The Instigator
theOverman
Con (against)
Losing
5 Points
The Contender
patsox834
Pro (for)
Winning
19 Points

The topic is TBA

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
patsox834
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/25/2009 Category: Education
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,751 times Debate No: 10566
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (12)
Votes (4)

 

theOverman

Con

I will allow you to announce the topic and I will go against whichever topic you decide no matter what it is...

R1: You will choose a topic. In round one, you will merely state the topic and you must be in favor of that topic.

R2: I will show you why I am against the topic. Then, you will state your arguments and responses.

R3: I will provide responses. You will conclude.

The matter is in now your hands; do you accept? Are you able to walk the tightrope that is humanity and dare cross over and tempt theOverman? Let's see...

"May we grow so gentle; never grow mental".
patsox834

Pro

The topic: Albert Pujols is a Better Player in Major League Baseball Than Casey Kotchman.

Albert Pujols: http://www.baseball-reference.com... -- and: http://en.wikipedia.org...

Casey Kotchman: http://www.baseball-reference.com... -- and: http://en.wikipedia.org...

Just in case theOverMan tries to distort the topic...it's that Albert Pujols, who is currently a player in MLB, is better than Casey Kotchman, who also plays in MLB. By "better," I mean "more valuable," by which I mean Pujols contributes more to his team, which I'll show using statistical evidence, which will show Pujols' ability to produce offensively and defensively, and his durability (playing time) is superior to Kotchman's.
Debate Round No. 1
theOverman

Con

There are two issues with the argument presented. As such, there will be two critiques.

1st: Time challenge.

The term "is" in a debate topic is defined as something used to illustrate a normative statement is being made. Meaning, the topic is a statement of truth that is intended to be applicable in all cases. If one says "the grass is green" they mean that all grass is green and is always green. Vague statements cannot be utilized to create a statement of truth. Capsulation - specific to a time frame - is necessary to derive truth statements.

We all know that the grass is typically green, however, when summertime comes, the grass may become shades of brown due to water-deficiency. Ergo, the statement "the grass is green" no longer holds true. However, the statement "when in ideal conditions, grass is green" is a more conclusive, normative statement because it adds parameters that isolate when the truth is indeed true.

The implication is that, even if Albert Pujols is better now, he may not have been ten years ago, or he might not in the future. So, then, to say that he "is" better is logically inconclusive at best due to a lack in specificity and thus an inaccurate time-placement.

_____________

2nd: Perspective challenge

An additional take-out of this lazy topic is that this normative statement of truth does not hold true in all cases. The reason from this derives from the notion of perspectivism. A perspectivist would argue that the knowledge of a subject is inevitable, partial, and limited by the individual perspective from which it is viewed. This topic is a statement of opinion; not one of fact.

All I have to do is posit that there is at least one person who "perceives" this baseball player as someone who is not "better", I believe that Casey Kotchman is a better baseball player. This means that we are at a standstill, if perspectivism is an agreeable philosophy (which so far there are no opposing theories -- thus making this one hold true), then only in some* cases the video is "incredibly funny". At this point you are to vote CON because the topic is not "Albert Pujols is (sometimes/usually/typically/generally) a better player in major league baseball than Casey Kotchman", but rather a statement of a normative truth.

_____________

3rd: Statistics, pshh...

Here is the absolute best quote I have ever heard about why "the average" is meaningless:
"It's like putting Bill Gates down in Ethiopia and saying the country has a pretty high average income." (1)
– Dr. Dirk Brockmann, the engineering professor who leads the epidemic-modeling team at the Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems

FURTHERMORE, you shouldn't believe a single word from a think thank, it is likely to be BS. Think tanks are dishonest about their studies and aren't peer reviewed. Don't let the PRO invalidate these arguments on the basis that they're ad homs; his think tanks evidence doesn't disclose their methodology for deriving their statistics. As such, the PRO relies on the credibility of the "tank" to make his argument. If the Think Tanks aren't credible, you shouldn't buy evidence from them. And indeed, they are. (2).

