The Instigator
gahbage
Pro (for)
Winning
13 Points
The Contender
oboeman
Con (against)
Losing
9 Points

The "burden of proof" in a debate relies not on who is "PRO" (or "CON"), but on the "Instigator".

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/18/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,124 times Debate No: 4723
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (8)
Votes (6)

 

gahbage

Pro

Indeed. Before a debate is accepted, the Instigator proposes a resolution and reasons/evidence/contentions to support his stance on it. If he shows no evidence, then the contender has nothing to argue against and you have no reason to vote for the Instigator.

Does anyone disagree?
oboeman

Con

Greetings.

I plan to dissect each and every part of my opponent's argument.

"Indeed."
A spurious gesture....

"Before a debate is accepted, the Instigator proposes a resolution and reasons/evidence/contentions to support his stance on it."

Allow me to apply:
Preceding my acceptance of this debate, the instigator (gahbage) has proposed a resolution:
The "burden of proof" in a debate relies not on who is "PRO" (or "CON"), but on the "Instigator".
The instigator has NOT, however, provided any reasoning, evidence, or contentions to support their stance on it in this PARTICULAR debate.
"If he shows no evidence, then the contender has nothing to argue against and you have no reason to vote for the Instigator."
One could therefore reason that I have nothing to argue against and any audience has no reason to vote for the instigator. Thus far, seeing no vote for the instigator, a vote for CON is currently in order.

"Does anyone disagree?"
It would appear so.

Although my need to add an argument at this point is questionable, I will do so anyway, due to the shortness of this debate.

I will assume a brief meaning of "burden of proof," as my opponent has failed to supply one initially.

Burden of proof - reasons that have to be met before a proposition of fact, value, or policy can be evaluated.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

There is also a distinguishable difference between "A burden of proof" and "The burden of proof," as noted in the above reference as well.
It is difficult to tell which one my opponent is referring to, but I will argue both. As stated in my opponent's initial resolution, it begins with "The ‘burden of proof.'" However, as evident in my opponent's opening argument, it seemingly refers to the meaning of "a burden of proof." Like I said, it is difficult to tell, but I plan on arguing in both senses of the term.
A burden of proof comes in when one makes an argument. It is the evidence that needs to be given prior to taking the argument to be true.
The burden of proof refers to the "reasons that have to be met for one to change from the logically valid default position. It falls on the person proposing change from the logically valid default position, or anyone who is making a positive claim when there is an unknown logically valid default position."

Therefore, one can assumingly derive the following resolution surfacing as evident:
The reasons that have to be met for one to change from the logically valid default position in a debate rely not on who is "PRO" (or "CON"), but on the "Instigator".
Because this assumes the resolution, essentially, it therefore, according to my opponent, it falls on the person proposing change from the logically valid default position, or anyone who is making a positive claim when there is an unknown logically valid default position; and this person, with my opponent's accordingly, must be the instigator.

I negate.
First of all, the instigator is NOT the only participant in a debate that makes or can make a positive claim where there is an unknown logically valid default position or proposing change from the default.
Allow me to proceed:
If I can prove that in any circumstance the instigator is not exclusively in charge of any burden of proof, I, logically, win this debate. I will extrapolate some scenarios, and for any one of which that turns out to be absolutely true, I win.
Indeed, such circumstances do exist. I will elaborate:

For my first potential counterexample, let us assume that a resolution being dealt with is reminiscent of an opinion. For example, if the resolution read "In my opinion, Cross Country running is more fun than Track and Field."
For the above example, let us assume that Pro was the instigator, and Con the contender. The role of the instigator would be to assert that the fact held truth. However, opinions are somewhat unique. The words "more fun" are used to state the instigator's opinion. Although, opinions do not have to be shared by others, as the nature of opinions entails a relative scale (e.g. ranging from boring to fun) that is likely to differ among individuals. Essentially, opinions reside in one's own mind. The instigator's opinion in such a hypothetical must be considered true, as anything is possible is one's own state of mind (and the instigator knows their own mind better than other would). The instigator has asserted the fact to hold truth. The contender must therefore show that the opinion of the instigator does not consider Cross Country running more fun than Track and Field. Until the contender can invalidate the instigator's claim, the instigator is winning. A burden of proof would thus lie upon the contender.
Such opinionated resolutions are not to be considered negative proof fallacies.
Burdens of proof should be substantiated with each new argument presented in a debate.

