The Instigator
rougeagent21
Con (against)
Losing
27 Points
The Contender
JBlake
Pro (for)
Winning
35 Points

The instigator, affirmative or negative, ought to post an oppening argument in the first round

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/18/2009 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 5,481 times Debate No: 8689
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (21)
Votes (10)

 

rougeagent21

Con

I have taken quite a bit of heat about posting an opening argument. While I realize it is polite and better for the debate to post an opening argument, I feel that I have no obligation to do so. Therefore, in correspondence with my position, I will allow my opponent to open the debate. If you accept this debate, you agree to the following definitions:

Instigator-the person who starts a debate

Ought-used to express obligation or duty

Good luck to whoever accepts, and I look forward to an enjoyable debate.
JBlake

Pro

I would like to open by thanking Rouge Agent Twenty-one for posting this debate and providing me with the opportunity to discuss this issue. I accept all definitions provided by Con, and reserve the right to introduce more definitions in the future should the need arise.

I affirm the resolution: That, the instigator (affirmative or negative) ought to post an opening argument in the first round.

There are several reasons why the instigator (affirmative or negative) should post an opening argument in the first round, both for his own benefit and for the benefit of others. I will outline them below:

==========

1. CLARITY
Providing an argument in the first round of debate makes the resolution more clear and lets potential debaters know just what the instigator wishes to debate. This will help both sides avoid confusion, a debate devolving into something the instigator did not intend to debate, and semantic arguments.

2. INSTIGATOR
Providing an opening argument also helps the instigator, while not providing one hurts him. When a debater does not provide an argument in the opening round he usually does not provide one at all. He usually contents himself with merely rebutting the argument of his opponent. This rarely provides for a strong case for said instigator.

3. CONTENDER
When the instigator provides an opening argument then the contender knows what most of the points he will be debating. This will result in a more fulfilling debate for both sides, as well as the audience. The purpose of debate is not necessarily to seek out an easy victory, that would lead to an empty debate. The purpose should be to seek truth. If both sides know precisely what they are arguing and, more importantly, what they are arguing against, then they will be able to more effectively make their points and counter-points.

=======
PREEMPTIVE COUNTER-POINTS
=======

1. SUSPENSE
Con may attempt to make the argument that not providing an opening argument allows the debater to be suspenseful and save his best arguments for later (presumably to catch his opponent off guard). However, this is not a place to write suspense novels. In debate it is important to be as clear as possible about your position for the sake of the contender and the audience alike. More is to be gained by clarity than suspense.

========
CONCLUSION
========

There are more positives to be gained by more interested parties when the instigator provides an opening argument in the first round of debate. The resolution is affirmed.
Debate Round No. 1
rougeagent21

Con

When reading your points, I find myself agreeing with them for the most part. Let's review them:

1. CLARITY

I agree that this would help clarify and avoid confusion. This would be a good thing.

2. INSTIGATOR

This point only affirms the fact that it is beneficial to the instigator to post an opening argument, and hurts him if he refrains.

3. CONTENDER

I agree that a debate should be a seeking for truth. It should not be a quest for an easy win. Yes, posting an opening argument also increases effectiveness.

I am not going to argue the suspense factor, while it can be amusing at times. http://www.debate.org...

While all of his points are true, posting an opening argument is not the only way to achieve a good debate. There are (usually) plenty of rounds to fulfill clarity, and seek out truth. There are also comments and forums where clarity can be offered. While you are reading these points, keep in mind that an opening round argument is not necessary to achieve a worthwhile debate.

When we look at all of my opponent's points, we see why it is useful to the instigator, the contender, and the readers if the instigator posts an opening argument. We already know this. As my opponent says, it offers clarity, benefits the instigator, and (slightly) helps the debate seek truth. We also know that these are good things. Good things they may be, but nowhere have I found them to be required. When I signed up for this sight, nowhere did it say, "You must swear to offer clarity, support yourself in your debates, and seek out truth in all of your debates..." Now that I am a member, nowhere does it say that either. We are arguing whether not I have an obligation to post an argument, not if I am encouraged to post an opening argument. Yes, I am encouraged to post an opening argument. Am I under any obligation to do so? Absolutely not. The resolution is negated.
JBlake

Pro

I would like to note that Con's R2 post outlines my argument well. The confusion in this very debate was brought about by his failure to provide an opening argument in the first round.

Because he failed to provide one in the first round he is obliged to debate the topic as I have seen fit to interpret it. As we can all clearly see, he has conceded to all points and agrees that the instigator ought to (should) provide an opening argument in his first round.

