The Vast Majority of Sociology is Useless.
After reading a few books on sociology, notably a few religious case studies and a few "New Dads" studies by various graduates, I have come to the conclusion that sociology is a useless field. While this may be premature, I'd still like to test whether this is true or whether I'm just not competent enough to see the value that it provides.
Full Resolution: The Vast Majority of Sociology is Useless.
Useless: "of no use; not serving the purpose or any purpose; unavailing or futile"(http://www.dictionary.com......)
Majority: "a number that is greater than half of a total"(http://www.merriam-webster.com...)
Sociology: "Sociology is the study of social behavior or society, including its origins, development, organization, networks, and institutions. It is a social science that uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about social order, disorder, and change. Many sociologists aim to conduct research that may be applied directly to social policy and welfare, while others focus primarily on refining the theoretical understanding of social processes. Subject matter ranges from the micro level of individual agency and interaction to the macro level of systems and the social structure"(https://en.wikipedia.org......)
R1: Acceptance ONLY
R2: Arguments ONLY
R3: Arguments & Rebuttals
R4: Rebuttals & Conclusion
There shall be no semantics in this debate. Both sides are prohibited from debating and overhauling definitions. If you have any concern regarding the definitions, raise them now before the debate commences. If any of the rules are broken, the entire debate is forfeited. Both sides are not allowed to raise new arguments in the last round.
Once the challenge is issued, the contender may accept whenever he/she is free to do so. As expected, the Burden of Proof is on Pro. More than half of sociology must be proven as useless. if Pro fails to deliver, pro will lose the debate.
The term BoP in this debate was obtained from Ragnar's Beginner Guide to Debating. Links to his guide ( https://docs.google.com...)
In this debate I shall be using Times New Roman 14pt font.
Thanks for having me. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank my opponent for giving me the privilege of debating him and for showing me the beginner's guide. It helped clarify what observers thought to be an unbeatable truism. Let's begin.
Sociology is a new subject. It entails the need to understand all of society’s social phenomena and its implications. However, most of its research capabilities are flawed, considering how social theorists lack the ability to pin down and weed out any and all extraneous variables. I will start with the secularization thesis and expound more towards the founding fathers.
The Paradigm of the Secularization Thesis
One of the best pioneering works of modern sociology is the secularization thesis which itself is regarded as the intellectual biography of sociology. In his book Steve Bruce outlines the core thesis of his paradigm(1):
“…the declining power of religion causes a decline in the number of religious people and the extent to which people are religious. As religious faith loses social power, it becomes harder for each generation to socialize its children in the faith. It also becomes progressively harder for those who remain religious to preserve the cohesion and integrity of their particular belief system. As religion becomes increasingly a matter of free choice, it becomes harder to maintain boundaries. Alternative reworkings of once-dominant ideologies proliferate and increasing variation encourages first relativism – all roads lead to God – and then indifference as it becomes harder to persuade people that there is special merit in any particular road” ~Steve Bruce
I expect this theory to be of some use to certain individuals, particularly to those that harbor anti-religious sentiments. Nevertheless, arguments merit not on whether the theory’s aim has actual relevance to the social sphere but rather merit on the methodologies which Steve and a handful of social scientists conduct themselves.
Steve Bruce gathered a handful of sources by enlisting the help of Professor David Voas, Bryan Wilson and other agencies including the United Kingdom Census, The European Social Survey & The Gallup Poll (1). In addition, evidence were also gathered to devise a soft comparison on the different level of religiosity between different countries.
The methodology of his collective work is grounded in quantitative research (2). Quantitative research is as David Voas mentions in the podcast, provided indications of religiosity so that a degree of generalization is acceptable. Voas contended that case studies are more in depth but argued that his social surveys did somehow provides cues that were neither simplistic, nor reductionist (2). He argued that his structured way of questioning should provide at least a certain degree of the actual level of religiosity.
