. I thought i almost lost =/
Posted by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
Should I vote on this for real? Seems like a waste if time now
Posted by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
Should I vote on this for real? Seems like a waste if time now
Posted by MikeAustin 5 years ago
MikeAustin
Nice debate!
Posted by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
Only 3 is false
Posted by larztheloser 5 years ago
larztheloser
Not most of them.
Posted by vmpire321 5 years ago
vmpire321
So your arguments are false :D
Posted by larztheloser 5 years ago
larztheloser
Well, looks like the big issues are updating... http://www.debate.org...
8 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
larztheloservmpire321Tied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Con attempted to prove (con contention 2) that it would encourage debates. But as con showed the bi would lead to debates only about opinion, limit devils advocate. Thus would therefore lead too non realistic debates. Further around c1 pro showed some benefit, but scurried around most of the point and therefore might as well have dropped it. Bop was on pro, never fulfilled. Finding benefits does not fill the resolution, but finding on balance it is. she never did that therefore con wins.
Vote Placed by MouthWash 5 years ago
MouthWash
larztheloservmpire321Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro proved that the issues had some benefit, refuting the resolution.
Vote Placed by ScottyDouglas 5 years ago
ScottyDouglas
larztheloservmpire321Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: I found Pro had better arguements and stance.
Vote Placed by TheOrator 5 years ago
TheOrator
larztheloservmpire321Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: As all Pro had to do is prove that there are benefits that arise from filling out the big issues, and she succeeded in doing so, she won the argument.
Vote Placed by Ron-Paul 5 years ago
Ron-Paul
larztheloservmpire321Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro proved the arguments and debunked cons. Pro showed how beneficial the BI are.
Vote Placed by SarcasticIndeed 5 years ago
SarcasticIndeed
larztheloservmpire321Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: In the end, Pro explained why BI do more good than harm, even though Con made fine arguments. Pro did a great job refuting them.
Vote Placed by TUF 5 years ago
TUF
larztheloservmpire321Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: I found myself agreeing with vmpire by the end of this debate. I always have people asking me about my big issues tab, which shows people are generally interested, and the fact that you can see people's idealoligeas with it is pretty cool too especially for the debates. I felt Pro established this well throughout the debate, upheld the BOP, and maintained perfect structure. Conduct to Con for obvious time and effort put forth in the debate. Good job guys!
Vote Placed by bossyburrito 5 years ago
bossyburrito
larztheloservmpire321Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro successfully showed that filling out the big issues gives a net-gain of goodness. Con had to show that the big issues had no benefit or were harmful. All of his arguments were successfully refuted, as Pro showed that the big issues and open challenges are not mutually exclusive, therefore the BI still had use in challenging people to a non-devils advocate debate. Conduct is tied, as well as S/G as I noticed grammatical errors on both sides. Sources go to Pro for, well, having more sources.