I have already won this debate. However, for the sake of argument I will take up the point made by pro using his fallacious definition of 'ought':

=======

Con declares that the instigator is under no duty or obligation to provide an opening argument in the first round. To support this he cites the DDO ToS, which do not prohibit omitting an opening argument. He is, of course, correct in this latter statement - the DDO ToS do not prohibit such an act.

However, people have more duties than to authority (in this case, the DDO ToS). Con has readily agreed that the purpose of a debate is for seeking the truth. He also agrees that clarity and the avoidance of confusion are of the utmost importance in seeking truth. Then it follows that it is the duty of every member on this website to his fellow users to be as clear as possible in his debates. Since Con has conceded that an R1 opening argument is included in this "as clear as possible" then we can affirm the resolution: that the instigator, affirmative or negative, ought to post an opening argument in the first round.

Thank you for reading, and Good Luck to Con in the final round of debate.
Debate Round No. 2
rougeagent21

Con

=="I would like to note that Con's R2 post outlines my argument well. The confusion in this very debate was brought about by his failure to provide an opening argument in the first round."

Where has either party mentioned confusion? Are you confused?

=="Because he failed to provide one in the first round he is obliged to debate the topic as I have seen fit to interpret it."

Within the parameters that were agreed upon, we can debate this the way you interpret it. While I did not post a full-on argument, I provided black and white boundaries. Since you agreed to abide by them, your "interpretation" cannot exceed them.

=="As we can all clearly see, he has conceded to all points and agrees that the instigator ought to (should) provide an opening argument in his first round."

Show me where I said that the instigator "ought" to post an opening argument. If you read the end of my argument from the previous round, you will see that I conceded these to being GOOD things. Never did I say they were NECESSARY elements of a debate. Please stick to the resolution. We are not debating what is encouraged, but what is required.

=="I have already won this debate. However, for the sake of argument I will take up the point made by pro using his fallacious definition of 'ought':"

Fallacious? In which meaning of the word do you say fallacious? In any case, YOU agreed to debate by my definition. You have nothing to complain about.

–adjective
1.containing a fallacy; logically unsound: fallacious arguments.
2.deceptive; misleading: fallacious testimony.
3.disappointing; delusive: a fallacious peace.

My opponent then goes on to address authority. First of all, he concedes that the DDO ToS do not prohibit the lack of a first round argument. Voters, please note this.

=="Con has readily agreed that the purpose of a debate is for seeking the truth. He also agrees that clarity and the avoidance of confusion are of the utmost importance in seeking truth."

Never did I say they were "of the utmost importance." Please stop misquoting me. I simply said they were helpful in achieving truth. Either way you look at it, there is still no obligation here.

=="Then it follows that it is the duty of every member on this website to his fellow users to be as clear as possible in his debates."

My opponent incorrectly uses "duty" here. There is NO moral obligation here, and certainly not a legal one. Think about it this way:

There is a horse riding facility for the mentally disabled down the road. You CAN volunteer to go down there and shovel manure, lead the horses around, and so forth. In fact, your mom encourages you to go volunteer. Would volunteering benefit the kids? Indirectly. Would it benefit the workers? Yes. Would it look good on a resume? Yes. HAVE YOU ANY OBLIGATION WHATSOEVER, LEGAL OR MORAL, TO GO DOWN THERE AND SHOVEL POOP?

It is the same way with an opening argument. Would it increase clarity, help the debaters, and help seek truth? Sure. Is there any obligation to post an opening argument? Absolutely not.

du-ty;[doo-tee, dyoo-]
–noun, plural -ties.
1.something that one is expected or required to do by moral or legal obligation.

Since my opponent has willingly accepted my definitions of the first round, there are some things he must perform in order to win. He must:

1- Give at least one entity that gives the instigator an obligation to post an opening round
2- Prove why that entity has authority over the instigator

If my opponent is unable to achieve both of these, I have won the debate. Good luck in the last round; I had a lot of fun debating you.

http://dictionary.reference.com...
http://dictionary.reference.com...
JBlake

Pro

This debate has devolved into a debate on semantics. Once again, this underscores my point of the importance that the instigator provide an opening argument in the opening round. Due to the devolution into semantics, I will provide a few key definitions.

========

Con's definition of 'ought' was indeed lacking in accuracy, as seen by the Merriam-Webster definition:

---------

Ought: used to express obligation , advisability , natural expectation , or logical consequence
http://www.merriam-webster.com...

As we can see, the interpretation I made of 'ought' falls within its real definition. Under this definition, 'ought' is by no means limited to 'obligation' or 'duty'. Con could easily have avoided this confusion by posting an argument in the first round. By the definition of 'ought' I have won this debate. I will continue:

----------

Duty:
1: conduct due to parents and superiors
2 a: obligatory tasks, conduct, service, or functions that arise from one's position (as in life or in a group)
3 a: a moral or legal obligation b: the force of moral obligation
4: tax
5 a: work
http://www.merriam-webster.com...

