The Instigator
Urisma_Ska-Kharib
Pro (for)
Winning
21 Points
The Contender
Danielle
Con (against)
Losing
18 Points

The Is the glass half empty or half full? expression is illogical

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
Urisma_Ska-Kharib
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/14/2009 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,255 times Debate No: 9219
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
Votes (6)

 

Urisma_Ska-Kharib

Pro

Howdy folks! Thanks for taking a look at my debate. I would deem this my first real debate, since the one I did very long ago was... ahem... bad. Enough of an introduction, onto the debate.

The topic of this debate is whether or not the expression "Is the glass half empty or half full?" is logical or not. As pro, I am arguing that the statement is an illogical litmus test (see definitions at the end of argument), and that will be explained in my arguments later. Con will argue that the statement is in fact a logical litmus test.

To whomever may want to accept this debate: Please do not argue semantics. What I mean by this, is do not say, for example "pro used the imperfect tense of so and so verb rather than the past participle, so therefore I automatically win." Please stick to debating the actual topic. If you would like to consider taking this debate, but need clarification or whatnot on what exactly I mean, PM me or drop a message on the debate.

My main points that I will prove in this debate:

The expression "Is the glass half empty or half full?" is an illogical litmus test because it is actually comparing two completely unlike things. Here's a mathematical perspective:

You have two glasses. A full glass would have one cup in it, and an empty glass would have zero cups in it. Now, a half full glass would have one half cup in it (because 1 cup is a full glass * 1/2 of a glass = 1/2 of a glass), however, a half empty glass is still empty (because 0 cups is an empty glass * 1/2 of a glass= 0 cups in the glass). Therefore, a half full glass is actually half full and a half empty glass is actually completely empty.

Because the two objects of comparison are completely different, using the expression "Is the glass half empty or half full?" as a litmus test is illogical.

Definitions:

Litmus test - Any kind of social indicator used to classify someone either favorably or unfavorably ( http://en.wikipedia.org... )

Logical - According to or agreeing with the principles of logic
( http://dictionary.reference.com... )

Illogical - not logical; contrary to or disregardful of the rules of logic; unreasoning
( http://dictionary.reference.com... )

I believe that sums up my argument for round one. I will be providing more arguments as the debate progresses, however I wanted to state my main one in this round. Thanks to all those who read this and good luck to my opponent.
Danielle

Con

Interesting debate.

I'm going on vacation tomorrow morning, so this will probably be the only and last round that I get to post (unless my opponent and I miraculously finish this tonight). I realize that forfeited rounds are usually indicative of automatic lost debates; however, I'm fairly certain that I can negate the resolution just using one round. Therefore I'd like to apologize in advance to my opponent for only participating in 1/3 of the debate. I encourage him to re-challenge me if he'd like to see this debate all the way through. For now, I will attempt to refute Pro's claims using just one round, with either several arguments.

1) The term "half empty" means half way to empty. For instance, if I was drinking a cup of water and then drank half of it, I would say "The glass is now half empty" i.e. the glass is half way to being empty. So, if the glass being full is represented mathematically using the number 10, then the glass being half way to empty would be 5 (half of ten), thus the expression is not illogical.

2) Pro writes that half of a full glass is half-full. Then he offers this analysis:

"A half empty glass is still empty (because 0 cups is an empty glass, so 1/2 of a glass = 0 cups in the glass."

However, this is incorrect -- If a glass is represented by 1, then 1/2 of a glass wouldn't equal 0; it would equal half of one (.5). So, the phrase mathematically makes sense by my opponent's own standards.

3) On a completely different note, if my opponent wishes to eliminate semantics all together, then surely he wishes to simply address the MEANINGS behind the phrases and not the actual phrases itself. In that case, we can use common knowledge to imply that the phrases half empty vs. half full when used in this context (as it appears in the resolution) references the choice of being optimistic (glass half full) vs. pessimistic (glass half empty). In that case, we don't have to define "empty" literally in mathematical terms using the number 0. We can use the number 4, for example. And full can be represented by the number 8. This works, as half of 8 is 4. So, if the glass were half full, i.e. half of 8, then the glass would be 4 a.k.a. empty. If the glass were half empty, it would be 4 x 2 (also 8). It would not be 4 divided by 2, because then it would be half OF empty. Again, I have proven therefore that the expression is not illogical.

If in future rounds my opponent argues that "empty" cannot be represented by any number or mathematical faction other than 0, then he is being hypocritical in the sense that he has ignored the very parameters he put forth in this debate regarding this discussion not being about semantics. In saying that empty must equal zero would be ignoring the very context of which the phrase is intended: optimism (full) vs. pessimism (empty).
Debate Round No. 1
Urisma_Ska-Kharib

Pro

Urisma_Ska-Kharib forfeited this round.
Danielle

Con

Unfortunately my opponent has forfeited a round. Please extend my arguments for now.
Debate Round No. 2
Urisma_Ska-Kharib

Pro

Very sorry I forfeited that round. A mixture of misunderstanding and the lack of time to give a proper response rendered me unable to post a real argument.

Anyway, on to my argument.