The structured way of questioning involves the following methodologies(1):
1) Social Questionnaires
2) Short-Close ended interviews
3) Participant Observation
And these categories, according to Bruce all assess(1):
1) Self-Identification (agnostic, atheist etc)
2) Degree of Religious Commitment to Church Institutions
3) Church Attendance
All of the categories combined have formed what is known as the secular thesis itself. For it to be representative in-depth forms of data are discarded and so not a single social scientist decides to evaluate it on a case-by case basis. Interviews are given close-ended, and answers rarely lurk beyond the "yes" or "no" spectrum.
This is essentially the problem with sociology. In the podcast, Voas mentions that it is impossible to regard participants as entirely honest since they may be influenced by group think and the likes of social desirability bias. The variables all cloud the results with indefinite forms of bias that it’s almost impossible to regard it as actual truth itself. Take into consideration how simplified the test and the questionnaires are in evaluating the level of religious commitment. We are debating the level of religious commitment and that is hardly something to be answered with just a yes or a no.
Moreover, the studies conducted by social scientists span out, as the measure of religiosity depend on the level of church attendees. They devote months of research all the while collectively accumulating all sorts of extraneous variables that could possibly cloud the results. The results are far fetched from the truth and social scientist are dipping into the obscene. This is neither productive nor useful.
Back and Forth Pointless Bickering
Upon publishing his work, he received heavy criticism from Rodney Stark and Bainbridge. Stark, responsible for creating case-by case studies on Mormonism(3) argued that Bruce failed to provide the revival aspects of different types of denomination. Conservative denominations of both Islam and Christianity have gained traction while the liberal overhaul of religion loses support over time.
Stark is able to exploit the plot holes of what Bruce originally suspected to be flaws of his own study and while Bruce admits that his thesis resemble nothing like Boyle’s law(1), Bruce is trying at a different angle by arguing that his theory is at least representative on the indication of religiosity.
These are entirely trivial, petty concerns. Not a single use can be gained by endorsing either side. If Stark wins, society probably has an indication of some sort of predisposition towards religion and vice versa will apply should Bruce win. If both scientists prefer to argue into an infinite amount of brawls of how church membership dictates religiosity, then I'm afraid yet compelled to say that this is the perfect definition of uselessness.
What’s the point of gathering a conglomerate amount of social funds and social agencies just to publish a study that only provides a level of religiosity? That seems perfectly counter-intuitive to me despite it being the supposed pioneering works of modern sociology.
Inherent Founding-Father Biasness
Biasness is the best way to prove it's actual use in a particular field, as the result will surely be invalid due to the effects of bias. Both modern sociology and traditional sociology failed to pass this test.
This is one of the easiest to observe, and I expect that it will be seen the moment someone takes an elective course in sociology. Founding fathers provide a context of understanding. Take astronomy for example, we hail Aristotle and Ptolemy as the founding fathers because they were the first to provide natural observation of the cosmos, albeit a bit superstitious. On the other hand, Sociology pits itself on a long list of some of the worst bias I’ve ever seen.
The founding fathers of the leftist sociological perspective are that of Karl Marx, Simone De Beauvoir and Antonio Gramsci. All of which promote a sense of radical change that neither endorse social institutions of the status quo nor support it. The success of these so called leftist advocates manages to outmaneuver almost all of the conservative sociological perspectives.
It is surprising that they actually have a right to be proud of their leftist triumph by dominating the field of sociology. When Psycholinguistics was a new theory, the main brawl of debates centered on the information theory and learning theory. The advocates of such theories involve Shannon’s theory of communication vs Osgood’s Learning Theory. These were soft defenders, as their theories fail to consider what Judith Greene calls the “Chomsky’s Revolution of Psycholinguistics”(4).
Similarly, the same fate falls on sociology. The soft defenders in this case fall on the conservative spectrum. Emile Durkheim and Max Weber all qualify for that label. Max Weber’s movements were largely passive, and it was hard for someone to use his predestined capitalism doctrine as a counter to Karl Marx and Engel’s Communist Theory.
