The Instigator
PoeJoe
Pro (for)
Winning
31 Points
The Contender
stand4something
Con (against)
Losing
19 Points

The Burden Of Proof Is Affixed To The Debater(s) With A Controversial Position

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/11/2008 Category: Society
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,234 times Debate No: 4976
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (11)
Votes (11)

 

PoeJoe

Pro

Perhaps I should clarify the debate topic and resolution.

It is my strong belief that the burden of proof if affixed to the opponent(s) making a controversial claim. The labels of "PRO", "CON", "instigator", and "contender" are irrelevant in determining whether or not a debater bears the burden of proof. All that matters in determining whether or not a debater bears the burden of proof is whether or not the position of a debater is controversial.

The first round made by the instigator is not predestined to be anything. To use an example, an instigator can make two different possible resolutions to most topics ("God is Real" and "God is Imaginary") and can choose whether to be PRO or CON. In this scenario, there are a total of four possible opening statements. If the four debates were to be accepted, the burden of proof according to my opponent would vary in each debate. That does not make sense! The purpose of debate is to find the truth. If the burden of proof can transfer depending on how the opening statement is made, the correct answer will not be forced. Having the burden of proof be affixed to the opponent(s) defending a controversial claim will force such truth.

(In the above example, both opponents would bear the burden of proof regardless of the opening statement. This is beneficial because God is a highly controversial debate topic.)

Furthermore, controversial positions are by definition disputed. If that is so, my opponent believes that the burden of proof to controversial claims may be void depending on who is "PRO" or the "instigator". Once again, this would ignore the very spirit of debate. What is important to a position is if it can be proved. The Burden Of Proof Is Affixed To The Debater(s) With A Controversial Position.

I now leave the floor open to my opponent.
stand4something

Con

It took me a second to understand what my opponent was trying to say in his argument. As I understand, he asserts that "the burden of proof if(is) affixed to the opponent(s) making a controversial claim." meaning that one debater has more of a burden of supplying evidence than another. Which debater? How do we arbitrate which position is contraversial? Why dont both parties have an equal burden to provide evidence supporting their position?

I believe both debaters have an equal burden to support whatever claims they are making. My oponent believes that there is such a thing as a "controversial position" but i would argue that the all debates involve two controversial positions dueling for support. He says that "The purpose of debate is to find the truth." I believe the purpose of debate is to provide thoughtful analysis around subjects that may have no single truth. Proof may not be an aplicable tool for a worthwhile debate, in fact, if any position can be proved, there is very little room for debate.

Anyone reading my opponents argument should strongly question his premise......then of course vote CON
Debate Round No. 1
PoeJoe

Pro

This is my opponent's first debate on this website, so I understand if he is confused. However, that does not distract from the fact that my opponent has not addressed my resolution.

He believes that my position is that "One debater always has a greater burden of proof than another debater." While that is often the case, it is not my position for this debate. And furthermore, I ask from what text my opponent derives such a conclusion?

My position (in simpler terms) is that the debater(s) in a debate require evidence not if he/she is the instigator or "PRO", but if he/she is taking a controversial position. This (as with my God example) can mean one or both debaters.

For instance, if I were to start a debate asserting that "1+1=11", my position would be controversial, and thus I would bear the burden of proof. My opponent in this hypothetical situation, would only be required to rebut my claims.

I hope I have clarified my position for my opponent, and I wish that we could get back to the actually debate at hand.

So far, you, the audience, must vote for me because I have been the only one to make an argument concerning the resolution at hand.
stand4something

Con

OK....this probably isnt the most entertaining debate on this site....primarily because my opponent isnt very sophisticated in the arena of communication, and we have a pretty sloppy dialogue here. By the way, contrary to my opponents observation...this is not my first debate on this site. I apologize if i mis-understood your premise but realize it is very flimsy and some readers may share my confusion.

Your example: "For instance, if I were to start a debate asserting that "1+1=11", my position would be controversial, and thus I would bear the burden of proof. My opponent in this hypothetical situation, would only be required to rebut my claims."

If you asserted that 1+1=11, your position wouldn't be controversial, it would be wrong. Your examples suck. Your resolution borders on ranting and non-sense. Why do you think this burden of proof in necessary? Why cant debate exist (as it has for centuries) without this "controversial burden of truth"? Honestly I think my opponent has a burden....the burden to explain his thesis to us in a way that supports his resolution.

Let me explain why this burden is not necessary and why the nature of debate resolves the issue of proof. As I mentioned before, debate is a exercise in reason and analysis. Debate is essentially two (or more) parties representing differing positions attempting to sway others opinions in a organized discussion with one another. The purpose of the debater is to make an argument in a convincing way. It is not for my opponent (or anyone else) to determine the criteria necessary for a person to form an opinion. If i am convinced by someone that 1+1=11, that is my prerogative. "Proof" can be manipulated and monopolized, thus if "proof" is necessary for all debate....those without access to instruments that produce what my opponent considers "proof" are disenfranchised from the conversation. This is a bad thing because I believe there are things to be learned from people who cant always "prove" what they say. For example, if i am in a debate with a Sudanese refugee about Darfur, and he is not able to cite his opinions and experiences because my opponent doesnt believe they constitute "proof", the debate will lose important substantive information...and the opinions formed as a result lose a degree of perspective.

balls in your court buddy...

con is bomb.....vote con
Debate Round No. 2
PoeJoe

Pro

stand4something has not only committed completely unwarranted ad hominem, but has clearly missed the point of this debate. I ask him to concede and to apologize for his outlandish behavior.