Rebuttals:

1) My opponent states that half empty means half way to empty. This is not what the expression asks, however. If that is what the question was asking, the question would read "Is the glass halfway to full or halfway to empty?" The expression actually asks if the glass is half full or half empty, two completely different things. This could perhaps be considered arguing semantics, however I don't view it as that because the expression encompasses both the underlying meaning AND the actual expression.

2) "However, this is incorrect -- If a glass is represented by 1, then 1/2 of a glass wouldn't equal 0; it would equal half of one (.5). So, the phrase mathematically makes sense by my opponent's own standards. "

My opponent has made an error. A glass is not represented by 1. A glass is not represented by anything in my example. A FULL glass is represented by one, and an EMPTY glass is represented by zero. My mathematical explanation read "because 0 cups is an empty glass, so 1/2 of a glass = 0 cups in the glass." In this example, the 2nd "glass" refers to the empty glass defined at the beginning of the example. Because of this, my opponent's argument is void.

3) "On a completely different note, if my opponent wishes to eliminate semantics all together, then surely he wishes to simply address the MEANINGS behind the phrases and not the actual phrases itself. In that case, we can use common knowledge to imply that the phrases half empty vs. half full when used in this context (as it appears in the resolution) references the choice of being optimistic (glass half full) vs. pessimistic (glass half empty). In that case, we don't have to define "empty" literally in mathematical terms using the number 0. We can use the number 4, for example. And full can be represented by the number 8. This works, as half of 8 is 4. So, if the glass were half full, i.e. half of 8, then the glass would be 4 a.k.a. empty. If the glass were half empty, it would be 4 x 2 (also 8). It would not be 4 divided by 2, because then it would be half OF empty. Again, I have proven therefore that the expression is not illogical."

Like I said above, I don't believe that arguing the phrase itself is arguing semantics. But I will go along with your example. I'm not exactly sure what you mean by saying "This works, as half of 8 is 4." Empty is not defined as half of full, however that's how you stated it. In your mathematical proof you gave, your argument actually works in my favor to show that the statement IS illogical. Your argument states two mathematical expressions which are not true, HOWEVER, the statements do fall in line with the expression. You first argue that if the glass was half full, then it would be empty. Common knowledge tells us that half full and empty are not the same thing, so your mathematical expression is incorrect. Second, if the glass were half empty, it would be 4 * 1/2, NOT 2. I am not sure why you used 2 in expressing half of empty whereas you used 1/2 when expressing half of full. Either way, your logic is flawed.

My arguments:

Because we are not arguing semantics, I would like to express "empty" as 58 zorgs, and "full" as 18 universes. Both of these are valid because my opponent and I both agree that empty does not have to be literally defined as 0. So, in this syntax, a glass that is half full would have 9 universes in it, because � of 18 universes is 9 universes.

Therefore, a glass half full = 9 universes.

Now, a glass half empty on the other hand, equals 29 zorgs, because � of an empty glass that contains 58 zorgs now holds 29 zorgs

therefore, a glass half empty = 29 zorgs.

Now, in a valid litmus test, the social indicator is something that is perceived differently by different people, but in reality is the same thing. In the example I have just given, the social indicator (a half full glass, being 9 universes, or a half empty glass, being 29 zorgs) is completely different. Valid test results cannot be gathered because the social indicator is completely different. Therefore, the expression is an illogical litmus test.

Conclusion:

The following three points have undoubtedly shown that the expression is illogical:
1) The actual expression asks for a comparison of two different things, therefore it is illogical as a litmus test.
2) I have rebuked all of CON's arguments and even used her logic to show that the expression is in fact invalid.
3) I have proved how the expression asks for two completely unrelated things for a comparison

Because of these three points I have proved my point fully. Vote PRO
Danielle

Con

INTRODUCTION:

It is quite alright that my opponent missed a round; I have been guilty of doing the same from time to time -- DDO isn't exactly a priority. Moreover, I'd like to remind the audience that even though I have presented three arguments in defense of the Con position, I only need ONE argument to be valid in order to win this debate. If I can prove that the statement described in the resolution is not illogical in any way, then I have negated Pro's position and thus you should vote Con. My first contention proves why the statement itself is not illogical and why the rest of my arguments are therefore correct. That said, I appreciate his final round response and wish him the best of luck.

CONTENTIONS:

1) Pro argues that half full and half empty does not mean half way to full or half way to empty. He says that these phrases mean completely different things. Fortunately for my opponent, he noted that this may be a semantics argument (the very thing he wished to avoid); if he hadn't, I might have been forced to question his intelligence. After all, if something being "half full" doesn't mean HALF WAY TO BEING FULL, then what *does* it mean?!

Obviously something being half full means that it's not full; it's only half way to being full. As far as debating goes, my opponent did not say what the differences between half full and half way to being full were. He simply noted they were different. I personally think it's very obvious that they are NOT different, and since my opponent offered no rebuttal as to explaining why he thinks they are, then clearly my argument should stand. My point was that noting the meaning of the expression, it is not illogical at all.

This is the most important argument in this entire debate, as it sets the tone as for why the phrase CANNOT be illogical, even mathematically (even though the phrase is used as a metaphor). Once you accept that my position is valid... and even if you disagree, my opponent hasn't argued a proper rebuttal for me to debate... then the rest of my contentions will all be clear.