Sources are for horses:
1) http://www.nytimes.com...
2) 
Benjamin Wallace-Wells in 2003 [Editor, Washington Monthly, "In The Tank", Dec 2003]
patsox834

Pro

"The implication is that, even if Albert Pujols is better now, he may not have been ten years ago, or he might not in the future. So, then, to say that he "is" better is logically inconclusive at best due to a lack in specificity and thus an inaccurate time-placement."

This is obviously nothing more than a semantical ploy. But anyway, I think you ignored this:

Me: "By "better," I mean "more valuable," by which I mean Pujols contributes more to his team, which I'll show using statistical evidence, which will show Pujols' ability to produce offensively and defensively, and his durability (playing time) is superior to Kotchman's."

So when I say Pujols is better, I mean Pujols contributes more to his team than Kotchman does -- not that Pujols has always, at every stage, been better than Kotchman. I made myself pretty clear on this.

"All I have to do is posit that there is at least one person who "perceives" this baseball player as someone who is not "better", I believe that Casey Kotchman is a better baseball player."

Well, no. Simply because one perceives something doesn't at all mean it's true. Opinions, in and of themselves, are meaningless and wishy-washy. It's how you support that opinion that matters and solidifies your position. So far, you've just said "well, I think Kotchman is better, so go me!" which is hilariously nonsensical, since you're offering nothing other than a mere thought. To show that Pujols isn't better, you'll need to *back-up* you opinion with something...something that isn't, as I put it, "wishy-washy."

<"At this point you are to vote CON because the topic is not "Albert Pujols is (sometimes/usually/typically/generally) a better player in major league baseball than Casey Kotchman", but rather a statement of a normative truth.">

Nah, the topic is, in essence, that Pujols contributes more to his team than Kotchman does. I made this incredibly clear in round 1.

<""It's like putting Bill Gates down in Ethiopia and saying the country has a pretty high average income."">

This makes no sense, since you're trying to discredit the statistics I'll use by showing how a certain statistic is fallacious. Thing is, not all statistics are the same; the quote you posted is using a statistic which is more susceptible to outliers than the one's I'm using. The stats I use have a rather large sample size.

It's also an invalid comparison of statistics, since I'm using stats that are much different than measuring the income of a country.

Albert Pujols' stats over the past 4 seasons (batting average/on base percentage/slugging percentge/on base + slugging percentage):

Pujols:

'06: .331/.431/.671 /.1.102 -- 634 plate appearances.
'07: .327/.429/.568/.997 -- 679 PA.
'08: .357/.462/.653 /.1.114 -- 641 PA.
'09: .327/.443/.658/.1.101 -- 700 PA.

Kotchman's best season over the last four years was 2007, when he hit .296/.372/.467./.840 with 508 PA, which doesn't even come close to Pujols' worst season out of those four years, and even his whole career in MLB.

For defense, I'll be using +/-, though '06-'08 is all I can get without paying. Pujols was +82 in those years; Kotchman was +32. Pujols was first in MLB; Kotchman was actually second. So Pujols beat every first basemen in those years by an insane margin. And really, since we can get a decent idea of how good they are defensively since this is over a number of years, we don't really have any reason to think Kotchman could've overtaken Pujols with his '09 season. Even if that somehow happened, Pujols did best him in all but one of those years.

And my opponent's last point is nothing other than a red herring, so yeah.

http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://www.fieldingbible.com... -- a explanation of +/- is there; I can't link it directly.
Debate Round No. 2
theOverman

Con

My opponent makes a huge mistake when overlooking my arguments.

Language essentially defers to metaphors. Truth conditional semantics are a farse. Meaning evolves through the features we generally assign to words.

Nietzsche writes,
"...truth [is]? a movable host of metaphors, metonymies, and anthropomorphisms: in short, a sum of human relations which have been poetically and rhetorically intensified, transferred, and embellished, and which, after long usage, seem to a people to be fixed, canonical, and binding. Truths are illusions which we have forgotten are illusions; they are metaphors that have become worn out and have been drained of sensuous force, coins which have lost their embossing and are now considered as metal and no longer as coins.[...]anyone who has felt this cool breath [of logic] will hardly believe that even the concept... is nevertheless merely the residue of a metaphor." (1).