For my second potential counterexample, I propose that both Pro and Con have an equal (or at least nearly equal) burden. Let us assume that in THIS debate, I, Con, rebut each of your points (or simply invalidate all analogies presented), but fail to make any of my own. Would not a vote for Pro be in order, as, hypothetically, I would not have given any reason to vote for me? I have thus proven that both sides in a debate share a burden of proof responsibility.

For my third potential counterexample, I propose that the burden of proof lies dependently upon where the debaters choose to place it. If it is stated that Con (let us assume contender) must win a particular sub-argument to a debate, and it is agreed by Pro (assumed instigator), then the burden of proof would be held by the contender in such a debate. Such paradigms can be offered during debate.

For my fourth potential counterexample, let us assume there is a debate with the following resolution:
"Cross Country running is, on average, the most muscle-gaining sport."
The instigator is Pro, and states initially that a sport is an active diversion requiring physical exertion and competition. Pro would thus carry a burden of proof.
Logically, the contender could, instead of arguing that Cross Country running is NOT, on average, the most muscle-gaining sport, argue that Baseball is the most muscle-gaining sport. In order to carry that claim, Con must, as well, supply a burden of proof. If successful, Con could easily, on a logical basis, win the debate, as they would be proving the instigator incorrect. However, Pro would still, though, have a burden to prove the rebuttal of Con inadequate.

I remind my opponent and voters that if any one of my scenarios is valid, I, CON, win.
I, the contender, have supplied, on at least one occasion in this debate, the burden on proof, thus effectively contradicting your initial claim.
I would like to thank my opponent, gahbage, for the debate topic.
I await the remaining round.
Debate Round No. 1
gahbage

Pro

"The instigator has NOT, however, provided any reasoning, evidence, or contentions to support their stance on it in this PARTICULAR debate."

My backup was since the entire debate rests on the instigator supporting his opinion, he has a burden of proof.

"One could therefore reason that I have nothing to argue against and any audience has no reason to vote for the instigator. Thus far, seeing no vote for the instigator, a vote for CON is currently in order."

This very argument proves the debate to be in my favor. Since he doesn't have to prove anything, the burden of proof is on ME, the INSTIGATOR, to support my stance. He basically just accepted this, making this an automatic PRO vote.

"As stated in my opponent's initial resolution, it begins with "The ‘burden of proof.'" However, as evident in my opponent's opening argument, it seemingly refers to the meaning of "a burden of proof." Like I said, it is difficult to tell, but I plan on arguing in both senses of the term."

Where have I referred to "a burden of proof"? I'm looking at my opening argument right now, and I see no such phrase, nor do I even mention the words "burden" or "proof", for that matter. The only time I have explicitly stated "burden of proof" is in the resolution, where it is preceded by "The". So I will not address my opponent's argument about "A burden of proof".

"First of all, the instigator is NOT the only participant in a debate that makes or can make a positive claim where there is an unknown logically valid default position or proposing change from the default."

This may be true, by the instigator is the only one who NEEDS to. Consider a court case. The prosecution (instigator) brings the defense (contender) to trial (debate). Now consider "innocent until proven guilty" ("burden of proof"). The prosecution must provide evidence proving the defense guilty. Likewise, the instigator must provide reasons proving [his stance on] the resolution. If the prosecution, however, cannot find sufficient evidence, the defense has not been proven guilty, and has no need to negate. Similarly, if the instigator cannot find sufficient reasons to support [his stance on] the resolution, the resolution has not been proven in his favor, and the contender has no need to negate. So as you can see, much like how the prosecution has the burden of proving the defense guilty, the instigator has the burden of proving the resolution in his favor.

Now I will prove all of these scenarios invalid.

First example: "Essentially, opinions reside in one's own mind. The instigator's opinion in such a hypothetical must be considered true, as anything is possible is one's own state of mind (and the instigator knows their own mind better than other would). The instigator has asserted the fact to hold truth."

This is not true, as an "opinion" is not held as "fact". Therefore you cannot take the opinion of anyone as support, and the instigator has not proved the resolution. Even if the resolution requires an opinion, the contender can read it as addressing him, and give his opinion. This nullifies the instigator's opinion. I cite this debate as an example: http://www.debate.org... Note how the contender interprets the resolution, which nullifies the instigator's claim.

Second example: "For my second potential counterexample, I propose that both Pro and Con have an equal (or at least nearly equal) burden."

The resolution implies that, since the burden of proof relies on the instigator, the positions of PRO and CON do not matter. In all cases, the instigator has the burden of proof, regardless if he is PRO or CON. Regardless, since you are affirming the resolution, you concede this point.