2) Let's look at Pro's exact words:

"My mathematical explanation read 'Because 0 cups is an empty glass, so 1/2 of a glass = 0 cups in the glass.'"

Okay, if an empty glass is represented by 0, then half of an empty class can not also be represented by 0. That's because if there is some liquid in the glass, it is not empty. Thus while a half full glass may not equal 1 cup, it also wouldn't be empty (0 divided by 0); instead it would be full divided by 2. In other words, .5 of a glass.

3) My opponent has completely missed the point of my final argument, which was not supposed to be about mathematics at all. Instead, it was looking at the actual phrase and what it implies: optimism vs. pessimism. It doesn't have to do with "0" meaning empty and I certainly never said that empty necessarily meant half of full. Instead, my point was about the phrase itself and how it is used/meant, and why such a phrase is therefore not illogical.

For example, say I had $100 to gamble with at a casino that only dealt in single dollar bills. My wallet allowed for a maximum of 100 bills, so in other words, my wallet was FULL when I went into the casino. This full wallet can be represented by the phrase "full glass." In other words, the number 100 doesn't have anything to do with the phrase; it just represents what made the wallet full the same way my opponent used "1 cup" in a previous example as to what made the glass full, where he could have used 2 cups or 3, 4, etc. as there are all different sized glasses.

Anyway, suppose after gambling I wound up losing $50 which is actually better then I usually do. Upon my departure, my friend asks me, "How'd you make out?" I reply with, "Okay - I only lost $50 this time. I am going home with $50." My friend then says, "Hmm. I don't know if that's good or bad; I guess it depends on how you look at it. Do you consider the glass half-full or half-empty?" Now keep in mind that the glass in this example is represented by the wallet. As I've said, the glass can be represented by really anything, as the phrase isn't about a GLASS but about a scenario.

In other words, I can view the $50 in my wallet as making my wallet half full, or half empty. If I was an optimist, I'd say half full, and as a pessimist I'd say half empty. This works even if you use $0 as being empty, because while half OF zero is zero, half TO zero is 50. The phrase is not specific on whether OF or TO should be used; however, seeing as though it's just an EXPRESSION meant to imply pessimism, the part about it being illogical only occurs if you take it to mean half OF empty (which doesn't make sense) or half TO empty (which does). We should accept the latter as the inherent meaning because it's an equally valid meaning that DOES make sense.

REBUTTAL:

My opponent's proposed example is by his own admission absurd. He says that the measurements of universes and zorgs are not usable on a litmus test because the standards and indicators are completely different. Thus he has tapped into a semantics argument here; in my examples, I have used consistent variables (numbers). I get what Pro's point was supposed to be -- that if I want to define "empty" as using a number other than 0, then he could define "empty" using anything he pleases. This is true. But it does not in any way, shape or form win him the debate, as I've proven even using consistent numbers with 0 as being equivalent to "empty" why the phrase in question is not illogical.

CONCLUSION:

The only illogical thing about this argument is Pro's insistence that half empty (0) means half OF empty. When someone is using the phrases half empty or half full to describe a scenario, it's in a situation where something - anything - only fills another thing half way. Thus if it's liquid in a glass, there being 4 oz (in an 8 oz glass) would make the glass half full, or half way to full. If there were 4 oz in an 8 oz glass, it's also half empty - half way to being empty. This is a simple fact which my opponent is trying to distort by changing the meaning of what the phrases imply or represent. This is a bad argument; that's like saying we can't argue ANYTHING because words are just representations of things and ideas. Of course if you want to get specific, you can say that words themselves are not valid in the sense that they are inherently meaningless. But for the purpose of discussion, debate and functional society in general, we accept the implications with meanings... especially when the elaboration of or explanation explains why they can be accepted as logical (via my to/of argument) to begin with.
Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
To an engineer/scientist, the glass is neither half full nor half empty. It is twice as big as it needs to be.
Posted by Urisma_Ska-Kharib 7 years ago
Urisma_Ska-Kharib
I actually am trying to give theLwerd time to post an argument in the last round. I already have my argument written
Posted by Urisma_Ska-Kharib 7 years ago
Urisma_Ska-Kharib
I am not.
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
Forrest is a quitter.
Posted by Urisma_Ska-Kharib 7 years ago
Urisma_Ska-Kharib
In an attempt to possibly allow my opponent another round of debate (and to gather my thoughts and arguments as best I can) I'm going to forfeit round two and post my arguments and rebuttals in round 3.
Posted by Xer 7 years ago
Xer
You live in Spring, Texas as well? There's way too many of you people.
Posted by Urisma_Ska-Kharib 7 years ago
Urisma_Ska-Kharib
he says it everyday before marching band. I've never really liked y'all
Posted by Xer 7 years ago
Xer
"Howdy folks!"

I prefer y'all over folks. It's funny. Especially when wjmelements says it. I always smile/chuckle/etc/grimace/grin/etc.

Yeah..
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Vote Placed by Nails 7 years ago
Nails
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Vote Placed by Danielle 7 years ago
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