His exact words defending religious influence in the era of capitalism(5):
“That of Calvinism, even in Germany, was among the strongest, it seems, and the reformed faith more than the others seems to have promoted the development of the spirit of capitalism, in the Wuppertal as well as elsewhere…Finally, that this combination of intense piety with just as strong a development of business acumen, was also characteristic of the pietists, is common knowledge.” ~Max Weber
Weber’s defense of religious salesmanship seems to have taken the headline more so than defending capitalism from the overreaches of communist ideology. He was more interested in defending how Calvinism helped the development of Capitalism rather than brawling with the leftist founders. Emile Durkheim on the other hand, seems to be the only one singlehandedly defending the use of current social institutions from radical reforms whilst also juggling attacks to his theory from the radical left.
Durkheim, like Gramsci, produced several theories of how society might work. One of his finest work is the mechanism of organic solidarity. He argues that bodies of society are interdependent on each other via a set of rules that are already set in place. Once a deviation is seen, a counter balance is observed to preserve the "collective consciousness" of the group(6).
While Weber is busy defending the use of religious influence, Durkheim is defending attacks from the left at the same time devising his own theories. The disproportionate amount of leftist bias is entirely unfair and for a subject that claims to be a science, fairness between both spectrum should be seen, particularly in a field plagued with incomprehensible amount of variables. At its current state, modern sociology is useless.
(1)Secularization: In Defence of an unfashionable theory, Chapter 1-4, Steve Bruce
(4)Psycholinguistics: Chomsky and Psychology, Judith Greene
(5)The Protestent Ethic, Max Weber
Argument 1: Quality of Life
Contention 2: Sociological Comparisons
Argument 2: Relations
Contention 2: Different Countries Have Different Values
Even without understanding the precise meanings applied, the differences and similarities should be clear. The Indulgence score for example, tells us that people in Hungary  are (on average) more restrained than people in the United States . "[Those] with a low score in this dimension have a tendency to cynicism and pessimism" , whereas a high score "contradictory attitudes and behaviour" such as the "work hard and play hard" mentality .
Contention 3: Taboos
Argument 3: Advertising
Contention 2: Entertainment
I'll just post additional arguments and I'll do a fully-fledged rebuttal by the final round. Let's begin. In total, I will offer 5 main contentions by the end of this round.
Alternatives to Quantitative Research results in unattended data clusters
As I had demonstrated in the previous round, the validity of quantitative research in relation to its aim was questionable. However, Opponents may attempt to take the alternative that is to conduct case-by case studies and replicate it to a larger level. From there onwards, they can argue that a certain degree of representation exist by the combination of all the studies they’ve gathered.
I must assert that this sort of assumption is false on almost all counts. The failures of alternative research are commonly plagued with the lack of control and this lack of control makes it almost impossible to replicate, given how each research case is almost unique.
Alternative social theorists often tirade how each of their study relates to the bigger picture and how everything provides a context of understanding. For example, we can take Lynn Davidman’s work. Her book contains the famous quote from Clifford Geertz stating(1):
“Believing, with Max Weber, that [humans are] animal[s] suspended in webs of significance [they themselves have] spun, I take culture to be those webs, and the analysis of it to be therefore not an experimental science in search of laws but an interpretive one in search of meaning” ~Clifford Geertz, “Thick Description: Toward an Interpretive Theory of Culture”
Further, through the lens of participant observation, Lynn argues that an interpretive framework provides the correct context of understanding (1). Bear in mind, participant observation demands that the researcher to be actually there, physically and mentally taking notes (1). Field scientists must abstain from judging, communicating in a hostile way and must not in any way, cloud their ideologies with their own opinions.
These aren’t pre-prepared speeches; these are instances which social theorists must act with extreme caution. Any infraction will cloud the data with subjective results and so will ultimately nullify any objective sense of the case study.
The failure doesn’t come with the methodology; the failure comes with the inadequacies that plague human interaction. It is almost impossible to attain these goals without creating the ripples that they originally intend to avoid. A scientist cannot expect an objective analysis when they themselves are socializing with the group. Growing ties and making friendship will likely cloud the result and so puts the study into the same pitfall as the previous methodologies of research.