This denies the PRO's ability to affirm the topic as a statement of truth independent of the kritik. It is impossible to formulate a truth independent of the value given to the mechanism by which truth was created: the importance of the meaning of "is".

Second, this means that the necessary requirements of the PRO aren't binding because they only have as much truth as one gives them.
______________

1st: Time challenge.

This issue is not merely a "ploy", but rather a fair analysis utilized what "is" means and how it is applied in common usage. My opponent fails to assert the reasoning for as to why "is" prescribes a normative statement. Instead he reasons, "So when I say Pujols is better, I mean Pujols contributes more to his team than Kotchman does -- not that Pujols has always, at every stage, been better than Kotchman. I made myself pretty clear on this."

This contribution has not always been more than Kotchman, he does not provide you evidence indicating that this is so. Absent this evidence, he cannot assert that the topic is a true statement. If he does offer this evidence, you still vote CON because he cannot predict the Pujols will always be a better player.
_____________

2nd: Perspective challenge

Ah, but he messes things up here too.

In fact all he says is that "Simply because one perceives something doesn't at all mean it's true. Opinions, in and of themselves, are meaningless and wishy-washy. It's how you support that opinion that matters and solidifies your position." However, he doesn't offer you a justification for why the competiting theory - Objectivism - is the paramount theory. Remember, relativism is the best way to frame arguments because is allows for less vague topics (because you are forced to isolate specific occurances, not general statements), and it is grounded in empirics. Recall my argument regarding when the "grass is green".

At this point you are to vote CON because the topic is not "Albert Pujols is (sometimes/usually/typically/generally) a better player in major league baseball than Casey Kotchman", but rather a statement of a normative truth.
_____________

3rd: Statistics, pshh...

In reality, I have proven that the usage of statistics don't even matter because A) the topic doesn't isolate when - ergo, the statistics are insufficient unless they indicate that this is "always" how things were AND B) the topic can be dismissed as merely an opinion of "who is more valuable" and thus yields to perspectivism.

Yet my opponent continues to beat the dead horse, "This makes no sense..." however, it makes much sense if you read my last point. Actually, he doesn't read it carefully enough. Remember, the last point essentially states that because of the multiplicity of statistics, my opponent must prove HOW these statistics were taken and why we give them cred.

Works:
"On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense" published in Cazeaux, Clive, The Continental Aesthetics Reader, London: Routledge, 2000. Pg 56, 57.

http://en.wikipedia.org...
patsox834

Pro

<"My opponent fails to assert the reasoning for as to why "is" prescribes a normative statement.">

I don't need to, because I made what I meant hilariously clear in round one -- I meant that Albert Pujols, *in the present,*contributes more to his team than Casey Kotchman does -- not that Pujols has always bee, and will always be, better than Kotchman.

Also, dude, the word "is" indicates that I'm referring to the present -- when you say"the grass is green," that means hat the grass, as of this moment, has a greenish color to it. When someone says "my name is Earl," that means that their name, as of them saying so, is...well, Earl. So when it's said that Albert Pujols is better than Casey Kotchman, the meaning is "Albert Pujols currently has an advantage is the field of playing baseball over Casey Kotchman."

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

"1. 3rd pers. sing. pres. indic. of be."

Notice where it says "pres."? Yeah.

So even if you want to continue to try and distort what I said into "Pujols > Kotchman...forever and always!" it doesn't matter, because "is" refers to the present, by definition. But that barely even matters, since I meant that Pujols' contributions to his team > Kotchman's, which I clearly stated multiple times.

<"his contribution has not always been more than Kotchman, he does not provide you evidence indicating that this is so.">

...because I don't have to. Why would I have to prove that Kotchman has always been inferior to Pujols when my point was that Pujols contributes more to his team than Kotchman? You're moving the goal posts.

