The Instigator
emospongebob527
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
magikkell
Con (against)
Winning
8 Points

The Statement "Moderation in All Things" Is A Logical Fallacy.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
magikkell
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/19/2012 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,454 times Debate No: 26390
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (2)
Votes (2)

 

emospongebob527

Pro

Rules:

1. No semantics
2. No trolling
3. No profanity
4. No vulgarity


Structure:

1. Acceptance/Definitions
2. Opening Statement
3. Rebuttals
4. Rebuttals to Rebuttals
5. Closing Arguments/Conclusion

Definitions-

Moderation In All Things- something that you say which means you should not do or have too much of anything.

Logical Fallacy- Obsolete to logic; false.

If anyone violates the rules, they will lose the debate.
magikkell

Con

Thank you for the challenge, emospongebob527. I hope this will be an interesting debate. Just to be certain about the definitions you gave, I will re-state them the way I understand them and ask a clarificatory question. If you think I have misunderstood your definitions, we may need to call this off. Otherwise I am looking forward to your opening statement in round two.

When you say 'no semantics,' I'm not entirely certain what this constraint amounts to. You frame the debate in the context of logical fallacy. In logic, the word 'semantics' has a clear meaning: The assignment of meaning to the symbols. Here is the opening paragraph of the entry on Classical Logic from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:

Typically, a logic consists of a formal or informal language together with a deductive system and/or a model-theoretic semantics. The language is, or corresponds to, a part of a natural language like English or Greek. The deductive system is to capture, codify, or simply record which inferences are correct for the given language, and the semantics is to capture, codify, or record the meanings, or truth-conditions, or possible truth conditions, for at least part of the language. [1]


You furthermore gave an English sentence as the statement under debate:

"You should not do or have too much of anything"

Since this debate is about this sentence being a "logical fallacy," I suppose this means that the underlying logical structure of this sentence entails a fallacy. In other words, the English sentence is the semantics to some underlying sentence in a more formal logical language.

In any event, I accept the debate in the understanding that the following is under discussion:

"You should not do or have too much of anything" is a logical fallacy

I will be taking the con side. As a matter of fact, I am upping the ante. I will be arguing that

"You should not do or have too much of anything" is either a necessary truth or meaningless

I take it to be obvious that a sentence being a necessary truth or meaningless entails that it is not a fallacy (only meaningful sentences can be logically true or false.)


-----------------------------
[1] Shapiro, Stewart, "Classical Logic", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2009 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <http://plato.stanford.edu...;.
Debate Round No. 1
emospongebob527

Pro

emospongebob527 forfeited this round.
magikkell

Con

I'm sad to see that ESB did not take the opportunity to present the case for PRO. I will just make a short argument for CON, but will be waiting for PRO to post more.

When we evaluate anything as being "too much," "too little," "too long," etc., we are already using normative language. Normative language here means that we are making a judgment about what ought to be the case. Thus, whenever we describe anything x as "too P," then we are saying that there is a range within which P ought to fall for xs, and furthermore that x is outside of its proper range in Pness.

Now, specifically applied to doing and having:
When we say that someone x "has too much y," then we are saying: There is some range of amounts of y that is proper to have. One ought to only have y within this range. Thus, it just follows from what it means to say that x "has too much y" that x should not have the amount of y it does.

The same follows analogous for doing. Just from the definition of "doing too much y" it follows that the amount of y done ought not to be done.

Vote CON?
Debate Round No. 2
emospongebob527

Pro

When one imposes a statement such as "moderation in all things"

They mean moderation in all things.

Why is it a fallacy-

1. Moderation is a thing.

2. If moderation was in all things, then all things aren't in moderation.

3. Therefore, moderation isn't in all things because for moderation to be in everything it would have to be moderate, and if it is in all things it is not moderate.

magikkell

Con

This should be easy.
Given that I have already stated my case in round 2 I assume I am now able to respond to PRO's argument. First, let me point out that PRO makes an argument with two premises and a conclusion. My strategy will be twofold. First, I will show that his second premise is false. Second, I will show that his argument is begging the question and he needs to re-structure his argument.

I concede, for the purposes of this debate that Moderation is a "thing," lest I get accused of arguing based on semantics.

I. Why 2 is false

My argument crucially depends on the definition PRO gave of "Moderation in all things" in the debate announcement in round 1. I Would like to press PRO on this point, as changing the definition mid debate should not be a legitimate strategy. The definition was the following:

Moderation In All Things =def You should not do or have too much of anything.