======
DUTY
======

Let us examine the second definition of 'duty' as it relates to the current debate. By this definition, then, duty is the obligatory task, conduct, service, or function that arises from position. Our duty as members of the debate.org community is to seek truth. Con has agreed that the purpose of debate is for seeking truth, and that providing clarity is one aspect in the search for truth. If we can conclude that truth is the purpose of debate (as Con readily agrees) then it follows that, by their position as members of a debate website, DDO members have a duty to find truth.

Con concedes, "it [first round argument] offers clarity, benefits the instigator, and (slightly) helps the debate seek truth." He has also conceded that not providing an opening argument may be harmful to finding truth (due to the lack of clarity and confusion it can cause). Therefore, the instigator, in his capacity as a member of DDO has the duty to truth (DDO's ultimate authority) to provide an opening argument.

========
CONCLUSION
========

I have shown that the instigator ought to provide an opening argument in the first round on two fronts. I have shown its benefits based on the true definition of 'ought' (to provide clarity, avoid confusion, and to better seek truth). I have also shown that it is the duty of each instigator, in his capacity on DDO, to provide an opening argument.

The resolution is affirmed on both fronts, using both definitions. I urge the readership to Vote Pro.
Debate Round No. 3
21 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Logical-Master 7 years ago
Logical-Master
CONDUCT: PRO. I found the instigator's attempt to provide a definition of "obligation" that opposed PRO's definition (in spite of having offered absolutely on clarification in the first round) to be abusive. Had he said that he reserved to right to clarify on his definitions if necessary, this would not have been an issue. Not to mention that I (in general) find the refusal to make a first round argument to be bad conduct. The only way I would have voted a tie or in favor of CON on this would be if both he and PRO had refused to utilize their first rounds or if CON had managed to convince me that one ought not to post an opening argument in the first round. Seeing as how he didn't, well . . .

SPELLING AND GRAMMAR: I'm in no mood to check. Tie.

CONVINCING ARGUMENTS: PRO. I found PRO's argument concerning obligation and that how it can be mean more than merely having to abide by stated rules to be very convincing. In essence, what PRO is speaking of is SOCIAL/MENTAL obligation (well actually, there is probably a better word, but the point I'm making is that he is referencing a form of obligation). Indeed. It was misunderstanding of the different forms of obligation which lead to the instigator's defeat as the instigator had AGREED with the values of debate which JBlake had talked about int he first round. If he hadn't, this wouldn't be an issue.

RELIABLE SOURCES: PRO. PRO's source quite powerfully proved that there were more kinds of obligation than the kind which CON chose to speak of in his second round, not to mention that his rendering of "obligation was favored."
Posted by JBlake 7 years ago
JBlake
If you are trying to make an honest RFD, why would you give sources to either of us? Both of us only sourced the dictionary. Con incorrectly sourced the dictionary. You might as well not leave an RFD at all if you do not intend to follow protocol.
Posted by Lifeisgood 7 years ago
Lifeisgood
B/A: Con.
Conduct: Con. I found Pro to be irritating in his accusations.
S/G: Tie.
Arguments: Con. Pro's arguments were rather poor.
Sources: Con.
Posted by rougeagent21 7 years ago
rougeagent21
You keep saying it was unclear. Tell me what part you did not understand?
Posted by JBlake 7 years ago
JBlake
Yes, it seems you took it from the Merriam-Webster definition. What you did not include was the rest of the definition which includes 'advisability,' among others.

The point is that the resolution was unclear because you did not include an opening argument. It doesn't even matter, because I argued using both the real definition of ought (which you conceded early that it was advisable to post an opening argument) and your narrow version of it.
Posted by rougeagent21 7 years ago
rougeagent21
Regardless, you agreed to use it by debating me.
Posted by rougeagent21 7 years ago
rougeagent21
I didn't take an aspect of a definition. I took the definition I found in the dictionary.
Posted by JBlake 7 years ago
JBlake
Yes, narrow. You took one aspect of the definition and passed it off as the entire definition.
Posted by rougeagent21 7 years ago
rougeagent21
Narrow version? I took it out of a dictionary and you agreed to debate it.
Posted by JBlake 7 years ago
JBlake
Definitions themselves cannot tell the potential contender precisely what they instigator intended to debate. This very debate is one example. Additionally, definitions cannot provide clarity to an argument when no argument is made...
10 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by tmhustler 7 years ago
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