The winner of this debate is clear. I shall say no more.
stand4something

Con

uh oh...my opponents feathers are a little ruffled......perhaps he is attempting to distract you from the fact that he has no substance surrounding his resolution.

The winner of this debate is clear. PoeJoe believes that he can make a confusing claim about the RULES of debate, or the way they should be, without giving us any understanding of why he believes this, and you should still vote for him. My opponent may not see the connection between my last argument about the importance of inclusivity in debate and his resolution of assigning a rigid guidline of how debates should be judged, but perhaps you do.

My opponents believes that "What is important to a position is if it can be proved." I ask the voters to consider his logic when casting your vote and ask if my opponents position was proved by his proceding arguments.

My position is simple. Debate does not need a rigid set of guidlines to be judged by. The discresion of the voter to recognize a positions strenth or weakness in the spectrum of a given argument is, and should be, left up to the voter. If for instance we assigned a points system where a debate was measured simply by "point and counterpoints" we would then define the quality of an argument by this arbitrary formula and could not account the the substance of a position. Why would we even need a voter or judge? Debate may have many purposes, among the least important of which i believe to be, producing a winner. Although my opponents resolution may make judging a debate easier, it would hurt debate, as would most rigid "rules". That is my position.....clear, concise, and thoughtful.....unlike some people ;)
Debate Round No. 3
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by sadolite 8 years ago
sadolite
The burden of proving my randomness is on you or is it on me or is it on you or is it on me or is it on you..........
Posted by gahbage 8 years ago
gahbage
What did you win? An award for randomness?
Posted by sadolite 8 years ago
sadolite
boring, boring, boring, I win
Posted by gahbage 8 years ago
gahbage
"The purpose of debate is to find the truth."

I thought it was to successfully defend your position...
Posted by gahbage 8 years ago
gahbage
"Main Entry:
con·tro·ver·sial Listen to the pronunciation of controversial
Pronunciation:
\ˌkän-trə-ˈvər-shəl, -ˈvər-sē-əl\
Function:
adjective
Date:
1583

1 : of, relating to, or arousing controversy 2 : given to controversy"

"Main Entry:
con·tro·ver·sy Listen to the pronunciation of controversy
Pronunciation:
\ˈkän-trə-ˌvər-sē, British also kən-ˈträ-vər-sē\
Function:
noun
Inflected Form(s):
plural con·tro·ver·sies
Etymology:
Middle English controversie, from Anglo-French, from Latin controversia, from controversus disputable, literally, turned against, from contro- (akin to contra-) + versus, past participle of vertere to turn — more at worth
Date:
14th century

1 : a discussion marked especially by the expression of opposing views"

By this definition, wouldn't both participants have a controversial position?
Posted by stand4something 8 years ago
stand4something
dont take it personally PoJoe...sometimes people may say things you dont appreciate..try your best to keep your composure and finish your thoughts....it will help you in the future.
Posted by PoeJoe 8 years ago
PoeJoe
Just for future reference stand4something, try your best not to add slander to your arguments. It's not that I am truly offended, but it makes you look very bad:

"clear, concise, and thoughtful.....unlike some people"
"uh oh...my opponents feathers are a little ruffled"
"my opponent isnt very sophisticated in the arena of communication"

If you have a strong point to make, make it. You don't have to paint an unnecessary picture of your opponent. If I am in fact stupid, it will come through. You do not have to point it out; just debate.
Posted by InsidRJ 8 years ago
InsidRJ
"The purpose of debate is to find the truth."

Hardly, debate is a very ineffective means of finding truth. People get so lost in arguing their points that they lose sight of what is true. they want to defend their egos.

I find it strange that you are defending your resolution. I believe that the way people usually see it is the way you describe but that it is completely unjustified. When people read and listen to a debate they often unjustly put the burdon of proof on the individual with the controversial position. If you assume that it is just to do so then you must believe there is some relationship between truth and mass opinion. there is not.
Posted by stand4something 8 years ago
stand4something
I understand your resolution....i just disagree with your whole premise.....dont get your feelings hurt
Posted by PoeJoe 8 years ago
PoeJoe
Does anyone want me to challenge them with this topic?

It's a shame my opponent was unable to comprehend the resolution.
11 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by Logical-Master 8 years ago
Logical-Master
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Vote Placed by JBlake 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by PoeJoe 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by Labrat228 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by s0m31john 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by Danielle 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by grecherme 8 years ago
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