Not a single alternative can be proven to be adequate. I stand my ground in believing that sociology is a useless subject.
The Queue of Legitimate Concerns
When one argues against the usefulness of one particular discipline, it is important to consider firsthand the priorities and the needs of society. If the priority of attaining religious understanding weighs less than solving current crisis such as the issues with modern health problems, then social scientists must give way to those concerns. Be it in technology or in spirituality, ranking such priorities according to the needs and importance of society provides the bedrock for societal advancement in the best way possible.
This is not to be taken as subjective. We are not floating in a sea of subjective realities in such that we must give equal concern to all. I’ll provide one direct example from the development of astronomy. During the brawl of the Copernican system and the Aristotelian System, the center of debates revolves around whether or not the sun is the actual center of the universe. For the Aristotelian side, the earth has to be the center; for the Galileon side, the sun has to be the center of the universe. Neither Simplicio(Aristotelian Advocate) nor Salviati(Galileon Advocate) ever consider the fact that our solar system may not be the center at all (2). Neither one of them ever consider that humanity may actually grasp beyond the 3 dimensional structure.
While both were intertwined in these debates that were politicized and religiously inspired, there was another discipline, Tychonian Science (3). Tychonian science was able to make accurate positions of the solar system and so the achievements of the discipline bring forth more scientific faith into the field. Tycho was revered so much that everyone awarded him with his very own fort, the Stjerneborg and he was even awarded with yet more wooden astronomical instruments(4). However, Tycho’s alternate solar system deviates so far from the truth that his discipline was rendered useless by the time scientists were able to determine the distance of the parallax(3).
This is the perfect example of how an endorsed scientific institution becomes utter useless in the new age. This is the perfect example of how a particularly revered science, a science which most medieval philosophers wouldn’t question in terms of validity, becomes futile. It is sad to see that such a discipline was lost by the end of the 19th Century.
Sociology falls in the same pit. It is under the same predicament as Tychonian Science. It’s legitimate concerns of attempts to understand social concepts are undermined by the failure of social scientists especially when it comes to applying the methodologies that they themselves devised. Their vision of an objective value is met with biasness, unattended data clusters and oversight of extraneous variables.
It’s time to drop this discipline when we have other more legitimate concerns to address. Nobody cares if society has a predisposition to religion; nobody cares whether the researcher encounters difficulties in observing as a participant. The uselessness of this field must be realized.
(1)Tradition in a Rootless World: Women Turn to Orthodox Judaism, Chapter 3-6, Lynn Davidman
(2)Dialogue Concerning The Chief World System, Galileo Galilei, Translator Stillman Drake, Editor Stephen Jay Gould
Kind of sad that my opponent has delayed rebutting any of my points until later, since for example, it leaves what should have been a strong conclusion to their round "...The uselessness of this field must be realized," of questionable merit considering it stands in direct contrast to the unchallenged three fairly broad areas to which it has been shown to be extremely useful, lifesaving even.
My opponent to show the Vast Majority (not as high as 100%, nor as low as 51%) to be useless ("of no use; not serving the purpose or any purpose; unavailing or futile"), has given an in depth look at a very limited number of cases, which even if the impacts of my case were ignored, may or may not be sufficient to cast doubt on the vast majority of the field.
"collectively accumulating all sorts of extraneous variables"
Let's say I want to know if men or women have on average higher ELO scores (it entertains me), I survey 100 active DDO users asking gender and ELO, and conclude women are in the lead by some margin. Not having extraneous variables just ruined my study, because it's likely the gender is coincidental when the real connection is to lurking variables like age, or time on site, etc. If I included the extra variables in the research, I can control for them to acutely determine if there's any meaningful connection between the original two variables I wanted to study.
As a humorous example of what happens when you don't gather extraneous data:
"What’s the point of gathering a conglomerate amount of social funds and social agencies just to publish a study that only provides a level of religiosity?"
