The Instigator
dylancatlow
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
ShabShoral
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

The Lawyer Paradox can be resolved as follows

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Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 3/26/2016 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 723 times Debate No: 88788
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (0)

 

dylancatlow

Pro

The Paradox:
A teaches B in rhetoric and the law, payment to be given when B wins his first case. B finishes his teachings and but never takes a case, instead becoming a transactional lawyer. A gets upset and sues B for his payment.

A argues:
If I win, then B must pay me for teaching him.
If I lose, then B has won, and must still pay me.

Contrariwise, B argues:
If I win, then I do not need to pay A, for I have won.
If I lose, then I have not won my first case, and need not pay him.

Resolution:
To begin with, we need to distinguish between two things: the question of who should get the money, and the answer to the paradox. These are not the same thing. The paradox results from the fact that two seemingly logical arguments can be made that reach opposite conclusions. In order to resolve the paradox it's enough to show that these arguments are not actually logical. However, if neither side makes a rational case, it's still possible to argue that one side should get the money anyway, so these are independent questions.

The answer to the paradox is that neither A nor B make rational cases, because their arguments are internally inconsistent. In one instance, A takes for granted that the outcome of the trial being conducted is irrelevant to whether or not "B won his first case" which is itself relevant to who should win, and in the next instance, he assumes it is relevant. B does exactly the same thing, but in reverse.

A1: "If I win, then B must pay me for teaching him."

This only makes sense if the outcome of the trial is irrelevant. If it were relevant, then clearly B owes A nothing as he hasn't one his first case yet, since his first case is still in process.

A2: "If I lose, then B has won, and must still pay me."

This only makes sense if the outcome of the trial is relevant to whether or not "B won his first case".

B1: "If I win, then I do not need to pay A, for I have won."

This only makes sense if the outcome of the trial is irrelevant to whether or not "B won his first case".

B2: "If I lose, then I have not won my first case, and need not pay him."

This only makes sense if the outcome of the trial is relevant to whether or not "B won his first case".

Now, in order to decide who should get the money, you just need to decide whether or not the outcome of the trial should be relevant to whether or not B "won his first case". If you decide it's relevant, then A should win, because there's no way for B to win without undermining his own case if the outcome is relevant. If it's not relevant, then B should win, because no matter what the outcome of the trial is, B did not "win his first case" yet. There's no correct answer, but recall that we don't need to decide who should get the money to resolve the paradox.
ShabShoral

Con

Upon careful consideration, my opponent's case is bulletproof.
Debate Round No. 1
dylancatlow

Pro

My opponent at least has enough sense to realize when he's outmatched.
ShabShoral

Con

Pro has not fulfilled his burden of proof, since A is A. Vote con.
Debate Round No. 2
dylancatlow

Pro

My opponent is a bigger flip flopper than a Burger King employee having a seizure.
ShabShoral

Con

He has offered no rebuttals.

Full forfeit on his end.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by SkyLeach 1 year ago
SkyLeach
I wish I had come in while this was in the voting period.

Con torpedoed the crap out of Pro, requiring logical consistency to refute which was Pro's achilles heel from the outset.
Posted by 1harderthanyouthink 1 year ago
1harderthanyouthink
Con may have been correct that Pro's case was bulletproof, but Con's R2 was at the level of anti-tank artillery.
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