"Would not a vote for Pro be in order, as, hypothetically, I would not have given any reason to vote for me?"

No, because the contender's job is to refute the instigator's points to make the initial claim false. But if the instigator has no points to begin with, the contender does not have to do anything. See my court example.

Third example: "If it is stated that Con (let us assume contender) must win a particular sub-argument to a debate, and it is agreed by Pro (assumed instigator), then the burden of proof would be held by the contender in such a debate."

When would this be? Refer to the court example; if the prosecution cannot prove the defense guilty, then the defense is considered innocent. If the instigator cannot prove the resolution in his favor, then the contender is considered the winner.

Fourth example: "Logically, the contender could, instead of arguing that Cross Country running is NOT, on average, the most muscle-gaining sport, argue that Baseball is the most muscle-gaining sport."

But this would virtually be the same thing, because if baseball is THE [single] most muscle-gaining sport, then cross country cannot be. Furthermore, if the instigator did not prove than cross country is the most muscle-gaining sport (the resolution), then why should the contender have to prove it for baseball?

"However, Pro would still, though, have a burden to prove the rebuttal of Con inadequate."

Yes, the "INSTIGATOR" would still have "THE [initial] BURDEN OF PROOF". Which is what the resolution states.

===============================================================================

Now that I have proved these examples invalid, and have supported my claim while refuting my opponent's points, the vote goes to PRO.
oboeman

Con

According to my opponent's own claim, gahbage MUST show evidence to support the claim. Having no evidence, I, though not having evidence to rebut, still can make an argument. I can still explain my stance on the issue, effectively even proving the resolution to be incorrect. And that is the POINT; I have that POTENTIAL to prove my stance.
What has been shown in my opponent's Round 1 is mere symbolism in attempt to prove the point regarding the burden of proof. Instead of giving valid points in the instigator's Round 1, only a symbolic notion was given, thus effectively contradicting my opponent's own stance in this debate.

In an argument, by definition (SEE APPENDIX A), one is attempting to supply evidence to prove something to be true. If I prove my own stance, negating the resolution to be true, then, in this debate, my opponent's stance would be false.
By arguing in my Round 1, I have shown this debate to be in my favor, contrary to my opponent's claim. I have argued in attempt to prove. In fact, whether or not in my Round 1 I indeed did prove something or not, it is irrelevant. The point is, the contender has the POTENTIAL to.

Why "a burden of proof" may in fact be the point of contention:
Stated in my opponent's Round 1, "Before a debate is accepted, the Instigator proposes a resolution and reasons/evidence/contentions to support his stance on it."
I am inferring that my opponent's Round 1 is indeed referring to the posted resolution. Therefore, accordingly, the instigator must exemplify the evidence that needs to be given prior to taking the argument to be true. This, by definition, is "a burden of proof" (defined in my Round 1).
Regardless of any mention of "The ‘burden of proof'" in the resolution, there is no mention, implicit or explicit, in my opponent's Round 1.
Again, I realize that "a burden of proof" in not explicitly mentioned in my opponent's Round 1, but the R1 was the only defining factor to guide the debate. Therefore, I have no choice but not comply with the reasons as to which I have supplied, regarding having to use the term "A burden of proof" in this debate, instead of "The burden of proof." If my opponent were to have given a definition, and explained in the instigator's Round 1, what was meant by the term "The ‘burden of proof,'" evident in the resolution, I would have had to resort to that meaning. But alas, it was not there.
All claims in my opponent's Round 2 argument regarding "The burden of proof" are invalidated.
Regardless of who needs a burden of proof, it can still be used by the contender. With that, I have negated the resolution.

First counterexample validation:

Indeed, an opinion is not held as a fact. However, it may be a fact that someone has an opinion. If a debate resolves around the fact that someone has an opinion, the instigator is not attempting to show that their opinion is fact, but rather that it is a fact that they do indeed have an opinion.
The only way to show evidence of the fact that someone may have an opinion is to, by their own mind, supply it. Opinions, by nature, only need one person to verify that it indeed exists. This person is the individual that has the opinion. The instigator, claiming they would have an opinion for something, would most likely win the resolution in a debate (unless, somehow, they were proven wrong by the contender), and therefore, a burden of proof can fall upon the contender.
Assume that the instigator addresses a resolution in such a way as follows:
"In the instigator's opinion (oboeman), running is fun."
In that way, the resolution cannot be interpreted to be including the contender.
In such a debate, it is possible for a burden of proof to fall upon the contender.