Rebuttal Section 2: Inherent Founding-Father Biasness
Rebuttal Section 3: Alternatives to Quantitative Research
"Any infraction will cloud the data with subjective results and so will ultimately nullify any objective sense of the case study."
Getting deeper, to understand what social habits lead to the spread of diseases, helps decrease their spread. The alternative of ignoring it leads to numerous problems .
Rebuttal Section 4: The Queue of Legitimate Concerns
That something is not useful to everyone, does not mean it's useful to no one. That it's not of optimum utility, does not mean it is of zero utility.
"Nobody cares if society has a predisposition to religion"
"nobody cares whether the researcher encounters difficulties in observing as a participant"
Burden of Proof
I have no reservation. My opponent did a good job helping me define the resolution and I agreed to the conditions beforehand.
Sociological Use of “Quality life” and of Donald Trump’s Presidency
As an anti-sociological advocate, I’ve taken a hard look at Con’s stats. The first quiz that he brings up is the questionnaire made by the “Morning Consult”(1). As my previous case states, my contentions are not refuting the aim of the research; it’s the methodology at which a handful of social scientists pride themselves in. They’re not exactly what we call as “objective” especially under scientific standards. My opponent fails to consider that a unscientific social study may nullify any and all validity, therefore making it completely irrelevant. If the methodology fails, the results fail. If everything fails, then of course the existence of such discipline is no doubt worth questioning.
For example, I specifically said that Steve Bruce’s work involve either a “yes” or a “no”. He combines a handful of “yes” answers and concluded that such indications are seen. I said such a result was flawed, because the aims of his thesis are to establish a complex indication of people’s religiosity. I am not attacking Steve Bruce’s intentions; I am attacking at how social surveys are conducted, considering how these are ridiculously flawed. The Morning Consult questionnaire is no different. A handful of drug answers combine in addition to the infamous question of asking “If Donald Trump were elected President of the United States in November how likely are you to consider moving to another country, such as Canada?”
The problem comes with the answers themselves. The answers are either “Most Likely” or “Total Unlikely” with “No Opinion” as a third alternative. The aim of the social study is to prove that people desire to move out of the center of action. It fails to consider financial opportunities, cultural differences and more importantly, the opportunities that would accompany such a risky venture. My opponent alleviates this concern by arguing the use of the better life index. This is as useful as claiming that Bhutan is the center of all happiness (2). Americans wishing to migrate elsewhere might just consider migrating to Bhutan. After all, one’s migration route is ultimately defined by just one indication of life. My opponent fails to consider the context behind such actions and his simplistic case fails to accurately assess the reality of such actions.
Second, a slight tweak to the answers, such as changing them to an absolute "yes" and "no" will overhaul the whole result. The answer “Most likely” involves the possibility of us changing our opinion in the near future while an absolute "yes" or a "no" requires the integrity to actually follow-up with one’s own original intention, be it moving or staying.
Further, the bias in that study is apparent. It has actual leading answers, such as highlighting the word “Canada”. I’m pretty sure that if you change it to Saudi Arabia or Iran, almost 90% would oppose. This doesn’t come close to being valid as the variable tweaking the answers itself has an ideological motive. It preys on the uninformed by reminding participants of the usual “All Canadians are kind”.
“Oh! Can’t wait to meet Canadians! You’re all so Kind!” *Jumps joyfully*. This is ridiculous. It is foolish enough to provide eloquent one liner questions, but it is even more foolish to deceive en masse by adding in leading answers that detract from objective assessments.
Sociological use of “Relations”
My opponent claims that globalized multi-national corporations contribute to a life of luxury but fails to consider that the multi-national corporations themselves abuse third world countries. Countries like Vietnam were victims of NIKE’s infamous mistreatment of workers (3).
Ragnar claims that sociology is of use to understand differences. That’s not exactly true. The majority of sociological studies themselves detract from doing just that. They are more concerned with social structures at play than they are at concern with people’s problems. Here is a demonstration.