<"At this point you are to vote CON because the topic is not "Albert Pujols is (sometimes/usually/typically/generally) a better player in major league baseball than Casey Kotchman", but rather a statement of a normative truth.">

Sigh. Again, I made it clear that I meant that Pujols contributes more, which makes your whole second point utterly useless. If my point was that Pujols was forever superior, then this would be worth addressing, but I didn't at all come close to saying that -- again, I said this: By "better," I mean "more valuable," by which I mean Pujols contributes more to his team, which I'll show using statistical evidence, which will show Pujols' ability to produce offensively and defensively, and his durability (playing time) is superior to Kotchman's.

Your whole second point carries no relevance, and is just another red herring. The argument is over which player contributes more to his team, which isn't close to what you're attempting to twist it into.

<"In reality, I have proven that the usage of statistics don't even matter because A) the topic doesn't isolate when - ergo, the statistics are insufficient unless they indicate that this is "always" how things were AND B) the topic can be dismissed as merely an opinion of "who is more valuable" and thus yields to perspectivism.">

Your first point is irrelevant. I've explained ad nauseum why showing why Pujols always has been better isn't anywhere close to necessary, or even relevant. Your second point is another way of saying "but this is just your opinion," which is meaningless; you're simply rehashing something you said in round 2. You've given nothing to back yourself up; you've only fancily said "but that's what *you* think," which isn't even an argument. It's the support you give an opinion that gives it stock; I've supported myself. You've given...nothing.

<"Remember, the last point essentially states that because of the multiplicity of statistics, my opponent must prove HOW these statistics were taken and why we give them cred.">

Shifting of the burden of proof. You claim my stats are invalid, so you back it up; the onus is on you. I've give a counterargument to the points you made about my stats, so really, you don't have anything here, either.
Debate Round No. 3
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Chrysippus 6 years ago
Chrysippus
Sigh... At times, these debates can spawn the most fascinating semantic arguments; wordplay that invites one to re-read it over and over; absurdities that leave one gasping for breath from laughing.

This one was not worth reading.

Pro did a good job, all things considered; he posted a solid argument and repeated it over and over so that Con's inane "arguments" could be clearly seen as the painful disconnect from reality they are.

Con deserves no points for his arguments, but he shows promise for having stuck it out and fought the lost cause. I encourage him to stick around in his current incarnation; his future debates will undoubtedly be better.
Posted by studentathletechristian8 6 years ago
studentathletechristian8
I'm specifically referencing your statement, "That account doesn't exist anymore." You didn't directly answer my question, so I thought I could smell a trace of guilt from your computer screen ;)
Posted by Protagoras 6 years ago
Protagoras
A little guilty for what?

If you're talking about the dog incidence, I wouldn't say "guilty", I'd say embarrassed for not researching the issue prior to doing what I thought was a comical act. I was trying to hard to play the "rapper" role and acted in a rash manner. For that I am sorry, but "guilty" is not the word.
Posted by studentathletechristian8 6 years ago
studentathletechristian8
Did you feel a little guilty?
Posted by Protagoras 6 years ago
Protagoras
That account doesn't exist anymore.
Posted by studentathletechristian8 6 years ago
studentathletechristian8
That's your other account, isn't it?
(Protagoras)
Posted by Protagoras 6 years ago
Protagoras
Do not vote for theOverman.
His account has been deleted for being a terrible person.
Posted by theOverman 6 years ago
theOverman
Didn't I already say that you are a lie?
Go hide in a cave with Derrida!
Posted by LeafRod 6 years ago
LeafRod
None of these arguments work.
Posted by Nails 6 years ago
Nails
I think that if you are making your own topic, you've gotta be prepared for semantics. That being said, I don't understand why Pujols must always have been better given 'is' is present tense. I think the #2 argument is probably the best of the 3 at negating, but I'll have to wait until the end of r3.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by patsox834 6 years ago
patsox834
theOvermanpatsox834Tied
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Vote Placed by Nails 6 years ago
Nails
theOvermanpatsox834Tied
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Vote Placed by Chrysippus 6 years ago
Chrysippus
theOvermanpatsox834Tied
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Vote Placed by Protagoras 6 years ago
Protagoras
theOvermanpatsox834Tied
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