Second counterexample validation:

I only used the terms Pro and Con to represent both members of the debate. As proved earlier in this response, both my opponent and I MUST go by what was claimed in my opponent's Round 1, which refers (see above) to "A burden of proof." And indeed, a burden of proof, in some situations I have addressed, does fall upon the contender.

Third counterexample validation:

Take the abortion debate. The instigator claims it to be ethical, and the contender unethical. After vigorous debate, it is found that the only point of contention remains in the subject of potential life. It is agreed by both members that whoever wins this contention would win the overall debate. The instigator claims potential life is irrelevant, as it is different from society currently values as life. The contender claims that potential life is deserving of developed life. A burden of proof could fall upon the contender to prove their point, in order to win the debate. If it is agreed by both members of the debate, who is anyone else in the debating community to tell them differently? That would be a violation of liberty, by telling them how the debate must be run. Though it may be somewhat unconventional or not, that is irrelevant. If two debaters come to an agreement that the contender must prove their point (even if the instigator uses manipulation tactics to convince them that it is so), then, effectively, a burden of proof could fall upon the contender.
Civil debate is different from law/courtroom proceedings. The law is about justice. Civil debate, however, is about determining truth with mutual agreement. In a debate, one is attempting to convince the other to see the issue from their view.

Fourth counterexample validation:

Regardless of which indeed is the most muscle-gaining sport, the contender could argue, to disprove the resolution, that Baseball is, rather than Cross Country. The instigator could argue initially that Cross Country is, but without taking some factors into account. This could be seen as proof by the instigator, but not the contender. Therefore, the contender could jump in and argue why baseball is, and implement all the involved factors. A burden of proof would fall upon the contender if the contender chose to argue from such a standpoint.

For the sake of argument, let us even assume, to assure any skeptical voters, that I did have to go upon the definition I supplied of "The burden of proof." (Again, I need not.)
The burden of proof, by definition (SEE APPENDIX A), would rely upon the debater suggesting change from the logically valid default position.
Let us assume the instigator in such a debate was suggesting that it is ethical to scratch one's own skin. Of course, scratching one's own skin would be a normal thing to do. However, the contender comes in, saying it is unethical (only position the contender may take). According to the definition I have given, the burden of proof goes to the contender.

Application of contender having burden of proof….
http://www.debate.org...
In the debate referenced, the instigator was Kleptin, and the contender me_a.
It is clearly marked by the vote tally. However, the contender had the main burden of proof. If I may remind my opponent, no definition of "instigator" was given, and therefore, I may assume the instigator to be Kleptin in this debate (it is clearly marked). The main burden of proof, seemingly, does not fall on this debater.
This supports my claim against the resolution.

APPENDIX A: DEFINITIONS
Argument - an assertion offered as evidence that something is true.
A burden of proof - evidence that needs to be given prior to taking argument to be true.
The burden of proof - falls on a person proposing change from logically valid default position, or anyone who is making a positive claim when there is an unknown logically valid default position.

If just one of my prepossessing counterexamples is valid, I win. All seem to be validated with rebuttals.
I have supplied numerous burdens of proof as to why I am correct.

Logic dictates a CON vote.
I thank my opponent for the enjoyable debate,
Oboeman
Debate Round No. 2
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by gahbage 6 years ago
gahbage
Lucky >.<

25 characters
Posted by Logical-Master 6 years ago
Logical-Master
As a matter of fact, I've seen it twice.
Posted by gahbage 6 years ago
gahbage
Aw, did you see The Dark Knight? T.T
Posted by Logical-Master 6 years ago
Logical-Master
It would seem that there will no laughs . . .

"Lets put a smile on your face" - The Joker.
Posted by Logical-Master 6 years ago
Logical-Master
You rebutted him saying "indeed?" Bwa ha ha ha!
Posted by gahbage 6 years ago
gahbage
Actually I did two rounds because I'm going on vacation soon. >.<

Regardless, I'm sure my opening argument will not be refuted.
Posted by Rezzealaux 6 years ago
Rezzealaux
If CON actually uses an argument similar to LM's example, I'll laugh.
Posted by Logical-Master 6 years ago
Logical-Master
Judging by how often I've seen this debate (well, not necessarily on debate.org, but you get the picture), CON will most likely argue that if the instigator were to say "God doesn't exist", it would be on CON's burden to prove God does."

And I would assume that PRO is resorting to the good ole "two sentence trap" as he is so confident in what he believes to be irrefutable, that he doesn't mind there only being one round for him to argue.

In any case, I shall watch.
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Vote Placed by gahbage 5 years ago
gahbage
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