We look back towards Steve Bruce and how his work relates further to the whole founding framework of Sociology. I will explain Durkheim’s work of organic solidarity in addition to his thesis. Bear in mind that this is not a new argument. I’m aware of that rule and cases outlining Durkheim, Weber and Bruce were already stated in the first argument round. I’m merely restating this argument because I left how it links to each other in the first argumentative round. In order to explain it further, I’ll have to use Bruce’s diagram of the same source and of the same argument (4).
“God may send showers of revival rain, and the social scientist has to remain agnostic about that possibility…almost all agrarian societies were pervaded by religious sentiments, that most modern societies are not, and our task is to understand that change.” ~Steve Bruce (4)
The chronological link beginning from Monotheism, all reach relativism, the final product which Bruce calls as the “rationalization of consciousness” (4). This includes Durkheim’s work of organic solidarity and how social institutions rely on each other for social cohesion along with Weber’s belief that Calvinism helped the development of capitalism. The heavy lean towards understanding social structures has surpassed the need to understand how Swedish chocolates bring happiness. Ragnar’s alternative is a dead end. For him to contest my point, he has to refute the bulk of sociological studies, which itself is grounded in understanding social structures at play. I've already argued that deciphering social structures is a useless venture as the variables cloud the data into a milieu of social bias.
Sociological use of “Advertising”
I’m pretty sure technological giants would love to get their consumer’s feedback. Con’s source of “advertising” is a list of potential jobs for sociology majors, especially those in the gender department. His statement of defending the sociological use in research lacks any coherent rebuttal to the anti-sociological arguments that I have presented. Let me restate it again, the article Con that linked in his advertising case is just a vague description for college enthusiasts, it is not a source defending the use of sociological research (5). That has nothing to do with the methodology at play. As I stated earlier in previous round, grants and funding mean absolutely nothing. Tychonian Science was seen as utter useless study by the end of 19th Century despite it receiving funding from the Kings of Europe. The same case applies to sociology.
Defence: The Paradigm of the Secularization Thesis
Con's rebuttal to my case is just opting for the alternative. When I argued the case for social desirability bias, Con argues the alternative claiming that people prefer less community-mandated faith such as attending a church. He agrees that social desirability is there but disagrees because the actual indication is present, due to people having more inclination to be outwardly religious. I didn't disagree on the participants’ level of honesty in answering these questions just as Rodney and Stark probably wouldn't considering how they were the first to refute Bruce's paradigm.
What I did argue was that social desirability often clouds the results. If an indication of religiosity is needed, then results should accurately provide such indication. If dishonesty is conceded by the creator of the study itself, it is hardly useful. Further, as I was saying, variables such as social desirability will cloud the result and this includes the “yes” and “no” simplistic responses. Participants’ response matters little; the methodology at play is what’s crucially important.
Defence: Extraneous Variables of Social Studies
Accumulating all sorts of extraneous variables detract from the original aim of the study. Often so, social studies have a predisposed bias of attempting to prove their theories as right. The falsification principle often falls short due to the revered passion of social theorists in pushing the ideas that they believe in. What Con argues is irrelevant, the fact that the experimenter lacks total control over variables speaks of it's validity. The fact that the experimenter has to wait for a milieu of social cues provides proof of it's uselessness. Con attempts to provide a hypothetical scenario by measuring ELO, but those are rarely injected into the main sociological discussions. None of the chronological secularization thesis order made by Steve Bruce provided a link to “Elo from Debate.org”.
Defence: Inherent Founding Father Biasness and The Queue of Legitimate Concerns
Con attempts of appeal to the internet's toxic anti-religious dissidents is overlooking the overall picture. I specifically argued that the aim's relevance depends on the methodologies at which the study conducts itself on. No where did I concede that point, I argued that the failures of social studies should highlight on it's methodologies, not on the actual play of anti-religious atheists. If the study is invalid, the level of seriousness shouldn't go into play. This is a scientific discipline, not a youtube comment section. It should be treated as one and not to be treated as a Reddit subsection.