Let me then translate the second premise:

2. If it was true that "You should not do or have too much of anything" then "you should have too much moderation"

But that is clearly false. Moderation should be applied to the appropriate amount of things. And the appropriate amount of things to be moderate about just is all things.

The only way that PRO might argue for 2, is if PRO argued for the following statement

4: If anything applies to all things then it can't be in moderation.

Or the translation per the definition

4*: If anything applies to all things then it applies to too many things

But that seems false. Here is a property E: Everything has the property of 'either being an elephant or not being an elephant'
Clearly, everything has the property E. Does E apply to too my things? Of course not! This means 4* is false, and since it is definitionally equivalent with 4, 4 is also false. And since 4 is false, we have no reason to believe 2.

Let me state this one more way: If we should be moderate in all things, then we should be moderate in applying the property E. But there is nothing immoderate about applying the property E to all things, precisely because we are not applying it to too many things. So, if property E can be applied to all things without being immoderate, then "moderation in all things" can be applied to all things without being immoderate.

II. Why the argument is uninformative

PRO provided two premises and one conclusion.

1. Moderation is a thing.
2. If moderation was in all things, then all things aren't in moderation.
3. Therefore, moderation isn't in all things

The structure of this argument is the following:
1. A
2. If B then not B
3. Not B

That is a valid argument, but it is boring. The first premise is unnecessary. The conditional in the second premise trivially translates to "not B or not B." I would have an easy time arguing for anything if I could start with a premise that says "Either the conclusion is true or its true." That is begging the question about as clear as daylight. I suppose that would also be why I reject the second premise, as it alone entails the conclusion.

Well, the first problem is that the conclusion contains two more premises. The argument should have been structured like this:

1. Moderation is a thing.
2. If moderation is in everything then moderation is in moderation
3. If anything is in all things it is not in moderation.
4. If moderation was in all things, then all things aren't in moderation.
5. Therefore, moderation isn't in all things

This still isn't right though. Here is the argument PRO should have made

Suppose for reductio:
1. All things should be in moderation
2. "All things should be in moderation" is a thing
So,
3. "All things should be in moderation" should be in moderation
4. If anything is true of all things it is not in moderation.
5. If anything is in moderation it is not true of all things -------------- By contraposition, 4
So,
6. "All thing should be in moderation" is not true of all things -------- By 3 and 5
So,
7. There are some things that should not be in moderation
---- CONTRADICTION!!!

May I point our how cleverly I once again made 4. the same premise I named so above. But premise 4 is of course the false premise, at least according to the definition of "all things in moderation" provided by PRO in round 1

Remember,
Moderation In All Things- something that you say which means you should not do or have too much of anything.

PRO defined moderation as being true of too much, not as being true of all things. And for some statements, being true of everything just is not being true of too much. Thus, we cannot allow PRO the crucial premise in his argument.

III. Conclusion

I don't see any way for PRO to wiggle out of this one. He needs a premise of the type of 4 to get his argument off the ground, but he has disallowed this by the way he defined "everything in moderation" in the opening. I'd love to see what he has to offer, but at this point I'm pretty sure that logic is on my side. I'll add more in the next rounds if necessary.
Debate Round No. 3
magikkell

Con

Let me sum up the debate so far:
1 - PRO forfeited the first round
2 - I gave an argument why PRO is wrong and CON is right
3 - PRO gave his argument
4 - I thoroughly refuted PRO's argument
5 - PRO essentially forfeits the round.

I have given an unrefuted argument why PRO is wrong, and I have refuted PRO's argument why he is right. I also gave one source ;)

This means I should win on conduct, sources, and on winning the debate. VOTE CON!!!
Debate Round No. 4
emospongebob527

Pro

I like trains.
magikkell

Con

Well then, I think that does it.

Please vote.
vote early, vote often!
Vote CON.

Also, would it be considered trolling against some rules to instigate a 5 round debate and only post anything of substance in one round?
Debate Round No. 5
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by magikkell 4 years ago
magikkell
Time's a ticking. I see you were on 41 minutes ago. Where is your opening statement?
I hope we can do this argumnt, I need some debate cred ;)
Posted by philochristos 4 years ago
philochristos
That's too easy. You're going to say that "Moderation in all things" is extreme, which would mean it's self-refuting.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by RyuuKyuzo 4 years ago
RyuuKyuzo
emospongebob527magikkellTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: FF + concession.
Vote Placed by phantom 4 years ago
phantom
emospongebob527magikkellTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: I like trains