Con also attempts to argue that Steve Bruce's efforts of being a cancer researcher matters little in the long run. I disagree, resources are limited and to believe that we have an overabundance is just ignoring the issue. Further, he argues that founding father bias is irrelevant but fails to consider that the discipline relies heavily on sociological framework.
The majority of this discipline is useless. Students must avoid at all cost.
(4)Secularization: In Defence of an Unfashionable Theory, Pg 24-53, Steve Bruce
My opponent has made a compelling case for his dislike of sociology (in particular researcher Steve Bruce), yet dropped several areas it is of clear use, and complained that he doesn't like that it's useful in others. His own selected definition stipulates if something serves "any purpose" it is not useless.
Quality of Life
The survey conducted by Morning Consult is of unquestionable use, as we've seen it put to some purpose by journalist Jesse Byrnes as the basis for a political commentary article for which he was paid , and yes I do take for granted that his paycheck is useful to him; the newspaper itself certainly enjoys the increased traffic that headline generates. Complaining that the cited survey was mainly about views on drugs (the word drug is contained in 80 of the questions, or as my opponent puts it "a handful"), but was also useful to a newspaper talking about the election, seems self-defeating when it demonstrates the number of people whom it is useful to has been increased exponentially with the inclusion of just one additional question.
Complaining that a statistic of how many people would consider doing something, "fails to consider financial opportunities, ... [etc.]" is meritless, when it never claims anything about how many people would flee (or attempt to flee) the nation, merely how many (from a sample size of a couple thousand, then simplified into a percentage) said they would contemplate it. And complaining that it did not have enough side questions about different countries on other continents ("Saudi Arabia or Iran") for consideration, directly counters my opponent's own complaints about Extraneous Variables. I do however agree that different phrasing of questions yields different results, it's flexibility, understanding this allows smart researchers to design different studies for different purposes, to include cross studies to understand differences in answer sets for similar questions.
Attacking the Better Life Index for having 11 different variables people can quickly look at, when Bhutan uses a single measurement, on the grounds that 11 is somehow more simplistic than 1 (to quote him "After all, one’s migration route is ultimately defined by just one indication of life."), seems like simple lunacy. My case specifically included the word "visit," because most people enjoy visiting different countries (if lacking the means, still researching hypothetical vacations for fun), and knowing a little more of what to expect is useful (as source 8 pointed out, failing in this has resulted in people being tortured to death for minor misunderstandings).
I outright fail to see the point of complaining that the sociology matches the definition of sociology, rather than being more concerned with individual people's problems ("more concerned with social structures at play than they are at concern with people’s problems"). On the same point, understanding that people of different cultures define their needs differently, is incredibly useful to addressing what they feel are problems . Further I have shown that it is useful to understanding average differences as seen with the Hofstede Chart [5, 6], and my opponent from Hungary's fine example of the increased "cynicism and pessimism" indicated on the chart via decreased indulgence compared to the USA , which is not universal of all people from there, but he chose to match the norms as already predicted by a pre-generated sociological comparison. I find it very useful to predict people, it helps me win debates, and in this sample my predictions held true verifying their use.
I do not need to refute any sociological studies for any of the above to be true, and certainly not ones which deal with religion when the one I just used does not address that area.
He does bring up his analogy about Tychonian Science, which if applied the way he wants to apply things to the whole field of Sociology would mean Astronomy itself would have been entirely abandoned, rather than improved as was the case.
Key Dropped Points:
Rather than address my actual explanation for why studies gather Extraneous Variables outside the precise ones they want to study, my opponent made another blatant Strawman fallacy: "None of the chronological secularization thesis order made by Steve Bruce provided a link to 'Elo from Debate.org'" my point was clearly addressing his complaint of methodologies general, in particular why studies need to gather Extraneous Variables to avoid being invalidated by Lurking Variables . As for if a lack of "total control over variables speaks of it's validity," there is never such a thing in any science, certainly not in Astronomy (the only other named one in this debate). By side stepping into that weird strawman, my actual point about the need to gather extraneous variables is untouched.
Inherent Founding-Father Biasness
Queue of Legitimate Concerns
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